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Adding pleasure to life

WE all have things that we deem necessary, but what these necessities are might be different for different people. Counting on your fingers might seem enough for some when praying the rosary, but others can’t do without a lovely jeweled chain. Either way, when we can, it’s always best to inject a little bit of pleasure into our lives.

An ‘Uneasy Peace’: Online exhibit visits UP Diliman during quarantine

ONE of the biggest areas of the metro, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus, was rendered silent by the pandemic. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown closed schools and colleges, and forced students and their teachers to go online — which itself is another can of worms.

Beauty behind a mask

JUST because vaccines are rolling out to some officials do not mean that the general public can be lax about their own restrictions.

Damn the pandemic! Fashion Week must go on!

WHILE a new coronavirus strain threatens to ravage Europe anew, for now, fashion councils in fashion capitals have released provisional schedules for their shows. Last year saw alternative online presentations due to lockdowns and health concerns (Moschino, for example, presented its collections through a puppet show), and there is an expectation that most shows this year will still present on digital platforms.

What are you doing after New Year’s Eve?

Cooking up the leftovers IT’S BEEN just a week since your New Year’s Eve dinner, and we’re sure you’ve got a full fridge. We trust...

NCCA, Knowledge Channel work on educational videos

A COOPERATIVE project between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc. has resulted in 80 video lessons on reading and Filipino values.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2020: A plotting waste

GREAT promise was certainly seen in Easy Ferrer’s first horror flick. But promises don’t always translate to something concrete, and that promise went, well, missing, in this movie.

National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, 90

Best known for her work with puppets and children’s theater, National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio died on Dec. 29. This was announced by...

Pioneering artist David Medalla, 78

FILIPINO pioneering international artist David Medalla, whose works have been shown or installed in art capitals London, New York, Paris, Madrid, and Munich, died on Dec. 28. He was 78 years old. His death was announced by Mr. Medalla’s partner and curator Adam Nankervis, who said in a Facebook post, “David has left us to enter the dream. Dave passed away gently in his sleep in Manila today.”

Metro Manila Film Festival 2020: Just missing perfection

ALFRED Vargas had been a fine actor in his youth, and proves to be a fine producer for his film, Tagpuan. As for his acting, the Quezon City politician might benefit from returning to the ring more often.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2020: Idolatry 

WE’VE seen some of our stars without filters: less than perfect, maybe a zit here and there; we’ve seen them act in an unsavory manner, as people. The hype is hardly ever real when it comes to these people, as the plot of Fangirl implies, but the movie, which set social media abuzz, hits the hype.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2020: Tarnishing the Superstar

YOU’VE got a problem in your hands if Superstar Nora Aunor can’t quite get you to focus on a movie.

Of poets, writers, and artists

ONE doesn’t turn 70 everyday, and writer Alma Cruz Miclat decided that her 70th birthday was the perfect day to release the second volume of her book celebrating Filipino poets, writers, and artists.

Holiday dinners for a cause

IT can almost be universally agreed that 2020 has not been a good year but people, restaurants, and brands continue to help families celebrate the holidays despite the challenges posed by this year.

Derek Ramsay vs Three Comedians

IT was an early Christmas present for everyone involved when widely acknowledged hunk Derek Ramsay popped on a stream with widely acknowledged funny guys comedians Mike Saddi, Jeps Gallon, and Jethro Trogo.

Timeless trade in timepieces

IT’S good to have lasted a long time if you’re in the trade of time — timepieces, that is.

Home (Foodie) for the Holidays

THE SAN Miguel Foods Culinary Center’s cooking show has moved online, with the first episode of the sixth season of Home Foodie, launched on Saturday. That is not the only change.

An addition to the holiday table: Tuna

ONE always has at least one can of tuna in their pantry, so it’s easy to overlook. Celebrity chef JP Anglo, who has presented at Madrid Fusion Manila, and is the man behind familiar restaurant Sarsa, has an interesting proposition: turning the staple into holiday favorites.

