Monday, February 19, 2018

Cole Haan Introduces the 2.ZERØGRAND with Stitchlite™ in the Philippines

Cole Haan, the iconic American lifestyle brand and retailer of premium men’s and women’s footwear and accessories, is pleased to announce the lightweight and extraordinary 2.ZERØGRAND with Stitchlite™ Spring 2018 collection.

With spring on the horizon, Cole Haan is introducing innovative Stitchlite technology across a range of products that suit men and women alike. The 2.ZERØGRAND with Stitchlite collection is a remarkably lightweight, breathable, and cushioned take on the standard oxford. The stitch design promotes airflow and cooling, while the Grand.ØS energy foam delivers targeted cushioning. In the Spring 18 Campaign, the men’s and women’s 2.ZERØGRAND with Stitchlite™ Oxfords float effortlessly in the air as rays of colored light shine through the open stitch. The light-infused bright colors, coupled with the this next-level iteration of Stitchlite technology, results in an uplifting, energizing visual expression that’s perfect for 2018.

Additionally, the Spring 2018 collection also features the GRANDPRØ Tennis Sneaker with Stitchlite™. This sneaker eliminated all of the unnecessary weight of traditional court shoes without sacrificing the Grand.ØS principles of flexibility, cushioning, and ergonomics. The GRANDPRØ Tennis Sneaker with Stitchlite is a shockingly light shoe you have to feel to believe.

The Men’s GRANDPRØ with Stitchlite™ Running Sneaker features stitching that delivers dramatic advancements in lightness and breathability. Grand.ØS innovation grips and comforts every bold step and stride.

Featuring a design that promotes airflow, the 2.ZERØGRAND Ballet with Stitchlite™ breathe deep and keep cool. The signature Grand.ØS energy foam footbed provides next-level cushioning.

Thoughtfully lightweight and cushioned, the Women’s GRANDPRØ Spectator Slip-On Sneaker makes it easy to go the distance. With the Grand.ØS rubber outsole and woven suede upper in leather trim, the sneaker is built to comfort your every move.

To learn more about the Spring 2018 collection, visit Cole Haan stores in the below locations:

Level 1, Ayala Malls Vertis North, North Avenue, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
Upper Ground Floor, Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Ground Level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City
3rd Level, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City
Ground Level, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
Ground Floor, S Maison, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Upper Ground Floor, SM City San Lazaro, Felix Huertas Street corner Lacson Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila
Ground Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, #30 Meralco Avenue, Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City

Level 1, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City

Kris Aquino finds her #forEverBilena

Ever Bilena, the country’s no. 1 color cosmetics retail company recently welcomed the “Queen of All Media” Kris Aquino to its growing family.

Dioceldo Sy, CEO and president of Ever Bilena and Ms. Kris Aquino

“We are so excited that Kris is with us. Ever Bilena’s success is built on credibility, and this is what our newest ambassador brings,” said Ever Bilena CEO Dioceldo Sy during their contract signing at the EDSA Shangri-La.
Over the years, the brand has evolved along with its growing market by providing fresh and trendy color cosmetics to women of different lifestyles. “We are proud for being the leader in Filipino-brand cosmetics,” Sy said.

He added that Ever Bilena is facing a new generation.  “Make-up trends change so quickly because of social media. We welcome this challenge with innovative products for everyone who wants to be beautiful and confident.”

As the newest ambassador for the cosmetics brand, Kris is all set to launch her own innovative make-up kit called the “Kris Life Kit” which include powders, lipsticks, and eyebrow products. She will do several makeup videos on social media.

“Looking good is no longer a luxury,” said Sy. “Our products are affordable, but known to be of high quality and trusted by generations. It’s very hard to earn credibility, which should always be the foundation and capital of any business.”

For more information, visit

Century Tuna Superbods Ageless 2018 go-see events held in Cebu and Manila

Over the past few weeks Century Tuna’s Superbods Ageless campaign for 2018 has gained lots of attention. It seems that the fittest and healthiest Filipinos over the age of 38 years old has come out of the rocks they live in and decided to participate, in full force, to the most awaited event of the country’s top tuna manufacturer.

Last Sunday, February 18, 2018, we were witnessed to the most exciting event ever to happen at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center as the country's fittest and healthiest men and women who wants to be the face of Century Tuna Superbods gathered to showcase their sexy, fit and healthy body at the go-see happening. Last February 17, the same go-see was also held at the Gold’s Gym, Ayala Center, Cebu City.

