Have you seen Somedaydream's latest MTV? It's the acoustic version of Hey Daydreamer which is a very, very catchy song.

Catch Somedaydream's t-shirt and poster signing this coming Saturday, July 2 in Festival Mall, Alabang at 5 p.m. See Rez Toledo in person and also hear him sing! :)

I need to write about this now because it has been festering in my brain for months. I belong to a group called Book Exchange in Multiply. For so many times, I've been seeing a post repeatedly sent by a particular member who's looking for writers but she is offering such low rates that they are really, really insulting.

Earlier tonight, I once again received an email notification where the person has posted a new ad: "Looking for Medical Article Writers". As someone who has written articles for Health Today magazine, I know how hard it is to come up with credible writeups that would really be helpful to readers. One needs to interview valid resource persons and do extensive research to ensure that the information given are correct.

So I was really annoyed when I read her offer:

Qualification: Must have a medical background for easy understanding.
Rate: $1/500 words
Word Count - 1,000
Workload: Daily

This means that if you write at least 4 medical articles a day, you can earn as much as 420 pesos a day. I will prioritize applicants with medical background but if you're not, you can still apply as long as you testify that you can write medical articles. 

On her main page, she also wrote: "Though this is a rewarding part time job, I do not encourage everyone to apply out of dire need. This is not just a simple writing task. Every article we do is being posted to websites worldwide hence, a keen eye for "quality" is much needed. Patience and persistence in research is also required not to forget being creative.

If you want to venture in this job, you should accept the fact that you will loose patent to your originally written article the moment you submit it to the client."

Rewarding? Not a simple task? And lots of other requirements for the "very attractive" compensation of just one dollar per 500 words??? My goodness! That translates to just around P43.00! And for newbie writers, I doubt if they could come up with quality written work in an hour or less. But for the sake of argument, say you can finish a 500 or 1000 word article in an hour after much research and creativity. Are you willing to be paid P86.00 for that?!
This time around, I couldn't help myself. For the record, I don't know this person (she hasn't been indicating her real name in all her posts, just the pen name Pinaywebified) and this is not a personal attack. I am just criticizing her way of recruiting and paying people to write for her.

So I posted this reply under her post which I've been actually wanting to do for a long time:
"With all due respect, your rates are TOO LOW. Churning out words is not easy and it is insulting that you are only willing to pay that much for a 500 word article -- unless you don't expect good quality writeups.

Here in the Philippines, good articles go for P1.00 per word already. What you're offering people is P420 for four 1000-word articles?! My goodness, that is taking way too much advantage of people's time and efforts!

I know what I am talking about because I am a published magazine and newspaper writer and people in the publishing industry here don't take advantage of writers that way. Even students who submit articles to newspapers are paid fairly."

My point is, clients who give these kinds of offers and "writers" who allow themselves to be used this way are DEGRADING the profession. It sends out the message that "It's okay to abuse us. Use our talents, remove our bylines and copyrights, and pay us peanuts."

Darn it!

Women undergo a lot of changes during and after pregnancy. The skin stretches and acne appears along with the weight gain that don't easily go away even after the baby arrives.

As part of its "Pampers Salutes Moms" campaign "My Body After Baby", Pampers teamed up with The Spa Fort Bonifacio to give moms advice on how to deal with common skin problems that plague most new mothers as well as present treatment options on how to get back in shape.

Ms. Joyce San Juan from Skin Dermatology and Laser Center talked about the importance of taking care of one's face and body to get back the skin's glow. Hormonal changes, after all, can wreak havoc on the skin. Moms are advised to find the right combination of moisturizer and non-soap cleaner to bring back skin moisture. 

For those whose sebaceous glands became more active and which caused acne flare-ups, moms can apply topical preparations to treat existing pimples and prevent future acne eruptions. If you get a severe case of acne, however, you could consider undergoing Skin's laser treatment that targets the sebaceous glands. There are also other treatments being offered at Skin to target wrinkles, tighten skin, contour the body, and reduce cellulite. 

As to getting back in shape, there's Barre 3, a revolutionary class that combines the grace of the ballet barre, the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates. Three of us guests gamely joined a 45-minute crash course class with Teacher Joie Viado. She patiently walked us through postures that help align the body. I expected that the workout would be intense, since I don't have very flexible limbs, and it was. 

