Tuesday, April 16, 2024



An opera brings its audience to a world created through an interesting collaboration between a librettist and composer. Opera is brought to life by vocal pieces and arias performed by singers, with live instrumental accompaniment from an orchestra. 

This May 7, the CCP’s The Met: Live in HD presents its second installment for its ninth season - French composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen, a tragic opera about a gypsy woman named Carmen who seduces an army corporal guarding her prison cell. Their tumultuous love affair ends when Carmen turns her attention to a bullfighter. The corporal’s love turns to jealousy and violence. 

Through this program, the Cultural Center of the Philippines aims to reintroduce to Filipino audiences, especially to the younger generations, classical opera masterpieces whose stories transcend boundaries and cultural backgrounds, while remaining relevant to the time. 

Before you head to Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1 in Makati City for the special opera screening, here are some interesting facts you probably should know about Carmen: 

1. The plot of Carmen was based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Merimee, which was published in October 1845 in Revue des Deux Mondes. It was said that Merimee was inspired by a poem written by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. French librettists Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy wrote the libretto for the opera, with music by Bizet. 

2. Bizet never saw Carmen rise to fame. He died from a heart condition at age 36, three months after the opera premiered in 1875. When it was first staged, the members of the ton rejected the opera. Bizet died believing Carmen, considered his last opera, was a failure. He had never known that the “scandalous” opera would go on to become one of the best-loved and most-performed operas of all time. 

3. Its hummable arias Habanera and Toreador have been featured in various commercials like the Doritos ad, dubbed Mouse Trap, in 2008. The Pepsi commercial in 2002 featured Beyonce singing to the tune of the Habanera aria, just with different lyrics. 

4. During the 1988 Winter Olympics, champion skaters Debi Thomas and Katerina Witt performed in the figure skating programs with Habanera. 

5. Carmen in pop culture: Disney’s Pixar used Habanera in an emotional scene in the film Up (2009). Sesame Street, the defunct children’s show, featured Habanera several times, including a scene with an orange singing the aria and as a lullaby for Elmo (both performed by opera singer Denyce Graves). In one of its episodes of The Simpsons, Bart, Homer, Lisa, and Marge are seen going to the opera house to watch Carmen, with Toreador playing in the background. The Swedish Chef and Beaker of The Muppets croon Carmen’s Habanera. 

6. Carmen has been adapted into films, ballet, and Broadway. In 1943, the musical “Carmen Jones” hit Broadway and later became a movie with the same title in 1954. Both featured music by Oscar Hammerstein. In the 1960s, director Wang Tian-lin adapted it into “The Wild Wild Rose,” starring Grace Chang, and set in Hong Kong and with songs sung in Mandarin.  

7. Beyonce made her acting debut through the recent adaptation of Carmen, titled “Carmen: A Hip Hopera.” Directed by Rober Townsend, the 2001 film is a contemporary retelling of the classic tale, following a police sergeant (Mekhi Phifer) whose life is turned upside down when an irresistible woman (Beyonce) enters his life. 

8. Although Carmen was written in French, Spanish culture strongly inspired the opera. This is quite evident in  Carmen’s Seguidilla, Don José’s Flower aria, and Escamillo’s famous Toreador’s Song. While you can see the Spanish influence, Bizet never actually set foot in Spain.

9. The first Carmen, French mezzo-soprano Célestine Galli-Marié, forced Bizet to rewrite Habanera - 13 times! - until she was satisfied. 

10. Carmen can be found in your kitchen or your favorite restaurant.  Famous French chef Auguste Escoffier, known as “the king of chefs and the chef of kings,” loved the opera so much that he created and dedicated two dishes - the Carmen chops and Carmen salad. 

Catch the CCP The Met: Live in HD - Carmen on May 7, 5:30 pm, at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1, Makati City. This program is presented in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., and Ayala Malls Cinemas. 

