Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Safer Way To Get Stem Cells

I've been hearing a lot about the benefits of stem cell treatments these past years but have always been concerned about stem cells sourced from animals. This sounds like the best way to get them -- from the patient's own body!

Press Release:

Amid all the hype and ethical debate about stem cell therapy, one mode of delivering stem cell treatments for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine remains medically sound: adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) treatment using adipose (fat) tissue taken from the patient's own body.

extraction of adipose tissue from patient's abdominal area using mini-liposuction
While these cells are available from umbilical cord blood and animals, the problem presented by introducing tissue from another person or an animal remains the same: the risk of tissue rejection poses its own set of health risks and makes regenerative therapy expensive.  

Stem cells are valued in medicine because of their ability to self-renew. These cells have yet to be assigned specific functions and can be used to grow tissue for nerves, cartilage to ease degenerative arthritis, and tissue to repair a damaged heart.

extracted adipose tissue
An extensive study undertaken by researchers Jeffrey Gimble, Adam Katz and Bruce Bunnell published in the March 2007 edition of the American Heart Association's Circulation Research Journal found that fat can be harvested from the patient's own body in sufficient amounts for regenerative therapy at negligible risk of tissue rejection.  

Adipose tissue can be harvested through liposuction, a minimally-invasive procedure. Because ASC can be done on an outpatient set-up, the risk of tissue contamination is also greatly reduced and the physician's control over the process is improved.

blood extracted from patient put in a centrifuge to separate the serum
that will be added to the IV drip reintroducing the stem cell into patient's body
The availability of stem cells remains a challenge for scientists and clinicians in the field of regenerative medicine. Owing to the abundant supply of adipose tissue in the patient’s own system, this limitation is readily surmounted. 

The researchers focused on the adipose tissue deposits found beneath the skin, the same tissue siphoned out when a person undergoes liposuction. One liposuction session can yield "between 100 mL to more than three liters" of aspirated fatty tissue.

extracted adipose tissue is cleaned and treated with lecithin to emulsify it
and enable the separation of stem cells from the other cells in the tissue
The study found that the greatest amount of viable adipose tissue recovered from the arm as compared with the thigh, abdomen, and breast. ASCs, the researchers found, are "tripotent", capable of producing more fat, bone marrow, and bone tissue.

"Adipose tissue contains multipotent progenitor cells," the researchers stated. These cells develop into specific tissues as the body demands.  

final rinse for the stem cells, aspirated through a syringe, photo-activated,
then injected into an IV drip that will reintroduce the ASC into patient's body
The team pointed to a number of nonexclusive mechanisms through which ASCs can be used to repair and regenerate tissues. "First, ASCs delivered into an injured or diseased tissue may secrete cytokines and growth factors that stimulate recovery.” 

The study said that ASCs might also provide antioxidants chemicals, free radical scavengers, and heat shock proteins that locate and recycle damaged proteins. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stranger Danger and Other Safety Tips for Parents and Children

Here are some sound tips on how to help children keep themselves safe at all times. Parents, please read!

Press Release:

Part of being a mom is worrying about your children at all times. While most moms think they can never stop worrying about their kids, there are simple ways to overcome it. Equipping your children with the right knowledge about the world around them is the best way for them to stay safe - no matter where they are.

photo borrowed from
Stay Away from Strangers – Both in the Playground and Online

We’ve heard it all before, “don’t talk to strangers.” While statement is true, it is important to define to your children what you mean by “stranger”.* Tell your children that a stranger is anyone they don’t know, even if they’re dressed well or if they are polite. Even familiar faces can be strangers if your children feel uncomfortable around them. Kids should know that they shouldn’t take anything from people they are not comfortable with, like treats, or even a ride home. Also, teach your children to not believe stories strangers tell them about their parents, especially ones involving accidents.

With the advent of the internet, it’s important to monitor your children’s online social activity. Remind your children that not everyone they meet on the internet is a “friend.” Install kid-friendly software and ensure that they have access to online sites within your reach. Remind your children to tell you immediately if anything on the internet makes them feel uncomfortable, especially if they are being bullied by friends or classmates online.

photo borrowed from
Have a Safe List for Your Kids

Kids work well when boundaries are set. It is important to sit down with your children to further discuss your safe list with them. A safe list contains everything they can go home with, places they can play in and outside of your home and a general idea of what’s appropriate or not (whether from a stranger or a family member). Even a safe word within the family, to be used only during emergencies, can be implemented. Being involved in your children’s lives is a good way to keep them safe, whether you are with them or not.

