One of the things I looked forward to this year is Art Fair 2019. It’s the biggest art event in the country, inviting 52 galleries to exhibit the best of Philippine and regional art at The Link Carpark in Makati. From February 22 to 24, you can see the breadth of local art and all its styles and movements. If you’re strategic about it, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed trying to see all the pieces spread across five floors.
Here’s what you should check out at Art Fair 2019:
1. David Medalla’s A Stitch in Time. Medalla is a respected artist who has worked with the likes of Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Marcel Duchamp. In A Stitch in Time, guests are encouraged to participate by stitching small items of significance to a large piece of cloth.
2. Ian Fabro’s Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso, an atmospheric triptych depicting the story of creation and a dark future. The work is accompanied by piercing wails and otherworldly sounds.
3. Ryan Villamael’s Behold a City, a cutout version of Manila pre-World War II.
5. Oscar Villamiel’s Cheap Medicine, a series of 200 heads with varying facial expressions, all showing laughter being used to mask existential pain.
6. These achingly beautiful photos from Tom Epperson
7. The gorgeous women of Fernando Botero, considered as Colombia’s most famous living artist.
8. Sid Natividad’s Deeper Silence
9. The elegance of Anton del Castillo’s work.
10. Luis Antonio Santos will always be a favorite. This is his Partitions.
11. These strange critters from Tin-Aw Gallery12. Romeo Lee is another favorite
13. This fascinating tableau by Naomi Mendoza
14. The honesty in Nara Yoshitomo’s Over the Rainbow.
15. These incredible originals by Hiroshige and Hokusai, two ukiyo-e artists from Japan (Hiroshige is considered the last great master of the tradition). I love the Japanese galleries because they’re accommodating even if I obviously can’t afford the P1.1M and P1.2M pricetags. They even offered to take out other prints that were in the stockroom. Seeing them in person was enough.
16. Jim Orencio’s Healing Grounds, an experiential collection featuring nature-inspired works. The space is littered with leaves which makes deliciously crunchy sounds as you walk through them. Inhale and you’ll smell the forest.
17. Yeo Kaa’s exhibit filled with portraits of the same girl done in different colors. Trippy.
18. These gorgeous paintings from Art Underground
19. These slightly ominous paintings by the great Betsy Westendorp
20. Ryoki Kurasaki’s Blindness.
This Art Fair 2019 story is in partnership with Art Fair Philippines. For more information, visit the website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. For more of my coverage, check out 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2013.
It’s hard to believe that The Powerpuff Girls has been around for 20 years! Cartoon Network’s all-time favorite series follows the life of three super-cute, but super-fierce little girls made from sugar, spice, and everything nice – with a splash of Chemical X. For two decades, the show has proven that it can empower everyone and anyone, regardless of age.
Here are some of the best moments on the show where Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, and even their long-lost sis, Bliss, gave us the ultimate girl power feels!
1. Bubbles and her silver linings
Before Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s inspiring answer on finding the silver lining in situations, there was already Bubbles who is the OG of silver linings. Full of optimism, she looks at each situation with positivity and hope, showing us that girl power is not all about strength; it can also be about seeing things in a positive light.
2. You are YOU-nique!
Everyone has their own quirks, but that’s what makes people unique! It’s also what can make a super mega awesome combination of powers that can defeat any villain. Be proud of who you are because our favorite little girls sure are.
3. Sisters got your back
Self-doubt is one of the things that can stop you from doing what you want. When you’ve got sisters like Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, their confidence is contagious!
4. No shame owning up to a mistake
Owning up to your mistakes does not mean you’ve failed, it only shows that you are a brave girl, full of humility and courage, ready to learn from your mistakes and move forward.
5. Fierce on facing your fears
If Buttercup can shrug off her fears, you can too! It’s all about being brave enough to face it head on, trust Buttercup!
As The Powerpuff Girls celebrate their 20th anniversary, expect more empowering episodes and activities to head your way this year!