Still, it was fun to get to try out the movements and challenge myself how long I could keep up certain postures that really stretched my muscles' endurance.Surprisingly, I wasn't as sore I thought I would be the next morning. There were some aches here and there but generally, there was no major pain in one particular area of my body.

Barre3's aim is to help women develop strength, flexibility, and stability but, more than that, it is commended as an environment that encourages women to get to know their bodies better. "It's also an environment where we honor your strengths and weaknesses. If you're not able to do some movements, we say it's okay, you may be able to do it someday," said Teacher Joie.

Hmmm, so I'm not such a lost case yet after all :)

If you want to see some mind-blowing acts live, watch Varekai while it is still here in Manila! This Cirque du Soleil production is something that shouldn't be missed. It is great entertainment for the whole family.

Read my full-length review of the show at HerWord.com to get some ideas what you can expect from this amazing, amazing show.

My kids used to watch Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. Sometimes, I get to watch too and I found that I like the storylines. There’s a mix of comedy and drama with nice values thrown in. In a nutshell, the show is something I’d recommend to teens and tweens. 

A couple of times, I also got to see and hear bits and pieces of the Hannah Montana movie while one of the kids was watching and I was doing chores around the house. What caught my attention was the song Miley Cyrus sang near the end of the film. The Climb has such powerful lyrics and a beautiful melody, it ended up in my iPod soon after.

When orangemagazinetv.com asked me if I’d like to cover Miley’s concert in Manila, I readily agreed. I was sure one of my boys would like to tag along. Since it was a Friday and my eldest had no classes, he was the one who got to accompany me.

My son and I arrived at the Mall of Asia around 7 p.m. I first met with Iris, the winner of the silver tickets that orangemagazinetv gave away, before we had a quick dinner at a nearby fast food restaurant. By the time we arrived at the MOA concert grounds, the crowds lining up at the gates were already pretty thick. So was the throng of people milling about who, I suppose, were there to catch glimpses of celebrities who would also be watching the show as well as to listen to Miley sing even from beyond the high walls of the concert area.

I was annoyed when the guard manning the gate I entered told me to throw away the concert poster I had in my bag and which was given to me as a souvenir.  The guard insisted that nobody with any kind of poster will be allowed entry. He pointed to a pile of trash indicating I was to leave the poster there. I really couldn't see the point why it's not allowed :( I wouldn't feel as bad if I was given a reasonable explanation. I told him to wait and proceeded to the edge of the fences. 

I spotted an elderly couple who looked like they’ve just dropped off their kids at the concert grounds. The mom was craning her neck to see the long lines. I asked if her kids are Miley fans. Confused at the question, she looked at me and nodded. I handed her the poster and told her to give it to them after the concert is over. (Much later, I saw a girl who got inside with her poster intact. Argh!)

I got back in line and was finally allowed to proceed to the main entrance for gold ticket holders. I breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing chairs in the gold ticket section. I thought, at least I wouldn’t have to stand the whole length of the concert. 

Sam Concepcion and Elmo Magalona entertained the audience while people continued arriving. As they said goodbye, the anticipation for Miley’s appearance continued to rise. She came on stage a few minutes shy of 9:00 p.m. Thousands of screaming fans got up on their feet (in our section, people stood on their chairs!) to welcome their idol. I was just a bit surprised to see a now very grown up Miley who was sporting several revealing outfits – far from the Hannah Montana image that I still have in my mind.

Anyhow, Miley got the audience electrified as she sang Liberty Walk followed by Party in the USA. It felt amusing to be surrounded by very young people singing in unison to the chorus. 

There were three giant screens in front -- two smaller ones on both sides of the stage and a huge one at the center. Unfortunately, they usually showed MTV clips on the biggest screen, not the live action on stage which made it impossible to even catch one good shot of Miley. 

From my vantage point, she was less than an inch tall. That was how far we were from the stage! And since the organizers prohibited bringing SLRs, people just tried to capture shots of Miley shown on the screens using our digicams. Expectedly, none of my shots were any good. They were either blurred or totally dark. That was frustrating.

So I just tried to enjoy the music and feel the palpable energy of the crowd. I just felt sorry for the other ticket holders in the standing sections because most of them might not be able to see well what with the people in the section in front of them standing up on top of their seats.

