Melawares Crowns New “Cusina Idols”

Armed with their cooking skills and fueled by their passion for food, a cooking enthusiast and a culinary student bested other finalists on the most exciting culinary competition to date, “The Next Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge,” hosted by Melawares, the popular high-quality melamine tableware, and Urban Kitchen, the complete restaurant and food service solution.

Winner for the Cooking Enthusiast Division Mercedita “Neneth” Madrona

Mercedita Madrona bagged the title in the Cooking Enthusiasts Division with her innovative fish recipe, Adobo Marinated Hito in Sisig Wraps, while Kimberly Jane Solejon emerged victorious in the Culinary Students Division after serving her winning dish Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast with Chinese Sausage Stuffing.

Winner of Culinary Students Division Kimberly Jane Solejon

As the “Cusina Idol” champions, each winner received a total of P250,000 worth of kitchen showcase from Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware or Urban Kitchen. Meanwhile, the other finalists went home with P25,000 worth of kitchen showcase.

Serving as their cooking arena was the Global Culinary and Hospitality Academy in Pasig City, where other gastronomic dishes were featured. In the Cooking Enthusiasts Division, finalists whipped up Fish Tortilla with Mom’s Most Requested Salad, Escalope Sea Bass with Celeriac Puree and Red Wine Sauce, Pan Seared Tuna with Cream Cheese, Tomato and Squash, and Crispy Fish Nest with Hoisin Chili Fillings. Finalists in the Culinary Students Division, on the other hand, brought to the table Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken Breast with Brussels sprouts and Mashed Roasted Squash, and Cheesy Chicken Tarts.

The Cusina Idols finalists were asked to cook and present their star dishes on the spot within one hour, and were judged based on the taste of their dishes (50 percent), cleanliness and preparation (20 percent), and plating and presentation (30 percent).

Adobo Marinated Hito in Sisig Wraps

Before advancing to the final round, the competitors underwent a rigorous preliminary round, after purchasing P500.00-worth of Melawares, Bestware, Perfect Dining, and Urban Kitchen products and filling out an online contest registration found at the Melawares Cusina Club Facebook page.

Pan-roasted Chicken Breast with Chinese Sausage Stuffing

Each contest participant was required to cook one original main entrée dish choosing between fish and chicken. Using Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware or Urban Kitchen products for the final plating, they took photos of their entries and posted it to the Melawares Cusina Club Facebook page. Winners were chosen based on the plating, cleanliness and preparation, and number of Facebook shares.

“It is no secret that Filipinos are foodies at heart, with some of our best chefs making waves at the international food industry. However, while the culinary talents of our Filipino cooks are unquestionable, food presentation poses a challenge to most. Fortunately, Melawares and our other lines are now making it easier to serve not only genuinely delicious food, but beautiful and appetizing-looking as well. With the Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge, we are excited to see the best and brightest culinary stars in the Philippines,” said Chriselda Chua, Marketing Manager of CDC Manufacturing Corporation, makers of popular tablewares brand Melawares and other quality tableware since 1969.

From a company that sourced its products through importation, CDC Manufacturing Corporation now carries four brands, namely, Melawares, the classic brand that carries high-quality melamine tableware products, Bestware, its affordable line of tableware products, Urban Kitchen, the company’s modern brand that carries food service products outside of melamine tableware, and Perfect Dining, the company’s exclusive brand for the SM chain that carries high-end melamine products, on top of being the leading manufacturer of customized dinnerware for Quick Service Restaurants serving the biggest names in the food industry.

For more information about the Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge, visit


Become Agents of Change through Arts

Making a difference to make the world a better place is such a challenging feat.  For VSO Bahaginan, a premier development organization in the Philippines, such goal is achievable by bringing people to work together.  As a federation member of the international organization, VSO Bahaginan has a network of people who help them in addressing issues on poverty. It creates positive change by engaging volunteers and partners through its wide range of volunteer programs and development initiatives.

The Art for Volunteerism (AFV) exhibit was officially opened by: Mr. Jose Conception Jr., Chairman, RFM Corporation; Ms. Grace Aquiling-Dalisay, Board of Trustees Member, VSO International, together with the AFV participating artists and members of VSO Bahaginan’s Board of Trustees.

VSO Bahaginan celebrated another milestone in empowering people to become agents of change as individuals and institutions participated in the first “Art for Volunteerism” charity exhibit.  It highlighted Filipinos’ spirit of bayanihan as the event united the lovers of art and goodwill.

