Travalo and Perfume Pod: the easiest way to tote your favorite scents for travel

Helloooo! How have you guys been? It’s been way too long since I last published a blog post, and I’m so happy I’m back! I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal and career milestones lately, so life has truly been overwhelming. With that, I realized that I have amassed a huge amount of clutter in my room, and in my everyday bag.

Just this weekend, I dealt with the mess, started with my room, my closet, and finally, my day bag. My bag’s unusually heavy for a bag that size, so a cleanup and organization is way overdue. One of the reasons why it’s so bulky, is that I actually have two full sized perfume bottles in it! No wonder. I always remember to spritz on perfume because it helps boost my energy and counter the smell from food and the sweaty outdoors. It’s a good thing I remembered that I have these tiny easy fill perfume sprays from Travalo and Perfume Pod to save the day. Teehee

These things need to be included as a life hack. haha. I mean, not only are they space savers, they also look really nice. They’re great alternatives to fragile perfume bottles, while having a sleek design and being available in a lot of colors!

I went ahead and picked my two bulkiest perfume bottles and transferred them to the Travalo Classic and Perfume Pod sprays. Both come with the patented Genie-S refill system that allows users to “pump to refill” into the travel friendly Travalo and Perfume Pods without any leaks and without exposing the contents into the air.

The Travalo and Perfume Pod atomizers are durable, scratch-resistant, shatterproof and has a clear panel, so you can easily monitor the content. they’re very handy and safe to cram inside a teeny tiny clutch or into the back pocket of your jeans, literally something you can take with you everywhere.

TRAVALO

For those conscious with design, the Travalo Classic is the perfect scent buddy for you. The sleek and minimalist design has been carefully thought out to keep up with the aesthetic demands of consumers. The Travalo Classic is available in nine trendy colors, perfect for fashionistas who want options for #ootd matching.

For functionality and durability, the Travalo Classic is made in a lightweight, aircraft grade aluminum that doesn’t have an ounce of glass on it. It’s a little over 3 inches long, stores up to 5mL of perfume, and can spray for 65 to 80 times before the next refill.

Here’s a short vid to show you guys how easy it is to use the Travalo atomizer:

What makes Travalo more amazing is that the brand has won six
international awards including a Red Dot Design Award and a Beauty
Challenger Award. It’s a UK brand that’s been raved about by bloggers,
Youtube vloggers, and even editors of magazine bigwigs, with features in
Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Style magazine. Currently, Travalo has won the
hearts of as much as 10 million users globally.

For my personal experience, I did exactly as in the video. After a few pumps, the Travalo Classic bottle was filled up. Btw, that’s the Lovestruck by Vera Wang perfume I put in.

Perfume Pod

Like the Travalo classic, the Perfume Pod is also 3 inches in length and carries up to 5mL of perfume. It can also last you 65 to 80 sprays before the next refill, perfect for one whole weekend! it comes in eight colors: Black, Blue, Gold, Hot Pink, Purple, Red and Silver. Personally, i love the light pink one, and super happy with my silver Perfume Pod.

For this one, i picked the Chanel Chance perfume, and it’s as easy to fill as the Travalo atomizer.

Then tada! The filled up Travalo and Perfume Pod atomizers. personally I love how they’re so sturdy! They both survive the crazy jumble of my bag, and even my stuffed handcarry at the airport!

The Travalo Classic retails for Php 999, while the Perfume Pod retails at php 349.75. Both are available in Travalo 2F SM North Edsa, Lazada Philippines, and 4L SM Aura Premier. For more details, follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@travaloph). Use the hashtags #TravaloPH and #PerfumePodPH to join the convo.

My Kojie San Experience: Skin in a New Light

As I’ve shared before, it’s no secret that I’ve been using Kojie San for the past few months. To be honest, I didn’t expect much from a brand that’s mainstream and very affordable, but boy did they prove me wrong. Even after the summer’s over, I find myself traveling here and abroad, both under the very harsh sun. I just came back from a trip to Bataan, and Hong Kong the week before, and it was really hot, especially in HK. Most of the time, I was just walking under the bright sunny rays, relying only on sunscreen, and Kojie San’s skin lightening superpower to keep my skin healthy.

I don’t really put a premium on fair skin, but I do like to keep my current skin tone, because I’ve noticed that this one makes me look healthier, happier, and with a natural glow. But, as it is, many Filipinas prefer fair, radiant and flawless skin. That’s why whitening products are among the best-selling items in supermarkets.