The search for the country's fittest and healthiest men and women is open to individuals 18- to- 37-years old for the Superbods category, and 38- to- 50-years old for the Superbods Ageless category. 

Four winners will each receive P500,000 cash; an appliance showcase worth P250,000 from Indesit, Mabe, and Philips; an editorial campaign contract from Zalora; a training contract from Star Magic; and a 1-year unlimited elite membership for Gold’s Gym. To top it all off, one lucky Superbods contestant will win a Chevrolet Trax!

Here are several participants from the first batch of the Manila go-see:

Bella Ysmael

Ruel Umali

This very pretty contestant did not let her disability affect her joining in the contest.

He may be way beyond the 50 year old requirements but this 58 year old contestant is as fit as the younger Superbods!

Ms. Jones

For more details and updates on events, and to register, visit Century Tuna Superbods on Facebook:

Madam Secretary: Nonpartisan Politics in the Age of Social Media

With politics the way of life in almost all countries, we are seeing a drastic change in that world as digital age takes over politics. The spread of political propaganda and fake news on platforms like Facebook have inadvertently broken many friendships and even families. One example is a fraudulent article from the United States claiming that a Democrat was arrested for falsely accusing 2017 Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of pedophilia. Another is a hoax from the Philippines alleging Vice President Leni Robredo conspired with former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

Propaganda and fake news become viral by touching on political sensitivities. Regardless which side of an issue they belong to, diehard supporters can react aggressively and respond with insults. These include attacks on a person’s intelligence and sexist remarks, as well as threats of rape and violence.

As the stories mentioned above and similar others create a divide among people, a more neutral approach to politics on social media becomes urgent to avoiding unnecessary rage as well as misinformation. A nonpartisan mindset overcomes blind rage by focusing on objectivity, free thought, and reform. This allows proponents to set aside personal and political biases so they can hold a more constructive dialogue over a problem.

Such an attitude is helpful in social media where heightened emotions can prevent people from recognizing truth from falsehood. No one, however, is immune to prejudice—or put positively, to having an initial mental framework of understanding the world, as discussed by German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer in Truth and Method. Nevertheless, reaching an informed opinion remains possible with patience and tact.

Active Listening

Effort is key to political neutrality. Whenever conflict arises, full attention must be given to what the other is saying so that both parties can reach mutual understanding, if not agreement. This is called active listening: a structured form of listening and responding that begins by withholding judgment.

For instance, in an argument on whether vaccination causes autism, rather than calling the opposition “dumb,” listeners can respond by asking, “Why do you think so?” Succeeding questions then aim to gather more data such as the speaker’s sources of information, personal beliefs and values, and feelings about the issue.

The end goal is to build rapport that hopefully leads to a resolution.

Fact Checking

Anyone who shares unverified content puts thousands at risk of misinformation and even violence. Such was the case when a piece of Islamophobe fake news threatened mass hysteria in 2016 by claiming that the Swedish Transportation Administration banned Christmas lights on street poles to avoid offending Muslim migrants. The story has since been debunked.

Before spreading or saying anything about sensational social media posts, there are a few signs to watch out for. These include click-bait headlines, grammatical and spelling errors, uncredited content, inaccurate publication date, lack of sources, and questionable quotes and images. Visiting other media outlets online can verify whether a circulating article is being reported elsewhere. Reverse image search tools also help check the legitimacy of shocking viral photos.

What matters here is for people to stay calm and do their research before jumping to conclusions. They can then report or block fake news and inform fellow social media users about deceptive posts to mitigate the spread of misinformation.

Diplomatic Wisdom

Ultimately, a nonpartisan mindset serves the common good by concentrating on a given problem rather than fixating on hierarchies or affiliations. The process may first come off as rude to people with political sensitivities or positions of power. But through proper diplomacy, such as by speaking sincerely and informatively without sounding condescending, proponents can bring in opposing parties into the conversation so they can become part of the solution.

The wisdom of unbiased politics is best embodied by the protagonist of American political drama Madam Secretary with its new season that premiered last February 9, 2018.

During the pilot episode, newly appointed Secretary of State Elizabeth “Bess” Adams McCord (Téa Leoni) decides to pursue unsanctioned methods to save two teenagers accused of being spies in Syria. Despite her course of action being unorthodox, she still comes clean to US President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine), convincing him to let her think out of the box so she can save both the kids and his reputation.