Shaped with the objective of opening the door of volunteerism to a fresh ground, the “Art for Volunteerism” pools together 17 distinguished academics and professional visual artists from renowned universities in the Philippines for the realization of this project.  The participating artists include Marco Ruben Malto II, Daniel “Dansoy” Coquilla, Benjie Cabangis, Jonathan Olazo, Mervy Pueblo, Noell EL Farol, Zean Cabangis, Riel Jaramillo Hilario, Ferdinand Cacnio, Rosscapili, Dexter Sy, William Gaudinez, Renato Agustin Ong, Andoi Solon, Rodolfo Samonte, Paolo Baen Santos, and  Nestor Olarte Vinluan.

True to VSO Bahaginan’s philosophy of creating a lasting change through bringing people together to share skills and knowledge, the participating artists agreed to share their skills by including select art pieces to the “Art for Volunteerism” exhibit and online selling.   Through the sales generated from the charity exhibit tickets, more people are making themselves instrumental in transforming lives.  The artists are also donating part of the art pieces’ sales to the program.

Mr. Marco Ruben Malto II represented the artists of Art for Volunteerism

“With VSO, every peso you share brings people together to spark a chain reaction.  You will help make life better not just for an individual or a family, but for a community or even a country,” said Malou Pantua-Juanito, executive director of VSO Bahaginan.

The funds that will be raised by the “Art for Volunteerism” project will be used to help fund the organization’s Model Forest Projects in Ulot, Samar and Carood, Bohol.  This environment program is in partnership with the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  The project focuses on the sustainable management of Carood Watershed in Bohol and the Ulot Watershed in Samar.

VSO Bahaginan works to support the local organizations via their specific sustainable and volunteering-based development interventions that will enable people to live harmoniously with the environment.  Together with partners, VSO Bahaginan and volunteers will work in ecotourism and enterprise development, capacity-building of people’s organizations, establishment of local volunteering groups, and organizational development of the watershed councils.

“The Model Forest project does not only address environment-related issues but greatly contributes in transforming the lives of those in the community. The project hopes to see the communities flourish, where its dwellers are committed in protecting the environment because have experienced the benefit that it brings to them,” added Jacinto.

VSO invites you to be part of this drive to transform lives. Together, we can help enable our local communities become champions of environmental protection and sustainability while still allowing them to be self-sufficient and productive.

The “Art for Volunteerism” has been made possible with strong support of Globe Telecommunications, Inc., Pioneer Insurance, and American Data Exchange Corporation. Also extending assistance to the event are Riego de Dios Law Offices, Voyage Studios, and Philam Foundation, Inc.

If you want to be a stakeholder in the process of development through this initiative, visit for details on how you can make a difference.  The site contains information on the participating artists and artworks.

Celebrating partnerships through Mabuhay Germany

For years, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI) has been celebrating the affiliation between Germany and the Philippines through the annual “Mabuhay Germany” event.  This year marks the fourth year that GPCCI and its member organizations will be celebrating this significant occasion.  The event is set to take place at the Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City on October 7 – 9, 2011.

(L-R) GPCCI President Reiner Allgeier, GPCCI Business Development Manager Nadine Fund and German Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Ralph Timmerman hosted the kick-off press conference of Mabuhay Germany 2011

This GPCCI’s flagship event will carry the “Winning Moments” theme for its 2011 edition.  According to Reiner Allgeier, GPCCI president, “Mabuhay Germany 2011 is focusing on remarkable victories that have established the Philippines and Germany relationship. These winning moments clearly define and build up the dynamic and mutual relationship between two great nations.”

German Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Ralph Timmerman gave an overview of the German community in the Philippines

Mabuhay Germany was set up to commemorate the more than 140 years of trade partnership between the two countries. Through the event, GPCCI and the exhibitors are able to showcase the most comprehensive collection of German products, services, culture, and lifestyle.  Last year, a total of 35 companies have joined the exhibition whose commercial value is rated high by former exhibitors due to the scale and quality of the international visitors at the venue.  Following this year’s theme, exhibitors are invited to highlight their winning moment from sports to business and from politics to technology.

“Mabuhay Germany has always been an excellent platform to promote German-Philippine businesses.  Through the solid dedication of our partners together with that of our hardworking Event Committee, we are able to highlight the best of what our two countries have to offer year on year,” Allgeier added.

