Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clara Ole's New Vinaigrette Line

Eating healthy has just become easier and more delicious!

My family loves eating salads, especially me and my firstborn. When KFC first came out with their Asian salad, I became a frequent costumer because I so loved the taste of the dressing. However, buying ready-made salads was not very cost-effective so I had to restrain myself from spending too much.

Thus, it was with utmost delight when I discovered Clara Ole’s Asian Salad Dressing last year. The taste is perfect! We’ve also tried their other variants and they were also good ... although the Asian Dressing still tops my list :)

Earlier today, I attended the launching of Clara Ole’s new Vinaigrette line. I drizzled my greens with the Mango Mio! flavor during lunch and found it good! The vinaigrettes come in cute and attractively labeled bottles you’ll be proud to have on the dinner table.

Before everyone went home, we were given a basket each containing all five vinaigrette variants with salad ingredients and recipes to boot! I can’t wait to try all the flavors not only on salads but also as dips and marinades. I am sure they would all taste wonderful. I am saying this because I honestly trust the brand and have been using a lot of Clara Ole items in dishes that my family enjoys eating. Just check my kitchen cupboard and about half of the contents would be products from Sysu International, Inc. :)

Official Press Release:

As the old adage goes, “Health is wealth.” Three very simple words and yet its meaning and impact on society have been the common consensus around the world. Since time immemorial, health has always been synonymous with wealth because without it, nothing in life would be possible. It would have been impossible to appreciate the beauty that each day brings as well as continue to experience the joys that come with even the simplest encounters with family and friends. Achieving good health therefore is not only a necessity but is the responsibility of everyone concerned with their overall wellbeing. Eating nutritious, highly fibrous and a well balanced meal combined with daily exercise, is one sure way of attaining good health and protecting yourself from sicknesses and diseases.

Sysu International Inc., makers of Clara Ole, understands the importance of good health and has come up with their newest product – the Clara Ole Vinaigrette. Seasoned to perfection and packed with all the healthy and nutritious goodness that Clara Ole is known for, the company’s newest product offering are made up of five deliciously healthy variants including:

My, my Parmesan!
Enjoy a truly rich parmesan dressing perfectly infused with a generous serving of garden-fresh herbs for that cheesy-tangy taste. It is the perfect dip for chips and even delicately compliments soft Italian bread. Besides pouring over crisp, fresh vegetables, the dressing can likewise be poured over baked chicken and potatoes.

Pesto Please!
Deliciously nutty, peppery with a hint of fruitiness, Clara Ole’s Pesto Please! instantly transports you to the taste of Italy and is best when drizzled over baked potato or on a salad of tomato slices, mozzarella and further complimented with chopped fresh basil. The dressing can also be simply tossed into your favourite pasta or mixed with seafood and chicken fillet for a more intense grilled or baked treat!

Orange you Glad!
Refreshingly perfect for summer, Clara Ole’s Orange you Glad! Vinaigrette gives a citrus freshness and tart-to-sweet surprise for salads. It also goes well when tossed with cubes of feta, blue or gorgonzola cheese for a deliciously exciting contrast of sweetness, saltiness and creaminess. When used as a marinade, it’s a perfect sauce for roasted or barbecued chicken and pork or as a dip for grilled fish.

Sesame Mucho!
Savour and enjoy the unique taste of Asia with the perfect mix of nutty, salty and sweet complimented by a hint of tanginess and generously drizzled on your favourite crisp green vegetables. It can also be used as dip for steamed vegetables and grilled or steamed seafood. Stir into seared chicken, pork and beef or simply add to your barbecue marinade and instantly transform the taste to a distinctly oriental caramel flavour.

Mango Mio!
Filipinos love mangoes and with this dressing, instantly give your favourite vegetable, fruit, meat and seafood salads a tropical boost with the fresh, sunny sweetness of sun ripened mangoes. It is also perfect when sprinkled over salsa or used as dipping sauce for steamed or grilled chicken and fish.

