I like eating chicken cooked in a variety of ways. Not surprisingly, this versatile meat that can be incorporated in so many different kinds of dishes, is one of the world's most well-loved food choices. With its many nutritional benefits, chicken is light on the tummy and is a great source of protein due to its lower fat content.

Chicken's uncomplicated taste and juiciness makes it one of the best culinary ingredients because it perfectly blends with and complements almost anything. It is adaptable, widely available, and reasonably affordable.  No wonder there are countless chicken recipes out there!

Sexy Chix Arrabiata is delicious with pasta!

For many people, savings mean setting aside part of their income so that they can buy, or pay for, things they need or want. However, wise spenders know that there are other ways to augment savings through -- yes -- shopping!

excuse the wacky shot,
my friends behind the camera were wackier than me! :p
I consider myself finance-savvy enough to be able to spot value-for-money purchases and one of the places I buy those products from is Watsons. If you are dreaming of buying a certain gadget, going to a dream destination, or acquiring a new car, add more money to your savings pot by switching to Watsons Label!

Tessa Valdes with Mac Book Air winner Jonalyn Pano
This 2016, aside from offering quality products at very friendly prices, Watsons also rewarded some lucky smart shoppers who did the Switch and Save (related blog post, here). Amazing prizes were showered on customers via the Switcher's Surprise campaign, a promo that brings to life the idea that by switching to the Watsons Label, shoppers are able to save money for things that they really want or matters the most to them.

Switcher Surprise Winner Julie Mamhot with Iya Villana

All of us are given opportunities to discover what we can do and how we can do them better. When Rachelle Ann Go was offered to be in a stage production of The Little Mermaid in 2010, she was initially hesitant to take on the role. 

Rachelle Ann will be on the cover of Yes! Magazine's March issue
"I don't have the background and the training," she confessed during our backstage interview at the Cream Silk Transformations event. "[But], I am thankful for doing that [because] I fell in love with [theater]. After that, sunod-sunod na."She described how doing The Little Mermaid and Tarzan in Manila built her confidence, never realizing that someday, she will also be doing theater abroad.

"It’s just an amazing experience doing Miss Saigon and Les Mis. I’m learning a lot, meeting lots of people. It’s a big thing for me," she shared. "When I went to the UK to try something else, to try something that I thought was impossible, going out of the box transformed me!"

It being her first time to live alone in an unknown place without family and friends around, Rachelle Ann admitted finding it difficult to sacrifice a lot. "It’s so different than home eh. I didn’t know how to cook. [Although] I know how to clean the house, I don’t do that often here because I’m working. But there, I don’t have a choice but to do house chores by myself." 

live cover shoot at the Cream Silk Transformations event

Cream Silk has always championed the Modern Filipina to go beyond beautiful by becoming the best version of herself in her journey of transformation. Last Saturday, the brand launched its newest campaign called Cream Silk Transformations: Spotlight on the #ModernFilipina at the World Trade Center Tent.

Cream Silk ambassadors will be on the cover of top magazines' March issues
Gina Lorenzana, Unilever's Vice President for Personal Care, acknowledged that the Maria Clara image is now overshadowed by women who are slowly climbing up the ranks and embracing bigger and better roles for themselves.

Myrza Sison, EIC of Cosmopolitan shares her transformation story
"Today, the modern Filipina has become both a spotlight and a beacon. She has evolved into a fearless and trailblazing individual determined to realize her dreams and make a positive mark in the world," described Lorenzana.

first ever live cover shoot event

There are a lot of whitening products in the market today. However, not all are true to their promise of truly making skin look fairer. Since I started running more than a year ago, one of my skin care concerns is the darkening of my arms and lower legs after they are exposed to sunlight during races and practices.

Having uneven skin tone doesn't look very nice especially when one has to wear sleeveless tops and dresses or shorts and mini skirts. That's why I do try to maintain a consistent and balanced skin color by applying sun block as often as possible.

Snow Skin Whitening Cream and Lotion
Two weeks ago, I started using Snow Skin Whitening Lotion on my arms and legs. I usually apply it after taking a bath and before I go out into the sun. The nice thing about this product is that it provides both skin and sun care. It addresses hyper pigmentation including dark spots, age spots, acne marks, old scars, uneven skin tone, and melasma.

