Last Minute Christmas Shopping: Books

It’s December 23, a day before Christmas eve. Have you finished shopping for gifts? Have you asked ninong and ninang for your year-end reward for being a good girl/boy? If you haven’t yet, no worries. I can help you out.

I decided to come up with two last minute Christmas shopping specials. This is the first one and it’s for the bookworms.

I went around National Bookstore two days in a row and found some really good books that you can give or ask for as gifts. Check out what’s in my list and you might find something you like.

Harry Potter Cinematic Guide Collection by Felicity Baker – Php345

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The ultimate Harry Potter fan gift. You’ll find everything you want to know about the movie – scenes, characters, and quotes. Each character has one full book, so you’ll have fun re-acquainting yourself with Harry and the gang. You’ll love the bright and colorful photos that seem to jump out of the pages!

An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Illustrated by Cassandra Jean – Php649

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This anthology is perfect for fans of the Shadowhunter novels made famous by Cassandra Clare. The book includes characters from The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and The Dark Artifices. Followers of the series will love the fact that the woman behind The Shadowhunter Tarot is the one who did the illustrations for the book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling- Php995

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Haven’t had enough of Fantastic Beasts? Or perhaps you know somebody who still haven’t recovered from all the fun and excitement the movie gave him/her? If your answer is yes, this is the best gift to choose.It features not only dialogues but also staging directions for the film, which was released just last month.You’ll find a lot of character descriptions, as well as illustrations.Best for those who want to know more about the Fantastic Beasts characters.
The Children’s Bible – Php545
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The best way to introduce The Bible to your children. With colorful illustrations.
Little Miss and Little Master Series by BabyLit – Php479
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The classics made especially for young readers. Some of the titles available are: Pride & Prejudice, Les Miserables, Romeo & Juliet, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein. The mini-books feature numbers, the alphabet, and basic words, among others.
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The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo: Creatures and Beasts of Philippine Folklore
With entries by Trese author Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo, David Hontiveros, Bow Guerrero, and Mervin Malonzo.
All That Darkness Allows: 13 Tales of Horror and Dread
Thirteen stories by 13 Filipino authors. If you like scary stories, this is the book for you. The fact that it is written by local writers make the stories more relatable. Buy this for yourself or for a friend or loved one who likes reading horror stories deep into the night.
Have you chosen which book to buy? You’ll have the whole day today and tomorrow to decide which one you want. If you can’t choose just one, go and get two books! 
Happy gift-giving and merry Christmas, Kagay-anons! 
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Christmas at the CDO Malls

Christmas is just a few days away and everyone is busy checking off their lists. If you’re not done shopping yet (I know many who haven’t even started), you’re in luck because the malls have extended their operating hours for the holiday season. The better for you to find that perfect Christmas gift! 😉christmas-shopping

Photo credit: By Trogain (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

To help you schedule your last minute shopping, here’s a list of the extended hours of CDO’s major malls:

CENTRIO MALL

  • December 14 to 23 – 10am to 10pm
  • December 24 – 10am to 7pm
  • December 25 – 12nn to 10pm
  • December 26 to 30 – 10am to 10pm
  • December 31 – 10am to 6pm
  • January 1 – 12nn to 9pm
  • January 2 – Regular Mall Hours

SM CITY CDO

  • December 20 to 30 – 10am to 10pm (except December 23 & 24)
  • December 23 – 10am to 12mn
  • December 24 & 31 – 9am to 7pm
  • January 1 – 12nn to 9pm

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SM City CDO’s Supermarket now opens at 8am.

