Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Legend Villas: Part Vigan, Part Manila…All Filipino

The Legend Villas is a three-star hotel with a Five-star Filipino service. Located at the Pioneer area in Mandaluyong City, The Legend Villas is the only hotel in this area that is built-inspired by the early 19th century old houses that thrives Manila many years ago before most of them were destroyed by the Japanese occupancy in the 2nd World War

Legend Villas is part of a group of hotels such as Legend Palawan and Kabayan Hotel, among others, that caters to the busy corporate clientele who wish to just unwind, relax and momentarily escape the daily grind of the corporate rat-race. For many, the hotel’s first impression would be a little pricey, but it’s not. The room rates ranges only at P4,600 for a spacious studio room to P10,400 to a Team Suite that can accommodate, as many as five to six person. 

All accommodation are bundled with tons of amenities such as a powerful wi-fi access, a complementary in-room massage and of course a classy all-Filipino buffet breakfast at Lola Maria Restaurant, where you can experience to taste some of the best Filipino dishes much like the ones our old “lola” used to cook. 

Lola Maria Restaurant offers a wide array of Filipino dishes from different parts of the archipelago 

Lola Maria's special version of "Lumpiang Hubad"

The Lechon Paksiw is just one of the "sinful" indulgences that will make you forget your daily diet plan

Yesterday, I and some friends of mine in the social media industry were able to have a glimpse of the services of The Legend Villas. The Management treated us to a hefty lunch buffet that covers the best Filipino dishes from different regions in the country. And for dessert, all of us indulged in a Halo-halo treat with more than 12 ingredients and toppings. 

A dozen ingredients is certainly not enough to make a perfect "Halo-halo"

Would 15 ingredients do the trick?

Shortly after lunch, Ms. Abby (Legend’s Communication Officer) toured us in some of the rooms of the hotels. We were briefed that the whole hotel is being given a new “face-lift” and all rooms underwent renovations with added amenities to serve their loyal guests even better. For those who plans to hold wedding ceremonies, the hotel offers seven function rooms and one of which can accommodate more than 200 hundred guests. 

Receiving area of one of the Deluxe Rooms with Twin bed on the second-floor

A multi-functional rooms that can accommodate more than 200 guests...

Smaller function rooms are offered to those who wish to hold business meetings and corporate events. For some who just wish to dine, Lola Maria Restaurant offers a buffet breakfast for as low as P390 per head. For the foreign guests, the restaurant offers selected international cuisine.  

The Legend Villas is very much accessible practically from all directions. So, it is easier to go to the malls you wish to go to with no hustle of traffic congestion. For reservations, you can reach them through: 

Tel. (63 2) 702-2700 to 04
Fax. (63 2) 702-2780 / 638 9255
Mobile: (63) 917 702 2700

Website: www.legendvillas.com.ph
FB page: thelegendvillas

Monday, May 25, 2015

Honor Series by Huawei

Huawei, a China-based mobile phone giant have finally come up with a brand name that is more highly acceptable to a global market. Just recently, the Honor mobile phone series was launch to go head-to-head with other mobile phone giants that has become an iconic hose-hold name to all mobile phone users. 

A few years ago, one of my first smart phone was Huawei Accend Quad XL. It was one of the early quad-core smart phones in the market that is equipped with an eight mega pixel camera. At that time, for me, it was pretty high end. One experience that changed my perception with China-made smart phone was an experience that really blew me away. 

Photo taken May 2015

Last 2012, I participated in a kayak 25km marathon from Bataan to Subic and back. My partner and I paddled the 25km race in the open sea for more than five hours and only to realize that my Huawei Phone was still in my pocket without any protective case. It was drenched in salt water for hours. My realization was alarmed by a text message, so that’s why I knew it was still with me. When we got back to the shore, I resigned to the fact that my phone is destroyed. But lo and behold, after two days of air-dry, the phone booted up and is working until now! From then on, I see Huawei Phones a lot differently.

Photo taken June 2013

Can you beat that, iPhone?! 

Last May 12, 2015, I was fortunate to be invited to the launch of Huawei smart phones under the name Honor series, specifically the Honor 6 plus, Honor 4x and the Honor 4c. Honor 6 plus, being the flag ship model among the series, is backed by cutting edge designs and features. 


