Anybody who has tried organizing a party or get-together without much experience would admit how hard it could be to stay on top of everything to ensure a smooth-sailing event. I've had my share of mishaps while staging birthday parties for my sons when they were small because information about party planning was scarce during those pre-internet years.

Children's Party theme
These days, if you need guidance on party do's and don'ts, you can easily log on to and find an extensive collection of tips and tricks at the blog section. However, if you want to really enjoy your party and relax with your guests, it's much better to just contact them and allow them to take charge!

delectable hors d' oeuvres
Hizon's Catering is a popular name when it comes to providing food, service, and amenities for parties that range from simple and casual to lavish and formal. They can accommodate anywhere between 50 and 15,000 guests. In fact, since 1989, they've been busy behind the scenes of weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, seminars, Christmas parties, product launches, and many more! 

cakes are one of those little things that can make or break a party
What are amenities, you ask? They're the little things -- decor, hotel reservation, bridal car, entertainment, sound system, cake -- that can add up and become a big headache if one or more suddenly becomes missing or broken on the big day. 

Joseph Hizon
General Manager Joseph Hizon assures that inconveniences like that can be avoided because they take care of everything. "We assign an event planner to every client to coordinate all the details. We don't mark-up on it. It's like an added service. We've always been known for giving good value," he shares. Their packages start at P450/pax. Although based in Metro Manila, Hizon's has gone as far as Subic, Batangas, and Rizal. 

party food for kids and kids-at-heart
Apart from good service, Hizon's is also well-known for their consistently good food. Joseph reveals, "There is no secret recipe, we just make everything from scratch. As part of our culture, we don't allow instant food and flavorings in our kitchens."

beautiful wedding setup
Recently, Hizon's Catering provided bloggers a sneak peek of their offerings and it was amazing how they were able to fit four party themes on each corner of Oasis Manila's Pavillon. On one end was an elegant Wedding setup complete with bride and groom along with a buffet featuring soup, salad, main course, and a carving station.

pretty table setting
At the circus-themed and colorful Children's Party corner, the fare were delightfully a more sophisticated version of the kiddie meals we are commonly familiar with. There was also a balloon twister whose creations went home with happy owners.

cute twisted balloon minion 
The third and glamorous corner was dedicated to an Awards Night theme complete with red carpet and paparazzis. Hor d'oeuvres were passed around and a dessert bar with a variety of tempting treats waited for those with a sweet tooth.      

elegant awards night theme
We also had the chance to see how a Corporate Seminar setup looks like. Since it was supposed to be a morning affair, the omelette cooking station with lots of fillings to choose from made up for the serious ambiance of the stark long tables meant for attendees.

savory treats
There were so many food items to sample, I wasn't able to try all of them but enjoyed everything that ended up on my plate. All the dishes were whipped up by the kitchen team headed by Chef Simon Dayrit while event styling was taken cared of by Drew Menor. The event planning group, on the other hand, was led by Cheska Pineda.

sweet temptations
Having experienced being a guest in a lot of parties and events, I am very much in favor of handing over the reins of being party organizer to the experts. So, if you also have a dream event in mind, make sure to give Hizon's Catering a call. They are the caterer accredited by the most number of venues (375 as of this writing) in Metro Manila. For more information, visit, email, or call (02) 925.0103 / (02) 925.0107.

practicing for our silver anniversary next year! :)
Thank you to the following partners for making the bloggers event possible: Oasis Manila, Advent Light & Sounds, Sentimental Groove Band, Bars Datiles Design Props, Star Balloon, Enzuno Cakes, The Photoman, Keon Salon, Jerome Yu LED Projector, and emcee Myra Lorenzo.

Thailand has a special place in my heart and people close to me would know why. Needless to say, I love Thai food and always appreciate a chance to savor authentic dishes made by Thai chefs. So when I found out that Conrad Manila's all-day dining restaurant, Brasserie on 3, will be serving Thai dishes for a limited time, I jumped at the chance to visit the restaurant for lunch yesterday.

pretty fruit carvings
Experience some of the much-loved Southeast Asian culinary gems known for their vibrant hues, aromas, and spices that make for rich and flavorful offerings. Flavors of Thailand is a celebration of authentic Thai cuisine specially prepared by guest chefs Apichat Sea-Jiang and Chanyut Kaewkra, from Conrad Manila's sister hotel Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.

