Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Manila Hotel celebrates New Year via Virtual Countdown Party with a Cause this 2021


The Manila Hotel celebrates NY Countdown 2021 with a virtual party with a cause

The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to many events this year, but life must go on! Join The Manila Hotel family as they host out LIVE Virtual New Year’s Eve Raffle Night and Countdown Party. With an awesome virtual raffle and special performances by popular artists and a night filled with music and fun, this event is sure to be one for the books. The live event will be broadcast via Zoom. Aside from joining our virtual party, you will also be part of our campaign to help displaced workers of the city of Manila through Manila Bulletin’s Bag of Hope. It will allow the Grand Dame to give its loyal guests back with something in return by pledging amazing raffle prizes. So let’s all ring in the new year with a bang! 

Popular artists like Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma, world-renowned soprano Rachelle Gerodias, Korean baritone Byeong-In Park, Richard Reynoso, UP Concert Chorus, and others join The Manila Hotel in a virtual countdown event to mark the coming of the New Year. 

International Filipino artist Lea Salonga will also grace the said virtual countdown

The Manila Hotel's valued guests have a chance to win exciting prizes! The raffle is open to all loyal guests of The Manila Hotel from December 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Exciting prizes are up for grabs! Get a chance to win fabulous raffle prizes which include the grand prize of an Overnight room accommodation voucher at the MacArthur Suite (worth P500,000.00 nett). 

Other major prizes are overnight accommodation to a Junior Suite (worth P60,000.00 nett) and overnight room accommodation to a Sunrise/Sunset Suite (P42,000.00 nett).

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Kimbap Sa'yo: Affordable Korean Kimbap from the South

Kimbap Saýo along Tropical Avenue in BF Las Pinas is a must-visit

Gimbap (김밥) or Kimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and vegetables which are rolled in gim or dried sheets of seaweed and served in bite-sized slices. I recently discovered this small grab & go store selling Korean Kimbap called Kimbap Saýo (Kimbap for You) along Tropical Avenue in BF Homes, Las Pinas. My husband & I were passing by that area and I decided to try it. I was after all on my quest in finding the best kimbap. I was intrigued if it can beat my favorite Mr. Kimbob.

With so many kimbap shops, their unique selling point was that they are affordable than most and they seem to be low in salt and fat so it is considered a healthy option. 

Blogger Purple Plum Fairy at Kimbap Saýo

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Foodamn Philippines' Bawang Labuyo Chili Garlic Oil Product Review


Do you like getting some punch or kick of spice in your foods like I do? If yes, then you must be constantly reaching for chili flakes, chili powder, chili sauce, chili paste, gochujang paste, Tabasco sauce, or any condiment with spicy flavors. Born to a family who loves anything spicy (we are not Bicolano though), chili garlic oil is a staple condiment in our kitchen. We like having a little bit of heat in our food. It's a family trait I had inherited from my family. One holy grail in our spicy condiment list is a locally produced brand called Bawang Labuyo made by Foodamn Philippines' and sold by DSP Manila on Shopee PH.

Bawang Labuyo by Foodamn Philippines

I have many friends selling chili garlic oil, but each recipe I came across has its own uniqueness. Some are spicier, some have more garlic, others are different altogether. But Foodamn Philippines' Bawang Labuyo is a premium chili garlic that stands out on its own uniqueness. 

Bawang Labuyo by Foodamn Philippines is a potent chili garlic oil made with fresh chili, garlic, salt, pepper, secret spices, and vegetable oil. Be prepared to anticipate the garlicky flavors each drop has because you can get a whiff of the strong chili oil a few inches away from the bottle's opening. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Dei Drei Essentials: Affordable Perfumes with Scent that Lasts


A person’s fragrance is a good indication of their personality, as one’s reasons for being attracted to certain scents can reflect a number of important character traits. The perfume was first used as a way to mask body odor, but now that we have deodorant to solve that particular problem the idea of spritzing yourself with a fabulous nice fragrance has become a luxury of self-expression. Men and women everywhere now purposefully select their fragrances according to personal preference and may even feel naked without a spritz of scent in place. In fact, people are best remembered by the perfume they wear. Some people make their presence felt by means of the perfume they wear. Speaking of such, I came across a really good perfume that I'd like to share with you. 

