First Fujifilm Instax Coffee and Arts Workshops with Instax Mini 9 and Instax Square SQ10

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A few weeks ago, I attended the very first Instax Coffee and Arts Workshop at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) Adriatico Malate Manila

instax mini 9 and sq 10
What's cool about the workshop is that it is absolutely FREE thanks to the partnership of Fujifilm Philippines, Henry's Professional and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

instax coffee and arts workshop
Check out the whole new collection of Fujifilm Instax Cameras!  The Instax Mini 9 is the latest one sold at a retail price of only 3,999 php.  It comes in various pastel colors.  If you're more technical and meticulous, you should check out their latest Hybrid Instax Camera called the Instax Square SQ10 sold at 14,999 php.  As you can guess from the name, the instax photos are in square size making it very compatible with the 1:1 instagram size.  It also has it's own control screen at the back which allows you to choose from 10 filters, control the brightness and the vignette. 

fujifilm instax
As part of the workshop, we all got to create our own Fujifilm Instax Photos for free. And, with the workshop conducted by craft master Nica Cosio, we were able to upgrade our instax photos into a colorful and beautiful bag tag.

The next workshop will be held on September 8, 2017 at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Rockwell Business Center.  Check out the facebook fan page of CBTL or Fujifilm Philippines on how to participate.

I promise it is tons of fun.  And, did I mention there's CBTL coffee and food too?  Awesome right?  So, see you all there!

Grayns Rice Cooker: Only Healthy Rice Cooker in the World Now in the Philippines

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Last week, I was invited to attend the media launch of Grayns Rice Cooker.  Being health-conscious, I was really excited to know more about the only healthy rice cooker in the world!

grayns rice cooker
Grayns uses a patent advance technology which removed starch from rice and other starch sources resulting to low calorie content and glycemic load.  They have lab tests and customer testimonials o prove this.

grayns rice cooker
I really admire the company because they were very meticulous in discussing how Grayns works as a supplement to a healthy diet and exercise. 

grayns rice cooker
I didn't feel that they just wanted to earn by selling more products.  Instead, they allocated a lot of time (3 hours!) in explaining our biology and how the product works.  I usually attend medical conferences with my sister who is a doctor and I actually learned a lot more here than there.  

grayns rice cooker
Grayns will benefit most those with diabetes type 1 and 2 the most because it can significantly control their blood sugar level as well as prevent spikes and cashes just 15 minutes after use. 

grayns rice cooker
But with diabetes and obesity being common these day, I believe this is a necessity for every house hold. 

grayns rice cooker
However, right now the price is steep at 27,000 php so you have to weight the pros and cons for yourself. 

grayns rice cooker
I suggest you inquire directly with the company because they are very dedicated in answering questions.  All their staffs are very accommodating.  

grayns rice cookerBasically, what the bad cycle of high sugar will lead to high insulin then storage of fat then inability to burn fat making you eat more.  Based on my experience after my GAPs diet during because of my eczema, I found this to be true.  The more efficient your body is with utilizing energy, vitamins and mineral, the lesser you will eat and the longer time it will take before you will be hungry again.  (You can check ketogenic and intermittent fasting on the full science on this.)

grayns rice cooker

grayns rice cooker
President and CEO Mr. Kelvin Co explains that they warranty the product parts and service 1 year from purchase.  They will replace it fully except for the colander which isn't mechanical.

Sounds good right?  Check out Grayns at Rustans, Abensons and their Facebook Fan Page. 

BPI BanKo now serving Self-Employed Micro Entrepreneurs (SEMEs)

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BPI Direct BanKo which is a combination of BPI Direct Savings Bank Inc. and BPI Globe BanKo. BPI Direct Savings Bank was formerly BPI Agricultural bank way back in the 70's and BPI Globe BanKo is an innovative micro-financing with mobile abilities which was just launched in 2009 in partnership with Globe.

bpi banko
Two separate thrift banks merged into one is now the powerful BPI Direct BanKo BPI Direct is now extending its reach by opening to Self-Employed Micro Entrepreneurs (SEMEs) by introducing its primary loan product "NegosyoKo loan" ranging from 25,000 to 300,000 php (depending on the collateral).

bpi banko
Loan is approved and released as short as 4-5 days to a maximum of 3 weeks for bigger loans.  Loan payments can be scheduled over a long term period. 

