Wake Up, Philippines!

Health Benefits of Garlic

Studies by competent multi-degreed scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that consuming garlic generally has the following physical effects:

  • Garlic lowers blood pressure a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic lowers LDL Cholesterol a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arterial system. One recent study shows this effect to be greater in women than men.
  • Garlic lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar.
  • Garlic helps to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the possibility of strokes and thromboses (Hemophiliacs shouldn’t use garlic.)
  • Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors.
  • Garlic may help to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
  • Raw Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and kills some strains of bacteria, like staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern antibiotics.
  • Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
  • Garlic dramatically reduces yeast infections due to Candida species.
  • Garlic has anti-oxidant properties and is a source of selenium.
  • Eating garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well being – it makes you feel good just eating it.
  • Garlic probably has other benefits as well.

Excerpts from Health Benefits and Medical Emergency Uses of Garlic

Early summer treats at Club Serene Resort

Posted in Clubhouse, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

Updated February 27, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – As March officially ends the school frenzy for many students, Club Serene Resort, Rizal’s exciting vacation and leisure haven, welcomes the graduates of 2009 with a special early summer promo.

Those who reserve early and walk-in guests can avail themselves of Club Serene Resort’s special room rate promo: suite room (with air-conditioning, TV, hot/cold shower, queen-size bed), P1,300 to P3,000; deluxe room (same inclusions), P1,000 to P2,500; standard (air-conditioned and with TV), P1,100 to P2,700; and Mountain View room, P1,200 to P2,800.

All rooms can comfortably accommodate four persons. Rates vary depending on schedule of reservation.

Situated in a secluded private hillside location in Taytay, Rizal, Club Serene offers graduates and summer revelers a chance to relax and enjoy a budget-savvy vacation.

Known to charm weekend travelers with its sprawling land area and sweeping vistas, Club Serene Resort further captivates guests with its strategic and accessible location that’s not too far from city comforts, yet still breathes that unique laid-back ambiance.

Perfect for short-distance, out-of-town visits, the resort offers guests an array of fun activities via its many recreation and sports facilities.

Its amenities include three-in-one cascading pools, billiards, darts, table tennis, basketball and volleyball areas. For couples with kids and friends on a get-together, its children’s playground, picnic huts, and fishpond are best locations for bonding moments.

For cheap and affordable souvenirs and other shopping needs, travelers need not go out of the compound, as Club Serene has its own souvenir shop and convenience store. Guests who wish to explore the whole province via a bird’s-eye-view location can easily do so on the resort’s viewing deck.

Club Serene Resort also has various function rooms that can be customized according to the number of guests and other requirements or the occasion — birthday, wedding, school outing, corporate party or team-building activity.

Club Serene Resort can be easily reached via various routes. From Cubao, take a taxi or bus ride going to Angono, Binangonan, Antipolo via the Junction or Tanay, then alight at Tikling. Then take another short tricycle ride to the resort in Bo. Cabrera.

For more information or online bookings, call 665-2817 or 284-4862.


Las Piñas rocks with bamboo organ music

Posted in Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

Updated February 22, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines – The St. Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas City is home to the famous Bamboo Organ, praised worldwide for its unique, rare and melodious sound. A bamboo organ festival is held annually at the parish during the month of February.

Now in its 34th year, the International Bamboo Organ Festival kicked off on Feb. 19 to mark the bicentennial of the death of composer Franz Joseph Haydn, and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Las Piñas Boys Choir.

The celebration featured performances by Austrian artists Christian Iwan, organist; Franziska Hammer-Drexel, soprano; Mark Anthony Carpio, counter tenor; Ervin Notes Lumauag, tenor, Eudenice Palaruan, baritone; organist Alejandro Consolacion II; and the Festival Orchestra under the baton of conductor Armando Salarza.

The festival traditionally sets aside one evening for less serious musical fare. “Concert at the Trees,” which featured Rivermaya, was one of the best-attended evenings in the festival.

“An Evening of Organ Music” will be held today with guest artist Christian Iwan, organist of the Cathedral in Eisenstadt where Haydn was once based.

The Philippine-Korean Friendship Night is slated on Feb. 24 with organist Yang-Hee Yun, baritone Seong-kyu Lim, and the AILM Chorale conducted by Joshibiah de Juan, to celebrate 60 years of Philippine-Korean friendship and cooperation.