Dimensions: 150.5 x 75.7 x 7.5 mm (5.93 x 2.98 x 0.30 in)
Weight : 165 g (5.82 oz)
Size:         5.5 inches (~73.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Display:         IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
SIM:         Dual SIM (Micro-SIM/Nano-SIM, dual stand-by, dual call)
                                Micro-SIM - PE-TL10
Platform Os: Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Chipset:         HiSilicon Kirin 925
CPU: Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU: Mali-T628 MP4
Memory Card: microSD, up to 128 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Internal:         32 GB, 3 GB RAM
Primary:                 Dual 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
Secondary         8 MP, 1080p@30fps
Connectivity: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth         v4.0, A2DP, EDR, LE
GPS        Yes, with A-GPS
Battery:        Non-removable Li-Po 3600 mAh battery


Dimensions: 152.9 x 77.2 x 8.7 mm (6.02 x 3.04 x 0.34 in)
Weight: 165 g
Size:         5.5 inches (~70.6% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels (~267 ppi pixel density)
Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
SIM:         Dual SIM 4G/LTE (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Platform:         Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat) or Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Chipset:         HiSilicon Kirin 620
CPU         Octa-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU         Mali-450
Memory Card: microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 8 GB, 2 GB RAM
Primary 13 MP, 4208 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Secondary 5 MP, 720p
Connectivity: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth         v4.0, A2DP
USB: microUSB v2.0, USB Host
Battery: Li-Po 3000 mAh battery


Dimensions: 143.3 x 71.9 x 8.8 mm (5.64 x 2.83 x 0.35 in)
Weight: 162 g (5.71 oz)
Size:         5.0 inches (~66.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density)
SIM:         Dual SIM 3G (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Platform OS: Android v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Chipset:         HiSilicon Kirin 620
CPU: Octa-core 1.2 GHz
Memory Card slot: MicroSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 8 GB, 2 GB RAM
Primary                 13 MP, 4208 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Secondary         5 MP, 720p
Connectivity: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth          v4.0, A2DP, EDR
GPS         Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
USB         microUSB v2.0, USB Host
Battery: Li-Ion 2550 mAh battery

The Honor 6 plus, Honor 4x and Honor 4c are now available in all Huawei Concept Stores and authorized distributors all over the country. The SRPs of Honor 6 plus, Honor 4x and Honor 4c are P17,490, P8,290 and P6,390 respectively. 

Honor, a bolder brand, equipped with a cutting edge features, Huawei is now brave to compete with the rest.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

WING STOP: Experience the Nine Great Flavors of Chicken Wings!

There are several restaurants I know serve “Buffalo Wings” as part of their menu. And I find them very tasteful too. But many of these restos serve it with 11-13 pieces per order. It’s quite plenty, because the wing parts were too small. 

Several years ago, there was Wing Hub, a resto that serves mostly Buffalo Chicken wings and it comes with several flavors and the Chicken parts were also in big sizes. My family and I visited Wing Hub several times, but was surprised to see it closed already. My kids felt bad because they love to eat chicken wings. 

Just a few weeks ago, I was invited to cover a launch of a resto in Glorietta Ayala mall, which specializes in Chicken wings. The place is called Wing Stop and it’s located outside Glorietta 2 beside Landmark. This chicken wing resto is a part of a 21 year old food enterprise that started in the US and has grown several branches in many parts of the world. In the Philippines, it has now seven stores and will increase soon to more branches in all the major parts of the country. 

Mr. Charlie Morrison, President and CEO of WingStop shares the secret of what makes their food so good to eat. First, the sizes of the wings are the biggest in the country. For most restos, they serve 11-13 pieces per order, but the with WingStop, it serves 6-8 pieces only because the wings are so big and you get more of the meat than the bones. These wings are carefully chosen to be of the best quality before they are prepared. 

WingStop are always cooked-per order, so you get freshly-cooked food every time. Approximately, the cooking time for the wings are 17 minutes and these wings are always fried to perfection. After which, they are dished in flavorful sauce covering every spot with crave-worthy flavors, so you need to be patient when you order them. 

As of the moment, Wingstop offers nine flavors of chicken wings and these are: Atomic, Cajun, Hot Buffalo, Louisiana Rub, Mild Buffalo, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Parmesan and Teryaki. Each flavors are braised with character that best matches every costumer’s preference and personality. But if you’re the adventurous type, your chicken wings crave can be challenged a little further by trying them all.

So, why don’t you rest your taste buds from the usual fast-food type of chicken dishes and try other ways fried chicken can be served. Get and taste all the nine flavors of Wingstop in their newly open branches; Glorietta 2, Makati, Eastwood Citywalk, University Citymall, Taft Avenue, Fairview Terraces, Starmall Prima in Taguig, Starmall Las Pinas, Estancia in Capitol Commons, and Greenhills Prominade.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Go Pro Earth: Earth day Run 2015


“The future of humanity is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we never get tired of telling people that Earth Day must be every day, everywhere, for everyone,” said Earth Day Network Philippines Chairman, Dr. Metodio Palaypay.  

Palaypay underscored the critical role of media in bringing out the message of earth care to the public when he addressed the press and bloggers last 31 March 2015 at Merrell Concept Store, Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City in a media briefing for Pro Earth Run 2015. In the end, he entreated the members of the press, “Into your hands, I commit Mother Earth.” 

