Tuesday, August 23, 2016

GATORADE: Intensity has taken on a new look.

The world’s number one sports drink recently unleashed Gatorade Fierce—its latest product line-up composed of an exciting new flavor, Green Apple, bundled with the popular Tropical Fruit and Grape flavors.

“Fierce continues to pack the scientifically proven hydration benefits of Gatorade,” Pepsico Philippines Marketing Manager for Hydration Tony Atayde said. “The Fierce range is specially designed for intense athletes who know and love Gatorade but are looking for a bold, more intense flavor.”

Gatorade Fierce was earlier launched in the US with NBA star Paul George. For its local debut, PBA’s very own The Beast, Alaska Aces’ Calvin Abueva joins Gatorade’s growing roster of top caliber athletes and sports superstars. The former San Sebastian Stag and PBA Rookie of the Year is known for his all-around intensity on court which helped Alaska finish with the best cumulative record during the 2012-2013 season.

Atayde added, “Proper hydration is a fundamental part of winning and staying on top of your game. Our Gatorade Fierce line is an integral part of bringing a wide variety of flavor options to athletes all over the country that know, to rehydrate, replenish and refuel, NOTHING beats Gatorade.

Monday, August 22, 2016

UNICEF Heroes for Children Run 2016…

How important are the first 1,000 days in a child’s life?

According to Ms. Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF’s country representative, “For 70 years, UNICEF has worked to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and exclude children around the world. Despite the many gains, the lives and future of children are still in jeopardy. In the Philippines, one out of three children under age of five, suffers from chronic malnutrition – the effects of which can be permanent, irreversible and even fatal after two years of age. UNICEF believes every child should have a fair chance at life.” 

Coach Rio Dela Cruz, Ms. Lotta Sywander and Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF Brand Ambassador
That is why, for two consecutive years, UNICEF have pressed-on to its goals to address the prevailing malnutrition problem among children which started even before they are born, which includes in the first 1,000 days of a child. The First 1,000 Days Program covers the prenatal and early childhood interventions to prevent undernutrition, including quality care for mothers, proper nutrition and complementary feeding, and life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. 

According to UNICEF, everyday, 95 children die from malnutrition in the Philippines
Last year, there were around 3,000 runners participated in the UNICEF Heroes for Children Run and with the successful turn out, UNICEF raised the goal a notch higher to further strengthen the advocacy and more support will be raised to fund this noble cause. According to coach Rio Dela Cruz of Run Rio Inc, the official Race organizing Partner, all the proceeds of this event will go to UNICEF, so that more children will experience the fullness of life, a basic right many poor Filipino children often times misses out. 

Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF Brand Ambassador 
Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF brand ambassador for more than seven years, decided to elevate her involvement with the organization last year by starting the UNICEF Run for Heroes. The idea of coming out with a fun run for UNICEF was triggered by a deep compassion she experienced when she had a short visit with one of UINICEF assisted community in Tacloban, Leyte. 

21k Finishers shirt...
 During her short immersion, she witness how the mothers with their babies are being taken cared-off by health professionals. UNICEF made sure that pregnant mothers get their pre-natal check-ups and babies get vaccinated. These mothers are also given nutritious food, vitamins and minerals, and that health systems are in place so that these basic health services are administered effectively. In her time with them, Anne experienced a little R&R with the children in pre-school and spent time teaching kids in their school work. She even candidly mentioned that if she’s not a celebrity, being with these children and helping them is an occupation she wanted to do. 

Ruth Floresca of WriteBreathLive and Ms. Anne Curtis
Anne’s visit to Tacloban, even though short, moved her to launch a fundraising event, thus UNICEF Heroes for Children came to be. The organization in its 70th year in the Philippines have helped thousands of poor children all over the country. But there are thousands more who are deprived from the help they needed and there is so much work to be done. The UNICEF Heroes for Children Run hopes to raise more awareness and support so that these children in vulnerable stage received all the health and nutrition they needed to become productive citizens of this nation someday. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

RAK of AEGIS on its 5th comeback…

The Aegis Band, popularized by their iconic hit songs such as “Basang-basa sa Ulan, Halik, Bakit and many others, was given due recognition when PETA veterans Myk Salomon, Maribel Legarda and Liza Magtoto, thought of a brilliant idea to create a musical play using all the AEGIS songs, and that's how RAK of AEGIS came about.  RAK of AEGIS was a fitting title, patterned from the equally successful Broadway musical Rock of Ages that was even made into a motion picture (Starring Tom Cruise) a few years back.