Works composed by National Artists for Music Lucio D. San Pedro and Lucrecia R. Kasilag will be performed in “Pagpupugay” on Feb. 25.

“Pagpupugay” is a tribute to National Artists for Music Lucio D. San Pedro and Lucrecia R. Kasilag with performances of their works on Feb. 25. A new composition by Alejandro D. Consolacion II for oboe and organ will be premiered on the same night, with Franz Ramirez on oboe, and the composer on the Bamboo Organ. They will be joined by the UE Chorale conducted by Anna Abeleda Piquiero.

Guest organist Dr. Johann Trummer will perform two organ concertos by George Frideric Handel, whose 250th death anniversary we are also marking this year, in “Lauda” slated from Feb. 26 to 27.

Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Handel’s Laudate Pueri will be performed by soprano Franziska Hammer-Drexler as soloist with the UE Chorale and the Festival Orchestra conducted by Eudenice Palaruan.

This year’s festival is presented by the Bamboo Organ Foundation, Inc., in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Department of Tourism, Senate president Manuel B. Villar Jr., Congresswoman Cynthia A. Villar, Mayor Vergel Aguilar and the City Government of Las Piñas, Bishop Jesse E. Mercado, and the Diocese of Parañaque, the 60th Year of Phil-Korean Diplomatic Relations Committee, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Bote Central–Serenity Coffee. Sponsors are Via Mare, Lamoiyan Corporation, Menzi Trust Fund, Inc., Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc., OOCL, Meralco, Marilag Corporation, BDO, Astro Import and Export Corporation, Riguera Realty and Development Corporation, Novellino Wines, Pagcor, GSIS, Landbank of the Philippines, Cablelink, BPI, EDF Concession and Trading Services, Inc., Pamatec, A.O. Infinite Trading, Innovative Educational Materials, Inc., Royal Air Charter Services, Inc., Ige Ramos Design Studio, Boss Printing, Arzen Studio and the sustaining members of the Foundation.

For inquiries, call 510-3839, 825-7190 or e-mail bambooorganfoundation@yahoo.com.

Jetstar Asia cited for ‘best brand experience’

Posted in Tourism, Transportation, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

SINGAPORE — Jetstar Asia has been named “Best Brand Experience for Low-cost Carrier” in the biennial Asia Travel and Tourism Creative Awards given by Ad Asia Magazine.

This is the first time the magazine is giving this award, which is based on an online survey conducted by Ad Asia and Purple Insights, an independent research and branding firm.

The respondents were nearly 400 senior executives in the fields of advertising, marketing and media, all frequent affluent business travelers.

“We have come a long way since we launched our airline in 2004 and this award has again demonstrated that Jetstar Asia is in the top league of low-cost carriers. The staff of Jetstar Asia is committed and dedicated to a job that they do so well. Our crewmembers have proven once again that they have what it takes to take Jetstar Asia to the skies,” said Chong Phit Lian, chief executive officer of Jetstar Asia.

The Singapore-based carrier has also reaped recent accolades from Skytrax Award — Best Low-cost Airline, Southeast Asia and Asia (2006, 2008), Changi Airline Award from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) as one of the “Top 10 Airlines by Passenger Carriage (2006, 2007)” as well as the TTG Travel Awards’ “Best Asian Low-cost Carrier (2006, 2007).”

Jetstar Asia is a value-based carrier operating out of Singapore that flies to 16 destinations in 10 countries within five hours of Singapore.

Its wide regional network includes Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Manila, Taipei and Yangon. In Manila, it flies out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

For more information, visit www.jetstar.com or call 810-4744.


Parque España Residence Hotel feels like home

Posted in DOT, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

Updated March 01, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Are you a business traveler, balikbayan or just a local resident looking for an exquisite escape from a long, tiring journey, or from stress? Then try staying at Parque España Residence Hotel and experience the comfort and the hospitality you deserve. It is your home away from home.

Find the comfort of your own home right in the midst of the business district in the south. Parque España Residence Hotel accommodations have the look and feel of an ideal home with its dining area and kitchenette inclusive of refrigerator, cooking accessories, and dinnerware. It is a recommended spot for family-oriented gatherings if you’re thinking of organizing one.

