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.