Introducing the perfect selfie phone: Vivo V5 Plus
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“Why don’t you ever smile in photos?” people often ask me.
1) I grew up in the ’70s. We only took photos on special occasions.
2) I had braces for seven years.
3) When I tried to smile for pictures, this was my peg (read: smiley = no teeth).


I kind of envy the kids now who grew up comfortable with cameras, although I draw the line at duck face.
These days, it’s all about the selfie and it’s not just millennials. And now you have the perfect selfie phone.
Last Saturday, Vivo officially unveiled its flagship phone, the Vivo V5 Plus, at the SM Mall of Asia.

Vivo 5 plus

What makes it the perfect selfie camera?

The Vivo V5 Plus has the Bokeh Effect—a background-blurring photography filter—as well as the Face Beauty and Selfie Soft Light Effect, which give you radiant selfies even in poor lighting conditions, so there’s no need for editing or post-processing.
This means you can always tag your photos with #NoFilter and actually tell the truth.

Photo 2
There were different selfie stations where guests could test the different features of the Vivo V5 Plus. NBA superstar Stephan Curry is Vivo’s brand ambassador.

Dual cameras on a smartphone is not a new concept but most of them are located at the back. Vivo V5 Plus has pointed its dual cameras to the front for the benefit of the selfie generation. On the front, you get a 20-megapixel camera that uses Sony technology that is paired with an 8-megapixel camera. You can readjust the focus of the photo even after taking the shot.
The Vivo V5 Plus improves upon the previous model by upgrading the rear camera to a 16-Megapixel camera.
So you have three cameras total—two are for selfies.

If you’re like me who’s always dropping my phone, worry no more. The 5.5-inch full HD display has a Gorilla Glass front for added protection. To protect the contents of your phone, the V5 Plus has an integrated fingerprint scanner on the home button for fast unlocking.

It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, an upgrade from the previous processor, with 4GB of RAM, and runs on Vivo’s Funtouch OS 3.0 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This means that aside from the dual front camera, you are getting a very powerful mobile phone.
The Vivo V5 Plus supports dual-SIM cards with one slot doubling up as the microSD card slot. It has 64GB of built-in storage that can be expanded.

The Philippine launch was hosted by Magic 89.9’s DJ Nikko Ramos and featured performances by boyband idols James Ryan and Tony Labrusca as well as singer KZ Tandingan. Meanwhile, a Perfect Selfie Fashion Show saw models demonstrating how to use the Vivo V5 Plus on the runway.

Photo 11
Host Nikko Ramos (R) asks Pinoy Boyband Superstar’s James Ryan Cesena and Tony Labrusca why they think the Vivo V5 Plus is the ideal phone for them.

Photo 12
Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon at the launch

Photo 14
(From L-R) Shou Shou Chen, Vivo Philippines CEO Ted Xiong, SAVP-Sponsorship and Cyberzone Patrick Raymund Pacla, Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon, National Sales Manager Robert John Decillo, and Brand Director Annie Lim

The Vivo V5 Plus is available at all major retailers.
To know more, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @VivoPhil.

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What I learned from my “sabbatical”: if you sleep for a very long time, you will get a migraine.
Sorry, hindi ko kaya panindigan ang blog break ko.

I had lunch with my cousin Keri earlier, who told me a story about meeting young actor Daniel Padilla at a party in my neighborhood.
Keri is a huge #kathniel fan, so she was very excited when she heard Daniel Padilla was going to their friend’s house.

Daniel and Keri

“Daniel was so nice,” Keri said over lunch at Kimpura. “He was so polite…Unfortunately he called me ‘Ma’am.'”
LOL. I nearly choked on my steak.
Keri continued, “I told Daniel, please don’t call me Ma’am.”
Daniel replied, “Okay, tita.”
LOL, I asked Keri, “What did you say?”
Keri: “Call me Ma’am na lang…”


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Hey guys, I’m about to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’m going on a break from blogging.
I’ve been blogging since 2001 and I haven’t taken a break for a long time. I even discussed it with my children.
Ben, 15, said I should definitely take a break.
Chris, 9, was worried. “What will you do mommy?”
“I want to sleep for a month.”
“But what if your friends want to visit you?”
“Then I will wake up.”
Funny, Chris thought I was literally going to sleep for a month.

