Monday, February 27, 2017

THE VOICE Exclusively Returns to Star World

Who's excited for the return of The Voice? It's premiering live in the Philippines this end of February!

Press Release:

Star World, FOX Networks Group (FNG) Philippines’ number one female-oriented general entertainment channel announced the return of the well-loved and three-time Emmy winning talent show. The Voice Season 12 exclusively premieres in the Philippines on February 28, 2017 (Tuesday) only on Star World with live telecasts every 2:00 PM and primetime replays at 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM respectively.

Exciting turn of events are in-store for the viewers on the latest season of The Voice as we continue the search for the next best voice that will shake the music industry to the core. The season premiere of The Voice marks the sweet return of Gwen Stefani as she once again secures her judging spot, rounding up the girl power action on the competition up against Adam Levine and once again reunited with her partner, Blake Shelton.

The latest season of The Voice boasts a bigger, better, and more engaging experience than it has on its previous season by bringing in the biggest and most recognizable names in the music industry as adviser to the coaches, making everything a match made in heaven; Celine Dion joins Gwen Stefani as an adviser taking the femme fatal action to high roads. On the other corner of music, five-time winner of show, Blake Shelton is joined by Luke Bryan — a tandem easy on the eyes and easy on dynamics as the two have worked together before to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Adam Levine pairs up with a legend; John Legend that is. These swoon-worthy gents collaborate to take ordinary people to the next level while keeping their dapper in check. Running on her second season for The Voice, Alicia Keys is all about winning as she teams up with award-winning hip hop artist DJ Khaled, and everyone sure knows that all he does is win no matter what.

With all these great additions to The Voice stage, the stakes get even higher and better as the season presents extended Blind Auditions, making room for far more artists, far more voices, and far more drama — leave it to host Carson Daly to make sure things don’t get out of hand. As the latest season steps up in more ways than one, Star World stays true to its promise of delivering only the best and premier content and immediately brings it fresh from the US!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ballet Manila Opens 2017 with Classic Masterpiece Don Quixote

I've had the pleasure of attending a ballet class for adults under Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde a few weeks ago and had fun. You can read all about that, here. However, I know I won't ever be the kind of dancer she and her other passionate colleagues are so I'll settle for being a fan who appreciates their form of art :) Please catch Don Quixote this coming weekend at the Aliw Theater!

Press Release:

Opening the year in true Ballet Manila fashion, the country’s premier classical dance company is staging one of the world’s most colorful and enduring ballet pieces—Don Quixote.

Happening on February 24 and 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. and on February 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Aliw Theater, Don Quixote is known in the ballet world as one of the most technically challenging pieces ever created, with some of the choreography raising the already high international standards when it first premiered in 1869 at the Tsar's Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. It is especially known for its compulsory quick and strong movements, high vertical takeoffs, one arm lifts, quick fouettes, quadruple pirouettes, and Kitri’s signature move, the Plisetskaya head-kick.

Katherine and Rudy
Don Quixote is the closing act for Ballet Manila’s 21st performance season. Set in Spain, the story tells the tale of Don Quixote, who decides to become a knight and embark on a journey to find Lady Dulcinea, a lover that he has only made up in his head.  The ballet places special focus on the love story between Kitri and Basilio, a pair he encounters during his adventures. The production combines great acrobatic feats, lively music, colorful sets and costumes, and a lot of comedic elements. Specially for this run, Ballet Manila will bring in Kremlin Ballet Theater star and principal danseur, Mikhail Martynyuk, to play Basilio.

“Our 21st performance season, Revenge of the Classics, has allowed us to mark so many milestones not just for Ballet Manila, but for the country as well,” says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s CEO and Artistic Director. “Therefore, we only find it fitting to close it with a true classic—one that’s opulent, captivatingly elaborate, and serves as a true testament to the strength, passion, and skills of our dancers, who are all trained in the Vaganova Academy Style of dancing.”

She continues, “Don Quixote is kind of like my signature ballet. It’s the ballet that really brought me to the spotlight, and Kitri is my most performed role. I’m so excited for this production because I feel like this is me handing down the role to Ballet Manila’s next generation of principal dancers.” Alternating for the role of Kitri are Katherine Barkman, Pia Dames, and Dawna Mangahas, who will be partnered by Martynyuk, 

Pia and Gerardo
Lisa adds that the public should also watch out for the ballet’s production elements. “We are revamping some elements of our staging from previous ones. We are going all out with stage designs, props, and costumes. We’re not holding back for Don Quixote. Everyone should really watch out for it.”

