Canadian Education

 

 

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My graduation day at the University of Toronto.

 

It is that time of the year again when I talk about the value and importance of my education in support EduCanada’s Study in Canada Fair. In the past, and in my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work, I have shared how my high school and university education in Toronto armed me with skills and gave me opportunities that went beyond the borders of my home town. This year, I participate both as an alumna and as a parent of future Canadian students.

First, let me start with my usual disclosure. I was not a foreign student whose parents sent me to get a degree in Canada. I am Canadian. I was living in Toronto where my whole family still resides. Now I am here in my motherland, the Philippines. My choice to study in Canada’s premier post-secondary school, was instinctive. I was following the natural path. As early as when I was 13 years old I set my eyes on going to university. And thus began my lofty goals and aspirations of getting a degree from the University of Toronto, or U of T as it is fondly called, one of Canada’s top universities. Competition was tough, so I worked hard during my high school years in order to get in to my university of choice.

 

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The day I got my degree. In front of University College, University of Toronto.

 

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Whenever I’m back in Toronto, I always return to U of T. This was in the summer of 2015.

 

I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts, Specialist in Fine Art History, Minor in Urban Studies. It is one of Canada’s biggest universities with three campuses across Metro Toronto. I chose the main campus in downtown Toronto, St. George campus. Because the school was so big, it was further divided into smaller colleges, by which students from the Arts and Science faculties chose an affiliation. I chose St. Michael’s College, because it was the Catholic college. My courses were spread out across campus though, so there were times I had to walk across Queen’s Park, our provincial legislative building, just to get to Sociology 101. My network of friends and classmates were registered in different colleges.

The St. George campus is beautiful. Architecturally, it has some of the most historically significant buildings like the Romanesque and Byzantine-styled University College, Tudor-styled Trinity College, peacock-shaped post-Modern Robarts Library, and the modernist concrete block of Sidney Smith Hall. My centrally located campus was a block away from Chinatown and the posh shops of Yorkville. My local neighbourhood reflected the diversity and multiculturalism of Toronto. I also benefited from my internship programs at the Royal Ontario Museum where I studied East Asian Art and at Toronto City Hall, where I interred for a city councillor and learned more about urban planning, public participation, urban development.

 

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Downtown

 

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Nathan Philips Square. This was my view from where I interned at the new City Hall. Toronto has a beautiful mix of old and new buildings.

 

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The Royal Ontario Museum or ROM, with the new facade by Daniel Libeskind, was walking distance from my residence.

 

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I did an internship at the ROM. Now it is one of my kids’ favourite spots in Toronto.

 

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Roncesvalles

 

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In Canada there is never a shortage of vast open spaces…

 

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… and public art.

 

Student life at U of T, was and is what you choose to make of it. There are so many different clubs and organizations to choose from. In my freshman year, I joined Pi Beta Phi, the oldest women’s fraternity in North America, dating back to 1867. In Pi Beta Phi, I found a community of dynamic women who strove for excellence, and we shared leadership and philanthropic goals. Instead of living in an official campus residence, I chose to live at the Pi Beta Phi house on Beverley Street. I also got to try off-campus housing in a more colourful part of Toronto. Let’s just say, my social life was very active during my university years.

Whenever I go home to visit my folks in Toronto, I always bring my husband and daughters for a walk through my old campus. It is still so beautiful there. My daughters feel like they’re in a Harry Potter set. A lot of movies have been filmed at the U of T downtown campus — Incredible Hulk, Mean Girls, Good Will Hunting, Anne of Green Gables.

 

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Hart House, University of Toronto.

 

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My eldest, Sophia, at University College, U of T.

 

As the mother of three girls currently studying in a Philippine school, I also hope that one day my daughters choose to study post-secondary school in Canada. I am rooting for my alma mater in Toronto, of course. But we are open to exploring other excellent schools across Canada that may fit their fields of interest more. Canada is the home of some of the world’s top research facilities and academic institutions. There are medical breakthroughs, great inventions, and new innovations from Canadian schools that we read about in global news. There are Nobel Laureats among Canadian alumni and professors.

Like any parent, I am concerned about the cost of a foreign education. It is something we have to plan and prepare for even if they study in the Philippines. Here is an interesting fact though, Canada offers the lowest tuition rates for foreign students compared to the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. And because I am Canadian (and so are my kids), I got my globally-recognized education at a fraction of what it would have cost us in a private American university. The good news for foreign students is that they can actually work and study at the same time in Canada.

My Canadian education not only gave me skills and qualifications that are valued around the world, it also gave me very balanced and fair view of the world. We take pride in the fact that Canada is a multicultural society. We are not a melting pot. We have what is called, a cultural mosaic, where people are encouraged to celebrate their uniqueness and diversity. I know what it’s like to be in a healthy and safe community where equality and respect for human rights are respected.

