It has been several months since Christian Bautista left the country to concentrate on shooting The Kitchen Musical with Karylle in Singapore. After his successful bid in Asia, he’s back this October to release his very first international album Outbound via Universal Records.

This album contains recordings done outside the Philippines and collaborations with music producers and artists from the U.S., Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia. Christian describes the songs as having a new and bolder sound which proves that he is more than just a balladeer. 

During the press launch, Christian surprised and delighted us with a couple of dance numbers which he executed exceedingly well. Now, he can add “dancer” to his roster of talents. The movements are really smooth and blend perfectly well with the very catchy songs he sung: All That’s Left and Faith.

Christian collaborated with several talented music artists for this new album and the results really paid off. Producer, arranger, and songwriter Tat Tong shared three masterpieces for Outbound: the original songs Unphotographable (I love the nostalgic feel of the lyrics and melody) and What Can I Do (has beautiful words a girl would take pleasure hearing from the guy who deserves her love :p) plus a cover of George Michael’s Faith (it will make you want to dance too!).

Christian with Tat Tong and Baby M
Aside from Tat, Outbound compiles noteworthy works from multi-platinum instrumentalist Jim Brickman for Never Far Away (which has Jim’s trademark excellent piano playing added to a more upbeat sound), the K-Pop R&B trio One Way for Wrong Number (K-pop fans would love this), Indonesian songwriter Satrio for the hit I’m Already King (I've seen its music video in MYX and liked it there and then) which is the theme of Christian’s Indonesian movie A Special Symphony, and Avex Japan’s amazing Baby M for the lovely duet Sakura (this song is really, really nice and her voice blends well with Christian's).

During the press con, we also got to watch the MV of All That’s Left which features CosPlayer Alodia Gosiengfiao. The concept is touching and the two make a cute couple on screen. There is no official MV yet on YouTube so here's the video I took and which was where Christian also danced :)

I give Outbound a 9/10 rating. It’s really, really good. Grab a copy from the nearest record bar and listen to a new side of Christian that further proves his versatility as an artist. 

*Watch Christian in the first Pan-Asian musical TV series The Kitchen Musical, which airs at AXN (new episodes every Monday, 9:05pm) and Studio 23 (new episodes every Saturday, 7:30pm). In this series, he plays Chef Daniel, a confident sous chef in love with best friend and co-worker Chef Maddie who is played by Karylle. 

*Thank you Orange Magazine TV for the use of the photos 

Hundreds of entries were submitted for C2 Green Tea’s health and wellness-centered campaign Sarap ng Bukas Music Video Making Contest. The contest was launched last August to encourage aspiring video makers to interpret C2’s Sarap ng Bukas song. 

Last night, audiences at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall witnessed the entries of 10 finalists vying for the best video title. Out of the 10, the one I liked best was the entry with a “kurot sa puso” factor. Joan Rodriguez of Cavite showed footages of Filipinos going about their lives, facing challenges head on, and still managing to smile at the end of the day. Unfortunately, her video didn’t bag any of the top prizes.

However, the rest of the entries have good concepts of their own. Karlo Victoriano (who was represented by his friends) won first place and received P150,000 plus P20,000 worth of C2 products; Toby Concepcion came in second with P100,000 cash prize plus P10,000 worth of C2 products; while third placer  Harold Alvea received P50,000 plus P5,000 worth of C2 products.

Aside from Joan, other video makers who made it to the top 10 finalists were: Keith Dela Rosa, Iar Lionel Arondaing of Caloocan City; Andrew Singco of Cebu; Jeswinda Montalban of Davao; Alexander Uy from Malate, Manila; and Roberto Francisco Jr. of Paranaque City. They were awarded P10,000 and C2 products each.

What’s fascinating about the Sarap ng Bukas song was that it’s really nice to listen to. Imagine, we heard it 10 times and yet, I didn’t get tired listening to it. Perhaps the changing visuals and remarkable ideas presented on screen made everything very entertaining.

