February 26, 2011

2011 Philippine StarBall: Dance Festival of Champions

As promised, here are more pictures of the 2011 Philippine StarBall: Dance Festival of Champions. I attended the press conference held the previous night. This celebration was held last February 12, 2011 at the Makati Shangri La Hotel. From the looks of it, it was a night full of fervor and amusement. 

[Press Kit] 

Where can you watch the top dancers and champions of 6 different styles of dance in one night? Where will you find dancing at its best? People are talking about an event that’s in the works and will soon be brought to our country.

On Feb. 12, 2011, The Philippine StarBall will have a Dance Festival of Champions at the prestigious Makati Shangri-la Hotel. Still at the helm of production and organization is Michaela “Pinky” Puno, the lady responsible for bringing in top international ballroom dancers during the last 3 years.  She herself is a Pro-Am competitor in the US. Her vision to expose the Filipinos to the best in the world remains firm.

Ricardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko
In lieu of a competition, The Philippine StarBall format will be exciting and new, the first of its kind in Manila, the first of its kind in Asia … in fact of the entire world! It will feature Show Dances from top couples of 6 different styles of dance – International Latin, International Standard, American Smooth, American Rhythm, Theatre Arts, and the current rage in Manila- Argentine Tango.

Yulia Zagoruychenko and Riccardo Cocchi, who recently took the world title and became the champion of the WDC competition in Germany will honor Manila with their presence as they rumba, paso doble, and chacha their way into the hearts of the crowd once more with their fabulous Show Dances. Joining them in more Latin dances will be #1 in Blackpool (considered the Olympics of ballroom dancing) Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis from Poland, #1 from Germany Franco Formica and Oksana Lebedew, #1 from Russia Sergey Surkov and Melia.

Doing Show Dances of waltz, tango, foxtrot, and quick step will be Blackpool champions Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova and #1 from Italy Mirko Gozzoli and Edita Daniute.

Hannah Kartunen and Victor da Silva 
New styles of dances will also be introduced from champions in their respective field.  You will be enthralled by riveting but seamless lifts from Hanna Kartunen and Victor da Silva in Theatre Arts, the mambo, swing, and bolero of Jose de Camps and Johanna Zacharewicz for American Rhythm, and the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers style of dancing from Mikhail Zarinov and Galina Detkina for American Smooth.

Also for the first time at The Philippine StarBall is the addition of 2 of the very best couples from Buenos Aires performing passionate Argentine Tango dances. They are Carolina Zokalski with Diego di Falco, Tony Award nominees for best choreography and performers of Forever Tango;  and Miriam Larici with Leonardo Barrionuevo, winners of NBC’s new series “Superstars of Dance” and featured performers and choreographers of  “So You Think You Can Dance.”

In addition to this dazzling event, there will be a Dance Congress during the daytime -- 6 lectures given by one expert from each style. Admission to this is limited.

For additional information and tickets, please contact Marissa at 812 8464. Beneficiary for this show is KYTHE, helping children with cancer.

--- More photos from the event:

Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Joanna Leunis and Michael Malitowski
Yulia Zagoruychenko and Ricardo Cocchi
Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova 
Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis

 Honored Guests and Friends

Gretchen Cojuangco, Pinky Puno, Cynthia Carrion, Giging Garcia, Maribel Dario, Carol Garcia
Gretchen Cojuangco, Vicky Zubiri, Marvi Yulo Cojungco, Giging Garcia, Coni Araneta
Anne Puno in vintage Rajo Laurel, Charilu Puno Dizon in her own design
Pinky Puno poses with sister Sally M. Finley, and Mother Aurora Mendoza
Vicky Zubiri in Tadashi,  Pinky Puno in Oliver Tolentino, Linda Lagdameo
Photos and Content provided by Philippine StarBall Organizers and Mayenne Carmona

February 24, 2011

Japanese Curry of All Sorts

So I had a Japanese friend over last February 1-8. His name is Ryo and he went here to look for work. He brought along lots of delicious Japanese snacks so I could try them. Among the bunch, I favored this the most:

Instant Curry Ramen

I had it for dinner and it was good. The thing I liked most about it was that it did not taste like the typical instant noodles that are available locally. The Curry Ramen actually had delucious curry sauce that I fancied.