My university experience was not just about the books and the grades. It was about the friendships I forged with students from my field and the women I lived with. It was about living independently in a beautiful, well-planned, dynamic city like Toronto. These are the reasons why I wish for my daughters to study in Canada. And because we want to raise them to be strong, fair, well-informed, unafraid, and involved future leaders, creative thinkers, down right amazing women, a high-quality education in Canada will surely open doors for them wherever they choose to live and work.

 

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ePoster - Manila Cebu

 

The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines will take the EduCanada Fair on the road next week.
Representatives from 37 Canadian institutions will meet with prospective students and parents to discuss opportunities for studying in Canada at the K-12, college and university levels at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City (Wednesday, October 19) and the Shangri-La at the Fort at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig (Saturday, October 22). Admission is free.

Interested students and parents are invited to register at www.educanada.eventbrite.com.

For more information on studying in Canada, including admissions, scholarships, student life, immigration, and more, visit the EduCanada website.

 

 

Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder

 

 

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“I want to make women feel empowered, to feel sexy and confident. This makeup collection does that. I have to make women feel like the best version of themselves.” – Victoria Beckham

The Victoria Beckham Estée Lauder limited edition makeup collection was introduced to the western market in early September. I had the privilege of receiving the highlighter end a lipstick a few weeks ago. I held off on writing about it until I tried it. I have not stopped using the highlighter. I loved the pieces so much, I went to SM Aura to buy more from the collection. It only debuted in the Philippine market yesterday, October 8th. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The VB x Estee Lauder collection is all about sweaty-sexy skin, fiercely lined eyes, nude lips, wet finishes, liquid metals, foil shine. It is sexy, cool with a bit of rawness and edge. It is meant to be worn smudgy with the confidence to be imperfect.

 

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This is the Brazilian Nude lipstick that was sent to me by Estee Lauder. I love how smooth and natural-looking it is. It has tiny specks of shimmer that is almost invisible, so don’t expect sparkle, instead you get a lot of shine. The other lipstick is Chilean Sunset, a bold and bright red, which is packaged in a gold tube.

 

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This is the winning piece of the collection. The Modern Mercury highlighter. I use it everyday. Sometimes I use  it as eyeshadow. I will be very sad when this runs out on me. I checked online and this is pretty much sold out everywhere.

 

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Modern Mercury was a previous limited edition Estée Lauder highlighter that became a favourite of Victoria’s. Naturally, she had to include it in her capsule collection. It comes in a sleek gold compact with ribbed leather pads. So beautiful. You can use it to highlight and contour your the face. I wear it on my cheekbones the way Victoria wears hers, as you’ll see in all her photos that her cheekbones are very sharp and sexy.

 

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The lipgloss in Moroccan Heat is a warm, nude lip gloss that offers high shine for a polished look. Infused with Estée Lauder’s signature fig scent, this lip gloss can be worn alone or over lipstick to give a plump and polished pout.

 

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The eye palette comes in six powder eyeshadow shades that can be applied wet or dry. Innovative dual purpose pearlized pigments have a translucency that allow these eyeshadows to reflect light and pull light into the formula for a more vibrant look. This palette contains: Fired Sapphire, a shocking metallic blue; Blonde Cumin, a soft, gold-hued nude; Metal Saffron, a warm, golden metallic honey; Burnished Sage, a burnt metallic intense green; Grey Amber, a smoky charcoal grey; Black Nutmeg, a shimmery copper.

 

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“I have been collecting makeup for many years. I am always mixing colours to get what I want. With this collection, I believe I have created many of the key pieces that you really need in your makeup kit. As a woman who likes to wear makeup, this is exactly what I want. Not I am excited to share it with women everywhere.”

 

 

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Eye Foil in Burnt Anise, a strong, rich, charcoal shine. These breakthrough new liquid eye foils deliver intense vinyl-like shine – even after they’ve dried. Sparkling pearl pigments add flecks of blonde gold or silver in this liquid metal-effect formula.

 

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At the Estee Lauder boutique in SM Aura this afternoon, October 9th, they still had a few items available from the collection. I bought the 6-shade eye palette for P4535, and eye foil in Burnt Anise for P1720. I am so in love with them.

 

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If you’re looking for the Morning Aura Illuminating Creme, a moisturizer and primer, they still have it. Hurry!

 

 

For more information, visit @victoriabeckham and @esteelauder on Instagram and Twitter. Available exclusively in the Philippines at Estee Lauder SM Aura starting 8 October 2016.