And speaking of entertainment, guests and mall-going music lovers were treated with upbeat music from the performances of local acts Gracenote, Somedaydream, Tanya Markova, and Callalily. I enjoyed listening to Gracenote’s cover of a Paramore song. Their vocalist turned out to be adept at playing the violin too which suddenly made me miss The Corrs.

On the other hand, I am already familiar with Somedaydream’s music having heard Rez Toledo sing live several times already. He’s a really talented musician and I am all for wishing this young man a long and successful music career ahead of him.

I was also really glad to have brought my eldest son along because he loves OPM bands and has already been a fan of Callalily since he was in high school.

What surprised us both was discovering how nice Tanya Markova’s music is! I am not familiar at all with the band and when the members got up on stage with their weird costumes and painted faces, I had to wonder what kind of music they play. To my surprise, their songs turned out to be quite fun, actually. Now, I have a new favorite band to listen to :)

The event was hosted by Mike Advincula and Nikki Gil, two good-looking and engaging MYX VJs who delighted the audience with their witty spiels.

According to Mr. Edwin Totanes, Vice-President and General Manager of the URC Beverage Division, C2 is committed to promoting a cool and clean lifestyle among the youth and one of the many ways to engage them with the campaign is through the Sarap ng Bukas Music Video Making Contest. “We are so happy with the turnout of entries because it is a sign that more young Filipinos are stepping to the beat of a healthier lifestyle.” 

The URC team is thankful to everyone who participated and who showed their creativity to help spread the message of a better, healthier tomorrow with C2 Green Tea. “We have more exciting surprises so please watch out for the next one,” he promises.

Among the C2 flavors, I usually buy the peach and apple flavors when they are available. I only got to try the Green Tea with Pandan flavor for the first time the day after the event and found that it tasted a bit like my favorite black gulaman but is healthier because of the 100% natural green tea leaves. Now that, is really cool!

*Photos borrowed from Orange Magazine TV's Facebook album

A lot of talented Filipinos get discovered worldwide thanks to YouTube. A few months back, I happened to watch a video tutorial about how Filipinos receive compliments and found Mikey Bustos entertaining. That was all I knew about him, a funny guy with a talent to make fellow Pinoys laugh. Here's one hilarious sample:

Yesterday, I got to meet Mikey in person and found out that before he became popular in the internet, he was already making waves in Canada as a singer and had been one of the finalists of Canadian Idol! He even has a music album entitled Memoirs of a Super Hero which talks about finding the superhero in oneself. “My music career is very active in Canada and I’m releasing a second album next year. The reception there has been amazing.”

Asked how he comes up with materials for his tutorials, he told us that his inspirations come from his visits to the country. “I am very observant and enjoy looking at what’s going on in the Philippines while I’m here. I think I have an advantage because I’m an outsider looking in so I notice things that most Pinoys here don’t because, [for them] it’s kind of normal.” He admits to having a list of topics that he still wants to tackle like riding the jeepney, or speaking Bekimon, LOL!

Mikey with his younger brother

Mikey also shared that he and his siblings were brought up in a strictly traditional Filipino household so he is familiar with adobo, sinigang, and kaldereta because their mom cooks those at home.

This Saturday, Mikey will be shooting the Jack n’ Jill’s Chicharron ni Mang Juan commercial which is said to be a mixture of what he does online. “Looking over at what they laid out and have planned, it’s just perfect with what I do.” The commercial will start airing sometime in November.

“Our food is one of the many things that add to our rich culture, and being able to endorse Mang Juan and such cornerstone food items of our culture makes me feel so blessed from my deepest of roots,” he says. “I’m honored to represent such an amazing and truly Pinoy brand.”

Teree Eugenio, Marketing VP of URC Snack Foods affirms that Mikey’s complete package of dynamism, global connections, talent, technology, and artistry is the embodiment of the contemporary Filipino. “Hence, it’s only fitting that he was chosen as the first endorser of Chicharron ni Mang Juan.”

