Friday, November 15, 2013
There are fun runs. Then there's the TakBonifacio—an afternoon running activity that encourages participants to don their best Katipunero or traditional Filipiniana outfits while going through fun “obstacle courses” along a 5-kilometer run within the Bonifacio Global City.
TakBonifacio will be held on November 30 (4pm) as part of this year's three-day Passion Fest (November 29 to December 1). It' an activity that aims to commemorate the life of one of the country’s most passionate heroes Andres Bonifacio.
Fun obstacles along the way include historical events which happened in key areas around Metro Manila like San Juan (Guwardiya Sibil will be armed with water soakers to attack the participants); Pinaglabanan (An army of Guwardiya Sibil will be running after life flags instead of just standing around); Bonifacio (Participants should be on the lookout for Andres Bonifacio, who will be giving away free life flags); Marikina (Participants will climb up the giant inflatable slide and enjoy the way down! Or crawl inside the tunnels while Guwardiya Sibil awaits them on the other side); and Balintawak (Participants will express themselves and write why they are proud to be a Filipino).
Interested participants may register at any of the following establishments: Toby’s Sports in Shangri-La Mall, Mall of Asia & Glorietta; Runnr in Ayala Alabang Town Center & Bonifacio High Street; and Brooks in SM North EDSA.
Top TAKBONIFACIO Finishers will be given cash prizes. Special Prizes await runners that will win the Best Costume award, which will be determined by originality, inventiveness, intricacy & color, and fun. Prizes to be raffled off are as follows: 1 Grand Prize worth P 50,000, and 5 Minor Prizes worth P 20,000.
For more details on costume requirements and registration by groups may log on to www.facebook.com/BonifacioGlobalCityPH.
** This article first came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last November 9, 2013. It has been slightly edited for TWIST. Enjoy! ***
Sunday, November 03, 2013
If the songs I heard during the press preview of "Maxie the Musicale" are any indication (and I know they are), then this Filipino play adaptation of the beloved movie ("Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros") is bound to be one heck of a ride.
We know the movie so we're familiar with the story: A 12-year-old effeminate boy, Maxie, falls in love with a cop, who is out to get the former's family for their illegal livelihood. Will the friendship of the clip- and bangles-wearing fabulousness of Maxie develop into a relationship with the finger-licking good handsomeness of Victor?
During the Q&A portion after the performance, the cast introduced themselves. This is when I learned that the lead actor (ahem, actress?) who plays Maxie, Jayvhot Galang, was discovered when producers saw a video of him in Facebook singing his heart out. He didn't disappoint during the press preview. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston would be proud of this diva-in-training. This might be his debut work, but he appeared calm and ready for the spotlight.
So we know that there were several scenes in the movie between Maxie and Victor that would make the former the envy of many gay peeps, but will there be some in the play as well? If you were craving for an "I hope so" answer, you're in luck. There'll be, uhm, sexy scenes in the adaptation, too.
“Maxie the Musicale: Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maxino Oliveros" (produced by Bit by Bit Company) will run from November 9 to December 8, 2013. Shows on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays start at 8pm while matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays begin at 3pm. All performances are at the PETA Theater Center in New Manila, Quezon City.
The show features book and lyrics by Nicolas B. Pichay (whom I met for the first time during the preview--I must say he's so witty and loveable), music by William Elvin Manzano, JJ Pimpinio, and Janine Santos, and direction and choreography by Dexter M. Santos.
Other cast members include Roeder Camañag and Nazer Salcedo (alternating as Paco Oliveros), Jojo Riguerra (Victor Perez), Al Gatmaitan and OJ Mariano (alternating as Boy Oliveros), and Jay Gonzaga (Bogs Oliveros).
For more info, please call 0917-8427346 or email email@example.com. Follow Maxie on Twitter (@MaxieTheMusicale) or visit www.facebook.com/MaxieTheMusicale on Facebook. Tickets are available at all TicketWorld (891-9999) and SM Tickets (470-2222) outlets.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
From having Walkmans to CD players to iPods to our very own smartphones today, it's obvious we're a nation of audiophiles. We are a bunch of people who love listening to music (or watching videos, for that matter) wherever we please.
Of course, doing so almost always requires having our trusty earphones lodged in our pretty ears so we enjoy the best auditory experience we could possibly have. And while that's cool, there could be consequences in wearing these earphones (or headphones), especially if we're outdoors. I mean, come to think of it, with earphones, we're essentially one sense down.
