This October, one of the Philippines' top favorite dining establishments is celebrating its 70th "birthday." Max's Restaurant, home of the famous fried chicken, can be literally described as a palatable source of Filipino pride.

Max's Restaurant 3rd generation heirs 
For many Pinoys, especially those who come home as balikbayans from abroad, Max's is the go-to place for perfectly seasoned, satisfyingly crispy, and delightfully comforting fried chicken dish made from a recipe that has been passed on across generations. It is said to comprise much more than secret seasonings and undiscovered cooking techniques. 

Jim Fuentabella, Max's VP of Corporate Marketing, shares that it is their goal to carry the same taste to all of their stores. "They say that the chicken at our original branch tastes better, so it is a priority for us to replicate this experience of excellence in each restaurant."

fried spring chicken

I've been a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) client since I was a baby. No kidding! I still have a passbook somewhere with Bank of P.I. printed on the cover. It was my mom who opened that account for me. Fast forward to when I became a mother, too, and BPI was already offering Jumpstart. Of course, my boys also got their own accounts where we set aside their savings from monetary gifts they get during special occasions.  

I've used my BPI Credit Card numerous times to pay for traveling expenses
and I can personally say it has greatly helped make the best travels happen :)
Over the years, I keep being impressed by how BPI continues to be a leader in banking breakthroughs. I remember signing up for an online account back in the early 2000s and it has proven to be very useful in fast tracking transactions I can make, anywhere I am. I also appreciate the touch screen machines inside the branches because it eliminated the tedious filling out of deposit/withdrawal forms that have to be in several copies. The bank also provides seats for clients who are waiting for their turn (which can take really long, at times) unlike other banks where you have to stand and queue in long lines.

This October, BPI once again sets a new trend in banking with its Make the Best Happen campaign. Beyond its wide range of consumer, corporate, and investment banking products and services, BPI, first of all, wants to support its clients by helping us focus on our life aspirations.

BPI's mobile app makes banking-on-the-go possible! 

Last month, I blogged about UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for ChildrenAnne Curtis, organizing a run for the benefit of the organization's 1,000 Days Campaign. This past Sunday, close to 3,000 participants, including children and persons with disabilities (PWDs), joined Heroes for Children Run 2015, Anne's first major fundraising initiative .

Anne victoriously crossing the finish line
"I've always held a soft spot for children," says Anne, who successfully finished her first 21 kilometers race. "In our country, more than three million children are stunted. Studies show that many [kids] in the Philippines do not live past their fifth birthday because of undernutrition. This run is where we can all come together as heroes to provide [them] with the best start in life."

21k runners preparing for gun start
The event aimed to support one of UNICEF's priorities, which is to promote access to essential nutrition and health services for children's first 1000 days of life starting from conception until their first two years. This time period is a critical window of opportunity within the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) framework. It provides the foundation to shape a child's growth and development, the benefits of which would last well into adulthood.

Anne and Lotta

All of us, I'm sure, know that we need to get out of our routines once in a while and engage in fun activities that will refresh and energize us before we tackle work's daily grind again. 

adventure seekers
However, we're often faced with the dilemma of whether to engage in quite risky adventures or not because we worry about getting hurt and having to spend a lot on the ensuing medical bills. But, hey, it's normal to think that way. Sometimes, it's better to be paranoid than regret doing something later, right? 

adventurous me!
The thing is, though, we should take on as many adventures as we can while we're still young and could still engage in them! People always talk about life being short and yet, often find themselves holding back from going on adventures due to safety reasons. 

wall traverse

I will always be a probinsyana at heart. I love waking up to cool mornings, gently swaying trees, and the sounds of birds chirping. Growing up in Laguna and finishing school in San Pablo and Los Baños from elementary to college made me dream of someday living in the province again where life is simpler and more peaceful.  

for those dreaming of a more laid-back lifestyle
Sto. Tomas, Batangas is a promising location in Southern Luzon where homebuyers can find that sweet spot between urban and rural living. This first-class municipality has sufficient infrastructure and available land that makes it one of the most ideal business hubs in the area. Along with the local economy's growth are lifestyle opportunities that may soon be comparable to Metro Manila's social scene.

