When Manny Pangilinan met Mark Zuckerberg
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PLDT chairman and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan recently met with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California to discuss ways of strengthening the partnership between Smart and Facebook.


Because of its partnership with Facebook, Smart was the first telco in Southeast Asia to roll out Free Basics, a service that made mobile Internet available to two-thirds of the world who were not yet connected. The service is now available to more than 30 countries.

Since March 2015, millions of Smart users have enjoyed Free Basics, which allows them to keep in touch with their loved ones, search information, learn from educational sites, seek jobs and check the news and weather, among many others, without additional cost.

Smart and Facebook also introduced Free Facebook Toggle and Free Instagram, leading to a surge in the number of online users, who are now more empowered than ever to live the “Smart Life” with access to innovations and the widest breadth of digital content.

Pangilinan recently took part in a series of engagements with Silicon Valley leaders and partners, which comes amid the PLDT Group’s rapid transformation as the country’s leading digital company.

MEETING OF MINDS: Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg and PLDT-Smart Chair and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan with the PLDT-Smart Leadership team led by Wireless Consumer Operations Head Katrina Luna-Abelarde (second from left); PLDT Home Operations Head Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. (third) and EVP and Consumer Business Head at PLDT and Smart Ariel P. Fermin (seventh) at the new Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park in California.

Who’s leading after the Vice Presidential debate?
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Yesterday, after the Vice Presidential debate on CNN, Philippines, I tweeted this
quick poll
and got these results:


I am surprised with the emergence of BongBong Marcos and Leni Robredo in a virtual tie.
Someone please explain to me why Bongbong Marcos is so popular? Did not expect it.
Compare with poll results after the Presidential debate last March 23.

Presidential poll

Interesting to note that even though my poll is so small, I get the same kind of feedback when I talk to people outside—from drivers, to office workers, mall employees, etc.
Can’t wait for the next debate!
You can still participate in the poll HERE.

Dinner: La Cocina de Tita Moning (Part 5)
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First, let me show you the girls’ dressing room.
It was quite apparent from the things we saw, that the Legarda family was quite wealthy, much wealthier than most Filipinos at the time.
Two of their daughters studied ballet and had beautiful portraits around the house—quite unlike the generic ballerina pics we’ve ever seen. Theirs were so elegant—just look at this beautiful frame and costume.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

I’m simply amazed how they kept everything intact.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

At last it was time for dinner.
Back in the day, Don Alejandro used this gong to summon his children to the dinner table, instead of the maid yelling out, “KAIN NAAAA!”

La Cocina de Tita Moning

My stomach turned once again when I saw the production number they had made out of the table setting

La Cocina de Tita Moning

It was just a sensory overload—with the printed table cloth, leaves, petals, candles, scrolls, plates, glasses, cutlery, and a glass bird sculpture on the table.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

As a minimalist, I am simply not used to this.
I wanted to call someone to remove all the “junk” on the table.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

After all the things I had seen and smelled, I was just hoping for a white table cloth, napkins, and plates.
The service was excellent, with staff that were trained well for more than 40 years, but the food was not good at all. (sorry!)

I’m just grateful that the kids were well-behaved. Ben liked his salmon and ate a carpenter’s serving of rice. Markus had the unconventional sinigang with thick broth, but said he felt sick after.

Christian didn’t eat, but that’s normal. The Dutch ate politely, and so did I. But mostly I moved the food around the plate. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
I think the best thing to order is plain salmon and plain rice. Thank God they had Coke.
The paella tasted a bit off, I don’t know why.

No butter in this Chicken a la Kiev. Just spinach and goat cheese.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

If you look around the internet, you will probably not see any bad review about them. But if you talk to people who have been there, most of them will say the food is bad. And that is the truth.
With all due respect, I feel it’s OK to write this now, because they are finally closing end of May.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

Do visit if you want, but don’t expect too much, food-wise. Our bill for eight people was more than Php 14,000.
(To be concluded)

Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt in HBO docu this April 9
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True story
Me: “Do you know Gloria Vanderbilt?”
Mich Dulce. “No. Is she from Gossip Girl?”
Me: “She’s the mother of Anderson Cooper.”
Mich: “Really? So Anderson Cooper is rich???? Vanderbilt sounds mayaman….”

