Thursday, January 30, 2014

Astro-Portraits, Tattooing, and Spoken Word As Yet Unwritten

Three artist-run initiatives converge in an exhibition called As Yet Unwritten. The project is organized by Art Tempo Manila, founded by artist Juno Parungao. The uniqueness of Parungao's astrological portraits has endeared many patrons-- among which include actor Jeffrey "Epi' Quizon, multi-awarded writer Lito Casaje, and maestro Fernando B. Sena. Another luminary in the Manila art scene who has his own portrait by Parungao is musician and Astrological Friends member Heber Bartolome, who inaugurated Parungao's solo exhibit of astrological portraits in 2011. The artist creates the portrait based on the individual's circumstances of birth, personal color preferences, and philosophical ruminations. Collaborating with Parungao is Kristian Jeff Agustin, an independent publisher and poet who recently returned from his studies in Westminster, London. Agustin contemplates on how the skies may mean to mortals. For the exhibit, he uses video and performance with spoken word to give voice to celestial bodies or introspective personas. On the other hand, Jean Pierre "Dyani" Lao proves that tattooing is an art form on skin worthy of recognition. Lao garnered the Gawad Dominador Castaneda Award in year 2000 for his thesis entitled "Ritwal" from the College of Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines Diliman. His intricately rendered tattoos of mythical beings and celestial bodies are the results of his solid research on Filipino indigenous practices. These are then rendered in limited-edition prints and captured in photographs. For guest curator Laya Boquiren, "As Yet Unwritten presents three contemporary artists' visual articulations of place-based myths and the residual elements of pre-colonial interactions. The artists and I are interested in how these may be juxtaposed with ancient myths that examine the influence of celestial bodies on both individuals and shifts within the history of humanity." For the collaborators, the exhibition as a whole underscores how destinies that are as yet unwritten intersects with oral histories and narratives that have been passed on across time and places, as interpreted in images and the spoken word. Hosted by the GSIS Museo ng Sining, the exhibit will be launched on February 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm and will run until March 12 in celebration of the Philippine National Arts Month. For more information, see the exhibit page through

The Project

The project is a gathering of three artists each with their own independent initiative: Jean Pierre Lao, who garnered the Gawad Dominador Castaneda Award in 2000 from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Fine Arts; Kristian Jeff Agustin, an independent publisher/poet who recently returned London, and works freelance while teaching in the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design; and Juno Parungao, who spearheads Art Tempo Manila. Prints, astro-paintings, video and performance are carefully juxtaposed to unveil celestial bodies, unlock myths of the past, and articulate the intangible stories of our time and place. Art Tempo Manila is the main organizer of this exhibition. Laya Boquiren is guest-curating the show. Hosted by the GSIS Museum for the National Arts Month, the project celebrates the solidarity of independent creatives. Support will help empower artist-run initiatives. For more information, visit the exhibit page through

The Collaborators

About Juno Parungao

Artist Juno Parungao founded JIV Manila many years ago, has had several group and solo shows to her credit, and now spearheads Art Tempo Manila. Each of her astrological portraits reference the influence of celestial bodies on the individual who commissions the piece, making the approach to the art object quite personal and unique. The artist creates the portrait based on the individual's circumstances of birth, preferences, and philosophy. Her visual repertoire is unusual. Writers would often describe the practice as "esoteric". But then the artist's embodied art practice is part of a holistic approach to life. The non-figurative images resist the idea of portraits as realistic, for art is simply measured along degrees of abstraction. The artist paints these images to provoke both feeling and looking as an intellectual activity. Parungao is currently teaching in the Meridian International School and is an accomplished personality development consultant. She is completing her doctorate at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

About Jean Pierre Lao (from the artist's website 2013)

Jean Pierre Lao is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. He received the “Gawad Dominador Castaneda” for Best Thesis in 2000 entitled “Ritwal”, discussing concepts on myth, mysticism, beliefs and the afterlife. His artworks “Memento”(2001), and “Angkan ni Kabunyan” (2000) were finalists on the annual Philippine Art Awards, exhibited at the Manila Metropolitan Museum. For almost seven years, Lao was a visiting faculty teaching Print-Making at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Mt. Makiling, Laguna. Later on, from 2006 to 2010, he was hired as the Head Tattooist of Tribal Gear HK/Macau. Apart from judging numerous tattoo competitions across the country, Lao was a speaker/ facilitator of “Tattoo Machine Principles” in a seminar for Filipino Tattoo Artist done at the Department Of Health in 2011. He was also a speaker in the annual Neo-Angono Arts festival, for “Ritwal ng Batek:  A Study on Northern Filipino Traditional Tattoo Motifs” in 2011. His first series of Tattoo Flash prints were exhibited in 2010 entitled “Set One”, a two-man show with fellow tattoo artist Oman Daluz, with a genre of Asian mythology and oriental beliefs. “Indelible Ventures” is his first solo exhibition. Jean Pierre is actively producing indelible creations in his own tattoo studio located in Cubao Expo. He prefers to be called Dyani.

About Kristian Jeff Agustin (from the artist's website 2013)

Kristian Jeff specializes in visual art, graphic design, multimedia, and film; occasionally writing songs, theatre pieces, and 'love poetry'. Born in 1984, the Year of the Rat, he is considered a well-rounded 'Cancerian' who delves into art and poetry as an effective means of self-expression and learning. He accomplished his Master's degree in Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London in 2012, after completing his dissertation on 'social media interventions in nation-building and subject formation'. In 2006, he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, where he co-founded the Sirkulo ng mga Kabataang Artista (or 'Circle of Young Artists') in 2002 and served as its Artistic Director from 2004 to date. Recent collaborations include: his calligraphy work in Fishes of Light / Peces de Luz (2013) by lauded Filipina writer Prof. Marjorie Evasco and award-winning Cuban poet Alex Fleites; his libretto Ageless Passion (2011), a musicale with original music by Filipino Maestro Ryan Cayabyab; and his calligraphy, logo design and concept art for Earth.O (2012), a transmedia storytelling launched in London by Malaysian writers Yen Ooi and Ari Abraham. He is a member of The Poetry Society, a UK charity institution.

