Saturday, March 12, 2016

Villa del Conte is the perfect gift to celebrate

Passed the exam? Graduating this summer? Whatever reasons you have, a pat in the back is what you need and a Bar of Villa del Conte!

Choose among milk chocolate with cereals 50% dark chocolate with crunchy toffee ad sea salt, or fine milk chocolate with hazelnut chips. Every bite is a celebration of every success you have. Treat yourself or you family member who’s graduating this year! Spoil your special someone with graduation gifts from Villa del Conte! Send the recent graduate a chocolate hug for a job well done.

Visit Villa del Conte stores at SM Megamall, Greenbelt 5, Century City Mall, Shangri-la Mall, Resorts World, Alabang Town Center, and Robinsons Magnolia. For bulk orders, please contact 893-2575 or 621-6101.

Go to to know more about Villa del Conte, or follow them on Facebook:, Instagram: and Twitter:

Friday, March 11, 2016

Aspiring Chefs battle it out at the 3rd Jolly University's Cook-Off Challenge

For aspiring entrepreneurs and budding chefs, the door of learning and career opportunities opens wide once more at Jolly University (JU) as the successful campus-wide search continues to empower young minds on its third consecutive year.

 Prior to the Jolly University Congress event, a University Boot Camp was held, where selected delegates got to learn first-hand from the culinary masters.

They were given hands-on training and seminars featuring industry practitioners such as Food Styling by Jolly University Head Master Chef Mitchie Sison,  Chef Ben Bernardo, among others.

“I am delighted with the turnout of Boot Camp participants this year as we received more inquiries and entries which showed that Jolly University has gained momentum through the years. Ultimately, we aim to inspire these students and may they remember what they have learned here and apply those lessons when they have a food business in the future,” said Jun Cochanco, President of Fly Ace Corp., exclusive marketer and distributor of Jolly Food.

 He was expecting to see a new generation of passionate, talented leaders and entrepreneurs arise from the Boot Camp.  The participants were given a chance to advance their through the Food Congress held last March 4, 2016 at Le Pavillon, Pasay City

Following its overwhelming success in the last two years,  Jolly University  is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious culinary competitions and learning platforms. It offers support, mentorship and training opportunities for novice chefs with workshops on competitive techniques and skill demonstrations. Opportunities to tap into the knowledge of experienced competitors and mentors abound.

This year's competition had proven to be difficult. In the Individual category, the judges declared that the cuisine made by representatives from La Consolacion College (2nd Place), University of Sto. Tomas (1st Place), and La Consolacion College (Grand Winner) supreme:

For the Dessert Category of the Group Competition, the culinary teams from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (2nd Place), University of Sto. Tomas (1st Place), and Philippine Women's University (Grand Winners) bested their fellow contenders using the most delectable recipes using Jolly products. ‪

‬Teams from the University of Sto. Tomas (2nd Place), La Consolacion College (1st Place), and Far Eastern University (Grand Winners) dominated the ‪#‎JollyUniversity2016‬ Group Competition - Pasta Category.

This year’s Jolly University  champions  bbought home products from Fujidenzo, Masflex, Corelle and Glad.

 Visit for more information.  Like its official Facebook fanpage (Jolly Eats) or follow via Twitter and Instagram (@jollyeatsph) for updates.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Philam Life and BPI-Philam give living benefits for the right choices you make

Philam Life launched Philam Vitality last year, a science-backed wellness programme that works with you to achieve real changes to your health. It is now available through BPI-Philam.

Vitality is a global brand with close to 20 years of success spanning South Africa, United States, Europe, China, Hong Kong and Australia. Now it is available, through Philam Vitality, to Filipinos who would like to go beyond traditional insurance products.

“With Philam Vitality, insurance becomes strongly relevant to our policy holders every day. It is there when they make daily choices: what to eat, how they can improve their health, what exercise to do today, what vacations to plan for, to name a few,” says Philam Life chief executive officer Axel Bromley.

Beyond protection, investment and savings, Philam Vitality pushes the bar and gives day-to-day living benefits that reward members for being healthy. It is a programme that recognizes people’s healthy behaviors worldwide.

“Our mission is to empower Filipinos to achieve financial security and prosperity. To achieve this, health should not get in the way. People want to be healthy. However, they don’t always act on it. This programme gives amazing tools to help even the most unfit and unhealthy person to start on his Philam Vitality journey,” continues Bromley.

Philam Vitality gives easier access to basic health check so members will watch out for their health status, like their updated cholesterol and sugar levels. The programme has partnered with industry leaders Makati Medical Center and Hi-Precision Diagnostics for discounts to basic and some advanced screens. Its exclusive dental partner, Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC), likewise provides significant discounts for basic dental assessments.