Snow Skin has 7 Elite Skin Whitening Actives that are clinically proven to whiten skin and are effective in anti-aging. It contains high percentages of concentration of all seven active ingredients. This is important to know because other manufacturers usually one main expensive active then mixes it with cheaper ones like papaine or Kojic Acid. That's why some lotions and creams take very, very long to take effect, or not at all.

Snow comes in handy bottles with airless dispenser

Many of us grew up drinking Coca-Cola, it being the one of the most iconic beverages of all time. A couple of days ago, the brand unveiled a new global communications campaign that reaffirms how celebrating moments can be made more special simply by having a bottle of the refreshing drink.

new campaign imagery, see all photos here
Dubbed "Taste the Feeling™," the campaign fully embodies the uplifting refreshment of drinking Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Coke Light through great universal storytelling and rich visual imagery. According to Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, "The new global approach is a powerful investment behind all Coca-Cola products, showing how everyone can enjoy the specialness of an ice-cold Coca-Cola, with or without calories, with or without caffeine."

With the product at the heart of its communications, Taste the Feeling spotlights Coca-Cola as the hero of their advertising efforts, capturing both its functional and emotional traits. "[It's about] how having a Coke makes any moment more memorable and more special,"described Stephan Czypionka, Vice President for Marketing, Coca- Cola Philippines.

Coca-Cola Philippines' Stephan Czypionka
To fully illustrate both in visual and through music intimate glimpses into everyday stories, feelings and experiences that people share while enjoying an ice-cold Coca-Cola, the company gathered global creative minds from different agencies, commissioned distinguished fashion and commercial photographers, partnered with three independent artists, and collaborated with a renowned songwriter and producer to come up with beautiful visual and auditory materials.

The creative campaign is anchored in the fundamentals of the Coca-Cola brand - the Spencerian script, the red disc and the iconic glass bottle - to provide a sensorial experience for consumers featuring authentic and real moments, a continuation of the long legacy of Coca-Cola.

classic Coke bottle

Innovative materials, bold patterns, bright colors, and woven textures -- those are what fans can expect from the Converse Spring/Summer 2016 All Star Footwear and Apparel Collection, which embody the spirit of the season, and pushes innovation with the new materials and prints.

Converse's CTAS II Mono goes well with any casual outfit
I had the privilege to see the new collection before many of the items hit stores in the next few months. The unveiling happened at Pineapple Lab in Makati City a few days ago where guests marveled at the latest items up Converse's sleeve.

Here are what's already available this January …

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Mono comes in stark contrast to the bright colorways of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Neon (coming in May).

the CTAS II Mono made more comfy with Lunarlon sockliner (in neon green) 

I've been watching movies (MMFF entries, etc.) and episodes of new (Supergirl) and old (Kyle XY) TV series on HOOQ since December and I find the app a good source of entertainment. Yesterday, I got an invite to catch an exclusive sneak peek of Mad Dogs, a remake of a British TV series from 2011. I have to confess I got hooked on the storyline!

I am HOOQ'd! Are you? :)
Mad Dogs stars Steve Zahn, Ben ChaplinMichael Imperioli, and Romany Malco. It is a mind-blowing thriller that begins in beautiful Belize where a group of friends had a reunion to celebrate the early retirement of their buddy Milo, played by Billy Zane. The villa setting is gorgeous but the feel of paradise quickly becomes marred with a labyrinth of lies, deception, and murder that puts the best of friendships to the ultimate test.

Can their friendship overcome the dark secrets and lies? Find out! 

Many would agree that mostly anything French sounds and feels elegant. After all, it is a country known for sophisticated fashion and food. French Cuisine, in particular, is considered one of the first established culinary traditions in the world. Its contributions to cuisines of other countries have actually become the template for contemporary culinary training.  

Mille feuille purple yam with tropical fruits bars made with dried pineapples and mangoes 
Today, with Filipino cuisine finally becoming popular internationally, the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA Manila) believes it is timely to hinge on a great culinary tradition to create world-class chefs. Thus, with the aim of establishing world-class culinary education in the Philippines, CCA and the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE) of Hong Kong have entered a groundbreaking academic partnership to pioneer classic French Cuisine training in the country. The collaboration is ICDE's first for Southeast Asia. 

