Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movie Review: Secretariat - A Story of Heart

I am thankful to have made it to the press screening of Secretariat last week. No thanks to the horrendous traffic coming from The Fort (where I attended another media event), I arrived in Greenbelt 3 out of breath with a couple of minutes to spare before the film started rolling. But, oh boy, am I so glad I watched!

I so love many of the clothes that Diane Lane wore in the movie -- very classy! I've read that costume designer Julie Weiss chose a palette and silhouette for Diane's wardrobe that were more reminiscent of Brooks Brothers and Jackie Onassis. That explains the wonderful colors and very feminine, but very tasteful, dress styles.

In the film’s production notes, director Randall Wallace, of the Braveheart fame, was quoted, “The story is about heart – Secretariat’s and the heart of the woman who owned him. Both were greater than anyone imagined. I believe that when Secretariat was running the last of his races, he was no longer running against other horses; he was running for the joy in becoming who he was meant to be.” And indeed, Secretariat had!

Please find my full-length review of the movie here. Secretariat opens today, exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas in Glorietta 4 and Greenbelt 3.

*Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ways to Teach Kids About Social Responsibility

Last month, I posted a press release in my other blog about a seminar called Giving Children the Winning Edge where 2009 CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida was one of the speakers.

Inspired by his talk, I wrote an article on teaching kids the value of social responsibility. The writeup can now be viewed at HerWord.com.

Photo borrowed from http://www.ormazabal.cn
Part of the article reads:

Whatever ways you use to teach your kids about the essence of social responsibility, keep in mind that plans need not be elaborate or complicated. They just have to be meaningful enough for the kids to understand and remember so that they will carry these lessons of compassion as they grow and let them always have a sense of purpose in giving.

Please read the rest of it here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lovely Irish Blessing

If having past lives is true, perhaps I was Irish in one. I guess this would help explain why I so love Irish / Celtic music. And to help me enjoy the melodies fully, I self-studied how to play the Irish flute called a tinwhistle several years ago. Tonight, as I take a break from my writing deadlines and take out my Generation D whistle, let me share with you an Irish Blessing accompanied by beautiful instrumental Irish music called Down by the Sally Gardens. May you also take these nice thoughts to bed tonight :)

Someday, I wish I could visit Ireland and see for myself the wonderful sights that can only be found there. The first two places I'd like to see would be Dundalk and Donegal. Fellow fans of The Corrs and Enya would understand why :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

BPI Recognizes Two Exceptional Filipinos

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about 10 young people who were recognized as BPI's 2010 Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children.

Yesterday, BPI once again conferred awards to two outstanding Filipinos who have elevated Filipino pride across the globe. This year's BPInoy Awardees are Charice Pempengco and Dr. Manuel Cacdac.

I think majority of Filipinos here and abroad already know who Charice is. But, for those who'd like to know more about her, here's a brief bio:
My signed copy of Charice's album from last year

Charice is an 18-year old Filipina international singer who was dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the Most Talented Girl in the World. She is the first Asian artist in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart in the world. Charice marked the international music scene when she appeared in Star King, a South Korean talent show which opened doors for her to her Hollywood fame. Her international guestings include shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, David Foster’s tribute concert, Hitman: David Foster and Friends, Andrea Bocelli’s birthday concert, “The Cinema Tribute” in Italy, the 2009 U.S. Presidential Pre-Inaugural events in Washington, DC, post-Oscar award events Oscar Nights, Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel, and recently, the hit U.S. television show, Glee.

On the other hand, in the area of Science and Technology, Dr. Manuel Cacdac, dubbed as “The Shuntman”, is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines. Dr. Manny has held notable ranks in the medical community here and abroad and has been sharing and giving hope for many Filipino marginalized communities for years by initiating and performing free hydrocephalus operations in poor local communities.

Ms. Teresita Tan, Executive Vice President and Head of Overseas Banking and Channels Services Group of BPI, shares, “Through the BPInoy Awards, we are creating an avenue for Filipinos all over the world to connect, inspire and to celebrate distinct nationalistic pride in everyone. BPI recognizes our deserving countrymen, whose stories attest to the world that we, Filipinos, are globally competitive.”

Dr. Manuel Cacdac, BPInoy Awardee and Ms. Teresita Tan,   
Executive Vice President and
Head of Overseas Banking and Channels Services Group of BPI

She adds, “Here are two outstanding Filipinos —- true Pinoy prides and testaments of our nation’s competitiveness. As we bestow the BPInoy awards to Charice and Dr. Manny, we hope to touch and empower not only them but all Filipino families from all over the globe.”