bpi banko
BPI aims to improve the quality of SEMEs as well as contribute to the country's economic growth by offering a legal and formal lending platform and spare them from being forced to go through informal channels. 

bpi banko
In line with this new venture, BPI has launched a new batch of financial advisors called BanKoPares and BanKoMares as loan officers who will guide and directly engage with BanKo clients.  Those interested in BanKo services only need to call and the BanKoPares and BanKoMares will go to them so they don't even need to leave their business.

bpi banko
According to BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing, this is the fastest business in BPI history.

bpi banko
BanKo now has a total of 24 branches, 15 of which are newly established branches in key areas around the country. 

bpi banko
BPI intends to reach 90 branches by October 2017.  The BanKo Direct BanKo launch was graced by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Incoming Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier and other BSP officers.  Incoming Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier has been with BSP since 1984 as Bank Examiner and has progressively worked her way to become Assistant Governor in 2017.  Ms. Fonacier shares that BSP has always strongly dedicated in financial inclusion - bringing banking services to more people as financial consumers where no one is left behind.  She believes that BanKo with the guidelines and regulations of the BSP that will improve BPI BanKo operations will lead to an effective and sustainable results. BSP guidelines and regulations are formulated to be enabling and not to be restrictive but as an active partner of financial institution. BSP is open to digital solutions as long as security is protected.  With only 30% of Filipinos with formal financial accounts, she recognizes that financial inclusion still has a long way to go.

During the launch BPI shares success stories of its BanKo clients who benefited greatly through micro-financing.  Among their clients are eateries, small farm owners, cellphone repair store, burger joint, food stall franchisee, sculptor, guitar maker and fruit vendor.

Doña Elena brings Origen Flamengco Show to the Philippines

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Doña Elena, the leading brand of Mediterranean products in the Philippines, brings Origen Flamenco Show to the Philippines.

Doña Elena
I've always been a fan of Doña Elena (as I've shared their pasta before). 

Doña Elena
Before the show began, guests enjoyed fine Doña Elena wines as well as tapas with Doña Elena ingredients.

Doña Elena

Doña Elena

Doña Elena

Origen Flamengco Show
origen flamengco show
The Origen Flamengco Show began as scheduled.  The performance was inspired by the music of the legendary Paco de Lucia, a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer and producer.

origen flamengco show
It was unlike anything I have seen before.  You could feel the passion of the Spanish dance group as they tapped into the soulful beats. 

origen flamengco show
Origen harmonizes the old and deep sound of the flamengco guitar by Alberto Marin together with the flamengco singers and the fineness of the flute. 

Watch here for my favorite parts of the show.  Although this is Origen's first time in Manila, the group intends to be back in November.

origen flamengco show
Both Origen and Doña Elena showcases the exquisite Spanish heritage.  Origen as an art and Doña Elena in bringing out quality and healthy Mediterranean food products.

It was a truly unforgettable night of food and art for all.  Thank you for this Doña Elena!

You Are Called to Rescue: Let's Stop Human Trafficking Together!

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A few weeks ago, I was "Called To Rescue".  

called to rescue

The event was organized by Called to Rescue supporters Stephanie Henares, communications agency ComCo Southeast Asia and Boutique Burger Kitchen (BBK), a family-oriented diner from Chef Carlo Miguel of Draft Gastropub

called to rescue

What is Called to Rescue?
Called to Rescue is an international non-profit organization founded in 1988 by Dr. Cyndi Romine, who is one of the leading authorities in the fight against children injustices. 
Called to Rescue combats child trafficking in three ways:
  1. prevention through education and training of youth of all ages and their parents
  2. dedication to the child until he/she has experienced healing
  3. continuation in every aspect of child trafficking awareness.
Called to Rescue Philippines was officially registered as a non-governmental organization
(NGO) in 2009, with Mr. Anthony Pangilinan as its Officer-in- Charge.

