Don’t be afraid to fry with Grande rice bran healthy oil
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Fried food doesn’t bother me, but it bothers my husband a lot. My husband Jeroen (a chef) wants to airfry everything or panfry with olive oil. The kids don’t care so much. Ben loves tonkatsu and Chris loves his nuggets.
But for those who care about fried stuff, you’ll be glad to know there’s a new product in the market.
Last week we were invited to a cooking demo introducing Grande Rice Bran Oil.
I was happy to see Chef Miko Aspiras who led the demo at The Cookery in BGC.
I really admire Chef Miko Aspiras. I think he’s a madman at desserts. You just have to see his Instagram to find out why.

Chef Miko Aspiras

Chef Miko prepared a three-course meal, starting with Sesame Tuna Aburi Tataki Salad.
We helped with the simple procedures, such as searing the tuna using Grande Rice Bran Oil.

Grande rice bran oil

We also assisted in making mayonnaise using Grande Rice Bran Oil.
Chef torches the tuna with homemade mayo

Grande rice bran oil cooking event

Et voila!

Grande rice bran oil

Next Chef Miko made “Pork and Beans.”
Slices of pre-marinated porchetta were deep-fried in Grande rice bran oil and served with a side of panfried beans, chorizo and potatoes.

Grande rice bran oil cooking event
Grande rice bran oil cooking event

For dessert, he made Pili doughnuts with homemade cheese ice cream.
This was my favorite dish!
Chef brought dough balls

Grande rice bran oil

Deep-fried them

Grande rice bran oil

I kind of like this unfinished color

Grande rice bran oil

Topped with edible flora, cinnamon and powdered blueberry. This was so good!!

Grande rice bran oil cooking event

We spoke with Glenn Kelly Tan, whose company brought Grande Rice Bran Oil to the Philippines from Vietnam. He told us what makes the product different from olive oil:
“Rice bran oil is the only oil that’s rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Phytosterols and Oryzanol, which help improve cholesterol levels. Rice bran oil can help improve conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.”
It benefits the cardiovascular and immune systems. Grande Rice Bran Oil is physically refined, which makes it purer, thus improving health-boosting effects.

Grande rice bran oil cooking event
Glenn Kelly Tan with event host Vince Velasco

Grande Rice Bran Oil can be used for sautéing, searing and deep frying.
The oil’s high smoke point is at 240 to 254 degrees centigrade so you can use it for deep frying and sautéing without the food taste being affected. Because Grande Rice Bran Oil has a neutral taste, it can be used in marinades and for salad dressings.

Grande rice bran oil

Doctors and nutritionists recommend oils that have an equal proportion if saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Rice bran oil has an almost balanced fatty acid composition that is close to this ratio. Rice bran oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and free of trans-fats.

The American Heart Association and World Health Organization recommend rice bran oil as the best choice for improving cholesterol levels.

Grande Rice Bran Oil has certifications that it has passed international standards. These include certifications such as Halal Food by Halal Food Agency and HACCP Food Safety Management issued by British Standard Institution (BSI) in Vietnam.

Grande Rice Bran Oil is available at select Rustan’s Marketplace branches and supermarkets nationwide. For more information, go to or Facebook.

Grande Rice Bran Oil is imported and distributed by Grandiose Marketing Inc., the exclusive importer of various agricultural products. The company also provides services in connection with the production of rice products.

A taste of Japanese at the Shang
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Shangri-la Plaza marks the 61st anniversary of Filipino-Japanese Friendship Month with a film festival, exhibits, and activities that highlight what makes Japan so fascinating to Filipinos.

Everything Japanese at Shang

The Eiga Sai Film Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with a line up of award-winning Japanese films of different genres at Shang Cineplex Cinema 2. The festival, which has been held at Shangri-la Plaza for the past 18 years, still continues to draw the crowds to this day.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to the opening night to view the award-winning film, Her Love Boils Bathwater, along with its film director Ryota Nakano, who was at the Shang Cinema during the screening.

