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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Annie" is back with Oscar Nominee Quvenzhané Wallis


Who will ever forget the first movie "Annie"? That cute adorable girl with her curly blonde locks that made us love her more in the late 80s.  America's favorite orphan is now back in the persona of Quvenzhané Wallis.

The girl who moves with the rhythm of a busy NYC? The foster kid who sees the good in everybody - even her foster mom, the queen of mean, Miss Hannigan? Who Hearts New York - and finds out that New York Hearts her right back? Just one kid - it's “Annie!”

The youngest person ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014.

Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he's her guardian angel, but Annie's self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it's the other way around.

"What is cool about Annie is that she teaches the adults what matters in life," says Wallis of the plucky heroine. "I think all kids feel like we have something to teach grownups."

Wallis says she's a fan of the original movie. "It's my favorite," she says. "I like to sing and dance along with it. So I love that I got to sing and dance in the movie for real this time."

"Annie is very kind and serious, and worries about the other girls - she makes sure they're okay," says Wallis. "She just has a dream of finding her parents. That's the number one thing on her list. Miss Hannigan is always in her way, but she also has the other four girls by her side."

Of course, Wallis formed a special bond with those four other girls. "I felt like I had four sisters on the set," she says. "They were so fun - I made such good friends. And also Cameron Diaz - she's so nice in real life. Miss Hannigan is supposed to be mean, but not Cameron!"

A Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision in Columbia Pictures’ comedy “Annie.”

Director/Producer/Screenwriter Will Gluck teams with producers James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith, Caleeb Pinkett, and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Laurence “Jay” Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith with a modern telling that captures the magic of the classic characters and original show that won seven Tony Awards. Celia Costas and Alicia Emmrich serve as Executive Producers. The screenplay is by Will Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna, based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie,” © and ® Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Opening across the Philippines on January 21, 2015, “Annie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of

Electrolux; Your Guide to a Healthy Holiday!

The holidays are just around the corner and with festivities like Christmas and New Year celebrations come food— lots of it.

Lechon, pasta, fried chicken, fruit salad, and cakes are only some of the usual dishes in most Filipino family’s holiday meal plan. We all know how hard it is to resist these delicious yet calorie-packed treats. So here are some tips to help you enjoy the holiday season while keeping the extra pounds away.

Eat breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so remember to jump-start your day with a hearty meal, especially on days you will be eating more. Depriving yourself of this vital meal can lead to overindulgence on calorie-laden treats that you will surely regret later on. Skipping breakfast can also lead to snacking throughout the day, which means eating more than you would otherwise.

Welcome the day with a slice or two of whole grain or multigrain bread. These have low glycemic indices (GI), which mean they are digested more slowly over a longer period of time than white bread. Add a bit of crunch to your bread by toasting it in the Electrolux pop-up toaster. Pair this up with a cup of freshly brewed coffee using the Electrolux coffee maker or maybe a hot cup of tea or milk when you quickly heat up water with the Electrolux electric kettle. Whip up a simple but hearty breakfast conveniently with the Electrolux Easy Sense breakfast set.

(L-R: ETS 3200 Easy Sense Pop-up Toaster, EEK 3200 Easy Sense Coffee Maker, ECM 3200 Electric Kettle)

Bring your own healthy options
Bring a salad or a vegetable side dish when invited to a Christmas party potluck to make sure that there is a healthy option on the table. Instead of bringing fruit salad in milk and cream, indulge on mixed fruits in honey to satisfy your sweet tooth with less guilt. Keep all your vegetables and fruits fresh and crisp with the Electrolux NutriFresh™ 3-door refrigerator. Its middle compartment can be used as a crisper, chiller, or freezer depending on your party needs.

Electrolux EME3500SA 12 cu. ft. 3-Door NutriFresh Refrigerator

Hearty substitutes
With a little imagination and the right kitchen equipment, it’s not hard to cook healthier versions of your favorite holiday dishes. For instance, use vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise-based dressings for your salads. You can also add fruits and nuts to add flavour and texture to your salad. For cake frostings, you can use a fruit puree instead of the usual sugar or cream cheese frosting. All you need is a powerful blender like the Electrolux Powermix Silent Blender to ensure the right texture and consistency of your puree.

Electrolux EBR5050 Powermix Silent Blender

Healthy snacking
Holiday recipes like fried chicken and lechon kawali call for a liberal amount of cooking oil. Instead of deep-frying, try roasting with the Electrolux cooking range with electric oven and grill; this way you get to enjoy the same meaty goodness with significantly less oil. For your cookies, try using whole wheat or gluten-free flour for the batter. You can also sweeten it up with honey instead of refined sugar. Instead of buying from your trusty bake shop, you can create these treats for the whole family in one go using the Electrolux Inspiro built-in oven. This oven offers the same kind of flexibility that busy chefs require. It has a 74-liter capacity, offers up to 8 cooking programs, and allows multi-level cooking that lets you evenly bake a big batch of treats for your loved ones.