With Clara Ole’s Vinaigrettes, going healthy has definitely become easier, more enjoyable and of course, more delicious. It is now available at all major supermarkets nationwide in 250ml bottles. For more information on Clara Ole, visit

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A World of Art and Imagination in Museo Pambata

Yesterday, the Museo Pambata unveiled a new career options room that highlights the works of well-loved Philippine children's books' authors and illustrators. Blue Cow Inc.’s comic book characters, Private Iris and Danton Cord, graced the event and took guests on a tour around the big room to learn the process of writing and illustrating through comic book panels that line the colorful walls.

Kid guests enjoyed trying out the masks and costumes at the Dress Up Area, browsing the many books at the Storytelling Section, having their pictures taken at the various story characters' standees, etc.

Several of the featured authors and illustrators came to meet and greet guests. My son had several photos taken with two of his favorite authors, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan of the famous Tito Dok series; and Private Iris creator, Jamie Bautista.

The room was developed through a common advocacy for children's literacy shared between Museo Pambata and Blue Cow Inc., a subsidiary of the Pioneer group of insurance companies. Their goal is to encourage and inspire young minds to explore their talents and hone their skills. Through Private Iris, Blue Cow Inc. supports the museum's continued thrust in educating children via unique and interactive exhibits such as those also found throughout the whole museum.

Discover Museo Pambata today and let your kids, (and yourself!), experience the wonders of becoming inspired enough to go after one's dreams. For more information, visit the Museo Pambata website.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some Things to Smile About

Despite the summer heat, it literally warms my heart to see fruit-bearing trees around our house -- well -- bear fruits! :)  I even insanely have urges to greet them "Hello, Fruits!" each time I see them whenever I am out hanging clothes near the laundry area outside.

For the past month or so, we've been "harvesting" several of these yummy Indian mangoes which we can easily reach via a long pole fashioned by hubby with a crooked wire on one end. They go best with fish paste (bagoong, in Filipino) or a sprinkling of salt. There are still fruits on the tree but I'm guessing they would last for a couple more weeks before they're all gone.

Since we moved here four years ago, the calamansi tree near our front gate remained barren ... until this summer! I think the extreme heat might have something to do with the sudden sprouting of fruits although I'm not sure if these plants do thrive in hot weather. Hubby, on the other hand, suddenly became enthusiastic watering the tree :p For the past month too, whenever we want calamansi to go with fish sauce (patis) or soy sauce, we just pluck a couple or more pieces outside as needed :)

As for the sugar apples (atis), around 10 fruits as of this writing, my youngest son and I are still waiting for them to grow bigger so we can finally savor the ripe, sweet goodness. This is the second summer the sugar apple tree gave us fruit.

Like all the summers of past years, the big avocado tree, planted by my brother-in-law in the mid-'90s, consistently bears large and delicious fruits when the months of March and April comes around. They will be ready by June until August. We always have lots to harvest, more than we could eat. To our friends who want some, drop by starting June and I'll let you climb the tree for free :)

Seeing all these miracles everyday for the last few weeks just makes me thankful for God's provisions. Nature is simply wonderful!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Have You Met Jane Bingum Yet?

I've watched Drop Dead Diva on and off on QTV11 when the series was still being shown. I never did get to understand the whole story then. But I found the characters interesting and the storyline different.

Since Holy Week, I tried to find time to watch a couple of episodes during weekends when I have time. Finally, I was able to complete watching Season 1 last night. And now I can't wait to see what will happen in Season 2, which, according to may start airing again by June. That's still a long way off but is something to look forward to.

I know Glee is the hottest thing these days. But if you gals haven't seen this series yet and can get access to past episodes, give it a try.Watch this trailer to have an idea what I'm talking about. I can't help but like Brooke Elliot's character there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Manila F.A.M.E. International -- Proudly Filipino!

I visited the opening of Manila F.A.M.E. International yesterday at the World Trade Center. The exhibits are AWESOME!!! I had to linger longer at some of the booths to better appreciate and even touch some of the items. As a result, I ran out of time to tour the whole place. I plan to come back tomorrow or Sunday just to feast my senses again on those beautifully-made, proudly-Filipino designs.