Harald Feurstein (far right) with the Thai ambassador and special guests
during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Flavors of Thailand
"Together with our Executive Chef, Thomas Jakobi, we are able to curate a special menu of Thai favorites which will be incorporated in our daily buffet for all to enjoy," shared Harald Feurstein, Conrad's General Manager. "We are proud to present authentic Thai cuisine, which are in line with Brasserie on 3's commitment in providing and making use of sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients."

Tom Yum Talay in young coconut
Being a big hot and sour soup fan, I personally recommended diners to not miss having the Tom Yum Talay, which is spicy soup made with seafood and Thai aromatic herbs. I loved how it was served using young coconuts as bowls because the sweetness of the soft coconut meat complemented the soup's taste!

great-tasting appetizers
For appetizers, we had Tod Man Pla, which are delicious deep fried Thai fish cakes; Moo Satay made of pork with peanut sauce and cucumber relish; Yam Som O or spicy pomelo with prawn salad; and Nam Prik Kapi, a spicy shrimp paste dip with Thai vegetables. The vibrant colors and bursting flavors will definitely whet up your appetite for the main courses.

delicious main courses
As to the main courses, have a taste of Gaeng Massaman Nuea, a dish of Massaman curry beef, potatoes, and peanuts; Phad Pak Ruam Mit or wok-fried vegetables (I ate a lot of the kailan leaves!) with oyster sauce; Goong Tod Kratiem Prik Thai made of deep fried tiger prawns with garlic and pepper; Poo Phad Pong Karee or wok fried curried crab with celery and spring onions (the crab meat is lip-smacking good!); and Gai Yang, which is Thai-style barbecued chicken.

sweet and filling Mango Sticky Rice
Our dessert was Mango Rice served with ice cream and desiccated coconut. I couldn't eat more after that even if there were other delectable sweets and treats in the buffet's dessert area. I'd have to come back and try them another time.

enjoy Thai hospitality at Conrad Manila!
Bottomline? If you haven't tried eating Thai food yet or are craving for authentic Thai dishes, this is a great time to work out your taste buds! Brasserie on 3's Flavors of Thailand food festival is available for buffet lunch and dinner at P1,600 nett per person from July 27 to August 2, 2017. For inquiries and reservations, please call +63.2.8339999 or email

Filipinos love to eat, especially with family and friends. Whether we buy take away food from restaurants or spend hours in the kitchen whipping up heirloom dishes, the end goal for every gathering is to celebrate and have fun together, right?

eat, have fun, and keep your face clean! :)
So, despite our busy lifestyles, many of us make time to “break bread” and share good moments with the people we value. It is, after all, a good reason why we enjoy hosting get-togethers where we swap stories over good food.

Of course, with meals come messes and cleanups. Make that part easier by discovering the value of bringing Cheers into your home!

Cheers is a brand of quality hygienic napkins in various configurations. Aside from kitchen and paper towels, it also carries other party needs like starch-based cutleries and trash bags that are both eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Cheers has different napkin sizes for various needs
At home, we use different Cheers paper products because using the right napkin sizes helps us avoid paper wastage. This is very important to me as someone who advocates for the protection of our environment. Here’s how we use the following:

• Cheers Kitchen Towel Roll – I keep one handy near the kitchen sink because I normally use a sheet or two to dry my hands with after washing the dishes. And since it is 2-ply, each sheet is strong enough not to tear easily. So I also use a couple to line up serving dishes when I need to drain excess oil from fried food items like chicken, hash browns, or French fries.  

• Cheers Interfolded Paper Towels – This one is stationed on a side table in our dining room because it is so convenient to pull a sheet to instantly wipe off accidental spills. We also use them to dry our place mats after eating. 