So there’s really no need to go out of town for restful weekends with family or friends when there’s Parque España’s cinematic views of Rizal hills, Laguna Lake and the enticing elite villages that embrace Alabang.

Have a marvelous social gathering with the multi-purpose function room at the roof deck. Just like dining at any food haven elsewhere, you can have an extensive fiesta meal of international delicacies or a private dinner with someone special while serenaded by soft music at the Bistro del Cielo.

Located a few blocks away from the demanding business and entertainment centers, Parque España Residence Hotel is home to Alabang Town Center, Festival Mall, Westgate Park and Palms Country Club.

As for business travelers who can’t really get away from work and need to finish it during vacation, then Parque España has a lot more to offer — all rooms are equipped with broadband Internet connection and easy access to local and international calls. The one-bedroom Executive Room is even Wi-Fi ready.

Catering to different lifestyles, Parque España is your comfort getaway where every day is a good day to stay. Parque España is under the innovative management of Hospitality, International Inc. (HHI) thereby ensuring a superior class of hotel living.

For reservations and inquiries, call 850-5880 to 81 or log on to www.parqueespana.net.


The sporting side of Indonesia

Posted in Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

By Joaquin Henson Updated March 01, 2009 12:00 AM

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Bull-racing is an Indonesian traditional sport and life-sized figures are on exhibit to portray the action.

MANILA, Philippines – There’s more to sports in Indonesia than just badminton which has, by the way, delivered six Olympic gold medals for the Southeast Asian country with a seam-busting population of close to 250 million.

I found this out during a recent visit to Jakarta with a side trip to Bali.  My balikbayan sisters from the US, my wife Menchu and I took the PAL non-stop evening flight to Jakarta.  We got in early morning and it was a perfect time to check in at our hotel, the Atlet Century Park, without a minute’s wait.

Although badminton has been Indonesia’s Olympic gold mine since joining the Summer Games in 1952, football is undisputedly the No. 1 sport of the masses.  Indonesians are in love with football as Filipinos are with basketball.

Even as Indonesia was ranked only No. 144 in the latest world football standings, it is bidding to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022.  For the record, only two milestones in Indonesian football history stand out from an international viewpoint.  In 1938, Indonesia qualified for the World Cup in France.  And in 1956, Indonesia made it to the final round of the Olympics.

But alas, at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2007, Indonesia didn’t even qualify for the semifinals.

What is evident in Indonesia’s program for elite athletes is its focus.  The Indonesian National Committee or KONI (Komite Olahraga Nasional Indonesia), headed by Agum Gumalat, is not wasting time and energy on sports where the probability of achieving success is low.  The concentration is on specific sports where Indonesia has a competitive advantage.  It’s no wonder Indonesia has collected its 25 Olympic medals from only three sports — badminton, weightlifting, and archery.

“Indonesia does not excel in football internationally but Indonesians love the game,” said a local sports promoter.  “Politicians use football to make themselves known.  The giant cigarette brand Djarum is the biggest sponsor of football.  There are no real Indonesian soccer stars.  But teams pay big money to bring in players from South American and Africa to play as imports.  Football is the most popular sport, followed by badminton and boxing.”

Boxing is another sport where Indonesia has made some global headway.  So far, Indonesia has produced five world boxing champions — Ellyas Pical in 1985, Nico Thomas in 1989, Suwito Lagola in 1995 and Muhammad Rachman and Chris John in 2004.

Luckily, our hotel was in front of the National Sports Stadium so when I found out John was training across the street, I immediately went over to meet the WBA featherweight titlist.  The meeting was arranged by Indonesian sportswriter Martinez dos Santos and boxing promoter Tamuzin Rambing.

“There’s a lot of pressure on me to win,” said the 29-year-old John, a Catholic in a predominantly Muslim society.  “But I’m used to the pressure.  I’m Indonesia’s only world champion today and my countrymen are banking on me to make them proud.  I’m proud, too, to fight for my country.”

Basketball is low on the popularity totem pole but media mogul Erick Thohir has big plans for the sport as the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) president.  Thohir, 37, owns Republika, the largest Muslim newspaper in Indonesia, and controls at least two TV networks and a large coal mining company.  His family is reputedly among the top 10 richest in the country with interests in mining, media, real estate, and banking.