This snack food is made of dehydrated green peas but has the look and taste of real fried pork rinds sans the cholesterol. Chicharron ni Mang Juan comes in uniquely Pinoy flavors such as Espesyal Sukang Paombong, Espesyal Suka’t Sili, and Spicy Sisig. It’s the answer to every Pinoy’s pursuit of chicharon with a kick. “It has done all the dipping work for me,” exclaims Mikey.

Photo courtesy of Orange Magazine TV

The creation of Chicharron ni Mang Juan just goes to show that a solid mix of old and new truly mirrors the evolved taste of today’s generation. Try all flavors for yourself and enjoy the crunchy goodness of each bite. They are really tasty!

Mobile phones are no longer the luxury they used to be a decade or so ago. Nowadays, they are considered a necessity thanks to all those features that really make life easier. And perhaps one of the most demanding segments of society that feels a need to keep up with today's fast-paced lifestyle and the latest trends, are the youth.

Much as a lot of us parents would like otherwise, we have to acknowledge that many young people want to be first in wearing the hottest fashion and having the most high-tech gadgets. Unfortunately, higher end items are usually more expensive than what they can afford with their allowances.  

This is where Samsung Galaxy Y comes in. It is the brand's entry-level and first Android Smartphone available at a reasonable price tag. According to Samsung, whoever thought that the words 'budget' and 'smartphone' do not go together has just been proven wrong.

Here are some of the features users can expect from the Samsung Galaxy Y: (1) it's powered by an 832 MHz processor and HSDPA module of up to 7.2Mbps; (2) it runs on an Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system that lets teens browse through websites, check emails, and play various media smoothly and with less lag; (3) its users can access over 150,000 apps available in the Android Market to consolidate their preferences in social networking, gaming, music, and more; (4) it has a 2-megapixel camera and a 3-inch LCD display with 240x320 pixel QVGA resolution; (5) it has a TouchWiz user interface that allows users to customize menus to express individuality; (6) it weighs just 98g and slips easily into jeans pockets without the bulky look.

In the press release I was given, I read that music junkies can play DJ anytime, anywhere while budding photographers can create masterpieces with a touch of the Galaxy Y's screen. On the other hand, gaming aficionados can show off their high scores to friends while the sociable teens would easily be able to keep up with their contacts while on-the-go.

If you're in the market for an Android smartphone, consider checking out the Samsung Galaxy Y to "app-grade" your old phone now :)

Did you know that majority of micro, small, and medium enterprises are run by women? In the Philippines, according to the Women's Business Council of the Philippines (WBCP), statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry show that there are as many as 900,000 business in the MSME industry and that 60% of these are registered by women.

As the world's population continue to rise, so does the number of women who enter the workforce or put up their own businesses. If you are a budding entrepreneur, join an upcoming summit where you can get inspiration from women from various fields. Each of the speakers will be sharing about their journey to success or, simply, their journey in business.

This coming November 8, head on over to the Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC) and attend the WBCP-organized event dubbed Women Connect: W2W Women to Women Mentoring Summit. This is a whole day event where you can mingle with and learn from a lot of inspiring women entrepreneurs so you can also get ideas on how to get started.

The WBCP is a non-stock, non-profit group of women business leaders who advocate for more policies and laws that will economically empower women. The summit is one way for the organization to reach out to women who'd like to make some career changes, start their own business, or simply take a break from their usual routines and just listen in on fellow women's experiences.

In an intimate press con with female members of the media, the WBCP showed attendees some of the things to expect from the upcoming summit. Cathy Turvill of Nurture Spa presented their wellness program and had us taste yummy truffles made from all-natural ingredients. Her staff moreover treated us with relaxing head and back massages.

Jeannie Javelosa of ECHOstore taught us some of the basics of Pranayama for Yoga. I learned some very calming breathing exercises that I hope I could keep on doing at home. 

Next, Le Bistro Vert's Reena Francisco showed us how to make Humus, a Levantine Arab food dip/spread and Tapenade, an olive paste/puree which is also used as a spread, that originated from Provence, France.

