Wednesday, March 27, 2024



Take the trip down the Ancient Babylon with Giuseppi Verdi’s Nabucco, premiering in the Philippines through the CCP The Met: Live in HD on April 2, 5:30pm, exclusively at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1 located in Makati City.

Verdi’s third opera is a stirring drama about the fall of ancient Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco) and the subsequent exile of the Hebrews in Babylon.

The opera plot is as exhilarating as the story of its beginning. History has it that Verdi vowed to quit composing after the death of his first wife and the disastrous reception of his previous work Un Giorno di Regno. But after seeing Solera’s libretto, Verdi changed his mind and started composing again; creating an opera that launched his career.

The opera had its world premiere at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan in 1842, with a resounding success.

While the story stayed as close to the biblical events based on Jewish scriptures in Jeremiah, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Daniel, and the Psalms, librettist Temistocle Solera took some liberties with some of the characters.  

Baritone George Gagnidze made his Met role debut as the imperious king Nabucco, alongside soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska who reprised her thrilling turn as his vengeful daughter Abigaille. Mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova and tenor Seok-Jong Baek, in his company debut, are Fenena and Ismaele, whose love transcends politics, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy repeats his celebrated portrayal of the high priest Zaccaria.

Daniele Callegari conducts Verdi’s exhilarating early masterpiece, which features the ultimate chorus piece, the moving “Va, pensiero,” also known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves in Act III.

When Verdi passed away six decades later, famous Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini led a vast number of orchestras and choruses from all over Italy to perform “Va, pensiero” during the state funeral of the Italian composer in Milan.

Catch this classic Met staging of biblical proportions, directed Elijah Moshinsky. Tickets are priced at Php350, with a special discounted price of Php 100 for students and young professionals upon presentation of ID.

For more information about the CCP The Met: Live in HD Season 9, visit the CCP website ( and follow the official social media accounts in Facebook, X, Instagrams and YouTube.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Planning Tips for a Summer Garden Party for Family and Friends


Hosting a garden party in the summer for family and friends can be a lovely way to get everyone together. Even if the weather isn’t that great, everyone will still have an awesome time. With some advance planning, you can create a fun and memorable event. Here are some tips for planning a successful summer garden party that isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Choose a Date

When choosing a date, look at the calendar and avoid conflicts with other events or holidays that guests may be attending. Weekends often work well for garden parties. Also, check the weather forecast and have a back-up indoor location in case of rain. Even better, look at hiring a yurt so everyone is kept dry, or in hot weather, cool. Yurt rentals such as Hooe's Yurts - UK's top yurt hire are ideal if you decide to rent a yurt.

Late summer is ideal when gardens are full of colour.

Make a Guest List

Decide who you want to invite - just close family, extended family and friends or a larger community event? Garden parties usually have 15-40 guests. Send printed invitations 4-6 weeks in advance and follow up closer to the event. Keep track of responses.

Plan the Menu

For a summer garden party, opt for cool, refreshing foods and drinks suited to being outdoors. Cold salads, fruits, chilled juices and lemonade work well. Have lighter hot foods like quiche if desired. Consider any dietary needs. Keep it simple with just 2-3 savoury items, a couple of simple desserts and some fresh fruit.

Set Up the Garden

Make sure the garden is tidy beforehand. Have enough tables and chairs for all guests. Set up a food/drink table. If hot food is served, chafing dishes keep it warm. Decorate with pots of flowers, bunting and lanterns. Have garden games available. Consider shaded areas if it’s a hot day.

Refreshments & Entertainment

Provide bottles of water and soft drinks as well as jugs of juice, lemonade or Pimm’s. Offer hot tea and coffee later on. Hire a steel band, jazz trio or acoustic musician to play music. Have some group games or activities planned like croquet, badminton or charades.

Serving the Food

Offer disposable plates, cutlery and napkins for convenience. Serve food buffet style and replenish as needed. Child-friendly foods like sandwiches, sausage rolls and crisps go down well. Adults may enjoy more elegant bites like scones, mini quiches and cheese straws. Have dinnerware available for those wanting to sit and dine properly.

Tidying Up

To make things easier, use compostable plates, cups and cutlery. Designate bins for waste, recycling and food waste. Encourage guests to help tidy up and take leftovers home. Stock up on bin bags and enlist help to get the garden back in shape once everyone has left. Send guests home with small gifts like potted plants, baked goods or garden produce.

