Month: May 2016

Kuya J Restaurant: Home of the Best Halo Halo Espesyal (Review)

It’s so hot!!!

I’m sure you guys are getting tired of me sharing how hot the weather is here, but I’m excited to report that I now have a solution for that, and it makes my tummy happy too!!!

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Presenting the Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal, Kuya J restaurant’s summer addition to breeze through the piping hot season. 

I initially had very little expectations for this one, but I was pleasantly surprised by it! It’s definitely the best value for money halo halo you can find this side of town. What makes this halo halo stand out  is its paper thin shaved ice, with a very rich and creamy milk base, and a myriad of tasty ingredients mixed in. A bit of digging through the ice reveals sweet and meaty macapuno strings, red and green nata de coco, caramelized saba, velvety ube jam, and glazed langkaKuya J Halo Halo Espesyal is topped with a thick chunk of leche flan, crunchy corn flakes, and drizzled with ube cream. That’s a lot for a price tag of just Php 99.

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Taste-wise, the Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal is every halo halo lover’s dream. The shaved ice and milk melt to something that’s as smooth and suave as the restaurant’s endorser, Jericho Rosales.

Of course, Kuya J Restaurant doesn’t just serve halo halo, they also serve up delicious Filipino cuisine. Bestsellers include the Kuya J Crispy Pata, Kare Kare, Sizzling Sisig, and a whole lot more. Hit the read more break for a full restaurant food review for Kuya J.

Ambiance

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Being a Filipino restaurant, I was half expecting to see a more traditional looking dining space. It’s great though that they stuck to using more modern and chic elements to appeal to a bigger crowd.

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Kuya J restaurants are well lit, spacious, and adorned with soft wood furnishings. I liked how one side of the restaurant is decorated with those wooden box shelves, so it feels more cozy.

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The shelves are filled with little trinkets, books, and small plants, stuff you can use as props when you’re making a food flatlay! Yay for bloggers like me who love taking photos of food.

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Kuya J Food (Menu)

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Kuya J’s menu consists of local Filipino cuisine, with most of the dishes staples in our own homes. What makes their food different from your mom makes is that they have different takes on some of them, and might be even better than mom’s cooking. But don’t tell her that 🙂 *wink wink*

Appetizers

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Kuya J Lumpia Presko Php 95

  • Sauteed crab meat and bamboo shoots filling rolled in malunggay infused wrapper with sweet garlic sauce
  • this was surprisingly good for something that resembles a fresh spring roll. The crab meat and bamboo shoot worked well together, and brought out a fresh but still savory flavor
  • I love that the wraps are infused with malunggay making it even healthier! Don’t forget to drizzle with a bit of the sweet sauce to make it even better.
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Kuya J Grilled Scallops Php 230

  • grilled scallops with cheesy butter topping
  • the scallops are a bit small, but the generous amount of cheese, butter and garlic for each one more than makes up for that
  • each one was a burst of flavor, you can’t eat just one!
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Mains

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Danggit Rice Php 175

  • Garlic fried rice with fried danggit, danggit bits and chives
  • The serving for this one is huge, good for abour 4-6 people
  • the rice was mildly flavored, which was perfect since the danggit (dried fish) was already salty
  • This rice is the perfect companion to dishes like sinigang, kare kare and crispy pata
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Kuya J Kare Kare Php 399

  • Kuya J’s take on the traditional kare kare, with reinvented peanut sauce
  • to be honest, it doesn’t stand out as much as the other dishes, but I liked how creamy the sauce was.
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Kuya J’s Crispy Pata (Family) Php 695

  • whole pork leg with perfectly deep fried pork skin and tender juicy pata meat. crispy delicious!
  • this one was my absolute favorite out of everything they served that day!
  • It was crispy, seasoned well, and the meat inside was tender, what more could I ask for!
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You can also ask the wait staff to cut out the meat and skin for you. We did, and we were glad with that decision because it could get messy, of you didn’t know how to use the scissors and tongs properly.

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I will never ever ever get tired of saying this: I LOVE CRISPY PATA. Boy does Kuya J give great justice to this dish.

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Crispy Catfish Php 295

  • battered deep fried catfish seasoned with spices, served with chilli tuba vinegar and bagoong mayo
  • Both the sauces went well with the crispy catfish, but I personally preferred the bagoong mayonnaise. I normally don’t like mayonnaise, but the fishiness of the bagoong was cut out by the mayonnaise, and the resulting sauce was salty and tangy at the same time
  • The catfish was perfectly golden crisp, but you have to watch out for fish bones
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Relyenong Talong Php 120

  • Filipino style omelette
  • pan fried grilled eggplant with ground pork and egg
  • good ‘ole tortang talong but it tasted way more flavorful
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Sizzling Sisig with Egg Php 199