Here are 7 things we should best remember every single time we use our earphones. It's for our own good, I promise. :)
Ethics would dictate that when we sneeze or cough in public that we should cover our ears and mouths, preferably with a handkerchief or tissue. Unfortunately, not everyone does this. Many people would sneeze or cough as if doing so ain't spreading bacteria and viruses, which could lead to diseases. So we have to take it upon ourselves to cover our respective noses and mouths, especially when we're in a cramped space (elevator) or in an airconditioned place (bus, car). The bad news is that with earphones and blaring sounds on, we might miss hearing anyone behind us cough or sneeze and we'd be defenseless. Icky!
2. Watch out for cars (and kariton!) while crossing the road.
Obviously, it's imperative that we be careful when crossing the road. But this is doubly true when you have your earphones on. You'd have to rely on your visuals alone so you're more prone to accidents. With earphones on, you won't be able to hear cars honking or people screaming at you for warning of danger.
3. You might come off as offish or indifferent.
There's a fine line between being cool and arrogant. Wearing kick-ass earphones could, in fact, add to our cool factor, but at what cost? A person who said "thank you" might be expecting a "you're welcome" reply, assuming you heard his or her word of gratitude. If you don't reply to the message, they might think you're an a-hole.
4. You might be missing out on learning new things.
I would never advise eavesdropping on people's conversations. But you've got to admit, we could potentially learn valuable information just by listening to what the people at the next table at the cafe, or people beside you in the jeep, might be talking about. I was at the bus once and people behind me were talking about the latest modus operandi of robbers. Their conversation was inescapable. Either way, I did learn something new. With earphones on, it's like we've closed our eyes and we see nothing new.
For some reason, there are people who prefer to keep their earphones on (or perhaps in one ear) while having a conversation with someone. This is just plain rude, buddy. Either you want to listen to whatever you're listening to, or pay proper attention to the person in front of you. Personally, I hate repeating what I'm saying in a conversation. So there.
6. You might miss a reunion with an old friend or acquaintance.
When I was in New York, there was a friend of mine who I've been meaning to meet up while I was on vacation. We couldn't get a common free time though and I was about to go back to the Philippines in a couple of days. But lo and behold, while I was in the subway, someone called my name. Guess who? The friend who I've been trying to set up a meeting with for weeks! Imagine if I had my earphones on. We'd have missed that impromptu chance of a chit-chat.
7. It's an earphone, not a loud speaker.
However proud you are of what you're listening to, chances are the person next to you isn't interested in it. I understand if you want your music loud (I am like this when it's Mariah), but there are people who blast out their audio. And this could be annoying. So let's try to clean our ears instead before leaving the house so we don't have to work the volume button too much.
Monday, October 21, 2013
|Artist's rendition of The Terraces at Pontefino|
The Terraces at Pontefino looks like it has all three qualities: there are units selling for as low as P5.5 million (a relatively affordable amount for a luxury development in this scale); its developer, Pontefino Hotel and Residences, has been building quality real estate projects for years; and it’s located in a progressive commercial district in Batangas City.
With sleek and streamlined interiors, the units are built with an outdoor design in mind. Favoring formal simplicity with uncluttered space, it blends exceedingly well to the surroundings while giving attention to the details and finishing.
It’s bound to be a sight to see—and live in, obviously. But what makes The Terraces at Pontefino a very attractive investment option is its unique leaseback program.
“The leaseback program benefits owners who are based abroad. It saves them the trouble of hiring caretakers to maintain their property. More importantly, they earn, too,” said Ricky Gutierrez, the company’s president and CEO.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing Gutierrez earlier this year for an entirely different project--the 25th anniversary of his equally successful restaurant, Chateau. I must say he has shown the same energy and enthusiasm in talking about his pet projects.
Back to the property's Leaseback Program scheme, the program gives unit owners premium return with their investment. Once sold, a unit is automatically enrolled in the program for five years. During this period, owners have the opportunity to earn while their units are rented out.
|Ricky Gutierrez (center) and officers of Pontefino Hotel and Residences during the recent media launch|
“Some 80 to 90 percent of our condo unit owners in Pontefino are highly skilled OFWs or those who are based abroad. On the flip side, Batangas have many multinational companies with expats who need housing so they rent units at Pontefino for six months to two years at a time,” Gutierrez said.
What’s more, the leaseback program gives unit owners 12 free room nights a year. After the first five years of mandatory enrollment to the leaseback program, they have a choice of either re-enrolling the unit to another 5-years in the program or living in it themselves.
|The lobby of Pontefino Hotel|
The project’s location is a huge selling factor. Located at Gulod Labac in Batangas City, it's about an hour and half drive from Manila. Pontefino Hotel and Residences is accessible through the STAR Toll Expressway. Within close proximity are SM City Batangas, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and Stonyhurst International School.
