#TwitterForAgency: How businesses can leverage the Twitter advantage

Twitter has been around for sixteen years and, in the tech industry, that is quite a remarkable case of longevity.

As a micro-blogging facility where, through short and mostly text-based posts called “tweets,” Twitter has become the venue for news to erupt and go viral and for movements to take root and spread.

While other social media platforms may dominate, in terms of user base or ability to create curated content, Twitter, with a global audience of 237.8 million users as of Q2 2022, has owned the space for “what is happening and what people are talking about right now.” Twitter is where people go to get the on-dits on sports, music, entertainment, technology, gaming, business and cultural changes, among others.

This presents various possibilities that brands can leverage to boost their digital presence and drive their businesses.

Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency

Recently, representatives from Twitter’s Asia-Pacific offices and its exclusive Philippine reseller Entravision MediaDonuts gathered its clientele and agency partners for its first in-person event after more than two years.

Held at the Enderrun Tent last September 29, the event titled “#TwitterforAgency” gave the attendees a sneak peek into what’s next for Twitter: from its product roadmap focusing on solutions that drive purchase, emerging trends and conversations that can shape the future for this platform as well as creative executions that can tap communities and conversations to grow their business.

Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency

Together with my marketing teammates from SKY, I attended this event to gain some insights on how to leverage Twitter for our company and the brands we carry.

Some of my key takeaways from this learning session include:

  • Twitter is the platform to launch something new and connect with what’s happening. Given its unique position to capture what is current and what drives conversations, Twitter’s audiences are likely among the first to try out new products.
  • People visit other social media platforms for who they know, people visit Twitter for what they care and are passionate about. On this platform, people are leaning into their passions: they buy, try and share their experiences in real-time.
Twitter for Agency
Welcome Address
Krishna Iyer – Head of Agency Development, APAC, Twitter
Twitter for Agency
The Power of Twitter’s Audience
Tina Pang – Head of Client Solutions, SEA, Twitter
Twitter for Agency
The Conversation: Twitter Trends 2022
Anna Dy – Country Head, Entravision MediaDonuts, PH
Twitter for Agency
Talking Shop: Twitter’s Solutions
Hoai An Pham – Sales Partner Manager, APAC, Twitter
  • Twitter audiences are seen to be broad – have diverse interests, affluent – have significant purchasing power, and growing – mostly young (72% between the ages of 16 and 34) with more joining the platform everyday.
  • To succeed on Twitter, you must harness the influence of communities. Communities form public and real-time conversations about topics that people are passionate about. Some of the fast-growing communities on Twitter include gaming, food, music, beauty and finance. Users in these communities tweet at least three times more than the average Twitter user, driving a lot of the conversations. Brands are also seen as part of these communities and of users’ enjoyment of the platform.
Twitter for Agency
Talking Shop: Twitter’s Product Roadmap
Yu Yan Tay – Senior Performance Product Specialist, APAC, Twitter
Twitter for Agency
Video Behaviors on Twitter
Rex Fontaneza – BU Head, Entravision MediaDonuts, PH
Twitter for Agency
Brand Creativity
Jean Labrador – Client Account Manager & Strategist, Philippines, Twitter
Twitter for Agency
Closing Remarks
Pieter-Jan de Kroon – CEO, Entravision MediaDonuts

Wondering what people on Twitter are talking about and how you can ride on these conversations? Here are today’s Twitter trends that can become tomorrow’s big movements:

  • The Great Restoration which encompasses a heightened focus on one’s well-being as well as a growing appreciation for the environment. Rewilding or “getting back to nature” is seen as a way of coping with anxieties from external factors such as politics and the global healthcare crisis. People are looking for changes in their home and community environments sparking demand for livable cities where there are green spaces and where people can rebuild lost connections and feel at peace with nature. Conversations are also seen to be leading towards topics involving self-reflection, mutual support, green spaces, outdoor exercise, nature photography and forest bathing.
  • The Force of Fandoms which shows how pop culture topics drive conversations among passionate fans of music, TV and movie personalities, who are no longer content sitting on the sidelines but are actively finding their tribes online for support and friendship.
  • Finance Goes Social which is marked by the democratization of finance-related conversations, among both finance experts and non-professionals. More people are talking about money: how to make it and spend it.
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency
Twitter for Agency

Global leading PR firm Ogilvy & Mather stated “With over 500 million tweets a day, Twitter is the world’s largest focused group.”

By listening, learning from and joining Twitter conversations, brands can bring their attributes to light and get people to talk about them.

Many thanks to Entravision MediaDonuts and Twitter for this very enlightening learning session.

TuneCore expands in PH to offer new payment options for local music creators

Leading independent DIY digital music distributor TuneCore, a division of global digital music company Paris-based Believe, expands its payment methods in the Philippines and Southeast Asia to better serve their growing artist base in the region. The first of its kind global agreement affirms the company’s commitment to providing the best user experience for independent artists in the Philippines and the SEA region where alternative payments options are more popular than credit cards.

TuneCore, whose international presence has more than doubled over the last 18 months, has partnered with global financial technology platform Adyen. The company has launched localized payment methods in the Philippines through Gcash. Others include Indonesia through Dana (GoPay coming soon), Vietnam through MoMo, and Global (Non-US countries) through China Union Pay.

Andreea Gleeson, CEO of TuneCore, emphasizes: “As TuneCore continues to expand, we not only offer best in class services on a worldwide level, the company also brings that same mindset to our local markets. For TuneCore artists, we not only want to support their artistry but we want to make it easy for them to distribute their music. Last year we launched the New Artist plan, which enables creators to release their music to social platforms for no upfront fee. Now with the launch of our expanded payment services, creators can access full distribution services seamlessly.”

Cyrus Chen, Head of TuneCore Southeast Asia, adds: “In Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, card penetration remains low while e-wallets usage is quickly becoming ubiquitous among the population in recent years. By prioritizing our payments infrastructure to include local payment options that our artists prefer, demonstrates our commitment to the region’s growth. This is part of TuneCore’s hyper-localization efforts to ensure the most positive user experience for our Southeast Asian artists.”

In the coming months, TuneCore will push the program out to other countries and regions. Earlier this year, TuneCore launched its revolutionary new pricing program which allows artists at any stage of their careers to distribute their music. The program allows music creators to release tracks and albums on an unlimited basis via plans ranging from free/no upfront cost (new artist), $14.99 (rising artist), $29.99 (breakout artist) to $49.99 (professional).

Faryal Khan-Thompson, Vice President, International, TuneCore, shares: “Southeast Asia is an important market for TuneCore as there is an abundance of talent and growth in the region. Our partnership with Adyen simplifies and streamlines payments, giving access to music creators who previously would not have been able to distribute.”