Meanwhile, DENR Director for Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service Jesus Enrico Moises Salazar commended Earth Day Network Philippines for the environmental work it has been doing over the years. “While the result of your labor may not always be immediately felt, it will eventually yield something good for the country.” 

Earth Day Network Philippines is at the forefront of the annual worldwide April 22nd Earth Day Celebration. It actively engages the participation of people from government, corporate, religious, and academic institutions to rally together behind environmental protection, preservation, and promotion.  Now on its second year, Earth Day Network Philippines stages Pro Earth Run 2015 to encourage people to take active lead in protecting, respecting, and overseeing Earth care by running the race for Mother Earth. 

Earth Day Network Philippines' Chairman Dr. Metodio Palaypay

Happening on 25 April 2015, Saturday, 4:30AM, at the SM Mall Of Asia MOA Grounds in Pasay City, proceeds of the 3K/5K/10K advocacy run will fund the continuing projects and programs of Earth Day Network Philippines such as Watershed Restoration and Forest Conservation, Re-Charge Tacloban, Zero Basura Olympics, and Mini Carbon Olympics. 

Pro Earth Run 2015 tickets are available at SM Ticket counters nationwide until April 19 and at Merrell Concept Stores in SM North Edsa Annex, Trinoma, Festival Mall, and Market! Market! until April 15. Registration is until April 20 via www.earthdayphilippines.org.

Presented by Earth Day Network Philippines, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), United Parcel Services (UPS), and SM Cares, the Pro Earth Run 2015 is supported by Xend express, Official Courier Partner; The Medical City, Official Medical Partner; Greenlite Banner (The Reusable Banner), Official Printing Partner; Merrell, Official Shoe Sponsor; Maynilad, Official Hydration Partner; Canon; Timex, Official Timing Partner; Slimmers World, Official Fitness Partner; Gerry’s Grill and Uncle Cheffy, Food Sponsors; Kabayan Hotel, Air Asia, Rudy Project, and Integrated Waste Management Inc. 

Pro Earth Run 2015 is also supported by GMA7, GMA News TV, 97.9 Home Radio,106.7 Energy FM, 99.5 Play FM, Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, and out-of-home-media specialist, United Neon.  Details on Pro Earth Run 2015 are posted on www.facebook.com/ProEarthRunPH.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NISSAN Philippines Inc. finally brings GT Academy to the Filipino gamers

Last march 25, 2015, Nissan Philippines Inc. unveils the “POD” to every Filipino gamers who wish to level-up their virtual Gran Turismo (GT) prowess to reality through the GT Academy. Since its inception in 2008, the GT Academy in partnership with Sony Play Station has brought dozens of hard-core Gran Turismo gamers transformed into real professional race car drivers.

The collaboration was born from a wild idea that a virtual GT gamer has the potential to carry its virtual driving skills to the real world and conquer a real race tracks. As one auto-blooger have stated, “this idea can be either the stupidest or the most brilliant concept ever”. And for the past seven years, Nissan and GT Academy has proven several times over that this concept really worked. 

At the Philippine launch, Nissan and the GT Academy has brought one evidence of its success, Mr. Ricardo Sanchez, a Mexican GT gamer who won last year’s GT Academy competition and now  with the top racers of NISMO Team. Ricardo’s racing career took-off when he participated the most coveted racing event, the Dubai 24-hours race last January 2015. 

Now that GT Academy is now in the Philippines, do we think we have what it takes to be among the rosters of NISMO Race Car Drivers? Nissan Philippines and GT Academy are giving this chance to those who dream of evolving from the virtual game to become a real professional race car driver and compete in international races. 

Here’s how your dream can turn to a reality…

GT Academy Philippine Elimination Season:

GT Academy takes skilled Gran Turismo 6 players and turns them into professional racers in five stages.

First Gear: The Recruitment (April - June)

Thousands of hopefuls will be narrowed down to the top 20 gamers to be determined by time trials taking place behind the wheel of GT pods during live racing events.

Second Gear: National Finals (July)

The National Finals will determine top 6 Filipino players who will go to the next round and go bumper-to-bumper with the best Gran Turismo drivers in Asia.

Third Gear: The Race Camp Week (August)

Players will be tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and driving skills against Asia's best at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

Fourth Gear: Driver Development Program

The emerging GT Academy Champion in Asia will join other GT Academy winners in a rigorous training under the wing of professional coaches and racers at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

Fifth Gear: Graduation

After passing the Driver Development Program, graduates will receive their International C License, allowing them to compete in a prestigious racing event anywhere in the world.

"We are looking forward to discovering even more new stars in 2015. Anyone in the Philippines who thinks they have what it takes should give GT Academy a go. Not everyone can win, but the experience is hugely rewarding at every stage of the competition.” said GTA Global’s Managing Director Laurence Wiltshire.