Going on a picnic? Don't forget to bring a pack of Cheers! 
• Cheers Table Napkins – These are available in different sizes and are very, very useful during parties. You can wrap sandwiches in the big flat napkins while the dinner napkins can be used when table setting for a sit-down dinner. On the other hand, the small pull napkins are ideal for wiping the sides of the mouth especially when there are kids who usually end up with food smudges on their faces. Likewise, children’s parties are made more colorful with Cheers napkins that have fun print designs!

Aside from the various useful features, I like Cheers products because they are made with 100% Virgin Pulp and have no artificial whiteners and elemental chlorine. As a result, these attributes make them very hygienic to use with food. Moms, after all, take safety in high consideration when it comes to serving meals at home.

make snack times less messy by having table napkins on standby
With Cheers, parties and get-togethers can be made more special when you don’t have to dread the cleaning up part after a meal is over. And with the various products offered, it’s definitely a plus to be able to bring out a different dimension in every celebration.

So, Cheers to the privilege and joy of being with our loved ones while we all enjoy food, laughter, and making happy memories!

Dengue remains one of the potentially deadly diseases in the Philippines. It is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus transmitted by the bite of a female Aedes sp. mosquito. This condition is diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms of a patient with consistent laboratory findings. 

Healthway and Philab Memorandum of Agreement signing
Recently, mall-based chain of medical clinics Healthway Medical partnered with local biotechnology firm Philab Industries to give full attention to early screening of dengue infection and advocate for a better understanding of the disease towards a proactive health and lifestyle. 

Philab Holdings, through its brand LabIt DX will supply the Dengue NS1 Ag Self-Test Kit to Healthway clinics. Unlike expensive lab tests that take time to release results, the kit can rapidly detect dengue virus NS1 antigen from human blood directly from a pin-prick on the fingertip. The principle is like that of a pregnancy kit test. Only here, you use blood instead of urine to see if you'll test negative or positive for dengue within 15-20 minutes. And yes, you can even do this even at home!

Atty. Darlene Berberabe, Philab's president and CEO, affirms that they advocate for proactive health management. "This strategy complements the medical attention our doctors provide," she pointed out. "Achieving holistic wellness is a teamwork between individuals and the doctors who take care of us. We hope that through our early screening tools, all individuals become empowered towards wellness."  

a partnership for proactive health management
"Healthway has been in the business for 20 years and we are happy that this partnership is sealed and finalized. We join hands with Philab in providing the public access to fast, convenient, preventive, and quality healthcare," added Carmie De Leon, Healthway's vice president for marketing and sales.

Aside from their existing medical offerings, Healthway is also set to offer first-rate specialty services in dental implantology, spine sports and rehabilitation, and integrative medicine. The partnership between Philab and Healthway is a testament to both companies' mission to provide excellent healthcare to the public by bringing innovative products and services to those who need medical attention. This also extends to Healthway's 100 corporate clinics that serve as a one-stop-shop for company employees who are always on the go.

Dengue Self-Test Kit
Philab launched the self-test kits in March of this year and have also made them available online. Screening test is best used within 5 days of fever. For inquiries, call 89-LABIT (8952248), email, or visit

Asia, many say, is the part of the world from which great TV arises. This year, HOOQ -- the largest Video on Demand service in South East Asia -- is mounting a project that turns TV series ideas into reality by calling Asian filmmakers to send in their scripts and treatments for a TV series idea.

calling Asian filmmakers!
During a media conference held at B Hotel in Quezon City the other day, Allison Chew, HOOQ Head of Brand, pointed out that more and more Asian viewers are making the shift to watching local shows so HOOQ is giving film professionals "a format to tell their stories" via the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild.

Renowned director, Erik Matti, who will represent the Philippines on the judging panel, affirmed that, "Everyone's moving to online so we can already see the shift to online viewing. HOOQ offers an international opportunity for us to share our stories and bring them to the global stage."