Coming from the different fields of arts and science, these two Filipino international achievers prove that with the diverse talents and inherent values and abilities of Pinoys, they can achieve great things and make the “Pinoy pride” soar as far as wherever they are in the world.

Congratulations Charice and Dr. Manny! You are such inspirations :)

SunPIOLOgy 2011 Pursuits Journal Now Available

Last year, Sun Life and Piolo Pascual collaborated and came up with a calendar featuring beautiful photos taken by Piolo. Now, we are treated to captivating nature-inspired photographs shot once again by this talented celebrity through the SunPIOLOgy 2011 Pursuits Journal.

 The journal comes in a nice box which makes it perfect for gift-giving

I wholly support this worthwhile project because for each sale of the planner, Sun Life Foundation will donate P50 to Piolo's own charity, the Hebreo Foundation, an organization that ensures poor, but deserving, children get access to quality education.

I like the bookmark. It has a small medallion featuring the Sun Life logo.

Did you know that only 10 out of 100 elementary students reach college level? Help raise those numbers up! Instead of spending almost P4,000 on cups of expensive coffee just to get a planner, please consider buying SunPIOLOgy 2011 which is available in all Fully Booked stores and all Sun Life Customer Centers nationwide. This way, you'll be helping underprivileged children break free from the clutches of poverty and exploitation. The Pursuits Journal also has pages that will encourage you to be an advocate of the environment and sustainability. By contributing to this cause, your purchase will yield benefits for future generations of Filipinos.

 Piolo during the SunPIOLOgy launch

If you're in the following areas, drop by and visit the SunPIOLOgy 2011 benefit exhibits at these venues:
-- 4/F Eastwood Mall from Nov 26 to Dec 10
-- Fully Booked High Street at the Fort from Nov 26 to Nov 30
-- Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati from Dec 6 to Jan 7
-- The Art Hall of The Enterprise Center, Makati from Dec 12 to Jan 12

One of the photos included in the bidding

There, you can see for yourself all the autographed and framed photos found in the journal and which are being sold through an online bidding at www.sunpiology.com. Highest bidders will be determined by midnight of January 11, 2011 in time for Piolo's birthday. Proceeds will help send children to school.

You can view more photos I took of the exhibit in Fully Booked High Street here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Airspeed Celebrates 25 Years

Congratulations are in order for Airspeed International, a local logistics company engaged in air and sea freight forwarding (inbound and out bound Manila), international door-to-door parcel & cargo service, and customs brokerage, as it achieves another milestone by celebrating 25 years of delivering world-class service to its clients.

Proudly Filipino, Airspeed has been consistently ranked among the top 10 in the forwarding category by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the international body serving the entire airline industry; a testament of the company’s dedication of giving personalized service to clients.

Ms. Rosemarie Rafael, President of Airspeed International, expresses how proud they are that this Filipino owned business is in the elite company of such giants in the logistics industry. "We will continue to strive and do better by continuously providing price-competitive rates and delivering world-class service to clients. In this way, businesses will find us to be good partners as we understand their needs and offer them the best possible rates."

Aside from IATA’s recognition, Airspeed International is also duly accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as the Philippine Shippers Bureau (PSB).

When asked what separates Airspeed from other logistics companies, Rafael affirms that their team of professionals has always given their best to deliver personalized service to clients. "They have the experience and dedication to track their cargo from every location.” She also adds that their comprehensive IT network, composed of computerized barcoding, warehouse inventory, and in-house systems, assures every client that their cargo is secured. Moreover, this coming 2011, the company’s focus will be on further strengthening their services and expanding their reach in the market through the platform “JUST DO IT,” which translates to putting Jesus above all, through unquestionable commitment, stewardship, teamwork, never giving up, operational excellence, integrity, and targets.

Envisioned to be a global leader in providing premium logistical services, Airspeed International offers four core services: Air Forwarding, Sea Freighting, Warehousing and Distribution, and Project Cargo Transport.

Know more about Airspeed International and its services by logging on to their official website at http://airspeed.com.ph/aic_srv.html.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Volunteers Needed for a Good Cause

My friend, Ime Morales of Isang Bata, is looking for volunteer storytellers. Please read on ... 

Original post can be found here. Would appreciate it if you guys can also spread the word. Thanks in advance! :)

Join STORY THERAPY, Isang Bata's Christmas Program for Sick Children.

You don't need to spend money to make a child happy this Christmas. Isang Bata is inviting you to take part in its Story Therapy project on December 7, 2010 at the Philippine Children's Medical Center in Quezon City, where a lot of children will be spending the holiday season sick in their hospital beds. Let us make Christmas just a little bit brighter for these children.