Cartoon Network is ready to #EMPOWERPUFF young Pinays with an extra dose of excitement, fun, and entertainment. Be sure to catch up on its latest episodes by tuning in to Cartoon Network on Cignal Digital TV Channel 220 (HD), Sky Direct Channel 15 (HD), SkyCable Channel 178 (HD), and Destiny Cable Channel 178 (HD Digital).
This story is in partnership with Cartoon Network. For more information about The Powerpuff Girls 20th anniversary events and other Cartoon Network-related news and updates, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.
I’ve fully embraced a healthy lifestyle. My trips to the gym have become consistent ever since I hacked my brain to look forward to working out. But there’s still plenty of things I haven’t tried in the world of fitness. One is going on a fun run.
I missed out on a great one when 7-Eleven officially marked its seventh year of promoting health among its consumers through a fun-filled sports and wellness activity with the 7-Eleven Run.
The run brought together professional and recreational runners into a nationwide gathering, with events in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao on February 3, 2019.
This is the second year that the company held the 7-Eleven Run simultaneously throughout the country. In 2018, over 25,000 participants joined the event as they vied for a podium finish.
The race in Filinvest City, Alabang for the Manila leg and in Cebu Business Park for the Cebu leg had 10 categories, from the 500M run to the 42K. The race in SM City Davao for the Davao leg had 3K runs to 42K.
This year, runners were introduced to new distances as 7-Eleven added the 32K category in all locations. In Cebu, the 500M category was launched this year while the 10K Buddy category was provided as a new option for runners in Davao.
Three winners from each category were awarded cash prizes and medals. In addition, the overall top three Filipino male and three Filipino female placers from the 21K, 32K, and 42K categories also qualified to participate in an international marathon in Asia, all expenses paid.
Maybe if I continue my fitness habits, I’ll be strong enough to join one of the long-distance races next year!
This story is in partnership with 7-Eleven. For more information, visit the 7-Eleven Run website or follow them on Facebook.
Wood is having a resurgence in architecture with more and more people choosing to use it as a construction material. A growing number of houses and buildings opt to use wood in unconventional applications, lending warmth and personality to these structures. This interest in wood also comes with a growing consciousness for the environment, as wood is, hands down, the most ecologically-viable of all construction materials.
Though wood is making headway outside our homes and offices, the interior is an altogether different subject. The predominant aesthetic trend favors materials such as steel, glass, marble, and ceramic products. What many fail to see is the fact that wood is charming, functional, and most importantly, timeless. It also gives off that Scandi vibe that’s becoming popular in design circles.
Here are five reasons why wooden furniture is the perfect match if you want to spruce up your home:
There’s no denying the long-lasting and robust qualities of wood. If you’re looking for a piece of furniture that can last up to the next generation, then wooden furniture is perfect for you. Longevity and stability are two of the main components of wooden furniture, which means that you get excellent value for your money.
It’s easy and simple to maintain wooden furniture. All you have to do to clean it is to simply wipe them away with a cloth. Occasionally and only in special cases should you have to wax, oil, or polish it, which are also undemanding processes. It is a commendable investment because once you purchase it, you only need little effort to maintain.
Wood can be dressed up for any purpose. Be it modern or rustic, wood can blend in well indoors or outdoors. The wide range of wood tones also enables variety. This just shows that wherever you wish to put wood, it is adaptable and would bring grace to your home.
With the right set-up, a simple piece of wooden furniture can add charm to your home. Mahogany, molave, and acacia can promote a sense of oneness with nature. The organic feel of wood can even help ease the mind and relax the senses.
There is no more ecologically sound way to furnish your home than acquiring wooden furniture. Responsibly sourced wood is actually the only renewable furniture material today, which means trees that were harvested can possibly be replenished for new growth–100% biodegradable, to put simply. More importantly, the tree itself absorbs carbon dioxide, and the absorbed carbon remains stored even when wood is cut. It will not be released back to the atmosphere unless the wood decomposes or gets burnt, therefore contributing to the health of the environment.
