Arts and Culture advocates will love this announcement:

Alaya Museum is giving the public FREE admission to its facility on May 18, Friday (that's tomorrow). The move is in celebration of the International Museum Day.

-- Karl

_ Guest Post by the Ticket Freak:
Metro Manila-based loner who movie crawls every week

This week's Movie: The Road

A scene in the movie The Road directed by Yam Laranas
I was not able to catch The Road, a suspense-thriller from director Yam Laranas when it was first shown in local cinemas last year. When I saw it listed for screening last week, I did not hesitate to watch it. Because it recently had a Hollywood screening, it means that the movie may well be of Hollywood caliber.

After more than an hour of emotional and mental torment (this is the movie being effective in scaring me), I got out of the movie still affected by the story line's twists. The fear that the movie gave me was lingering.

The movie opening is especially chilling. With not much musical score, most of the scenes keep the viewer holding their breath.

I recommend you catch The Road while it's still in the big screen.
By Jillian Hee
Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams

There’s something about The Cabin in the Woods that made me watch it. Aside from the fact that Thor stars in it, I find the story strange and intriguing. I’ve seen its trailer and it looks different from the usual horror films I normally see. Its high critical and audience ratings made me eager to watch the film immediately.

The story revolves around five college friends who planned to stay in a remote cabin in the woods. While they stay at the cabin, bad things happen. If you think you’ve guessed what that “bad thing” happened, you’ll be surprised with twists that will arouse your curiosity up to the very end.

I have mixed emotions about this film. I do not entirely love or hate it. In fact, it is by far the most interesting horror film I’ve seen.

At first, the movie was quite exciting. The tagline “You think you know the story’” definitely lived up to the plot of the movie. Honestly, I was thinking the movie was about a group of college friends who will experience horror and killings because they have interrupted some spirits in the cabin. But it was more than that - the twists in the film made it more exciting and spellbinding.

I will not directly discuss the “twist” in the movie. But this film offers some element in which you assumed you understand what is really happening but takes it to the next level. It is full of surprises and leaves the audience curious and thinking.

I just have to warn you that as film goes on, it gets graphically intense and scary. However, its conclusion seems strange. The ending, even though unexpected, made the film funny and disappointing at the same time.

Overall, the movie is imaginative and interesting. If you want something different from the usual horror movies, The Cabin in the Woods may appeal to you but if not, you might consider watching other films.

By YARobles

Most people these days buy cheaper items and compromise quality. However, being practical is far more different than being a wise spender. To spend wisely, you need to consider three things at the same time - budget, price, and quality.

Tip #1: Price Check

Be wise enough to know about the price of the items you need or want to buy. You can ask any of your friends or relatives who are frequent shoppers, check online, or canvass to see the price yourself beforehand. Checking the item’s price will help you budget your money more wisely. Also check the price of an item after a mall announced a sale day - to be sure that you really got a discount on the items you will purchase.

Tip #2: Budget Well

Know first your budget and then create a shopping list. Set your budget in each item - be sure that you know the prices of the items you want or you need to buy. To budget your money wisely, you should know your priority - your needs first and then your wants. Also, consider setting apart five to ten percent of your money for your savings.

Tip #3: Choose Quality

Don’t settle for the cheapest items because they are usually in low quality. It’s better to choose a particular known brand for an item that is on sale. The popular brands that are trusted because of the quality of their items must be on the top of your list.

You should take shopping seriously. Always consider these three tips for a wise shopping experience so that you can spend wisely, save more money, and avoid fraudulent discounts. You will surely have quality items that you can use for a long time.

By: Trish Zamora

Having a snack in the middle of the morning is an indulgence that I seldom partake in. However, when I do get the chance, I grab it.

An errand had me hurrying through the revolving doors of Shangri-La Plaza. Once the errand was done, my feet led me to Secret Recipe for an indulging brunch.

Dining in Style

Secret Recipe has numerous branches in Manila, but their Shangri-La branch is my favorite so far. They have about tables that seat 20-30 people inside while their tables on the terrace seats another 20. I took a booth outside as it was more intimate during that time of day. After a hard shift at work, I needed the peace and quiet.