Ruth and Noy - Aged, and still Rockin'...
This was over two years ago when it; first launched their debut performance which made this theater master piece an overnight success.  Now on its 5th comeback, RAK of AEGIS is storming once again the crowd with its exceptional spectacle of the Pinoy love story in the setting of Manila’s marginalized informal settlers surrounded by its typical environment of garbage and flooding. The plots and story lines were creatively sync to the music and songs of the AEGIS band.

My son, Gab...
I consider myself to be musically inclined and I really do appreciate good music that matched my taste and style. However, the AEGIS songs, as much as these are very popular among pinoys, is not the kind I would spare some money to buy their CDs. But the popularity of it resonates all over and crosses all classes and the lyrics and style speaks to the very culture of the pinoys.
Gab with Ms. Sweet Plantado as "Mary Jane"
About a month ago, for the first time, I was able to watch RAK of AEGIS. It was a special screening that gave recognition to CONVERSE Shoes, which happens to be the casts’ official shoe apparel costume. This makes a lot of sense because the shoe brand practically represents the image of the general public, and this too, crosses all social classes.

Gab with Ms. Alisah Bonaobra as "Aileen"
The characters in the story are the typical everyday people, struggling to survive the life in a flooded slum area. The story describes the distinctive characteristic of Filipino complacency in facing problems. These people are the ones who would choose endure the discomfort of the obstacles rather than solving it. Instead of finding lasting solutions, they settle for quick-bucks and short-lived fames, in the expense of the vulnerable.

Gab with Mr. Pepe Herrera as "Tolits"
However, in spite of their pathetic attitudes, love and genuine concern for each other abounds in the story. Values of perseverance are also impressed, reflected by the characters who showed exemplary talents with much confidence that what they have can bring them better lives in the future. It also highlights values of being true to one self, and learning to see and appreciate the “good-nature” in people who are often neglected. This proves that often times, life’s wisdom can be found in the most simplest of things.

Gab with Mr. Jimi Marquez as "Jewel"
After watching the play, I can say that I’m now a convert and I admit that I, too had an episode of LSS of the song “Basang-basa Sa Ulan”, as my family and I went home. For those who haven’t watch it yet, you still have until August 28, 2016. The Show runs Tuesdays to Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays to Sundays 3:00pm and 8:00pm at the PETA Theater Center. 
Gab with Mr. OJ Mariano as "Kiel"
For tickets go to ticketworld.com.ph or call 891-9999 or you can contact PETA at 725-6244 or email them at petatheater@gmail.com.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beeffalo by Hot Rocks in Antipolo…

Have you been to Beeffalo Marikina, lately? Almost two years ago, my wife and I had a gastronomical experience when we were first introduced to the owners Louie Abad, his wife Girlie, and their long time friend and business partner, Caren Diaz who welcomed us to their restaurant. The dishes were spectacular, most especially the grilled ones which were cooked outdoors.

It was our first time to visit that part of Marikina which used to be remote and isolated. Today, that part of the city where there were very few establishments, is now a bustling avenue of resto bars, boutiques, and restaurants. Now, who would know that this remote place would soon be an area full of life? 

After a few years of operation in Marikina, The Hot Rocks visionaries ventured and introduced Beeffalo on the other side of town in Antipolo. Many of the diners are part of the same crowd who frequented the Marikina branch and have been loyal since. After only a few months of operation, the Antipolo branch instantly captured the preference of foodies from all over.

My wife and I, who are likewise big fans of Beeffalo food, visited the Antipolo branch a few weeks ago to once more experience the food which we missed so much (because we live quite far). We checked the menu and we were delighted to see new dishes added. 

Broccoli Soup - P120
We had a bowl of soup as introduction and started with the Broccoli Cheese variant, which is thick and very flavorful. The soup was not so smoothly refined, which I found to be good because you can actually feel the small bits of Broccoli which goes well with cream cheese. This dish comes with garlic toasted bread. When you visit, you may also try their equally delicious Roasted Pumpkin soup. 

Garlic and Mushroom Pizza - P195
I tasted a different pizza flavor before at Beeffalo Marikina and tried the Garlic and Mushroom Pizza this time. It may not be their signature dish, but it will surely make an impression once you experience it. The mushrooms are yummy and the mozzarella cheese taste so great. The size is good for three people and for P195, this pizza is definitely a sure winner and value for money. 

Baby Back Ribs - P765
But what made me travel from Alabang to Antipolo is one of Beefalo's signature dishes: their famous Baby Back Ribs! Painstakingly marinated with special herbs and spices (according to Louie who says the same thing about all their dishes he doesn't know all the ingredients of hahaha) for 48 hours, then oven baked to perfection, and after which is smothered with Beeffalo's signature rib sauce. This is also available in single serving with Java Rice for only P285.

