Friday, March 28, 2014

Reo Brothers at Primos Cuisine and Lounge last Tuesday Night



It's not usual for me to  hang out with friends late at night.  It seldom happens  only when an  event I attend to  starts late and I need to be there to the last minute.  To be out of the house  beyond  10pm only mean one thing.  It should be an extra ordinary one.  And where were we last Tuesday night?  We watched the REO Brothers band fresh from their concert in the US.  We were supposed to leave after their first set but we were glued in our seats,  took some videos till they're done to the last beat.

I started  to be a fan  of  these boys  since the day I  watched  them on TV during their performance at Araneta Center for ABS CBN's solidarity concert.  I could still remember that jaw dropping moment.  My world stopped for a while.  Right after that number, I  went online to check who these brothers are.  They  are Tacloban survivors and decided to move in to Manila after the city was hit from last year's catastrophe.

That standing ovation performance created a buzz and  eventually opened more doors to them.  They already guested on TV like  Banana Split  and  Unang Hirit.    I couldn't contain  my admiration  anymore  watching their  videos online so  I asked my friends to see them  live. 

It came to reality last Tuesday night.  Seeing them  on stage was  even more  exciting.   We had a short conversation  with the owner of Primos Cuisine and Lounge  and she was very eager  to tell us how good these boys are.  When they went up the stage for the first set, we were surprised.  And the owner proved  her claim.  We were stunned  like we were actually  listening to their own CD.  And  that was live,  not lip synched,  not pre-recorded  and not  edited by technology.

On the second set, with only a few minutes break, still they're full of energy and were  able to sustain the quality of voice for that few hours gig.
 


RJ's voice is cool and he strums the guitar so well.  Raymart's  is different and appealing. His  rhythm guitar techniques are quite amazing  while Ralph has soulful voice (watch his cover of  Bee Gee's How Deep is Your Love)  and  is perfect to play the bass.  Reno hits the drums with great feel.   He concluded the gig that night with a big bang. They  have different voices and  styles but their rhythm and groove  blended so well.

Their concert in the US earned praises and good reviews.  At Pinoy Relief Concert at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York,  they performed  with fellow  performers like Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Sanchez, Charice, Apl de Ap and Oscar Awardee (composer) Robert Lopez.



The Reo Brothers with my friends.    L toR -  RJ, Ralph, Brooke, Joy, Raymart and  Reno


With my friend Lyn and Raymart of Reo Brothers Band


Primos Cuisine and Lounge was jampacked that night. I saw a few people  outside of the venue  like watching a sold-out-ticket concert. 



From right to left.  Ralph  17 (lead guitar),  Raymart  19 (rythym guitar),  RJ  21 (lead guitar)  and Reno 24 (drums)


As Joy approached the group for a  short interview, she then asked,  "So your father must be a musician?"


RJ replied, "Our father is a great influence. We would just hear his old  Beatles albums. From there, we just learned it on our own."

RJ  was then a member of a band  until he stopped and taught his other  siblings Ralph and Raymart  to play the guitar while Reno played  the  drums then  they formed a group,  Reo Brothers Band.  The band name came  from  the first letters of their first names which is  “R”,    and  surnames initial O from Otic.

Today I just content myself  watching videos of their gigs,  waiting til they have their own album.    When that day comes, I will be  on the first line to grab  one and  will have it signed by the group. 

Do you miss songs of  Beatles, BeeGees and more.  REO Brothers have a  regular gig at  Primos Cuisine and Lounge  every Tuesday.  They are also visible in different events around the metro.   If you can't get enough of  their updates,  like their  fan page on Facebook,    Reo Brothers Band.


Want to know more of  their latest America gig,  Dan Nino  has this to say.

Here is the video that  I embed from YouTube.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Summer is More Fun at Island Cove



We've been at the Island Cove for three or four  times  already but never had a chance to explore much of  the resort mainly because we  just want to  dip ourselves into the pool and have some rest inside our room.  Last Thursday was a different experience. We explored the whole resort,  dined in different restaurants, toured at  their sports and recreation facilities such as Oceania Water Park, Fishing Village,  Interactive Game Room, Table Tennis, Airsoft and  Paintball Field.