Even my own astro-portrait will also be a part of this exhibit. Shown above is my personal astrological protrait made by Juno Parungao. Based on my own birth chart, fave purple color and my fondness for butterflies--this astro portrait exudes this blogger/writer's personality perfectly. 

Catch more of Juno Parungao's unique Astro Portraits along with two other artists beginning this February 20 at the GSIS Museum. For more information, please visit 

The Generic Pharmacy Launches TGP Paracetamol: Proven Safe, Effective and Affordable Medicine

In this day and age, it has become so difficult to get by and make ends meet because even the most basic commodities have been pretty expensive. Thus, becoming ill is such a big no-no for most of us, particularly the working professionals who are usually the family's breadwinner. Most of the time, even if we do not feel fine, we try our very best to be okay because we knew that getting sick will cost us a lot of money and of course, we do not like that to happen. People are often unable to afford life-saving medicines particularly those we usually refer to as "maintenance" medicines. Personally speaking, I appreciate generic medicines because it is so much more affordable than branded ones. Unknown to many, generic drugs are proven to be just as effective as the more popular brands. I really think that the general public should eradicate that mindset that 'only branded drugs' work.  That's why I so am glad upon learning that the country's largest drugstore chain, The Generics Pharmacy recently launched TGP Paracetamol--proven safe and effective and probably the country's most affordable paracetamol tablet for the price of Php 1.00 per tablet. 

The Generics Pharmacy personally handpicked It's Showtime and Matanglawin TV Host, TV Patrol resident Weather and Trivia anchor, health buff, fitness enthusiast, triathlete, and celebrity endorser, Kim Atienza, more popularly known as 'Kuya Kim' to become TGP Paracetamol's brand ambassador. "Kuya Kim is the epitome of a true survivor. His experience, both in his medical battles and in his career, provides great credibility and truthfulness in our advocacy towards promotion of generics in the country," said The Generics Pharmacy President and CEO Benjamin Liuson. "We believe that no other personality could very well represent the TGP Paracetamol brand other than 'everybody's' "Kuya Kim", says Ms. Debbie Pangan, Corporate Affairs and Communications, The Generics Pharmacy. "He's someone at the prime of his career, with a happy family, well-loved by many, someone to look up to and most especially, he's health-oriented as he's also someone who had cheated life twice and has survived." 

For those who don't know much about Kuya Kim, he had suffered from a stroke in 2012 and last year, he was diagnosed with the Guillain Barre Syndrome--a self-limiting condition of the nerves that can be paralyzed someone from head to toe. It causes weakness and paralysis to the limbs. "One thing I've realized after having gone to two life changing experience in my life, I had really been blessed. I was able to see just how pitiful our healthcare system is. What's worse is that if you're not that well off and you suddenly get sick, it will probably cost you a fortune especially with those expensive treatments," explained Kuya Kim. "Had I been poor, I knew I might've been dead by now. My wife had spent more than 2 million for my stroke treatment alone. I've experienced throbbing in pain while you still had to queue and wait for your turn before a physician could check on you," shares Kuya Kim during the press launch of the TGP Paracetamol at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. 

"The best endorsement is the one I am very passionate about. I'm totally happy that The Generics Pharmacy signed me up to promote and endorse the TGP Paracetamol. For someone who needs to spend a lot on a daily basis as treatment for my sickness, this includes constant intake of paracetamol for the pain, I am thankful that The Generic Pharmacy had introduced TGP Paracetamol which are readily available in the market today. Another good news is the price, for one peso per tablet, you're sure to keep the pain away."

TGP Paracetamol is the first clinical and human-trial tested private label generic medicine brand proven to equal effectiveness to off-patent brands. A series of tests were conducted via a randomnized three-way crossover single dosed bioequivalence study against the leading and innovator paracetamol brands in the market. Led by Director for Research Support and Extension Services, and Chairman of the Bioavailability Unit and Drug Testing Laboratory at the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, Dr. Rita Grace Alvaro, the team tested the rate and extent of absorption of the TGP Paracetamol. 

With over 1,600 franchised outlets nationwide, The Generics Pharmacy continues to promote its pro-health advocacy by getting reputable well-known personalities such as Kuya Kim, Binibining Pilipinas beauty queen and professional pharmacist Janine Tugonon and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto to support their cause. 

The company is committed to provide the highest quality of healthcare possible at very affordable price by adding a wide range of generic medicines like vitamins, maintenance medicines for the heart, diabetes and cholesterol, and its new product--TGP Paracetamol. 

TGP also offers free services such as the Dial-A-Doctor program wherein they can get free medical consultation from a doctor on duty and receive recommendations right away by simply dialing 732-3333. The service is a available from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30AM to 5:30AM. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ateneo Blue Repertory Stages Toilet: The Musical

Ateneo Blue Repertory, the foremost college musical theatre organization of the Ateneo de Manila University, closes blueREP’s 22nd season with the highly anticipated original production, Toilet: The Musical.  
Back from the World Championship of the Performing Arts with three silver medals and one gold, up-and-coming musical director and blueREP alumnus Ejay Yatco returns with Toilet: The Musical- an original production that is set to be the most talked-about show of the year.
In line with blueREP’s 22nd theme “Magkano Mabuhay?” Toilet: The Musical leads its audience on a journey into the lives of eight seemingly ordinary students, each with a story to share and a secret to disclose within the cold confines of the toilet walls. Toilet: The Musical discourses upon grim territory close to home – suicide, unrequited love, religious disparity, bulimia, sexuality, and fear of what the future holds- yet never forgetting to show the light at the end of the tunnel, and the struggle to remember that there are no real endings, just new beginnings.