For more information, go to

Yuujuo: A Japanese Cultural Exhibit at Level 3 of the Main Wing showcases the colorful heritage of Japan with colorful artifacts and beautiful kimonos from the personal collection of Mr. Archie Belardo.

Everything Japanese at Shang

If you love nature, go to the Suiseki Exhibit of the Natural Stone Society of the Philippines at the Grand Atrium from July 17-26.
Suiseki is the art of stone appreciation and the exhibit will highlight different collections of Japanese stones that reflect objects of nature interspersed with specially cultivated bonsai pieces.
The atrium is also the venue for workshops like the History of Suiseki: Identifying Good Suiseki by Tonette Gedang on July 22 at 2pm and Base Making for Suiseki by Sonny Armamento on July 23 at 2pm.


The Kyosendo (fan painting) Workshop by the Saturday Group of Artists will be held on July 15, 4 PM at the East Atrium.
On July 16, check out the Bento Making Workshop by Bento by Kat and Kimono Ken at 3pm at the East Atrium.
For photography enthusiasts, there’s the Japanese Food Photography Workshop by Mark Floro, in partnership with Canon, Sumosam and Akira, at 4 PM at the Grand Atrium.
On July 22, Watami restaurant is holding a Sashimi Cutting Demo at 5 PM.
The workshops are free.

On July 15, the UP Tugma Koto Players will treat shoppers to a special performance featuring the koto, Japan’s national musical instrument, at the East Wing.

The Everything Japanese Lifestyle Fair will be held on July 14-23 at Level 1 of the Main Wing. The fair will highlight products from The Bakeshop by EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Bonsai Shop, Daiso, Lollipuffs, Matsuri! Matsuri! The Kimono Shop, MUJI, National Bookstore, Owndays, Paul Frank, Powerbooks, Q Power Station, Suiseki Stones and Toys R’ Us, as well as other select exhibitors.
Expect to see a range of Japanese goods, from food and household items to arts and crafts materials.


The mall decor, done by Beth Amat of Incandescent, also provides perfect photo opportunities.

Everything Japanese at Shang
Everything Japanese at Shang
Everything Japanese at Shang
Everything Japanese at Shang

The Japanese restaurants at the Shang also have special Japanese set menus until July 29.
At Pepper Lunch, the Egasai Combo Meals (all at Php 320 each) include:
Combo Meal 1: Beef Pepper Rice + 16oz Iced Tea + Kani Shake! Shake! Salad
Combo Meal 2: Chicken Pepper Rice + 16oz Iced Tea + Kani Shake! Shake! Salad
Combo Meal 3: Garlic Beef Pepper Rice + Matcha Ice Cream + Miso Soup.

For inquiries, call 370-2597/98 or visit
To know more, @shangrilaplazaofficial on Instagram.

H&M announces collaboration with Erdem
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H&M has just announced its next exclusive designer collaboration with ERDEM, the Canadian-born, London-based designer loved by celebrities and fashion insiders.
H&M is also pleased to reveal that renowned filmmaker Baz Luhrmann will bring the collection to life through his unique storytelling.

L-R: Ann-Sofie Johansson, Erdem Moralıoğlu, and Baz Lurhmann

For H&M, Erdem has designed a brand new collection for women and, for the first time ever, a collection for men.
Erdem believes in the power of beauty, exploring historical references and personal narratives in every piece he makes.
For ERDEM x H&M he’ll reflect and reinterpret the design themes from some of his most celebrated collections, playing with the prints, textiles and delicate craftsmanship that have made his name.

“I am so happy to collaborate with H&M, and to explore my work on a whole new scale including a menswear collection which I have never done before. It’s also such a thrill to work with Baz Luhrmann, one of the most important storytellers of our time,” said Erdem.

“For me fashion is always about more than just clothing, it is a form of expression—a stand-alone art form. I am excited to be collaborating with ERDEM and H&M to reveal the story of this unique collection,” said Baz Luhrmann.

