Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SMB 7,107 Celebrations

The Philippines as an Asian country is noted to have countless festivities that are being celebrated in its 7, 107 beautiful islands. We, Filipinos, have always something to celebrate for despite having hundreds of calamities that our country receives every year, not to mention the man made ones like, peace and order, social unrest and political instability, somehow, we seemed to find it easier to see silver linings in the midst of all these. Of all the rich culture that our heritage has, the culture of hopefulness is one that is strong, a trait that is common in all of us Filipinos around the world.

There are thousands of fiestas that are being celebrated in our country all throughout the year and are gaining popularity among local and foreign visitors. The SMB 7,107 Celebrations is a one of a kind website that features all the festivals that are happening in our country and the thousands of ways of celebrating them.

The SMB 7,107 Celebrations allows you to explore not just great places but also activities that fit your idea of a fun-filled adventure. A member who is registered in the site can customize a personal itinerary according to their preferred schedules.

The Event page of the site is all about party schedules, if you plan to mingle with the friendly locals. It also shows some trivial information about particular festivities, its historical background and the distinct culture of the region. The page also provides a comment section where visitors can interactively share their past fun experiences about the place using the special faceBook comment box.

The Things to Do page is an ideal guide on the best activities where one can venture out. It feature select menu suggestions on the type of activity to enjoy, like water sports, outdoor adventures, arts and culture and shopping for local delis and artifacts.

Celebrating in favorite places won’t be complete without SMB to enjoy with friends. The Beer Locator is a page where it will guide a visitor to places where one can find and enjoy ice cold SMB and other San Miguel products. It also shows joints where a visitor can enjoy local delectable cuisines with comprehensive map and directions on how to get there.

Visiting these festivities would be more fun if you get more of your money’s worth. The site offers a feature that gives an up to date promos form business establishments that are currently offering. Know the bars that offers best deals in SMB products, joints that offers ladies night’s discounts, etc.

But wait, there’s more…

 A special feature of the SMB 7,107 Celebrations allows the user to check on some very useful tips to enjoy the food in restaurants, on how to keep beer chilled and some other nice to know infos that might come in handy on a regular basis. So whether a tourist is foreign or local, the SMB 7,107 Celebration website is where you can get an over view of all the things you want to enjoy in the Philippines, its people and its Festivities. 

 As an old saying goes… 

"Celebrating the Fiestas in the Philippines is a crash course of learning the Islands, the rich Filipino culture, the people and most importantly, how they still afford to smile and drink SMB with friends under all circumstances." 

Note: Photos courtesy of SMB 7,107 Celebration FB Page

Visit: www.smb7, 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Soderno: The Ultimate Tasting Test

All the big names in the food and resto realm started out small. Even the people who made them were mostly started as “non-chef” but simply ordinary people with different backgrounds who just love to make good food.

Soderno Food Market, is a gathering of these simple food makers who aspires to be in the big league someday. It was set up at the open area of Molito Complex, at Ayala Alabang Village entrance. Together with food critics, food bloggers and people who just love to try different types of food visited the event that showcased some of the best treats that could certainly get a niche in the Filipino taste.

Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to get to experience to taste all these food samples and be a food critic for a day. There about 30 food stalls where all the people/guests must try a sample of their creations in small appropriate portions. The food choices vary from the regular street foods like “Isaw” and deep fried chicken skin to Pizza, Lechon, Liempo and Paella.

The night was young so I started to taste lighter ones like the Isaw, Chicken skins and BBQ. The BBQ’s sauce was good but the meat was not as tender as I expected. The Isaw was not as good either. May if it was newly cooked as in fresh from the grill, it would make a lot of difference. The best way to eat street foods is to eat it while is still hot. The thing about chicken intestines, it’s like squid. If you over cooked, it will be a little chewy. If you stale it, it will not taste good.

There some food choices that really made a marked like the goat latte of SJB LIBERICA ENT., the FRISH LIQUR ICE CREAM, DADSMOMS CHICKEN and NINAS GRILL. I also liked the “empanada” by MAMA LOU’S ITALIAN KITCHEN, and the small Pzzas. The Chicken skin was also crunchy and tasteful to me. I never really pastries but I enjoyed the taste of BAMBI’S HOUSE OF DESSERTS and BAKED BITES by ABC.

Balamban Liempo was good but it doesn’t come close to the Liempo I really like up to this day – the Botoy’s liempo of Cagayan de Oro. I also love to taste again the Chicken Sandwich and JAM FOODS TAPA.

After a few rounds of these delectable dishes, I went to taste bite sizes of Holland Hopia and Fresh Lumpia. Got a couple cups of Thai coffee which was also good. And the grand finally was a few shots of a really good cocktail mix, Bacardi Soda water , crushed lime and cherry on the rocks. And that culminated my night of good food and of course, drinks. 

