Jake Cuenca on his Cinemalaya Entry "Requited"

Monday, July 31, 2017

He's been honing his craft for a couple of years now. Been in and out of the country to take upon himself schooling and all the hodge podge of acting; which he deems important from day 1. This time though he takes the role and movie production of a Cinemalaya entry called "Requited" together with indie veteran Anna Luna. Directed by Nerissa Picadizo, this romantic drama film tackles the relationship of ex's Matt and Sandy in their journey to bike from the city of Manila to the province of Pampanga to the hills of killer volcano Mount Pinatubo. Matt suffers from Parkinson's disease, and you'll see how this journey would spell how they rekindle their romance or end in his tragic death. It was his dying wish to accomplish this with her, which she unselfishly obliged.

Jake Cuenca says "I guess if there is a lot common between me and the character it would be the moving on process. I get into the role early on but I laugh because she's (Anna Luna) so funny in person. I guess it was a challenge to do this as I got into an accident and broke my hand, we waited for 75% to heal and removed the cast. It was hard and we had torrential rain in between takes but the place is just majestically beautiful so we had to shoot there. It's the love for being out there, the speed, human power, nature and the appreciation of the scenery that you will see in the film. It was fulfilling, I'm not thinking about returns but how it would be seen in the film. I want to do it this way and I'm attached to it. I can't even be a diva because if it's dark we have to pack up, it is gratifying to see the process of editing and color grading. I am not even looking at the numbers, but I see this commercially released. It is so easy to understand but the ending is unpredictable. We can think about the numbers later. The grant is only 750,000 so just imagine how crunched we were on post production. If not for Direk I don't know how this would happen. I hope I could become a Director soon, I'll have to study for that too."

Jake and Anna has been together in Ivanna Chubbuck classes and she really auditioned for this role (one among thousands). She's lauded by Jake because they only required themselves to act as natural as possible, and accomplished it easy. Aside from this project, Jake Cuenca will also be part of Ang Panday which will be sent as an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 and directed by Coco Martin. The Gala Night will happen on August 8 9PM at the CCP Main Theater and will be shown from August 4-13 in various Ayala Cinemas nationwide. 

Ka Tunying's Cafe Now A Part of The Bistro Group

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I live in this neighborhood enough to know when a place actually pops up and get enough traction to be tried by my friends and family. I also frequent this part of the city because most TV stations are near here. These coffee shops become my place to work and I don't tell people about it because I would usually want the place to my own. No matter how selfish that sounds, I find these places cozy and conducive for work, sometimes even get the creative juices flowing while I do my favorite thing in the world, blogging and people watching. This one is going to be an exception though because I feel I should tell you about it, have you heard of Ka Tunying's Cafe?

This place is owned by Anthony Taverna and his wife Roselle, same man who hosts shows in DZMM, ABSCBN and who is quite a prolific journalist. For those who don't know, his family owns a very prominent neighborhood bakery in his home province of Nueva Ecija and this place wreaks of that as they serve awesome native made sausages from that region, perfect for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner. His restaurant actually isn't named after him, but his Dad (Anontio Sr.) and it's that same provincial charm set in a cozy ambiance that he wants to deliver. With this good premise, I'm sure Quezon City is the perfect place to start off. People have been raving about his "Batutay" which has got the perfect blend of Garlic and spices, fried golden, all in natural casing served with Garlic fried rice if you're not naughty. They have other best sellers like the Arroz Ala Tunying, Cabanatuan Longsilog (which that Batutay I mentioned is included) and is available in recado and hamonado variants too. If you're craving for something good on rainy days, you can try the Tsamporado with Tuyo Flakes, Creamy Baked Bangus, Tinapa Carbonara, Ka-Love-Asa Lasagna, Pancit Ni Nanay Benny (who's recipe came from Ka Tunying's Mom), Kamote Cheesebread, Kalabasa Ensaymada and my current addiction Ka Tunying's Blend Coffee. All rice meals can also be upgraded with Unlimited Rice as an option for only Php 35 bucks. 

Just recently, they partnered with one of the biggest group of restaurants in the country "The Bistro Group". These are the same people who owns, manages and have grown restaurants such as TGIFridays, Itallianis, Denny's among others. Anthony and Roselle felt confident about his move as they are gearing to grow their brands. They have been eagerly updating their menu as well to introduce new appetizers, mains and desserts that would be apt for their stores in Timog Avenue (right in front of GMA) and NAIA 3 branches which they hope will be experienced and savored by more Filipinos soon. Jean Paul Manuud COO of the Bistro Group sees this as their great contribution of serving innovative Filipino comfort food and the same world class service they offer in their restaurants. 