Toilet: The Musical is Co-Directed by Ejay Yatco and Bym Buhain (Cast member of 4th Wall’s Rivalry: The Ateneo-La Salle Musical, Repertory Philippines’ Seussical, Head Stage Manager of Sa Wakas: The Sugerfree Musical). Musical Direction will also be conducted by Ejay Yatco (nominated by Broadway World Philippines as best Musical Director for Sa Wakas: The Sugarfree Musical, blueREP’s Spring Awakening, Company Call, Little Shop of Horrors, Vocal Coach of 13 The Musical). Choreography will be care of Jim Ferrer (Choreographer, Asst. Director and cast of Company Call: blueREP at 20, choreographer of Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Rock and Rule, Black Prom and Summer Camp). The Lights Designer is Miyo Sta. Maria (Loyola Schools Awardee for the Arts for Playwriting and Lighting Design; Lighting Designer for blueREP’s 13 the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Company Call, Upstart Productions’ Breakup and Breakdowns and PoleCats Stellar Year 3), and Set Designer Trency Cagaan-an (Dulaang UP’s Mary Stuart and Tanghalang Pilipino’s Virgin Lab Fest; graduated from the Philippine School of Interior Design with honors; set designer for blueREP’s Spring Awakening).

Toilet: The Musical will run Feb 12-14 8PM; Feb 15 3PM & 8PM; Feb 19-21 8PM; Feb 22 3PM & 8PM; Feb 26-28 8PM; March 1 3PM & 8PM at Gonzaga Exhibit Hall in Ateneo de Manila University. For ticket inquiries and reservations, contact Poppy Merilleno (0917-878-2239). Visit our Facebook page Ateneo Blue Repertory and follow our official Twitter account, @_blueREPERTORY for more information.

Cheska Garcia-Kramer has moved on with Contractubex

She grew up before our very eyes and we've all seen how she has blossomed into a very pretty lady. She was part of the afternoon children and teen show in the 90's called, "Ang TV". We were witnesses when she tied the knot to good looking basketball star Doug Kramer. Indeed, former TV host/entrepreneur/actress/celebrity mom Cheska Garcia-Kramer is an epitome of a woman blessed with a happy family. The popularity of 'Team Kramer' on social media platform Facebook even shows Cheska as a hands-on mom to her three lovely kids namely Kendra, Scarlett and Gavin. 

"I'm glad Doug supports me in all my other endeavors," says Cheska who manages to find time to do other things such as attend to her business, accept endorsements and even squeezes time for several guestings and event hosting. But her top priority remains to be her family. "Family always comes first. I love doing my job, but having three kids isn't easy. So I decided to prioritize my family over my career when I had kids," Cheska adds. 

Although her showbiz career has to take a back seat now that she has a family, Cheska makes sure she still maintains her good looks. It's pretty amazing that despite having three children via caesarian section, Cheska remains to be pretty, sexy and someone who possess flawless skin. 

"I used other brands on my C-section scar during my first and second pregnancy but I was not happy with the results. After giving birth to my youngest Gavin, I switched to Contractubex. I liked how my scar has lightened with no nodule formation under my skin. In just little as eight months, you can hardly see my scar," enthused Cheska.

"I can now afford to wear a bikini at the beach or the latest in fashion called crop tops. Using Contractubex has helped boost my self confidence. In fact, I believe in Contractubex so much that I even use it on my kids like when Kendra had a fall which resulted in a deep scar on her thigh. I also tried using Contractubex on Gavin's upper lip when Scarlet accidentally bumped into him which left a small scar on him. After three months of using Contractubex, those scars are no longer visible," Cheska said. 

Contractubex is the world's number one topical scar treatment which is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of unsightly marks or scars.  Recommended and trusted by doctors worldwide, Contractubex reduces scarring from within because of its three main components: Allantoin, Cepae extract and Heparin sodium.

Personally speaking, I've experienced the healing wonders of Contractubex too as I've once shared on this same blog last year. Contractubex is easy to use: simply apply on the affected area three to four times a day. It works well on raised scars like keloids and hypertrophic scars. Contractubex is exclusively distributed by Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD Philippines) and is available in leading drugstores nationwide. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post, Opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nickelodeon kicks off 2014 with a whole lotta action and adventure

It’s out with the old and in with the new as Nickelodeon ushers in the year 2014 with a bang, thanks to lots of fresh additions to its monthly lineup!
Keeping viewers on their toes is a brand-new animated series headlined by indestructible and uncontrollable rabbit-like creatures who mysteriously land on Earth. Each episode revolves around them navigating the world in their own rabid way, disregarding social rules, laws and protocols. Hilarity ensues and all hell breaks loose in their non-stop quest for amusement. Hop on the crazy train with Rabbids Invasion, every Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00am.
Movie buffs can also rejoice as Nickelodeon kicks off 2014 with a Nick at the Movies special. The teen flick centers on prep school scholar Nicholas Borelli, who gets his life turned upside down as he spends the summer in the tough neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York with Grandma Tutti and Uncle Frankie. Accidentally crafting his alter ego in the form of Nicky Deuce, a Mafia boss-in-the-making type, he is led down a path of self-discovery strewn with juicy family secrets. Get to know the goody-goody turned gangster in Nicky Deuce starting January 24 at 7:00pm.