Baby Foot

 

 

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Our site partners at Beauty Box Corporation sent me some samples of Baby Foot, Japan’s revolutionary foot peeling kit. As the name suggests, it promises to leave your feet as smooth and soft as a baby’s. It has a unique formula of 17 types of natural extract that will allow your feet to exfoliate naturally, leaving them moisturized. I was curious. But before trying it out, I needed to read up on it. In the brand’s main website and Instagram, I saw photos of feet peeling. I nearly lost my appetite. Haha.

So I read up some more. Baby Foot contains natural extracts like Apple, Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit citrus oils, Calendula, Clematis leaf and Chamomile. These have high moisturizing power and astringency, leaving the sole smooth after peeling dead skin layers. The main ingredient of Baby Foot is Fruit Acid or Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which has been used as a remedy for the elimination of bacteria, inflammation and psoriasis for several hundreds of years. These days, it is commonly formulated for facial cleansing and peeling to support the texture of the skin by removing the dead skin layers and beautifying and improving the skin. (Source.)

The product doesn’t work instantly. You basically have to soak your feet in wet socks loaded with peeling extracts for 30 minutes. Then you can start seeing your dead skin peel off from three to seven days. The peeling process takes up to 2 weeks. If you want to see foot peeling photos, go here.

Baby Foot has won numerous awards from beauty authorities around the world. It was recently featured and reviewed in Vogue, Today, and Refinery 29, all giving this product rave reviews.

 

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Baby Foot comes in Medium and Large size. I used Medium (size 7.5) which retails for P830 in Beauty Bar. Each box comes with a vacuum sealed foil pack containing two plastic socks soaked with peeling formula. Instructions are mostly in Japanese, but the local distributor provides English translations.

 

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The foil pack lists the ingredients.

 

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Here is the plastic sock. It is sealed, so you must cut off the top end with a pair of scissors.

 

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You must have clean feet. And it is advised that you pre-soak your feet in water for about 10 minutes. Or take a bath or shower before you do the treatment. Your feet will absorb the formula easier if it’s pre-soaked.

 

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The gel is a bit cold. They recommend that you wear socks over it to keep the gel pack in place. If you really must walk from A to B, please do so with caution as the gel pack is slippery. I didn’t move.

 

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I kept it on for 30 minutes. Then I rinsed it off completely. My feet were a bit tingly the rest of the day. But no visible peeling happened, as expected. The peeling took place 5 days later.

 

In the interest of protecting my future career and endorsements, I am not posting photos of my own peeling feet. Haha. Please. But it did happen gently. Mine was like a powdery peel. You will see in the website of Baby Foot that peeling occurs in different ways. Some dead skin really peel off in one whole chunk. You must avoid the temptation of peeling the skin yourself. Just wait patiently for the skin to fall off.

What happens after you use Baby Foot is exactly what the product claims. You will have the softest and smoothest feet – with all new skin. This sensation lasts for about three months. You must take care of your feet by putting moisturizer after. This beats any tough sloughing process using metal shavers of pumice stones.

 

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This is not my foot. Photo is from Baby Foot Philippines’ files.

 

For more information, check out Baby Foot Philippines on Facebook and Instagram. Baby Foot is available exclusively at Beauty Bar.

Uniqlo comfort beauty

 

 

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A couple of months ago, I stocked up on some new dresses and separates from our sponsor, Uniqlo. I have been editing down my closet because what I needed 10 years ago isn’t what I need now. I pretty much live in basic clothes every day except if I have a function to attend. I was pleased to find some finer fabrics for work clothes this season.

In addition to the new wardrobe, I stocked up on some new inner wear. Uniqlo’s Comfort Beauty line has become a staple in my closet. The bras are so well-made and comfortable. Big plus that they are wireless, yet they offer good support. And I especially appreciate the skin-tone because it gives a good foundation to whatever clothing you put on.

It took a while for me to put this blog post up because I didn’t do a conceptualized photoshoot. Instead I documented my everyday life wearing some of the Uniqlo pieces that I got. Needless to say, in all of them, I am wearing Uniqlo’s Comfort Beauty undergarments.

 

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One of their best dresses this season (01). It comes with a separate camisole. Made of light rayon, it is so comfortable for our climate. This was taken at the lobby of the Raffles Makati.

 

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It’s that same black dress (01) that I love so much, I’ve been wearing it often. This was at the reception area of Flame in Discovery Primea.

 

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Daily life – messy hair, no make up, a loose dress (11) and Birkenstocks. This dress is so flexible you can wear it dressy or like me, for every day errands.

 

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At a Happy Skin event, wearing that black shift dress (04).

 

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These are Comfort Beauty bras that form the foundation of a good wardrobe.

 

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I also love this blush pink pleated dress (06). It’s similar to the long sleeve black dress. I wore this at a Lego event that UNICEF supported.

 

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Wore this (06) quite often. Here with best-selling author Anna Todd (who has over 1 billion reads in Wattpad) at the National Book Store writer’s fair.

 

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And in a corner of my home, wearing a comfy dress with built in bra pads (05).

 

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My favourite uniform – the white shirt (10). This was the day I got my hair cut by Alex Carbonell in Studio Fix Greenbelt 5.

 

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With my friend, Divine Gil-Reyes, who just wrote an entertaining and attractive history book, A Lolong Time Ago. My blue shirt (13) is from Uniqlo.

 

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This white eyelet dress is so comfy. It comes with a detachable camisole. Im thinking of getting it in black too. This was at Rockwell cinema.

 

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This photo was sent to me by reader, Jill Ramirez. I was running an errand and she introduced herself. Lovely to meet you, Jill. So about my blush cotton top (09), it’s so comfy and chic I can live in it daily.

 

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This is the reason Comfort Beauty bras are so, well…. comfy.

 

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And this is how Uniqlo works with built-in bras in their tops and dresses.

 

 

Flame at Discovery Primea

 

 

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US Black Angus Rib Eye Steak at Flame, Discovery Primea

 

One rainy Friday night, Patrick and I had a rare date at Flame in Discovery Primea. FLAME is Discovery Primea’s modern European restaurant on the 16th floor of the hotel. An interesting space, FLAME is the newest creation under the partnership of General Manager David Pardo de Ayala and Executive Chef Luis Chikiamco.

“Modern European cuisine is about cooking techniques, ingredients and flavor associations, rather than hard and fast rules. It is a style of cooking that experiments with ideas and influences from many different countries, reflecting the global palate of today’s diners. Restaurant FLAME balances familiarity and originality, comfort with surprise, local with global,” says GM Ayala.

 

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This “living chandelier” at the entrance of the restaurant is stunning.

 

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I love these air plants!

 

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The interior was conceptualized by Design Worldwide Partnership. There is an expansive marble-top open kitchen surrounds the entire restaurant.

 

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We had the US Angus Rib Eye steak. It warns you that it’s good enough for two. But in my world, it’s actually good enough for 4! It was excellent.

 

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Patrick also had the “Take Out” Lobster Fried Rice – with pork, citrus jasmine rice, egg, and lobster remoulade. Unfortunately, my shellfish days are over. About three years ago, I developed an allergy towards shellfish and other farmed fish. Oh my. But this looked so so good!

 

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Dinner menu

 

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I enjoyed the olive oil infused with garlic, rosemary, peppercorn and lemon.

 

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I’m not a big dessert person. But give me chocolate soufflé any time. This is their Hot Chocolate Souffle – with Colombian coffee foam, caramelized bananas, and vanilla ice cream. So good.

 

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Other menu highlights: Pan-Roasted Duck Breast Pumpkin Puree, Charred Leeks, Radishes, Spiced Honey Glaze

 

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Taleggio – Homemade Apricot and Cherry “Mostarda”

 

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“Quezo de Bola & Hamon” Inspired by Massimo Bottura Textures of Cheese, Glazed Ham and Gelée, Asparagus

 

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With Mildred A. Amon, Director of Marketing Communications.

 

Flame is a lovely dinner spot. I really enjoyed the food and the space. I felt like I was transported to a very cosmopolitan city. The dining area allows for the creation of smaller spaces for more intimate parties. They also have an interesting lunch menu, you may view all the current menus here.

This brings me back to Discovery Primea’s wonderful restaurant on the ground floor – Tapenade.

 

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Last February, my family had a staycation at Discovery Primea. Sophia celebrated her birthday at Tapenade.

 

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We had a semi-private dining space at Tapenade.

 

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It was a rare occasion that both my parents were in town.

 

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We loved this — Stone-baked feta cheese with tomatoes, capers, Greek Metaxa brandy and honey

 

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The Salad Room was a hit. I was happy with that alone. But grateful that we also had incredible mains and other goodies.

 

 

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New at Tapenade, the Mediterranean Grilled Platter includes an indulgent selection of specialty skewers, with the freshest Beef, Lamb, Chicken, and Prawns. Traditional Mediterranean sides of tabouleh, pita, cucumber raita, and spiced rice complete this abundant platter.

 

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Good news, Tapenade Salad Room has Throwback Thursdays. Every Thursday, they’re rolling back the clock to when you first fell in love with The Salad Room. They’re throwing back to the original price of Php 620++!

 

Restaurant Tapenade’s Salad Room offers the freshest salad bar in Makati, filled from top to bottom with healthy greens, fresh oysters, exotic cheeses, and so much more. All your favorites, and new additions will be available, at the original price. Throwback Thursdays at Restaurant Tapenade. Available for Lunch and Dinner

Click here for more information on Tapenade’s current menu.