If you want to know more about their offerings, check out www.facebook.com/katunyingscafe and their channels on the page. As of recent posts, they are also offering Bruce Tawillis, Tinapang Lumangoy sa Monggo and Labo Labong Chop Suey to name a few so if you're looking for comfort food, this might be a good time to visit them. I'm writing this now at their coffee shop so say hi if you see me haha!

Call them at 3661342 if you have small events or meetings as they can get a room arranged for that. Trust me on the Batutay.

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Join The Fun at Oishi Snacktacular 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I've been able to join this activity in Trinoma, Mall of Asia and now down south at Festival Mall. Oishi Snacktacular 2017 has already started yesterday and will run until Sunday, so here's what you can expect to happen.

There will be lots of people. There are no entrance fees but have minimal fees for each activity. If you're planning to buy snacks anyway, this is a super fun alternative because you can have fun with family and friends.

You will see a stage at the Carousel level (2nd floor) where they will hold programs too. Expected guests are Alex Gonzaga, Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Maine Mendoza! Who do you want to see? :)

I tried the Snack Catcher for the first time because I'm afraid like that hahah. But I suggest you choose who you would actully do this with, I made a mistake of going after a pro like Myke Soon who picked up 84 snacks in one swoop. He basically broke the record and made a huge hole, I came in next and didn't have snacks that much, too bad haha!

The Snack Shack is my favorite one. You get to pickup your favorite snacks from a wall and pack them in lovely super big oishi product wrappers. I got a lot this time in one minute!

O Twirl basically turned my favorite Chuga Chug drink into soft serve ice cream. Both were nice but since it's chocolate, we go with that! Add in some favorite toppings and you're good to go!

This was gone in 2 minutes because it's so good!

The Oishi Make Your Own Snack station had 6 different Oishi snack variants which you could mix and match in a paper container and enjoy with your favorite dip. I had the corn tortillas and Mayo, again it was gone in 2 minutes haha!

Alex Gonzaga made our day with her funny antics on stage as she made sure everyone was having fun. She also played around with our new Oishi mascots which you will see at the event so you and your kids could take selfies, they will accomodate you no problem! You can also join and turn into a bird so you could swat balls into your costume, you'll win tons of Oishi drinks in the process.

If you get to participate in every booth and share the experience in your social media channels, they will get you a limited edition shirt and make you win prizes in the raffle! 

It was super fun as always and if you are not doing anything today or tomorrow, bring your friends and family to Festival Mall and enjoy Oishi Snacktacular 2017 like I did! It's fun, entertaining and you'll love it! 

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Park Shin Hye for Bench On Their 30th Year

Friday, July 28, 2017

You have no idea how Bench is planning to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, but you can feel it. For KDrama fans out there who watched Stairway to Heaven, You're Beautiful, The Heirs, Pinocchio, and Doctor Crush last year, it would be the opportune time to set yourselves crazy to a trip in all Bench stores and buy off merchandise because the one and only Park Shin Hye is back! She's the newest International Benchsetter and yesterday we had a glimpse of what to expect when she does her #BenchEveryday concert entitled Flower of Angel later at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao Quezon City. She promises REAL fan interaction as selected people will do things with her on stage plus a super cute and romantic singing session with the popular actress.

During the press conference yesterday, she says her fashion style was a little boyish so she loved the pants/jeans and simple shirts that Bench has in their stores. But said she wanted to have a good first impression on this day so she agreed to wear a dress and skirt. 

She also wanted her fans to know what she feels the love despite her being in Korea as a lot of you had been sending her messages online and she does read them. She's also on the way to make another KDrama program come September or October playing a Lawyer this time since she already did a Doctor last year, she wants it different everyday albeit not being too choosy in the roles. She confirms she chooses to do the projects that she finds would just jump to her, when she feels it would make a mark.

Her advise to women, take care of your skin. She doesn't have a set regimen at all and only gives importance to moisturize and putting sunscreen because you can never go wrong with that. If you just saw her in person, you would agree as she's absolutely gorgeous, I couldn't see her pores.