Bacci units: two floors (left) and three floors (right) 
When Filipinos are asked though what makes a dream home, answers usually range from somewhere one can spend quality time with the family to a location where one can enjoy current lifestyle trends. On the other hand, others simply desire for a place to escape the bustling Metro's ever-present irritants such as traffic, floods, and pollution.  Moreover, finding a home also usually boils down to choosing between city (urban) and provincial (rural) life. 

a place for some peace and quality time

Moms all over the world have different approaches to raising children. What's noticeable though is that many mothers have now embraced technology and use their learnings to help them bring up their children and manage their households.

According to a survey ran by, Asian moms are technically the most powerful member of the family. In fact, 83% of mothers in the region consider themselves the primary decision makers when it comes to household purchases.  

Being key influencers in their respective homes means Asian moms often control product choices, domestic arrangements, and even life-changing family decisions. In the Philippines, women have been found to become more internet-savvy once they become moms. In addition, they are increasingly mobile and are the new CEOs (Chief Household Officers).  

The 2015 Annual Asian Digital Mom Survey reveals six highlights:

1. Mom is the leader of the digital pack. Out of six countries surveyed (Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India), the highly connected and modernized Filipino mom is noted to be the most active on Facebook groups, forums, and online communities.

2. She’s ​ma-chika​! Did you know that 63% of Filipino moms spend one to six hours on the internet for work? Thus, engagement seems almost second nature. It is not surprising then to know that 22% of these active mommies admit to interacting on online communities several times a day! 

ASUS Philippines recently held an event at Valkyrie in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig to launch not just one, but several new products that will cater to the different needs of its consumers.

Unfold Incredible Stories with ASUS

First up is the Zen AiO Pro Series, a premium range of all-in-one PCs that fuse art with industry-leading technology. It provides the perfect balance of beauty and performance for the ultimate all-in-one computing experience.

Elegantly presented in an all-aluminum Icicle Gold color design, the Zen AiO Pro is powered by 6th-generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor and gaming-grade NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 960M graphics with up to 4GB of video memory. All these ensure superb stutter-free high-resolution movies and videos in vivid, lifelike colors, or play even the very latest games at full resolution with high quality settings.

The Zen AiO Pro aims to provide out-of-the-ordinary performance for truly-immersive family entertainment. Both models are equipped with a powerful six-speaker ASUS SonicMaster Premium sound system that delivers 16W of incredibly rich and clear stereo sound. Too, whether it's for home entertainment or creative workspace, users get full connectivity across all devices allowing it to become the ultimate digital hub for work or play.

Zen AiO Pro
Other leading-edge technology features of the Zen AiO Pro include the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, up to PCIe® 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD storage. This means you get blindingly-fast data transfers of up to 10Gbit/s —twice as fast as USB 3.0, and over twenty times faster than USB 2.0. With these speeds, even the biggest data transfers take no time at all.

Zen AiO Pro uses the latest USB 3.1 Type-C connector for improved ease of use — the connector is reversible, so it can’t be inserted the wrong way round. And for all-device connectivity, Zen AiO Pro also has a full complement of 4 USB 3.0 ports plus a USB 2.0 port, along with the latest ultra-fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

As to multimedia entertainment, the stunning FHD 10-point multi-touch IPS display will provide vibrant, pin-sharp visuals that make every detail visible, along with wide viewing angles and ultra-responsive touch interactivity. Zen AiO Pro also has a color gamut of up to 100% sRGB, which ensures accurate, rich and vivid color reproduction.

Stephen Cokeng, ASUS desktop product manager

We've been told as children that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Apparently, this adage is true because apples are packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits! No wonder, the folks at Mott's love working with these luscious fruits!

if you don't have the real fruits, go for 100% apple juice!
Mott's was founded in 1842 by apple grower S.R. Mott in New York. He used learnings from his grandfather to perfect advanced pasteurization and filtration techniques at his mill. Since then, the company has proven to be the expert when it comes to apples by offering delicious and high quality products.  

