Lifestyle blog of a stay-at-home Mom


November 30, 2017

Ten things that make “The Long Road Home” totally worth it

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“The Long Road Home” is a National Geographic’s ambitious series that brings to Technicolor cutting-edge life the harrowing yet inspiring events of April 2004. Here are ten great reasons why this should be your next TV addiction.

1.    It’s based on a painstakingly researched true story. Based on the New York Times best-selling book by internationally acclaimed journalist Martha Raddatz, “The Long Road Home—A Story of War and Family” is about Black Sunday in April 2004. Currently ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, Raddatz book was praised by The Washington Post as "a masterpiece of literary non-fiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it."

2.    Black Sunday would change the way the American military saw Iraq: from a simple peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents. Soldiers from the US 1st Cavalry Division of Fort Hood, Texas were ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad, with eight making the ultimate sacrifice that day and over 65 seriously wounded.

3.    It shines a light on the heroes behind the scenes. “With The Long Road Home…[we’re] going to shine a light on the sisterhood formed by their wives on the home front as they [rallied] around each other awaiting news of their husbands’ fates,” says National Geographic Channel executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development Carolyn Bernstein.

4.    The staff behind the series is a powerhouse in itself, with screenwriter, showrunner, and executive producer Mikko Alanne adapting the book’s events for TV. Direction is provided by Emmy winners Phil Abraham and Mikael Salomon, and the series’ executive producers are Mike Medavoy, Mikko Alanne, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. For National Geographic, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production.

5.    The feels you’ll get are going to be too real. Book author Martha Raddatz, according to the New York Times, went back “…and painstakingly reconstructed the event from every conceivable angle — including the thing that he said/she said reactions of soldiers in Iraq and their wives in Fort Hood, Tex. Some of those wives would receive the most dreaded kinds of visitors after the battle. Not since the Vietnam War did the First Cavalry suffer so many casualties in one day.”

6.    Much care has been taken to reconstruct the events as closely as they happened. Talk about bringing you there: In addition to consulting the author herself for the show’s production, NatGeo brought in two US Army veterans who survived the ambush: Eric Bourquin and Aaron Fowler.

In addition, the responses to the book alone have been overwhelmingly positive. From Goodreads to Reddit, even those who admit not to reading about military history have been touched by the story of “The Long Road Home” and have had their eyes opened by the harsh realities of military operations; in a Goodreads review, “Gregory” writes about how the 1st Cavalry Division had neither tanks nor armored Humvees despite their general, Peter Chiarelli, begging for these to protect his people—and how he was rebuked in public because the provision of such would “send the wrong message to the Iraqis.”

7.    The series stars Michael Kelly (“House of Cards,” “Taboo”); Jason Ritter (“Parenthood,” “Girls”); E.J. Bonilla (“Unforgettable”); Kate Bosworth (“Superman Returns,” “Blue Crush,” “SS-GB,” “The Art of More”); Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break,” “The Walking Dead,” “Colony”); Noel Fisher (“Shameless”); Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgatory,” “Law & Order,” “Six Feet Under”); Jon Beavers (“NCIS,” “Gotham,” “The Fresh Beat Band”); and Darius Homayoun (“Tyrant”), among many others.

8.    Not too long, not too short: just right. This eight-part series reflects the eight hours that saw three desperate yet deadly rescue missions launched to save the soldiers in the ambush.

9. It’s history in the making: National Geographic gives viewers a unique perspective of the toll war takes on soldiers and their families. The literary genre of creative nonfiction comes to life in a gripping and intimate way, pushing the boundaries of entertainment and education closer together in a new and exciting way.

Follow the action of the battle on two simultaneous fronts—the chaotic, terror-filled streets of Sadr City, where a group of inexperienced young soldiers faces an unexpected and unimaginable attack with bravery they never knew they had, and the home front at Fort Hood in Texas, where family members, desperate for news of their loved ones and fearing the worst, discover their own courage and determination as well.

10. You can take the show with you, wherever you are. No soldier fights alone—and you won’t be missing a thing with the Fox+ app, available for iOS and Android devices, which gives you access to this brilliant series. Don’t miss a moment—not even when stuck in the everyday Carmageddon of traffic.

