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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Bonus photo! Check out our ACS Fam ten years ago during the wedding reception!
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)
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.
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.
And before we head on another trip, here’s a short summary of my Hong Kong trip last July (I know, late as usual!).
I have been wanting to go on a solo trip for years. Moms need to recharge, you know.
And for this particular trip, I intentionally identified Hong Kong because of three reasons:
1. I kind of spoiled our own family trip two years ago, because of work that had to be done while on the trip.
2. My goal was to walk, eat, sleep. Nothing more.
3. Because Disneyland. Yes.
But God had even better plans, adding up to the list above.
1. My college friend hosted me (praise God for their family!) so I had no problems with accommodation. Plus, their place is in an MTR line, and with a mall–with an outlet store!
2. Her husband treated me to Disneyland (yay for perks!).
3. I chanced upon the Closing Ceremony of the Belt and Road Choral Competition, wherein my Ninong Mark Carpio (of the Philippine Madrigal Singers) was part of the jury. And this: The Vesna Children’s Choir performing a short program. Uh-ma-zing!
4. IKEA!!! Bought pasalubong for my home–bed sheet, toilet stuff, among others. And before I know it, an IKEA store is opening soon in the Philippines, just in front of our church! (calm down, heart and wallet!)
5. And slept for eight hours STRAIGHT each night I was there. Such grace.
And so there you go. I was able to tick off my goals, plus got some bonuses.
I am just so grateful that this trip happened, at the right time, at the right situation, and right context. I literally needed a break, and it was a perfect one.
So, here’s a clip I made to remember my first ever Serendipitrip (love the play of words there!). CLICK HERE to watch on Youtube. And don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE for more travel vlogs! You sure would not want to miss the next ones.
Thinking about studying abroad? Begin your school hunt with this fair.
Last year, my singing group called Perfect Blend, was invited to open the activities with the Philipoine National Anthem and the EU Hymn. Looking forward to attend this fair once again next week. And here’s why.
The 2018 European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) is set on 10 October 2018 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri–La Plaza in Mandaluyong City. Organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups, and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), EHEF 2018 will feature universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) from EU member states.
This year’s theme “Sustaining Innovation and Excellence” continues to promote EU as an outstanding center of quality in higher education. EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said:“The universities and education institutions in Europe offer the charm of Europe’s history as well as cutting edge, innovative education. The EHEF aims to bring both excellence and diversity to a growing number of prospective Filipino students.”
Do you want to specialize in business, engineering, sciences, and the arts? Check out this year’s participating universities/higher education institutions:
University of Antwerp
University of Hasselt
Mendel University in Brno
Study in Prague Consortium, made up of the following institutions: Czech University of Life Sciences; Czech Technical University; Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design; Academy of Performing Arts; Charles University; University of Economics; and University of Chemistry and Technology
Technical University of Liberec
International Business Academy
Audencia Business School
IESEG School of Management
INSEEC Business School
Universite Catholique de l’Ouest
Vatel Hotel & Tourism Business School – Bordeaux
University of Regensberg
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Central European University
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) Erasmus University Rotterdam
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Maastricht School of Management
TIAS School for Business and Society
IE Business School
Universidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia
Universidad de Navarra
Joint Development of Niche Programmes through Philippines-United Kingdom Linkages (TNE 10)
Learn more about the EU educational system and way of life through lectures and direct interaction with university and HEI representatives, alumni volunteers, and past Erasmus+ scholars. There will also be country presentations from each member state to showcase all the best reasons to pursue higher education in the EU.
Admission to the fair is free. Interested parties can pre–register online via www.ehef–philippines.com.For more information, visit @EHEFPhilippines on Facebook, Instagram, and on Twitter.
A cookie can make a big difference. And with the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign satisfying a cookie craving also goes towards helping a good cause.
“We are encouraging everyone to help make a difference for charities or organizations that are helping those who are in need or are marginalized by supporting our Smile Cookie Campaign,” said Stephanie Guerrero marketing director of Tim Hortons Philippines. “As we continue to grow our presence here in the country, we also want to be able to make more contributions to the communities we serve. This campaign is our way of doing that.”
Now in its second year in the Philippines, the campaign continues to spread joy through the generosity of the coffee chain’s customers. This year, each Smile Cookie purchased for Php50 at Tim Hortons stores will benefit the recipients of its partner organization Action Against Hunger Philippines.
The Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign will run from September 21-23 in the Philippines. Support the campaign and have a reason to smile by purchasing Smile Cookies at Tim Hortons stores. All proceeds will go to the partner organization.
Store locations are Tim Hortons Glorietta 4, Tim Hortons Insular Life, Tim Hortons I-Care, Tim Hortons One Central, Tim Hortons San Lorenzo, Tim Hortons The Link, Tim Hortons Pearl Plaza, Tim Hortons Blue Bay, Tim Hortons Venice Grand Canal Mall, Tim Hortons Eastwood, Tim Hortons Kia Theatre, Tim Hortons Greenhills, Tim Hortons Market! Market!, Tim Hortons Net Quad, and Tim Hortons Uptown Mall.
For the first time, the Smile Cookie campaign will now be celebrated globally with many Tim Hortons locations participating around the world including Mexico, the UK and UAE.
Smile Cookie Campaign is a fundraising event for Tim Hortons restaurants worldwide. The campaign was established in 1996 as an effort to help raise funds for the Hamilton Children’s Hospital in Ontario. Today, the campaign continues as a major fundraiser for the brand where 100 percent of the proceeds goes to its local charity, hospital or community program of choice.
Action Against Hunger Philippines is an arm of the global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. To date, AAH has helped 299,284 people through its nutrition and health programs; water, sanitation, and health programs; and food security and livelihood programs.
About TIM HORTONS®
TIM HORTONS® is one of North America's largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, TIM HORTONS® appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of December 31, 2016, TIM HORTONS® had more than 4,700 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. The TIM HORTONS® brand is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX,NYSE:QSR), one of the world's largest quick service restaurant companies with more than $24 billion in system sales and over 20,000 restaurants. To learn more about the TIM HORTONS® brand, please visit the TIM HORTONS® brand website at www.timhortons.com or follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TimHortonsPH, Twitter: @TimHortonsPH; and Instagram: @TimHortonsPHL
About TH Coffee Services Philippines Corporation TH Coffee Services Philippines Corporation is a joint venture company established under Restaurant Brands International, Inc. aimed to grow an iconic brand, TIM HORTONS TM in the Philippines. As the master franchisee, it is set to enable TIM HORTONS TM to expand its reach outside the US by providing exemplary service and valuable products that are relevant and customized to the needs and tastes of the local market.
Every two years, Toy Kingdom puts up a huge event to showcase toys from well-loved brands. And it’s coming this weekend!
It’s the biggest toy event of the year as Toy Kingdom brings together the most amazing selection of toys in this year’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.
Get the chance to have a first look at the newest toys in the market, retail prices, and kick start your Christmas shopping early. You can enjoy great deals of discounts and exclusive promos for the duration of the expo.
Toy Kingdom also joins in SM’s 60th Anniversary celebrations by treating kids to 60 exclusive Meet and Greet sessions with their favorite characters like My Little Pony, Play-doh, Hatchimals, Hello Kitty, Shopkins, Littlest Petshop, Paw Patrol, Superwing and many more.
There are also fun booths with games, themed areas with life sized character statues and exciting activities where kids can explore and play with their family and friends.
Give your kids the perfect weekend treat and check out Toy Kingdom’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City. Event is open from 10am to 10pm, admission is free.
For more updates follow ToyKingdomPH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
After a yet another long hiatus, I am back to my blogging mojo!
And what better way for a comeback is to post a new entry in my passion project, #KoristaAko.
Our korista for this edition is quite an interesting ball of musical energy, and I got to meet him for the first time not as a chorister, but a band player. And what an interesting encounter it was, with their band winning the top prize for an international band competition held in our country for the very first time.
So, meet our korista, Efraime Mallari. But first, this video, which I am sure you have seen around Facebook.
NOTE: This funny video is a spinoff of a segment of a late night comedy show. No copyright infringement intended and just for pure korista laughs.
His musical journey is quite interesting, and proves that music heals. He tells of his beginnings as a wind player here.