Don Quixote is co-presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company, Star City, and Aliw Theater. Other sponsors include ACS Manufacturing Corporation, First United Corporation, Papa John’s Pizza, Hot Star Chicken, Oasis Paco Park Hotel, Microtel Wyndham Hotels, Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, City Garden Suites Malate,Island Rose, and Philcom. Official ride partner is Grab Philippines. To learn more about it, visit or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tickets are also available through all Ticketworld outlets. Please call 8919999 or visit, for more information.

About Ballet Manila
Founded in 1995 by Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Osias Barroso, Ballet Manila is the country’s premier classical dance company. With the mission of connecting both ballet and the people, the company, which puts education at the forefront of its priorities, is well-known as the only Philippine dance company to adopt and strictly adhere to the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet style of dancing, which is well-regarded the world over as the most disciplined and technically-superior style. The company currently has 65 artists under its wing, all of whom have been trained in the Vaganova Academy style of dancing. The company boasts of a solid repertoire that consists of some of the most technically challenging and timeless ballet favorites.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Documentary on Special Needs to Screen at Inclusive Education Summit

Please take time to watch Yakap this coming February 22. It might just change your perspectives about a lot of things. You may also read my personal thoughts about the documentary, at

Press Release:

The Center for Possibilities is scheduled to show “Yakap” on February 22, 4:00 pm, at the SMX Convention Center Manila, providing those who missed last year’s premiere an opportunity to view the much-lauded documentary which follows the lives of three families of children with special needs.

Kris Aquino says #YesToInclusion
The screening will be part of the international leadership summit on inclusive education organized by the social enterprise, The Teacher’s Gallery. With the theme, “I Am You – Opening Minds, Opening Hearts: Putting Values into Action”, the summit which will run from February 22 to 24, aims to to spearhead a movement that will advocate for the right of the individual with disability to be educated in the regular classroom. #YesToInclusion is their call.

Renowned international experts, Professors Tony Booth from the University of Cambridge and David Hoff of the Boston-based Institute for Community Inclusion will deliver the keynotes. There will be paper presenters on how inclusion works, posing and challenging theories, and conceiving innovative concepts. Further, participants of the 2016 Boston Study Tour will report on benchmarking best practices in the US classrooms.

International Leadership Summit in Inclusive Education
Expected to take part in the program are Vice-President Leni Robredo, Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, and UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander. Senator Bam Aquino and Congressman Alfred Vargas will be presenting the joint bill to serve the people with disabilities worked on by the organizing committee led by the Fully Abled Nation.

Schools, parents, service providers and support groups will impart best practices/perspectives on how inclusion works for their children. To explain their support programs are heads of various associations: AD/HD Association, Autism Society, Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome Association. They will also be joined by highly respected developmental and behavioral pediatricians namely Dr. Francis Dimalanta and Dr. Stella Manalo and the Harvard graduates from the International Education Policy program. For the local government unit, Mayor Rex Gatchalian will share Valenzuela’s educational programs serving people with disabilities.

Success Storyteller Sarah Jane Dela Rosa
Another portion to look forward to is the segment of extraordinary people relating their overcoming disability success stories - Sarah Jane Dela Rosa, a 22-year-old student with cerebral palsy fully included in a regular class;  Eric Marco Ramos, the first blind person to qualify for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program administered by the US Fulbright Commission and currently a faculty member at Philippine Normal University;  Dr. Rex Bernardo from the University of Sydney, currently a professor of Mabini Colleges; and Joy Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Tahanan ng Walang Hagdan. Finally, Mr. Tony Llanes, the blind founder of ATRIEV (Adaptive Technology for the Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of Visually Impaired) will be demonstrating digital resources for the blind.

Alongside the talks will be the exhibition of #DrawDisability, a global art campaign launched by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative in partnership with the Global Observatory for Inclusion and the UN Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group.