To keep improving their health, members are given exclusive discounts to Gold’s Gym, Toby’s Sports and renowned fitness device brands, Garmin and Polar. Smokers can also take advantage of a special package for Smoking Cessation at the Makati Medical Center.

Each time a member takes the screens and does healthy activities, Philam Vitality Points are awarded. The points add up to allow a member to reach a higher status for higher benefits, starting from Bronze to Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Intelligent incentives were designed to reward members for taking steps to be healthier. These rewards come from partners like SM Cinema, Seda Hotels, Marriott and Enchanted Kingdom. All these partner branches and establishments are located in over 180 locations all over the Philippines, giving a great chance of access to members for their benefits.

“The rewards one can get from the Philam Vitality programme are astounding. From the insurance premium discount to all the partner benefits, a member can see that insurance is now more and more relevant. We’re excited that Philam Vitality is now available to our BPI-Philam customers. We hope it will encourage them to sign-up as members to take advantage of the benefits and live healthier and happier lives,” says BPI-Philam chief executive officer Aibee Cantos.

Visit for more info. You may also email or call 528-2000 for inquiries.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Special Lenten Offerings at Goldilocks

Lent is a solemn religious tradition that is observed in many denominations. It begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday.

During Lent, some Christians choose to give up a habit or behavior as an exercise in prayerful self-denial. Christians who observe Lent typically make a commitment to fast, or to give up something--a habit, a food or drink.

Strict observers abstain from eating meat on Fridays, choosing seafood alternatives instead. The goal is to keep food intake smaller and keep it simpler. While abstinence lowers the quality of food, fasting lowers the quantity. The traditional purpose of Lent is to give the believer strength in your spiritual life by weakening the attractions of the sensate pleasures.

You don't have to sacrifice flavor as you indulge in both fasting and abstinence during Lent.  The Lenten season offers an opportunity to test new seafood and vegetable dishes.

Goldilocks, the country’s number one bakeshop, launched a variety of meals made especially for the Lenten season. Treat your taste buds to the savoury goodness of RELLENONG BANGUS, SARAPINOY GISADONG MONGGO with DAING NA BANGUS, and BANGUS BELLY SINIGANG. All these come with a serving of steaming white rice for as low as P 105.

These are available for a limited time at any Goldilocks branch nationwide.

For more information, follow Goldilocks on Twitter or Instagram at @GoldilocksPH

Get updates on the Goldilocks Facebook page, or at the official Goldilocks website at

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A BEI Scholar’s Journey

John Daryl Pitcheller, a Civil Engineering student from Adamson University in Manila, was lauded for his ground-breaking research on PVC Waste at the nternational Conference on the Environmental Quality Concern (EQC) in the National Kaohsiung Marine University, Taiwan last May 6-8, 2015.

‬ John Daryl proposed that instead of throwing away waste PVC materials, these should be recycled and used as an additive to asphalt to improve the tensile strength of pavements in his Waste Polyvinyl Chloride as Tensile Reinforcement to Asphalt Pavement presentation.

‬The regional conference researchers, environmentalist, engineers and scientists from all over South East Asia assembled at 2015 International Conference on Environment Quality Concern, Control and Conservation (EQC3) to discover researches that explore new perspectives in preserving the environment. all are very impressed in what is his research are all about.

‬ “I was inspired to make a difference.” said John Daryl. John Daryl was beneficiary of British School Manila-run scholarship programme, which is instrumental in giving him a chance to pursue his studies.

British School Manila

‬ “The British Education Inc.’s Scholarship Programme (BEI), run by volunteers from the British School Manila (BSM), really opens the door to a lot of opportunities to students like me,” he said. Usually, BSM only supports scholars until they graduate college, but the school break their own rules and take a big leap when they see an opportunity for one of their scholars to shine.

‬ “I did not know that the BEI programme would continue to support me attending this international event,” John said.

‬“I was in my final semester when the conference took place and I had actually already graduated [last March 2015]. So I had little hope that Mr. Egan would approve my request, because this was not initially part of the contract. But eureka – the trip was all expenses paid!”

‬The ‘Mr. Egan’ that John refers to is the Vice Chairman of the British School Manila Board of Governors, Mr Brendan Egan. He, who along with a handful of local staff volunteers from BEI, runs the BEI Programme, an initiative that is 100% funded by the school. The BEI programme provides education to deserving students. Its mission is to help graduate students from Taguig Public school to reach their dreaming of finishing school by providing a full scholarship to college and with the course of their own choice.

‬ “A BEI scholarship covers full tuition for any specified course, at any specified college in Metro Manila,” said Mr. Egan when questioned. “All necessary books are paid for upon presentation of an official receipt, as is any required uniform. An allowance is also provided for snacks and transportation,” he continued.

‬John Daryl received the BEI scholarship after a rigorous selection process managed by volunteer staff from BSM. His perseverance helped him qualify for the BEI Scholarship after undergoing a tedious selection process.