GAISANO CITY MALL

  • December 20 to 23, 29 to 30 – 9am to 10pm
  • December 24 & 31 – Regular Store Hours – Supermarket: 9am to 9pm/Department Store: 9am to 8pm

ORORAMA (Please see photo below)

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OUR LADY OF MANAOAG SCHEDULE OF MASSES

Our Lady of Manaoag Chapel, located at Limketkai Center beside Shopwise, has finalized its schedule of masses for the Christmas season. If you can’t join the Simbang Gabi at 4am or 5am, you can join the chapel’s daily 6pm mass. Check out the details below:

* December 15 to 23 (Simbang Gabi)  – 6:00PM
* December 24 (Saturday) – 6:00PM
* December 25 (Sunday) – 5:30PM
* December 31  (Saturday) – 6:00PM
* January 1 – NO MASS (Mall Closed)

Before or after shopping, visit the chapel first and hear mass. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for all the blessings that have come (and continue to go) your way.

merry Christmas, Kagay-anons! Happy shopping! 😀

 

 

 

The Actor

A couple of months ago, Dreamboard Artists founder Donie Galigao asked me if I could write a poem for the group’s anniversary show. Since I was busy with “Reyna Elena” and”Lima”, it was exactly one week before their December 4 show when I finally sent the poem to Donie.

My inspirations for the poem are the people who supported my grand dream of staging my mom’s Palanca-winning play. “Reyna Elena” was staged at the Xavier University-Little Theater last November 10&11. We had four successful shows (3pm and 7pm on each day). Well, they weren’t SRO shows, but the performances definitely deserved standing ovations. Most of the cast members of the play have been with me since I started staging Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” (2013). Two of them are former students, both active members of the school’s drama club, which I moderated and coached. The others, I met only during the two-day auditions we held at Loreto’s Grill.

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(Photo source: Free to download, pixabay.com)

I wrote the poem “The Actor” for all of them. Because they helped fulfill a dream that I once thought was impossible to achieve. I wrote the poem for them because they are selfless performers; because they are talented. “The Actor” is for everyone who supports our advocacy of focusing the spotlight on original plays by Kagay-anons.

I am sharing the poem to everyone – artists and non-artists alike –  who wish to read it. May this poem help you realize how valued you are as an artist. May this poem help people realize how important artists are in inspiring and facilitating change. Especially change within one’s self.

THE ACTOR

When the lights turn on

All the faces I see disappear

It’s just me, the stage, and the lights.

And I begin to feel myself float

I begin to soar

I begin to reach new heights.

Every time I do this

I become a totally new person.

I become Juan,

Martin,

Luis,

Joe,

Andy.

I become somebody else.

 

But when the lights dim

I retreat backstage

Sometimes too tired to face the real world.

Up there, onstage, I could be who I want to be

Back here, I could drown.

Drown in loneliness

Drown in pain

Drown in fear

That people won’t like me for who I am.

I am not Juan,

Or Martin

Or Luis,

Or Joe,

Or Andy.

I am myself, the way I want to be.

 

There’s just one me

And I’m afraid it’s not who you want to see.

There’s just one me

Not the many faces you see onstage.

There’s just one me

I’m not the actor illuminated by the lights.

 

Sometimes, people forget me

Because all they see is who they want me to be.

But life is as it is

And the cycle continues…

 

I go up on stage

And the lights turn on again.

And I begin to float,

To soar.

I begin to become who I am not

Because it’s who the people want me to be.

 

-The Actor

By Maia Fortich-Poblete

November 29, 2016

Cagayan de Oro City

 

Kudos to all Kagay-anon artists! 🙂

 

Seda Centrio Officially Welcomes Christmas

Last November 18, Seda Centrio Hotel officially welcomed the Christmas season through a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event gathered some of the hotel’s most loyal patrons, supporters, and friends, along with the staff led by Seda’s manager, Armand Angeles.

In a short program hosted by ABS-CBN TV host Nicole Abas Datayan, HM Armand thanked the guests and the hotel’s regular patrons. After which, Chef Malek El Safadi, Seda’s newest family member, then went onstage to introduce his team, as well as to share with guests all the special dishes he was cooking up for Kagay-anons for the holiday season.

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Chef Malek and his team.

