Repost: Level up your rice and meet Alden Richards!
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Doña Maria Rice welcomes Alden Richards as their newest endorser!
To celebrate this, Doña Maria is giving away cash prizes, Doña Maria rice and a VIP pass to meet Alden Richards.

Alden Richards

How to join:
1) You must have an Instagram account (not private).
2) Buy Doña Maria rice and cook something appetizing. Take a picture that includes the dish and Doña Maria rice packaging in the photo.
3) In your caption, say how Doña Maria Rice has changed your dining experience with your family.
4) Don’t forget to tag @DONAMARIARICE and use hashtags #DonaMariaRice #LevelUpYourRice #PremiumQualityRice

There will be 9 minor prize winners of Php 5,000 cash and Doña Maria rice.
There will be 3 major prize winners of Php 10,000 cash, Doña Maria rice, and a VIP pass to meet Alden Richards.

Contest runs until March 31, 2016.
Doña Maria will choose and announce the winners on @OfficialTimYap and @PhoemelaBaranda Instagram accounts.
To know more, go to

Samsung Gear VR cheat sheet: What you need to know about this year’s biggest toy
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Last Christmas season, the biggest toy of the season was the hoverboard. I have three sons and three hoverboards at home. Luckily we only had to buy one for Markus, because Tito Quark gave one to Ben and Tito Dennis and Tita Chame gave one to Christian.
This year however, I feel it’s all about the Samsung Gear VR (virtual reality).

Samsung Gear VR

I received mine recently and I can’t tell you how many times the boys asked me when they could get their hands on it. Not right away because first I had to fully charge my phone to use it.
But wait. Here are a few things you need to know about the Samsung Gear VR.

1) It will only work with the following Samsung phones: Galaxy Note5, S6 edge+, S6, and S6 edge, and soon, the new S7 phones.
Samsung phones

2) It runs on with an Oculus app, which you can only download after connecting your Samsung phone to it.

3) Make sure your phone is fully charged because the Samsung Gear VR only runs on your phone’s power source (no batteries!). The downside—I can’t use my phone while the kids are using them (ugh!).

4) Connecting the phone can be tricky. There is a micro USB plug on the Samsung Gear VR that connects to your phone. After you connect those, snap it in and secure with the latches.
(The Samsung Gear VR also comes with a black cover. Take note however that the phone will tend to heat up, so I’m going to try using this without the cover to see if it is less hot without cover.)

5) After you connecting your phone for the first time, you will be prompted to download the Oculus app, where you need to create an account. You’ll also need a credit card to download games, although the Gear VR is pre-loaded with trailers and videos.
You can have loads of fun solving third-person adventure games such as Herobound: Spirit Champion and Adventure Time, or unlocking mysteries and exploring pathways with Land’s End. Shooter game fans will also have a blast with Viral, Smash Hit and Eve: Gunjack, which take users at center of the action with stunning graphics.


You can also enjoy apps like Oculus Video and Netflix—can’t wait to watch horror!!
With the Oculus Social app, Gear VR users from all over the world can hang out in a virtual movie theater while watching videos on Vimeo and Twitch.
Yay Netflix!


6) There’s a setting on the Samsung Gear VR that allows you to adjust the image to your eyes. Both my sons wear glasses, but with the Samsung Gear VR, no need!

7) Best to use the tutorial first because this isn’t a plug-and-play gadget and that’s me talking (I’m a techie). Some of the buttons are very sensitive and there’s a tendency for the user to touch the wrong buttons.

8) It needs Wifi to work!!

9) The Samsung Gear VR is already available at Samsung stores or if you’re a Smart subscriber, you can sign up HERE.

To know more, go to

sixinch Furniture comes to Manila
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Having a roof garden on top of our house and a courtyard on our second floor, I’m always on the lookout for great outdoor furniture.
When we first moved into our house in 2003, we tried teak wood furniture. But those rotted in no time at all—a complete waste of money.
So in 2010, I switched to plastic furniture by Magis and Kartell, which suited our modern home.
This was our courtyard and roof garden six years ago.