( Electrolux EKM66405X Cooking Range, Electrolux EOB5450AAX Inspiro Built-in Oven)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Owen Wilson is back as the miniature cowboy in "Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"


                In “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” Ben Stiller returns as security guard Larry Daley, together with a highly impressive group of comic actors.  Owen Wilson is back as the irrepressible miniature cowboy Jedediah, along with his equally small buddy, the Roman general, Octavius, (Steve Coogan). Both are embroiled in the latest adventure, directed by Shawn Levy. As always, the legendary artifacts at New York’s Museum of Natural History come to life, but this time, problems arise when they start malfunctioning.  The magic that keeps them alive is waning and Larry’s friends are in danger. Saving them involves an urgent trip to the British Museum in London.

                While the first two films were set in the U.S., the new adventure takes the team to the United Kingdom.  Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan, reprise their roles as the duo of American cowboy Jedediah and Roman Centurion Octavius, both miniatures from historic dioramas.  They’re the smallest characters with the biggest friendship.  Wilson says, “There has been an arc to our relationship.  We started off sort of as adversaries, and now it’s evolved into more of a team.  We’re practically a buddy comedy within a funny family movie.”

                The friendship is all the more unexpected because the characters come from very different cultural backgrounds and eras.  “There’s a brashness to Jedediah,” says Wilson, “that sort of runs up against and chafes the gentility of what Octavius represents.”  The picture of civility, Octavius is a military leader from ancient Rome.  He and Jedediah face their greatest peril yet when they fly through a museum air duct and find themselves in a Pompeii diorama where Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt.

                On being funny, Wilson relates that “My dad had a great sense of humor and on both sides of my family, humor was the way that the family related to each other. My mom had a good sense of humor, but my dad was hilarious. My dad was the head of the public television station in Dallas and that was the first station to carry MONTY PYTHON. He really loved MONTY PYTHON. So I think that being around him and his friends growing up was very helpful for me. And  though I didn't have a background as a stand up comedian and as a child I didn't ever think about becoming a comedian. In school I wasn't really a class clown, but I would get into trouble and sometimes give colorful answers to what I perceived to be banal questions from teachers, and that would make the other kids laugh and sometimes I’d get the teachers laughing a little bit. So maybe there’s a little bit of that in my background.”

                Returning to “Night at the Museum,” Wilson believes that like the movie, there is an underlying magical charm in the movie, “Apart from its great adventure, what's also nice is that it’s led to an upswing in kids' interest in museums - and the Natural History Museum. So that's a great thing that's happened and I think that is really because of Ben and Shawn and the way Shawn's able to mix the laughs with something that can be very touching. He just seems to have that touch.”

                One of the most gifted and versatile actors of his generation, Owen Wilson has starred in a slew of hit films. His early credits include “The Cable Guy,” “Armageddon” and “Permanent Midnight.” He further starred “Bottle Rocket,” “Rushmore,” “Zoolander,” “Marley & ME,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Meet The Parents,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “The Internship,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” (for which Wilson and Anderson received a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination), “The Darjeeling Limited,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and most recently, the highly praised film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
                “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” opens January 8 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feel the thrill of Star Cinema’s Feng Shui in XD: 4D Cinema

The newest addition to SM Cinema Mall of Asia’s Specialized Theatres – the XD: 4D Cinema is a new 4D experience with enormous in-theatre effects including snow, wind, water, scent, fog and strobe/lightings. It also has seat impactors, motion seats, seat vibrators and even a leg tickler to add a breathtaking fourth dimension experience.

In this year’s upcoming 40th Metro Manila Film Festival, Star Cinema, in partnership with SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. will feature its official entry and Feng Shui, at the XD: 4D Cinema in Mall of Asia. Feng Shui, to be shown on December 25, 2014, will be the first Filipino movie rendered in 4D.

In this highly anticipated second installment of the multi-million Feng Shui film franchise, everything comes in twos with the return of Feng Shui to the big-screen: it’s double the excitement with the awesome tandem of Kris Aquino and Coco Martin; its double the fright with the terrible return of “Lotus Feet;” and it’s double the heart-stopping horror as double luck and double misfortune will befall anyone who will dare to accept anything from the horrific bagua.

