Max’s introduces treats to beat the summer heat

I believe I have a lifelong affair with Max’s.

Okay, that might not sound right, but am sure you know which Max I am talking about–the restaurant, of course.

And indeed I have. From my parents’ wedding reception, the studio recital of my voice and piano students, my daughter’s baptism, reunions, meetings, or any time of the day eating, these all turn to special when we are at Max’s.

And they want you to experience the same through their special summer treats!

There’s heat quenchers, free food for kids, new products and discounted bread items.

Read more HERE:

Rice bowls: complete meal in one bowl. From Mondays to Thursdays, families craving for a hearty lunch or dinner after a long day at work and school can enjoy Max’s Rice Bowls with a free scoop of Selecta Ice Cream starting only at PHP149.

Rice pa more: unlirice!
If you’re more of a Meal Deal type of family, you can also top up with Rice All You Can by adding PHP50 to a Real Deal/Family of 5 meal of PHP100 for a Family of 10 meal.

Halu-halo ALL YOU CAN AND WANT! Looking for a merienda treat to cool you off? Or a place where you can hang out with family, friends, and coworkers while cooling down? From March 23 to 31, customers can get unlimited regular Halo-Halo at Max’s for only PHP 189 every day from 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Kids eat FOR FREE! Make the weekend extra special and troop to Max’s with the family, where kids aged 10 and below can enjoy a free Kiddie Meal, which comes with 1 pc. of Max’s classic Fried Chicken, rice, pasta, sago’t gulaman, and a caramel bar.


Take home treats with a discount. Want to make that weekend feeling last just a little bit longer? Parents looking to take a piece of Max’s home can also enjoy 25% off of Max’s Corner Bakery products from 5:00 p.m. onwards. With a minimum purchase of PHP150, the first 50 customers can avail of the discount on all of Max’s Corner Bakery products.

“Filipinos want to make the most of summer and make it a time to create new memories, so we wanted to make this summer extra special for every Filipino family, every day of the week” said Max’s Restaurant Chief Operating Officer Paolo Serrano. “No matter who you’re with or what day of the week you come in, we’ll make your summer dining experience one to remember with these summer delights.”
This summer, fill your family time with care, love, and hearty, comforting food with Max’s summer treats. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/maxsrestaurant.

Avail one, or all! Visit your nearest branch today. Some offers come for a limited time only, so make sure to catch them, else they’ll soon be gone.

Thanks to Max’s Restaurant and Mommy Bloggers Philippines for inviting us for lunch last week to taste all the new and yummy treats.

Vicks’ #TouchOfCare campaign creates awareness for children infected with HIV

(Manila, Philippines) A strong follow up from its 2018 #TouchOfCare video, Vicks once again releases another true-to-life story on the transformative power of care, to celebrate the extraordinary stories of the people who have lived it by their actions. This time, it centers on a child infected with HIV and a woman whose love and care paved way for the transformation of both their lives. This is a powerful story that aims to challenge current beliefs, social norms, definitions, and stereotypes; a bold move aimed to address issues on discrimination.

Vicks, a brand synonymous with Generations of Care globally, continues its mission on transforming people’s lives with the power of care with the belief that it is Care that makes a family, and not the other way around. The brand’s #TouchOfCare campaign brings to the surface societal taboos and sheds light on them to inspire change in perspectives and preconceived biases. It reveals how anybody with a loving touch of care has the capability to transform another person’s life.

“The purpose of the Vicks brand is rooted in care. With our #TouchOfCare campaign, we aim to share stories where people have transformed lives of others through their extraordinary acts of care. The story of “Agnes” was one such story which just needed to be told. We hope the campaign inspires more people to transform lives and transcend social norms, definitions and stereotypes through their own acts of care.”