“The Long Road Home” begins with the special two-hour premiere “Black Sunday” on November 5, 2017 at 10:00 p.m., with regular new episode telecasts every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on National Geographic and every Sunday at 10:00p.m. for the weekend primetime replay.

National Geographic is seen on Channel 41 (Skycable), Channel 141 (Cignal), Channel 62 (Cablelink) and Channel 153 on (GSAT).  National Geographic HD is seen on Channel 195 (Skycable), Channel 240 (Cignal) and Channel 331 (Cablelink).
November 29, 2017

Festino Weekend Market adds sparkle in Filinvest City

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I spent 5 years living in Alabang. I have heard of some weekend markets inside an exclusive village during those times but since the place is not accessible by public transport, I never had the chance to take even a glance at it. I have heard that weekend marketplace is where you'll find quality products that are locally sourced and that it is a preview of the lifestyle of the area, giving visitors a taste of the lives the locals lead. I never had the chance to immerse myself in the culture of the usual run-of-the-mill marketplace back then that's why when I got an invite to join the launch of the Festino weekend market, it made me so excited; aside from the fact that I will revisit the place that has been an important part of my life.

Festino promises to be a different kind of weekend market. As the newest lifestyle and entertainment destination located at the heart of the south, its tasteful ambiance sets it apart from the frantic, stressful seasonal markets that spring up across the metro during this merry season. It is poised to showcase only the most passionate of local cooks and crafters, with a wide selection of goods that are unique, fresh and designed to inspire—or satiate the palate!

Festino features numerous merchants like Three Guys and a Grill, Cafe 2.0, GMCS Farms, Kapoke PH, Jam Foods Tapa, Thorny Guy and more; where visitors can shop and experience delightful treats.

Best of all is the carefully curated entertainment options, with art appreciation/classes to create a multi-sensorial experience to please the senses. It’s a mixture of food, art, and music all set in a tasteful setting, inspired by yet moving a step above the conventional urban markets. Likewise, get involved with the different recreational activities such as yoga, photo styling workshop, watercolor session and more. 

That's not all! Catch a glimpse of the hottest cars on showcase and even test drive it. From the high performance, Lotus to the iconic MINI and even the classic Vespa are bringing in zest to the whole Festino market. Likewise, get enticed with the Piaggio’s Ape customized interiors to fit in with your market fancy.

Festino market was launched together with Filinvest City’s Annual Christmas Light Show on November 23, Thursday. Now on it’s 5th year run, it has become the most anticipated light show in the South gathering increasing numbers of visitors yearly. In 2017, the Light Show’s highlight is a 40-foot 3D Mapped Tree featuring visuals that represent the holiday cheer. As happy visitors to previous editions of Filinvest City’s Christmas Light Show have come to expect, the hourly weekend show at the Spectrum Midway is a delight to look forward to.

The Festino Weekend Market is every weekends (Fridays-Sundays, 4PM onwards) starting November 23, 2017. Filinvest City Christmas Light Show is ongoing daily starting at 6PM. There will be live band concerts on Saturdays and Christmas Carols on Sundays.

Follow Festino Market on Instagram and Facebook for weekly updates.
November 28, 2017

Sky Life brings Night Sky Cinema closer to the south community

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Our entire family went to Sky Life's Night Sky Cinema "Carnival Flicks" in Nuvali last Saturday, November 25, 2017. The fun-filled picnic night was held at the Lakeside Multi-purpose Field in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. That part of Nuvali was a lonely place before but when Sky held the event, the place became another attraction in the area of Solenad and Nuvali.

It was surprising that although the venue was somewhat remote, hundreds of people flock to experience carnival booths and activities, interactive games, food booths, and prizes, as well as screenings of "Avatar" and "Pitch Perfect 2."

Avatar is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The movie which is set in the far future follows Jake, a human tasked to explore the possibility of life on a distant planet called Pandora. He gets integrated with the Na'vi, creatures who inhabit the planet, as a spy, but as he gets to know their culture, he soon starts to question his loyalties and the true purpose of his mission.

Meanwhile, older kids and groups of friends are in for a laugh with "Pitch perfect 2," which continues the hilarious misadventures of the bellas, an all-girls acapella singing group led by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hallee Steinfield, and Britanny Snow.