Expectedly, hundreds, if not thousands, of people sang along when Miley sang The Climb. That was supposed to be the finale song. But the crowds chanted her name for an encore and she came back on stage in a red outfit to perform three more songs. What I appreciate a lot about her that night was that despite her obvious discomfort from the unaccustomed heat, she gamely and professionally went on with the show. And that, for me, is the mark of a true performer and an incredible music artist.

*Miley Cyrus’ Corazon Gitano tour was brought to Manila by Futuretainment Inc. and Music Management International

** To see photos during Miley Cyrus' press con, head on over to orangemagazinetv.com's Facebook page

Nope, I'm not a runner and I wasn't a participant in the Merrell Adventure Run (MAR). Nevertheless, I'm still saying I survived! :p 

See, I haven't slept much two nights before the run and I didn't sleep at all the night before. I had a full day of work (magazine interview, press con, etc.) and came home around midnight from covering the Miley Cyrus concert. By then, there was no point of sleeping (and risking not being able to wake up) because hubby planned to leave for San Mateo Rizal at 2:30 a.m.

Timberland is higher than the clouds!
So I just worked and did some catching up with my backlogs while waiting for hubby's cellphone alarm to wake him up. I was already dead tired but was determined to be there and cheer my husband on since this is his first trail run and I'd like him to bring home not only memories but photos as well. So we left home around 3 a.m., took a bus to Commonwealth and, from there, a taxi to Timberland Heights.

Despite my exhaustion, I was glad I came. The place is fantastic! We were literally above the clouds from up there. More than a thousand people were milling about when we arrived and the 21km runners were already being prepped for their run.

Hubby joined the 5km race and the gun shot sounded at 6:15 a.m. Here's the video I took of the participants when they started running.

While waiting for my husband to cross the finish line, I walked around the various stalls and chatted with several members of the Merrell team. I also took photos of the amazing views.

According to the press release I was given, the Merrell Adventure Run 2011 was by far the toughest, most challenging, and most exciting off-road and all-foot adventure run because there are untamed trails, river crossings, boulder-strewn pathways, and rocky roads to push the limits of the 1500+ runners who signed up for the race. 

waiting for gun start
The run aims to heighten Filipinos' awareness about the need for a healthy lifestyle and to enjoy the green outdoors our country has to offer. But unlike typical runs done on paved roads, the MAR gave runners a tough time with all the natural and man-made obstacle courses and roadblocks. It was really a test of skill, endurance, and fitness.

Hubby finished at 40 minutes 7 seconds. According to the unofficial results at Pace Book (I love the name!), he ranked 66 among the 800+ runners in his category. Not bad for a first trail run. I'll leave it to him to give more details of his experience. You can visit his blog post at http://trailsunlimited.blogspot.com.

photo op only :)
By the time we got on the bus that will take us back to Bonifacio Global City, I was drained. I fell asleep as soon as I sat down and reclined my chair. I woke up groggy when we reached Taguig and felt like a zombie as we waited for a BGC bus to Edsa and then another bus back to Alabang.

I called the Jollibee Delivery hotline before reaching home so I won't have to cook lunch. Wonders of wonder, the delivery guy arrived the same time as the tricycle we were riding pulled up in front of our house. It just took him 17 minutes to deliver the food! Nice!

The thing is, as hubby and the kids started eating lunch, I told them I'll take a quick nap first. Guess what, I woke up the NEXT morning! I think I slept for about 15 hours and I'm so grateful that hubby took care of the kids and everything else while I was sleeping my fatigue away. Thank goodness there are trade offs for being a supportive spouse :) 

For more details about the MAR, visit Merrell Philippines' Facebook page. For more of the photos I took, please check out the MAR album uploaded in this blog's Facebook page.

Human + Ring + Lantern = Superhero

I am not much of a comics fan but I love watching movies based on comic books. With films, I don’t have to buy several print issues just to find out the ending. Instead, I can just sit back and watch the story unfold and be assured that there would be a conclusion after a couple of hours.

Much of what I know about Green Lantern was what I saw in the trailer. Unlike my husband and several male friends who have been reading comic books for years, you could say I went to the press preview uninitiated and simply anticipating seeing a good movie. I wasn’t disappointed. I found Green Lantern awesome!