What you want in a getaway is there in  Island Cove not to mention  the location  which will only take you about 15 minutes  from MOA via Cavitex  that  wont give you  too much stress.  With just a few minutes drive from Manila,  you would feel like you are separated from the rest of the world. 

We left Manila  at around 7am  and reached the place  just in time for our breakfast served by  iCafe  which deserves a  separate feature.  The food totally  made my day.  Our lunch was held at  Fishing Village and snack at Sangley Point which will  also be posted in another entry.  Each restaurant caters different dishes. I can describe the food in three words;  YUMMY AND TEMPTING!


We  were greeted by True Colors Band with old classic songs.  I did not let the chance pass without  a  photo op with them.   And that's how I want to start  my blog   not  a selfie or look-up  but a photo with a band to jump start my post. :)


That's me with a guitar feeling like a musician.

iCafe, Sangley Point and Fishing Village offer different kinds of dishes;  mouth watering Filipino and international food at affordable selections.  Let me just give you a teaser of what we had during our meals.

Breakfast at  iCafe

We had our breakfast at iCafe. I'm leaving you  an array of food on the  buffet table.  It offers delicious Filipino food, cakes and pastries.


I concluded my meal with brewed coffee.  I will post a review soon and link here when I'm done  so you know what overwhelmed me.  I already emptied my cup when I remember to take a photo of my coffee. :)





Lunch at  Fishing Village

Delight in Filipino dishes while dining in one of the native huts at the Fishing Village.


Enjoy your meal and don't count the calories.  I tell you, I tasted the crunchiest and tastiest lechon   in my  life that is Lechon sa buho.  I could hear the sound  cracking while eating.  Okay,  these are just a few at the table.  Wait till I post the complete lunch with  Seafood, Dessert, Filipino Dishes and more.


So you think it's only the food that will make your day?


Well, that's just  icing on the cake!   At Fishing Village,  guests can do fishing and the ambiance will  make them  feel relaxed  during their  stay.

How about  refreshing yourself with some buko drinks?



Sangley Point

Sangley Point serves  international dishes such as Pizza and Garden Salad.   The restaurant is proud of their homemade salsa which I promise to blog later.




Look here, a very classy recycled jar!   

 
Garden Salad
 
Yummy Pizza!

Accommodation

Island Cove offers a selection of  accommodations depending on your needs.  They have hotel rooms, villas and more. 






For a family or a large group, they have Dormitory type or Cabana with two or four bedrooms. They have dormitories that can accommodate 16 pax or more.


One of the many paintings I captured on the wall that shows the hotel pool.



At the hotel lobby, one can just sit down and relax.  This is my  favorite area for my online business. I was here last summer with another friend. We blogged the experience right  on the spot.   There is a strong wifi at the hotel and on most of the parts of the resort.


Souvenir items are also available near  Sangley Point. 




Oceania Water Park

The first time I heard of Island was many years ago  and 16 years after,  it still has the best facilities that attract both local and foreign guests.  They  maintain the cleanliness and  the level of  quality and service,  and facilities were more improved.  They just opened  (or should I say  about to open)  the Splash Park which is another added attraction this summer that will thrill  kids and adult alike. 

Splash Park

With my curious mind,  I actually touched the flooring of the  Splash Water  which is soft and  rubberized.   The water coming from the splash is purified.

 

The giant slide, kid's pool and more pool.

I wanted to jump at that moment, right there with the clear water  that's calling me but I  guess  the  kiddie pool  is  just  perfect  for me   where I can swim safely  and have fun with the  kids.  Haha.


 


 

 


Island Cove is a perfect venue for family weekend getaway,  celebrations like baptism & weddings, corporate functions,  team building  or company outings.