Before the Christmas tree was officially lit, guests enjoyed the special buffet spread prepared by Chef Malek. The kind chef prepared Lebanese, French, Egyptian, and Italian dishes. The lineup included four different types of salad, Bacon Wrap, Shrimp Curry, Saj Rolls, Potato Croquette, and Roast Pork Liempo, which was an instant hit among guests. Cocktail drinks were also served throughout the night. The buffet spread is a sampling of what Seda will be serving its guests for the duration of the Christmas season.

After enjoying Chef Malek’s feast, the guests were ushered to Misto, where a grand Christmas tree stood in the middle of the lounge. Together with Department of Tourism Regional Director Catalino E. Chan III and Miss Cagayan de Oro 2016 Sherlyn Legaspi, hotel manager Armand officially lit Seda Centrio’s Christmas tree.

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To add to the merry Christmas spirit, Corpus Christi Grade School’s The Falsettos serenaded the guests with some Christmas carols. Their sweet voices soared through the hotel lounge, brightening up the already festive atmosphere.

Before the event ended, HM Armand, and Ms. Carol Valdez of the hotel’s marketing and sales team, picked out several winners for the raffle draw. Some guests took home Misto gift certificates, while one lucky lady received the grand prize of an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s premiere rooms.

Aside from officially welcoming the Christmas season, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony served as a peek into Seda Centrio Hotel’s special treats for December. The hotel’s Seasons Specials include the Banquet Blowout and the Festive Buffets. The Banquet Blowout is for events with a minimum of 25 persons from December 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.  Seda’s Festive Buffets will be from Mondays to Saturdays, 6pm to 10pm, from December 5 to 23, 2016. For more information about the hotel’s December specials, please contact 088-323 8888 or 0917-577 5910. You may also send an email to reservations.cdo@sedahotels.com.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Aruga Unveils Christmas Specials

(with press release provided by Aruga)

Last November 26, Aruga Aesthetic Center welcomed special guests into its clinic for a night of wellness and beauty. It was a special evening where guests were given the chance to experience the services that highlight the Aruga experience –an experience centered on Filipino hospitality and utmost care.

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Aruga endorser Cindy Obenita telling guests about the clinic’s holiday specials.

We Filipino consumers usually have a budget for everything, especially for special treats. As we’re all busy fulfilling daily tasks, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Some of us often set this though aside, thinking that skincare and wellness are luxuries we cannot afford. Aruga Aesthetic Center knows this and seeks to change this notion by offering reasonably-priced services that do not skimp on quality.

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CDO Bloggers. Ready for some Aruga pampering. 

Since the Christmas spirit is already felt everywhere, Aruga decided to offer a special treat to its customers. For this holiday season, Aruga has prepared a variety of promotions on their products and services. These were all unveiled to the guests last Saturday. The evening started with the launch of Aruga Aesthetic Center’s open house, which will run from November 26 to December 3, 2016. For three days, anyone who loves some pampering and self-love can drop by the clinic for a free skin consultation. Aruga believes that everyone should care for the skin they’re in, and getting to know your skin will be the first step in your facial wellness journey.

Launched on the same night were Aruga’s Holiday Beauty Campaigns: The first, dubbed Party Ready Beauty with Aruga Aesthetic Center, focuses on helping us with our busy social calendars this holiday season. This campaign offers us a way to make it to each social engagement as confident as we can be, and with eyelashes and eyebrows on fleek. Aruga will be offering promos on eyelash extensions and iBrow services –making sure you can have party-ready beauty every day of the week.

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It’s a”Light and White Christmas” at Aruga.