The 4-minute video heroes a child who was born with HIV infection. When his mom died from the disease, the 4-month old was handed by his immediate family to Agnes, his mom’s friend. Captured in the story is how Agnes later on found out about the child’s condition, and instead of turning away from the unexpectedly difficult situation, she committed to raise him and showered him with love and care. It was the start of a beautiful life transformation for the two; revealing how Agnes fought for child’s life against all ridicule and discrimination from the people around them. Today, with Agnes’ unfaltering love and care, the child is 4 years old and his HIV infection lays dormant in his body.

To watch the video visit: https://www.facebook.com/VicksPhilippines/videos/316478069224916/

“With the Touch of Care campaign, we are passionate about telling powerful stories of love. The story of Agnes just grabbed us from the start and we felt this moving tale of mother and son, amidst their challenges, was something we want to share with the world. This is the power of care that Vicks celebrates, for when you choose it, you have a hand in transforming another person’s life and make it better.”

  • Lester Estrada, P&G Philippines Marketing Director

Vicks believes that sharing Agnes’ story will create a ripple effect that inspires people to look past the current beliefs, social norms, definitions, and stereotypes placed on people, and ultimately creates a transformative power of care. The brand also wants to create societal awareness for children born with HIV in order to change society’s beliefs and perspectives towards them. Vicks is committed to amplifying inspiring stories that show the transformation of human lives when people give a touch of care.

“While brands have the power to lead conversations and influence culture, it is ordinary people in their everyday lives who actually inspire these brands to reflect relevant realities in our advertising. This extraordinary ability of a person to transcend every imaginable boundary to feel and care for another life, another human being, continues to be the inspiration for Vicks’ “Touch of Care” campaign across multiple geographies. To celebrate the lives, amplify the stories and support our everyday heroines and heroes is a privilege for our brand.”

  • Ajay Vikram, Publicis Singapore Chief Creative Officer, Global Clients

Vicks has partnered with Project Red Ribbon (a partner of Department of Health – National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program and is associated with the World Health Organization and UNAIDS). This partnership aims to give the same love and care seen in the film to the children under the “Duyan Project”. “Duyan”, a Filipino noun which means “cradle”, aims to provide care and support to children with HIV in the Philippines. Through the said program, they will be given care, love and attention, to improve their quality of life until they are once again healthy and can go back to school.

To know more about HIV, Project Red Ribbon, and the “Duyan Program” visit https://www.hivphilippines.com/duyan-program

https://www.hivphilippines.com/definitions

http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/philippines

https://www.doh.gov.ph/aids-hiv

About Procter & Gamble

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Dawn®, Downy®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Joy®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Rejoice®, Safeguard®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

Touringkitty Travels: Dating, European-style

We sang, we traveled, we ate. This is how we conquered Europe for the first time as husband and wife.

We got to do it for almost a month. And even if we were traveling with a group, we cannot miss the chance to go out on a just-us date. So, on that one free night in Cologne, Germany, before we head to Spain, we had our first European date.

We strolled along the cold streets, looking for a perfect place for that first European date, and ended up in a cozy bar just across Cologne Cathedral.

Bucket list checked: Date in Europe.

Funkhaus is the restaurant on the building of the WDR Funkhaus, the radio broadcast center, which is important in Cologne’s history.

Next, what to eat?

Eat local, but don’t splurge. That has been our eating out mantra. So, we settled with currywurst and Kölsch (Cologne brewed beer).

Sausage, beer, and hard bread. In true German fashion. Wunderbar!

We learned about the beer from our hosts in Weroth, and they were right, it tastes good! Not a beer fan here, but this one is worth the try.

Spent precious moments here, but not for long. We had to walk back to the hostel to catch our early morning flight. And did I say it was freezing cold that night? And that we were walking by the River Rhine? There you go.


They had these thick blankets ready for those who will be seated outside. It was THAT cold.

This date is definitely one for the books! We are just beyond grateful to have experienced this, and so much more, while celebrating a special milestone in our married life, and traveling with a choral group we consider family.

Crossing the bridge. Photo by the Pastorgrapher. Half smiles courtesy of the cold temp.

Know more about Funkhaus through their website. Click this linkhttp://funkhaus-koeln.de.

~ Touringkitty

Buy a ticket, help reach our target!