About TuneCore  

TuneCore is the global platform for independent musicians to build audiences and careers – with technology and services across distribution, publishing administration and a range of promotional services. TuneCore Music Distribution services help artists, labels and managers sell their music through Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, TikTok, Tencent and more than 150 download and streaming stores worldwide, while retaining 100 percent of their sales revenue and rights for a low annual flat fee. TuneCore Music Publishing Administration assists songwriters by administering their compositions through licensing, registration, worldwide royalty collections, and placement opportunities in film, TV, commercials, video games and more. The TuneCore Artist Services portal offers a suite of tools and services that enable artists to promote their craft, connect with fans, and get their music heard. TuneCore, part of Believe, is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, with offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, and Austin, and operates globally through local teams based in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Japan and Singapore across 5 continents. www.tunecore.com

About Believe

Believe is one of the world’s leading digital music companies. Believe’s mission is to develop artists and labels in the digital world by providing them the solutions they need to grow their audience at each stage of their career and development. Believe’s passionate team of digital music experts around the world leverages the Group’s global technology platform to advise artists and labels, distribute and promote their music. Its 1,565 employees in more than 50 countries aim to support independent artists and labels with a unique digital expertise, respect, fairness and transparency. Believe offers its various solutions through a portfolio of brands including TuneCore, Nuclear Blast, Naïve. Groove Attack and AllPoints. Believe is listed on compartment A of the regulated market of Euronext Paris (Ticker: BLV. ISIN: FR0014003FE9).

Image by tirachardz on Freepik

Delicious and nourishing goodness at Nono’s Comfort Kitchen, S Maison

Sometimes, we just need a little bit of comfort every once in a while, more so, I think, on weekends.

It can be because we’ve had a terrible week, or we’re feeling some trepidation for the one that’s ahead of us. Whatever the reason, we can’t begrudge ourselves a little bit of indulging comfort to either soothe our nerves or to bolster them.

Especially, if that comfort comes in such a delicious form as it does at Nono’s Comfort Kitchen.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

After touring Lakbay Museo before it closed its doors in S Maison, my daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to have our lunch at this chic little cafe located at the Atrium. Despite being located literally in the middle of all the action, it had a cozy feel to it that made us want to spend some time there.

Nono’s is actually named after founder Chef Baba Ibazeta-Benedicto’s father. His moniker was first used to name the chef’s famous confectionery creation, Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion but the menu soon grew to include other deliciously heartwarming and nourishing viands such as those we enjoyed during our meal.

Fried Truffle Cheese Wontons (Php185). Crispy fried wontons stuffed with mozzarella and cheddar cheese then drizzled with honey and truffle oil.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

Nono’s Home-Style Fried Chicken (Php365 solo | Php685 big plate). Crispy boneless chicken fillet served country style with gravy and honey along with a dinner roll, fries and corn on the cob.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

Mac ‘n Cheese (Php395) with added Bacon (Php125). Al dente shell pasta baked with a sauce made with gruyere, sharp cheddar and parmesan and topped with crispy bacon.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion (Php175). This is the cake that started it all: moist chocolate cake layered with whipped chocolate cream and topped with walnut praline bits. No wonder it was named one of Spot.PH’s top ten chocolate cakes of 2019.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

With this awesome blend of sweet and savory flavors, my daughter and were able to savor our comforting foodie haven.

Know more about Nono’s Comfort Kitchen from its website or get updates on its latest offers by following it on Facebook and Instagram.

Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison
Nono’s, S Maison

This Nono’s Comfort Kitchen branch is located at Atrium, S Maison, Marina Way Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, open daily from 10am to 10pm for dine-in, takeout and delivery. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 915 7530819.

Other branches are located at:

  • Level 1, Phase 1B, U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Second Level, The Podium Mall, 12 ADB ave. Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Three Central, Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Expansion Wing, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
  • Lower Ground Glorietta 2, Glorietta Complex, Ayala Center, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Phase 1, Abueva Entrance, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, cor.Aseana Ave, Paranaque City
  • P1 Level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Dr, Makati City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Uptown Mall, 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Uptown Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Ground Floor, 26th St., High Street South Tower 1, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • G/F KL Tower, Gamboa, Legazpi Village, Makati
  • Upper Ground Floor, Crystal Corridor, Pearl Wing, Okada Manila, New Seaside Dr, Entertainment City, Parañaque City

Nono’s Comfot Kitchen also delivers via GrabFood, FoodPanda and Pick*A*Roo.

Get 1-peso snacks in MetroMart PISO SALE with No Brand and Robinsons Easymart

The MetroMart PISO SALE continues its weekend bargain blitzes this September 30 to October 3 with snacks and other products that can be purchased for only ₱1.00 from Robinsons Easymart and No Brand.

All participating stores of Robinsons Easymart and No Brand in MetroMart’s PISO SALE will have products available for only ₱1.00 within schedules of 9AM- 2PM & 3PM-8PM. A full-size loaf of Gardenia Classic white bread,1.5-liter and other sizes of Coca-Cola, potato chips and even cleaning supplies like Zonrox bleach are up for grabs from the Robinsons Easymart roster.

Say “Annyeong” to popular Korean snacks and drinks like Jjajang Ramen, Injeolmi snacks, dried seaweed snacks, banana milk, flavored tea stick packs, and potato chips from No Brand.

Check out all items up for grabs:

Robinsons Easymart
No Brand

*Products are subject to availability in No Brand and Robinsons Easymart branches.

“The MetroMart family is excited to be running even more Piso Sales with our supermarket and merchant partners like Robinsons Easymart and No Brand. We want to give the best deals to Filipino homes and families for different kinds of groceries and essentials, including snacks and household supplies.” MetroMart CEO and co-founder Steffano Fazzini said.

The MetroMart PISO SALE with Robinsons Easymart and No Brand is applicable to New and Existing Users of MetroMart. A min. spend of only ₱1,500 from Robinsons Easymart and ₱1,000 from No Brand is required in order to avail the 1-peso sale items. Only completed checkout of orders within the scheduled day and time can avail the discounted items.

Robinsons Easymart
No Brand

“The MetroMart family is excited to be running even more Piso Sales with our supermarket and merchant partners like Robinsons Easymart and No Brand. We want to give the best deals to Filipino homes and families for different kinds of groceries and essentials, including snacks and household supplies.” MetroMart CEO and co-founder Steffano Fazzini said.

The MetroMart PISO SALE with Robinsons Easymart and No Brand is applicable to New and Existing Users of MetroMart. A min. spend of only ₱1,500 from Robinsons Easymart and ₱1,000 from No Brand is required in order to avail the 1-peso sale items. Only completed checkout of orders within the scheduled day and time can avail the discounted items.

MetroMart now in Bicol and Davao
MetroMart

New to MetroMart? Get a ₱200 discount for a minimum order of ₱2k. Use the promo code “MMNEW” on the MetroMart app or website upon checkout. This is applicable across all stores and supermarkets for New customers, valid for one-time use until October 16, 2022.

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include  S&R (with or no membership card required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in 2 hours!

For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @metromartph.

Sign up for a MetroMart account here and enjoy Php200 grocery credit.

MetroMart Philippines is the #1 on-demand online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include S&R (no membership required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys R Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! Over 160,000 products are available with our 500+ partner supermarkets and partner specialty stores. Order your groceries through http://www.metromart.com, or download the app on iOS or Android app store.