Here’s sharing with you some (okay, a lot!) of the things that caught my eyes. I wanted to bring most of them home with me -- if only I could! Unfortunately, majority of the items are sold in bulk and to foreign buyers only since they are export products. But I was told by some of the booth owners that they will be selling some of their stuff when the trade show becomes open to the general public this Saturday and Sunday (April 24-25).

Adorable candles designed by Dr. Marichu Carstensen of Doc's Candles
Check out my gallery of pics to see other designs 
like the "Faberge eggs", wax Titanic, flowers, tea party series, 
fruits and vegetables, and many more.

Pretty lamps made with organza fabric seen 
at the Asia Embroidery, Inc. booth. 
They also have felt throw pillows with different colorful designs,
masks, gift boxes and exceedingly eye-catching fabric curtains.
More pics of their products at the gallery.

Here are some of the fine home furnishings at the
I love the dolls they placed on top of some of their furniture pieces. 
More pics of their products here.

Wonderful bags available at the Heldred Export International booth.
They also have bags made of capiz and shells 
as well as eye-catching necklaces.
See more of their products at my picture gallery.

This pretty "curtain" is made from cute paper products.
I took this photo at the GSG by Flora Creatives booth.
More pictures of their products here.

Sparkling jewelry at the Avatar booth.
I've actually featured its owner, Mr. Gil Carungay a few years back

Here's one of the several breathtaking stylized displays 
found all over the venue where prototypes of products were highlighted

Native wedding garb by Ben Farrales at the Icons corner

I’ve only posted a few choice photos in this blog but you can see more at the gallery I posted here. Do catch Manila F.A.M.E. tomorrow and Sunday and go window shopping or buy some of the available products for sale! Take in all wonderful sights, sounds, colors, textures, and experience that the April 2010 edition offers. Please take note that there is a P200 entrance fee per person.

For more info about Manila F.A.M.E. International, please visit

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For New Moon Fans!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Take Your Dates Off Auto-Pilot!

Get some good belly laughs with your spouse by watching Date Night while it's still showing in cinemas nationwide.

My hubby and I got to see it during the premier showing and we had a lot of fun!

Still not convinced? Read my review about it in :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brothers Burger Summer Special (April 15 only!)

Saw this announcement in Brothers Burger's Facebook page. My hubby and sons would probably flip when they find out about this and rush to the nearest BB branch tomorrow :p

BROTHERS BURGER SUMMER SPECIAL PROMO!!! On April 15, 2010, from 11am to 10pm, enjoy your favorite Big Brothers Burger for only P87.50. This promo is available in all stores except Bonifacio High Street and Davao...

For a list of BB branches, click here.

April 17 Edit: Unfortunately, we didn't have time to check out a BB branch. Maybe next time. Hope you guys were able to buy though.

Disciplines of Breakthrough Entrepreneurs

Attend Disciplines of Breakthrough Entrepreneurs with the country's most sought after speaker Francis J. Kong, and learn how to avoid...

The 10 Big Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

As much as 85% of all start-ups fail in their first year. Of those that survive, only half make it past five years. Why do so many businesses fail? Why do so many remain small or stagnant?

Mistake #1: They wait for opportunities to come to them. Are you always waiting for something big to happen? Do you fail to spot opportunities and trends?

Mistake #2: They don't spend time and effort on new ideas. Are you just too busy with real work or too tired with daily responsibilities to develop your business ideas? Do you initially get excited and then gradually forget to follow through on your ideas?

Mistake #3: They don't enjoy working with people. Do you prefer working alone since no one can do a better job than you? Are you annoyed at being bothered by other people?

Mistake #4: They focus too much on fault-finding and not on problem-solving. When something wrong happens, do you spend too much time blaming people or circumstances? Do problems end up ruining your entire day?

Mistake #5: They want to keep everything to themselves. Do you believe in keeping all the spoils to yourself, since you're the owner anyway? Are you an all-or-nothing kind of entrepreneur?

Mistake #6: They're content with sitting on their laurels. Do you hate it when you have to try new things? Are you already comfortable with what you're already doing in your business?

