The Beautiful and Scenic Golden Haven Cebu

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

ebu is certainly one destination I wouldn't get tired of. I've been there countless times for pleasure, work and play. With it's sprawling landscapes, fantastic beaches, good food anytime of the day, and genuinely warm people, one would not resist the ample combination of having urban metro scenes with the quiet countryside.

I wouldn't be surprised that Golden Haven Cebu has chosen this to be their site for a memorial park. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful in the country. It's huge 13 hectare property has mountains in the foreground, trees, grassy hills and terrain, definitely a peaceful place to spend with family and the dearly departed. It's at the Binaliw Road area and you can tell, it's got that Italian theme. There's the Saint John Paul II Memorial Hill, and the Garden Plaza, plus the Imperial Gardens that makes quite calming, it changes the mood outright if you're up for some tranquility. For a little Asian flare, Golden Haven Cebu also has The Mood Gate which functions as an entrance to mausoleums. There rests three columbaries named after St. Teresa de Avila, St. Mary of the Child Jesus and Mother Teresa of Calcutta India (called the Thereseum). If you also like nature, there exists the Vatican deck where you can see scenic views of this memorial park.

It's also near shops, schools, religious landmarks. Aside from that, I could imagine how this would be a worthy investment especially for OFW's, for their families and their children. Get in touch with them via (02) 8873-2922 to 23 as they've got people who can answer your queries.


A Meaningful Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

It was festive and fun over at Shopee's 9.9 Super Shopping Day celebrations at BGC last week. It's been a while since they've done a physical event and it's been ages since bloggers and media guests have seen each other. Announcements of what's going to happen for the weeks going to Shopee 9.9 were in session, and from my seat, I'm quite happy with what I heard especially about the community part which I'll explain in a bit.


During the sale day, of course you'll get the usual fare. This time however, Shopee is launching Barangay Shopee which is a part of their CSR initiative where users would be able to win a community project for their respective towns. From renovations of basketball courts, multi purpose halls, school supplies, all for the love of their own barangays. All you need to do is post public videos on Facebook with posting guidelines included, send the link on the Barangay Shopee page and you get the chance to win. Details for this are also listed on the Barangay Shopee page in app so make sure you join.


Starting today til the 11th of September, there will be huge offers on essentials, free shipping sitewide, and even Php 1 deals for items the whole duration. I've seen brands like INSPI, Garnier at the event and some of their other partners who are willing to make sure you get the best price at the app during these dates. 

Chance to Win Php 1 MILLION 

If you shop from September 1st to the 9th, you get the chance to win Php 1 Million if you claim codes for the draw. There will be a guessing game during the draws so you can also win thousands of pesos just by being a viewer and participating in the game. This will all be done during the Shopee Super Shopping Day TV Special which will be streamed live on the app and on GMA with the lovely Marian Rivera and other GMA stars taking part in it.

Here are some snippets of queen Marian Rivera at the Shopee event.

 Make sure you download the app and shop on the dates mentioned so you too have a meaningful Super Shopping Day like me! :)



Men Should Take Skincare Seriously

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Staying indoors these past few years must have been giving everyone an urge to go out in the sun for rest and recreation. Thing is, it's not just vitamin D that you're getting when exposed to the sun. There's Ultraviolet Rays that can cause skin aging, eye damage, sun burns, even skin cancer on worst cases. In the Philippines, there's a macho notion that skincare are for sissies, but once people age and become a prune, it suddenly becomes a huge issue (when it's too late).

Skin care is essential. It doesn't take a genius to know that men have thicker, oilier skin and needs the same attention as women do (or maybe even more). When I started doing grooming sessions, I had three rules to follow. That's to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I slowly discovered other things that would benefit my skin and over the years and started to test with other products. I've learned to use those that are good for my skin type, which I'm sure not a lot of guys have time to do. Grooming and skincare retailers like Doppkit takes the guesswork out of the equation. 


Burt Chua, Kenneth Toh and Richmond Chong of Doppkit

Founders Burt Chua, Kenneth Toh and Richmond Chong experienced how difficult it was to get good products and information about skincare in the Philippines. They curated these especially for the busy man to make sure there's something that would take care of the face, products to help for shaving procedures, hair, clean and nourish the body and even fragrances so you stay smelling good all day.


The Salt & Stone Sunscreen Lotion has SPF 30. It's not too oily and disappears after a few seconds of application. You don't get that weird ghost look when lathered on skin and get the protection you need from the harmful rays of the sun. It doesn't have a strong scent which is good in my books because I'm a bit sensitive when it comes to some fragrances, and this is au naturelle.