For the schedule of live events and updates on the GT Academy Philippines, please visit www.facebook.com/NissanPhilippinesInc.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shakey’s Color Fun Run 2015

Shakey’s, an iconic pizza hub that has brought many Filipinos the experience of great times and great memories, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the Philippines. With over 150 stores in the country, the restaurant grew to be not just an ordinary pizza place, but a home enjoyed by Filipino families.

Before the run. All neat and shiny...

As part of the celebrations, Shakey’s came up with a colorful fun run which was participated not only by its staff and employees, but by the running community as well. As the running phenomenon in the country grows larger every year, the Shakey’s 5 kilometer color fun run didn’t go unnoticed by many runners. 

Last March 21, 2015, hundreds of runners gathered at the Shakey’s Raja Sulayman branch, which happens to be one of the first stores that opened in 1975. It also served as the starting line of the fun run where the executives of Shakey’s thanked all who have been supporting the brand all these years. This, they said, imbibes a nostalgic feeling, knowing that it is where all the “great times and great memories” began 40 years ago. 

As a seasoned runner, I don’t normally run short distances anymore. But since my wife was pretty excited to run 5km, (it’s the only distance, so far, she’s comfortable with) I accompanied her to the event. The event is a color fun run, so I knew that we will all come out to be “colorfully-dirty” at the finish line. Thankfully, the course was only along Roxas Boulevard so the road was paved and smooth, which was very nice to run barefoot on.  

Covering my nose from dust powder...

It was a good 5k run for me, though I was never a sprinter, I still finished it under 20 minutes. So glad also for Ruth who came 20 minutes after, achieving a new personal record (PR) for her 5k. What added to her joy was a finisher’s medal she got at the finish line. I was also happy for her because a week before, she also got a finisher’s medal at the 7-Eleven 1500 Run. 

After the run...Colorfuly-dirty! 

At the finish line, everyone was so exhausted, dirty, and colorful but really happy just running with friends. After the event, we were all treated with Shakey’s food, of course! Yummy! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reef Supports the Filipino Surfing Culture

Summer is indeed just around the corner, and everyone is gearing up and planning their own awesome summer vacations.  For those who are going to the beach…please, don’t tell me you’re going to Boracay again?! Try to be more adventurous this time and learn other stuff the vast ocean can offer. If open water diving can be a little too much for you to handle, why not try surfing?

The Philippines is composed of 7,100 islands and our eastern sea board, facing the Pacific Ocean, offers one the most beautiful waves in the world. Some of these beaches are not as far as you may think becauase it just takes a two to three hour drive from Manila to get to a thriving surfing area up north, which is San Juan, La Union. 

Beach bloggers...

Just a few decades ago, a Japanese tourist named Hiroshi Yokohama visited the place and discovered that it has great waves for surfing. He encouraged a few locals to learn and opened the first surfing school in San Juan, La Union. Today, the town is thriving with hotels, surf shops, and surfing school, offering surfing lessons every weekend, even during off season. So, if you think western dudes are the only people who can enjoy surfing, why not head on to La Union and try it out for yourself? 

Mr. Joey Ortega

Mr. Kenneth Cheng

Last March 18, 2015, Reef, a popular surfing apparel brand from the US, was officially launched at the Sands, SM By the Bay, in SM Mall of Asia. The Sands is the newest attraction of SM for Beach Volleyball and Beach “Ultimate” (Frisbie) games where players (and spectators) can enjoy the sports on fine white sands, giving everyone the feel of being on a real beach. 

At the Reef’s launch, media guests and friends were given Reef flip-flops so everyone can enjoy cocktails on the sand while reggae music, courtesy of Mr. Jay Ortega, pumped up the evening for everyone’s pleasure. After a while, the host, Ms. Mara Lopez Yokohama, an avid surfer herself and a native of La Union, introduced the fashion show of Reef’s brand models. These models tried their best maintaining a perfect cat walk on the sands to show off the newest collection of Reef’s footwears and surfing apparels. 

Ms. Mara Lopez Yokohama

New surfing collection from Reef...

After the fashion show, a video documentary was presented featuring surfing history in the Philippines and how the sport transformed the lives of people in San Juan, La Union. Dubbed as Surfing 7107, this documentary highlighted the beginnings of the Filipino surfing culture as told by some of its iconic personalities. The campaign is an initiative to promote surfing among Filipinos and hopes to develop more surfing destinations that are accessible for everyone. 

The pioneers...

Reef, as a surfing brand well-loved by suffers, has expressed its full support to this noble campaign and intends to replicate it in other surfing areas such as Pagudpod, Baler, Aurora Province, Daet, Camarines Norte, and Siargao, Surigao Del Sur. Presently, Surfing 7107 intends to put San Juan, La Union in the map as one of the best surfing destinations in the world. This campaign is also an avenue to encourage more Filipinos to explore more of the Philippines and finally try and learn the sport. 


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