The goal of #1MCleanToilets with Domex!

Per UN statistics, one billion people around the world do not have access to a toilet and 2.5 billion more suffer from not having improved sanitation.This is the reason why the UN designated November 19 as World Toilet Day to mobilize global action to end the problem. This year’s theme is ‘Equality and Dignity’ in recognition of the rights of priority groups like women and those with special needs, like the disabled, to have a proper toilet for their own space and privacy.

In the Philippines, Unilever – through its brand Domex, has initiated the One Million Clean Toilets Movement. They’ve made this heartwarming video entitled ‘Fiesta’ and I love its message of how “the clean toilet we take for granted means the world to others.” Do watch this:

In the words of Dennis Chua, Domex Brand Manager, every unique view of the ‘Fiesta’ video translates to a pledge. And for every pledge received, Domex will donate P5 to UNICEF’s program towards improving access to basic sanitation in deprived areas around the world, including the Philippines.

Alternatively, one can like the page, https://www.facebook.com/DomexPhilippines, access the One Million Clean Toilets app and click on ‘Pledge Here’ to join other online denizens who have contributed to the good cause.

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A Toothless #MerrySM Christmas at SM BF Parañaque

2014 was the year of the box office success of How to Train Your Dragon 2. And our friendly neighborhood mall in the South, SM City BF Parañaque, continues the tradition by reenacting the Viking village of Berk for its holiday theme. Shoppers, and most especially the kids, can play with Toothless or have photo ops in the magical Viking ship.

Toothless the dragon

We were there during the opening where Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivares and top officials lit up the giant 24-feet Christmas tree which now adorns the lobby.

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I even posed with these young guys in their full Viking regalia, hehe.

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The enduring musical group, The Company, rendered timeless Christmas songs that warmed the hearts and reminded us that yes, another holiday season is here!

The Company

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Halloween in Eastwood City!

This 2014, we’re targetting Eastwood City as the place to celebrate our Halloween holidays. I like its open spaces, specialty shops, assortment of restaurants, not to mention the fact that the whole place is pet- and family friendly!

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It’s particularly interesting that Eastwood is offering Halloween Food Bizarre, where restos offer limited edition Halloween dishes, from now until Nov. 2.

Spotted: Momo Café’s ‘deliciously devilish’ Eyeball Meatball in black ink cappellini pasta…

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Classic Halloween cupcakes from Jack’s Loft!

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On the other hand, Pho Hoa has Creepy Mango Crepe while Slappy Cakes has a yummy Pumpkin Batter Set,best paired with cream cheese frosting. Meanwhile Early Bird Breakfast Club is serving up their R.I.P. Pastries goes well with coffee.

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#TeenWeekPH2014 makes kids future-ready

Now on its second year, Teen Week PH 2014 had a fun launch recently and I do like the whole concept of empowering teens to be ‘future-ready.’ SM Aura’s SMX Convention Center Hall 2 was jampacked with students from different schools in Metro Manila who excitedly joined activity booths and hobnobbed with today’s most famous influencers.

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“Because we wanted to truly make the campaign for teens and by teens, this year’s activities were developed with the help of the teens through a crowd sourcing method done on the #TeenWeekPH Facebook page,” shared Mar Corazo, Project Head and Rexona Brand Manager. “Through this, we gave teens the opportunity to have a say and choose what activities they would like to happen in this year’s #TeenWeekPH.”

The booths had different topics for each day of the week such as #MoveUpMonday, #TransformTuesday, #WorkItWednesday, #TransformThursday and #FutureFriday.

There were oodles of celebrities at the TeenWeekPH launch and here were just some of those we spotted:

Unilever Teenfluencers Laureen Uy, Elmo Magalona, Slater Young, Nicole Andersson and Verniece Enciso

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PBB Teens Fourth Pagotan, Mariz Stella, Fifth Pagotan,Vickie Rushton and Axel Torres

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Search for Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians is on!

The Philippines lags behind other Asian countries when it comes to the perceived quality of Math and Science Education. In the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, the Philippines was ranked 96th out of 142 countries. This is far behind the ranking of Indonesia (No. 35), Japan (No. 34), Malaysia (No. 27) and Taiwan (No. 11). Hong Kong and Singapore have better rankings too.

To motivate the new generation to seek excellence in math skills, Sharp Calculators has banded together with the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR),Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), Mathematics Trainers’ Guild Philippines (MTG), Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP), and Philippine Council of Mathematics Educators, Inc. (MathTEd) to launch the very first search for the Ten Outstanding Youth Mathematicians (TOYM) in the National Capital Region.