The suspense and thrill continues in February as the girls “with an attitude” return for a totally hip, totally chic season. BFFs and secret spies Sam, Clover and Alex are back and better than ever, stopping ridiculous-but-totally-evil baddies from taking over the world all while getting caught in the craziness of campus life. Homework, girl bonding, boy problems and crime-fighting? All in a day’s work for these cool chicks. Catch Totally Spies beginning February 3 at 2:30pm.
Another heroine to watch out for is Korra, burning up the weekday TV sched with new episodes picking up from where the first book left off. For the follow-up series, she addresses the conflict between spirits and humans, as well as between the two Water Tribes. Korra’s fate takes a turn when Team Avatar and Tenzin’s family attend the Glacier Spirits Festival. There she finds herself being persuaded by her uncle, Unalaq, to be her spirit advisor, which her father and Tenzin disapprove of. It wasn’t until she discovers a secret from her past that she makes a decision to take up Unalaq as her instructor. Find out what happens and tune in to The Legend of Korra: Book 2, airing weekdays starting February 19 at 4:30pm.
Rounding up the action extravaganza are brothers Leonardo, Michealangelo, Donatello and Raphael for an all-new season that screams “Booyakasha!”. A mutation situation is on hand with Kraang at large in New York City, littering the streets with mutagen canisters that could give rise to potentially dangerous mutant foes. What’s worse is the Kraang and Shredder team-up, a force set to destroy the ninja brothers, along with April O’Neil and new ally Casey Jones. Don’t miss out on all the blade-swinging, weapon-unleashing fun and watch out for the return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, airing Mondays to Thursdays beginning February 24 at 5:00pm.

Now, how’s that for starting the year right? Save the dates, share with friends on Nick Asia’s Facebook page, and strap up for a Nicktastic journey ahead! For other highlights, check out!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Alaska Krem Top: Change for the Better Philippines

2013 proved to be a very challenging year for the Philippines. But through the difficulties and calamities, we showed extreme resilience and strength, which was witnessed and admired by the world over. As we face 2014, Krem-Top wishes to encourage every Filipino to continue to create greater and more positive changes in their lives. Together, let us all strive for a better Pilipinas.
>It would be great if you would release attached photo collage in your blog/website, as we issue this call to action. We do believe it benefits all Filipinos, and hope you can join us in this advocacy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

John Lloyd Cruz is Banana Peel Brand Ambassador

Banana Peel, the country's leading brand for flipflops welcomes 2014 with an exciting burst of colors as Banana Peel gives its loyal clienteles fabulous flipflop collection to start the year with. "Everybody's Favorite Flipflops" launches new designs in different hues and awesomest designs: from the Sutton designs which feature flipflops with plastic in cool neon colors, men's Crew collection meanwhile features bold Banana Peel flipflops with leather straps which is perfect for men-on-the-go. There's also the cute prints of Bearties collection for little toes and the plain and simple but nevertheless cute Zooper Squad flipflop designs made specifically with kids in mind. 

A press launch was held recently at Cerchio Lounge dubbed as "Burst" where the latest collection of Banana Peel were showcased as well as it has introduced its new brand ambassador, popular endorser and actor, John Lloyd Cruz. During the said launch, Banana  Peel's brand manager, Ms. Hazel Andres says, "We're proud to say that Banana Peel is a Filipino brand that has made waves in the foreign market such as Australia, Maldives and Saipan." Known for its high quality and value for money flipflops, it's not surprising that Banana Peel has gone this far. 

Banana Peel welcomes one of the Philippines' most sought-after celebrity John Lloyd Cruz into the family. According to Ms. Charmaine Manuel, Marketing Associate of Banana Peel, "John Lloyd was singled out to endorse Banana Peel because he embodies everything that the well-loved flipflop's been known for--cool, fun, and 'everyone's favorite'." At the Banana Peel Burst Press Launch, John Lloyd Cruz says he felt honored to be chosen as Banana Peel's brand ambassador. "I liked the fact that Banana Peel is proudly Philippine-made. I'm happy to be a part of this brand because I believe in it so much," he says. 

John Lloyd enjoys being Banana Peel's endorser because he even gets a hand in the flipflops' designs. As proof, Banana Peel has the award-winning actor's own signature line called John Lloyd Cruz Signature Collection--featuring colorful stripes and bold navy colors. "It's actually a collaboration between me and Banana Peel," John Lloyd says of his signature line. The actor is happy that he gets to wear his comfortable Banana Peel flipflops for his Sunday sitcom on ABS-CBN called "Home Sweetie Home" which he topbills opposite singer-actress Toni Gonzaga. 

It's very seldom that people see me in laid-back and comfy getups. Usually, I'd be all dressed-up no matter what the occasion maybe. But I'm basically a simple person who likes to be in my Banana Peel's slippers. No pretensions--what you see is what you get!,"John Lloyd said. 

Simply charming, witty and a crowd's favorite--John Lloyd truly personifies Banana Peel in all its essence. So, you'd wanna feel how it is to be in John Lloyd's flipflops? Get your own pair of Banana Peel flipflops at your favorite leading department stores and Banana Peel outlets nationwide. 