Colt 45: The only Strong Beer in the market that carries Triple Hops

Since I’ve started running and generally adapted into a healthier lifestyle change, drinking alcoholic beverages comes only on the rarest occasions. But admittedly, many years back, I use to drink a lot but not anymore.

A few weeks back, I had the chance to not only drink beer for free but also visit one of the most sophisticated beer breweries in South East Asia, the Asia Brewery Plant in Cabuyao, Laguna. This Plant is said to produce 4 million hectoliters of beer per year. I’m not really sure how much a hectoliter is, but I’m pretty sure it’s huge.

The plant visit was initiated by people of Asia Brewery for media to get the first hand taste of knowing how beers are made, more particularly the Colt 45 Extra Strong Beer. To date, Colt 45 is the strongest among the strong beers in the market, containing 7.6 % of alcohol.

More than its strength, what makes Colt 45 special is the taste and aroma it gives. Before we tour the plant with all those enormous tanks that holds the beer inside, Mr. Bob Ilagan, Plant Manager of Asia Brewery gave us a short lecture on the brewing process of beer. In the lecture, we were surprised that it would actually take approximately 21 days to finish brewing a beer to perfection. Among the ingredients like the malt, water, yeast and adjunct, the Hops are what matters the most.

Colt 45 is the only strong beer that holds triple hops while other competitors hold only two. The hops of Colt 45 are “nugget”, “magnum” and Halertou which is the most special and most expensive type of hops available. At the lecture, we even had the opportunity of tasting the raw hops and raw barley cereals. After the short lecture on brewing beers, we had the chance to taste the un pasteurized Colt 45, fresh from the tank and chilled to perfection. As for me who rarely drinks, the taste of it was so fantastic. I tried to control my crave because the day was still early and we haven’t toured the plant yet.

 Barely Seeds...

Colt 45 in its truest form. Unpasteurized straight form the brewing tank...

We visited several warehouses where the tanks filled with raw beer were being processed. Every day, dozens of trucks came in and out of the plant to deliver beers all over the country and abroad. And every day more trucks came in to stack the raw materials needed to make them. Most of these raw materials are imported because we don’t grow them here locally. In order to get the best raw materials, the temperature should be précised or else you don’t get the best quality to make beer taste good.

Brewing tank...

After the tour, we boarded the Asia Brewery Bus to Manila. Even the Bus was unique because it s the actually the transport service of the Philippine Azcals Football team. It has all the amenities to make the travel to be as comfy. It has a built in Bar and wide screen entertainment system. Having a few drinks , there is nothing like racking yourself on reclining seats with 40 inch wide screen TV, watching “Battle Ship” while all of us doze off to a blissful trip back home. 

 Bus with built in bar...

We road the Philippine Azcals Tour Bus...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Be Crowned as King and Queen of KOTR and represent the Philippines in the up coming KOTR Southeast Asia Championship in Singapore! 

Manila, Philippines – Now on its 14th year, adidas invites runners from all over to join this year’s adidas ‘King of the Road’ (KOTR) on September 30 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

This year’s race will have three categories – 5K, 10K and 16.8K. For the 16.8K distance, there are two sub categories – the ‘Closed’ category for Filipino nationals and the ‘Open’ category for all nationalities. The top male and female winners from the 16.8km Closed category will be hailed as the Philippines’ ‘King and Queen’ of the Road and will qualify for an all-expense paid trip to Singapore on October 28 to compete in the adidas KOTR Southeast Asia Championship.

“The adidas King of the Road is a platform that allows runners to achieve their personal best. As a global leader, adidas continuously provides top of the line products, technology, and events that support runners to be the best they can be,” says Jason Gervasio, adidas Brand Communications and Sports Marketing Manager.

Demonstrating the brand’s exceptional commitment to the sport, the first adidas KOTR Southeast Asia Championship, held last year, unified runners from all around the region. The event had participants from the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia all competing in a bid to be crowned as the adidas SEA 'King of the Road'. The Philippines was chosen as the first country to host the culminating activity of the Southeast Asian championship race in October 2011. Similar to last year’s KOTR, multi-color adidas singlets will display the vibrancy of running as a sport across the region.

Continuing the tradition of pushing people to achieve their personal breakthroughs, the global brand brings the KOTR SEA Championship Year 2 to Singapore. The race will begin and end in the lion city's newest iconic landmark – the Gardens by the Bay. Around 12,000 runners are expected to participate as adidas aims to gather the best of the best from five countries to run by Singapore's newest 100-hectare park.