Deidrei Essentials in bubble wrap

I was browsing through Shopee looking for a decent gift for the holiday season. Then I came across this store called Dei Drei Essentials. The store sells not only affordable perfumes but also other household essentials such as hand soap, room and linen spray etc. The exciting thing about buying from Dei Drei Essentials is that they bring concepts of the abstract to olfaction--and crafts them into amazing fragrances. The results are fascinating scents at an affordable price. I bought two variants from Dei Drei Essentials' perfume line namely: Aurora Number 9 and Blodwyn Number 12. Both are rich, complex, and challenging compositions that everyone will surely love.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Hope Fills the Christmas Season at The Shang


Shangri-La Plaza welcomes guests with entrances filled with butterflies among lighted gold and silver twigs.

Christmas amid the Covid pandemic can still be merry. 2020 is such a memorable year for everyone. From the Taal volcanic eruption to the Covid-19 pandemic and to Typhoon Ulysses--we have faced so many challenges. As the year comes to a close, we are also challenged at how we're going to celebrate the season even on quarantine and social distancing. But Christmas is all about HOPE. Shangri-La Plaza celebrates our most beloved holiday with the warmth of home filled with hope for a brighter year ahead. 

"After everything we've gone through, many of us may not be in as high spirits as before. But Christmas always brings joy and healing, and Shangri_la Plaza wants to put that at the center of our celebrations," says Joy R. Polloso, EVP of Shang Properties, Inc. "It's a choice to see beyond the current circumstances that we're facing to something much better. That's hope, and that's what Christmas is all about."

                        Shangri-La Plaza's 50 ft Christmas tree is located at the mall's Grand Atrium.

The mall is adorned with butterflies--symbolic creatures of transformation that reflect Filipinos' capacity to become resilient and to push forward, coming through plenty of calamities and other difficulties. Cebu-based fashion designer Axel Que's magnificent gown that stunned at the Ms. Universe-Philippines pageant is also one of Shang's decor centerpieces. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Holiday Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones: Sekaya Botanical Tea and Raw Actives


Christmas gift under the tree

Christmas is almost here. Complete your Christmas gift list by putting a small twist to your usual holiday gifts by choosing something that gives back to nature. Grab a Sekaya product for your loved ones. Sekaya products are made from high-quality plant-based products that are backed by science and tested by tradition.

By doing so, you are helping the Cordillera Conservation Trust, an organization committed to providing sustainable solutions to our mother nature's problems. A purchase of Sekaya Prescribing Nature Gift Packs gives one Philippine endemic tree seedling (either Benguet Pine, Dipterocarp or Mangrove) will be planted to contribute to the organization's reforestation projects. The trees are also reflected in packaging and wonderfully illustrated by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a known botanical artist and conservation advocate. 

You may get these limited edition Prescribing nature Gift Packs at Sekaya on Facebook and Instagram. You may also send them SMS messages or via Viber to order and for inquiries at 0917-SEKAYA (735292). They are also available at S Sentials store on Lazada. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Make your Holiday Spread Extra Special and Memorable with these time-trusted recipes from The Maya Kitchen

Christmas dinner dilemma? Read up and learn new recipes.

Christmas dinner dilemma? Read up for some new recipes and delight your family with your prepared meals for the holiday dinner. Check this article out. 

So what if it's less than a week before Christmas lunch and you haven't totally decided on what foods to serve during Noche Buena? You - the disorganized non-cooker - need not fear. You've got The Maya Kitchen team to help you. 

 Here's a selection of carefully chosen time-trusted recipes from The Maya Kitchen for your festive feast this Christmas eve. 

For starters, try to whip up and recreate this Marseille Seafood Soup. It is a light and flavorful French soup that’s versatile enough. You may include your favorite seafoods--be it shrimp, squid, clams, mussels or whatever kind of seafood your heart desires! The Maya Kitchen's take comes out with a cheery ochre color from the saffron powder. 