Details provided in a recent press release.

Gather the family for a festive getaway hosted by Marjorie and Julia: The Barrettos’ iconic rest house is now on Airbnb

To celebrate the advent of this year’s Christmas festivities, the Barrettofamily has announced that they will become Airbnb Hosts and list their luxurious family villa in Calumpit, Bulacan on Airbnb. 

Entertainment veteran Marjorie Barretto and famous actress-model Julia Barretto will be opening the doors of the River Garden Rest House on Airbnb for three consecutive weekends — with the first stay on 15 October hosted in-person by the renowned mother-daughter duo, who will share their favourite spots around the villa and attractions nearby.

Airbnb Barretto

The rest house will be available for a one-night stay on three exclusive dates: October 15, October 22, and October 29. Priced at Php25,000 per night excluding additional fees, the rest house can accommodate up to a maximum of 16 pax.

Starting today, interested guests can make a request to book at www.airbnb.com/h/rivergardenresthouse, along with a message introducing themselves and detailing their request including their travel companions and why they are interested to stay. Guests must have a verified Airbnb profile, a history of positive reviews, and be 18+ to request to book.

Airbnb Barretto

“The River Garden Rest House is extremely dear to our family and holds so many precious memories for us. I am incredibly happy to now share this special space with the world through Airbnb, and for more guests throughout the Philippines and overseas to enjoy our Filipino hospitality and rejuvenating probinsya life. I look forward to many more families and friends creating their own meaningful moments here and enjoying the rest house,” shares Marjorie.

Located an hour’s drive out from Metro Manila, the Barrettos’ expansive River Garden Rest House offers Filipinos an idyllic opportunity to reconnect with loved ones amidst nature. The villa offers four spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a large private pool, an outdoor dining area and lounge, a fully-equipped open kitchen with grill, and a gazebo boasting scenic views of the Angat River. Guests may also be able to purchase the fresh catch of the day for dinner from the fishermen nearby.

Airbnb Barretto

Purchased by Marjorie over 20 years ago, the villa has since been meticulously restored and furnished by the matriarch to reflect a blend of old-world charm and modern Filipino design. Local materials including pawid roofs, bamboo and capiz shell windows feature prominently. Each room also features a unique collection of precious antiques, furniture, accessories, and even heritage paintings passed down from Marjorie’s mother.

“One of my favourite things to do is spend a quiet afternoon in the shade of the gazebo, watching the river waters glisten under the sun. It’s always heartwarming seeing our family spend the day in different corners of the house, either cooped up with a book, engrossed in conversation, or dipping in the pool. I am thrilled to be supporting my mom in sharing this space with more families, and we hope our guests will enjoy and care for this space as much as we do,” adds Julia.

Airbnb Barretto

Recent Airbnb data revealed that destinations outside major metropolitan hubs are increasingly popular among travelers, and earnings from hosting are helping Filipinos grow their business and improve their homes. 

Interested to learn more about becoming an Airbnb Host like the Barrettos? You can get free one-on-one help from an Airbnb Superhost at airbnb.com/askasuperhost, and find more useful tips and information at airbnb.com/host. For more unique stays this festive season, visit airbnb.com or the Airbnb app.

Airbnb Barretto

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Here’s your last chance to win a vivo V25e – Join the vivo Mobile Night Photography Contest

Filipinos love to celebrate, anytime, anywhere. Be it the graduation of a sibling, a friend getting promoted, or a fur baby giving birth, we always find a way to commemorate and document meaningful events.

For vivo fans who love to take photographs, vivo is inviting you to capture and share your best night shot captured via a vivo smartphone – your last chance to win the newly-launched premium smartphone, the vivo V25e as vivo is closing the submission of entries today, September 28.

Capturing Night Portrait Marvel

vivo representatives will choose the most creative image captured by vivo fans using any vivo smartphone. To qualify, the entry must be original work and should be shared as a comment on the official contest announcement posted on vivo Philippines Facebook page. Participants must also incorporate the #NightPortraitMaster in their captions.

vivo Mobile Night Photography Contest

The winning entry will be announced via the vivo Philippines Facebook page on September 30, 2022.

Follow the vivo Philippines’ social media accounts for more details and updates regarding the vivo Night Portrait mobile photography contest.

vivo V25 Series as #NightPortraitMaster

vivo has just officially launched its first color-changing #NightPortraitMaster, the vivo V25 Series. This latest addition to the V Series line is equipped with flagship specs that are cut above the rest. The vivo V25 Series supports Photochromic 2.0 Technology which allows the device to change into aesthetic colors when exposed to sunlight. In the camera department, the vivo V25 Series has impressive imaging capabilities such as 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing Camera which gives users crisp and clear photo and video outputs. The series also features Natural Portrait which enables vivo fans to look even more amazing in a more natural way. Complementing this feature is the vivo 50MP Eye AutoFocus technology of vivo V25 and 32MP Eye AF of the vivo V25 Pro and V25e which capture the user’s face in glorious detail.

vivo Mobile Night Photography Contest

What makes the vivo V25 Series truly stand out is its impressive night features. Living up to the device’s title #NighPortraitMaster, the V Series Pro variant promises superb night photos with its  Real-Time Extreme Night Vision, Super Night Portrait, Super Night Algorithms, and Real-Time Extreme Night Vision features.

The vivo V25 Pro is priced at PHP 29,999 while the vivo V25 and the vivo V25e sell at PHP 23,999 and PHP 17,999, respectively. For Filipino fans who want to avail of the vivo V25 Series, order is now ongoing for vivo V25e ( via vivo websiteShopeeLazada), vivo V25  (via vivo website, ShopeeLazada) and vivo V25 Pro (via vivo websiteShopee, Lazada).

For more information on vivo’s latest news and updates, please head to vivo’s official FacebookInstagram and YouTube channels.

About vivo

vivo is a technology company that creates great products based on a design-driven value, with smart devices and intelligent services as its core. The company aims to build a bridge between humans and the digital world. Through unique creativity, vivo provides users with an increasingly convenient mobile and digital life. Following the company’s core values, which include Benfen*, design-driven value, user orientation, continuous learning, and team spirit, vivo has implemented a sustainable development strategy with the vision of developing into a healthier, more sustainable world-class corporation.

While bringing together and developing the best local talents to deliver excellence, vivo is supported by a network of R&D centers in Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Xi’an, focusing on the development of state-of-the-art consumer technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, industrial design, imaging system, and other up-and-coming technologies. vivo has also set up an intelligent manufacturing network (including those authorized by vivo), with an annual production capacity of nearly 200 million smartphones. As of now, vivo has branched out its sales network across more than 60 countries and regions and is loved by more than 400 million users worldwide.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Amazon unveils Prime Early Access Sale—A new holiday shopping event for members to save big from October 11 to 12

Amazon recently unveiled Prime Early Access Sale, a new two-day global shopping event exclusive to Prime members. The event begins October 11 at 12 a.m. PDT and runs through October 12 in 15 countries: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S.

