Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bambanti Festival 2013 (Jan. 27-30, 2013)- "Mahiwagang Isabela," the Musical

Where it was intended to scare, the provincial government of Isabela in Cagayan is proudly hoisting up anew its “bambantis” (scarecrows) to draw visitors to the 2nd Bambanti Festival to be held at the Isabela Sports Complex and the Provincial Capitol Grounds on January 27-30, 2013.  

The Bambanti Festival promotes the province of Isabela as the country’s number one corn-producer, a status owed partially to the “bambantis” that help fend off birds feeding during the growing of their rice and corn plants.

The very first Bambanti Festival was held in 1997 and was the brainchild of former Governor Benjamin Dy and wife Cecil Dy. The festival has since become a communal gesture of thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest and resiliency of its people despite the occurrences of natural calamities that regularly befall the province.

The festival aims to showcase as well, through its unique cultural, arts and ecotourism activities, Isabela’s rich heritage, the ingenuity and industry of its people, and calls attention to the beauty of its different towns and cities. 

“With this festival, we hope to be able to unfold and reveal the hidden beauty and splendor of our province as admittedly, Isabela is not yet known to many,” adds Mary Ann Dy, First Lady of Isabela and co-chair of the Festival’s Excom.

For starters, Isabela has the honor of being named after Spain’s Queen Isabella II through a Royal Decree issued by the King of Spain on May 1, 1856. It is the second largest province in the country next to Palawan, and is composed of 37 towns and cities, and prides itself in having ten first class municipalities and two first class cities. Its present capital Ilagan City is now Luzon’s largest and the country’s fourth biggest city after Davao City, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga City in terms of land area.  The province also figured in history when the American forces led by Gen. Frederick Funston finally captured Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Palanan on March 23, 1901. Isabela also boasts of a 113-kilometer white sand coastline, of being the site of Magat Dam, the biggest dam in the country, and of being the birthplace of musician/singer Freddie Aguilar who was born in Sto. Tomas. 

Isabela is no stranger to big events as it already hosted the Timpuyog or the Indigenous Peoples’ Month Celebration in Santiago City in 2007. The province also has a string of festivals that have become tourists magnet for the past years, namely: Pagay Festival (Alicia), Binnadangan Festival (Roxas), Nateng Festival (Mallig), Gakit Festival (Angadanan), Pattaradday Festival (Santiago City), Nuang Festival (San Agustin), Gawagaway-yan Festival (Cauayan City), Mangi Festival (Tumauini), Baka Festival (San Pablo), and Mammangi Festival, Binallay Festival (Ilagan City)

“This year’s Bambanti Festival with the theme ‘The Magic of Isabela’ promises to be a grand display of the magic that is Isabela,” says Bambanti Festival 2013 Executive Committee Chair Tony Pet Albano. 

The four-day event is to open with “Mahiwagang Isabela,” a grand musical production staged with the assistance of Philippine Stagers Foundation, which is headed by Executive Director Atty. Vincent M. Tañada. The musical is to be participated by 3,700 dancers from the 37 towns and cities of the province headed by a festival king and queen.

Isabela’s Tourism consultant Nilo Agustin explains that on opening day, no one without a mask will be allowed to enter the capitol grounds, and that masks will even be on hand for visitors in keeping with the mystique-themed event.  The province even holds a contest on the “Most Creative Giant Magical Mask” where 36-inch masks will be decorated by each town.

Expectedly, among the highlights of the four-day festival is the “Giant Bambanti Showcase” featuring 12-foot tall (or larger) scarecrows to be dressed up using only organic and indigenous materials by the municipalities and cities of the province, and will be installed outside their respective agri-tourism booths.

Contests also will be held to determine the Best Street-Dance Contingent, and the Festival King and Queen, among others. 
Activities also involve the official unveiling of the Queen Isabella II tableau in front of the Isabela Provincial Capitol.

The festival nights promise to turn “magical” with concert-parties top-billed by singers Jed Madela and Vina Morales on January 29, and Sarah Geronimo with Christian Bautista and Jon Santos on January 30, 2013.

The Bambanti Festival 2013 is organized by the Provincial Government of Isabela, through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, in collaboration with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Isabela Green Ladies Organization (IGLO) with the support of the government and corporate institutional partners.