We will be working with around 150 children, so we need as many volunteers as possible. Volunteers only need to pick an inspiring storybook and read it to a sick child on the day of the program. Invite your friends to come so you can have fun while making a difference together. Everyone is encouraged to unleash their creativity during storytelling: you can use props, music, puppets, etcetera. Remember, it's your gift to them.

Around 60 of these children are infants (neonates, the hospital calls them). So if you can also bring at least one rattle or one soft toy (or any kind of baby toy) on December 7, that would be awesome as well. You're also welcome to bring gifts for the older children, if you like, in the form of books, toys or clothes.

Register now as a storyteller, and let's offer some Story Therapy to these sick children. Please contact Ime Morales through 0906-2457910, email morales.ime@gmail.com

Deadline for registration is on November 30, 2010.

Please spread the word and help me share this announcement to as many people as possible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photo Exhibit Celebrating Motherhood and Breastfeeding (Nov. 23-26)

In celebration of International Children’s Day, the joint programme entitled MDG-F 2030, “Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition for Children 0-24 Months Old of the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is holding a four-day photo exhibit in partnership with SM Cares, LATCH Inc., Breastfeeding Patrol of Mandaluyong City, and the School of Design and Arts of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.

Entitled “Spotted: Mommy, Mama, Inay and Me”, the photo exhibit showcases mothers breastfeeding their children in various locations and situations, demonstrating that breastfeeding is part of everyday life. The exhibit aims to communicate the idea that a mother can breastfeed her child anywhere and anytime, and highlights the supportive environment moms need to help ensure that their children receive proper nutrition. It presents breastfeeding as a natural, normative, positive and healthy part of everyday life at home, in the community, and in the workplace.

The bottom two photos caught my attention the most.
Visit MOA and find out why :)

Catch the exhibit until November 26, 2010 at the second floor Pavilion, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia.You really have to read all the captions to fully appreciate how all these moms are making sure their babies get the best food there is to keep these little ones healthy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Offerings at Enchanted Kingdom

Here are several reasons to visit EK in the next few weeks :)

Press Release:

The Christmas season is bound to be EKstremely Enchanting as the holidays are made extra special with Enchanted Kingdom’s exciting lineup of special shows and events:

1. Take a sentimental journey down the cobblestoned street of Brooklyn Place and enjoy a White Christmas as the Snow Village recreates a picture-perfect scene from a 1930s movie. Falling snow is a staple which the young and young at heart will surely find delighting. Be be sure to find Santa Claus appear in the area during weekends!

2. Kids now have more reason to love the Boulderville Zone as the prehistoric cartoon zone now channels an Ice Age theme. A puppet theater is also staged in the area during weekends. Catherine Pale, a story about friendship and adventure will be depicted and which will surely hook kids.

3. Feel the Christmas spirit as Young Voices of the Adventist University of the Philippines serenade diners at the Amazon Grill, EK’s well-loved restaurant with Christmas carols during weekends.

4. EK’s homegrown talents will render song and dance performances, Christmas hits, and well-loved classics in a musical special entitled Christmas Enchante.

5. Celebrity storytellers Wendell Ramos (Nov. 20), TJ Manotoc (Nov. 21), Snooky Serna (Nov. 27), Cheryl Cosim (Nov. 28), Alessandra de Rossi (Dec. 4), Jennica Garcia (Dec. 5), Jean Garcia (Dec. 11), Paolo Bediones (Dec. 12), Giselle Sanchez (Dec. 18), and Melanie Marquez (Dec. 19) will relive the timeless tale of Jesus’ birth as re-enacted by a walking belen in A Journey of Love and Hope.

6. Special shows include Simon and Silver’s Magic Show, band performances by the Bloomfields on Dec. 4, 11, 18 and 19 at the Eldar’s Tent at 4:00 and 6:00 PM, song and dance performances by Korean Pinoy Pop group Pointen on Dec. 5, 12, 21, 23, 27, and 29.

7. Enjoy EK’s newest spine-tingling ride, EKstreme Tower, at a special promo rate of Php50.00 for students (valid student ID must be presented) and Php80.00 for non-students until December 31.

8. Take an unforgettable wild ride and be transported into the icy Antarctic world of Mumble with Rialto’s newest simulator ride film, Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride!

Park schedules:

From now until December 17, EK will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 12NN to 7PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM to 9PM with Fireworks Display at 830PM.