Cooked Curry Ramen
Since I was getting accustomed to eating Japanese curry, I thought I wanted to share my new discovery:

Haiku Seafood Curry

Priced between P200-300, this is a great meal for those who want a delicious curry treat with seafoods. Not to mention, I stopped eating red meat (pork particularly). So this was perfect!

Seafood Curry, Haiku
Ooh... I want more!

Haiku is located at the 2nd floor of Greenvekt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

February 23, 2011

The 4th Philippine StarBall Press Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to be part of the press conference for the 4th Philippine StarBall held in the Makati Shangri La hotel. It was a night where I got a chance to converse with some of the world's best ballroom dancers and asked them some relevant questions about their craft and the complexities involved in it.
with Miriam Larici, Lonardo Brrionuevo, Carolina Zokalski, Diego di Falco
I was invited by a friend of mine, Mayenne Carmona, a woman who I look up to and admire as if she were a second mom to me. Being the socially awkward individual that I am, I always shun away from such occasions simply because I do not know anyone to converse with. But ever since I first met Ms. Carmona, she has always been helping me out-- introducing me to the big names in the industry. I can never truly thank her enough. :)
Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo (London) with Ms. Mayenne Carmona
Since I stopped working for SPARK Magazine, I also didn't get a chance to attend such events. To be honest, I was already starting to miss all the glam and splendor of things. So I was really happy that I got invited to the event.

Because I knew little about the event, I was really surprised at how much talent and passion was in the room. Although there was only a small number of attendees, the dedication of each individual did not escape my eye. While the foreign dancers sat together in one corner, people from the press (myself included) were seated far from the honored guests. It was as if they were scared of what we were going to ask them.

Of course, we only wanted things to be fun and not end up having such a boring occasion, my friends from the press all asked different questions in an honest attempt to pry into the lives of these celebrities. We wanted to know, amidst their beauty and talent, that they were still human after all.

Amidst this, event organizer and dance floor diva Michaela "Pinky" Puno explained the reason for this year's different format. Because of the politics in the dance world, she decided to alter the format and give it a new twist. Thus, it was called as the Dance Festival of Champions, an event first of its kind, and first throughout the world. Honestly, I think it was a great opportunity to turn the competition into a friendly festival.
Event Organizer/Dance Floor Diva Michaela "Pinky" Puno discussing the souvenir program
Since I was really shy to speak in front of a crowd, I drank some white wine to calm away my nerves. The time came for me to speak in front of a microphone and Mayenne introduced me to the audience. There was a slight error as she told the crowd that I am only 22 years old (I was 23 when we first met). I am 24 now. ^^

Because I was interested in how these dancers got to deal with their partners, I asked them about their interpersonal relationships; particularly those who were already married. Out of the bunch, it was the married couple Diego di Falco and Carolina Zokalski (Tango dancers from Buenos Aires) that answered me. I found out through them that their marriage was just like that of any other married couple. Although they had their ups and downs, they were able to set aside the disagreements in their craft so they can make their marriage work. Proud parents, the couple was set to celebrate their anniversary just a few days from the said press con. This means they celebrated in the country. :)

Me with the couple I put on the spot: Diego di Falco and his beautiful wife/ dance partner Carolina Zokalski 
As the night went on, more questions were asked. Some innocent, others more politely intrusive with a hint of tease. It was because, after all, their craft exuded fiery passion. Every time dancers step onto the dance floor, the audience can only wish they had the same kind of passion and chemistry in their own love lives. For this, people love to wonder if the chemistry they share is limited to the dance or off the stage too...

