Owning and running a business means no longer being tied to the grind that employees are subjected to every day. No wonder many professionals dream of getting out of the rat race. Likewise, many Overseas Filipinos (OFs) want to ensure that their hard-earned money is invested in a self-sustaining, profitable venture that can secure their families’ future. 


But, did you know, 7 out of 10 Filipinos who aspire to have a business are too afraid to go for it? While the idea of financial freedom is very attractive, becoming an entrepreneur can be intimidating for several reasons: 1) the lack of capital, 2) inadequate knowing and training in running a business, 3) limited time to work on the potential business, and 4) simply because people don’t know where and how to start.

Unknown to many, the dream of entrepreneurship is very much within reach because BPI Family Savings Bank’s (BFSB) Ka-Negosyo Franchising Loan can provide funding, especially for the initial capital for a franchise, for budding business owners. The terms, assures Ms. Cedoy Roces, Ka-Negosyo Loans Business Division Head, are both reasonable and achievable. “We have customized financing, which depends on the borrower’s cash flow, amount of loan, and payback period of the particular franchise brand.”




People close to me are aware about how much I love sunsets. I take photos of them even while inside moving vehicles zooming over elevated roads like the Skyway! I don't exactly know, but there's something about sunsets that makes me want to capture their beautiful hues again and again so I can continue to appreciate them even after they've gone.

waiting for the sun to set
Recently, I had the opportunity to stay in Coco Grove Resort in Siquijor where the sunset views are simply fantastic. It was late afternoon and we've just finished the Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Mini Challenge. My friend and fellow blogger, Aleah, and I decided to rest and wait on the beachfront for the sun to set beyond the sea.

beautiful grays and yellows


Brother Philippines has just revealed a new revolutionary line of printers with Refill Tank System Multi-function Centers (MFCs) during yesterday's press con for Brother Color Manila Nite Run: Blacklight Edition

for P850 registration fee, you'll get a nicely-designed dri-fit shirt,
a backlight head lamp, and finisher's medal regardless of distance category!
With focus on its 'Customer-First' approach, the leader in home and business IT peripherals, further strengthens its line of MFCs with its Ink Benefit series and now, the Brother Refill Tank System. which can yield up to 6,000 pages. 

To highlight the 6,000 page-yield feature of the new printer range, Brother came up with the first ever 6k race category for the upcoming night run, instead of the usual 5k, wherein special activities and prizes await the runners. Also open are 3k and 10k categories.

Brother's Refill Tank System
Glenn P. Hocson, Brother Philippines President, expressed how pleased they are for choosing the perfect venue to publicly launch their exciting new product. "The colorful event will not only highlight Brother's Refill Tank System's CMYK refillable ink bottles, but also our competitively priced 6000 page-yield that meets high print volume users' need for lower 'running' costs," he said. "It will also serve as an opportunity for Brother customers and partners to experience the fun run as participants themselves."

The new range, comprised of two 3-in-1 inkjet MFCs: the DCP-T300 and DCP-T500W, is perfect for personal and business users printing from small office home office (SOHO) or small business environment looking for bigger savings. The low-cost ink bottles can yield 6000 pages for the black ink and 5000 pages for the colored inks. 

get a Brother pillow if you run 6k
Brother Refill Tank System's smart design also takes the hassle out of ink refilling through a simpler process that minimizes ink wastage. Refill ink by: 1) opening the cover that is conveniently located in front of the unit, 2) remove the tank cap, 3) tilt the ink bottle at a 45-degree angle and gently squeeze to refill the ink tank. The optimized 45-degree fill angle minimizes ink leakage and reduces staining, making it a more user-friendly experience.

The new range's built-in tank's see-through cover at the front also enables users to easily check how much ink is left, while freeing up precious desktop space. In addition, the ink calibration time is also the fastest in the industry at seven minutes.

print up to 6000 pages with Brother's new MFCs
And because the original refill ink is affordable, users can avoid the risk of print head damage caused by using non-genuine ink. This, in turn, reduces repair and replacement costs. Having high-yield ink bottles also makes for less frequent ink purchases for added convenience.