For more information and inquiries, please contact the Office of the Provincial Administrator, Isabela Provincial Capitol, telephone numbers (078) 323-0173 or you may visit

See snippet of "Mahiwagang Isabela"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 San Miguel Beer National Beer Drinking Contest Finals-Western Visayas Team Wins

The five-man team from the Western Visayas Metro region was declared this year’s fastest beer drinking team in the Philippines, boasting a record of 43.37 seconds in the grand finals of the 2012 San Miguel Beer National Beer Drinking Contest held in Plazuela de Mayor, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Receiving a tax-free cash prize of P500,000, the champion team Super Maglaklak Boys from E.B. Magalona town in Negros Occidental is composed of Jerome Spas, Carlo Depalobos, Richard Demigillo, JC Catanghal and Joemarie Pennela.
Super Maglaklak Boys
First runner up Team Mandirigma (with a record of 45.11 seconds) from North Greater Manila Area and second runner up Team Sto. Nino Kings ( 45.33 seconds) took home P200,000 and P100,000 respectively.
The San Miguel Beer National Beer Drinking Contest is an annual event organized by the Sales unit of San Miguel Brewery Inc. It is one of the many ways undertaken by the company to continuously delight its customers by offering financially rewarding opportunities for the contestants.
“Sa pamamagitan ng SMB National Beer Drinking Contest, hindi lamang kami tumutulong magbigay ginhawa sa buhay ng mga contestants. Bukod sa pagbibigay saya, hangad rin naming palaguin ang samahan ng barkadahang Pinoy,” said Celso Minosa, SMB’s Trade and Promo Merchandising Manager.
“Dito may samahang nabubuo, lumalawak at tumatatag –sa sama-samang pag-eensayo, inuman, tulungan, at pagbuo ng pangarap, “ he added.

The activity is not only a competitive speed beer drinking team race but an activity where admirable values --- focus, strategy, determination, discipline, and teamwork – prove essential for the success of the team. tungo sa tagumpay,” he added.

Photo shows the 2012 SMB National Beer Drinking Contest champion team with (from left) Visayas Area Sales Manager Oscar Canave, supervisor Rey Valderrama, Western Visayas Metro Beer Region Sales Manager Victor Vecera, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, National Sales Manager Debbie Namalata, Chief Finance Officer Mercy Marie Amador, and Trade Promo and Merchandising Manager Celso Minosa.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday at The Ritual (The Collective in Malugay, Makati City)

Last Friday (Oct. 19), I went to the Travel Massive event to support my friend James Betia, author of Journeying James, the travel blog. The venue was at the B-Side at The Collective in 7274 Malugay Street, Makati City. It's basically an open mic for (instead of poetry or songs) travel stories.
The place was packed with travelers, of course, who backpacked to places some of us only dreamed of, with photos as proof flashed on the wall of the B-side club.

As James was sharing his story, my blogger friends Claire (, Leon (, and I hied off to the next-door shop called the Ritual, which Claire said sells organic stuff. And the moment, I stepped inside, I knew I loved the place. Let the pics speak for the experience. :)

The Ritual store's operating days are from Tuesdays to Saturdays only from 2pm - 9 pm. Call at 400-4326.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

RIQALL as Memory Enhancer (Royale Business Product International)

Why others remember and learn better than others?

Because they...
Pay attention. You can’t remember something if you never learned it, and you can’t learn something—that is, encode it into your brain—if you don’t pay enough attention to it. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a piece of information into your memory. If you’re easily distracted, pick a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Involve as many senses as possible. Try to relate information to colors, textures, smells, and tastes. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Even if you’re a visual learner, read out loud what you want to remember. If you can recite it rhythmically, even better.
  • Relate information to what they already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, whether it’s new material that builds on previous knowledge, or something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone.
  • For more complex material, they focus on understanding basic ideas rather than memorizing isolated details. Practice explaining the ideas to someone else in your own words.
  • Rehearse information they’ve already learned. Review what you’ve learned the same day you learn it, and at intervals thereafter. This “spaced rehearsal” is more effective than cramming, especially for retaining what you’ve learned.

And because of RIQALL!

If you know a friend who needs to boost their mental alertness and enhance their memory powers, this is the perfect supplement (may gingko, ginseng, green tea, taurine, and bacopa) po for them. Opo, tama po, sila na nga po ung mga kaibigan n'yo na ka date ang mga makakapal na libro sa mga coffee shops. :)
God bless your life! Feel free to re-share this. :) Send me a message for orders (I do meet ups in Manila and Quezon City area only) at 09212679055.
Learn more about the company, Royale Business Club International here:

God has a purpose why you are reading this now. Connect with me at 09212679055 to discuss how you can also do this business and help other Filipinos become successful businessmen, too.

Add me:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Royale Business Club International, a True Blessing to Filipinos

Gandang Royale na umaga sa lahat! :) Dahil ang mga Filipino tulong tulong sa pagyaman!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Manila Hotel Gets Halal Certification

The Manila Hotel received its renewed Halal certification from the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Incorporated (MMHCB, Inc.) last August 1, 2012.

