Remembering Penny
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Yesterday we got together with Penny’s friends and family for her 2nd death anniversary.
To me it seems much longer than that.
I made this video a while back but couldn’t post it on Instagram because it contains Burt Bacharach.
Oh Penny, so much has happened in two years. I wish you were here to hold my hand.
Your kids are OK. I saw them yesterday and there are two cute cousins in the family. Your girls love them. Wish you would have seen the smallest one.
We love you and think about you often.

Celebrate World Gin Day this June with Ginebra Premium Gin
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Friends and family were shocked when I told them I was attending the launch of #WorldGinDay2017 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel’s poolside, along with Maggie Wilson, Will Devaughn, Greg Slaughter and Tim Cone.
That’s because I haven’t had alcohol since I got married and had kids.
I didn’t even know there was a World Gin Day. It is celebrated every second Saturday of June by people called ginthusiasts.

World Gin Day
I’m the shortest one having a toast with Ginebra San Miguel Coach Tim Cone, model Will Devaughn, host Maggie Wilson, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Center Greg Slaughter, Ginebra San Miguel Brand Manager Ron Molina and officials of GSM and Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.

World Gin Day was founded by British blogger Neil Houston in 2009 as a day to bring his friends together to drink gin.
Another blogger, Emma Stokes, has been organizing World Gin Day since 2013.
Since then, it has evolved into a global celebration with events running in over 30 countries around the world, reaching over 50 million people on social channels.
For the past two years, the Philippines has been on Stokes’ World Gin Day map. Not surprising considering the Philippines is the world’s largest consumer of gin. This accounts for nearly half total gin sales globally.

For the month of June, Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin has teamed up with EDSA Shangri-La Hotel to bring gin lovers together not just for a day but for the whole month.
The June 1 event featured food and gin pairings prepared by EDSA Shangri-La Executive Chef Scott Brands.

Maggie Wilson hosted the launch

The featured dishes were paired with signature cocktails made with #GSMPremiumGin, a Monde Gold Awardee since 2013. This gin, which is exported to the US, Dubai and other parts of Asia, is known for its good taste and high quality.


Guests at the event were welcomed with the classic Gin and Tonic.
Among the dishes we tried were Pani Pouri with Potato Chat Masala with Fresh Tamarind and Mint Chutney—a hot, spicy and tangy Indian dish—paired with Mango Paradise Cocktail. The drink had the sweetness of fresh Cebu mango puree with a squeeze of lime. I actually liked it!

Food pairing with GSM premium

Also paired with the Mango Paradise Cocktail was the Marinated Cold Beef Salad, a spicy Thai dish with hints of coriander (my favorite).

Food pairing with GSM premium

Food pairings for the Calamansi Surprise Cocktail (GSM Premium Gin, freshly muddled calamansi and basil) were Cold Smoked Salmon Savory Cone with Caper Cream and Fresh Dill and Iberico Ham Carving on Spanish Tomato Bread and Stilton Cheese in Cucumber Tartlets.

Food pairing with GSM premium

A Sweet Lemony Martini (GSM Premium Gin, citrus and simple syrup) was paired with Warm Lobster and Prawn Sesame Toast with Sweet Chili Sauce.

Food pairing with GSM premium

Guests also enjoyed Sweet Lemony Martini with Juniper Berry and Gin Sorbet with Assorted Fresh Berries.


The GSM Premium Gin Cart will be available at the Poolside Bar of the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel for the month of June. There will be a special Buy 1, Get 1 Free promo on GSM Premium Gin Handcrafted Cocktails everyday from 5pm to 8pm.


There will also be a series of activities in different bars and establishments across the Philippines including:
Lakay’s Billiards in Manila
Padi’s Point at Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong
Esquinita Bar in Balanga, Bataan
Neigborhood Bar in Sto. Tomas, Batangas
HQ Bar in Tacloban, Leyte
MO2 Bar in Cebu City
OM Bar in Boracay
Ironvoyz in Davao City
Draft Bar and The Bureau in Zamboanga City
Phoenix Nest in Valencia City, Bukidnon

GSM Premium Gin is a quality product of Ginebra San Miguel Inc. (GSMI), maker of the world’s No. 1 selling gin Ginebra San Miguel.
For more on GSM Premium Gin and the handcrafted cocktail mixes, visit Facebook or
Go to for a list of World Gin Day events.

Happy World Gin Day! Drink up but drink responsibly.