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Outstanding youth who will get the TOYM award will be the first batch of Sharp Calculators’ Youth Ambassadors who will spearhead school tours and math symposia Winners will receive plaques of excellence, cash prizes and gifts from Sharp Calculators.

Seen during the launch of the competition were: (from left) Lucero Ong, AVP of Sharp Calculators; Dr. Jose Balmaceda, president of the Math Society of the Philippines and Julie Lim, VP- Sharp Calculators.

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Glad PH Design Your Kid’s Baon promo

Preparing a child’s baon (or lunchbox in common parlance) is undoubtedly a part of parenthood. Sometimes we get up in the wee hours of the morning just to get things ready. It is a manifestation of love and a showcase of one’s creativity. What every mom wants in a lunchbox is of course healthy food, variety of choices and maybe a burst of colors to make the food more attractive for kids to eat.

And now, lunchbox preparation has entered the mainstream with Glad Kitchen’s Design Your Kid’s Baon – a creative competition that’s sure to elevate food preparation into an art. Just follow these simple rules in the poster, the official FB page is at http://www.facebook.com/GladKitchen/

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DYKB mechanics

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Art exhibit at Chef Jessie in Rockwell Club

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This whole month of September ‘Scattered Nebulae,’ an art exhibit by dermatologist cum artist Dr. Monina Macam is on show at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

This is the third exhibit by Macam whose first two series Flowers in Bloom Part 1 and Part 2 depicted flora not in their natural form but with distortions in vivid colors.

This time, in Scattered Nebulae, the form is completely removed with free, energetic strokes and drips running across the canvas drenched in bold dramatic shades.

Macam’s foray into art started in 1997 when she played the role of muse for masters Cesar Legaspi, Onib Olmedo, Solomon Safrid and Efren Samson.

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List of 2015 Philippine holidays announced

2015, via the Official Gazette

(image source: The Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, Facebook)

Kids and adults await with much excitement the official announcement of annual holidays, especially in the Philippines.The reason is understandable because we look forward to taking a rest or planning for those out-of-town or out-of-country trips. Having this list of regular and special holidays is useful because plane tickets are usually cheaper when bought a few months ahead (tee hee). Thanks to the Office of the President for coming out with your announcement five months early :)

2015 regular holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1 (Thursday)
Maundy Thursday – April 2
Good Friday – April 3
Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9 (Thursday)
Labor Day – May 1 (Friday)
Independence Day June 12 (Friday)
National Heroes Day August 31 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day – November 30 (Monday)
Christmas Day – December 25 (Friday)
Rizal Day – December 30 (Wednesday)

2015 Special (Non-Working) Days

Chinese New Year February 19 (Thursday)
Black Saturday – April 4
Ninoy Aquino Day August 21 (Friday)

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Samsung art therapy workshop in Leyte

It’s been close to a year since Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Visayas and rehabilitation for those affected is still ongoing. It is in this light that Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (SEPCO) used the power of art to heal the hearts of those traumatized by the calamity.

The tech giant partnered with the Visual Arts Committee, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Philippine Science High School–Eastern Visayas Campus to develop Lakas Pilipino: Lakas Natin, an art therapy workshop for the youth meant to provide Yolanda victims a creative outlet for expression. Samsung provided much-needed equipment such as tablets where the students can draw works of art and television screens where they can project the pieces.

A total of 38 teachers and 42 high school students from Palo and Tacloban, Leyte participated in the project which involved not only art but also music and a bit of personal reflection and sharing.

The resulting electronic paintings were meaningful and heartwarming, to say the least:

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Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad’s at the Maya Kitchen

Chef Ariel Manuel  of Lolo Dad's

One of the Philippines’ notable chefs, Ariel Manuel of the famed (and recently-closed) Lolo Dad’s, headlines The Maya Kitchen’s cooking demo on June 21, Saturday, 9am-1pm.

In keeping with his philosophy of adhering to ‘Simplicity of Flavors,’ Chef Ariel will whip up the following dishes:

– Salmon Sardine with Fresh Garlic Croutons
– Romaine Caesar Salad
– White Onion Soup
-Shellfish Open Lasagne
– Mediterranean Duck Rice
– Mixed Fresh Fruits with Vanilla Ice Cream, Rock Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We’re warned not to be fooled by the seemingly simple dishes. The Caesar Salad, for example, comes with a dressing that is cooked and keeps for a week. The onion soup comes with a gruyere topping and for a real knock out flavor, Chef Ariel recommends using French Muscovy duck breasts.

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