German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI) President Reiner Allgeier gave glimpse of what to expect for the Mabuhay Germany 2011 set on October 7-9, 2011

This year’s activity has something in store for all types of visitors. The program includes: a bazaar for shoppers and trendsetters on the lookout for quality products “Made in Germany”; food stalls offering authentic German treats and beverages for certified foodies by Dusit Thani Hotel Manila, German Club, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila; Hänsel und Gretel Haus conducting fun games and learning modules for the entire family; and a Car Expo showcasing the latest in German automobile technology. Other adjacent activities include sports competitions for the athletic types, a Job Fair for job seekers to get in touch with German employers and entertaining performances featuring talented musical artists every night.

Exhibitors involved in the 2011 Mabuhay Germany are Ayala Land Sales Inc., BAG Electronics Inc., Bayer Philippines Inc., Banc

German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI) Business Development Manager Nadine Fund welcomed and hosted the recently concluded launch of the Mabuhay Germany 2011

o de Oro Unibank, Inc., Robert Bosch Inc., Continental Temic Electronics Phil. Inc., Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Development Corporation), Doehle Shipmanagement Phils. Corp., Euro Pacific Resorts Inc. (Club Paradise / El Rio y Mar), German Embassy Manila,  German European School Manila,  Goethe Institut/DAAD  (German Academic Exchange Service), Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, MAN Automotive Concessionaires Corporation, Santa Fe Re

location Services, Schenker Philippines Inc.  and SSI Schaefer Systems Phils. Inc.

The event was also made possible by Aboitiz Project TS Corp., Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc., Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale, Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Development Corporation), and Hapag-Lloyd Phils Inc.

Technology and lifestyle combined at Speed’s 8th anniversary

I don’t usually attend social events but last Friday, May 27, I didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate Speed Magazine’s 8th anniversary event.  Why? Simply because I have high respect on the magazine’s editor and I want to show him our support.  Secondly, I am also a big supporter of the magazine.  I like its features and I believe it presents products in a high caliber way.


The event was focused on advocating environment friendly products.  They featured sponsors Samsung, HP, Nokia, and Toyota Prius among others. In partnership with Philippine School of Fashion, Speed aimed to present through the event that going green and supporting the environment need not be boring. So what they did, per sponsor, models paraded the designs by up and coming designers that best represent the brands.

The theme was very timely, with all the disasters and the climate change that we are all experiencing today, Speed could not have picked a better theme. We all know technology is a big factor on either affecting our environment on a bad way or influencing the improvement of Mother Earth’s condition.  Not everyone might have the environment in mind when they choose products but it’s good to know that companies, not only those featured last night, are doing their fair share in contributing to saving our environment.

Congratulations to Speed for its 8th anniversary and looking forward to 8 and more years of speed reading!  🙂

Lay Bare says: Strands Out!

Shave, tweeze, pluck, repeat – That’s the hair removal regimen we Filipinos were used to. Enter Lay Bare Waxing Salon.   Starting out five years ago, Lay Bare now has 31 branches nationwide, with 19 branches located in major spots around the metro.  From a small shop with only two technicians, Lay Bare has not only redefined hair removal, they’ve also added a new definition of “Brazilian” to the Filipino vocabulary!

Lay Bare Waxing Salon has recently hit the fashion ramp to show you the beauty of waxing with the smoothest fashion show ever to walk the runway.  Dubbed “Strands Out,” the event showcases the body as a canvas of Japanese and African inspired artworks.  The artists will also touch on their versions of such looks as the “Marie Antoinette”, as well as the ethnic art of Pintados.  The sexy fashion walk will be top-billed by no less than GMA 7 heartthrob Aljur Abrenica, and one of the hottest models in the country, Ornusa Cadness.

Let Lay Bare’s Strands Out fashion show inspire you to discover the benefits of smooth skin, free from unwanted hair.

Hair removal is part of our beauty and hygiene regimen, something that different people do in different ways – some prefer shaving or plucking, while others prefer painless depilatory creams; what Lay Bare offers is a convenient hair removal alternative that better matches today’s lifestyle trends: Easily accessible professional waxing service that give you 2-6 weeks of smooth, fuzz-free skin!

Since opening their first branch in 2006, entrepreneurs Fiona and Monique Hilario sought to capture their niche of the hair-removal market by offering a special set of services not available from the mainstream all-around beauty salons.  The Hilario sisters conceptualized a “waxing boutique” that would concentrate solely on providing customers with a stress-free hair-removal experience by offering a full-range of professional body waxing services.

The stress-free experience begins when you enter the salon, where the mood is set with Lay Bare’s Asian Fusion-inspired look.  Friendly staff welcome you against a backdrop of natural colors and native furniture pieces, complemented by acrylic bead curtains, minimalist accents, private cubicles and comfortable beds— all combining to create a most soothing environment.