Watch the greatest horror movie in the history of Philippine cinema and engage your senses in complete cinematic experience at Mall of Asia’s XD: 4D Cinema!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Twelve years ago, following the phenomenal success of the big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical “Chicago” (which won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture), director Rob Marshall sat down with Stephen Sondheim and expressed an interest in directing a film version of one of the legendary composer’s stage productions. At the top of Sondheim’s list: “Into the Woods,” one of his most acclaimed – and poignant – works, and one which he thought would be a perfect fit for Marshall.

Marshall and his producing partner, John DeLuca, had been fans of Sondheim and James Lapine’s landmark musical since it opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre in 1987. In describing the piece Marshall says, “The story seamlessly intertwines Sondheim’s emotional, funny and brilliant score with Lapine’s intricate and masterful book, which is a modern twist on several beloved fairy tales, and is entertaining, while examining complex themes like the consequences of wishes, the parent/child relationship, greed, ambition, loss, and, perhaps most importantly, unconditional love and the power of the human spirit.”

Then in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Marshall heard President Obama addressing the families of the victims. In an effort to console them, Obama said, “You are not alone...No one is alone.” The phrase “No One is Alone,” which is also one of the most moving and memorable songs from “Into the Woods,” struck a chord with Marshall, and in that moment he knew that the time was finally right to bring the beloved musical to the screen.

“In many ways, I think ‘Into the Woods’ is a fairy tale for the 21st century post 9/11 generation,” Marshall says. “Sondheim and Lapine were way ahead of their time when they wrote it. The comforting knowledge that we are not alone in this unstable world gives us all that glimmer of hope.”

For Sondheim, “’No One Is Alone’” was written as a community song. “I believe Arthur Wing Pinero said that in writing a play, you tell the audience what you’re going to do, you do it and then you tell them that you’ve done it. If you tell them that you’ve done it, then it makes a package,” he says.

“’No One Is Alone’ tells them that we’ve done it,” Sondheim explains. “This is what the show has been about. No one is alone: we are all connected in some way and we are all responsible for each other’s actions. It’s something I believe firmly and it’s something that’s worth writing about.”

Marshall and DeLuca took their passion project to Disney, and immediately knew they had found the perfect company to bring the stage musical to life. “We were thrilled that the company embraced the project the way that they did,” says Marshall. “They were truly interested in expanding the definition of what a ‘modern fairy tale’ film could be.”

Producer Marc Platt, who joined the duo in making the film, says, “Disney is a company that historically tells the classic fairy tales, so moving forward it should also be the company that finds new, contemporary and unexpected ways to tell these stories.”

So after 27 years, the long-awaited classic was set to begin its journey forward. “The Woods of our story is universal, and can mean so many things,” Marshall says. “It is the place you go to find your dreams, confront your fears, lose yourself, find yourself, grow up and learn to move forward. It’s all part of life. So ‘Into the Woods’ we go, again and again...”

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.
The principal cast is led by Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp.

Opening across the Philippines on January 28, 2015, “Into the Woods” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Huawei ramps up commitment to 4G/LTE, introduces Honor 6

Huawei releases its latest high-powered, future-proof smartphone at an affordable price – the Honor 6. It offers all the premium smartphone features, such as 4G LTE Cat6, octa-core Kirin 920 SoC, a 3100 mAh battery, and a 13MP fourth generation BSI camera, at a buying price of PhP 13,990 available at the online shopping portal Lazada.

“The Honor 6 is the manifestation of our strength as a connector. We believe we offer only the best technology for our consumers and we focus and continually improve on that. The Honor 6 allows brave, highly-mobile users to fuel their high-powered lifestyle without the hefty cost,” said Niño Carandang, Honor Business Unit Manager. 

For the Brave 

The Honor 6 is designed with the new mobile user in mind. “People the world over are rethinking their lifestyles and designing a life that is founded on their true strengths and passions. We believe that our mobile phones should also cater to the needs and wants of consumers. The Honor 6 does just that,” Carandang said.

High-powered connectivity 

The Honor 6 is the first smartphone in the world that supports 4G LTE Cat6 which enables a maximum download speed of 300Mbps. With this capability, the handset can download a two-hour, standard-definition movie at 1.5 gigabytes in less than 40 seconds; a two-hour, high-definition movie at 5 gigabytes can be downloaded in 2.2 minutes.

The handset is equipped with an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 920 SoC, cutting-edge big.LITTLE architecture. This architecture allows the handset to deliver an improved performance at 200 percent while lowering power consumption at 35 percent. It also comes with high game compatibility, a superb gaming experience with a 400 percent improved high-performance GPU.

High endurance, boundless communication

The Honor 6 does not only redefine software architecture, it also does the same thing with battery endurance. Equipped with a 3100 mAh battery, the handset guarantees minimum battery life of 2.7 days on regular use and 1.2 days for heavy use. With a SmartPower 2.0 feature, the Honor 6 has hardware and software power saving technology with five power consumption reduction plans that can save power up to 30 percent.