I joined the band in 2005, playing the clarinet. Hindi ko talaga plano magbanda noon. But it was doctor’s advise for me to study any wind instrument or mag-sports. Pinili ko ang pagtugtog since, music lover po talaga ako noon. Then lumipat ako ng flute nung 2009 and nag-UP ako nung 2010 as Flute Major. Because of competition sa slot sa Orchestra and other opportunities, lumipat ako ng Oboe. Nagshift ako to oboe major since kaunti lang ang oboist sa Philippines. Then ayun po, dagsaan na ang opportunities dahil nga po sa pagiging oboist ko. Kaso nung 2012 po, nagkasakit naman ako kaya ako nagstop. Then nahirapan na ako makabalik so nung gumaling ako, nagwork na lang po muna ako. Teacher sa isang music school for a year then, naofferan ng work sa government so pinush ko na. 2014, naging conductor po ako ng banda namin kasi umalis yung conductor namin papuntang Bahrain, and nagwork naman yung assistant niya sa call center kaya naiwan ako. Nawala din po yung ibang members namin after ng Malaysia Competition namin. At first, ayoko po talaga. Unang una, 20 years old lang po ako nun, pangalawa, nakakapressure po kasi dahil nga po medyo kilala ang banda namin, baka di ko kayanin ang pressure. Plus the fact na puro bata ang mga naiwang members. So as in back to zero talaga halos. Then ayun po, kinaya naman at kinakaya pa rin till now. Paunti unti, sa tulong at support na rin ng mga matatanda naming members, nakaka-ahon ahon. Nakakasali and nakakapanalo rin naman po ng mga competitions here sa Luzon and including sa Davao. Hanggang sa eto nga po, nakasungkit ng championship sa international competition. Sobrang saya po lalu na’t arrangement ko yung ginamit namin sa competition na yun. Cooperation lang po talaga ang key. Lalu po’t sobrang dami namin.
And that arrangement he was talking about is this:
The Citizen Brigade Band of Dasmariñas won the Marching Showband Category of the Bacoor International Music Competition held last June here in the Philippines. I was fortunate to witness this, as I was invited to work behind the scenes for this competition. Such a great place to be in that time, and learned a lot about band music and competitions.
Now let us get to know more about Efraime the korista here in #KoristaAko.
Name: Efraime Amoroso Mallari
Current profession: Office Clerk at Dasmariñas Water District
– Francisco E. Barzaga Memorial School Children’s Choir (2004)
– Koro Ecclesiano (2008)
– Dasmariñas Chamber Singers (2016)
– Philippine Vocal Ensemble (2017)
– Sing Philippines Youth Choir (2018)
Why did you join the choir?:
I’m in a children’s choir when I was in grade 5, so I’m already singing when I was young. Singing is my first love and playing instrument just came after that when the doctor advised me to learn wind instrument for my asthma. Since then, I focused on my instrument till college. I took DCPMA major in flute and shifted to oboe in UP Diliman although I’m already a Madz fan since 2007. Then in 2016, I suddenly missed singing in a choir. I love our band but there’s this different fulfillment that singing gives me. So even though it’s hard, pinagsabay ko. I joined Dasmariñas Chamber Singers, then Philippine Vocal Ensemble and Sing Philippines Youth Choir Batch 3 and the rest is history.
What was that something or someone that influenced you?:
The Philippine Madrigal Singers. Since I’m a fan of the Madz since High School, may special part na rin talaga sa puso ko ang singing kahit nakalimutan ko siya after many years of playing instruments. Then came 2016 when I began singing again and kept on singing.
What is your favourite song arranged or composed for choir and why?: Marami eh pero ang most memorable is Riveder (le Stelle by Z. Randall Stroope). Nagpupunta pa ako sa Computer shop noong high school just to listen to that. Second is “Sa Kanyang Paglalayag” of Ily Matthew Maniano.
What was the hardest piece you’ve studied?: Lahat mahirap lalo noong kababalik ko pa lang sa choir but the hardest ones are the German lalo na sa bulol na tulad ko.
Any choir/s or vocal ensembles you look up to and why?:
Given na yung Madz. So after Madz, I look up to UPLB Choral Ensemble. Halos lahat ng kilala kong galing UPLBCE have this discipline and every time I hear them, I’m always moved by their singing. The most memorable was the repeat performance of the AOV Choral Fest last year when they sang “Daluyong” which was the obligatory piece that time.
What is your most unforgettable choral moment?:
When we (Dasmariñas Chamber Singers) qualified for the Grand Prix in the 2018 Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival. Maraming mas magagalingsaamin. Marami rin kamingpinagdaananbagomakaalis at habang competition kaya hindisumagisaisipnaminnamakakapasok kami. Also, my experience with SPYC (Sing Philippines Youth Choir–an every other year choral program by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Madz) Every moment of it is very memorable.
#KoristaAko dahil: It opened SO MUCH opportunities for me and may something talaga sa pagkanta na bumubusog sa puso ko. I can’t explain it but it always makes me happy.