Time flies when you’re having fun and this is certainly true for one of my favorite dining places. It’s quite hard to believe that it has already been almost two years since Genki Sushi first opened its flagship branch in Bonifacio Stopover Global City! I can still clearly remember how impressed I was (and still am!) at the efficient and cool way dishes are served at this restaurant. You can read all about my first Genki Sushi experience, here.

with my hubby, Jeeves, and Nines
This month, diners would be happy to know that the innovative Japanese dining experience is now also available at Genki Sushi’s 4th branch in SM Aura, Taguig City. My husband and I had lunch there yesterday and, as usual, I remain fascinated by the speedy and convenient service because dishes arrive at each table via the Kousoku Express Train System, which was inspired by the Shinkansen bullet train. 

so fun to receive our orders via train delivery!
Diners can simply choose dishes on the menu found in the tablet screen provided for each table and wait for only 5 to 10 minutes before getting their freshly made orders. As in previous visits, my very first order was my favorite Wakame, a seaweed salad with a refreshing dressing. 

clockwise from top left: Kushi-Age, Salmon Trio, Shrimp Coconut,
and Sushi Trio
Apart from all-time favorites like the famous Chirashi Don, Seared Salmon with Black Pepper, Chicken Teriyaki Don, River Eel Rice Bowl, and various sushi choices there are new menu items to try such as the tasty Kushi-Age made of five different kinds of deep fried skewered meat and vegetable in special Japanese batter; Coconut Shrimps, deep fried shrimps in panko bread crumbs rolled in coconut flakes; Deep Fried Salmon Skin; and four new selections of sumptuous sushi trios. 

Super Supreme Sushi Set 
If you’re having a get together or simply just want to have a filling snack at home or in the office, check out the six new Take-away Sushi Party Sets that are sure to be a hit in any group gathering. Additionally, a new batch of tasty desserts is available for those with a sweet tooth. Choose from the Caramel Mochi, the Maki Dessert, and the Vanilla and Strawberry Mille Crepes.

smaller Genki Sushi set
Other branches of Genki Sushi are located at UP Town Center in Quezon City and Ayala 30th in Ortigas Avenue. Soon, there will also be a branch in SM North EDSA. Keep updated with news and promos by liking Genki Sushi Philippines on Facebook and following @genkisushiph on Instagram.




I was there when FWD Life Philippines was launched in 2014 and I am glad to see how much this insurance company has grown since. Last year, I also wrote about their partnership with Wattpad when they launched stories about financial literacy via the creative use of digital media.

photo op with blogger friends before sweating :)
This 2017, FWD Life Philippines takes on championing health and fitness by supporting the Fit Filipino (FitFil) Movement's National Weight Loss Challenge. Spearheaded by Jim and Toni Saret, fitness coaches at Biggest Loser Philippines Season 2, FitFil aims to get Filipinos to collectively lose one million pounds during the campaign period of June 6 to December 5, 2017.

fitness coaches led upbeat workouts for participants
Rochelle Vandenberghe, FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing, expressed, "As an insurance industry pioneer in the space of health and wellness, [we] are delighted to partner with the Fit Filipino Movement and coaches Jim and Toni to inspire Filipinos in leading healthier lives with a series of fitness-centered events." 

fitness enthusiasts sweating it out and having fun
Through FWD's Live to Move fitness parties in collaboration with FitFil and the challenge's partners, Vandenberghe said they "hope to inspire a new wave of awareness for the health benefits of keeping fit. For us at FWD, living life to the fullest starts with being healthy." I totally agree!

Coach Jim getting ready to move
According to Coach Jim, founder of the FitFil Movement, "We have been working with FWD for over two years and their #GetReadyToLive brand attitude serves as one of the strong pillars of the National Weight Loss Challenge. We are excited to bring to life the country's biggest health and wellness campaign as we challenge Filipinos to collectively lose one million pounds!"