Most importantly, enjoy this special time with loved ones! With attention to planning, preparation and hospitality, your summer garden party will surely be a wonderful occasion.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Easter Delights at Solaire Resort Entertainment City


Easter-inspired afternoon tea at Oasis Garden Café

Solaire Resort Entertainment City's Easter Sunday celebration on March 31 is a family-friendly event that promises laughter and pleasure. Celebrate the spirit of Easter with a solemn Sunday liturgy at 11 a.m. at The Grand Ballroom. Solaire's iconic restaurants provide delectable brunch and Easter delicacies that will delight your family.

Celebrate Easter at Finestra with endless glasses of champagne and a varied range of appealing Italian meals. Savor the legendary seafood tower, either hot or iced, with an amazing a variety of seafood treats including poached or garlic prawns, oysters, crab, lobster, curacha, and mussels. Enjoy a fresh octopus carpaccio and leave space for the Tajima wagyu rump  served with sweet potato gratin and creamed spinach. Enjoy Easter deals such as the double crusted. Torta Pasqualina, a ribbon-like pappardelle pasta with amberjack fish and artichokes, and succulent grilled lamb leg.

Enjoy an endless supply of smoked meats, grilled seafood, and brunch staples at Waterside cuisine that entices your taste senses with each bite. Enjoy the scent of the famous paella. Come feast on the full roast lamb and lechon available at the carving station. Kids can also unleash their creativity at the interactive milkshake bar, where kids may design their own. Milkshakes with a variety of delicious toppings, colorful sweets, fresh fruits, and mouth-watering donuts.

Embark on a gastronomic trip to Japan with Yakumi's brunch special, featuring eight live buffets stations stocked with the finest ingredients. Enjoy wonderfully crispy ebi, fish, or vegetables tempura, fresh sashimi purchased directly from Toyosu market in Japan, and taste the creativity of various seafood teppanyaki. Immerse yourself in the richness and warmth of sukiyaki, Healthy shabu-shabu. Make sure to visit the robatayaki station that highlights the American lobster. Providing an unmatched flavor of the ocean. Enjoy an authentic Japanese dish, Tai Sakamushi. Perfectly steamed sea bream seafood. Satisfy your Japanese needs with Spicy kurobuta kakuni or delicate beef curry.

Guests can also feast with their families at Red Lantern for a memorable dining experience featuring an Eat-All-You-Can buffet of authentic Chinese cuisine. Delight in dishes like the flavorful “Dong-po” style braised pork belly, crystal skin lobster dumplings, and crispy deep-fried cheese and prawn spring rolls. Be sure to try the classic dumplings including the succulent Siew Mai steamed pork dumpling, the Hargao steamed shrimp dumplings, and the crispy deep fried “Jiao Zi” pork dumplings.

Experience a lavish banquet at Fresh with its international buffet stations. Savor Filipino delights like grilled pork belly skewers and lechon kawali, indulge in Chinese roasted delicacies such as Char siu pork and Peking duck, and dive into an endless selection of lobsters, ensuring a culinary journey that heightens your senses. Immerse yourself in the Easter spirit with special treats for the little ones at the dessert station, featuring a whimsical rabbit-shaped coconut cake. Share in the festivities with your family and enjoy entertainment such as a captivating magic show that will surely leave you amazed.  Other exciting activities include getting your portrait drawn by a caricaturist, making art with cotton candy and balloons, and capturing precious moments with your loved ones with a walking photo booth. You can also enjoy a wide array of delicate tea sandwiches and delectable pastries and sweets, perfect for an Easter-inspired afternoon tea at Oasis Garden Café.

Complete your vacation by booking a soulful stay for a serene retreat at Solaire. Get up to 38% off on the Best Available Rate for Deluxe Rooms which come inclusive of signature welcome drinks for two either at Oasis Garden Café, Waterside, or Dragon Bar and complimentary use of day beds for two by the tranquil poolside.

Book now and reserve your seats by calling 8888-8888 or email for an Easter to remember at Solaire.

4As Philippines hosts forum on value of winning a Lion and how creativity can impact business


Cannes Lions Photo

Aiming to inspire Filipino brands and agencies who wish to join the Cannes Lions awards—the international festival of creativity that recognizes the most groundbreaking work in branded communication from across the globe—the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) of the Philippines recently hosted a special forum on the value of winning a Lion, what it takes to win, and how creativity impacts business performance.

The event took place last March 8 at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

The forum was headlined by Marian Brannely, Cannes Lions Global Director of Awards, who was joined by Philippine winners of the Cannes Lions: Kristine Go, Smart Communications Inc. Senior Vice President; Margot Torres, McDonald's Philippines Managing Director; and Raoul Panes, Publicis Groupe and Leo Burnett Manila Chief Creative Officer.