With everything going for The Terraces at Pontefino, it’s no surprise that the group has sold some P200 million worth of property in the first five months of the year, originally the amount they were targeting to close for the whole year.
“Our vision is to build integrated, world-class projects not just in the Philippines but in Asia. Our Pontefino venture in Batangas is just the pilot. We’re looking next at Cagayan de Oro. That’s our goal in the long run—to transform these provinces into global players,” he said.
*** This article first appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 11, 2013. It has been edited slightly for TWIST. Enjoy! :) ***
Monday, September 30, 2013
Caterham Cars may not be as recognizable in Asia today as it is in its hometown. But the British car company, which has been producing impressively lightweight sports cars for over half a century, is set to be a more visible brand in the region—in and out of the racing world.
The car company, which has mostly survived with a single car model for decades, plans to churn out at least three new models in the next five years. Led by its new owner, Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes (who acquired the brand in April 2011), Caterham Cars is ready to bring its British heritage and spirit of innovation to a wider audience.
Fernandes, the man responsible for turning Air Asia into a profitable budget airline, was in the Asian country to launch Caterham Cars' first concept car in years on the sidelines of the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix last week.
The F1 race would be hugely instrumental in introducing Caterham Cars to people's consciousness, he said. This makes sense as Caterham Cars is now under the global platform of the Caterham Group, which incorporates the Caterham F1, Caterham Technology and Innovation, Caterham Composites and Caterham Racing—the racing and driver development arm of the business.
“I'm very excited with the future of Caterham Cars. The level of talent and passion of the people behind the brand is exceptional. But words are easy so I'd rather deliver,” said Fernandes, who sits as chairman of the Caterham Group.
And deliver he did.
On the sidelines of the Grand Prix, Fernandes led his team in unveiling the AeroSeven Concept car—an exciting new performance concept car and the first model that was designed with significant input from all of the various arms of the Caterham Group.
The AeroSeven Concept, bathed in the brand's signature dark green color, signals the brand’s intentions to showcase its styling direction, expertise in product engineering and speed to market.
The AeroSeven Concept, which draws heavily on methods used by the F1 team, will be the first ever Caterham model to be fitted with a newly developed, fully-adjustable Caterham Engine Management System.
The carbon-fiber bodied concept vehicle, which will reach 100kph (62.5mph) in under 4 seconds, will initially draw its power from the normally-aspirated, EU6-approved, 240ps (237bhp) engine developed by Caterham Technology & Innovation.
The AeroSeven Concept is stacked with race car-inspired features, including aerodynamic styling, an exclusive steering wheel with driver-focused functionality, and an intuitive fully active Graphical Display Unit (GDU).
“When it comes to power-to-ratio (300 horsepower over 500 kilos) measure, the AeroSeven Concept is one of the most powerful in the world. During tests, it has gone up to 150 miles per hour,” Graham Macdonald, managing director of Caterham Cars, told Inquirer Motoring.
Though there are no firm dates of release for the AeroSeven, Macdonald said the car would be ready in the next 12 months. The executives declined to give a price point for now.
While the AeroSeven is every bit a Caterham car, it's in its full bodywork styling that the most striking differences to past Caterham products lies—it's more modern, more sleek and, frankly, much sexier.
“It's a car for passionate drivers. Admittedly, we may not have given enough attention and focus before, but with Tony's leadership, not anymore,” Macdonald said.
Today, Caterham Cars sell some 500 units around the world, mostly orders from the UK, France, and Japan. That number includes some 70 units in Asia (not including Japan). But with the AeroSpace, that number is expected to spike exponentially.
AeroSpace's stunning design of the two-seater balances function and form to increase downforce while vastly improving the drag coefficient. The new body shape also imparts subtly different handling characteristics to complement the revised chassis. The car sits on Avon’s acclaimed motorsports-inspired performance CR500 tires.
Caterham Cars has come a long way, especially since it was acquired by Fernandes some two years ago.
It must be noted that Fernandes has high regard for Caterham's basic philosophy of placing the driver firmly at the heart of the experience. And though the brand will expectedly continue evolve, it is this value that will remain embedded in all future endeavors.
“I really wanted a car that has a roof,” Fernandes said in jest. “But I guess it's not happening with this one.”
Many things have changed but the vision remains clear: to extend Caterham's exceptional landmark through careful product development and growth, while remaining true to the Caterham philosophy for pure, unadulterated fun within reach of the everyday enthusiast.
Fernandes said: “We'll bring the Caterham Cars to a new place, a new level. Its British-ness is key to keeping it alive and we'll keep that front and center.”
Sunday, September 29, 2013
With books and other reading materials going digital, being able to carry 5,000 books (yep, you read that right) literally with you wherever you go has long become reality rather than science fiction.
