Friday, January 30, 2015

A Gesture of Appreciation by CCP

A special gathering for friends and colleagues in print, broadcast and online media was organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines recently to thank them for the continuous support .  Held at the Silangan Hall of CCP’s main building, the “A-Press-Ciation Lunch” is an annual event spearheaded by CCP's Corporate Communications Division as a token of gratitude to press friends who have supported the Center through the years.

CCP’s officials led by president Dr. Raul Sunico, other department heads and division chiefs attended the event. Dr. Sunico thanked the members of the press for their continued support in promoting the artistic programs and projects of the CCP. The event was emceed by Irene Obligacion-Rada, director of the Corporate Communications Division and host of the classical music radio program Culture Carousel, aired over 98.7 dzfe-fm, the Master’s Touch.

In welcoming 2015 as the year of ASEAN Integration, the media guests were regaled by the performances of dance artists from Cambodia and Indonesia as well as the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, one of the CCP’s nine resident companies, which performed traditional dances to their delight. The event was attended by ASEAN embassy representatives including the Executive Secretary to the Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia, Minister Counsellor for Social and Cultural Affairs from Indonesia and the Counsellor of the Embassy of Malaysia. (Photos by Kiko Cabuena)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sound, Smell, Sight, Feel, and Taste of Tocarre Spa

Feels like heaven. But you don't have to die to get there. Enter the sensual world of Tocarre Spa, located in the heart of Makati.   All your senses will be activated the moment you arrive.

Start at the Hearing Station where you can select from among harmonies which best sets you in a relax state. The sound of peace and tranquility will calm your stressed out mind before you move on to the Smell Station.  Here you decide what scent reinforces your relaxed state or rejuvinates your soul.

The Sight Station almost completes your tranquil mood and begins your journey to the world of sensual pleasure.

From here, you are given the freedom to concoct your own rub from plant herbs, fruits, dairies, tea leaves, and even coffee grinds based on how you feel.  There are experts who will mix and recommend ideal combinations and  right dosage for the effect you desire.  Would you prefer being relaxed or would you rather be re-energized?

Would you prioritize moisturizing your skin, rejuvinate your system, or simply calm your mind?  Advice early on what your goals are so the staff can direct you to the proper treatment so you can leave with the best possible experience.

Clean massage rooms, changing rooms, shower rooms, sauna and jacuzzu help keep you in that out-of-this world experience even for just an hour or so.

Try the footspa with your choice of rubs before sending your body for a luscious massage.  Wake up refreshed and have a snack at the Taste Station before you leave.  Now you are ready to face the world again.

 Tocarre Spa is located at 4/F Best Western Antel Plus Hotel Makati Avenue, Makati . For appointments or inquiries, you can call 555-1232 or 403-0808 loc. 2050.  You can also visit their website at

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Time Stands Still" for Red Turnip Starting Jan 30

Press Release:
Fresh off the critical success of the Pulitzer Prize winner RABBIT HOLE, Red Turnip is capping off its second season with another heralded play from Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Marguilles, TIME STANDS STILL.

Staying true to their promise to bring more straight plays to the metro, Red Turnip founders Ana Abad Santos, Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Cris Villonco and Rem Zamora are excited to add TIME STANDS STILL to their growing list of productions. The first season productions, COCK and CLOSER, redefined the theater experience with their biting scripts and clever, innovative staging. RABBIT HOLE’s quieter approach garnered acclaim for its stellar cast and astute direction.

TIME STANDS STILL is the story of Sarah, a photojournalist who must return home with her journalist boyfriend James after sustaining injuries from war-torn Middle East. The play follows their love story as they negotiate a more ordinary life, far from the thrills of a battleground. Yet the comforts of urban domesticity—the simple pleasures and small compromises—can be a minefield of its own. "Time Stands Still" is a blazingly important play about responsibility - to ourselves, to our loved ones, to our community, and to our world.

TIME STANDS STILL was a hit when it premiered on Broadway in 2009 and was brought back for a second run the very same year.  It also garnered two Tony nominations; Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actress for Laura Linney.