Teeny Gonzales, 4As President and Seven AD Chief Executive Officer, kicked off the event with a short speech urging creatives to make winning a Lion the benchmark to ensure that they are always able to deliver creative excellence no matter what."There's no need for you to win a Lion to be sure, and not every work we do will be Cannes-worthy, but if we make it our benchmark, then the work, at the minimum, will great."

Delivering the first presentation of the evening, Go talked about brand purpose, specifically how purpose should feel natural for a brand. "I think magic comes when you have the inflection between a brand and a societal cause,"she said. "You can't force purpose on brands. It's either you have it, or you don't. If your purpose is happiness, then just stay true to it."

She also said it's a must to build an ecosystem around that purpose, and for it to not be merely a one-off

thing. "If you start off by trying to win awards and you create one film, it's gonna win an award, but that's the only thing you're gonna do," she said. "So, it shouldn't be something you do and then leave it behind."

The second presentation, delivered by Torres and Panes, revolved around the importance of building an ecosystem of creative excellence that includes investing in partnerships, investing in a culture that promotes creativity, and investing in time and making sure it's maintained.

Torres also highlighted the importance of being consistent and always striving to improve. "You always have to remember that you're only as good as your last work. This forces you to raise the bar each time."

Meanwhile, Panes highlighted the need for creatives to be able to work in an environment that enables and inspires them. It's always important that we create a space where people are free to be creative, to experiment, to make mistakes, to fail, bounce back and be rewarded. I think it's important that it becomes part of their natural instinct."

Brannely delivered the final presentation of the evening, where she talked about the value of winning a Lion for brands and agencies, and gave a few tips on how entrants can learn and improve their chances of winning.

"The Lions exist to help you tell that story, to help you to demonstrate these creative ideas that you have invested your time and resources in," Brannely said. Brannely briefly took the listeners through the typical journey of a Lion winner, which goes from entering their work in the first year, learning from the winners and then polishing their work in the second year, and then finally pushing for creative excellence in their third year.

She also talked about the win rate for the awards in 2023, which was at just around 3 percent: from a total of 26,992 entries, only 2,791 or 10.3 percent were shortlisted, and from there, only 876 were awarded. "When you're crafting an entry, your audience isn't the jury. The jury are C-roles of the world's biggest brands. They're CCO, they're creative leaders across the world, and they don't know your market. They don't know your brand's challenges. They don't know the cultural nuances that are happening in places you work." So the core things that you need to put in your brief or pitch are your challenges, your idea, your solution, and the impact. You need to make sure that they are on top of the list, being you're clear about them." she said. "Make it easy for them to see."

Brannely ended her presentation by underscoring the importance of keeping the creative momentum going for brands and agencies. "Creativity needs to be sustained. It's an investment of time, it's a legacy, and you're building that culture of creativity that isn't a one-and-done. It really should be a sustained culture of creativity."

The event is in line with the 4As "Get Schooled" thrust for 2024, which aims to provide opportunities for learning that will help creatives become better equipped to meet the ever-evolving demands of the advertising and marketing industries.

To learn more about the 4As and its programs, visit

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Discovering the wonders of Mentholatum Acnes Skin Care Line to prevent pimples


Acnes Mentholatum Product line

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be frustrating and embarrassing, leading many to seek out products that promise to clear up their skin. One such product is Mentholatum Acnes, a popular acne treatment that has been on the market for years.

Everyone has experienced waking up the night before a big occasion with a zit. A pimple can ruin a whole lot of plans, including dates, outings, and important presentations. Furthermore, since maskne is still a problem for some folks, we're all looking for fast fixes. I recently tested Mentholatum's entire Acnes collection, and this is what I discovered.

Acnes Anti-Pimple Patch

I'm constantly looking for strategies to lessen irritation and stop breakouts because I typically experience hormonal acne. As my cycle was about to begin, I began with the Acnes Creamy Wash (P150 / 50g, P252 / 100g), a mild, soap-free cleanser made with Centella Asiatica extract to soothe and repair the skin and salicylic acid to decrease oil production. I have dry skin, so even though it formed a thin foam with a nice herbaceous smell, it can be drying.

Mentholatum Acnes is known for its ingredients that help to reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne, while also providing a refreshing sensation when applied.

