Archives for May 2017

Drew Arellano Reveals the Frustrations of a Working Dad

Travel show host Drew Arellano has one of the most desirable jobs. But with his new role as a father, the Kapuso host admitted that he’s been craving for more indoor adventures with his son Primo instead.

Drew, along with wife Iya Villania and Primo, talked about his new life as a dad at the BabyFlo event held at the Shangri-La EDSA Hotel in Ortigas Center last Friday, May 19.

The 37-year-old dad confessed onstage, “It’s hard for me to do my travel show weekly, you know. When I wake up somewhere and I’m not with these two, parang it’s not normal.”

All his life, Drew has been taught to prioritize family above all else. Having a family of his own now, the Kapuso host wanted to make sure that he’s always present in his son’s life. That was why Drew felt frustrated and worried when Primo barely recognized him during the first few months.

He recounted, “I’m sure hindi pa niya alam na I’m the dad, pero feeling ko alam niya that I’m just the clown, you know? First few months ni Primo, meron akong frustration and dilemma.

“Kung minsan, when we do the travel show abroad and we do it for a week… Whenever I get back from my travels, when I open the door na, tine-testing ko kung kilala na niya ako.

“Yung first few months, parang gaganyan ako, ‘Hello!’ Titingin lang siya for a few seconds na parang, ‘Who is this guy?’ And I’m like hurt! Super!”

It didn’t help that Primo’s face easily brightened up whenever he saw Iya around. But through Drew’s constant efforts to go home before six o’clock—a.k.a Primo’s bedtime—the father and son were soon able to establish their own bond. This meant a lot to Drew.

“Just by the mere fact na alam na niya, malaking bagay na sa ‘kin ‘yon as a dad. So, yeah, in the morning, slap in the face is like, ‘I love you, Papa!’ for me.

“Pak! I love you, Papa! Yeah!”

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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Massage Places Under P500 You Can Escape to for Mommy Me-time

I personally enjoy a good massage. It helps me calm down on hectic days at work. While indulging once in a while in luxurious spas are great, it’s the underrated massage places that really take the cake when I’m super busy. If you’re game, you may want to visit those on this list, but don’t expect Jacuzzis and steam rooms and free tea after your session—these places are often simple and cheap, but they’re great in alleviating pent-up office-related tensions and giving you that boost you need.

Here are four that I’ve tried. If there’s a branch near you and you’ve had a heavy breakfast, you can opt to make your quick escape during lunch break and come back to your cubicle feeling refreshed.

1. Vibes Massage

“Vibes” stands for Visually-Impaired’s Brotherhood for Excellent Services. All their therapists are properly trained, very professional, and can seriously give you an awesome massage, whether you choose to have a 30-minute half-body or a one-hour whole body session. They offer Swedish and Shiatsu, but they’re best with Pinoy Hilot.

Location/s: Robinsons Forum, Robinsons Metro East, Robinsons Otis, SM City Bicutan, SM City Calamba, SM City Lucena, and other malls nationwide

Approximate Rate/s: P200-300 for half-hour; P400 to P500 for 1 hour

2. Beijing Foot Spa

Beijing Foot Spa doesn’t only offer foot massage, though it’s definitely their forte. Some of their packages include head, hand, arm, and shoulder massage, which makes them really sulit. If you often wear heels, this is definitely the place to go to. Just don’t be surprised when your therapist pulls out a pair of rubber hammers: they’re said to relax your muscles after a pressure point massage, but if you’re uncomfortable with the service, you can request to forgo it.

Location/s: Greenhills Shopping Center, Il Terazzo Tomas Morato, Lucky China Town Mall, Silver City Frontera Verde, Robinsons Metro East, Cherry Shaw, #47th Barangay San Roque

Approximate Rate/s: P350 for half-hour back massage; P500 for a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute foot massage (inclusive of head, hands, arms, shoulders and a quick back massage)

3. Bali Bliss Day and Nail Spa

If you’re into Balinese massage, then visit one of the many Bali Bliss Spas within and outside Metro Manila. You get the whole deal—a great massage, plus a bit of aroma therapy, and a really relaxing environment—for prices that won’t bust your budget.

