Valerie Weigmann poised to win Miss World Philippines 2014?

The ceremonies for Miss World Philippines 2014 are going on at the MOA Arena as we speak. Though we never get to cover this event like we do the annual Bb. Pilipinas, our bets are on that Candidate No. 19 Valerie Weigmann will win the crown that will be left vacant by Megan Young tonight. (Although it’s tough shoes to fill since tonight’s winner will also have to bag the Miss World title bagged by Megan in Bali, Indonesia last year)

Like Megan, the 24-year old Valerie has showbiz roots, being known for her participation in Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Plus. Her biography also lists her as a model, host for the noontime show Eat Bulaga and an owner of a German-Turkish restaurant in Makati known as baam.

This photo of Valerie in her official Facebook page –

Valerie Weigmann

Update: the 5’8″ stunner Valerie was named Best in Swimsuit, Best in Long Gown and Miss Fashion Runway in the ongoing ceremonies: Photo via @joryrivera on Instagram

Valerie swimsuit

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Beef stroganoff recipe + Maya Kitchen giveaway!

I had fun attending a cooking class at Enderun Extension last month and having a hands-on experience cooking Beef Tenderloin Rossini with Pan Seared Foie Gras on a bed of risotto.

Last September 27, Chef Martin Kaspar, one of the owners of L’Entrecote in Burgos Circle and also an instructor in Enderun, staged a cooking demo at The Maya Kitchen in Makati.It was very interesting since the students learned how to cook restaurant-quality food and it’s not so difficult after all. The chef’s recipe for Beef Stroganoff has cognac and it adds a unique twist to the dish.

Beef Stroganoff

Read the recipe after the jump and find out how you can be one of 3 winners of our giveaway of a cooking class at The Maya Kitchen (P1,500 value each).

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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

DYKB invitation

DYKB mechanics

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Wagyu dinner at Akira teppanyaki resto

It was that weekend we were checked in Astoria Plaza and nothing seemed to go well. The wifi was (forever) not working in the hotel and our Kapitolyo food trip went sour as there appeared to be coordinated bad service in that dingy place called Three Sisters and Charlie’s Grind & Grill next door. A trip to the civilized confines of Shangri-La Mall was definitely in order.

This mall has one of the best curation of restos in the metro, so if you want to play safe with your hard-earned moolah, dine here! The Shang’s East Wing has gotten so much buzz because of the excellent food choices. We decided to train our tastebuds on the menu of Akira which is the newest teppanyaki restaurant in town.


Akira is part of the growing chain of dining places owned by actor Marvin Agustin and his business partners (which also includes Banzai in MOA ). The complete name is: Akira The Art of Sushi and Teppanyaki. The sushi part escaped me, but I don’t mind coz we were going to have Wagyu for dinner!

All that beef, majestic glorious beef that melts in the mouth and makes you feel you’re in heaven….my oh my!


But that’s getting ahead of the story. Watching the chef doing a teppanyaki show where he performs with knives, like they do in Benihana, is one of the attractions at Akira. I made sure I filmed it for posterity:

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Ramen heaven at Ippudo Megamall @ippudoPH

This is a rather late post on the pre-opening dinner I attended for Ippudo Philippines’ first branch in SM Megamall last September. Anyway, it was one of the most raved about restaurant openings by celebrities and social media personalities alike. Maybe Manila is really ramen-crazy or Ippudo had an excellent publicist but having tried it myself, I can say it deserves all the buzz!

Ippudo’s maiden branch in Manila is located on the third level of SM Megamall’s newest & hippest wing called Mega Fashion Hall. It’s a 200 square meter space and seats approximately 79 people.The design is very hip and classy.

Dining area

My friends have been telling me that they’ve been trying to eat at Ippudo but the lines are always long! I feel lucky to be among those invited to taste it beforehand, but it seems I want more of the ramen goodness. You see, I was only able to taste one variety out of three – the Akamaru Shinaji ramen. They also served five kinds of their side dishes and for sure, these were enough to fill me up….

Ippudo dinner

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Cut & colour at Z Salon by Ziggy in Paseo de Magallanes

It was the day after storm Mario. People in Manila weren’t particularly in high spirits because of the floods that affected the city.I was just happy and thankful that my family was safe! Lady luck seemed to be on my side too, if only because I had a date with two of my most energetic friends that weekend, and they were treating me…yahooo!

First stop was the Midas Hotel & Casino in Roxas Boulevard for breakfast. Their food selections were worthy of a hotel with a classy display of Hermes and Celine bags at the lobby. It was just too bad that they were clearing the place for lunch when I arrived, LOL. I love breakfasts, but on some days I can never be a morning person. Glad these two lovelies saved some buffet treats for me: Ziggy to my left, and Maricel at right….


