A blog about a singing photographer, techie handyman of the house and fun runs.


Specialized gears up for SM Mall of Asia Store Opening

Press Release:

Specialized – a bicycle brand made for riders, by riders – gears up for its store’s grand opening on Oct. 17 at the SM by the Bay at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Considered to be a biker’s haven especially in the morning, SM by the Bay is the perfect location for the first of three Specialized concept stores to open, with Pasig and Maginhawa St. in Quezon City completing the new stores for 2018.

 “We want to serve the riders where they are, and at the same time make it convenient for them to get that one-stop bike shop experience,” says Ritchie Santayana, Customer Development Director of Gruppo Innovare Corporation, referring to the choice of locations for the three stores. All three are known to be bike-friendly areas in the metropolis, and more stores are promised to come throughout the country over the next few years.

Since 1974, the brand has striven to make the best bikes for riders. The store is set to offer a comprehensive range of technically advanced products, such as:

  • The Stumpjumper, the brand’s most versatile trail bike,
  • the Turbo Levo and Kenevo, a pair of e-mountain bikes built to give riders the power to ride more trails,
  • the Venge, the fastest road bike, and
  • the Tarmac, the lightest race bike ever made by the brand.

The 2019 Shiv Disc, is also set to take center stage during opening day. The all-new triathlon specific bike promises unprecedented aero design, storage for fuel and hydration to last the whole race, and the most flexible fit. It is the most complete triathlon bike ever made.

Riders can expect easy and worry-free purchases, and a complete “Specialized experience” through the store’s full scope of services: providing expert advice in choosing the best bike, experiencing the bikes firsthand through their bike test program, bike servicing by trained staff, and the Retül Match and Vantage system, the most technically advanced bike fitting and product matching technology available in the market.

Fabulous prizes will also be raffled off while Specialized will give a 10 percent discount on all items on its launch day.

Gruppo Innovare Corporation is the authorized and appointed distributor of Specialized Bicycle Components in the Philippines.

For further information, about Specialized in the Philippines, visit https://www.specialized.com/ph/en or like and follow Specialized Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialized.ph/.


Potatoes – An Everyday Superfood

Being the designated cook in the house, I often use potatoes in our dishes. I especially like mixing meat and tomatoes in our potato dishes. My kids also love baked potato wedges with olive oil and a dash of salt, pepper and thyme. They say it’s their ultimate comfort (super) food!

Potatoes, are actually a superfood! You might be surprised to learn that all potato varieties, whether they be fresh, frozen or dehydrated, are good sources of phytonutrients and antioxidants.


Potatoes contain good carbohydrates that convert into energy without the unwanted additional calories. They are also rich in potassium, which helps restore electrolyte balance and prevent cramps.

Did you know that a medium-sized potato has more potassium than a banana or boiled saba? That said, potatoes are an ideal pre and post workout food. We should all be eating more of them, especially when we need to fuel up for strenuous activities. Eat some boiled potatoes partnered with some fat and protein for a steady stream of energy for your body.

Now is the best time to enjoy potatoes! Thanks to Potatoes USA, US frozen, US fresh and US dehydrated potatoes are now in the Philippines and are readily available in groceries and supermarkets nationwide.

Dedicated potato growers in the US ensure that only the best potatoes in different varieties make it to dining tables worldwide. And, high quality potatoes are specially selected for processing into frozen and dehydrated potato products.

I love cooking traditional Pinoy food like Mechado, Nilaga and Afritada with big chunks of potatoes. Easy-to-prep viands like corned beef with sliced potatoes and sautéed ground pork with diced potatoes are my go-to meals when I’m in a hurry. There’s a whole lot of potato recipes out there! Just check out www.potatogoodness.com/potato-recipes/.

For more information on US potatoes, visit www.potatogoodness.com/ or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/.

Carlos, Bayking earn tickets to WTA Future Stars tournament

Top-ranked junior tennis players Macie Carlos and Bliss Bayking have earned the opportunity to represent the country in the WTA Future Stars Tournament in Singapore, after clinching victories in the finals of the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge Under 14 and Under 16 Qualifying Tournament at the Makati Sports Club in Makati City.
Showing their winning forms, Carlos completely dominated Mica Emana, 6-1, 6-2, while Bayking outclassed Justine Maneja, 6-4, 6-1, to win their first 14-under and 16-under titles in the tournament sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) and sponsored by Malayan Insurance, Dunlop and the Makati Sports Club.
“I would like to congratulate all the participants for playing in this tournament, most especially to the two winners who will be going to Singapore to play in the WTA Future Stars Tournament. This competition has brought out the best in you. I wish you both good luck and hope you will continue to learn from this experience as you make our country proud,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, UTP president and Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO.
The top-ranked Carlos easily disposed of 2nd ranked Julia Ignacio, 6-1, 6-2, while Emana overcame third seeded Tiffany Nocos, 6-3, 7-6(8) to arrange the 14-under finals duel. 2nd seed Bayking ousted top seed Rovie Baulete, 6-3, 6-2, while Maneja held off Minette Bentillo, 6-4, 6-3, in the 16-under semi-finals.

Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge winners, Bliss Bayking and Macie Carlos, are flanked by (from left) Cebuana Lhuillier assistant vice president and corporate communications division head Richard Villaseran, UTP board member Gerard Madronilla, Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, and UTP general manager Jackie Tomacruz.

Carlos, Maneja dominate foes in Cebuana Lhuillier WTA Future Stars qualifier

(From left) UTP president Jean Henri Lhuillier, general manager Jackie Tomacruz, and board member Gerard Madronilla award certificates of recognition to the girls for being the country’s top-ranking players in their respective categories.

Junior tennis players Macie Carlos and Justine Maneja posted three straight wins to remain unbeaten in the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge Under 14 and Under 16 Qualifying Tournament at the Makati Sports Club in Makati City.

Sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP), the competition serves as a qualifier for the Women’s Tennis Association Future Stars Finals in Singapore in October.

Carlos dominated Corazon Lambonao, 6-2, 6-2, on opening day and made easy back-to-back wins against Tennielle Madis and Mica Emana with similar 6-1, 6-1 finishes to stay on top of group one of the 14-under category at the end of the elimination round.

Maneja quickly demolished Shedel Gica, 6-3, 6-0, and Anna De Myer, 6-0, 6-2, before upsetting top seed Rovie Baulete, 6-3, 7-6(3), to earn top spot in group one of the 16-under category in the tournament sponsored by Malayan Insurance, Dunlop and the Makati Sports Club.

“The second day of the tennis challenge showed that the girls have the grit to compete in the WTA Future Stars tournament. The games today brought out the best among the best and I am looking forward to fiery matches in the finals,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, Unified Tennis Philippines president and Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO.

Baulete also made back-to-back wins at the expense of De Myer, 6-4, 6-7(4), 10-2, and Gica, 6-1, 7-6(3) before losing to Maneja while Emana made a pair of wins against Madis, 6-2, 3-6, 11-9, and Lambonao, 6-3, 6-0, before yielding to Carlos.

Carlos, Emana, Maneja and Baulete await their group two challengers in the cross-over semifinals as elimination games were still being played as of press time.

Justine Maneja and Macie Carlos show their intensity and winning form during the elimination round matches.

Finding home with music and a bottle of Coke

Coke Studio returns with an amazing line up of local and international artists

September 1, 2018 – There are many things that make us feel at home – laughing and spending quality time with our favorite people, munching on our go-to comfort food along with a refreshing drink, or even listening to a song that brings back precious memories.

When we return to where we feel valued and accepted, when we’re reunited with the things and the people we love, when we look gratefully at our past experiences both good and bad, and when we remember the passions that inspire us, we come home.

These unique instances are our own moments of homecoming. When we recall a special moment, the memory comes with a tune that was playing in the background, a lyric that stood out, a beat that fit the mood, and sometimes even a Coke in hand.

With the perfect jam playing and a bottle of Coca-Cola, simple moments with our friends and family become more fun, more memorable and more uplifting.

Now, music and Coca-Cola come together once more to give young music lovers and Original Pinoy Music (OPM) artists a new home at Coke Studio Homecoming.

In line with the Company’s thrust to empower the youth, Coca-Cola tapped into young Filipinos’ love for music through Coke Studio PH in 2017. Coke Studio PH became a haven where the diversity of OPM was celebrated.

This year, Coca-Cola connects to Filipino teens once again as Coke Studio PH returns to make them feel at home with the familiar sounds of OPM, giving them an avenue to show their love and support for local music.

For its second season, Coke Studio PH also further establishes itself as a hub of Pinoy talent, as it introduces a stellar lineup of local and international Filipino artists across various genres.

While the previous season brought together veteran artists and budding musicians, Coke Studio Homecoming calls Filipino artists who have shared their talents to the world to return to their roots and bridges them with homegrown talents who have yet to stand on the international stage.

From this colorful mix of talented Filipino singers and bands, Coke Studio Homecoming will feature groundbreaking, new collaborations between artists, as well as unique renditions of their original songs.