“From the moment we started talking with Erdem about the collaboration, I was captured by his vision. For ERDEM x H&M he has created an enchanting world full of beauty, delicacy and rich details. These are special pieces you will want to wear forever,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor.

ERDEM x H&M will be available in selected stores as well as on from November 2, 2017.

Watch out for Vetements x DHL Part 2 in capsule collection
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When I was a kid red and yellow were my favorite color combination! It just looks so beautiful to my eyes. That’s why I love the DHL colors.
Did you know that the H in DHL, Larry Hillblom, fathered a Filipino daughter?
I watched a docu on his life and mysterious circumstances regarding his death. I became obsessed and found his Filipino heiress/daughter on Instagram where I stalk her (no, you can’t find her because her mom remarried and she changed her surname).

Last Spring 2016, this was the T-shirt any hardcore fashionista wanted to have.

DHL T-shirt

For those of us who didn’t get a chance to buy the first DHL tee created by Vetements, we have another chance as ten new DHL-branded fashion items will be available for Spring/Summer 2018.

Vetements recently hosted a Paris Fashion Week event at the Parking Europe Garage where the capsule collection—including a T-shirt, hoodie, sweater, pants, cap, polo shirt and socks—were exhibited.
The collection was photographed by Vetements’ design head Demna Gvasalia at 50 locations around Zürich and installed on two meter high metal plates.


“This collaboration with Vetements and the broader range of DHL items in their capsule collection is a great privilege for us and a real endorsement of DHL as one of the most recognized and valuable global brands. The Vetements designs emphasize perfectly DHL’s role in enabling global fashion and e-commerce with our logistics services. At the same time they also show our commitment to the fashion industry and that we are always in tune with the times,” said Ken Allen, CEO DHL Express.

The continued collaboration with Vetements is in line with DHL’s fashion partnership strategy, which sees the company working with the most relevant organizations in fashion globally and locally.
This allows DHL to support the fashion industry in a meaningful way, leveraging its portfolio of end-to-end logistics solutions for fashion, retail and e-commerce. It demonstrates the role DHL plays as one of the most valuable global brands and one of the largest “outfitters” in the world as the company provides Corporate Wear to some 200,000 employees globally.

True to the motto: Red and yellow will never go out of fashion.

Meet Dr. Cenia, a Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) specialist in the Philippines
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When I was younger, the problems I had were so much different from the ones I have now.
Now that I’m older, I wonder why I get headaches in the afternoon for no reason at all, and they last until I fall asleep. I have this leg pain I only feel when I’m lying down at night.
As soon as I wake up I feel lethargic, depressed and anxious.
I can’t seem to lose any weight despite attempts at dieting and working out.
While most of us attribute these frustrations to growing old, many times it’s all about our hormones and there is hope for us after all.

Men and women with testosterone deficiency may have a hard time losing weight despite hitting the gym everyday.
If you are often tired and lethargic, it could be the result of thyroid problems. If you have headaches in the afternoon, it could be your cortisol levels.
An excess of estrogen and a cortisol deficiency in men and women could result in grumpiness. For males, a drop in virility could be the result of deficiencies in zinc and testosterone.

Most doctors would also tell us we don’t really need to take vitamins, as long as we have a good diet. But how many of us really have the time to eat a good diet?
For instance, a very common deficiency in the different types of vitamin B can predispose one to depression.

I feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Cenia Lucas-Acevedo recently at a lunch. I feel like I was meant to meet her, hear and share her story, how she discovered Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) when she started having problems with her son.

Dr. Cenia Acevedo

Health Optimization Medicine is a relatively young branch of medicine that measures borderline deficiencies and subtle toxicities for a customized approach to optimal health via vitamins, supplements and hormones.

Several years ago, Dr. Cenia and her husband Eugene noticed their eldest son becoming difficult. He was hoarding empty bottles for no reason and refused to go to school. Before these episodes, her son was an honor student. He became combative against his parents.

