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


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Me Factory Pig Collagen 3 Step Nose Pack

I don't usually incorporate nose packs into my skincare routine, but my colleague is an advocate of this particular skincare item. One day, she stared at my nose, and the next day she gave me this cute Me Factory Pig Collagen 3 Step Nose Pack which she got from Watsons. (Looked like I needed some help!) 😂

This is the third nose pack I've used in my life, but this one I really enjoyed doing since it's my first time to try a 3-step version of it. Hihi. 🐽 The first one I've tried was Tony Moly Egg Pore Nose Pack and the second was Cathy Doll White Heads Cleansing Black Clay Mask, which is not technically just a nose pack.


I can see small dots all over my nose but I think I have more whiteheads than blackheads. Also, I'm not sure if they're blackheads or just huge pores. The only way to find out is to use this product!

Step 01: Pore Heating Sheet (15-20 minutes)

After washing your face, stick the sheet on your nose. Remove it after 15-20 minutes. Wipe out the melted wastes gently.

The material and feel of the serum in this packet resembled a regular sheet mask. There was no strong/detectable fragrance the entire time. I thought that they were just pulling my leg with regards to the "heating" claim, but my nose felt warm minutes after I used this. It helped open up my pores, so the gunk could come out easier on the next step.

Step 02: Blackhead Clear Sheet (10-15 minutes)

Apply enough water on the nose, then remove the clear film with dry hands. Attach the white sheet and wait for 10-15 minutes until the sheet is completely dry. Remove the dry sheet slowly from the edge.

Ahhh my favorite! Since my nose was prepped in Step 01, it was refreshingly not that painful to pull this away from my skin. It's either I have really high pain tolerance, or this one's the least painful among the 3 nose packs I've used before. The result was grossly satisfying. EWW! 🙈 Goodbye, blackheads and whiteheads! This nose pack is amazing!!! I love it already.

Step 03: Pore Tightening Sheet (5-10 minutes)

Attach the final sheet on your nose and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Tap the remaining essence to let it absorb into the skin.
After! 👃
My nose looks and feels so smooth!!! This Pig Collagen Nose Pack from Me Factory is legit. I still had a few stubborn whiteheads left, but it was able to take out a lot, I didn't even know I had that many. Ugh 😵 Now I'm tempted to use it where my face feels rough, but I'm not sure if I can really do that. I will definitely repurchase! 👍

Price: approximately P150-P200 (not sure of the exact price)
Available at Watsons
Also available at for only P80! 🐽

Are you also fond of nose packs? Which one can you recommend? 💝


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Sunday, August 6, 2017

SilkyGirl Matte Junkie Lip Cream

Stay MATTELY in love with SilkyGirl's new Matte Junkie Lip Creams! 💋

My previous SilkyGirl review was about the Matte Fever Lipcolor Balm, and now we have their liquid lipsticks! Most, if not all, beauty brands have their own version of liquid lipsticks nowadays, and I'm glad SilkyGirl came out with theirs as well. Knowing the brand, it's bound to be wearable and affordable.

This kissproof and transfer resistant lipcolor applies like a liquid lipstick that dries to a matte finish. It stays on your lips through day and night activities requiring minimal touch-ups. Available in 5 rich and highly pigmented shades; 01 Retro, 02 Glamour, 03 Rebel, 04 Vintage and 05 Vixen. Introducing 4 new shades; 06 Darling, 07 Dolly, 08 Artsy and 09 Rouge to complete your matte looks!

  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free
  • Carmine-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Not tested on animals

I have with me the first 5 shades that was released, and I'm not sure if we already have the 4 new shades here in the Philippines. I love that it's a mix of nude and vivid shades! The packaging is really simple and straightforward. Each tube contains 5.8ml worth of product, and I like how lightweight and slim each tube is - no unnecessary packaging "illusions" or bulk to make it seem to have more product in it.

Also, you can see the ingredients and manufacturing date on the plastic shrink wrap. (I'm taking note of the dates via this blog post, since I threw the wrappers away after opening. 😉) Based on the ingredients, these lippies contains evening primrose oil, shea butter extract, and argan oil. 👍

It comes with a regular doe foot applicator.

01 Retro, 02 Glamour, 03 Rebel, 04 Vintage, 05 Vixen

01 Retro

02 Glamour

03 Rebel

04 Vintage

05 Vixen

SilkyGirl Matte Junkie Lip Cream goes on initially shiny but dries down to a completely matte finish in seconds. Once it sets, it's totally budge-proof - no transferring to cups, ever. I like how it doesn't enhance my lip lines unlike other matte liquid lipsticks I've tried. On my arm, the formula goes on smoothly, but it's quite tricky to get it to spread evenly on my lips. The formula is a bit on the watery side, and while it's pigmented enough, the application can get a bit streaky so you'd have to act fast. (I had a hard time with shade 02 Glamour, but the rest were easier to work with.)

My favorites from this range are 04 Vintage and 01 Retro. These two shades almost look similar on the tube, but 01 Retro is orange-brown, and 04 Vintage is pink-brown (which makes it the perfect everyday shade). Both shades are very flattering on my pale skin! 😍

Up next are the two bright shades: 05 Vixen has a unique red-orange shade that goes on nicely against my pale skin. I'm liking the contrast, but I would have loved it more if it had a blue base. Yellow-based lipsticks make my teeth look more yellow than it already is. 03 Rebel should be named 03 Barbie instead. It's a bright bubblegum pink shade, and it's also a keeper.

I didn't like shade 02 Glamour. It's a cutesy nude pink on the tube, but peachy when worn. It has bright peachy tones, but it still managed to look pale on my lips. It could work for other skin tones though.

SilkyGirl Matte Junkie Lip Cream is indeed long-lasting, and it will only come off with an oil-based makeup remover. It's nice to not have to retouch often. 😗

05 Vixen, 04 Vintage, 03 Rebel, 02 Glamour, 01 Retro
Loving the contrast of 05 Vixen against my skin 💋

Price: P299 -> P249
Available at Landmark, Cash & Carry, and selected Robinsons Department Stores (Galleria, Metroeast, Tutuban, and Cebu)

Sneak peek off my next SilkyGirl reviews! 😍

Facebook: SILKYGIRL 
Instagram: @silkygirlcosmetics

Which SilkyGirl Matte Junkie Lip Cream do you like best? 💖


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