Being Halal-compliant, Manila Hotel is now able to fully serve the Muslim consumers and tourists, adequately and sufficiently meeting their demands based on the principles that govern halal. With the surge of tourist influx from the Middle East, this will be an added boost to the hospitality industry.

The Hotel has undergone a series of deliberations and inspections before they managed to conform to all the criteria and status that MMHCB, Inc. has developed.

The Halal menu is offered in Café Ilang-Ilang and Room Service. Manila Hotel will be serving halal products beginning September 2012.

For inquiries, please call 527 0011 local 1260 to 62 or visit

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eat Bulaga Indonesia!

"Eat Bulaga," the Philippines' longest running noontime variety show, will have its first overseas version in Indonesia.

Starting this Monday, July 16, 2012, "Eat Bulaga Indonesia" will air live on SCTV network at 4 pm.

The Indonesian TV station describes its new show as "definitely fun and contains a lot of funny games that are positive, touching, and surely exciting."

The variety show will be hosted by Uya Kuya, Nardji, Reza Bukan, and Farid Aja and will have indoor and outdoor segments.

"Eat Bulaga Indonesia's" segments include Bolagaan, Karaoke Stud, Indonesia Genius and One For All, All For One, which are adaptations of the original Philippine version.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Valeria Lukyanova: Real-Life Barbie from Russia (Photos)

I thought the title belonged already to singer Taylor Swift until I stumbled upon these photos of Valeria Lukyanova! :)

Barbie, that famous doll made by Mattel, may have just come to life in the person of 21-year old Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova.

She has the doll eyes, the skin, and yes, the figure!

Check these photos (mostly from her site of the human Barbie!

Her face, without the make up, is not bad either. :)

Nuvali Sings for the Earth

“I was walking along, minding my business, When out of the orange colored sky, Flash, bam, alacazam, Wonderful you came by,” so goes the lyrics to the first solo song by Kyla and, which proves to be a great welcome song to the people who came during the Green Freedom concert celebrating Earth Day held at the Evoliving Center Dockside grounds of Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna last April 21.

Watching a performance in the great outdoors always brings together people, and for a community, it also brings neighbors together. And while the rest of Metro Manila was withering under a 35 degree weather, people who watched the said concert experience a cool night as the Evoliving Center is wonderfully located by the southern end of the Nuvali lake.

Nuvali, the 1,840-hectare mixed-use property that spreads over the cities of Sta. Rosa, Calamba and the Municipality of Cabuyao in Laguna has been on the lips of people who are on the lookout for a place that balances both nature and city life. And who would not want that if it is possible, right? Nuvali has been developed by Ayala Land, Inc. together with the Yulo family owners to be a wholly sustainable eco-city with its design rationalized by its economic, social, and environmental sustainability, coupled with programs on energy efficiency, water conservation and re-use, and waste management.

Not surprisingly, Nuvali’s concert to celebrate “Earth Day” is titled “Green Freedom.” The concert pooled the talents of warblers Kyla, Juris, Zia Quizon, and crooners Christian Bautista, and Jed Madela who opened the concert with the song “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green.  After that, was Kyla’s solo turn on the Natali Cole classic  “Orange-colored Sky” before she paired off again with Madela next for the brilliant “Colour of the Wind” number, and where Madela’s tenor rang clearest.  Madela’s solo turn for the song “Change the World” definitely floored the crowd. Zia Quizon, that young goddess of a singer, and daughter of Zsazsa Padilla, emerged back on stage in a yellow summer dress to the delight of the crowd. Quizon, a self-confessed Carole King fan, released her honey-colored voice in the songs “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away;” and “It’s Too Late.” Quizon sizzled right on to the songs “I Feel the Earth Move” before cooling down to her currently popularly requested song: “Ako na Lang.” Other high points of the concert include Juris’ version of Side A’s “Forevermore, and Christian Bautista’s version of Michael Jackson’s classic “Earth Song” before the group rejoined for the last song. It was indeed a well-thought out concert with the spiels on the songs being turned smoothly towards caring for the environment.

Backstage, two of the singers in the concert share their “Earth” moments. Kyla remembers that growing up, she experienced the joys of climbing up a tree, an Aratiles or Cherry Tree, back in their home in Bulacan. Jed Madela, on the other hand, admits to being a lucky “probinsyano,” having spent his childhood in Iloilo. “Umaakyat kami ng puno. Pumupunta kami sa dike. Gumagawa kami ng bola mula sa dahon ng niyog” (We climb trees. We go to the dike. We make a ball from coconut leaves).  

To learn more about NUVALI and its upcoming events, visit or call 0917-5ASK.NUV (275.688).