 Volunteers from the school, such as Erwin Adevoso help candidates go through the pre-screening process. “To get on the short list and be interviewed by the Committee, candidates are selected based on their credentials,” says Erwin. “But we also want these young people to be able to communicate well with us.” Erwin continues, “This is where I get involved, sitting down with each one, in an effort to calm their nerves and help them feel comfortable and ready to share their personal stories and why they need the scholarship, in some detail.”

Iniatially, John Daryl was hesitant to accept the BEI scholarship. He was worried that his parents might not have the financial ability to sustain his tertiary studies. He may be an only child, but his parents are supporting their relatives.

‬ John said, “When I was chosen for the BEI scholarship programme, it was a big help since it provided for everything. So I didn’t have to do anything, except study. I just had to do my best.” The BEI scholarship also entitled him to be given a fully-equipped desktop PC, so he did not have to rent computers to work on school requirements.

‬ “It’s more than manna from heaven, because it isn’t just a grant that comes to you monthly,” he said, recalling how the scholarship influenced his life. “I hope that BEI Inc. and the British School Manila will continue this kind of support for their scholars because it can impact them in ways a four-walled classroom can never do.”

‬John Daryl graduated with Academic Merit last year, and recently passed the Civil Engineering Board Exams. He is currently employed.

‬ The British School Manila (BSM) is a highly regarded co-educational British international school established in 1976. The School is proud to uphold the high standard of the British education system and takes full advantage of its multi-cultural setting.

BSM is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and also a member of The Federation of British International Schools in Southeast Asia and East Asia (FOBISSEA) and The Independent Association of Prep School (IAPS).

Visit their website at or follow BSM on twitter for updates

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Taste of Benedetto's at Estancia Resort Hotel

Inside the Estancia Resort Hotel property on the cliffside of Tagaytay City lies Benedetto's, the hotel's restaurant.

Being located at Tagaytay's highest point, Benedetto's enjoys a sweeping view of the Taal Volcano. While this restaurant looks unassuming from the outside, inside the small facade lies a cozy dining venue.

The white mortar building is arranged over 3 storeys, with the Estancia Resort Hotel desk on the first level leading to the Benedetto's on the next lower level. The elevator opens to a spacious lobby. The dining area is wide.

This restaurant can accommodate small to large group. There is a large function room at the left perfect for conferences and social events.

Two sets of doors provide views and access to a terrace overlooking the Taal Volcano.

There is an indoor swimming pool and indoor jacuzzi at the lowest level of the building. Outside, a set of steps splits at a landing, leading to a the courtyard, the outdoor swimming pools and the DeLuxe Rooms.

Turning in the front direction to the left of the swimming pool towards a cobblewalk leads to a cluster of villas.

It has 18 Santorini rooms, 2 Santorini villas and 11 casitas patterned after the popular Greek island architecture.  Each has a breathtaking view of Taal.

The tiny group of islands in the south Aegean sea, Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations worldwide with its cobbled streets and winding paths. And Estancia Resort Hotel has a little resemblance to Santorini's because of the resort's white-painted cubic structure and plain white volumes.

In addition, it has 8 Executive Suites, 15 DeLuxe rooms plus 2 Deluxe Family rooms with a breathtaking view as well.

Comfort Food at Benedetto's

I joined in a small media group who had the privilege of tasting Benedetto's new menu developed by its consultant chef, Brando Santos.

Comfort food classics with an extra helping of quirkiness were lined up for us to indulge in. "We added several exciting entries on to make your visit more memorable. The classic Pinoy favorite Sinigang na Baboy, for example, is served on a sizzling plate with calamansi gravy and adorned with the classic sinigang vegetables. The more popular dishes, Bulalo and Kare-Kare, are homage to the well-loved Batangas beef", say Chef Brando.

Pork ribs were fried nicely and not too greasy. The complimentary sauce infused wuth kalamansi were well-balanced and palate-pleasing. Benedetto's Sizzling Pork Ribs Sinigang with Calamansi Gravy has a nice crunch twist which I really love.

The Estancia Nilagang Bulalo is the perfect dish to get through the cold Tagaytay weather, I must say. I helped myself to second servings of this yummy, tender beef stew.

Benedetto's take on Kare-Kare was straightforward.  This traditional dish of oxtail and tripe stew in peanut sauce was awesome!

The Pork Satay was served as an appetizer, along with the Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Beef Tenderloin & Mushroom Salpicao. The pork skewers were thoroughly infused with flavor. Its satay sauce was finger-licking delectable. The Estancia pineapple jam garnish complements it wonderful taste as well.

Pieces of gently fried garlic balances the Beef Salpicao with a light sweetness.

The Traditional Caesar Salad has bacon bits, romaine lettuce, croutons, and cheese. It gets its swagger from an anchovy-garlic dressing.

