Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014!

Running bores me. But there’s something about an organized run that motivates you, and to run along with the crowd. My officemates and I certainly had fun joining yesterday’s Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014. We were there on behalf of our company (PAGCOR) which was one of the event sponsors :)


Overheard as we raced through the finish line: “O ayan, 1 kilometer na lang. Kelangan nang mag retouch para maganda sa picture.” LOL.

I realized it’s been three years since Rexona Run 2011. I looked at my before and after photos and happy to feel fitter and leaner now.No, I didn’t go on a crazy diet and will NOT give up rice. But I certainly put an effort in going to the gym (albeit irregularly) and practicing portion control (when not food blogging).

at Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014

Anyway, the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014 was for a good cause since the funds raised will benefit the street children under the care of the Virlanie Foundation.

Virlanie kids

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Epic selfie with Manny Pacquiao at #RexonaTrainingCamp

It was my second opportunity to have my photo taken with Manny Pacquiao , the greatest Filipino boxer of our time, but it was only last night – at the launch of the Rexona Training Camp – that I discovered how cool and down-to-earth he can be.

Me: Can I have a picture please?

Pacman: Mag-selfie na lang tayo! (after which he grabs by Samsung phone and raises it in the air for our selfie pose)


Selfie with Manny

Take 2, distort the face. LOL.

Selfie with Manny

One thing I discovered: Manny loves to selfie! And the first and only eight-division world boxing champion is a man in touch with this generation, he’s so charismatic. ’twas nice to see him be so accommodating (and selfie-ing!) with his fans.

Here’s another pic Pacman took of him & Team Unilever – PR manager Apples Aberin, Brand Manager Mar Corazo and our good friend Franco of Bridges PR (photo courtesy of Instagram @applesaberin)


Anyway, congrats Manny on being the newest brand ambassador of Rexona. We believe there’s no one else like him who embodies the Rexona Do More philosophy; being not only a boxer but also a legislator, family man, businessman, singer (??) and coming soon- a professional basketball player and coach!

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AXE Gold Pass : ticket to the good life

The Axe Gold Pass is the search for the most masculine and attractive man in the metro voted most popular by the public and an exclusive council of celebrities.It is inviting men, 18 years old and above, to join the contest by logging on to and get their friends to vote for them.The top 400 men with the most votes qualify for the next round, where they will get trimmed down to the final three.

From the three, the man who emerges winner in the Gold Pass Challenge will receive the ultimate ticket to live the Gold Life! Prizes at stake include a brand new 2014 Volkswagen Beetle, an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas where the winner and two guests will receive VIP treatment at the hottest clubs and a one-year, rent-free condominium unit at the Fort. Isn’t that fab? ;)

To launch the search, a grand kick-off party was held at Republiq in Resorts World Manila several weeks ago. In full force at the glam event were the celebrity members of the AXE Gold Council represented by Resident Hottie Solenn Heussaf, Axe Gold Man Luis Manzano and Axe Dark Temptation man KC Montero…


Luis for Axe Gold

Axe Gold

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#MH17 site : “the biggest crime scene in the world”

Update: Malaysian Airlines releases passenger manifest of those onboard MH17.
It also announced it will retire flight number MH17 for its Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route. This will be replaced by MH 19 – AMS/KUL


Like many others, am following with great interest the updates on MH17. Luckily, an old friend from the 1990s, former journalist Michael Bociurkiw (or BBQ, as we called him in Manila) is right there at the scene now as the spokesperson of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). I just have to follow his Facebook updates to know the situation in the crash site itself.

Here are some snippets of Bociurkiw’s interview with CNN last Saturday:

“We were able to see the tailfin and we counted dozens of bodies. We are starting to see decomposition.”

“Armed guards limited the amount of area we could observe. It’s a very difficult, complicated and dangerous environment.”

The news further quoted him as saying: “It basically looks like one of the biggest, or the biggest, crime scenes in the world right now, guarded by a bunch of guys in uniform with heavy fire power, who are quite inhospitable.”

Bociurkiw (@mikeybbq on Twitter) said the crash site of MH17 is in same area in Donetsk “where four of our international civilian colleagues were kidnapped more than a month ago.” He posted this photo an armed man guarding the place-


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Airline employee and Pinoy family perished in #MH17 flight

I went to work this morning shocked that another Malaysian Airlines flight perished in midair near Ukraine. This can’t be true. How could another B777 from the same airline company be targetted? Are the days of flying as a safe means of transport over?

A few days before, a friend intimated to me that she was still flying Malaysian airlines because the probability of another MH plane going down or meeting an accident was nil. Like 1 in 11 million. Then the MH17 shootdown happened. It makes me think that travellers are entirely helpless from being protected against the double threats of war and terrorism. We can only pray.

Like most people following the news, I was interested about the identities of the three Filipinos onboard flight MH 17. Maybe they were seafarers or contract workers? I tried finding the flight manifest online but it seems the names haven’t been released yet.A little investigation on Facebook revealed that the fatalities of the plane crash included Budy Janto Gunawan, his Filipino partner Irene Nene Pabellon and their two grown-up kids Sherryl Shania Gunawan, 15, and Darryl Dwight Gunawan, 20. Budy is a long-time Malaysian Airlines employee stationed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Irene is from Quezon Province.