Before the event ended, current WBCP President Chit Juan discussed details of the Women Connect Summit while Chiqui Go introduced some of the speakers who were present during the press con. Chit expressed their hope to inspire many more women to get into business or find a career they want to shift to. "We have many women leaders in usually male-dominated fields like IT and Innovation, Automotive Industry and also services like Law and Outsourcing," she encourages.

The WBCP represents the country's women in international events like the APEC Women and Economy Summit, the UN Women-CIDA Women's Economic Empowerment Conference, and the Global Summit of Women which will happen in May 2012 in Athens, Greece.

You can register online for W2W through or email Click here for summit program schedule, speakers line up, fees, and other details.

*Photos borrowed from Jajie Maullon's Facebook album and used with permission

3D technology has just been brought to greater heights this October 24 as Ariel launched the new Ariel Stainlift with Deep Clean Technology at the SMX Open Grounds and brought together fabric care and fashion in the country's biggest 3D event.

We were all amazed when the flat facade of Microtel Mall of Asia was transformed into a 3-dimensional surface through a fashion show where larger-than-life visuals of models garbed in Bench's current collection paraded on the surface of the Microtel building. This coincided appropriately with Philippine Fashion Week as Ariel and Bench presented this first-of-its-kind 3D Projection Mapping Show in the country. See for yourself what I'm talking about through the video above, which I took during the event.

Gelain Reyes, Brand Manager for Ariel, explained that they discovered clothing consists of, not one but, multiple layers of fibers and that stains penetrate deep into these layers, making them more difficult to remove. She assured audiences that Ariel will keep clothes looking like new even after several washes "so that fashionistas continue to look their best every day."

Since 3D technology continues to break new grounds (read a related post here about LG's new 3D TV and 3D phone) in letting people experience the world through multiple layers of flat objects and images, laundry leader Ariel became the first in its industry to harness this technology to coincide with the launch of its newest detergent variant that was developed using 3D technology.

We were shown how 3D technology was used in the research and development of the new Ariel through an enhanced viewing experience. The venue showcased several LG 3D TVs where we saw how Ariel can provide a deeper clean that goes beyond the surface down to the deeper layers of clothing fibers.

with Boy Abunda
The show was hosted Boy Abunda, Ariel's celebrity endorser, who shared stories of his stay in Dubai with the Ariel and Bench teams during the global launch of Ariel 3D Deep Clean. He acknowledged that he only endorses brands which he knows are proven to work and that, "I personally saw how Ariel used 3D technology to create a product that cleans even the deepest clothing layers. After that, I realized ordinary clean is no longer enough for our clothes."

Likewise, Bench Brand Manager Mae Jeanjaquet also saw first-hand in Dubai how Ariel removes stains like ink, oil and dirt even up to the third layer, "Bench is pleased to partner with Ariel because we share the same vision in providing quality clothing and fabric care to every Filipino."

This coming November, watch out as Ariel launches the country's first-ever 3D commercial. Prepare for this by getting your own 3D glasses that come free with specially-marked Ariel packs that will be sold in stores starting October 30.

'Tis the season to be brewing as Seattle's Best Coffee launches its Christmas Inspired Drinks along with its partnership with World Vision Philippines. Four new coffee flavors -- Chocolate Cherry, Coffee Hazelnut, Cookies and Mint, and Coffee Cream Pie -- are now available for a limited time at various SB locations nationwide.

Long time readers of this blog would know I have been an advocate of child sponsorship through World Vision for many years now. Once again, I encourage everyone to start making a difference in the life of even just one child. At the moment, the organization is instrumental in improving the lives of more than 120,000 children and 16 million Filipinos in 33 provinces and 44 cities nationwide.

This coming Christmas season, customers can help provide more children a chance to go to school when they buy Seattle’s Best Coffee’s new holiday or classic drinks from October 22, 2011 to January 22, 2012. Each purchase corresponds to a sticker for the "dream card" that requires a total of 18 stickers which can be used to redeem a leather journal with. The journal contains coupons for free music, goodies, food and drinks, and up to 24 hours worth of free wifi at selected Seattle’s Best Coffee shops.

