Monday, November 30, 2015

SM Mall Of Asia hosting Philippine Ice Hockey Tournament

When I got to watched a ice-skating competition at Mall Of Asia, I asked myself if there will be a chance that we can have our own hockey team. When I got invited to see the new skating rink outside the mall, SM is hosting their first hockey league event.

Not only that, the hockey tournament is participated by different countries who are just as excited to see the new hockey rink. There are different leagues by age group. When I got to see the oldest age group, I got excited because they are the ones who really breed hockey.

Not only that we got to have our own hockey team, there will also be changes. Mall of Asia has a new skating rink. The reason is not just for the competitors of hockey team and the figure skaters to have a professional rink. Having a rink inside the mall is not advisable since the mall is still open and the ice is not secured enough for the ice not affected in the bigger space of the mall. It has to be confined in a smaller space just right for the skating rink so they built a new one in the parking lot between The Arena and SMX. The old rink inside the mall will be removed.

Not only that we have a new rink, hockey teams within the Southeast Asia are not only excited to compete for the PIHT but also excited to try the new rink. But the best part of the game is witnessing a real hockey match the way the American teams does. I saw how strong they hit the puck against the wall. They even got slammed against the wall. This is the first time I saw a team sport with more physical contact.

Get more updates from SM Lifestyle and Entertainment via this blog and follow it. Like it also via Facebook at L.E.N.S. blogs.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Debunking the Myths about Teaching Online: What You Need to Know

Press release

Online teaching has become one of the most popular careers that many people are pursuing nowadays. For example, in 51Talk, the country’s fastest growing online English Language Teaching (ELT) platform, there are currently about 4,000 online teachers and counting. As many may want to consider teaching online because of the convenience that the job brings, one must know the facts versus myths about online teaching in order to make an informed decision. Here are the most common myths. 

Myth #1: Teaching online takes less time and effort.
Fact: Teaching online requires just as much hard work, commitment, and effort as other regular jobs, if not more. You need to commit time not just for the teaching session itself, but also for the preparation beforehand and your own personal study. Your work does not begin and end with the online lesson or class. You need to allocate time to prepare your materials, and you need to read further so that you can increase the quality of your input. With all this hard work, effort and perseverance are a must.

Myth #2: Teaching online does not require a lot of skill nor training.
Fact: While it is true that experience is not required for you to be an online teacher, it is crucial that you develop the skills for it and receive substantial training to teach. A person may have a gift for speaking well and confidently, but he or she may not necessarily have the capacity or demeanor to teach and listen patiently to students. Hence, you need proper training for you to have the right mindset and develop the appropriate skill sets. In 51Talk, all the online teachers get thorough training—and it is not just a matter of knowing what and how to teach. The teachers are also taught how to motivate and display patience and encouragement.

Myth #3: You can teach any way you want and do anything you want while teaching online.
Fact: The skill level, learning pace, and learning style of the student need to come into consideration first. You can apply your own teaching style as long as it agrees with the applicable teaching method. Moreover, you may not be physically with the student, but your full attention must be given to him or her. The student must never feel neglected.

Myth #4: Online teaching is not as in-depth as a personal or face-to-face tutorial.
Fact: Online teaching does not make the lessons or your interaction with the student any less real or substantial. Provided that you use the appropriate tools and materials and the right teaching style, and display the right attitude, your online teaching can be just as in-depth and significantly productive as a face-to-face tutorial.

Myth #5: Online teaching becomes a drag eventually, because you end up doing the same thing over and over again.
Fact: Online teaching is far from being a drag because as the students evolve and improve their skill, your own style and skills do so as well. Moreover, teaching materials need to be regularly reviewed and revised to make them new and relevant. Lastly, there is also the deep satisfaction that you get whenever you see a student improve—that will never get old and boring.

Teaching online requires commitment, discipline, and effort, but it also promises personal development and immense satisfaction. You can see for yourself how fulfilling it can be to teach online by joining 51Talk as a home-based or office-based teacher. For more details, visit

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Countdown to extinction begins with Racing Extinction on Discovery Channel

To every action, there's an an effect. Science taught us that. It also goes with the choices we make. Humans is the only species that is the dominant predator that endangers others. It just proves that the rule "Survival to the fittest" is innate.
Tiger Skins courtesy of Stephen Jones.

But when the dominant species abuses his power, it does not only endangers the animal kingdom but all life as well. This award-winning feature Racing Extinction reveals the effects that will make the audience really affected by what the fellow human beings done. It will not only reveal by entertaining, it will make you think of what to do next.