Samantha Purvor served as the energetic event host
Coach Jim added that through this advocacy and movement, the goal is to spread the message that being fit and well starts with a simple commitment. "We encourage everyone to take ownership of their health and join us in getting fit," he implored. 

the fitness party is just one of the many activities lined up by FWD and FitFil
stay tuned for other upcoming wellness events! 
To launch its Live to Move health and wellness program, FWD Life held an energy-packed fitness party this past weekend at Central Park, SM by the Bay, Mall of Asia. Coaches Jim and Toni were joined by some of the country's top coaches from various gyms and fitness centers. The workout program centered around FWD Motion, a metabolic fitness (metafit) routine that helps shed off pounds in just four minutes of exercise. 

my hubby joining one of the workout sessions
Hundreds of participants, including members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), joined other fitness enthusiasts in doing zumba, hip-hop, TRX, kickboxing, and cardio workouts, among others under the glow of the beautiful Manila Bay sunset. 

who wouldn't enjoy exercising with this as your background?!
The FitFil National Weight Loss Challenge is supported by the country's premier medical organizations led by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the country's umbrella organization for medical practitioners, as well as the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), Nutritionist-Dietitians' Association of the Philippines (NDAP), and the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA). Additionally pledging their support to the challenge are the PNP, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), various universities, local government units (LGUs), fitness clubs, and numerous corporations. 

celebrating fitness with the many FitFil Movement partners

It is quite heartening to see more and more Filipinos taking their first steps towards a healthier lifestyle. If you are really serious about losing those unwanted pounds, make a pledge to lose them by December by signing up for free at www.fitfil.ph. FYI, there are rewards waiting for those who achieve their goals! :)





I've been trying to make positive lifestyle changes these past few years and admit I still have some ways to go. Although I now exercise more and opt for healthy food often, I continue to struggle when it comes to totally eliminating other unhealthy habits. But, having started is already a positive step and I look forward to the day when I can finally say I am a true-blue fitness enthusiast. 

me and my wellness journey buddy
Did you know? July is National Wellness Month and Robinsons Supermarket is once more celebrating this with a Wellness Festival, the third leg of its year-long Route to Wellness journey with Filipinos. 

The festival kick-off, hosted by Robi Domingo, started yesterday and will run until tomorrow at Eastwood Central Plaza - Citywalk. The park was transformed into an activity area where guests can try various games and visit booths of Robinsons Supermarket's wellness partners. 

Metabeats with Coaches Toni and Jim Saret
Also present were celebrity fitness coaches Jim and Toni Saret who led event participants in a series of four-minute workouts called Metabeats to show that it only takes a few minutes to burn a lot of calories and get started on one's wellness journey. Robinsons Supermarket also took the opportunity to pledge pounds to the Fit Filipino 1 Million Pounds National Weight Loss Challenge and encouraged individuals and groups to visit selected branches on a Saturday to also sign up and have their starting weights measured.   

Experience the activities of the wellness caravan, which will also be held in Robinsons Supermarket Tagaytay from July 14 to 16 and at Robinsons Supermarket Antipolo City from July 28 to 30, if you live near these areas.

my hubby jumping rope
Love eating nuts? Get a Healthy You Snack Platter when you go grocery shopping for a minimum single-receipt purchase of P3,000 inclusive of P500 worth of participating products from Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Unilab, Fonterra, Wyeth Nutrition, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, IPI, Abbott Nutrition, Getz Bros., Ecossential, Foodsphere, and Philusa

I regularly buy Healthy You coco sugar and trail mix. This is Robinsons Supermarket's exclusive healthy brand of nuts, juices, oats, brown rice, coffee, and many more that have been evaluated as good for the health by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI). Customers will also get an extra 15 Robinsons Rewards Card points for every P500 purchase of Healthy You products. Promo Runs from July 1 to 31, 2017.

talk about #fitnessgoals! :)
This coming July 2, Robinsons Supermarket will also be holding its annual and much anticipated 10th Fit and Fun Buddy Run at Camp Aguinaldo. Please read my past reviews here and here to see why it would be a great and fun venue to start your fitness journey with family and friends.

