Let’s try something different on New Year’s eve.

Written by Jose Francisco Cruz as originally posted Media noche, the Filipino, and the six-course meal  via the Philippine Online Chronicles.

After over-indulging on Christmas noche buena with with lechon, ham, lengua, mechado, embutido and other festive dishes that can trigger convulsions of the most pleasurable kind, let’s try something different on New Year’s eve.


What I have in mind is a six course meal prepared with the least effort but still ending up as something memorable and will win raves.

What is a six-course meal? It is a meal with six phases. Think of a slightly complex song, or a novel, or the stages of pregnancy while riding the MRT.

First comes the appetizers o,r commonly, the piece of bread with pate or whatever it is that you’d like to put on it for a spread, that’s not overly sweet. Then the salad, leafy green salad, with dressing. Then the soup, followed by two main courses. The last would be dessert, of course– ice cream, hot cocoa or cake.

First off, even before the appetizers, serve lots and lots of wine. Classic red wine, and chardonnay.

For salad, you ought to have some nuts with the veggies. Imported nuts are nice, but I’d rather use kasuy or the classic adobong mani. Then some yoghurt. I go with flavored yoghurt, and to complement the flavor of that youghurt, we put in (but not too much) an apple, or some strawberries. The reason for this is to counter the bitterness of the herbs we will include, like basil, or if you’re using some blue cheese (better to use Parmigiano-Regiano, or what they call Parmesan, but keso de bola will do nicely, or any crumbly kind of cheese). Let’s not forget the bitterness of the French dressing.

The French dressing, according to Chef Jamie, is three parts olive oil and one part acid, which could be lemon, or blueberry juice, or vinega. Add some Dijon mustard, shake well, and you have the French dressing. I added applesauce into the salad dressing to temper the bitterness.

Use coconut meat graters, or vegetable skin peelers to play with the cucumbers and carrots, so they come out in thin, wide strips, and not the usual O shapes. Operative word: Spatial. Of course, lots of lettuce, and some parsley. Use a lampin cloth for ‘centrifuging’ out the water from the vegetables. Then drizzle the dressing. Add some crunchy bacon bits too.

A Filipino version of a vegetable salad could be the seaweed in vinegar (replacing the vinaigrette in salads), and tomato slices of Cebu.

The Spanish like filleted fresh anchovies, fried for a few minutes; but a more Filipino approach would be fresh anchovies cooked in vinegar with chopped garlic, ginger, and onions – or what we call kilawin. And since we’re discussing the Spanish, how about sinangkutsang (stir-fried) prawns for tapas, eh? Just check if the prawns are fresh, with the eyes spherical, and the heads firmly attached, and you won’t be shamed. Did I mention to pour some wine? Ok. Good.

Stir-frying prawns takes about five minutes. Frying filleted anchovies, five minutes as well. You can buy them at the grocer’s, pre-prepared..

The soup. If I were to cook a soup that would be worthy of the New Year, it would be bulalo. It is beef shank, with the marrow oozing out like food for the gods.

Use plain white Chinaware. They go well with the Christmas season, as well as provide contrast to any color dish that you will put in front of your guests.
Remember, be generous with the wine.

Beef takes a while to cook, upwards of two hours to boil the meat to tenderness, but you can fire up the stove before preparing the appetizers and salad.

Now we go to the main course. It could be any two of these: fish, chicken, pork, or beef. We are after quick meals here, so the best way to go about it would be grilling.

For milkfish, slice onions, garlic, tomatoes, and place them inside the bangus milkfish belly as filling. Stitch that up, or just cover with tinfoil, candy style. Grill in scorching hot embers for 15 minutes, approximately, and you’re done. You could also roast salmon in the oven with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt in 15 minutes. Serve with some parsley.

The pork also can be set aside overnight in a marinade of soy sauce, vinegar, a bit of salt, pepper, a bit of soda, and garlic. The grilling will be from 8-15 minutes. This can even be done by the guests, just assist them so they don’t burn the outside, with the inside still uncooked. Use a toothpick to check if meat from the inside still clings to it. That means it’s not yet cooked. This tip goes for roasting as well. Serve scorching hot, and don’t forget the wine.