The Shrine of Jesus has been more than a church for us, it’s our second home.

Our beautiful church, standing tall for 20 years already.

There, we have built our first family, even before marriage. My husband and I formed a children’s choir in 2006 from among its churchgoers and relatives of other volunteers. We have taken part in so many Holy Masses, liturgical celebrations, activities in and out of the Shrine like recollections and pilgrimages.

You’d probably have read some of them here in the blog, like our outreach project and the dinner for the elderly priests.

Ton, Aria, and I are all volunteers of this beloved church. For all that we are, we have, and we will be, it is because of this Sanctuary and especially the community it build itself.

We got married, received the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist, Aria got baptised here as well. This church pretty much is a witness to our family life.

From a once barren land, this Shrine was built to commemorate the 10th World Youth Day and St. John Paul II’s Manila visit. Now, 20 years after it was built, the Shrine remains standing tall, despite being surrounded by so many structures.

But of course, like any other object, it is wear and tear. The edifice needs repainting, the corners need fixing. The choir loft alone needs repairs. Generally, the structure needs its much needed facelift.

And YOU can help! For as low as P200, you will get one raffle ticket, and you can contribute to the Shrine repair and repainting fund.

Watch this video to learn more about our Shrine, and why we are doing this project. May God bless your generosity!

Vuelo 2018 Music: Juan 14 (Mary Katherine Trangco)

Programming music. One of the most difficult yet the most basic block in any choral group.

As a chorister, I get excited with what’s going to be the repertoire for a certain concert I sing in or watch. Always interesting to know the hows and why of putting a set of songs together.

For the recent trip I was part of, the repertoire was unique yet sophisticated. Simple yet complex. Challenging yet exciting.

The Ateneo Chamber Singers specializes in sacred music. Most of their concerts in the past would consist all-sacred repertoire. For this particular tour, we sang a good mix of songs from all over the world and of different genres and eras. Secular and sacred music were included, and for the Canta al mar competition in Calella, Spain, we participated and won in the Musica Sacra category, wherein our repertoire included two out of three Filipino compositions.

Winners in Musica Sacra and Mixed Chamber Categories at the 7th Canta al mar competition in Calella, Spain.

This is one, a setting of John 14:6. And this piece spoke to me strongly.

The first time I saw this piece, I just saw the text AKO in the first couple of pages. And when I skipped on the last page, that’s when I saw the complete text of the Bible verse in Filipino. That’s when I had tremendous goosebumps immediately.

John 14:6 is “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” In Filipino, “Ako ang Daan, ang Katotohanan, at ang Buhay.”

Which is where the name of the Shrine of Jesus was taken from. Which is the verse that I always carry to mind and heart, in good times and bad.

It seemed to be a difficult piece, as the assistant conductor of the choir was dissecting a certain part of it. She, by the way, is the composer of the piece.

But each rehearsal proved to be better than the previous one, as we singers, with our conductor, witnessed how the piece blossomed into each one of us, how the seemingly difficult and impossible proved to be one of our strongest pieces.

And what’s even surprising (at least for me), I was assigned to do the short solo part, during a rehearsal I was not able to attend.

Here is Juan 14 by Mary Katherine Trangco. Video courtesy of the Tolosa Choral Contest Youtube Channel. We sang this as well for the Tolosa competition; three out of seven songs were Filipino works. The entire repertoire of the participating choirs can be found in that youtube channel, too.

It’s as if the Lord spoke to me, to cast all my doubts away, and entrust everything to Him, because all I need to do is to seek Him first.

Be blessed, be a blessing!

~ Touringkitty

Express yourself with Novelina Zeelke Cream Hair Color

Jet black hair. That has been our hair colour since birth.

But with ever changing world, plus the inevitable grey strands, one has to keep up with having their hair coloured.

I am not so much of a fan of colour, but about four years ago, my “virgin” jet black hair was subject to colour because of an opera production, wherein my character was a fairy with gold hair. Say what?! But out of need, I had my hair coloured. And been doing it about once a year since then.