  • The all time Filipino favorite sizzling, crispy, and crumbly chopped spicy pork belly
  • this one was as good as sisig can get: crisp and tasty

Desserts and Drinks

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Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal Php 99

  • paper thin shaved ice with rich creamy milk, filled with meaty macapuno (coconut sport) strings, red and green nata de coco (chewy coconut gel product),  caramelized saba (banana variety), velvety ube (purple yam) jam, glazed langka (jackfruit), topped with leche flan (creme caramel), crispy corn flakes, and drizzled with ube cream
  • I already said it earlier, but it’s so unreal guys. The smooth texture of this one is unbelievable. It’s sticky, smooth, creamy, and sweet all at the same time!
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For drinks, they have a lot of options, but we got to try these:

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Fresh Buko Juice Php 75

  • fresh and inside the coconut shell, you can even ask the wait staff to carve out the coconut flesh once you’ve finished the juice
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Kuya J’s Fruitshake Special Php 95

  • mango, cantaloupe, cucumber and pineapple blended together
  • it was a bit too sweet for me, but refreshing nonetheless
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What made my Kuya J restaurant dining experience even better was meeting the restaurant’s endorser, Mr. Jericho Rosales. I’ve met a lot of celebrities already, but I couldn’t believe how down to earth he was! He kept asking us about the food, and even shared a few jokes, as also sang a few songs for us, some from his latest album Korona.

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All in all I had a great time at Kuya J, food was great and service was awesome. Definitely coming back for the crispy pata, scallops and halo halo!!!

Kuya J Restaurant (35 Branches Nationwide)
SM Manila Branch:
Address:

Fourth Floor, Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila

Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10am to 9pm, Friday to Saturday 10am to 10pm
For Reservations Contact: (02)7420305, +63 9988417211


Facebook Page: Kuya J Restaurant
Instagram: @kuyajresto
Hashtags:  

#‎KuyaJ ‪#‎EspesyalSaloSalo‬

Kuya J Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pamper and Dine at these Hidden Gems from Binondo Manila

It’s safe to say I spent half my childhood in Binondo, Manila’s own Chinatown. I would spend most of my summers there, attending a lot of classes and workshops like art (drawing, painting, even sculpting), swimming, singing, dancing, etc. My parents also used to work in the area, so I thought my knowledge about the establishments in the area is pretty good.

But then, that was challenged when I was invited to try out a few spots there. Binondo is popular for a lot of hole in the wall specialty shops, even more for food. You can find beautiful old buildings along Escolta, jewelry shops and restaurants along Ongpin, and complete your foodtrip at the surrounding streets like at Buenavidez.

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As if the area isn’t crowded with enough hidden gems already, I even discovered two more spots you should visit the next time you’re in the area. The first one is a spa, Escape Wellness Therapeutic Spa, specializing in traditional techniques for the ultimate pampering experience. The second one is a Chinese food hub, Awi’s Cafe and Restaurant, with great food at affordable prices, plus karaoke and specialty function rooms.

Treat yourself to a pamper session at Escape Wellness Therapeutic Spa

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Escape Wellness and Therapeutic Spa or Escape Spa 逸龍閣保健中心 is a humble spa tucked inside the first floor of a condominium sandwiched between Sto. Cristo and Muelle de Binondo Streets. We initially had difficulty finding the spa because there wasn’t any sign outside the facade of the building. It is right in the middle of the ground floor, and if you didn’t know it existed, you wouldn’t know where it was. I had to ask the security guards around the area to help point us to the right direction.

The Facilities

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For a place that’s definitely a bit hidden, the spa was actually fully booked when we visited. It’s a great thing we already set an appointment a few days earlier. The owner and the receptionist shared that most of their clients are the residents of the condominium, and they rely heavily on word of mouth for awareness.

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The individual massage rooms are separated by curtain dividers, each one clean and tidy. Before the service, guests are asked to change into garments and slippers provided by the spa. I love the loose kimono and matching shorts they asked us to wear, soooo comfy!

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The Services

I got to try Calming Escape Combination Massage which includes an Aromatherapy body massage and Foot Reflexology. The owner recommended the 90 minutes one, as it was also their bestselling service, and the owner’s favorite.

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The massage started off with the Foot Reflexology. My feet were soaked in warm water first, cleaned, and then the masseuse proceeded with the massage.

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It’s was my first time to try Foot Reflexology, and guys, it was amazing, I could feel all my fatigue going away. 

“In reflexology theory, points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. Practitioners access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body. 

For example, reflexology holds that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a reflexology practitioner uses thumbs or fingers to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it affects bladder functioning.” 

– University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing 

I couldn’t believe it at first, how only focusing on specific spots on the feet could really help ease the other corresponding body parts, which were far from the foot.

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This is me being super happy and satisfied after the foot reflexology. It was initially tingly or ticklish, but once you get used to it, the tension melted away.