The event, free and open to the public; was made possible in cooperation with Vivo, Golden Fiesta, Belo Baby, Magnolia, Sky Direct, One Sky and Nuvali.
November 28, 2017

Does Lack Of Sleep Affect Performance And Damage Brain Cells?

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Sleep is an essential part of life because it forms part of numerous physiological and psychological functions in our body, such as tissue repair, growth, consolidating memory and learning. A lack of sleep interferes with these functions.

The human body can withstand thirst and hunger more than the lack of sleep. A lack of sleep causes the body and mind to regress in a number of ways.

Not all people require the same hours of sleep, however, it has been proven that sleeping less than 5 hours for several consecutive nights, has various negative effects on the mind and body, in addition to those already known associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and chronic fatigue:
  1. Colds
Sleeping less than 7 hours per night raises the risk of catching a cold by three times, compared to those who slept about 8 hours.
  1. Functional dyspepsia
Pain in the upper abdomen, as well as gastrointestinal disorders, can be a symptom derived from lack of sleep.
  1. Melancholy and negativity.
According to research by the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Medical School, directed by Matthew Walker, a lack of sleep causes the brain to reactivate 60% in the face of negative and disturbing images.
  1. Breast cancer
Lack of rest increases the chances of cancer returning in postmenopausal women, according to research from Western Reserve University (USA).
  1. Hyperhidrosis at night
The lack of sleep can bring a mismatch in body temperature so excessive sweating may occur at night caused by an improper functioning of the sweat glands, explains the dermatologist Nina Roos for

Among the main causes of loss of sleep include excessive worry or stress, bad habits, sleep apnea, sleep disorders and depression, among others.

Therefore, if you want to have a good quality of sleep, it is important to change your current lifestyle, have a better diet, exercise and go to a specialized clinic for further studies to determine the causes of lack of sleep.

There’s no doubt that a lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in performance as well as damage to brain cells.

There are a few ways that you can ensure that you’re getting a good night’s sleep in order to prevent these negative side effects.

  • Essential Oils
The right oils can be used to calm your mind and ease you into sleep. is a great source of CBD oil that will help you to feel better rested each morning.
  • Exercise
At least thirty minutes of intense exercise a day will be enough to tire your body out to the point where you’ll find it easy to fall asleep once you are in bed.
  • Turn Off Technology
Try to avoid technology at least an hour before you go to bed. The lights on digital screens on phones, laptops, and televisions make it difficult for the brain to shut down and therefore prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
November 27, 2017

A guide to staying healthy this holiday season from Doc Pao

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Doc. Paolo Bellosillo more commonly known as Doc Pao is a doctor for natural therapeutics who wishes to help people of all ages prevent diseases that wreak havoc in our communities such as chronic and degenerative diseases. Diabetes, Hypertension, Coronary Artery, Cardiac Insufficiency, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cancer of all forms.

Let's discover more of his ideas about health from this simple interview.

1. With the advent of new sicknesses sprouting left and right, how do you feel your field of study can help in alleviating or avoiding these sicknesses?

Diseases are caused not by genetic predisposition alone but by the imbalance in health brought about by excess toxins and nutritional deficiencies that one has, given by their lifestyle and environmental factors.  Prevention and early detection of these imbalances without any invasive procedures can help build a cascade of well being starting with one person to a family to a community all the way to a country.  Usually when symptoms manifest the diseases have already taken a toll. Hence for chronic and degenerative diseases best practices of medical systems can be applied but for acute once conventional medicine can work well with integrative therapies that allow people to feel like people when they are treated.  We just got to preserve the humanity of each person from early detection through treatment proper and post-treatment covering all aspects of life touching the areas of the Body, Mind, and Soul.  Going to the roots would help alleviate people from suffering. When symptoms manifest, disease would have already progressed by then. Why not prepare the bodies protection and defense mechanism to be resilient to internal and external threats.

In the Philippines, the inevitable rise of deaths due to heart, stroke, and cancer can very much be reduced by early detection and preventive management of care that looks at a person’s well being as a whole.

2.     What is the main thing that people can do to avoid getting sick in this day and age where everything that we eat has pesticide and is considered unhealthy?