Grilling of meats is usually done in 15 minutes.

The chicken can be roasted. Most would use whole chickens and stuffing and hurling them into the oven. That would take too long. Use instead drumsticks with hips attached, one for every guest. You can cook these in half the time it takes a whole chicken to roast. The plus is everybody will have an equal area of crunchy chicken skin. Yum!

Throw in some small potatoes, with the skin on, a few garlic cloves, and halved onions.

Cooking temp. Unfortunately, temperature, yes, even temperature is relative. What will be 1.5 hours at 200 degrees Celsius for me, might be quicker for you. I guess it has to do with the type of oven. The newer ones tend to be of a size not unlike microwave ovens. I got a cool tip from Rachel Allen. She roasts the chicken for half of the time it takes to cook, and only then does she add the rub, with a little bit of olive oil. This way, you don’t burn the rub, and you baste the chicken as well. The rub can be salt + pepper + ginger + thyme. For beef, add rosemary. If you’ve got fresh herbs, the better. Premium groceries have fresh herbs from Tagaytay.

Gravy. The stuff of legend. The secrets of which many would be willing to kill for. Yummy magazine delivers in their gravy recipe. About two tablespoons of drippings (olive oil used in the roasting plus the meat oil, and garlic and onions), you heat in a saucepan, then dissolve a bit of flour in water, and pour that bit by bit onto the saucepan with the drippings, whisking as you do so. A bit of salt and pepper, and voila! Gravy pa lang, ulam na! We love gravy.

The beef can be roasted, as well as the pork. But it takes too long, at 200 degrees Celsius. The pork belly can be turned into lechon, but for the skin to turn into crackling, you’d either have to turn on the flame on top of the oven (for grilling) for an hour, or shock it with boiling cooking oil after cooking.

With the beef, there’s a very thin line between undercooking or overcooking it to the consistency of freightliner-wheel interior rubber. If you’re insistent, use foil for two hours while roasting pork or beef. All the action happens in the last hour after you remove the foil. Just be on your toes.

I would much rather go with frying T-bone steaks. Season with salt and pepper. Put in two tablespoons of cooking oil before the butter, so the butter doesn’t burn. One-inch thick steaks can be cooked in 3-5 minutes. This will be like fried prawns. When the color turns from red to brown, and the blood has oozed out, then it’s cooked. Two inches and above in thickness, and do as the chefs say – 7 minutes in a flat pan without oil, turning over after every minute.

For dessert, mango float, and other no-bake cakes will do nicely, saving you more time. Muffins, after preparation, take only 35 minutes to bake. The banana muffins are classics. The same goes for cookies. Rhum bundt cake takes an hour to prepare, and 45 minutes to bake.

Bibingka, puto-bumbong, and other rice cakes you can easily procure near the Catholic churches.

What if you have balikbayans hankering for Pinoy dishes? The tip here is to stick as close to the original Filipino recipe as possible if you plan on serving everyday dishes for your Media Noche. Watch cooking shows, and you will notice that the chefs are able to cook sumptuous dishes very quickly because they keep things simple.

So how much time does it take for a six-course Medyo Noche?

Shopping time – 1 hour, preferably in the morning

French green salad – 1 hour
Stir-fried prawns – 5 minutes
Bulalo soup – 2 hours

Main course options
Grilled milkfish, large – 15 minutes prep; 15 minutes grilling
Pork barbecue – 12 hours marinating (the longer the better), 15 mins grilling
Roast chicken thighs – 1.5 hours
Pan-grilled T-bone steak – 10 minutes

Banana muffins – prep 45 minutes, baking 35 minutes
Hot tablea cocoa – 30 minutes

Thus, a total of about 8 hours, 6 if you skip the roast chicken.

This, to me, is a delicious way to start the year right.

Photo from: www.lakadpilipinas.com

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.– Ruth Carter Stapleton

I love Christmas lights. It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling that glows inside for the entire season. It brings me so much joy. Childhood memories of twinkling lights and Christmas carols are enough to lift my spirits during the holiday season. Once again, Meralco lights up ‘Liwanag Park’ with the theme ‘One Child, One Lamp’ campaign to benefit schools without electricity.

maligayang pask sa meralco

Among the park’s many features are Christmas figures and a gigantic tableau of the nativity scene made entirely of scrap copper wires.

liwanag park meralco 2

Visitors may hitch on a ride via a miniature train, reminiscent of the days when rail operations were a part of the company’s vast portfolio of businesses (Thus, the “R” in the MERALCO acronym which stands for “Rail”). The train’s tracks circle a giant Christmas tree which is decorated with lanterns crafted from old electric meter covers and LED lights. Another attraction, especially for the kids and die-hard action movie fans, are two large robots fabricated from parts of decommissioned Meralco service vehicles and basket trucks.

train station at liwanag park

The park also houses a night bazaar where visitors can go shopping for clothes, gift items, food products, among others.

belen at liwanang park

Proceeds of the bazaar will go to One Meralco Foundation’s “One Child, One Lamp” campaign which aims to provide solar lamps to students in public schools without electricity.

liwanag park at meralco

I just loved how the whole Meralco compound literally lit up on cue when Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, along with other Meralco executives, pushed the button signalling the opening of the park, which has been a popular Christmas destination in Metro Manila.

2015 Meralco Lighting Ceremony

2015 Meralco Lighting Ceremony

The lights make my heart grew tender with warm childhood memories and love of my family. As long as I know in my heart what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis

The Meralco Liwanag Park is open every day from 4:00pm to 10:00pm until January 10, 2016.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. ” Luther Burbank
me and Te Amo Floristeria

Imagine yourself surrounded by beautiful flowers.  Visiting the Te Amo Floristeria last week brought me such a warm and fuzzy feeling. If I were an artist, I would have already painted these flowers into the canvas. In fact, Claude Monet  once said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” If you think about it, entering a room filled with flowers, bring me a feeling of contentment and comfort . The e presence of a beautiful floral arrangement can brighten your mood, relieve tension, and even change the course of your day. Let’s take a tour of Te Amo Floristeria to make your day bright and happy.

Te Amo Floristeria fresh flowers

Te  Amo Floristeria prides itself in being the pioneer luxury floral boutique in the Philippines. They now have a flagship store in Bonifacio Global City (G/F Active Fun Bldg, 9th Ave, Bonifacio Global City) and witnessed the blessing of the store.

Te Amo Floristeria store at the fort

Tess Prieto Valdes along with Te Amo Floristeria’s founder Amy Peng cut the ribbon for the store blessing.

Te Amo Floristeria blessing

I liked how the priest included all the staff for the blessing.

blessing of Te Amo Floristeria

Tess Valdes is lovely beside the pretty roses from Ecuador. Amy Peng told me that she traveled to the world’s prime horticultural countries to source flowers straight from the farmers.

Te Amo Floristeria tessa valdes

The flowers are so beautifully arranged. There are many flower arrangements. One can get the elegant, lavish selection of classic flowers and an assortment of timeless floral staples that comprise their European flower bouquets. Thematically arranged and packaged elegantly to suit a wide variety of purposes, they offer the most diverse collection of bouquets and blooms appropriate for virtually any occasion, most especially grand displays of love, tokens of deep gratitude and appreciation, and congratulatory gifts.

te amo floristeria display

I could not get enough of the flowers so I just snapped away.

Te Amo Floristeria red roses

Did you know beyond being beautiful and fragrant, these flowers deliver a health-promoting array of benefits?

Te Amo Floristeria red roses from Ecuador

Bright, fresh cut flowers instantly improve your mood.

Te Amo Floristeria roses

These are cabbage roses.

Te Amo Floristeria cabbage rose

Flowers bring positive emotional feelings to those who enter a room. Just try visiting Te Amo Floristeria and feel the difference. Hopefully, their store rep is bit friendlier now that the hassle of the store blessing is over.

Te Amo Floristeria yellow roses

Anyway, Te Amo Floristeria also provides preserved flowers that can last from three to five years

Te Amo Floristeria preserved flowers

Here are other preserved flowers. They cost 12,000 pesos.

Te Amo Floristeria preserved flowers1


Check out the gallery of fresh flowers and be amazed at the beauty of their arrangements: (click to enlarge). The flower bouquet is deal for chic event giveaways, wedding entourage props, dainty centerpieces, and even thoughtful tokens of appreciation, our adorable mini bouquets are guaranteed to delight even the coldest of hearts. An assortment of fastidiously curated flowers arranged in vivid color schemes, our unique and versatile mini flower bouquets are excellent adorn- ments sure to brighten up any given space or event. There are also fresh boxed blooms for those looking for unusual yet extraordinary floral displays. Their boxed blooms provide a fresh, novel approach to the typical flower bouquet . Consisting of intricately selected and combined flowers packaged in charming boxes of various shapes, the fresh boxed blooms work perfectly as a floral display, and add an instant touch of class to your work or living space. Although these blooms come in several preset options, they are entirely customizable to fit your specific needs and desires.


Here is the gallery of preserved followers. They are pricey but if you compute the cost spread over three to five years, it is worth it. (click to enlarge)

Contact details:

Te Amo Floristeria Manila Premium Flower Shop Floral Design Studio
G/F Active Fun Bldg, 9th Ave, BGC
Telephone number 8695633/09166298122
Email [email protected]

I finally watched the much awaited Episode 7 , Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I like it! It’s fun and entertaining. Good thing I got a media invite for the grand launch of the biggest Atmos Cinema in the country located at the Gateway mall, Araneta Center. I didn’t really know what to expect with a Dolby Atmos Cinema except astounding sounds.


star wars the force awakens1

Featuring a revolutionary audio platform that creates powerful moving audio using audio objects and overhead speakers, Gateway Mall’s Dolby Atmos Cinema boasts of sounds that come from all directions, the dialogue and music of the onscreen story move all around the audience in three-dimensional space, transporting them into the scenes and putting them in the middle of the action.

gateway dolby atmos theater

While waiting for the screening, I enjoyed the various Star Wars characters that posed at the theater lobby.

star wars character

Can you tell that I was so excited to watch the movie. It’s been 38 years since I saw the original movie in 1977 and I was excited to see Carrie Fisher,  Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil.  Episode 7 is the first to be directed by J.J. Abrams.

selfie with star wars

Set around 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the sequel follows the adventures of new lead characters Finn (John Boyega), Rey (daisy Ridley) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) as they join forces with the original characters Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), to fight Kylo Ren (Adam Driver ) and his broadsword lightsaber.  The film also features Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata.

star wars the force awakens

After the ribbon cutting, the cinema gave a sampling of the  Dolby Atmos technoloy.  Compared to regular theaters, Dolby Atmos Cinema has the most number of speakers with a 53.5 sound system (53 individual surround channels and 5 subwoofers).

ribbon cutting atmos dolby

Each speaker is powered independently and gets its own separate audio feed. In effect, the movement of every sound the in the scene is reproduced in all three dimensions. With bated breath, I expected a rich audio experience .  I was not disappointed. The movie was a spectacular homecoming. The reappearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca brought applause from the audience. It touched me to see him once again , a much wiser Han Solo. Such an emotional nostalgic experience.

gateway atmos dolby theater

I can say the movie follows the spirit of the original trilogy. It had both action-adventure and fun! Speaking of fun, it was a dramatic new listening experience. Sorry, I am not good at writing movie reviews so just read this review roundup but remember, there are spoilers. Here are a few review quotes:

Everything you need to know about the movie is precisely where it belongs, in the movie. Just see it. You’ll love it.”

The Times gives The Force Awakens a five-star rating (the maximum). The movie is “exactly what we have been hoping for.”

The Force Awakens is ridiculous and melodramatic and sentimental of course, but exciting and brimming with energy and its own kind of generosity. What a Christmas present”

“The cleverest thing that The Force Awakens does is make this a generational experience not just for its audience, but for its characters, too..”

“Fun, fresh-faced leads; a terrifying, three-dimensional villain; a lightsaber battle for the ages. Fear not, Star Wars fans: J.J. Abrams has made the sequel of your dreams.”

They finally made a movie sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy. And the good news is? The Force Awakens easily captures the charm and excitement of the first three movies.

Not great. But far better than “not bad.” Solidly, confidently good. Spoiler alert: The word “good” will crop up throughout this review, because it’s the most accurate adjective for this Disney-owned product launch.

The Daily Mirror, John Hiscock wrote: “All I can say is The Force Awakens evokes magical memories of 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, with plenty of humour, action, drama and heart.”

My favorite review is from Gizmodo. ” And to some extent, nostalgia for Star Wars has become like the description of the Force from the very first movie: It’s an invisible energy that binds all Star Wars fans together. Nostalgia can cloud your mind, can move large quantities of toys, can go to either the dark side or the light side. It’s hard not to feel at times, watching this new movie, as though what’s awakening is our fond memory of the classic movies, with all the power that goes with it.”

nino muhlach

And I have a Star Wars pillow to remind me about my youth , when I first watched the first Star Wars movie. It’s a good feeling. I will probably watch it again.

star wars pillow

In Her Shoes premieres on December 20, Sunday at 6:30 PM. Catch the replays on the following timeslots: Mondays at 10:30 PM, Wednesdays at 4:30 PM, Thursdays at 9:30 PM, and Saturdays at 9 AM.

in her shoes premiereI know I am going ahead of what is new at 2nd Avenue.  At the press launch of “In her Shoes” , there was a pocket event at the Zalora pop store at the EDSA Shangrila (open till December 31, 2015).  I have always wanted to buy at Zalora but never knew my sizes. Fitting the shoes gave me an idea on what my shoe size is.

zalora store

Speaking of shoes, there is a new local magazine show In Her Shoes that will premieres on 2nd Avenue.  Modern-day Filipina women wear many hats. Aside from taking care of the family, most women take on other jobs and active roles outside the home. Though it is not easy to constantly juggle responsibilities, it brings a lot of challenges that also make their lives very fulfilling.
step into the lives

In Her Shoes is the all-new 30-minute lifestyle magazine show that trains the spotlight on women whose passions are not limited to home, child-rearing, beauty and, fashion. The show steps into the different lives of 2nd Avenue women as it takes a sneak peek into the distinct interests and cliques of varied archetypes of women—from bloggers, artsy types, the foodies, and the fitness buffs.

china cojuangco

China Cojuangco-Gonzalez is hosting In Her Shoes.  She says : “I’m a chef together with my husband Gino, and a mother to my beautiful daughter, Lucia. Naturally, I’m curious about what other women like us do as they go about their lives. Join me, as we discover the modern woman’s story, her passions, goals, missteps, and triumphs.”

what she loves

Don’t miss the much-awaited pilot episode and join the conversation at #IHSon2ndAve. It deals with superwomen.  We all know that some people excel in one thing. Others, like these women, push the boundaries in many aspects of their lives, proving that “limitation” is not a fact, but a human concept.  The second episode deals with “Women who break the mold”.  In this day and age, women are no longer expected to act a specific way or follow certain rules. But these women aren’t just “different”; they set a new standard for all, and up the bar in their respective fields.  Then they will even show “Fabulous at Any age”. These are women who smoothly ride the wave of time, continue to shine radiantly, and who aren’t going to stop any time soon.  Just reading the episode guide (see below) is making me excited. I am sure women of all ages can relate somehow.

I am sure you are looking forward to the rest of the episodes . Here is the guide.

episode guide for in her shoes

Here is the segment guide:

segment guide in her shoes

2nd Avenue is the female entertainment channel for strong, successful women craving light and relatable programs that reflect their concerns, passions and interests. Seen on seen on UHF Free TV Ch. 29, SkyCable Ch. 19, Global Destiny Cable Ch. 29, Cablelink Ch. 35, and Cignal Ch. 28. Check out 2nd Avenue on www.facebook.com/2ndAvenue, or on Twitter via @2nd_Avenue and on Instagram via @2ndavenuetv. D

I am truly grateful for the recognition once again. Last year, I also won First runner-up, #SINAG Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards . The SINAG 2015 Financial Literacy Journalism Awards seeks to encourage Filipinos to become more financially prepared through well-written stories.

sinag sunlife financial literarcy award

The theme this year was “How can financial literacy help people live life to the fullest?” Topics could range from savings and spending tips, to proper attitude towards finance. Basically, anything to get people thinking about how they manage their wealth. Here are the three articles I wrote about financial literacy this year:

Teaching your kids how to handle money

Retirement planning: do I want to happen in our financial future

Each of us today has a financial future

sun life sinag award

The main winner for the digital category are Lace Llanora while the other co-winner was Abraham Lee. In Lace’s blog, she writes about her experience learning about money saving tips so she can ensure a future for her boy. Abraham learned from the challenges his family encountered while growing up. There is a wealth of knowledge from their blogs.

sunlife sinag winners

Along with the trophy and the recognition was a cash prize and a starter fund which Lace and I immediately invested at Sun Life Financial. (Disclosure: I already invested in Sun Life Financial in 2011). If not Kendrick Chua, a good friend (center), I would have not known about the Prosperity Fund.

financial advisor

More than anything else, this recognition reminds me to write more about money management tips or financial literacy. If there is anything I can share, it is that preparing for a financially secure future requires taking action today:

1.Increase your cash flow;

2. Reduce or eliminate debt;

3. Take baby steps in savings and investing;

4. Review your finances periodically;

5. Communicate with your family.

galactic digital night from Globe

One of the perks of being a blogger are the fun experiences , such as the Galactic Digital Night , powered by Globe Platinum Broadband. I didn’t have time to get dressed in a Star Wars themed attire but I was still looking forward to a night of out-of-this-world fun. Can you tell I had fun?!

having fun time

There is so much Star Wars fever these days as the much awaited Star Wars : The Force Awakens will soon show on December 17. I am one of them.

darth vader

I recall the first Star Wars Movie in 1977 that left me in awe at the special-effects technology to a degree unseen before, with computerized and digitally-timed special effects. Here I am at a Galactic celebration of sorts, reliving my youth when digital effects in a party were unheard of in the seventies.

storm troopers and me

I also got to experience the blazing speeds of the Globe Platinum broadband, powered by fiber-to-the-home (FFTH) technology, at the Luxe Residences. The highest speed I got was 180 mbps. I look forward to the day when this FFTH technology reaches my village. Right now I am under the 5mbps Globe broadband plan. With the new Globe Platinum Broadband plans, home broadband customers can enjoy a broadband plan with the following internets speeds up to :

1. 50 Mbps at Plan 2499
2. 100 Mbps at Plan 3499
3. 200 MBps at Plan 4499
4. 500 Mbps at Plan 7499
5. 1 Gbps at Plan 9499

All plans are bundled with free access to Spotify, NBA League Pass and HOOQ. Aside from fiber-fast connectivity, Platinum Boradband customers also get access to exclusive perks and privileges such as a dedicated Platinum Relationship Manager, dedicated Platinum Hotline and Concierge assistance. (You can apply here)

globe platinum broadband

Aside from testing the Globe Platinum Broadband, the fun far was testing the speed through a Trivia game. Sadly, I failed miserably at the Trivia Night with everything about Star wars. Prizes were Star Wars gift Items. I knew I had a chance when it came to raffle prizes.

star wars app

The good news is I actually won during the raffle…the Sphero BB-8 app-enabled Droid.

I won a bb8

A Galactic Celebration

You too, can enjoy a Star Wars galactic celebration on December 12-13 . Globe will transform the Bonifacio High Street Central Amphitheater into a big Star Wars playground- from game booths, life-sized displays, to Star Wars themed fashion and retain items , up on display. The Globe Star Wars BGC Weekend is open to all Star Wars fans and onlookers alike for FREE.

Fans will also get a chance to win unique Star Wars collectibles with the Star Wars Everyday Promo. Major prizes include a Star Wars adventure in the USA, exclusive movie invites, Star Wars items and more. All you have to do is text FORCE <name/address> and send to 2363 for FREE. Customers can earn raffle entries by availing of any Globe or Tattoo promo or plan. Every 5 pesos is 1 raffle entry. Check out how to win more Star Wars premium items.

Sphero BB8 droid

Meantime…The moment I got home, I played with my new toy or rather my cats played with my new toy.

BB8 droid and cats

Watch this video:

The invite said

“Mrs. Tessa Prieto-Valdes
invites you to a wonderful afternoon
at her home with Globe Platinum!”

The first thought that entered my mind was I’d get to see her Christmas decors that I have been seeing in magazine spreads the past years. The sight of  festive Pinoy lanterns greeted me at the entrance. It’s our very own Pinoy pop Christmas theme.  Beautiful! Her Pinoy theme decors show native lanterns which she sourced from Eastern Samar . It is her own way to help out the livelihood of women who lost their homes when Typhoon Yolanda struck their homes and livelihood.

pinoy pop theme christmas

I have seen Tessa around in other blogger events as a host but this time, she was  the toast of the hour. Tessa is described as an interior designer, a triathelete, philanthropist, wife to business executive Dennis Valdes and mother to Bryan, Tyrone, Annika and Athena.

Tessa is the new face of Globe Telecom premium postpaid brand Globe Platinum. She draws inspiration from her family, career, and socio-civic endeavors.

globe platinum ambassador

Like Tessa, digital technology keeps me connected to her family. With everyone’s packed schedules- pursuing diverse interests whether in the country or out of it (Her son Bryon lives on his own now while Tyrone is currently studying abroad), the advent of technology and the smartphone has proven to be a boon for the Valdes Family.

My two girls don’t live with me and digital technology keeps me connected with them through Facebook messenger or iMessage. Much as I want to be with the the good old-fashioned way of spending time together, I recognize that this can get difficult at times. We continue to stay close to each other through technology. Tessa maximize the use of messaging apps like Viber or Whatsapp and social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat. She has weekly chats with Tyrone and Bryan. Thank God for digital connections, right?

tessa valdes family

Other than connecting with family, she is grateful for these advancements in terms of her work.  Aside from working on various interior design projects, she writes a regular column for a daily broadsheet, connects with readers through her own blog www.tessaprietovaldes.com and hosts Philippine Realty TV and online show Battle of the Pans at tv4me. I am sure many  moms can relate to this digital lifestyle. She also has charity events like the Red Charity Ball with Kaye Tinga.

You can read more of her inspiring Platinum lifestyle at the latest December issue of Lifestyle Asia. She is on the cover.

tessa Prieto valdez cover

Globe Platinum Lifestyle Plans

Tessa says Globe Platinum is a key partner in enabling her to accomplsh what she sets out to do on a daily basis. For instance , the Platinum Lifestyle plan provides her with everything to stay connected to her passions and the things that inspire her to enjoy the life that she worked hard for.  The Platinum lifestyle plan includes the following:

  1. Access to the newest devices
  2. Unlimited all network calls and texts (A first in the market)
  3. Rich mobile data allocation
  4. Built-in roaming services that can automatically subscribe customers to unlimited data roaming services or
  5. The option to enjoy a consumable roaming allocation wherever they travel,
  6. Complimentary access to a choice of NBA, HOOQ, Spotify Premium and more of the best applications as they are launched in the market

A huge plus is the Platinum Relationship Managers (see photo below) who take the time to really get to know customers, delivering seamless, delightful and personalized service that go beyond what you need and include what you actually love.

globe paltinum relationship officers

I am not on the Globe Platinum lifestyle plan though I am a Globe mobile subscriber since 1998 and a DSL subscriber since 2007. I plan to get the Platinum broadband plan as soon as the fiber-fast connectivity reaches my village. There are Platinum Broadband plans with speeds of up to 50 Mbps for P2499 per month all the way to 1 Gbps for P9499 per month available in over 80 sites.

The good news in yesterday’s Globe Platinum launch of their new ambassador are two tickets to Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour. It’s my lucky day.

madonna tickets

The one thing we have in common is that we both use the Globe network to connect with our families.

tessa prieto valdes

Thanks to Tessa for preparing this bag of goodies that she personally chose for the media gathered at the launch. The bag is made from Eastern Samar . She is helping them out by buying their woven bags, just like the lanterns that adorn her Pinoy Pop Christmas themed home.


When asked how she feels about being an inspiration and role model to people, Tessa points out, “Here’s the thing, we live in such exciting times right now , and inspiration can be found everywhere. It’s mainly what you do with it that matters. It’s the spark that lights creativity and innovation, where great things begin. But it’s on yu to follow that through.”