Starting December 18, 2010 to January 2, 2011, EK will be open daily from 10AM to 12MN with Fireworks Display at 10PM. On December 24 and 31, park schedule is from 10AM to 7PM only with Fireworks Display at 6PM.

For more details please call (632) 584-3535 or 584-4326 to 29 or log on to www.enchantedkingdom.ph.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Product Launch: BPI 24/7 Globe Tattoo Limited Edition Stick

I do online banking often at BPI Express Online because it's very convenient. I can pay bills and transfer funds to members of my family anytime of the day or night without needing to leave home. This saves me time and money compared to going to the bank and doing the transactions there.

These past few weeks, I kept seeing the image of a BPI-Globe Tattoo Stick on BPI's homepage but I haven't had the time to explore how different it is from other internet broadband USBs. I'm glad I was invited to the formal launch of this limited edition stick last Thursday because I got to find out more about it.

Together with Globe Telecom, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) officially launched the commemorative BPI 24/7 Globe Tattoo Limited Edition Stick. This is the first and only internet broadband stick that allows access to BPI Express Online without needing, or using up, one's prepaid load. This means even at zero-prepaid balance, BPI clients can still do online banking transactions. What's more, we can easily reload the stick real-time via BPI EOL.

Aside from instant top-ups using online banking, the stick can also be reloaded through other BPI 24/7 banking channels such as the Express Phone, Express Mobile, and Express Teller Machines; or through Globe prepaid cards, AutoloadMAX, Share-a-load, and GCash.

Mr. Rally Jereza (BPI VP and Head of the Overseas Segment and Self-Service Divisions), 
Ms. Jojo Ocampo (BPI Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer), 
and Mr. Dong Ronquillo (Globe Telecom Head of Broadband and Landline Marketing)
demonstrate how the BPI-Globe Tattoo stick works

The limited edition BPI 24/7 stick has a very attractive and nationalistic design. It is preloaded with P100 load balance and 120 hours of free internet browsing valid for five days. Access to other internet sites is charged the standard rate of P5 for every 15 minutes.

BPI clients can avail of the BPI 24/7 Globe Tattoo at a special price of P995 at selected Globe stores and through www.bpiexpressonline.com. Online orders will be delivered free of charge, nationwide. This special price offer will be available up to Dec. 31, 2010 only. For more info, check out the product's FAQs here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Protected is Your Family Online?

I believe that being web-savvy does not equate to being web-wise. There's a difference.

I know several people, including my teens, who easily navigate the World Wide Web and find information they need in seconds. Unfortunately, many of them still get lured to downloading programs or trying out applications that may harm their computers or, worse, compromise their identities, and their families'.

Just look at the dozens of Facebook applications that send out unauthorized posts on the walls of everyone in your contacts list. That is, if you are gullible enough to be tempted to view a supposedly very interesting video, photo, etc.

A couple of weeks ago, I announced a free seminar for teens in an earlier post. Last Saturday, my two teenage sons attended the said seminar. Later, they acknowledged learning a lot of new things about online safety.

Incidentally, my article about the things I also learned during an earlier Web Safety seminar for parents came out that day in Manila Bulletin's Moms & Babies section. You can read the online version of Web Wise here.

*Photo borrowed from the Calgary Public Library blog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sale Alert: Torque WIFI-Enabled Phones

One of my old phones has been getting ready to conk out for a few months now. The navi key gets stuck sometimes when I try scrolling down messages. I also had to twist the battery charger's cord this way and that before the phone starts charging each and every time my phone goes low-batt.

I'm considering buying a new phone anytime soon. Would probably check out the Torque Sale this coming weekend. I like the features and look of the touchscreen model. It has more add-ons compared to a competitive brand's touchscreen phone that's also on sale. Let's see ... still praying for enough funds.

For a complete list of all TORQUE kiosks and pitstops nationwide, please click here.

Edit, Nov. 23: I was very disappointed with Torque because I did check out the store in Festival Mall Alabang last Nov. 19 with a 50-50 intention of buying the i68. Unfortunately, the salesman told me that no phones were delivered because there was a shortage and that I should just return this coming Wednesday because the phones might be available by then. Duh? What kind of a promo is that?! :(

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sale Alert: Grand Christmas Bazaar at the WTC (Nov. 17-21)

Another heads up for those who still need to shop for Christmas gifts: The Grand International Importers and Exporters Christmas Bazaar happens this November 17 to 21, 2010 at the World Trade Center Hall A from 10:30a.m. to 9:30p.m.