And what perfect timing was this opportunity to try the Novelina Zeelke Cream Hair Colour a few days ago.

You read it right! Free application until December 28, 2018. So head on to Cash and Carry Mall in Makati for that Happy New Hair look!

Here are some snaps from my hair transformation. 

Colour of choice: Burgundy. Cos why not?

For my hair length, two bottles of this were used. Did not realise my hair was very long already! Haircut time soon.

I remembered I just had my hair colour done last March, and it was a brown shade. But my hair grew a lot already, so you could see the colour separation there.
Here we go! The lady who did my colour said I had a few grey streaks already. Because of previous hair colouring. 

And the finished product…

Ta-da! Not so obvious, but the lady said it will be evident when light strikes.

And here are some after colour shots of my hair.

After a show the day after I had the hair colour done.
After a show last weekend.

So, how was the overall experience with Novelina hair colour?

  1. I was worried with the chemicals used because I can be sensitive with them. Gladly, their formulation did not make my hair itch.
  2. They also have the colours in herbal formulation, just in case you wish to try it. I deliberately chose keratin cos my hair needs that extra shine.
  3. I was expecting the hair colour to bleed since it is burgundy, and true enough, it did…only in the shower and not on my bed! But it still bleeds a little, about 12 days after the colour, but I do not wash my hair everyday. Guess it will eventually be gone.
  4. I liked the effect–colour shows up when light strikes, and I am perfectly fine with that.

Thanks again, Novelina, for having me try this out! Should you wish to try their products, visit Cash and Carry Mall in Makati and have it applied for free until the 28th of December.

Of Thrones and Tiaras: A concert of music for, by, and of royalty

As the Christmas season ushers in, music from opera and musical theatre will be featured in a special two-night concert in the second weekend of December.

OperaJuan’s “Of Thrones and Tiaras: An Evening of Opera and Musical Theater Royalty” will feature music from various opera and musical theater masterpieces fit for any king or queen: La Traviata, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Cendrillon, Into The Woods, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and many more!

Performing these regal works are opera and musical theater singers Kimberly Adam, Mary Louise Alcantara, Aubrey Marie Buenvenida, Allison Rose Cervantes, Renz Nathaniel Cruz, Eden Lorrice Dumlao, Shanna Loise Garcia, Aindrielle Madelo, Lorenz Edward Sarrondo, Tomy Virtucio, and Jane Wee. The show is directed by Renz Nathaniel Cruz, with musical direction by Klyde Ledamo.

Ticket Price: P500
Venue: Manila Pianos, Ronac Lifestyle Center, Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City.

For ticket inquiries, you may contact: 09651951007, 09950818296, or 09566757186.

This event is co-presented by our official media partner: 98.7 DZFE-FM | The Master’s Touch

Poster design is by Pao Quiambao Villavicencio

#OfThronesAndTiaras #OperaJuan

OperaJuan is an emerging company of young singers whose aim is to further promote the classical and musical theater genres in the Philippines. This concert will be considered their soft launch.

Schatzinfinity: Ten years of marriage

#blessed is never cliche

If I were to sum up the past ten years of being married to the love of my life, only one word comes to mind: GRATEFUL.

That my husband and I are stronger together, and we’ve proven it to each other and to other people many times already.

That we have a home we can call our own.

That we hurdle life’s challenges together, big or small.

That our witnesses stand true to their roles as second parents (sadly, we unexpectedly lost a ninang a couple of months ago).

That our families and friends are with us, in good times and in bad (we still grieve though for the loss of my husband’s father).

That we get to do things we both love–choral singing, making music, travel, writing– and also do things on our own–his passion for martial arts, my various interests and advocacies.

That we have our little treasure, Ariadne.

That we are Schatzis (treasure in German). And this union is #schatzinfinity.

So, how did we celebrate this milestone?

Well, we were in Europe for this.