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After that the masseuse proceeded to the body massage, starting with my leg. I liked that everytime after she finishes with a limb, she also proceeds to wipe off the excess massage oil, so I don’t feel sticky at all.

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After the legs, there’s the back massage, and finally the temples and neck. I almost fell asleep because the massage was sooo good! FYI, I could hear the guest in the adjacent room snoring really loudly during his massage!

I’d definitely come back. The ambiance is great, the staff very friendly, and the service is well worth it.

This came at a perfect timing for me because I had just gone to my first spinning class the day before (sore hips, knees, and legs!), and did a lot of errands the whole week!

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To complete the full relaxation experience, they also serve ginger tea. Mind you, the tea is surprisingly good, with just the right amount of spice from ginger.

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I just have to share this because hygiene is very important in spas! their restroom is very clean and roomy, and smelled really nice.

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Overall I had a great time, and a little chat with the owner and the receptionist reveals that all their staff are properly trained. They only use traditional techniques, and each masseuse at Escape Spa is certified to do that.

I know it’s only my first time to try Foot Reflexology, but I’ll already go ahead and say Escape Spa is the best place to go for it! I haven’t felt this good after a massage in a long while, so for me Escape Spa is one of the best spas in Manila to offer reflexology and traditional massages.

Here’s a photo of the

Escape Spa 逸龍閣保健中心 Service Menu, in case you were wondering about their other services:

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Escape Wellness Therapeutic Spa (Escape Spa 逸龍閣保健中心)  
Address: G/F The Ritzville Residence 525 Muelle de Binondo St. or 530 Sto. Cristo St. Binondo Manila
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm
Contact Nos.: 
559-7328

Indulge in Chinese comfort food at Awi’s Cafe and Restaurant

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Unlike the spa earlier, Awi’s Cafe and Restaurant is relatively easy to spot. With a big lit up signage and a bright exterior, it stands out from the street filled with shops, and residential spaces. 

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The welcome sign on the floor instead of the usual welcome rug is a very nice touch too, making the restaurant very inviting.

Ambiance

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During the day, the ambiance is a typical Chinese hole in the wall restaurant, complete with private rooms for special gatherings like birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.

At night though, it transforms into very lively pub-cafe where any person, regardless of age can enjoy a drink and sing a song on the karaoke machine. On the night we were there, there was a celebration, and everyone took turns at the karaoke machine. It’s nice to note that the karaoke has English, Filipino, and Chinese songs in its database, so there’s always an option for you.

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Awi’s Cafe Food

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The menu is very extensive, covering the typical Chinese fare like dimsum, noodles and rice toppings, as well as more unconventional fusion options.

What we tried:

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Sour and Spicy Shrimp with Mango Php 298

  • I was very surprised at how the shrimp stayed crispy after a long time. It was the first dish served and I wanted to wait for all the dishes to come out to take a flat lay photo. Because of that, I was expecting the breading to get soggy with the sauce, but no, the shrimp was crisp and perfect
  • The sweet tangy mango adds a nice tropical touch to the dish, elevating the usual sweet and sour taste

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Oyster Cake – Php 240

  • Oyster cake is one of my favorite Chinese/Taiwanese dishes, so I was excited about this one
  • There was a bit more egg that I was used to, but that’s okay since the flavor of the oysters still came through. I would have prefered more cilantro in it, for more texture
  • I personally like to eat it on its own, but some like putting ketchup or chili sauce on it

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Tangy BBQ Chicken Php 220

  • This reminded me so much of double fried soy chicken, except this once was juicier, crispier than BonChon, Kyochon, or any other similar establishments
  • I also liked how it was sweet, spicy, tangy and salty all at the same time

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Tostado Bihon Php 180

  • It was my first time to try bihon served this way
  • The toasted outside layer is actually nice as a crisp snack
  • It had a lot of toppings stuffed in, like the veggies, shrimps, chicken, etc.
  • The best way to eat it is prolly to crack it open, mix everything inside, and squeeze in a calamansi or two

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Awi’s offers a delivery service, and even have pansit sa bilao.

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Another service unique to Awi’s is that they also accept orders for custom cakes. The designs are super cute, and you can check most of them on their instagram, @awiscafe 

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All in all, I had a great time at Awi’s, I might have even joined in the karaoke if I stayed longer. Then again, at least now I have another reason to go back, so I can sing and enjoy good food with the best company.

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Awi’s Cafe and Restaurant
Address:
520 E.T. Yuchengco St. Binondo, Manila

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 12am
For Reservations and Delivery Contact:
241-29-61/241-73-83/516-85-76


Facebook Page: Awi’s Cafe and Restaurant
Instagram: @awiscafe
Hashtags:  #AwisCafe

Awi's Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

That’s it for the hidden gems I discovered in Binondo recently, care to share some more?