Suggested retail prices are P8,450 for the DCP-T300 and P9,450 for the DCP-T500W. They are now available from Brother Philippines' authorized dealers. 

Brother and Color Manila representatives
having fun with glow-in-the-dark powder
which will be used during the Nite Run
Join the public launch of the new Brother Refill Tank System and win exciting prizes by joining the Brother Color Manila Nite Run: Blacklight Edition on May 16, 2015 at Filinvest City, Alabang. There will also be Brother Color Manila Davao and Cebu runs on May 24 and May 31, respectively. Register now at http://colormanilarun.com

For more information about Brother Philippines, visit http://www.brother.com.ph.




I have been running (again) for eight months now and I guess I've gotten better at it because my husband registered me (without my permission) to join Nat Geo Run 2015's 10k category! Of course I was pressured! In all our practice runs, the longest distance I've covered was only about 7k but I took this one as a challenge to see how far my physical endurance could take me. (And this was after running 5k the day before at the Pro Earth Run! Spell C-R-A-Z-Y!) 

with husband and wife runner friends Jay and Beth
Since it was my first time to run a 10k route coming from the MOA running grounds going to Macapagal Avenue all the way to Roxas Boulevard, I kept anticipating a U-Turn anytime soon but the road seemed to stretch out longer and longer! I passed the World Trade Center, Star City, the CCP, and the Central Bank until I reached the street going to Malate Church! Honestly, at one point, I thought the route would never end :p

5:30AM gun start for the 10k runners


Like my husband and the rest of our family, I am very conscious about my carbon footprints. We believe that if we all do our part, no matter how small, we can help save the environment. At home, we have been practicing proper waste segregation for more than a decade now. As a result, we only bring out a lot less the thrash than many of our neighbors do when the garbage collectors pass by. As much as possible, we also try to encourage other people to do the same.

yup, gotta stop and take a selfie once in a while :)  
Last Saturday, hubby and I joined 5,000 other Earth advocates in Pro Earth Run 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds in Pasay City. We enjoyed and finished the 5k category running side by side that early morning. Because the bibs didn't have timing chips, I used my Runtastic app to record our time and I was glad to have finished the route in 46:55. What made me doubly happy was earning my third finisher's medal, yay! 

Protect, Respect, and Oversee Mother Earth


We all grew up enjoying M&M's Chocolates, right? So what better way to reminisce our childhood than to meet the world-famous M&M's Characters! Yesterday, media and mall-goers got to meet "Mr Know-It-All" Red, cool Blue, optimist Yellow, sexy and confident Green, and worrisome Orange at The Atrium, Eastwood Mall.

Our happy group that couldn't resist posing with Yellow and Red! 
Filipino fans of the brand are in for a treat because the meet-the-fans session happens until tomorrow! From April 24th to 26th, patrons of Eastwood Mall are invited to join the M&M's characters as well as Luis Manzano for a fun-filled weekend of activities and prizes. 

M&M's Philippine Tour


Spend more time with your loved ones and less time doing household chores! This is actually possible if you have a resourceful and creative attitude as well as have the right home appliances to help you out. 

Home is definitely where the heart is!
Filipino moms are very practical when it comes to recycling and upcycling stuff at home. We find satisfaction in transforming leftovers into a new dish for breakfast in the morning to finding ways to reusing old containers and basically maximizing our resources at home. 

Do More With Less using Electrolux Appliances
Electrolux, a global leader in home appliances, recognizes this capacity of moms to Do More With Less, and encourages the whole family to be more creative and resourceful at home. "Moms are inventive," affirms Andrea Pionilla, Marketing Manager of Electrolux Philippines. "Leave it to them to find a way to recycle something that seems unusable.

from left: Andrea Pionilla, Cheska Garcia-Kramer, Chef Rosebud Benitez-Velasco,
Chef Bruce Lim, and host Issa Litton


A lot of cybercriminal stories seem like stuff we only get to see in movies. But I had the privilege to listen to a real life story of how Kaspersky Lab was able to record a rare and unusual example of one cybercriminal attacking another. Read on because this is interesting …

There was this small and technically unremarkable cyberespionage group called Hellsing, which targets mostly government and diplomatic organizations in Asia. In 2014, the group was subjected to a spear-phishing attack by another threat actor and decided to strike back.