Learn Self Defense 

Let your children gain confidence by knowing they can take care of themselves. Enroll them in self-defense classes such as Muay Thai, Karate, and Taekwondo, not only will they learn how to protect themselves but they would also be able to gain new friends, pick up a new sport, and build their self-esteem.

Another way to keep safe is by making sure that you serve your children only the best. Moms have long trusted Absolute Pure Distilled Drinking Water. Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, moms who use Absolute are assured with the five-step, state-of-the-art distillation process, ensuring that they are serving nothing but the purest for the ones they love the most.

Saturday, February 15, 2014 Survey Reveals Maldives is World’s Hottest Honeymoon Spot

This is an interesting survey! Check out the results!

Press Release:  

MANILA (12 February, 2014), one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), today announced the results of their Global Honeymoon Survey, which shows the Maldives is the top dream honeymoon destination for people all over the world. 

The survey, conducted online in January and February, 2014, asked more than 15,000 customers to pick their dream honeymoon location from among 20 destinations. A whopping one in five travelers chose the Maldives, with the Greek Islands, Paris and Bali neck-in-neck for second place. 

"We know the Maldives is a popular destination for couples but we were surprised that its allure is so global. Among countries where we had more than 100 respondents, only three didn't pick it as the most popular dream honeymoon destination – The Philippines, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand," said Errol Cooke, Vice President Global Hotels

The Maldives was the most popular honeymoon spot among customers from North America, Europe and Asia, but the runner up differed depending on where respondents hailed from. Paris came in second among travelers from Asia, for Europeans it was Bali and for North Americans, the Greek Islands. 

Book a stay at Shangri-la Paris and avail of great deals from!
Filipinos primarily favor European cities since the number one honeymoon destination for them was Paris while Italy came in number three.  Although the love for beaches was also revealed since Maldives landed on the number two spot and other tropical destination such as the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii and Bali made it to the top 10.  

When it comes to dream honeymoons, Europeans prefer far-flung places, as 89% picked destinations outside of their region. As a group, Asians seem the least likely to venture far -- only 65% picked destinations outside of Asia. 

Cancun, Mexico, often touted as one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations, didn’t fare as well among travelers. 

Only 2.4% picked it as their top spot. Of the 20 choices available, Montreal was the least popular, with less than 1% of the vote.

Top honeymoon destinations:

For more information about the Honeymoon Survey, please contact  

To connect with and learn about special deals and promotions on hotels worldwide, like them on Facebook or follow on Google+, Instagram, or Pinterest.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Go Crazy in Love with UNIQLO’s Valentine’s Weekend Sale

Oh, wow, with these dropped down prices? It's definitely gonna be a crazy sale!

Press Release:

Global LifeWear brand UNIQLO celebrates Valentine’s in a big way as it launches its weekend sale. Catch the love bug and check their incredible offers which include major discounts on their top-selling items. 

Grab your own choice of UNIQLO’s dynamic Women’s Leggings Pants collection sold for only P290 a pair from its original price of P990. 

Fans of UNIQLO’s Ultra Stretch Cargo Pants also get to enjoy this revolutionary fabric guaranteed to offer lift and hold to the buttocks for a fraction of its P1990 price tag to a jaw-dropping P290.

Enjoy all these and more during their 1-Day Crazy Bottoms Sale happening on February 14. 

Not only that, couples too get a sweet treat with His and Hers Supima Cotton Shirts and Snoopy Graphic T’s—a perfect combination promotion available for only P790 from February 14-16.

Enjoy high-quality clothing at amazing discounts available only this Valentine’s weekend in UNIQLO. To know more about UNIQLO LifeWear and this sale, visit and like its official Facebook page at

Thursday, February 13, 2014

THE BOOK THIEF: A Movie Set to Steal Hearts

I'd love to watch this as well as read the book!

Press Release:

Based on the globally acclaimed best-selling book “The Book Thief” by Australian author Markus Zusak, 20th Century Fox’s latest movie of the same title introduces us to a German girl named Liesel Meminger at the heart of the story. 

Set during World War II in Germany in January of 1939, Sophie Nélisse takes on the role of 9-year old Liesel – a foster girl living outside of Munich brought to a community where amongst those whom she learned to love, finally discovered her ultimate passion – books. 
At a time when uncertainty looms, Liesel is brought to her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann (played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson respectively) while her younger brother Werner dies along the way to the Hubermanns.  In the cemetery where her brother is buried, a book entitled “The Grave Digger’s Handbook” found its way to Liesel’s hands,  the first of her collections from which she’d eventually become “The Book Thief.” 