At the Kojie San Tete-a-Tete, I got to learn that Filipinas usually turn to these three ingredients when going for skin whitening: papaya, glutathione, and kojic acid. All are good at skin lightening, but have effects at different rates, and work in different ways on whitening.
Originated in Japan, Kojic Acid is a chemical compound made from organic
materials that form complexes with substrates and metal ions. Kojic
Acid can also be extracted as a by-product of fermentation when making
Japanese rice wine & Sake.

Kojic acid has steadily been gaining popularity worldwide for skin lightening, and now I could see why. Locally, only one contains the two powerful natural-based ingredients
of Kojic Acid and high-grade virgin coconut oil: The Kojiesan Skin
Lightening Soap. Inspired by the luminous, flawless skin of Japanese women, Beauty Elements Ventures, Inc. (BEVI) developed the Kojiesan Lightening Soap, the company’s flagship product, the way the Japanese traditionally formulated theirs.

Since 2007, Kojiesan has been consistently producing their Kojic Acid soap blending high-grade Kojic Acid & virgin coconut oil with effective lightening ingredients that keeps dark pigmentation from forming and inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme that produces melanin. Now, we naturally have melanin in our skin, because it is the one responsible for our skin’s pigment. For example, morenas have more melanin in their skin that those born with fairer skin.

Let’s be frank here, kojic acid products are widely available anywhere, but what sets Koie san from this competition? It’s formulation. Kojic acid soaps are usually very drying, as I’ve tried different brands before, but the combination of kojic acid and virgin coconut oil changes that. Today, it is the number one Kojic Acid soap in the Philippines.

“Whitening has always been one of the goals of most Filipinas today. Perhaps from the influence that we get from Korea and Japan or our daily exposure to teleseryes starring women with flawlessly fair skin, we see that they really look beautiful and attractive. According to research, having a whiter complexion can really boost your self-esteem. However, not all whitening products are the same and not all so-called Kojic Acid formulated soaps are as effective and safe like Kojiesan,” says Trisha Gregorio, Kojiesan’s Marketing Head.

To get the full effect of the Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap, Kojie San came up with a full range of products, which I reviewed before.

The recommended regimen goes like this:

  1. Rejuvenate
    with Kojiesan Cleanser + Toner, equipped with Ginseng Extract and
    Rosehip Oil to revive tired skin, ridding the skin of excessive oils
    while repairing skin damage;
  2. brighten with Kojiesan Face
    Lightening Cream, a combination of natural extracts and high-grade Kojic
    Acid to lighten as it nourishes, restoring skin suppleness for a
    healthy, rosy look; and
  3. lighten with Kojiesan Body
    Lightening Lotion with advanced formula of Kojic Acid and Rosehip Oil –
    to whiten skin as it heals – and Collagen + Vitamin E to increase
    youthfulness and improve skin health.

At the Kojie San tete-a-tete, I had fun with these girls, Kim (Kimpossibly Gorgeous) and Celline (The Product Arena), and we talked about how the product worked for each of us. The consensus? Kojie San worked better than expected. Personally, even with all that time under the sun, I don’t have any tan lines, even when wearing halter tops, that’s how great it worked for me.

So there, you’ve heard what we have to say. Are you up to the challenge of bringing your skin to light?

No celebrities, no famous faces – just Kojiesan and you – because with Kojiesan, you are the It Girl.

So, when it comes to your skin, you are your strongest advocate. Learn more and try Kojiesan and see how it should be your best choice in bringing your skin to light!

About the Company

Beauty Elements Ventures, Inc. is a personal care company with a wide range of products for men and women established in 2007. It is the first to introduce Kojic Acid soap in the Philippine market, supplying kojic acid soaps to dermatologists who prescribed the product to patients with skin pigmentation and darkening problems. With a growing end-user base, BEVI launched the original kojic acid soap formulated the traditional Japanese way but made it even better by adding high grade virgin coconut oil in the mix. It’s brand Kojiesan soon became a household name in the skin-lightening category that has since launched a complete Kojiesan Skincare System and garnered consumer recognitions.

• Product line includes anti-aging, acne treatment, men’s skincare, cellulite control, fragrances and sunblock.
• Recognised by Watsons Health & Beauty Awards as Bath Soap Brand of the Year for five consecutive years.
• Consumer “SM Top Choice” Awardee
• The first and only brand of Kojic Acid Soap with high-grade virgin coconut oil in Indonesia for skin treatment

Lash EM: Finally, an answer to Fuller Brows and Longer Lashes (Review)

You guys might be wondering why someone who has thick hair like me even needs one of these. The answer is simple: sure I have think hair strands, but I suffer from a lot of hair and lash fall, and I really want to have longer lashes.

Lash fall is actually a normal and natural occurrence in our bodies, because it’s one of the body’s way of encouraging new cell growth. The sad thing is, lash fall is aggravated by a lot of factors like poor hygiene, bad makeup habits, and even the environment.