Beeffalo Porter House Steak (250g) P395
The next dish, my wife's favorite, is a Tagaytay beef half-inch porterhouse steak. Cooked in a medium rare consistency, you get the best of the beef with its juice. This one is served with mashed potatoes, fresh veggies plus special dip mixed in, as Louie would always say ... Special Herbs and Spices. The steak is so flavorful and tender. Take note, it's not Angus ... its BatAngus beef! 

Sizzling Beef in Tamarind Gravy - P330
We also tasted for the very first time, Beeffalo's Sizzling Beef in Tamarind Gravy that is actually a deconstructed Beef Sinigang, minus the sabaw (soup). This is really out of the ordinary and certainly something Filipino sinigang-lovers should try. It tastes exactly like Sinigang in Tamarind but with sour gravy instead of soup. I'm sure this one will be another Beeffalo hit soon. 

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup - P225
Chicken Wings in two variants; Regular spice and Hot and Spicy - P195
Cheese Steak Sandwich  - P245
If the beef and ribs are too much for you, you may want to try their dishes catered for the light to heavy snackers. The Three-Cheese Sandwich is something you'd want to eat in between meals. It is served  with warm tomato soup. If you're not a fan of beef or pork, but prefer chicken instead, you can try Beeffalo's chicken wings with mashed potato on the side. If the Porterhouse steak is too much, go for Beeffalo's Cheese Steak Sandwich with special cheese dressing and french fries. 

Gabi Ice cream...
 Of course, a perfect lunch would not be complete without dessert. The Gabi Ice cream is certainly an exceptional one. This vanilla ice cream with the flavor of gabi rootcrop is definitely a must try! 

Aside from the delicious food we just had, the "after-lunch" fellowship and story sharing was extended. With the awesome food Beeffalo serves, truly, there are a lot of things to talk about. The owners are on high gear of bringing more to the restaurant. For one, the Marikina branch is currently under renovation but is still Business As Usual. The Hot Rocks group is also eyeing to put up a potential branch in the south of Metro Manila, soon!  

Beeffalo Marikina is located at Gil Fernando Avenue Marikina City while Beefalo Antipolo is at M.L. Quezon Avenue, in front of Antipolo Doctors Hospital. For inquiries, you may reach them at Tel. 534-1160 or Mobile 0939113077.

Friday, August 5, 2016

WeatherPhilippines: Empowering Filipinos for a #WeatherWiserNation

Last year, I was introduced to a group called WeatherPhilippines Foundation (WPF). I was invited by this group to attend a forum composed of bloggers and social media influencers to be immersed on what the foundation is all about, and how it complements the weather information dissemination of our current national weather bureau – PAGASA.  For those who missed reading that, here is the link. And for those who have not time to read it, let me just share a short context about what WPF is. 

My first engagement with WPF last year at Anvia Cove, Bataan
WeatherPhilippines is a non-profit organization initiated by Aboitiz Foundation, Union Bank, and the MeteoGroup, which provides a premier weather sensing and forecasting system through satellite weather stations mounted in strategic locations across the country. These state-of-the-art weather equipment deliver more localized and accurate data which can be access through a mobile (free) app or via the WPF website, www.weather.com.ph . 

WPF's #weatherwiser Social Media conference at Robinson's Summit Hotel at Cebu

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific draws country's hottest celebs...

There is a big difference how celebrities in Hollywood maintain their young attractive physique between celebrities here in the Philippines. US celebs spend tons of money on surgeries and chemical agents to give an instant sculpted bodies so that they'll look good parading their looks at the Red Carpet in their Oscar's evening gowns. However, Pinoy celebs do it the hard way by beating their ass down in gyms, swimming pools and cycling routes, not just to look good but to qualify for the next Ironman 70.3 competition. 

Launching of Asia Pacific Cobra Ironman 70.3, at Shangri-La, Makati...
This coming August 7, 2016, celebrity fans will cheer on to their favorite celebs not for a rendering cover of a popular song but for their performance in the up coming Asia Pacific Cobra Energy Drink 70.3 Ironman triathlon competition. As these triathletes race along the shores and roads of Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Talisay, Cebu you'll be witnessing celebrities like Kim Atineza, Dingdong Dantes, Piolo Pascual, Mateo Gudicelli and many others compete among the toughest triathletes not just here in the country but from around the globe. 

Mateo Gucelli, Mrr. Wilfred Uytengsu with representatives of sponsors; Cobra, Ford, Globe, Cebu Provincial Administrator...
 July 7, 2016 Manila Philippines – close to 3,000 participants from 43 countries, led by very strong line up of pros will converge in Cebu on August 7, 2016 for the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships presented by Ford at Shanri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. Title holders Tim Reed and Caroline Steffen will banner a world class field of 35 professional tirathletes that will also feature 2,869 equally determined competitors in the Filipino elite, CEOs, age group and relay divisions. 