Acnes Mentholatum Creamy Wash

Acnes is a trusted acne care expert that features skincare solutions with best quality ocne-fighting ingredients lke Centella Asiatica or Cica extract proven to aid in the recovery of blemishes. One of the brand’s popular solutions is the Acnes Anti-Acne Spot Gel that's known to help shrink acne in as fast as 3 days! It also containes Sulbur to control oil production, Salicylic Acid (BHA) to unclog pores, Licorice Extract to calm skin, and Vitomin E to restore sun elasticty. To complete your acne care routine, Acnes also got Acnes Anti-Acne Pimple Patch for absorbing oil and pus, gentle soap-free cleanser Acnes Creamy Wash, and Acnes Oil-Control Moisturzer to moisturize and soothe skin.

Acnes Mentholatum Oil Control Moisturizer

Mentholatum Acnes also contains salicylic acid, a powerful ingredient that helps to unclog pores and prevent new breakouts from forming. This combination of ingredients makes Mentholatum Acnes an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne.

Acnes Anti-Acne Spot Gel

One of my favorite items from the series, the Acnes Anti-Acne Spot Gel (P283 / 18g), was applied after washing. Made with salicylic acid and 2% sulfur, it did a great job of drying up my aggressive acne. In addition, the spot gel contains a lot of vitamin E, which helps to repair skin suppleness and shield it while treating spots. The thick, sticky product applied best by tapping as opposed to spreading.

It's a myth that moisturizer is unnecessary if you have acne. In an attempt to make up for its excessive dryness, very dry skin might produce extra oil, which exacerbates acne. The P335 / 45g Acnes Oil-Control Moisturizer restores moisture while reducing oil production and reducing irritation. The product features a pump for convenient distribution and a nice apple fragrance derived from apple extract. To further combat zits, it contains active ingredients including centella asiatica and salicylic acid.

I covered my location with the Acnes Anti-Acne Pimple Patch (P222) at night to prevent myself from tossing, turning, or scratching while I slept. I would wear one as well before leaving. The patches are available in three distinct sizes and blend seamlessly with the skin to minimize visibility.

You can get rid of zits with just one of these products, but the whole series is a. I can see myself grabbing for their spot gel and pimple patches the next time I wake up with a zit, since fewer pimples are sprouting up and the ones that do dry and heal better.

Indeed, Mentholatum Acnes is a reliable product for those looking to combat their acne woes. Its cooling effect and powerful ingredients make it a go-to choice for many individuals struggling with breakouts.

The complete collection is available at the Mentholatum official store on Shopee and Lazada. Additionally, Watsons and Mercury Drug locations around the country carry these! 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Recharge your eyes on the go with a handy Rohto Eye Drops


Handy oil blotting paper, sunsticks, lip balms, and medicinal essential oils are unquestionably stalwarts when it comes to our daily grab-and-go needs. They provide easy methods to help us feel and look our best when we're on the road. Adding eye drops to your daily self-care pack can help you look like an expert and cover all the bases.

Your eyes are always in front of devices, whether you're working or just relaxing and strolling through busy city streets. tolerate a great deal in your daily existence. It's simple to ignore them until they appear weary or agitated—red, Itchy and dry. When your eyes don't produce enough moisture on their own, eye drops can help. while lessening discomfort and friction as well. Put an end to scratching your eyes—which may potentially irritate them. as well as illness. Additionally, there's never a bad idea to add eye drops to your self-care collection using the top brand of eye care in the world, Rohto.

The reputable Japanese company is providing the first and only cooling eye drops with Rohto in the Philippines. Cool Eye Drops offer immediate cooling and relief from mild ocular discomforts caused by wind, dust, and smoke. sunlight glare, chlorinated water, or from eye strain from prolonged computer use. In addition to cleaning out dirt from eyes, they can also feed the eyes at the same time as preventing dryness and bacterial infection. concurrently. The reliable Japanese company is providing the first and only cooling eye drops with Rohto in the Philippines.

Rohto Eye Drops have become a staple in many households, providing relief for dry, irritated eyes. These eye drops are known for their cooling sensation and fast-acting formula that soothes redness and discomfort. 

One of the key ingredients in Rohto Eye Drops is menthol, which provides the cooling effect that instantly refreshes tired eyes. This unique feature sets Rohto apart from other eye drops on the market, making it a popular choice among consumers.

Not only do Rohto Eye Drops provide immediate relief, but they also help to lubricate and moisturize the eyes, promoting overall eye health. Whether you suffer from allergies, spend long hours staring at screens, or simply need a quick pick-me-up for your eyes, Rohto Eye Drops is a reliable solution.

Cool Eye Drops offer immediate cooling and relief from minor eye strain that results from prolonged screen time or from smoke, dust, wind, sun glare, and chlorinated water. In addition to clearing debris from.