Location/s: C. Raymundo; Greenwoods; Rosario, Manggahan; Kapitolyo, Pasig; Vista Verde, Cainta; Poblacion; UP Village QC; Lilac St., Marikina

Approximate Rate/s: P120-P170 for a 30-mintue whole body massage; P270-400 for one-hour whole body massage

4. Nisce Skin ‘N Face

Their Dead Sea Salt Scrub w/ Massage is pretty good, but that’ll take you more than hour to finish (since you’ll need to take a shower after the salt scrub), so the next best thing is their Tranquility Massage, which mixes both Shiatsu and Swedish techniques. It’s a great reward especially after a long meeting or an intense client presentation.

Location/s: SM Megamall, Mandaluyong

Approximate Rate/s: P499 for full-body Shiatsu/Swedish/Tranquility Massage for one hour

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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Know the Different Kinds of Fish and How to Cook Them

If your seafood menu has become boring, try using other kinds of fish available in the market and see how easy it is to prepare them in different ways:

Apahap (SeaBass)
Apahap has delicate flavors and they are best when oven-baked or roasted, pan-fried, or grilled. Try this seabass recipe from one of our readers:

Bangus (Milkfish)
Bangus is a common fish variety that is used in most Filipino kitchens as it can be served any time of the day. How about smoking it (you can use it for omelet, too!), stuffing it for relleno, or using it in your sinigang?

Betilya (White snapper)
The betilya can be grilled, fried and served with soup or cooked with a tasty sauce. Try this Sarciadong Isda recipe to start with:


Blue Marlin (swordfish)
You can find Blue Marlin at bigger markets such as Farmer’s Market in Cubao and is best used for grilled and fried dishes. It can also be used for sinigang!

Danggit (Rabbitfish)
This salted and sun-dried fish is popular in Cebu, but it can also be sourced in bigger markets in Metro Manila. How to use it? Danggit may be used for pinangat, sinigang, and paksiw dishes.

Dilis (Anchovy)
Dilis, when it is dried, can actually be an appetizer. But this saltwater fish can also be fried and used in omelets and paksiw dishes.

Galunggong (Hard-tail mackerel)
Galunggong is usually pan-fried and served with rice, but you can also take it up a notch and serve it with gata (coconut milk).

Gindara (Oil fish)
Gindara is best when grilled and served with a teriyaki or a barbecue sauce.

Hito (Catfish)
Catfish is a common fish variety that can be prepared in a number of ways: use it for a seafood version of kare-kare, or as an appetizer in the form of a salad.


Labahita (Surgeon fish)
Labahita may be fried, or used in a sweet and sour fish dish. It is also great in sinigang or in a pinangat dish (either used with a souring agent such as vinegar or tamarind or coconut milk).

Lapu-lapu (Grouper)
The grouper is a versatile fish to cook with: it may be filleted and fried, steamed, or poached! The delicate flavors make it an ideal choice for adding other layers of flavors.

Maya-maya (Red snapper)
The red snapper is best used for sauce fish dishes: boiled and cooked with a light broth or a tomato-based sauce. It can also be used in kinilaw.

Pampano (Pomfret)
Pampano fillets may be grilled or used as a whole fish in saucy dishes such as a sweet and sour dish or served with a black bean sauce.

Tanigue (Spanish mackerel)
The tanigue can be used for fish steaks and kinilaw. It also works when grilled or used in a dish simmered in a coconut milk sauce.

There are many ways to prep tilapia: pan-fried, filleted and fried, grilled, or steamed!

Tawilis (Herring)
Tawilis can be found in Tagaytay but if you have access to this small fish, they are best enjoyed when breaded and fried to a crisp!