Green Lantern, the movie, is based upon characters that appear in comic books published by DC Comics. Martin Campbell directs from the screenplay written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldenberg. Upon further research, I found out that the character goes back over 70 years. It first appeared in All-American Comics in 1940 and evolved over time.

The story starts with a narration that tells about the vastness of the universe and how it has been protected by an elite and powerful force for centuries. These warriors, 3600 of them, are called the Green Lantern Corps. They are tasked to maintain intergalactic order and are overseen by an ancient group of immortals called the Guardians. Each Green Lantern wears a ring that enables him to create anything his mind can imagine.

Shortly after a new enemy emerges threatening to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, a new Green Lantern was chosen. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), the first human ever selected to join the Corps, is a daring and exceptional test pilot who fails to impress his fellow green-costumed comrades.

Even on Earth, Hal is seen as an irresponsible and unreliable guy by his friends and family. However, Hal’s humanity may just be the key to save the universe from the evil Parallax if he could learn to master his new powers and conquer his fears in time.

Ryan Reynolds is able to smoothly pull off the part of Hal Jordan. He is inordinately good-looking, is very charming, has a superhero’s physique, and can be very funny! The punch lines in the movie really had many of us laughing during all the right moments.

Blake Lively, who plays Carol Ferris, Hal’s childhood friend, is quite eye-catching as well. She effectively portrays the pilot-turned-businesswoman who exudes confidence and is far from being the usual damsel-in-distress female lead.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector, also a childhood friend of both Hal and Carol. I think he was rightly cast as the miserable but brilliant professor with an unpleasant relationship with his father. Sarsgaard is so effective playing his role, many will find themselves hating and pitying him at the same time.

The film also stars Mark Strong (as Sinestro), Angela Bassett (as Dr. Amanda Waller) and Tim Robins (as Senator Hammond). It features the voice talents of Geoffrey Rush (as Tomar-Re) and Michael Clarke Duncan (as Kilowog).

"In brightest day, in darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power - Green Lantern's light!"

Aside from the action scenes and sci-fi theme, the humorous and romantic elements (should I still say that Ryan Reynolds is swoon-worthy?) will make Green Lantern very appealing to women too. Although this is a great movie to watch this coming Father’s Day, I would guarantee that not only dads and their sons would enjoy watching it.

Prepare to be amazed at all the movie magic that today’s filmmaking technology accomplished to bring to the big screen. The production team did create fantastic details and incredible special effects that successfully enabled the story to come alive in a vibrant and thrilling way.

What makes this superhero story very likable is that the main character has a lot of flaws, very typical in humans, which makes him very relatable and yet can still inspire adulation because he gets to travel all over the universe and have adventures with infinite possibilities. In a way, Hal Jordan epitomizes what a lot of people wish for: to have the courage to stand up and fight for something and find a hero inside themselves in the process.

Green Lantern will leave everyone with the thought that we are only limited by what we can imagine. In my book, that is definitely good advice.

*Green Lantern, a Warner Bros. film release, is now showing in all theaters nationwide

We all have our guilty pleasures and I know a lot of people who really follow what's happening in the entertainment world. Good thing there's Yahoo!'s celebrity and entertainment news site OMG! where fans can access instant information with just a few clicks.

Last June 16, Yahoo! announced that there would be an OMG! Awards, the first purple carpet event that will honor the most-searched and top trending entertainment personalities who have reached cyberspace stardom thanks to fans who continuously harness the power of the Internet in searching for news of their idols.

The awards ceremony will happen this coming June 21. There are 72 nominees in 18 categories. Check out this list if your favorite celebs are in the running and vote for them now! Winners will be chosen based on popular search queries and polling methods.

The categories for the most-searched award include OMG! Celebrity of the Year and OMG! Major Impact, while the winners for Hottest Actor/Actress, Funniest Comedian/Comedienne, Breakthrough Artist Male/Female, Awesome Young Actor/Actress, Favorite TV Host Male/Female, Amazing Newcomer Male/Female, Coolest Singer Male/Female, Coolest Band categories and Designer of the Year will be selected through popular polls. The poll site is located at http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/omgawards/.