The biggest difference between Lay Bare and any previous traumatic experience you might have had with hair removal? We can name two: the scalding wax and the quick rips on your skin. In place of those, Lay Bare has pioneered the use of cold wax jelly and an innovative patch-waxing technique.

Made from all-natural ingredients that suit extra-sensitive skin, Lay Bare’s cold wax jelly virtually eliminates incidents of nicks, cuts or burns, and is a relatively comfortable procedure.  Combined with Lay Bare’s patch-waxing technique, skin trauma is further reduced by removing a small section of hair at a time.

They say beauty comes at a cost; thankfully, Lay Bare offers feel-good, pampering services at an affordable price.  As for the pain? You can take a pain-killer for that.   Visit one of Lay Bare’s 31 branches to experience hair-free smoothness today.

The Lay Bare “Strands Out” fashion event was made more memorable with the participation of Bioessence, Mosbeau, PLDT, Freshman Masculine Wash, Ipanema, Nail It, Sassa, Sky Cable, Pond’s, The Body Shop,ETC, and RX 93.1.


Nissan Offers Biggest Sale for 2010

Christmas comes early for Filipino motorists as Nissan Motor Philippines (NMPI) hosts the “Great Nissan Car-O-Sale” featuring big discounts, valuable trade-in offers and other exciting deals at the Fort Bonifacio Open Field in Taguig City from November 12 to 14.

For three days only, customers will get a chance to avail an attractive package of savings, plus fun and entertainment for the whole family. All walk-in customers will get an instant P15,000 discount, while an additional P5,000 discount will be awarded to all current Nissan vehicle owners. What’s more, customers can also avail of up to P30,000 discount when they trade-in their current NMPI vehicle for any brand new NMPI model. Customers just have to present the official receipt and certificate of registration as proof of ownership to avail of these sizeable discounts.

Proving that NMPI offers not only excellent products but quality service as well, the event will also feature a “Quick Service” area, where customers can avail of the free 25-point check-up and diagnostic services, plus discounts on parts and labor. Free one liter of oil from Total Philippines Corporation await those who will have oil change during the course of the three-day event.


Exciting raffle prizes will be up for grabs, including an iPad for those who will test drive the NMPI models featured at the event, and iPod Shuffle for all walk-in customers.


In addition, financing transactions will be made more convenient with the presence of the country’s top banks, which will provide on-site approval of financing schemes to fit the customers’ budget. To ensure all elements of vehicle ownerhship will be covered, the event will also be supported by Standard Insurance Co., the Philippines’ leading motor car insurance company, which will offer competitive insurance premium to customers at the event.


“The Car-O-Sale forms part of our 28th year celebration in the Philippines, and serves as an early Christmas treat from NMPI to our customers,” NMPI President and CEO Allen Chen said. “This is to show that at NMPI, we provide not only fun-to-drive vehicles, but also a fun buying experience for everyone. The three-day event will literally be a customer’s one-stop shop, as we’ll provide a complete package – new car purchases, trade-in option, after-sales service, financing and insurance.”


Catch the “Great Nissan Car-O-Sale” from November 12 to 14. For more information, visit, or inquire at any of the Nissan dealerships nationwide.

Boxer Champions Compete for the Annual Douglas Uytengsu Memorial Cup

Around 70 champions are set to compete for the annual Douglas Uytengsu Memorial Cup Boxer National Championship Dog Show slated on November 29, 2009 at the Bonifacio High Street in Global City, Taguig.

Now running on its 25th year, this event is presented by Alaska Milk Corporation. Organizer Boxer Club of the Philippines is bringing in Specialty Show Judge and Champion Breeder from Canada Shirley Bell to examine boxer champions for the following categories: Best Baby Puppy in Show; Winners Dog and Best of Winners; Winners Bitch; Best Opposite Sex and Best Philippine Born in Show; Runner-Up in Best in Show, and; Best in Show and 2009 Douglas Uytengsu Memorial Cup Winner.

Dog lovers are invited to bring their canine pets to witness the display of the most premium breeders and kennels in the country.  There will also be veterinarians available to provide free check-ups for any dogs that attend the event.  Limited vaccine drops for dogs are also available.

The 25th Douglas Uytengsu Memorial Cup is  made possible by Alaska Milk Corporation with sponsors Pfizer Animal Health, Samsung, and Royal Canin and in cooperation with Bonifacio High Street.  This show is under the rules and regulations of the Philippine Canine Club, Inc. No entrance fee will be charged.  Venue opens at 1:00 PM and the actual dog show starts at 4:00 PM.