WINNERS: Belo Baby talc-free powder giveaway
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Thanks for more than 450 entries to my latest giveaway sponsored by #BeloBaby.
Three winners were chosen via Those who correctly followed instructions were:

Jaclyn Lara Pugay of Rosario, Cavite
Angie Lyn Mariano of Malabon City
Glorianne Lotho of Santa Ana, Manila

They will each receive a pink train case filled with #BeloBaby products, including three tubs of talc-free baby powder.

Pink bags
Belo baby products
Belo baby powder
Belo baby powder

Winners please check your email for verification and I’ll send your prizes to you.
Watch our for my next giveaway!! It is all about gadgets!


I have given birth to two rebels
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Or maybe 1 1/2.
When I was in Assumption in the mid ’80s, I got called to the principal’s office a couple of times for wearing my skirt too long (the prescribed length was knee-) and my school shoes were witch’s boots.
When the principal questioned my fashion choices, I said that I was actually being conservative with the long skirt, and if Laura Ingalls wore boots to school, why couldn’t I?

Laura Ingalls book

Guess what? I actually got away with it. The following year, four other girls lengthened their skirt to mid-calf, and the year after that more girls followed, until it became the norm.
The boots I eventually gave up for penny loafers.

Thirty years later, I have two teenage boys in a Catholic school. Mark is 14 and Ben is 15. They now refuse to have their photos posted on my blog or social media.
Both sport long curly hair on top, shaved short on the sides.
Ben’s bangs are so long, he could actually sport this hairstyle if he wanted to.

Flock of Seagulls hair

But no, Ben doesn’t want to be weird. He is actually just following the norm hairstyle.
So yesterday I heard that both got a warning from their teachers to cut their hair. One of them even threatened Markus, “Pag hindi mo ginupit yan, kakalbuhin kita!”
Honestly, I’m appalled that an educator would use those words on my son.
I can’t believe we pay tuition fee to have people like that threaten our kids in such harsh language. Surely there must be a better way of talking to him.
Mark asked me, “I don’t understand what hair has to do with education.”
So I told him the story about my skirt and boots and the principal’s office. I also told him, during the ’70s, long hair was the norm, so I’m pretty sure boys could go to school with hair like this. I have a La Salle yearbook to prove it.

David Cassidy

Ben went ahead an had his hair trimmed today, but Markus was sick and had to stay home.
This has to be my karma, I thought. It is partly my fault because I kept their hair super short as kids and they are traumatized by their kiddie photos. Personally I want them to have shorter hair. But the kids don’t want what their parents want. So help me God.

This is how the Dutch do food courts
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My husband comes from Utrecht, so it’s always good to receive news from his hometown.
An exciting new food court has just opened at Jaarbeurs, the Netherlands’ largest exhibition, convention and event center in Utrecht.
It was designed by UXUS, a Dutch retail and hospitality branding company that reimagines customer experiences for the world’s leading brands.

Speys Eten & Drinken

To celebrate the venue’s 100th year anniversary, UXUS created Speys—a central meeting space located between the cimema and exhibition halls.
Speys is an old Dutch word that means “food”, and the food court was designed to be a fast, casual dining experience with an industrious market hall feel. It offers freshly prepared food for lunch, coffee, dining, evening drinks, and work space throughout the day.

Speys Eten & Drinken
Speys Eten & Drinken

Speys seats 520 people, plus 140 including the outdoor terrace. The seat plan can accommodate group meetings, larger events and private parties.

Speys Eten & Drinken

“The standout features of the space are the geometric canopies which break up the hall into food zones and create the Speys signature look. We wanted to play with the height of the building,” said Bart Lans, Architect and Senior designer at UXUS.
“The changing light levels accentuate the mood for day and night while the canopies regulate the acoustics of the space.”

Speys Eten & Drinken

Speys features a mezzanine that divides the space and adds an elevated area with additional seating among the canopies.

Speys Eten & Drinken

UXUS used inspiration from the rich visual heritage of the venue to play
with pattern and scale in the design, including a selection of archive posters displayed as part of the scheme. The vintage posters formed the starting point for the Speys graphic identity, using vintage typography in the different zones.
An art deco feel has been achieved with old cinematic lighting and geometric patterns.

Speys Eten & Drinken

UXUS worked in collaboration with food and beverage concept developers Conceptional to develop the menu, back of house, customer experience and flow of the space.
The food outlets can be broken down into Koffe&Graan (coffee and wheat), Hop (beer),
Rund (beef), Basilicum (basil) and Olie&Azijn (oil and vinegar).
Each outlet has a different color palette and seating arrangements to reflect the cuisine.

Speys Eten & Drinken

To know more about Speys, like them on Facebook.