Have a ballet Christmas

WHAT was ostensibly a webinar about shopping and gift-giving proved to be wrapping for Ballet Philippines’ gift for this season: a Facebook Live premiere with the cooperation of Rustan’s called “A Season of Giving” became a launchpad for Ballet Philippines’ Christmas productions, Christmas Fantasy and Maligayang Pasko.

And the top tweets are…..

SINCE all of us have been glued to a screen at one point or another during this pandemic, we’ve all contributed somehow to this year’s selection of top tweets — presented in a webinar by Twitter last week.

The stability of time

TIME has become a stabilizing force for Grand Seiko during this uncertain period. The company marks its 60th anniversary this year, celebrating the launch of its first Grand Seiko, a novelty back in December 1960 for its comparable quality to Swiss chronometers.

A taste of the South

THE NEGROS region, from where Don Papa gets its sugarcane, always reminded me of the American South: there’s the hot sun, the slower pace of life, an agricultural base, and fanciful stories hidden in every home, at least for some people.

Student tilt finds hope in art

IT is wise to pay attention to each year’s list of winners of the Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC). After all, the 53-year-old competition has attracted an impressive list of students who went on to become some of the biggest names in Philippine art, including National Artists Jose Joya, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Ang Kiukok, and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera. One of the winners of this year’s NSAC may just be a big name in the future.

Marketing for Millennials

IT’S just a matter of time before the Millennials and Gen Z take over. Early this year, according to the 5W Public Relations’ 2020 Consumer Culture Report, the Millennial demographic had been projected to spend $1.4 trillion in 2020. It is then vital to tap these markets, keeping in consideration the changes that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought.

Looking beyond the pandemic: Invest in a suit

WE have all been in little more than the simplest of clothing over the nine months we have spent indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In anticipation of better days (since news of several workable vaccines has come out), a brand proposes investing in a suit now.

Memories of perfume and old Manila

PRE-WAR Manila was glamorous. Plans drawn up by urban designer and architect Daniel Burnham saw a city combining neoclassicism and Art Deco, the aggressive modern style that emerged after the First World War. From this milieu emerged the modern Filipino: chic, well-dressed, and dancing away at clubs such as the Santa Ana Cabaret, which was then one of the world’s biggest dance halls.

Of canned goods and vegetable peels: cooking during World War II

FILIPINOS of a certain age remember that as picky children they often received a dismissive sniff from older relatives: “Hindi ka mabubuhay sa guerra (You can’t survive a war).” It’s easy to think of this pandemic as a war, and it is also a period of struggle and hardship. Perhaps we can learn a little from our ancestors on how to survive national trauma.

The show must go on

WHILE many of our Christmas celebrations and traditions have to be put on hold, the lights and sounds show at the Ayala Triangle Gardens went in step with the times. As we do almost all things virtually now, the lights and sounds show has also gone online on the social media pages of Ayala Land Inc. (facebook.com/officialayalaland and on Instagram as @ayalaland).

Weekend pop-up features art, crystals, antiques, and plants

IF the folks on your Christmas gift list are interested in art, crystals, essential oils, vintage clothing, antiques, plants, and flowers, these items and more are available at the boho-chic pop-up Mercatino. Held over three weekends at La Collina restaurant in Poblacion, Makati, the final weekend will be on Dec. 5 and 6.

After 10 years, Jil Sander collaborates again with Uniqlo

JIL SANDER is back for a Uniqlo collaboration after almost 10 years after her last one. The German fashion designer best known for her stark lines and Euro-flavored minimalism, started collaborating with the Japanese clothing firm in 2009 after she opened a fashion consultancy. Uniqlo’s parent, Fast Retailing, signed on as its first client, coming up with a line called +J. The revived collaboration is now available in the Philippines.