Boundless communication is Huawei’s promise to customers and the Honor 6 delivers that. Equipped with Huawei-developed chips, RF circuits, and antennas, the handset provides optimal performance through higher call quality and smoother Internet surfing, even with poor network conditions.

Images, memories redefined 

True to Huawei mobile reputation, the Honor 6 captures high-quality crisp images on its 13MP fourth generation BSI camera. Worrying about lighting conditions will now be a thing of the past as the handset’s camera delivers excellent image quality, even at low light levels, with a professional image processing engine. And with faster transition from when the mobile screen is off, the Honor 6 ensures that users can capture any moment in as fast as 0.6 seconds.

For those who love taking videos, the Honor 6 offers the ultimate video experience. The handset’s rear camera clocks in 13MP and stacked with BSI sensor. It has a large F2.0 aperture, 5P aspheric lens, hardware-based HDR, and a dual LED flashlight. For those who love taking selfies, the Honor 6 comes with a back-illuminated 5MP front camera that has 1.4um pixel size and 88-degree angle view. Panoramic selfie options also make groufie shots easier.

Premium design 

All these are encased in a 5-inch, 2.86 mm ultrathin frame and a 75.7 screen-to-body ratio that features a top-quality FHD touchscreen with a vivid, in-cell display of 445 PPI. The body is made of composite materials used in outer space which are forged with a six-layer, high-tech complex technology. The Honor 6 also boasts of rounded corners that lend a sophisticated and classy look and feel that will appeal to the discerning set.

The Huawei Honor 6 is available on at PhP 13,990. For more information about the Honor 6, please like and/or follow these accounts:

Twitter: @honorph
WeChat: honorph
Instagram: honor_ph

Huawei Honor 6 specs:
•        5-inch IPS LCD full HD display @ 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
•        Kirin 920 octa-core processor (four ARM Cortex A15 and four A7 cores)
•        Mali-T624 GPU
•        3GB RAM
•        16GB internal storage
•        up to 64GB via microSD card
•        HSPA+, LTE Cat. 6 300Mbps
•        WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-Band
•        13MP rear camera with Sony IMX214 sensor and f/2.0 aperture
•        Dual-LED flash
•        5MP front camera
•        GPS with aGPS support
•        Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Emotion UI 2.3
•        Li-Ion 3100mAh battery
•        139.8 x 68.8 x 6.5mm
•        135 grams

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas at Jollibee makes holiday family traditions more festive

Dine at Jollibee and feel the spirit of Christmas as cute kiddie carolers welcome you with a warm smile. 

More than just a place for langhap-sarap food, Jollibee has become a haven of happiness for cherished family moments, especially during Christmas, the jolliest time of the year. This Yuletide season, the country’s leading fast-food chain is adding brightness and cheer to its nationwide network of stores with holiday decorations that make dining an even more festive experience.

Decals featuring well-loved Christmas parols and a group of cute kiddie carolers embellish the glass panels of Jollibee stores,welcoming customers as they enter and depicting the holiday traditions that many Filipinos are fond of. These also add to the heartwarming mood set by the colorful murals that showcase Pinoys’ strong family ties, as well as the fun store accents and décor that win over kids and kids at heart. Donation boxes for the 20th Maaga ang Pasko, the longest-running toy and book drive in the Philippines, also touched the hearts of consumers, encouraging them to share their blessings with those in need.

Filipino families celebrate one sweet Christmas with their favorite Jollibee treats—available in festive and colorful holiday packaging.

To get everyone into the holiday mood, Jollibee introduced special holiday treats that celebrate the flavors of the season. Celebrations with the family became even more complete with the Christmas Bucket Treats, featuring everyone’s favorite Chicken joy and Jolly Spaghetti bundled with yummy treats such as Buttered Corn, Mashed Potatoes, Peach Mango Pies and Jollibee Mix-ins with Hershey’s Kisses.

Adding a sweet note to the festivities are the Jollibee Christmas Creamy Shakes. Available in Mocha Cookie and Choco Cookie variants, these indulgent flavors mixed with vanilla soft-serve ooze with creamy and delicious sweetness.

What’s more, these tasty Christmas specials come in festive packaging that surely made diners feel the joy of the holidays. Completing the Christmas feel in the stores is the Christmas packaging for other favorites such as the Jolly Crispy Fries and Sundae Mix-ins, as well as the table napkins and drinking cups.