Being healthy is a choice. First, make that choice. Know your Food sources, types of Marco Nutrients, proper portioning and utilize technologies that purify or cleanse your food. Toxin bioaccumulate in our food so best is to go for organic or partial. When organic food is not available technologies such as an ozonator may be used for detoxifying fish, beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables. It may also be used to purify The water we drink and air we breathe.  Proper detox uses Smart portioning, Smart Sourcing, Smart supplements and Smart technologies.  To know more about this you may seek advise at Health Is In Center. We’d be glad to advise you on your detox needs from Food-Environment-Self.

3.      What are three things that people need to have in their life to live a life of quality?

Peace and harmony of Body, Mind and Spirit wherein Holistic and Integrative specialists like me Cam assist them with.  Only Whole Medical Systems and Integrative Medicine whose understanding the said three planes. Healing is not summarized into a pill but the smooth balance between the three principal factors of life, it is a way of life.

4.      What are the top foods they need to avoid to lessen the possibility of becoming toxic or sick?

Acid forming food such as: Chips, fatty oily food usually seen in innards, French fries, usually the preserved meats, carbonated drinks, cakes, and pastries.  The key here is moderation in portioning and frequency.  Life is fair, we functional supplements and technologies can help reduce toxicity.

Way back then I enjoyed sisig, Crispy pata or even chicharon bulaklak and having seen their impacts on hardening and clogging of arteries, I opted to abstain but was able to appreciate them when I took them in moderation w specific supplements and technologies plus fitness Programs that allow me to detox.   It is no joke for blood vessels especially of the heart and brain to be clogged or stiff to trigger a heart attack or stroke.  Another key in moderation is know your limits.  We have natural ways and technological ways to determine stiffness and clogging of arteries.  This way we can avoid a trip to the emergency room or intensive care unit.

5.      What can you advise as an expert in your field that people do to be healthier, more positive, and have a life that can reach to their 80s?

Healing begins with a decision, get organized know your excess toxins and nutritional deficiencies through the help of preventative technological assessments. From there let's walk through a program that allows you to live well and long encompassing cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, respiratory and many more organ system needs by applying the best practices  that naturopathic, allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems have to offer to ensure stability and growth from cellular to system needs.  Totality is the way to go. Integrative medicine would bring together another means to make you experience the best pairing of what east and west have to offer.  If what we do helps one lengthen or strengthen telomeres, battle or neutralize free radicals, prevent proliferation of pathogens that reflect positive ions, improve cell function and then help create stem cells or protect the DNA of your cells, then 80 would be the new average life expectancy for all.  Onward to 100 years.

6.      What’s your wish for mankind?

Peace and harmony to the hearts and minds of all, after all, we are one humanity. Celebrate life, love and laugh, for each to leave a legacy.
November 26, 2017

Hello Kitty Fun Carnival is Jollibee's most adorable carnival-themed party!

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Hello Kitty, being an icon of cuteness and innocence has been every girl's favorite from their childhood even up to adulthood. They even dreamed of having Hello Kitty as part of their birthday party and other celebrations in life. Who wouldn't love a Hello Kitty themed party, anyway? Well, Jollibee is making birthday celebrations even more lovely and memorable with the newest and cutest addition to the Jollibee Kids Party themes – Hello Kitty Fun Carnival.

This adorable carnival theme, inspired by the sweet and beloved kawaii character, comes complete with langhap-sarap food, games and entertainment, awesome prizes and party favors, and a delectable birthday cake. Let your kids experience wonder like no other as they imagine a magical carnival with thrilling rides and colorful surroundings through the party’s carnival-inspired decorations, games, activities, and production numbers.

Jollibee’s much-loved kids party transforms into the ultimate Hello Kitty funhouse as kids can expect a day of joy and excitement. Here, they can enjoy Hello Kitty-inspired games such as Roller Coaster, Caterpillar, and Cotton Candy games, a special appearance from Jollibee and Friends, and their favorite Jollibee meals like Chickenjoy, Jollibee Spaghetti, and Yumburger.

A carnival-inspired kick-off

To launch this cute kid’s party theme, Jollibee organized a celebration full of exciting activities for media guests and their little ones at Jollibee E. Rodriguez in Quezon City. Kids and kids at heart also dressed up in their best Hello Kitty inspired costumes. Isabel Oli - Prats and Baby feather and Bettina Carlos and daughter Gummy were also present to join the celebration.