Naikon's targets
Kaspersky Lab believes that this incident could be the beginning a of new trend in criminal cyberactivity: the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) wars. This discovery was made by Kaspersky Lab experts while researching into the activity of Naikon, a cyberespionage group that also targets organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Naikon’s targets were extremely wide-ranging but includes institutions in the Philippines like:
  • Office of the President
  • Armed Forces
  • Office of the Cabinet Secretary
  • National Security Council(s)
  • Office of the Solicitor General
  • National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Department of Justice
  • National Police
  • Presidential Management Staff
One of Naikon's targets spotted an attempt to infect its systems with a spear-phishing email carrying a malicious attachment. The target replied to the sender to question the authenticity of the email. Dissatisfied with the reply, the target did not open the attachment. Shortly after, the target forwarded to the sender an email containing the target's own malware.

Vicente Diaz, Principal Security Researcher of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) shared that the move triggered an investigation, which led to the discovery of the Hellsing APT group. The counter-attack method indicated that Hellsing wanted to identify the Naikon group and gather intelligence on it. Upon deeper analysis, Kaspersky Lab revealed a trail of spear-phishing emails from Hellsing that have malicious attachments designed to spread espionage malware among different organizations.

Vicente Diaz



I love testing my limits especially when it comes to new challenges. After all, as the saying goes, you only live once so you got to take all opportunities to have fun adventures while you're young and able. So before I get too old to travel, go racing on foot, and join friends in having wacky moments, I will wholeheartedly grab chances as they come to make memories I know I'll treasure in the coming years.

on board Coco Princess
I was glad to find myself in the company of nice bloggers and well-known personalities in the entertainment industry. We traveled via Cebu Pacific Air to Dumaguete where we boarded a ferry to the beautiful island of Siquijor

welcoming committee at Coco Grove Beach Resort
We actually already had a lot of fun on board the Coco Princes, the awesome ferry of Coco Grove Resort, even before we got to our destination. There were lots of great corners and spaces for photo ops which, I think, everyone was able to maximize. 

pretty table setting for lunch
Once in Siquijor, we had a delicious lunch, rested for bit, had an orientation about the Juan for Fun 2015 Backpackers Challenge (read other details about it in my other blog post), listened to JFF alumni share their stories, then geared up for the mini challenge they prepared for us. 

Team Blue: Marky, me, and Joyce



I love traveling and discovering new places. If I have the time and the budget, I'd do it as often as I could, while I can! I believe this is also how Cebu Pacific's Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge 2015 Adventure Coaches feel, too, as they are all enthusiastic travelers who enjoy having adventures anywhere they go.

Champ, Jude, Joyce, Iya, and Bogart
These certified adventure seekers signed up for JFF 2015 to serve as mentors to five student teams who will be going on an all-expenses-paid trip across Cebu Pacific's extensive network of destinations. The coaches will be staying in touch and cheering for their respective teams through social media throughout the whole duration of the eight-day backpacker challenge happening from June 23 to July 1.

All five Adventure Coaches expressed excitement at being part of Juan for Fun and are looking forward to meeting their teams soon. Here, they share some tips and pointers to aspiring participants so they could make their experiences even more memorable. 




Traveling is one of the most exciting things you should do while you're young and physically capable to take on one adventure after the other. Previous participants and winners of Cebu Pacific's Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge can definitely attest to that. 

#JuanForFun2015
This past weekend, I met four young people whose adventurous spirits led them to audition, get accepted, and go to exciting destinations for several days -- for FREE! These Juan for Fun alumni shared how much they enjoyed their trips and sharpened many of their skills. 