Mom of four Annie Ignacio shared that she found the kiddie carolers really cute and that they reminded her of her own kids. “When I first saw them, I instantly thought, ‘I wish my own children were featured as well,” she said. “Whenever our family visits our favorite stores, the Jollibee Libis and E. Rodriguez branches, we would always imagine that the carolers are singing to us.”

Marketing executive Jun Resterio shared that his daughter Charm was also enamored by the kiddie carolers. “As soon as we saw them, Charm instantly posed with the kids and asked her mom and me to take lots of photos. She said she wanted to sing with them,” he added.

For Jun, taking his girls—his wife Charmaine and daughter Charm—to Jollibee is something he always looks forward to, especially come Christmastime. “Before we go to church for Simbang Gabi, we would always have dinner first at Jollibee and enjoy our favorite Chickenjoy and the Christmas Creamy Shakes. We also see a lot of other families doing the same and it’s such a heartwarming sight to see,” he said. “There’s also something cheery about getting your favorites in festive packaging decked in Christmas colors—it instantly makes us feel the joy of the holiday season.” 

For event organizer Michelle Robles, the Jollibee Christmas decorations bring back fond childhood memories. “I remember how much my sister Rachel and I looked forward to the holidays, because it meant that our parents would bring us to the mall to look for new clothes and shoes we would wear for the big day itself,” she said. “After shopping, we would then head to Jollibee to have our fill of our favorite Chickenjoy and Spaghetti, talking about our plans for the holiday vacation.” 

Michelle added that she is keeping this Yuletide tradition alive, now that she has her own family. “My daughter Erin knows that if she behaves well and helps us shop for Christmas gifts, her dad and I would treat her to her favorite Chickenjoy and Choco Cookie Creamy Shake,” she shared. “Erin was also inspired by the Maaga ang Pasko boxes that she always sees at the stores, so she asked us to buy toys to donate as well.”

Nothing brings the family closer together than langhap-sarap meals shared in a warm, inviting Jollibee store that feels like home. Celebrate the joy of the season with your loved ones and visit any of Jollibee’s over 800 stores nationwide.

Experience XD 4D Cinema at SM Moa

It was my first time to watch in a theatre that thrilled me to no end as I twirled in my seat, watched an actual fog and felt a water sprinkled upon us. The new 4D experience with in-theatre effects include snow, wind, water and smell that could only experience at SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated (SMLEI) at  SM Cinema Mall of Asia’s Specialized Theatres – the XD 4D Cinema!

This is a new 4D experience with enormous in-theatre effects including Snow, Wind, Water, Smell, Fog and Strobe/Lightings. It also has Leg Tickler, Motion Seats, Seat Vibrators and Seat Impactors to add a breathtaking fourth dimension experience.

The XD 4D Cinema is equipped with strategically located 48 Pneumatic Controlled Seats that highlight the immersive nature of the theater while maintaining an exclusive ambiance to delight the audience.

The XD 4D Cinema Theatre soft opens last November 25, 2014 featuring The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1. The audience were brought to a sight-seeing trip to the smoking rubble of District 12 and navigated the underground to save Peeta.

Truly, this is a complete cinematic experience for all! SM XD 4D theaters is now open in SM Mall of Asia.

The XD 4D theater is just one of many exciting ventures that SM Lifestyle Entertainment (SMLEI), the educational, sports and recreational arm of SM Prime Holdings Inc., will be offering to the public.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ramen Sora: No Ramen No Life!

Ramen Sora opens at the Waterfront Avenue in Subic

My comfort food consists of hot steaming bowl of mami, congee and then ramen. When ramen becomes a rage in Manila last year. I checked out the first ramen house that was available together with a friend. I first ate out at Fukkouka Makati and the rest was history.  At first glance, ramen has a resemblance to mami but the difference lies in the soup and ingredients. It is mostly creamy based on the soup.  Ramen (ラーメン) is a noodle soup dish that was originally imported from China and has become one of the most popular dishes in Japan in decades.  Ramen restaurants, or ramen-ya, can be found in virtually every corner in Japan and produce countless regional variations of this common noodle dish. Ramen is the most affordable dish in China and or Hongkong, but here in Manila, you have to scowl php400 for a decent bowl. I have been to 5 Ramen restos in Manila and I should say, Im still exploring other ramen houses as well, as I am a fan of legit spicy ramen, the spicier the better.

From L-R; Chef Nori, Chef Yoshi, Chef Tommy and Gerry Apolinario

Last December 20, 2014 I was invited to check out the new ramen restaurant Ramen Sora at Waterfront Avenue in Subic. Gerry Apolinario of the famous Gerrys chain of restaurants decided to bring Ramen Sora here in the Phils from Las Vegas, USA. upon seeing that Ramen Sora holds a new promise in the food business, The men behind the Ramen Sora Nori, Yoshi and Tommy were excited for the first store in Subic  and claimed that they are on the process of putting up their second branch in Cebu.