These are few of the reasons why I tried out Lash EM. Lash EM has identified itself as the premier makeup brand that lengthens lashes and thickens brows. For my review, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about two of their products: Lash EM All Eyes On You Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum, and the Lash EM Colour Stokes Liquid Eyeliner

Lash EM just launched here in the country, offering a luxury range of lash and brow products that have been getting rave reviews lately. I first saw the results from my blogger friends Shebby and Carizza, and the results have been amazing on them!

The formulations of all the Lash EM products are composed of expert hair technology and a mixture of nature-derived products that aim to fortify the growth and beauty of hairs in the lashes and brows: 

  • Sympeptide lengthens, thickens and strengthens the hair
  • plant-derived ingredients block off free radical damage on hairs
  • natural flower distillate makes the lashes appear more lush
  • LashEM’s patented technology, QuSome, seals ingredients together so the skin’s nutrient absorption is improved, causing optimal results

The Lash EM guarantee: In just 4- 6 weeks, see your lashes reach new heights and your brows get thicker than ever.

Now on to my personal review:

But first, I’ll be clear, I only used the products on my lashes because I am already satisfied with my thick brows. If I had applied it on my brows, it might have gotten too bushy for me to maintain. Teehee.

All Eyes on You Eyelash and Brow Enhancing Serum (P3,599.75/ 3 mL)

Description / Features: 

  • the star product that lengthens lashes and thickens brows
  • contains lipopeptide and conditioning complex, plus amino acids to condition hair strands
  • clinically tested
  • ophthalmologist tested
  • patented QuSome delivery system

The Claim:

  • promotes healthier and longer-looking lashes and fuller-looking brows without irritation

Directions for use (Lashes):

  1. Clean and dry the eye area
  2. contact lenses should be removed
  3. apply one thin layer along the base of the upper and lower lashes
  4. allow to dry before adding makeup or moisturizer

Note: Apply once daily

Thoughts:

I like how it was very easy to apply the serum, the wand is easy to control and dispenses enough amount of the serum. I also love how the packaging looks very expensive, perfect for the product it showcases. The serum is not sticky, and also not runny, and dries up relatively fast. Meaning, there’s not much of a downtime if you’re in a hurry to put on makeup. Also, don’t rush the application so the product doesn’t get into your eye, after all, it’s still a cosmetic, it might stain your eye.

For the review, I used the serum for 4 weeks. In the succeeding photos, you’ll see a before and after comparison.

The Verdict:

IT WORKS!!! It actually works!!!! It’s not so obvious in the photos, because as I’ve mentioned before, I already have a lot of hair. But, it does lengthen, and I was surprised to notice that I’ve grown more lashes above and below the lash line. The one thing I’m really happy about? My lower lashes! I love how I have more strands there now, and they’re longer!! I’ve also noticed how I don’t lose as much lashes as before. Like when I remove my mascara, I rarely see a lash that falls off during wiping. YAY!

Oh, and yeah, I used a mascara in some of the photos, but the one I used only fans out lashes, and doesn’t volumize or lengthen. It’s also the same one I used in both before and after shots.

Colour Strokes Liquid Eyeliner (P1,029.75/ 10 mL)

Description / Features:

  • Defines eyes with its pigmented formula
  • Moisture complex moisturizes hair and is infused with the lash serum
  • precision brush for easy application
  • dual purpose eyeliner and eyeshadow
  • Variants: Blackest Black, Black Pearl, and Espresso 

Thoughts:

I can’t really comment on how it works as a lash enhancer because I didn’t use the liner everyday. It is though, a lovely companion/booster to the serum because it doesn’t smudge an has a nice shimmer. The brush is also very easy to control, making it one of the easiest liquid eyeliner’s I have ever encountered. I do not, however, understand how this could double as eyeshadow because it dries up well and doesn’t smudge. the staying power is also good, because I had it on for 8 hours, and I didn’t have to do a retouch.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with the Lash EM products I got, and I highly recommend the All Eyes on You Lash & Brow Serum for everyone who wants longer lashes!!