Additional inputs from Mira Angeles

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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Why It’s Okay to End Some Friendships Even When It’s Painful for You

Lovers come and go; but friends stay forever — or do they?

Some people think that breakups only happen in romantic relationships, but it could happen to friendships, too. And sometimes, it’s for the best. No matter how much you treasure your relationships, there will come a time when you can’t (and are not obliged) to maintain all of them, especially if it’s not doing you any good emotionally and mentally.

“A good friendship is a wonderful antidepressant“, says psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. “Relationships are so powerful, we don’t always appreciate the many levels at which they affect us.”

Now that you’re older and wiser, it’s time to be more careful when it comes to selecting friends you really want to spend the rest of your life with. Think of these as investments. It’s about time to cherish those who have stuck with you through thick and thin, and just let go of the toxic relationships that are stressing you out more.


Besides, letting go doesn’t mean you’ll leave them forever. For all you know, the break up could lead both of you to realize mistakes and end bad habits. Here are instances it’s completely understandable to cut the cord:

It’s always about them.

Whenever you try to open up about a problem, they always find a way to lead the conversation back to them and before you know it, all you hear is “I, me, and my.” So during those times when you needed a shoulder to cry on or advice on what to do, you ended up listening to their stories (that are likely to be repetitive).

You feel controlled or manipulated.

Have you ever felt the “friendship card” used on you? It’s when they ask you for a favor you’re uncomfortable doing yet they subtly force you to do it by saying, “Sige na, friends naman tayo eh.” Seriously, this could be one of the worst feelings since there’s a lack in sincerity. It begs the question of whether or not you’re really friends to begin with.

Everything is a competition to them.

Whether that’s at work or your love lives, everything seems to be a challenge for them to do better than you. And sometimes, instead of being happy for you and your accomplishments, they tend to get jealous and turn your win into something negative.


They always bring you down.

Naturally, friends are supposed to knock some sense into each other from time to time, but when they give constant (and unsolicited) negative feedback that’s not even called for in a situation, then you may want to think twice if your friendship is even worth it. Your friends should be your support group, not people who hurt you and put you down.

You don’t feel like yourself around them.

If you feel uncomfortable in their company, then maybe they’re not the right circle of friends for you. No real friend would want to make you doubt yourself or even make you feel bad about being who you are. So if you must, try to re-evaluate your relationships and see if they’re worth keeping. Remember, it’s okay to put yourself first, because at the end of the day, when everyone and everything is gone, all that will remain is YOU.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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13 Stylish Moms to Follow Online For Comfy-Chic Outfit Pegs

Motherhood is no excuse to start slacking in the style department—in fact, it becomes a wider avenue to experiment! After all, any mom knows only too well the challenges of staying comfy and chic at the same time.

In case you haven’t quite found your mommy #aesthetic just yet, let these 13 ladies point you to the right direction (while chasing after your toddlers, perhaps)!

Marian Rivera-Dantes


Georgina Wilson-Burnand


Sarah Lahbati


Kylie Padilla



Andi Manzano-Reyes


Andi Eigenmann


Maggie Wilson


Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi


Bea Soriano-Dee



Sam Richelle


Boom Sason


Pauline Juan


Eloise Alba


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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6 Practical Hacks For Washing Your Bedding

It’s no secret that we begin and end our day in the comfort of our beds — in fact, some studies show that we spend one third of our life sleeping. This is why it’s very important that we make our resting space the cleanest and coziest spot at home.

Aside from tidying the room and decorating it with relaxing elements, investing in high-quality bedding is essential in creating a soothing environment. To help you take better care of your sheets, let these handy hints guide you:

1 Treat stains before loading your bedding in the washer. Remember, once spots have been “cooked” or dried, they become permanent. Try this hack: wet the stained area, apply dishwashing liquid, then scrub with a toothbrush before washing.

2 Unless there is no other way, do not mix the bedding with clothes that have hardware like big buttons, zippers or embellishments, as these rough textures cause pilling and abrasion in the fibers.

