Wednesday, December 31, 2014


This January, Stephen Hawking – renowned theoretical physicist and one of the world’s most brilliant minds – invites you on an intimate and revealing journey through his life. Told for the first time in Stephen’s own words, A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINE is the powerful story of Stephen’s battle with his debilitating disease, his rise to fame, and its devastating effects on his family life. The two-hour special premieres January 4 at 8:00 p.m.; encores Monday, January 5 at midnight.
Photo courtesy of Discovery
Stephen Hawking was born in 1942. Shortly after his 21st birthday while he was pursuing his PhD at Cambridge University, Stephen was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease or ALS. He was given two to three years to live but he has somehow defied the odds. For more than 50 years now, he has been travelling the world studying and lecturing about time and space, and the laws that govern the universe. Stephen reveals how keeping an active mind has been vital to his survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humour. We also hear from those who know and work with him – his family, friends, peers, and also Hollywood actor Jim Carrey whom Stephen did a skit with.

Now 72 years old, Stephen still goes to work every day at Cambridge University. He has twelve honorary degrees, and is the author of numerous publications and books. He is the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes, is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. 

While he is wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication, Stephen is still very much involved in his research and family life. The grandfather of three continues to travel extensively for lectures, and hopes to make it into space one day.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Discovery Channel release

Naturalist, author, and award-winning wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie attempts a groundbreaking feat aimed at investigating the eating habits of the mythical
Giant Green Anaconda

EATEN ALIVE? premiering Sunday, December 28, at 9:00 p.m., features snake researcher and conservationist Paul Rosolie who has dedicated his career to studying the Giant Green Anaconda, the largest and most powerful snake in the world and the top predator in the Amazon.  An author (“Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon”), Paul has specialized in the western Amazon for more than a decade and his efforts have helped bring awareness to the Peruvian Rainforest, the natural habitat of the Giant Green Anaconda.    
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel
This past summer, over a 60-day period, crews documented Paul’s expedition to an enchanted and hidden realm deep within the Amazonian jungle, an area the locals call the “floating forest.”  It is in the floating forest that Paul believes the largest anacondas in the world live and breed, and one of the only locations to truly study these elusive and majestic snakes in the wild.  On his one and only previous expedition to this secluded part of the Amazonian jungle, Paul was very close to capturing what he believed was the world’s largest anaconda, a 25 to 27-foot (7 to 8-metre long) behemoth that slipped through his hands and nearly dragged him to the bottom of the floating forest. If Paul succeeds this time in capturing this giant beast, he’s going to attempt something no one has ever dared.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed.  It is so rampant that we may be the last generation with the opportunity to save it.  People need to wake up to what is going on,” said Paul. “What better way is there to shock people than to put my life on the line with the largest snake on the planet, the Green Anaconda?”

"It is strange to think that one of the giant species of snakes on the planet is also one of the least understood,” said biologist Shawn Heflick. “An amazing and mysterious serpent, the Green Anaconda is what myths and legends are made of.”

Since Paul’s goal was to persevere through the constriction and potential ingestion deep into the belly of the beast, he relied on a custom-built suit he designed for his protection.  Constructed by Paul and his team of engineers working alongside herpetologists, the suit was built to ensure the snake’s safety just as much as it was to protect Paul’s life.   After all, the highest measured force of an anaconda constriction has been documented at 90psi, which would be the equivalent of having a large school bus on one’s chest.  Since anacondas rely on their massive size and power to subdue their prey,  Paul risked life and limb in the hopes of measuring the constriction force of a massive anaconda, to gain more insight on its hunting and feeding behaviors, and ultimately, to gain a greater understanding of the inner workings of these majestic creatures.  

Both Paul Rosolie and the Giant Green Anaconda are healthy and alive.

EATEN ALIVE? is produced for Discovery Channel by Expedition AmazonFor Discovery Channel, Michael Sorensen and Matthew Kelly are executive producers and Meagan Davis is the producer. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014


