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July 26, 2017

Hari Osias Banaag: Championing Pinoy Martial Arts on a Global Scale

Sikaran is a Filipino Martial Art said to have originated in the Tagalog region. Here, opponents for sport or for combat try to engage each other using kicks that mimic that of the farm animals. A Side Thrust Kick, for example, copies the kick of a cow. The Back Kick is inspired by the powerful backwards punt of a horse, while the Jumping Front Kick copies a steed as it rears. The most widely-used or “signature” kick is the Biyakid or Biyak Patagilid which engages the power of the whole body and channels it to the waist, leg, and feet, making it the most effective one in the combatant’s arsenal.

Hari represented Sikaran at the UNESCO meeting on Traditional Sports and Games at the organization’s headquarters in Paris, France. With him are fellow delegates Shammi Rana from India and Jong Lee of Korea.

Hari Osias Banaag, a Filipino Sikaran Grand Master based in the US, is trying to bring global attention to the Filipino sport that he literally and figuratively discovered in his own backyard. Growing up in Baras, he was conscripted by his father to learn Karate as a form of self-defense. “I started with Karate in 1968, my father didn’t want me to be picked on by other children. I took lessons for three years, but my heart was not into it,” he recalls. 

Affordable Japanese-Inspired Accommodation at The Travel City of the Philippines

This may sound cliché, but with my recent experience at Kabayan Hotel in Pasay City - Yes, the Travel City of the Philippines - the saying "Don't judge the book by its cover" fits perfectly well and just sounds right. So, yeah, let me share more of this story to you here...


With so many hotels, condotels, and even motels around the metro, I wonder how one chooses their accommodation? I'd like to assume that fellow travelers - local and international alike - would agree on these three things: proximity, comfortability and price.

Kabayan Hotel Lobby

Pinoy Star Cafe

July 25, 2017

Shopee Partners with Red Cross to Help Filipinos Prepare for Disasters

Shopee, the leading online shopping platform in the Philippines, partners with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to promote National Disaster Resilience Month this July. The partnership encourages Filipinos to be equipped and self-reliant to be able to survive the first and most crucial 72 hours following a calamity, during which amenities such as electricity, water or telephone lines may not work, and rescue teams may not be able to reach the location immediately. 

PRC Lifeline Kits

“Shopee is proud to work with the Philippine Red Cross as we promote the importance of resilience after a disaster.  We hope that by having the PRC Lifeline Kits available on Shopee, this helps Filipinos prepare for and survive in the aftermath of disasters or emergencies,” said Macy Castillo, Shopee’s Head of Commercial Business. 

July 24, 2017

Denim Love at the Penshoppe DenimLab

Penshoppe once again proved that denim is indeed the clothing for all season, and despite of the sunny or rainy weather in the country, everyone will always have a good reason to style up and carry the denim that you love in any way you want it. 

#PenshoppeDNMLabDIYBar

And happening this week, at the activity center of Glorietta in Makati City, Penshoppe is celebrating the Pinoy’s love on denim through Penshoppe Denim Lab – a DIY-denim-customization project heralded by some of the countries budding artists such as Mara Reyes, Archie Geotina, KITA and JP Le Pew.

Traveloka Announces Upcoming Flash Sale this July

Traveloka, Southeast Asia's leading travel booking app for accommodation and flights, will be having another major sale this July 28. This one day flash sale promises huge deals on hotels and airfare and should not be missed.


“We’re always looking to give our travelers the very best packages on hotels and flights,” said Poch Ceballos, Traveloka’s Country Manager. “And the Traveloka one day flash sales are usually where they can get the very best deals.”

Traveloka follows up its hugely successful June Independence Day Pop Up Sale with the upcoming July sale.

Beat the bed weather with a bottle of Kopiko 78°c

As the rainy season starts, it’s so tempting to stay at home curled up in a ball covered by our warm and fluffy comforters. But though we're experiencing bed weather, we don’t always have the luxury of letting it get the best of us. 


So, we get up - albeit begrudgingly - and do whatever we have to do to get through the gloomy day, be it taking a nice cold shower, listening to upbeat music or drinking coffee. Coffee has always been there for those who want to stay focused and motivated despite the rains. We can choose to get a brewed coffee, whip up some instant coffee, or buy the cold ready-to-drink coffee at the nearest store. 

For students trying to get through an all-nighter and those who in a hurry to get to the office, the bottled coffee lattes are the best option, not only because it saves you the time of preparing a coffee, but also because it satisfies that thirst for a refreshing and recharging beverage.  

July 20, 2017

Comforting Japanese Favorites at Ori Japanese House

As the former circuit race track starts to evolve into a lively and colorful community, which soon will be surrounded by towering condominium residences and office facilities, at the heart of it lies a city oasis they call Circuit Lane Mall – one of the newest malls in the metro that provides unique leisure experience filled with shopping and dining destinations.

And last weekend, together with some friends, I had a chance to visit this area located at the boundary of Manila and Makati City. I was honestly surprised to see how fast an old horse race track changed into something homey and comforting. Though, it wasn’t yet 100% functional, I saw that there’s a great line up of restaurants, food joints and coffee shops in the area that will surely entice its guests. And among these is this new go-to place for Japanese food cravings – Ori Japanese House.


Inspired by origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, Ori offers a great selection of delectable and luscious Japanese favorites such as ramen, gyoza, sushi, sashimi, maki, okonomiyaki, bento meals and so much more.

July 19, 2017

Actor Ian Veneracion finds a new love . . . in Ascof Lagundi

At age 42, gentleman actor and reluctant heartthrob Ian Veneracion appears to be a star whose time has come. Although he started acting at the age of 5, Veneracion’s career took a long, circuitous route to leading man status, something he finally achieved when he was cast as a swoon-worthy hero in hit TV soaps. 


Today he seems unstoppable, his career trajectory leading him to a place that much younger and more aggressive actors have yet to reach. 

Ironically, it is from this enviable place that Veneracion now seeks balance even as he appreciates the perks of stardom. He has kept the debonair good looks that make fans - age 18 to 80 - swoon, yes, but the Gen X actor now finds fulfillment in matters that are more constant and stable, and less transitory. 

Casa De Memoria concludes “Age of Exploration” auction

European art complement Asian heirlooms in Casa De Memoria’s biggest auction to date.

Art Installation by Waves 4 Water in collaboration with 
Casa de Memoria for Auction .0007: Age of Exploration

The mood was as light as the soft music that played in the background. Wine glasses in hand, a group of men casually pored over a 19th century Italian cabinet. The ivory inlaid panels contrast beautifully against the ebonized wood, and depicted hunting scenes from its day. Across the room, two young ladies fawned over a pair of Imari jars, whose intricate floral and bird ornaments revealed the craftsmanship of Meiji-era Japan.

Everybody in the crowd seemed to know each other as wine and laughter flowed throughout the evening. If not for the carded art pieces that peppered the space, the showroom along Jupiter St., Makati might have been hosting just another party. But beneath the pleasantries, everybody was in a way actually up against one another. After all, they were in Casa De Memoria - Manila’s premier auction house for international fine and decorative art - and the gathering was a viewing session for lots on offer. 

Rainy Day Cooking with King Sue

Ah, rainy days! Love it or hate it, you can’t stop the rains from pouring. But instead of sulking over cancelled plans, look at the bright side and turn a grim weather into an opportunity to slow down, recharge, and have fun. 


Below is a quick list from King Sue that’ll keep you cozy and entertained while it’s pouring outside. Some activities are also great for bonding and reconnecting with loved ones so read on:
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