It's officially 114 days before Christmas!

It is September once again! You know what that means? The countdown to Christmas in the Philippines begins.

This predominantly Catholic country celebrates Christmas quite longer than any other country in the world. The "Ber" months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, and DecemBER) is quite long to celebrate Christmas. It's quite amusing for someone not familiar with Filipino culture.

Did you know that it is only 114 days until Christmas?

Okey, you’re either squealing with delight right now or you’re sending me death stares through your computer screen. Either way, if you’ve known me for a while, you will know that Christmas is my most favorite time of the year and I love planning for Christmas as much as the holiday. Malls start having their yearend sales and other promotional activities to boost and stimulate consumer shopping spree. Parols and Christmas decorations now start appearing like mushrooms.

There are lots of people that at least are excited about christmas and not just the day, but the season as a whole. Never mind counting all the way to December 25th the Christmas season starts to unfold in all its glory after this coming week is over. You can find the decorations, music and everything barely after starting November. That festive season is just about here, Yippeeeyyy!

Anyways, before Christmas is my birthday, let's celebrate first my birthday on the seventh of December. Okey? Haha!



See and experience the fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic with "Potted Potter"

"Potted Potter" is described as the Unauthorized Harry Experience that gives the audience a very fun, very clever, somewhat interactive overview of all 7 "Harry Potter" books in just 70 minutes.

According to its release, "Potted Potter" began life as a publicity stunt to keep children occupied while waiting in line for the midnight release of the sixth book in the "Harry Potter" series. As such, it was/is deliberately aimed at children, contains lots of audience participation and had to be hilarious and fast-paced to hold the attention of sleepy, cranky, cranked-up children.

Playing to sold-out houses all over the world, "Potted Potter" takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven "Harry Potter" books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic!

If you have kids or need to entertain kids who are "Harry Potter" fans, they will love you forever for taking them to "Potted Potter!"

The West End and New York smash hit “Potted Potter” opens at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave, Makati City on August 28 and will play only 10 shows, until September 2. Tickets are on sale now.

Potted Potter” in Manila is written by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, with direction and additional material by Richard Hurst, set design by Simon Scullion, lighting design by Tim Mascall, music composed by Phil Innes and associate direction by Hanna Berrigan.

The show is produced by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Potted Productions and Concertus Manila. Call 891-9999, or contact Bambi Verzo, email, tels. +632-4038678, 0917-5370539. Tickets: Orchestra P3,068, Loge P1,976, Balcony P988. Family packages available. Bookings: Tickets available only on TicketWorld's Facebook Fan Page via TicketWorld’s BarkadaTix. Links: Or visit,,



Gardenia 'Baon' recipes for kids and kids at heart!

Gardenia Ham and Cheeze Surprise  

  • 4 slices Gardenia Classic White Bread
  • 2 sachets Kraft Cheez Whiz Original 15g
  • 4 tbsp Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 pcs Ham
  • 2 leaves Lettuce
  1. Spread crushed pineapple on one side of Gardenia Classic White Bread
  2. Place Lettuce and Ham on top
  3. Drizzle Cheez Whiz Original  then top with a slice of Gardenia Classic White Bread
*Makes 2 Gardenia Ham and Cheez Surprise Sandwiches

Gardenia Cheezy Bacon 'N Eggs Wrap

  • 2 slices Gardenia Classic White Bread
  • 2 sachets Kraft Cheez Whiz Pimiento 15g
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 strips Bacon
  • 2 leaves Lettuce
  • 1/4 cup Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/4  cup Shredded Cucumber
  1. Cook scrambled egg
  2. Mix in Cheez Whiz Pimiento
  3. Place lettuce on a slice of Gardenia Classic White Bread
  4. Top with scrambled egg, bacon, shredded cucumber and diced tomatoes
  5. Drizzle with Cheez Whiz Pimiento
  6. Roll sandwich and wrap in napkin.
*Makes 2 Gardenia Cheezy Bacon 'N Eggs Wrap

 Gardenia Cheezy Hotdog Pocket Pies

  • 1 Gardenia Classic White Bread 400g
  • 6 sachets Kraft Cheez Whiz Original 15g
  • 6 pcs Hotdog Regular, sliced diagonally
  • 1/3 cup Carrots, chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Heat Pan. Saute diced carrots in butter
  • Add sliced hotdogs, stir until cooked
  • Add celery then pepper to taste
  • Remove crust of Gardenia Classic White Bread  then flatten using a rolling pin
  • Place  hotdog filling on top of bread  then drizzle Kraft Cheez Whiz Original
  • Seal sides of bread using fork
*Makes 11 Gardenia Cheezy Hotdog Pocket Pies.