Mistake #7: They stick to the same old things. Do you like doing what has always worked? Are you a firm believer of the saying "Don't fix it if it ain't broken?"

Mistake #8: They don't have adequate resources. Do you put everything you have in your business with no backup resources? Are you 100% dependent on your own capital?

Mistake #9: They think learning is expensive and a waste of time. Do you think you already know everything there is to know about your business? Are you the type who considers books, seminars, and learning programs too expensive?

Mistake #10: They believe business is all about money. Do you do business just to make money? Are you just after profits?

You can learn to avoid these mistakes! Find out how the most successful SME owners have developed the right traits and practices when you attend the Disciplines of Breakthrough Entrepreneurs this April 24, 2010, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

For more information, details, how to avail of the early bird rate, and to register for this event, visit the Learning Curve website.

OMF Lit Bookshop opens in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro

The OMF Lit Bookshop opens a new branch in Banilad, Cebu!

Enjoy 20% off OMF Lit local and imported titles, and 50% off Kaibigan and Pastors' Exclusives sign-up fees until May 8.

Grab these these great giveaways!

* Free bag for every P2,000*
* Free book for every P3,000*
* Free P500 GC for every P5,000*
*Single receipt purchase only. Offer good until supplies last.

Plus, bring the kids for FREE Hiyas storytelling every Friday of April!

The OMF Lit Bookshop Banilad is located at Gov. M. Cuenco Ave. cor. El Dorado Subdivision, Banilad, Cebu City. Store hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm. Download location map here.

For more information, call (032) 346.7142 or 418.1439, email, or visit

You're also invited to the OMF Lit bookshop Robinsons Cagayan de Oro grand opening

OMF Literature invites you to the grand opening of the OMF Lit Bookshop Robinsons Cagayan de Oro on April 17, 4pm. Celebrate with us as we begin another chapter!

For more information, call (088) 587.1359, email, or visit

Monday, April 12, 2010

Acquatica : The Coolest Bonding Activity for Moms and Kids

To make this summer’s bonding time even more memorable, Johnson’s Baby treats moms and kids to Acquatica, the first water theme park in the Philippines that is sure to put us at par with our Asian neighbors in the realm of theme park entertainment. A swimming theme park by day and a water musical theatre by night, Acquatica promises to be one experience that moms and kids will surely enjoy together! It features Manila’s first-ever water musicale, “The Maiden of the Sea,” a multi-sensory spectacle featuring a live cast backed by specially-choreographed pyrotechnics, brilliant lasers, and special computer imaging.

Johnson’s Baby wants moms and kids to have the coolest and freshest summer of their lives, despite El Nino, as it launches the “Coolidays” Campaign. Enjoy Acquatica’s cool attractions by purchasing specially-marked Johnson’s Baby products this summer and get P50 off the price of an entrance ticket. Not only can moms and kids visit Acquatica, but visit as many times as they’d like!

Indeed, the heat is on – in more ways than one. But there’s really no reason to fret and sweat, thanks to Johnson’s Baby “Coolidays.” Moms and kids can now look forward to a cool and fresh summer with Johnson’s Baby Bath, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Johnson’s Baby Cologne, and all the nice feelings and memories that come with them, as they “Coolidays” to a cool and fresh summer.

View more details about Acquatica and the Maiden of the Sea in my other blog.

Kotex freebies

Last month, I posted an entry with links to various online contests and product freebies for women.

I was so busy last week that I only got to post this today. I finally received the feminine pads the other day which I requested via the Cosmo website (Kotex link is gone now so I guess the promo's over) last month. The pack contains two (2) Kotex Luxe pads, a product info sheet and another paper with some women-related trivia and Kotex's website address. I actually requested another sample of their Ultrathin sample pack there, but haven't received it yet.

In the meantime, will try these out ... ehem ... when the right time comes :p

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Below Expectations

Another school year has ended. Most likely, there were parents who celebrated their children’s achievements while others had to swallow disappointment and encouraged their kids to do better next time. There is also a high probability that some students, who were used to receiving awards in previous school years, have been sorely upset when they failed to do so this year.