According to general manager Jody Gadia, "As a growing number of individuals and families lead busy and challenging lives, Robinsons Supermarket and its partners continue to uphold our commitment to lead them to the path of wellness by bringing them closer to more choices and opportunities to get fit and healthy."

Robinsons Supermarket representatives with wellness partner brands
Know more about RSC's year-long Route to Wellness series of promos and activities by liking facebook.com/RobinsonsSupermarketOfficial or visiting www.robinsons-supermarket.com.ph. Likewise, stay updated on social media by looking up the hashtags #ILoveWellness and #WeLoveWellness and consider starting your own fitness journey, today! 




My sister-in-law came home for a quick vacation this month to attend to various stuff and spend some time with us. Since we planned to do some shopping and dining out in SM Mall of Asia, we booked an overnight stay at Selah Garden Hotel which is very near the mall. 

with hubby, his sister, and three of our four boys
(because our firstborn had to go to work very early)
I'm writing this post for other families who might be looking for a good place to unwind in the Pasay City area and I'd recommend checking out Selah Garden Hotel for the following reasons:

1. The hotel is PWD-friendly. I booked one of the family rooms and thought we'd be staying in one of those I've seen during the hotel launch last February (read that post, here). My husband and I were prepared to adjust accommodations for our wheelchair-bound son in case we get a room with stairs and beds on a loft. 

Selah's spacious TLC Room
So I was surprised when we checked in to find out they've assigned us to the TLC (Tender Loving Care) Room that one of the staff members said is spacious enough for a wheelchair. I think we weren't able to see this during our tour last time because it was occupied. So imagine our gratitude to get a room on the ground floor where it so easy for us to wheel James around! The bathroom is likewise big and accessible for a Person with Disability.

two queen beds comfortably slept five people
(me, hubby, and James on one; my sister-in-law and our firstborn on the other)
2. The beds are big enough with the TLC room having two queen beds and a sofa bed. They fit all of us comfortably. Our request for additional bedding for the sofa bed was also accommodated graciously. Across the two big beds is a flat screen TV mounted on the wall so James was still able to watch his favorite kiddie channel to keep him entertained.

during the night, we moved this sofa near the dining table
and opened it up to make another bed for two more boys
3. The food items we ordered via room service were tasty. The night we stayed at Selah also happened to be the night of Britney Spears' concert in MOA Arena. To avoid the expected traffic going to the mall, we opted to eat dinner at the hotel. Having a dining table and chairs inside the TLC room was a big bonus for us because we got to enjoy our meal over lively conversation without having to drive anywhere and possibly get hungry while being stuck on the road longer than usual.

some of the food items we ordered and ate inside the room
The various Filipino dishes we ordered have the lutong-bahay taste. I particularly loved the Binagoongan because I haven't tasted a really good one for a long time. Of course, our boys readily consumed many of the fried chicken! :) We also got to ask for a small bucket of ice cubes, for our drinking water, that they provided for free.

there are lots of things to do at Selah
4. There's a pool, a spa, and installations that encourage physical activities. Whether you'd prefer a swim or a massage to relax, Selah is a good place to be. If you're into sports, try their wall climbing and cable traverse facilities that come with safety gear. With a lot of available rooms, this hotel is also being marketed as a great team building venue. Consider booking there in case you want some company bonding time or simply unwind with friends.

the open air gazebo located next to the pool
5. There are so many beautiful corners for photo ops! Any netizen who loves posting different kinds of pictures on social media would enjoy discovering Selah's Instagrammable spots. My favorite? The huge swing that could fit three to four people. Plus, they have free WiFi access for guests so being connected to the internet was not a problem.

one of the function rooms that can accommodate a lot of people
For inquiries, rates, and more details about their other services and offerings, just visit www.selahgarden.com.




Many of us are audio-visual learners who absorb lessons better when we personally get to see and hear stories we can easily relate to. This June, join Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) as it marks the 4th Financial Independence Month by finding out how to break free from the cycle of financial shortage and security.

