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:

Samsung Photo_3

Samsung Photo_5

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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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Award-winning movie on Cinema World

The Longest Distance

Award-winning Venezuelan movie The Longest Distance airs on CinemaWorld this June 29 at 9 pm. It is a 113-minute long Drama that marks the directorial debut of Claudia Pinto Emperador. In a short span of time, it has garnered several awards, including the ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman in the Cleveland International Film Festival 2014, Best Film of the Year in the Huelva Latin American Film Festival 2013, and the Glauber Rocha Awards in the Montréal World Film Festival 2013.

Lucas (played by Omar Moya, a fresh face to feature length films) is a young boy who loses his mother (played by Malena González) to senseless urban chaos. Wanting comfort and reconciliation, he runs away to join Martina (played by Carme Elias), the grandmother he never met. The two form a tight bond, supporting one another in their respective journeys.

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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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Binondo food tour with PBCOM

Coverage and reporting by Angelique Misa

They say the best way to learn history is through food. Last April 23, we walked and ate our way through the history of Binondo and PBCOM, one of the Philippines’ biggest commercial banks. Headed by the renowned Tour guide Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, selected guests enjoyed the gastronomic experience around the area which is the oldest Chinatown in the world.

Ivan Man Dy tour

Dy brought guests to a culinary trip through the most intimate alleys of the Fil-Chinese dominated district.Aside from being a hub for trade and commerce, Binondo is also a foodie haven and the birth place of PBCOM.

The tour had five food stops at some of the known Chinese restaurants/establishments around Binondo : New Po-Heng Lumpia House, Quick & Easy, Dong Bei Dumpling and Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli.

The food that we had at every stop were Lumpia (which tasted really good because of the fried sotanghon and peanut toppings), Dumpling (freshly steamed!), Empanada/Pancit/ (lutong Chinoy as what they would say), Fried Siopao and of course Eng Bee Tin’s Hopia for dessert!

Chinatown food

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Alaska teams up with Royal FrieslandCampina (RFC)

Royal FrieslandCampina (RFC) is one of the world’s Top 5 dairy companies with over 130 years of experience in producing milk. It is composed of dairy cooperatives with about 19,224 member-farmers from European countries like Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.

RFC recently firmed up its foothold in the Philippines by entering into a solid partnership with Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC), whose 40 years in the local market has made it one of the country’s leading milk brands.

grass to glass photo

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Mexican comedy on @CinemaWorldAsia

The Boy Who Smells Like Fish (2) (Small)

Here’s something showing on Cinemaworld this Sunday, March 23, 9pm and will have a repeat on March 28 at 9:25pm:

The Boy Who Smells Like Fish centers on Mica, a seemingly normal boy – until you go near him. Mica deals with a rare disease called Trimethylaminuria, making him smell like fish. Because of this, no one wants to be his friend.

Life appears to be pointless – until Laura walks into it. Douglas Smith, who was also in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and HBO’s Big Love, plays the role of Mica, while Laura is played by Zoë Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz. She previously performed in X-Men: First Class, and the TV Series Californication.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Blu-Ray & DVD + promo

If you’re one of the countless fans of The Hunger Games series, now’s the best time to start a collection. The second installment in the blockbuster franchise, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ starring Academy award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is now available in the following formats:

Blu-ray (selling at a Suggested Retail Price of P1395), Limited Edition 2 Disc DVD (P795), and 2-Movie Set DVD (P995). Available in all branches of Astroplus and Astrovision and select Odyssey and O’Music & Video outlets.

Thanks to the film’s distributor C-Interactive Digital Entertainment for sending these to me over the weekend:

The Hunger Games

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Donate your old bras for a good cause

(Photo courtesy of my Facebook friend Atinna)

flowers in bra

If you have no use for your old brassieres, it’s time to donate them to Ciudad Medical Zamboanga’s (CMZ) Breast Wellness Center for its Bra to Raise Awareness (BRA) campaign to fight the incidence of breast cancer in the country.

The group will start to build a monumental bra art edifice on March 21 led by Zamboanga artists. They will create a huge BRA installation art to be called the Ciudad de Zamboanga BREAST (Bra to Raise Early Awareness for Screening and Treatment) Art — a 3D, sculpture-like edifice made of individual bras.

International artist Rameer Tawasil said CMZ’s BREAST Art is a form of art expression to be placed outside CMZ meant to catch the attention of the public on their breast cancer prevention advocacy.

Currently, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the Philippines and we also have the highest incidence rate in Asia. Unfortunately, survival rate in the Philippines is below 40 percent compared to the high survival rates of 80 percent to 98 percent in developed countries.

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