Today, I receive all God’s love for me. Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless, overflowing abundance of God’s Universe. Today, I open myself to your Blessings, healing and miracles.Today, I open myself to God’s Word so that I become more like Jesus Everyday. Today, I proclaim that I’m God’s Beloved, I’m God’s Servant, I’m God’s powerful champion, And because I am blessed, I will bless the world, In Jesus Name, Amen.

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RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain. A unique insight into the fragility of the extraordinary human brain. A true st...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

FREE MOVIES: 8TH Spring Festival


FREE MOVIES: 8TH Spring Festival
The best things in life are free.  Agree or disagree? Free movies are up for grabs at the 8th year of Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies and the Ateneo Celadon's sponsored Spring Film Festival. Yehey!

The 2014's Spring Film Festival Movie Line-Up will be shown on January 24 to February 2, 2014 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall and will also be held simultaneously in 
the following places in the Philippines:
  1. Cebu
  2. Davao
  3. Ilo-Ilo
  4. Cagayan de Oro. 
  5. Naga City
  6. Dagupan 
  7. Baguio. 
Admission is free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here is the line-up and their respective synopsis:

Snowfall in Taipei

May, a singer from mainland China, suddenly lost her voice and had conflicts with Ah Lei, her producer and secret lover. In anger, she came to Old Town of Jingtong where she met Xiao Mo, a warmhearted man. Xiao Mo helped May find a dwelling place, and introduced her to work at a local restaurant. Thanks to their constant contacts, they made a good impression with each other. May found happiness and consolation from the old streets of the small town, and her voice was getting better and better. However, May had left her heart at another place. Gradually, Xiao Mo understood that when one deliberately disappears, one wants to be looked for by others. Along with a sudden appearance of Jack, a muckraking journalist, the situation began to develop towards the uncontrolled direction.

City Monkey

He Zhipeng is a senior student in high school who lives in a big old Beijing hutong yard with his mother and grandmother. He loves parkour, an extremely dangerous sport in most people’s eyes. With his good psychology and physique, he becomes the star player of “City Monkey” parkour club. But his mother strongly disapproves it and hopes he could focus only on his entrance exams to university. Clashes of different concepts, rebellion of the youth, and persistence to the ideal are unavoidable problems for them. What would the two generations do?

Aftershock

Tangshan, 1976. Two seven-year-old twin children are buried under the rubble of the devastating earthquake. The rescue team explains to their mother, Li Yuanni that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life and must choose between her children. Li Yuanni has no idea that her decision is overheard by her daughter Fang Deng, the female twin. Although she has been left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives for several more days before being pulled clear by another rescue team who believe that she is simply a corpse. She wakes up in the pouring rain next to the dead body of her father. Suffering from the emotional shocks of the disaster and the painful memory of her mother’s choice, Fang Deng refuses to reveal her identity. She is adopted by a middle-aged Chinese couple and years later moves to Canada to marry. Shadowed by the traumatic experiences of the earthquake and devastated by her mother’s decision to abandon her, she continues to be emotionally withdrawn throughout her adult years.

Where is My Home

Mrs. Geng is a simple village mother who raised two children on her own. Her son made his way to the city and offers to have her come live with him and his family. Despite the improved material conditions of the city, Mrs. Geng cannot help feeling isolated and lonely. It takes some time for her children to understand how she feels, and they rebuild their family’s affection.

The I-go King and his Son

Liu Yishou, an amateur Go player, is called by his friends “the king of Go”. Liu Yishou has been laid off quite a long time ago and now, with no other skills to make a living, teaches Go in a humble training course for children. Life has been hard, and his wife has decided to divorce him. His young son, Xiaochuan, has chosen to stay with him through his difficulties. On an unexpected occasion, Xiaochuan displayed an amazing talent for Go, and his father vowed to support him to further develop his gift for the game. They confronted challenges, but with courage, persistence and profound love between father and son, they eventually arrived at the destination towards which they were heading.