Esme, Mara, Gian, and Patrik may have come from different teams and JFF editions but they have at least two things in common -- a zest for life and the desire to discover new things through traveling. Fortunately, Cebu Pacific came up with a unique and exciting travel adventure program for college and university students like them. 

JFF alumni: (from left) Esme, Mara, Gian, and Patrik


It is hard to resist shopping for clothes made by trusted brands especially when they are offered at half the price. Last year, I bought two dresses and one top from SM Woman several days after it was launched during Philippine Fashion Week (I wrote about it for A&B magazine) because I really love the designs and so many of the stuff I tried on fit me perfectly. Imagine how hard it was for me to choose which ones to buy!

Coco Cabana swimwear
Early last week, The SM Store announced that they'll be having its first Ladies Night on April 15 and will be slashing prices at 50% off of SM Woman, GTW by SM, Coco Cabana, and Gigi Amore, among others. Like many of my female friends, I was eager to see what nice items we could get a low prices. 

lots of Frozen items!


Flavor is one of the best reasons customers return to a particular dining establishment again and again. That is actually what keeps Wingstop patrons coming back for more. Flavor creates the crave that people have been raving about -- including me!

we thoroughly enjoyed our first Wingstop experience!
I finally had the chance to taste for myself how good Wingstop's offerings are the other day during its official store opening at Glorietta 2 in Makati. The event was graced by President and CEO of Wingstop International Charlie Morrison who introduced us to 9 flavors of chicken wings to choose from and which excite the palate in their own unique ways. 


Before I share more about the individual flavors though, let me give you a backgrounder. Wingstop is a fast-casual restaurant that specializes in flavorful wings. It has been around for 21 years and has sold over 2 billion wings to date! The brand has perfected 9 crave-inducing recipes that earned Wingstop rave reviews from national taste tests, 'best of' reader polls, and industry rankings. 

MYX VJ Chino Lui Pio interviewing Wingstop's Charlie Morrison



It is natural to be conscious of skin conditions. Whether we like it or not, our society today is more judgmental when it comes to physical looks. During the Coverderm launch in Makati recently, we met a girl named Khrys with a large birthmark and chickenpox scars on her face and a guy named Dion with a big tattoo on his chest. 

Coverderm products
Both admit to being conscious of how they look. Dion even shared that he found it hard to land a good job because of his tattoo. Thanks to skilled makeup artists, the "flaws" were covered up until they were unnoticeable. The event host also surprised us by revealing a tattoo on her left arm when she removed the Coverderm foundation applied on it. I was impressed by what I saw because I've never seen a concealer that effective! 

we didn't know she had a tattoo until she removed the Coverderm foundation on her arm!


"Especially in this day and age …
I have always believed that great accomplishments
will come without compromise of one's ideals and principles.
To this end, we should always pursue our businesses with honor,
and never waver in our commitment 
to the principles of professionalism, integrity, and patriotism."
- Ambassador Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. (RVR)

Don't you just love reading those words? I hope, if you've read it for the first time, you'll be encouraged as I was to keep working hard without compromising principles. RVR passed away in 2008 and while he's no longer here physically, his vision, the values he stood for, and his commitment to nation-building still live on particularly in his most significant institutional legacy -- the Philippine Investment and Management Consultants (PHINMA) Group.

RVR Award 2015
RVR also founded the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and FilOil, the first Filipino-owned oil company. He was also the first national president of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila, and the first Asian world president of JCI.

RVR Award trophy


My hubby and I love dining at Tokyo Bubble Tea because, aside from their delicious milk teas, they also offer tummy-filling dishes that go well with their famous beverages. This summer, Tokyo Bubble Tea is bringing the Sakura Season to our country for those of us who are unable to just fly to Japan and see the actual cherry blossoms there.

husband and wife bonding at Tokyo Bubble Tea BGC
For many people around the world, one of the most beautiful sights is the blooming of the cherry blossom trees during springtime. Even the Japanese can't get enough of it thus they have been celebrating Hanami for hundreds of years by having picnics under the famous trees to simply marvel and appreciate the lovely flowers. 

