PolyEast Records, the Philippine's official licensee of EMI Music International, is releasing Coldplay Live 2012, the band's first concert film/live album in nine years. After the theatrical release across the globe last week, Coldplay's highly anticipated DVD/CD will be launched in the market today, November 30, at AstroPlus SM North Edsa and Odyssey SM Megamall.

I got to watch the DVD last Monday at the PolyEast Records office and liked how the concert-documentary was made. The film followed Coldplay as they did the Mylo Xyloto world tour which has been seen by, get this, three million people (!) since it began in June 2011. Included in Coldplay Live 2012 are footage from concerts held at Paris' Stade de France, Montreal's Bell Centre, and last year's triumphant Pyramid Stage headline performance at Glastonbury Festival

Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay's fifth studio album that was released worldwide on October 2011. It's the result of a collaboration with acclaimed producer Brian Eno following his successful collaborations with the band on Viva la Vida, Coldplay's fourth studio album.

The lead single, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, was followed by Charlie Brown, Princess of China, and the latest single, Hurts Like Heaven. Two songs, Paradise and Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall received a total of three Grammy Awards nominations.

Coldplay is comprised of Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, and Chris Martin. They have sold more than 50 million records worldwide and won numerous awards including seven Grammys, six Brit Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards. Viva La Vida (released 2008) charted at No. 1 in 36 countries, the United States and the United Kingdom included.

Paul Dugdale directs the JA Digital production for EMI/Parlophone. He's also the man responsible for Adele's Live at the Royal Albert Hall and The Prodigy's World on Fire concert films.

"The Mylo Xyloto tour has been the most fun we've ever had as a band. It's felt very uplifting right from the start; partyly because we are proud of the music, the LED wristbands, the pyrotechnics, the lasers and all of that stuff, but mainly because of the amazing audiences that we've been playing for," expressed Chris Martin, Coldplay's lead vocal. "Over the years, our crowd has become more and more a part of the concert itself. They're loud, diverse, full of soul, and make the songs sound much better than we can on our own. We wanted to try to bottle the incredible feeling that they give us, and hence our concert film."

Speaking of the LED wristbands, they are awesome! I was very fascinated to see thousands of peoples' arms raised during songs with blinking multi-colored lights that lit up the darkened concert venue. It was ingenious of Coldplay to literally involve the audiences in the production by providing each concert-goer with those fantastic bracelets.

According to Director Paul Dugdale, seeing the film on the big screen highlights the epic scale of the concerts. "I am thrilled that fans can experience Coldplay Live 2012 in fantastic visual quality with incredible sound, in cinemas full of fans," he shared. "With insight from the band and a glimpse of what life on the road with Coldplay is like, this is a unique opportunity to witness Coldplay in all its cinematic glory on the big screen."

Stephan Demetriou, VP Visual Content Strategy & Acquisition at EMI Music said, "We're delighted that we can bring the full-length version of Coldplay Live 2012 to selected cinemas around the world. The Mylo Xyloto tour is such a visual spectacle that seeing and hearing it on the big screen, and being part of this one-night-only experience along with the most passionate Coldplay fans around the world, is the next best thing to being there."

Since Coldplay is yet to perform in the Philippines, the CD+DVD may really be the next best thing to seeing them live so grab your copies now and expect an audio-visual feast! Coldplay Live 2012 is available for P485 (Philippine version) and P1500 (Imported Limited Edition) with free MyloXyloto baller.

I like munching on Oishi snacks and would seldom go out of the supermarket without several packs to share with my family. The wide variety of Oishi products leaves no room for getting tired of the different flavors that encompasses a whole range of textures and tastes from sweet (like Pillows), to salty (like the Prawn Crackers), to sour (like Cracklings' salt and vinegar variant), and spicy (like Marty's). Oishi really has them all!

A few days ago, I had a chance to meet Team O, a unique group of fellow Oishi-loving people from different parts of the media and entertainment industry. All of them had an Oishi story to tell and it's better if you check out the videos to see how these fun individuals performed "missions" that surprised and delighted a lot of people.