Ana Abad Santos and Nonie Buencamino headline the Manila premier as Sarah and James. An Aliw Award Winner for her stalwart turn in “Mary Stuart”, Ana Abad Santos is one of the most respected actresses of her generation, having done numerous lead roles for almost all of the Manila theater companies. She graduated from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and has crossed over to film and television work, most recently in the BAFTA-nominated “Metro Manila”. She is also an accomplished stage director and has received nominations and acclaim for her directorial work in “Hamlet”, “The 39 Steps” and Red Turnip’s "Closer”.

Nonie Buecamino is considered as one of Manila’s greatest leading men and character actors. He has essayed numerous roles onstage and has garnered many awards and nominations for his wide range of stage, film and television work. He is also fixture in the independent film scene and was last seen in Cinemalaya’s “Dagitab” and “K’na the Dreamweaver”, as well as Jun Lana’s “Barber’s Tales”. His most recent stage appearances include Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Stageshow”, CCP’s “Lorenzo” and in Resorts World Manila’s “King and I” as the King.

Nor Domingo and Giannina Ocampo round out the cast as the couple's longtime friend Richard and his much younger girlfriend Mandy. Nor Domingo is an actor, director and resident member of PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). He was last seen in PETA's "Haring Lear" and as Fernan in the runaway hit "Rak of Aegis". He is also a Best Supporting Actor nominee for "Philippino Story" for Cinema One 2013. Giannina Ocampo is a rising star in the theater scene after her hilarious turns in Repertory Philippines' "Leading Ladies", "Boeing Boeing" and in
Resorts World Manila's "Cinderella" as the wicked stepsister Grace.

Following up his successful directorial debut in "Cock", Rem Zamora directs his second show for Red Turnip. “I'm quite excited about this one because, this time around, I will have an actual set”, he quips.  “But seriously, it’s a totally different script compared to ‘Cock’, it’s powerful because it’s so quiet.”

TIME STANDS STILL is set to open in Whitespace on January 30 and runs weekends until March 8, 2015.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

La Boheme By Met Opera in HD at Greenbelt Makati

Press Release:
THE Metropolitan Opera series in high definition (HD) continues on January 13, 2015, 6:30pm at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1 in Makati with La Boheme. The event is made possible through the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the New York Met Opera and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas and Greenbelt.

La Bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere performance of La Bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La Bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. 

Anita Hartig stars as the frail Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with Vittorio Grigolo as her passionate lover, Rodolfo.
Other scheduled screenings of Met Opera productions for this season are:
February 10, 2015    Werther                    
            March 3                      Enchanted Island
All screenings are at 6:30 pm.

For tickets, please call Greenbelt 3 Cinema at 757-3862 or 752-7883 (Customer Service Hotline).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Madame Garachon, Margie Floirendo Perform in Alice Reyes’ Cinderella Starting Nov. 28

Press Release:
The quintessential rags to riches fairy tale as retold by National Artist Alice Reyes will be staged anew by Ballet Philippines from November 28 to December 7 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). This lively and humorous production will bring much laughter and romance to the holiday season.

The role of Cinderella will be played by Soloist Denise Parungao and Junior Company Member Monica Amanda Gana. This is Gana's first lead role with Ballet Philippines, while Parungao was last seen in the title role of Ballet Philippines’ “Giselle” in 2013 and 2014. Playing opposite them as Prince Charming are Principal Dancers Earl John Arisola and Richardson Yadao.
To add even more magic to this production, Madame Isabelle Garachon, wife of the French Ambassador to the Philippines and former professional dancer, will be playing the role of Cinderella's wicked stepmother, alternating with Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo.

"What we, at Ballet Philippines, would hope for is that our re-telling of the treasured children's story of ‘Cinderella’ will fill the hearts of all in the audience with child-like joy and wonder and an early sprinkling of holiday cheer for the coming Christmas season," says Alice Reyes, who was named National Artist for Dance earlier this year. Reyes is also Ballet Philippines’ founder and Artistic Director Emeritus.

“Cinderella” will be performed at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on the following dates and times: November 28 (3PM & 8PM), November 29 (2PM & 6PM), November 30 (2PM & 6PM), December 5 (3PM & 8PM), December 6 (10AM & 6PM), and December 7 (2PM & 6PM).
The artistic and creative teams of Cinderella are led by Alice Reyes (Choreographer), Salvador Bernal(+) (Set & Costume Designer), Monino Duque (Lighting Designer), Barbara Tan-Tiongco (Technical Director), Ricardo Cruz (Set Consultant), Dennis Maristany (Costume Consultant), and Victor Ursabia and Ramon Victoria (Restagers).

