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Showing posts from September, 2009

Lisa Macuja marks silver anniversary with dance concert

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Lisa Macuja marks silver anniversary with dance concert
By Walter Ang
September 28, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde will hold a thanksgiving ballet concert on Oct. 2 at the Aliw Theater Hall to mark her 45th birthday and her silver anniversary as a dancer.

Laptop manufacturer Sony hosted a gala cocktail for her during the launch of its new Vaio collection in Peninsula Manila Hotel.

Sony Philippines lauded Macuja's "unmatched achievement of a valued and loyal customer who has touched audiences throughout the Philippines and in more than 85 cities in five continents around the world," and described her as "a cultural icon, a champion for Philippine art, and a visionary."

Macuja started taking ballet when she was nine years old at St. Theresa's College. After high school, she was accepted into the Vaganova Choreographic Institute (now the Academy of Russian Ballet) in Saint Petersburg as a scholar of the USSR Ministry of Culture. She graduat…

Shamaine Buencamino in 'Mother Courage'

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Shamaine Buencamino in 'Mother Courage'
By Walter Ang
September 21, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Audiences may be familiar with Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino as the ubiquitous "mother" in TV shows like "Precious Hearts," and "SRO features Iza Calzado," or in films such as "One Last Chance" with Bea Alonzo, "Ang Lihim ni Antonio," and "Agaton and Mindy."

Theater audiences will now get a chance to see her as one of the most iconic mothers on stage as she plays Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage in Tanghalang Pilipino's Filipino translation/adaptation "Madonna Brava ng Mindanao" at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute, CCP.

A graduate of the Philippine High School of the Arts and a theater arts major from the University of the Philippines, Shamaine had been absent from the theater scene until recently. Ironically, many non-theater audiences are familiar with her because of a commercial she acted in years ago for …

Atlantis Productions stages Duncan Sheik's 'Spring Awakening' musical in Manila

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Spring awakening in Manila
By Walter Ang
September 17, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Atlantis Productions is staging Tony Award winning musical "Spring Awakening" this September. This rock musical, featuring the music of Duncan Sheik, is an adaptation of the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. It went through seven years of development, finally debuting Off-Broadway, and eventually winning four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, and eight Tony awards, including Best Musical.

Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it chronicles the challenges faced by star-crossed young lovers Melchior Gabor and Wendla Bergman against a backdrop of sexual awakening. The original play was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape, child abuse, and suicide.

"If your children watch TV shows like 'Gossip Girl' or 'One Tree Hill,' this musical is nothing. Those TV shows are actually worse!" says …

The family that bakes together stays together (Annabel Lee Cheescake Cafe and Bistro)

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The family that bakes together stays together
By Walter Ang
September-October 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

The sweet success of a cheesecake shop, reports Walter Ang, 
confirms that
The family that bakes together stays together

TUCKED somewhere along the long stretch of Timog Ave. in Quezon City is a cheesecake shop called Annabel Lee. Once inside, customers will see colorful murals and a hodge-podge of floor treatments, from multi-colored tiles to rough stone. No interior designers were needed to develop the vibrant atmosphere, since the family that owns and runs the shop did it all on their own.

"We wanted it to look homey," explains Timmie Lee, the younger brother of the sibling tandem that manages the shop. "It started out as a different design in our plans, but we kept adding and adding elements, just like in a real house. We even put up seasonal d├ęcor like cherubs for Valentine's and tropical fish and tie-dyed lanterns for summer."

Whimsical pieces such …

A sweeter world with ingredients from Ferna

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A sweeter world
By Walter Ang
September-October 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

Walter Ang goes to Navotas to find out more about a little-known outfit which has, in a big way, helped create
A sweeter world

There was a time when flavored shakes were the rage in Manila. The flavors, colors, and variations seemed endless. Flavors ranged from the usual chocolate and vanilla to more Pinoy flavors like buko pandan and ube macapuno. What most people didn't know was that the key flavoring ingredient that almost everyone used to make the concoctions was manufactured by a little company called Ferna Corporation.

"We actually set the standard for the powdered flavorings for shakes here in the country," says Ferna president Giovanni "Vanni" Co with pride. While the shake mania has ebbed, Ferna is still around. It's an institution and brand known to bakers and chefs since it has been importing and manufacturing food and baking ingredients since 1996.

With just a little …

Weight specialist Dr. Roland Angeles explains how energy levels affect weight

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Energy in, energy out
By Walter Ang
September-October 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

The basic concept of the calorie diet, reports Walter Ang, is 
Energy in, energy out

A results of a recent U.S. study that followed the diets of monkeys for 20 years showed that a reduced-calorie diet paid off in less disease and longer life. The researchers note that these findings could apply to humans.

Of course, the mere mention of "calories" and "reduced" will most probably result in a lot of teeth-grinding and hair-pulling by a lot of humans. But a "reduced-calorie lifestyle" is not impossible to do and does not have to be painful.

Calorie is a measurement unit of food energy that is made available to the body through digestion. Everything we eat and drink (except water) has calories. Everything we do burns calories. By simply sitting down and breathing, your body is burning off calories. Of course, more strenuous activities burn off more calories.

"The reason …

A breath of life: Jac Vidgen teaches Buteyko breathing method

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A breath of life
By Walter Ang
September-October 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

Walter Ang writes about how a half-century old breathing method can provide
A breath of life

"The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing" - Lao-Tzu

People seem to want more of everything and anything in this is the age of overconsumption. According to Jac Vidgen, aside from overeating and overspending, most people even over-breathe. Vidgen is a senior practitioner of Buteyko breathing, a method that enhances one's heath and healing originated by Russian scientist and medical doctor Konstantin Buteyko in 1952.

Buteyko theorized that overbreathing disturbs the delicate ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the body, therefore, less oxygen reaches vital areas of the brain and body. Resulting symptoms range from lightheadedness and dizziness to palpitations, skipped heart beats, muscular spasms, and different degrees of anxiety. Buteyko's more than 40 years of research has uncover…

Cynthia and Ivy Almario explain how small spaces can have big ideas

Small spaces, big ideas
By Walter Ang
September 2009 issue
Metro Home Magazine

When you live in a small space, either by choice or circumstance, there is no reason why it should not be designed to create a comfortable, stylish environment. Interior designers and sisters Cynthia and Ivy Almario of Atelier Almario gives tips and tricks on how to deliver the most impact in intimate spaces.

Illusion is the name of the game when dealing with small spaces. "You can use design elements to create the illusion of a bigger space," says Ivy. "Mirrors automatically double the size of the area and add a sexy element to the look of the place."

Aside from using it as an entire wall, in the case of the living room in the single lady's nest, notice how the designers incorporate mirrors in unlikely areas such as the backsplash of the kitchen counter or the back portions of the shelving in one of the bedrooms.

"We usually advise our clients to have one wall of the bathroom li…