For instance, there was the time last July when Oishi brand ambassador Elmo Magalona and well-known personality Tim Yap rode a chopper to shower Marcelo H. del Pilar High School students in Bulacan with thousands of Oishi snacks! I would have loved to see that in real-time! It must have been such an exciting day for the students especially after the chopper landed and the two celebrities gave them an impromptu concert.

Then there's funny man and internet sensation Ramon Bautista who went to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines last August 31. The school became the venue for an authentic Oishi oblation run where the runners had snacks attached to their bodies and which the students could grab. Now, I'd prefer wholesome oblation runs like that one any time over the ones I saw while still a student in UP Los Banos many years ago!

Another activity which packs in an element of surprise are flash mobs and Oishi made one happen at the Glorietta Food Court last September 26 along with a performance by the popular OPM band Sandwich. Rock Ed Philippine's founder, Gang Badoy, who advocates for social change, took the opportunity to promote anti-bullying and told spectators that an O, Wow! Life should be one that is full of respect and dignity.

For female college students though, no surprise would be as exciting as being visited by boy-next-door heartthrob and PBB winner Slater Young. Oishi set up a photo booth at the Philippine Women's University and the Emilio Aguinaldo College on November 16 where Slater popped up to the amazement and delight of the school population. It's so fun seeing those OMG-is-this-true reactions from the students and teachers and Slater gamely giving in to the hugs and kisses bestowed on him :D

Those Team O missions have truly become O, Wow! moments not only for Oishi and the co-conspirators but also for those who were in the right place at the right time to get a first-hand experience of the surprises. 

So keep your eyes and ears open because we'll never know what Oishi has up its sleeves for next year. Who knows, there could be additional members of Team O to stage surprises for more people in 2013!

* For more pics taken during the Oishi Team O event I attended, please click here

Since I always have to explain to friends why I get to redeem treats for free using my BPI credit card or BPI ATM card, here's sharing with you once again the latest freebies from BPI ...

Shop ANYWHERE and get FREE Chickenjoy and other Jollibee treats!

To qualify, cardholder should use his BPI Express Credit Classic, BPI Express Credit MasterCard, or BPI Express Teller ATM card within the promo period for a minimum single purchase transaction of P2,000, P6,000, or P12,000 at any merchant. (Transaction should be approved through a Point-of-Sale terminal.)

Promo period is from November 16, 2012 to January 31, 2013.

Redemption period is until April 1, 2013.

Explore new cutting-edge products and services from leading global and local brands as Yahoo! Philippines hosts TechnoStorm, an on-ground exposition in Trinoma's Activity Center. Check out the booths housing new gadgets and technologies from Microsoft, Smart Telecom, CanonNokia, HP, Epson, Sony, Wi Tribe, PLDT, Sharp, Sun Cellular, LG, Samsung, Lazada, Globe, and Phillips.

The expo is open to technology enthusiasts, which Filipinos are. Experience the products, watch demos, attend the tech talks, and hear from the experts before letting go of your hard-earned cash and making that all-important purchase.

TechnoStorm began with a "Virtual Expo" on the Yahoo! website and featured up-and-coming products and services of the Philippines' leading tech, telecommunications, and connectivity brands. Harnessing Yahoo!'s rich media solutions, the brands were able to create an interactive web page complete with essential details such as product information, drive-to-site links, video features, and a full preview of the gadgets before bringing these online experiences to customers on-ground.

Karrie Capellan-Ilagan, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines, mentioned in her Keynote Speech that in the next decade, there with be 4 IT Megatrends to dominate the digital world which Microsoft is embracing: 

1. Mobility (tablets, phones)
2. Social (Office, Skype, Yammer)
3. Cloud (SkyDrive, Office 365)
4. Big Data (SQL server)

According to Arlene Amarante, Country Ambassador and Sales Director of Yahoo! Philippines, TechnoStorm is a celebration of all things tech. "Yahoo!'s digital capabilities provide a unique platform for Filipinos to explore, discover, and understand the world of technology, and bring them face-to-face with gadgets and devices that create connectivity."