The powerful material that is “The Book Thief” is transformed into an affirming, life changing movie from the production team that brought “Life of Pi” to the big screen and from Brian Percival, director of several episodes of the high profile series “Downtown Abbey.” Percival has found the movie’s heroine upon seeing Nélisse’s audition tape. "It was quite uncanny, this kid. I was taken right away," says Percival. "It was this mixture of naive innocence but at the same time she's actually quite ballsy. You feel that you can get kneed in the groin at any point."

Nélisse who also played a starring role in “Monsieur Lazhar” in 2011 shares that her role in “The Book Thief” was daunting.  Narrated by Death, the story’s tough emotional content which Nelisse’s character Liesel comes of age in an intolerant society within a war had Geoffrey Rush raving on Nelisse’s performance. "I've had the opportunity in my career to have played opposite some extraordinary actresses and Sophie is just a true, natural original," says Rush. "She's a gifted performer who has an instinctive and highly creative rapport with the lens.”

Soon to steal our hearts, “The Book Thief” will open February 19, 2014 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Follow and 20th Century Fox (Philippines) Facebook page for more trailers and photos and @20CenturyFoxPh on Twitter for exciting promos. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

14 Ways to Say I love You at Megaworld Lifestyle Malls

Looking for nice deals and new things to try this Valentine's? Head on to Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and check out these promos!

Press Release:

This February, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls invites its guests to express their love for that special someone with a line-up of wonderful Valentine shopping and dining offers. 

1. Have a romantic dinner date Italian-style at Amici’s 
Couples can celebrate their Valentine at the scenic Venice Piazza at Mckinley Hill end enjoy a special Valentine set dinner for two at Amici’s for only P998 from February 13 – 16. The menu includes antipasti of either Truffle Mushroom Soup or Insalate di Cesare, a pasta dish, pizza and gelato for dessert. Buon Appetito!

2. Experience High Tea at TWG Tea
For date with a Victorian vibe, couples can try TWG Tea Valentine Set Menu at Newport Mall, available until February 15. This Valentine special includes a prestige cocktail, a main course (Pan-seared Salmon crusted with cheese and Matcha or Herb-marinated Chicken Thigh), dessert (Salted Caramel Cheesecake or Matcha and Chocolate Fudge) and of course, tea! Guests can try the Lover’s Tea, Golden Rose tea and Rose Boudoir Tea to match their Valentine-themed tea date. 

3. Have a dinner date with food from culinary experts at Cravings / CCA Academy
Lovers can enjoy food from the one of the country’s top culinary schools for Valentine’s Day as Cravings / CCA Academy, located at the third floor of Eastwood Mall is also offering a three-course dinner set. The menu includes Grilled Prawns in Chilled Tomato Soup with Gremolata, Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg Salad, a choice between 2 main courses: Roasted Rib-Eye Steak with Onion and Portobello Confit or Grilled Herbed Chilean Seabass with Asparagus Sherbet and a complimentary glass of wine. 

4. Give your loved one a sweet piece of Italy with Villa Del Conte Chocolates 
Couples can also celebrate the spirit of love in a sweeter way with a box of Villa del Conte chocolates. These famous Italian artisanal chocolates now come in enticing boxes especially designed for Valentine’s Day. These delightful treats are products of Villa del Conte’s 81-year-old heritage of passionately making fine chocolates that began in Padova, Italy – making them a delicious and decadent choice for Valentine’s! 

5. Have wine, roses and steaks at Marciano’s 
Wine, roses and delicious New York style steaks… what’s not to love at Marciano’s at Tuscany in Mckinley Hill. On Feb. 14 or 15, guests can spoil their loved ones with a bottle of Casillero del Diablo and a bouquet of roses for only P1, 498. Pair this with any of Marciano’s steak selections (or more dishes from their delightful menu full of clever references to favorite New York sights and personalities) and have a night to remember!

6. Indulge in delightful Spanish cuisine at Rastro
Couples who love Spanish dishes will definitely enjoy the Couple Menus at Rastro in Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center from Feb. 13 - 15. Menu A includes a Tapas Platter, Pollo Iberico (Chicken Marinated in Olive Oil, garlic and spices) or Paella Catalana, a Triple Chocolate Silk dessert and 2 glasses of White Sangria, while Menu B contains an Oyster Platter and a Trio of Desserts which include Floating Island, Triple Chocolate Silk and Orange slices in Amareto with toasted almond slivers. 

