Discovery Shores Boracay

 

 

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Kids have been back to school for a month. The rains are here. Even though we had the longest summer break, I don’t know where our “summer” went. We didn’t do any major long trips. We did Tokyo on the last week of July, but for most of the summer break we were just home. June was the most action-packed for us, with my sister Johanna and her family visiting us for three weeks.

The highlight of my sister’s visit was our trip to Boracay. We wanted pure tropical bliss and an easy and safe destination for our kids. Discovery Shores Boracay was all that and more.

 

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Very nice Discovery Shores welcome

 

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Foot bath in our room, with 5 minute foot massage for each of us.

 

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We stayed in a one bedroom suite.

 

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Coffee machine and a nice kitchen counter.

 

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The living room was huge, with a balcony that led to our bedroom. Here is Sophia, receiving her welcome foot massage.

 

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The kids slept on the daybeds at the living room.

 

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The kids never stopped doing their art.

 

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My sister and her family stayed right next door. We kept our door open and shared our huge living room.

 

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Discovery Shores Boracay is very well-maintained.

 

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The second-floor corner room was our room. It had a wrap-around balcony.

 

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Sandbar during the day.

 

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I loved the landscaping, especially with these anahaw plants.

 

It is the service and personal touches that make a hotel special. The décor and maintenance of Discovery Shores Boracay were superb. But it was the service of the very well-trained and happy staff that made our stay most memorable.

 

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Every night they made these towel sculptures.

 

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Turn down service was lovely.

 

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And all over the resort, the staff was pleasing, knowledgeable, hospitable. They offer face sprays while you’re lying on the beach. Very refreshing.

 

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They give chilled cucumber slices for your eyes, which Lily loved.

 

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And they also offer to clean your sunglasses!

 

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At the pool, there are free snacks for all. We had muffins, cookies, halo halo!

 

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Free halo-halo

 

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Every afternoon the kids have activiites.

 

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We particularly loved the T-shirt painting activity.

 

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While the kids played, we did our thing… happy hour.

 

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The location of Discovery Shores right on the beach at the end of Station One makes it one of the more exclusive sites with the ultimate luxury of having the softest, whitest, finest sand in Boracay.

 

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Boracay is beautiful no matter what time of day. I particularly love how silvery the beach gets during midday.

 

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My lovely sister

 

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This is my favourite “attraction” in Boracay. When everything and everyone slows down for the greatest sunset show on earth.

 

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Magic hour glow.

 

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My nephews.

 

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Night scene, lighting design is beautiful at Discovery Shores.

 

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Lighting is everything.

 

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Food in Sands Restaurant was so good. We always looked forward to their impressive breakfast buffet – with continental, oriental, Filipino dishes.

 

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I loved this incredible chicken pork adobo. Oh my. I don’t know how many hours they slow cooked this. It was soo good. Best adobo I’ve had ever!

 

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Seriously!

 

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The kids’ meals were generous. Most of them were shareable sizes.

 

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Burger…

 

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Lechon kawali…

 

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It’s always Happy Hour when you’re on vacation.

 

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Room service was fun too. We loved the hotdog and fries! Comfort food!

 

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Discovery Shores Boracay’s Indigo Restaurant was featured twice in the Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants List, and shortlisted for the 2010/2011 MIELE Guide to Asia’s Best Restaurants.

 

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The other half of the resort fronting the beach is Sandbar.

 

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Sands Restaurant and Sandbar.

 

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Back to Indigo… They prepared a wonderful dinner for us by the beach.

 

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This was our view.

 

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Dinner at Indigo, Discovery Shores Boracay with my sister, the boys, and our family.

 

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The servings are big, family-style. Plating was so creative.

 

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Comfort and great service even til the end.

 

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Our boat transfers to Caticlan.

 

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The boat ride was just five minutes long, and the attendant made sure we were comfortable. She offered water, cookies, a cold towel.

 

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Three nights in Discovery Shores Boracay. Perfect.

 

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Thank you, Discovery Shores Boracay.

 

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Transportation: Air Asia
Accommodation: Discovery Shores Boracay

 

 

Philippine Readers and Writers Festival

 

 

Poster - PRWF 2016

 

From our partners, National Book Store:

Previously known as The Philippines Literary Festival, National Book Store and Raffles Makati now present  The Philippines Readers and Writers Festival 2016 featuring Pulitzer award winning author Adam Johnson and New York Times bestselling authors Paula McLain and Anna Todd from August 26 to 28, 2016 at the Raffles Makati. Admission is free for all events.

 

Photo - Adam Johnson (credit to Tamara Beckwith)
Adam Johnson (credit to Tamara Beckwith)

 

Adam Johnson is the author of ‘The Orphan Master’s Son” which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and named as one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications. ‘The Orphan Master’s Son” follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. His other works include the short story collection ‘Fortune Smiles: Stories’. The Author Spotlight event on Adam Johnson will be on August 27 at 4 p.m.