Tonight will be a special night for her fans and the patrons of Bench. Congratulations Sir Ben and everybody who made it possible for her to come to the Philippines. I'm sure there would be a lot of guys who would love to be her Oppa. Make sure you follow me @kumagcow (for more photos of her) and Bench's social media channels for updates about her show later! 


Showcasing Filipino Martial Arts to the World: Hari Osias Banaag

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hearing Filipino Martial Arts be included in major Hollywood films always made me so proud not just as a movie goer but as a Filipino. Sometimes it's sad to see that these arts end up flourishing in other countries other than ours, but more people are actually now seeing value of learning home grown martial arts apt for our built, not rocket science if it seemed at all. Lately Hari Osias Banaag (a Filipino Sikaran Grand Master) has been receiving a lot of attention for championing SIKARAN, a Filipino Martial Art that originated in Baras, Rizal. Learning Karate at an early age, he wasn't keen on pursuing it after learning the ropes for 3 years. He enjoyed roughing it up with his playmates and used hay cushions as his workout arena. This was the time he saw them and his brother make use of their feet and legs to fend off people who had street wise weapons during those years so it got him interested and researched more about SIKARAN as a martial art form. He eventually put up the first school and called it Foremost Sikaran Brotherhood back in 1976. 

He attended the World Martial Arts for Peace event in Washington in 1997 and migrated to the US to introduce the sport abroad. He started training his relatives and friends then got Global Sikaran Foundation DBA established in 1998. Word spread like wildfire about it and got a couple of actors interested to practice like Cynthia Rothrock (my favorite 80's action star), Jerry Fisher, Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Eric Lee among others. The art form has likened some of it's forms to farm animals which made it quite unique compared to other disciplines, as it spreads to other countries like the US, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, Algeria, Korea, Sri Lanka, India, Italy Mexico, Argentina, Burundi and Saudi Arabia. Soon the world. He hopes this would be the start of something big in the Philippines as they are gunning to include it in the curriculum, perhaps soon a national sport. He also wants to make this a way for Filipinos to promote and learn discipline, humility, honor and dignity. If this happens, this would be an even greater country.

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Toni Gonzaga and Paul Soriano for Gold Seas Tuna

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It was a fun afternoon of food and health as new brand Gold Seas Tuna announced their new endorsers and availability in the Philippine market.  Sourced from the South Pacific, the tuna that Gold Seas can is fished responsibly (tuna and marine life preservation in their system of catching). This is sold by GNP (General Nutrifoods Philippines) in the country and they want consumers to recognize their brand as premium but priced reasonably. They want the next generation to also enjoy this and the flavors of the Gold Seas is the chunkiest tuna that's got a wide array of flavors like Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil, Olive Oil with Chili, Springwater, Tuna Chunks in Herb and Garlic, Lemon and Pepper and Mild Indian Curry. They also have oil and water variants of Yellow Fin Tuna. 

This product is meatier and not as fishy as the ones you see in the market today. I tried to make a Bento Box earlier and got fried tuna pancakes with it. It's perfect for lunch boxes. If you think about it, kids wouldn't even know they're eating veggies and fish because it's too pretty!

Tony Gonzaga and Direk Paul stressed how important it is to breastfeed and eat healthy to stay in shape. Tuna has got a lot of Omega 3 which is so good too in many dishes. This brand did it better when I tasted their tuna straight from the can. Make sure you try it out and compare the next time you cook. I like the lemon and pepper flavor personally.

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Charo Santos and My Diamond

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A dazzling affair with great company happened at the Manila House Private Club as jewelry brand My Diamond announced their newest endorser Ms. Charo Santos. JP Paglinawan their Marketing Manager says "My Diamond has been a success because of people who want the finest, affordable and authentic jewelry in the Philippines. Whether it's your first one or something you would use for weddings, it has been part of the Filipino way of showing affection, make them feel special and that's exactly what we want to convey in every piece of My Diamond jewelry. This is also why we chose an apt ambassador to showcase it's timeless appeal. She's brilliant and successful, she's Ms. Charo Santos. Expensive is relative, it doesn't cost as much as your mobile phones but if you are giving it to someone special how can you keep a price tag on that right?"

Ms. Charo says "A pair of fabulous earrings, rings or necklace is something empowering. Women should be kind to one's self, to make yourself feel good sometimes; and owning one is a good thing. It exhudes elegance and I remember buying one for my Mom a few years ago. We should shine at every stage. We can also make it an heirloom, pass it down to my daughter, in laws or someone special."