The Yahoo! OMG! Awards night will be hosted by JM Rodriguez and Andi Manzano and will feature acts by top local performers including Someday Dream, Johnhoy Danao and Up Dharma Down, as well as appearances by popular Filipino celebrities. A purple themed fashion show will be presented by notable fashion designers Joey Samson, Jun Escario and Kate Torralba while “Cosplay Queen” Alodia Gosengfiao will live blog from the event scene.  DJ Chris Myk will host an after hour party later.

During the press con, we were entertained by songs from Johnhoy Danao (I regret not being able to take a video of his very nice song Kahapon) and Someday Dream. Here's the video I took of Rez Toledo singing the super popular Hey Daydreamer on his guitar.

According to Philippines Country Editor Mr. Erwin Lemuel Oliva, to determine the winners in each category, their editors will do a thorough trend analysis by assessing the percentage increase in the online searches to identify the most-searched Filipino celebrities. "From this short-list, readers will be asked to vote for their favorite,” he said.

The Awards show will be presented by Wi-Tribe with sponsorships by Ponds, Sunsilk and Clear. Pernod Ricard, producer and distributor of premium wines and spirits will be the official beverage sponsor. And in true celebrity style, OMG! icons are said to be escorted in luxury cars provided by Jaguar and Land Rover. Wow!

Ms. Arlene Amarante, Country Ambassador and Sales Director of Yahoo! Philippines explained to us that the OMG! Awards came about due to to the increasing popularity of Yahoo!’s entertainment site which was launched just last March. The site, she reported, has quickly grown to become one of the most visited sites on the web and receives approximately 682,000 unique visitors each month.

To be updated about the OMG! Awards event, make sure to tune in to Yahoo! Philippines’ Facebook Page or follow tweets from the purple carpet on Twitter. If you want to share photos with your favorite celebrities, go to this Flickr page as well.

I got to watch two great press previews this week and both are really, really good. This Father's Day weekend, treat the man of the house to these two movies that are sure to delight him and the whole family :)

Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds

Mr. Popper's Penguins starring Jim Carrey

Stay tuned for my reviews. Will be uploading them soon.

It's been years since I started advocating for the environment and I am not stopping. I want future generations to benefit from, and enjoy, everything Mother Nature has to offer. Unfortunately, this will not happen if we let certain people and companies continue to destroy our natural resources for the profit of few.

Last week, I attended a press conference hosted by the ABS-CBN Foundation to listen to what nine indigenous people from Brooke's Point Palawan had to say. Their mission is fully supported by ALDAW (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch) Indigenous Network, a Philippines-based advocacy campaign network of Indigenous peoples defending their ancestral land and resources from mining corporations, oil palm companies, top-down conservation schemes and all forms of imposed development.

The indigenous leaders' goal is express a direct response to a disturbing event that happened recently which involved about 30 so-called tribal leaders who came to Manila to show support for MacroAsia Corporation (MAC). According to ALDAW, the self-professed tribal chieftains acted despite opposite views from the majority of the Indigenous Peoples of Brooke's Point Municipality in Palawan. In addition, the chieftains have been appointed by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) to favor MAC, which is owned by Lucio Tan, and other mining companies.

Honestly, I was personally dismayed to find that the 30 fake katutubo signed a MOA with NCIP signifying their agreement to start mining in Mount Mantalingahan, one of Palawan's 33 watersheds that has lush forests and pristine rivers.To think that majority of them don't even live in or near the place! According to one of the speakers, only two of the 30 actually live in Brooke's Point and they are just migrants!

The TRUE indigenous representatives want to bring their voices and grievances to the attention of NCIP and counterbalance the fabricated testimonies of the fake tribal chieftains. To get more detailed information on the mission, please read the two web-international releases by Intercontinental Cry and Rainforest Rescue.

Jaybee Garganera of Alyansa ng Tigil Mina (ATM) said that mining only contributes 1.5% to the Philippine economy. I'd bet that this is because the majority of profits from the said industry goes to the pocket of millionaires and their companies that finance mining operations. It was heartening to see Congressman Dan Fernandez, Chairman of the Committee on Ecology, at the press con who expressed support to the Save Palawan Movement. I hope Congress could really do something about this.