The booths were comfortable and their staff ensured that I had everything I needed.

Perfect Place for a Snack

For brunch, I ordered their Cornish Chicken with a pot of jasmine green tea.

Their Cornish Chicken pie is served hot, just the way I liked it. Unlike the other pies I've tasted, Secret Recipe's is a delicious combination of spicy cornish chicken wrapped in soft, crunchy crust.

And the tea. Mmm, the tea. A small pot of steaming organic jasmine tea, served with sugar and a smaller pot of cream. This pot is great for two servings. They also offer a choice of Earl Gray and English Breakfast tea.

Service Staff is Okay-ish

I asked one staff what he would recommend for lunch. He paused for a long time before answering. Mind you, this was not a test of their skills; I just couldn't decide what to eat and thought that he could help me out.

Must-Try Items

I have acquired a few Secret Recipe favorites through all the times I have visited the place. Following is my list of Must-Try Secret Recipe Items.
  • For lunch or dinner, try their Asian food selections. My favorites are Green Curry Chicken (real spicy, unlike the other curry dishes I've tried) and the Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (great for chilly and rainy days).
  • Their Roasted Chicken with Turmeric Sauce is always a treat. The sauce perfectly combines with the chicken and the side dishes of vegetables make the dish all the more wonderful. 
  • Ah, the cheesecakes. Perfect for dessert, they have a wide variety of cheesecakes to offer. My personal favorite is the marble cheesecake which, when paired with hot jasmine green tea, is a nice  conclusion to a lovely meal.
  • For cold drinks, their special blend of Iced Tea is always a must-try.  I don't know what it is about this drink that makes me return to Secret Recipe, especially on a hot summer's day. 
If you are looking for a quiet place to have brunch, Secret Recipe is a restaurant I recommend.

Price Range: Php100-400

By Jillian Hee
The intense summer heat makes my face oilier than ever. Sun exposure, even for several minutes, easily made me look haggard and exhausted. The strong sunlight effortlessly overpowered my ordinary face powder, and thus made my face sparkling with oil. And because of this, I need a powder that can somehow reduce the oil on my face. Maybelline Clear Smooth promised to give a longer-lasting cover up so I decided to give it a try.

The Maybelline Clear Smooth All-in-One case comes in rectangular pink compact. Compared to the Maybelline Clear Extra Smooth foundation, the Maybelline Clear Smooth has a wider mirror and a separate place for the sponge applicator. It is also lightweight and perfectly fits inside a small bag or purse. However, it is much smaller compared to the foundation that comes in round shape.

What I love about this powder foundation is its nice smell and smooth texture. When I spread it on my face, it lightened my skin and covered some of my blemishes and imperfection. It removes oil on my T-zone. And as compared to other powder foundation I’ve tried, it lasted longer than I expected. More so, it has SPF 25 which is much higher compared to other brands. It’s best to wear during mornings since it has a higher UV rays protection. It is recommended for those who have oily skin and for those who wanted a quick fix on ordinary days.  

Another thing that made me purchase this product is its affordable price. It costs only Php 249 for the whole compact and Php 149 for the refill. It is much cheaper as compared to other branded powder foundation. Also, it doesn’t easily get consumed because you don’t need numerous application.

The only setback of this product is its small sponge - it’s too small for my hands. Aside from that, this powder foundation is good. All in all, I was satisfied with this powder foundation. I will definitely purchase it again next time.
By YARobles

The last time I went to Yellow Cab was unpleasant. Their customer service was poor and their pizza was the only thing that saved the day. Since that incident, I have been sceptical about returning to their branch in Imus. However, I am still hoping for a better service from them in the future.

Reply From Yellow Cab

A month after I posted this blog about my experience in Yellow Cab Pizza Imus, we have received a response from one of their customer service representatives apologizing for the incident.

My Reaction

I was happy with what this representative did on behalf of Yellow Cab. I find that their actions were honorable and that their effort to find this blog was outstanding. I felt that they are sincere enough to reach out in order to give their best in providing quality service for their customers.