Prime Early Access Sale gives members a chance to kick off the holiday shopping season early with hundreds of thousands of deals. As part of the new deals event, Amazon is introducing a Top 100 list of some of the season’s most popular and giftable items. New deals from the list will drop throughout the event, offering deep savings across all top categories, including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s Toys We Love list will also make it easier for Prime members to discover, shop, and save on deals this holiday season.

“We are so excited to help Prime members kick off the holiday season with Amazon’s new Prime Early Access Sale—an exclusive opportunity for members to get deep discounts on top brands we know they are looking for this time of year,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime. “And members can start enjoying exclusive Prime benefits and offers now, plus find gift ideas for the family with our holiday gift guides and this year’s Toys We Love list.”

Start Saving Now

Members don’t have to wait to take advantage of holiday gift guides, as well as Prime benefits and offers. They can also learn more by visiting amazon.com/earlyaccess. Customers can join Prime or start a free 30-day trial at amazon.com/prime to participate.

  • Explore Holiday Gift Guides: Prime members can find gifting inspiration for the holiday season with gift guides, featuring top items from the toys and home categories. The toys gift guide features the most popular toys and games of the holiday season. It also includes the Toys We Love list of more than 60 items only available at Amazon from top brands, including Hasbro, Disney, Fisher-Price, Bluey, and National Geographic. For more information, visit amazon.com/toyswelove. The home gift guide includes must-have products from brands like Amazon Basics, Christopher Knight, De’Longhi, iRobot, Shark, simplehuman, and ZINUS.
  • Try Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months free—with 90 million songs ad-free and in HD, plus millions of podcast episodes—and non-Prime members are eligible for three months free. Or, Prime members can get an Echo Dot (3rd gen) for $0.99 with a one-month subscription of Amazon Music Unlimited. Both offers are available starting September 26 and ending October 12.
  • Get a Grubhub+ Membership, Free For a Year: Prime members in the U.S. can get even more delivered to their door with a free, one-year Grubhub+ membership trial valued at $9.99 per month—at no additional cost to their Prime membership for the first 12 months. This offer includes unlimited, $0 delivery fees on orders over $12, along with exclusive offers and rewards for Grubhub+ members, like free food and order discounts from hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the country. To activate this deal, members can visit amazon.com/grubhub.
  • Score Deals on Prime Video: Prime Video is just one of many benefits included with a Prime membership. In addition to a vast collection of movies, series, and sports included with Prime Video, from September 30 through October 7, Prime members can enjoy a selection of new and popular titles to rent or buy at up to 50% off.

Plan Ahead for Prime Early Access Sale

Amazon makes it easy to prepare for Prime Early Access Sale, setting up personalized deal notifications and creating shopping lists.

  • Set up Personalized Deal Notifications: Prime members can subscribe to receive deal alert notifications related to their recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items. All they have to do is visit the Prime Early Access Sale event page on the Amazon app between now and the event to create deal alerts. Once Prime Early Access Sale begins, members will receive push notifications on any available deals.
  • Create Deal Lists with Alexa: Busy Prime members who don’t want to miss a deal can add products to their Wish List, Cart, or Save for Later list. Alexa can notify members up to 24 hours before eligible deals go live on items they’ve added to their lists—and even offer to purchase the deal once it’s available.

Deliveries Backed by Amazon’s Operations Network

Fast, free delivery of Prime Early Access Sale orders is made possible thanks to Amazon’s global transportation network, which is powered by innovative technology, transportation services, dedicated associates, and partners. Amazon continues to build, innovate, and scale this network around the world—from rail and trucks to planes, vans, and more—while focusing on the safety, well-being, and career advancement of the people and partners who work across the Journey of an Amazon Package. From a veteran loading cargo into the belly of an Amazon Air aircraft to the driver delivering that familiar Amazon box, it’s the people and partners across the operations network who make it all possible.

More Opportunities to Join Prime

Amazon offers two discounted Prime memberships with the same unparalleled value of all benefits to make everyday selection and savings more accessible.

  • Qualifying recipients of government assistance, including SNAP EBT and Medicaid, can enjoy all of Prime for just $6.99 per month. To learn more or to sign up for a free trial, visit amazon.com/qualifynow.
  • Designed specifically for higher education students, Prime Student is just $7.49 per month or $69 per year. Members also enjoy exclusive perks for college life, like up to 10% off flights and hotels through StudentUniverse. College students who haven’t yet tried Prime Student can sign up for a six-month trial at amazon.com/joinstudent.

Every Day Made Better with Prime

Prime delivers value for members through world-class customer service, exclusive savings, expansive selection, convenience, and quality digital entertainment for just $14.99 per month or $139 per year.In the U.S. that includes free, fast delivery—including on groceries and prescription medication, unlimited streaming of movies and series like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and live sports like Thursday Night Football with Prime Video, ad-free listening of 2 million songs, thousands of stations and playlists, and thousands of podcasts with Amazon Music, free games with Prime Gaming, more than 3,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading, unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos, and incredible savings with Prime Day. Members can also enjoy a free, one-year Grubhub+ membership trial valued at $9.99 per month—at no added cost to their Prime membership. Anyone can join Prime or start a free 30-day trial at amazon.com/prime.

Shop With Confidence

Customers can shop with peace of mind knowing that we stand behind the products sold in Amazon’s stores with the A-to-z Guarantee. Amazon’s protection applies to products purchased in our stores worldwide, and in the unlikely event that customers experience issues with timely delivery or condition of their purchase, Amazon will make it right by refunding or replacing it. Amazon is committed to a trustworthy shopping experience and backs the products offered in Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale, as well as the hundreds of millions of products offered every day in our stores. Learn more here.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Sustainability redefined with Vine Residences, SMDC’s master-planned development in Novaliches

Sustainability has taken a whole new shape in today’s world. The recent health crisis has put health, safety, and well-being in the center of the discussion, and climate change has placed disaster risk reduction and resilience front and center.

SM Development Corporation (SMDC), “Developer of the Year” at the DOT Property Philippines Awards 2022, remains resolute in building sustainable communities across the country that address the safety, security, and evolving needs of Filipino homebuyers.

Vine Residences - Central Park_Night shot
A sprawling oasis in the heart of the city, Vine Residences demonstrates SMDC’s unique ability to create holistic ecosystems of sustainable communities. The development sits right within the SM City Novaliches complex, offering a premium integrated lifestyle.

It’s more than just being green

Now more than ever, developers are being assessed against Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards — how they’re able to provide safe and secure environments, improve health, well-being, and overall quality of life, all while addressing the environmental impacts of real estate development.

One of the master-planned communities that encapsulates this trifecta is SMDC’s Vine Residences. This gated vertical community has dedicated 52 percent of its total land area to open spaces, which has rightfully earned Vine Residences the title, “Best Landscape Architectural Design,” from PropertyGuru Philippines in 2021. Its expansive amenity area brings the joys of the outdoors right to your very own backyard.

