Event | #AirAsiaRedTalks: Inspire and Connect People in Social Media

AirAsia Team with the Davao Digital Influencers and Media
Finally, after a successful season last year, the second season is up for #AirAsiaRedTalks!

Some media personalities and influencers from Cebu, Davao and Manila were invited to come and witness the launching of the newest season of #AirAsiaRedTalks! I am one of the influencers from Davao City invited for the event and this really excites me. Why? Here’s why…

Daphne Hosting
#AirAsiaRedTalks is a series of web episodes shown at AirAsia’s Facebook page every last Saturday of the month that starting February, 24, 2018. This is hosted by the very talented and multi-awarded host, Daphne OseƱa-Paez, who happens to be one of my exemplars in hosting. Who wouldn’t be excited with this, right? Seeing and listening to her in person is such a grace.

This season will bring more meaningful connections, stories and tastes. This season still has six episodes that showcase variety of interesting topics. For its opening salvo, it has shown “Sweet Connections”, which was starred by the award-winning Malagos Chocolates. This is also a thing that I am excited of. It is because another thing from Davao will be showcased and served in the future flights of AirAsia’s Santan menu - especially on April 2018 for a limited time! Chef JP Anglo, a very creative chef, and Daphne traveled to Davao to create a special dish using the Malagos chocolate. Isn’t that interesting? Of course, it is! Haven’t seen the episode yet, check it here!
Chef JP and Daphne
Ms. Maan Hontiveros at the center
Next episode will be empowering women, a topic close to AirAsia’s heart with Ms. Maan Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines Chairperson and former CEO. Then, there’s the collaboration of David Foster and AirAsia in search for talented individuals in the ASEAN region. Another episode will be talking about a global issue that needs an attention, human trafficking! Then, a trip to Bali, an experience of food festival in Ubud - which I wanted to experience, too! Lastly, the success story of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA)!
AirAsia RedTalks with Daphne
There you go, a lot of things to see in the coming episodes! Catch #AirAsiaRedTalks at 7:00 PM on its schedule at their facebook page. :-)

Launching of #AirAsiaRedTalks happened at the Twilight Roof Deck of Bai Hotel in Cebu - our official residence for the event. The gathering is graced by Ms. Maan Hontiveros - AirAsia Philippines Chairperson, Capt. Dexter Comendador - AirAsia Philippines CEO and Ms. Mun Ching Yap - AirAsia Foundation’s Executive Director.

#AirAsiaRedTalks is brought to you by AirAsia Foundation, AirAsia Big Loyalty, and Rokki.

Follow Daphne's journey using #AirAsiaRedTalks. Keep updated with AirAsia's latest promotion and activities via twitter (@AirAsiaFilipino), Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsiaPH) and on Instagram (@AirAsiaFilipino).

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Event | The Art of Weaving and Crafts

Inaul Clothings
Inaul is the fabric weaved by the women of Maguindanao at a Women’s Center in Buluan, Maguindanao. I really have this fascination over weaving. It is like, a big WOW! I mean, when you see them doing it, having intricate design, will really make you appreciate how hard working and creative they are. Take note, doing such a craft takes weeks or months to finish with beautiful designs. In Mindanao, there are so many weaving women from different tribes, and they have all my respect among their crafts.

In this post, I am going to show you some of the women weaving during the Inaul Festival 2018 - Weaving Competition. Here are the photos:

Women weaving during the Inaul Weaving Competition
Aside from the women weaving, the women’s center is also home of inaul craft gallery! You will witness some inaul dresses and crafts in this particular room. You will see the ingenuity of the designs made of the indigenous material. Like me, I am really amazed on the designs of clothing for both men and women. Actually, I like to wear one if given a chance - how I really wish! It has class and elegance with so much culture instilled on those items!

Not only that the dresses are displayed. There are also other crafts like painting and other cloths that can be used as decoration or any home use.
Inaul Galley

Paint over Inaul
I really cannot contain my happiness seeing such crafts. Why? It is because Mindanao really has this for so long and it just awaits to be discovered or showcased. For so many times I have traveled to different parts of Southeast Asia, crafts like these are among the things well-appreciated by many tourists in the world. It is like a soul unleashed in a place.

Indeed, this year’s Inaul Festival’s theme: “A Fabric of Peace: Weaving Diversity, Connecting Boundaries” is a very inspirational message. Flourish more Maguindanao! So, talking about inaul - we are referring to the people of Maguindanao - home of a rich culture and indigenous crafts!