1911 Revolution

As the country enters the new century, China is facing a crisis. Two warring factions have emerged, starvation amongst the citizens is rampant and political reforms have made matters worse. The seven year old Emperor and his mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen), are out of sync with people’s needs after 250 years of total power. As Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) arrives from his studies on modern warfare in Japan, he finds himself picking up his sword to lead a rebellion against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army.

Let’s Fall in Love

Tan Momo, who showed his natural gift in music in his childhood, entered the Conservatory of Music to learn to play Guqin (seven-stringed plucked instrument) smoothly. His teacher placed great hopes on him and his girlfriend Xia Fei had the greatest esteem for him. Upon their graduation, Momo, Xia Fei and other young people who cherished dreams finally walked out of the campus and began to experience the ups and downs in real life. While in front of conflicts between their ideals and family relation, love and morality, what would they choose.

Li Mi Conjecture

Due to the intervention of her parents, taxi driver girl Li Mi had to break up with her long-term boyfriend, Fang Wen, who had disappeared from her life yet seemed to remain connected. For four years, Li Mi had continued to search for his whereabouts in a constant tug-of-war between hope and despair. An eerie murder was witnessed, leading her to a man nearly identical to her missing lover. Could he be the one she has been looking for? Her life suddenly changes. Then come terrible yet pitiful drug dealers, and irascible but highly duteous police detectives. Behind the cascades of mysteries, compromises lie still between those who were once in love.

All movies are in Chinese with English subtitles This will 
give you and your children a glimpse of the Chinese culture while enjoying Chinese quality films. I am so excited! I couldn't wait for the festival to start. Please share with your facebook friends, twitter and instagram followers!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Why did Angel Locsin Cry this Afternoon?


VIDEO: Why did Angel Locsin Cry this Afternoon?
Angel Locsin suddenly got teary-eyed after she was asked by some members of the press about Luis Manzano right after our blogger conference for The Legal Wife this afternoon, January 15, 2014. Angel admitted that she is hoping to reconcile with ex-boyfriend Luis Manzano. 
She believes it is up to her and Luis. After all everything is possible, especially now that both of them are single. Here is the video of the portion of the interview where she admitted that she hopes for her and Luis to reconcile. Hmmmm... I can smell love in the air...part two?  
   
In the video, you could see her trying to calm herself. After saying goodbye, Angel Locsin proceeded to the Comfort Room (CR) and stayed there for a long long while. 

#TheLegalWife #LegalWife #Love #January27 #LuisManzano #AngelLocsin


ISRAEL: OFW Osang Wins X Factor Israel


ISRAEL: OFW Osang Wins X Factor Israel
Our kababayan (compatriot) Rose "Osang" Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver who works in Israel for 6 years after a 20-year stint in the Middle East, won the first ever "X Factor Israel" contest. 
Rose Fostanes puts a face to the thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Israel. As the first season winner of "X Factor Israel," Osang becomes a great inspiration to a whole lot of people who never thought that a dream could still come true at age 47.  I hope Osang, as she is fondly called by close friends, continues to be an inspiration to many, particularly OFWs. May she never change her humble ways.

She showed Israel and the world how a 47 year-old can still fulfill her dreams while striving hard abroad for her loved ones back home.

The finale of the show was shown live in Israel on January 14, 2014 (Tuesday). That's Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 1 o' clock in the morning in Manila.  

Rose "Osang" Fostanes sang the Frank Sinatra classic "My Way" with an orchestra. #myway
On behalf of Osang and the Filipino people, I would like to thank all the Israelis who voted for Osang. Thank you for not discriminating against her in your contest. #ProudFilipino #XfactorIsrael #myway

Here is Rose "Osang" Fostanes' winning performance:

My Way Performance of Osang

Osang also performed  Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" duet with her mentor Shiri Maimon :

Osang is part of the show's "Over 25s" category. Placing second is Eden Ben Zaken (Girls category), and third is Ori Shakiv (Boys category). She's one of the favorites to win the reality show's first season with performances regularly lauded by the show's judges. 