A slew of resort-style amenities await residents at the Central Park — intricately-designed swimming pools, an engaging children’s play zone, and lush sunken gardens that flaunt an exquisite use of space and foliage. If adventure is what you’re after, discover the beauty of nature at the Camp Hill Site. Go searching for treasure as you trek along the Eco Trail, or enjoy a competitive game of basketball or volleyball at the covered court.

What truly rounds up SMDC’s commitment to sustainability, however, are their upgrades or practices that, all in all, enhance each development’s resilience and overall efficiency while promoting environmental stewardship. For instance, Vine Residences has been raised from the ground by approximately three meters, not only to preserve the trees and vegetation in the area, but also to strengthen the community’s defense against flooding. It’s also equipped with a detention tank that controls and mitigates water discharge in cases of heavy rains. A rainwater collection system, on the other hand, enables rainwater to be recycled and used to water its landscape.

Vine Residences - Vine Nature Park_Night Shot
Sustainability is ingrained in each SMDC community. With its Nature Park, Vine Residences, a ready-for-occupancy (RFO) development, promotes green and healthy living in all aspects.

Couple these with the way the hotel-like lobbies and right-sized units at Vine Residences are designed to maximize the use of natural light and ventilation, and the walkability that a home right within the SM City Novaliches complex provides, and you are granted a sustainable lifestyle in a disaster-resilient property.

Novaliches as a hyper-connected economic corridor

Shaping today’s property sector along with sustainability is infrastructure. Given real estate’s confounding implications on both the economy and the environment, these two go hand in hand in uplifting quality of life — sustainability practices future-proofing homes and prioritizing health and wellness, and infrastructure developments triggering economic opportunities and paving the way for hyper-connectedness inter- and intra-cities.

Novaliches, in particular, is in a particularly exciting position when it comes to reaping the benefits of sustainable infrastructure. The soon-to-be-completed MRT Line 7 will connect the area to the planned North Triangle Common Station, where transfers can be made to other train lines. The west of the metro will soon be easily reachable via LRT Line 1, and the MRT Line 3, together with the future Mega Manila Subway, will enable ease of travel down south.

This not only signifies utmost convenience in getting in and around Metro Manila. It also solidifies Novaliches as a key economic corridor, and marks it as a real estate investment hotbed to look out for.

Real estate as the golden ticket to sustainable investments

When it comes to sustainable investments, financial experts agree that real estate is the safest, most practical choice. Real estate assets are not only income-generating, but inflation-hedging as well. 

It is a must-have in one’s investment portfolio, primarily because real estate is bound to appreciate in value over time. It stays ahead of inflation, protecting your hard-earned money and even growing it in leaps and bounds in a 10 to 20-year horizon. For immediate yet steady returns, you can always choose to rent out your unit.

Vine Residences - Lobby
As part of their continued push towards making the luxurious attainable, SMDC curates an affluent lifestyle for their residents. Opulently-designed lobbies and a dedicated front desk team not only make sure you get treated to a VIP experience every day, but are given more time and energy for the things that truly matter.

The secret lies in choosing the right developer. SMDC’s distinct formula of sustainable developments in progressive locations has, time and time, proven itself rewarding for both end-users and investors. Add to that the integrated mall lifestyle they’ve pioneered, and the human-centric approach to property management and leasing services they carry.

Steadfast in building an affluent nation of homeowners, the trailblazing developer has recently launched their Move In Now Campaign, which essentially enables more Filipinos to own and immediately move into luxurious and masterfully-designed, sustainable homes. The program allows prospective buyers to enjoy as much as 10 percent discount upon reservation on select SMDC RFO developments nationwide. It also lets them in on the opportunity to move in right away with a five percent spot cash  payment. On top of that, SMDC gives prospective buyers a housewarming present with a premium furniture item from Our Home.

More than just an after-thought, sustainable homes are a necessity, and they are now made attainable to many, thanks to SMDC. Start living sustainably and holistically with SMDC, and move in now to Vine Residences.

To know more about the promotions you can avail of under the Move In Now Campaign, follow SMDC on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tiktok, or visit the SMDC website.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Drag Playhouse PH honors Beyonce’s Renaissance with culture-defining themed show

Drag Playhouse Philippines recently celebrated the music of Beyoncé through a thematic show that further highlights the megastar’s enormous contribution to queer pop culture.

Aptly titled HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, the event provided an outlet for the queens of Drag Playhouse Philippines to express themselves freely without judgment, while sashaying to Beyoncé’s club-thumping 2022 album, Renaissance, and classic hits.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Aside from high-profile Drag Performances of OV Cunt, Marina Summers, Prince, and Eva Le Queen—three of them currently getting valuable airtime at Drag Race Philippines, the drag show also hosted friendly battles in several categories namely Drag Face, where contestants showcase exceptional makeup skills by serving mug on the runway; Drag Runway, where contestants exhibit head-to-toe fierceness during their runway walk; and Lip Sync Challenge,  where they pull their most creative tricks in synchronizing their lips to a prerecorded track.

A special drag performance featuring Viñas DeLuxe added more star power to an already eventful night as she performed a medley of Beyoncé’s hits, with House OfMizrahi Philippines, a local chapter of the Voguing community, joining in some of the performances. A purely Beyoncé-themed DJ set tucked in between the program segments also hyped the crowd, prompting them to sing and dance along to the Homecoming Queen’s iconic bops from the late ‘90s to the present.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Marina Summers, a fan-favorite and frontrunner at this year’s Drag Race Philippines, expressed how Beyoncé shaped her youth. “Her work has been an inspiration for a lot of queer artists, and personally, I’ve always loved performing to her songs. And ever since the Renaissancealbum came out, just like Queen B herself, my creative path has been challenged to be more innovative and unique.”

Another Drag Race Philippines favorite and drag icon, Eva Le Queen, spoke adoration for Beyonce, pointing out how her music is a gift to the world. “Beyonce has always been an icon and inspiration to the community. Her strong and alpha energy resonated so much to a lot of us Drag Queens who are essentially the face and frontliners of the equality movement for the community. Her music, her soul, her POWER has allowed me to live my life in my own terms and take Eva Le Queen to greater heights. Being a female, POC and be THE QUEEN B is a permission for all of us to be the best that we can be.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Like Summers and Eva Le Queen, fellow Drag Race Philippines contestant and queen extraordinaire PRINCE, considers Beyoncé as an important figure in influencing her drag persona. She also considers Renaissance as an envelope-pushing record that deserves its place in the pantheon of pop music greats. “It’s totally different from her past records. Most songs were sampled from classic disco hits but somehow Beyoncé made it sound fresh and that’s what makes it great.”

OV CUNT, another royalty in the contemporary drag scene, also showered Beyonce praises, particularly her new album Renaissance, for empowering listeners to be unapologetically, themselves. “It has awoken parts of the colorful history of our community, whether it’s intentional or not. It gave the world possibly new names of icons that may or might not be forgotten by the past. The mention of houses from ball culture, the use of Moi Renee’s Miss Honey in the Pure/Honey—it gives you every opportunity to reference every icon that contributed to our community today.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Watch the video for the roundup of HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, Category is: A Night of a Thousand Beyoncé.