She added, "At Yahoo!, we are always looking for creative ways to connect people with what matters most and are committed to bring inspiring and entertaining experiences to our users."

TechnoStorm runs from November 26 to December 2, 2012 at the Trinoma Activity Center.

* For more photos, please click here

There’s a new era of visual communication that offers instant sharing of top quality images either through 3G (you have to insert a working sim card) or Wi-Fi connectivity. Powered by Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the new Samsung GALAXY Camera will be available in the Philippines starting December 1 and in other parts of the world in white and cobalt black colors.

I got to try the camera myself last Saturday when I joined other members of the media for a Pampanga trip dubbed as The Northern Exposure. We were asked to group ourselves into two and I teamed up with my friend Adrian.

raw and edited pics from the Samsung GALAXY Camera
While having a filling breakfast at Everybody’s CafĂ©, everyone started tinkering with their cameras. I instantly became fascinated with the Paper Artist app because I got to immediately edit photos I took seconds ago! The app is said to have become popular on the GALAXY NOTE II due to its quick and unique photo edits feature.

We were served one of Pampanga’s delicacies – the adobong camaron (crickets). In fairness, the insects are crunchy and tasted okay although some of my table companions refused to take a bite :p Here’s a shot I took using the Samsung GALAXY’s macro feature. Cool, huh?

Macro shot edited using the Paper Artist app
Next, we headed to Villa Borromeo where Atching Lilian demonstrated how they make cookies the old fashioned way. They have lots of flowers in the area and I had fun experimenting with the camera’s Paper Artist app, which I used to edit my shots.

I was totally fascinated when I found out that I can also "rub" an edited photo to "let the colors out" or sharpen images. This, above everything else, made me fall in love with the camera.

Edited using the Picture Artist - Epic tool
Our next stop was the San Guillermo Parish Church. I always like visiting old churches. They have a solemnity that touches one’s soul and makes one want to stay longer in their cool interiors. Outside, I took a shot of the bell tower then edited it using the GALAXY cam’s Magic Pen tool. I was quite pleased with the unique outcome.

The GALAXY camera allows users to shoot, enjoy, edit, and share high quality images and video from anywhere, at any time, through a single device without the restrictions of a conventional camera. This we did during our trip as we uploaded photo upon photo to our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts instantly.

My poinsettia pic transformed into a mosaic
Lunchtime was spent at the Alviz Farm in Sta. Rita where we were served with a delicious home-cooked meal that we ate in an open patio beside a rice field. The airy house accepts meal reservations for a group of 10 or more, in case you want to visit them, too. They have pretty stained glass windows among other interesting displays.

Before leaving, I took a shot of the afternoon sun using Sunset mode in the Smart Pro app.

Replete with good food, we proceeded visiting the house of a Sansrival and Turones de Casuy maker where we got to try their house specialties. Yum!

We also dropped by a Barquillos maker’s house who allowed some of my companions to try their hand at making a barquillo each. Adrian gave it a try and successfully made one :)

For a late snack, we were treated with Pampanga’s version of Halo-halo which has a big chunk of pastillas in each cup. Dinner was at Mely's where we got to try sisig and chicken barbecue before heading back to Manila.

Coco Domingo, Samsung Mobile Head for Product Marketing, expressed, “The collaboration between Mobile and Digital Imaging Business Units allowed Samsung to create the first Connected Camera, a product I am extremely proud of.” He further shared that the GALAXY Camera marks the next stage of evolution in the history of the camera. “The GALAXY Camera brings together everything that is wonderful about photography on a dedicated camera, with the functionality and freedom of the leading smartphones.”

The GALAXY Camera boasts of a 21x super long optical zoom lens and a super-bright 16M BSI CMOS sensor. Its Smart Pro Mode technology offers a series of 15 default modes and settings that make professional-looking photography easy for anyone to achieve. I love the stunningly detailed images that make taking photographs using this camera really effortless.

Shot in macro and edited using the Picture Artist app
Enjoy viewing and editing images on the 4.8” (121.2mm) HD Super Clear Touch Display. There’s a Photo Wizard which houses a set of 35 photo editing tools powered by the GALAXY Camera’s quad-core processor.