To join the race:

• Register online for the adidas King of the Road 2012 from July 25 to September 15 ( or

• Visit any of the 5 KOTR registration sites from July 25 to September 23: adidas Megamall, adidas Rockwell, adidas SM Mall of Asia, adidas Trinoma, and adidas Greenbelt. Registration sites are open 7 days a week from 12NN to 8PM.

Race fees are as follows: Php 1,050.00 for 5km and 10km; Php 1,300.00 for 16.8km. For news and updates on KOTR, visit the adidas Philippines Facebook fanpage (

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Figaro Coffee: Four new exciting cool treats with Avalanche of flavors

There are four great reasons to visit FIGARO even in this wacky rainy season. Fresh from the brewing kitchen counter of Figaro are four exceptional coffee mix that is quite unique and only Figaro can deliver. The FIGAROCCINO CARAMEL CHIPS, WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCA FROST, FIGARO COOKIE CRUMBLE and CHOCO CHIPS JAVA FROST.

Last July 25, 2012, I and together with some food bloggers went to visit Figaro Shangri-la Plaza Mall to get the first hand experience of tasting these new cool treats from Figaro. Before the debut presentation, the café served us some of its regular meal dishes for our dinner.

 Chicken strips with BBQ sauce and Java rice...

 Cream dory fillet with pesto paste and mix vegetables...

A quarter of the actual serving sizes was served to everyone just to have enough for tasting. The first one to arrive was the WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCA FROST. It is a coffee shake with white chocolate and milk with whip-cream on top. Perfect for those who love white chocolate and less on the bitter taste of coffee.

The FIGAROCCINO COOKIE CRUMBLE is a coffee mix blend with milk mixed with crushed Oreo cookie and thick whip cream on top with a dash of powered Oreo cookie. Much like the Sundae Oreo flavor of McDonald’s long time ago, but only better because it has coffee.

The CHOCO CHIPS JAVA FROST is a coffee-choco blend with real chocolate chips and whip cream on top. For those who wanted more chocolate flavors, this one is for you. By the way, the mini-kisses like chips on top are dark-chocolate ones, so it a little bit bitter in taste.

The FIGAROCCINO CARAMEL CHIPS is a coffee blend of milk and chocolate with caramel powder and whip cream on top. A much sweeter version of the Figaroccino Cookie Crumble.

Of course, these four new Avalanche flavors of Figaro are best served with great tasting pastries and cakes where Figaro also make. Two of its fine tasting cakes are the Fiagaro’s Carrot Cake and Orange Coffee cake. The cakes are glazed with Orange white frosting and Carrot design. The cakes are a bit sweeter and spongy but it also matches the bitter sweet taste of coffee at Figaro. These cakes are priced at P105 per slice.

 Carrot Cake...

Orange coffee cake...

In tandem with the arrival of these new flavorful cool drinks are four new branches that opened recently are Figaro Mlate, Figaro Tarlac, Figaro Malolos and Figaro Malaysia. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee: An Italian Espresso Experience

Segafredo Zanetti, a world leading espresso coffee producing company opens its door to another branch in Bonifacio Global City. With its four unique brands, this Italian Coffee empire has created 37 companies with more than 100,000 clients worldwide. The Philippines is no exception as far as sharing the distinct flavor Segarfredo Zanetti can offer to the equally discriminating Filipino coffee drinkers.

Liberty Ventures, Inc is the proud franchisee of Segafredo Zanetti Espresso Bar in the Philippines, with distribution rights of all products of Mossimo Zanetti Beverage Group, including Segafredo Zanetti Espresso Beans and the machines that makes them, the La San Marco.

Last July 20, a group of food bloggers and media were invited to the opening of its branch at the Bonifacio Global City where we were treated to an afternoon coffee appreciation experience, the Italian Style.

The mission of Segafredo is to serve the best tasting espresso with a mix of the best coffee grains in the world. They have concocted coffee grains of the best three coffee grain producers in the world, Brazil, Cost Rica and Peru. They have developed the right blend combination of these grains that makes the espresso extra special and that is quite distinct from other espresso.

Coffee grains of course is just half of the rich experience and what makes it complete is the coffee machine that makes them so that is why, Segafredo Zanetti also makes the best machines which is the La San Marco to have a total control of making the best espresso. The Segafredo Zanetti Machines are not limited to their coffee shops and the company wanted their coffee drinkers experience Segafredo right in the comfort of their homes, that is why they have created espresso machines for home applications.

Experience the brewing process Segafredo with just a few press of buttons and create the best espresso just like one made by their high trained baristas. The new SZ 01 capsule machine is designed and made entirely in Italy. It is the closest capsule solution to replicate a professional espresso machine.