A unique and refreshing way to get soothing comfort, Rohto Cool Eye Drops are great for waking up sleepy eyes, a must when driving or pulling an all-nighter for study or work. If you’re looking for something with a gentle and moisturizing formula with the same benefits, pick Rohto Aqua Eye Drops.

Whichever you choose, Rohto Pharmaceutical Japan, with more than a century of experience in creating secure and reliable eye solutions, is the company behind these convenient eye drops. The entire production process is entirely automated in a climate-controlled setting with the highest standards in mind. Carefully crafted, the eye drops are extremely easy to apply because Rohto's unique nozzle guarantees a precise, mess-free drop at any angle. Additionally, you can wear them with or without contact lenses for your ease of use. Rohto Eye Drops are a must-have product for anyone looking to keep their eyes feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Get instant and effective relief with the unique Rohto Cool Eye Drops or the gentle Rohto Aqua Eye Drops in your everyday bag. Find them at any Watsons store, or shop online through Watsons Online Shop and through the official Mentholatum stores on Lazada and Shopee.

Discover the refreshing world of Rohto eye drops and say bye to minor eye discomforts, follow Rohto on Facebook @rohtoph and Instagram @rohtoeyedropsph and visit their website at

Saturday, March 16, 2024

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Professional Photographer


Are you looking to capture some truly memorable moments? Whether it's a special occasion, a personal milestone, or just a desire to have some stunning portraits, hiring a professional  photographer can make all the difference. With so many photographers out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. In this article, we'll share some invaluable tips to help you find the perfect photographer to suit your needs and ensure you get the results you've been dreaming of.

1. Determine Your Needs and Style

Before you start your search, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what you're looking for. Are you seeking traditional portraits, candid shots, or something more creative and artistic? Do you need a photographer who specialises in a particular genre, such as wedding, family, or corporate photography? Knowing your preferences will help you narrow down your options and find a photographer whose style aligns with your vision.

2. Find One That Caters to Your Needs

Once you've identified your requirements, it's time to start your search for a skilled photographer like Lucy Ridges, who can meet those needs. If you're in the Manchester area, you'll find a variety of skilled photographers with diverse specialities.

For those seeking a unique and creative approach, comedy portraits Manchester might be the phrase to search for. These photographers excel at capturing the personalities and humour of comedians and performers. Alternatively, you could search for comedian portraits Manchester to find experts in this niche.

Musicians and bands often require photography services tailored to their needs. Searching for musician photography Manchester can lead you to photographers adept at capturing live performances, album covers, and promotional shots for artists.

If you're simply looking for stunning portrait photography, searching for "portrait photography Manchester" will present you with a range of options from traditional to contemporary styles. Those seeking a more artistic and imaginative approach might consider searching for creative portrait photography in the Manchester area.

3. Review Their Portfolio

A photographer's portfolio is a window into their skills, style, and creativity. Take the time to thoroughly review their work, paying attention to the quality of the images, the lighting, composition, and overall aesthetic. Look for consistency in their style and ensure that their work aligns with your vision. Don't hesitate to ask questions about specific shots or techniques they've used to better understand their approach.

4. Consider Their Experience

While talent is undoubtedly important, experience and professionalism are equally crucial when choosing a photographer. An experienced photographer will not only have a strong grasp of technical aspects but will also know how to handle various situations and work well under pressure.

5. Read Reviews and Ask for Referrals

Word-of-mouth can be an invaluable resource when selecting a photographer. Read online reviews from previous clients to get a sense of their experience working with the photographer. Additionally, don't hesitate to ask for referrals from friends, family, or other professionals in the industry. Positive reviews and recommendations from trusted sources can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right professional photographer is an investment in capturing memories that will last a lifetime. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to finding a photographer who can turn your vision into beautiful, timeless images.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Enjoy hassle-free money transfers and currency exchanges with M Lhuillier


Having a good and reliable money changer is essential for ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience when you travel abroad. A good money changer will offer competitive exchange rates and low fees, allowing you to get the most value for your money.

Knowing a trustworthy and well-established money changer in a convenient and strategic setting is essential. I have heard horror stories of tourists being scammed by dishonest money changers, so I was determined to find a trustworthy one. I needed to exchange the currency given to me by relatives abroad as tokens who went by for a short visit.

The exchange rates were clearly communicated, and I was impressed by how competitive they were compared to other money changers in my area. The transaction was quick and efficient, and before I knew it, I had my Pesos in hand. Leaving with my exchanged money in hand, I felt relieved knowing that I had found a reliable money changer that I could trust on future trips. It may seem like a small victory, but for someone who values honesty and integrity, it tremendously makes a positive impact.