Just click the photo to enlarge and read full schedule of activities. For a list of categories and items to be sold, please click here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Sale at OMFLit (Nov. 15 - 21)

I am always at my happiest when I am inside a bookstore. I could spend hours just browsing the shelves before I choose which titles I would bring home with me. I am moreover doubly happy when I encounter book sales because I get to buy more tomes with the usual limited budget I have.

So it is with joy that I share with fellow book lovers out there that OMFLit is holding a Pre-Christmas Sale this week! I'm excited to visit one of their branches in the next few days. Check out the list of the titles on-sale here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

MaAGA ang Pasko Continues to Let Happiness Shine

Jollibee's Maaga ang Pasko is now on it's 16th year. This is the country's longest-running toy and book donation drive which advocates to bring holiday cheer to underprivileged children. This advocacy of the country's biggest fast-food chain has the continued support of Aga Muhlach, regular Jollibee customers, and the Jolly Toy Scouts.

During a brief table discussion with members of the media, Aga expressed how privileged he feels at being able to help make a difference through Jollibee. He recalls how the project started small 16 years ago and with only 26 existing Jollibee stores. He says he's amazed and thankful at how the campaign grew over the years.

"Share your blessings ... they don't have to be big," counsels Aga who even pulled out his mobile phone and read a text message he received that morning about being able to do great things in small ways. He acknowledged that money is important but that you also have to learn to let it go. "Bitawan mo kasi hindi ka rin makakatulog. God will always provide. Teach kids simple joys. Friends and family and what matters most," he enumerates. "Kapag wala tayong pera, may manlilibre naman, 'di ba?" he affirms with a smile.

Aside from bringing in more toys and books, the campaign aims to build more classrooms in cooperation with the Jollibee Foundation, Jollibee Franchisees Association, and the Department of Education. Part of every purchase of Jollibee and Friends dolls will help pave the way for more kids to have somewhere they can acquire the education they need to positively affect their future.

Give children more reasons to smile this coming Christmas. Volunteer as a Jolly Toy Scout, help during the cleaning and packing of donations, or  visit any of the 718 Jollibee stores nationwide and drop your toys and books donations at the Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko boxes. To help make the campaign bigger, Jollibee will once more match every toy and book donated with a Jollibee toy to double the total number of donations as well as the number of happy young recipients.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unstoppable Provides Non-Stop Action

I have liked trains since I was a small child. I think the fascination started when I found a fully-illustrated big book of trains in our bookshelf at home. I think there were ten or a dozen trains, each one featured in a full spread page. I remember flipping the pages over and over again, trying to decide which one I like best. I also dreamt of riding a real train someday. Alas, the trains I have ridden so far are still those plying the LRT and MRT routes here in Manila :p Some friends of mine said I ought to try riding one of the PNR trains one of these days. Let's see ...

Anyway, when I saw the trailer of Unstoppable several weeks ago, I knew I would want to watch it. Big thanks to 20th Century Fox Philippines for inviting me to the press screening. Watch this very dynamic movie. I think you'd enjoy it as much as my 12-year-old son and I did :)

Read my full-length review of this movie at HerWord.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Watch Due Date this Weekend and Get Ready to Laugh

It's kind of funny that the person I watched the press screening of Due Date with was my firstborn on his actual birthday! Although my due date 17 years ago was supposed to be on the 9th, my son came early in the morning of November 2nd. So it seemed fitting that he was the one I asked to accompany me. We had some good laughs that night and I'm simply thankful that I still get to have bonding moments like that with my son.

 Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

My full-length review of Due Date can be found here. You may also want to watch this trailer:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last Episode of Jollitown Season 3 to be Aired this Sunday (Nov 14)

Time sure do flies fast! It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago when I announced in this blog about Jollitown Season 3's pilot episode. I was a bit surprised that the last episode would be airing this coming Sunday already! My son with special needs, who loves watching Jollitown, would surely miss it again until Season 4 comes.

Let your kids watch the show this Sunday as Jollitown celebrates the much-awaited Heroes Day. There, Jollitown townsfolk will be voting for their town hero and, everyone’s best friend, Jollibee is sure to become a candidate.

However, there’s a newcomer in town named Alfredus Augustus who brings with him so many fantastic stories about rescuing towns with his partner Sinistro. It would be a close race for town hero, but then, Jollibee suddenly goes missing!

Help Yum, Twirlie, Hetty, Popo and friends search the neighborhood of Jollitown as they look for Jollibee. In the Jollitown Season 3 finale, entitled “Where is Jollibee?”, the hit TV show brings another round of magic and adventure as it shows the real meaning of heroism and the value of friendship.