Corn Butter Ramen
Shio deluxe Ramen
Menma Ramen

Miso Ramen

When I checked their menu, the ramen that intrigued me is the one with corn and  butter, so I ordered for that with the shoyu (soy)  soup as base as I am not a fan of the salt. The taste was fine with tomago and chasu. I feasted on their noodles. They were on their dry run that day, its okay to spice it up a little bit, if you prefer it with chilis. Noodles are freshly delicious, its not soft or hard, its the way I like it cooked. The interior has a homely feel to it as if youre eating in Japan with the legit ramen.

Born in Hokkaido Sapporo in 2003. Ramen Sora Subic is only the second branch overseas after Las Vegas, Nevada USA., which has a 5-star rating at travel website tripadvisory.,com

Considered Japan's culinary center, Sapporo is often the go-to district for those who want to indulge in the best of Japanese food like Ramen Sora.

Chef Yoshi Ishise, the man behind the restaurant's best tasting ramen, explains: "Ramen is one of Japan's staple dishes just like the rice to filipinos. We could not live without ramen. At Ramen Sora we put our heart and soul into preparing dishes because we want to make our customers happy. Isnt happiness life's ultimate goal?"

Chef Yoshi along with his team of Filipino chefs and partners from Prime Pacific Grill, Inc (PPGI) guarantee that they will transport Pinoys to Sapporo to enjoy the best ramen they will ever taste from Ramen Sora.

PPGI is also the operator of Filipino favorite Gerry's Grill, Kusina ng Gerry's, Aresi (Italian American restaurant) and Sweet Chili (Thai restaurant).

If you happen to drop by at Waterfront Subic, dont forget to check out Ramen Sora, Aresi and Gerrys as well. Then tell me what is your favorite ramen flavor.

Watch out for "Murder in the First" at WarnerTv every Thursday

If you are into mystery police drama series, then its time to switch that channel to WarnerTV every Thursday at 9:50 pm. "Mystery in the First" was co created by
 the Emmy Award-winning creator Steven Bochco  of esteemed series like Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law,  along with newcomer Eric Lodal.

"Murder in the First" is exclusively distributed by WarnerTV and was launched last December 15, at Red Panda Bistro, East Kapitolyo Pasig. I was not able to see the "mystery drama" presented before the eyes of the bloggers during that time. I was late for the launch,  traffic was bad coming from Makati going to Edsa. But anyway, seeing the review it was heavily favored as it offers pleasurably typical twists and natural, attention-grabbing characters.

MURDER IN THE FIRST, which takes an up-close and personal look at a single complex homicide investigation, marks its Philippine debut exclusively on WarnerTV on Thursdays at 9:50 p.m.

The entire season of the police drama follows the investigation by San Francisco homicide detectives Terry English (Taye Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson). The story takes two unrelated crimes that pit Silicon Valley Erich Blunt( Tom Felton, Harry Potter films) in the middle of the crime scene.

Murder in the First stars partner investigators in the San Francisco Police Department homicide unit who are assigned to take on the case. It also stars Mimi Kirkland (Safe Haven), Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon a Time), Lombardo Boyar (The Bernie Mac Show), Ian Anthony Dale (Hawaii Five-0), Bess Rous (What Just Happened), Nicole Ari Parker (Revolution), Currie Graham (Raising the Bar), Richard Schiff (The West Wing), James Cromwell (Babe, L.A. Confidential) and Steven Weber (Dallas, Wings).

Set in San Francisco, the series follows homicide detectives Terry English (Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Robertson) as they investigate two murders. The mystery deepens, however, when they find both murders have a common denominator in Blunt (Felton).

Terry and Hildy's fellow detectives in their squad include SFPD homicide inspector David Molk (Sbarge), a thoughtful philosopher-cop and frequent class clown, and his tough-as-nails partner inspector Edgar Navarro (Boyar). The ambitious and no-nonsense Lt. Jim Koto (Dale) serves as the squad's supervisor.

Supporting Blunt in his endeavors are Bill Wilkerson (Weber), his long-time friend, driver and pilot; and Ivana West (Rous), the company's brilliant Chief Technology Officer. Blunt's legal team includes David Hertzberg (Schiff), his gruff lawyer and trusted confidant, and Warren Daniels (Cromwell), a legendary criminal attorney brought in to assist when suspicion turns to Blunt. Facing them in the courtroom will be the remarkably brilliant District Attorney Sonia Perez (Parker) and pit-bull Chief Prosecutor Mario Siletti (Graham).