New Experience

We decided to try again when we ordered online for their latest flavor, the Lana’i BBQ Chicken Pizza from the People Support branch in Makati. Delivery time was quick. The hickory-smoked barbecue sauce perfectly matched its cheese. Our tummies were fully satisfied with the overwhelming chicken barbecue strips, red onions, and pineapple bits. Yellow Cab is great in creating a new pizza that everybody will enjoy. You will surely enjoy it too.

Guest Post by the Ticket Freak:
Metro Manila-based loner who movie crawls every week

This week's Movie: The Avengers (2012)

Eye-candy battle scene
I've so far fell asleep during 3 high-adventure movies: Transformers 1, Transformers 2, and Wrath of The Titans. There was something about robots and gods fighting and lacking integrity in the process that did not appeal to me. Dozing off to sleep was the next best thing to keeping my eyes open.

I was scared that the same experience would happen to me watching The Avengers (2012). Interestingly, I did not need any food to keep me awake. I did not notice how the air conditioning inside the cinema was weak. I was just enthralled by the  movie. I loved how the director managed to keep my interest during fight scenes. The characters' personalities blend well with their fighting skills. I honestly rooted for them during most of the battle scenes.

I remember watching Thor (2011) and it effectively engaged me as a viewer... anticipating the next scene one after the other. The first installment of Iron Man and the most recent Hulk movie also had that effect on me. It was reasonable that The Avengers was something that I'd love so much as a movie ticket spender.

By Jillian Hee

I am not an avid fan of Pond’s beauty products because they never worked on me. I’ve tried some of their products before and some of them failed my expectations. However, one commercial of Pond’s made me eager to try the Clear Balance Facial Washes. These new facial washes are said to be effective so I can’t wait to try them and, hopefully, experience positive results.

These new Pond’s line of facial washes were made to address the four biggest problems of teenagers: pimples, oily skin, big pores, oily skin and blackheads. All of these variants have different types of mineral which is said to be the biggest absorber of oil.

Pond’s Clear Balance Smooth Pores Facial Wash. I tried this product for about two weeks. Compared to the old Pond’s facial wash, this variant smells so nice. It was also a bit sticky because of the glacial clay. What I loved about this product was its cool effect after washing. It also left my skin clean and refreshed. However, I’m not that sure if it really minimized my pores.

Pond’s Clear Balance Clear Solution Facial Scrub. This product is made with the power of herbal clay to remove 99% of pimple-causing bacteria. I used this product for about three weeks and I am not that satisfied with the results. Although it did not cause any breakouts or pimples, it didn’t entirely remove or heal my pimples.

Pond’s Clear Balance Oil Control Facial Foam. Among these four variants, this one is my favorite. I’ve been using it for over a month and it somehow meets my expectations. What I like most about this facial foam is that it effectively removes oil on my forehead and T-zone, and leaves a revitalizing feeling after washing. However, if you have a combination of oily and dry skin, it is always advisable to use a moisturizer after washing.

I haven’t tried the Pond’s No Blackheads Facial Scrub because I have no blackheads. My sister said it slowly removed her blackheads even just a week of using it.

These new Pond’s Facial Washes are way better than the older variants. Perhaps, it was the clay that made these products somehow satisfying and effective.


I love Nivea Body’s tagline for Double Effect. It says, “Shave Less and Stay Smoother for Longer” but this doesn’t catch my attention. I am not a frequent user of deodorant, so I don’t really appreciate any such thing.

However, my mom bought me this Nivea Double Effect and that was the first time I ever used a deodorant. I love that its color is lavender and it smells fresh. So now I have a reason to use it and when I started using it, it became my best buddy.

Its 48-hour effect lasts for real - no sweat. Also, its smell stays longer than its effect. I shave less often and it makes my underarm really smooth. It easily dries up so I feel more comfortable after applying it and all throughout the day. I am glad as well that it doesn’t darken my underarm.

Now, I realized that their tagline says it all. “Shave Less” - true, “Stay Smoother for Longer” - more than enough. However, this product is not recommended if you need a deodorant for excessive underarm sweating. It also cannot be used to whiten your underarm for it is not purposely for whitening.