Likewise, she broaches a sensitive topic with the King of Swaziland during a state dinner by discussing the rising AIDS epidemic in his country. To win his cooperation in the matter, she demonstrates her familiarity with the names of his ten wives much to the monarch’s surprise and admiration.

In both situations, Elizabeth not only embraces her lack of partisan bias but also practices good diplomacy so all parties can benefit.

The show also leaves us with a hint of conspiracy. Will Elizabeth be able to keep her apolitical principles intact as tension unfolds in the White House? Madam Secretary premieres on Friday, February 9 at 9:00PM exclusive on Blue Ant Entertainment.

Blue Ant Entertainment is available on SKYcable channels 53 (SD) and 196 (HD), SKYdirect channel 35, Destiny Cable channel 53, and Cablelink channels 37 (SD) and 313 (HD).

For more updates, follow Blue Ant Entertainment at, @BlueAntEnt on Twitter, and @BlueAntEntertainment on Instagram.

Digital Transformation to Contribute Forty Percent to Philippines GDP by 2021

Digital age has brought lots of disruptions in our daily lives and in a whole in our economy.  With the way things are and three years from now, it is predicted by a new business study produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific and released last February 8, 2018, that digital transformation will add an estimated US$8 billion to the Philippines’ GDP and increase the growth rate by 0.4% annually.

Mr. Hans Bayaborda, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines shared, “The Philippines is clearly on the digital transformation fast track. Within the next four years, we expect to see approximately 40% of the Philippines’ GDP to be derived from digital products and services.”  He also said, “At the same time, organizations in Asia Pacific are increasingly deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence as part of their digital transformation initiatives, and that will accelerate growth even further.”

The survey was conducted and participated in by 1,560 business decision makers in mid and large-sized organizations across 15 economies in the region, the Philippines are included with 100 respondents. It highlights the rapid impact and widespread disruption that digital transformation is having on traditional business models. It also identified five key benefits to their bottom line from digital transformation.

Research findings showed that organizations are seeing significant and tangible improvements from their digital transformation efforts across these benefits in the range of 6% to 12% today. Business leaders expect to see more than 50% improvements in those key areas by 2020, with the biggest jump expected in profit margin and productivity.

Digital Leaders in Asia Pacific to Gain Lion’s Share of Economic Opportunities

The study indicates that while 93% of organizations in the Philippines are in the midst of their digital transformation journey, only 7% in the entire region can be classified as Leaders. These are organizations that have full or progressing digital transformation strategies, with at least a third of their revenue derived from digital products and services. In addition, these companies are seeing between 20 - 30% improvements in benefits across various business areas from their initiatives.

The study indicates that Leaders experience double the benefits of Followers, and these improvements will be more pronounced by 2020. Almost half of Leaders (48%) have a full digital transformation strategy in place.

“The pace of digital transformation is accelerating, and IDC expects that by 2021, at least 48% of Southeast Asia’s GDP will be derived from digital products and services, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships. The study shows Leaders seeing double the benefits of Followers, with improvements in productivity, cost reductions, and customer advocacy. To remain competitive, organizations must establish new metrics, realign organization structures, and re-architect their technology platform," said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Research Director Digital Transformation Practice Lead, IDC Asia/Pacific.  

The Study identified key differences between Leaders and Followers in Asia Pacific, which contribute to the improvements tracked:

Leaders are more concerned about competitors and emergence of disruptive technologies

The digital economy has also given rise to new types of competitors, as well as emerging technologies such as AI that have contributed to the disruption of business models.

Business agility and culture of innovation are key goals

 When addressing business concerns, Leaders are focused on creating a culture of agility and innovation to counter competition. Followers, on the other hand, are more focused on improving employee productivity and profitability.

Measuring digital transformation successes

Organizations across Asia Pacific are starting to adopt new key performance indicators (KPI) to better measure their digital transformation initiatives, such as effectiveness of processes, data as a capital, and customer advocacy in the form of Net Promoter Score (NPS). As organizations realize the potential of data as the new oil for the digital economy, Leaders are much more focused on leveraging data to grow revenue and productivity, and to transform business models.

Leaders are more aware of challenges in their digital transformation journeys

In addition to skills and cybersecurity threats as key challenges, Leaders have also identified the need to bolster their data capabilities through the use of advanced analytics to develop actionable insights in fast-moving markets.