This post is actually a part of the Best of the West Campaign:

The Best of the West Campaign is an invitation for everyone to experience what’s unique, delectable and delightful in the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area. With this campaign, you will find great products and places you’ve probably never heard of, along with some tips, tricks, and other exciting discoveries from your fellow urban explorers. Don’t forget to share with us your travel story!

The West Zone is composed of 17 cities and municipalities in the Greater Manila Area. It includes Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Parañaque, Valenzuela, parts of Quezon City (Projects 7 & 8), a part of Makati; the cities of Bacoor, Cavite and Imus, and the municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario all in the province of Cavite.

These cities are homes to unexpected food finds, shopping bargains, gimik spots, and everything in between.

So whether you’re a West Zone resident, avowed foodie or adventurous urbanite, there’s definitely something for you to try in this part of the Metro. And we’ve done our best to narrow down your choices so you can experience only the Best of the West!

This lifestyle and travel advocacy campaign is powered by Maynilad. To know more about the company, visit www.mayniladwater.com.ph.

For more information about this campaign, visit their Facebook page, Follow them on Instagram @bestofthewest, and watch out for their website, coming soon!

Be Confident In Your Own Skin with Kojie San

I have always been insecure with my uneven skin tone. Because the face is the most exposed (to the sun) part of the body, it’s also my body part with the darkest skin tone. I try to even it out by applying a lighter shade of foundation, just so my neck will match my face. More than often, I don’t achieve the results I want with makeup, so I’ve resorted to using whitening products. For years, I’ve been unsuccessful, getting initially promising results then being disappointed after. 

In a previous blog post, I’ve shared with you guys how I’ve been using the Kojie San Classic Skin Lightening Line. It’s been a pleasant surprise so far, the progress hasn’t  been fast, but it is noticeable.

I say it’s noticeable, because a lot of people have been asking me about my skin care regimen recently. The consensus is, I have great skin even in this very hot weather. This made me really excited, because the only thing I’ve changed up in my skin care regimen is the use of the Kojie San Classic Skin Lightening Line.

Which only means one thing: The Kojie San line is effective! I’ve been using the line for about two (2) months already, and I can’t believe the compliments I’m getting.

Fresh from this high, I’ve been going outdoors more often. For someone who avoids sun exposure and lathers on sunscreen way too often like me, that’s really something. 

I am now more confident to go out and frolic in the sun because I know I can still maintain my fair skin. Just this weekend, my family and I went to Baguio for a quick summer getaway. Weather in Baguio City is definitely a little cooler than Manila’s, but the sun still shined bright, and you could still get toasty. I biked, rode a horse, and even hiked under the heat of the noontime sun, without carrying an umbrella! That’s how confident I was.

I guess, that’s also what I love about using the Kojie San Classic Skin Lightening Line, I get to do the things I want and love without the fear of losing all the hard work in lightening my skin tone.

Just so you guys know, these are the products from the line that I’ve been using:

  1. Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap 135g php 68
  2. Kojie San Cleanser and Toner 100mL Php 75
  3. Kojie San Lightening Face Cream 30g Php 120
  4. Kojie San Lightening Body Lotion 200mL Php 262

The Regimen:

I start of with using the soap for my whole body, including the face. Some user reviews state that you should leave the soap on the skin for a few minutes, but I don’t leave it on for more than 2 minutes. I found that if you leave it on for longer, my skin gets drier, and it stings more. the next step is to apply the cleanser and toner by putting a few amounts on a cotton ball or cotton pad, and gently apply on the face with a circular motion. I let the toner dry a bit on my face before I move on to the cream. I get a half a pea sized amount of the cream on the ring finger, then apply to my face using a circular motion again. Since the cream dries out matte, I move on immediately to applying sunscreen. After that I apply the lotion on my whole body, focusing on problem areas like the knees and elbows.

There you go! This is how I’m more confident these days. Why don’t you try it and see the difference for yourself?

Kojie San products are available at all leading supermarkets, drug stores, and sari sari stores nationwide.

For more updates on Kojie San products, events and campaigns, visit their website, follow them on Facebook, and Instagram (@kojiesanph). Also check out the hashtags #BringYourSkintoLight #KojieSan, don’t forget to use them when posting!

Kojie
San is the flagship brand from Beauty Elements Ventures, Inc (BEVI).
BEVI is a 100% Filipino owned local manufacturer of cosmetics
established since 2007,

committed to answer beauty and skin care needs of men and women.  

Party to your own Beat with a Pringles Party Speaker!

Pringles launches is first music campaign in the Philippines with vibrant limited edition Pringles Party Speakers! The campaign has already gone around the world, from the United States to Australia, Japan and Thailand, the highly anticipated Pringles Party Speakers offers crisp sound for party-goers, audiophiles and snack fanatics.