Purple Plum Fairy wishes to thank Ms. Charmaine Manuel of Banana Peel for the invite. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated on this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse at Marriott Hotel Manila

Welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse with the best of fortune as Marriott Hotel Manila offers Chinese New Year promos to add to your celebrations!
It is considered good luck to eat Nian Gao (locally known as “Tikoy”) at this time of the year, as “nian gao” is a homonym for “higher year,” symbolizing longevity, progress, and better life. Marriott’s Nian Gao are carefully molded into two koi fish at 270 grams each, and are packaged beautifully in a red oriental gift box, perfect as a present for the Chinese New Year at P988 nett and available at Java+ until January 31, 2014.
Enjoy the luxury of an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room with their Special Room Package at P11,888++, complete with a calming view of VIllamor Golf Course, and inclusive of buffet breakfast for two at Marriott Café as well as afternoon tea and snacks for you and your special someone at the Greatroom. You will not go home from this stay with fond memories alone; take home a special Nian Gao Gift Box and continue with the Chinese festivities! This package is valid from January 26 to February 10, 2014.
Marriot Manila truly knows how to usher in the Chinese New Year in high spirits! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Medicard-Metafit launches Metafit Fitness Boot Camp Season 3

Makati, Philippines – Medicard Philippines, Inc., a leading HMO provider, opens the year with season 3 of the Medicard-Metafit Fitness Boot Camp at the Cul-de-Sac of the Westgate Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, beginning February 3.  This is part of Medicard’s mission of enjoining the public to live healthier lifestyles.
“We are elated that Westgate Center was chosen as venue for the Boot Camp,” said Joy Polloso, SVP for retail operations of Filinvest. “We have open spaces that are ideal for sports and other fitness activities.  We hope to generate more fun through wellness events here at Westgate.”
Polloso added that the boot camp is the first of its kind at Westgate, and this would give them perfect opportunities to bring to residents in the south a proactive and healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of Medicard Philippines, welcomed Westgate as the new partner for the boot camp’s third season. “With the success of our first two seasons, we feel that it has become our duty to continue the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “We have chosen Westgate because of its wide, open spaces and to give people living in the South a chance to experience this activity.”
MediCard-Meta Fit Fitness Boot Camp, which started in February 2012 at the Medicard Lifestyle Center in Makati, gives participants a chance to challenge and motivate themselves for comprehensive training and high-intensity workouts, with proper guidance from and supervision of expert fitness instructors, including ABS-CBN’s Biggest Loser coach and Meta Fit developer Jim Saret, together with other coaches. Its success has produced three editions of the program across Metro Manila. 
“The boot camp is a perfect venue for health and wellness advocates as we help provide them a more comprehensive health and fitness package,” Saret said. “Meta Fit provides physical training part while MediCard provides the health service.”
MediCard-Meta Fit Fitness Boot Camp Season 3’s 12-session program runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Online registration for interested participants is open until January 31, 2014, through the official Facebook page at 206429986046631.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chubby Lakwatsera Paradizoo Entrance Giveaway

Hello guys! Last year, before the year 2013 ended, Purple Plum Fairy had given away some loot items for our lucky readers. I did promised there's more to come so here it is: my newly revived travel blog Chubby Lakwatsera which you guys can find at aims to share in more travel finds and destinations. Thus, through the kindness of our friends from Zoomanity Group--Purple Plum Fairy and Chubby Lakwatsera will be giving away seven FREE entrance tickets (each good for two) to Zoomanity's Paradizoo--a paradise and zoo located in Mendez, Cavite. Each ticket also comes with a 50% off discount entrance at Tagaytay's Residence Inn which is only 15 minutes away from Paradizoo and a free shuttle service too. 

It means there will be seven winners (that means 14 individuals who will be enjoying the wonders of Paradizoo!). Here's how to join: Note: These three steps are MANDATORY. Failure to do so will result to disqualification.

1. Follow Chubby Lakwatsera ( via Google Friend Connect (see upper right side of the said blog page).

2. LIKE Purple Plum Fairy on Facebook (

3. Comment below by answering who would you love to spend the day with at Paradizoo? Don't forget to put in your name, email address and/or your mobile number. 

Take note that winners must be willing to meet up with me somewhere in Cubao to receive their prizes. Winners will be raffled off via a fish bowl. Winners will be notified via email and or mobile. 

Contest will run until February 1, 2014. Thank you so much and I hope you'll find time to join the contest. Good luck! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NIDO 3+: Milk with Lactobacillus PROTECTUS that helps Moms Protect Kids from Sickness

Kids are naturally playful and curious about a lot of things that surrounds them. Oftentimes as parents, our kids bombard us with tons of questions because they've become inquisitive like little scientists with their very own made up hypothesis. They prefer to explore outdoors and interact more with people, animals, the nature and other stuff. But by doing so, they are more exposed to possible sickness and accidents. We are very much concerned when it comes to our kids' health--from vaccinations to vitamins, we make sure to protect our kids in the best way we can. However, in as much as we'd like to be with our kids to prevent them from illness we know we cannot always be there for them. And this is where we can rely on NIDO 3+, made specifically for kids 3 and up by Nestle Research.

We went recently to an exclusive event attended by media and bloggers for the 2014 NIDO 3+ campaign together with Nestle executives which was held at the private function room of Chef Jessie Restaurant in Amorsolo Square, Rockwell, Makati. NIDO 3+ brand ambassador singer/songwriter/artist and celebrity mom Barbie Almalbis-Honasan graced the said event alongside child expert and Associate Professor at the FamilyLife and Child Development Department of the Home Economics of UP Diliman, Dr. Lilian Leynes-Juadiong where parenting experiences and expert insights that most moms worry about were discussed, including how moms can boost their child's body defenses against sickness while the kids can simply be precocious kids. 