Coke Ambassadors will also find their way back home this season, as Coke Studio Homecoming features familiar faces, including the brand’s most memorable endorsers and Coke Studio artists from the first season.

“We received such an overwhelming response during the first season of Coke Studio PH and this really inspired us to work harder this second season and explore ways to take it further. Last year, Coke Studio became a home for OPM and now we want to continue and strengthen that legacy, making sure that the younger generation and the new lineup of artists can feel that same sense of belonging,” said Stephan Czypionka, Coca-Cola Philippines Vice President for Marketing.

While uniting teens through music, Coca-Cola takes it a step further by enabling them to do their part for a greater cause. This year, Coca-Cola announced an industry-first goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030—a goal in line with the Company’s vision of a World Without Waste. This is why during all Coke Studio events, Coca-Cola encourages teens to deposit their PET bottles in designated recycling bins.  The Coke Studio TuneCycle, a stationary bicycle that also grinds PET bottles, will also be a staple in Coke Studio events. These ground PET bottles will later on be turned into eco-bricks.

Coca-Cola will reveal its exciting lineup of artists at the Coke Studio Homecoming Launch on September 1, 2018 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. There’s plenty more in store so stay tuned and let the sounds of OPM call you home!


About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, bringing economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at Coca-Cola Journey at http://www.coca-colacompany.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Campaign aims to help achieve the right height and weight with the help of proper nutrition and fortified milk


Press Release:

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – According to the 2015 Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipinos developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Philippines (FNRI), 1 out of every 3 children in the Philippines aged 5 to 10 is suffering from stunted growth. Similarly, 1 out of every 3 children aged 5 to 10 years old  is underweight.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines stunted growth as the “failure to reach one’s full potential for growth.”  Poor nutrition is one of the many causes of this. This can also result to being underweight or when a child weighs less than the average for their age and height.

Stunted growth as well as being underweight are problems that should not be ignored.  If not addressed early, stunted growth may lead to lost productivity and opportunities, and to nutrition-related diseases later in life.

Fully aware of these facts, Alaska Milk Corporation, who is dedicated to providing proper and affordable nutrition to Filipinos for over four decades, will  hold a series of events with activities to promote the importance of proper nutrition all throughout a child’s development years in order to reach the right height and weight for their age.

Taking the lead in this campaign is Alaska’s new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink which is loaded with Vitamin D, it’s also high in calcium and iron and a good source of protein. Milk has always been essential for growing children to have enough and consistent nutrient intake to ensure maximum growth potential. That is why Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, combined with proper nutrition and an active lifestyle, will help children reach the “tamang tangkad at bigat” (right height and weight) for their age.

This event, dubbed as the “Batang Alaska School Milk Program”, also marks the first public appearance with Alaska Fortified’s new Nutrition Advocate –three-term senator Sen. Loren Legarda, who has authored many pieces of legislation aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos and promoting inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.

Alaska’s new Mom ambassador was also introduced — renowned actress, singer, TV host and one of Philippines’ favorite mumshies, Mrs. Jolina Magdangal-Escueta.

 “I am so happy to be here with the kids. Tulad ng mga mumshies, mahalaga sa aking masiguradong tama ang growth at development ng aking mga anak.  Kaya naman I make sure I give them proper nutrition. At siyempre, painumin sila ng gatas every day – at di lamang po basta-bastang gatas. Ang gatas na dapat inumin ay yung puno sa sustansiyang kailangan para tulungan maabot ang tamang tangkad at bigat para sa kanilang edad.  Kaya I am glad nandito na po ang Alaska Fortified.”, said TV host Jolina, a mother of two kids.

(“I am happy to be here with the kids. Similar to the mothers, it is important for me to make sure that my children undergo the right growth and development. That is why I make sure I give them proper nutrition. Of course, make sure that they drink milk every day – and not just ordinary milk. They should drink milk that is full of the nutrients they need to reach the right height and weight for their age. That is why I am glad that Alaska Fortified is now here.”, said TV host Jolina, a mother of two kids).

During the event, children were brought to the Alaska Tamang Tangkad and Tamang Bigat Station so they can know if they have the right height, right weight for their age. Alaska also provided everyone with samples of the Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, which when combined with a balance diet, is able to help children obtain their age’s proper height and weight.