7. Give Valentine treats to friends at Metro Supermarket
From wine and chocolate pairings to sets of mini-cupcakes, mallgoers at Lucky Chinatown can find all sorts of affordable Valentine presents at Metro Supermarket to give to friends, family and colleagues - just to wish them a Happy Hearts Day this February. 

8. Celebrate your pets first Valentine’s Day at Dogs and the City
Why should pets be left out of the celebration? Guests can get pink toys, treats and apparel for their pets at Dogs and the City in Eastwood City Walk 2, Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center and Lucky Chinatown. Pet owners can dress up their four-legged friends and enjoy a Valentine date of their own.  

9. Give a sparkling gift from J’s Diamond
Guests can give their special someone a sparkling gift from J’s Diamond located at the Lucky Chinatown Walk, as they are offering 50% off on all heart-themed pendants and necklaces and 40% off on all pendants, bracelets and earrings.  

10. Prepare for that weekend trip with lingerie from Victoria’s Secret
Couples going on a Valentine trip can get ready for a weekend of romance with a trip to Victoria’s Secret at Newport Mall. Ladies can get their pick of sexy lingerie and get a free Victoria’s Secret weekender bag with a purchase of P3900 or more.

11. Find your solemate at Havaianas
For that Valentine beach trip, couples can get a pair of comfortable footwear at Havaianas in Lucky Chinatown. They can buy any 2 pairs from Feb. 7 – 16 and get 20% off on their entire purchase!

12. Share a frosty Valentine treat at Swensen’s
After dinner, why not drop by Swensen’s at Eastwood Mall for their specially designed Valentine desserts? Chocolate lovers can try the Strawberry “Love” Fondue for P340. Couples can also split a Strawberry Banana Boat for P185 or share a Strawberry Banana Delight for P185. 

13. Have a Mexican themed dinner with a platter from Agave Mexican Cantina
Lovers who want to try Mexican dishes can enjoy a special platter filled with Mexican favorites at Agave Mexican Cantina at Venice Piazza at Mckinley Hill and Eastwood City Walk 1. This special platter for two consists of Chicken and Steak Skewers, Agave Baby Back Ribs, Empanaditas, Beef Taquitos, Chicken Quesadillas, Crispy Baja Cream Dory, Lime Cilantro and Mexican Red Rice and Chips and Corn Salsa. 

14. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a half-priced meal at Kenny Rogers
For couples on a budget, Kenny’s Better Half at Kenny Rogers, located at the Star Cruises Building in Newport City, is a great way to enjoy a delicious Valentine’s date. From Feb. 8 – 22, buy any Kenny’s solo plate, grilled plate or healthy meal and get the 2nd plate for half the price.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GVB Set To Showcase Guam at the 2014 PTAA Travel Tour Expo

Book an island getaway in Guam this weekend at the PTTA!

Press Release:

A relaxing island experience is set to hit Philippine shores as Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) gives fair goers and frequent travelers a taste of what the US island paradise has to offer as they participate in the 2014 PTTA Travel Tour Expo, from February 14 to 16 at the Mall of Asia SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Located west of the Pacific Ocean and accessible though a short four-hour flight via Philippine Airline and United Airlines, Guam offers Filipino travelers a tasteful weekend getaway in a US territory with their rich culture, flavorful cuisine, captivating beaches, and duty free shopping. 

This year, GVB is set to hold four big events that cater to the interest of every discerning Filipino traveler. Running enthusiasts can look forward to the 2014 Guam International Marathon happening on April 13, 2014 and the annual Ko’Ko’ Road Race in October. Music lovers, on the other hand, can experience great music, matched with Guam’s aw-inspiring beaches, at the Guam Music Festival in June. 

Shopaholics won’t get left behind in experiencing the beautiful island of Guam as the Shop Guam Festival is set to return in the last week of November and extends until January of the following year. The biggest shopping event in the Western Pacific, the festival runs for 120-days and boasts of over a hundred exclusive dining and shopping offers that further capitalizes on Guam’s tax-free shopping.

The Guam Visitors Bureau booth will be at booth numbers 386 to 389 at the 3rd hall of the SMX Convention Center and will feature regular performances from Guam’s Cultural Chamorro Dancers that will surely entertain fair goers during the expo.

