Lea Cruz-Inocian

Nov 302017
 
Top 5 Destinations for Christmas in Metro Manila

Christmas is the perfect time to make wonderful memories with family and friends. It’s a good thing Filipinos know how to celebrate this special holiday, so you don’t have to go far to find “Instagrammable” and selfie-worthy spots. Here are GNP’s Top 5 destinations for Christmas within Metro Manila. Greenhills Christmas Village Photo Via Lemon Green Tea This is a classic. As kids, many of us were brought to Greenhills by our parents, and it is just as charming now as it was back then. This year the display is a brightly lit, miniature, snow-covered village featuring a chocolate factory, a ginger bread house, Santa’s Workshop, Mrs Claus’ Daycare and a North Pole Office. Located inside V-Mall, the dazzling setup can immediately transport both children and adults to winter wonderland. Activities include a meet-and-greet with Santa, the Mrs. Claus Bazaar and a night market. It will run until January 7, 2018. Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights  Photo via Wikimedia Commons Year after year, Makati continues to amaze us with Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights. This season, it features a giant haze machine and three 20-watt animation lasers that turn the garden into a magical paradise. The show runs every 30 minutes from 6PM to 10PM. Estancia Vast Imaginarium  Photo via ABS-CBN News The Estancia Vast Imaginarium in Capitol Commons is the perfect place for your mirror selfie. The stellar display may look familiar because it was inspired by the work of Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama who is famous Read More …

Nov 212017
 
Fear Factor-Worthy delicacies in the Philippines You Have To Try

If you think that balut is the only Filipino delicacy worthy to be part of the Fear Factor Challenge, think again. There are a lot of exotic finds in the Philippines that may not be great to look at, but will definitely excite your palate. Photo via Jadagram.com Chichaworm Yes, we love our chicharon but if you want to try something new that could possibly be healthier, why not go for Chichaworm? Windowseat.ph reports that these crunchy, protein-rich treats are made of “Super Worms” that are cultured and fed with nothing but organic fruits and vegetables. Add salt, sugar and chili powder and voila! You’ll get this crispy, exotic snack that is only available in Bohol. Photo via Pinasgram Betute Tugak One look at this dish and you know exactly what the main ingredient is – frogs. “Betute” translates to tadpole and “Tugak” means frog. This is an exotic Kapampangan delicacy that is made of rice field frogs that are deep-fried and stuffed with minced pork. While frogs generally taste like chicken, this dish is not for the faint of heart. Photo via Pinakbetrepublic.blogspot.com Abuos While we generally don’t like ants at home, people from Ilocos and Abra like serving them on the dining table. Abuos is known as ant-egg caviar. Harvested from the North Luzon mountains, they are the larvae of “hantik” which are big, red ants that are known for their painful bites. While it is usually cooked like adobo or sautéed with garlic, some prefer to eat Read More …

Nov 192017
 
5 Tips for First-Time Divisoria Shoppers

Photo via Business News Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. Families get together for reunions, the weather is cooler and we receive our bonuses from work. Even then, we still have to budget properly as we have lots of people to give presents to. Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If you haven’t, there’s no better place to look for affordable gifts than Divisoria. Popular as a retail mecca, Divisoria has everything from clothes, shoes, toys, home decor, costumes, party needs and even food items. However, it can get really overwhelming, especially with the huge shopping crowd. If 2017 is your first time to shop in Divisoria, consider these 5 tips curated by Rappler and GNP to tide you over. Photo via Yahoo News Tip #1 Have a Plan and Stick to It Before going to Divisoria, make sure that you have your Christmas list ready. If possible, include some gift ideas for a particular person. Divisoria is huge and the choices are endless. Having this list will help you save time and keep yourself on track. The moment you set foot in Divisoria, you will be tempted to buy items you don’t need. Having a list will help you stick to your main objective: to shop for presents.   Photo via Rappler Tip #2 Keep Yourself and Your Belongings Safe Divisoria is not the place to go all out fashionista. Wear something comfortable and leave your valuables at home. There’s no need to bring Read More …

Nov 052017
 
Get To Know Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco

Photo via Philippine Daily Inquirer During the coronation night held at the Mall of Asia Arena last November 4, our very own Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017. She succeeded last year’s winner, Katherine Espin, from Ecuador.  A true environmentalist, her advocacy is energy conservation and sustainability. Rappler curates some interesting facts about our new Earth Ambassador. Let’s get to know her a little better. Photo via ABS-CBN Karen is the 4th Filipina to win the Miss Earth pageant. The first one was Karla Henry (2008), followed by Jamie Herrell (2014) and Angelia Ong (2015). The Philippines currently holds the most number of crowns from this competition. Photo via Manila Times Karen previously tried her luck with Binibining Pilipinas. Before Miss Philippines Earth, she joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2016. This was the same year when Maxine Medina and Kylie Versoza became Miss Universe Philippines and Bb Pilipinas International. In 2015, she was the 1st runner-up in Ms. Shape PH. Photo via Manila Times Karen is a physics major. No wonder she understands the value of sustainable energy. “As a physicist, I understand the importance of daily consumption of energy, that is why my environmental advocacy is the conservation of energy and to embrace renewable and sustainable sources of energy in exchange for fossil fuel, which contributes to a huge percentage in global warming.” Photo via ABS-CBN Karen wants to give hosting a shot. While titleholders usually end up in show business, she says that she has no plans to Read More …