Murder in the First also takes viewers into Terry and Hildy's home lives. Hildy is a single mom with an inquisitive daughter (Kirkland). Terry, meanwhile, is struggling to take care of his terminally ill wife, Emily (guest star Anne-Marie Johnson).

Murder in the First is executive-produced by Bochco (Justified, The Pacific) and Lodal and distributed internationally by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. WarnerTV is available on SKY cable channel 77, Destiny Cable channel 80 and Cignal channel 66. Contact your cable operator to subscribe now.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The best of +J is back with UNIQLO

 UNIQLO Philippines carries an exclusive Holiday offer of luxury collaboration line +J.

After wrapping up three creative collaborations with Uniqlo, Jill Sander is back with her timeless and classic pieces from+J label this 2014. Due to popular demand, the selected affordable pieces from past seasons is now back at your selected favorite Uniqlo store.

The launch was held at SM Aura last December 17, and well attended by media. Ms. Liza Ilarde of Style Weekend won the raffle grand prize of php10,000. There was a photo booth stalled at the store wherein everyone enjoyed their black and white selfies.

When I rummaged for the +J Collection, I have come to like the black turtle neck, its a classic piece that will surely never goes out of style. You can partner the top with jeans, skirt or you can layer it over your shirt, the best thing is,  the classic piece is made affordable for everyone. I will be back before the year ends cause Im eyeing  the black buttoned top.

Ms. Sander used to work as creative director of Uniqlo's menswear and womens wear last 2009 and launched the +J label famously known for its minimal, clean aesthetic.

Loved for its timeless yet forward-looking style and affordable quality, over five seasons from Fall Winter 2009, +J grew to one of the most successful fashion collaborations of all time - elevating basic garments for functional, minimalist elegance to suit any lifestyle.

UNIQLO’s best of +J collection reissues selected garments from past seasons that capture the +J philosophy. The collection include items such as the classic man’s button-down shirt, an indispensable building block for any wardrobe. The collection’s wool items such as sweaters and coats that are rich in character, blending coziness with structure. Weightless and warm, +J's signature down jackets and parkas remain subtle testaments to the perfection of technical outerwear. Throughout the +J collection, precision tailoring, avant-garde textiles and modern silhouettes combine to create the personal uniform for the world of today.

This Special Holiday Offer the best of the collection, and is part of UNIQLO’s ongoing aim to answer customers’ needs and desires. +J Collection is available in UNIQLO SM Megamall, SM Aura and Glorietta 5 in special prices from December 17 – 31.

Perfect design. Simplicity. Priced for everyone.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Multi-lifestyle is more fun with Lenovo Vibe X2

Wearing many hats can be the opposite of complicated with a multilayered smartphone

An ogre from famous animated movie once said, each person is made up of layers (not like cake layers, but onion layers). In today’s world, most people play multiple roles or layers. Someone can be a entrepreneur-slash-blogger-slash-artist-slash-chef-slash-health buff. Some people are even thriving rather than stressing about their multifaceted lifestyle.

Recently, people can bring their multifaceted life to new levels with the world’s first multilayered smartphone, the Lenovo VIBE X2.

1. Reflect your changing moods. Show your true colors. Multi-role people like to stand out from crowd with what they wear, a trait shared by the VIBE X2. The first in the world to sport a trendsetting layered design, the Lenovo VIBE X2 turns heads with three colors. Lenovo applied three coats of paint for each tone, totaling nine coatings per phone. Expert hand craftsmanship further refined the layers -- gold, white, and red. Sleek and light, the VIBE X2 measures just 7.277 mm and weighs a mere 120g.

2. Multi-tasking down to the core. A dynamic lifestyle requires the Vibe X2’s multi-tasking prowess. Lenovo VIBE X2 is the first smartphone to utilize the latest MediaTek MT6585 True-Octa-Core processor. MediaTek applied its CorePilot technology to unlock the full power of all eight cores for real 4G LTE speed. The excellent performance-per-watt provides great multimedia, smooth gaming, fast 4G data transmission and long battery life.

The VIBE X2 runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat, for optimized memory and improved touchscreen responsiveness and accuracy. Plus, it boasts of the new VIBE UI 2.0 for instant access to camera, favorite apps, and more, right from the lock screen.

3. Energized for the extra mile. People who can go overnight having fun on their smartphone can get extra power without reaching for an energy drink. Lenovo’s innovative click on VIBE Xtensions add an extra layer, functionality and performance to the phone. The VIBE X2 Battery Xtension, ultra-thin at 5.1mm, does double duty by protecting the phone and extending the battery life by 75 percent. The clck-on case allow the layered beauty of the phone to shine through with its transparent edge.      