Sun Shorts filmmakers with Sun Life ambassadors
In 2012, I wrote an article for Rappler about how Sun Life uses the power of film to educate Filipinos on financial literacy. I enjoyed watching those clips, especially the one featuring Angel Aquino, because they depicted realities many Filipinos have gone, or are going through, and were able to creatively promote insurance and investment products without being pushy.

This month, Sun Life launched a new collection of Sun Shorts to once more inspire Filipinos to pursue financial freedom. Here are three reasons why all three short films are worth watching:

1) You will see yourself in one of the characters. Whether you are young or old, single, a parent, or a retiree, you'll find something in those films that would make you go, "Yes, that could be me!"

2) You will feel that push to explore why you need to invest and be insured. Each film will lead you to think about improving whatever financial situation you are in at the moment.

3) You could better visualize how to realize your dreams. We all have aspirations but, many times, we have vague ideas how to reach them. By having plans and knowing what steps to take, you'll get closer towards making your goals a reality.

many times, we need to change how we look at things
so we can see positive changes happen
According to Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, "Sun Life shines a spotlight on relationships to inspire every Filipino to keep chasing their dreams. Through Sun Shorts, we hope to show Filipinos how life insurance can help them ease their life's burdens and celebrate their lives' triumphs giving them the opportunity to show the people they love their commitment to a brighter future for them."

All three films were inspired by stories of Sun Life clients:

Waves by Zig Marasigan gives a peek into the lives of millennials who are often criticized for adhering to the YOLO (you only live once) mindset and not preparing well enough for their future


She Said, She Said by Nic Reyes highlights a mom's journey on juggling work and single parenting while trying to raise her daughter to the best of her abilities  


Sayaw by Mihk Vergara delves into the reality of coping with a long-time marriage that has gone cold and seemingly way past redemption


Access the films at www.sunshorts2.com or through Sun Life's Facebook page. Each mini movie comes with a complementary video where Sun Life brand ambassadors Matteo Gudicelli, Judy Ann Santos, and Piolo Pascual share their thoughts and have discussions with friends to shed light on how insurance and investments enable us to protect the relationships that matter to us.

"The people we love make us a better version of ourselves. So it is important to nurture these relationships because they define us as a people," reminded Ms. Charo Santos-Concio during the Sun Shorts media launch. "We should be able to express our love by securing a bright future for our loved ones and Sun Life will help us make that happen."

with fellow financial literacy advocates and
prominent financial planners Randell Tiongson and Marvin Germo
Learn more about life insurance and mutual funds by also joining Sun Life's series of activities throughout the month to boost your financial journey. For more details, visit @sunlifeph on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Meanwhile, if you prefer to learn at your most convenient time, there are also basic financial planning courses online at the Brighter Life Institute. Just log in at www.brighterlife.com.ph.

Lastly, Sun Life is launching PA Armor, an affordable personal accident protection that can be easily bought through Sun Life's partnership with Voyager Innovations, Inc.'s online marketplace Takatack.com.

Ms. Mylene sums their advocacy by assuring Filipinos, "Life insurance is a gift of commitment, life, and hope. For as long as [you] have dreams to pursue and relationships to care for, Sun Life will be here as [your] partner in this journey." 




The Philippines celebrates National Independence Day every June 12th and for the past five years, F1 Hotel Manila (read my hotel review, here) has aptly been highlighting Filipino food to showcase the diverse flavors of our local cuisine. This 2017, the fifth edition of LuzViMinda (which stands for the three main islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) is themed Gastronomical Fusion and features chefs Mikel Zaguirre, Dennis Uy, and Kalel Chan.

let the Filipino festivities begin!
LuzViMinda 5: Gastronomical Fusion was launched last June 8 with a ribbon cutting ceremony initiated by the hotel’s Director of Sales & Marketing Cindy Brual together with Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre, PEZA Director General Charito Plaza, LuzViMinda 4 guest chef Nancy Lumen, and Ms. Philippines Earth 2016 Loren Mar Artajos

(from left) Chefs Mikel, Dennis, and Kalel
Just in time for the celebration of Independence Day, LuzViMinda 5 highlights modern culinary techniques while preserving the delicious familiarity of the Philippines' traditional dishes. The culinary team was headed by Executive Chef Decker Gokioco who was joined by the three guest chefs and their creative ideas.