But, unlike past holiday promos, this year, instead of receiving one sticker, customers will receive two – one for their own Dream Card and the other for the World Vision Dream Tree. The trees will be installed in every Seattle’s Best Coffee shop where customers can stick their second stickers on. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, for every journal a customer redeems, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to World Vision, which will in turn be used to send underprivileged children to school.

In addition to the stickers, there will be World Vision donation boxes in every Seattle’s Best Coffee location where customers can give more to those less fortunate this holiday season.

"The Seattle's Best team knows that being the best does not just happen,” says Rea Cruz, General Manager for Seattle’s Best Coffee. She goes on to share, “It takes work, it takes effort and sometimes, it takes a little help for someone to be able to achieve the best that they can be. This is why the partnership with World Vision is something that we are passionate about. We believe in what they are trying to achieve and we want to help make a difference in the lives of these children."

Jun Godornes, World Vision OIC NRD Assistant Director, shares similar sentiments, stating, "The SBC – World Vision Partnership is something we've eagerly waited for. SBC is giving us another venue to engage the public and give them an opportunity to create lasting change in the lives of the children and families we serve. We feel that SBC is a strong ally in raising a generation of givers among Filipinos… especially the coffee lovers! At World Vision, we believe in the joy of giving. SBC is now providing an excellent channel for that."

A few months ago, I blogged about Freeway's National Artist Collectors Series No. 5 featuring F. Sionil Jose, National Artist for Literature. You can read that entry here. Freeway's designs are wearable on and off the ramp and I fell in love the Sionil collection so much, I ended up buying three pieces of clothing because it was hard to choose just one.

In time for this last quarter of 2011, Freeway launched its sixth installment of the National Artist Collectors' Series which honors Vicente Manansala, National Artist for Visual Arts. Now, I'm having the same dilemma with this collection because there are so many beautiful pieces that, I'm sure, many women would also like to own.

The launching included a fashion show and special tribute to the man of the hour. This special celebration of the life and great works of the legendary Manansala was held at The Row, Glorietta 5 yesterday. The event was well-attended by fashion and art enthusiasts, members of the quad media, and family and friends of Manansala.

Tim Yap and Divine Lee, two vibrant celebrities and trendsetters, hosted the event wearing Manansala outfits and added fun and candor to the evening. To share interesting stories and life experiences about Manansala were special guests Maritess Mendoza-Pineda, President of Friends of Manansala Foundation, Cedie Lopez-Vargas of the The Lopez Museum, and Ronna Manansala, granddaughter of  the national artist.

When the models started coming out garbed with the Manansala pieces, we saw the original artworks simultaneously flashed on the LED screen onstage and it's amazing how the masterpieces that used to be seen in frames and canvasses were transferred to various items suited to today's modern times. The beautiful 22 piece collection possesses all the vibrant colors of a Manansala painting which many of us are familiar with. The models wore Muniz Shoes designed by Carmina Villaroel. Make up was done by Margo Sarmiento, and hair by Nina Escano, Charlene Manibo, and Anna Liza Sulthan. View more pieces from the Manasala collection in Freeway Online's Facebook photo album.

Artists from the Kunst Pilipino Group also did some live sketching before the event. The talented roster of artists include noted painters in their own right: Aris Bagtas, Sam Bulaga, Allen Casacop, Emer Casacop, Jo Florendo, Lourdes Inosanto, Lawton Ladao, Raquel Molata, Bill Perez, and Mischa Semana.

As a backgrounder, Freeways blazed a trail in 2009 by reintroducing the Philippine Arts and Culture to the younger generation with its Freeway loves Art: National Artist Collectors’ Series which made fashionalism more hip and relevant. The creative blending of fashion and art gave birth to the first five well-loved series that featured National Artists Nick Joaquin (Literature), Ang KiuKok (Visual Arts), Jose Garcia Villa (Literature), Ramon Valera (Fashion Design) and the first living NA in the series, F. Sionil Jose (Literature).