Oreo + Milk = Mochiko with happy childhood memories with every bite

Mochiko is a sweet snack made of glutinous rice flour filled with sweet red bean paste or ice cream. Oreo, on the other hand, is a well-loved cookie that goes perfectly well with a tall glass of milk and invokes happy childhood memories with every bite.

Mochiko made with Oreos & Milk! Each mochi has one whole Oreo cookie inside that gives a lot of chunky goodness in every bite!

Mochiko owners claimed that they even went to Japan just to learn the technique of creating that perfect mochi ball. The company uses only the best ingredients and that’s why the mochi balls are chewy and smooth. Mochiko is known for its mochi ice cream in which they only use premium ice cream with real dairy milk.

Mochiko is also the only mochi brand in the country to be cited in CNN Go’s Best of Manila, named as one of the Best Weekend Market Finds by and mentioned in HK Magazine’s New Holiday Destinations feature. We also recently participated in Uniqlo Philippines’ first store opening in the country.

We also use a specially-made premium ice cream that is studded with Oreo pieces. Finally, we even infused cookie crumbs and milk into the mochi itself to capture the goodness of Oreos dunked in milk!

Where exactly can one find “Mochiko with Oreo & Milk”? 
  • Mochiko Tagaytay – Cliffhouse Tagaytay, Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika East Tagaytay
  • Mochiko Makati – The Collective Unit Q, 7274 Malugay St. San Antonio, Makati City
  • Mochiko Manila – 2/F Lucky Chinatown Mall (infront of Tao Yuan), Reina Regente St. Binondo, Manila
  • Midnight Mercato – Corner of 34th St. and 8th Ave., Bonifacio Glpba City, Taguig
  • Eastwood Mall Weekend Gourmet Market – 2/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City
  • Mochiko Ayala Alabang – Space 1025 The Garden, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupu
  • Mochiko Cebu – Active Zone Level3 (infront of Sun Cellular), Ayala Center, Cebu
Price: P70 per piece, P400 for box of six

For more information about Mochiko, check out their Facebook page ( and Twitter (@mochikotweets).



Stage Play: Repertory Philippines' “The Wizard of Oz”

“There’s no place like home.”  

Endearing words from the all-too-familiar film, “The Wizard of Oz.” The real revelation is not in the destination but in the journey.

Who does not remember Dorothy and her tornado; the Cowardly Lion and friends; the, oh, so Wicked Witch of the West; the Munchkins; and the zany Professor Marvel (aka, the Wizard of Oz).  But this is a dream well worth re-awaking, via this production, not only for some stellar performances, but for a bit of re-imagining, too.

There are some lovely performances, especially by Giannina Ocampo in the guise of Dorothy. She has a marvelous singing voice; really amazing thing is her acting performance as the character. She brings one aspect to this role. And Pinky Marquez is deliciously wicked as the Witch. The character needs to engulf the stage when she’s on. She moves, cackles and wields her power with great authority. The Lion (Oliver Usison) embodies nicely the humor and vulnerability of the role. The Scarecrow (James Stacey) easily slides into this warm, soft guise as a character of substance, even though he’s made of straw. And the Tin Man (Hans Eckstein) nicely inhabits the lanky fellow with a heart of gold. Liesl Batucan is a beautiful Glinda the Good Witch and Rem Zamora has some funny exchanges as the Secretary of the Oz.

Other members of the cast are Nathalie Everett as Aunt Em, Chino Veguillas as Uncle Henry; Bobby Superales, Jim Ferrer, Deo dela Cruz and Clark dela Riva as the acrobats and Monkeys.

 “The Wizard of Oz” will definitely thrill the child in all of us. This brand new musical will have the entire family captivated as they travel down the yellow brick road for an unforgettable experience.

For details of show, please call 5716926 or 5714941 or email or log on to Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at 8919999 or visit, subscribe to, and “like” Rep Phils in Facebook.



"Bona," story of obsession - tragedy of the fan turned fanatic

"There's always a 'Bona' in all of us!"

That's what I said to myself after watching the modernized adaptation of great Pinoy classic film "Bona" starring Nora Aunor. The new 'Bona' is portrayed by Eugene Domingo, now transposed onto stage, brought to us by The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).

Bona” is a story of obsession, the tragedy of the fan turned fanatic. It delves into what causes an otherwise sensible girl to throw discretion and self-respect to the wind to serve her beloved. In the fan-atical context of Philippine entertainment, it is a story that needs to be told. Bona is a die-hard fan of Gino Sanchez, played by Edgar Allan Guzman, a contestant on a television talent search show titled "Star of Tomorrow."