3 Use less detergent than the bottle recommends: if it says pour one cup, try using 3/4 only. Strong soaps weaken fibers over time, resulting to thinning or unexpected holes.


4 Avoid fabric softeners at all costs. While they leave a refreshing scent, they coat the natural fibers and break them down, resulting to thinning as well.

5 If you want soft sheets, try ironing them — this trick works especially well for cotton and linen sheets. You can do the same with your pillowcases, too.

6 For spare sheets, avoid storing them in plastic containers or big Ziploc bags as it can result in yellowing. Instead, you should find a spot for them in your closet or dresser as natural fibers need to be able to breathe.

PHOTOS and SOURCES: Target (Main) | St. Regis Boutique|| Remodelista (Linen Logic: 20 Tips for Taking Care of Your Bedding)

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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Angelina Cruz Writes to Mom and Best Friend Sunshine

Angelina Cruz is beyond grateful for everything her mom Sunshine has done for her. She’s basically a mother and a father rolled into one. But what Angelina’s even more thankful about is their “close relationship.”

In fact, if you check their Instagram accounts, you know that they are just like barkada. The 15-year-old celebrity kid said that, “She’s basically, if not a mom, a best friend to me.”

Sunshine has two other daughters Samantha, 12, and Cheska, 10, all with her estranged husband Cesar Montano.

Asked what their mom’s ultimate bilin is, Angelina answered, “Studies first.” To their mom’s pride, the three siblings are all honor students at De La Salle Santiago Zobel.

Moreover, when the time comes for Sunshine to shift from barkada to parent, her three daughters listen. In a previous interview with the 39-year-old star, Sunshine said, “I always tell them, ‘You know kapag naglalaro tayo or naglolokohan tayo, friends tayo, but when it’s time to be a parent to the three of you, you also have to respect and listen to me as a mother, not as a barkada.'” (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with Sunshine’s eldest daughter via Instagram direct messaging on Sunday, May 7.


The celebrity kid also sent a special mother’s day greeting for the actress.

The letter reads:

“Dear Mommy,

“I honestly don’t know where to start, whether to thank you or to express my love and gratefulness to have you as my mother.

“For that I am absolutely grateful and thankful to have you as my mom.

“Thank you so much mommy, for having my back, for providing for our family, for [being] supportive, for being kind and loving, and most of all for being my mother.

“I honestly wouldn’t want anyone to be my mom, because having you as my mom is just the best.

“I love you mommy and Happy Mother’s Day!”


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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10 Kickass Single Moms in Showbiz

It’s not easy to play both mom and dad at home, so it’s no surprise that many were offended by Tito Sotto‘s supposed “joke” that has now gone viral. Below, we pay tribute to some awesome celebrity single moms who somehow make the tough job look so easy.


Andi Eigenmann

If her public spats with the father of her daughter are anything to go by, there’s no denying that Andi is one fiercely devoted mom.

Jennylyn Mercado

When she isn’t busy raking in acting awards, modeling, and hitting the gym, this FHM Sexiest winner is a proud mom to her son, Jazz.

A post shared by Jodi Sta.Maria (@jodistamaria) on Dec 25, 2016 at 4:30am PST

Jodi Sta. Maria

Despite a schedule filled with acting gigs and even school, Jodi always makes time to explore the world with her son, Thirdy.

A post shared by LJ Reyes (@lj_reyes) on Mar 29, 2017 at 4:26pm PDT

LJ Reyes

This award-winning actress has always been open about the struggles of being a single mom to her son, Aki. She also makes sure he spends plenty of time with his dad, Paulo Avelino.

Sunshine Dizon

It was in June 2016 when Sunshine publicly called out her husband, Timothy Tan, for infidelity. Flash-forward to today, and she’s now a dedicated single mom with a “very good support group.”