Below are other products included in the esteemed range of products from Lash EM:

  1. Double Trouble Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara (P1,029.75/ 4.2 mL) – Lengthen and volumize lashes with this anti- smudge and water- resistant formula. Infused with the lash serum and plant- derived waxes for a glossy shine.
  2. Extensions in a Bottle Fiber Lash Extensions Mascara (P1,539.75/ 6 mL) – magnifies lashes and mimics the effect of lash extensions. Infused with the lash serum and peptides. Lash Extension Base Coat and Extreme Nylon Lash Fibers envelop the lashes for long, volumized, well- shaped lashes. Long- lasting and anti-smudge.
  3. Colour Strokes Brow Tint & Lift (P1,029.75/ 8 mL) – fills in sparse brows and sculpts brow hair. Infused with the lash serum to condition and nourish hair strands. Natural Brown Algae and Seaweed extracts rid hair of toxins. Long- lasting and anti- smudge. Comes in the shades Blonde, Brunette, and Raven.
  4. 3 in 1 Eye Bright Lifts + Firms + Brightens (P2,059.75/ 15 mL) – a triple action eye cream that beats dark circles, puffiness, redness, and fine lines. Enhanced with Squalene and Aloe Barbadensis that condition and soothe.
  5. Picture Perfect Instant Wrinkle Reducer (P2,059.75/ 15 mL) – lifts, firms, and tightens the under eye area. It contains Camellia Japonica Seed Extract (Tsubaki) and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, smooth, and fill in nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Also promotes collagen formation and skin radiance. PLUS:  May be mixed with foundation for that added glow.

The recommended regimen for beautiful long lashes and thick eyebrows from Lash EM:

  1. prep your lashes and brows with All Eyes On You Eyelash and Brow Enhancing Serum to infuse them with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and peptides for care and nourishment. 
  2. proceed with your usual eye makeup regimen
  3. Define your eyes with Colour Strokes Liquid Eyeliner and pair it with either Double Trouble Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara or Extensions In A Bottle Mascara. 
  4. Finally, sculpt your brows to perfection with Colour Strokes Brow Tint and Lift.

LashEM is exclusively sold at the SM Beauty Store, Ground Floor, SM Makati. For more information about LashEM, like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram (@lashemph). to join the conversation, use the hashtags #LongLushLovely #LashemPH.

What do you think about my review? Try it out and see for yourself!

Sufree Tea Party: Enjoy the Sweet Life with Zero Calories

I was first introduced to stevia back in college when I was at my internship at a local manufacturing company specializing in herbal supplements. One of their latest products was stevia powdered sweetener, known as nature’s answer to a healthy sweetener in this world where the healthy option is on trend.

Fast forward to 2016, and here I learn that another local company, Peotraco, is pushing out Sufree, “The Calorie Free Stevia Sweetener”

To share this news, they invited bloggers and media friends to the Sufree Tea Party, where we got to sample food and drinks made with Sufree, while painting a pretty landscape.

What better way to really enjoy the sweet life than by painting with friends and enjoying great tasting snacks. Sufree is actually calorie free, so you don’t have to worry about the extra pounds from eating the sweets made with it.

Stevia is widely used worldwide as a sweetener and natural substitute for sugar, and is derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. It is said that countries in South America like Brazil and Paraguay have been using the leaves of the plant for about 1500 years as a sweet treat from nature, grinding and cutting up the leaves to sweeten tea or medicine.

As mentioned earlier, Sufree Stevia Sweetener is a calorie free sweetener that can be consumed in place of sugar, whether you have a sweet tooth or not. 

Sufree Stevia Sweetener is non-fermentable, pH and heat stable, making it great for daily healthy food and beverage preparation.

Healthy food shouldn’t be tasteless, and with Sufree, you can create yummy sweet desserts that are definitely guilt free.

As stated in the label, every 1g sachet of Sufree Stevia Sweetener is as sweet as 2 teaspoons of refined sugar. This means you get the same sweetness at a smaller amount, making Sufree an economical option as well.

Each box of Sufree Stevia Sweetener comes with 50 sachets, each with 1 gram of sweetener.

For food applications, Sufree Stevia Sweetener is perfect for beverages, salads, sauces (both emulsified and clear), fruit fillings and pastries, and also, ice cream!

The event was held at Sip and Gogh Kapitolyo, where everyone could try to be a Picasso for the day!

That’s me, midway through the landscape we were painting. It’s been so long since I last painted, so i was a bit worried. Turns out, I didn’t have to be. My years of Chinese calligraphy and various art workshops in between actually helped because I could follow the instructions easily. SO PROUD OF MYSELF. HAHA

And that’s me and Charlene, and Charlene was my cheerleader while doing mine.

Then tada!!! My finished work.

That’s me, Charlene, and Rachelle Ramilo, who is actually of the same batch from UP Manila!! I think we were even classmates at one point even when she was in BS Biology.

That’s that for my fun afternoon with Sufree, thank you so much for having me at the Sufree Tea Party!!

Sufree Stevia Sweetener is available at various supermarkets nationwide.

For more information on Sufree, You can like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram (@sweetenersufreestevia), You can also check out their official website. To join in the conversation, use the hashtags #Sufree #SufreeTeaParty #Stevia

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!!