I started second-guessing myself as to my behavior around celebrities, and I have to say that, short of an actual meet-and-greet situation, I don't even go anywhere near them unless there's a one-on-one interview or press cons. People I admire I might think about approaching, and have--I always encourage my friends to go up and say something to the people they really admire--but I rarely do. I'm a choosy and lousy fan!

The word "fan," as applied to a person who is an admirer of an entertainer, sports team, author or anyone in the public eye. The term is an abbreviation of the word "fanatic" and since it is related to that word, often has a negative connotation.

I'd guess celebrities are (must be) cordial because, while they may be naturally friendly, they are also have to be keenly aware that their without fans they'd be their without careers. And it used to be that many entertainers would welcome fans backstage for a brief chat, an autograph and a grip-and-grin photo.

Fanaticism (for me) offers escape, cheap thrills, and idealized plus perfection, and the trapped, bored, and nondescript citizen laps them up as though they were the perfect alternative to the grossly imperfect reality of his life. In truth, the movies/TV/entertainment offer no alternative at all, since alternatives must be first real and accessible in order to be viable. The illusion proffered by our movies/teleseryes is ultimately nothing more than sad delusion. But the diehard fan agrees to be deluded. He is happy to believe the beautiful lies of the cinema/teleseryes, because, by his gnomic standards, a beautiful lie is better than ugly truth of existence. For most fans, this delusion is just a lark, a temporary psychic vacation from the hard facts of living, a pleasant daydream from which he can awaken with no serious hangovers.

For a few, however, the delusion becomes their new reality, and their lives are wrecked by it. They become so totally wrapped up in their film idols that they lose their own sense of self, and self-worth. The idol becomes everything, the fan is reduced to nothing. The name of the psychological game of is obsession.

Bona” was originally written as a teleplay by Cenen Ramones featuring Laurice Guillen (Bona) and Ruel Vernal (Gardo). PETA is showing "Bona" from August 24, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until September 23. For more information contact 725-6244, 0917-5765400,, or

Will “Bona’s” tragic story open the eyes of our movie/teleserye fans and teach them to be less obsessive?



GMA Films' "Just One Summer" movie review: Feel the 'JuliElmo' love

Each year, film outfits release dozen films about love and romance but really, most of them are trite and predictable, but I think "Just One Summer" stood out among all the movies we've seen this year!

I watched the movie "Just One Summer" at its premiere night thinking this is just another cutie teeny bopper flick where one boy meets a girl. They fall in love and live happily ever after. These are the usual scenario and these are my usual expectations when it comes to romantic movies like this one but in the case of "Just One Summer," it's not just an ordinary love story of teenage boys and girls. It's more of a family movie that tackles relationship between a father and a son, son and mother, daughter and her father and lola, usual teenage with the people around them.

It's a breath of fresh air that "Just One Summer" centers around non-stereotypical characters who are neither abnormally wacky or depressingly serious; I like more the lightness of the story. Lead actors Elmo Magalona and Julie Anne San Jose - they are characters you can relate to battling conflicts that could happen to everyone. Not only are Elmo and Julie Anne are perfectly cast in "Just One Summer," but also the amazing soundtrack!

What makes this movie an outstanding one is because of its right blend of drama, angst, longing and even humor (I love more Elmo every time he laughs). Another thing I liked about this movie is that its plot did not follow the usual Pinoy routine of having the would-be-couple take on 'hilarious' mini-fights before getting together, have this predicatable break-up in the middle of the movie and extravagant proposals of undying love just before the credits roll. I would like to congratulate the director for considering their age, just as perfect for the movie. The story and the characters are enough to hold the movie together and leave its impression on its audience and some of the funniest lines and scenes ever in a romantic movie are included (so much cheesy for Elmo and Julie Anne).

My favorite scenes and I can assure you that you'll surely love these:
  1. The carabao scene (where Elmo took his shirts off, I liked Julie Anne's reaction)
  2. The scene stealing with the alitaptaps (fireflies)
  3. Loving-loving between Cherry Pie and Joel Torre
  4. Julie Anne and Elmo's date (happened in Subic kung saan andun kami noong taping)
  5. When Elmo tried to kiss Julie the very first time (sapilitan lang to make Julie turn off with Elmo)
Produced by GMA Films under the direction of Mac Alejandre, “Just One Summer” opens in theaters nationwide on August 15, 2012.

Rating: 8/10