Guests were transported to a carnival fun land through the party’s amusing games and contests, cool prizes, and its cute face painting corner. They also snapped picture-perfect moments with the adorable Sanrio squad in the background at the party’s photo wall.

Jollibee and Hetty also joined in on the bash with their special appearance and dance number while the kids enjoyed their delicious langhap-sarap meals.

Let your children enjoy the jolliest birthday celebration with the new Hello Kitty Fun Carnival party theme. With Jollibee’s “Create-Your-Own-Package” option, parents can customize different party elements from 30 to 80 guests.

Choose from different Jollibee Kids Party themes: Jollitown, FUN-tastic Factory, JolliRace, and the latest addition, Hello Kitty Fun Carnival. With Jollibee’s various party themes, there’s a special celebration for every kind of Jolly Kid.

The Jollibee Kids Party is available for booking in-store or set up in chosen locations. Check out for more details.
November 26, 2017

In the Spirit of Hope, Love and Cheer; Christmas Officially Kicks Off at the Greenhills Promenade and Theater Mall

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How does Greenhills Promenade and Theater Mall officially kick off Christmas? In this part of Greenhills, the Christmas lighting ceremony is a much-awaited annual tradition to spread love and cheer for the yuletide season.

This tradition which started in 2018 - the 20th year of Music Museum - was created by no less than the one and only Master Showman of the Philippines, German "Kuya Germs" Moreno. The very first Christmas lighting ceremony at the Promenade was enlivened by the presence of stars and entertainment personalities like Gloria Romero dazzled the ceremony. Through the years, young stars like Barbie Forteza, Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Hero Angeles, and Ken Chan joined Kuya Germs in spreading Christmas cheer to shoppers and mall goers at the promenade.

To start the ceremony, invited celebrities will assemble at the site of the Christmas Switch, then put their hands together and press the switch. Immediately, the bright lights of Christmas will start to shine all over the place. This lighting ceremony resembles the stars of the entertainment world lending their sparkle to the holiday look.

This year, stars of the hit television show "Meant To Be," Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, and barbie Fortezza, including mark Manicad and John Nite carried on the tradition begun by Kuya Germs. At the flick of the switch, the Christmas lights inside and outside the mall and on the Christmas tree came alive in a blaze of big and little lights, punctuated by transparent Pinoy parols deftly put together by resident artist Francis Dano-og.

The ceremony was led by Music Museum Group president Precy M. Florentino and other MMG officials. It will touch off engaging Christmas activities at the mall highlighted by a Christmas Bazaar at the Missouri area that will go on until December 31.

The dining, shopping, and entertainment enclave are best known for its popular performance venues and the Music Museum and Teatrino, its state of the art Greenhills Cinemas that pioneered the Dolby Atmos Sound Technology, and its lively mix of shops and restaurants.

The MMG president recalled how Christmas lights are a traditional part of the Christmas celebration and how parols - the traditional Filipino symbols of Christmas - lit the way for country folk on their way to Simbang Gabi. "We want to show that the Christmas spirit of hope and joy are forever alive in us. We want these Christmas lights to provide hope and cheer to our surroundings. Pinoy Christmases are always bright,: Ms. Florentino added.
November 26, 2017

The Food Truck Manila - Good Food, Great Place for all ages

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A food truck is a large vehicle equipped to cook and sell food. Some, including ice cream trucks, sell frozen or prepackaged food; others have on-board kitchens and prepare food from scratch. Sandwiches, hamburgers, french fries, and other regional fast food fare is common. In recent years, associated with the pop-up restaurant phenomenon, food trucks offering gourmet cuisine and a variety of specialties and ethnic menus, have become particularly popular. Food trucks, along with portable food booths and food carts, are on the front line of the street food industry that serves a huge number of people every day.

Food truck gained its popularity in the Philippines around 3 years ago. Since then, it has been a go-to place for people who seek to de-stress, have fun or celebrate special occasions in their life.