After two successful seasons, Jollibee continues its promise of providing values-oriented programming matched with catchy songs and cool dances, making the show even more fun to watch. Since Jollitown Season 3 started airing last August, it has quickly become a favorite of children who are looking for fun and excitement.

Don’t miss the grand finale of yet another fun, educational season from the one and only Jollitown. “Where is Jollibee?” airs on November 14, Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at GMA channel 7.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Inspiring News About OFWs' Families Through BPI's Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children Awards

Last Monday, I was one of those who witnessed the awarding of well-deserved accolades to Bank of the Philippine Island's (BPI) 2010 Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children. It is heartening to find out that behind the stories of many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are young people who are already aware of their responsibilities and have used these to cultivate boundless opportunities.

As a former child of an OFW, I know how hard it is to be apart from one's parent for several years. But, despite the longing for our Tatay, my sister and I were still able to excel in school and extra-curricular activities knowing that we should work hard for the good future that our parents dream for us while acknowledging the sacrifices that our father was making to provide us with the good education and comfortable life we were blessed to have. I'm sure the awardees felt the same way.

In his wonderful speech, one winner, John Jefferson Besa affirmed, "Hindi naging balakid ang kalungkutan upang mangarap ng mataas, magsikap at magpunyagi. For in dreaming, a race is halfway finished. Kami po ay ebidensya lamang ... repleksyon lamang ng inyong kabayanihan sa ibang bayan." I applaud this inspiring young man.

The group of teenagers, though far away from their parents, were able to excel in academics and other fields, and show genuine desire to become model Filipino citizens. It is my personal hope that the awards will serve as an inspiration to other Filipino youth, including my own children.

The 2010 Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children Awardees are:

Ibang Klaseng Talino awardees
- Lynn Migel Q. Estoque (Ateneo de Davao University)
- Maria Angela H. Mariano (UP Diliman)
- Kirsten Therese T. Lestor (UST)
- John Jefferson V. Besa (DLSU-DasmariƱas)
- Lord Leomer B. Pomperada (De La Salle College of St. Benilde)
- Reynold L. Orsua (St. Louis University)
- Richmond G. Calunsag (Philippine Normal University)

Ibang Klaseng Entrepreneur awardee
- Erilyn Marie V. Dagan (UA&P)

Ibang Klaseng Community leader awardee 
- Florence Marie D. Bayer (Assumption College)

Ibang Klaseng Athlete awardee
- Jose Renato S. Unso (DLSU)

To know more about each of the 10 awardees, please click here for their individual photos and profiles.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Celebrate a "Green" Christmas This Year

Last Saturday, the area behind the SM Mall of Asia sparkled as Firefly Electric and Lighting Corp. (FELCO) lit up a 75-feet tall Christmas tree strung with eco-friendly lights.

This huge Christmas symbol is adorned with more than 600 pieces of Firefly Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and 47, 000 colorful pieces of Firefly Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. Despite its size, this new holiday attraction consumes energy equivalent to only 8 flat irons!

Guests and passers-by alike were treated to a festive street party involving magical lights, fireworks, free carnival entertainment, and an amazing "dance of lights", the first ever in the country, featuring dozens of Firefly dancers.

Jhie Greenwood, FELCO Marketing Manager, acknowledges, "We Filipinos love Christmas. It is the time of the year when families get together and Filipino overseas workers go home to be with loved ones. FELCO is once again lighting up our eco-friendly Firefly Christmas Tree to provide a venue where Filipino families can bond and enjoy 'family time' while enjoying vibrant and sparkling Christmas lights.”

According to Greenwood, the concept of the Firefly Christmas Tree aims to remind Filipinos that a festive Christmas celebration doesn’t need to hurt the budget and the environment. I totally agree!

“We realize that more Filipinos are looking at cost-cutting measures to cope with the changing times and through our Firefly CFLs, we are making the lighting experience both environment-friendly and economical,” she adds.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for MoneySense magazine entitled Upfront Costs for Long-Time Savings where I included CFLs and LED lights in my list. My family and I have long ago switched to using these kinds of lighting because they not only help us save money on our electricity bill, they are also environment-friendly, which is very important to my me and my husband as we are both staunch advocates when it comes to helping save the Earth.

In a FELCO press release, CFLs are described as "fluorescent lamps that give off light similar to common incandescent bulbs but with reduced energy consumption and longer life, making it economical and practical to use at the same time. A 15 watt Firefly CFL used in place of a 60 watt regular incandescent bulb saves about 82 kWh over a period of one year. This means reduced electricity bills and increased personal savings for Filipino families."