Using the Smart Pro mode's Silhouette feature
As a mentioned earlier, this camera is powered by Android which means you get access to over 500,000 apps currently available on Google Play Store. The Android OS also provides full browsing support and the ability to customize the camera according to its user’s creative needs.

During my trial period with the camera, I noticed though that the battery drains faster than it would on a normal digicam or a smartphone. A full charge lasted me for half a day although maybe it’s because I was tinkering with it almost the whole time to discover its features.

Overall, I like the Samsung GALAXY Camera. It’s compact, it has powerful zoom lens, really cool apps for editing photos, friendly-user interface, and very responsive touchscreen display. Best of all, it enabled me to instantly upload my photos in my social networking sites using Wi-Fi or 3G.

* To see more photos of our Pampanga Trip, please click here

Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) is known as "Da King" of Philippine Cinema. Many of us, I'm sure, can still remember the time he ran for president in 2004 but was defeated and months later passed away without getting a chance to serve the country. 

Now, his daughter vows to continue her father's dream of rebuilding society and leading the nation towards unity and sustainable development. "His goal was addressing the poverty problem," expressed Grace Poe during a recent dinner that commemorated her father's legacy. "He was confident that with our people's support, it was possible to have a country where every Filipino can aspire to, and live, the good life."

I didn't know much about Grace Poe except her being chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). But when I did hear her speak and thoughtfully answer questions while obviously knowing what she was talking about, she gained my respect. 

It was evident by the way Ms. Poe speaks how much she shares her father passion to serve and help the poor. Like FPJ, she said she understands that poverty can break the Filipino family and bring harm to the young generation. Thus, she sees the need to focus on poverty alleviation efforts on the family as a basic social institution. She wants government to take a more active role in helping poor children as our nation depends on the kind of citizens these children will become. I join her in that belief as I also advocate for children's education by supporting worthwhile causes that send children to school and help them develop good values.

Some of the guests during the dinner asked Ms. Poe about her take on current issues and these are what she had to say on some of them:

On the Reproductive Health (RH) bill: "I will always be against abortion but I think the debate on RH bill should continue and be open to discussion. I really think women should have access to the best possible health care, prenatal care, and that they should be given all the support so they can have fulfilling lives."

On Divorce: "I am open to it especially on a ground that women should be protected. The government should open the discussion on this."

On Cybercrime Law: "I agree with the President in most of the issues, but I also agree when he finally said that Cybercrime Law would need certain amendments. Cybercrime is anti-child prostitution and anyti-cybersex. Mabuti naman yun. Nakakatakot lang yung libel talaga [because] really, makukulong ako kasi nag-like ako? Ngayon nga lang ako natututong mag-Twitter, makukulong pa ako."

Although a newcomer to politics, Ms. Poe has been involved in public service through her stint as MTRCB Chair for two years where she reformed the classification system for movies and television, provided institutional support to independent film makers, and brought together government agencies and media organizations to protect the interests of children. Prior to that, she worked at FPJ Productions and Film Archives, Inc.

Grace Poe with her son, Brian
She lived in the United States for a time where she held positions as a teacher, a product liaison officer, and a product manager. Ms. Poe is backed by a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston College, USA and two years of Development Studies at UP Manila.

Ms. Poe will be running for senator in 2013 and commits herself to a platform that builds on her father's social covenant on Poverty Alleviation, Opportunities for Children, and Electoral Reforms.

Kids who love pizza and pasta would love this contest from Aria Cucina Italiana! I've blogged about this establishment before and really love many of their offerings.

Now, this famous Italian restaurant, which originated in Boracay, has cooked up something extra special for  little members of the family. As it introduces its new Kids Menu, Aria just made family dining even more exciting with these dishes specially prepared for kids.

Aria's child-friendly menu offers classic favorites such as Spaghetti Bolognese and Mac and Cheese, as well as Chicken Nuggets and Fish and Chips. The Pizza Pepperoni and Pollo Bianco are also a hit among the little customers, while the MYOP (Make Your Own Pizza) is sure to add fun to every family's dining experience.