The  resort  has  several function rooms with quality audio-visual equipment for meetings and presentations.  


This is the only photo I can provide. The other function rooms that we visited were occupied at the time of our tour so I didn't bother to take some.  You may check the website I provided below for more photos and info.


Bayside KTV

Sing your heart out at Bayside KTV located beside the Fishing Village.



At  KTV,   "I did it my way"  and  showed off  my  singing prowess.  Because I was behind the camera,  I have no photo here. I hope the video while I was singing wouldn't   make a viral  hit  in  You Tube.  You can choose from more than 3000 songs of different languages.  Bring it on.  I can sing different varieties  of musical genre,  it's just that I don't hit the notes.  Okay, I am seriously kidding here.  I am just a videoke addict. :)




Adventure


You may explore the island on a bike or a horse.  For those with a spirit of adventure, there is a  Paintball Field  and Airsoft Site.   Are you ready for more adventure?  Then put on your military game mode  or  challenge yourself  at an obstacle course.  You may also opt to explore the island on a bike or a horse. 

 Paintball



Airsoft Site



Enjoy the beauty of nature at Animal Island.

We walked around the Animal Island and took  a few shots of  the beauty of nature.



Some of my friends took the opportunity to have photo with the tiger but I dare not do it.   No way.  It just scared me a lot.  Cats are not my friends. I'm a dog lover. :)


Alright!  That's  me with  an  ostrich's egg.  I think I am safer here.  I just moved a little bit farther because I sensed that  the ostrich wanted to snatch the egg from me. :) Let me segway my way,  I forgot to put on my SPF lotion so I used my shawl to cover myself from direct sunlight.   


The biggie python which I can only imagine hanging around my neck.


I asked the staff  how many crocodiles are residing at Animal Island but I couldn't remember it now.  I was busy on the other side looking at the monkeys begging for some bananas. Ooh carefree monkeys.  You may ask the management  if  you want to feed the animals.



There's a lot more to do;  Maze Challenge, Giant Outdoor Chess, Billiards, Tennis and more.  My   friend took only about a minute and a few seconds at the Maze. You may want to try it and face the  challenge.  Who knows you find the route easier and make a new record.  



Playground



Interactive Game Room

You may want to play golf or tennis here..


Wellness Center

Island Spa and FIT Club is located right beside the Hotel


I want to try  Island Spa soon which I've long been wanting.. I deserve it right.




Overall I was quite impressed with how the management maintains the resort to its condition now.  In sixteen years in the business, the features and the level of quality of service are  even more improved.    Some of the areas are being renovated but they do it  one at  time,   because the  guests  are coming in especially this time of the year that is  summer.

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park  is  ISO  certified and accredited as a triple "A" resort by the Department of Tourism.  

Did I mention Island Cove is  environment-friendly and if you are just like me who can't leave my  pet alone in the house, then worry no more,  because the resort is pet-friendly too.

About the resort's safety,  their  first aid  and life guards are certified by Red Cross.  They have  clinic and have doctors on weekends. At any given time, they have two or three knowledgeable staff  to do  CPR.


I can't wait  to go back  and  bring my family at the resort.   There's a lot more to do,  so  get ready with your summer gear,  hats,  sunglasses,  sun block  and yes,  just have fun under the sun and feel the heat of summer.  Please check the website because they have special discount which will last till March 31.




Island Cove
Binakayan, Kawit Cavite
www.islandcovephil.com
Cavite:   046.434.0210
Manila:   02.810.7878
inquiry@islandcovephil.com

Rants Before Summer Break



My younger daughter is still busy at school at this time of the month while  most of the students have already started  their vacation. Today is their completion day but I could still feel the pressure in her  because of too many paper works and projects that seem  like printing flyers  that need to let go and  submit  before she can totally claim her summer break. There is a clearance that is yet to be finished too.  It looks like being a  freshman is just as hard as a senior  student  in terms of  clearances, thesis and research papers that must be completed  in order to proceed to another course level.