Ticket prices are Php 100.00 for students and Php 350.00 for regular audiences. You may visit the ticket booth or book via www.sureseats.com

For updates on future productions and showings from the Metropolitan Opera of New York and other partners and programs of the CCP, you may follow the official CCP and CCP FBNMD social media accounts on Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Petron Announces ‘Win Milyun-Milyong Lazada Credits’ Raffle Promo


Industry leader PETRON Corporation ramps up the excitement with its loyal customers with the launch of the Win Milyun-Milyong Lazada Credits raffle promo on the Petron Rewards Facebook Page.

In addition to the endless opportunities and rewards exclusive to Petron Value Card (PVC) holders, 600 lucky winners will be drawn to receive Php 10,000 Lazada Credits to fuel their shopping sprees.

Here’s why you shouldn’t miss this promo:

 Millions of Lazada Credits Up for Grabs: Imagine all the things you can buy with Php

10,000 worth of Lazada Credits! From gadgets and clothes to car accessories and sports gear, the possibilities are endless.

 Easy to Join, Easy to Win: Every time you gas up, get a lube change, or buy something at a Petron station or outlet, you automatically earn raffle entries! The more you spend, the more chances you have of winning.

 Weekly Winners:  Winners of the Lazada Credits will be drawn every week, giving you multiple chances for you to be a winner!

Don't wait! Here's how to join the Petron Win Milyun-Milyong Lazada Credits Raffle Promo:

1. Make sure you have a Petron Value Card: If you don't have one yet, you may head to any Petron station to purchase one for a minimal fee.

2. Update your PVC Information: Ensure your name, mobile number, and mailing address are updated. Call the Petron Value Card hotline at (02) 8802-7777 for any concerns.

3. Fill Up, Shop Around, and Win! Every transaction at a Petron station earns you raffle entries. The more you spend, the more entries you get!

Tune in for more exciting promos and rewards! Like and follow the Petron Rewards Facebook Page (@PetronRewards) for exclusive content, deals, and updates on future Petron promos. This promo runs from April 8 to June 6, 2024. Don't miss this chance to win big! Visit your nearest Petron station today and start fueling your Lazada dreams!

For full promo mechanics, visit https://www.petron.com/petron-value-card/.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Experiences that truly matter with Solaire’s Lifestyle Card


Solaire Resort offers the most rewarding experiences with its Lifestyle Card where you can enjoy the best offers and rebates just by dining, shopping, and booking a hotel room or your favorite award-winning theatre shows. With that comes 5-star service and world-class facilities, a breathtaking view of the radiant sunset of Manila Bay, a culinary indulgence like no other, and a row of luxury brand retail stores all in one address.

Experience the highest level of elegance and sophistication with exclusive accommodation at Solaire. The resort features two towers-- the Bay Tower, with exquisite view of the Manila Bay and captivating city view, and the Sky Tower, offers a unique and tranquil ambiance. Solaire Resort Entertainment City holds the Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star Rating for the eighth consecutive year, known for offering unique experiences of comfort, elegance, luxury, and continues to demonstrate excellence in service and world-class facilities. Book your room directly on the website to receive two signature welcome drinks, pool access, complimentary use of pool day beds, and Solaire Bonus Peso. You can enjoy and earn a 5% rebate when you use your Lifestyle Card.

Solaire Resort Studio

The resort boasts 19 restaurants and bars, inclusive of 3 signature restaurants featuring experienced world-class chefs, that curate a blend of delectable cuisine. Experience exciting offers at Yakumi’s Sunday Brunch, with a selection from eight buffet stations. Savor authentic Japanese dishes and fresh sashimi sourced straight from Toyosu Market. Indulge in Red Lantern’s Dim Sum Brunch Buffet, featuring over 46 delectable dim sum varieties and homemade Chinese barbeque. Experience the sophistication of Finestra’s Sunday Champagne Brunch, where you can enjoy unlimited flutes of champagne and a diverse selection of alluring Italian dishes. With your Lifestyle Card, you can get up to 20% off and earn up to 20% rebates when you dine at any of Solaire’s dining establishments.