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Event | Inaul: A Festival and Maguindanao’s Pride

A Pose with Women in Inaul with Ms. M. of Mindanao Times
To introduce a place, it is better done with its culture and heritage. In the case of Maguindanao, inaul describes them best!

Usually, when Maguindanao is being talked about, people describe it negatively. Hey, the province of Maguindanao is very huge to be focused on such dark past - people of Maguindanao are peace loving. It has also one of the richest cultures in the country; one that a country can be proud of having. Inaul, for example, has captured the world, the universe rather (borrowing words of Pia), when the Miss Universe 2016 candidates wore the fabric during a fashion event. It is truly world class, truly pride of Maguindanao!
IPHO Maguindanao on Parade for Inaul Festival 2018
2nd Inaul Festival is celebrated in Maguindanao February 8-14, 2018 with the theme “A Fabric of Peace: Weaving Diversity, Connecting Boundaries”. It is such a humble event that really showcases the intricate design and elegance of Inaul made clothing. During the opening of the festival in Buluan, a parade was done with different representatives from the different municipalities and offices of the province. You will witness them wearing inaul.

Then, the people flocked in the gymnasium to hear the messages from their leaders and it is so colorful to see them wearing inaul. You can see it on my IG account at this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/Be-pToBgm7i/?taken-by=fromdistrict82. At the same time, I love the music background played with kulintang and agong.
Ribbon Cutting of the Negosyo Center in the Province of Maguindanao
Then, one of the newest Negosyo Centers in the country is inaugurated in Buluan, Maguindanao with the Governor of Maguindanao, Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, and other officials and representatives. It is really a milestone for the province to eventually help bolster some economic gains they are currently experiencing. Their products and processes on operating business will then be known to many with this one stop shop. Actually, this excites me!

Displayed in the Negosyo Center are some of the products seen and made in Maguindanao.
Aside from the Negosyo Center that showcases the products of Maguindanao, because of the festival, there's a trade expo nearby. It has so much to offer the guests and locals. See it in the photos!
Trade Expo Area
Another post that I will do is with regards the weaving of inaul and the museum, I just love that part so much! Click HERE!

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Event | PhilPop 2018: Musicfest of All Genre Across the Country

Men and Women Behind PhilPop 2018
PhilPop 2018 is not just a competition. It’s a festival of talents and learning opportunities - a year-long celebration of original Filipino music. There are set boot-camps for learners who will be taught by experienced mentors in the music industry. It has the goal of keeping the Original Filipino Music composed and heard across the country and the world. This year’s theme is “Music. Powered by Pinoys.” However, this is not the only songwriting competition in the country, but they have the same goal. ;-)

Interesting that the media launch and one of the boot-camps is held in Davao City. Perhaps, there’s an interest of hearing local music or known as indigenous craft, something that is considered as world music. Hopefully, that interest will be high enough to inspire the people of the craft to write and share their music - especially coming from the culturally colorful and soundful island of Mindanao.

The media launch is graced by some digital influencers and media people. During the launch, mentors and fellows of the PhilPop 2018 boot camp Davao leg are present, as well as the great people behind the festival, to name: Mr. Patrick C. Gregorio - Maynilad Senior Vice President and PhilPop Musicfest Foundation Vice Chairman, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab - Board of Trustees of PhilPop Musicfest Foundation, Mr. Jeremy Sarmiento - Muzic’s Kool Inc. President, Mr. Ramon Sumibcay - Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Asian Artists (MAFFAA) Vice President and Ms. Ma. Dinah Remolacio - PhilPop Executive Director.

Songwriting Competition
Team DDI with Mr. C!
The competition is open to all Filipino songwriters, amateur or professional, 16 years and above. Song entries must be original and unpublished. Entries are accepted starting 23 February 2018 to 15 May 2018 through the PhilPop Foundation website www.philpop.com.ph.

What’s new? Songs written in different languages or dialects are accepted. PhilPop will be selecting thirty (30) semi-finalists with five (5) slots each for Visayas and Mindanao songwriters. Their compositions will be promoted across the country within two (2) months. Then, ten (10) finalists will be chosen and the winner will be announced at an outdoor music festival in November this year. A million pesos awaits the winner and it is tax-free. The first runner-up will be receiving half a million pesos (PhP 500,000) and the second runner-up goes home with a fifty of a million pesos (PhP 200,000).