Oct 312017
 
Soldier Gets Engaged After Marawi War

The war in Marawi City finally ended October 16 when Philippine government forces killed terrorist leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon. But as the surviving troops returned to their families, PO1 Alexis Tagapulot had another “battle” in mind to conquer. PO1 Tagapulot was among the brave cops and soldiers who fought terrorists for the liberation of Marawi. While all of them are heroes, his story stood out. During their official welcome, he took on his biggest personal challenge: He bent down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend of 3 years, Angely Lowao. She answered with a resounding “yes.” Photo from Angely Lowao During the 5 months that Tagapulot was away for the war, Lowao, a social worker, confessed that he was constantly on her mind. “Palagi akong nag-iisip kung okay lang ba siya. Kumain na ba siya? Kamusta na siya? Or minsan nga napapasok na din sa utak ko kung buhay pa ba siya.” (I always wonder if he is okay. Has he eaten? How is he doing? Sometimes, I think if he’s still alive.) “Masaya rin ako at ramdam ko na isa ako sa pinagpala ng masayang love story sa mundo dahil binigay ng Diyos sa akin ang lalaki na tapat sa serbisyo niya at labis niyang pagmamahal.” (I feel happy and blessed to have this kind of love story because God gave me a man who is devoted to service and loves me so much.) “I felt so blessed and lucky that time because proposals like Read More …

Oct 242017
 
3 Reasons to Love Elait’s Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream and its advocacy

Ice cream is one of the all-time favorite desserts of Filipinos but lately; artisanal rolled ice cream is the big thing.  Elait, a local ice cream parlor, takes on this new trend with a flair all its own. The name itself stands for two words: “elate” meaning uncontrollable joy, and “lait”, the French word for milk.  What makes this new ice cream place so special? Elait uses locally-sourced ingredients.  One of Elait’s official hashtags #HappinessInACup, and it’s no wonder.  The ingredients are guaranteed fresh, sourced from key, trusted suppliers.  To complete the dessert experience, it is presented beautifully with perfectly rolled ice cream and mouthwatering toppings of your choice. Elait offers unique flavors that cater to the Filipino tongue.  Where else can you find Chocnut Dinasaur ice cream (yes, it is spelled with an “a” and not an “o”), which is a rich combination of Milo powder, Chocnut and chocolate drizzle?  There’s also Ube Flan, which is somewhat similar to halo-halo as it has leche flan, ube and pinipig crunch.  Other interesting flavors are Salted Egg Surprise which has tomato jam, caramel, popcorn and real salted eggs and Avocado Crunch which will also remind you of another local dessert because it has avocado, condensed milk and cornflakes. Here’s a snap of their menu for the rest of their flavors.  You also have the option of making your own ice cream.  The price is Php 180 for Elait Special flavors and Php 200 for the premium ones.  Health conscious customers can also Read More …

Oct 192017
 

An official of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines confirmed that around 40 European companies will be visiting the country this month alone, to explore possibilities in the local renewable sector: particularly in the subsectors of hydropower, solar generation and wind power. The 40 companies hailing from 13 European countries will be flying in for the 4th Energy Smart Philippines happening this October 26.  They are on the lookout for business opportunities, partnerships and are also considering investing in electric vehicles. “The idea is to try to assist and even increase the number of electric vehicles, especially for Manila and in the Philippines in general,” said Enrico Strampelli who is the head of cooperation of the EU Delegation to the country. While we still have to wait for the results of the business opportunities and the prospect of investing in electric vehicles, Rappler reported that 4 contracts with a total value of 11 million euros are pushing through, and are about to be signed.  All contracts are about the utilization of renewable energy in the far-flung areas of the Philippines. “We have full pledges.  We have three in Mindanao, for access to electricity. The focus is in Mindanao,” according to Strampelli. This supports the statement of Guenter Taus, the president of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP). “The EU has been actively supporting the Philippines in engaging stakeholders towards creating and implementing policies and programs that provide increased efficiency in energy use and renewable energy development,” he Read More …

Oct 092017
 
3 Things that Set El Nido Apart from Other Beaches in the World

Can’t wait to get your dose of #VitaminSea? While we have a lot of beautiful beaches in the Philippines, El Nido is definitely among the best. Last year, it ranked #4 in Conde Nast Traveler’s list of “20 Best Beaches in the World” while CNN Travel gave it the #1 spot. El Nido is home to around 50 white sand beaches – it’s impossible to choose just one – all of which are set around dramatic limestone formations and boast the finest and whitest sand you’ll ever see. The water is so blindingly blue it makes the Caribbean Sea look murky in comparison. And the sunsets? Well, they’ll ruin you for life. – Conde Nast Traveler   Living in an archipelago, we often don’t realize how privileged we are that pristine, crystal clear waters and exciting underwater adventures are so accessible to us. Out of 7,107 islands (7,641 according to the latest count of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority), El Nido is not the only one with white sand, inviting waters and a magnificent view. What makes it so special? These are the 3 things that set El Nido apart from other beaches in the country. It’s not a tourist trap. Unless you book in some swanky resort, staying in El Nido is surprisingly affordable. You can find a place for less than Php 3,000 a night, have a seafood feast for two for less than P700, and book a whole day tour with lunch for Php 1,200. Read More …