Mott's 100% Original Apple Juice was brought to the Philippines in the 1980's. Every eight-ounce serving already provides you with two servings of fruit and 120% Daily Value Vitamin C. According to Cheshire Que, a Philippine and USA registered dietitian-nutrtionist, not everyone can get fresh fruits all the time so Mott's Apple Juice is a great way to get those Vitamin C requirements. 

nutritionist-dietitian Cheshire Que
Que reminds moms to always check the labels and read the ingredients first before buying fruit juices. "Go for 100% fruit juice. Whether they're from concentrate or reconstituted, they are equally nutritious." She explains that juice cocktails and juice drinks, on the other hand, have additives and have more calories. 

Thus, we should steer clear of labels that indicates the presence of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), sucrose (or table sugar), or cane sugar because they increase triglycerides, which can make us fat. Que differentiates HFCS with fructose that naturally comes from the food that we eat, which is not harmful for the body.

Popcorn Clusters, Perky Pancakes, and Mott's Ale Mocktail
some of the creative ways to use Mott's 100% Apple Juice

I live in South Metro Manila and sometimes pass by Robinsons Place Las Piñas whenever we take my son for a neuro check up in a hospital near this mall. However, it was only last Saturday when I finally got to really visit the place and found out how nice it is inside.

artist's perspective from the Robinsons Malls website
Robinsons Place Las Piñas is spacious! It has a lot of stores inside as well as an open area near the back where customers can find various restaurants serving different kinds of cuisine. There are also dining establishments located inside the main mall.

the open air area dotted with various establishments  
My first stop was Chef Resty's Roast Beef Carving Station, a fast-casual dining restaurant at the mall's second floor. The brand was founded by Resty S. Dizon, a recognized caterer in the food industry. Backed by years of experience and exposure in the culinary and hospitality business, he conceptualized the idea of serving gourmet roast beef at affordable prices and which are readily available for consumers; no longer just in hotel buffets or fine dining restaurants.

gourmet roast beef

A lot of people celebrate the Christmas season by finding ways to give back blessings to others. In the spirit of the upcoming yuletide holidays, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has once again taken upon itself the mission to spread joy in all forms and give flavor one cup at a time.

pursue your passions and treasure each moment 
Starting November 2015, CBTL will be offering its customers two special holiday flavors that are perfect companions for celebrating the season. Each drink will be available as an iced drink or a warm latte. 

The Toffee Nut flavor is inspired by traditional holiday confections comprised of a buttery caramelized sugar with a hint of nut, paired with the richness of espresso and a sprinkle of toffee bits. The Winter Dream Tea, on the other hand, is a beverage that blends rooibos and black tea with sweet spices and hints of vanilla. Both drinks were lovingly crafted to capture the spirit of Christmas in a cup ideally savored amidst the busyness of our holiday preparations.

find ways to be happy -- such as sharing your blessings!

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of discovering a new dining establishment that serves big and delicious chicken wings offered in various flavors. Since then, I've been to Wingstop in Glorietta 2 several times with members of my family because my husband and sons have also come to love eating there and we each now have our favorite flavors.

some of the savory wings and side dishes you'll find at Wingstop
At Wingstop, every single order is cooked fresh for each customer. That is why waiting for your food to arrive will only raise your level of anticipation for what promises to be a serving of wings with quality, memorable, and mouth-watering flavors.

inside the Wingstop ATC branch
However, Makati City is still quite far from our place in Muntinlupa. So I was really, really glad to find out that Wingstop is opening a branch in our area. Last week, hubby and I joined several friends in Alabang Town Center and enjoyed the goodness served by the wings flavor company that now boasts of 10 unique flavors. 

with my favorite Wingstop flavor

Water can be harmful to most kinds of footwear. With people being more fashion-conscious these days, rainy days could make it difficult to put together outfits with shoes that make a good match

trying out the Casino Red Rubber Chucks with Marj
Most times, we end up choosing to wear sandals or slippers to avoid having our favorite shoes ruined by puddles and drops of rain. The problem is, our feet get exposed to wetness and dirt. I often experience that and it's very uncomfortable traveling with cold and soaked feet. 

Rubber Chucks in Gloom Green and Converse Black
Several times in the past, I've also ended up having soggy socks and sneakers as a result of braving flooded streets after a sudden downpour. 

braving the rain

People love telling and hearing stories. Whether they are true-to-life experiences or tales from the imagination, interesting stories will always find an enthusiastic audience. That's exactly what happened at the De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde early this week when Pioneer Insurance's Virgin Labfest 11 Campus Tour was held there.