 

The Orphan Master's Son

 

Photo - Paula McLain (credit to Nina Subin)
Paula McLain (photo credit: Nina Subin)

 

Paula McLain is the author of the novels ‘The Paris Wife’, ‘Circling the Sun’, ‘A Ticket to Ride’. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her phenomenally bestselling novel ‘The Paris Wife’ was named one of the best books of the year several publications including People magazine, Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews among others. It is a deeply evocative story that captures Paris in the twenties and an extraordinary love affair between two unforgettable people—Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. The Author Spotlight event on Paula McLain will be on August 27 at 1 p.m.

 

The Paris Wife

 

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Anna Todd

 

Anna Todd is the author of the Wattpad sensation and bestselling ‘After’ series that includes ‘After’, ‘After We Collided’, ‘After We Fell’, ‘After Ever Happy’, and ‘Before’. ‘After’ series has started out as the most talked about story online with over 1 billion reads on Wattpad. It follows the story of Tessa Young, an optimistic freshman at Washington State University, and the dark, troubled guy who has stolen her heart—Hardin. The Author Spotlight event on Anna Todd will be on August 28 at 2 p.m.

 

After

Readers can attend three days of book signings, discussions, and panels about books, literature, and culture from top Filipino writers and artists. Join Ambeth Ocampo, Nick Deocampo, Jose Dalisay Jr., Danton Remoto, Sarge Lacuesta, Krip Yuson, Dean Francis Alfar, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, AA Patawaran, Kate Evangelista, Pam Pastor, Juan Miguel Severo, Alex Gonzaga, and many more for talks and book signings.

The events are made possible in partnership with Adarna House Publishing, ABS-CBN Publishing, Anvil Publishing, Ateneo De Manila University Press, CNN Life, Rogue, Summit Books, Tahanan Books, Team Magazine, The University of the Philippines Press, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, VRJ Books, Visprint, Inc., Young Blood, and Young Star.

All events will be held at the Raffles Makati with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. everyday. Admission is free.  Only books purchased at National Book Store, National Book Store Express, and Powerbooks will be accommodated for the signing. Books by the authors will be available on site during the event. Sign up for updates and view the complete schedule at philippinereadersandwritersfestival.com.  Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert). Tag #GoReadWrite2016 to join the discussion.

 

 

Dimensione x Secret Fresh

 

 

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I’m still thinking about the amazing show I hosted at Studio Dimensione in BGC last week. To celebrate Magis’ 40th Anniversary, Dimensione and Secret Fresh Gallery collaborated with 14 Filipino artists to reinterpret the Magis Rocky, created by one of the most influential designers, Marc Newson.

Rocky is the second of Marc Newson’s designs for children, which is a modern take on a traditional object. Rocky is a pop version of medieval jousting horses complete with a parallelogram motion that mimics the movement of a traditional rocking horse. It is made from rotationally moulded polyethylene chosen for both its durability and recyclability.

Dimensione has established a modern and design-driven aesthetic in its merchandise and showrooms. I was very honoured to have had the DAPHNE® Furniture line carried there for a few seasons. It is my go-to for inspiration and home design needs. Lately Dimensione has been pushing the boundaries of art and design by having the most interesting art shows and design collaborations involving Magis. This is a great evolution for Magis and Dimensione, who have been exclusive partners in the Philippines since 1997.

The indestructible and unbeatable Rocky was re-painted, re-surfaced, and deconstructed by 14 local artists from Secret Fresh – Renato Barja Jr., Iya Consorio, Egg Fiasco, Mark Andy Garcia, Jagnus Design Studio, Yeo Kaa, Luis Lorenzana, Galaxie Maria, Gene Paul Martin, Jason Montinola, Jason Moss, Christian Tamondong, Clairelynn Uy and JJ “Exld” Zamoranos – each showing different techniques, inspirations and stories.

These one-of-a-kind art pieces are for sale. The night of the launch, quite a few Rocky horses were bought on the spot. But you can still see the pieces. The Unbeatable Rocky is currently on display at the Studio Dimensione showroom at 28th Street cor. 7th Avenue in BGC, Taguig up to September 4, 2016.

#DimensionexSecretFresh   #UnbeatableRocky   #Magis   #Dimensioneph

 

 

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Secret Fresh artists with SF Bigboy Cheng and Ben Chan. Photo by Miguel Pastor.

 

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Me hosting. I wore a dress I bought in Cos Tokyo and necklace from Bauble Bar. Photo by Miguel Pastor.

 

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Always a pleasure being with Lucy Torres-Gomez. Photo by Miguel Pastor.