In addition, Firefly CFLs lasts up to 5 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs and they use about one-fourth the energy, producing 80% less heat while producing more light per watt. This means that a 15 watt CFL has the same illumination as that of a 60 watt regular incandescent bulb.

To further encourage usage of eco-efficient CFLs, FELCO has a program where they are giving away free Firefly CFLs in exchange for used or busted incandescent bulbs of any brand through its Palit Firefly CFL program. I'll try to post more about this as soon as I get more details.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

FYI: Free Seminar on Online Safety for HS & College Students on Nov. 13

I have attended one of Web Safety Philippines' seminars for parents last August and I really learned a lot. (Read related blog post here.) Thanks to what speaker Chay Mondejar-Saputil of ChimesConsulting shared, the user profile my kids use in our PC now has parental controls (they can only access the profile and use the computer during certain hours of the day) and it has made regulating their time online much easier. When I find time to again attend future seminars, I will.

But next week, I'm letting my two teenagers attend a seminar especially designed for them. Register your kids too so they would learn for themselves how important it is to keep safe online. They should be made to understand that social media is fun but they should also know how to protect themselves and their family.

What: Whatcha Webtrap for the Youth
When: Nov. 13, 2010, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Where: Lecture Room, 5th Floor, Waltermart Pasong Tamo, Makati (in Front of Don Bosco)

To reserve a slot, email reservations@websafetyforparents.org or reservations@businessvalues.ph

Friday, November 05, 2010

Don't Miss the 1st Part of NGC's Great Migrations Series on Nov. 7!

Breathtaking! Awesome! Amazing!

Seriously, those are just some of the words that came to mind while I watched the press screening of Born to Move a couple of weeks ago.

This first episode of Great Migrations, to premier in National Geographic Channel tomorrow night, shows four remarkable animal movements that happen every year. Watch thousands of Wildebeest travel across a wide expanse of desert; pause to give birth to their young; go on again with their journey of following the rain; and make a river crossing where hungry crocodiles wait.

Next, be awed at the sight of a red moving mass of air-breathing crabs traveling along the forest floor of Christmas island going towards the sea of their birth to breed and propagate the next generation. I'm pretty sure you'll also dislike the yellow crazy ants they would meet along the way.

Marvel at the sight of thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies stretching their wings after a long winter rest. This part is where I appreciated the slow motion effects the most. I also enjoyed learning that it takes four generations of these beautiful creatures to cross a continent (from Mexico to Canada) so that they can breed a fifth super generation that will travel the thousands of miles back to Mexico in time to rest for another winter. Imagine, having that kind of migratory instinct and pattern imprinted in your DNA?!

Lastly, Born to Move tells the story of sperm whales that travel over a million miles in their lifetime. It's a bit funny to note that females travel in groups while males prefer to be alone (of course, except during mating season). Maybe the guys didn't want to be surrounded by all the chatter :p

I really recommend that parents watch Great Migrations with their kids. I am very grateful to be given a DVD of Born to Move by NGC because my husband and kids were as amazed as I was when they got to watch part one in all its full-color, high-definition glory. Now, we can't wait to watch the rest of Great Migrations! For sure, we'll be glued to the National Geographic Channel every 9 p.m. for the next seven Sundays. I am particularly very interested to watch the Behind the Scenes episode on Dec. 12.


Move as millions. Survive as one. National Geographic Channel’s Great Migrations gives the word “move” a whole new meaning. This seven-part global programming event takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species.

Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, Great Migrations tells the formidable, powerful stories of many of the planet’s species and their movements, while revealing new scientific discoveries with breathtaking high-definition clarity. The miraculous red crab migration on Christmas Island. Flying foxes in Australia and army ants in Costa Rica. Wildebeest, great white sharks, zebra and Mali elephants. Microscopic plankton and jellyfish in Indonesia. The first radio transmitter attached to a monarch butterfly. The first film crew on the ground in Sudan in 25 years, there to capture the migration of the white-eared kob.

The beauty of these stories is underscored by new knowledge of these species’ fragile existence and their life-and-death quest for survival in an ever-changing world. The all-National Geographic Great Migrations team spent two and a half years in the field, travelling 670,000 kilometres in 120 countries and all seven continents to bring this spectacular first-of-its-kind production to television in Fall 2010.

For the complete lineup of shows, descriptions, trivia, etc. please check out the complete press release I posted in my other blog. Again, don't forget to watch Born to Move tomorrow night!

Sale Alert: Global Pinoy Bazaar 2010 at the Rockwell Tent (Nov 6-7)

Press Release: 

Celebrate Filipino Love and Pride!