I used to be very anxious when it comes to my kids (she has two kids-Stina, 6 and Liam,3), I used to panic whenever my kids hurt themselves and they would cry. They say that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body, that's exactly how I feel about my kids. It was my husband who told me to have a keep calm attitude," Barbie shared. "I later realized that it was my reaction that caused my kids to fear and cry. My son tests his limits, he likes to fly while my daughter loves role playing. I now allow them to play and pick themselves up each time they fall. I'm thankful for the products like NIDO 3+ that help me equip and protect my kids everyday," Barbie added.

"Mothers are very perceptive on what they give their kids and they mainly worry about three things during growing up years. First is if they are getting real value for their money. Second is the acceptability of these purchases, which may be food or drinks, to their kids. Is it appealing to their kid's palate? Is this something that their kids can appreciate daily? Does it does it protect them as they explore new things? And lastly, is it easy to prepare as there are first-time moms and working moms to consider?" Shared Dr. Juadiong during the said media event. "Given these factors, good and high-quality sourced of nourishment and nutrients become mommy's little helpers to lessen the things they worry about. Special ingredients such as Lactobacillus PROTECTUS, a unique combination of live active good microorganisms can be found in NIDO 3+, as it plays an important role in strengthening your child's body defenses. With this, first-time mom will surely have peace of mind while giving their kids the chance to be kids--play and be healthy without adverse effects." 

It was also during the said NIDO 3+ event where the refreshed version of the popular NIDO jingle "You're My Number One" video was launched. Attendees of the event had an exclusive screening of the impressive collaborative video of NIDO 3+ brand ambassadors Ms. Sharon Cuneta and Barbie Almalbis-Honasan. "I'm so excited to work with Ms. Sharon. I'm honored and privileged to do so," enthuses Barbie. "Ms. Sharon last revived the song in 2009, and for this project I got to work with her and her son, Miguel. I am equally thrilled that I got to do this with my kids Stina and Liam who enjoy NIDO 3+ as well,"said Barbie.

For Moms, there's an exciting news to watch out for in NIDO 3+ Facebook Fan Page. NIDO's signature song, "You're My Number One" Sing-Along Tab will be is now available. With a fresh new beat, easy to listen and follow song, Moms and their kids will surely have fun as they sing along together with Barbie for fostering bonds between mother and child. Other exciting apps include a digital meter which can gauge what worries mothers have during the kid's growing up years plus special promotion for moms and their little ones to capture the protection and enjoyment kids experience with NIDO 3+. 

Moms can look forward to use these awesome apps beginning February 2014 at

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Max's Restaurant Treats Bloggers to a Meaningful Christmas Dinner

Max's Restaurant, known for its sarap-to-the-bones chicken treated bloggers to an intimate Christmas dinner held at Max's Glorietta 1. But it ain't like any ordinary Christmas dinner. It was a special one--for instead of having a lavish party, Max's opted to hold an intimate dinner for their loyal online supporters and donate a portion meant for the party to a meaningful purpose--they had given them to the Philippine National Red Cross on behalf of the bloggers to help build lives for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in Tacloban. 

While eating our favorite Max's dishes that night, we felt truly special. We were able to enjoy an intimate dinner with our fellow blogger friends and Max's awesome PR people from Bright Ideas. We knew in our hearts sharing and helping others wasn't beyond our means because the PR people from Max's Restaurant took the initiative to do this charity and donated an amount on the bloggers' name. It might not be much, but it felt so good to know that it could help to buy more food for the people. 

This is what I loved most about Max's Restaurant--that close-knit family feeling and sense of belonging, where everyone seems to know everybody. We also got to taste Max's Corner Bakery Holiday Cakes such as Toffee Torte, Triple Treat, Salted Caramel Tableya, Choco Moist, and Choco Meringue Delight. They were all delectable treats you should definitely not miss! We also received Max's Corner Bakery goodie treats like polvoron and our personal favorite Max's decadent caramel bars. As if that wasn't enough, we were also given the limited edition Max's table calendar with special monthly freebie coupons to use this year. 

Thank you so much Max's Restaurant and Bright Ideas team. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center and Ateneo Celadon Presents the 8th Chinese Spring Film Festival

I've always looked forward to the month of January. Not only because it is the start of a new year but more so because of two other reasons: one, I'd get to do things on a clean slate and in doing so I'd be able to get my act together. And the other reason is, it's time for the Chinese Spring Film Festival again. For those who probably haven't heard of this good news, the Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies and the Ateneo Celadon have joined hands to make people become more aware of the Chinese artistry and culture through free film screenings via the annual Chinese Spring Film Festival. 

Now on its eight year, the Chinese Spring Film Festival is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Chinoy (Chinese-Filipino) community. I'm also happy to note that they have extended their audience reach this year as the 8 Chinese films of the Chinese Spring Festival will now be shown simultaneously in different areas such as in Cebu, Davao, Naga, Dagupan and Baguio apart from Metro Manila.  

I came across the Spring Film festival by accident. I went to Shangri-La mall because I came to see a friend who lived nearby and decided to check out the latest items at a specialty store I used to frequent a lot. I passed by the queue at the cineplex and asked around what the line was all about. And that's how I came to know about the Spring film festival. I remember it was through the past Chinese Spring Film Festival that I was able to discover Jet Li (yes, the popular Chinese action star) essaying a father role in a poignant film about autism. It was refreshing to see Jet Li in a drama scene, far from the usual action movies he's known for. Then, last year, I've watched another family-oriented featured film about a father who does everything to please his only daughter and tried his best to save his marriage. He even went to try the extremes just so he could give his daughter a grand piano. I could still vividly recall how heartwarming the storyline was--it really tugs at your heart, hitting your soft spot yet I recall coming out of the Shangri-La Cineplex with a smile as it also had funny moments that made me laugh out loud. 