For inquiries and registration, visit,, or call 02-769-3013 / 0977-8095110 / 0998-554-8522.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

George Clooney's Wife Amal Expecting Twins

Because many of us love anything George Clooney-related, here's some happy news :)

Press Release:

Stop EVERYTHING! George Clooney is going to be a DAD! Yes, you read that right! Amal Clooney is pregnant with TWINS! The power couple famously wed in Venice in September 2014, taking one of the most eligible celebrity bachelors of all time off the market, and now, that former bachelor is going to be a dad of two! George, who is 55, fell for Amal, after meeting in 2013 at a charity fundraiser, and was immediately smitten with her. 

photo credit:
Over the past few years, he has been quoted numerous times professing his love for the beautiful 39 year old human rights lawyer, saying that he had never been so happy in any other relationship “by any stretch of the imagination” and mentioning that Amal is just an “amazing human being”. He also confessed that at age 52, he “found love, and couldn't be happier!” So sweet!

photo credit: E! Online
Julie Chen, talk show host, and wife of CBS chief executive Les Moonves, was actually the one who announced the pregnancy on the daytime talk show “The Talk”. She said that she heard the news straight from George himself during a game night late last month, and that the couple gave her the go-ahead to announce! So exciting! We also found out during that announcement that the twins are due in June 2017! We cannot wait for them to arrive! Plus, Amal is so gorgeous and fashionable, we are going to be definitely watching for her pregnancy style! So, so, so happy for this adorable couple, and can't wait to follow them through this journey!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Security Bank Releases Advisory on Intrabank / Interbranch Transaction Fees

Recently, one bank's announcement that it will soon charge fees for online fund transfers to unenrolled accounts met with protests from its depositors. I am one of those who will be affected because I sometimes send and receive payments for one-time transactions with clients. Thus, I am sharing this advisory from Security Bank to inform fellow bank depositors about another option ...

Press Release:

Manila, Philippines. February 2, 2017 -- ADVISORY on Security Bank Intrabank / Interbranch Transaction Fees

We have recently received many questions and inquiries regarding Intrabank / Interbranch fees and charges at Security Bank.

To clarify: Intrabank/Interbranch transactions do not have a charge.

Security Bank does not charge fees for transfers between Security Bank accounts—whether the transfer is done through the mobile app, online (SBOL), or over the counter. This will not change in the foreseeable future.

As a Security Bank customer, please note the following:
• You can transfer up to P1MM per day to any Security Bank account—regardless of whether the receiving account is enrolled in online banking—with no transfer charges.
• If you are transferring between accounts that you own, there is no transfer limit.
• Any transfer to an external account where the transferred amount is over P40K will require a one-time-password (OTP).
• If you are transferring funds to an account for the first time, the transaction will require a one-time-password (OTP).

If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment on their Facebook page, here:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#HOOQTimeAnytime and Win A Trip to Hong Kong Disneyland

Already HOOQ'd? Get creative and post your winning photo online! 

Press Release:

HOOQ, Asia’s largest video-on-demand service, starts the New Year with a bang with the #HOOQTimeAnytime Hong Kong Getaway Promo.

All you have to do is show us where you HOOQ!

Do you do it in bed or while you’re exercising on the treadmill? Do you HOOQ in the morning while having breakfast or when you’re stuck in traffic on the way home?  

Wherever or whenever you spend your HOOQ time, those special moments can win you and your friends a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland!

Take a photo of your best and most creative HOOQ moments and post them on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Tag HOOQ’s official accounts and use the #HOOQTimeAnytime hashtag. Just make sure your account is set to public!

Every Monday, HOOQ will choose the most deserving entries to win some awesome prizes and for the grand raffle draw the lucky winner will win a trip for 4 to Hong Kong Disneyland inclusive of a two-day pass to HK Disneyland including airfare, pocket money and accommodations! The Grand Prize will be picked via draw lots.

This promo is open to all active HOOQ subscribers (free and paid) who have availed of the service direct from the website or the app. 

For complete details of the promo mechanics check out

So what are you waiting for? Download HOOQ now and enjoy the latest episodes of your favorite Superhero TV Series, binge watch on thousands of movies, and enjoy the largest collection of Filipino content available on any video on demand service.

How to get HOOQ
It’s easy to get HOOQ!  Sign up today for a 7-day trial on  Globe mobile customers can get up to 6 months HOOQ subscription on selected plans.  Broadband customers also get 5 months HOOQ on Globe At Home Plans from P1,299 and up.  Once the trial period expires, Globe customers can continue enjoying HOOQ at P149 subscription fee monthly charged to their Globe bill. Simply text HOOQ149 to 8888.

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