As the world continues to make greener choices and opt for sustainable living, building a home that is eco-friendly should be a no-brainer because it doesn’t just benefit Mother Earth but your entire household as well. A wooden touch can instantly add the organic, homely, and welcoming feel into your home and ultimately reflect combined aesthetic and structural integrity that other materials cannot offer.
This story is in partnership with the Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA).
One of my favorite discoveries of 2017 is that the Philippines has a full-length opera and it’s based on the famous Jose Rizal novel Noli Me Tangere. Now, it’s set to return to to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from March 8 to 10, 2019. This year’s run will coincide with the CCP’s 50th anniversary.
In this 2019 all-new production, about 200 actors-classical singers, classical musicians, and production crew are joining forces to stage this amazing show. This year will be different as they will be using LED walls instead of mapping projections alongside physical set pieces, which will create a more cinematic look and feel.
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Noli Me Tangere follows Crisostomo Ibarra, a scholar who returns home after studying in Europe for seven years. He is disgusted with the abuses the indios suffer at the hands of Spanish tyrants. The novel details the “social cancer” the Philippines experiences through the oppressive system of governance, the corrupt church, and the elitism in society.
Noli Me Tangere was adapted into an opera in 1957 at the Far Eastern University and is billed as the first Filipino full-length opera and orchestration composed in the Western operatic tradition. It was composed by two National Artists: the libretto was created by Guillermo Tolentino, a sculptor and University of the Philippines (UP) professor who created the UP Oblation and the seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the music was written by Felipe Padilla de Leon, a Philippine composer known for translating the lyrics of the Philippine national anthem from Spanish to Filipino.
Following its premiere in 1957, it was staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 1987, New York in 2013, and Washington DC and Resorts World Manila in 2014. In 2017, it celebrated its 60th anniversary with a limited six-performance run.
Leading the cast this year are Nerissa De Juan and Bianca Camille Lopez (Maria Clara); Ivan Niccolo Nery and Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostomo Ibarra); Allison Cervantes, Nicola Micaelle Peralejo, and Bernadette Mamauag (Sisa); Joseleo Logdat (Elias); Greg de Leon (Pilosopo Tasyo); Nils Flores and Ronnie Abarquez (Padre Damaso; Abarquez also plays Kapitan Tiyago at certain performances); Lawrence Roxas (Kapitan Tiyago); Noel Comia Jr. and Mari Yapjoco (Basilio), and Santino Juan Santiago (Crispin).
Joining them are Mia Bolanos (Dona Victorina), Oliver Pineda (Tenyente Guevarra), Jose Mari Javato (Padre Salvi), Charina Balmores (Sinang), Micah Galang (Andeng), Ma. Krissan Tan (Tiya Isabel), Timothy Racho (Alferez), Ruzzel Clemeno (Don Filipo), Tomas Virtucio Jr. (Albino), and Rare Jireh Columna (Victoria).
The large ensemble includes Roxanne Abuel, Neomi Giron, Eden Dumlao, Sheila Gamo, Ma. Rovelyn Bautista, Criselda Go, Ma. Blanca Buesa, Katrine Sunga, Angelica Benipayo, Ma. Arielle Tuason, Erielle Fornes, Ma. Vicella Villasin, Ma. Pilar Ramos, Marifel Motilla, Jose Miguel Espiritu, Lorenz Sarrondo, Renz Nathaniel Cruz, Airo Saret, Kevin Jeremy, John del Rosario, and Joseph Billeza.
The opera is co-directed by New York-based event stylist Jerry Sibal, who also did the set design, and veteran actor-director Jose Jeffrey Camanag, featuring the 53-piece NOLI Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Herminigildo Ranera.
This story is in partnership with J&S Productions. Noli Me Tangere: The Opera will be staged at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from March 8 to 10, 2019. There will be 2PM shows on March 9 and 10, and an 8PM show on March 8. A 50% discount is available for students, and 20% for senior citizens, PWD, government and military personnel.