If you haven't tried seeing Chinese Spring Film Festival movies, I'm telling you, you're missing out on a whole lot of fun stuff. I can assure you that you will enjoy all the films regardless of their genre even if you don't understand a single word in Chinese. no worries though, they have English subtitles so it's easy for you to understand them. Here's the Best Part: It's FREE and open to the public. You just have to show up at the cinema counter at least an hour before the actual screening time to get tickets as slots are limited per screening. It's on a first cone, first served basis. 

Save the date folks, mark your calendars. The 8th Chinese Spring Festival will be held from January 24 - February 2, 2014 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall Cineplex in Mandaluyong City as well as in other venues. 

 For this year, here are the following movie and their Synopsis:

Snowfall in Taipei
May, a singer from mainland China, suddenly lost her voice and had conflicts with Ah Lei, her producer and secret lover. In anger, she came to Old Town of Jingtong where she met Xiao Mo, a warmhearted man. Xiao Mo helped May find a dwelling place, and introduced her to work at a local restaurant. Thanks to their constant contacts, they made a good impression with each other. May found happiness and consolation from the old streets of the small town, and her voice was getting better and better. However, May had left her heart at another place. Gradually, Xiao Mo understood that when one deliberately disappears, one wants to be looked for by others. Along with a sudden appearance of Jack, a muckraking journalist, the situation began to develop towards the uncontrolled direction.  

City Monkey
He Zhipeng is a senior student in high school who lives in a big old Beijing hutong yard with his mother and grandmother. He loves parkour, an extremely dangerous sport in most people’s eyes. With his good psychology and physique, he becomes the star player of “City Monkey” parkour club. But his mother strongly disapproves it and hopes he could focus only on his entrance exams to university. Clashes of different concepts, rebellion of the youth, and persistence to the ideal are unavoidable problems for them. What would the two generations do?

Aftershock Tangshan, 1976. 
Two seven-year-old twin children are buried under the rubble of the devastating earthquake. The rescue team explains to their mother, Li Yuanni that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life and must choose between her children. Li Yuanni has no idea that her decision is overheard by her daughter Fang Deng, the female twin. Although she has been left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives for several more days before being pulled clear by another rescue team who believe that she is simply a corpse. She wakes up in the pouring rain next to the dead body of her father. Suffering from the emotional shocks of the disaster and the painful memory of her mother's choice, Fang Deng refuses to reveal her identity. She is adopted by a middle-aged Chinese couple and years later moves to Canada to marry. Shadowed by the traumatic experiences of the earthquake and devastated by her mother's decision to abandon her, she continues to be emotionally withdrawn throughout her adult years.

Where is My Home
Mrs. Geng is a simple village mother who raised two children on her own. Her son made his way to the city and offers to have her come live with him and his family. Despite the improved material conditions of the city, Mrs. Geng cannot help feeling isolated and lonely. It takes some time for her children to understand how she feels, and they rebuild their family’s affection.

The Go-King and his Son
Liu Yishou, an amateur Go player, is called by his friends “the king of Go”. Liu Yishou has been laid off quite a long time ago and now, with no other skills to make a living, teaches Go in a humble training course for children. Life has been hard, and his wife has decided to divorce him. His young son, Xiaochuan, has chosen to stay with him through his difficulties. On an unexpected occasion, Xiaochuan displayed an amazing talent for Go, and his father vowed to support him to further develop his gift for the game. They confronted challenges, but with courage, persistence and profound love between father and son, they eventually arrived at the destination towards which they were heading.

1911 Revolution
As the country enters the new century, China is facing a crisis. Two warring factions have emerged, starvation amongst the citizens is rampant and political reforms have made matters worse. The seven year old Emperor and his mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen), are out of sync with people’s needs after 250 years of total power.  As Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) arrives from his studies on modern warfare in Japan, he finds himself picking up his sword to lead a rebellion against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army.

Let’s Fall in Love
Tan Momo, who showed his natural gift in music in his childhood, entered the Conservatory of Music to learn to play Guqin (seven-stringed plucked instrument) smoothly. His teacher placed great hopes on him and his girlfriend Xia Fei had the greatest esteem for him. Upon their graduation, Momo, Xia Fei and other young people who cherished dreams finally walked out of the campus and began to experience the ups and downs in real life. While in front of conflicts between their ideals and family relation, love and morality, what would they choose…

Li Mi Conjecture
Due to the intervention of her parents, taxi driver girl Li Mi had to break up with her long-term boyfriend, Fang Wen, who had disappeared from her life yet seemed to remain connected. For four years, Li Mi had continued to search for his whereabouts in a constant tug-of-war between hope and despair. An eerie murder was witnessed, leading her to a man nearly identical to her missing lover. Could he be the one she has been looking for? Her life suddenly changes. Then come terrible yet pitiful drug dealers, and irascible but highly duteous police detectives…Behind the cascades of mysteries, compromises lie still between those who were once in love.

So, come one, come all! They say the BEST things in life are FREE, and what better way to start your year right than to watch quality Chinese films for free at the 8th Chinese Spring Film Festival. Go ahead and take your pick among the featured films this year as well as their screening dates and enjoy. See you at the cinema! 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Green Apple Dental Group and MRC Clinic Offers Myobrace: Painless and Affordable Way to Align Crooked Teeth

I remember having crooked teeth or better known as sungki when I was young. I've worn braces for almost five years from the time I was fifteen and in junior high up until my college years. Of course, at the time, I thought that was cool as I didn't know any better--so I didn't really mind wearing braces because they were sort of a "status symbol" back then. But what most people don't know were the difficulties one has to endure if you wear one. The truth behind wearing braces was that it's a totally painful experience and it was so uncomfortable + there were certain foods you're not allowed to eat (like corn on a cob, crackling pork rind or chicharon), plus the fact that the whole world seemed to  know what you've just eaten if you don't brush your teeth right away. Braces will make you prone to canker sores often among many other conditions. And the worst part of it all, braces tend to relapse after a period of time. In my case, a few years after my braces were off, it was only then that my impacted wisdom tooth sprouted which would even require for a dental surgery to be extracted. My braces cost my Mom a fortune in its maintenance yet it made my teeth problem even worse. How I wish I met Dr. Gamaliel Urbi earlier. A most sought-after orthodontist, he's the pioneer of Myobraces in the Philippines and owns the Green Apple Dental Group and MRC Clinics in the country.