Mayenne Carmona, Carolina Zokalski, Diego di Falco, Tina Jacinto and David Lim
 The Complete List of Participants in the 4th Philippine StarBall: Dance Festival of Champions:

Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko
Victor Da Silva and Hanna Karttunen
Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Carolina Zokalski and Diego di Falco
Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis
Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova
Franco Formica and Oksana Lebedew
Mirko Gozzoli and Edita Daniute
Sergey Surkov and Melia
Jose de Camps and Joanna Zacharewicz
Mikhail Zharinov and Galina Detkina

with Katusha Dmidova, Arunas Bizokas, Bum Tenorio (Allure)
with Slava Sergiev and Ricardo Cocchi
Slava Sergiev, Mayenne Carmona, Ricardo Cocchi
with Henry and Jojo Zabartre, Yulia Zagoruychenko, Belinda Adora, Mayenne Carmona
*Credit for pictures: Mayenne Carmona (the ones with me)

The Philippine StarBall Dance Festival of Champions was held last February 12, 2011. The press conference was held on February 11, 2011. Please watch out for photos and press article of the event itself.

February 21, 2011

Trixie Dresses Nice #1

Because I promised that starting 2011 I'll be making my wardrobe better, I need to keep it. I believe that fashion is a way to express your personality and art. It is a way you can channel who you truly are. I believe fashion does not have to be high end or luxurious. It is simply a way of being.

So for my first fashion post, here's the outfit I wore to the 4th Philippine Star Ball press conference held last February 11 at the Makati Shangri La Hotel. More on that soon!

The obligatory mirror shot. 

Shirt: Smart Tower, Makati (P150)
Jacket: Caliope (P999)
Skirt: XOXO (P780)
Shoes: Parisian, SM (P999)

Come to think of it, I bought my whole outfit from different sales. Except for the shirt, but still it's quite a buy!

February 16, 2011

Immerse in Indian Culture, Music, and Recherché Feasts

Because I am such a huge fan of Indian cuisine, I am reposting this upcoming event called Travelife India Night.

Are you interested in Indian culture, food, and music? If you are, I suggest you reserve February 25 for a night like no other. Travelife Magazine has sent out invitations for a truly unique experience. The event, scheduled on February 25, 2011, will be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel.

I would love a chance to go there but tickets for the occasion is at P 1,499 per person. This includes tickets for the show and dinner that will let you experience gourmet and authentic Indian food and wine. In addition, you will get to witness a concerto of world-class Indian music, truly the best of the best. But that's not all! They have booked a beautiful Indian classical dancer to perform exclusively for the occasion.

Although I would be much willing to pay for the P 1,499 ticket, I do not have anyone to go with. I would love the chance to visit such an honorable occasion and get to meet new people. This will also give me the opportunity to learn more about India. ^,^

If you are interested to attend this prestigious event, make sure you book your tickets now! They have limited seats only and they are getting occupied fast!

For reservations for the Travelife India Night, contact Rachel Ramos (Travelife Magazine) at 02.813.8400 or 02.892.2620. You can also email them at Please be advised that the event starts 6:30 pm sharp. Dress code is either cocktail chic or business attire. 

Krispy Kreme's New Toblerone Donut

Today, I tried the new Krispy Kreme Toblerone donut.

At only P42 a piece, I was disappointed at how it tastes like. The dough was dry and it did not please me. But I did like the pieces of Toblerone placed on top of it. I think it would have been better if the pieces of Toblerone were actually put inside the donut. ^^

Hmm, anyway...

Looking forward to Krispy Kreme's new flavors!

February 15, 2011

My Take on Valentine's Day

Oh yes, for Valentine's day, I didn't do anything special. Unless you call paying my bills and opening a new bank account special, then yes. It was the day I got close with my banking officers. ^^

But hell, I've been non-celebrating Valentine's day for the past 4 years. Like I said, why should this day be different from the rest? I don't think it's because I'm single. I mean, I'd like to have my bunch of cheesy bouquet of tulips and chocolates but I'd prefer to receive them throughout the year not just on this day alone. I think Valentine's Day is overrated. If you truly want to make her feel special, surprise her anytime of the year. Not on the one day she is expecting you to.