Yabang Pinoy invites you to celebrate 100% Filipino Love and Pride this Christmas at the Global Pinoy Bazaar 2010, on November 6-7, 2010 from 10AM to 10PM at the Rockwell Tent.

Global Pinoy Bazaar is organized by Yabang Pinoy, the pioneering Filipino Pride movement, whose advocates and volunteers aim to inspire and encourage Filipinos to believe in being a Filipino, in fellow Filipinos, as well as to patronize Filipino ideas, concepts, products and services.

Other exhibitors include JetSet Travel Accessories, Magic Bag, Mayella’s Wires and Strings Fashion Accessories, Shoeology Inc, Creative Prints, KJAAD & Co, Baubles, Bangles n’ Beads, Amber Lights Laguna, Brown Belly, Palabras at Letras, Everything's for Fun, Messy Bessy, Yellow Ribbon Movement, Yayin Wire Art Fashion, Alessandra Libongco Art & Design, Elaine Adoptante, The Tunic Project, CEVA Designs Specialty Products, Swordfish, Kikayism, Vanity without Apology, Twee Shop, Bedazzle Accessories, Firefly Row, Shoe Struck, Piroutte, Rina Pia Trading , BeautynBeads by Ezhwel, Ylla Shoes, El Maestro Muscovado, Eco Sack, Maarte Novelties, Cole Vintage, Suelas, MYCX Flats, Pill Footwear, Cris Cel Cor Export Inc, Laura's Versatile Fabrics Collection, Seventy-Seven & Lucky Marias, H by G Licaros, URU Manila, Balai Matteo Home Furnishings, Beansprout, Babinski Baby, Badj Swimwear & Couture, Chilli Margarita Shoes, Dashe Cosmetics, Fab Manila, Punchdrunk Panda, Sewn Sandals, Catrina Paulino Enterprises, Baligya Na’ko & Co., Erzullie, Lalaughka Inc, Happy Feet, Poisonberry, Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, The Beachbaby, I Love Koi, Willow Clothing, MomTreneur, Les Roux, Pop Out Store, Lao Design, Stellar, Jacobo & Beatrice, Frupcakes, Reserved, Hanky Panty, Gold Dot, Magu Clothing, Tawid Crafts,Tiny Wonder Trading, Casa Amarilla, Sam’sa’kara, Deseo Clothing, Mallos, BECE Manila, Trishca's Store, Bolso Manila, Bigkas Pilipinas, Sigaw Sambit Collections, Dodong loves Bebang, Agos Pilipinas, Kape Ni Juan, Weewilldoodle, Sagada Pottery, Corbin, M.Y. Likha, Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan, and many more.

Global Pinoy Bazaar 2010 is supported by Rockwell Land, Inc., Yellow Cab Pizza, Binalot, Reyes Barbeque, YOCard, and Digiprint. Media partners include Manila Bulletin, The Philippine Star, Business World, Southern Living, Sense & Style Magazine, Style Weekend Magazine, 24/7, Circuit, and Juice. TV partners include ETC, QTV’s The Beat, MYX and Astig TV. Online partners are Clickthecity.com, Yehey.com, Pep.ph, Spot.ph, Philstar.com, Herword.com, Agimat.Net, Manilashopaholic.com, Wheninmanila.com and ProPinoy.net. Radio partners are 99.5RT and Jam 88.3.

To know more about Global Pinoy Bazaar 2010 and the Yabang Pinoy movement, please visit www.yabangpinoy.com, email yabangpinoy@gmail.com, or call mobile number 0927-826-3926.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Free Hearing Aid Batteries from Energizer

I know how hard it could sometimes be when it comes to sourcing out medical supplies for a family member with special needs. My third son, who has cerebral palsy, has received a lot of blessings from relatives, friends, and strangers alike these past 13 years. I always try to pay-it-forward by sharing whatever leads and resources I come across to other families who might be able to use some handy information.

If you have a family member who wears a hearing aid, there's an offer at the Energizer website where you just have to register to get a free sample of Energizer ZERO-MERCURY hearing aid battery. Request form can be found here. The promo is open to residents of the following countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Jollibee Toys for November

I often get visitors to this blog who search for the latest Jollibee Kids Meal toys. Since it's the start of another month, check out the new offerings from Jollibee for November: Jollibee Kids Meal Outdoor Fun Adventure toys and school buddies.

Jollibee Ruler Skater
Hetty Skip N’ Stamp
Popo Stamping Scooter
Twirlie Hula-Hooper Sharpener
Yum Pogo Pen

For photos and complete descriptions of each toy, please find the full press release in my other blog :)