The first food truck that I visited in the heart of Metro Manila was The Food Truck Manila in Quezon City. It is a very spacious place consisting of more than 30 stalls. Each stall has its own specialty dishes that are distinct in taste and appearance. The Food Truck Manila is not just a place for gastronomical experiences but also for entertainment. There are live bands and comedy acts to enjoy at the venue.

Let me share with you the foods that we enjoyed during our visit to the place.

Flavored fries - cheese, barbecue and sour cream

Street foods galore!

Tusok-tusok - a plate full of different types of street foods such as fish balls, kikiam, squid balls paired with special sauces.

Kilawin Tanigue perfect for a bottle of cold beer!

Delicious and tempting cakes from Cafe UK, one of the best cakes I have ever tried! 

I was not expecting that a food truck can deliver such fun and memorable experience to me. I really had a great time eating and chatting with friends because the place offers a cozy and friendly ambiance. They have an exclusive room for private functions and they offer fast and free Wi-Fi.

The Manila Food Truck is open as early as 11am, perfect for brunch to as late as 2am for those hanging out. It is located at 63 Kamias Road Corner K-i Street, Quezon City, Philippines. Visit their Facebook page for updates and announcements
November 25, 2017

Watch out for the first ever Japanese - Filipino music festival in the country

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ISHIN-DENSHIN International Music Festival,  the very first Filipino - Japanese music festival in the Philippines, organized by Monde Luce Productions - a company spearheaded by Japanese businessman, Mr. Kazuyoshi Irizuki. In partnership with Value Communications, JTB, Bio Luce, and Rimujin Advertising Services – this one of a kind music festival aims to bring together the Filipino and Japanese music lovers to celebrate the sound of unity. 

ISHIN-DENSHIN literally translates to “What the Mind Thinks, the Heart Transmits,” which aims to strengthen relations with a conversation that transcends words; with music we share, culture, language and time. Through this, we are able to amplify and foster a deeper and stronger relationship.

The event will create a platform for Japanese artists (IDOLS) to showcase their music in collaboration with our great Filipino talents. It will be a 1-day music event which part of the proceeds will go to the Manny Pacquiao Foundation to aid the Filipinos especially the kids in Marawi not only financially but to uplift their spirits and rebuild their lives. 

Senator Manny Pacquiao was a guest speaker during the Ishin Denshin Press Con

Apart from the amazing artists to look forward to, attractions to take part are food park with Filipino and Japanese street foods, activity park also where guests can immerse themselves with the Neonlook of the event – face and body paint. To top-up the ISHIN-DENSHIN experience, platform for our Cosplayers will be set and for everyone else who loves taking pictures - Spinshot 360° photo and built-up letters of ISHIN-DENSHIN and will serve as photocell for the guests. 

ISHIN-DENSHIN International Music Festival is happening this Feb 10, 2018 at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds.

Global Styles, an all-girl J-pop group performs before the crowd during the Ishin Denshin Presscon at the F1 Hotel BGC

Fans of both Filipino and Japanese pop music are definitely going to be excited about the festival line up!!!

Set to perform on the Ishin-Denshin stage are: Apl De Ap, Bamboo, Barbie Almalbis, The Itchyworms, Rocksteddy, Karylle, Kris Lawrence, DJ Hello Kitty, Miguel Escueta, Maria Gow, Saho Aono, Japh Dolls, Absolute Play, DJ Shoyd, DJ Ace Ramos, Hannah Ichiko, Marc Marasigan, MVRXX + Alwyn Cruz and Knoxville. 
Paolo Ballesteros, Raymond Gutierrez, Camille Co, Elan Rances, Beverly Caimen - a Pinay J-pop star, and more stars are also coming.

This groundbreaking new type of music festival will be hosted by Luis Manzano and Daiana Menezes.

“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination” - Plato
November 25, 2017

Filinvest City brings its first ever sparkling Christmas to the community!

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I lived in Alabang for 5 years, spent 5 memorable yuletide season in the city. Those Christmases and New Year celebrations I have experienced there were fun but not as exciting and magical as today. With the interesting events Filinvest Alabang Inc. and Filinvest City have in store for everyone seeking to spend a merrier Christmas, the celebration of the happiest time of the year in the city will surely be exceptional, starting this year.