So when I found this YouTube video of Divine Lee whipping up a mean surprise for her beau, Victor Basa. It made me feel human and charmed. It was such a cute video of her cooking some stuff for her boyfriend and it made me wish I had someone to do that to. =(

See, I'm not even being selfish. Even though it's supposed to be that I should expect to receive something from my special someone, I am thinking of ways how I could surprise my soon-to-be boyfriend on a day like today.

I'm such a hopeless romantic.

February 14, 2011

My First Attempt to Ride a Bike: FAIL!

Last Sunday, I was supposed to meet my fellow food bloggers for a lunch we've been planning for a week already. But because I slept at 2am Saturday and accompanied my brother ride his bike, my body gave up and is now taking it's toll on me. Even work today has been affected. I have not been able to do as much articles as I initially promised, which really annoys me. I hope I get better soon!

Anyway, I rode tried to ride a bicycle again at the Fort Bonifacio Mountain Bike Trail. Still, to no success. I really have a difficult time learning how to ride a bike. Even though my brother let me borrow his gear, I was still unable to get the bike to move. Every time I pedaled and attempted to lift my left foot onto the pedals, I would fall down. It came to a point where I was annoyed with the bike because it kept hitting my Achilles' heel.

So much for attempting to ride a bike.

Instead of riding a bike, I ended up walking a total of 3-4 kilometers wearing complete gear and with a bike in tow. It felt like such a strenuous workout even if I did not ride the bike. I also ended up being my brother's photographer and took some pictures as he did some stunts. I still do have to improve my shots though.

Wait till you see his 7 year old son, my nephew Nathan! Too bad he didn't join us yesterday.

Unfortunately, my brother did not photograph me wearing the complete bike gear. :( Maybe next time, when I have another spontaneous idea of learning how to ride a bike.

February 9, 2011

2011: My Year to Travel!

Like I promised, 2011 is my year to travel. As early as the last week of January, I have already been planning what I would like to do and where I would like to go this year. Since my last out of the country trip is nearly a couple of years ago, it makes me wish I had the time to go abroad again. I really want to go this year but I don't think I have the time for it. If ever, I might end up bringing my laptop with me so I can still work. Hmm.. That sounds pretty interesting!

Anyway, I really want to travel this year. That's why I told myself I cannot have a boyfriend this year. 2011 will be my year. This is the year I will live my dreams and see the world. This is the year I will meet new people from different walks of life, find out things about them and make lots of friends. 2011 will be legendary, cliche as it may sound.

I decided to travel this year because my older sister, Bubot, is about to get married next month. Although I am truly happy for her, the big day terrifies me because I don't know how I will be handling everyone's question "when is your turn?" Okay guys, please move on. I don't have a boyfriend and haven't had one since 2007, can we please move on and just enjoy? I know I should be happy for my sister's big day. It just really annoys me that as early as now, people are already asking me when my turn will be or telling me that I should get married next.


That's why I decided I will travel this year. I must. This is my gift for myself for working so hard for the past couple of years. I know I deserve it. That's why I will really make sure that I get to go out of the country at least once this year. For domestic travel, I'm hoping to get 2-3 trips.

Speaking of trips, I found this really great group in Facebook that offers travel tours around the Philippines. I'd really like to win one of their trips but I can't think of where I'd like to go. I really want to try out different things and go to different places. That's why I love to travel. But for Anywhere Philippines' contest, I guess I'd have to choose Baler.

I can't wait to get started on my travels this year. I just wish I had the luxury, time and money to travel as much as I could. Plus of course, have the perfect travel companions with me. But because everyone I know is too busy with work and school, I guess I'll be traveling on my own and meeting new people.

Sometimes I think I should pack up my things and just go anywhere. I don't even want to worry where my next travel will take me. I just want to go. Please take me Anywhere!

