Archive for the ‘Atbp.’ Category

Carlos Celdran Recommends Groovy Maps Manila

Good news to all Manila travelers: there is now the perfect map to help you get around. And I do mean get around. As per the recommendation of city cicerone Carlos Celdran, I am buying a Groovy Map ‘N’ Guide of Manila, as should all other tourists and accidental travelers. What is it exactly? Let’s see what the official website has to say:

Designed as an ‘executive brief’, the Groovy Map N Guide has everything you need to get the most of a city in a short time. With clear maps and independent reviews, we’ll lead you to the best in the city. Guaranteed.

We list and locate places on the map in five categories: Groovy Dining, Groovy Bars & Pubs, Groovy Shopping, Groovy Culture, Groovy Clubbing. Leave the guidebook at home — and go out and enjoy a “city made simple”.

Chris Mitchell summarized in his Travelhappy blog: With a map, you don’t want a lot of information – you want the best information, efficiently organised to let you look at it and understand it rapidly – and that’s precisely what the Groovy Map does.

Mr. Celdran himself offers a quick review:

I assure you that it has NONE of the useless crap, advertising and flagrant product placements that the other city maps have. Filled to the brim with useful information about dining, sightseeing, gay and straight bar hopping, and shopping, the map gives you the insider’s view of what to expect as seen through the eyes of someone who you assume is as groovy as you might be. The choices are also rather progressive, the map features underground insider secrets like Fat Michaels, Filling Station, the Evangelista flea markets, and the fantastic Cubao X art scene among many others (like yours truly). Best of all, the map is printed on super thick lamination paper so that it wouldn’t rip or get soggy on the streets steamy ol’ Manila. Be sure to pick one up before you arrive in the city. Or if you are a resident Manileno, just buy a whole bunch to give to visiting friends who wish to independently explore Manila in a fast and funky way. No surprise, that the Groovy Guide was the 2006 Winner ‘Best Tourist/Free Map’ Award from the International Map Trade Association (IMTA) and a recipient of a 5 star rating from Amazon.com.

Groovy. Get one so you can get around.

Dell Launches Consumer Brand in the Philippines

Dell Capoeira

Apple what?

Last Thursday in Prince of Jaipur at The Fort, Dell Philippines launched its award-winning XPS and Inspiron laptop computer systems for the consumer segment.

And what an arrival it was! In a dazzling display of colors and artistry – featuring a stunning glow-in-the-dark pantomime performance and an enthralling capoeira number – Dell offered possible in-store buyers a vibrant peek of the beauty and power of its Consumer Brands. “Experience Inspiration,” went the tagline.

Dell Mime Hands

For the first time in the Philippines, Dell will be making available through retail partners the award-winning XPS M1330 and the Inspiron 1420 laptops, as well as the Inspiron 530 and slim-build 530s desktops. These were on display during the launch, and then later raffled off to lucky guests, which of course did not include me.

In a statement, Dell Philippines Country Manager Barry Bunyi said: “This is an important initiative for Dell and a great way for us to connect with the Philippine customers we may not have reached in the past. We have had strong success in the corporate segment and the time is right for us to allow the general populace to experience what Dell has to offer.”

For more information, visit www.dell.com, or to communicate directly with Dell via a variety of online channels, go to www.dell.com/conversations. To get Dell news direct, visit www.dell.com/RSS.

Dance

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Photos by Nykko Santos.

Manila Bay, Again

Who can get enough of Manila Bay? I took a photo one recent summer afternoon.

MB

Jollibee and friends make TV debut on GMA7

This summer school break, children can start enjoying the company of Jollibee and friends not just in their favorite fast-food stores, but on television, too. The brand that gave Filipino children the Jollibee Kids Meal, Jollibee Kiddie Party, Jollibee Kids Club and MaAga ang Pasko sa Jollibee, as well as their favorite spaghetti, fried chicken, sandwiches and desserts brings forth another innovation they will surely love— Jollitown, the new kids’ show on GMA7 featuring the fun and insightful adventures of Jollibee, Yum, Hetty, Popo and Twirlie. Each week, the five friends interact with the children who live with them in Jollitown through stories and music that those watching at home can also sing and dance to.

Jollibee and friends

At the recent launch of the new TV program, top entertainment scribes and guests were allowed to enter this magical world as Jollitown was temporarily transported to Rockwell Tent. A place of rainbows, dessert- and toy-shaped clouds, and magical fountains, Jollitown is a place where the happiness of children reigns. The atmosphere rivals that of famous foreign children’s shows and provides an enjoyable setting for kids to freely frolic and learn. The first TV program in the country that’s produced by a major food chain, Jollitown merges the company’s Filipino family-oriented values with the network’s kid-friendly programming, assuring parents of a wholesome viewing experience that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

The bright, bubbly and educational TV treat stays in tune with Jollibee’s mission of spreading happiness and promoting friendships and positive thinking. With every weekly installment, audiences will get to know the real characters of Jollibee and his friends and find inspiration in how they make the most of their unique personalities.