Solaire Resort Finestra

Experience top-tier entertainment at The Theatre at Solaire with Broadway shows, ballet performances, and concerts showcasing both local and international artists. Don’t miss Cameron Mackintosh’s Miss Saigon, an adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera, “Madame Butterfly”. This love story will transport you back to Vietnam in the 70s with music that instantly resonates and tugs the hearts of the audience. Book your tickets now and get up to 20% discount with your Lifestyle Card.

Shop for your loved ones as you discover a whole new level of sophistication at The Shoppes at Solaire, where a row of luxury brand retail stores gives you a different kind of shopping experience including Givenchy, Stefano Ricci, Amazing Cre, Dior, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and more. With your Lifestyle Card, you can earn 5% rebates on purchases at participating retail outlets.

Make the most out of your 5-star experience with Solaire’s Lifestyle Card, unlocking exclusive invitations to premier Solaire events, granting you access to unforgettable culinary experiences and gatherings. Secure your spot ahead of the crowd and gain priority access to pre-sale tickets for theatre and F&B events.

Sign up now to become a member by downloading the MySolaire App. You can also sign up when you visit our Solaire Rewards booths at Ayala Malls Trinoma from April 6-28 and get a chance to win Solaire Bonus Peso.

Why Professional Family Portraits Matter for Filipinos


In today's digital age, where snapping photos with smartphones has become the norm, there remains a timeless allure to capturing the essence of family love and connection in a professional studio setting. While smartphone snapshots are perfect for everyday moments, there's something special about preparing for a portrait shoot with your family. It's an opportunity to step into an environment where every detail is carefully crafted to immortalize the bonds you share. 

For Filipinos, family is at the core of their culture, and preserving memories through professionally captured portraits holds significant importance. Great Image, a renowned name in the photography industry, delves into why it's still crucial for Filipinos to have their family portraits professionally taken and the enduring benefits it brings. 

A way to honor family traditions 

Family reunions and celebrations are treasured customs in Filipino culture that have deep historical roots. From birthdays to reunions,these events provide opportunity for families to get together and deepen relationships. Professional family photographs taken during these gatherings honor these traditions by capturing the essence of familial love and unity for future generations. 

Celebrating milestones and achievements 

Filipinos love celebrations and they take pride in commemorating milestones and achievements, whether it's a graduation, a wedding, or a new addition to the family. Professional family portraits serve as visual commemorations of these significant moments, marking milestones in the family's journey. These portraits not only capture the joy and pride of the moment but also serve as reminders of the family's resilience and triumphs. 

Documenting family legacies 

It is important for Filipinos to pass down traditions from one generation to the next. These family portraits serve not only as a way to capture memories, but it also serves as a tangible record of family legacies and histories. Professional family portraits become treasured heirlooms, preserving memories of ancestors, and loved ones for future generations to cherish and reflect upon. 


A testament of embracing Filipino values 

Professional family portraits serve as visual representations of Filipino cultural values, including close-knit family ties, respect for elders, and love for one's heritage. These portraits capture the warmth and unity shared among family members, honoring the wisdom of elders and celebrating Filipino identity and heritage. Through these images, families feel a sense of pride, belonging, and unity, reinforcing the cultural values that define Filipino society. 


Capturing timeless memories 

While smartphone photos may capture fleeting moments, professional family portraits have a timeless quality that transcends trends and fads. Photographers skilled in their craft can capture the essence of each family member, freezing moments of joy, love, and connection in beautifully composed images. These portraits become cherished mementos, evoking emotions and memories that endure through the years. 


Professional family portraits serve as more than just images; they are reflections of cherished traditions, celebrations of milestones, and legacies of love and resilience. By investing in professional family portraits, we can preserve our family bonds and create lasting memories that will be treasured for generations to come,” Ms. Evelyn Palomo, Chief Executive Officer at Great Image.  