True to the Pringles Philosophy, “You don’t just eat ‘em, you party with ‘em”, the speakers were designed to offer a unique portable device that easily attaches to the top of any iconic cylindrical Pringles can. 

Its ability to interconnect seamlessly from speaker to speaker helps amplify the overall volume and atmosphere just by plugging to your phone, MP3 player or laptop. The result is a pop-and-play party, anytime, anywhere! A great plus is, the speakers are compatible to all smartphones, be it iOs, Android, or Windows!

Ways to up your party game with Pringles Party Speakers:

  • Workout: Attach to your bike handles and have fun cycling to the beat!
  • Date Night: Hop to the beat with your partner at the West Coast Swing accompanied by music blasted from Pringles Party Speakers. 
  • Ice Breaker: Create the longest interconnected party chain with your team mates and friends by linking each speaker together
  • Night Out: revel as the life of the party by pairing the Party Speakers with the top ten party hits and dance up a storm!

“At Pringles, music, fun and flavour go hand-in-hand. We believe in bringing individuals, families, friends and communities together for an immersive party experience, enabling spontaneous moments of fun snack time in social occasions,” explained Anoop Abraham, Commercial Marketing Director of Emerging Markets Asia Pacific Snacks.

Available for a limited period only from March 1 2016 to May 15 2016, or until stocks last, there are only 25,000 Party Speakers available nationwide. The speakers are currently available in three designs: Keyboard, Triangle, and Violin.

How to Get your own Pringles Party Speaker (Philippines):

  1. Purchase a Pringles Bundle Pack (2 x 150gm)
  2. visit www.pringles.com
  3. look for the Pringles Party Speaker tab, use the unique code inside the Pringles Bundle Pack Box to complete the claim form
  4. pay the 25Php deliver fee [Payment through PayPal] 
  5. the Pringles Party Speaker will be delivered to your doorstep within 60 days. 

This is in collaboration with Quantium Solutions – regional logistics provider and a member of the Singapore Post group of companies.

What are you waiting for? Party with us and get your own fun speaker!

About Pringles®
Over the last 40 years, consumers are “loud in love” for Pringles … the can, its unique shape that cradles the mouth, that crunch, and the crisps’ unique taste and texture.  Over the years, the love of Pringles has spread around the world and it is now available in over 140 countries.  

About Kellogg Company
At Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), we strive to make foods people love. This includes our beloved brands – Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Special K®, Pringles®, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Cheez-It®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats® and more – that nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2015 sales of 13.5 billion and more than 1,600 foods, Kellogg is the world’s leading cereal company; second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company. Through our Breakfasts for Better DaysTM global hunger initiative, we’ve provided more than 1.4 billion servings of cereal and snacks to children and families in need around the world. To learn more, visit www.kelloggcompany.com or follow us on Twitter @KelloggCompany, YouTube and on Social K.

Flaunt Colorful Summer Nails with Caronia’s Popsicle Collection!

With the Philippine Presidential elections happening on Monday, social media has been full of election related banter, whether positive, offensive, negative, or anything in between. Personally, this has become the election season that has been emotionally draining, because everyone is just so passionate. Amidst all the election clutter online though, is this cute and humorous video, which is a breath of fresh summer air from all the political posts.

The clip is of Shaira Mae Dela Cruz, up and coming actress, and the beautiful face behind Caronia. It’s so perfect, because it shows Shaira in a voting precinct, having a laugh with the ballot official because they have the same brand of nail polish.

Which then reminds me that I have yet to tell you guys about Caronia’s newest offering, the Popsicle Collection!

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Caronia’s Popsicle Collection is their deliciously fun summer releases, featuring four brand new colors: Tequila Sunrise, Brain Freeze, Lemon Cool, and Peach Perfect! Did I mention tthat two (2) of them are in matte finish? YASSSSS

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The four colors were developed after much research into the season’s most popular hues. Tequila Sunrise (pink-peach) and Brain Freeze (blue), are both inspired by Pantone Colors of the year this 2016, these two are also Caronia’s first ever matte nail polishes!

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I got to try the polishes at the launch held a while back, and I loved my cute nail art using Lemon Cool and Tequila Sunrise!

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I love how this one is easy to do, even for someone who’s not good at doing nails. Ehem, me! Definitely going to try and do this on my own. haha

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At the event, I got meet Shaira in person, she’s so bubbly and down to earth, a perfect match for Caronia.

You can actually check out her other funny videos with Caronia from the official Facebook page, but I also added one here, for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Another nail art I’d love to try is this cute cupcake one done on Jeanne (@jeannegerbread). The nail artisans are soooo good at it because they did ours very quickly, we only had to wait for the polish to dry a bit.