called to rescue

What is Human Trafficking?
Actually, the definition of human trafficking varies depending on which law so it makes it difficult for the layman to understand.
Human trafficking is the buying and selling of men, women and children within countries and across borders in order to exploit them for money.  Human trafficking is a large-scale profit scheme which involves syndicates.  It is overtaking arm smuggling and drug trafficking because kids can be used more than 20 times per day.
It is very broad covering many illegal activities such as:
  • Forced labor
  • Debt bondage
  • Trafficking for sexual orientation
  • Child labor
  • Forced begging
  • Trafficking for organ removal
  • Forced marriage (mail order bride)
  • Trafficking in domestic work
  • Child soldiers
  • Rape or Date Rape
Factors Affecting Human Trafficking in the Philippines
  • Lack of awareness 
    •  Did you know that there are more than 500,000 cases of human trafficking in the Philippines last 2016 alone?  And, there are over 30 billion cases worldwide.  I was really surprised by this because most human rights cases in the Philippines focused more on Extra-judicial killings, disappearances and torture and it didn't occur to me even during my human rights violation research as a law student that there is such an issue.  And, this lack of awareness over the issue is what I think is the main factor why it became such a big problem. 
    • It's not as uncommon as we think.  There was even a case where the perpetrator who sold young teens in BGC is a wealthy Filipino-Chinese residing in Corinthian Village who had two rooms just for girls.  And, Tindr was used as a means to lure girls in.
  • Poverty 
  • Philippine as an archipelago
  • Friendly culture
  • Lack of parental oversight 
  • Lack of implementation of laws
    • Corruption
    • Weak judicial system
    • Court congestion
    • Shortage of prosecutors
    • Although laws are continuously being developed:
      • ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ratified February 2017)
      • RA 7610 as amended on 2003 (Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) 
      • RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) 
      • RA 6955 (Mail-order brides)
      • RA 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act)
      • Revised Penal Code
        • Art. 202 (prostitution)
        • Art. 341
      • PD 442: Labor Code of Philippines
      • Philippines Constitution
What Can We Do?
So previously I said I was Called to Rescue.  What do I mean by that?  How can a private person like me take part in such a big issue? Well, we can do A LOT actually. 

called to rescue
  • Parents should oversee their child (Parents better to struggle than worry so don't give up!  Although before 9 out of 10 Filipino kids look up to their parents, now only 4 out of 10 do.)
    • Don't give your kids gadgets; Lend them gadgets so you have degree of control
    • Teach kids to say No
  • Learn self-defense such as shouting and learning Krav Maga
  • Share the awareness
  • Join the community by liking Called to Rescue in Facebook
  • Report trafficking, abuse, and cases of missing children with the Called to Rescue’s local hotline at (0917) 541- 0287, through their facebook fan page or website

FilipinaZ 2017: Jewelry, Fashion and Art Fair Created by Women For Women

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This July 28-30, 2017 at the Penthouse of 8 Rockwell, FilipinaZ 2017 is back. 

filipinaz 2017
Filipinaz is organized by the women of the Zonta Club of Makati & Environs who has long been advocates of uplifting women's lives.

zonta club of makati and environs

filipinaz 2017
There are many merchants showcasing jewelry this year: Alchemista, All That Glitters (handcrafted jewelry with imported previous gems designed by Amanda Luym and her partner Cacay Moras-Server) , Definitive Handcrafted Opulence by Ann Ong, Eccentric Limited (carabao horn jewelry) Kathy & Kathy Bespoke, Kuwintas, Otsirav'e by Carlo Evaristo, Judy Jewels, and Yerovi Jewelry.

For FilipinaZ, Alchemista will unleash its collaborative collection with Kyooreo’s Charming Baldemor-hand-carved minaudières embellished with metals and semi-precious stones.

filipinaz 2017
Yerovi Jewelry.
 filipinaz 2017

filipinaz 2017
Otsirav'e by Carlo Evaristo

filipinaz 2017
D'Oro Barandino
D'Oro Barandino will showcase their signature geometric and architectural-shaped minaudières, as well as soft-leather clutches and gold-plated brass jewelry.

kababaihan bags
Kababaihan Bags
filipinaz 2017
For art, there are lots of collections from multi-awarded painter Mario Panis, Ronna Manansala (granddaughter of Philippine National Artist in Visual Arts Vicente Manansala), Boysie Villavicencio, Kyooreo, Rocky David, Boy Sy and Bruno Art to see.

filipinaz 2017

filipinaz 2017
So save the date for FilipinaZ 2017 and own a special piece that is inspired by the strength, beauty, and sophistication of a true Filipina and her potential for doing great things for the benefit of society.