I hope you guys will start to write a song and be heard for this year's PhilPop!


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Travel Tip | Save Miles for Future Travels

Inspire to Fly - Travel
Hear ye, hear ye, behold, seat sale of airlines in the Philippines! Happy Valentine’s! :-)

There are frequent travelers who are very fond of saving up miles that can be used for future travels. Yes, that includes me! In my previous day job, there are domestic travels that helped me save up some points since my work necessitates it. More travel, meaning, more points saved! LOL

Maybe, you ignore some marketing people at the airport presenting cards of several airlines telling about this and that, you earn this and those and etc. But, take it from me, DON’T IGNORE THEM! They are giving you an opportunity to take advantage of perks that you can avail while you enjoy (even not) flying with them. I don’t know if these people are on for a quota but they are giving it for free. You might regret it if one day, having those perks will cost some amount. :-p

Today, Valentine’s Day, some airlines are offering seat sales. Yes, in any destination you want, either domestic or international; just be quick to decide on where to go because airfare discounts like these sell like pancakes. If luck is not with you, try again! But, but, but…always remember that traveling means spending. You have to check your capacity and please do not resort to credit, credit, credit.

Anyways, all I want to say is, I am thankful with some points or miles I have earned before and even now. There are birthday travels I had that I got airfares for free and paying only taxes. There are sudden travel (international), too, that I booked using those points and the taxes covered! Isn’t it amazing?!!

Then, here comes the valentine seat sale, my points wallet is still good and enough, I am able to book two  (2) round trip tickets! One domestic trip that costs 6,000 points (1600 points for the base fare and 4200 points for the taxes) is not bad at all. Then, one international trip that costs 10,000 points (1600 points for the base fare and 8400 points for the taxes) is also not bad at all. Technically, I can say those are free flights! Just be patient in waiting for such perks and you will be glad to use some points or miles to your dream destination.

Always remember, your work may need you to travel a lot, but earning points or miles will reward you someday to your dream destination. Travel to allow yourself explore other areas and learn from there - it will help you widen your horizon. Travel within your means, it will keep your sanity. :-)

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Food | Tacloban City's Fresh and Tasty Dishes

Tacloban City is one of the great places to visit for food. Yes, at least for my taste, Tacloban City has some of the freshest and tasty food I have eaten. I am also pretty lucky that my friend, Dennis, is in the city - he helped me explore the city and the nearby places to taste the best of Leyte Province. So, here are some of the food places we have been...
Ocho's menu section - Kuya Dennis at the right
First stop, Ocho! It is a seafood and grill dining establishment in Tacloban City where a lot of people flock to have a meal of the city's freshest seafood. You will even see some live ingredients ready for cooking!

There are four (4) viands we ordered: (1) gambas, (2) porbidang kangkong, (3) buranday, and (4) grilled fish.
This gambas, a shrimp dish, is a good one. Yes, the shrimps are cooked almost to perfection, soft and not gummy. Though I was trying to taste a kick of a spice from the dish, it has less of that. Still a good dish to eat!
Porbidang Kangkong
This dish made me laugh because of the name - porbidang kangkong. Why? It because in a Visayan term, "porbida" can be equated to cursing. Anyways, this dish is good, too! Sus porbida, lami ni sya! (Damn, this dish is good!) It has a spice, with coconut milk and kangkong. It can be compared with a dish in Bicol like the laing but not wrapped and using different leaf.
This dish is perfect! This is called buranday. It is a soup dish with sea shells. I really love such a dish. It is very fresh and there's that sweetness in the soup. This is similar to what we call back home as imbao, also a soup dish with clams.
Grilled Fish
This dish is also good. Yes, the fish meat is grilled perfectly with some sweet taste of its freshness.

Indeed, dining experience at Ocho Seafood and Grill is a must when in Tacloban City. They have more in the menu and we have only what we can finish. I have a very happy tummy after that very delicious lunch.

Another special place for dining is at Yolanda's. The place is just at the bayside in San Jose, Tacloban City. It is also flocked by people with their fresh seafood!