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All in all, I love Caronia’s newest collection, each one is pastel perfect for summer! Whether you’re going on a roadtrip, frolicking on the beach, or having a staycation, there’s definitely a Caronia Popsicle Collection polish for you. 🙂

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For more updates on Caronia, you can like their page on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@caroniaph). Join the conversation by using the hashtags #KeepThingsColorful, #PopsicleCollection and #CaroniaPH

Color Manila’s Blacklight Run: 7 Reasons Why I’m Going, and you should too!

Recently, I shared some tips on how to stay healthy, fit and fab for the year. One of my tips was to change up your routine every once in a while. I usually do boxing, then run in between if I get too tired from all the sparring. Even when I do mix it up, running gets a little boring when you run alone and on familiar tracks. 

Enter Color Manila Run, a spectacle of colors promoting fun and fitness at the same time. I was there on their very first run, and honestly, it didn’t really feel like a workout because everyone was having fun from getting color bombed! This time around, I’m joining the Blacklight version, a change from the morning marathons I was used to.

Color Manila is encouraging everyone to sign up for a one of a kind running experience—one that combines fitness with new and exciting sights, opportunities to bond with family and friends, while still getting all the benefits of exercise. 

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Here are 7 of the reasons why I’m joining, and why you should seriously

consider going too 🙂 

1. Colors

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This is my favorite thing about Color Manila, it’s all about the hues! Whether you opt for the 10K, 5K or 3K, you can be sure to enjoy a unique running event amid filled with neon colors. This time everyone’s wearing a UV headlamp, so the color powder glows!

2. It’s At Night

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Who here has missed a run because of sleeping in? ME!!!! I’ve missed one run, (what a waste of money. huhu), and been late to two, which sucks because you really want to start during gunstart.

Worry no more because the Blacklight Run is happening at night. No need to wake up early and run under the heat of the summer sun! 

3. Go At Your Own Pace

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The focus here is fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re a running pro who can easily complete 10K in a blink, or a newbie just dipping your toe in the world of running, it’s the perfect event to get started. Piece of advice – just enjoy the race route.

4. Get Social

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(From L-R): Pinoy Fitness’ Jeff Lo, and Color Manila’s Justine Cordero (CM President) and Jay Em, encourage everyone to join the Blacklight Run, where there’s absolutely no competition – just running at your own pace and having fun.

For those who are always on the look out for something new and exciting things to do in the city, the Blacklight Run creates a perfect venue to get into shape, bond with family and friends, and of course, meet new people.

5. For Fitness

While undeniably fun, you’re still bound to reap the benefits of exercise. Challenge yourself and see if you can beat your time and distance, or choose to take in the colorful sights at a pace you’re comfortable with—either way, you’ll feel better about having joined and finished it. 

This time I’m running 10k again, and hopefully I get to train properly before the race!!

6. Pinoy Pride

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Color Manila, in partnership with Brother International, was one of the finalists of Best Sports Marketing Campaign 2015, the first Sports Industry Awards in South East Asia. I know it’s a franchise from abroad, but doesn’t it make you proud that the local version won in the South East Asian competition?

Not only that, Color Manila has been chosen by the Department of Tourism to organize and host the opening event of Visit Philippines 2015 and Visit Philippines Again 2016 – DOT’s hero campaigns.

7. It’s For A Cause (Also, Bring a Shoe Box of Hope!)


More than organizing the coolest fun runs in the country, Color Manila sees to it to give back to the community through the Color Manila Foundation (CMF). Inspired by the hues of the rainbow, CMF commits to support the following causes: Medical Missions, Arts and Creativity, Health and Fitness, Mother Nature, Education, Innovation, and Disaster Response. Clearly, Color Manila is an organization with a huge heart.

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500 kids and counting who were put to smile by the Color Manila Foundation in less 3 months since its launch. A thousand more to come by the end of this year.

Want to help other than buying race kits? You can contribute to their shoebox drive! here’s how:

Color Manila Foundation’s Shoebox Drive:

Bring an old shoebox or shoeboxes filled with goodies during the Blacklight run and help CMF’s beneficiaries.

Currently, they have 2 types of requested shoeboxes, one having School Supplies, and the other, Disaster Preparedness Supplies.

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This is the list of items CMF recommends, but are not limited to, under each type. Remember, you don’t have to bring a lot, and you’re not required to bring everything. Simply consider it as a guide.

School Supplies:

  • pencil/ballpen
  • coloring materials
  • eraser
  • scissors
  • papers
  • sharpener
  • pencil case

Disaster Preparedness Supplies:

  • first aid kit
  • canned goods
  • noodles

Amped up for the race yet? Be sure to visit www.colormanilarun.com to sign up and get your race kits before May 28, 2016.