Ms. Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN, explained that, "Whether the mining operation is small or large-scale, you just need one accident and it's already a major disaster." She then showed us photos and videos of other mining operations all over the Philippines which have already destroyed the once-beautiful surroundings near them. "Brookespoint is still maganda, kaya pang tulungan!" she passionately appealed.

Based on official information, between June 15 and 17, the NCIP will meet to decide on the issuance or non-issuance of the Certificate of Precondition to MacroAsia Corporation. If the endorsement pushes through, MAC will be able to proceed towards the next step which is getting the Strategic Environment Plan (SEP) clearance from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

There is not much time left to influence NCIP. So please help save Palawan by signing the petition online at http://www.no2mininginpalawan.com/. For inquiries and support, send e-mail to signatures@no2mininginpalawan.com or fax to: 632-4152227.

Freedom can mean different things to different people. To some, such as moms like me, being free can simply mean having an hour or two to myself away from the worries of household chores and constant clamor that a home full of boys have.

To others, freedom may mean enjoying all the best that life has to offer by having the chance to walk the path they have always wanted to follow without sacrificing any of their passions.

Such is the freedom said to be enjoyed by those who are fortunate enough to be living in Alveo Land's latest community: The Meranti at Two Serendra in Bonifacio Global City.

And since June is Independence Month, Two Serendra hosted a unique event that showcased the freedom of our unique Filipino taste buds. Dubbed "Flavors of Filipino Passion" the event highlighted The Meranti's Culinary Studio, a state-of-the-art kitchen and dining area that can seat 30 people who love to indulge in delicious gastronomic delights.

Chef Jackie Laudico and Chef Sau del Rosario demonstrated to guests how to create several  tasty Filipino desserts that originated from different areas of the Philippines. As Ms. Jennylle Tupaz, Project Development Group Head of Alveo Land, said, “Two Serendra is commemorating an eventful day for the nation with a display of passion for cooking and creativity.”

We were also treated to a site tour and I was really amazed how the sprawling community looked and felt like another place far from the bustling noises and polluted streets of Metro Manila. Entering Two Serendra was like leaving the city and being transported in a time machine to somewhere quiet and serene.

We were told the the entire Two Serendra development dedicates 65 percent of its land as open greenery so that families can thoroughly enjoy the beauty and ease of their surroundings. Looking around me, I agree that the wide open spaces did insulate us from the energetic drone of the city. That was a surreal experience because just beyond Two Serendra's walls are commercial spaces where hundreds of people pass by every hour!

Aside from the Culinary Studio, located within The Living Museum are other lifestyle amenities and facilities that residents can enjoy and help them cultivate the kind of life that highlights living within social spaces for sharing passions.

There's also the Tropical Garden, a tree-lined courtyard filled with lush landscaped greenery, that is planned to have a glass-enclosed multifunctional hall to host as many as 300 people.

In addition, residents can enjoy working out at the Fitness Club which has complete gym amenities and panoramic views of the Two Serendra gardens as well as avail of services from top-rate facilities for leisure, entertainment, and business gatherings like the Enterprise Lounge, the Discovery Hall, and Stellar Peak.

For other photos of The Meranti at Two Serendra, please visit this blog's Facebook page.

Alveo Land is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Land. For more information, visit www.alveoland.com.ph, e-mail info@alveosales.com.ph or call (632) 848-5100 (Metro Manila) and 1-800-10-848-5100 (Outside Metro Manila).

Only a week left before Father's Day! Have you thought of a nice gift for your dad or husband yet? Here's a good one!

Join Write, Breathe, Live's Father's Day Giveaway and win 2 FREE MASSAGES for you and your dad/hubby worth P1300. Two lucky winners will receive gift certificates from G's Spa Place of Wellness located near Solenad, Nuvali (the one along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road). 

Massages can be availed by making an appointment with the spa.

Contest mechanics:

1. Copy and post the link of this blog entry on your Facebook wall (http://mommywrites.blogspot.com/2011/06/facebook-fathers-day-contest-win-free.html)
2. Include this status message format -- "This Father's Day month, I want to win 2 free massages for me and my dad (or hubby) ________ (include name of dad/hubby and tag him if he's on FB too) courtesy of G's SPA Place of Wellness (tag the page) and Write, Breathe, Live (tag the page)."