What we do that speeds the extinction level will cripple the balance of nature. Sharks are only dangerous when they are able to sense blood but otherwise they will ignore us. Imagine all sharks are gone. Who will eat the jellyfishes? The jellyfish is a bigger threat than sharks.

Racing Extinction will air globally 9PM on December 2(Philippine time) on Discovery Channel. Hopefully it may not be too late. Follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Here are some suggestions what can you do to slow the extinction level.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bus Ticket Artworks by Jasmine Cruz

It's not everyday that you see art from everyday things this is such a case for one particular art. My friend Jasmine Cruz from BusinessWorld invited me during the opening of an exhibit she shares with three artists iChill Cafe in Manila.
Jasmine Cruz(3rd from the left) with fellow exhibitors and the bus tickets art works in the background.

The theme of the exhibit is Encounters which suits the art that was showcased because the observer can see how he/she can relate. But what really caught my attention was Jasmine's works that is full of bus tickets.

Here in the Philippines, bus tickets comes from a small piece of paper with printed numbering and bus liner company logo and different amounts depending on the destination. Jasmine kept all her tickets when commuting to and from residence. From there, she did all four frames.

Not only she made four pieces of collected bus tickets, one piece consists of pink colored bus tickets and the other with only one bus liner with a crown logo. Jasmine told me it took her two years at least to gather these tickets.

I shared what I realized to Jasmine upon seeing the bus tickets that it may tell history one day especially since the bus fare is still visible. All four bus ticket art are already sold. I look forward for the next bus tickets art work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Share Christmas joy; give a Noche Buena

Press release

Our fondest and earliest memories of Christmas -- aside from the usual ornaments like the Christmas tree, parol, and the anticipation of gifts from Santa, will always be the feast on the table that family members enjoy together on that special eve.
Noche Buena always brings us back to good memories shared with family and loved ones. Truly, no Pinoy Christmas celebration is ever complete without it!

The picture of a beautiful Christmas is to have every family member gathered around the table for a hearty Christmas dinner. Sadly, though, many families are not privileged to enjoy this once-a-year treat.

World Vision invites you to share the joy of Christmas to our less fortunate brothers and sisters once again by giving them a gift of a Noche Buena pack. For only PHP PHP 1,000 you are already providing a bountiful Noche Buena meal for two families -- which consists of ingredients for a Spaghetti meal, fruit salad, and an assortment of Christmas goodies.

"For the past 10 years, the Noche Buena campaign has brought thousands of Filipino families together for Christmas with a hearty meal, while also enabling others to share their blessing by donating Noche Buena. For us, it is not simply a meal -- it is celebrating the truest sense of Christmas, which is sharing," shares World Vision Director Jun Godornes.

Part of the proceeds of the Noche Buena campaign will be used for the repair of a classroom in Isabella which was damaged by the recent typhoon Lando. For more information, call World Vision at 372-7777 or visit

Friday, November 13, 2015

CCP Complex Light Up For The Holiday Season

Traffic during holiday season is really stressful because most are having their Christmas rush. The stretch along Roxas Boulevard is no exception. CCP once again continues to spread the holiday spirit through their annual display of San Fernando lanterns.

The Philippine Xmas lanterns are usually star-shaped with decorations that represents the Star Of Bethlehem. What makes the lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga unique is the craftsmanship and the light display.

What makes this year unique was the Christmas Tree located at the corner of Roxas Boulevard and Vito Cruz on the South bound side near the park area. Not only that, only LED lights are used for this big tree so it is also environment-friendly.

Because Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world, it is just fitting that carols were sung and played by the Phil.Madrigal Singers and the Phil. Philharmonic Orchestra. In promotion of CCP activities, they also showcased excerpts from Ballet Philippines' Peter Pan and Phil. Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker.

The San Fernando Lanterns and the big Christmas Tree lights up every night until January 6. For more CCP updates, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Press release

 Snoopy and Charlie Brown welcomed mall patrons at SM Fairview last November 8 when the Snoopy Christmas Village officially opened leading to the holiday celebrations. 

                In display are familiar and endearing places that harks back to the series of comic strips and television series where Snoopy and Charlie Brown along with friends hang out together to make fond and fun memories. 

                Gracing the occasion too are celebrity couple Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati with their son Zion. In attendance too is Baste,  the very adorable young talent discovered by the phenomenal noontime show Eat Bulaga. 