One of my favorite countries in Asia is Thailand. I’m a city boy by heart and I love the fast-paced environment of malls and shopping, but I still enjoy experiencing culture. In this region, the country does not disappoint. There are plenty of things to do in Thailand to soak up some history. And if you’re in the mood to party, there’s plenty of festivals to check out.
Here are five you can check out when you decide to visit:
Pattaya International Music Festival (March 14-16, 2019)
The Pattaya International Music Festival is one of the world’s largest beach festivals. It is held annually at the stretch of the Pattaya beach road and invites pop, rock, hip-hop, and R&B performers from Thailand and around the world. Pattaya is also known for its beaches and nightlife so you’re sure to have a great time!
The Songkran Festival is one of the most iconic things to do in Thailand. The event marks the start of the traditional Thai New Year, where people all over Thailand engage in the biggest water fight. Everyone in the country will be celebrating but I recommend you join in Bangkok’s Khao San Road, Chiang Mai, and Ayutthaya.
Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival (July)
The Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival is perfect for those who love art and culture. The festival honors a Buddhist event called Asahna Bucha, when the Buddha delivered his first sermon. It is held at the beginning of the Buddhist lent called Khao Pansa. The festival highlights the work of local artisans like candles, wax carvings, and decorated floats.
Loy Krathong (November 13, 2019)
Loy Krathong, or the Thai Festival of Lights, is held during the first full moon of the traditional Thai Lunar calendar’s 12th month. Here, crowds release lotus-shaped, candlelit containers down the river, creating a visual and unforgettable spectacle. One of the best places to celebrate Loy Krathong is Chiang Mai, which coincides with the lantern festival called Yee Peng.
Wonderfruit Music and Arts Festival (December 12-16, 2019)
Wonderfruit brings together the arts, eco-living, and music in Pattaya. The four-day long festival features musical acts, art installations, wellness activities, and local dishes by renowned chefs.
This story is in partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. For more information, visit the website or follow them on Facebook. Cover photo by François Philipp, taken from Creative Commons and Flickr.
One of my theater regrets in 2018 was not seeing M. Butterfly. The play, adapted from the Tony Award-winning piece by David Henry Hwang, was a hit when it was staged in Manila, winning three out of its six nominations at last year’s Aliw Awards. I also have a personal stake since my first literary work was a screenplay of Giaccomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which I wrote when I was in the fifth grade. I’m not going to let it pass this time since it’s being staged again, and it’s going on a national tour!
Presented by Tony and Grammy award-winning producer Jhett Tolentino and FRONTROW Entertainment (producer of highly-acclaimed independent films Bhoy Intsik and Bwaya), the M. Butterfly National Tour 2019 was decided upon by the producers to bring this world-class masterpiece to those who did not have the opportunity to catch its 2018 Manila run.
It began its tour in Iloilo from February 14 to 17, and will be followed by performances in Dumaguete, Cebu, Davao, Manila, and Baguio.
M. Butterfly is inspired by the Puccini opera, and tells the fatal romance between René Gallimard, a member of the French embassy in China, and the Chinese opera star Song Liling. It premiered on Broadway in 1988, winning three Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Feature Actor and Best Director. Its local adaptation won Best Play, Best Actor, and Best Director at last year’s Aliw Awards. It was also nominated for two Best Featured Actresses in a Play and Best Ensemble.
RS Francisco will be reprising his role as Song Liling, who he has portrayed in last year’s run and its debut run in Dulaang UP in 1990. Gallimard will be essayed by French actor Olivier Borten. They will be joined by Aira Igarta as Song Liling in select performances; and Jenine Desiderio, Norm McLeod, Lee O’Brian, Mayen Estanero, Maya Encila, Jasmine Salvo, Pheith Iena Ballug, Ullyses Basa, Sasa Cabalquinto, Franco Ferrer, and John Paul Ortenero.