The second appointment was the one I was most excited about because there was going to be a beauty makeover session at Ziggy’s spanking new salon. I’ve known her personally since her days in Louis Philip Kee and Salon Privat so we were ecstatic with the news that she was going to have her own. Z Salon on the second floor of Paseo de Magallanes looked awesome and cool, there will even be a billiards bar beside it….

Z Salon

The reception area with its array of products from Kérastase, the premier choice of hair professionals.

Z Salon

It’s good when you have somebody you know and trust to take care of your appearance, especially your precious tresses.As a hair stylist, Ziggy Hermosura works so efficiently and fast, something that can only be gained from long years of studying at the Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon academies in London. Like an expert, she cut the ends of my long hair as she said that I was already looking like a hippie. Then did some precise layering and put in side bangs.


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New look for Pacific Cebu Resort

Pacific Cebu Resort, one of the largest in Mactan island, recently completed a much-needed renovation under the aegis of its new management company,Hong Kong’s sáv Hospitality Limited. The transformation includes the upgrading of the rooms and other facilities in the 6.5-hectare beachfront property which is popular with tourists and divers alike due to its rich marine life.

sáv Hospitality representatives revealed that the first phase of the renovation was completed in July, while the second phase will be done in 2015 to “provide guests with an even more premium experience.”

The new rooms are bathed in white, some of them with precious ocean view


Same immaculate theme for the lobby…


The freshly-refurbished seafront view deck with a bright pop of colors in the lounging chairs


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Azumi Boutique Hotel, Alabang : a review

Truth to tell, I love boutique hotels more than big chain establishments. After all, being compact has its fine points. There’s something personal and intimate about them. And the way they are beautifully and daintily furnished is always a gem.

This is how I stumbled upon Azumi Boutique Hotel in Madrigal Business Park Alabang. Life has become so busy and I was looking forward to treat the family to a staycation within the city.Azumi’s promo of P2,888 for one night’s stay wasn’t bad, so off I booked! Glad that front office manager, Ms. Donna Narvadez, accommodated my request for early check-in. It gave me and the kids time to explore the nearby surroundings since the hotel is just walking distance from the Molito Complex.

One can easily fall in love with the lobby. It’s the opposite of minimalism, but tastefully decorated. Charcoal gray as the dominating color element is so cool on the eye.



Princess for a day: my youngest Lucy sitting in the high back chair (although I should teach the ‘Princess’ to sit properly, hehe)

Lucy in chair

While Midas Hotel shows off Hermes bags in their display cases, Azumi has travel-themed mementoes centered on London & Paris…


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H&M opening at Mega Fashion Hall on October 17!


Swedish retail giant opens H&M today finally announced that the opening its first store in Manila on October 17, Friday. It’s a sprawling space at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City that is all of 3,000 square meters and occupies three floors!

Here are the important details to know:

– Doors will open at 9am on Oct. 17 and the store will operate till midnight on the opening weekend. Regular store operating hours of 10am to 10pm will be will be implemented starting October 20 onwards.

– There will be special opening offers at up to 50% off

– The first 200 customers in line will get gift cards valued as high as P6,000 each!

“We have been waiting for the best opportunity to be in the Philippines and now the wait is finally over. The Philippines is indeed ready for the next level of fashion and we are so proud to debut our amazing flagship store at SM Megamall! It is such an exciting moment for us to bring fashionable and sustainable design, with good quality at the best price to fashion-conscious Filipinos. At H&M we always have something for everyone, and we can’t wait to welcome all shoppers in Manila to this fantastic store!” Magnus Olsson, Country Manager of Greater China and South East Asia for H&M, was quoted as saying.

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@lazadaPH Sept. 25 flash sale + Mi Power Bank giveaway!

The Philippines’ biggest online shopping mall, Lazada (@lazadaPH),has made a name for itself with its Flash Sales. It is an innovative way of selling that has clicked with the general population. In the words of Lazada PH CEO Inanc Balci, this is a unique strategy which is appealing to a growing segment of mobile- and net-enabled people who employ the ‘fastest finger frenzy’ when it comes to making their online shopping choices.

” Online shoppers who are able to proceed quickest to the check-out page enjoys the exhilarating success of having their exclusive purchases right at their doorstep,” Balci added.

Redmi Bundle

This coming September 25 at exactly 11am, Lazada will be having another flash sale of its bestselling stock, the Redmi 1S. What’s good about this is that for an extra amount of only PhP 10, you can bundle up your Redmi with such cool accessories as the Redmi Back Cover, the Redmi Soft Case, and the Redmi Screen protector. You can pick from any of the six bundles, depending on your likes, preferences and personality.

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