Gamberetti Aglio Olio is another dish I like. I love spaghetti and I like a hint of seafood flavor in my pasta sauce. It was dressed with good olive oil, chili, tomatoes, garlic and fresh prawns.

The Negrense Chicken Inasal was boneless and served with ensaladang talong, sinamak and homemade atchara on the side.

We were served Chocolate Pots de Creme and Coconut-Lemongrass Pannacota for dessert.

Benedetto's serves food that is rich with a right balance of everything. Have your fill of these comfort foods when you visit Estancia Resort Hotel‬.

Benedetto's at Estancia Resort Hotel
Zone II, Bgy. San Jose, Tagaytay City, Cavite 4120
Phone (046) 413-1133 to 35
Mobile (+63) 9151349426

Benedetto's - Estancia Resort Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Chasing Summer at Club Balai Isabel

Club Balai Isabel is a hidden getaway 4.7 km away from Picnic Grove and about 20 minutes away from Tagaytay.  Club Balai Isabel provides the perfect getaway from hustle and bustle of city life.  Its remote area is a perfect wedding location and an amazing resort with its sun-soaked beach. The view of the lake and the volcano from the resort is stunning.

The secluded lakefront is perfect for beach weddings and a luxurious hideaway to celebrate occasions. A boardwalk leads to poolside wedding receptions and indoor function room receptions. The entire resort appears to be designed for weddings.It has its own chapel located at the back of the resort. The place is great for photoshoots, weddings and teambuilding activities.

It was my daughter's first time to experience the lake (and Taal Lake) and so we wasted no time exploring what the resort has to offer.


Club Balai Isabel offers some of the most beautiful lakefront hotels and traditional resort villas mixted with all modern comforts. The hotel rooms, villas, and cottages give a view of Taal Lake, a pool or one that is overlooking a garden. It has private nooks and crannies in between large gardens to provide city dwellers with quiet respite.

We stayed at the Laurel Hotel and occupied a room on the 3rd floor. Carrying the bags up the stairs can be challenging though (there is no elevator). The unit opens to a spacious and clean kitchen, with dining area, a balcony, sofa bed, toilet and a stairway leading up to a loft. At the loft were 5 queen-sized beds, a 22-inch LCD TV, a toilet, side tables and cabinets.

Our group liked the proximity of the hotel room to the pool near Cafe Terraza. With 2 kids in the group who love to swim, getting a room close to one of the pools was ideal.

There are actually 3 pools within the resort. The pool by The Cafe Terraza was always filled with kids, and they get to stay in the pool until  10PM closing time.  The infinity pool lies near the boardwalk. It is where the playground and picnic areas are located. For me, the boardwalk, is the best place to sit down and relax. It is a breezy place with a nice view.


We had buffet breakfast and dinner at Cafe Terraza. It offers a medium spread of dishes, salads, desserts and drinks at P 450 per head. We love having our breakfast al fresco by the pool, with a mesmerizing view of the lake. Diners have the option to order ala carte and stay in the airconditioned dining hall (where we had our lunch).

Food was good .  The two restaurants offer pizza, pasta and Filipino comfort food.

 They have free Wi-Fi at the restaurants.  There is  Wi-Fi connection at the lakefront area near the Komintang infinity pool area where a cell site is located nearby.

Recreation and Sports

They have a myriad if fun activities for all ages to do in the resort.

If you want to indulge in pampering spa treatments and  massages, Club Balai Isabel's 24-hour front desk can arrange it for you. The front desk also houses the resort's business center.

Those who would like to enjoy a game of tennis, basketball or tour the facilities on bikes can do so for a minimal fee.   You need to sign up for bike, tennis and billiard table  rentals at the frontdesk.

The third  pool  (smallest) lies adjacent to the Talisay garden next to the tennis court.

Extreme Water Sports

They heve jetski, kayak and banana boat rentals at the lake to keep the adventurous individuals preoccupied.  Their Jetskis and Kayaks  are a fantastic way to get close to the water.  My daughter and I  enjoyed the wild rush of the lakewater spray in our face and the feeling of skipping over the waves that the jetski provided.  The adrenalin rush builds up even after we’ve raced around a few times.

We enjoyed getting drenched on a Banana Boat ride.  It was a first time for most of us to jump on the inflatable boat and  we realized that it was more fun than we ever imagined.   Banana Boat ride is definitely the activity you don’t want to miss out on!

The banana boat ride was awesome!  This wild trip that I took with my friends best sums up the joys of luxuriating at Club Balai Isabel.

Our stay at Club Balai Isabel was really  enjoyable and one for the books.Unending fun and leisurely pursuits makes it the next summer destination to look out for. Check it out soon.

Club Balai Isabel
Banga, Talisay, Batangas
Mobile (+63) 906-5185494

Phone (02) 584-4068
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