Monday, February 10, 2014

COCK -- a Comedy … With Bite to be Staged March to April 2014

I have great admiration for the director and actors of this show. Can't wait to watch this very interesting production!

Press Release:

What happens when a young gay man falls in love with a woman?

That’s the central concept behind Red Turnip Theater’s second offering, COCK by Mike Bartlett. A sold-out hit when it first premiered in London in 2009 and subsequently during its off-Broadway run a year later, COCK revolves around a gay couple whose rocky relationship derails when one of them sleeps (and falls in love) with a woman. Debates over one’s sexual identity explode when all three decide to sit down and “duke it out” over dinner. Hilarity ensues when another unexpected guest turns up and loyalties are put to the test. As one character puts it, “It’s the ultimate bitch fight”.

The New York Times calls COCK “a terrific, tense little comedy” while The Huffington Post hails it as “a terrific contemporary play that puts much of other theatre to shame”. This critical darling is the perfect bookend to Red Turnip’s maiden season. 

Fresh off the success of their critically-acclaimed CLOSER last October at Whitespace, Red Turnip promises another unique, in your face theatrical experience with COCK. The vision of five established actors (Ana Abad Santos, Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Cris Villonco and Rem Zamora), Red Turnip aims to engage theatergoers with the sort of material that seems to be in short supply in the country—the straight play. 

Rem Zamora
Rem Zamora makes his directorial debut with COCK.“We’re excited to be back in Whitespace. A lot of people who came to CLOSER said they enjoyed the intimacy of the experience and the space. That was in Hall B. We’re going even more intimate this time in the smaller Hall A. COCK also plays in the round so it feels like you’re watching a fight in an arena—no frills: just words and pure conflict in the ring, and an intense involvement in the audience.”

Topper Fabregas
Zamora has assembled a tight cast of theatrical heavyweights for COCK’s Manila premier: Topper Fabregas (Boeing Boeing, The Producers), Niccolo Manahan (Next Fall, Doubt), Jenny Jamora (Mind’s Eye, A Little Night Music), Audie Gemora (Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables).

Fabregas is John, a young man caught between his gay lover and his growing attraction to another woman- W, played by Jamora. 

Jenny Jamora
Niccolo Manahan makes a theatrical comeback as M, John’s lover who isn’t about to let him go without a fight. “I feel ‘Cock’ will be a great experiment for me; an experiment in balancing my life with the things I enjoy doing, and an experiment in pushing my range.  I don’t know where this ex-periment will lead but its an incredible opportunity that I’m thankful for.” 

Niccolo Manahan
Rounding off this impressive cast is theatre stalwart Audie Gemora as F, M’s well-meaning father whose sudden appearance at dinner throws everyone for a loop. “The birth of a theater group is always exciting and eventful with fresh artistic vision and  passion. I am thrilled to be part of Red Turnips 2nd offering, ‘Cock’. This is Rem Zamora's directorial debut and my first time to be acting opposite brilliant young actors Niccolo Manahan and Jenny Jamora, while Topper Fabregas takes on his most complex character yet. Together we jump into a crackling cock fight of personalities, emotions and words.”

COCK is a comedy… with bite. No props, scenery or furniture. Just actors, sharp dialogue and some clever staging. All essential. Absolutely Red Turnip.  

Audie Gemora
Cock is supported by Fila, Whitespace, Gung Ho Films Manila, Bose, National Book Store, Powerbooks, When In Manila, Radio Republic, BusinessWorld, and The food-and-drinks concession is provided by Speakeasy. Tickets to the Feb. 28 opening gala sponsored by Fila are available through Red Turnip Theater only.

Directionby Rem Zamora, technical direction and lighting design by John Batalla, set design by Denis Lagdameo and sound design by Jethro Joaquin.

Cock will be staged at Whitespace — 2314 Chino Roces Ave. Extension (formerly Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati — on March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4 (Friday, 9 p.m.); March 8, 15, 29 and April 5 (Saturday, 8 p.m.); April 5, Saturday at 4 p.m.; March 9, 16, 23 and April 6 (Sunday, 4 p.m.) and special closing gala on April 6, Sunday, 8 p.m.

Tickets are available through TicketWorld (891-9999 or, Red Turnip Theater or

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fox Continues to Thrill Viewers with The Walking Dead Season 4 on February 10

Fans of TWD! (And that includes my hubby and youngest son :p) The wait for season 4's second half is over! One day to go!