For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Twitter:            @balletph
Instagram:      @balletphilippines

The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace, love, valour and redemption under the artistic directorship of Paul Alexander Morales. This is a toast to 45 years of dance excellence!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eat Out Manila, Your Online Dining Out Guide

Press Release:

29 August 2014, Makati City -- A fresh innovation out of the app store that offers a brand new experience of dining out in Metro Manila has been unveiled today. Based on an internationally-recognized restaurant reservations system that is extensively used in Europe, US and Asia, Eat Out Manila, a smartphone application also accessible via its web-based interface, offers a real-time experience that allows users to lock in a table at the restaurant of their choice – anytime and anywhere.
Catering to a large demographic of customers, Eat Out Manila has already tied up with various restaurants around the Metro, counting new establishments such as Rambla, Lulu, Vyne, The Glass Door and Las Flores among its growing list of sought-after restaurants, along with long-time favorites Abe, Crisostomo, Mango Tree, and Murray and D’Vine.

Recognizing the challenges of booking a restaurant table where one has to pick up the phone on one hand, and the restaurant, at the receiving end, has to keep a manual log of reservations, the founders came up with Eat Out Manila to offer a quick and easy way of getting things done.

“The motivation behind this app springs from personal experience. With the growing list of things you can do remotely through your mobile phone, we thought it’s about time we had something for table reservations from which a food-loving country such as the Philippines will greatly benefit,” said Iňaki Lamata, one of the founders of Eat Out Manila.

“On the side of the restaurants, we are providing them with a better way of managing restaurant reservations and ensuring the convenience of their clientele. Our aim is to be a major solutions provider and partner in the ever growing and dynamic restaurant culture in the Philippines,” added Lamata.

Initially available through the Apple iTunes store, Eat Out Manila allows its users to search for restaurants with a variation of filters such as cuisine and location, restaurant, or by any cuisine, menu type or price range. Preferred time, date and number of persons are also required to check the availability at the chosen restaurant. Users can register via providing their details or logging in via Facebook. Users also have the option of accessing Eat Out Manila via its web-based interface at

Aside from hassle-free table reservations, Eat Out Manila also offers exclusive deals to its valued app users. Discounts, gift certificates, and freebies from top-notch restaurants await the lucky foodies who will be booking a reservation at any of Eat Out Manila’s partner establishments.

Foodies can now ditch the long lines and hours of waiting outside restaurants by booking a table at their preferred time and date, or on any of the available slots instantly. They may start their restaurant booking adventure now by visiting or downloading the app from the iTunes store. Updates on the latest Eat Out Manila promos may also be seen in its official Facebook page and Instagram account @EatOutManilaPH. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Studio 119 Gets You Ready for Business or Pleasure

If you happen to be a business traveller or tourist, or someone who lves nearby, Studio 119 at the Picasso Hotel should be your first stop,before a business meeting, a social lunch, or cocktail with clients. Located in peaceful Salcedo Village in Makati City, Studio 119 salon is the word-of-mouth place to go for a clean, composed look required of VIP events where you hobnob with diplomats, CEOs, top management, and people of class. The signature styles are the classics that won't go out of style.

 Catering to the higher management group or business travellers who hardly have time to be fussy but need that hour of relaxation, Studio 119 is their private haven. Quiet with personalized service minus the long wait is what you can expect here. Most of their satisfied clientele are business people or wives of top management who already have a set style and expecations which the staff maintain for their regular clients' convenience and comfort.

 "We value our clients' time and privacy by making sure there is no waiting time and maintaining relaxing music and low noise level. Being a businesswoman myself, I can understand the stress they are going through on a daily basis, so for their sthort visit to the salon I make sure it is a pleasant and relaxing experience for them", assures April Blanco-De Guzman, owner.

 Cleanliness is their number one rule, followed by promptness of service which busy businessmen and busy housewives appreciate. Due to their modest space and limited slots, setting appointments in advance would be advised to assure you of prompt service. Special packages can be customized depending on your needs. Wedding packages, spa and massage needs are offered as well.

 For appointments and inquiries, you can call them at 8195138 or email at Located at the ground floor, 119 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati, Studio 119 Salon is open 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM from Monday to Sunday


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