It’s no secret that I’m a fan of musicals. This one easily makes it to one of my favorite ones.
La La Land took me to the land of dreams, both realized and broken.At what cost are dreams really worth? Are dreams just that—dreams? At what point does a dream become a fantasy?
This were some of the things that hit me when watching the film.
The music and cinematography were larger than life. The acting was both genuine and moving. The colors were magic.It was like being taken to another world where everyone as fashionable, sang on-key, and danced well.What a flawless production it was!
The movie was achingly brilliant. Real despite all its glitz and surrealism.It moved me to pieces the entire time with the actors’ emotions being honest, logical, and consistent the entire time.
I remembered what it was like to be a kid with a dream. The remembered what it was like to hope and to believe in the possibility of it coming true.
It’s no secret that I’m a coffee drinker. Being both a blogger and freelance writer is hard work. I constantly need to think of new ideas to offer. I constantly need to deliver.
It’s a good thing that I love to write! It’s my love for writing that gets me going whenever deadlines are though and my mind and body are tired.
That and A LOT of coffee. haha! 🙂
Recently I tried a new brand of coffee by the company Elken named elcafe.
It’s a premium quality 5-in-1 coffee with Ginseng and Gingko Biloba extract made from the finest of Arabica and Robusta coffee powder and non-dairy creamer.
The coffee is slightly more bitter than the regular coffee that I take. What I can say about this coffee, however, is that it does give you energy. I got me through the Christmas season when I was doing a ton of writing while at the same time, helping with the family business.
Right now, you can order through Elken from a seller, as they do direct selling with their products.
More about Elken:
After a year ago of arrival in the Philippines, the newest leading Malaysian direct selling company Elken has continuously roll out its goal – to provide world-class quality products with holistic approach in health, beauty, well-being, and business opportunities not just for Asian country citizens but now specifically to all Filipinos.
“We want to let Filipinos know that we are here to unify them in our common cause to enrich lives together by making a positive difference in people’s lives through the wonders of Elken products. We are looking after the stories on how Elken products change people’s lives,” said David Wong, General Manager of Elken International Philippines, Co. Ltd., during their maiden bloggers conference last November 29.
True to its philosophy “Builds you to Building Others”, Elken started its humble beginning in 1995 from a space that measured less than 25,000 square feet sharing the vision to enrich lives by nurturing and empowering people to create opportunities of a positive life transformation. From then, Elken expanded with over 500 unique wellness offerings in cosmetics, personal care, wellness, food and beverage, and home care and over 1.8 billion audience across 11 asian countries, which include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and now Philippines.
Wong also shared that total wellness should begin with comprehensive nutrition that can be found with Elken’s four interesting product line-up to its portfolio for Filipinos.
Recently, I got to attend the launch party of Explore Philippines, a quarterly in-flight as well as retail magazine. What makes Explore Philippines unique from the other travel magazines is that its focus is travelling within the Philippines. Not only that. True to its name, the people behind the magazine make it a point to discover as much as they can. They go beyond the usual tourist spots and really, well, explore. This is not only good for the avid adventurer, but also for the locals who can earn from the tourism in their area.The well-attended launch was held at the events place of Century Mall, Makati, and was graced by two of their cover girls, Rhian Ramos and Janine Gutierrez.
During the event, December cover girl, Rhian Ramos was called up onstage and interviewed about her experience in Siargao, Surigao del Norte (known as the surfing capital of the Philippines) and the actress was all praises.
I enjoyed reading the magazine’s Siargao X Rhian Ramos spread. The pictures (by Jake Verzosa) and article ( by EIC France Pinzon) were beautifully composed. In the article, Rhian expressed her surprise when she saw how raw and untainted Siargao was—and it definitely translates to every image taken.
The Explore Philippines people also took the stage as they enthusiastically introduced the revamped magazine.
I’m excited to follow Explore Philippine’s adventures for 2017. I’m sure the team behind the magazine has a lot of ideas up their sleeve.
I’m a big fan of worcestershire sauce. I love mixing it with grilled steak and sukiyaki, and sometimes with ketchup for friend chicken. We actually have a bottle of it at home, so I am very familiar with worcestershire’s rich sweet, salty, and sour taste. Yum! Yum! Yum! 🙂
Attending the culminating Manila leg of the Lea and Perrins Countrywide Cook-off (now on its 3rd year and 2nd national leg) was an amazing eye opener for me. Last Saturday (October 29) , 12 talented finalist battled it out at Enderun. The special ingredient to make their dishes, gising na gising sa sarap ? Lea and Perrins WorcesterchireSauce of course! Now I know that I can creatively use Lea and Perrins WorcesterchireSauce on much more dishes than I am used to.
The lively event, hosted by Ms. Kristine Dera (90.7 Love Radio), was very engaging even to the other attendees (including relatives and family of the contestants, media, agencies and people from Lea and Perrins, people from Getz Brothers, etc.) because of the live feed of the hot kitchen, and also the different games and video presentations. I am happy to say that I won in one of the games wherin ingredients of various dishes were flashed and the audience were ask to guess the dishes that ingredients created. My dish was Chicken Barbecue! I got to take home a gift pack. Yay!