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thai Food Festival at Manila Hotel

Masaman Kai (Chicken Curry)
Gaeng Gup Khao (Chicken with cashew nuts)
Yesterday (April 3), I was invited to try out the latest dining promo by the Manila Hotel: Thai Food Festival.

Held in partnership with Thai Airways and Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thai Food Festival at Café Ilang-Ilang allows diners to experience a food sojourn to the Land of Smiles from April 16 to April 30, 2012.
The Thai buffet is a recent addition to the international culinary selection of Café Ilang-Ilang.
Savor the rich and exquisite tastes of Thai cuisine as Manila Hotel’s Head Thai Chef Sawan Edo takes you on a gastronomic journey to her homeland with authentic Thai dishes. For the festival, Chef Edo created Thai favorites including yam pla dook (catfish salad), tom yam goong (hot and sour prawn seafood salad), goong ob woon sen (baked prawn sotanghon), gaeng gup khao (chicken with cashew nuts), masaman kai (chicken curry), pla nenung manao (steamed fish with lime), and woon lai (Thai jelly). A different set of dishes will be served for lunch and dinner.
Thai cuisine is largely based on menus traditionally served in regal banquets of the Royal Court. A truly artful masterpiece, Thai cuisine has captured the international palate with its perfect blend of hot, sweet, salty, and sour flavors.
Diners will also get a chance to win a holiday trip for two in Bangkok inclusive of hotel accommodations at the Amari Water Hotel Bangkok courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand

For inquiries and reservations, please call 527 0011 local 1260 to 62.

For press inquiries, you may contact:
Sam Dominguez
PR Executive
PR & Corporate Communications
Manila Hotel
02-527-0011 local 1384
0917 390 2157

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lakbayin ang Magandang Pilipinas- Buhay Pinoy

  Watch this intro video to "Buhay Pinoy" in the weekly show "Lakbayin ang Magandang Pilipinas," featuring NCCA's (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) very own Chairman Prof. Felipe de Leon, Jr., and Exec. Dir. Emelita Almosara.


LAKBAYIN ANG MAGANDANG PILIPINAS is a weekly program which airs every Saturdays, 8am - 9am, over PTV 4. Originally, this pioneering television program proudly showcases various local government units' advocacies and their exemplary practices in promoting effective local governance. It was recognized by the Anak TV Awards as it continues to strive up to display the positive side, innovations, challenges, and exemplary practices of local government with their dynamic leaders and supportive constituents. It also features stories on Filipino culture and traditions.

To date, Lakbayin ang Magandang Pilipinas has four segments. Out of the 4, one segment titled "Buhay Pinoy" of about 10-15 minutes features NCCA programs. It will show activities of the commission like projects emanating from the committees and other institutional programs, both from Manila and the regions.

For details, please contact RENE NAPEÑAS, Head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at cellphone number 0927-5582656 / 09285081057 or at tel. nos. 527-5529. You can also call us at 527-2192 (loc. 612-615) or email us at

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Slater Young Named PBB Unlimited Big Winner

Slater Young, the young civil engineer from Cebu emerged as PBB Unlimited's big winner! And the crowd that greeted him Saturday night (March 31) when he finally came out was equally ecstatic to see him!

The official PBB web site shares these basic info on Slater Young:

  • Real Name:Jan Slater Young
  • Origin:Cebu City
  • Age:25
  • Birthdate:1987-12-19
  • Nationality:Filipino
  • Occupation:civil engineer
  • Civil Status:
  • Religion:
  • Hobbies:board games, hanging out, going to the gym, competitive shooting
  • Favorite Color:white, blue, purple
My unsolicited advice for Slater Young? Develop his acting skills, groom himself to be the next Sam Milby, team up with Toni Gonzaga, and probably score an album or two. Do this for 5 years, then become a Senator (I think you have more skills in that area). Then, who knows? The Presidency should not be too far a goal to aim for.

What's wrong with these? Butanding Interactions Such as These , NOT Right!

Tsk. Tsk. These photos of people interacting this super close with a whale shark (supposedly in Oslob, Cebu) or "butanding" have circulated fast in facebook and twitter. I know it could be a sure lure for people but the more experienced traveler knows that whale sharks should not be touched or even stepped on like this. Horrors, right?!?

It turns out that it was a stranded whale shark in Boljoon town, a municipality next to Oslob in Cebu.

My own whale shark encounter in 2011 in Donsol, Sorsogon taught me the basic rules prior to seeing one.

"Swimmers should be 3 meters from the head and body of the butanding; 4 meters from the tail. No touching riding or restricting the movement of the butanding. A maximum of 30 boats at sea at any point in time. One one boat per whale shark, with a maximum of 6 swimmers per whale shark. Maximum of 10-minute swim with one whale shark. Flash photography is not allowed."

Poor stranded whale shark.