Dr. Cenia and her husband Eugene brought their son to several doctors here and abroad. He was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and prescribed with medication which didn’t work.
“He was over 200 lbs. and had acne all over his face. He dropped out of school, too,” said Eugene, a bank executive.

Dr. Cenia blamed herself. Her husband sort of blamed her, too, and their marriage became strained.
Dr. Cenia recalls, when she was pregnant with their son, she was a resident-physician at a very busy government hospital along Taft Ave. She kept long hours and was only given a short leave after she gave birth. She left their son in the care of a nanny. She was unable to breastfeed her firstborn as long as she would have wanted.

Looking back, Dr. Cenia realizes it was a combination of factors that might have caused their son’s problems. She remembers giving him a lot of dairy as he loved milk and cheese.
“Too much milk and dairy products may have inflamed his gut which resulted in poor absorption. Naturally, the other nutrients were not properly absorbed which resulted in my son unable to produce the healthy brain cells and hormones to make him an emotionally and psychologically well balanced teenager.”

Too much stress during her pregnancy, Dr. Cenia thinks, may have permanently altered the fetus’ response to it later in life.
She learned about nutritional medicine and hormonal balancing from another mother whose child was in a similar situation. Being a doctor, Dr. Cenia was skeptical at first but she also realized it was her only option at that time.

She was certified in Belgium for Anti-Aging Medicine and Nutritional Medicine, both With Distinction, and trained under the mentorship of Dr. Theodore Achacoso, the creator of Health Optimization Medicine. She is one of only five certified Filipino doctors, currently practicing in the Philippines.

Dr. Cenia’s son is probably his mother’s first success story. He is now down to his original weight of 130 lbs. and is a happy and well-adjusted 22-year-old studying at the University of the Philippines in Diliman where he is a University Scholar.

As Dr. Cenia explained it, conventional medical tests may not be able to detect anything wrong at an early stage and without correction, the metabolism’s ability to compensate is weakened and symptoms of illness may start appearing.

“With HOMe, the correction of what’s ailing the patient goes beyond the organ level where conventional medicine usually focuses. We complement traditional medicine by working at the cellular level,” she added.
For instance, during an active illness, HOMe takes care of the healthy cells and helps the sick cells recover faster while the patient is on prescription medication.

HOMe is not out to replace conventional medicine, which has made people live longer and greatly reduced deaths due to infection and trauma.
“However, chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, hypertension and heart problems are on the rise despite people living longer. These diseases have resulted in a poorer quality of life for many. Health span has to catch up with life span and HOMe may be able to help people achieve this,” said Dr. Cenia.

Every HOMe diagnosis and program is customized for each patient. A patient has to undergo a series of consultations, biochemical/hormonal and toxin blood tests and evaluation of results. Deficiencies are corrected through measured supplementation of nutrients and/or hormones.

Dr. Cenia’s patients include those who are health-conscious and want to improve their health further; those who don’t want conventional medicine or therapies; those who want to continue but reduce their use of conventional medicines; those taking care of a very precious sick family member and for whom conventional medicine hasn’t seemed to help, and those suffering from serious illnesses like cancer
and want to consider additional supportive therapy other than conventional ones.

She also has patients seeing her for depression, autism and other mental problems. She creates customized prenatal care and supportive care for infertility cases, to complement her conventional training as an obstetrician-gynecologist.
The age range of patients can be anywhere from five to 90, male and female. This is because anyone can potentially have borderline deficiencies and toxicities.

Dr. Cenia currently does home/office visits, and will continue to offer this option (even when her Vivacite clinic opens later this year) to clients who value their times and privacy.
Personal assessments are done by appointment, which would run for at least one hour.
Interested parties may call 423-57302 or (0920) 823-8976 or email Contact details may change anytime and will be advised.
Replies can be expected within an hour (from 9 AM-6 PM, Mondays to Saturdays).