Leaders are looking to invest in AI and Internet of Things

Emerging technologies such as AI (including cognitive services and robotics) and IoT are areas where Leaders are investing in for 2018. Besides these emerging technologies, Leaders are also more interested in investing in big data analytics to mine data for actionable insights than others.  

What sets Leaders apart from others are their ability to ride on the digital transformation wave from an organizational culture perspective. The study found that Leaders have these traits:

“There is a pressing need for organizations to adopt a leaders’ mindset to fully build their digital ecosystem—from employees, to customers, to partners—in order to grow their value chain,” said Andrea Della Mattea, President of Microsoft Asia Pacific. “In this regard, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help organizations across Asia Pacific succeed in their digital transformation journey. We say this with confidence because we, as an organization, have also undergone digital transformation, and we understand what it takes to make these digital initiatives successful.”

In the study, it is also pointed out that Filipinos have more to gain with digital transformation since its many benefits includes potential increments to potential income with freelancing, creation of higher value jobs and increased educational and training facilities.  

For more information about the study, visit

Cruising the high seas in effortless indulgence

With the gentle swaying of the sea that seems to lullaby its passengers, a timely cruise can bring a much-needed calmness, even to the weariest of travellers. Just imagine, spending days at sea in complete solitude, staring at the vastness of the open ocean with nary a thought of one’s daily troubles. Days full of exciting possibilities with nowhere to be, no one to see, and best of all, no distractions - a complete cruise-cation to celebrate life.          

In the past decade, cruises have become one of the most popular ways to relax and see the beauty this world has to offer. With its unique destinations, cost-efficient rates, and state-of-the-art ships, it comes as no surprise that cruising continues to gain popularity, especially among Filipinos.

This year, Star Cruises announced that its 269-meter cruise ship, SuperStar Virgo, will homeport again in Manila for the summer months from March to May. With absolutely no visa requirements, the 6-night SuperStar Virgo cruise offers two travel destination packages. The first package will start at the Manila port then a day will be spent on the high seas. The next two days will be dedicated to seeing Naha in Japan, and Keelung in Taiwan. The fifth day will be on the high seas again, and then the cruise will head back to Manila on the sixth day.

The majestic SuperStar Virgo will make Manila its homeport from March to May. The cruise ship offers travellers a visa-free way to visit cities in Taiwan and southern Japan.

The second destination package starts at the Manila port followed by a day cruising the high seas on the way to Ishigaki, Japan, on the third day. The fourth day will be spent seeing the beauty of Keelung, Taiwan, then to the high seas on the fifth day, and then back to Manila on the sixth day.

Besides the great destinations, and interesting land tours, a lot of people miss out on the fact that the SuperStar Virgo is itself, a giant floating destination. Packed with entertainment facilities, exquisite dining outlets, and duty-free shopping, the cruise ship has just about anything one could ever need or want.

The nightly live performances on the SuperStar Virgo showcases some of the world’s best singers, acrobats, and magicians, set to tickle ones imagination.  What’s more, the cruise offers various options and thematic activities fit for the whole family, not to mention, the wide range of dining outlets, retail shops, relaxation, and entertainment facilities.

The huge pool and giant slide continues to be a top favourite of passengers. Imagine sliding and splashing in the pool on top of a cruise ship, right in the middle of the ocean. And what better way to enjoy an unobstructed view of the perfect sunset gracefully going down the horizon, then to see it on the viewing deck.

Cruising offers the perfect vantage points to take photos of the endless sea complimented by the clear blue sky. It features an unspoiled canvass showcasing the breath-taking magnificence of nature’s beauty.  Savor the various sights, sounds, and even the smell of crisp clean air over a cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee, while basking in sweet retreat, solitude, and surrender.

Catch exclusive offers for the 3rd and 4th passenger for free, if booking is for the Inside State Room, Ocean View State Room, or the Balcony State Room on March 30, April 14, 19, and 24, and on May 4, 14, and 29, 2018. There is also a free balcony upgrade during the mid-season sailing.