                The SM Foundation and its charitable works opened the Snoopy Christmas Village to encourage children to dream big especially this holiday season just like Snoopy and Charlie Brown!  Additionally, the Snoopy Christmas Village will serve as a venue to promote goodwill in this season of giving by voluntarily donating gifts to those who need it most.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ayala Triangle Lights Up The Gardens once again for the Holiday Season

For the last five years, Ayala Triangle Gardens provides the holiday atmosphere that gives Makati something to look forward to in the holiday season. Each year, the Triangle Gardens are decorated with LED lights and lit up every evening is a spectacular lights and sounds display for a few minutes. The Gardens are transformed in a visual entertainment for the whole family.

For this year, the lights will also involved laser display that is recognized internationally. The display comes in three musical numbers. The Festival of Lights will start at 6PM for every 30 minutes. The display was unveiled last November 9. For more updates of Ayala Triangle Gardens activities, follow this blog and like  L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, November 6, 2015

SeaFair 2015 embarks with new gimmicks

In last year's SeaFair at Harbor Square, I got to board and tour a private yacht, watched a dragon boat competition and sailboats and cruising the waters while chilling in across the Manila Bay waters. I was one of the first bloggers who witnessed it all when it first happen.

This year, the Seafair will move to SM By The Bay to have more activities than just showcasing different boats. The bayside of SM Mall Of Asia is the best place for outdoor games. At Sands By The Bay, Seafair will hold it's first Beach Volleyball, and Beach Tennis. Just for clarity, beach tennis is different from badminton and their rackets are called paddle bats.

The grounds is not the only place where there is fun. You will get to see the first Seafair Boat Show Poker Run. Unlike a traditional speed boat race, it has a twist. Here is the description of this activity:

Participants meet at a pre-arranged point, and pick up details of their route and the stops they need to make. Each participant is given a score card which will be filled in as they progress along the route. At each designated stop, the participants draw a card at random. The card drawn or dealt is recorded on each participant's score card/tally sheet, and the winner of the event is the participant who makes the best five-card poker hand at the end of the event.

As the owners showcase their yachts, SeaFair also promotes the obligation to the marine environment which is why they partnered with WWF for more campaigns. The SeaFair will also have it's first Helicopter Tour to give the guests a bird's eye view of the Metro.

As the sun goes down, the night is just starting to heat up as some boats will held parties while cruising along the Bay like what we had aboard the M/Y Shanty. The Bay grounds is not gonna be left behind as it will get wet and wild with a Foam Party.
At the helm of M/Y Deja Vu during SeaFair 2014

If you want to plan what to do for the summer, the SeaFair 2015 is the best event to get ideas. It will be on December 5 -6 only. Get more updates by following this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

THIS IS OUR YOUTH: A review of a stage production

How do you describe our youth? The answer may vary on a specific person. The parents now may have their own answer as well as the children. The average age bracket may vary but it ranges from teen years to twenties. This bracket may vary.

For the story, it only focused on three people in the 80's. We have two friends who are college dropouts who happens to be junkies and trying to make something out selling stuff in New York. There's also one girl who may affect the two friends in a different way. You may think there's a love triangle but this is not even a love story.

For the three characters, you can say that they are young adults. They are at this age like you are no longer can relate with younger youths but not old enough to be associated with older adults. This usually happens when the problems of the young adults are different to any age group in between.

Why should you see this play? One, this may help you understand young adults better. Two, it is funny that is intended for at least twenty-something audience.  The 80's New York is no different from Metro Manila setting. New York also has neighborhoods similar to Tondo and Wall Street is like our Ayala Avenue.

Even though the actors are dominantly Filipino, they just fit in the roles since their characters' situation is universal. New York is dominantly an immigrant city. This production is iconic in manner of speaking because it casts popular film and TV actors on stage. It premiered 1996 in Off-Broadway starring Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hamilton, and Missy Yager.

What makes this production unique was that it was an immersing experience when they staged it in nontraditional manner like they are performing just in front of you and like you are really inside their flat or apartment unit.

The Red Turnip production stars Nicco Manalo, Jef Flores and Cindy Lopez and directed by Topher Fabregas. This Is Our Youth stages at A-Space Venue in Makati. For more theater productions and reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Kenneth Logerman is the author of the play.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ayala brings the Sparkle In The City once again to open the holiday season

Ever since I was a kid, my mom always take me to Ayala avenue to see the different buildings with Christmas lighting decoration in it's long stretch. It is always the same tradition that I still see during the holidays.

Now, Ayala avenue lit up the streets once again for the holiday season. This time, the theme of the lights are the replicas of the selected Catholic churches in the country. Most of our churches have been established since the Spanish colonization and still hold masses.