Press Release:

On February 10, 2014, fans of hit American horror drama series The Walking Dead will be feasting their eyes on the ninth episode of Season 4, the first half of which ended November 2013 and left them clamoring for what will happen next in the saga of Rick Grimes and his unlikely band of survivors. FOX will be premiering the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4 at 11:35 AM with a replay at 8:55 PM, ensuring that the show’s followers will be catching the freshest update on this highly acclaimed show that dramatizes the zombie apocalypse.

The second half of Season 4 will be shown in Parallel Play on FOX, where the episodes are shown on the same day as their US release. Viewers in Asia will be getting their dose of The Walking Dead on the same day as their US counterparts, so they won’t miss a moment of what’s to come in a season that has been critically acclaimed for its first half.

Season 4 began with Rick Grimes relinquishing his leadership of his pack of survivors while they worked to establish a relatively peaceful existence at the prison. However, with the outbreak of a flu-like virus and “The Governor” still at large, peace is the farthest thing from the new community’s reality. The onslaught of new walkers brought about by the increasing deaths due to the virus forces Grimes out of his hiatus to come to the fore in defending the group.

Viewers were gripped by the shockers that came out mid-season, particularly the reappearance of The Governor, who had all the while been wandering on his own and attempting to carve out a new existence. The times he spent with new people, forming new relationships culminate in the desire to care for his newfound family, so much that he dreams of conquering the prison so that they may live there. In the battle that ensues, events result in The Governor ordering the murder of all inhabitants of the prison. The prison is destroyed and overrun with walkers, its inhabitants – including Grimes and his son Carl – scattering in all directions.

“Survival of the fittest” was most evident in the first half of The Walking Dead Season 4, where two groups of survivors were pitted against each other, but the second half of the season spells an uncertain future for Grimes and each person he had encountered and traveled with on his journey. The question on everyone’s minds is: How are Grimes and his people to survive without each other? Finally, the continuation of Season 4 will provide answers to the hungry questions of The Walking Dead fans all over the world.

Catch the premiere of the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4 on February 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM with primetime encore at 8:55 PM, only on FOX!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ensembles Wear My Design Spring 2014 Winning Dresses Are Here!

Congratulations to all the winners! Your creations are lovely!

Press Release:

ENSEMBLES proudly presents the 8 deserving ladies and gents who stood out with their creations and won the Wear My Design Contest for Spring 2014! The 8 winners get to live out their dream of being acknowledged as a designer, and their winning designs worn by ladies all over the country as part of Ensembles Spring Collection!

Bloom and Carleena
Starting off with Marielle Lacar with her design entitled CARLEENA, “a constructed dress inspired by the modern Filipina – exceptional, creative, confident, practical & spontaneous.” SHADOWS by Clarice Joyce Tan which she fondly described as inspired by ninjas: “strong yet elegant which this dress embodies.” BLACK & WHITE creation by Richard Enriquez: a “structure simple” piece yet “strong with a woman’s essence on it.” Michelle Marie Sacramento’s CURVE that as the title implies aims to emphasize the body’s natural curves and instill confidence. 

Curve and Mel
Jacinta Theresita Bravo’s “fusion of classic cuts, modern folds and unusual color combination” fittingly called UNORTHODOX SOPHISTICATION. Danjamel BobisMEL: a “simple – crisp – elegant dress that can be worn at any time of the day at any event.” BLOOM by Merie Sheryl Clarete which is all about a lady’s blooming independence and Bernard Escalona’s SUNDAY DRESS in soft color palette capturing the ease of a Sunday afternoon. 

Shadows and Sunday Dress
Being an innovative brand, Ensembles started this contest in 2012, inviting everyone, amateurs and professionals alike. For the second year in a row, Ensembles was excited to receive a submission of almost 100 dress prototypes from all over the country. From these, the top 8 were chosen by voting and a judging panel.  All these winning spring dresses embody the Ensembles’ woman: feminine yet strong and independent. The dresses range from materials using laces, stretch woven, double knits and charmeuse, all made up of carefully picked fabric to accentuate the female figure. If you opt for simple yet classy, or you just want to amp up your corporate attire into a fashion-forward piece, the Spring Collection is sure to provide what you want and what you need.