 

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We were having the funniest conversation here. With Ben Chan, Lucy, Mrs Nenita Lim, Tessa Valdes, Pia Campos and Tessa Alindogan. Photo by Miguel Pastor.

 

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Gil Coscolluela and Joey Yupangco with the representative of Magis in the region.

 

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Marc Newson’s Rocky by Magis.

 

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Christian Tamondong, “Fun Trip to Fantasy Farm”, Acrylic. “It was a sweet sunny day and Rocky went to visit Fantasy Farm. There he saw plenty of fancy plants, flowers and trees, birds, bugs and met new friends. He has so much fun and wanted to stay forever.”

 

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Mark Andy Garcia, “Sunflower Horse”, Oil paint. “It is inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings, it felt really warm and the idea of as if looking outdoor is really nice. I love sunflowers.”

 

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Jason Moss, “Pacita, your horse got loose”, Mixed media. “For this piece, the artist decided to play around with the idea of creating a narrative (situation) wherein the colour palette and patterns were influenced by the late artist Pacita Abad. The artist painted over the horse with acrylic paints and used assorted colours of yarn to embellish the rope fastened to its mouth.”

 

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Clairelynn Uy – “I know”, Acrylic. Influenced by pop art.

 

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Egg Fiasco at work

 

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Egg Fiasco, “Nebula Drift”, Acrylic. “My piece mixes references of the cosmic imagery and popular symbols using geometrical shapes and colors that are traditionally considered optimistic and cheerful.”

 

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Luis Lorenzana, Untitled, Acrylic.

 

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Galaxie Maria, “Kandinsky Lily”, Mixed media (Acrylic paint x Oil paint). “Throughout his lifetime, the artist, Wassily Kandinsky has painted horses. The thought process in its creation revolved within the contemplative question, “What it would be like if a horse dreamt Kandinsky?”. This is a tributary piece on the ingenuous indulgence of his work; as the noble creature daydreams, amidst fragments of an imbued, cascading landscape of horses.”

 

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JJ Exld Zamoranos, “Gallopolis”, Acrylic and Spray paint. “The idea is to connect the urban aesthetics, especially graffiti and street art process and applications to an unconventional type of platform, particularly the Magis rocking horse. Gallopolis, (meaning Gallop + Metropolis) is an implication of an inevitable link between two different contemporary art movement. Intimately connecting the fine art and high brow ethics to the beautiful decay of urban and low brow art.”

 

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Gene Paul Martin, “Others”, Oil paint. “It is an attempt to coat an object to alter its natural function and bringing it back to be something undefined. It is created by debris of junk ideas. Constructed by overlapping of contemplations and small talks materialized in odd shapes and shades.”

 

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Renato Barja, “Dead Horse”, Resin, Fiber glass, enamel paint, acrylic paint, epoxy, plastic wire, false teeth. “It is Barja’s 3 dimensional representation of the working class people, with the feeling of being tired endlessly, the melancholia and hopelessness. According to Barja this piece is about the people he sees everyday along the streets, lonely buses, jeepneys, hardware stores, public markets, technically the surface of society. Expressing the resignation of forsaken individuals.”

 

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Renato Barja’s Dead Horse, detail.

 

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Iya Consorio, “El Kimbra”, Acrylic paint. “The concept of the horse is about a ship that sunk and eaten by an Octopus monster.”

 

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Jagnus Design Studios, Darkhorse, Gmelina wood boards. “Darkhorse is an analog interpretation of Marc Newson’s Rocky in wood. Derived from Rocky’s silhouette, its planar form is a series of varying wooden boards finished in black to accentuate the sections linked together by steel nuts & bolts. Motion is provided by the addition of a conventional rocker reminiscent of children’s old school rocking horse. The fast-growing Gmelina (white teak) wood is chosen for its durability, lightness and sustainability.”

 

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Jason Montinola, X, Mixed media.

 

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Yeo Kaa. Untitled, Acrylic.

 

These one-of-a-kind art pieces are for sale. The Unbeatable Rocky is currently on display at the Studio Dimensione showroom at 28th Street cor. 7th Avenue in BGC, Taguig up to September 4, 2016.

 

 

Belo, fairest of them all

 

 

FA Belo Pamper Day

 

I have been going to Belo religiously for over ten years. By that I mean, regular facials every 2 to 3 weeks. I have the simplest maintenance routine — Honey Almond Cleaning and Power Peel. No chemicals, no ointments, no creams, no lasers. Two times I tried laser, Picosure, for research purposes. I love the results, but I feel like I don’t need lasers just yet. This is because I am so happy and satisfied with the quality of my skin.

To give you some examples I am posting some shameless selfies here — with no filters, no make up, just woken up face, and one photo shows what I look like with my everyday makeup. With all objectivity and humility I can say I have very little visible pores on my face. Because of my treatments at Belo, I’ve also reduced the need for other skincare. I don’t use masks or creams. Once in a while, I’ll use eye cream, only because I’m jealous of my friends who buy fancy creams.