This holiday season, a unique Christmas sparkle only Filinvest City can offer as it brings Christmas closer to the community will be experienced!

Dubbed as “Sparkle of Christmas at Filinvest City,” this year, the city literally sparkles as it adorns more streets with lights and as it enjoined its building locators to participate in its the first-ever Building Christmas décor contest where winners received generous prizes. Top billing the celebration is the annual Musical Lights Show that transforms the newly opened Spectrum Linear Park into a Christmas Wonderland. The festivities opened on November 23, 2017 for the whole family to enjoy:  a curated bazaar and a magical, never before seen lights show!

The "Sparkle of Christmas at Filinvest City" kick-off was made even brighter by Asia's Romantic Balladeer, Christian Bautista.

“Definitely, we are bringing in something new to this year’s Light Show to make the holidays even merrier and more delightful. It is not just a light show but a holistic in-city Christmas celebration, which means more activities for families and friends to enjoy. So, it is really a community celebration. We are opening more space where people can converge and enjoy the holiday sights and sounds with the garden city as the backdrop,” shares Kate Ilagan, Executive Vice President of Filinvest Alabang Inc., developer of Filinvest City.

First, there’s the Festino Market that brings together passionate artisans, curated merchants, and talented, up-and-coming chefs who source, grow, bake, make, and create products and wares that they sell, ensuring their goods are delicious, original, and designed to truly inspire–all in a chic and tastefully set-up alfresco market that’s also pet friendly!

Come nightfall, gather around the major highlight of the “Sparkle of Christmas at Filinvest City”—the dazzling, state-of-the-art light show together with the amazing and futuristic 3D-mapped giant Christmas tree, a unique visual treat in the Metro that’s sure to delight, excite and leave viewers in absolute awe.

Then, there are the scheduled live performances and enthralling musical entertainment starting November 23 at 5:30 p.m. This will be followed by other weekend performances by Spongecola, Ebe Dancel, Sandwich, and many more.

You can also take part in the arts and craft workshop sessions that add to a totally enriching and inspiring day, while other events to look forward to are the Festino Café pop-up coffee experience where you can savour third-wave brews, as well as the automotive trunk show and test drive showcasing the iconic Mini, the sporty Lotus, and endearing Vespa!

All these are situated in an expansive green park setting—the Spectrum Linear Park, Filinvest City’s verdant green spine—the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the event’s many fun offerings!

“We, at Filinvest City, have always been keen on transforming the lives here in the Metro South, thus the idea of hosting an activity during Christmas to give back to the community was created. We are delighted that the Annual Christmas Musical Lights Show has become part of the holiday celebrations, not just of those in Alabang, but of people in neighboring locales as well. That is what inspires us to improve this tradition that we have started year after year,” Ilagan furthers.

Indeed, the holiday season becomes extra special as you savor the invigorated Christmas sparkle only at Filinvest City!

The Sparkle of Christmas at Filinvest City runs every weekend from November 23 to December 31, 2017. For more information, visit
November 23, 2017

5 Unique Reasons to visit Gelare's Flagship Store in the Philippines

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Gelare, an Australian-born brand is a store offering artisan-inspired range of ice creams and freshly baked waffles since 1987. It is regarded as one of the premium dessert chains around the world with outlets across Australia, Singapore, HongKong and now in the Philippines.

When I was invited to the launch of its flagship store located in UPTown Mall BGC, Taguig City, I thought " Oh, another ice cream store. Let's see if it would taste like the popular Italian's gelati or gelato or the Korean's bingsu. With the craze that these two types of ice cream brought to the Philippines, I thought Gelare would be a copycat of any of those two but, I was wrong - very, very wrong...

I have never thought that Australian-style ice cream can have its own distinct taste and texture and I never have thought that this very simple store really has a lot to offer.

Here are five unique reasons why you should try Gelare:

Airless ice creams
Have you ever heard of the term? It was the first time I heard about airless ice creams. What I know about ice creams is, of course, the different flavors and colors. I never thought that they also differ in contents. Regular ice cream that we grew up with contains 50% air while famous Gelatos that we have been introduced contains 25% air. Here comes Geláre Ice cream that is airless, yes 0% air! Their ice creams are excitingly delicious because they contain nothing but the real goodness of an ice cream.