Purple Plum Fairy at her favorite MLhuillier branch

The peace of mind of knowing you are getting fair and just exchange rates is second to none. A reputable money changer like M Lhuillier offers fast services, transparent rates with minimal fees and mostly, no hidden charges or under-the-table transactions.

The level of professionalism and customer service that M Lhuillier offers raises the bar to stellar standards. The staff made me feel comfortable and ensured that my transaction went smoothly. They were knowledgeable and professional from start to finish. Moving forward, I I know I can trust M Lhuillier money changer for all my currency exchange needs. My experience using their services was second to none.

M Lhuillier is an established institution known for its reliable, trustworthy, and efficient service. A multitude of branches across the country will ensure clients and patrons will enjoy convenience and peace of mind in strategic locations. Secure and strict protocols ensure peace of mind and comfort for its patrons and newly bonded relationships.

I will be very honest, there is a stigma on dishonest and fearful money changers and commitment should never be taken easily. But with a good brand like M Lhuillier, a trusted brand amongst Filipinos for years—I know I’d always be in good hands. After all, M Lhuillier is firmly committed to their brand promise of maintaining a high level of compliance in their operations while delivering exceptional customer experiences to all of their customers.

Selling Your Home in a Competitive Market: Standing Out Among the Crowd


In a competitive real estate market, it's imperative to distinguish your home to capture the attention of potential buyers and secure the most favorable price possible. With numerous properties vying for attention, sellers need to employ effective strategies to distinguish their homes from the competition. Here are some key tips for selling your home in a competitive market.

Price it Right

Establishing a competitive price for your home right from the start is vital for garnering interest among potential buyers. Engage in comprehensive research and collaborate with your real estate agent to ascertain the optimal listing price, considering comparable sales in your locality, prevailing market dynamics, and the distinctive attributes of your property.

Overpricing could deter buyers, while underpricing may result in missed opportunities. Striking the perfect balance is crucial for enticing potential buyers and eliciting offers. You can find free UK house valuations from trustworthy estate agents to get a good idea of what your house is worth.

Enhance Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, so invest some time and effort into improving your home's curb appeal. Spruce up the exterior by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and hedges, planting flowers, and adding fresh mulch. Consider painting the front door, updating outdoor lighting fixtures, and ensuring the driveway and walkways are clean and well-maintained. A visually appealing exterior will entice buyers to take a closer look at your property.

Stage Your Home

Proper staging can help buyers to visualize themselves living in the space and highlight its best features. Declutter each room, depersonalize by removing family photos and personal items, and arrange furniture to create an inviting atmosphere.

Add tasteful decor, such as fresh flowers, decorative pillows, and strategically placed artwork, to enhance the overall aesthetic. Consider hiring a professional stager for expert guidance on showcasing your home in its best light.

Highlight Unique Features

Identify and accentuate the distinctive selling points of your home that distinguish it from others in the market. Whether it's a breathtaking view, upgraded appliances, or a generous backyard, ensure that these attributes are prominently highlighted during showings and in promotional materials. Effective highlighting can capture the attention of potential buyers and make your home more memorable in a competitive market.

Invest in Professional Photography

High-quality photos are essential for attracting buyers online and generating interest in your home. Hire a photographer to capture your home in its best light, showcasing its most appealing features and angles. High-quality photographs will make your listing stand out among the sea of online listings and increase the likelihood of attracting potential buyers for in-person showings.

Be Flexible with Showings

In a competitive market, flexibility is key. Be prepared to accommodate potential buyers' schedules by allowing for flexible showing times, including evenings and weekends. Make sure your home is clean, organized, and well-presented for each showing to make a positive impression on buyers.

Market Aggressively

Maximize exposure for your home by leveraging various marketing channels. Aside from conventional approaches like yard signs and newspaper advertisements, leverage online platforms such as real estate websites, social media platforms, and email marketing to extend your reach to a wider pool of potential buyers. Showcase the distinctive features and advantages of your home in promotional materials to captivate the interest of prospective buyers.

Selling your home in a competitive market requires careful planning, strategic pricing, and effective marketing tactics. By following these tips, you can make your home stand out among the crowd and increase your chances of a successful sale. With the right approach, you can attract motivated buyers and achieve your desired outcome in today's competitive real estate market.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Health Experts Encourage Filipinos to Be Vigilant Against Shingles

GlaxoSmithKline's Sabi Nila, a campaign about Shingles

Did you know that 86% of adults significantly underestimate shingles risk and potential severity? GSK and health professionals collaborated to establish a countrywide awareness campaign about shingles, a devastating viral infection. The campaign aims to educate the public on its dangers, impact, and prevention. Shingles are often neglected, although they can lead to serious consequences can occur if not treated appropriately, especially in elderly persons. At age 50, the chance of developing shingles increases significantly.