Our fast-paced lives nowadays may come with rewards and satisfaction with one’s work but very few of us take time to slow down once in a while and breathe. Being a workaholic comes with a price tag and, if not addressed promptly, may lead to serious health issues.

I should know. I just spent the majority of the past week suffering from on and off  bouts of fever and heartburn as my chronic gastritis came back with a vengeance. On hindsight, I had to acknowledge that I became careless these past months about pacing myself and ended up consumed with work-related stress that seemed to have arrived one on top of the other. 
Once I’m done with the round of antibiotics and other medications my doctor prescribed, I’m planning to treat myself and avail of a good pampering treatment. While surfing the web, I came across Healthy Deals Philippines, a local website that promotes health and wellness. I was pleased to discover that they are offering Organique Nail Spa Body Treatments at 55% off (P427.50 instead of P950.00)! 

I looked through the “menu” and thought it would be nice to undergo the ORGANIQUE DETOX GREEN TEA BODY WORKS. According to the description, it’s a gentle, full-body exfoliation experience where a blend of green tea essences, gentle grains of sugar, shea butter, and other oils will be applied from shoulders to toes. 

After exfoliation, the pampering will continue with an application of a botanical kaolin clay masque blend onto the body to leave the skin satiny, soft, smooth, and hydrated. Then, after showering, the treatment will conclude with a relaxing application of Organique’s own green tea Hydrating Crème that’s said to be natural, gentle, and aroma therapeutic. 

Sounds divinely relaxing! What’s more, the treatments are portrayed to increase circulation, are relaxing, detoxifying, softening, hydrating, whitening and therapeutic. Now that’s a healthy deal! :)

Check out more Healthy Deals here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates on the newest promos.

If you blog, you may also want to join the "What's a Healthy Deal" Bloggers Raffle Contest and stand to win an iPad2!

Edit Oct. 22: From the list of valid entries, here's the winner of the last Andrea Corr CD+DVD set via a drawing ...

Congratulations Jennifer Valmonte! Please PM me your Manila address via Facebook so I can send you your prize ASAP. Again, thanks everyone for joining! Please stay tuned for other giveaways coming up very soon.

Oct. 16: Thank you so much to all those who joined the Andrea Corr Lifelines CD+DVD Giveaway. Tonight should have been the night we Filipino fans would have heard Andrea sing live if her concert in Manila pushed through. Let's hope there will be a new date announced soon :)

Meanwhile, here are the screen caps of the winning entries. The winners will receive a special edition Lifelines CD+DVD set each: 

Patricia Miguela Alpay
Rose Dauz

 Camille Santiago Matuguina

To the winners, please PM me via Facebook a Metro Manila address where I can send you your prize. Please don't forget to take a photo of yourself holding Lifelines once you receive it then send a digital copy to me.

If you noticed, there are only three (3) winners instead of four (4). I regret to inform the others who joined that it's either I failed to see their FB statuses on WBL, Orange Magazine TV, and iDeliver 101's pages  or your status message didn't include the link to the giveaway :( 

For those I wasn't able to see, I did search for them earlier, that's why this announcement was made late. Maybe you were not able to set the status to be viewed as "Public"? Anyhow, I hope you understand that I have to stick to the rules to be fair to everyone.

As such, there is ONE more Lifelines set left up for grabs! If you really want to win, please follow the contest mechanics carefully. Deadline of entries would be on Wednesday, October 19, 12MN.  Announcement of the last winner will be made on October 20. Fair enough? :)

This Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m., at the Technowave Club, 3rd Floor, Il Terraza Mall, Tomas Morato, Q.C., join Hope Metro Church as it partners with IGan Foundation in raising funds for children with Type 1 Diabetes.

Catch music artists Champ Lui Pio, Acel Van Ommen, and Julianne as you enjoy a fun-filled night of unlimited coffee, fellowship, and live bands. At the same time, you'll give hope and help save lives.