So much has been going on. As I write this, I am nursing a migraine. My eyesight has gotten worse overnight and I saw Dr. Alnette Tan earlier at American Eye. Dr. Alnette said though my eyes have a 75 grade on the left, they are looking good. No cataract. Just normal signs of aging.

Here’s what I plan to do during my break:
1) Drink less Coke. Shrink my tummy. Change my diet.
2) Lose weight.
3) Clean my house.
4) Take care of the children’s needs. Take care of me.
5) Collect money, cause many people owe me…. so hard to collect. I have enough money to collect to support my lifestyle until I figure out what I need to do next.

Hopefully these will improve mind and body. I haven’t been feeling well in a while. I just want to stop looking at numbers. Social media has been cluttering my life.
For a while now I was blogging to support my shopping, but now I realize I can do with less stuff, less clutter.
I don’t know what the next step is, but I leave it up to God. I just want to clear my mind of junk and clutter. It must be done.
Meanwhile I want to thank all of you who have been with me through many years. You know how to reach me.

Wish me luck on my journey.

Cecile van Straten

Old School: Words that will date you
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Note: Originally published on Mar 28, 2013, I decided to repost this because after a recent high school reunion, I realized some of my classmates were still using the words “maong” and “parlor.”
I gently reminded them to say “denim” and “salon” an that using such words now will date us as having been born in the ’60s, which will not sound cool to our kids who say “beast” when they think you’re wearing something cool from like Supreme or Thrasher.
So this is dedicated to high school friends particularly Assumption HS ’84, section 4-3: Please read below and get to know words that will date you. Kthanks. Love you. Bye!

Margiela flats

My mom said something funny after buying a pair of Margiela flats last Sunday.
“Type ko to. Gusto kong mag-groovy for a change,” she told my dad.
Groovy. I haven’t heard that word in years.
“The last time I heard that was in Scooby Doo,” pointed out my sister Ana, 21.

Scooby Doo

I remember the first time I heard the word “type” to mean “like.”
It was the ’70s. My parents and I were watching Miss Philippines on our black and white TV, and my dad points out a contestant and says, “Ayan. Type ko yan.”
I was confused. The image I had in my head was a typewriter.

I bought a typewriter

I had a recent conversation with my sons about the word “epic,” which I hate.
“Epic” to them means “great” or “awesome.” While to me it means “long narrative poem with a hero. You know, like Iliad, Odyssey, Homer?” I told my kids.


Unfortunately, this was the Homer my son had in mind.


So what are the words our parents still say that sound funny to us?
I made a survey on Twitter and found out my folks are just as funny as your folks.

SM Shoemart. My son asked me why some people call SM Shoemart. I told him SM stands for Shoemart because the owner of Shoemart, who happens to be the richest man in the Philippines, Mr. Henry Sy, didn’t have shoes while growing up. So he worked hard until he opened a shoe store, which became a department store, which became a mall and so on. And the name SM Shoemart stuck, as in we’ve got it all for you.

Copon bond or coupon bond.
Some folks actually call it kokomban, in reference to bond paper.

bond paper

According to Investopedia, a coupon bond is “a debt obligation with coupons attached that represent semiannual interest payments. Also known as a bearer bond.”

Coupon bond

That said, I still don’t know why people call it coupon bond.

Kendle. This kind.


Scissor Salad. Back in the ’70s, it was a popular dish in my grandmother’s house.

Caesar Salad

Chit. Not the play money you use to pay in the school canteen or fair. “Chit” is another word for “check” or “bill.”

cheque please

Jingle. Not referring to Christmas bells, but referring to a call of nature, as in “Teka muna. Jumi-jingle pa siya.”