- Join an expedition that takes you from scorching deserts to sweltering wetlands to discover a world of extremities and the life that inhabits it -
Embark on a thrilling exploration of the Middle East as Animal Planet zooms in on this vast and varied region in a brand new series, WILDEST MIDDLE EAST. Premiering every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m., starting December 30, this stunning three-part series visits Turkey, Jordan and Egypt to showcase the region’s most spectacular locations, incredible wildlife and vibrant culture. Encores every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Animal Planet
The Middle East has a natural history quite unknown to the outside world; it’s a place where east meets west – of thick forests, remote deserts, wild mountain ranges and rolling seas. Breathtaking in scale and filmed in high-definition, WILDEST MIDDLE EAST combines the extraordinary stories of animals, plants and people to provide revelations about life in this land of extremes.  
Journey across the stunning landscapes of Turkey, an earthquake hotspot where flora and fauna live on the edge. In the land of pharaohs, pyramids and sacred tombs, witness the life that rule the desolate terrains where ancient Egyptians believed creatures had power over nature. In historically-rich Jordan, contrasting natural formations such as deep valleys, sheer cliffs and panoramic mountains belie the actual vastness of this kingdom.

The Middle East is the surprising home to some of the world’s most exotic creatures. Fennec foxes, Caucasian lynx and Anatolian Ground squirrels – these are just some of the amazing species that have developed unique ways to survive the region’s inhospitable environments.
WILDEST MIDDLE EAST also gives insight into what life is like for the human inhabitants of the area. Meet the people who, through ingenuity and determination, have found ways to make the most of what the region has to offer. Learn of the ancient rituals, vital skills and fascinating lifestyles that shape their identity. The nomadic Bedouins still practice the art of falconry to this day, are experts at camel husbandry and continue to hunt with Saluki dogs – the oldest known breed of domesticated dogs which were also considered to be the royal dog of Egypt.
The series not only examines the prevalent wildlife and cultural issues, but also spotlights the environmental pressures that are threatening the natural wonders that exist in this land. Experience day-to-day life in the wildest corners of the Middle East, where the natural world is fighting a constant battle to survive in an ever-changing world. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Smart and Easy Travel Tips You Have to Know

The most seasoned travellers can attest--it’s really the little things that make the biggest difference when you’re exploring new territory. A few upgrades here and there and the necessary nuisance of going through airport security or going for a long-haul journey becomes a breeze; you might even get a couple of perks along the way.

From coach to business class

If you want to get upgraded from your cramped coach seats up to roomier business class, then you have to dress the part. Sure a t-shirt and flip-flops might be comfortable for your flight, but the airline will be less likely to put you with their top paying clientele if you don’t look the part.

From deluxe rooms to suites

The only time tardiness might actually be worth something. Checking in later in the afternoon or even evening gives hotel front desks a better idea of their occupancy; which means asking for an upgrade at this point might be more feasible. Remember to be polite (you are boldly asking for an upgrade, after all) and do so when there are no other guests around.

From casual to cosmopolitan

It’s hard to be fashionable when you’re essentially trying to fit a week’s worth of outfits into a single suitcase while making sure they’re comfortable, but it is possible. For instance, bring flat shoes that run a half size bigger (feet swell while on air and you’ll need the respite from all that walking), bring clothes that you can layer depending on the weather, try to keep your color palette strictly basic—blacks, whites, navys and nudes are easy to mix and match.

From falling into tourist traps to taking the road less travelled

Smart travellers know that most popular tourist destinations are expensive and sometimes, not even all that interesting; so try going for the road less travelled. If you absolutely have to or want to go to a popular tourist destination, go on a weekday and at a weird hour to minimize lines.

From holding up security lines to breezing through

Here’s a quick tip on how to make sure you don’t bumble through the security checks—place your shoes (and coat) on the first bin, your laptop and liquids in the second bin, and your purse or carry on in the third. As you wait for your things on the other side, your shoes and coat come out first giving you time to grab your bag and place your laptop back inside. Also, it pays to not wear belts and thigh high lace up boots to the airport.

From being unprepared to staying healthy

Travellers who have to share cabin space with 100 other humans who could possibly have cough and colds have to arrive at their destination healthy. It’s no fun exploring a new city when you’re running a flu, nursing a cold and dealing with a cough.

Before you go on a Vitamin C binge though, you have to know that it’s not advisable to double-up on your vitamin C dose. Our bodies our only capable of absorbing up to 400g, so anything more than that, will do nothing to boost protection for your immune system.

Instead, pop one capsule of Conzace to stave off germs and viruses from fellow passengers. Conzace multivitamins is proven to activate more immunity cells than plain Vitamin C.  And when your immunity is in top shape, you can better manage illnesses – allowing your body to prevent catching common viruses or recover faster if you do fall ill.