Teach your kids to be more accepting of defeat. Don’t allow them, especially the high achievers, to beat themselves up if they didn’t make it to the honor roll or failed to get the grades they were expecting.

Read the rest of my article, which came out in Manila Bulletin's parenting section last Saturday, to find out ways parents can help their children deal with failure.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The 3rd Social Networking Conference 2010

The Internet has changed so many things in the lives of many individuals. Nowadays, people no longer have to depend on news coming from TV shows and print publications alone. You can already access almost everything you want to know with just some taps on the keyboard and a few clicks on the mouse. One could also easily connect with family and friends from around the globe in real time.

If you are reading this post, there’s a high probability that you are already internet-savvy enough to have signed up in one or more social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Multiply, Friendster, and many more.

Expand your knowledge about social networks; maximize their uses; learn from different case studies; and hear various experts talk about their experiences and unique perspectives on social networking.

Social Networking Conference 2010Attend The 3rd Social Networking Conference 2010 this April 22-23, 2010 at Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City. This event, organized by Fiera De Manila and DigitalFilipino Club aims to empower companies, digital marketing/advertising professionals and businessmen/entrepreneurs who are interested in using social networks for promoting their products and services. It is also geared towards dynamic and innovative companies, start-ups, and upcoming players who would like to utilize current technologies in communicating and selling their products/services through social networks as well as find out how the industry works and evolves in an effective manner.


DAY 1, April 22, 2010, Thursday

1. Keynote Address - The Cacophony of User Generated Content is the Web
Speaker: MARIA A. RESSA, Senior Vice-President, ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs and Managing Director, ANC

2. The Future of Social Networking and Social Norms
Speaker: PAUL PAPADIMITRIOU, Digital Intelligence Strategist, Driving Left, Limassol and Tokyo

2. Social Media Advertising: Measuring Effectiveness
Speaker: PAUL JOHN M. PE√ĎA, Head - Digital Marketing, Globe Telecom, Inc.

3. Social Media Marketing Strategies Insights and Lessons Learned
Speakers: JUAN ARMANDO V. ROJO, Vice President, Corporate Brand and Communications, Bayan Telecommunications; ALEX DAN TACDERAS, Brand Manager, Kraft Foods

4. Social Media to Promote Philippine Tourism
Speaker: EDUARDO MAPA JR., Managing Director, Media Contacts Manila

5. Video as a Powerful Social Media Application

6. Using Social Media to Disseminate CSR Programs
Speaker: ROSAN CRUZ, Assistant Vice President of Group Public Relations, Benpres Holdings Corporation

7. Harnessing the Power of Social Media by Yahoo!
Speaker: JOEY ALARILLA, Social Media Editor, Yahoo! Southeast Asia

8. Technology Presentation
Speaker: JON-TJIN KEE, Senior Consultant, SEA, EyeBlaster

You can nominate entries by clicking here

DAY 2, April 23, 2010, Friday

1. Becoming Larger Than Life Through Social Networks

2. Social Media Study by DigitalFilipino
Speaker: JANETTE TORAL, Founder, DigitalFilipino

3. Using Social Media in Political Campaign and Voters Education
Speakers: RACQUEL CAGURANGAN,; NICK B. FONTANILLA, Ph.D., President, The Asia-Pacific Centre for Research, Inc. and President, Philippine Marketing Association (PMA)

5. How Brands are Becoming the Media (and Why Your Brand Should Do The Same)
Speaker: LEAH CAMILLA R. BESA-JIMENEZ, General Manager, Proximity Philippines

5. Panel Discussion: Pitching Social Media Marketing to Clients
Panelist(s): BRAD GEISER, Co-Founder, GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc.

6. Using Social Media in Search Engine Marketing Campaigns and It Influences Your Search Engine Rankings
Speaker: JANETTE TORAL, Founder, DigitalFilipino

7. Is E-Mail Marketing Dead in the Age of Social Networks?
Speaker: CHINIE HIDALGO-DIAZ, Marketing Director, Teleforce Asia Inc.