“Alaska Milk’s mission and vision is to promote affordable nutrition in the Philippines because through this, the Filipino youth will be able to achieve their full protential and grow up competitive in life. To support our goal, we have launched the new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk. It has essential nutrients that will help every Filipino child  achieve the right height and weight for their age. We encourage everyone to drink milk everyday and to also partner it with an active lifestyle. Dahil wala pa rin pong tatalo sa batang may tamang tangkad at bigat –  wala pa rin tatalo sa Alaska.”, (“Because nothing beats  a kid with a right height and weight – nothing beats Alaska.”), said Isabel Ruiz, Alaska Milk Corporation Marketing Manager, right after the Ceremonial Milk Toast.

To support this campaign, one of Alaska’s key trade partners, Puregold, joined the event to announce a special and exclusive promo that will make buying a pack of Alaska Fortified truly of superior value for consumers.

Reward prizes were also given by Alaska’s distribution partner, OTO-GMA, to Santolan Elementary School for being the winner of the Batang Alaska label generation activity for the school year 2017-2018.


For more information about the new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, visit www.alaskamilk.com.

Marestella sees extended career

Three-time Olympian Marestella Torres-Sunang continues to compete because of her
love for country and the trust of supporters as she retains her dominant form in
women’s long jump.

“Meron pa ring mga tao na tuloy tuloy ang suporta not just for me but for the whole
national track and field team. At saka iyong pagmamahal ko sa laro tuloy tuloy pa rin,”
said Marestella in reference to Ayala Corporation which supports the Philippine track
and field team and built, through its real estate arm Ayala Land, Inc., the Vermosa
Sports Hub as home to the country’s elite track and field athletes.

Marestella, who lives in Bacoor Cavite, shared that with her training now so near her
home she no longer has to go through the daily Ortigas traffic just to train. This allows
her more time to focus on reaching her peak form as she prepares for the Asian
Games. And since the Vermosa oval is the only IAAF certified track in the country, she
is now able to accurately monitor her performance and peg her progress based on
international standards.

Along with access to a world-class track oval, Ayala also provides the PATAFA athletes a
hydration program care of Manila Water Company’s Healthy Family Purified Water, as
well as financial support to help improve training and recruitment programs.

The 37-year-old Marestella goes to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang
Indonesia to be held August 18 to September 2 as one of the country’s best hope for
another Asian Games gold medal.

Indonesia’s Maria Natalia Londa won the women’s long jump gold during the 2014
Asian Games in South Korea with a leap of 6.55. Torres-Sunang beats this mark by a
wide margin with a leap of 6.72 during the Kazakhstan Open July 2016 which is the
national record. The feat assured her participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She says her giving birth to a son and motherhood are not a hindrance. Rather she
draws motivation from her family and her absence when she gave birth re-ignited her
passion for the sport.

“Noong nag stop ako talagang na-mi-miss ko ang competition. Nag stop ako for one
year. Wala talaga akong competition kasi nabuntis ako. So yon na-miss ko ang
competition. So talagang naging maganda ang comeback ko dahil talagang naging
eager ako na mag compete ulit,” said Marestella.

If anything, she says she is more motivated and more dedicated than ever before.

“Kung ano ang motivation ko noong dalaga pa ako doble ang motivation ko ngayong
may asawa na ako at may anak. Ginagawa ko ito hindi lang para sa akin kundi para sa
anak ko. Gusto ko patunayan na kahit nabuntis ako pwede pa rin. Gusto ko ipakita na
kahit nabuntis ka kung ang dedication mo nandoon pa rin then kaya mo itong gawin,”
said Marestella.

The native of San Jose, Negros Oriental has always had to overcome plenty of doubters
and obstacles in her career. She says he has never doubted her ability to succeed.

“Hindi naman naging hadlang sa akin ang mas matatangkad ang mga kalaban ko. Kasi
napatunayan ko na noon pa na kaya ko mag compete against mas matangkad,” said

The veteran has travelled the world representing the country. She is not fazed by the
competition or in performing before an international audience in a world stage. She in
fact welcomes the opportunity to compete against the best in the world which she says
can only help her improve and be the best that she can be as an athlete.

“Nakita ako sa IAAF pag nagko compete ako pumapasok naman ako among the top sa
world. Every time na mag compete ako, ako yung pinakamaliit at nananalo pa rin.
Marami humahanga sa akin dahil ang liit ko pero malakas ako. So doon ako nagkaroon
ng confidence. Kaya ko pala kahit maliit ako. Walang nagiging hadlang sa akin.”

No doubt the support of Ayala for PATAFA’s training and sports development program
will be a big help for Marestella as she continues to dominate the local scene in her

To learn more visit http://www.ayala.com.ph