Sidelights: Her rendition of "My Way," with an orchestra as her backup, got a standing ovation from the judges: 
  • rock singer Rami Fortis
  • singer and composer Moshe Peretz
  • pop singer Ivri Lider
  • and Maimon ( Osang's mentor who was teary-eyed after her performance. Oh! I love Maimon! She's so sweet and good in singing too!)
Congratulations Osang! May you use your new found stature to help your OFW kababayan in Israel.


INSPIRATIONAL: Heartwarming Video


INSPIRATIONAL: Heartwarming Video

This video proves that there are still good people in this world. I cried when I saw this video. It reminded me once again that there are still wonderful people around.  For a while there, I thought there was none anymore.


Monday, January 13, 2014

KIMUKATSU: Yummy Japanese Dishes


KIMUKATSU: Yummy Japanese Dishes
kimukatsu (キムカツ) ebi mayo or prawn mayonnaise, Shangri-la, East Wing,Manila, Philippines,
Joining the Tonkatsu bandwagon in Manila is Kimukatsu (キムカツ).  The most famous pork cutlet restaurant in Japan with multiple locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Sendai, Korea, Hawaii and California, U.S.A, is now in the Philippines!  
decor, ambiance at kimukatsu (キムカツ), Shangri-la, East Wing,Manila, Philippines,
Since it is my first time to eat at Kimukatsu, I asked for assistance from one of the owners. He is very helpful in describing the menu and the types of katsu (short for katsuretsu, meaning cutlet) that they offer. All of them are very friendly so don't hesitate to ask for assistance if you're not familiar with the condiments and dishes that they offer.


Appetizer

Ebi Mayo or prawn mayonnaise (Php210.00 + 10% service charge) is a fantastic appetizer. Kimukatsu's version is very delicious. Their shrimp dish consists of 8 pcs. shrimp, peeled and deveined . Kimukatsu has one of the few shrimp dishes that I like. The shrimp is soft and tasty. It is not really healthy so people with high blood pressure must eat in moderation.

Verdict: 4 fingers



Koshikihari Rice
kimukatsu (キムカツ),white, rice, Shangri-la, East Wing,Manila, Philippines,
I love the restaurant's unique bamboo rice container. Its rice is special, not your normal cheap everyday rice The rice is freshly cooked. It comes unlimited when you order the set meal.

Verdict: 4 fingers


Miso Soup
kimukatsu (キムカツ),white miso soup, red miso soup, Shangri-la, East Wing,Manila, Philippines,
Unlike other Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) restaurant, Kimukatsu offers not one but two types of miso soup:
  • Red
  • White

The white miso soup is creamier and sweeter, which is just right for my palette. I don't like the red miso because of its spicier kick. Some of our companions prefer the red one though, so it all depends on your taste buds. Both has generous servings of sea kelp and diced soft tofu.

Verdict: 4 fingers

Cabbage Salad
Kurogoma, Black Sesame Seeds, Cabbage, sliced cabbage
Unlimited sliced fresh cabbage. For me, its the finest cabbage salad ever. Best with Kimukatsu goma (sesame) dressing and the kimukatsu salad dressing (shoyu paste soy-vinegar).

Condiments

Verdict: 4 fingers


Kurogoma or Black Sesame Seeds
Kurogoma, Black Sesame Seeds, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
A tonkatsu (pork cutlet) meal will never be complete without the traditional sesame seeds grinding ritual to go with their sauce. Kimukatsu's black sesame seeds are imported from Japan that's why they are limited to only one serving per person.  Black sesame seeds, especially after being toasted, are fragrant and nutty and wholly addictive. Kurogoma or Black Sesame Seeds are also used to promote healthy bowels and in Chinese medicine, they are used to promote healthy kidneys and liver. They also contain phytosterol which apparently helps to reduce cholesterol.
Tonkatsu Sauce or pork cutlet sauce with black sesame seeds, soy-vinegar, condiments, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
Kimukatsu offers two Katsu sauces:
  1. Tonkatsu sauce (the strong) which is in the black sauce pot; and  
  2. Ponzu sauce (the mild) is in the white sauce pot. 
I decided to experiment by mixing both sauces to my tonkatsu. The first sauce on the right is the preferred sauce of Filipino customers because it is sweeter, while the one in the middle is vinegar with grounded black sesame. 