A 20% additional Senior Citizen discount will likewise be offered on April 14, 19, 24 and on May 4, 14, and 29, 2018. Avail of other special promos including the “Cruise One, Take One” two-for-one summer promo, a 2-night Manila high seas cruise, from February 14 to 18, 2018 at the 2018 Star Cruises Cruise Fair at the Greenbelt 5 Gallery, Ayala Center, Makati City. For inquiries, call (02) 8366080 or visit  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Food Crawl at SMDC Residences

Nowadays, Filipinos chose to live in style, comfort, and convenience and this is also what SM Development Corporation have in mind as they commit itself to provide access to luxurious urban living with all its leisure facilities. Since a place of this kind is becoming increasingly popular, SMDC facilities can now be found in several major cities in the Metro. Not only it’s a place to live in style, most SMDC facilities boasted of five-star amenities while some have a mall of their own. Imagine a place where almost everything is conveniently located and for Filipinos who loves to eat, did you know that you can find the best restaurants inside an SMDC residences?

A week ago, we find ourselves traipsing through three SMDC residences to taste what several of those food hub has to offer and we were not disappointed as we find ourselves “crawling” after the three stops.

STOP 1: SMDC Light Residences

The Light Residences is one of SM Development Corp mix-use condos. It is a place with a much-sought comfort and convenience for people who wants to take, maybe a few hours away from this fast-paced world. What more this three-tower place is conveniently linked to MRT Boni which is an easy access to the place with a mall located inside. It is at the mall where we had a food trip at the Art of Taco and Eggette and Co.

Art of Taco is a Mexican food with attitude which serves the best tacos, nachos, fajitas and burritos in this side of town. We have fun wolfing down their bestsellers like the Chicken Fajitas and Steak Fajitas. It is a must-order and MUST be eaten with their secret sauce. Believe me, the sauce makes the tacos, nachos, fajitas and even the burritos yummier as you add a little while you eat.

Eggettes & Co.

I love the smell of a waffle being cooked. And at Eggette & Co., you can smell the waffle from afar. The delicious aroma of the waffle will lure you to Eggette,  if not to their instagrammable place.

So what is an Eggette? An Eggette is an egg waffle that is popular in Hong Kong. What makes it delicious is how crispy it is on the outside and chewy on the inside.

There’s a menu board that will instruct you how to order your own Eggette if you’re confuse with the many delicious-sounding food in the menu. And for some added goodness to what you will order, you can either add a spread or make it part of a sundae or as an hotdog bun.

My favorite so far is the chicken pops which you can upgrade to Chicken and Eggette. Another favorite is the Toasted Cheese and Cream Eggette-wiches which you should eat it while toasted-hot.

STOP 2: SMDC Grace Residences

I didn’t know that in the middle of Taguig, a place near BGC and Makati CBD, is a place where you can escape into your very own area of quiet. The Grace Residences is that place where you can enjoy the convenience of staying within proximity of different institutions. It enable you to live the conveniences of modern life. It is a place for leisure and the most important, which I discovered that day, is that it is home to Hot Kitchen Fresh Options!

At the lobby of the Grace Residences is a one-of-a-kind food store – Hot Kitchen Fresh Options. It is Indeed a fresh option when choosing what to eat.

With its wide array of food selections, all you have to is follow the steps you can find before you enter the place.

You can either eat inside or just place your order if you don’t want to cook in your home as they will cook it for you for a small fee. Imagine saving a lot when you do that and all you have to do is eat.

Even though we still feel full after eating at the Light Residences, the smell of the Marinated Pork Steak, Crispy Pata and Sisig made us hungrier and we cannot help but eat them with rice. I don’t know about their Sisig but it’s the most delicious Sisig I’ve ever eaten. Thank goodness they will soon open a branch at SM Light Mall which is so near my place.

STOP 3: Jazz Residences

The Jazz Residences houses the Jazz Mall which is now filled with commercial and food establishments and a SM Hypermarket for all your house needs.
One of the food establishment is the After All Bar and Grill where you can unwind after spending hours of daily work or after you finish shopping.

After All Bar and Grill is owned by a group of friends who thinks that you can also have fun even as you bond over business. I’ve read in one of the blogs that the name After All is based on all those years the owners have been through.

As we were on our last stop of the food crawl, After All Bar and Grill is a fitting end to the day as we enjoyed the variety of drinks offered to us. All of them are refreshing and paired with their popular Sisig and Seafood Salpicao makes the food more enjoyable. We spend the last few hours with stories and good laughter, just like what After All Bar and Grill want the ambiance to be - good food and good music.

Overall, it was day filled with good food, good company and appreciation of what SMDC residences have to offer. This leisure facilities is also one of the way which prove how SM have touched the lives of many Filipinos.

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