Wanna get a chance to win a MYOP party for your kids? Join Aria's Facebook contest! I can personally attest just how fun making your own pizza at Aria is! Read my write up  here.

1. Like Aria Cucina Italiana on Facebook
2. Take a photo of your children coloring Aria's new kids placemats
3. Post the photo on the Aria Facebook wall (make it public!)
4. The prettiest and most colorful artwork will win a MAKE YOUR OWN PIZZA PARTY for 4!
5. Contest will run from Nov. 23 - December 23, 2012. 

Send your entries soon and also share this contest with your friends and relatives as well. For more information, visit the website www.aria.com.ph and the Facebook page www.facebook.com/AriaCucinaItaliana. You can also follow Aria Cucina Italiana on Twitter @AriaCucina.

These days, more and more people are becoming conscious of their health such that we all seem to be searching for everything healthy whether it's about the food we eat, the exercise programs we do, and the products we use. In addition, more people are also advocating for Mother Earth, which is a good thing because our planet needs saving before it's too late to do anything anymore.

Looking good and feeling good, for many, means keeping abreast of the latest wellness trends which involve exercise and diet. And, among the most popular health innovations are life-enhancers that promise to take care of every aspect of people's wellbeing without sacrificing personal style and looks. 

One of the simplest and easiest ways to lead a healthy lifestyle is to stay hydrated. Active people, most especially, need to drink clean water daily to flush out harmful toxins and prevent illnesses. Water moreover maintains the body's pH balance, improves metabolism, and keeps essential organs like the heart, liver, and skin in tiptop condition.

Now, getting that essential hydration just became simpler but stylish with bobble, the latest wellness innovation that will help you make a fashion statement while on the go. Designed by renowned industrial artist Karim Rashid, bobble combines elegance and health-giving benefits in a chic, reusable drinking bottle. Rashid, if you don't know is the man behind product goods and designs for popular brands like Christofle, Alessi, Umbra, Bonaldo, Vondom, and Hugo Boss, among others. I like bobble's curvy shape that makes it easy to carry and would be perfect to bring along for workout sessions or while out socializing.

Aside from the ultra-sleek form factor, bobble's multi-awarded design is also praised for its eco-friendly features. Each bottle comes with a unique, replaceable, and recyclable carbon filter that purifies potable water even more by ridding it of chlorine and organic contaminants for fresher and crisper drinking water. 

What's more one bobble is equivalent to 300 single-use plastic bottles that those who advocate for the environment would love. In fact, during the bobble launch held recently at the Terry S.A. Multipurpose Hall in Pasong Tamo Extension, celebrity TV host Paolo Abrera expressed his approval of bobble use because this helps protect the environment by reducing the use of PET bottles

Event host, Gelli Victor of RX93.1, also encouraged guests to champion a greener lifestyle with the use of the revolutionary product.

Become a better version of yourself by keeping in mind that feeling good starts from within. The bobble bottle is for everyone who wants to upgrade their way of living by imbibing the stylish bobble outlook of "water made better".

Introduced abroad in February 2010, bobble has since been an outstanding success* and has been very well-received by consumers and global retailers. This coming December 1, bobble will finally be available in the Philippines courtesy of Terry S.A. Inc. (TSA), the company that brought in lifestyle giants -- Havaianas, Aura Athletica, David & Goliath, Dupe, and Pininho -- to the country.

Each bobble bottle costs P595.00 per 550-ml container while extra filters are sold at P345.00 each. They come in six vibrant colors: green, red, black, yellow, magenta, and blue. Find them at Aura Athletica in Power Plant Mall.

For more information, please like www.facebook.com/bobbleph and follow @bobbleph on Twitter.

* Awards bestowed on bobble: Green Good Design Award (2010 and 2011), Gold Edison Award (2011), Red Dot Award (2011), American Graphic Design Award, Good Design Award, Spark! Award, iF Packaging Award, Ambiente Award (2011), Die Line Packaging Award, Great Idea Award (2011), and three Pentawards.

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