Mr. Fred Uytengsu, President and Founder of Sunrise Events Inc.
Excitement for the prestigious event has been high since it was first announce that Cebu will be hosting the 2016 Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship event. The event sold out 2,900 slots in 28 minutes when registration opened in October 2015. Produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and backed by Cobra Energy Drink as title sponsor, the tournament will offer the biggest prize money ever in the Philippines at $75,000 and the highest points earned. 

Atty. Mark Tolentino, Provincial Administrator, Cebu
“We truly honored to be chosen as the host for the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship, marking the first time that this elite is held in Asia, outside of Australia and New Zealand, said SEI president Wilfred Uytengsu Jr. 

“On its 5th year in Cebu, the province will be ready to welcome all the participants and their families with the traditional Cebuano warmth and festivities. “ Atty. Mark Tolentino, Provincial Administrator of the Province of Cebu. 

Mr. Kenneth Cobonpue...
At the same time, 50 slots to the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee will be up for grabs, giving participants extra motivation to vie for top honors. But for those who will target just to finish it, finishers will awestruck with the Finisher's Medal designed by no other than Mr. Kenneth Co-bon-pue. 
Truly, more and more pinoys are engaging into the fitness lifestyles. Not just because we want to look good in our instagram pics but also test ourselves enduring our daily obstacles and other "show business" gigs along the way. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cebu Pacific and UNICEF unite to CHANGE for GOOD…

Last June 16, 2016, Cebu Pacific and UNICEF launched the Change for Good campaign. Basically, it is a resource development drive to fund UNICEF’s program 1,000 Days Health and Nutrition program. This program focuses on the health of the first 1,000 days of children which is critical to their optimum growth during childhood stage. The idea is for the flight crews to appeal to the passengers to donate and collect whatever change they have in their pockets regardless of currencies. These loose change will be pooled together to be given to UNICEF.

Launching of Cabu Pacific-UNICEF Change for Good Campaign at Crown Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig City...
For me, I think this is a great way to expand UNICEF’s potential market.  When I was with World Vision, I thought of a concept similar to this one. I proposed a project to insert a leaflet brochures to be inserted on PAL’s Mabuhay Magazines and it will reinforced by an appeal coming from the flight crews. These leaflets are the kinds where I donor can fill-up if he or she desires to sponsor a child. Unfortunately, this project didn’t materialized because PAL’s corporate social responsibility thrust was not focused on children’s education at that time. Plus the company was preoccupied by the tension coming from issues of transition of ownership of PAL from Lucio Tan to Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation. 

Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF Ambassador
Last week, my wife and I were invited to attend a two day media event in Cebu by Weather Philippines Foundation – WPF via Cebu Pacific. The 10 years of experience in fundraising for World Vision before prompted my curiosity to really observe how Cebu Pacific execute the fundraising appeal. So, after the snack offering rolled off, a flight attendant delivered a quick intro about the appeal and another flight crew pass through along the isle collecting loose change from passengers.

Other than the usual delays brought about by NAIA's air traffic congestion, the flight was relatively great! :)
It was a quick run and it’s good that there are people who responded. However, I noticed that the presentation of the campaign was read once and in a haste, with minimal emotion. It was delivered much like the way they read the routine Civil Aeronautics and Aviation Board safety protocols and guidelines which many don’t pay attention to.  And also, it was not mentioned that any currency can be donated. For me, it would be a good idea to say it because there are foreign tourists on-board with foreign currency which is relatively higher in value. Since it was a quick appeal, many passengers seated at the farther end were not able to grasp what the donation bag being pass around is all about. And some who did get it reacted a little too late thereby missing the flight attendant’s passing. In short, the appeal was not as engaging as I expected it to be.

Mr. "Pure Energy" Gary Valenciano, rendering songs at the launch...
Cebu Pacific, which marked its 20th year of operations this year, chose UNICEF’s First 1,000 days Health and Nutrition Program as the beneficiary of its change for good partnership. The first 1,000 days of a child are crucial to physical and mental growth and is the foundation of the child’s ability to grow and learn and earn later in life.

Ms. Anne Curtis, Mr. Lance Gokongwei, CEO CEB, Ms. Lotta Sylvander, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative with Cebu Pacific Flight Attendants
to learn more about UNICEF's First 1,000 Days Health and Nutrition program and ways how you can help, You can log on to www.unicef.org/Philippines or visit their FB fan page at   https://www.facebook.com/unicefphilippines


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