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

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 
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

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 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, 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, Like Oxygen Clothing on Facebook, or Follow @oxygenclothing on Instagram and Twitter.

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