Stored on a single device, the e-readers of today provide ease of access to virtually all of your most beloved books anytime of the day. It’s like carrying your whole library with you 24/7.
The beauty of the modern e-reader is how life-like the e-books look. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you’re flipping the pages of a physical book, instead of a digital one.
With the growing number of e-readers in the country, it was timely that National Book Store and Kobo partnered together to bring the latter’s ecosystem in the country. With Kobo’s award-winning e-reader devices coupled with National Book Store’s knowledge of the behavior and tastes of readers in the country, it could only mean good things for bookworms.
“Digital reading is only just emerging in the Philippines,” said Todd Humphrey, EVP of business development of Kobo, one of the leading global players in the e-reading industry. Advocating freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo’s ecosystem is available in 190 countries.
“With Kobo and National Book Store, consumers can—for the first time ever—access a world of international content and look forward to their local authors and publishers making their work available in digital formats,” he said.
Despite the prevalence of tablets in the market, having a dedicated Kobo e-reader is a must for any book lover. Unlike tablets, Kobo devices are reader-first gadgets, meaning they are specifically made to enrich the reading experience first, and everything else follows.
There’s a Kobo for everyone—it could be a Kobo Touch, Kobo Glo, or a Kobo Arc; each has its own unique features that suits the needs of the most passionate readers.
Admittedly, there were hesitations from the National Book Store, being that e-readers are an unfamiliar territory. Ramos said even their matriarch Socorro, the woman who put up the bookstore decades ago, was a bit skeptic at first about these digital reading devices.
“But we realized that e-books are not going anywhere anytime soon. They’re here to stay. So it’s a matter of what we’re going to do about it,” said Miguel Ramos of National Book Store.
National Book Store, of course, with its 150 stores nationwide is well-positioned to promote this digital reading revolution. If there’s anyone who can make this happen, it’s them, with its firm role as supporter and promoter of education and reading.
Contrary to popular belief that digital books cannibalize the sales of physical books, there is no evidence to this. In fact, Humphrey has a theory that e-books help proliferate reading in general, which leads to more chances of bookworms actually buying a physical book after they’ve read it in their gadgets, perhaps for collections sake.
“We told National Book Store that we’re not here to steal your books. On the flip side, our devices allow people to consume more reading materials. So we become a tool for them to sell more books to their customers,” Humphrey said.
While the Kobo ecosystem has been available in different countries since it launched in 2009, its partnership with a leading bookstore, in this case National Bookstore, is only the 14th such deal it has made (and first in Southeast Asia).
Through the partnership, readers will have access to Kobo’s eBookstore, which has 4 million titles across 68 languages, which includes international and local bestsellers. In the country, the Kobo devices will also be available in Powerbooks locations and online at nationalbookstore.com.
“I think the Philippines is very much ready for the Kobo e-readers. The population here is very tech-savvy, with millions owning tablets and smartphones. We also know that Filipinos read a lot,” Humphrey said.
Ramos said: “Books, and reading in general, is still a growing industry, despite of—or perhaps because of—technology. We are committed to delivering a world-class reading experience, whether with a good physical book or with an e-book through the Kobo devices. Our readers deserve only the best.”
*** This article was first published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 22, 2013 as an advertorial, written by yours truly. It has been slightly edited for TWIST. Enjoy! ***
*** This article was first published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 22, 2013 as an advertorial, written by yours truly. It has been slightly edited for TWIST. Enjoy! ***
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Been to Buddha Bar lately for lunch? Yep, not only is this posh establishment the go-to place for a drink on a Friday night, it has recently become a place for such casual and business lunches with its new menu.
Invited to write about this new menu, I got to sample sumptuous dishes prepared under the meticulous guidance of Buddha-Bar Manila’s executive chef, Chef Soc Santos. I knew I was in for a superb gastronomic treat.
As is to be expected from a restaurant of Buddha-Bar Manila’s calibre, Chef Soc has prepared a menu that took me virtually around the world.
With all the delectable dishes that guests can choose from every day, it’s quite a nice surprise to know that Buddha-Bar Manila’s Business Lunch offerings go for only P790 (without any hidden fees).
Each full course Business Lunch combo includes a choice of either soup or salad, a choice of one main course item, and a choice of a dessert plate or fresh fruits. As if that’s not music to the ears--or rather the stomach--each set of lunch menu comes with free drinks. Coffee or tea, anyone?
Imagine if you decide to hold your Christmas party or birthday party there. Well you can! Don't forget to invite me, too! :)
Buddha-Bar Manila is located at Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City. For reservations, call +632 8566859/+632 8566719 or visit www.buddhabarmanila.com. You can also reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or like and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BuddhaBarMNL