On tour with the Ateneo Chamber Singers. Concerts, competitions in Germany and Spain. I cannot say anything more but THANK YOU, LORD! Photo from the ACS FB Page

I have posted pockets of words and photos over my Facebook Page and Instagram (LIKE TOURINGKITTY please!) and will slowly (and I mean slow….ly!) gather them in one post, real soon!

Going back to celebrating, we did not have anything planned, really. Since last year, the ACS began their preparation for this trip. My husband was planning to come home in time for our anniversary, but I suggested that he finish the whole trip instead. You don’t get to go to Europe everyday! So, we settled to celebrating belatedly, perhaps with a Mass, Renewal of Vows, and fancy dinner.

But God has his own way of surprising us. Two months before the trip commenced, I was invited. To join as soprano. Bubble thoughts went like: We will sing in a choir. Together. And tour Europe. In time for our wedding anniversary.

I. Am. Stoked! Who am I to say no?!

And so I said I DO (haha I mean, yes, I am honoured to join!), and right on my birthday, I applied for my visa which was granted two days after. It was meant to be.

 

10th Wedding Anniversary, Barci style

We had a full schedule on the day of our anniversary, but the previous two days of it were absolutely free days. And we were in Barcelona, Spain! We shopped and ate and strolled, and did most everything just the two of us.

Must. Have. This. Pic. Bench pic on the streets of Barcelona. Photo by our dear Pastorgrapher (Our choirmate and Pastor-friend who made us his favourite photo subjects!).

One of our godparents treated us for an unforgettable Tapas dinner, and got ourselves almost drunk with Sangria (lol). Our pastor-friend and choirmate (yes the ACS is super blessed to have a pastor!) gave time to lead us in scripture reading, reflection, and prayer. We read and reflected on the same Gospel passage on our wedding day.

The best part:

Sagrada Familia, everyone. Such magnificence only God can create. Gaudi, you the man.

We got to tour the church (few photos on my Facebook Page!) and I can’t help but cry while praying.

 

A Spiritual Pilgrimage to celebrate a decade of marriage

We had a long day on our anniversary day, which began with this.

A Mass in Catalan language at the Barcelona Cathedral. Luckily, there was a Filipino couple based in the USA who were vacationing and volunteered to take our photos in exchange for taking theirs. They were belatedly celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with that trip.

We were scheduled to visit two more Ignatian sites (because Ateneo) — Montserrat and Manresa. Few days before that, we were privileged to visit Loiola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius.

We sang a couple of Marian songs as offering to Our Lady of Montserrat. Video courtesy of Enric Genesca, one of our host-organizers from Polifonica Puig-reig:

We were told that choirs who visit here would have to get permission to sing inside the Abbey. So this is a rare and special and blessed opportunity for us.

After which, a sumptuous Chinese buffet lunch (yum!) and dinner at the hotel, where we also performed for an awarding ceremony for the Polifonica Puig-reig, our host choir, which celebrates its 50th year as a choir.

Still up and about! Great way to end the day.

Who gets to spend their wedding anniversary this way? We are truly thankful that this has all happened. All in God’s plan and perfect time.

We are grateful that we got to spend this special occasion with the people who are dear to us, our ACS family.

A pair of witnesses! Ninong Jojo, our conductor, and Ninang Bitchik, who treated us with that unforgettable dinner. This is in Tossa de mar the day after for more sightseeing and unwinding after the busy days of concerts and competitions.

Bonus photo! Check out our ACS Fam ten years ago during the wedding reception!

Love our ACS Fam! 3/4 of the people in this photo are part of the tour as singers. Two of them we got to see in Tolosa.

Just like any other marriage, ours is a work in progress, every single day. But we keep in mind what our father-rector and spiritual tatay said during the Homily on our wedding day, the three things our marriage should have: Communication, Care, Be fair.

We missed our daughter for almost a month, but we are more blessed that my mother and sister willingly took care of her while we were in this trip. We cannot be any more grateful for that.

