Closeup Diamond Attraction : the launch

We couldn’t miss the launch of Closeup’s Diamond Attraction which was held last January 27 at the Blackbird restaurant in Ayala Triangle. Firstly, it was my first time to dine at chef Colin McKay’s Blackbird which has one of Manila’s sought-after dining tables right now. Second, we were all in good company. The bloggers and journalists who attended were all dressed in sleek black excited over the unveiling of what’s touted to be a first in oral care: a toothpaste which gives one visibly whiter teeth in just one brush!

Here’s a teaser of the commercial starring Closeup Diamond Attraction endorser Heart Evangelista –

I like the classy packaging of this product, and also love the fact that it’s co-created in collaboration with cosmetic dentists. In the words of Closeup Senior Brand Manager Gem Laforteza: “We are always looking for ways to innovate and to accentuate every woman’s best accessory, her smile. Diamond Attraction is guaranteed to give users an instant lift so that they’re able to flash their pearly whites with utmost confidence.”

And so we saw the event’s VIP guests in high spirits for the evening, beginning with Heart and Senator Chiz who will we wed in less than two weeks in Balesin Island.

Soon-to-be-wed couple, Heart Evangelista and Chiz Escudero

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#PanteneMiracle conditioner works like magic!

The friendly people from Campaigns & Grey sent me this package last week and I was thrilled to get this product because am always problematic about my wavy hair. I thought I solved the problem by going for a rebonding at the neighborhood salon but now I think it ended up more damaged and brittle than ever before. So naturally, I was excited to try the new Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner to see if it will give my locks its much-needed revival…

Pantene Miracle Conditioner

Reading the product literature, here’s what it promises: improve hair health, help repair damage & leaving hair smooth, prevent split ends & let the user see immediate results.

According to Pantene, the Miracle Conditioner contains the highest-ever concentration of advanced Terminal Amino-Silicones. This is 80 percent more than what’s found in regular Pantene Conditioners.

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Art Fair Philippines 2015 on February 5 to 8!

Mark the date: Art Fair Philippines happens on February 5-8, 2015 at The Link car park building in Ayala Center, Makati City. That’s Thursday to Sunday next week folks! This event is really a big deal for the community as it will showcase the best and most promising artists in Philippine visual art. But that’s not all because foreign galleries from Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong will also be exhibiting.

There will be a total of 33 galleries participating in Art Fair Philippines 2015, and eight of these are from abroad. These are: 1335 Mabini, Altromondo,Archivo, Arndt, Art Cube, Artesan, Art Informal, Art Verite, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Gallery, CANVAS, Crucible, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Equator Art Projects, Finale Art File, Galeria Duemila, Galerie Michael Janssen, J Studio, MO_, Nova Gallery, Nunu Fine Art, Pablo, Paseo Gallery, ROH Projects, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU, The Drawing Room, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery.

Providing much excitement will be the pieces of the Philippines brightest young artists which will be viewable on the car park’s 7th level.

These include Poklong Anading who continues to experiment with various forms of media for his art. In this photo, ‘Road to Mountains’ which is inspired by recycled tires…

Recycled tires Poklong Anading

Kawayan de Guia is another mixed media artist who has exhibited internationally. This piece is called ‘Remains’ which is made from fiberglass and resin –

Remains by Kawayan de Guia

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Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge on January 30


Now on its 6th year, the Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) 2015 will be held this Friday, January 30, 2015 at the Hall 2 of the SMX Convention Hall from 6am to 6:00 pm. It is the biggest, intercollegiate, multi-category culinary competition that focuses on the delicious potential of umami, the 5th basic taste. HRM and Nutrition students coming from 54 schools all over the country will come together to witness the cooking showdown of the best culinary teams from Luzon and Mindanao.

Aside from the interschool competition, Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) 2015 will also feature three other categories: Best Filipino Umami Dish, My Own Umami Creation and My Eat Well, Live Well® Plate. The competing teams will be judged based on intensity of their dish’s umami taste, culinary technique and creativity, dish preparation and plate presentation. One of the major criteria is the Eat Well, Live Well.® Cooking, which refers to culinary nutrition or the integration of culinary skills and nutrition knowledge to create a delicious and nourishing umami dish.

Winners will receive the following cash prizes: first place – P10,000; second place – P8,000; third place -P5,000. National Showdown winners will receive PhP 15,000. Major prizes also include gifts from UCC 2015 sponsors: La Germania, Solane, Fujidenzo and Masflex.

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#MissUniverse2015 winners : Paulina Vega of Colombia is it!

22-year old business administration student Paulina Vega has just been crowned Miss Universe 2015 in Doral, Miami Florida. She is the daughter of a cardiologist and comes from a family of seven siblings. Her body is a wonder and we also wonder at the trivia written in her bio: that she sleeps with her eyes open (!!) Haha. We all had fun watching Miss Universe 2015 here in Manila. It’s just sad that Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa just managed a spot in the Top 10.

Pauline Vega’s photo from miss

Paulina Vega

Here’s how the Miss Universe Top 5 Question and Answer went. I thought Miss Jamaica had a chance but she didn’t answer what was asked. Ugh. To the question ‘what can women learn from men,’ Pauline Vega replied: “I believe that there are still men out there who believe in equality and I believe that this is what women should learn from men.”