Another thing that I liked about the event was that I was allowed to enter and watch the contestants in action. (very iron chef vibes). Here are some of contestants side by side with their entry.
Here are all of the the dishes that were entered in the competition.
2nd Runner Up
1st Runner Up
Area Grand Winner
As with all competitions, no matter how good and talented all the contestants are, there has to be named winners. So for the Lea and Perrins Manila Leg, here are the winners.
(Apart from taking home a trophy and a gift bag, the area’s grand champion, first runner-up, and second runner-up each received P25,000 pesos, P15,000 pesos, and P10,000 pesos, respectively. The money prize is exempted from tax.
The 12 finalists were chosen from some 50 aspirants who joined the pre-judging event at Robinson’s Galleria where they presented their signature dishes.
The culminating activity of the competition is the Metro Manila cook-off. Prior to this, the caravan of Lea & Perrins: Isang Kutsara Nationwide Cooking Challenge Year 2 visited six cities namely, Albay, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Iloilo, and Cebu,
Each area had its own cooking grand champion and first and second runner-up who won tax-free cash prizes, a trophy, and a special gift bag.
Non-winners were given consolation prize money, a plaque of participation, and exclusive gift packs from Lea & Perrins.)
I definitely enjoyed this event and look forward to the next one! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ballet was a very big part of my childhood. I was spellbound by everything that it had to offer—from the pretty costumes, the performances, the dances…down to the steps they taught us. I gained many friends from ballet, and many memories as well!
A big chunk of my ballet years were spent dancing in Halili-Cruz School of Ballet. The school was founded by founder, multi-awarded Artistic Director, Shirley Halili-Cruz, together with the strong support of its equally outstanding Associate Artistic Directors, Grace Garalde-Perez, Anna Kathrina Halili Cruz-Bueno. Though my last dance with them was 15 years ago (Gaaaaah. Time flies!), the moments that I spent in the studio are still very vivid. I will probably remember them always!
Some pictures from the past: (click pictures to enlarge)
If you’re a young teenager who’s into dance. I strongly recommend you try ballet! Not only will it give you a load of wonderful teenage experiences, it will increase your strength as a dancer, whether you would want to focus on or try other forms of dance in the future.
If you’re a mom with a young girl, I also encourage you to enroll her to ballet! She might just thank you for it. 🙂
The Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (HCSB) has been considered as one of the best ballet schools in the Philippines. It has been awarded as the “Most Outstanding Ballet School in Asia” from 2000 to the present. The school has successfully represented the Philippines in different international festivals and competitions in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Brunei, South Korea, Russia, England and the USA.
The main studio is located at 1227 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines that houses 5 studios with a total dance floor of 550 square meters and a vast quadrangle where kids and parents can hang out. HCSB has branches at Saint Pedro Poveda College, Miriam College, Saint Mary’s College and Alabang Country Club.
To date the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet has garnered more than 300 national and international awards and prizes, among them are:
· Hall of Fame, Aliw Award as Best Classical Dance Company in the Philippines
· 8- time Ani ng Dangal Awardee for its international achievements
· People’s Choice as the Most Outstanding Performing Group
· Grand Prize Winner in the Asia Pacific Dance Competition in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines
· Grand Prize Winner in the 21st Century International Dance and Arts Festival and Competition in Genting Highlands, Malaysia
· First Prize in the Dance Excellence in Los Angeles, California, USA
· Global Excellence Award in Bangkok, Thailand
· Best Performance in classical and contemporary dance in the Bauhinia Cup International Dance Competition in Hongkong
· Global Pinoy Award
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde: An interview with a living legend
by Jel Tordesillas
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde is undoubtedly one of my idols. I used to live, eat, and breathe ballet when I was growing up. It is one of the highlights of my childhood and teen years. Back then, hearing of someone who was handpicked to join the iconic Kirov Ballet was mind blowing, inspiring, and just plain amazing. Lisa was similar to a mythical creature that I couldn’t believe existed.
Some other features in her cap include: Silver Medalist, Asia-Pacific Ballet Competition, Tokyo (1987); Special Prize for Artistry by the House of Diaghilev in Moscow(1992); Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (1997); and The Order of International Friendship awarded by President Vadimir Putin (2001).
In this interview, I learned that Lisa was far from being mythical. While still possessing all of the accolades and characteristics that made me idolize her, she turned out to be a very grounded and very well—human. Like all of us, she has experienced pain, fear, and hurdles. But being Lisa, she went though all of these with grace and beauty. She is more than a prima ballerina, she is a living legend who will continue to inspire all types of people to share beauty to the whole world, whatever form it may take.
Who inspires you and why? Share below in the comments.
Jel: Is being a dancer inborn or earned?
Lisa: You are born with talent and physical attributes-–-the rest of a dancer’s success depends on training and commitment, discipline, and hard work.