Fortunately, Great Image is here to assist Filipinos in immortalizing their family memories, capturing the essence of cherished traditions and values. Established in 1983, Great Image has been providing excellent, professional, and reliably fast and creative photography services for 40 years.  


Equipped with the latest photo equipment in the photography imaging industry, along with skilled photographers who are at the top of their field and proficient in the latest industry standards, Great Image ensures that every shot reflects the love, joy, and connection shared among family members. Whether it's multigenerational portraits or milestone celebrations, Great Image guarantees timeless images captured with love. 


But that's not all! Great Image presents some of the greatest deals in town. Avail the Collection of Love promo and receive five 5R frames for free with every purchase of five pieces of prints and soft copies. And don't miss out on the all-new Great Image Gratitude Card. Sign up for only PhP999 and unlock exclusive perks and freebies with every session. To even get the best out of your shoot, use this code GI3RPR to get a FREE 3R Print Copy in all Great Image branches nationwide. 

To explore more about Great Image and their photography services, visit their website at www.greatimage.com.ph or connect with them on their Facebook and Instagram pages. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Planning Tips for an At-Home Wedding


Planning a wedding is an exciting and joyous occasion, and opting for an at-home wedding adds a unique touch of intimacy and personalisation. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a memorable and beautiful wedding celebration right in the comfort of your own home. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and guidance to help you plan your at-home wedding.

1. Choosing the Perfect Location:

Selecting the right location is crucial when planning an at-home wedding. Consider the size of your property, the availability of parking, and the layout of the space. If your home lacks sufficient space, you may need to consider alternative options, such as renting a marquee or a nearby venue with a garden or outdoor area. Check out glamping tents hire; Tinkerbell Tent Hire's bell tents are a great option. Guests can stay in your garden if you have enough room.

2. Informing Neighbours and Local Authorities:

Before hosting an at-home wedding, it is essential to inform your neighbours about your plans. This will help manage any potential noise concerns and ensure compliance with local regulations. Reach out to your neighbors in advance, sharing your wedding date and expected timings. 

3. Catering and Bar Services:

One of the highlights of any wedding is the food and drinks. When planning an at-home wedding, consider hiring professional catering services. They can create a tailored menu and handle all aspects of food preparation and service. Additionally, consult with a reputable bar service provider to ensure a well-stocked and well-managed bar area, providing your guests with a delightful selection of beverages throughout the celebration.

4. Renting Equipment and Facilities:

Depending on the size of your guest list and the facilities available at your home, you may need to rent additional equipment. This could include tables, chairs, linens, lighting, dance floors, and restroom facilities. Renting from professional suppliers ensures that you have high-quality equipment and alleviates the stress of arranging and setting up everything yourself.

5. Weather Contingency Plan:

The weather can be unpredictable. Be prepared for any possible weather conditions by having a solid contingency plan. If you're hosting an outdoor ceremony or reception, consider renting marquees or look into bell tents for hire to provide shelter. Ensure that you have sufficient heating or cooling options to keep your guests comfortable. It's also a good idea to have a backup indoor space available in case of inclement weather.

6. Parking and Transportation:

Providing ample parking or arranging transportation options for your guests is vital. If parking is limited at your home, consider nearby parking facilities or hiring a shuttle service to transport guests from designated locations. Communicate parking and transportation details clearly in your invitations or wedding website to ensure a smooth arrival and departure for your guests.

7. Sound and Lighting:

Create a captivating ambience by investing in professional sound and lighting services. High-quality sound equipment ensures that your guests can hear your vows and speeches clearly. Thoughtfully designed lighting can transform your outdoor or indoor space into a magical environment, enhancing the overall atmosphere of your wedding.

Planning an at-home wedding offers a unique opportunity to create a personalised and intimate celebration. By carefully considering all the details, you can ensure a memorable and stress-free event.

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