She also shared "Take a break, no matter how busy you are you must use simpe lines, look at the context of the event you are going to. Diamond Studs would be fine the whole day. My advice, believe in yourself, work hard and pursue your dreams. Owning jewelry is not just a luxury, it's an investment. I also wish men would love diamonds more, to appreciate it's value because it looks good on them too."

Ms. Charo will be endorsing the brand as a whole with Liza Soberano. If you would like to know more, visit https://m.facebook.com/MyDiamondPH/ and their branches nationwide!


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Ballet Manila's "Flights of Fantasy"

Early morning and I've got to head down south for this one to see "Flights of Fantasy". It's a series of shows for the 22nd Performance Season of premier dance company Ballet Manila. I've been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to watch their show but didn't get to because of distance (I live in QC) but judging from the lineup I said to myself "this is gonna be worth it" as I know every Ballet Manila production donnes world class standards. I love the art of dance and ballet always has got a soft spot in my heart because I attempted this and failed when I was in primary school. I used what little things I learned from that and applied it to tons of competitions that I had in Manila and in the regionals. Believe me, it helped.

What I like about this production though is that it's an original one. I'm talking about that legendary bird "Ibong Adarna". We love folklore, but as it was told in dance by Gerardo Francisco you would get to be flown into the magical kingdom of Berbanya. Prepare to be astonished as the company whip out their moves, techniques, even flying sequences. You'll be amazed at what the human body can do. If that's not enough, gorgeous west end star Gia Macuja Atchison will also sing as the great "Ibong Adarna". Music will be done by Diwa De Leon while set design and costume will be from Otto Hernandez. This is written by Angela Blardony Ureta. It will be shown on August 26 and September 2 at 6PM and will also show on August 27 and September 3 at 3PM so mark your calendars!

They also will be doing the classical ballet piece "Swan Lake" with music by Peter Tchaikovsky come October to pay homage to their Vaganova Academy style of dance. Premier ballerina Liza Macuja Elizalde and Osias Barroso will re-stage this at the Aliw Theater as well to make sure little girls who watch the show get inspired to do ballet after that.

You'll see Prince Sigfried, Odette, Odile and all the magic in between so this would be a good place to start to take interest in the art. Stage Design will be done by the marvelous Miguel Faustmann so prepare to be at awe. It will be seen October 7 and 14 at 6PM and October 8 and 15 at 3PM, get season tickets if you wish to see it all!

For a fun and endearing holiday season, Ballet Manila will be offering newly choreographed show by Ms. Lisa Macuja- Elizalde with the well loved fairy tale and staging of "Snow White". 

Set design will be taken cared of by Mio Infante and Costumes will be from Michael Miguel. Musical Arrangement will be done by Von De Guzman so this would be something to look forward to (he did local shows Amaya, Temptation Island). They will put a twist to the story and bring it to the 21st century. They'll be doing it on the same venue come November 25 and December 2 at 6PM, and November 26 and December 3 at 3PM. Kids would love this even if it's the queen doing the storytelling. Don't be afraid to watch as it's interesting. This is also their world premier!

They also got us to see a preview of Ballet and Ballads which will be seen next year. They'll do it on February 10 and 17, 2018 at 6PM and February 11 and 18, 2018 at 3PM. They will be featuring Martin Lawrence's Aria with music excerpts from Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fisher Opera and costumes designed by the one and only Jeffrey Rogador (of whom I've covered tons of fashion shows too).

We also had a preview of the interpretation of the song "Taralets" by local band Imago. It was choreographed by Gerardo Francisco which moves lived up to the dynamic and energetic song. It's very Filipino, and who would have thought it would be presented this well! It was just a fitting way to end the press preview, and if I were you I'd book tickets for the season instead of just a single show. Ballet and Ballads will also be featuring Asia's Crooner Christian Bautista and other artists, the songs they are planning to perform will surely be epic!

This is just one wonderous case of how to show the Filipino is world class. If you want to know more about ticket prices and schedules, please visit their official website www.balletmanila.com.ph and their accounts on FB, Twitter and IG. It's also available on TicketWorld outlets via www.ticketworld.com.ph/BalletManila/Online then click on View Details under the part where it says "Season Subscription Program" if you want to see it all. 

This is just one of the many things that Ballet Manila has prepared for the Filipino audience, and we fervently hope this won't be the last. I really was amazed with the short previews so I can't wait to see the whole show on the said dates. 

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Photo credits: some images without my watermark belong to BalletManila.com.ph.