The artistic team of M. Butterfly will be made up of Jhett Tolentino and RS Francisco (producers), Ohm David (set), Eric Pineda (costume), John Batalla (lighting), Jethro Joaquin (sound), Joed Balsamo (music) and Carissa Adea (choreography).
This year’s run will also benefit 10 charitable institutions: Iloilo Prima Galaw, Philippine National Red Cross Iloilo Chapter, The Children of Cebu Foundation, Silliman University Culture and Arts Council, the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Love the Children Foundation, House of Hope Foundation, Halfway Home for the Boys, and the St. Louis University Culture and Arts Center.
M. Butterfly will play at the Silliman University in Dumaguete from February 28 to March 3, at the SM Seaside City Centerstage in Cebu from March 14 to 17, at SM Lanang in Davao from March 28 to 31, at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Manila from May 8 to 19, and the St. Louis University in Baguio from May 30 to June 2.
Tickets are now available at SM Tickets at any SM Mall nationwide or online at SMTickets.com (for Iloilo, Davao, Cebu, Baguio); Culture and Arts Council Office, Silliman University through contact nos. (035) 422-4365, (0917) 300-0346, (0999) 797-7825 (for Dumaguete); and TicketWorld through contact no. (02) 891-9999 or ticketworld.com (for Manila).
This story is in partnership with M. Butterfly. For more information, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. For further information, contact Jhett Tolentino at (0906) 576-6914.
One of the best ways to slow down in this fast-paced world is to immerse one’s self in nature. Feeling the grass on one’s bare feet, the scents of a forest, and the visuals of lush greenery can help recharge and recenter. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury to take time off to see the outdoors. For those stuck in the city, the Starbucks Nature Collection is your best bet.
Starbucks is helping nature and coffee lovers find Zen in their daily lives with a selection of designs featuring wood finishes. This includes the Gloria Wood Lid Glass (P1,495), a sophisticated double wall glass with wooden lid; and the Ceramic Wood Mug (P1,195), an elegant mug with a wood-inspired decal.
Those on-the-go can choose from tumblers. There’s the Wood Stainless Steel Tumbler (P2,295), featuring an elegant wood finish, vacuum insulation, and leather strap. Another great choice is the Slim Looky Lu Wood Tumbler (P625), which comes with a spill-proof lid.
There’s also double-walled acrylic drinkware, such as the Cold Cup Wood Tumbler (P695), which is best for cold beverages. Artists and hobbyists can grab the Doodle It Wood Tumbler (P1,095) with its customizable insert and spill-proof lid, made with acrylic and steel.
There’s something for everyone with the Starbucks Nature Collection, whether you’re a nature lover, a fan of Scandinavian design, or someone who collects Starbucks merch. For me, I definitely want to get my hands on the Ceramic Wood Mug!
This story is in partnership with Starbucks Philippines. For more information, visit the website and follow its Facebook and Instagram pages.
It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and if you still don’t know where to take your date, you’re in deep trouble. You’re probably running through all the restaurants available but they’re either too far or too expensive. Don’t worry because I have your back. Here are some Valentine’s date places that are both delicious and affordable:
Get into the season of love with Pancake House
Breakfast food is always a good idea and the best ones are at Pancake House. Order two Pancake House Special Sets from February 11 to 17 and you can get a Mini Yema Pancake to share for only P88.
Say I Love You Berry Much with Jamba Juice
Opting for something healthy? Get a refreshing smoothie at Jamba Juice! For only 14 Globe Reward points, you can get one free when you get a drink from February 14 to 17. Go berry wild and choose between Banana Berry, Strawberries Wild, Berry Black Tea, and the all-time favorite, Razzmatazz.