Our deck
Our roofdeck

Choosing outdoor furniture can be very tricky, given our tropical climate, rainy season, and humidity.
Growing up during the ’70s, everyone pretty much had the same kind of white wrought iron furniture, rounded like this, with a matching glass table top. (Photo: Paz Tiongson)

vintage patio furniture

Some had cushions. Check out the lovely leaf tables.

vintage patio furniture

Cute, but they got rusty.
Four decades later, we have more choices with better design and materials—from brands such as Dedon and Moroso. But those can be quite costly.
Now the latest one to enter the Philippine market is called sixinch, brought in by Bigboy Cheng of Uratex, Secret Fresh Gallery, and Ronac Art Center.
Bigboy recently opened a beautiful showroom at Ronac Art Center. Designed by Jagnus Design Studio, the outdoor showroom is impressive in all black with cool airconditioning. Makes me wish I had an empty lot in Tagaytay so I can build something like this.

sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center
sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center

sixinch was founded in Belgium in 2003 by Pieter Jamart and Michel Sels. The brand’s founders believe that “all creativity lives inside each of us, in that space between our ears—a mere 150 mm wide, or six inches.”
Their vision and mission are simple: sixinch stands for creativity, design, manufacturing and a lot of fun.
We met Michel Sels at the launch last February.

sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center

“This is our first outside venture into the furniture business,” said Bigboy Cheng.
“Uratex doesn’t make furniture with wood or metal in it because we don’t want to compete with our local furniture makers. sixinch is perfect for us.”
The brand’s trademark is foam-coated indoor and outdoor furniture that can be bought ready-made or ordered according to one’s specifications. The black pieces are my favorite.

sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center

It was Ricky, one of Bigboy’s staff, who found sixinch on the Internet and convinced Bigboy to bring it in.
It was a match made in heaven, because Uratex makes foam, while sixinch buys foam and coats it with color to make the pieces flexible, waterproof, seamless and hygienic.
The furniture can withstand rain and direct sunlight without fading. They are built to last for years. You can clean them with a damp washcloth. The chairs are just perfectly soft with a touch of firmness—perfect for your back.
“We can go to your house or condo, and make the furniture according to the measurements of your place, down to the corners,” said Bigboy.

sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center

I can personally attest to the great service Bigboy provides. I ordered the black cliffy bench and got it ten days later. The furniture is priced reasonably, considering you’ll get years and years of use out of them, just like Uratex mattresses.

sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center
sixinch showroom at Ronac Art Center

Do see for yourself. Ronac Art Center is on Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan.
To know more about sixinch, click HERE.
For more information on Ronac Art Center, like them on Facebook.

Kris Aquino’s shocking plan for early retirement
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Kris Aquino isn’t as stupid/shallow/greedy as you/we would like to think, apparently.
In a move that shocked even me, she announced her pending retirement from ABS-CBN via Instagram, to focus on her health. Luckily she still has her many endorsements worthy of a top tax payer to support her lifestyle and her two sons.
I admire her decision to slow down while still on top. After all, what will her boys do with all that money she earned without their mommy?
Kris Aquino knows—as any motherly mother does—that nobody will love her children as much as she does, and we respect that.
Here’s what she posted earlier on Instagram (six total):

1) The announcement, which reminds us how hardworking she has been through the years, making her the network’s most influential star.

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

2) The explanation. My nurse says Kris already cut down on so much work. Still her blood pressure continues to be elevated. Nurse also says her mother will miss Kris TV.
Maybe Kris can post all her shows on a YouTube channel because iWantTV is a pain in the ass to use (you have to buy an ABS-CBN sim card and load in order to watch). That said, Dinna’s mom will also miss Kris TV, as well as all the titas and lolas of the Philippines who will miss their morning ritual.

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

3) Further notes to say she’s just taking a break and what she plans to do in the meantime.
Maybe she will be back sooner than we think??

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

4) A sincere thank you to her endorsements, plus a reminder to us that she’s still very much relevant.

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

5) A flattering picture of her against a pretty background to assure everyone she’s not bitter about anything/anybody, and it’s all good. #lovelovelove (That foot though) #latundan

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

6) A final note not to be sorry for her. She has backup plans and investments plus a slight reference to the deadbeat fathers of her kids.

Kris Aquino goodbye notes

We wish her well and salute her decision. (But do take your time to smell the flowers, enjoy your kids, rest well.) Honestly, there is nobody quite like her in showbiz. Time will tell if she is irreplaceable as Coco Chanel would want. But with 2.5 million Instagram followers, she can rest assured that she will be relevant for a very long time.

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