Dalawang Gabi tells the story of falling in love and the heartaches that go with it.
Meann Espinosa and Alex Yasuda had us laughing out loud with
witty dialogues and funny comebacks
Students, teachers, and guests raptly watched Dalawang Gabi and Hintayan ng Langit. Both stories have engaging plots and excellent actors. We laughed at the witty lines but also felt emotional during the sad parts. 

Hintayan ng Langit is the story of two old people who found themselves
in purgatory where they have to find closure first before journeying to heaven.
Real life couple Nonoy and Edna Froilan played their parts really well.
The unexpected ending and their impeccable timing earned them a big round of applause.
As an avid theater fan, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the stories come to life. The playwrights, directors, and the rest of the crew likewise did an amazing job putting everything together. The many questions thrown during the Q and A session evidently showed how interested the students were about the creative processes of playwriting as well as acting. I am sure the answers they heard inspired those who have the passion to also pursue their dreams. 

Realize your dream of becoming a playwright … now!

A lot of activities about breast cancer awareness are organized every October to support measures that could improve, or even save the lives of women who have been diagnosed with the now beatable disease. 

Sabina helps women, who have undergone mastectomy,
regain their self-esteem
The Philippines has been reported to have the most cases of breast cancer in Southeast Asia. The disease is so common, 1 in every 13 Filipinas will suffer from it in her lifetime. Unfortunately, most of the cases in the country are detected at the latter stages when the possibility of treatment is slim or the condition is no longer treatable. 

an advocacy that helps fight the threat of breast cancer
In addition, the Philippines has the highest rate of full mastectomy or breast removal and the lowest rate of breast conservation. With this in mind, SM Woman has taken the initiative to fan the flames in battling this disease by finding ways to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors. 

representatives of Sabina, SM Woman, and I Can Serve Foundation

Many of us say that we are very conscious about our health but, did you know, only 3 in 5 Filipinos (or 59%) still do not exercise regularly? According to Mylene Lopa, Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer, the Sun Life Asia Health Index 2015 report revealed that despite being the most optimistic in Asian region, Filipinos are also the most worried over largely preventable conditions such as heart disease (60% vs. 41% regionally) and diabetes (40% vs. 31% regionally).

getting fit is a choice; you have to FIND TIME to do it!
From over 4,000 people surveyed, aged between 25 and 60 years old across China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the study showed that 97% of the 700 respondents in the Philippines rank their personal health as an important aspect of their lives. Nevertheless, 46% fall into 'unhealthy segments' who are least satisfied across all life aspects, including stress management, level of exercise and energy, quality of sleep, and level of happiness.

you think of yourself as healthy but are you, really? 
Through the latest research, three segments were found to represent 'unhealthy' people while the other three are those who are -- in different ways -- 'healthy.' Each segment is characterized by distinct perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors that either hamper or encourage healthy living. In which health segment do you belong to?

in what health segment do you fit in?

If you haven't read my personalized post and review about the NEW Céleteque DermoCosmetics Line yet, please find it here. It contains a lot of tips and recommendations quoted from beauty experts who were present during the product launch. This post, on the other hand, provides a detailed list of the products, their benefits, available shades, and prices.

Press Release: 

Get that youthful look with the Céleteque DermoCosmetics Anti-Aging line:

The Céleteque DermoCosmetics Dual CC Matte Powder (P749.00) keeps oily skin at bay with its 12-hour matte finish. Cinical studies have shown a significant decrease in skin oiliness from the first and second week of product usage, and it has also been proven to reduce fine lines to up to 42.87% when used for four weeks. It also contains Glutathione, Arbutin, and Mulberry, all of which inhibit melanin production and lighten skin color with regular use.  The Dual CC Matte Powder is also packed with collagen peptide, which maintains skin firmness and improves elasticity through increased collagen formation, as well as Tocopheryl Acetate, which promotes skin hydration. This multi-tasking product is also packed with color correcting pigments that even out skin tone, as well as SPF 30 to protect the skin from the sun’s harsh UVA rays, considered one of the primary culprits of aging. 