Color Manila Blacklight Run Details:

Date:  May 28, 2016 ( Saturday )
Venue:  Filinvest City Alabang
GunStart:

  • 3K: 9:45
  • 5K: 9:40
  • 10K:9:30

Registration Details:

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Fees and Race Kit Inclusions:

  • Deluxe Php 950 (3k, 5k, 10k)- CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp, Drawstring Bag, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet 
  • Rockstar Php 1500

    (3k, 5k, 10k)

    – CM Singlet & CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp,
    Drawstring Bag, CM Towel, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet 

  • Superstar Php 6000 (3k, 5k, 10k) – 2 Days 1 Night Crimson Hotel Accomodation, CM Singlet & CM Blacklight Drifit Shirt, LED Headlamp, Drawstring Bag, CM Towel, Finisher’s Medal, Race bib, Color Packet

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For Payment Details and Race Kit Claiming, check out their website for more details.

See you there!!

#TastetheChill and Beat the Summer Heat with Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze!

These days, the heat has become increasingly unbearable! I always feel thirsty whenever walking under the sun while doing some errands, and sometimes, water just isn’t enough.

Recently though, I was told that there’s one drink coming in this season that’s going to help you keep your cool by simply letting yourself #TasteTheChill. This drink, is Sosro Fruit Tea, it’s originally from Indonesia and known for their refreshing blends of real fruit flavor and tea goodness. 

Sosro Fruit Tea, dubbed the millennial go-getter’s preferred real tea drink, has officially launched in the Philippines just in time for one of the most-anticipated seasons of the year—summer!

Available in Freeze, Apple, Strawberry, and Guava, Sosro fruit tea is perfect for anybody at any time that is looking for a quick way to re-energize and chillout on-the-go.

#TastetheChill with Sosro Fruit Tea’s local endorser, Sofia Andres!

Actress and Sosro Fruit Tea’s endorser Sofia Andres with Reddimart Multi-Resources Inc. President Jerbie Ong.

Just in time for the summer season, Reddimart, the company who brought in Sosro, held the Sosro Fruit Tea’s official launch at The Palace Pool Club.

Up Dharma Down was also there to entertain everyone!

Throughout the night, the venue radically transformed for “Chill 20”s wherein The Palace Pool Club will become a cool and icy haven with snow, cool hangouts, and blue lights. Emulating how Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze can help you chill during these hot summer days.

Aside from introducing Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze to public, another highlight of the night was the announcement of Sosro Fruit Tea’s newest celebrity brand ambassador, Sofia Andres.

Just like Freeze, Sofia is the perfect chillmate with her cool and fun-loving attitude. In fact, Sofia will be featured on billboards that showcase her in her Ice Goddess garb encouraging chillmates to #TasteTheChill themselves.
As the sunny weather approaches, arm yourself with a Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze to #TasteTheChill and stay refreshed so that your summer season will be one cool adventure!  

Created in 1997 by Indonesia’s Sinar Sosro—pioneers of the world’s first bottled ready-to-drink tea—Sosro Fruit Tea finally reaches the Philippine shores via Reddimart Multi-Resources Inc. The number 1 manufacturer of tea drink in Indonesia, Sosro Fruit Tea’s invigorating flavors are now chilling at SM Hypermarkets, Landmark, Sta. Lucia Grocery, Tropical Hut, Hi-Top Supermarket, Walter Mart, Pioneer Center, and other leading supermarkets. Know more about Sosro and other exciting treats from Reddimart by visiting http://reddimart.ph/.

Review: The Great American Burger Joint (TBJ) Pasig

Taking a cue from Gigi Hadid, Victoria Secret Model and Social Media Superstar, her brilliant dieting mantra goes like this, ’Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane.’

I love a good burger. For me, a great burger formula would be: a juicy patty void of fillers, seasoned well, sandwiched between toasted buns, and a myriad of other things like veggies and cheese.

The Burger Joint, a.k.a. The Great American Burger Joint serves up really good burgers with high quality ingredients at affordable prices. Drawing inspiration from the popular burger joints in the US like Shake Shack and In N’ Out, The Burger Joint’s burger patties are intentionally smashed to get a crispy crust.

Aside from burgers, they have amazing sloppy joes with their crumbled burger patties as toppings, as well as rice and pasta dishes for the non-burger fans, and desserts like this yummy oreo milkshake.

Ambiance

The Burger Joint isn’t easy to spot, it’s at the end of the hallway to the right after the entrance inside SM Hypermarket, and the resto just before Krispy Kreme. The space is small, but adequate, catering to a mix of families, friends or barkadas, and couples dining in.

Furniture is practical, with wooden tables and sturdy plastic chairs, as well as bare walls, save for one with graffiti or wall art. I also love how you can easily watch what’s happening inside the kitchen, and see how your order is being made.

The Burger Joint Food

Starters

For starters, they have fries, nachos and chips, with a variety of dipping sauces. Chris, the owner, served us his favorites and bestsellers, Garlic Aioli and Bacon Ketchup as our dips.