It is exciting to know that three ICDE chef-instructors will handle all culinary classes and programs related to French Cuisine, starting with the Disciples Escoffier Diploma in Culinary Arts, a six-month program that could be expanded with shorter courses in French Cuisine for amateurs and professionals. Students can expect state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities at the new CCA Makati campus to accommodate the course requirements. Classes will start this April.

a toast for new beginnings

Filipinos are known worldwide to be hardworking people. It isn't surprising why many of our fellowmen keep being recognized in various countries by different award-giving institutions for excellence in many fields.  

Unilever's Gina Lorenzana affirmed positive Filipino traits and successes
Indeed, our country's greatest asset is its people. Day after day, hardworking Pinoys take on multiple challenges while remaining optimistic as we all keep on dreaming and working towards a bright future for our loved ones as well as wishing for a better and more progressive Philippines

The positive qualities in Filipinos allow us to continue smiling and to go above and beyond the call of duty. These traits, along with the much-needed sense of national identity, created the New Pinoy Mover, a Filipino who recognizes that every move makes a difference and strives to inspire and empower others by serving as a good example.

Marc Nelson and Apples Aberin hosted the Rexona MotionSense and Pinoy Movers
launch at the Marriott Grand Ballroom

More and more Filipinos living in Metro Manila are finding it harder to commute to work every day because of the worsening traffic. I know of people who are looking for extra ways to earn especially when they do decide to work from home.

With e-Commerce and online shopping booming in recent years, business-minded individuals now have the option to put up their stores via the Internet. And why not? Here, sellers don't need to pay exorbitant amounts to rent space for a physical store, helping them save on overhead costs and giving them more time to focus on earning instead. The same is true when you become an affiliate, which is different from being a seller.

be part of Yilinker and earn without investing money as capital 

I consider myself non-competitive when it comes to running. I don't think I'll ever dream of winning a race because I've seen how fast elite runners can go and I'm just into this sport mainly to continue my wellness journey and to live longer for the sake of my family.

my first Skyway run!
Still, I've learned to have simple dreams as a runner, seeing my husband reaching many of his own running goals over the years. Although I don't yet see myself running a half marathon any time soon, one of my aims last year was to be able to experience running on the Skyway.

dawn breaking over the horizon
Last year, I finished 5k and earned my first ever finisher's medal at the 7 Eleven 1500 Run. The route, however, only covered roads around Filinvest City in Alabang. Much as I wanted to sign up for 10k that time so I can run on my coveted route, I knew my limits and decided to patiently wait until my endurance gets better.

vehicle-free Skyway

I used to think that Glutathione is only taken when a person wants to have fairer skin. It was only in recent months when I learned that this protein (composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine) also serves as an anti-oxidant. Yes, glutathione is associated with skin whitening but did you know it can also help improve the immune system and provide many other benefits to the body?

(standing) Danilo Barrios, President, Tatiomax Pharma
(seated from left) Reine Barbie Monteclaro, Regina Soqueño-Barrios, and Jonathan Montes 
In terms of physical appearance, glutathione acts as a dark spot remover; prevents / remove pimples and acne marks; is anti-aging and anti-wrinkle; makes skin smooth, fresh, and radiant; enhances healing of wounds; and nourishes skin. 

TATIO ACTIVE DX product line

Children today are busier than ever. Fellow parents, help them become champions in whatever activities they choose to do. Here are five reasons why you should consider MILO with ACTIV-GO one of your parenting buddies:

1. Kids need energy. Let's face it, the schedules of today's young generation seems to be filled with more activities than they can handle. Many of them want to do experience things as much as possible so they need energy for both body and mind. MILO with ACTIV-GO has PROTOMALT, a unique malt blend that's a good source of carbohydrates ergo, also a great source of energy!

my youngest son in Milo's Sports Clinic for ice skating
2. Energy has to be released. Our bodies always have stored energy and it can be efficiently used with MILO with ACTIV-GO's nine micronutrients: six vitamins (B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and D) and three minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus). All these help the body release energy.    

3. MILO is a champion choice for breakfast. Made up of the nutritious goodness of malt, milk, and cocoa, this delicious chocolate drink gives children a reason to look forward to waking up every morning.

start your kids' day with MILO!