Jel: What do you consider as your biggest accomplishment as a dancer?
I am proud of the fact that I have had an international career while being based in Manila.
Jel: You frequently mention your injury as a young girl to be the signal that you were meant to take classical ballet. Isn’t that ironic (because other people would have been discouraged instead)? What if the injury didn’t happen. Do you think that you would have still pursued ballet?
Lisa: Even before the injury happened I was already dead set on becoming a ballerina—which is why I sought after the best possible medical diagnosis and cure. I think that, if my mind was not made up, I would have accepted the first diagnosis, just lived with the injury, and stopped dancing. I have always been a fighter, and the injury was something to fight against.
Jel: What goes through inside your head before your dance performance?
Lisa: Several things really—mainly, the question “Am I ready to go onstage and dance?” and if the answer if, “No”, then I take steps to correct the situation. Sometimes, I get distracted by a text message; a thought about something I have to do after the show; something that happens to another dancer backstage; or a technical matter. Sometimes, I take time to review the choreography and always take time to warm-up. If needed, I try some things out with my partner for extra assurance.
Jel: Can you describe three most unforgettable moments that you had in ballet? In life?
Lisa: I would say, the first time I danced Masha in TheNutcracker at the Marinsky Theater. The first time I danced Kitri in Don Quixote—and got a 20-minute standing ovation afterwards (also an the Marinsky Theater). And the first time I danced my first full-length Swan Lake in Havana, Cuba.
In Life, three unforgettable moments would be: when Fred proposed marriage and I accepted; when my daughter Missy was born; and when my son Manuel was born.
Jel: Was there ever a time that you wanted to quit ballet? What made you stick with it?
Lisa: Yes, there was a time when I got very, very depressed that I didn’t even want to dance anymore. It was a very dark period in my life when someone I loved got very sick. I took a leave-of-absence from work. Then I found acceptance, healing, and peace. Then, I just bounced back to work and learned from the experience.
Jel: A lot of Filipinos, like myself, regard you as one of their idols. In your case, who are the three people you look up to the most (Filipino setting, doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the world of ballet).
I look up to my mom, Susan Macuja and my dad, Cesar Macuja. I really admire them because of the way they brought me up and instilled values in me; the way they sacrificed so much to support me; and basically the way they live their lives and have taken care—and continue to take care—of their family and friends. They have sincerely given me examples of unconditional love.
I super love it whenever I see great things created by local brands whether it be clothes, restaurants, and makeup! ❤ I’m a self-confessed makeup addict, but the thing with me is that I have really sensitive skin. I suffer from eczema so there’s only a handful of products that work with my skin. I’m no makeup expert, but I do know which products work my skin. Hopefully, my posts on makeup will help other people who are looking for ultra skin friendly makeup.
I am so happy to discover two Filipino makeup brands with lipstick products that I can work with. They’re great, bang-for-the-buck products that don’t irritate or dry my lips.
PinkSugar Cosmetics was created as a makeup solution for women looking for products of high quality and great value.
Our products go beyond their creative packaging and catchy names by providing distinct ingredient benefits for your skin. The selection of wearable colors available for each of our products have been expertly curated by makeup professionals to complete a woman’s make-up collection and to complement the Filipina skin.
Our cosmetics products are free from animal testing and are made without Parabens.
As I mentioned earlier, my lips reacts and dries easily if their’s an allergen in the lipstick’s formula. I also veer away matte lipstick variants. With Happy Skin’s Matte, my problem with mattes was solved. Given that the lipstick does dry my lips a little, it’s nothing a little lip treatment can’t manage (to complement the moisturizers already infused in the product). If your lips doesn’t have a tendency to chap, I don’t think you have to put lip treatment in the mix. <wink!>
“I always knew I wanted to be in this business of making women happy,” shares Jacqe who spearheaded developing global brands under personal care leader Unilever. “I remember how I always felt giddy when I got to talk to consumers, and they would tell me how a beauty product could made them feel confident, more beautiful, and more in control of their lives,” recalls Jacqe. “I would get a real sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I heard such stories. So, I realized it was always really my dream to create a brand of my own, one that will provide the best products that will excite people, make their lives happier and better!” And so, after nearly a decade in the beauty and personal care industry, Jacqe took a leap of faith and created Happy Skin, makeup that cares for the skin. “Happy Skin is the first makeup line that offers an entire range of skin-caring makeup,” Jacqe proudly explains. “It was especially created for women who want to look naturally beautiful, but want to make sure that their skin is also cared for. It’s for women who don’t want to compromise on beauty!”
“For me, it’s really simple. I think good makeup should be easy to use, good for your skin, and makes you feel more beautiful,” Jacqe continues. “I’m a firm believer in good skincare and I don’t like compromising my skin because of the makeup that I use.” Jacqe expounds: “I’ve talked to a lot of women, and they’re scared to use makeup because they feel that it will harm their skin. So why not create a makeup line that actually cares for your skin, too?”