The Céleteque DermoCosmetics 24-hour Photoready Foundation (P795.00) is another must-have, as it provides a smooth airbrush finish for 24 hours while concealing dark spots for all skin types. It has micro pigments and silicone elastomers that hide blemishes and dark circles. It’s also has Phytocelltec, a component harnessed from cutting-edge plant cell culture technology that has extensive anti-aging properties, making skin more supple and radiant every day. Just like the Dual CC Matte Powder, the 24-hour Photoready Foundation is also infused with Collagen Peptide, which reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity through regular use: Studies have shown that wrinkles were significantly reduced up to 41.31% through the fourth week of product usage.  Best of all, it has color-correcting pigments and SPF 30 that shield the skin from harmful UV rays.

Work hard then play harder. We, women, should take care of ourselves because that is one secret to having a good work-life balance. Finding "me times" is essential as we need to de-stress from all the hectic things we normally do on a daily basis.

Likewise, we should also expect nothing less from our personal care products! Céleteque, the trusted name in cutting-edge skincare technology, has just launched another pioneering breakthrough. Aside from its already extensive, customized, and expert line of dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and clinically-proven products, Céleteque's new makeup line fuses cosmetics with skincare.

Céleteque DermoCosmetics offers modern-day women the best of both worlds: expert skincare solutions and superior color cosmetics to highlight one's natural beauty minus all the fuss. This new line offers a full skincare regimen for the face, lips, cheeks, and eyes that protect the skin 24/7, providing us with a whole range of makeup essentials for everyday use. 

(from left) Sam, Dr. Ian, Ning, and Atty. Karen 
What's more, all products in Céleteque's DermoCosmetics line has anti-aging and skin nourishment benefits, making sure it covers all the bases to give you that youthful look without the use of any harmful substances.  

During the product launch, hosted by Sam Oh and recently held in SM Makati, TV host and columnist Atty. Karen Jimeno encouraged women to "Maximize your potentials. You are in control so let go of the mindset of helplessness. Have the right systems in place and choose efficient products that work for you."

Ning Tadena, makeup artist and motivational life coach, similarly advised event attendees to "Build your confidence using things you can control. Enhance your physical assets because transformation can boost confidence." Moreover, triathlete Dr. Ian Banzon reminded women to "Keep working on yourself. Don't choose the easy way; it's up to you to set your limits."

Krist holding a makeup demo session
I appreciate how these inspiring women have affirmed that a 2X Beautiful mindset is achievable as long as we keep working on creating a better version of ourselves. That's woman empowerment right there!

Dr. Christene Arandia, a dermatologist, further shared other useful skincare tips:
  • Makeup, in general, doesn't really cause acne. But if you already have blemishes, makeup can aggravate acne because it clogs the pores. 
  • Non-comedogenic makeup doesn't clog the pores while hypoallergenic makeup means it has lesser chances of being an allergy trigger
  • It is wise to choose products that come from reputable companies because they invest on research to ensure the safety of their consumers
  • Read the ingredients of makeup you're buying. Look for those with silica and dimethicone, for example, as these don't dry skin. Also, go for products with at least SPF30 for sunblock coverage.
  • Makeup should color, beautify, enhance, nourish, moisturize, and correct flaws and pigments. Enjoy all that with Céleteque DermoCosmetics.
Rhinna and Sam
Rhinna Cua, Céleteque product manager, explained that the thrust of the brand is to be able to maximize confidence via their products. "It took us two years to develop the line so that we can address the needs of the modern woman. The color palettes were carefully chosen for that fresh flawless look. This product innovation is something we are very proud of." 

Later, makeup artist Krist Banzuelo also demonstrated how to use the products in the Céleteque DermoCosmetics line on a pretty model he chose from among the event guests. 

with Jing (left) and Pam (right)
My friend, Jing Javier, and I had the pleasure of trying out Celeteque Dermo's new line with the help of makeup artist Pam Robes. The makeup felt really light on my skin and gave out a healthy glow. I believe I'd enjoy using the products every time I'll need to apply makeup in the coming days. I love the thought that they would take care of my skin while I am wearing them! :)

Check out the complete list of Céleteque DermoCosmetic products, their ingredients, benefits, and prices, in my next blog post

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