I don’t know how to end this post, and I must try to sleep (hello jetlag, it’s been a week and you are back!) so let me end with this Bible verse that we have reflected upon ten years ago, last week for the 10th anniversary, and forever until death parts us.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

Ich hab ein schatz gefunden. Photo again by Pastor Binky in Calella, Spain. Instant photoshoot while waiting for the opening program of the competitions.

 

Ich liebe dich, mein Schatzi Ton!

 

Dein Schatzi Em =)

 

~ Touringkitty

Touringkitty Travels: Europe 2018 with the Ateneo Chamber Singers

ACS happened.

And I am so humbled, grateful, privileged, and honoured to be part of Vuelo 2018.

Most updates I have posted on my Facebook Page (LIKE and FOLLOW Touringkitty now!). Will summarize stories on the blog as soon as jetlagged me recovers.

Til the next post!

~ Touringkitty

A foundation that supports breastfeeding

While formula and follow-on milk formula are enjoying the limelight in the marketing scene, it’s always nice to know that there are still institutions who dared take that road less traveled and support only the best–breastfeeding.

I got a chance to attend a forum on the Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines program of the World Vision and the Department of Health as a mommy blogger. When I read the invite, I immediately asked if there are milk sponsors and gladly there is none, since this is a project of the Department of Health.

What surprised me even more is seeing one of the foremost breastfeeding champs in the country, in the person of a male.

Yes, our breastfeeding face in the DOH is a he! Dr. Anthony Calibo.

Imagine that. A room full of mommy bloggers, nutrition experts, celebrity influencers, a supportive organisation, all in unison for breastfeeding.

The focal point of the event was the phone application they introduced to report milk code violations. I do hope that the response time will be reasonable and adequate, and for the customer to be assured of their safety and confidentiality.

Here’s more about the event:

Breastfeeding may be considered a challenging phase of motherhood but the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies truly make the journey worthwhile. While more and more mothers recognize that breastmilk will always be superior compared to formula milk, there is still a need to spread awareness on its benefits and to encourage people to support breastfeeding.

In response to the global campaign of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, World Vision Development Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Health, launched Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines. This two-year project aims to:

1. Support and strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 51 (The Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (The Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009).
2. Increase awareness and educate health professionals and the public regarding these laws.
3. Encourage people to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by involving them in monitoring the implementation of breastfeeding laws in the country.

Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation, believes that encouraging mothers to nurture their child is a way to empower a mother’s ability to breastfeed and care for their child. “We are here to educate mothers so that they are empowered to make the right choice in nurturing and caring for their child. We want them to realize that if these laws are not implemented, we are impinging on their rights and of their child’s,” she shared.

According to Dr. Anthony P. Calibo of the Department of Health, this responsibility to uphold the breastfeeding rights of mothers is not just the responsibility of concerned organizations and government sectors; it is a responsibility of the general public. “If a mother is investing herself for the betterment of the future of her child, then she is also investing in the betterment of the future of this country,” he emphasized.

To stay true to their mission and vision for this project, the team conducted Mommy Forum: Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines last October 2, 2018 at Little Owl in New Manila. #MBFPH was graced by mom celebrities like Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco and Erika Padilla.

Erika Padilla, World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador, shared her breastfeeding journey. “It is a huge sacrifice. It is difficult, painful, and a lot of work. But definitely worth every single drop because I see my son getting stronger and healthier every day,” she recalled. Her story encouraged more moms to share and ask for more tips from Erika as well.

Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, reminds long-time moms and new moms the reason behind this gathering: the breastfeeding normalization is still a work in progress and it’s a must to constantly promote and protect breastfeeding to empower moms and to ensure a healthy start for their children.

To know how you can support Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines, log on to https://mbfp.doh.gov.ph/ or download MBF PH via Google Play or Apple Store.

Jun Godornes, Resource Development Director of World Vision Development Foundation, joined Erika Padilla as she officially signs her contract as World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador.

Dr. Anthony Calibo of the Department of Health; World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador Erika Padilla, Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation; Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco, Event Host Erin Valera, and Jun Godornes, Resource Development Director of World Vision Development Foundation.