Some people prefer a few dash of the pink Himalayan salt at the right corner.

Tonkatsu or pork cutlet
Tonkatsu or pork cutlet, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
Kimukatsu's tonkatsu is very unique! I was so amazed looking at those paper thin pork cutlets. Unlike the classic tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) that are cut into to one thick piece, Kimukatsu's pork loin is thinly sliced. Twenty five (25) layers of paper thin meaty goodness are painstakingly crafted, stacked and rolled to made one regular size tonkatsu. So yummy and flavorful! In Japan, according to my friend, this type of multi-layered tonkatsu is called a "mille-feuille katsu."  Sounds French to me than Japanese. He he he.
Tonkatsu or pork cutlet, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
 Kimukatsu's tonkatsu filings come in 7 flavors:
  • Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Kurokosho (black pepper)
  • Negi shio (salt marinated green onion)
  • Umeshiso (sour plum with Japanese basil)
  • Yuzu kosho (Yuzu with pepper)
  • plain tonkatsu
Tonkatsu or pork cutlet, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
Kimukatsu's tonkatsu is not oily unlike other tonkatsu. It is very crispy on the outside and tender juicy in the inside. We are very lucky here in the Philippines because Kimukatsu's tonkatsu costs an arm and leg in Japan while it only costs Php380 per order here in the Philippines, with unlimited Japanese rice, freshly sliced cabbage, complimentary appetizers of Tsukemono (pickled vegetables), mayonnaise, sauce and even unlimited hot tea. I can say that this is a perfect deal. You could even order by the set if you have a companion with you. A family of seven or eight could order the 7 flavors for only Php2,400 Vat inclusive just add 10% service charge though.

Light and fluffy, yet extremely juicy and flavorful, it is the softest tonkatsu you'll sink your teeth in. 

Verdict: 4 fingers 

Kuro Goma Purin or Black Sesame Pudding (黒ごまプリン)

Tonkatsu or pork cutlet, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines

Kimukatsu's version is divine! I have a penchant for sweets.  I love Kimukatsu's black sesame pudding.  It is the best among all the desserts that I had tried in Kimukatsu Php110 plus 10% service charge.

Verdict: 5 fingers 

Japanese Panna Cotta
Japanese Panna Cotta, Kimukatsu, Manila, ShangriLa, New Wing
Japanese Panna Cotta Php110.  Served cold. This creamy goodness is the Japanese version of Panna Cotta ( which by the way literally means cooked cream in Italian ) It is a rich-tasting, absolutely divine dessert. This luscious soft Japanese panna cotta is a perfect accompaniment to your Tonkatsu meal at Kimukatsu.

Verdict: 4 fingers

Green Tea Ice Cream with Mochi 
Macha, Ice Cream, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines
Macha Parfait Two scoops of green tea ice cream with one tablespoon red bean paste, 2 pcs. of mochi. Green tea has a very refreshing green grass aroma. It helps cut the smell of fish and grease in our dinner. The green tea used in Green Tea Ice Cream is called Matcha in Japanese. Matcha is in powdered form, and so it has a much more concentrated flavor than green tea leaves. It is forbidden to be mixed with green tea made with regular tea bag. Matcha is also a drink that is used in the tea ceremony in Japan, but you don’t drink it as much as brewed green tea.