Marseille Seafood Soup

Marseille Seafood Soup


4 pieces tomatoes
 3 mugs fish broth
 1 mug fish fillet, sliced into chunks
 1 mug seafood (you can use shrimps, clams, squid or whatever you prefer)
 1 teaspoon Pernod alcohol (you can use a teacup of diced fennel as a substitute, but
unfortunately, no local alcohols has the same taste)
 1 piece small onion, sliced
 1/3 teaspoon saffron powder
1. Choose a combination of your favorite kinds of seafood and fish. Just make sure to remove the
bones, skin and shells.
2. Peel tomatoes. Slice them into four wedges.
3. In a large pot heat your broth and bring to a boil. Set a handful of seafood aside. Add tomatoes,
fish chunks and the rest of your ingredients to your broth.
4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30minutes without covering your pot to allow your liquid to reduce.
5. After 30minutes, remove from heat, and pour the soup in a blender (you might have to do this few times depending on the amount of soup). Blend well on full power until soup is smooth.
6. Pour soup back into the pot through a fine strainer. Use a wooden spoon to help press the soup through the strainer, allowing all the liquid through.
7. Set the fleshy residue that is left in the strainer aside. Add the rest of your seafood into the soup, along with the Pernod, and pepper to taste. Stir and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

To increase the number of servings, simply multiply the measurements of the ingredients by the number of guests.

Ordering an entire roasted lechon may not be practical for a small family, but who says you can't prepare your own Lechon Belly with Bacon Saffron Rice Stuffing? It combines the juicy tenderness of pork belly minus the bones and with its mouthwatering crispiness, your family will definitely love it!

Lechon Belly with Bacon Saffron Rice Stuffing

Lechon Belly with Bacon Saffron Rice Stuffing

 2.5-3 kilos boneless whole pork belly slab
 2-3 tablespoons rock salt, enough for rubbing
 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1 ½ tablespoons freshly pan-roasted black peppercorns, crushed
Rice Stuffing:
 ¼ cup olive oil
 200 grams picnic bacon, cut into small cubes
 2 pieces medium-sized onions, finely chopped
 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
 5 cups cooked rice (sticky or Japanese rice)
 2-3 small sachets saffron powder
 1 teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons curly parsley, finely chopped
 zest of 1 lemon
 annatto oil (heat up ¼ cup annatto seeds in 1/3 cup in 1/3 cup olive oil)


In a large tray, lay flat the pork belly skin side down then prick or cut all the meat portion using the tip of a sharp knife then season or rub the meat on both sides with rock salt, garlic, ground pepper, and freshly pan-roasted crushed whole black peppercorns.
2. Place and chill in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours without cover. Remove seasoned belly from the refrigerator and sew up both ends of the belly using an over-sized needle with the use of butcher’s twine or any kitchen twine until it looks like a body of a “lechon”.
3. Place again inside the refrigerator until ready for stuffing.

To make rice stuffing:
1. Heat oil in a pan and pan-fry bacon until golden brown.
2. Add in onions and garlic and pan and sauté until aromatic.
3. Toss in cooked rice and give a few stir until the rice is fully covered with the sautéed ingredients.
4. Season with saffron powder, salt, parsley and zest of lemon.
5. Continue mixing the rice until the lemon is aromatic.
6. Turn off heat and cool the rice. Set aside for later use.
To assemble:
1. Get the sewn pork belly and stuffed with the prepared bacon saffron rice stuffing.
2. Enclose both ends of the stuffed pork belly with foil and cover the entire top of the pork belly with foil.
3. Arrange in a roasting pan and roast in a preheated oven 350°F/177°C for about an hour then turn up heat to 375°F/190°C removing the foil on both ends, every 30 minutes’ brush belly with prepared annatto oil.
4. After an hour turn up heat again to 400°F/204°C and continue roasting until the skin of the pork belly gives a crackling sound when knocked.
5. Remove belly lechon from the oven and rest for 10 to 15 minutes before chopping.
Yield: 10-15 servings

To finish off your Christmas feast, why not prepare a medley of Mini Bibingka? Be adventurous and go beyond the traditional bibingka. Make your bibingka with ube, buko pandan, coffee, or chocolate flavors. You can even take some of your bibingka up a notch by topping it with leche flan for a sweet, creamy finish or slices of salted egg for a savory kick.