In an interview, Thohir mentioned that the Indonesia league currently employs two Filipino coaches, Bong Ramos in Surabaya and Boysie Zamar in Medan.  There are 10 teams in the local league which runs from January to May.  At the end of each year, the league organizes a tournament where rookies and free agents are invited to play on a trial basis before the next season begins.

Thohir said Jakarta will host the FIBA-Asia Champions Cup on May 12-20 and proudly pointed out that Indonesia won the last SEABA Champions Cup, a tournament which allows each team to play two imports.

“The PBA was the model we used in organizing our league,” said Thohir who recently met SBP chairman Manny V. Pangilinan during the PBA game between San Miguel Beer and Talk ‘N’ Text in Singapore.

Learning about sports in Indonesia wouldn’t be complete unless you visit the Museum Olahraga, a three-story building inaugurated in 1989 in the Taman Mini park complex.  The facility stands as a monument to celebrate the history of Indonesian sports and to glorify the country’s athletic heroes.

The first floor features the Hall of Fame, an exhibit of the 1997 Mount Everest conquest by intrepid Indonesian adventurers, a photo tribute to Indonesian athletes in various sports promoting the values of Olympism, discipline, physical fitness, a sound mind and sound body, and a metal sculpture of three divers in different poses connected by suspension wires at the open center of the circular museum strung up from the upper level to the ground floor.

The second floor features individual exhibits of Indonesian achievements in several sports, a photo history of the National Games, and a display of the traditional equipment in indigenous sports.  On the third floor is a display of life-sized figures depicting action in traditional sports like jumping huge rock formations in the Nias island, Pasola where horseback riders battle it out with lancers in a simulation of actual combat and a race where each entry is a rider holding the reins of two bulls.

In Bali, most tourists indulge in a variety of water sports, primarily surfing.   I found the only squash facility in the Kuta district, the Discovery Kartika Hotel which has two courts.  I played two straight days with a pro Nur Al-Lim.   Our daughter Cristina joined us in Bali with her cousin Rica Nolasco and they actively took part in their favorite sport, shopping.

As for shopping, there are real bargains for sports enthusiasts.  I got two pairs of indoor Indonesian-made playing shoes (Thomkins brand) for about P1,000 each at the Matahari Department Store and a Head microgel 450 squash racket sells about $25 less than amazon.com at Metro Sports in downtown Jakarta.

Sports in Indonesia has also come to light with the ascendancy of US President Barack Obama, a basketball-crazy weekend warrior who lived four years in Jakarta with his American mother Ann Dunham and Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro.  Obama, who speaks fluent Bahasa, was six when he moved to Jakarta with his mother and her second husband.  In 1971, when he was 10, Obama moved to Honolulu to live with his mother’s parents.

In just a few days in Indonesia, I found out how important sports is to a country as a source of national pride, a maker of role models and an inspiration to the youth.

View previous articles from this author.


Visita Iglesia in Batangas-Quezon

Posted in Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 9, 2009

Updated March 01, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – On April 9, Maundy Thursday, Inscribe Tours brings participants to seven fascinating churches in Batangas and Quezon for its annual Visita Iglesia tour.

The tour starts with breakfast at the picturesque Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club in Lipa, then heads to the colonial town of Padre Garcia for its first church stop. Established by the Recoletos, the Most Holy Rosary Church’s original structure dates back to 1776. Next stop is St. James the Greater Church in Ibaan, which was administered by the Augustinian priests for over 100 years until it was turned over to the Oblates of St. Joseph in 1915.

The Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Rosario and St. John Nepomucene Church in San Juan are next on the itinerary. Its foundations were built with stones and bamboos in 1803, while the latter church was transferred to its present site in 1890.

Lunch is at Virgin Beach Resort in Laiya, San Juan’s popular tourist destination, which is renowned as the “Boracay of Southern Luzon” for its powder-white sand beach. After lunch, the tour heads to Quezon, visiting San Pedro Bautista Church in Candelaria and St. John the Baptist Church in Tiaong. Last stop is Villa Escudero’s quaint chapel in time for the “washing of the feet” Lenten rites. A tour of Villa Escudero’s famed museum, housed in the resort’s beautiful, pink-hued church, a walk through the bucolic surroundings, and sumptuous buffet dinner of native specialties cap the day.

For inquiries and early-bird discounts, call Gerry or Karla at 840-5912 and 575-8370.