Shingles, or Herpes Zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is also responsible for chickenpox. Exposure to the chickenpox virus can lead to shingles, as the virus can remain latent in nerve tissue for years before reactivating.

Host Issa Litton; Infectious Diseases Specialist, Dr. Rontgene Solante; Dermatologist, Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas; and Geenette Garcia, Suffered from Shingles 4-times; during the panel discussion of “Sabi Nila: The Truth About Shingles” media launch.

The campaign attempts to increase awareness of the condition, its influence on quality of life, and the significance of contacting a doctor for disease prevention. The project aims to clarify myths and give accurate information from healthcare experts and those who have experienced the condition.

Shingles causes a painful skin rash that often blisters and scabs over in 10 – 15 days. 4-5 According to dermatologist Dr. Irene Robredo-Vitas “karamihan talaga ng may shingles and unang una talagang nakakakita ay mga dermatologist”.

Shingles, in addition to causing a rash, has the potential to cause catastrophic problems. Approximately 30% of shingles sufferers will develop chronic nerve discomfort. One in every four shingles sufferers may develop an infection around their eyes, potentially leading to blindness.

According to an infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Rontgene Solante, “shingles is not just an ordinary rash. It has complications that can lead to higher morbidity. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and it can also affect your vision. He further added “a characteristic of shingles is that may tumutubo na mga rashes in one side of the body lang, but the more important characteristic is — ito ay napakasakit. It’s very uncomfortable to the point na yung iba, nahirapan silang mag damit, nahihirapan sila gawin housework nila, daily chores nila because of the severe pain.”

Karen Davila, a journalist and shingles patient, presented her personal experience to highlight the necessity of raising awareness about the condition. I felt depressed. Scared and humiliated. "I have had it twice. I felt depressed, scared, and honestly ashamed. I would not want anybody to go through it."

There are myths and misconceptions surrounding shingles, and one of them is that it is a sexually transmitted disease. According to Dr. Rontgene Solante, “Hindi sexually transmitted ang shingles. because the shingles virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. When you get older, your immune system goes down and that’s when the chickenpox virus reactivates and can become shingles.”

What most people do not know is that a person's immune system diminishes with age, putting those over 50 at danger, regardless of their overall health. Thus, it is critical to see a healthcare practitioner regarding shingles prevention. But we can do something about it.. Today, we can avoid shingles.

The shingles awareness campaign seeks to arm the public with knowledge through educational materials from health experts. This effort also aims to dispel myths and provide accurate, reliable information, enabling Filipinos to make informed decisions about their health.

These are things to remember with Shingles:

  • Herpes zoster is a common, painful and potentially debilitating illness.
  • Complications of herpes zoster can be severe.
  • There is no good treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia.
  • Herpes zoster is MORE than just a simple rash.
  • There is an urgent need for an intervention that prevents both Herpes Zoster and PHN (Postherpetic neuralgia, the most common long-term complication of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) reactivation. 

Consult your doctor for more information about shingles, and visit to learn more. 



A special screening and talkback of The Flor Contemplacion Story marks the first anniversary of the CCP Cine Icons, slated on March 15, 1 pm, at the GSIS Theater in Pasay City. 

Free and open to the public, this event is also CCP’s contribution to National Women’s Month, as part of its Gender and Development (GAD) commitment. 

In partnership with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and VIVA Films, the 1995 crime-thriller film follows the tragic tale of Flor Contemplacion, a domestic worker from the Philippines. Leaving her home to seek work in Singapore, Flor finds employment at a relatively pleasant household. However, her life takes a sharp turn when Flor is accused of killing fellow maid Delia Maga as well as the child in her care. Although evidence supports Flor's innocence, a trial finds her guilty, and she is sentenced to death.

Directed by Joel Lamangan, with the screenplay by National Artist Ricky Lee and Bonifacio Ilagan, starring National Artist Nora Aunor, The Flor Contemplacion Story operates on various personal, social, and political levels. Both controversial and critically acclaimed, it won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 1996 FAP Awards, among 18 other wins and 16 nominations.

For the past year, CCP Cine Icons has screened numerous films by newly-minted National Artists Ricky Lee, Nora Aunor, and Marilou Diaz-Abaya in different screening venues and partner schools nationwide. A special program of the CCP Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division-Production and Exhibition Department (FBNMD-PED), this program aims to honor and popularize the life and works of the featured National Artists. 