Myofunctional Research Clinic or MRC Clinics is an Australian based dental concept technology that introduces an innovative and holistic way of improving the dental and facial development of growing children aged 5 to 15 years old. Dr. Gamaliel Urbi is a franchiser of MRC Clinic in the country and he is also the official lecturer in Asia. A first in the Philippines, MRC Clinic and Green Apple Dental opened its doors to the public in 2009. As of this time, it has four branches throughout the country--all located in different Ayala Malls--in Cebu, Davao, and TriNoMa mall. 

 Dr. Gamaliel Urbi and his expertise on Myobraces and MRC Clinic had also been featured in top health-related television and radio programs such as ABS-CBN's Salamat Doc and Cory Quirino's show. "I'm a maverick," says Dr. Urbi. "I'd like to do more for my patients so I researched around the world to learn more. We at Myofunctional Research Clinic and Green Apple Dental Group practice holistic, interceptive and preventive dentistry. We treat each patient with symmetry by addressing the root cause, focusing on the main history like abnormal swallowing, mouth breathing, thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, etc. We educate what's proper and what's not normal," relates Dr. Urbi. 

Myobraces are customized trainers for each arch type. Compared to the traditional braces, myobraces aligns crooked teeth without the need for wired braces and it's also painless and more affordable. With myobrace, since it's based on the treatment of the root cause of the problem, it does not have a relapse. In fact, based on a research, 3 out of 4 children develops poor facial development and crooked teeth because of bad habits like reverse breathing, thumb sucking and mouth breathing. Even babies teeth can greatly benefit from myobrace even before their first tooth comes out. According to Dr. Urbi, "Instead of using rubber pacifier, it's best to use a myobrace to create wider arches as it trains the baby to develop nose breathing instead of mouth breathing which the typical pacifier does. Mouth breathing creates an overbite and later on crooked teeth." 

Oh, and did I mention the coolest thing about wearing a myobrace? Although myobrace should be worn everyday, myobraces are worn only at home. Yes, it could be worn during study time, while watching your favorite TV show, playing games and overnight while sleeping. How's that? Nobody even knows you're aligning your teeth properly because there's no need to wear traditional wired braces. This means you won't get teased for your "sampayan teeth" like me. You won't be looking like some kind of geek either because they won't be seeing you with braces. It saves you from all the stares and bullies at school and you won't be rejected at go-sees or VTR auditions because there isn't a proof anymore that you're on the treatment of aligning your teeth with myobrace. 

People may not know it but proper breathing had a lot to do with one's good health. Dr. Urbi says, "We at MRC Clinic and Green Apple Dental Group teaches Buteyko Method, a safe, effective and drug-free breathing reconditioning program with our patients. What most parents don't know is that when a child breathes through mouth, he or she gets all the pollution and bacteria in the air that he breathes and it all goes directly to his lungs which makes him more susceptible to certain illnesses. When we breathe the proper way, through the nose, our nose has natural filters--the child becomes healthier and with better looking face and straighter teeth."

Developed over 50 years ago by Russian respiratory specialist Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, the method also provides long-term benefits to people with asthma, emphysema, diabetes, migraine, bronchitis, digestive disorders, hypertension and immune and hormonal disorders. "Parents would come up to me and thank me because not only were their kids became healthier and better looking but also because they've all gained confidence," Dr. Urbi said. 

Dr. Urbi says, there are three ways to get a good set of teeth:

1. Nutrition--Sometimes we tend to overlook the most important ones. Modern day human diet includes all white sugar, carbs and white flour. It depresses the body and creates abnormality. Instead, eat fiber rich nutritious food and as much as possible avoid the bad ones.

2. Breastfeeding--As compared to bottle-feeding that creates abnormal swallowing habits and abnormality in breathing, breastfeeding is all-natural and perfect. It makes both the baby and the mother healthier. 

3. Avoid mouth breathing. 

You see, if I could really turn back the time, I wish I had met Dr. Gamaliel Urbi as a teenager. If I did, I knew I never had to go through all those painful wired braces and suffer from impacted wisdom tooth. To conclude this article, I prefer not to say much to prove how effective myobrace and MRC Clinic and Green Apple Dental Group treatment was, just check out the huge differences in the pictures of before and after treatments of the patients' above--and you'll know it's worth your every peso. 

To learn more about myobraces and other MRC Clinic and Green Apple Dental Group services, please feel free to visit them and check them out at the 2nd floor, TriNoMa mall (near Seattle's Best Coffee), North EDSA, Quezon City

Green Apple Dental Clinic and MRC Clinics offer a free consultation and myobrace assessment. Call them at 494-2248/ 901-0506 or their mobile 0916-5935669

For those in Cebu, you may visit Green Apple Dental Group and MRC Clinic at the Stall G114, Wellness Area, Garden Level, The Terraces, Ayala Mall, Cebu City

Visit their websites at or

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Special thanks to Dr. Gamaliel Urbi, MRC Clinic, Green Apple Dental Group and Ms. Ma. Leonila Garcia. 

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