Tickets prices:

PhP300 - Includes Admission and Coffee
PhP600 - Includes Admission, Coffee, Baller Band, and T-Shirt
PhP1000 - Includes Admission, Coffee, Baller Band, T-Shirt, VIP seating with Food, and a raffle coupon (for a surprise prize)

For more info. please call/text 0915.6282172 or visit their website

A Dolphin, A Boy, and a Story of Hope

I love watching movies based on true stories because they are easy to relate to. Most times, one or more characters would even remind us of people we know and how they, too, are coping with the challenges they face every day.

The story of Dolphin Tale begins with an introvert young boy named Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) whose only interest is to mostly stay in his workshop to fix mechanical toys. He doesn't have friends and is quiet around people. He was devastated when his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell), whom he considers a big brother, had to leave for the army because he felt it was just like the time his dad left when he was younger and never came back. 

Please read the rest of this review at :)

Two years ago, Sun Life Financial Philippine's collaboration with Piolo Pascual resulted in very nice desk calendars that helped raised funds for Piolo's Hebreo Foundation, an organization that helps children go to school. Last year, they came up with the SunPIOLOgy Pursuits Journal and art exhibit/auction. On its third year, Sun Life and Piolo invites everyone to Rave, Run, and Raise Funds for a Cause.


This December 10, visit the lobby of the newly-inaugurated Sun Life Centre, a pioneering green structure located in Bonifacio Global City, and browse the benefit exhibit dubbed Panoramic Portals. This is a collection of 28 of Piolo's latest photos side by side with original artworks that were hand-drawn by a Hebreo scholar who happens to be an upcoming artist as well. Using old masters classic strokes, the paintings would illuminate one of Piolo's talents that he practices out of the limelight.

He shares that this is an exciting twist for his advocacy as they help showcase one of the student's talents so he can continue his education. "I hope this exhibit will be a treat for collectors and art enthusiasts who are on the lookout for promising artists," says Hebreo's founder. The exhibit will be on display from December 11 until the eve of Piolo's birthday on January 12, 2012. If you want to own a Piolo original, an online bidding will be available within that period.


Next in line is the Sunset Run which is aimed to celebrate good health and the thrill of overcoming one's goals and dreams no matter the distance. "Running is a meditation for me; a time to think and just let myself go. It is also a challenge to see how far I can go," affirms Piolo who is a triathlete himself and a competitive runner.

The race commences with a Vertical Run at the Sun Life Centre located at the corner of 5th Avenue and Rizal Drive road. Runners can register for 3k, 5k, and 10k distances. Kids 5 to 10 years old can also join a 500m costume run. To register, visit any of Toby's and Runnr outlets in Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Shangri-La Mall, and TriNoma until November 4.


Sun Life's Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa acknowledges that the SunPIOLOgy collaboration with Piolo continues to grow yearly. She reports, "So far, we have raised more than a million pesos which has gone to the education of Hebreo Foundation's scholars. With this year's Sunset Run, we again encourage everyone to support our cause for education while also engaging in an active and healthy lifestyle."

"We invite Filipinos to live the spirit of generosity during the holidays. Let us make SunPIOLOgy a rousing success, beginning with your participation in the Sunset Run and our Benefit Exhibit," requests Piolo.

For more details and inquiries, email, call 0927.8756671, or visit for updates.

I have been an avid viewer of 100 Days to Heaven since day one. I make sure to catch it whenever I get home early. Now that this TV series is about to end, I’m glad ABS-CBN has come up with another heartwarming Primetime Bida telenovela that people could follow as intently.

I am grateful to have been invited to the press screening of BUDOY the other night. He is the newest TV character many would certainly fall in love with. Budoy is played by Gerald Anderson who really impressed members of the audience with his excellent portrayal of a boy suffering from mental retardation. 

The story revolves around unconditional love, sacrifice, and betrayal. Here, a family’s blessing became a source of shame which led to the disowning their own flesh and blood in the name of an unblemished reputation. It is the story of a mentally-challenged boy who has a good heart but who has to survive cruelty in the hands of a lot of narrow-minded people day after day.