Direk Erik further added he believes the Philippines still has a lot of undiscovered filmmakers out there just waiting for their big break. "The HOOQ FIlmmakers Guild will give these aspiring filmmakers a chance to see their ideas become reality and, hopefully, inspire others to pursue their dream."

(from left) Allison Chew, Jane Cruz-Walker, Director Erik Matti, 
and Jeff Remigio HOOQ Content and Programming Head
"Filipinos are very good storytellers," described Jane Cruz-Walker, HOOQ Country Manager. "There are so much more we can explore. This is an opportunity to spread your wings," she encouraged.

Apart from Direk Erik, two other judges from Indonesia have also already been announced: Mouly Surya, a critically acclaimed director who recently screened at Director's Fortnight in Cannes; and Nicholas Saputra, an award-winning actor and documentary producer. They will lead the selection process of the five pilots to be produced and the full series thereafter.

"There is incredible talent for TV series making in Asia and we want to give opportunities to film professionals to turn these amazing ideas into reality. HOOQ is built in Asia for Asia and we want to give Asian filmmakers the power to create quality entertainment that gives our customers that escape into worlds of romance, action, adventure, and even heroism, all in the setting of their backyard," pronounced Peter Bithos, Chief Executive Officer of HOOQ.

one of HOOQ's original productions
So, if you are a director, producer, or scriptwriter, take a chance to have your script selected as one of the five that will be given a funding of US$30,000 to be converted into a pilot episode that will debut on HOOQ! Submissions can be from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia. The best among the five pilots will be converted into a full series produced and aired on HOOQ. Winner will be decided by HOOQ subscribers and a star-studded judging panel consisting of top film talents around Asia and Hollywood (still to be announced). 

The HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is open for entries until August 15, 2017. Applicants must be either in film school or working as professionals in the film industry with prior film production experience. To qualify, they need to submit the script and treatment for a mini-series or a full-series with a maximum of 13 episodes for a single season. There will be no restriction to genre but submissions and productions must be in the language of the applicant's country.

Watch the trailer of this movie! I bet you'll be intrigued by the story, too!
The winning series will be part of HOOQ's new original productions including Critical Eleven and Sweet 20 which hit cinemas last month while Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts and OTJ 2 are scheduled to come out later this year.


One of the things that definitely makes working out fun is doing it with a buddy. Whether you're accompanied by a friend or family member, physical activities seem to get easier if someone's with you to finish the journey with. 

early morning run with my boys
This July, Robinsons' Supermarket once more proved that pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle is very much possible with the success of the 10th Fit & Fun Wellness Buddy Run held yesterday at the Parade Grounds of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

I love this particular annual running event because it encourages participants to partner with a loved one in running together towards the finish line. This is my third time to join and I am grateful for the opportunity to be with my family in doing an activity I have personally grown to love. 

hubby and son number two
Like last year, my youngest son and I teamed up to run 5k while pushing our special child's wheelchair while hubby and our second son, both barefoot runners, once more tackled the 10k distance together. We caught up with each other along the race route and happily took a groufie I posted on Instagram.  

It was so great to see several blogger friends join the race for the first time with their significant others. I am really glad they had fun and hope that they would continue to incorporate running in their fitness regimens from now on. 

winners got cool prizes
Mr. Jody Gadia, general manager of Robinsons Supermarket, affirmed how much the Fit & Fun Buddy Run has become a much-anticipated event through the years. "It's our kick-off as we celebrate Wellness and Nutrition Month with the nation. It provides a fun gateway activity for fitness newbies who are just about to start their wellness journey and loyal runners."