Listen to This Is Beyoncé playlist here.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Delicious MEAT-up at Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Are you a certified carnivore like me?

Then, I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for juicy, flavorful and succulent morsels that you can sink your teeth into.

And where to find meats galore that you’re craving for?

Meat Depot, of course!

Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Meat Depot is both a butcher shop that carries a wide variety of meats, poultry and seafood, and a steakhouse. It is a place for meat enthusiasts to indulge their love for meat and meat products.

Whether locally raised or internationally sourced, its meat products are professionally handled from farm to plate as Meat Depot takes utmost care to comply with industry-certified procedures and employ industrial-grade facilities for meat handling, storage and cutting.

Socially conscious buyers can rest easy knowing that Meat Depot also champions conscientious butchery and helps to raise awareness for ethical slaughtering processes and food safety.

Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Over the years, the fam (and our extended family) have developed a liking for Meat Depot due to the quality of its meat products and the masterful grilling of its steaks.

After taking a break from dining in at our favorite steak place for over two years due to the pandemic, the fam was able to try out another one of Meat Depot’s branches, this time at UP Town Center in Quezon City.

Its chillers house various steak options to suit the tastes of all kinds of steak lovers, from the most basic to the most discerning:

  • Black Mountain: Ribeye, Striploin, Tenderloin, T-bone, Porterhouse, Tomahawk
  • Star: Ribeye
  • Clear River: Ribeye, Striploin
  • Lamb: Lamb Chop and Lamb Steak
  • Local: Ribeye, Striploin, Tenderloin, T-bone, Porterhouse

After selecting our steaks, the steakhouse’s expert griller set about grilling them to come out all juicy and flavorful and marked by those gorgeous grill marks, of course!

Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Newbie steak fans can take some pointers from Meat Depot’s cooking guide on various stages of doneness:

  • Blue: grilled for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Rare: grilled for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, resulting to a steak that’s seared on the outside while the inside is mostly red. This meat is soft and tender.
  • Medium Rare: grilled for 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds on each side, resulting to a steak that’s seared on the outside while the inside is half-red. This is the recommended doneness of most chefs as it has the perfect texture.
  • Medium: grilled for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes on each side, resulting to a steak with a rosy pink interior and slightly firmer texture. This is the preferred doneness of most steak lovers, my fam included.
  • Medium Well: grilled for 3 to 5 minutes on each side resulting to a steak with a mostly brown center and firm texture. This level of doneness is well-suited to people who may be squeamish and prefer not to see color in their meat.
  • Well Done: grilled for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, resulting to a steak a brown center with a very firm texture. Surprisingly, a lot of people prefer their steaks this way.
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

To make our steak meal complete, we opted to pair our steaks with mushroom sauce and side dishes that include steamed rice, mashed potatoes and marbled potatoes in balsamic dressing.

Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Wouldn’t you love to also MEAT up with your family and friends for a flavorful and filling steak meal at Meat Depot?

Then hie yourselves over to any of these Meat Depot branches located at:

  • 2/F Ayala Malls Vertis North, North Avenue, Quezon City
  • 815 Banawe Street, Brgy. St. Peter, Quezon City
  • 283 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
  • G/F Paseo de Magallanes, Magallanes, Makati City
  • 2/F O Square 2, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
  • Corner Market, 2/F The Podium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • 3/F Robinsons Galleria, EDSA, Quezon City
  • G/F U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center
Meat Depot, UP Town Center

You can also shop for your steaks and other meat products online through Meat Depot’s website and enjoy free shipping for orders exceeding Php2,500.

Stay updated on Meat Depot’s products and offers by following it on Facebook and Instagram.

Meat Depot, UP Town Center

Check out my previous posts about Meat Depot:

Olivia’s Touch: Skincare for a Touch of Confidence

I used to pride myself on being extremely low maintenance; in fact, I considered myself a koboy long before it became trendy.

I was not one to spend hours on a skincare routine, nor one who is constantly on the lookout for new skincare products to try.

Being koboy about skincare was a lot easier back in my teens and twenties when I still had the gift of youth to back me up by forgiving the sins I commit against my skin (oh, those times when I refused to wear sunblock!), as well as the sheer luck of escaping my adolescent years mostly unscathed by teenage acne.

However, as I near the more challenging period of my forties, I do realize that I owe it to myself to give nature a helping hand by taking better care of myself.

Olivia's Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch

Self-care is becoming even more important as I age, so I’m glad that Olivia’s Touch makes this easy.

Olivia’s Touch is a line of beauty products which are locally made and produced using the finest ingredients. These are dermatologically tested to be perfect for all skin types and were manufactured in cruelty-free conditions to bring about the fuss-free yet luxurious kind of skincare that’s right for me.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch

These include:

Signature Minute-White Lotion 250 ml

Now I can welcome the brightest days with much brighter skin, thanks to Olivia’s Touch Signature Minute-White Lotion.

It is enriched with anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients – SPF60 Sun Protect to shield your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays; Arbutin that evens out your skin tone by lightening dark spots, acne marks and scars; Licorice Extract to reduce wrinkles and fine lines; and Niacinamide to reduce pores and treat hyperpigmentation.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch

After my morning shower and evening bath, I massage this lotion all over my body to enjoy its moisturizing and brightening effects for up 12 hours, giving my skin round-the-clock care.

Niacinamide Serum 20ml

The neglect I subjected my skin to back in my youth does haunt me from time to time in the form of breakouts, hyperpigmentation and (ack!) the beginnings of fine lines.

Olivia’s Touch Niacinamide Serum is formulated to counter these ill effects, thanks to its active ingredient Niacinamide which shields my skin from sun damage, encourages keratin growth to keep my skin firm and healthy and reduces oil production and pore size.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch

As part of my morning skincare routine, I massage this serum on my face and neck using my fingertips.

Sun Gel SPF 50 100ml

I have known for some time now that the sun, though vital to our survival and day-to-day life, does bring with it some harm in the form UV rays.

Olivia’s Touch Sun Gel SPF 50 helps shield my skin from the sun’s ill effects while minimizing pore blockage and other acne-causing substances. It is also infused with Aloe Vera Extract to keep my skin cool and moisturized, even when exposed to direct sunlight.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch

Before going out, I spread a small amount on my face and neck using my fingertips to afford me my much-needed sun protection. Reapplying every two hours is not a problem as it feels lightweight and is non-greasy.

Whipped Scrub 200ml

An integral part of any skincare routine is cleansing but how do I gently scrub away the day’s dirt and grime, as well as dead skin cells to reveal the radiant skin that I know (or hope!) is just waiting to come out?