Since we got to watch all the first five episodes in one sitting, my eyes and nose were red and wet by the time the lights went back on inside the cinema. As a mother of a child with special needs, I immediately identified with the heart-wrenching pains parents go through every day to try to make their child’s life better as much as possible. The story has a lot of tearjerker scenes but it also has light moments when we couldn’t help but smile and laugh along.

The producers describe Budoy as this year’s biggest family drama series on Philippine television. I agree because it brings together a powerhouse cast composed of promising you ng stars Jessy Mendiola and Enrique Gil; legendary luminaries of the country’s movie industry including Daniel Rivero, Gloria Sevilla, and Barbara Perez; seasoned actors Tirso Cruz III, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Mylene Dizon, Christian Vasquez, and Janice de Belen

Budoy is directed by Ruel S. Bayani and Tots Sanchez-Mariscal. This TV series aims to highlight the value of education among the Filipino youth including individuals who are mentally-challenged. It is a show that parents and their children should watch together so they could realize more the importance of being true to oneself as well as to one’s family. 

Budoy starts showing this Oct. 10 after 100 Days to Heaven. For updates, log on to and follow abscbndotcom on Twitter. Please don’t fail to watch it.

I've always thought that Sam Milby is one of the most good-looking celebrities of his generation. I'm adding talented musician to that description.

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Sam the other day when he presented his newest album "Be Mine" to members of the media. I discovered that he started playing guitar when he was 19 years old after his sister bought him one. He said he was self-taught and that he still has his first guitar up to now.

Aside from music, Sam revealed that while growing up, he also enjoyed playing adrenalin sports like motocross and hockey. Nowadays though, he confesses to not feeling fit at all because he only gets to work out three or four times a year only due to his hectic schedule. "Puro diet na lang ang ginagawa ko," he admitted ruefully. The diet must be working well because he looks great, as always.

Sam, who grew up in the U.S., had to learn Tagalog when he decided to build a career in the Philippines. Aside from taking lessons, he shared that he reads Tagalog pocketbooks aloud to improve his speech and enjoys talking to people in Tagalog. I found his dedication to learn admirable.

Back to his album, Sam said that although he likes pop-rock music, there are songs in Be Mine that are more balladish. He assured fans to expect good music as the songs are a little bit of everything which they can relate to. "It will touch people who are in-love, brokenhearted, and even those who are searching for the 'right one'."

Sam is happy over the feedback he has been getting about his music. "Before, the public know me just as an actor. But with my music, they start to see me as a recording artist." Indeed, more and more people are taking notice!

Among the song lineups is his own composition "Pushing Me Away", the chorus of which came into his head while walking the streets of New York City. "I had the chorus three years ago but only finished the song this year," he confided.

The title track, "Be Mine", was composed and produced by Richard Poon, in whose house Sam recorded the song. With "Hindi Kita Iiwan" (OST of Koreanovela "My Fair Lady") as its carrier single, the album's track list is composed of three covers and seven original songs. Sam revived "And I Love You So", the original sound tract of his movie with Bea Alonzo; and two versions of "All My Life" (pop and orchestral), the theme song of his movie with KC Concepcion "Forever and a Day."

Completing the album are other original compositions including "Baliw na Pag-ibig" (OST of Koreanovela "Marry Me, Mary"), "Panaginip Ko'y Ikaw", "Magpakailanman", and "Your Love" (a duet with Marie Digby).

Before Be Mine, Sam came out with his self-titled album "Sam Milby" a few years back which earned a Platinum award a few months after its release. His other music ventures include "Love Duets" (2009) with Toni Gonzaga and another solo album "A Little Too Perfect" (2009) under Star Records.

I have transferred my copy of Sam's latest album to my iPod and have been enjoying listening to his heartwarming and heartbreaking music. Like he said, there's something there for everyone. Enjoy Sam's songs and grab your own copy of Be Mine soon to be released in record bars nationwide. You can also download songs online from

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