Example: "This Father's Day month, I want to win 2 free massages for me and my dad Nonoy courtesy of G's SPA Place of Wellness and Write, Breathe, Live." 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please make sure to set your status message contest entry to be seen by Everyone so it will appear on the Facebook fan pages. (All  correct entries posted before 4:00 p.m. on 6/13/2011 w/o the link are considered valid).

Check if you were able to post the correct entry. Your status message should appear on your wall and on the walls of G's Spa and Write, Breathe, Live. It should also have the link to this blog post under the status message.

Please don't forget to LIKE the Facebook pages of G's SPA Place of Wellness and Write, Breathe, Live first before posting your status message so you can tag us. Entries without proper tags will be deemed invalid.

Kids can also join the contest because G's Spa has a Malay massage specially designed for kids! :)

Contest is open to Metro Manila and Luzon residents only. Deadline of entries will be on June 30, 12MN. Draw date will be on July 2. Winners will be announced in this blog, on the G's SPA's website and Facebook page, and the Write, Breathe, Live Facebook page.

Children's talents have to be nurtured while they are young. After all, the pre-school years are a crucial age for talent development because this is the stage where kids are very active and eager to discover new things. It is the perfect time when signs of talent become more evident. Thus, I am always glad to see kids being encouraged to hone their potentials as long as they really want to.

This past week, I attended a press con where 12 preschoolers were presented to members of the media. The kids comprise the finalists of Promil Pre-School's i-Shine Talent Camp, the search of which I also wrote about in my other blog last April.

Promil Pre-School and GMA Network have now teamed up to share the kids' talents with the rest of the country with the Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp TV program. This, according to the speakers, is the next big talent search and reality TV program to hit the small screen. It will showcase the 12 very young people who managed to shine the brightest in the recently-concluded nationwide talent search.

The show aims to chronicle the kids' journey as they further develop their craft in singing, dancing, acting, and other areas, aided by their parents as well as several Kapuso celebrity mentors. According to Carlo de la Paz, Senior Product Manager for Promil Pre-School, they've made the annual nationwide event even bigger this year by partnering with GMA. "Now these kids have an even bigger venue to develop and showcase their talents."

Each episode will show the i-Shiners receiving stars for their performances. Whoever is awarded the most stars at the end of all workshops will win the grand prize of P200,000, a contract with GMA Artist Center, and the title of Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp TV’s Grand Shining Child Star.

Jolina Magdangal and Ms. Gina Alajar are two of the i-Shine mentors who will join other GMA celebrities in offering tips and advice not only to the participants but to their parents as well. Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski and Paolo Contis will serve as the show's host while Jillian Ward (the cute and cuddly child star my son knows as Trudis Liit) is the show’s kiddie correspondent.

Follow the 12 preschoolers in their journey to stardom by watching Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp TV starting this Sunday (June 12) after Showbiz Central. 

For photos and the complete profile of each child, please LIKE and visit the Write, Breathe, Live Facebook page.

Do you find Super 8's trailer intriguing? I did! And now that I've watched the whole movie, I finally discovered what all the mysteries are about :)

Read my full-length review of Super 8 at HerWord.com before watching it to get some ideas (no spoilers there, though :p)

Head on to Church Strengthening Ministry's Pre-Inventory Sale happening this June 13-24 at the CSM Bldg. in Pascor Drive, Sto. Nino Paranaque City.

Featured books include those authored by: John Maxwell, Francis Kong, Maloi Salumbides, Ken Blanchard, Chinkee Tan, Bill Hybels, Eric Maliwat, Henry Blackaby, Beth Moore, Rene Resurreccion, Bob Sjogren, Joey Umali, Gary Chapman, Patrick Morley, and more.

You'll also get a free mug for every P500 purchase :) For more details, please visit CSM's website, email
csmmarketing@gmail.com or go to their Facebook fan page.

I'm sure many of you who are reading this are already enrolled (if you're a student) or have already enrolled their kids (if you're a parent) for this school year.

Unfortunately, thousands of poor Filipino children also yearn for a good education but could not go to school because their families lack enough funds for tuition fees and school supplies. Help change the statistics. Learn more about Child Sponsorship and become a World Vision sponsor now so you can give a life-changing gift.

Your sponsorship of P20 a day or P600 a month will go a long way in ensuring that there would be at least one child who will be able to attend school this June. This month, when classes are just starting, is the best time to sign up and become a sponsor.