We ordered three (3) viands: 1) kinilaw, 2) fish tinola and 3) sweet and spicy shrimps.
The kinilaw. It is a dish of raw fish soaked in vinegar with coconut milk. That's the version in Leyte which is interesting. Surprisingly, the taste is really good and the coconut milk creates a balance of mix - sweet, creamy and tasty. Usually, kinilaw has the raw fish and some spices with seasoning soaked in vinegar in Mindanao.
Fish tinola
This is a fish tinola is a fish soup dish. No surprise that this soup has the sweetness because of the fish's freshness. It was raining then, this is just right for that afternoon. :-p
Sweet and Spicy Shrimps
This is a winner! Yes, the shrimp is sweet and spicy, but the sweetness is brought by the freshness and I think some lemons. Indeed, this dish will not allow you to stop until the plate is finished. It's really a tummy filled experience in Yolanda's. Soon, they will be relocated because there are efforts of putting a long stretch of water breaker dike by JICA.

One of the newest places to dine in Tacloban City is the HQ. It is a food park alongside the Ang Waray Partylist Headquarters. We went there at one night time.

That night, I was really craving for something sweet and cold, this halo-halo saved my craving however, it is just an ordinary one - nothing really special, but this is still good. :-)
This pizza is a winner! Yes, it has thin crust with so much toppings which we enjoyed so much. It is really delicious; only if we are very hungry, we could have consumed two (2) of it. *burp*

Chicken Feet (Adidas) and Siomai
These are also good food in HQ. There's a lot of food stalls to check and order for food. It is really a great deal to cap off the food tripping in Tacloban City, Leyte Province.

There are also some good food items you can bring home with you, such as the morong and binagol. These are available at Daniel Romualdez Airport. These are kakanin - made of glutinous rice and other sweet ingredients.

Morong and Binagol
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Travel | Leyte: One of the Gems of Eastern Visayas Part 2

Part 2.
Inside the Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum
The following day, we headed to the Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum, the fourth stop.
Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum
One of the most prominent families in the country is the Romualdez family of the Eastern Visayas, wherein the roots of the former first lady, Imelda Marcos, is identified. This place was once the residence of the first family. This place is now a museum managed by the Presidential Commission on Good Governance. It has an entrance fee and additional fee to allow visitors to capture some spots in the Shrine, P230.00 for the two of us. The place is not only a residence but also a place where a Sto Nino is placed and its festivity is celebrated every June. It is really among the places to visit in the city and you will understand part of the family’s history and richness. It is like a palace. It is very grand and I can imagine the glory days of the place - a contrary of what it is now, dilapidating in some areas resolved by restoration efforts.

Fifth view, the mass grave of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
One of the Mass Grave Sites in Leyte
It is also a very heart-wrenching event in the Eastern Visayas when a super typhoon struck. It left many places in total devastation and death of thousands. This place is only one of the commemorative mass grave in the province and I hope their souls are in peace now.

Sixth spot, the Palo Cathedral.
Palo Cathedral
This cathedral has been erected since 1596 and has gone through a lot. It was also damaged by the typhoon Haiyan. After some efforts of rehabilitation, Pope Francis visited the cathedral briefly in 2015. The cathedral is so vibrant with its color and design.

Then, seventh spot, to Baybay City, Lintaon Peak and 16,000 blossoms.

From Tacloban City to Lintaon Peak, Baybay City, is approximately 2.5 hours ride. There are options like bus or van when doing a commute. For a van ride, we paid P150.00 per pax - Tacloban City to Baybay City. From Baybay City terminal to Lintaon peak, P50.00 per pax by a motorcycle ride. At the top, you will see the overlooking view of the city and the 16,000 blossoms lit at night time. The day of our visit was very windy and rainy. But it was fine, it was an experience to be there. :-)

Eighth spot is back in Tacloban City, the Sto. Nino Church.

Sto. Nino Church Tacloban
After a day in Baybay City, an evening in Tacloban is my closing trip at the Sto. Nino Church. The Sto. Nino in this church is known “El Kapitan”. The structure is iconic with its belfry lit at night. It has beautiful mural designs inside, too; it is a very lovely church and you will feel the holy presence.

You may have noticed, I have few spots visited, not because everything we did is visiting tourist spots, but there are errands my friend attended to, and I accompanied him. :-p

Anyways, I have enjoyed the sites to see in Tacloban City and some nearby municipalities. I hope you guys also enjoyed it too.
Thank you for visiting my avenue, www.ten7avenue.com. Feel free to share this to your friends and let’s spread the beauty of Leyte!

Food? Will be sharing it to another post. For sure, you will love it! :-)