Black & White and Unorthodox Sophistication
These winning creations are now part of the Spring 2014 Collection of Ensembles and are available in stores this February. So, do you think you have what it takes to become a designer? Don’t box yourself and join the next Wear My Design contest this April! Who knows, it could be your creation that will be featured in our next spring collection! Watch out for the upcoming Wear My Design Contest this April!
The Ensembles Wear My Design Spring Dresses lookbook photos were paired with lovely shoes from Janilyn (

Learn more about ‘Wear My Design’ Competition mechanics and rules at Like Ensembles Facebook page (  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

“Valentine Serenades” with Bo Cerrudo and Robert Sena Set for February 13 in Solaire Resort

For those looking for something to do the night before Valentine's Day, how about watching this concert? :)

Press Release:

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special evening of music and dinner for friends and lovers with premiere classical balladeer Bo Cerrudo and powerful tenor Robert Sena in “Valentine Serenades” happening on February 13, 2014 8:00 pm at the Grand Ballroom, Solaire Resort and Casino. Accompanying our two world-class acts are Aicelle Santos, Rafa Siguion-Reyna and ensemble from Philharmonic Orchestra

Experience a Valentine’s show to remember written by Bibeth Orteza and musical direction by Maestro Rodel Colmenar. As the show promises a blend of classical, OPM favorites as  “Kundiman”, Broadway melodies and smooth jazz, this special evening will also feature musical performance styles of Richard Merk and Rachelle Anne Wolfe

Bo Cerrudo released two albums, namely: an eponymous debut effort which spawned the hit remake “Pag Tumatagal Lalong Tumitibay”, and the 90’s ballroom dancing-inspired Retro Dancing. It was in musical stage plays where his discipline and spontaneity were honed and polished. He was able to snag plum roles in major musicals, among them Wang Ta in “Flower Drum Song”, Tony in “West Side Story”, Rama in “Rama Hari” and the Manila run of “Miss Saigon”, to name a few. He dazzled foreign audiences via sell-out concerts in the US, Asia, Middle East and Europe, even performing on several occasions as ambassador of goodwill for the Philippine Department of Tourism. His series, “Cerrudo: Classico” is the longest-running concert series of its kind, having staged over 100 shows since its inception in 2005. 

For Bo Cerrudo, the past 25 years have been an incredible journey. He recently triumphed anew as the 2011 Aliw awardee as “Best Male Performer in Hotels, Music Lounges and Bars”, further sealing his stellar status in the entertainment industry. 

Meanwhile, Robert Sena began his career as a rock singer but later discovered his passion for stage and classical music. He is now an accomplished and multi-awarded actor (Gawad Buhay-Philstage, Aliw Awards, National Press Club’s “Tinig Awards”) and singer who has done numerous concerts, TV, film, musicals and stage plays both here and abroad. Notable productions include: Miss Saigon (London, Germany & Manila), Jesus Christ Superstar (London & Manila), Hey Mr. Producer! (London), “Katy” The Musical, Bayan Isang Paa na Lamang, Miong! The Musical, Cory the Musical, Rama at Sita, Skin Deep, Noli at Fili, Spoliarium, Tales of the Manuvu, Juan Tamad at Limang Milyong Boto, RamaHari etc. 

He has produced a number of albums like DUETO, IDREAM AND SIKA (Jonathan Badon). He has also ventured in producing original Filipino musicals together with Spotlight Artists Centre of which he is the Artistic Director. The company has produced the successful restaging of MAGSIMULA KA and KATY. Currently, he headlines PETA’s “Rock of Aegis” that runs from January 31 to March 9, 2014. 

Share a romantic musical experience to remember as few of today’s top performers will serenade our guests with emotionally charged rhythms and alluring classical melodies.  This Valentine’s Concert is presented by Laurel Media at one of the city’s most popular annual musical events and elegantly intimate atmosphere, Solaire Resort and Casino.

Tickets are available at or you may call 891.9999 for reservations. 

This show is presented by the Solaire Resort and Casino, PLDT Telpad, McCormick, Fort Victoria and RCBC with media partners, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, Business Mirror, Radio High 105.9, Crossover 105.1, Energy FM 106.7, Philippine Concerts, Manila Concert Scene and AstroPlus.

Ticket Prices: 
VIP- P5,000
Platinum- P3,500
Gold- P2,500
Silver- P1,500

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Robert Redford Plays an Unnamed Man in JC Chandor’s All Is Lost

I just saw the movie All Is Lost starring Robert Redford and was really impressed by this movie. You can read my review here. Below is a Q & A with the esteemed actor about his compelling role.