This one is Triumph & Disaster's Ritual Face Cleanser. It's a bit on a watery gel side and smells a bit minty. Safe for use daily, I'd recommend you wash your face with it in the morning before you go out for an event or work. You'll feel fresh without it drying your skin, something that some harsh soaps do. Make sure you rinse thoroughly to make sure you don't have residue on the side of the nose because that has become a problem area for some.

The Groomed Man Co.'s Smooth Operator Face Moisturiser. This is a bit thick for my liking and I'd be more fond of water based ones than this. The weather in Manila is a bit too humid, and this might be a bit too much oily skin. Although it left a matte finish, it was a bit on the sticky side. If you are on the mixed or oily skin type, I wouldn't recommend this. If you have dry skin, this would be apt for that.

The Anthony Facial Scrub was something pretty new to me. With scrubs usually containing something abrasive, this tops the fancy ones as it contains Bora Bora White Sand. It helps remove dead skin cells by exfoliating when you rub it gently on your skin. It smells citrusy, reminds me of oranges and apricots but it has Aloe Vera, Algae and Chamomile. It wasn't floral at all, which is good in my books. It's a bit sweet too, I would recommend this to be used at night when you have to clean up before you sleep.

If I'd have something to hoard from their store, it would be the Salt & Stone Deodorant Naturel. I love the combination of Eucalyptus and Cedar wood. It doesn't sting, very low profile, but so manly smelling. It's woodsy, gives you a boost of morale and confidence that you can take on anything when you're out going to work or for a date.

I've seen the difference of doing it earlier and not when lines, wrinkles, dark spots are already there before we take action. You need a good regimen, and it starts by choosing products that get you the results you need. 

Remember, clean up, moisturize, protect your skin. Get them from as it doesn't take a genius to do it.


Beko Sale Happening at Automatic Center in ATC and Market!Market!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Looks like shoppers in the south would be in for a surprise this week as Beko gets you deals and surprises in physical stores of Automatic Center in Alabang Town Center and Market!Market!.


From August 26 to 31, you can score huge discounts on Beko appliances like the Beko fridges, Beko’s Side-by-Side Inverter Refrigerators (the GNO5231XPPH only costs Php 40,792). The electric cooking ranges like Beko’s 60cm Freestanding Electric Cooker with 4 Hotplate Burners (FSM66100GX) now only costs Php 28,891. If you're tasked with laundry, there's an 8.0kg Top load Fully Automatic Washing Machine (model number WTLI080SP) which you can now get for Php 10,792. If you want a 10.0kg Frontload one that is Fully Automatic and has got a ProSmart Inverter Motor, it only costs Php 39,992 if you're raring for an even better deal.

They promise to also spruce up the place making everything into a festive mood while the sale is happening for consumers just on these dates. Beko Air Fryers are also up for grabs for those who take a selfie at the event, so really, there's a lot of things to look forward to til the 31st. Take the trip down south to Automatic Center Alabang Town Center and Market!Market! to get savings and discounts if you're looking for European appliances which are now available in the Philippines!


CATRIONA GRAY, Gilas Pilipinas Players, Announced As FIBA Local Ambassadors

Hearing that the FIBA Basketball World Cup is happening in the Philippines is already a huge deal for me. Filipinos are the biggest fans of it in the world, you can tell why as much of the streets are lined with basketball courts, big or small, just so we could have somewhere to play they game we absolutely love.

Yesterday was also extra special as SBP (Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas), FIBA and various affiliates introduced the local FIBA Ambassadors consisting of former Gilas Pilipinas players and the one and only Miss Universe Catriona Gray.

Here's what happened that morning


 During the event, they also announced the simultaneous start of the Tissot Time in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.  This means there's only "one year to go" before FIBA matches starts. They also have hinted that there will be a FIBA Global Ambassador later this year. This is also the first time in FIBA's history to see three countries hosting the games, with the Philippines heading the pack. They also mentioned that the local ambassadors wouldn't be the only ones to help disseminate information about the games, because YOU can be part of that too. You may start joining the community by registering here so you could get early bird rates on tickets and Superfan packages. 

What's also touching is that they plan to identify several basketball courts around the country that they will adopt so they could fix, restore and make them a project for the ambassadors together with the FIBA players, making sure they also get to see the culture and what Filipinos are known for, the heart filled hospitality.

Stay tuned for more updates about the games, plus the time they're raffling off the countries battling it out in the FIBA Basketball World Cup!