4. Listen with resounding success. The music fan or movie addict will have endless delights with the VIBE X2 incredible audio and video. The full HD touchscreen displays crisp vibrant colors on its 5-inch IPS LCD. Another VIBE Xtension: the VIBE X2 speaker, is JBL speaker that amplifies hi-fi music and movie audio. A stand allows hands-free usage and a built-in mic permits group conference calls.          

5. Chameleon personality with multiple exposure. Food photography, landscape photos and actions shots are easier than ever with the VIBE X2. It captures the great visuals of life with its advanced dual cameras stacked with multiple shooting modes, beautification and editing features. VIBE X2’s 13MP auto-focus, rear-facing camera comes with a back-illuminated sensor and LED flash to produce sharp, brilliant shots.

Uncomplicated and intuitive to use, the 5MP wide-angle front camera makes selfies effortless thanks to the auto-shutter that can be activated by the blink of an eye or a smile.

Thirty two GB of internal memory gives ample storage space to digital content. On top of that, the VIBE X2 comes bundled with Lenovo DOit Apps for sharing, securing and syncing data to the cloud.

For the latest Lenovo smartphones and tablets news, subscribe to Lenovo RSS feeds or follow Lenovo Mobile on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jollibee celebrates the 20th Maaga ang Pasko launch

Original Jolly Toy Scout Aga Muhlach makes his Christmas donation in the Maaga ang Pasko box during the launch in Jollibee Canlubang.

The kids and the kids at heart trooped down to their favorite Jollibee branches as Jollibee kicks off the earliest and longest christmas season. 

Jollibee celebrates the 20th year of Maaga ang Pasko launch as Jollibee branches featured celebrities,  Aga Muhlach, Nadine Lustre and The Voice Kids Top 4 finalists Lyca Gairanod, Juan Karlos Labajo, Darlene Vibares and Darren Espanto and chorale groups for its early christmas carole.

At Jollibee Greenmeadows in Quezon City, The Voice Kids Top 4 finalists Lyca Gairanod, Juan Karlos Labajo, and Darlene Vibares performed their trademark songs and joined the Singles for Christ choir in singing the Maaga ang Pasko jingle. The young talents were also introduced as the newest endorsers of the Jollibee Kids Club, together with their fellow finalist Darren Espanto.

Jollibee joins Nadine as the Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Yum ambassador drops her donation at the Maaga ang Pasko box in Jollibee Mabalacat.

At Jollibee Mabalacat in Pampanga, young sensation Nadine Lustre brought her own family to take part in the gift-giving campaign. “Our family has been supporting Maaga ang Pasko even before I became a Jollibee endorser.  I feel blessed because as an official member of the Jollibee family, I can now do more and influence more people to share what they have and make kids happy this Christmas.” The actress also serenaded her fans with songs from her debut album, as well as joyful Christmas jingles with the Lumen Anima Chorale.

Jollibee then paid tribute to long-time ambassador and original Jolly Toy Scout Aga Muhlach at Jollibee Canlubang in a similar caroling activity. Together with members of the Jollibee marketing team, the seasoned actor gamely joined the Lumen Anima Chorale in a more upbeat rendition of the Maaga ang Pasko jingle.

“Maaga ang Pasko came from a very simple idea but a genuine desire to make kids happy on Christmas time. No matter what they may be going through in life, a kid’s face lights up whenever you give them a toy. I approached Jollibee because I know they can help me expand that into something even bigger and more impactful,” shared Aga. “I could not be any more grateful to Jollibee for bringing Maaga ang Pasko to where it is now, as the longest-running and biggest campaign of its kind in the country that has reached hundreds of thousands of children across the country.”

Through the decades, Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko has shown that it’s never too early to learn to share your blessings with others.

The celebrity guests each led the gift-giving ceremony by making their own toy and book donations together with members of the Jollibee Kids Club. Jollibee customers showed their support by lining up to drop their donations in the Maaga ang Pasko boxes.

“For the 20th year of Maaga ang Pasko, we’re targeting to bring the magic of toys and books to the most number of children in the history of the campaign. We are once again counting on the support of kind-hearted Filipino families from all over the globe to make this year the ‘pinaka-maaga, pinakamahaba at pinakamalaking Pasko’ for our Filipino kids,” said Jollibee Vice-President for Marketing Harvey Ong. 

The Voice Kids’ winner Lyca Gairanod, and finalists Darlene Vibares and Juan Karlos Labajo led the  Maaga ang Pasko donations at Jollibee Greenmeadows. 

Aside from dropping donations in Maaga ang Pasko boxes in Jollibee stores nationwide, anyone can also take part in the campaign by making online donations at Early Christmas shoppers can also buy and directly drop their donations in all Goodwill Bookstore and Toy Kingdom stores.

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