Press Release:

Q. You choose your projects very carefully. What appealed to you about ALL IS LOST?

A. I saw it as an opportunity to do something I was longing to do, which was to have a complete experience as an actor and not think about anything else. It was to be a bold and pure cinematic experience without special effects, hardly any dialogue and a lot of challenges.

Q. Due to the lack of dialogue, the script was quite short. What did you think about the script when you first read it?

A. As soon as I read the script I knew I was in good hands because it was so carefully woven.

Q. Were you interested in sailing before getting involved in this film?

A. I grew up in Los Angeles close to the water; so, I surfed and swam and had a mild interest in sailing, but I was never in the deep sea alone. I had sailed to Catalina Island and in various other places in California, Canada and even off the coast of Mombasa, but it was always in somebody else’s boat, never by myself or in a storm. So I was familiar with water, but not like this. ALL IS LOST was a whole new experience for me.

Q. How was it to work with filmmaker J. C. Chandor?

A. I felt very comfortable in his hands. And, like my character in the movie, I was also learning on the job. 

Q. What are the lessons your character is forced to learn during the course of the story?

A. Well, when things go beyond my character’s ability to cope with them he has to figure things out in the moment and improvise. So, in that way I felt connected to him.

Q. We don’t know your character’s name or much about him…

A. One of the things I loved about this film was precisely that we had little information about my character.  J. C. wrote a film that he understood completely. Due to his experience, he also knew enough about sailing to create details in the story that would have their own dramatic value. I enjoyed the fact that it didn’t have much information or dialogue because it created a challenge for me as an actor to be more fully inside the character.

Q. What is it about ALL IS LOST that makes it different than other films? 

A. Well, if you go to the movies you can see that most of them are full of action and special effects but this was more pure. And the fact that there wasn’t too much said allowed the opportunity for the actor to provide his own sense to the character and for the audience to come more into the picture with him.

Q. What did you think of ALL IS LOST when you finally saw it completed?

A. I saw it at the Cannes Film Festival and thought: “Wow!” I mean, people could have booed it because it was so open; but they didn’t.

Q. What moments did you especially enjoy in the movie?

A. There were a couple of moments I especially liked when you could allow the audience to imagine how my character felt, which were when he wasn’t fighting something or taking care of business. In those moments of peace he would just look out and contemplate what was there. 

Q. What could he see in those moments?

A. He could see a vast expansion of nothing but space. And then what was underneath him on that small boat was just miles and miles of deep water.

Q. What do you think the cinematographic storytelling reason was for those shots?

A. To make the audience feel a sense of aloneness. I can’t imagine how you can feel more alone than that! You don’t have ground under your feet to walk on or a tree to climb. I just thought that feeling was a very powerful element in the film that you hoped the audience would capture.

Q. What back-story did you imagine for your character?

A. I didn’t imagine anything more than what was there. At the beginning of the movie, when my character says that he is sorry and that he tried, it allows us to imagine that there is a family involved and that he isn’t a horrible person, but also that he failed at something. So, maybe this journey that he is on is his way to complete himself and find out if he can do something. That’s all I had, and it was enough for me because I didn’t want to go outside that too much.

One of the things I like about ALL IS LOST is that it lets the audience have their own interpretation instead of telling them how they are supposed to feel.

Q. Can you talk about the relevance of the title of the movie?

A. This film satisfied a lot of things for me, but one of them was that it was about something I am interested in, which is at what point, when things are really awful and all is lost, some people quit and others keep going. 

Q. So, why do you believe your character keeps going on?

A. Because there is only continuing for him and nothing else for him to do. So, he keeps going because he can.

Q. You worked on another film years ago about a man who is also pushed to the limit and keeps going on, JEREMIAH JOHNSON. What are the similarities you see between them?

A. What these two films have in common is that they are about a character who encounters such hardship that it seems like it’s all impossible and he just can’t go any further. He is alone, either in water or on land, and one obstacle after another just keeps coming, each one greater than the last one.

Q. J. C. Chandor’s previous movie, MARGIN CALL, was very different than ALL IS LOST. 

A. That was one of the things that impressed me about him! MARGIN CALL was about a bunch of people in a room talking about money, and this was so different and completely away from that. It made me feel like he was a guy I’d be happy to trust just as an actor.

Q. How was the physical aspect of spending all those hours on and under the water during the shoot?

A. It was very hard! I was okay in the water because I like to swim, but to be wet all the time all day long did wear me out physically. That was the toughest part of the shoot for me. 

All Is Lost starts showing on February 5, 2014 at SM Cinemas and is released by Solar UIP Philippines.

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