CALISTA Undergoes Tough KPOP Dance Training for New Single

Thursday, August 25, 2022

After having a very successful "VAX TO NORMAL" Concert a few months ago, Calista is relentless in making sure they're taking their skill game seriously as they undergo a full blown KPOP Dance training from world renowned KPOP choreographers Park Ji Yeon and Lee Eun Kyung.

The two have been spending hours upon hours training Anne, Dain, Laiza, Elle, Denise and Olive new choreography for their 2nd single which will be coming out soon. What was evident was the difference between what they've been dishing out in the past (which according to the choreographers was explosive and powerful). The KPOP style they're teaching CALISTA this time is going to be cute, feminine, sultry and playful. This surely will be something quite different to present to A-listas who have been supporting them since day 1. We got to see them in a press conference they held at the Tyronne Escalante Artist Management offices in Quezon City, and sure enough, we got to talk with them about the things they went through to make this possible. Head honcho Tyronne Escalante says "We listened to A-listas, PPOP, iPOP fans and asked about who would be the perfect fit to teach them new skills, and I think we've got the right people to do it."

Here's part of the press conference which happened last Saturday.

CALISTA admitted it was really hard for both parties in the beginning because the language barrier. Good thing is, they have watched so many KDrama shows and understood some of the words they uttered during the training. Then they had us see a part of the things they've been working on for the second single of CALISTA called "Don't Have Time" composed by Tera and produced by Marcus Davis who also did their debut single "Race Car". 




To give you an idea, Lee Eun Kyung and Park Ji Yeon has worked with different artists and groups like Aster, ERICA, WTF Den Team, Seoul Land, the MBC Show Musical Fantasy, Hwang JinLea, Elec Cooke, artists Yeon-ja Seojin Park, Ri Chang Wook and even one of our faves 2NE1. With regards to their performance after our press conference, let me just say they really look and felt different with the KPOP moves they learned from these talented ladies. The girls of CALISTA also promised they'll make sure that even after the training, they'll be mixing in some of the PPOP moves that CALISTA is known for so it wouldn't be entirely foreign, some of that Filipino flavor everyone is looking for. 

Congratulations to CALISTA, their producer Merlion Events Production Inc. and Tyronne Escalante Artist Management, people will love this new look, flavor and skills you've instilled with the girls. A-listas should be ready for this!


TV5 Releases Statement on ABSCBN Deal

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Recent developments with the TV5 and ABSCBN deal have probably resulted to this and TV5 released this statement today. This will make closing the deal to be a bit delayed and ABSCBN and TV5 agreed to pause after some legislators raised issues regarding the investment move.

This would be heartbreaking for a lot of Filipinos who have been looking forward to the new things announced a few days ago which delves on entertainment content and new broadcast equipment for TV5 studios that is part of this deal.

Let's wait for more news about this in the next few weeks, I feel sorry for the people who are being serviced by free to air services by both these networks.


Acer Launches Chromebook Vero 514 and Showcased Green Sustainable Production

It's the ACER Green Day celebrations this morning and starting off the festivities, they showed us all about ACER GREEN DAY.

Acer CEO Jason Chen says "We have been doing the Carbon Disclosure Program to our supply chain since 2008. This year we are doing it in three tiers, from starting to increase recycled content in our notebook packaging, to having our Acer wide eco-friendly initiatives and green philosophy through Project Humanity, bringing sustainability efforts to all our supply chain through Earthion last year, and launching the Acer Vero line in 2021 that sets the bar for Eco Friendly laptops, we now have expanded the Vero to include the TravelMate Laptops bringing us to numerous awards for our efforts, we are not working on smart solutions for a better tomorrow."

Innovative smart solutions for everyday lives is a tall order but they have been working with partner agencies and government institutions to make it happen. They want a connected and sustainable lifestyle for you and me. They are gearing to be 100 percent sustainable in 2035. The Vero product line also started the ball rolling for green innovations for Acer's 3 other product lines. They introduced the new Acer Chromebook Vero 514. It's got a 12th Gen Intel Core i7, accurate color display, it uses fully recycled plastic at 30% PCR for the chasis, OceanGlass touchpad amd eco friendly materials. It has also undergone rigorous strength of material tests (MIL STD 810H standard) you have military grade durability no matter where you go. They also have the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Vero 514 which is made for pros. This is the product of their extensive years of partnership with Google. Them trusting Acer made way to achieve faster production of environmentally sound products which sustainability, green energy and excellent design. You can see this on the Earthion documentary they also produced which you can watch online on their social channels.