Loaded Nachos Php 159

  • corn tortilla chips, watermelon salsa, cilantro, chili con carne, chili fingers, vinaigrette, sour cream and cheese
  • The watermelon was very refreshing, especially in this hot weather
  • The flavors are spot on, but I would suggest consuming this one immediately, as the watermelon easily makes the nachos soggy

Monster Fries Php 199 

  • house fries topped with 1/3 lb of Angus Ground beef, caramelized onions, cheese, TBJ Sauce
  • their house fries are cut and fried with the skin on, which is how I like my fires.
  • Toppings were aplenty, as you can see in this photo, and I couldn’t stop eating it

Basket of Fries Php 79

  • large basket of steak fries
  • Surprisingly flavorful on their own. The fries are seasoned well.

Mains

As mentioned earlier, the patties are smashed to get a crust on. In the following photos, the patties look burnt, but they’re actually not. The crispy crust lends another texture to the already juicy and flavorful burger.

All American

  • 1/4lb Batangas Beef Cheeseburger, tomato, onion, pickle and house sauce
  • The usual cheeseburger made better with TBJ’s house sauce. 

NYC Php 259

  • 1/3 lb Angus beef patty, bacon, grilled onions, salted honey tomato, baby arugula, bleu cheese, horseradish mayo
  • I don’t really like mayonnaise, so I was surprised that I liked this burger.
  • The onions, bacon and sauce made a good combo that added texture and depth to the burger.

Pipeline Php 249

  • 1/4lb Angus Beef Patty, Spam slab, pineapple slice, lettuce, grilled onions, teriyaki sauce
  • This one was a pretty tall burger. The sweet salty Teriyaki sauce and caramelized pineapple countered the saltiness of the SPAM slice. Turning this into a burger with a great harmony of flavors from both tropical and Western influences.

WTF?! Php 299

  • “The One where we try to kill you… with awesome” – this was the description of WTF?! from the menu, very apt, if you ask me. The thing is huge! About 2 burgers in one.
  • Double ¼ lb Angus beef patties, two layers of bacon, two layers of cheese, beer battered tomato slices, fresh fried potato chips, and our special garlic herb aioli
  • What did I tell you? double everything!!!
  • The garlic aioli really went well with it, but it could have used more tomato slices.

Angus Patty Steak Php 199

  • rice topped with a 1/3 lb Angus Beef Patty, grilled onion slab, veggies, and drizzled with special mushroom gravy
  • for those who don’t want to get their hands messy but want to try the burger patties, this one’s for you. The patty is as juicy as it is in the bun, but the pool of gravy makes it even better.
  • Eat the burger with a piece of the caramelized onion, they’re perfect togetheeer

Double Bacon Pasta Carbonara Php 189 

  • creamy white sauce with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, double bacon bits, with garlic bread
  • Not as creamy as the corbonara we’re used to in fast dining, but flavorful. It may have a little more pepper than I’d like, but taste wise it’s good.

Spaghetti Bolognese with Angus Mini Patties Php 229

  • premium house made tomato sauce, mushrooms, black olives, capers, and smashed angus patties, served with garlic bread
  • The angus patties are like the meatballs we love in spaghetti, and the sauce, like a hearty tomato sauce made by your grandma.

Cali Street Dog Php 199

  • Another one of their experimental dishes, this one was sweet, salty and tangy at the same time. 
  • The dogs from TBJ are Pink’s Hotdogs (NYC) inspired, so expect juicy in every bite.

Drinks

TBJ serves softdrinks and their signature house blend iced tea. Aside from that, they have milkshakes, which they call maltshakes. They also serve some desserts like Lava Cake, Bread Pudding and Cookie Ala Mode.

Oreo Malt Shake Php 145

  • Crushed Oreo Cookies, Ice Cream and Malt
  • what’s great about their milkshakes is that they use heaping scoops of ice cream, and you can tell, because each sip is very thick and creamy

Iced Tea – Php 45/ Php 59 when you make it a meal +Php 49, plus fries or chips

Another tummy filling lunch with my #FoodieCrewPH group! Spot Drew (drewc.alba)Cate (cateyperryalwayshungry),

Mel (foodiedayout), and

Jovi (snapsnstories). Many thanks to Mr. Chris and Ms. Val for having us and taking the time to explain all the dishes served. 🙂 

All in all, I loved my TBJ experience. Food was good, service was okay, and the food, gives you great value for your money. Can’t wait to go back!

The Burger Joint (The Great American Burger Joint)
Address: SM Hypermarket, Frontera Verde Drive, Ugong, Pasig City
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 11pm
For Reservations Contact: 
Facebook Page: The Burger Joint
Instagram: @theburgerjointph
Hashtags: 

#‎BurgerExcellence

#‎BeefUpYourDay‬ ‪#‎GetSmashedToday‬

The Great American Burger Joint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato