Two factors strike me on why ALDUB, this “Kilig Pa More” KalyeSerye is a hit : the kilig factor, of course and the timeout experience. If you read Our love story: 30 years married. 37 years with my college sweetheart, I wrote about how my husband and I nearly separated . There is no “happily ever after” . My  husband and I tried to make it work and we did. In my blog post, I added that “the secret in the renewal of our marriage was actually reliving that first time we fell madly in love with each other.”

And that is how I believe the “kilig factor” helped jumpstart our marriage. The thing going for me is I wrote a diary that detailed those early years with my ex-boyfriend…I wrote about the giddiness and romantic moments and why we fell in love, in the first place. I remember those early days. No wonder ALDUB is such a hit for the young and young at heart .

Image via Some rights reserved.

Image via Some rights reserved.

It is not only the kilig factor that couples can benefit. A priest even said that couples in trouble can learn perseverance and sacrifice from the Aldub segment.

“When [husbands and wives] encounter the hardships of married life, their tendency is to turn their backs or separate,” added Mamaril, parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Calendola Village, San Pedro City for the past two years.

Watch the first time Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza met each other. You can see Yaya Dub’s eyes light up as she spotted Alden on the split screen.

While this is a fictional love team, Yaya Dub did have a crush on Alden. Direk Mike Tuviera said that “it was born from the moment that the staff found out that in real life, Yaya Dub had a crush on Alden. No one knew that.”

There are so many reason why many Filipinos love #AlDub  but the one that strikes me as the number one reason is the “kilig” factor .  

It has kilig factor. Every time Alden and Yaya Dub exchange dubsmash, pabebe wave, and pinky promise, the crowd goes wild with kilig. Same also happens when Alden flashes those cute smiles showing his dimples. Another kilig factor in this “Kilig Pa More” KalyeSerye is that Alden is doing all sorts of challenges that Lola Nidora had been throwing at him just to see Yaya Dub.

Next to the kilig factor is the timeout experience. I am sure each one of us have our own guilty pleasure. I turn to coloring books to destress. Others play online games or watch a movie marathon. Then, ALDUB came to the lives of the Filipino viewers and netizens. I never paid attention to the ALDUB phenomena until the day before their first date. That Friday evening, I watched the first and current series with my husband. We had a good laugh about it. I told my husband “kilig eh”. Not only kilig , but it was my moment to zone out at the end of a long day.

ALDUB is a timeout just be and relax, and laugh.

What is a timeout experience?

Image via Medill on Media Engagement; Abe Peck and Edward C. Malthouse; Hampton Press November 2010

Image via Medill on Media Engagement; Abe Peck and Edward C. Malthouse; Hampton Press November 2010

It’s a quiet time.

It’s my reward for doing other things.

It’s an escape.

It’s takes my mind off other things that are going on.

I feel less stress…

I like going to this site when I am eating or taking a break.

Each one of us has a  timeout experience. Most homemakers relate to this and turn to noontime shows to take a break. What is important is to  put a balance in our lives: time to zone out and a time to work. What I really hope is that the love of  the #ALDUB kalyeserye, overflows to rekindling of relationships. Yes, even  love of country  by using that feel-good hashtag for social change. I read an ALDUB fan tweet both #juanvote and #ALDUB hashtag.

I have hope.

Yes, enjoy the show and laugh out loud.

sunset at waterfront hotel

As students in the late seventies, my ex-boyfriend and I went as far as Luneta Park  because we were broke. All we did was gaze at the sunset or walk by the romantic Manila bay.   Old Manila and its splendor reminds me of those good old days.  Now that my ex-boyfriend is my husband and earning a living, we revisit Manila for  those rare dates. Next on my list is Seasons, Manila Pavilion Hotel’s premier lifestyle restaurant especially since I sampled a few of their new menu offerings.

Romulo suite at Waterfront hotel

While waiting for the press launch to start , I toured some of the rooms in the hotel including the Romulo Suite. This was where I took a snapshot of the beautiful sunset. And how I love the color theme in each corner of the suite.

Romulo suite at the Waterfront Manila

Italian culinary master Giovanni Sias is Manila Pavilion Hotel new executive chef who prepared the new menu offering.  I am glad that these were just samplers that I could savor and enjoy.  The new festive selection of international ala carte dishes starts at Php280 nett. The ala carte dishes are better for me because I don’t want to eat too much. There are buffet breakfast selections for those that want to eat more, and are priced at Php600 nett.

MPH Executive Chef Giovanni Sias

Chef Giovanni  adds that “Meat lovers and seafood fanatics can please their palates with a variety of feisty treats from parma ham, tuna, salmon, prawns, red snapper, beef tender or rack of lamb, and have it cooked just the way they want it.”

Prosciutto with Cheese

Prosciutto (Parma Ham) rolled with goat cheese mousse, truffle scent apple mustard marmalade

If you are like me, I want it light on the stomach but heavy on flavor.  That is what the salad and appetizer selections is all about. Seasons also cater to the vegetarians and vegans. The all-time favorites like tuna carpaccio, eggplant napoleon, and prosciutto, or the freshest greens complemented with scrumptious hors d’ oeuvres and antipasti  are  part of their healthy fare.

Gnocchi with bacon

Home made potato gnocchi in cheese sauce and fried proscuitto

Tuna Carpaccio

Tuna Carpaccio with Zuccini salad, lemon and olive oil

Must-try signature dishes to whet diners’ palates are the Waterfront Caesar Salad, Waterfront beef burger, sautéed red snapper and prosciutto rolled with goat cheese mousse among others.

Sauteed Red Snapper

Sauteed Red Snapper with tomatoes and capers over buttered spaghetti

The dessert menu features panna cotta, tiramisu, fresh fruit platter, chocolate cake with vanilla chantilly, pistachio mousse berries campote and other traditional Filipino sweets and delicacies . The Panna Cotta with strawberry consomme was delightful with just the right amount of sweetness.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta with strawberry consomme

My favorite ala carte dishes are the Home made potato gnocchi in cheese sauce and fried proscuitto and the Prosciutto (Parma Ham) rolled with goat cheese mousse, truffle scent apple mustard marmalade. Can you tell that we love cheese? My husband and I will order these separately on our next date.

Seasons is located at the lobby of the Manila Pavilion Hotel and is open from 6:00 am to 10:30 am for breakfast, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm for lunch and serves dinner from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily.


For inquiries and reservations, please call Manila Pavilion Hotel at (02) 526 1212 extension 2345 or log on to and follow us through social media @WaterfrontMNL.

I am taking time out from attending events because of the traffic in Metro Manila. But how can I refuse a visit to Lotus Pod  even if it will take one and a half hours to get there? You know , I would rather get stuck driving through the countryside than the concrete jungle.

Lotus Pod by the pond

Lotus Pod is breath of fresh air. I went there expecting to be surrounded by greenery, Lotus flowers , chilling with media friends and just being there for the moment. And I was not disappointed with my picture-perfect day.  Before my visit, I just saw photos of Lotus Pod but did not read up on the website . I wanted to be surprised. Lotus Pod is an organic farm in Bay, Laguna that grows fruits, vegetables and herbs. Their farmers grow veggies with care, making sure not to use any artificial fertilizer – making every Lotus Pod bite, a taste of nature.

Lotus Pod farm


Screencap from

 Cheche Lazaro (the owner of the Lotus Pod) told us that they never had any concrete plans for Lotus Pod. It took seven years to develop the farm.  Lotus Pod farm grows “vegetables like ampalaya, calamansi, lime, eggplant, green papaya, leeks, malunggay, okra, red and green lettuce, arugula, swiss chard, patola, saging na saba, tomato, kangkong, and talbos ng kamote and lemongrass. They also also grow “herbs like basil, mint, oregano, tarragon, coriander, sawtooth and ashitaba. The farm also produces its own fresh oyster mushrooms as well as chemical-free vinegar from our coconut trees. Add to that list, our own fresh juices from the veggies we grow.”

Lotus flower at the Lotus Pod


Lotus Pod does not have overnight facilities at the moment. There is a lovely room near the pond that gives this peaceful view of the Lotus flowers.

Lotus Pod in Bay Laguna

It felt good to be able to chat with my idol, Cheche Lazaro. She had interviewed me twice (one on my grief recovery and the other on social media engagement with the President) . Never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine talking about social media with her.

Lotus Pod


Photo via Jane Uymatiao

Aside from the open green spaces, lush greenery, one can also hold events like weddings. Imagine the Banahaw mountain range as backdrop and the cool, fresh air only a provincial destination can provide.  Check out the events : camping (coming soon), meetings and seminars; farm to table workshop;  catering services, detox getaway package.   The Lotus Pod  also offers gift packages, and agritours.

Lotus Pod wedding destination

Screencap from

Contact details:

Lotus Pod at Bay, Laguna

For the address, please call or text 0917 878 9103

What gift do I buy for my husband? It was Butch’s birthday last Saturday and I was wracking my brains on gift ideas. He likes practical gifts for the house but I have all the small appliances and gadgets. Then, I spotted Kankan Ramos Facebook post on her second coloring book. A lightbulb moment. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, whether it’s for stress relief or simply just to satisfy our inner child.   Good thing there is an  order page to purchase these coloring books. They are so beautiful and all are hand-drawn by Kankan . I am not saying this just because she is a friend. They are so pretty.

19 pages that you can color, tear the pages off and frame them as you please.

19 pages that you can color, tear the pages off and frame them as you please.

Majestic, flights of imagination: A hand-drawn coloring book for all ages 20 works of art inspired by the wondrous riches that live beneath our waves

Majestic, flights of imagination: A hand-drawn coloring book for all ages
20 works of art inspired by the wondrous riches that live beneath our waves

I wasn’t sure Butch would love the coloring books but I took a chance . If he did not like it, I could easily use it myself.  Surprise! He loved it. In fact, he knew what coloring books were about because he read about it from the New York Times.  I was not able to buy coloring pencils because I was out of town a few days before his birthday. He was so excited to use the coloring book that he bought all the coloring materials : oil pastel, Faber castel highlight pens, water color and crayons.

kankan ramos coloring books


My husband wasted no time  and started a page that will show bursts of colors.  He must have enjoyed watching colors bursting with life from his work and felt so rewarded from the activity . He kept showing it off to me and saying how relaxing it is .  This seemingly ordinary activity  promotes mindfulness and relief from stress.


coloring book from kankan ramos

So why is it such a relaxing activity? “You’re giving your brain some space and something to focus on that’s meditative, that’s containing,” says art therapist Saba Harouni. Because grown-ups tend to rush through life from one deadline to the next, filling in the lines on a page with colors can help them focus, meditate, and slow down. “When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres. The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills,” psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala says. “The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress. It brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.”

My husband loves the bright, vivid colors he chose for this page.

my husband's work in coloring book


You should try it when you need to de-stress. Psychologist Antoni Martínez agrees . “I recommend it as a relaxation technique. We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state. I myself have practiced that. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”

I am so glad that I found a gift for my husband that will  make him stop worrying for a few minutes and to—just keep coloring.


Beginnings and Majestic coloring books are available at Fully Booked and online.  For the Beginnings coloring book, order here and  order the Majestic coloring book here.


What kind of internet do we want and what will it take for us to achieve it?


(Originally posted at Three things I’ve learned at the Gender and Internet Governance Exchange, Asia on July 8, 2015.)

Two concepts glared at me: Feminist? Internet governance activist? Am I all that? See, I tread carefully around labels because I encounter people who are “allergic” to the word “feminist” or “activist”. A feminist or activist is often seen as militant or disruptive and this often spells trouble. As a citizen with an online voice enabled by technology and social media, I have the capacity to connect directly with the people who matter and who could make a change.

I didn’t want people to distance themselves from me because of these controversial labels. I pondered over these words, “internet governance activist” and as I searched for the definition online, I discovered that I am part of the internet governance group, as one of the multi-stakeholders.

I find difficulty in articulating the things I do, to advocate for social change for social good. Everything I have ever done as a blogger and on social media for the past nine years was through intuition. When I received the acceptance to the Gender and Internet Governance Exchange (gigX) I was so excited because it meant widening the scope of my advocacy. There was no doubt that the gigX would widen my knowledge on the intersections between women’s rights and internet governance. I want to transfer this knowledge to my community by sharing the three things I’ve learned at gender and internet governance exchange. Some of these lessons are interrelated but I want to highlight each of them separately.

1. The feminist approach to the internet

Someone asked me at the gigX “so are you a feminist?” I didn’t quite know how to respond to that “feminist” label because I don’t categorise myself as one. Don’t get me wrong, I advocate for women’s rights among many others but I didn’t want these labels to turn people off. After the presentation of the “Feminist Principles of the Internet”, my doubts in the “feminist” label disappeared. Now I embrace my feminism.

2. The clusters of the 15 Feminist Principles

My “feminism” reminds me of a sisterhood. In a roomful of fellow feminists and activists, we pondered on the question: “As feminists, what kind of internet do we want and what will it take for us to achieve it?” I learned about the clusters of the Feminist Principles of the Internet: access, economy, expression, consent, autonomy, agency, movement and public participation.

These are not new concepts to me but I liked the clear presentation and the affirmation of them. I initiated a movement in 2007 together with other bloggers in reshaping the Filipina image of the internet, as more than just mail order brides. Through our blogs and stories about the loving Filipina wives and “mothers”, the professionals, and the outstanding bloggers were shared on the World Wide Web.

3. Deconstructing jargons and acronyms

I use language that is accessible to my community. How is real progress going to be made if I can’t communicate the feminist approach to the internet? Thankfully, the gigX encouraged us to list down jargon and acronyms that are often encountered in the gender and internet governance spaces: intersex,patriarchy, multi-stakeholderism, World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), neoliberal capitalist, UN Commission on Science and Technology (UNCSTD), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Zero rating,Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA).

Communicating and transferring the knowledge of these concepts to my community was made easier due to the available resources from the gigX website, this includes training materials and tools.

My feminism will always be in the agenda of internet governance. The feminism I stand for is to work towards the dismantling of patriarchy and putting “an end to fear, helplessness, humiliation, and one that condemns violence and identifies and supports all diversities.”

I know my feminism is disruptive and the kind that I will be judged for all the time. Despite this, I do not doubt that I am a feminist.