Sunshine Cruz

Sunshine’s rocky marriage with Cesar Montano led to her raising their three kids mostly on her own. Their eldest, Angelina, is now joining showbiz.

Geneva Cruz

This actress-turned-certified nutritionist has two kids: a son named Heaven who is a nursing student and a young daughter named London. In a passionate Instagram post (above), she addressed Tito Sotto, saying, “Just so you know, as a mom, I actually did not plan on being single. But in life, we all have to deal with the cards we are dealt the best way we can.”

A post shared by RUFFA GUTIERREZ (@iloveruffag) on Apr 23, 2017 at 8:51am PDT

Ruffa Gutierrez

After a lavish wedding in 2003 and a controversial split in 2011, Ruffa vowed to not depend on her former husband for financial help in raising their daughters.

Denise Laurel

She made headlines in 2011 when she confessed to being a single mom to a baby boy. Years later, the actress happily shares the cutest photos with her five-year-old son.

A post shared by Ciara Sotto (@pinaypole) on Apr 3, 2017 at 9:11pm PDT

Ciara Sotto

Ciara became a dedicated single mom to her son, Crixus, after splitting up with her former husband, Jojo Oconer.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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Becoming a Mom Was the Happiest and Saddest Day of My Life

I started singing when I was 2 years old, and since then, my life revolved around music and singing. My closest family and friends have seen my passion and dedication as a chorister, as a conductor, and as a teacher to young children. I trained hard, performed well, and taught purposefully. I was UNSTOPPABLE…until I got pregnant. I lost that one thing that made my life exceptionally beautiful and extra meaningful, that one thing that enabled me to make music, that one thing that allowed me to express the language of my heart — my voice.

I grew up attending Sunday services with my entire family in Ellinwood Malate Church where music, whether played or sung, is always remarkable. At an early age, I was already exposed to period music and enjoyed listening (and even singing along) to Handel’s “Messiah” every Christmas and Mozart’s “Requiem,” come the Holy week. My grandparents were wonderful singers, too, and my parents were part of the choir. They thought it would be great if they’d get me to sing in the choir as well, and it was one of the best decisions my parents made for me. At 6 years old, the musician in me was born.

At around 8, while other kids were singing and dancing to popular songs, I was appreciating the very melodic “Ti Ayat Ti Meysa Nga Ubing” and singing it in a high voice while finishing up assignments at home. Throughout my school years, I performed, competed, and studied. I was lucky enough to go to St. Scholastica’s College Manila, where the music program is above par and be part of DLSU Chorale.


At 18, I was already conducting my first company choir. Just before I turned 20, I had my first European concert tour with the DLSU Chorale. After that, another concert tour came and then another in Korea, North America, and Canada. I also became one of the six people who represented the Philippines in the Asian Youth Choir where rehearsals and performances were held in Japan.

At 23, I auditioned for the Philippine Madrigal Singers. How I dreamt of sitting in that prestigious semi-circle, right at the center of it, singing my heart out! Pero sabi ko, parang imposible. After I sung, they told me right away that I made it and was asked to attend rehearsals, which happened to be an hour after I auditioned. December 8, 2003 was the day my life as a chorister became more meaningful.

The Madz, as we call the Philippine Madrigal Singers, on its own, is a school. While it sharpens your skills as a musician, it also defines your character as a person. In the Madz, being a good singer is not enough. Hard work, discipline, endurance, and willingness to learn are essential tools for you to survive.

When I entered the group, I was one of the few who wasn’t music degree holders. So, I mastered the pieces ahead of time, took in instructions, and sang intelligently at may puso. Three months after I auditioned, they gave me a seat at the semi-circle. Shortly after, I found myself on a European concert tour, and we went home with a prize for winning a choral competition in Spain. I couldn’t believe it at first but the wish I made some years ago in college was happening!


In 2005, my mother died because of cancer. Music and singing rescued me and got me through the saddest days. A month after her death, I got into a relationship with Henry, my most masugid na manililigaw since college. Everything just got more beautiful since then.