Tomorrow, June 8, World Vision is launching the Count Me In 2011 Program at the Trinoma Activity Center in Quezon City. This worthwhile endeavor aims to send 11,000 children to school this year. Please help make this goal possible.

There would be a “Gallery Walk” at 10AM and other activities throughout the day. The concert starts at 6PM with World Vision celebrity friends Nikki Gil, Chris Tiu, Cristalle Belo, Julius and Tintin Babao, and many more. This event is open to everyone.

For more details on how to sponsor a child, please visit WorldVision.com.ph 

For those who are wondering, yes, I am a WV child sponsor and have been since 2003. I receive annual reports about how my sponsored child is doing and how she is growing up to be a fine young woman. In my own little way, I am grateful to be able to help change and make a child's future brighter. 

Summer vacation is over and the kids are about to go back to school soon. Sadly, our family wasn't able to go out of town due to my, and hubby's, work demands plus hubby's recent hospital confinement.

When Nuffnang announced in May that they'll be hosting a picnic for 50 members and their families, I eagerly joined the blogging contest and hoped to be chosen so that we could at least unwind for a day before classes start.

Last Saturday, the much-awaited Nuffamily Day arrived. Since we're bringing along our son with special needs, hubby and I opted to hire a van instead of joining the other families who rode the Nuffnang bus. We left the house a little early (thank goodness the heavy rain stopped!) because I wanted to stop by Solenad in Nuvali to show the kids the hundreds of koi fish there which seemed to be always waiting to be fed by visitors :p

In less than half an hour, we were on our way again to Tagaytay. We arrived at the serenely beautiful Crosswinds (the groves upon groves of pine trees would make you feel like you're in Baguio!) before the busses and enjoyed chatting with the very accommodating Nuffnang staff who were already there. We had more time to explore the fenced in picnic area, a small, flat hill overlooking some very nice scenery, and take some pictures.

Pretty soon, the other families arrived and the fun and games began. Nuffnang and its sponsors prepared a lot  of food and activities. Almost everyone participated in the laughter-inducing games. I still hope to see a photo of my family joining the newspaper dance and the-boat-is-sinking game because we did some crazy stuff that had many of us howling with glee.

When darkness fell, blue and white (Nuffnang's colors!) paper lanterns were distributed. Groups started lighting the wax attached to the lantern's base. It was quite hard to do because the wind kept blowing our candle out. Finally, after a lot of waiting for the hot air to fill out the balloon, our first lantern flew! Soon after, hubby and the boys also got to make the second lantern fly.

It was so wonderful seeing all those floating lights up in the dark sky. I'd bet that particular moment became very special to everyone present that night. It is a memory worth saving and I'm very, very happy to spend that moment with all the boys in my life.

Thank you Nuffnang for making Nuffamily Day wonderful for everyone who was there. And thank you to all the sponsor products and services that made the day/night extra special :) For more photos, please click here.

Have you seen Creative License yet? This won Best Film at the 24 Hour Brooklyn Filmrace Competition and was awarded First Place at the US National 24 Hour Filmracing Tour. It bested the top films from cities all over the United States and Canada!

Did you know that Creative License was written and directed in the span of just 24 hours with only a $30 budget? Learn more about how its creators were able to do it. Read the feature I wrote on Cathy Azanza-Dy, the writer of the script and be amazed once more at the boundless talents that Filipinos have.

Congratulations once again Cathy, Paolo, and Topper! :)

Several movies opened in the past two weeks and a lot of them are really good. Here's a rundown of what you can find at the cinemas this weekend plus some movie reviews and blog posts I (and hubby) made about them:

Please read my movie review of X-Men: First Class at HerWord.com
You can also read my hubby's review of the movie here which was written from a comic aficionado's point of view

Since Hangover 2 will definitely be enjoyed mostly by men, here's also my hubby's take about it. I'm actually still quite in shock at some of the scenes I saw so I haven't the energy yet to write a lengthy review :p

If you like alien stories and comics mixed in with some weird and funny stuff, watch Paul. Read an interview with the lead actors here

Parents, bring your kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2. It really is a must-watch for the whole family. Please read my review at HerWord.com

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is still going strong after two weeks! Find my review of this movie also at HerWord.com
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