My advice is to just  do things one at a time and not to stress herself  much  because vacation  and handful of day offs are just there waiting.   Anyways,  summer extends to another month  because of some changes in school calendar year that would mean more time to relax  in the coming days.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING & 3M PHILIPPINES INVITE YOU TO GET HOOKED ON D.I.Y.



Mark this date on your calendar, April 13,  Saturday. 




Get  hooked!   Yes, I am just one of them who have a hard time for some hanging job done at  home.   Often,  I resort to making holes with a nail or a drill  or call someone to do it for me. What's even worst is,  it ruins the paintjob that makes even more expensive  when everything becomes a mess.


Here’s the good news:  Good Housekeeping Magazine, in cooperation with 3M Philippines, invites you to Get Hooked on DIY, a series of home decorating and organization workshops that will help you decorate and organize your home space using a simple and effective wall-hanging tool.

As an all-around home and d├ęcor expert, Good Housekeeping will show moms, dads, and even college dormers and singles how to tidy up and beautify their homes, condos, or dorm rooms using Command™ Damage-Free Hanging Solutions from 3M. These hooks are very easy to install, and equally easy to remove without leaving a trace.

So on April 13, Saturday, head on over to SM Megamall Activity Center at the Lower Ground Floor, Mega A Building and have fun learning about the various ways you can use Command™ Hooks and products. Workshop booths open at 10AM until 8PM. Program proper begins at 3PM.


Watch out for the other legs of GET HOOKED ON DIY!

Like Good Housekeeping on Facebook at http://facebook.com/goodhousekeeping.ph and visit http://www.command.com.ph for more details.

Friday, March 21, 2014

#LetsBeReal, Filipina Mothers



We’ve all been told that breastfeeding’s best for babies; but why are less than half of Filipina mothers opting for exclusive breastfeeding?

Reality bites, and in fact, recent figures released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI-DOST) say that breastfeeding rates are at 47 percent and more alarmingly, there are actually areas in the country that have breastfeeding rates of only 27 percent. That’s 7 out of 10 mothers who opt for infant formulas and other artificial milk substitutes.

Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding together with UNICEF are looking to shift this mindset. “Filipina mothers aren’t keeping it real and we want to help change that,” says Iza Abeja, Executive Director of Beauty, Brains & Breastfeeding.


Nurture Run

In keeping with the thrust to promote, support and protect the rights of the breastfeeding mother and child, BBB is organizing the Nurture Run, one of the biggest breastfeeding awareness initiatives in the country to date. More than 10,000 runners and breastfeeding advocates are expected to join Nurture Run.

Iza also shares that proceeds of the Nurture Run will go to mobilizing skilled counselors, sustaining mommy groups and organizing breastfeeding awareness activities as well as supporting Milk Banks through Milk Letting Days. “All these initiatives will be carried out in strategic areas in the country specifically in disaster prone provinces,” notes Iza. “As the recent disasters in Tacloban, Bohol and Zamboanga have taught us, breastmilk can save lives.”

The Nurture Run is set on April 13, 2014 Sunday from 5:30 am to 10:00 am at the Quezon Memorial Circle. It covers 3km and 5km options with race kits costing PHP 450.00 inclusive of the race bib and Nurture Run shirt. The event is co-presented by UNICEF, International Labour Organization (ILO), National Nutrition Cluster group for Haiyan/Yolanda and Department of Health (DOH) in coordination with venue-host the Quezon City Government.

“Our children deserve the most genuine form of care and nutrition they can get. Support breastfeeding and help us spread the word by joining the ‘Nurture Run.’”

About UNICEF UNICEF is an agency of the United Nations devoted to serving the world’s children. UNICEF began providing assistance to the Philippines in November 1948. Since then, they have been partners with the Philippine government in protecting Filipino children.

UNICEF Philippines has more than 60 people working to promote and protect the rights of children. They aim to provide the best quality of life for every Filipino child through programmes that help them survive and flourish.

About Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding

Beauty, Brains & Breastfeeding was established and registered at SEC in 2006. It aims to bring back the breastfeeding culture in the country and elevate the stature of breastfeeding and eradicate the misconception that breastfeeding is only for those who can’t afford formula milk.

In recent years, BBB has not only participated in the promotion of breastfeeding. We have also taken part giving support to mothers. Providing free breastfeeding counseling at evacuation areas and informal settlers vulnerable of displacements in times of calamities BBB is also an active lobbyist when it comes to the protection and implementation of legislations promoting breastfeeding.

For updates and more information:

Like us on www.facebook.com/beautybrainsandbreastfeeding

Follow us on www.twitter.com/womenbreastfeed

Visit us at www.beautybrainsandbreastfeeding.com and www.nurturerun.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#DearFutureMom: Your Child Will Be Happy



“What kind of life will my child have?”

A scared mom-to-be wrote to CoorDown (Coordinator of the National Association of People with Down Syndrome) when she learned she was expecting a child with Down syndrome. The organization, in collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi Italy, responded by creating this #DearFutureMom campaign:


World Down Syndrome Day takes place on March 21st. Help spread the important message behind Dear Future Mom to help advocate the right to happiness and well-being of people with Down syndrome.

Official Hashtag: #DearFutureMom

 Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju-q4OnBtNU

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kid Movement Brings New Hope to Tacloban Schools



It all started with kids’ vision to make a difference. They expressed their desire to save Mother Earth in the hopes of creating a world that would benefit the future generation.

And that change journeyed to the typhoon Yolanda-stricken Tacloban. A group of empowered Filipino kids went to Tacloban to give 2,000 recycled classroom chairs. This is the product of their first-ever mission dubbed, Project RecyClass. By collecting recycled packs, kids will bring to other children of the hard-hit province new hope. With these new chairs, empowered kids can help other children to get back to school and learn to rise again.


Launched in 2013, Project RecyClass was a nationwide recycling drive supported by the Department of Education (DepEd). It was born out of a survey conducted by Tang, the leading fruit powdered beverage brand in the Philippines that revealed saving the environment is the issue closest to kids’ hearts.

The survey, done in the second quarter of 2013, explored the aspirations of the more than 95,000 young members of the Tang Galing Club. This is an online interactive community that promotes kid empowerment; helping inspire Filipino children to go and contribute positive change for the betterment of the society.

“This project was able to prove that kids can actually uplift lives, if only empowered to do so. Now the road of empowerment leads us to Tacloban. We are moved to witness how a kid-led movement is about to change lives by providing hope to the future of our country—our children,” said Alex Tacderas, Mondelez Philippines Category Lead for Powdered Beverages.

By the kids and for the kids, Project RecyClass, also accomplished in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, was able to collect a total of 11.6 million pieces of recyclable foil packs from 50 barangays across the country. These were then used to make 10,000 sturdy plastic school chairs (via a technology available in the Philippines), aiming to supplement the need for them in classrooms.

“The chairs that will be donated will help get kids back to school, helping create a sense of normalcy in their daily lives after Super Typhoon Yolanda. The chairs will also create a difference in the way students will sit in class, replacing broken and potentially hazardous chairs,” Tacderas added.


With 2,000 classroom chairs allocated to Tacloban, 8,000 more will be donated to different beneficiary schools across the country in partnership with the DepEd’s Adopt-a-school Program.

Last year, Tang donated 50 chairs to Sampaloc Site II Elementary School in Paranaque City, an adopted school of Mondelez Philippines. This year, the brand is scheduled to turnover more chairs to at least 100 other public school beneficiaries.

“Project RecyClass has truly been one of the largest kid movements of its kind in the Philippines. And we are starting the year with its promise—empowering kids to make a difference that can benefit the generations to come,” Tacderas ends.

For more information about the Tang Galing Club and Project Recyclass, please visit www.TangGalingClub.com and its Facebook account, www.facebook.com/TangPhilippines.

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