On their Earthion documentary, they showed how they were able to do environmental solutions for their supply chain by working together with other companies and look for ways to do green products. It took a whole town, but they have made lots of progress now. From materials, packaging to logistics, everyone chipped in to make this happen.

From green laptops, products and even sustainable packaging, Acer is making headway with the new Vero product line. If you're an environmentally conscious consumer, or just a regular joe who needs a work companion that does the job, Acer presents this option for you to Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Re-Think.


Pinoys Take Part on HUAWEI AP Seeds for the Future

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

This year's edition of Huawei Asia Pacific Seeds for the Future has just started a 9 day training and digital boot camp in the land of the free, Thailand which ran from August 19-27. This is a full blown effort from the mobile phone and aiot product manufacturer which benefited 10 students from our country, the Philippines.

The event was witnessed by government officials of Thailand and several representatives of international organizations, including H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi the current Secretary General of the ASEAN. He says that improving digital talent in the region would help drive the different country's vision, taking advantage of what they could learn from private sector work especially when there's a huge demand for it. He lauded Huawei for their relentless work in ICT development and thanked them for the opportunities they've given to various individuals in the Asia Pacific region.

Participants of this year's Seeds for the Future event will be involved in technology training and cross cultural discussions aimed to suggest and resolve social and tech problems in their respective countries and the region. They have also had a lot of female participants this year and certainly shows an increase of very talented and skilled workforce in the region.

Huawei Asia Pacific President Mr. Simon Lin commits to more years of this program which has already been brought to over 140 countries and benefited over 500 universities. When they win the competition in Thailand, they will get the chance to do the accelerator camp in Singapore in order to present their work to industry leaders that would be able to bring their ideas to the real world. Training focused on 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud computing which is current and very beneficial for ICT related work today.

Congratulations to the Filipino participants and to Huawei for instilling skills trainings like this for the increase in ICT professionals in the region. It'll be advantageous for us to invest in this now, and hope this sparks more private companies to help just like Huawei did.


Making Memories at Club Paradise in Coron Palawan

Spent a few days at Coron, Palawan with my fam for a short R&R. It's been a while since I've been there and I've been ecstatic to have my family with me. We stayed at Club Paradise, it's in Dimakya Island in Coron which I've had the pleasure of going to a few years back. I saw it was fit for my senior Mom to go to so boat transfers and accommodations would be all accessible as the Discovery property arranges all of that.

I brought along the Samsung A73 5G (in Amazing White color) with me to keep memories. It's a beastly phone that takes 108MP photos that has OIS and a set of quad cameras. It's also got a Snapdragon 778G processor, fits in the hand at 6.7 inch Full HD+ with an SAMOLED screen. I was able to test the 5G connection in Manila and by any standards, VERY fast.It also takes amazing videos, but I reckon be of good quality at 4x zoom. I may have a lot of processing needs, but it bore the brunt of several video editing apps, photo editing apps and socials that I use almost everyday. I really didn't need the 4K video capability and opted to have lesser resolution so I can have more space on the phone. It's got 256GB space though, and I wasn't able to fill it all up with vacation photos in that 5 day retreat. You can opt for the 1TB microSD space as it can accommodate external memory too.

Photo quality is good, it won't make you look like you have plastic skin. I also took advantage of the zoom taking videos for a real wedding proposal that happened at the beach. The photos and videos in daytime, plus several food shots I took was crisp too. I'd be crazy if I didn't think this was something that was made for content creators. 

Here's a glimpse of the trip we had plus the special dinner arranged by Club Paradise in the evening. They called it a Moonlight Dinner, perfect for special occasions or if you plan to propose to someone. Ours was for fun so they also prepared a Boodle Fight, a seafood lover's dream, even those who want surf and turf. I used a different Android phone in the beginning, see how the shots changed dramatically at the 2:08 mark. If you see the proposal video at the 6:08 mark, I was super far and hiding among the trees when I took videos. Imagine, a phone that can take videos with low light and that distance?


Here are some shots from the phone I used, I edited colors and a watermark (to keep it safe) through Photoshop. It's a lot to take, but I guess it's all worth it!

You may order a day before to make sure you've got a Boodle Fight you'll love. Just inform the staff if you'd want to make changes and they're very nice people, they can accommodate.