Gloria Vandebilt

During the ’70s, I came to know of Gloria Vanderbilt as a brand of designer jeans with the swan logo. Not for me, but for moms and titas. Remember this?

Gloria Vanderbilt

Through the years, I came to know more of her from reading books like Once Upon A Time (about her lonely—she was raised by her yaya—and the great custody battle known then as “the trial of the century); A Mother’s Story (where she talks about the suicide of her son Carter Cooper); It Seemed Important at the Time (a memoir of past romances and ex-husbands); and even the Gloria Vanderbilt Book of Collage (which I purchased second hand at the Strand bookstore in New York).

Gloria Vanderbilt book Gloria Vanderbilt book
Gloria Vanderbilt book Gloria Vanderbilt book

During the ’90s, I tagged along with gay friends to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion in New York (it has a planetarium!))
Maybe more of you would know her better through he son, Anderson Cooper, who famously visited Tacloban after Typhoon Yolanda.
She looks amazing by the way. Here she is at 91 years with son Anderson, 48, taken last year.

Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper

Now Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper look back at the American heiress’ life via a full-length documentary entitled Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.
The documentary, directed by Liz Garbus, premieres April 9 on HBO.

The documentary puts together archival footage and previously unseen home videos with present-day scenes to paint an intimate portrait of one of America’s most fascinating families.
Cooper and Vanderbilt tell the story of their past and present, loves and losses, and show how life sometimes repeats itself in the most unexpected ways.
Vanderbilt and Cooper go through a private archive of letters, home movies, photos and artwork created by her over the years, as well as vintage news footage and newspaper clippings in Nothing Left Unsaid, a journey through life.
“She’s got this public face, but the reality of her life is so different,” said Cooper.

Now 92, Vanderbilt still pursues art, painting every day as a means of self-expression and as a way of coping with what she calls “the grief for the lost places of your past.”
The daughter of Reginald Vanderbilt and his teenage wife Gloria Morgan, Gloria Vanderbilt experienced major loss at 15 months when her father died at age 45. She was raised primarily by a beloved nurse, known as Dodo, since her mother was largely absent.

In 1934, when she was 10 years old, Vanderbilt became the object of a bitter and very public custody battle, with her mother on one side and her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, on the other. The press demonized her “absent” mother and her “gay” Paris lifestyle, and the court awarded custody of little Gloria to her aunt.

By age 15, she had been photographed for Harper’s Bazaar. By 17, she was leading a largely unsupervised life in Hollywood and dating stars like Errol Flynn and Ray Milland. A marriage to 32-year-old, physically abusive agent Pasquale Di Cicco was short-lived.
Vanderbilt married 63-year-old conductor Leopold Stokowski when she was 20. The union lasted 12 years and produced two sons: Stan, who is interviewed in the documentary, and Chris.

Following a romance with Frank Sinatra and a court battle with Stokowski for custody of the boys, which she won, Vanderbilt married prominent movie director Sidney Lumet. They divorced after seven years.
Today, she reflects that a lifelong fear of abandonment would lead her to end a relationship before the other person did.

Vanderbilt finally found a measure of the domestic tranquility when she married writer-actor Wyatt Cooper in 1963, with whom they had two sons: Anderson and Carter.
“For the first time, I understood what it was like to be a parent and to have a family,” she said.
That family suffered a devastating blow in 1978 when 50-year-old Wyatt Cooper died during heart bypass surgery. After her husband’s death Vanderbilt rebounded with the launch of a hugely successful line of designer jeans.

Vanderbilt experienced an even greater loss in 1988 when her 23-year-old son Carter committed suicide, jumping from the terrace of her Manhattan penthouse as she pleaded with him not to. She still struggles daily to understand what happened and to wonder what she could have done to prevent it.

Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper premieres Saturday, April 9, only on HBO.
To know more, click HERE

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