After a year into our relationship, Henry asked me to marry him, and I said yes. But the Madz was set to embark on international tours and competitions for two years. The schedule just didn’t have time for a wedding. I had to choose between getting married at 26 or competing. I chose the latter. Unstoppable, yes? Yes! #walangmakakapigil

After my schedule with Madz had settled down, Henry and I decided to get married in March 2009; we were 29 years old. We both wanted to have children right away. We still didn’t get lucky despite the preparations I made even before getting married. I was already under medication for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and fertility. We had two courses of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) that both failed. We were trying to conceive for more than a year by this point, but we never gave up. In July of 2010, Henry and I decided to go through another course of IUI.


During this round of a month-long waiting game, Henry and I flew to Bacolod to attend a wedding. It was my first time at this church, so I prayed and wished for a child. Upon receiving communion, I knelt and quietly spoke to God. I couldn’t help but cry because I was about to offer Him that one thing I thought I could not live without — my voice. Finally, my heart said it. I told God that I was willing to sacrifice my voice in exchange for a son or a daughter.

When we arrived in Manila, Henry and I went back to our usual routine. A week went by, and finally, it was time for me to take the test. I said a prayer and made that offering once again. Then, I did two different pregnancy tests, and after a few minutes, there it was — two pink lines! I WAS PREGNANT! Immediately, I fell to my knees and thanked God for this miracle. I was overjoyed!

The following day I went to my ob-gyn to have myself checked. She confirmed that I was indeed pregnant, and we were having triplets! GOD GAVE US TRIPLETS!

Weeks passed, and it was finally time to check on the babies’ heartbeats. Baby number one was doing great, and so was baby number two. But baby number three was not. He did not have any heartbeat. After that check up, I was advised …read more    

5 Things You Can Do With Your Hair to Slim Down Your Face

Besides makeup, your hair is a huge factor in slimming down your face. Another good thing about relying on your locks for a more chiseled face is that you can be more confident to face the world sans bronzers or thick, Kardashian ‘kontouring’ techniques. See our suggestions below:

1. Add long layers


When your stylist creates layers that frame your face,a strong jawline looks softer, and the cheeks less chubby. A blunt cut only magnifies the wideness of the face. Take for example, Selena Gomez. Her square face still looks fab, thanks to her lush, carefully layered, long locks.

2. Try highlights

Up for a new hair color? Ask for a fairly new technique called hair contouring (Hollywood celebs started doing this in 2015) which relies on strategic placement of hair color to downplay a wide face.

I was born with a round face shape, and my plump cheeks and cheekbones cannot be tamed! Jerome Secjadas of Basement Salon SM Aura played with different tones of blonde and ashy brown L’Oreal Professionel hair color to contour my hair. My verdict: I still can’t believe I own this celeb-worthy, balayage, face-slimming ‘do. And if you’re worried about damage caused by hair color and bleaching, ask for a Smartbond additive. This magical potion keeps your hair follicles strong and intact during the hair coloring treatment.

Also, you don’t need to have extremely light shades to enjoy this. You can get this service with a conservative color palette like what Shamcey Supsup has:

3. Do a half-up ‘do

If you don’t want to do something drastic to your hair, putting it up in a half pony will do. Just remember to add volume to the crown (top section of the head) and let a few strands of hair fall on the sides of the face to create vertical length.

4. Aim high

A post shared by Nikki Duque (@nikki_duque) on Dec 1, 2016 at 8:10pm PST

When you prefer a total updo, a glam high ponytail or a top knot can pull the cheeks upwards, exposing the angles of your cheekbones.

5. Get side-swept bangs

A post shared by Rhian Ramos (@whianwamos) on Mar 15, 2017 at 9:17pm PDT

Side-swept bangs can lengthen your face. The fringe gracefully falls on your temples, cheekbones, and cheeks, creating a subtle, vertical distraction on your round face.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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