Jul 31, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane with Dionne Warwick

Truly delighted to see a diva in flesh, a chart topper during the rock era, Ms Dionne Warwick performed at Smart Araneta Coliseum last July 23 to an enthusiastic crowd. She may no longer be in her best element but at 72 years old and still performing to a large audience , she rightfully deserves our big applause. It was a Philippine Tour that started at Manila Hotel, then Davao City, the one I watched at Smart Araneta and finally at Baguio City. I wonder how she can still keep up with that kind of schedule at her age.
Dionne Warwick Phil Tour 2013
Tavares, an American R&B funk and soul group started the act showcasing their 70's and 80's hits. A bit surprised because I'm not familiar with this group but they performed songs that I came to love while in high school and hearing them again became a trip down memory lane. They did about 7 songs and I eagerly sang along when they performed, "A Penny For Your Thoughts", "More Than a Woman" and their encore "Hardcore Poetry". Before they finally bid goodbye uttering Tagalog words like "Iniibig Kita", "Salamat po" and even "Ano kayo baliw?", they promised to be back and said remember who sang this song (Hardcore Poetry) ... not STYLISTICS! Oh yeah, I know that now ;)


Dionne Warwick came to the stage after 5 minutes wearing a short blond hair,  green fitted pants, multi colored top and a posture that says I'm still fit and capable of giving you all a good show. She started the show with the song composed by Bee Gees the "HEART BREAKER". We can feel that she was struggling and her once powerful vocal quality have diminished and now displaying a mellowed tone and a hoarse voice nevertheless she still connected with the audience. Her audience felt her passion and honesty. Everyone was singing along while she was performing her greatest hits.
Dionne Warwick Phil Tour

DIONNE WARWICK SETLIST 

  1. Heart Breaker
  2. Antonio Carlos Jobim medley (et al Aquarela Do Brasil ...)
  3. Do You Know The Way To San Jose
  4. Alfie
  5. You'll Never Get To Heaven
  6. I'll Never Fall in Love Again
  7. This Girl's In Love With You
  8. I Say A little Prayer
  9. Love Is Still The Answer
  10. 99 Miles from LA
  11. Walk On By
  12. I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again
  13. What The World Needs Now
  14. That's What Friends Are For
Performing 14 songs may have exhausted her and so the audience clamor for an encore did not happen but I can sense that everyone had an enjoyable evening of good music and unforgettable memories courtesy of  Dionne Warwick and Tavares giving us an entertaining trip down memory lane.
GMA News Photo (Even Pres. PNOY took the time out to watch Dionne Warwick)

Jul 27, 2013

Two Million Users Reached in Six Weeks After Launch by New Travel Video Website

Los Angeles, Calif. - July 22, 2013 — Urbita, a leading local information platform co-founded by a team of startup veterans, has publicly announced the launch of a spin-off video website simply called Travel Videos. In a competitive industry as travel, the site has grown from zero to two million unique visitors just six weeks after launching its beta.


Travel Videos

As its name suggests, Travel Videos contains videos about virtually every city in the world, gathered from a variety of sources and organized using Urbita's comprehensive database of around 180,000 cities and towns. Launched early in June, the site has attained great traction and was visited by more than two million unique users. The company expects to double those numbers next month, making Travel Videos one of the most visited sites of its niche.

“Thinking about going somewhere but would like to first have an idea of what you will find? Watching amateur videos for the place will certainly give you a much more realistic vibe than whatever your favorite travel guide author had a chance to see during his quick visit and felt like writing about,” says Pablo Kleinman, CEO of Urbita. “Depending on the location selected, one can find all sorts of material, 
from city tours to the last local music festival or sports event, to a political demonstration downtown.”

Travel Videos is available in over 15 languages and is very user-friendly. The main page features general interest videos about traveling, as well as a selection of recommendations that provide a glimpse into what other people are searching for. Aside from millions of videos, Travel Videos also features amateur photos and professional maps of the cities and towns you search for, as well as a link to the local places featured on Urbita and links to external sources of geographical and historical information. Users can also see listings of nearby towns where they can further explore.“We think this is a great new addition to the online travel space,” says Kleinman. “Travel Videos is a fantastic tool for anyone planning a trip, or for those just wanting to travel the world without leaving their homes.”