Verdict: 4 fingers


Black sesame ice cream or kurogoma aisukurimu
 kurogoma aisukurimu, Kuro Goma Purin or Black Sesame Pudding (黒ごまプリン), Black Sesame Seed, Ice Cream, Kimukatsu, Shangri-la, Manila, Philippines  
Black sesame ice cream or kurogoma aisukurimu.  

Kurogoma is believed to have health benefits that is why this ice cream became very popular in Japan for a while. It is said to be loaded with minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus,copper, iron and calcium. This is the first time I've ever tried an ice cream with Black sesame flavor. My initial impression is that it was strange because of the texture of the partially ground sesame seeds, but I loved the taste. It has a sweet, roasted and earthy flavor to it. It was unlike anything that I’ve ever tasted before. I just hope they could reduce the amount of sugar though.

Verdict: 4 fingers


kimukatsu (キムカツ),decor, Shangri-la, East Wing,Manila, Philippines,
Service

The service is good. The staff is friendly and accommodating. I just don't like it though when they shouted "Irasshaimase"  in chorus at the top of their voices on my ear when I passed by. They actually remind me of Cyma's enthusiastic chorus of "Opa." Lol.

With their delicious dishes, Kimukatsu gets my highest recommendation. I couldn't wait to go back. 
Kimukatsu Japanese Restaurant
Level 5 Shangri-la Plaza East Wing Shaw Boulevard corner
EDSA, Mandaluyong City
+63(02)7270333
Open from 10:00am to 10:00pm


Thursday, January 9, 2014

QUIAPO: Black Nazarene Feast


QUIAPO: Black Nazarene Feast

Quiapo Church is home to Black Nazarene, a much-venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many Filipinos believe has miraculous attributes.

Faith and action come hand and hand. It may be chaotic but no one could stop the devotees of the Black Nazarene from attending its feast day celebration. 12 million devotees are expected to flock to Quiapo Church and around its streets today.

The annual procession always draws a huge number of devotees who believe that the image has performed many miracles. Msgr. Ignacio, rector and parish priest of Quiapo Church, advised pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and the disabled “not to attend the procession or to distance themselves from the crowd for safety reasons.”
Year after year, Filipinos coming from different provinces and abroad, together with curious foreigners, join the traditional procession. If you want to join the celebration today, expect a sea of devotees carrying the statue of Poong Itim na Nazareno (Black Nazarene) around the streets of Manila, especially in the Quiapo area.

Photos by Collin Yap


Friday, January 3, 2014

Philippine Holidays for 2014


Philippine Holidays for 2014 
For those who are planning their vacation for 2014, here is the list of holidays for 2014.

2014 Regular Holiday List:

New Year’s Day (WEDNESDAY) – January 1
Araw ng Kagitingan (WEDNESDAY) – April 9
Maundy Thursday (THURSDAY) – April 17
Good Friday (FRIDAY) – April 18
Labor Day (THURSDAY) – May 1
Philippine Independence Day (THURSDAY) – June 12
Eid’l Fit’r and Eidul Adha – TO BE ANNOUNCED
National Heroes Day (Last MONDAY of August) - August 25
Bonifacio Day (SUNDAY) – November 30
Christmas Day (THURSDAY) – December 25
Rizal Day ( TUESDAY) – December 30

2014 Special (Non-Working) Holiday List:

Chinese New Year / Spring Festival 2014 (Friday) – January 31
Black Saturday (SATURDAY) – April 19
Ninoy Aquino Day (THURSDAY) – August 21
All Saint’s Day (SATURDAY) – November 1

2014 Additional Special (Non Working) Holidays:

Day Before Christmas (WEDNESDAY) – December 24
Additional Christmas Holiday day after Christmas (FRIDAY) – December 26
Last Day of the Year (WEDNESDAY) – December 31

Special Holiday (for all schools in all levels):

EDSA People Power Revolution ( TUESDAY) – February 25


Happy New Year everyone! Enjoy!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN AT THE TOP OF THE CENTURY


NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN AT THE TOP OF THE CENTURY





Cheers! Happy New Year 2014 everyone!




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