 

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A few years ago the night before I turned 40.

 

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My every day makeup involves no actual foundation makeup. I only wear foundation if I have to go on stage. For real life and events, I just dust some powder on my skin. I wear concealer to mask some dark circles under my eyes and redness around my nose. Then I focus on the yes and lips. This was in 2013 in Toronto.

 

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Breakfast at home, 2014.

 

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Another “woke up like this” shameless photo. At the beach in 2014, during our early morning walk.

 

I’m not claiming to be perfect. But whatever imperfection there is, I’ve accepted completely. I have a huge scar across my forehead due to a bicycle accident when I was 8. I have red veins that show through my skin — which I actually love, because one side spells the letter “M” in red veins. My kids think it is my mark – M for mom. I have a mole in my lip. Speaking of, I know I have thin lips but I will not get fillers, not me. Too scared of injections. My nose is funny; it points down when I smile. Laugh lines and fine wrinkles are there too. I used to obsess over my teeth as a teenager because they were huge. My parents got me braces in my late teens when my jaw reached maturity. I had to wear a headgear at night. There is no such thing as effortless beauty. Haha.

I am raising three daughters who I hope will not be obsessed by their looks. I know that consciousness about beauty and body image is part of growing up. My role as their real role model is to show them that these things are temporary and what matters most is what they have inside – their good heart, intelligence, compassion, faith, drive — these are what will give them inner strength and peace. But of course, being beautiful helps a bit up to a certain point. And by this I mean, just care for what you have and be the best version of yourself. I tell them not to worry because that’s a given. They have beauty in their genes (my mom and Patrick’s mom). So now they just have to just focus on working on their inner selves and taking good care of their skin and body.

So before you go on throwing pie in my regularly scrubbed face, let me tell you that the reason I’m blabbing about this is because you may have a chance to win my treatments too! Thanks to Belo Medical Group, they are sponsoring a very special giveaway once a week for three weeks! And on the fourth week there is a grand prize! Scroll below to see mechanics.

 

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Belo and I go way back. I am so grateful to Dr Vicki Belo for taking good care of my skin for over a decade.

 

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With some of the Belo Babies.

 

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Before treatment.

 

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My Power Peel bed.

 

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Fairest of them all! Just yesterday at Belo Shangrila Plaza where I had a simple body scrub. (I’m into wearing loose clothing these days).

 

In celebration of Belo Medical Group’s 26th anniversary, they have meticulously designed each of their 12 clinics to make all the patients feel like royalty. Their fairytale-like clinics have various unique decorations but definitely support the main theme “Fairest of Them All”.

As part of the #DaphnexBelo giveaway, I am inviting you to visit one of the 12 Belo clinics to personally see the creative set-up for this 26th anniversary. And then you guessed it, please upload photos and/or a video to qualify to win a weekly prize and/or the grand prize. Visit any Belo Medical Group Clinic. See list of branches here.

For complete mechanics for the giveaway, please scroll down.

 

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Belo at Tomas Morato, Quezon City

 

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Belo at Shangrila Plaza, 5th floor

 

 

DAPHNExBELO Giveaway

 

In celebration of Belo’s 26th anniversary, Belo is giving away the following prizes during the period of August 16 to September 12, 2016 for you, my awesome readers:

1st winner – August 22 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
2nd winner- August 29 – Glycopeel cleaning /Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
3rd winner- September 5 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
Grand winner- September 12 – Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face

 

Mechanics of the contest:

1. Post a video or photo greeting for Belo’s 26th Anniversary on Instagram and tell us why Belo is the fairest of them all. The video must be no longer than 30 seconds. Video taken inside the Belo clinic is a plus but not required.

2. Follow the Official IG of Belo and my IG in order to qualify for this contest. Use the hashtags #Belo26 #FairestOfThemAll #DaphnexBelo and tag @belobeauty @victoria_belo @daphneop

3. Posts should be made public.

4. The contest will run for 4 weeks starting from August 16 to September 12. The best answer to the question “Why Belo is the fairest of them all?” will be chosen every week for the first three weeks. Announcement of weekly winners will be done every Monday- Aug 22, 29 and September 5. Each winner for the first 3 weeks will receive Belo items and gift certificates for my favourite maintenance treatments like Honey Almond cleaning/Glycopeel Cleaning and Power peel (Total Value: P4,000+)

5. On the 4th week, the most creative video throughout the whole contest period (may include the three past winners) will be declared as the grand winner on September 12. Prizes include Belo items and gift certificates for Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face (Total Value: P22,400+)

6. The winning entries will be posted on @belobeauty, the official Instagram account of Belo Medical Group.

 

Contest starts August 16. But you can start making your video now.

Good luck, everyone!