Chef Mikel's Adobong Short Ribs sa Gata
According to Mikel Zaguirre, who represented dishes from Luzon, "It’s an honor to do Filipino food and uplift Filipino cuisine." He described each item as inspired by an heirloom dish that was meticulously crafted along with some adjustments to adapt to the modern palate. What challenged him the most, he said, was unleashing creativity by presenting classical cuisine in a modern setting.

Humba Cebuano by Chef Dennis
Dennis Uy, the featured chef for Visayas, shared that his technique is about blending flavors and getting inspiration from his travels around the archipelago – that of cooking the traditional way but plating each dish contemporarily. He affirmed, "Sharing our cuisine by giving back to guests is what food is all about." 

Chef Kalel's Chicken Piyanggang
Although not a native of Mindanao, Kalel Chan wholeheartedly accepted the challenge of coming up with an array of sumptuous dishes from the region. Armed with his passion for food, Chan studied the classical Mindanao cuisine and did more research by tapping some of his friends before injecting his personal touch in the modern way of cooking. His advice to budding chefs, "You should try everything." Starting from the experimental stage, he and his team devoted a lot of time in research and development to come up with his creations. All the efforts exerted, he disclosed, "are the things that make these worthy."

the seafood and salad station
Experience a gastronomic fusion at F All-Day Dining from June 9 to 30, 2017 and indulge in the burst of flavors to be found on the wide choices of Filipino dishes that were crafted with a twist of modern culinary artistry but retains the traditional essence of classical cuisine. Lunch or dinner buffet is priced at P1,699 per person. 
  
beautiful and yummy desserts!
LuzViMinda 5 is made possible through partnerships with Destileria Limtuaco, Masflex, Top Chef Enterprise, Onesimus, Raflora, R. Lapids, Aging’s Food Delight, D’ Original Tablea De Alfonso, Bestworld Beverage Brands Inc., The Crescent Moon CafĂ©, Eurobake Original Inipit De Leche, Figaro Coffee Company, Golden Wines, Jalees Farms, Titania Wine Cellar, Hogsmith Aprons,  together with Maybank, Foreign Post, and Cook Magazine.

For reservations and inquiries, call 908-7888 or visit www.f1hotelmanila.com.




When it comes to the art of applying makeup, I'd be the first to admit that I still have a lot to learn about this craft. But, as a female who has always been fascinated by "girly stuff" and who's very open to trying new things, I do enjoy learning beauty tricks any chance I get.

an attempt to look "lit from within" using Sleek Makeup :D
I think it was just a year or two ago when I started hearing people describing makeup that helps skin look "lit from within." Apparently, there are products that allows one's complexion to look dewy / radiant / glowing and that they only used to be makeup professionals' best kept secrets.    

Nowadays, it's easy to personally try out illuminating and highlighting products because they've been made accessible online. My curiosity to see which products would best suit my skin tone (and if they'd be easy to use by a non-pro) led me to SEPHORA, a globally trusted name that revolutionized the beauty-retail concept.

highlighters, illuminators, and freebies from Sephora.ph 
I am glad that Sephora Philippines has made it possible for Filipinas to be up-to-date on the latest beauty trends by allowing us to purchase products that can be shipped directly to our homes. Here's sharing my highlighter and illuminator finds from Sephora.ph:

1) Sleek Makeup Face Form 20g (P737.00) - This features a contour powder, highlighter, and bronzer. I chose the Light variant because I usually go for a subtle, instead of a dramatic, look. Since they come in powder form, the shades are easier to apply using brushes.