Manneken Pis

Picha pie. You know, like Shakey’s.

Every year I have to have a heart pizza

Cutex. That’s ’70s for nailpolish

massini magic attraction

Kwacker Oats. They’re good for you.

Friendly foods from the Quaker Oats Company | Aliments amicales du Quaker Oats Company

Prigider. Taken from an old brand of refrigerators.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Life Magazine Advertisement November 1965

Colgate. A generic name for toothpaste—even if it’s Close Up.

Colgate Toothpaste

Station waygon. A popular car in the ’70s with a roof extended to the back.

Station Wagon DSC_0038

Transistor. What everyone used to listen to music, news, and dramas.

Vintage Channel Master Two-Band (AM/FM) Transistor Radio, Model 6518, Made in Japan

Nessels Cream. Puede ring Nessels Crunch.

Nestle Reduced Cream
Nestle Crunch bar wrapper - More Fun to Munch - 1970's

Johnson’s buds for cotton buds. I still say Q-tips.

Careful, Mom, if that's for me...make sure it's made by Johnson's

Combo. Not your spaghetti and chicken meal at McDonalds, but a band, like rock band.

Hotdog band

Step-in. Backless footwear, or mules

Berkemann sandals

AC/DC for bisexual. Another funny term for bisexual: silahis.


or “sward” for “gay” (Scan: Video 48)


Mens, meaning monthly period. Or Kotex, for sanitary pads.


Pogi, for handsome—but hey, I still say that


Reduce, pronounced “rejuice,” as in, “Kailangan mo nang mag-rejuice. Meaning, diet.

I'm Dieting to Lose Weight

Parlor. Another word for beauty salon.

be beautiful for him

Shettle’s Best 🙂

Seattle's Best





Other words that will date you: Maong (denim)

Bang Bang jeans

Charol (patent leather) or “wet look”

patent leather dress shoes 2

Pentel pen (marker)

Pentel Pen

Bomba or bold for nudity

Silip movie


postcard - Sweden House Smorgasbord

Anything else I missed?

Hope For Lupus Foundation: Giving hope to Lupus warriors
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With the aim of raising awareness for lupus and supporting patients and their families, Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) Representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar launched the Hope For Lupus Foundation last December 4, 2016 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which attacks healthy cells and tissues.
Advocating the importance of early detection and treatment of the disease, DIWA Rep. Aglipay said the cause is close to her heart because she was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007.

Rep. Emmeline Villar

“My personal experience is a testament to how early detection can prevent major organ damage of kidneys and blood vessels,” she said. She emphasized that awareness of Lupus and its symptoms will allow patients to seek proper treatment at the earlier stages to avert major organ damage and save lives.

“The lack of awareness has already cost so many lives. With Hope For Lupus, no more lives should be lost due to a lack of information and awareness about the disease,” said DIWA Rep. Aglipay-Villar.

L-R: PDGen. Edgar Aglipay (ret.), Mrs. Mawie Aglipay, Camille Villar, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar with daughter Emma Therese, DPWH Sec. Mark Villar

The foundation’s launch featured an exhibit entitled Lupus Warriors and a musical by Nicanor Tiongson, in partnership with the University of the Philippines—PGH’s Rheumatology Department.
Mabining Mandirigma is a steam-punk dance musical depicting the life of revolutionary leader Apolinario Mabini. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Bridging Lupus Fund for the benefit of indigent lupus patients in PGH.

Together with co-founders Lila Shahani, Melanie Cuevas, who both have lupus, rheumatologists, Dr. Paulo Lorenzo and Dr. Ging Racaza, Sidney Salazar and Nadine Bernardino, DIWA Rep. Aglipay-Villar hopes that with the foundation, they will be able to establish a Lupus-free Philippines.
For more information, go to or call 721-98-55.