Anywhere Philippines is a travel and adventure group that primarily organizes trips for active & adventurous people. Join their weekend trips or customized trips. Solo traveller and barkada trippers welcome!  For inquiries & reservations, kindly contact: email: hotline: 0908.8922570

February 8, 2011

Nasi Lemak for My Chinese New Year Celebration

Sorry I haven't been blogging as much. I had a friend who came to Manila so I helped him go around the city. Anyway, I was supposed to blog about Nasi Lemak as my Chinese New Year post but I guess now I'm late. Still, here goes..

I first heard of Nasi Lemak in Facebook. Since I was a fan of trying out new things, I made sure I'd get to eat in this restaurant the next time I was in Galleria. True enough, my dad went there for a meeting and I tagged along. After his meeting, I was very pleased that Nasi Lemak was just beside Krispy Kreme (where I stayed) so I got to invite him to eat there.

The good thing about Nasi Lemak was that it was healthy, delicious, and Singaporean! Although the dishes we ordered were more Thai than Singaporean, it was still worth a shot.

Tom Yum Seafood Soup
The first dish we ordered was the Tom Yum Seafood Soup. I found it very refreshing, considering the fact that it had a spicy kick to it. I liked how the squid was cooked because it was not too hard and elastic. I think it was the perfect first course dish!

Tom Yum Seafood, Nasi Lemak
P 268

Hainanese Chicken
The Hainanese Chicken was okay. I didn't really like it that much because it did not have a lot of flavor to it. But since it was served with three different types of sauces, I guess that's where the flavor needs to come from. I think it was good for my dad though because it was healthy.

Hainanese Chicken, Nasi Lemak
P 200 (medium)

Stir Fried Kangkong with Baichan
The dish that blew me away! I really like eating Kangkong and it was refreshing to find that Nasi Lemak had a kangkong dish that was very good. I really liked the sauce that it came with-- Baichan. I used to eat Kangkong with Oyster Sauce but now that I've discovered Baichan, I might have to reconsider this. I finished this dish by myself! Good, healthy, and filling!
Stir Fried Kangkong with Baichan, Nasi Lemak
P 200 (medium)
 So there you go. Healthy, good and guilt-free Singaporean food. Perfect for anyone on a diet! As for the price, it wasn't cheap but they weren't expensive either. I think they were just right. ^,^

Nasi Lemak Authentic Singaporean Restaurant is located at the 2 Level East Lane, Robinsons Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City. For inquiry or reservations, call 02-571 8988.

February 1, 2011

Mami's Spareribs: Still at P40 Now and Then

A few years back, I dated a guy who was from Manila. I told him about my hometown-- the perks of being raised in Bacolod and how life was for us. Hearing about the restaurants that completed my past, he wanted to try one of them. Especially the one where you can eat a meal for only P40.

Too bad he never got to try this. ^p^

Back when I was in College, my daily allowance was only P100. Some might think that P100 is already a big sum (for Bacolod) but actually, it's just right. See, I had to commute to school and to go home. I also had to buy my own lunch. When my dad gave me a car (I was the only woman who drove a Multi-cab to Lasal, beat that!), I still had to pay for my fuel. Plus I had to buy load and stuff. So really, P100 was not enough. That's why I avoided the expensive restaurants (yeah, they're not so expensive now) and went with my friends to the carinderias located throughout the vicinity of my school.

One of these establishments, Mami's, was most memorable to me. I remember that for lunch, all of my friends would meet up here. Even though the carinderia had long tables that people needed to share, it didn't matter. I loved the fact that if one of us got lost and didn't have load, we'd all just go to Mami's and we'll find each other there.

Mami's Spareribs

Aside from that, I liked the Sisig and Spareribs of Mami's. Even if we ate her spareribs all the time, we never seem to tire of it. And yes, for only P47, you already get Spareribs, rice, and Mountain Dew.

So when I came home last month, I made it a point to visit Mami's. I can't believe she still recalled my friend (Jesna) and I as among her first clients. Mami's just moved to a bigger location (across the street) but she still has affordable meals!


Mami's Place is located in the back of Jollibee USLS branch, Bacolod City. You won't miss it because it's the small rounded corner where lots of Lasallians flock to during a school day. If you won't see students, you'll find med reps!
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