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Oishi Make Your Own Snack 2014

Oishi’s Make Your Own Snack event at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center was the highlight of our July 6 weekend. A few days before, I received the official invite which was in the form of a personalized giant sack filled with Oishi goodies. Who can resist? It was taller than my 4-year old daughter :)


On that Sunday itself, my kids were more excited than me. It was because they knew that their crushes, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo were going to be there.I can’t tell you enough how popular this celebrity tandem is, and it’s good that they’re Oishi endorsers. Glorietta 2 was filled to the max with poster-toting, screaming fans!

This was the crowd when people were just starting to arrive in the venue…

Glorietta 2

Okay, here it is: Kathniel! They did a song number.


The five members of Team O on stage (from left): Slater Young, Daniel, Kathryn, Elmo Magalona and Ramon Bautista.

Team O

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Miss Scuba Philippines 2014: call for applications

Saturday night at Nuvo in Greenbelt, I was glad to be acquainted with a very unique beauty contest: Miss Scuba Philippines. Its aim is to raise awareness for the preservation of the oceans. To be qualified, a participant of the pageant must not only be gorgeous. She must have basic diving skills; not to mention, sufficient knowledge of marine conservation and scuba tourism. Way to go!

Miss ScubaPhilippines2014

Miss Scuba Philippines 2014 is the local edition of Miss Scuba International founded by businessman Robert Lo, proprietor of the Sipadan Mabul Resort and Mabul Water Bungalows in Malaysia. The pageant was held for the first time in 2011, followed by Bali in 2012. In the 2013 event, Philippine representative Christine Paula Love Bernasor placed first runner-up to Jamie Lee Faulkner of the United Kingdom.

Christine Bernasor

For 2014, everyone’s wish is to have a Filipina to be proclaimed Miss Scuba International. This hope was intimated by no less than the Cebu-based organizers led by Charles Lim of SELRAHCO, the official event manager.

Miss Scuba Phils. 2014

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Kathryn Bernardo for Smart C+!

One of today’s hottest young stars, Kathryn Bernardo, is the newest endorser of Smart C+! We think it’s the right choice because Kathryn is one of the most refreshing faces around. She showed up in the presscon at Aracama wearing this printed top & bright yellow skirt. My son later castigated me for not tagging him along (go figure!) Every young boy in town seems to be dreaming of Kathryn Kathryn :)


The presscon had a travel theme. It’s easy to see why: when we’re on the go, we need to be hydrated always. Smart C+ is the right choice with its delicious citrus flavors: Lemon Squeeze, Orange Crush, and Pomelo Grapefruit.

From Kathryn, we learned that she likes to travel when her busy schedule permits -from river rafting in the Cagayan Valley to swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob Cebu. We’re excited to see what kind of adventures are lined up for her and the rest of the Smart C+ gang which also includes her onscreen partner Daniel Padilla, Elmo Magalona, Slater Young and Ramon Bautista.

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Society Lounge chef at The Maya Kitchen

Chef-owner Patrice Freuslon of Society Lounge or S Lounge topbills The Maya Kitchen’s demo for the month tomorrow , May 17, Saturday, from 9am-1pm at Liberty Building in Makati City.

Chef-Owner Patrice Freuslon of Society Lounge (2) (1)

Chef Patrice will demonstrate how to cook the following gourmet French dishes:

Foie Gras Crème Brûlée, (duck liver, crème, eggs, spice)

Shitake Mushroom Risotto with Coriander Pesto (Arborio rice, chicken stock, fresh mushroom, dry shitake, fresh cream, parmesan, fresh coriander, nuts, olive oil, parmesan)

Seared Scallop with Apple Cider (scallop, fresh apple, apple cider, butter)

Roasted Duck with Mango and Black Pepper Sauce (filet of duck, fresh mango, black pepper, demi glace)

…. and Chocolate Chips Chouquettes (pate a choux and chocolate chips)

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Up close & personal with Luis Manzano for #Sensodyne

I’ve been hobnobbing with lots of showbiz stars for blogger coverages lately (one of the perks of the trade). And of those I encountered, I find Matteo Guidicelli and Luis Manzano to be the most well-bred, articulate of the bunch.

On Luis: interviews with him these days naturally center on his girlfriend Angel Locsin who he has reconciled with recently.He said he is “happy, content and secure” with the relationship, “communication is open,” and he admits that marriage may be in the horizon.

Luis Manzano

“We have talked about the future in a casual way because we are not getting any younger. I’m 32 and she’s 29. But these things, you gotta prepare. I attended Iya Villania’s wedding recently and found out that engagement rings can cost from P 2 to P3 million so malamang, sa Adoration Chapel na lang ako ikakasal nito..hahaha.” (FYI Luis… the rock Catherine Zeta-Jones got from Michael Douglas indeed cost 2.5 US dollars, LOL)

One thing Luis share with his gf Angel is the passion for worthwhile causes.He has the Luis Manzano Foundation (LMF) which provides free medical-dental missions, scholarship grants to poor children and assistance to calamity victims. Among his foundation’s beneficiaries so far are the Quezon City Jail Female Dormitory in Camp Karingal, Bantay Bata 163, the East Avenue Medical Center and the National Children’s Hospital.

Most recently, Luis signed up as an ambassador for Sensodyne’s ‘Say No To Ngilo’ campaign (pangingilo is the Pilipino word for sensitive teeth, such as the sharp, quick pain one feels in the mouth when ingesting something hot, or cold).

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