The second campaign, “Light and White Christmas,” offers Kagay-anons a white Christmas. Aruga offers you a chance to unleash your inner glow, for a more radiant, and stunning you. Special promotional packages are available for their glutathione, Beauty Fusion, and other skin brightening services. Check out the details below:

– 4 Gluta Shots: P3,400 –  with 4 FREE BASIC FACIALS
– 4 Luminesce Gluta Shots: P12,000 – with 4 FREE SPECIAL FACIALS
– 4 Aruga Whitening Special Facial: P3,996 – with 1 more FREE ARUGA WHITENING SPECIAL FACIAL
– 4 Body Scrub: P3,996 – with 4 FREE BASIC FACIAL
– 4 Regular Beauty Fusion: P14,000 – with 4 FREE BASIC FACIALS
– 4 Luminesce Beauty Fusion: P20,000 – with 4 FREE SPECIAL FACIALS
– 5% off on all our Lash Extension Services
– Avail of our iBrow Service and get 1 FREE REGULAR FACIAL FREE

Finally, but certainly not the least, there is the Aruga Christmas Tree Campaign, where you can give back to the Earth by giving a gift to yourself. For every Php1000 worth of services availed, Aruga Aesthetic Center will plant a tree in your name. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Isn’t that what the Christmas season is all about?

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Blogges getting some much needed pampering from Aruga.

Aruga invites you – and everyone! – to drop by the clinic this holiday season. Pamper yourself and your loved ones. Indulge in the affordable luxury that only Aruga Aesthetic Center can offer.

Aruga Aesthetic Center is located at Door 1, Cornerstone Bldg, Ramon Chaves Street. They are open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 8pm. For more information, please contact 0917-507 8972.

Happy holidays from Aruga!

Chef Malek El Safadi: Bringing the Flavors of the World to CDO

(Press Release by MFPoblete)

The newest addition to the Seda Centrio family is an accomplished chef who brings with him world class experiences.

Chef Malek El Safadi is well-versed in the culinary world. In fact, he shares his knowledge and expertise through the many culinary art mentorships he has done (and continues to do). Apart from his stint as the Corporate Executive Chef for renowned hotels here and abroad, Chef Malek also spent nine years (1989 to 1998) with The King of Saudi Arabia, serving as General Head Chef and Nutrition Consultant for His Royal Highness.

Passion for Culinary Arts

Born on January 24 in Alieh, Beirut, Chef Malek completed his BS in Agriculture Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas in 1985. A year later, he found himself at the Lebanon School of Culinary Arts, where he eventually finished his HRM degree, with a major in Massive Food Caterings. Not one to easily rest on his laurels, Chef Malek went to the Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation in Lucena for his Hotels & Restaurant Management studies.

After completing the course in 1997, he continued his quest for knowledge and excellence. From 1997 to 1998, Chef Malek was at The Culinary Institute of America, where he eventually completed his training for Fine Dining.

While in training, Chef Malek was also working. He had stints at MGM in Las Vegas and even shared his culinary skills while training at the Taj Mahal in India. Training as an International Corporate Executive Chef, he said, means allowing yourself to be “involved in all the flavors of the world”. Thus, Chef Malek took every opportunity to learn and grow in his chosen field.

One of the reasons for Chef Malek’s successful culinary journey is his passion and love for culinary arts. This is evident in his quest for continuous knowledge even when he is already considered one of the best. This determination and willgness to learn and do better is what helped Chef Malek carve a respectable image in the international culinary field.

Training People to Provide Excellent Service

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Chef Malek. (Photo by Vincent Tom Udasco)

Aside from his stints as Corporate Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage of world class hotels and resorts, Chef Malek was also consultant and trainer for different hotels in the Makati CBD.

Chef Malek believes that providing excellent service does not only mean serving the best dishes. Excellent service means offering the most comfortable rooms, first class amenities, good public relations, and everything else that a hotel or restaurant can offer. This is why the training and consultancy work he does is essential in helping achieve an establishment’s goals.

Bringing Interesting International Flavors to CDO

Chef Malek comes from a culinary family that owns a chain of restaurants. So his passion for creating unique dishes is understandable. As his training and specialty is whipping up international culinary masterpieces, this is what he brings to Cagayan de Oro as he starts his journey as the newest chef for Seda Centrio’s Misto.

