Monday, August 21, 2017

Ballet Manila's 22nd Performance Season + Show Schedules

"Ballet Manila is entering a new age."

These were the words that Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet Manila, uttered to her ballerinas and danseurs when plans for the 22nd performance season of the country's leading classical dance company were made earlier last year. Named Flights of Fantasy, the new season will debut two all-original productions, which Macuja-Elizalde is proudly working on with a team of internationally-award winning dancers, musicians, and costume and set designers.

"Ballet Manila has always been known as a company that strictly adheres to the Vaganova technique and Russian style of dancing. That's something that we've always stressed out by staging classical ballets that highlight our technique's strength. However, we understand that times are changing. And while we shall continue to stick to our technique—which is widely-accepted as the best in the world—we understand that we need to up our game if we want to appeal to more people," she explains.

This season, she works with two classic tales—one Filipino and one foreign—to create world-class productions that will further solidify Ballet Manila's position as the premiere classical dance company in the country.

Ibong Adarna

Ibong Adarna, one of the two original productions mentioned by Lisa, will open the 22nd performance season this August. Choreographed by the one of the company's principal dancers and multi-awarded choreographer, Gerardo Francisco, the show will bring to life the magical kingdom of Berbanya with modern production techniques, flying sequences, and impressive routines that can rival even those of the most well-known classical pieces. It will feature Gia Macuja Atchison, a West End star, as the voice of Ibong Adarna, and will also showcase music by Diwa de Leon, set and costume design by Make It Happen Workshop, and script by Angela Blardony Ureta.

Ibong Adarna makes its world premiere on August 26 at 6:00 PM. Other show dates are September 2 at 6:00 PM and on August 27 and September 3 at 3:00 PM. 

Swan Lake

Following Ibong Adarna  in October is one of the world's most enduring classical romantic ballets—Swan Lake. Featuring music from master composer Peter Tchaikovsky, the production is a showcase of the company's commitment to have at least one classical ballet in its repertoire every season—so as to uphold its Vaganova Academy roots.

For its version of Swan Lake, Ballet Manila's production features the original Lev Ivanov choreography for the white acts and a brand-new set design by Miguel Faustmann. It will also make use of new costumes created by fashion designer Michael Miguel and live accompaniment from the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Alexander Vikulov of Russia's Marinsky Theater.

"Swan Lake is, for me, the ultimate test for a classical ballerina. To dance the dual roles of Odette and Odile is one of the most difficult roles to do because you need to be vulnerable and lyrical as the white swan and sharp and steely as the black swan."

Swan Lake goes on stage on the following dates: October 7 and October 14 at 6:00 PM and October 8 and October 15 at 3:00 PM.

Snow White

Come November, the company will stage its second original production this season, and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde's second full-length choreography work—Snow White. Aimed at making the holiday season more magical for everyone, Ballet Manila promises to bring everyone a heartwarming take to the classic tale. 

"We are making Snow White a more magical and musical experience for everybody—from toddlers to the lolos and lolas," says Macuja-Elizalde. "I won't reveal much, but we are working so hard to make sure that our version leaves a mark that will make the holidays more memorable and spectacular."

The Snow White world premiere is set for November 25 at 6:00 PM. Other show dates are  December 2 at 6:00 PM, and November 26 and December 3 at 3:00 PM.

Ballet & Ballads

And to close Flights of Fantasy, Ballet Manila will stage another installment of its widely-popular Ballets & Ballads. Happening in February 2018, this edition will feature live music by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Ballet is a form of dance that is usually accompanied by music without words. By dancing to popular ballads performed live, we are showing another side to our storytelling—one that is more appealing and relatable to the modern audience. And again, this is in line with Ballet Manila's vision of bringing ballet closer to the people, and the people closer to ballet."

In addition to the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet & Ballads will also premiere British choreographer Martin Lawrance's Aria. Lawrance has collaborated with Ballet Manila many times in the recent past, most notably in the the highly-acclaimed original, Rebel.

You can catch Ballet & Ballads on the following dates: February 10 and 17, 2018 at 6:00 PM, and February 11 and 18, 2018 at 3:00 PM.