On stage, Gretchen Ho and Robi Domingo served as hosts while coaches Jim and Toni Saret led pre- and post-workout sessions to help keep runners' adrenalin pumping. The fit couple also invited everyone to register on-site for the Fit Filipino 1 Million Pounds National Weight Loss Challenge. This is the biggest on-ground and online wellness program in the country that encourages everyone to pledge their unwanted pounds and lose weight by December. Know more about it, here

coaches Jim and Toni with Gretchen and Robi
Adding to the fun were various booths that offered freebies from Nestle Philippines, Johnson & Johnson, Fonterra, Unilab and Wyeth Nutrition, Unilever, International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (IPI), Procter & Gamble, Abbott Nutrition, Getz Bros, Ecossential, Del Monte, Foodsphere Inc., and Philusa

The fun run, however, is just one of Robinsons Supermarket's many programs this July. There are Wellness Festivals being held in various locations and Healthy You snack platters to be given away for a minimum purchase of P3,000 inclusive of P500 worth of participating items.

everybody went home a winner with heavy lootbags filled with grocery items!
Keep updated with Robinsons' different promos and activities that aim to provide Filipinos with delicious and healthy food options and alternatives. Make sure to Like Robinsons Supermarket Official on Facebook and visit regularly. 

* Thank you so much, Running Photographers, for taking such great photos!

SaladStop!, the largest healthy food chain in Asia that originated in Singapore, is currently making waves in the Philippines. With outlets in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and Greenhills in San Juan, the brand gained recognition for serving Signature Salads and Wraps made with ingredients freshly delivered every day and never kept longer than overnight.

Eat Wide Awake
at SaladStop! every bowl is the result and catalyst of a positive cycle of change
This coming September, the stylish salad bar that is also present in Japan and Indonesia, is bringing its brand of healthy food to a part of the world known for its heritage and high-end lifestyle: Europe. SaladStop! will open its first branch there at Balmes 193 corner Travessera de Gracia in the heart of Barcelona, Spain

The big leap is made possible after Philippines-based MFT Group of Companies recently acquired the SaladStop! master franchise and saw the potential of serving the large urban area with a population of about five million. "Barcelona is a magnet for investments with its diversified economic structure," described Mica Tan, CEO and President of MFT Group. "Europeans are now craving for something healthy and Spain has a rich food and gastronomy culture."

Joanne (left) and Mica (right) with MFT CFO Eric Tan
For those who are not familiar with the MFT Group, it is a diversified financial holdings company that adheres to the principles of restructuring corporate blueprints and helping businesses grow to establish sustainable financial footing. At present, the company has 20 subsidiaries from diverse industries including retail, fashion and lifestyle, medical equipment, pharmaceutical, technology, food, manufacturing, and finance and investments. It has presence in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, United States, and Europe. 

MFT Group ventured in the food industry through its strategic partnership with Pol Parareda, a finance and investment banker from Spain. During MFT's visit to the European country two years ago, they saw the increase of restaurants serving salads and customers lining up for a table. Even the supply of vegetables in the region's agricultural industry has been increasing year on year.

healthy conscious eating
"Healthy conscious eating is a global trend already," affirmed Joanne Atienza-Cabaero, MFT's Regional Marketing Head who believes that SaladStop!'s homemade fresh dressings without artificial colors and flavorings will be a big hit in Spain as they will also be creating localized items for customers there. 

A pescatarian, Mica expressed, "We are thrilled to bring a great brand of nutrition, health, and wellness from Asia to Spain. I find SaladStop! to be a brand fit for health-conscious individuals like me. Not only do we contribute to SaladStop!'s health movement, we also add to the industry's bullish trend leading to economic growth." This millennial executive further added how glad they are to be chosen as a strategic partner in SaladStop!'s wellness movement.

SaladStop! is not just a food chain, it is a movement that believes
it is a basic human right to truly eat well
Emma Skoog, a Swedish-born chef who has been in the F&B industry since 2001, will take the helm at SaladStop! Barcelona owing to her significant experience in Spanish lifestyle and eating habits. She moved to Spain in 2004 and was a cook at Barcelona's Market Hotel and Restaurant. She later became kitchen chef at Menjador's A Famous Tapas Place.

With a dream team of individuals who have embraced the wellness movement in the food and beverage industry, SaladStop! is sure to have a successful reach outside of Asia with plans to open more outlets in the coming years. 

eat right and eat well
Given how far SaladStop! is literally willing to go, this expansion to Europe is definitely a huge factor that will contribute to the brand's success. 

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