Comedy tonight: Red Ollero cracks jokes for a good cause

IT’S hard to ignore Red Ollero. He stands a little over six feet tall and possesses a certain stature. He has appeared in movies, produces and writes for Comedy Manila and Solid OK, and he opened for the sold-out Mall of Asia Arena show of Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy. That show had an audience of thousands, a fact one can’t ignore, because he reminds you of it in the first few minutes of his special, Red Ollero Live at the Paper Lantern.

Something fishy going on

ASIDE from celebrating all things fishy, National Sardines Day, as celebrated by Mega Global (the company behind Mega Sardines and Mega Tuna), was about the people. National Sardines Day was celebrated by Mega Global virtually on Nov. 24 via its Facebook page with actor Piolo Pascual and celebrity chef JP Anglo.

CCP Encyclopedia of Art goes digital

ACCURATE information about Philippine art can now be accessed on one’s phone — and laptop, iPad, desktop… — as the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) launched the digital version of its Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (EPA) in a webinar last week.


IT HAS been just over a year since the death of performance and visual artist, tour guide, and cultural activist Carlos Celdran. The efforts of his widow, Tesa Celdran, will at least let a part of him live on: his art.

Seiko watch inspired by Tubbataha

A VERY specific wish for a watch had been fulfilled with the release of a new line of Seiko’s Prospex diver’s watches. We’re talking about a limited Philippine edition.

Lush Prize aims to stop animal testing

LUSH is a beauty brand that prides itself on being cruelty-free by not testing its products on animals, and now it is giving prizes to anyone with ideas on how to stop the practice. This is because, as a company release says, “Every year, it is estimated that more than 115 million animals are used in testing laboratories around the world.”

Celebrating the holidays with Jim Beam

TO CELEBRATE the holidays, Jim Beam has introduced a special tin pack available at S&R for P1,438. The pack consists of the tin as well as two one-liter bottles of Jim Beam, the world’s No. 1 bourbon. The tin itself can be used as an ice bucket while the lid can be used as a garnish tray.

Going beyond crackers and cheese

CRACKERS are usually thought of as a simple savory snack item, but it seems that they can be used for desserts too, as celebrities Robi Domingo and Kim Chiu learned when chefs Gerick Manalo and Bettina Carlos taught them how to make snacks with Tiger Crackers, demonstrating new flavors ensaymada and leche flan.

Reaching for the heavens

THE ANCIENT Mesopotamian peoples built ziggurats — mounds and hills which were precursor to future towers — as shrines and temples. In building high, there was a purpose to get closer to heaven, and thus, the gods.

When complications are a good thing

WE now live in a world of endless complications, but a new wristwatch from Patek Philippe gives us a good kind of complication.

Second place doesn’t mean second rate for this whisky brand

NUMBER TWO — for some people, it sounds like a curse. The spare not the heir. The mistress not the wife. We always frame it as a sad story, that it means always missing the top spot by just a hair’s breadth. With that thought, we discount all the steps that make something Number Two (instead of three, four, or 12).

We watched the shows at the CCP Biennale, and so should...

THE CULTURAL Center of the Philippines (CCP) opened its first Children’s Biennale on Halloween last month, but the festivities will go on until the 29th of November. Don’t worry — it’s all held online through the CCP and CCP Batang Sining Facebook pages, which means you can stay safe at home — and enjoy the programs again and again.

Christmas at Ayala Malls will be a mix of online shopping...

EVEN the holiday crush and rush of the -ber months carry a tinge of nostalgia now, for the restrictions brought about by the pandemic can discourage one from going out to the mall and shopping for Christmas presents. So the Ayala Malls bring the best of the holidays — the gifts — minus everything else, unveiling many initiatives during a webinar on Nov. 4.

Team building via cupcakes

WHEN a company’s employees are stuck at home and all communication is virtual, how can managers keep their team’s spirits up? Why, by getting them together (safely online of course) and icing cupcakes.

New website to focus on the culture of Negros

WHEN one thinks of the island of Negros, one thinks of its role in the sugar trade and the fortunes that it created. Those fortunes came to polish some of the nation’s most illustrious last names: these include figures in politics, showbiz, business, and the arts.