About Urbita
Urbita is a platform that allows people to find and share first-hand local information, visited by more than seven million unique users every month. On Urbita, people can create a board about their city and include in it, all of the things that, in their eyes, make their town a special and exciting place.

About Travel Videos
Travel Videos is the first search engine for travel videos. Enter the name of any country, city or town in the world and watch the best videos together with great travel information, photos, local places and more.

Contact Information
Pablo Grandinetti
Urbita, Inc.
+1 424-294-URBT (8728)
pollg@travideos.com

Jul 21, 2013

WEEKEND STAYCATION at MANILA HOTEL

We were looking for a more intimate and less stressful ways to celebrate Mom's Birthday and Father's Day last June and a 2 night staycation at MANILA HOTEL was the perfect option. I guess the good timing made it possible, Saturday is my Mom's birthday and the following day is Father's day.


Manila Hotel Staycation
MANILA HOTEL is an icon in the landscape of MANILA and staying there for 2 nights brought back happy memories from my childhood days. I grew up in Manila and up until this point is still residing in Manila but its only now that I get to stay in Manila Hotel and from the window of our hotel room can appreciate the sights I used to frequent with my father. My father is retired Navy and Phil Coast Guard used to be his office and Navy ships used to be his home. He was very pleased and all smiles seeing this sights again from our window. Also from here we can see the Quirino Grandstand where we used to run and play. It was a perfect Throwback Thursday kind of moment and we all enjoyed every minute of our stay.
Manila Bay View
the beautiful sunset failed to show up for two consecutive days because of bad weather
Manila Hotel is Philippines' oldest five star hotel built in 1909. It became home to some notable world leaders and famous personalities and played a big role in a number of Philippines' historical events. While the facade of this five star hotel is not outstanding, the lobby and the function rooms showcased grandiose settings, elegance and Filipino ingenuity and craftsmanship.
Manila Hotel Lobby

Our superior deluxe room is decorated with a Filipiniana theme very evident with the use of Capiz seashell inlays and Mahogany wood furniture. The room is also fully equipped with modern facilities designed for comfort, and offers a magnificent view of Manila bay.


Manila Hotel's Superior Deluxe Room

The Pool and Garden Area is also a good spot to view the sunset but the weather was not cooperative for 2 days. We instead utilized the Pool and the Health Club facilities but didn't get to try the Spa.


Manila Hotel Pool Area

My most awaited part is Cafe Ilang Ilang's breakfast buffet that goes with the hotel stay. The selections are ample, delicious and super filling. I wish I had a digestive system like before but I still try a little bit of everything  and choose to consume most the mixtures of dried fruits, plenty of different varieties of nuts and yogurt. 
Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang Ilang

And while staying here and my parents are taking their sweet time sleeping, I did what I planned to do on weekends, to get up early and do 2 rounds of running near Quirino Grandstand, check the surrounding area and walk my way to Luneta and Manila Ocean Park. I'm happy coz that was a mission accomplished :).

For travelers planning to visit Manila, Manila Hotel is still one of the best choice for hotel accommodation. It is near most local attractions in Manila and you can brush up with history while staying here and enjoying Filipino hospitality at its finest.

Jul 13, 2013

URDANETA City : MATUTINA'S Seafood Restaurant

If you are on a road trip heading up north and a lover of seafood, you've got to time your travel and stop by at Urdaneta City, Pangasinan and take your lunch or your dinner at MATUTINA'S Seafood Restaurant. They serve the freshest seafood at the very reasonable prices. 

I've traveled this route with my family several times going to La Union or Baguio and I'm not aware that there is a popular restaurant in this area, thanks to a friend for suggesting we eat here. The main restaurant is already packed when we arrived  by lunch time.
MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT

We headed to their fan ventilated area which at that time was not yet crowded. The place has that provincial vibe which I misses a lot and the fresh air ventilation and not air conditioned coolness is a welcome change.

MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT

We ordered of course, Pangasinan's specialty, BANGUS! And it's the freshest I had, so far!

MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT

The mark of a true Ilocano is their preference for Fish Bagoong as their sauce dip for grilled seafood or anything they can possibly think of. I remember when I was a kid, because I'm a picky eater then, my mom knows what would make me eat, she'll roll my rice into round shapes and dip them in fish bagoong with oil and that would always do the trick, haha! Well, not anymore now but If we have some bagoong in the house, we still use it as a dip.

MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT
Fish Bagoong with Calamansi and Chili
MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT

We also ordered Crispy Shrimp (no need to peel the skin because they are so crunchy, you'll love every bite), Chopsuey (very fresh veggies), Kinilaw na Tanigue (you know it's very fresh when it got that sweet fresh taste), Fried Boneless Bangus (need I say more?) and Adobong Talaba (which was a revelation, I like it a lot)

MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT
Adobong Talaba
It was the first time I tried Talaba or Oyster (a seafood favorite) in Adobo flavors and I must say you have to include this in your order when you have the chance to visit Matutina's Seafood Restaurant (I will try to hack this meal in our kitchen when I had the time).

We only paid about 1,500 pesos for this excellent meal that feed six people with big appetite.


MATUTINA"S SEAFOOD AND RESTAURANT
Alfresco Area connecting the two structures

MATUTINA'S Seafood and Restaurant gets my two thumbs up for serving food that every Filipinos will definitely love.

Matutina's Annex 3 is located at MacArthur Highway, Nancayasan, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. 

Jul 9, 2013

Shie Went to Town with LEVI'S

For someone who knows that walking is good for the heart as well as the environment and practices ways to lessen her carbon footprints, a nice pair of sturdy and cool looking footwear will definitely go a long way to make walking easier and more comfortable.  I was actually on a lookout  for some good-looking comfy slip ons to give relief to my overused trusty pair of footwear and it came as a pleasant surprise when I received an offer  to try on a new set of lifestyle shoe with a classic brand attached to it, LEVI’S.

The product shows a lot of promise as I examine it in detail.

Levi's Footwear

It is made of high quality Canvas which makes it sturdy and washable.
A cushioned footbed that promises comfort and stability.
A printed insole for added style.


LEVI'S FOOTWEAR FOR WOMEN'S

A rugged and vulcanized sole that provides more traction, durability and flexibility.

LEVI'S FOOTWEAR

A sleek upper and a narrow look that complements skinny jeans and shorts. 
The RED color added more element of fun into it.

As I tried it on, I know I found my match! This one is definitely a keeper.  I can wear it on my daily casual walks, while mall hopping and during my out-of-town travels without compromising my style and without complaining of a sore and tired feet at the end of a long day.


Shie Went To Town with LEVI'S

And I know you’ll agree this pair of sneaker spells C-O-O-L!!!  It gives a relax vibe that tells people, I’m approachable, I’m energetic and I’m fun. 


Shie Went to Town with LEVI'S

For their current LEVI'S 2013 selections of footwear for men’s and women's, check this slideshow of images for more choices.

LEVI'S Footwear and Accessories are distributed in the Philippines by StayTrue Corporation, the authorized and official distributor appointed by Levi Strauss & Co, Asia Pacific Division.

Levi’s Footwear and Accessories are available at all Levi’s Boutiques and all Major Department Stores nationwide.
LEVI'S OUTLET STORE IN ROBINSONS MANILA
LEVI'S Outlet at Robinson's Manila w/ Sales Staffs (look for Raegan, the nice guy in black to assist you with your footwear needs)
Metro Manila : OLS Robinsons Manila, Robinsons Galleria, Ayala, Trinoma, Festival Mall, Ayala Alabang Town Center, Greenhills, Rockwell, Mall of Asia, Megamall, SM The Block, SM Aura, Gateway Mall, Market Market, Greenbelt 5, Glorietta 2, Lucky Chinatown

Provincial : Ayala Cebu, SM Cebu, Robinsons Bacolod, Ayala Abreeza Davao, SM Davao, Ayala Centrio CDO


LEVI'S FOOTWEAR SPELLS COOL AND FUN

I believe it is fitting to say, anyone who goes around places should do it with comfort and style! I choose LEVI'S, you should too!

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