Vegan and Halal certified ice creams
I know there are a lot of vegan and Halal certified foods offered in the market and in restaurants or food chains today in the country, but ice creams - I am not aware.

So what do vegan and halal certification mean?

Vegan is defined as no animal or animal by-products to include flesh, bones, dairy, eggs, honey, fur, leather, wool, down feathers, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.

Halal certificate, meanwhile; is a document that guarantees that products and services aimed at the Muslim population meet the requirements of Islamic law and therefore are suitable for consumption in both Muslim-majority countries and in Western countries where there are significant population group who practice Islam. Halal certification is a process which ensures the features and quality of the products according to the rules established by the Islamic Council that allow the use of the mark Halal. It is mainly applied to meat products and other food products such as milk, canned food, and additives.

Filipino culture is very diverse. We have circle of family and friends who have culture and beliefs that differ from us. At Gelare, we can always have a good time despite our differences. Gelare can unite us as ONE thru our palates and stomachs.

They have 5 flavors of Vegan and Halal certified ice cream such as Banana Caramel Swirl, Lychee Lane Sorbet, Mango Passion Sorbet, Lemon Lime Sorbet and hang on matcha lovers out there, Matcha Green Tea.

Hot or cold beverages and anything in between - no limit to your imagination!
It's an ice cream store, it's a dessert cafe. From melt-in-the-mouth gourmet ice cream and warm golden waffles to vegan desserts and light hearty breakfasts, Geláre dessert restaurants are trusted for nothing less than a sweet and savory taste sensation.

Geláre offers 24 staple ice cream flavors to choose from with notable flavors like: Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup and Honey Malt.

Making it more exciting is Gelare’s waffle which can be enjoyed both sweet and savory. It comes with a perfect crisp on the outside yet light and fluffy on the inside. For simple pleasures, it can be enjoyed with its rich buttercream topping or add a little excitement with a scoop of any ice cream flavor of your choice to make it à la mode. Or better yet, pair your waffles with Egg benedicts for those ovum lovers.

Those who crave for more tangible protein can go for their Waffle with Buttermilk Chicken; Juicy chicken fillet that’s battered and deep fried to perfection. They also have waffle with Sliced Beef & Gravy; richly flavored and tender, this thinly sliced sirloin is a sure bet.

Craving for java? Fret not, as Geláre offers a robust coffee experience whether hot or cold. They also offer to-die-for Affogato customizable with your choice of ice cream flavor.

For non-coffee drinkers, you will definitely thirst for their smoothies such as Mango Mango and Merry Berries. And hey if you want to go all-out, why not try their Rich Milk shakes with your choice of ice cream.

See? Gelare it not the usual ice cream bar or dessert cafe. They will have you filled from sun up to sun down and in between.

Gelare is Australia's Best!

When you say something is "Made in Australia," it has a reputation for clean, green, quality products made and grown to high quality and safety standards. Everyone of us wants to experience a piece of the "Land Down Under." Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, genuinely Aussie products, the Kangaroo labeled products are definitely "importers' dream". With this, we can expect that Gelare - a brand well-loved throughout Perth and Brisbane, Australia - will deliver a uniquely powerful market advantage.

Gelare is kid-approve!
Why do families usually go out? First and foremost is to treat the kids, of course. Their happiness always comes first among the parents' priorities. At Gelare, I was surprised how my 3-year-old son, Albert feasted on with a plate of Buttermilk Fried chicken and a cup of Strawberry Smoothies. Yes, he ate all that alone and I don't know where did he put everything inside his little tummy. He was innocently eating everything that was served to him.

The way I saw how happy and satisfied my kid was, it made me even more satisfied, although, in fact, I haven't eaten even a half of what my little boy has had. Gelare is definitely a place for the whole family where the kids and the kids-at-heart can have their own fill of sweets, where they can overindulge themselves on desserts. The whole gang can always choose from Geláre's superior desserts including its famous ice cream, waffles, pancakes, hot beverages, smoothies, and light breakfast menu at reasonable prices.

Head on to Geláre at the 3rd level, Uptown BGC and be creative! Come with your family, friends and people dear to your heart and get your palates tantalized! Another branch is opening soon so watch out for more updates on Geláre on Facebook:

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