8. Case Study Presentations of Winners in Social Networking Awards 2010

9. Technology Presentation

Find out more about the complete details of this event, the resource persons, and registration fees by visiting Fiera De Manila’s site.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviews

My boys and I got to watch the premier of this movie last March 27. We all enjoyed it immensely. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is currently showing in Philippine theaters so you may want to bring your tweens and teens to see it too.

I wrote a review of the film for Read it from a parent's point of view.

On the other hand, you can have your kids read my son's review of the movie. Check out my 11-year-old's take on Diary of a Wimpy Kid by visiting Manila Bulletin's Funpage website.

Get a chance to win FREE Galileo Math-Art Sessions for your child!

Flex your brain muscles and win free Galileo Math-Art sessions for your child! What number comes next in this sequence? 2 6 5 9 8 12 ____ . Two winners will be chosen each day from April 7 to 9! Each winner gets a free Galileo Math-Art Session of their choice!

Please view contest details in Galileo's Facebook Page.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Globe's Hyped 4438 "Great" Reveal

Last week, Facebook was all abuzz about Globe's announcement that they're cooking up something BIG for April 4. Posts at their FB page kept reminding subscribers not to turn off their phones on April 4 or else they'll miss the "revelation".

Well, April 4 and 5 have come and gone but I never got any exciting text/s from Globe. My hubby did though. I thought Globe just started sending messages to people whose mobile phone numbers start with 0905 then up to the higher numbers. Hubby's Globe number has the prefix 0916, mine was 0927.

Around midnight of April 4, I saw another FB post from Globe saying they'll be sending texts to the remaining 1.7 million subscribers on April 5. I guess the text for me lost its way.

Anyhow, I fiddled with hubby's cell phone and tried to figure out what Globe was up to. There were so many keywords you need to type and send before getting to one of the "final destinations". Whether it's a reward, or a discount, or points redemption, you would have to key in codes one at a time and send, send, send.

I only got to doing the following:
- texted REWARDS to 4438, then
- texted BAL to know how many points hubby already has (which was 8.80)
- texted ITEMS to find out the list of rewards
- texted DISCOUNTS to find out what the partner stores are
- texted DISCOUNTS KFC and got a text coupon that says you can avail of a drink upsize starting April 9

I stopped after that because it became so overwhelming already to be receiving so many texts back that have more instructions and codes to choose from. (And hello, I have a life, you know?) I don't understand why Globe just don't post everything on their website now that the "secret" is out. Oh, yeah, they did post a few details but just enough to give subscribers more things to do :(

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate being rewarded for being a loyal Globe subscriber. Heck, hubby and I (even all our siblings and in-laws) have been Globe users since I don't remember anymore! But I just find it too arduous to be expected to text and text and text and text yet again just to find out what's really in store for us. I would bet that if my 68-year-old mom received the 4438 congratulatory message last April 4 she would have no clue where to go from there. (Note to self: Ask mom if she understood Globe's promo when we see each other on Saturday because she won't know what I'm talking about if I just text it to her today).

For simplification's sake, when I finally have time and the compulsion to text all those codes and get all the end-user infos, I'll post it here to relieve others the laborious task of doing it all over again. Somebody explain it to me, why waste so much bandwidth? If Globe does have 25 million subscribers, how many text messages would it take if all of us have to go through all those steps just to find out how exactly are we being rewarded?

At the moment, Globe says texts to 4438 are free. Hmmm, I wonder for how long? In case the time comes when Globe decides to charge subscribers P1.00 per text inquiry to 4438, imagine how millions, or billions, of pesos that would be worth! Just some food for thought.

On a final note, I just wish Globe has just brought back IMMORTAL 10. If that were so, I might probably be jumping for joy by now :p

Saturday, April 03, 2010

While You're Spring Cleaning ...

... organize your files and important documents too! Find out how you can save more time and money with the following organizing tips I wrote for .

I assure you that once you start and eventually get a system in place, you’ll definitely have moments you’ll be grateful you have done so. Check out the article here.