For more information about the shows, including ticket prices and schedules, you may visit or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tickets are also available through all TicketWorld outlets. Please call 891-9999 or visit for more information. In addition, those who are planning to watch all the shows may take advantage of the company's Season Subscription Programs, which offer up to 50% discount on ticket prices. For more information, you may visit and click on 'View Details' under 'Season Subscription Program'.


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Healthy mornings start at night with Quaker Oats + Recipes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it's also the most skipped meal of the day. I'm guilty of skipping breakfast, but whenever I do have a heavy, nutritious one, I definitely feel the difference. More energy, less sluggishness throughout the day. 🌞

FACT: Within the first 30 minutes of waking up, it's important to start up your metabolic system with a good meal so that you can get the strength and endurance to go about your day.

With busy schedules and the constant morning rush, often people don't have time to prepare breakfast, or they simply don't have the time to sit down to eat it in the morning.

With Quaker, healthy morning start at night.

Now, there is no excuse. The night owl me who finds it hard to get up in the morning now sets aside a 5 minutes at night just to prep a simple but delicious breakfast AKA overnight oats.

A lot of people actually think that oatmeal is hard to prepare, but it's actually really easy. You don't even need to cook it! 😮 You can use a mason jar or any other glass container for this. You can get one for free whenever you buy a 400g pack of Quaker Quick Cook or Quaker Instant Oats – available at supermarkets nationwide. (I spotted the promo here!)

All you need to know are three steps:
(1) Place the oats in the jar
(2) Soak oats in milk
(3) Add your toppers

That's it!

For a single serving, 1/2 cup of oats will do. You can choose any variant - Instant, Quick Cook, or Whole Grain Rolled Oats. For the milk, usually 1/2 cup. 🥛 As for the toppers, I just use whatever fruit I spot in the house! 🍎 One time, I did the apple + peanut butter combo. If I'm really pressed for time, my favorite combo is 1/2 cup Quaker oats + a small tetra pak of fruity yogurt drink (such as Bear Brand Yogu). It's SUPER GOOD! Parang dessert narin, pero breakfast. 😍

Tip: I always give the toppers a quick stir with the oats + milk mixture so the oats "absorb" the fruit's sweetness. It's not that IG worthy, but it tastes way better this way!

The colorful breakfast craze is popular for a reason:
  • It's easy to make with items you likely already have on hand.
  • It requires zero cooking and can be prepped in 5 minutes.
  • It can be easily customized according to your taste.
  • It's healthy.
  • It's convenient.
  • It's delicious!
  • It's grab and go.

Here are some overnight oats recipes you can try! 💛 Quaker Oats are high in fiber, source of protein, vitamins and minerals that would give you the energy to start the day and keep you going.

As for me, I'll be experimenting with different toppers. I personally like my oats mixed with yogurt drinks more than fresh milk, but I'll try mixing it with matcha soy milk or Quaker's Good Start drinks, too! 👍

Share your healthy mornings and be a part of the Quaker Overnight Breakfast Club with the hashtag #QuakerOvernightBreakfastClub. You can also win prizes from Quaker if you upload your healthy morning overnight breakfast oats creations on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag.

For more healthy morning inspirations follow Quaker's Facebook page @QuakerOatsPhilippines or visit the website


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Friday, August 18, 2017

NEW Rice Bowl Lunch Sets at Kushikatsu Daruma

Don't you just crave for authentic Japanese grub, especially the kind that won't make you sweat your daily budget while also filling you for the rest of the afternoon?

You’re in luck, then! Tracing its roots from Osaka, Japan and world-famous for its deep-fried skewers, Kushikatsu Daruma now brings you a meal set that will fit right into your lunch plans.

You’ll have a bevy of donburi options to choose from:


If you prefer it grilled:

Chicken Teriyaki

Get the new donburi lunch sets with miso soup, ice cream, and iced tea for only P265! Available during Monday to Friday, 11AM to 2PM.

Kushikatsu Daruma
Uptown Place Mall (2F), 36th Street Corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Telephone: (02)946-7374
Instagram: @kushikatsudaruma_ph


Let's keep in touch!
For quick updates or any questions, just shoot me a message on IG! 😉

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