Well, Olivia’s Touch Whipped Scrub is formulated exactly for this: it contains Dimethicone that softens and moisturizes; Carica Papaya Extract which has anti-aging and antioxidant properties; Aloe Vera Extract which soothes dry, damaged and sensitive skin; Arbutin to help with uneven skin tone; Niacinamide which protects skin from the harmful effects of sunlight, toxins and pollution; and Shea Butter to moisturize skin and also prevent aging.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch

During my evening bath, I gently massage this whipped scrub on my face and neck using circular motions, then leave it on for two minutes (fifteen to twenty minutes for the rest of my body) then rinse off and pat dry before proceeding to my moisturizing routine.

With these initial products, Olivia’s Touch has certainly equipped me with a simple and fuss-free skin care routine – in keeping with my koboy tendencies – but one that that’s all set to protect and maintain my skin so I face growing older with a healthy touch of confidence.

Olivia’s Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch
Olivia's Touch

Want to include Olivia’s Touch beauty products into your skin care routine to help out your skin’s radiance? Simply shop at oliviastouch.com and enjoy 10% off your purchase when you use my code “IGINFRAJ10.”

Olivia's Touch

Be sure to take good care of your Olivia’s Touch products so they can also take good care of you by storing them in a cool, clean and dry area, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

MetroMart launches tandem Handyman and True Value PISO SALE with FREE Delivery from Sep 24-26

Power up your pre-holiday shopping spree with the True Value-Handyman PISO SALE, exclusively available via MetroMart app and website. From September 24-26, 2022, select items can be purchased for only ₱1.00 when you order and get it delivered via MetroMart across select branches of True Value and Handyman.

The tandem PISO SALE of True Value and Handyman will have various items available within a scheduled time per day, and the promo can be availed until supplies last. The selections include kitchen tools, different food storage containers, storage solutions, and more. The first 200 orders from True Value and Handyman will also get FREE Delivery when they meet the minimum order spend.

MetroMart Piso Sale Handyman True Value
MetroMart Piso Sale Handyman True Value

*Products are subject to availability from different True Value and Handyman branches.

“As all Filipino families gear up for the holiday season, our MetroMart family wants to provide these amazing deals and discounts, working together with our merchants and partners. In our own way, we help bring the Christmas celebrations, plus the spirit of giving and family togetherness, to fruition.” Stefano Fazzini, CEO and co-founder of MetroMart, said.

The True Value-Handyman PISO SALE promo is applicable to New and Existing Users of MetroMart. A min. spend of ₱2,000 is required in order to avail the 1-peso sale items. Only completed checkout of orders within the sale period can avail the discounted items.

MetroMart Piso Sale Handyman True Value
MetroMart Piso Sale Handyman True Value

New to MetroMart? Get a ₱200 discount for a minimum order of ₱2k. Use the promo code “MMNEW” on the MetroMart app or website upon checkout. This is applicable across all stores and supermarkets for New customers, valid for one-time use until October 16, 2022.

Sign up for a MetroMart account here and enjoy Php200 grocery credit.

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include S&R (with or no membership card required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @metromartph.

Sawsaw-sarap ng Pinoy food, thanks to all-natural vinegars from Casa Lontoc

One significant feature of Filipino cuisine is the abundance of condiments.

We don’t consider a viand complete when it leaves the kitchen and is served on our dining tables. Nope, we still keep the option of further enhance its flavor or add some spice, zing or texture to it, through the use of condiments.

In his article The Psychology of Condiments: A Review, food scholar Charles Pence posits that “the existence of condiments is probably also an acknowledgement of the very different worlds of taste in which we all live.

After all, condiments allow us to personalize our food, adjusting its taste according to our individual preferences.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

There’s little wonder then, that we Pinoys developed a wealth of condiments and dipping sauces that make our dining experiences all the richer.

Husband-and-wife team Juan Carlos Lontoc and Louwina Ann Balboa Lontoc grew their small enterprise of making and bottling sinamak into a fast-growing business they called Casa Lontoc.

Sinamak is the spiced vinegar which is aged with spices and aromatics, making it very flavorful. It is a perfect complement for the Ilonggo delicacy chicken inasal, as well as grilled and fried dishes such as liempo and seafood. Plus, it can also be used as a marinade for various dishes or as the acid in the local version of ceviche, such as the tuna kinilaw.

Casa Lontoc’s Mild Sinamak is the best bet for those who want a distinct Ilonggo flair for their grilled dishes. It is made from all-natural distilled cane vinegar and spices, inspired by a Lontoc heirloom recipe.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Similarly, the Spicy Sinamak, is made from the same recipe but has more heat to it, not only enhancing the flavor of the dishes it accompanies, but also bringing a lot more spice to them.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Casa Lontoc’s Sweet and Spicy Cane Vinegar, on the other hand, is quite distinctive thanks to its sweetness. This makes it quite a match to the Filipino penchant for sweetness and is a great salad dressing or vinaigrette for ensaladas, or a dipping sauce for finger foods.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Other Casa Lontoc products include:

  • Spiced Tuba Vinegar
  • Spiced Iloco Vinegar
  • Chili Garlic
  • Habanero Chili Garlic

Casa Lontoc’s all-natural vinegars and sauces certainly help to bring new dimensions of flavor to many Pinoy dishes.

Who knows? Maybe they can also introduce new sawsaw-sarap possibilities to foreign dishes as well!

Try them as dipping sauces for your everyday meals or as dressings or marinades for special dishes during your weekend family barbecues.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

To know more about Casa Lontoc and its products, visit its website and follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

Tong Yang Shabu Shabu Express, SM Megamall

If you think that treating your fam to a delicious shabu-shabu meal would be a costly and difficult endeavor, think again.

Especially as we are now in the midst of rainy season, a steaming bowl of soup can be quite a source of comfort.

The good news is that y’all can enjoy a tasty hotpot meal, quick and easy at Tong Yang Shabu Shabu Express at SM Megamall’s Eatogether Food Hall.

Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall

Choosing from these tasty selections, family members can build their own shabu-shabu experience:

  • Meats (120g): chicken fillet (Php140), pork belly (Php150), beef karubi (Php150), beef chuck eye (Php180), Australian lamb (Php250), striploin (Php250), Angus beef (Php420), Wagyu Beef (Php520)
  • Seafood (100g): squidflower (Php60), half-shell mussel (Php60), shrimp (Php120), cream dory (Php60)
  • Shabu-shabu balls: fish ball (Php80), fish cake (Php80), squid ball (Php80), crabsticks (Php80), mushroom ball (Php85), lobster ball (Php110), cheese ball (Php120)
  • Vegetables (50g): native pechay (Php25), Taiwan pechay (Php50), cabbage (Php25), corn (Php40), enoki mushroom (Php120)
  • Soup bases: chicken and pork (Php50), spicy mala (Php60), sinigang (Php55), laksa (Php60)m sate (Php60), pickled vegetable (Php50), Chinese herb (Php60)
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall

Or they can select from the affordably priced individual sets the one that best suits their shabu-shabu preference:

  • dumpling set (Php200 solo | Php320 regular)
  • vegetarian set (Php190 solo | Php300 regular)
  • pork set (Php200 solo | Php340 regular)
  • chicken set (Php220 solo | Php350 regular)
  • beef karubi set (Php230 solo | Php350 regular)
  • seafood set (Php250 solo | Php590 regular)
  • beef chuck eye set (Php420)
  • lamb set (Php480)
  • beef striploin set (Php480)
  • Angus beef set (Php650)
  • Wagyu set (Php800)
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall

But for a hassle-free group meal, a hotpot for sharing option would be the fam’s best bet:

Couple Sets:

  • mixed seafood and beef (Php350 solo| Php750 regular)
  • mixed seafood and pork (Php350 solo| Php750 regular)
  • premium meats (Php1,390)

Family Sets:

  • seafood feast (Php1,590)
  • premium meats for 4 (Php1,620)
  • combination set (Php2,150)
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall

We opted for a premium meats for 4 set where each family member got a personal soup pot (with our individual choice of soup base – mine was laksa, Hubby’s was spicy mala and the kids opted for chicken and pork), a sizeable selection of premium meats, seafood, vegetables and shabu-shabu balls, as well as a conduction stove in which to cook their own hotpot, we each basically had full control of our delicious and very filling shabu-shabu experience.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced shabu-shabu meal for the fam, Tong Yang Express is a great choice.

Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall
Tong Yang Express, SM Megamall

This Tong Yang Shabu Shabu Express branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches are located at:

  • SM Center Pasig, Frontera Drive, Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Avenue corner Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Pasig
  • SM Light Mall, EDSA corner Madison Street, Mandaluyong
  • SM Cherry Shaw, 514 Shaw Blvd, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong
  • The Rise Makati, 7248 Malugay Street, Makati
  • Eatogether Food Hall, 2/F Unimart at Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Pasig

Check out my previous posts about Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall:

3 Reasons to enjoy the creamiest halo-halo in the solar system from Bebang Halo-Halo

Just because we’ve entered the BER months, it doesn’t mean that it’s no longer the time to have halo-halo.

This shaved ice confection is considered the unofficial national dessert of the Philippines.

Its beginnings is said to be traced back to the pre-war Japanese-Filipinos in Quiapo who introduced a version of the Japanese kakigori called mongo-ya. It was made with minatamis na munggo (boiled and sweetened mung beans) served on top of crushed ice with milk and sugar. Over time, more native ingredients such as ube jam, sweetened kidney beans, rice crispies and leche flan were added, resulting in the development of the modern halo-halo.

The halo-halo got its name from the action needed to bring about its best qualities: it needs to be mixed (“halo“) again and again (‘halo-halo”) to bring various ingredients together with the sweetened and milky shaved ice in every spoonful.

Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo

Being an icy dessert, one would think that it is most popular during the hot summer months. However, I would beg to differ: any time is a great time to enjoy halo-halo, especially if its a Bebang Halo-halo.

Here are three reasons why:

1. “Ang iniiiiiit pa rin dito!” (It’s still hot in here!)

The hot summer season actually lasts year round in this country. We just get to experience a few bouts of rainy and windy weather in between sweltering heat spells. With the heightened temperature comes heightened tempers, don’t they?

We definitely need something cold to refresh us and take our minds of the heat, as well as something sweet to sweeten our mood.

Bebang Halo-Halo
Halo-Halo Special (Php138/16oz). There’s nothing ordinary with this icy dessert made with frozen milk, leche flan, pandan jelly, sago, mais, nata, banana cinnamon, ube halaya and rice crispies.
Bebang Halo-Halo
Halukay Ube (Php158/160z). Our favorite purple yam dessert takes centerstage with this halo-halo made with ube-flavored frozen milk, leche flan, pandan jelly, ube halaya, sago, mais, nata, banana cinnamon, langka, special macapauno and rice crispies.

A couple of Bebang Halo-halo can surely cool down our temperaments despite the hot weather!

2. “Maiba naman!” (It’s time for a change!)

If we want a break from the usual dayuhan desserts that abound in so many eateries and go back to our roots, why not do it in a yummy way with a icy cup of Bebang Halo-halo?

Given the Pinoy penchant for sweets, it’s no wonder that many versions of halo-halo exist. We keep on finding ways to make a good thing even greater, don’t we?

Bebang Halo-Halo
Banana Cinnamon con Yelo (Php158/16oz). The kusilba or minatamis na saging gets an upgrade with this halo-halo made with frozen milk, leche flan, vanilla jelly, sago, banana, caramel syrup and rice crispies.
Bebang Halo-Halo
Mango Graham (Php158/16oz). Your go-to refrigerator cake is now in halo-halo form: made with frozen milk, leche flan, caramel syrup, fresh mango and crushed grahams.

Just like Bebang Halo-halo: it has a menu of fifteen halo-halo variants so that every one can always go back to a halo-halo fave or switch to a new flavor, anytime!

You can also pair your icy dessert with one of Bebang Halo-halo’s hotdogs and fries. You can even switch it up again by trying one of its Taho (silken tofu with tapioca pearls and sugar syrup) series.

So many delicious possibilities, so little time. Sigh!

3. “Dasurb ko ito e!” (I deserve this!)

We have been through a lot, haven’t we?

With all the worries, anxiety and frustration that we have lived through in the past two years, we have certainly earned ourselves a respite.

Let’s make it a delicious one with the creamiest halo-halo in the solar system from Bebang’s Halo-halo.

Bebang Halo-Halo
Halo-Halo Presidential (Php168/160z). This halo-halo made with frozen milk, leche flan, pandan jelly, sago, mais, nata, langka, banana cinnamon, special macapauno and rice crispies deserves its place at the top.
Bebang Halo-Halo
Limited Edition Royal Halo-Halo (Php498).
Go all-out luxe on this halo-halo made with frozen milk, leche flan, pandan jelly, strawberry/peach/blueberry/mango sago, ube halaya, special macapuno, pistachio, cashew and mallow fluff topped with edible 24-karat gold leaf… if you think you deserve the royal treatment.

So don’t worry if it’s a good time for halo-halo, because any time is a good time for it. Go ahead and treat yourself and your loved ones with a Bebang Halo-halo, just like I did.

Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo
Bebang Halo-Halo

Bebang Halo-halo is a homegrown brand which offers leveled-up versions of the classic Pinoy dessert: the halo-halo. It recently trended on social media, thanks to its news-making Limited Edition Royal Halo-halo.

You can enjoy your Bebang Halo-halo right in the comforts of your home, or wherever you are in the metro (especially if you’re RTO – returning to the office – you would need one to cool down after a long commute or a heated meeting). It delivers to most Metro Manila areas through its in-house delivery service or via GrabFood and Lalamove. To make sure your orders will arrive as fresh and icy as you like them, opt to get an insulated bag packed with ice for an additional Php60.

You may also opt to pick up your halo-halo from the Bebang Halo-halo store at the Wack-Wack Royal Mansion, 574 Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City in front of PCSO.

Message your orders to Bebang Halo-halo today. To stay updated on its offers, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.