Sakura Season


Anybody who loves a great story would definitely find Kung Paano Ako Naging Lady very entertaining. After all, this original Filipino musical combines comedy, drama, romance, action, deception, confessions, superheroes, supervillains, a family, and a maid!


I got to see and hear excerpts of the production yesterday and some of the lyrics and dialogues are the kind that will figuratively have you rolling on the floor laughing. I can't wait to watch the whole show next month! 

Dalanghita Productions, Manila's newest theater group, in cooperation with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), proudly presents a fantastic production based on Carlo Vergara's one-act play and graphic novel entitled Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady.

Love triangle


The summer heat can be harsh on the hair and scalp, which may lead to having those white flakes brought about by dry skin, among other factors. Clear, the world's number one anti-dandruff shampoo for men, has just launched another breakthrough dandruff solution to address hard-to-beat dandruff problems. 

Clear for Women
Dandruff is a recurring problem that causes embarrassment and discomfort for many Filipinos especially during social situations. Women admit that dandruff ruins the natural beauty of hair while men's need for styling using waxes and hair gels can sometimes lead to chronic dandruff.  

The new formulation of Clear anti-dandruff shampoo contains Nutrium 10, which is a unique and powerful blend of essential nutrients that eliminates visible flakes. With regular use, you can continuously protect your scalp and hair from recurring dandruff.

Clear for Men


A lot of people nowadays usually admit to having no time anymore to prepare home-cooked meals, especially during weekdays.  With our fast-paced lives and fully-packed work schedules, city dwellers on the go feel that preparing ingredients and cooking meals take too much time and effort. So we resort to the "instant" meals we've stocked in the pantry, dine out, or call a fast food delivery hotline.

Clara Ole products 
And yet, we all recognize that too much of something isn't a good thing, especially if we know that instant solutions can't be all that healthy for our family, right? While a busy lifestyle seems to be the norm these  days, I personally believe how important it is to put value, more than ever, on home-cooked and healthy meals. 

Amy Perez-Castillo, with Gelli Victor, demonstrating how to cook her signature dish
And yes, this includes those who live in small condo units! No matter how busy you think you are or how restricted your living quarters are, you just need to discover the wide array of convenient food solutions from Clara Ole as these are very helpful when whipping up healthy and delicious that don't take up too much time and kitchen space.

the Castillo family's favorite pasta dish 


In 2014, according to the World Health Organization website, a total of 59,943 dengue cases were reported from January 1 to September 6 by the National Epidemiology Center of the Philippines’ Department of Health. Unfortunately, majority of the infected patients were aged five to 14 with a total of 242 deaths recorded, most of whom were children.


Dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases, continues to affect thousands of Filipinos every year. Thus, we should really find ways to avoid getting bitten by infected mosquitoes.

Last month, I opened a pack of MozzStop Mosquito Ovicide and Larvicide to see for myself how it works. One sealed pack contains two black plastic jars, two MozzStop sachets, and two flat wooden sticks. 

opened MozzStop kit



Filipinos, especially moms, who love to cook have our own tried-and-tested, go-to recipes. In my husband's family, my mother-in-law's Macaroni Salad has always been a blockbuster since her kids were small. Now, it's my own kids who often request that we make this particular dish. Amusingly, one big batch doesn't even last a week!

whipping up Macaroni Salad
One of the secrets to this macaroni salad is Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise. My mom-in-law says she doesn't trust any other and have used only this brand for decades. So when hubby and I whip up a batch, we make sure to get all the ingredients right, especially the mayo.

ingredients for Macaroni Salad
As moms, we are always on the look out for new ways to surprise our families with something special. So, for those of you who have yet to experience the delicious goodness of Lady's Choice Mayo and those who are excited to try something new, you are in for a tastier, creamier surprise.

Creamy Chicken Adobo
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