The CCP Cine Icons is also part of CCP Lakbay Sine, an outreach program of the FBNMD-PED that brings different film projects to different regions, partner communities, organizations, and campuses primarily to popularize the works of Filipino filmmakers and encourage film appreciation among the youth and the general public. 

Noranians, film enthusiasts, and interested audiences may secure their seats for the screening by reserving here:

To get the latest updates on future film screenings from CCP Lakbay Sine, follow the official CCP and CCP Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division social media accounts on Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

MakatiMed shares ways to keep your pelvic healthy and strong

Your pelvic supports your upper body weight, helps you sit, stand, walk, and run, and protects your intestines, bladder, and other organs found in the area between your abdomen and legs. Yet few people realize just how crucial the pelvis is—and how we need to take good care of it—until something goes wrong.

“The goal of pelvic health is to ensure your pelvic floor muscles are strong,” states Ana Melissa H. Cabungcal, MD of the Department of Urology of the top hospital in the Philippines, Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed). “When your pelvic floor muscles are strong, you can easily contract and relax them, thus allowing you to control when to release or withhold pee, poo, and gas. For women, contracting the pelvic floor muscles enhances sensation during sexual intercourse. Strong pelvic floor muscles are also essential during pregnancy because they support the weight of your growing baby inside your womb.”

Time and circumstances weaken these hardworking yet often overlooked group of muscles. “Childbirth and surgery can affect pelvic floor muscles’ strength, as can overuse from heavy lifting, coughing, and constipation,” Dr. Cabungcal reveals. “For older women, menopause and aging cause pelvic floor muscles to lose their strength.”

The weakening of these muscles results in incontinence—the uncontrollable peeing, pooping, or passing gas when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or lift heavy objects. Untreated incontinence could escalate to pelvic organ prolapse, or the protrusion of the uterus, rectum, or bladder in the opening of your vagina.

Now that you know how important pelvic health is, how do you keep your pelvic floor muscles strong and healthy for many years?

Maintain your ideal weight

“Being overweight places pressure on the organs in the pelvic floor. It also increases your risk of developing incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse,” notes Dr. Cabungcal. Regular physical activity coupled with portion control and smart food choices benefits not just the pelvis but your overall health and well-being.

Do Kegels and other pelvis-friendly workouts

Pronounced “kee-gulls,” Kegels are exercises aimed at strengthening pelvic floor muscles. “There are several whole-body Kegel exercises, but the key to knowing if you’re doing a Kegel right is if you can stop yourself from peeing midstream and passing gas at the same time, and hold them for 3 seconds before releasing,” says Dr. Cabungcal. Apart from Kegels, you can also practice yoga and perform lower ab exercises like bridge and wall squats, and the classic
jumping jacks.

Be mindful of your reproductive and digestive health

Eating fiber and staying hydrated to avoid constipation and using protective measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases can also benefit the pelvic floor muscles. “It’s also a must to avoid straining or pushing pee or poop too hard. Don’t rush – take your time in the toilet and let nature do its job,” shares Dr. Cabungcal.

When Kegels can only do so much or if you’re feeling pain or discomfort in your pelvic area, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. “Your healthcare specialist can address any infections with medications, offer other ways to deal with your incontinence, and recommend surgery to correct a prolapse,” Dr. Cabungcal underlines.

“The effects of weak pelvic floor muscles are nothing to be ashamed of. And you don’t have to live with them. Let your doctor help you.”

For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632.88888 999, email, or visit Follow @IamMakatiMed on Facebook and Twitter.


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Experience a Galactic Easter Eggspedition at The Manila Hotel


The Manila Hotel invites families to an outer space adventure with Easter Eggspedition, a cosmic event that promises a day brimming with joy, excitement, and unforgettable memories for all. Blasting off at the Fiesta Pavilion on March 31, 2024 from 1pm to 5pm, Easter Eggspedition offers an array of activities such as bouncy castles, face painting, cupcake making, arts and crafts, magic show, balloon twisting, interactive storytelling, popcorn and candy floss stations, and more. 


No Easter celebration is complete without the traditional Easter egg hunt. Children will be provided with an Easter basket to fill with eggs scattered across the designated hunting area. Each discovered egg reveals special treats and corresponds to unique prizes. 


A fee of Php 1,888 grants admission for one (1) adult aged 13 years old and above and one (1) child aged 12 years old and below. This all-inclusive pass ensures access to the festivities, creating an Easter experience that is out of this world. 

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