The Sunset Cruise (which you should also request for in advanced) was a perfect way to end the day with. This was done before we had dinner. Needless to say, they really took good care of us while we were there. I'd like to take this bit to thank the good people of Club Paradise in Palawan, we're thinking of making this an annual thing. Who knows?! I'm glad though I got memories saved. Samsung did something good with that phone. It's a tool, and you can do wonders with it!


Xiaomi Launches Lightweight Phone: The Xiaomi 12 Lite

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Just got off the Xiaomi 12 Lite event streamed on the Xiaomi Philippines Facebook page today. Their best news is about the new Xiaomi 12 Lite that will be released in the Philippines. Xiaomi also has introduced several home devices that are part of their aIOT smart products which you'll love!

With what they talked about, I was most impressed with the 32 Megapixel Selfie Camera, a 108 Megapixel main camera, 120 Ultra Wide Camera, plus eye tracking technology in their newest flagship device. It also has HDR in the front camera so you don't lose details even if you're against the light. It's got vibrant colors, even on videos and very comfortable display no matter what condition there is while handling the phone.

It also has fast charging capabilities even if it's lightweight, a whopping 67W charging that can get your phone working fast if it runs out of juice. 13 minutes to fill 50% battery, doesn't that sound amazing?! With the adaptive technology, it also slows down when it gets to 80% and preven overcharging if in case you leave it plugged in overnight. It also has 5G support, which means you'll get faster data download and upload rates because the hardware has the capacity to do it.

This is slim, fits in the pocket, 120Hz display if you are a gaming or video enthusiast, so no small detail is gonna be left unturned. That's the Xiaomi 12 Lite, and endorsing it in the Philippines is GMA actress and IT girl Gabbi Garcia. This was all announced this evening.

The new Xiaomi 12 Lite is available in 2 storage sizes. The 6GB+128GB retails for Php 20,999 while the 8GB+128GB costs Php 21,999. The Xiaomi 12 Lite will be available for pre order on Xiaomi authorized stores starting August 19 up to 26, then regular price  after that. Those who choose to pre order will get it with extras like the Xiaomi Tyvek bag, a Xiaomi Pinoy Bunny, a Xiaomi Nightlight, plus Xiaomi Ceramic Mug shirt, notebook or pen. That's a treat for those who love Xiaomi.


CRYSTAL PARAS and VILMARK VIRAY Release Heartbreaking Music


It's a nice afternoon to talk to two very talented singers from GMA Music and GMA Playlist's stable. One is versatile actress and former Starstruck Crystal Paras and The CLASH alumni Vilmark Viray. 

Crystal says "I'm really happy to be part of this (Voltes V Legacy) and I won't doubt the quality of this project because it all goes to Japan for approval. This is something big, something I wished for because I always play the goody two shoes who gets slapped by contra bidas. I also wanted to do something like an action flick so this was really a dream for me. For my music, when they gave it to me, I asked them to change very minimal. The lyrics stayed the same and I knew, it just felt right. I was in Twin Lakes when this was given to me, they told me to think about it but I loved the song. It's very laid back, I worked as an acoustic singer and this was very mellow, something that definitely fit me. I'd love to be able to perform it in front of crowds, maybe have it for a movie or series, perhaps hear it on the radio, or immortalized in karaoke lists. This is very easy to listen to and easy to sing, I hope it blows up soon and don't take years to get there. Hopefully, hopefully! My Mom already heard this, that was hard for me to do. I look up to her as a singer and actress, but I would like to hear her critique and she liked it. I am already happy about that achievement."

 Vilmark on the other hand has been performing regularly on AOS and on other GMA shows. He says "I've been wishing to perform on stage, but now I've been appearing with my idols on TV. I treat them as my inspiration, make it a point to do that to better my craft. I always practice, learn a lot and do my best so I won't be the cause of delay when singing on TV. I've written the song and music, I only learned the guitar this year and tried to get it approved. I was so happy when they did, it's a process though before it got out. I'm happy because it's something that happened to me personally, and I hope this would have a place in the hearts of those who listen to it especially our Kapuso fans. I dedicate this to my family, those who didn't doubt, who have sacrificed a lot to send me to tapings til now. I hope this all gets paid off with the success of my song, to have a chance to entertain them, that would be the best thing for me."

 Here's part of the interview we had with them this morning.

Their single "Hintay" (Crystal Paras) and "Paraya" (Vilmark Viray) is already available in Spotify and different streaming platforms worldwide. Make sure to stream and download them legally where available. They are also planning to sing these songs on tours so hold on tight when they come to your town! Their music is under GMA Playlist and GMA Music.