Yum is the imaginative young science expert who loves solving puzzles and mysteries through experiments and high-tech gadgetry. Cheerleader Hetty is the group’s big sister and is looked up to for her sweet, nurturing ways, neatness and self-discipline. The funniest and most athletic of the bunch, Popo loves sports but never neglects his studies and thus always gets good grades. Twirlie, the star performer who loves to sing and dance, is ever curious and inquisitive. And as everyone’s best friend is Jollibee, always good-natured, smiling and playful, he is a natural leader who sets an example for his friends with his courteous, helpful and kind ways.

The launch of Jollitown is yet another highlight of Jollibee’s 30th anniversary celebration this year. As the leading fast-food chain marks three decades of serving langhap-sarap experiences, Filipinos can expect more special activities, promotions and corporate social responsibility programs to promote the brand’s vision, values and increasing global stature, as well as reward the consumers who have helped make it all possible. As the latest offering for its younger but loyal patrons, Jollitown is an exciting and engaging highlight of the company’s 30th year commemoration. Sunday mornings’ new jolly habit starts this April 13, 9:30 to 10:00 am on GMA7.

P.I. Jazz Fest 2008

Raul Midon

Are you a fan of jazz? Are you a fan of music?

If you are, then prove it by joining the biggest musical festival in the country this year: The Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival 2008, which started last 29th of February in Manila and runs until the 15th of March. Featured international artists include Lee Ritenour, Kurt Elling, Omar Sosa, Sara Gazarek, Chico and the Gypsies, and Incognito. From local shores we have Johnny Alegre, Bob Aves Group, Toti Fuentes, Gerard Salonga, Manuel Baldemor, and the Brass Munkeys, among others.

The event this year is made more special because the organizer, P.I. Jazz Foundation, is now involved with UNICEF. Efforts are being made to bring jazz to the youth through development programs such as school workshops in Far Eastern University and the University of Santo Tomas, summer music training courses, a talent search contest, and mall tours featuring our top local musicians.

The real reason why I am all hyped up about it, however, is the phenomenal Raul Midón. You’ve simply got to see him! The blind New York City-based singer-songwriter and guitarist will be down at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza to give a free workshop on March 12. And on March 13, he’ll be featured in the main concert with Montreal-based jazz pianist Lorraine Demarais.

For more information, visit the official website at http://www.pijazzfest.com.

Home Sweet Legend

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Just as 2007 turned 2008, we’re now tearing off the first month in our calendars and looking at February: to the romantic, the month of love.

Pardon me if this sounds like an advertisement, which it isn’t, but do look into the treats and packages of The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong as you consider your options for going out with family, friends, or special someone. How ironic to be escaping from the city by going to the heart of it, you say. I say ironic and worth your while. I’ve been to that hotel only once, briefly last year, but I single it out now if only because their extraordinary service is quite unlike the kind most people have gotten used to in this age of rude attendants and careless discourtesy. It’s my way of being patriotic, I guess.
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The Outback at Swagman; Carmelino’s

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I don’t know how I ended up eating in two unassuming restaurants last week, but I’m very glad anyway that I did.

The Outback Café in DOT-accredited Swagman RPL Hotel Manila should be one of the best and most authentic Australian cuisine specialty restaurants in town. It’s not first-class at all. Located on A. Flores Street at Ermita, the place feels rather like a pub in a foreign country. Very cozy. Subtle lighting. Great location. When I went there, I saw a nice little poster of Steve Irwin (who must be a hero in his country), a huge crocodile replica beside the versatile bar, two big-screen TVs playing The Australian Open, and a two-member band playing the requests of a thick, expat-filled crowd. There’s also free Wi-Fi Internet access for those who have to send E-mails while knifing away at the fabulous steaks.
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Manila, in Theroux’s Kowloon Tong

theroux%24paul.gif Image from High Browse Online.

Have you read any Paul Theroux? One of the American writer’s more recent novels is Kowloon Tong, a story about a forty-something Brit who has lived all his life in Hong Kong, and whose escapades include being “entertained” in dark clubs by a Filipina from Manila named Baby.

Following is a passage from the novel, chosen for its description of Manila:
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Boxing Day, the Rustan’s way

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grab the opportunity, it will only run until January 7, 2008

the real reason of CHRISTmas

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