Sleek Makeup is great if you like the subtle look 
2) Benefit Cosmetics Girl Meets Pearl (P1800.00) - The product description says one can achieve a sheer appearance with this highlighter with its light-reflecting pigments that help create a lustrous radiance. I love its soft golden-pink shade and wonderful raspberry scent! It's also great to know that with the help of botanicals, my skin will look firmer and smoother with regular use. Girl Meets Pearl has moisturizing sesame seed oil as well as raspberry, chamomile, and sweet almond seed extracts to improve skin elasticity. 

wearing Girl Meets Pearl
3) BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Prismatic Amethyst (Limited Edition) 7g (P1943.00) - I've read glowing reviews about this product and was intrigued by the description of it being "a creamy, highlighting powder with duo-chrome pigments that capture the light and transform with your every move." 

the box is actually silver but reflects light in a rainbow of colors, cool huh? 
The product description further adds that this is enriched with color-shifting pigments that reflect and refract light for a multi-faceted, holographic effect and that it's infused with pale gold, violet, and rose pearls. Since its formula blends pigments with liquids, it is able to create an unparalleled creamy feel that applies seamlessly, feels silky on the skin, and never cakes.

first try with BECCA
With a very pretty packaging, I found this BECCA product impressive but a bit intimidating to use because I was worried about applying too much on my face and looking excessively shimmery for comfort. I'll give myself a few more tries to find the balance I'm aiming for :)

4) Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Luminizer (P677.00) - I chose to buy this because I haven't tried using a product yet with a built-in cushion applicator that is said to spread the formula in an ultra-even way through gentle dabbing. I've yet to try opening the tube though so I'll update this part of my writeup in the next few days. I am excited to use it because the unique champagne shade promises to meet the needs of all skin types and tones.

I'll let you know my thoughts
about this illuminator, soon :) 
For now, I highly encourage makeup aficionados reading this to explore Sephora.ph and check out the highlighter and illuminator makeup on the site. They have a varied collection and carries different international brands that will help you find the perfect glow with #AllTheRightLights.  

By the way, Sephora.ph offers FREE SHIPPING for orders P1300 and up! Plus, you'll get to choose some free samples depending on the products you buy. I got two! :)




Anybody who's into music would definitely know who Justin Bieber is. We've seen him grow from a very young talented teen into the famous celebrity he is today. With millions of adoring fans always on the lookout for new songs, concerts, and Bieber merchandise, it's a given that anything related to Justin would catch a lot of peoples' attention.

yesterday, there was long line of people wanting to be first to shop
at the Oxygen x Bieber popup store at the Mega Fashion Hall 
This June, global Filipino fashion brand, Oxygen, launches a collection of licensed merchandise in partnership with Bravado and MCAA Universal featuring cool graphic tees, pullovers, bomber jackets, caps, and hoodies that take heavy inspiration from the pop star himself and his hit album, Purpose

the popup store's giant Oxygen x Bieber roof
"As a brand that is inspired by both streetwear and music, we believe that Justin Bieber would be the perfect partner for this collaboration as he is globally known for his music and his fondness for streetwear," shares Oxygen Brand Director Jeff Bascon. "And he constantly reinvents himself, just like how Oxygen continues to evolve in fashion to keep up with the youth's edgy but relaxed style."

streetwear, Bieber style
So, have you gotten curious how pieces in the Oxygen x Bieber Collection look like? Here are a few you should definitely check out:

Bomber jackets are the MVPs when it comes to timeless street-style hacks and the Oxygen x Bieber nylon jacket in jet black brings back the classic cool aesthetic while sporting a set list of JB's Purpose hits. Wear this with sweatpants and a comfy pair of sneakers for some legit swagger vibes.

jackets for Bieber fans
Tees, which are casual staples for both certified Beliebers and those who just love hanging out with the squad, best paired with a cap, ripped denim, or skinny jeans from the collection can surely help you rock the effortlessly cool look.

tees and accessories
The collectible hoodie, featuring songs from JB's album, will let you hit the streets with the relaxed style of a true-blue New Yorker while the pullover can be paired with light chinos for a chill look that has a touch of edginess to it.

hoodies and pullovers
Whatever pieces you choose, you'll definitely find a street style look that will fit you. After all, Oxygen always comes up with something for everyone! For updates on the Oxygen x Bieber collection, visit oxygenfashion.com, Like Oxygen Clothing on Facebook, or Follow @oxygenclothing on Instagram and Twitter.


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