Assorted Bibingka

Assorted Mini Bibingka

 4 pieces eggs
 1 pack MAYA Original Fluffy n’ Tasty Hotcake Mix 200 grams
 1/4 cup sugar
 1 tablespoon rice flour
 ¼ cup fresh milk
 ¼ cup coconut cream store bought
 ¼ cup coconut milk store bought
 1/4 cup butter melted
 Different flavorings and toppings as desired ube flavoring, buko pandan flavoring, instant coffee
powder, leche flan, chocolate ganache, etc.
 salted egg sliced
 cheese sliced or grated
 banana leaves for lining of pans (optional)
 grated coconut optional

1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F/177⁰C. Line mamon molder or 6-holes 8oz muffin pans with banana
leaves. Set aside.
2. In a bowl beat eggs, then add hotcake mix, rice flour, sugar, milk, coconut milk, coconut cream,
and melted butter. Mix well. Fold in desired flavors.

3. Fill up to ¾ of the mamon molder or muffin pans with the bibingka mixture. Bake bibingka for 10
to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
4. Note: In the middle of baking, around 5 to 6 minutes of baking, gently take the half-baked
bibingka and top it up with sliced salted egg and sliced or grated cheese. Then put it back in the
oven to completely bake the bibingka.
5. Serve with butter on top and grated coconut on side.
Yield: 8-10 pieces

With a delicious Noche Buena spread and the quality of time you spend with your loved ones, Christmas this year will be as memorable as before—and maybe just a bit more meaningful.

Like and follow The Maya Kitchen on Facebook @MayaKitchen and Instagram @TheMayaKitchen1.

Monday, December 14, 2020

7-Eleven launches its #711Bayanihan campaign to keep the holiday spirit alive


Starting December 14, you can run to your neighborhood's nearest 7-Eleven store to shop for your day-to-day needs and holiday essentials at budget-friendly prices!

In these uncertain times, we find comfort in a familiar face, a warm hug, and a hearty laugh. Although we cannot share all these things at the same time (just yet), we can always bring joy to a home by sharing a loving gift that says, "The pandemic too shall pass; let us keep you in good health through the holidays--until we see each other again." 

With the recent calamities and the effect brought about by the Covid-19 virus that has affected us all, we were worried about what Christmas will be like for everyone. But Filipinos will still celebrate the holidays no matter what. Our classic holiday celebrations will certainly look different this year. We are determined to stop the virus from stealing all our Christmas cheer. The challenge of 2020 makes it especially important to celebrate Christmas, even during pandemic. To make things easier, our friendly-neighborhood convenience store, 7-Eleven is here to bring its community even more convenience with its Bayanihan Savings and Selections via #7ElevenBayanihan initiative.

With #7ElevenBayanihan, 7-Eleven now has more product selections--from everyday essentials to Noche Buena preparations--in even more affordable prices!

Beginning December 14, you can run to any 7-Eleven store nearest you for your day-to-day needs and holiday essentials at budget-friendly prices! And yes, that includes all the basic ingredients you will need to prepare all your Noche Buena and Media Noche must-haves. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Holiday Bazaars at The Shang that's worth checking out


Plantitos and Plantitas would be happy to know that plants will also be available

It's the most wonderful time of the year and it is also known as the season of giving. Are you still wondering what to give your loved ones this Yuletide season? Fret not! Come and visit Holidays at Shangri-La Plaza Bazaar where you could shop for almost everything you'd want to gift your family, friends, and even yourself. 

Check out Celebrity Fest 2020 where popular celebrities like Julius Babao, Zara Lopez, Nene Tamayo, Chx Alcala, EB Babe Hopia, Ahwel Paz, Jem Estrada, Jan Marini, Pearl Palace, Styled Pop-up Store, Tintin Babao, Bianca Lapus and Vlogger friends gather for a different food festival from November 26 to 29 at the Level 1 of Main Wing. 

Peanut Butter Bottles

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

SKY encourages their subscribers to Share their Idea on How to Spark Joy this Season


Things may have been so different the past few months, but there's one thing that won't change: The Christmas season remains to be the most hopeful time of the year when you gather 'round the table with your loved ones enjoying a spread of eats and treats that have been made from the heart. SKY hopes to have the same festive emotions for everyone. Through its holiday initiatives, SKY subscribers are encouraged to pay it forward and truly be the spark of hope and joy to others this holiday season. 

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but now more than ever, we need to feel the spirit of Christmas in our hearts. Now is the season to kindle the warmth of caring, friendship, kindness, and concern to those around us.

This Christmas, SKY invites its subscribers to share ideas on how they can #BeTheSpark of hope and joy to others, and bring inspiration, light, and love this holiday season.

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