This amazing coffee machine features touch key pad with two litters enlightened and see through water tank that can serve more 20 cups of coffee serving. It holds two separate boilers, one for coffee and one for steam and water. This machine is so compact that it only weighs 10 kilograms. There is also an additional system unit that allows you to serve an excellent espresso any time.

At the launching I was so fortunate to experience a short stint of being a barista with the close supervision of Mr. Ilija Naumovski, Supervisor of Asian Operation and Grand Chief Barista and Advisor in Japan Asia Group. I never thought espresso brewing would this be so difficult but the experience was fantastico!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Australian alumni to fund World Vision children's scholarships through nationwide fun run


A simultaneous fun run will take place on 11 August 2012 in some ten cities nationwide as the Philippine Australian Alumni Association (PA3i) aims to raise P800,000 of proceeds to fund the education of 30 kids under the World Vision Child Sponsorship Program.

Dubbed as 'PaaralRun: Race for a Brighter Future', PA3i National President Mr Arvin Yana said that the main activity in Manila will not only fund the scholarships of poor elementary students but also serve as a platform for Australian education to be showcased to Filipinos. Three universities - the University of Melbourne, Charles Darwin University, and University of Newcastle- are co-sponsoring the event and will mount exhibits on study opportunities including scholarships at the venue.

"The advocacy for educating indigent children is something that PA3i and the World Vision share, and we invite interested Filipinos, Australia-trained or not, to have fun running with us while sharing and contributing to that vision," Mr Yana said.

Supported by AusAID Manila, the benefit run will be attended by Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell and local celebrities. It will be held at the at the Vicente Sotto St. (in front of PICC) CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Run categories are 3k, 5k and 10k, and registration fees range from P500 to P1000. While the main event is at the CCP Complex, it will be held simulataneously by the PA3i chapters in Baguio City, Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, Cotabato City, Davao City, Iligan City, Los Banos, and Tagbilaran City. Registration details for different cities including prizes can be found on the event website - Registration has been extended up to August 8. 

World Vision is an international child-focused, relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities worldwide to overcome poverty and injustice. It has been working in the Philippines since 1957 to uplift the lives of children in some of the country’s poorest provinces.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Run for Light 2012

Last July 21, I ran a 10 kilometer distance at Run for Light, sponsored and organized by Stiftung Solar Energie Foundation. This German-based NGO aims to help communities in regions in the country that lives in areas where there is no electricity. The foundation provides solar energy lamps for families in poor communities to see better during night time.

It was a rainy Saturday morning at the BGC but still, hundreds of people swarm the areas of the Mind Museum along 28th Street. As we are about to set off, the rain fell hard but all of us was so fired-up to run in the rain. I was also excited because it was my first time to run in the rain barefoot.

At first it was a bit cold but after a while it was exhilarating. I never thought running barefoot never felt so great. After the six kilometer mark, as most of the runners started to slow down because of the added weight of their shoe due to water absorption, my pace was so constant. When never I felt thirsty just look up and open my mouth to catch the rain and I’m good to go, so I didn’t bother stopping by for hydration.

In the eight six kilometer mark, I spotted Kim Attienza, who is an accomplished triathlete. I passed by him and waived. One advantage of running in the rain is you are not exhausted easily and you are always cooled down. I was also surprised that my soles of my feet were not as tender as I expected. This only proves that the body can adapt to whatever environment it exposed to. Even after the eight kilometer mark, I never felt any soreness only the usual running fatigue I felt in my quads and calves which was very manageable.

At the last kilometer stretch, the rain even poured harder. I felt a runner is trying to overtake me in the last three kilometers. I never bothered to look back and check his or her identity but I used that effort of the runner to go even faster and prevent him to catch up on me. Somehow, this opportunity gives me the chance to drive my game a little higher, so I pushed harder. I few yards up a head were the last hydration station. I was holding myself not to stop because the runner behind me will surely catch up on me easily, but that last burst of acceleration was an exhausting one, so I gave in and grab a few gulps of water.

True enough, that runner sprinted away just as I expected. And I the runner was a “she” after all. After the quick hydration I gave all my effort to catch up on her. At the time when I’ about to get nearer, she would go faster, then I would go catch her again, but my effort was futile. She crossed the finish line a few seconds behind me.

At the assembly are I was able to get a chance to acquaint myself with her. She's Ms. Kimberly Williams, a foreigner,and I often see her in the past races I’ve been to. Through our conversation, that’s where I discovered that we shared the same thoughts in the last three kilometer as we tried to outrun each other. Her drive was: “I will never let this barefoot runner beat me”. In the last stretch, she was praying that I would stop to hydrate because that would give her the window to beat me and she did.

I lost to Kimberly that day but it was a great run for me because that “push” brought me a new personal record of 47minutes and 43 seconds for 10k.

Note: Photos courtesy of the Candy Factory


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