It’s available per piece and only for P12.40 per capsule, but when you’re trying to keep yourself healthy for a cross-Atlantic journey, you might as well keep a generous stock. Conzace is also easily available from all major drugstores and supermarkets over the counter.

Finally, here’s an added plus, the zinc and vitamins A, C and E, which all contain anti-oxidants, also help in maintaining great skin. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Atlantis Group Brings Hit Musicals to Manila

Release material

Pinoy lovers of musical theatre are in for a treat in 2015 as a line-up of hit musicals from Broadway and London’s East End are on their way; brought to you by Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG).  ATEG has already brought three of the most acclaimed shows such as Rock of Ages, Ghost and Shrek here in our shores.
Shrek The Musical

These shows, which featured an international cast of actors, set a fashionable trend for high quality entertainment that Filipinos appreciate and love - earning kudos from local showbiz personalities such as Lea Salonga, Christian Bautista, Rachel Ann Go, Mark Bautista, Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil. Atlantis team also prides itself on having significant collaborations with international and Tony award-winning artists like Lin Manuel-Miranda, David Gallo, Mig Ayesa and Lawrence Cohen.

ATEG is a the collaboration of three of the country’s leading figures in the broadcast-entertainment industry –Antonio Tuviera, the President of TAPE Inc. and producer of the longest running television program EAT Bulaga; Bobby Garcia, a world-renowned theatre director and Bobby Barreiro, former TV 5 and GMA7 top executive who is highly regarded by peers in the country’s broadcasting industry.

Slated for next year, is the well-loved and enduring classic hit, Saturday Night Fever. Filipino fans would remember the John Travolta film version which became the iconic symbol of a rising generation. Now these grown-ups and their children have something to look out for as this acclaimed musical classic comes to Manila to rock and roll.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sangobion Leads Bloodletting Drive

Last year, I was able to see the one of Sangobion's campaign using a theatrical monologue to promote awareness. This time, it was done more differently. A massive bloodletting drive in collaboration with Red Cross.

It seem fitting that Sangobion spearheads this campaign since it is a supplement for low blood. Also, after another storm struck the Visayan region again, Red Cross surely need to replenish their supply. I have been donating blood before and I find it very healthy. If you chose to blood-let, it will be replenish with new blood.

It will only take few minutes for the process. First, you will be screened for medical purposes only. There are some things to consider before blood-letting. You should not be drinking, smoking, or having piercings and tattoos, not under medications and more to mention medical conditions.

But be assured that this screening process will be confidential. After being given approval for blood-letting, it's standard procedure to classify your blood type even if you know what. Then the next step is the actual blood-letting. The duration will depend on house fast your blood will be transfused in a 450cc bag which is the same size as your disposable juice pack. But you need to be lie down for the whole duration.

After the bag has been filled, you are not yet allowed to get up to avoid collapsing. After few minutes, you can sit up and drink a fruit juice. It is a standard procedure so you can have your strength back. Then you will be issued with a blood bank booklet in case you need to avail of the blood in times of emergency. Truly blood is a source of life and what more fitting to give a gift of life by donating your blood.

The campaign was held at SM City Fairview last December 5. For more advocacy and campaigns, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, December 5, 2014

SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. signs contract with Blink

This probably a historical event that will change how we view movies. SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. signs the memorandum of understanding with Omni Digital Ventures, under Solar Entertainment Corp; who brought you the mobile movie app Blink.

Blink is not online movie subscription app that gives the current movies or even the old ones or the latest episodes from your favorite U.S. series anywhere you go. Present during the launch and signing were Mr. Hans Sy; president of SM Prime Holdings, Mr. Edgar Terejero of SMLI, Mr. William Tieng and Mr. Wilson Tieng of Solar Entertainment Corp and Mr. Roland De Guzman of Omni Digital/Blink.

To avail Blink, you have to download the application whether in your PC or mobile devices. You need to register online so you can subscribe to their library of movies and TV series. I am not ignorant about the piracy issue but this is probably the best solution. It will be better to watch in Blink than an illegal copy because it may not be HD quality and it may contain viruses in the digital file. You can just pay using your mobile cellular credits in subscribing. Now that SMLI is part of Blink, you can probably use your E-Plus credits in the future.

This is also a good innovation for the movie industry. It is also possible that you can watch advance screenings, premieres or block screenings in your mobile devices. But even though movies can go mobile, it will never replace the magic in watching in cinemas but it compliments the movie industry so it won't affect the cinema operations and the producers and distributors.

For more updates from SMLI, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.