What makes these churches unique is the way we celebrate simbang gabi is something special in the provinces unlike in the crowded city. Because of how commercialized our Christmas can be, we tend to forget the simpler way of celebrating the holidays.

Through the display of these churches, people may remember their hometowns during the yuletide season because most of us are from the provinces. Among these churches includes Manila's Binondo Church, the Paoay church which I got to see last holiday season and from my dad's province, the Lucban church.

Hopefully this street light display will reminds us of the true meaning of the holidays. Join me again as I feature the first Christmas lights display at the Ayala Triangle Gardens next week. Don't forget to like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Americans Responding To The #AlDub Phenomenon.

I am one of those who are clueless about the trending sensation #AlDub which is currently being aired on a noontime variety show Eat Bulaga. It took me time to be aware of this when I started hearing about "Pabebe" in conversations threads. I suddenly asked, What's pabebe?

I was then oriented about Alden Richards and Yaya Dub aka Maine Mendoza. The reason why I never heard of it because I never got the chance to watch TV and if I am at home, it is either my grandmother who watches on ABS-CBN or my niece watching her cartoons.

But I don't watch any noontime show because I have specific interests. I only got to see an episode when I was dining out in a food establishment that is tuned to the series. I also got to observe the viewers who are also dining with me that time.

Recently, #AlDub was given noticed online by Americans because they broke records in Twitter trends. No celebrity both local and international have achieved such trends that got the Americans asking What was that all about? Before I give my verdict, allow me to share my thoughts on what the Americans say about #AlDub via a Youtube video of Buzzfeed.

It got me laughing when one of them said that Aldub sounded like a gas or electric company and "never heard of "Eat Beluga" (as pronounced in the video) which they thought it has something to do with whales.

When they screened the episodes, a couple of women found Alden Richards cute and hot (Watch out Maine!). They also got to asked what's pabebe and I agree with one answer that it was trying to be cute or act cute. As they observed, pabebe can also be a type of flirting like what Aldub does in some episodes.

Doing this tandem in a TV show is nothing new to Americans. They were compared to Wheel Of Fortune's Pat Sajak and Vanna White but unlike them, Aldub has story substance. I also agree that the pabebe wave is compared to the Queen of England's wave or probably in beauty pageants.

My verdict: In a Q&A with Vic Sotto I attended before, he admits that it is a phenomenon. They didn't imagine that it will soar high. I was told that Alden was just guesting and he was Yaya Dub's crush. Then, he became a regular and the rest is history. What got me curious was that it appeals not just to the masses but also to some upper classes.I even know a retired Court of Appeals justice who watches it.

But whatever it is, Eat Bulaga made something original but like any fad, it will end some time. I have yet to see how many Americans will watch when "Eat Beluga" will come to U.S. or Netflix as one suggested. But it won't be the same. What I really like is that they revived old-school love notes. You can send messages directly via texting but they chose to write notes they always carry in hand. We'll see what's next in hand.

Again, this is just my point of view. If you don't agree with my observation, feel free to comment in this blog or in my Facebook page when posted.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Critique on All Saints Day

In the Philippines, this is one of the season I anticipated because of Halloween. This is one day of the year I see people with their creativity shows in their costumes and this is already being done long before cosplaying.

Unlike the traditional Halloween which has nothing to do with Christianity's All Saints' Day, it is much more commercialized. There are stories that the real Hallow's eve is really creepy. After Halloween, there's one holiday event that is only associated for Filipino Christianity. All Saints' Day is one holiday that is celebrated by us Filipinos. I was wondering. Why is this nation's Christians the only one celebrating it.

Unlike the fellow Christians in Latin America, their Day of the Dead is much more festive. But why do we celebrate this? The answer is simple. We still worship our dead ancestors. We are still rooted to our original practices. It is not weird even among traditional Christians still honors the dead.

This is what sociologist calls Folk Catholicism. We mixed Christianity with the old practices. In Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. One of the characters, Leigh Teabing; said that "nothing in Christianity is original." There may be some truth behind the fiction there.

But to realistic, we can only reminisce. You don't have to wait till November 1 just to visit the dead. Besides, they are just empty shells. They don't live in those coffins anymore, they live in our memories. You can visit them anytime of the year. Why should you waste your time just to fall into long lines just to enter the cemetery on this dreaded event.

What I didn't like about this day is also that they made the streets into market places. Selling things that you really don't need inside the cemetery. This is just my point of view. You may react if you wish in the comment below. For more reflections, observations, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.