Lovers of artisanal products and all things Filipino  gathered at SM Makati for the launch of Kultura’s premium Magara collection. The launch also served as a fund-raising event for the benefit of Kultura’s Crafts for a Cause member foundations.

This special fundraiser highlighted uniquely Filipino pieces by Antique Atelier’s Adante Leyesa, Amina Aranaz, Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Emi Jorge, Eric Paras, Jun Deligon, Joyce Oreña, Malou Romero, Natalya Lagdameo, Silnag x Enida Dano, Techie Hagedorn, Tony Gonzales, Rain by Tim Tam Ong and Tina Lirag.  All proceeds from the designer pieces, as well as a portion of Kultura’s entire day’s sales, will go to the foundations.

Crafts for a Cause is Kultura’s advocacy program that has opened up opportunities to sustain and expand livelihood programs, resulting in increased productivity and income. Each group works with the urban poor and marginalized sectors from as far north as the Cordilleras to as far south as Basilan, with funds going into livelihood programs, education and community development.

Continue supporting Crafts for a Cause foundations by purchasing the remaining designer pieces available at the Magara corner of Kultura in SM Makati.

(Magara is located inside Kultura at the 2/L of SM Makati. Other Kultura stores are located at SM Aura Premier, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Lanang Premier and SM City Cebu. For more information, visit

Get ‘talking,’ get fit

Fitness is quickly becoming the norm with toned and sculpted physiques as the thing most people desire.

“‘Wellthness’ has become a status symbol,” notes celebrity fitness trainer Armand Mendoza of B+B Studio/Electric Studio. He also adds that technology in health and wellness, “is not only changing the shape of the world but more importantly, it is also contributing a lot to getting us in shape.”

Mendoza is a certified Pilates and indoor cycling instructor, a sports nutrition counselor and a member of the advisory board for Men’s Health magazine. He says, “Technology has taken fitness coaching to a whole new level, especially with the growing popularity of wearables.  Technology is getting smaller and more personal, and wearable technology is one great example.”

One particular device that has easily become Mendoza’s favorite is the Huawei Talkband B2. With its innovative six-axis motion sensor, the TalkBand B2 can automatically detect different activities with higher accuracy, such as walking, running cycling or climbing/hiking. It can also calculate the amount of calories burned by different activities to help you plan your workouts, diet and more.

One can then sync the data with one’s mobile phone via the Huawei Wear app or integrate it with UP by Jawbone fitness tracker app to report directly one’s goals, activities, sleep patterns to one’s fitness social networks, to encourage more of one’s friends to join one’s fitness journey.

The same six-axis sensor likewise allows the TalkBand B2 to automatically identify and record motions accurately, detect the duration of deep sleep and light sleep, and provide consumers with health tips on ways to improve their sleep pattern. And if one has been sitting for quite a while, the B2 will vibrate to notify the person to stand up and take a walk or do some stretching.

Charles Wu, country head for consumer business group of Huawei Philippines, said, “The TalkBand B2 is the next evolution for wearable technology that features not only a fitness/activity tracker but also a Bluetooth earphone that allows you to stay connected even when you are working out or out on a run.”

The brand believes that the Bluetooth earphone capability is what makes the Talkband B2 truly stand out from the competition, making it more useful even if one decides to stop or lessen one’s fitness activities.

‘For the Love of Music’

The Manila Symphony Orchestra’s MSO 2015 Season Gala Concert #2 featured “For the Love of Music” concert at The Theatre of Solaire Resort and Casino recently. 

Singers Jose Mari Chan, Bituin Escalante and Christian Bautista were joined by CEOs and top executives of some of the largest companies in the country.

The executives who lent their voices for the concert included Apo International Marketing CEO Peter Kawsek, MVP Group media bureau head and Philex Mining Corp. public and regulatory affairs SVP Mike Toledo, Philippine Realty TV CEO and executive producer John Aguilar, FEED Foundation president Ophie Bakker and I-Remit director and executive committee chairman Armin Demetillo. CATS Motors Inc. chairman Greg Yu was represented by his son, SGV & Co. associate Christopher Yu.

Proceeds from ticket sales and donations went to the MSO Basilio Manalo Music Scholarship Fund, which pays for young musicians’ tuition fees.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra board of trustees are chairman Antonio Cojuangco, vice chairman Francisco Sebastian, president Marianne Hontiveros, vice president and treasurer Gregory T. Yu and secretary Ana de Villa Singson. Members of the board are Corazon Alvina, John Silva, Ricardo Bautista, Florentino Herrera III, musical director and principal conductor Jose Arturo, concertmaster Gina Medina-Perez, executive director Jeffrey Solares and marketing director Carlos Garchitorena. 

Photos by Jaypee Maristaza

L’Apertivo Italiano

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Inc. together with the Italian Embassy, the Dante Alighieri Society and Itasia Industries Corp. presented recently “L’Aperitivo Italiano launches the Spritz,” an Italian gastronomic lifestyle event at the Makati Diamond Residences.

This second L’Aperitivo Italiano event launched the iconic Italian alcoholic cocktail, the Spritz — a mix of Prosecco, Aperol and soda. The cocktail was born in Venice during the Austrian invasion in the 1800s and is now considered the most famous cocktail in Italy.

L’Aperitivo Italiano aims to represent the real traditional Italian way of how to spend and live the pre-dinner time. After work, Italians usually gather in their favorite bar, restaurant or hotel and socially enjoy a few hours with fine wines, cocktails and antipasti. The event is meant to stimulate your appetite and at the same time give you an opportunity to socialize and meet friends and especially enjoy great food and drinks.

At the event, guests will have the chance to win two air tickets to Italy from Qatar Airways, or one weekend for two at Flushing Meadows Resort & Playground in Bohol. In order to join the contest, one must take a selfie during one of these events and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #LAperitivoItaliano2015 and #iccpi.

During the final event, which will be held in December, a qualified jury will choose the most stylish and fashionable participants (must be a couple — any two individuals together) who will be the winners.

The next L’Aperitivo Italiano event will take place on Oct. 7, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel in Makati City. 

(For inquiries or ticket information, call 0917-5638633 or 978-0279.)

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)