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Showing posts from December, 2009

Asian Cultural Council Philippines Foundation funds art teachers for the next generation

Funding art teachers for the next generation
By Walter Ang

The Asian Cultural Council Philippines Foundation recently announced their latest batch of grantees for the ACC Philippines Fellowship Program.

"The ACC supports cultural exchange in the visual and performing arts between the United States and countries of Asia by providing fellowship grants to artists, scholars, and specialists undertaking study, research, observation, and creative work in the United States," says Teresa Rances, ACC Program Representative in Manila.

"Some grants are also made to arts organizations and educational institutions if they have projects that have special significance to Asian-American cultural exchange."

Established in 1963 by John D. Rockefeller III, the ACC began to operate as an independent foundation in 1980. The council's main office is in New York and branch offices are located in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei.

Though grants have been awarded to Filipinos since 1963, the…

Bialetti and Saeco: Italian espresso makers for Pinoy homes

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Italian espresso makers for Pinoy homes
By Walter Ang
December 9, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Pinoy coffee lovers can now make their own espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos at home with premiere Italian-brand coffeemakers Bialetti and Saeco. "These brands meet the growing interest of Filipinos in gourmet cuisine with quality equipment," says Norman Reynoso, Institutional Sales and Marketing Manager of Fabriano S.p.A., the official Philippine distributor for both brands.

For families where only one or two members enjoy a cup of good, strong coffee (and acquiring an espresso machine isn't feasible), there is the Bialetti line of stovetop espresso makers. "These come in charming designs and are convenient since the smallest models are for single servings, though there are models that can brew up to six servings," says Reynoso. "You just fill it with water and ground coffee, put it on top of the stove, and in a few minutes, you have espresso!"

The origin…

Digital meridian system: Evaluate your vital energy

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Digital meridian system: Evaluate your vital energy
By Walter Ang
December 8, 2009
Manila Bulletin

"Filipinos have a tendency to wait until they are really ill before they seek medical help," says Ian Nubla. "We tend to ignore symptoms, what our bodies are telling us. It's best to seek medical attention while a negative condition is still in its early stages, the longer you wait, the more expensive and time-consuming treatments and medicines will be."

Nubla is connected with Health is In, a company that promotes products related to complementary medicine (www.health-is-in.com). To address this ingrained lack of vigilance in monitoring the status of our health, Nubla is advocating the use of the Digital Meridian System (DMS), which is a method of evaluating a person's "vital energy" level. The system indicates potential health problems and suggests alternative modes of natural therapy to help restore and balance one's energy.

"People are mo…

Geraldine Javier does art shows with a heart

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Art shows with a heart
By Walter Ang
December 8, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Thirty-something contemporary visual artist Geraldine Javier has been setting records in major Asian auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's in Hong Kong and Borobudur in Singapore in the past few years.

Last year, her "Curating the Sky" sold for at least 10 times its estimated selling price in Christie's. In 2007, her "Absurdity of Being" sold for 16 times more than the original estimate. Other works that have been sold include her "Storm Chasing Dog Chasing Girl Chasing Storm" and "One Leads to Oblivion, The Other to Sorrow."

Her most recent international auction was for Christie's just a few weeks ago. Javier acknowledges that her success at the auction houses makes her "happy" but she notes that "there is also a lot of pressure." She has not rested on her laurels and is known to keep a very strict schedule (this interview was co…

Alli (Orlistat) diet pill is a new ally in weight loss

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A new ally in weight loss
By Walter Ang
December 7, 2009
Manila Bulletin

The latest report from the Food and Nutrition Institute indicates that the incidence of being overweight is on the rise with 21.4% of Filipino adults weighing significantly more than they should. "The prevalence of obesity has risen 24.9 percent since 1998," says endocrinologist Dr. Cristina Chua.

She goes on to note that being overweight increases the risk of developing several serious health problems such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, among many others. Aside from physical problems, being overweight can also affect one's self-esteem and overall sense of well-being.

Dr. Chua points out that lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity (read: exercise) are the key factors in weight loss. The trick, she shares, is in setting realistic targets. "Aim for 5-10% reduction in weight over six months," she adds.

An ally
To help Filipinos jumpstart their weight-loss efforts, drug ma…

Just a little off the top, please: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo in "Sweeny Todd"

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Just a little off the top, please
By Walter Ang
December 2009 issue
Metro Magazine

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo was excited but also scared when she found out she would essay the role of "Mrs. Lovett" in Repertory Philippines' staging of Tony-winning Broadway musical "Sweeny Todd."

You wouldn't think that someone who grew up acting on stage and has 25 years of experience under her belt would be afraid of anything at this point in her career. Menchu has starred in the leading roles of musicals such as "West Side Story," "Camelot," "The King and I," and "Evita," just to name a
few.

Not only that, she's actually acted in this musical before. Menchu played Todd's daughter Johanna in Rep's 1982 staging with Junix Inocian (Sweeny Todd) and Baby Barredo (Mrs. Lovett). But it is her familiarity with the material that intensified her apprehension.

The 2007 movie version, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Stree…

Discovery Suites offers exercise toys for the big boys

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Exercise toys for the big boys
By Walter Ang
December 2009-Janurary 2010 issue
Garage Magazine

While working out in a gym can provide certain comforts and conveniences, routine can also quickly set in when you use the same machines again and again. Most weight-resistance machines only provide a singular, linear route of motion (either up and down, side to side, or front to back).

Balance Lifestyle Fitness Club of Discovery Suites now offers spanking new exercise equipment that allows for freedom of movement that is much closer to how we use our muscles or bodies in real life.

Cue the spotlight on the Kinesis One, a machine that looks almost like a space-age transporter with a collection of cables suspended from a metal frame. It won't take you back and forth in time, but it can give you one of the most versatile workouts in terms of providing a well-rounded, zero-impact session, regardless of your current level of fitness and ability, whether you're aiming for balance, strength…

In the wake of a storm, in the lay of the land

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In the wake of a storm, in the lay of the land
By Walter Ang
December 2009-January 2010 issue
Garage Magazine

Living in a tropical country like the Philippines, one would think that we'd be used to typhoons and other natural weather and geographic phenomena like earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and landslides.

Nothing, however, could have prepared us for the devastation wrought by Ondoy and Pepeng when these two storms whipped the country in September. Ondoy is now known as the worst storm to hit the country in 40 years, dumping one month's worth of average rainfall in a matter of hours. Pepeng, on the other hand, will be long remembered as the storm that did a u-turn and stayed for almost an entire week. Manila, its surrounding cities and northern Luzon were hit badly and are still in the process of (a long) recovery.

News reports have pegged the damage to crops and fisheries in billions of Pesos. It's almost too overwhelming to imagine how much infrastructure damages could…