To celebrate its 60th year in business, Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) staged Run for a Child 2016, a charity run in Filinvest City, Alabang last January 10. The event benefitted scholars of the Educational Research and Development (ERDA) Foundation.

ERDA Foundation kids and Filinvest Group executives
get ready to run ...
Following two successful charity runs held by the Filinvest Group in 2005 and 2009 where a total of P8.2 million was raised, this year's run included Filinvest Group employees, their families and friends, Filinvest City locators and tenants, and corporate partners. For each participant, Filinvest donated the corresponding amount needed to send one child to school for a year. 

… and they're off! :)
My husband and I joined more than 1,000 registered participants of the fun run last Sunday. After the race, we attended the program held at the Filinvest Tent where ERDA Foundation accepted P6 million worth of donation, symbolizing Filinvest's 60th anniversary. The amount will support the educational needs of 660 elementary scholars, 660 high school scholars and 60 college scholars of ERDA Foundation for one school year. The donation was made through Filinvest Corporate City Foundation and Andrew Gotianun Foundation

me and my running buddy

I've read in some articles that people go to coffee shops not really for the coffee but for the ambiance and a place to hangout with friends. But I believe how the coffee tastes is also a big factor why patrons frequent certain establishments.

unwinding with friends at Cafe Laya
Me? I prefer coffee shops that not only serve good coffee but also prepare good food. Right now, Cafe Laya tops my list of favorite coffee shops because, aside from the delicious food and flavorful coffee, the place likewise inspires creativity while also helping local artisans.  

one of the colorful exhibit walls
Cafe Laya is a coffee shop in an art gallery (or vice versa). There, you'll find beverages and food made from local ingredients and homemade sauces. The coffee beans are 100% Arabica sourced from the Benguet Province and used as base for hot and cold, classic and exciting mixes such as Salted Caramel Latte and Mocha, Dark Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, and more.

ice cream and espresso based milk shakes (P165 - P185)

New year, new opportunities, and fresh starts. That's what 2016 is giving us and it's good to know that we can look forward to exciting months ahead armed with a positive outlook and jolly confidence.

here's to fresh starts and a positive outlook for 2016!
Partner that self-assurance with the new Colgate Fresh Confidence Mint Overload! This toothpaste is so refreshing, it releases a rush of intense freshness because it's loaded with cooling crystals and a mind-blowing mint flavor that bursts inside the mouth giving one a taste of its amazing mint overload.

Colgate's minty toothpaste is so cool! (pun intended LOL)
I like how the minty taste is not so overwhelming. The gentle coolness inside the mouth really gives that feeling of freshness for hours!

cooling crystals are visible in the toothpaste gel
It is great there's a toothpaste like this that can keep breath fresh for hours. It's going to be a Happy and Fresh 2016, indeed when you discover a #FreshYouYear with #ColgateFreshConfidence #ColgateMintOverload!

There are so many planners and journals out there and I know how difficult it is to finally decide on which one to use for one whole year. The bottomline is, choosing the best planner will depend on your needs and preferences.

artsy geometric printed cover
For many moms, who wear other hats in this multi-tasking world, it's ideal to get a planner that would not only help organize one's schedules, but also provide inspiration. The 2016 Mom 24/7 Planner has that, and more. 

This planner comes in an artsy geometric print, a prism-like pattern in a burst of colors to represent today's mom: a multi-dimensional woman who is steadfast, stylish, confident, fun, and determined but, at the same time, gentle, compassionate, and powered by love of her family.

lots of useful spaces!

I've always wanted a camera that can be genuinely submerged in water and still be able to take clear photos. Years ago, we bought a film-based one and used it during a trip to the beach. When the photos were developed, the pictures were mostly blurred with lines that must have been made by water that damaged the negatives. That was such a bummer!

hubby testing the Cherry Action Cam in the swimming pool 
Fast forward to the 21st century where digital action cams are now all the rage. Unfortunately, the high-end ones (think GoPro) sell for quite a fortune while the cheaper units, according to friends who bought some, were not as good.

before unboxing
Last month, my family and I finally discovered an affordable waterproof camera during Cherry Mobile Philippines' Mardi Gras Soiree that I can honestly say is great value for money! The Cherry Action Cam's 12MP camera takes really clear photos and videos, even while underwater. My husband and son used it in the pool after sunset and they were still able to get good shots.

figuring out what goes where :)
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