Find a love that is so worth it at Yellow Cab
If you both have a healthy appetite, Yellow Cab is the answer. From February 14 to 18, order any 10” 2-in-1 Yellow Cab pizza for only P539 and get a free regular Spaghetti & Meatballs Pasta, Regular Salt & Pepper Chicken Poppers, and a 6” Dessert Pizza. Choose between the Hazelnut Banana and Chocolate Overload Dessert Pizzas and you’re sure to get a yes at the end of the evening.
Bring your loved ones closer with a boodle fight at Dencio’s
If you’re really hungry, try the Valentine Boodle Fight for two at Dencio’s. Available throughout February, enjoy a full serving of Lumpiang Shanghai, Calamares, and Boneless Chicken Barbecue along with three cups of rice and two glasses of Sago’t Gulaman for only P642.
A unique Valentine’s dessert experience awaits at Teriyaki Boy
Those who love Japanese food can try Teriyaki Boy’s newest dessert offering. From February 1 to 18 only, guests can try the Mango Tempura with Vanilla Ice Cream for only P99 with every order of any Kazoku Family Set.
Bring back the sizzle with Sizzlin’ Steak’s S’mores
Add some sizzle this Valentine’s Day with a special dessert treat from Sizzlin’ Steak. Every order of a Platter For 2 from February 1 to 18 gets you a skillet of Sizzlin’ S’mores free of charge.
Steal someone’s heart with Krispy Kreme’s Be Mine! promo
From February 1 to 17, you can enjoy Krispy Kreme’s newest Velvet Doughnuts for only P55 per piece, P165 for a Box of 3, P299 for a Box of 6, and P575 for a dozen. Feeling extra romantic? Upgrade your Box of 6 to a tin can container with a card for only P99.
Celebrate love with Max’s Corner Bakery’s heart-shaped cake
Max’s Corner Bakery offers the Choco Toffee Torte, a delectable heart-shaped cake available this February. This treat is a chocolate chiffon cake filled and frosted with choco-toffee buttercream, chocolate fudge, and cashew nuts. It’s available for P520!
I wasn’t fully committed to working out in 2018. I promised to exercise at least three times a week but I rarely completed my goal. I’m not sure how I lost 20 lbs. but I’m hoping to replicate my success this year. Last month, I renewed my membership and found a way to motivate me to want to work out more. And guess what? It works!
Here’s my secret
I watch an episode of a Netflix show while doing cardio. Cardio is my favorite and I run eight to nine kilometers for an hour, which is the amount of time for one episode (or three episodes of a 20-minute show). I finished You this way and I just finished three episodes of Sex Education. Because of this hack, I look for ways to squeeze in a session so I can find out what happens next in my shows.
The first week I did this, I went to the gym four days straight. I wanted to do five the following week but my calves were killing me so I only did four. I was swamped with work last week so I only went three times. Now, I feel bad when I don’t work out. Don’t worry, I’m not a gym bro… yet.
I’m not sure if I’ve made any progress since I don’t weigh myself, but I feel lighter and happier. Some of my clothes are also looser. I don’t have a goal or a timeline because I’m taking it one day at a time. No pressure. Right now, I’m just here for the ride and the next episode on Netflix.
My second secret to work out more
Since I’ve been working out more frequently, my laundry has increased and now I have to deal with more sweaty shirts. Thankfully, my friends from Downy told me about a new line of fabric conditioner that can help with active people like me. The new Sports variant offers 24-hour deodorant protection technology and is activated by rubbing the clothes to release the perfume bubbles.
I tried it out the first week I went on my workout marathon and it worked. I still smelled great after running nine kilometers. The best effect was the day after, though. I usually hang my sweat-drenched shirt to dry before I add to the hamper. The fragrance was gone the following morning but my shirts still smelled clean. If I didn’t know I used it at the gym the previous day, I would have stored it in my closet right away.
Now that I don’t have to worry about running out of fresh clothes, the only question I have is: will I finally have time to finish all my shows on Netflix?
This story is in partnership with Downy. The new Downy Sports is available in all major retailers nationwide and on Shopee. For more information, visit Downy’s Facebook page.