Here’s the rest of the Miss Universe 2015 winners:

First runner-up: Miss USA – Nia Sanchez
2nd runner-up: Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha
3rd runner up: Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen
4th runner-up: Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell

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Scout’s Honor cookie shop at Hole in the Wall Makati

Lunch today was spent at the Alphaland Place in Makati and then off to Century Mall for the much-ballyhooed Hole in the Wall food court on the 4th level. What can I say, it’s the fanciest of its kind I’ve seen. The place is impressive, reminds one of the dining hall at Westfield Centre in Sydney. It even looks like a country club from this angle…

Hole in the Wall

We came to have dessert and it was perfect that Scout’s Honor Craft Cookie Shop by Chef Miko Aspiras (of Magnum cafe fame) was the first outlet to greet us at the door.I’ve been avoiding sweets (but definitely not the kids) and a lot of people have been raving about this shop so it’s a must-go!

Scout's Honor

Scout Honor’s make-your-own cookie concept is a winner! How can you go wrong with the formula of choose your own cookie dough, add 3 toppings and we serve it to you in 8 minutes? Believe me, these hot-off-the-oven cookies (P120 per order) tasted as good as they looked!

Scout's Honor

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Mendokoro Ramenba

I’ve written before about how I loved my first slurp at Ramen Yushoken in Alabang so a visit to their just-opened sister outlet in Makati City was in order. Same owners, different name & location. The new place is called Mendokoro Ramenba (or Mindoro Ramen Bar as a joking friend would say).

Mendokoro is located in one of the lesser known streets in Salcedo Village which is near the Saturday market. We lined up for 30 minutes because the place wasn’t open yet when we arrived.


Prepare to queue because the place only has 21 seats.


My daughter had the basic shio (salt) ramen at P360. I would recommend this for first-timers and ramen virgins out there. It’s a safe choice.


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Pinoy team competes in World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France

A three-man contingent from the Philippines will compete in the World Pastry Cup, Coupe Du Monde de la Pátisserie in Lyons, France on January 25.

Vicente Cahatol, Rizalino Man?as, Bryan Dimayuga (1)

Twenty-eight year old Rizalino Mañas, Bryan Dimayuga, 24 and 36 year old Vicente Cahatol, all from Makati Shangri-la, will compete with 20 other teams from different countries worldwide in what is considered as the premier competition in the world of pastry.

As Gabriel Paillasson, founding president of the World Pastry Cup has said, “The World Cup will be at the Patisserie what Formula 1 is at the Automobile.”

Renowned pastry chef Buddy Trinidad is part of the official team as juror. Per contest rules, he sits as one of the judges of the competition but cannot participate in evaluating the Philippine team creations.

The World Pastry Cup runs 10 hours long non-stop during which each team is required to create 3 chocolate desserts with great wines using sponsor product Valrhona, 3 frozen fruit desserts using another sponsor product Ravifruit, 12 identical plated desserts, sugar showcase, chocolate showcase, ice carving and ice cream cake.

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Miss Universe 2015 Top 15 fearless forecast

The 63rd Miss Universe pageant will be telecast in Manila next Monday, January 26. Of course Team Philippines will be rooting for our bet Mary Jean Lastimosa who, at 27, is one of the oldest contestants but still has a good chance of winning. She’s expected to follow the footsteps of the other Filipina beauty queens who managed to bag impressive runner-up honors in Miss Universe….but so far, the crown has been elusive.

Our fearless forecast is that MJ Lastimosa will make it to the Top 15 and it’s already a mean feat considering there are 88 candidates in all. In the past year, she has sculpted her body to perfection and trained so hard for the competition.

MJ Lastimosa from

Here are the rest of the candidates in our fearless forecast who will round off the Top 15 in Miss Universe 2015 to be held in Miami, Florida:

2. Miss Albania Zhaneta Byberi

3. Miss Australia Tegan Martin

4. Miss Colombia Paulina Vega

5. Miss Costa Rica Karina Ramos

6. Miss India Noyonita Lodh

7. Miss Kosovo Artnesa Krasniqi

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This FabWrap is fab!

After this cold, cold season, the summer will be upon us and you know what this means: majority will be trekking to… THE BEACH! Countless damsels out there will be looking for all kinds of bikinis, summer dresses, sarongs and what-have-you. The FabWrap (yes, this is the name of the label) is just about the perfect coverup in my book. Photo from the FabWrap FB page

Fab Wrap

The FabWrap is a creation of Pole Academy Philippines founder Ed Aniel. Because his daughter was working as an instructor in Boracay, he was toying with the idea of a piece of clothing that’s versatile enough to be worn in so many different ways.One that will not just be good for the beach, but also for daytime and even an evening event.

Luckily, I was gifted with this FabWrap for Christmas and am really loving it because it’s comfy and elegant at the same time. Not to mention, ideal for my age range since we can’t anymore afford to be cutesy, LOL.

For the record, there are more than 15 ways to style the Fab Wrap. It’s nice enough to be worn by itself, or over a skirt, jeans and leggings. Here’s the impromptu OOTD we did at The Grove by Rockwell. Model-modelan mode on. :)

Fab Wrap

Fab Wrap

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