Misto is known for its exceptional buffets and culinary specials. It is one of the few hotels in the city that offers fresh treats using the most natural (organic) ingredients. This makes Misto the perfect venue for Chef Malek to flex his culinary muscles.

“My specialties are dishes from all the Arab countries, and Italian cuisine. We’ll be having authentic Shawarma here at Misto. This will be on the new menu.” And yes, there will be pizza; but it will be different  from the usual,” he teases. “I produce everything from scratch. Our pizza does not use ready-made sauce. We also have hamburgers, but I do not use extenders on them. There is no artificial flavor (MSG) in my dishes.”

Chef Malek follows a strict procedure when cooking, one that keeps the dishes fresh and tasty. His entrees are always oozing with colors and flavors. A colorful meal is important because, according to the chef, “The eyes always eat first before the mouth.”

This is what diners at Misto will experience every time they indulge in a culinary treat at the hotel. Chef Malek and his team will prepare an array of local and international fusion dishes for Seda Centrio’s themed buffets. Some of these treats include the Chicken Salad with three different lettuce types, all organic, and with freshly made dressing; and a unique salmon dish. Each is designed to cater to the varying choices of diners, so you’re sure to have an unforgettable culinary experience at Seda!

Experience the colorful, inviting, and mouthwatering culinary masterpieces of Chef Malek, including Arabic, Italian and local with a twist. Visit Misto at Seda Centrio now. For inquiries and reservations, you can call (088) 3238888 or 0917-577 5910. Who knows? If you get there early, you might even meet the good chef!

Cine Europa at Rodelsa Hall

The 2016 installment of Cine Europa raised its curtains to the public earlier today at Liceo de Cagayan University’s Rodelsa Hall. On its 19th year, the European film festival is featuring a total of 22 films from different countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Themes are focused on family, hope and discovery, friendship, adolescence, second chances, and fulfilling dreams, among others.

Cine Europa screenings are free for the viewing public on a first come, first served basis. Audiences are advised to be at the Rodelsa Hall early if they want to catch the film/s they are hoping to watch. Below is the list of films for this year, plus the schedule of screening.

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Some of the films you might find interesting include the United Kingdom’s “The Lady in the Van”, The Netherlands “De Marathon”, “Brothers of the Wind” from Austria, “Selfie” from Romania, “Carte Blanche” from Poland, Denmark’s “A Second Chance”, and “Normal: the Dusseldorf Ripper” from Czech Republic.

The Lady in the Van

This films tells the story of Miss Shepherd and her relationship with writer Allan Bennett. Shepherd was supposed to just park her van in Bennett’s driveway, but she ended up staying there for 15 years.

De Marathon

This is the story of Gerard, Nico, Leo, and Kees, four friends who are looking for someone who will sponsor their participation in the Rotterdam Marathon. They hope to raise money through the marathon so they can save their business from bankruptcy.

Brothers of the Wind

The touching story of Lukas and his friendship with Abel, an eagle he saved when it fell from its nest.

Selfie

Yasmine, Ana, and Roxi are fresh out of high school. They go on a trip where they do everything they want, without thinking of the consequences that await them. Perfect for senior high school students who will embark on a new journey months from now.

Carte Blanche

This is the story of a history teacher who is about to go permanently blind. As teaching is his dream job, he tries his best to hide the truth about his genetic disease. If you loved “Dead Poets Society”, you’ll love “Carte Blanche”.

A Second Chance

“A Second Chance” is about two best friends who are detectives working to solve a case that involves a junkie couple.

Normal: The Dusseldorf Ripper

This is the story of serial killer Peter Kuerten and how he surrendered to the police. The film also features the story of Kuerten’s lawyer, Justus Wehner, who “loses his mind” while working on the case.

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Cine Europa 19 will run until Sunday, November 20, at Rodelsa Hall.

See you at the movies!