“Pre School Homeschool: You Can Do It Too!”

Have you ever felt that your three-year-old is too young to be sent off to a preschool? Do you feel called to keep your child at home with you in his very early years? You just might be interested in homeschooling your preschooler!

Join Other Parents

The Learning Basket presents its much-requested seminar “Preschool Homeschool: You Can Do It Too!” It will be on April 20, from 9am to 11am, at Medela House.
Listen and discuss with other parents the what, why, and how of homeschooling preschoolers.

PreschoolHomeschool4202013 Invitation Jpeg[1]


Like in the recently-concluded “You Are Your Child’s First and Best Teacher,” registration is P250 but will be waived if you buy a minimum of P500 worth of books or toys from The Learning Basket’s booth during the event. Great quality books and toys add to the homeschool experience.To register for the event kindly fill up the form here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHdlcVJ2WXpoUWhqMzN2OVdsTWhTQXc6MA . For questions, don’t hesitate to email Mariel at mariel (at) thelearningbasket (dot) com.
I hope to see you there!


One Fighting Championship : Rise to Power Live on May 31 SM MOA ARENA, Manila Philippines

I was able to witness the One FC Press Conference held in Midas Hotel last April 10, 2013.It was hosted by Anthony Suntay, one of the most renowned sports commentators and hosts in the Philippines. For those of you guys who are not familiar with MMA, MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. It is the third most watched sport in the USA. It is a combination of the world’s most effective martial arts: Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling. The birth of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as we know it today required a multi generational gestation period. It can be traced back to the first Shooto event in 1989 held in Japan. Japan in particular has been the birthplace and home of the most martial arts that the world is familiar with. The sport has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last two decades and has created its own slew of stars and fans alike. Today, a mixed martial arts fighter enters the legendary cage equipped with a wide ranging set of skills that would enable him to engage the opponent standing up or on the ground with equal versatility and dexterity. On his feet, a fighter will use traditional stand up methods such as strikes with the fists, elbows, knees and kicks- in an attempt to do as much damage as possible or knock out the opponent. As the fastest growing sport in the world, MMA continues to garner fans because of its raw, minimal rules, back to basic style of allowing the most free form of artistic expression for martial arts while fuelling the entire atmosphere with the adrenaline of a rock concert.
“MMA is the future of Martial Arts and is the fastest growing sport in Asia,” said the CEO and Owner of ONE Fighting Championship Victor Cui.” I am confident that One Fighting Championship will lead the way for the exponential growth of this sport in Asia. We will continue to bring the best martial artists in Asia and around the world to meet in the cage for epic battles where names will be made and remembered.”

The CEO of ONE FC, Mr. Victor Cui stated: “One FC will be back in the fight capital of Asia on May 31 with a stacked fight card that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping for the passionate Filipino fight fans. This event could possibly be the largest in One FC’s history and features the top names in MMA, headlined by One FC Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario. Of course, having one of the greatest fighters on earth fighting on this card in Manila is sure to be a special night for MMA. Bibiano Fernandes always brings his best when he steps into the cage. Close to 20,000 fans will pack out the SM Mall of Asia Arena to witness the greatest sporting spectacle in the world.”

ONE FC in association with Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) will return to the capital fight of Asia on Friday ,May 31 with the highly anticipated fist title defense of hometown hero ONE FC Featherweight World Champion Honorio “the Rock” Banario. Plus, pound for pound king Bibiano “the Flash” Fernandes will return to the famed ONE FC cage when he squares off against Japanese MMA sensation Koetsu Okazaki for the ONE FC Bantamweight Interim Title.
Tickets for the ONE FC: Rise to Power will be launched in Casino Filipino branches across the Philippines starting April 19 2013.
Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv. The first two undercard fights are available for viewing free of charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at jus US$ 9.99.

ONE FC Featherweight Champion Honorio “the Rock” Banario, a Filipino World Champion is one of the top Mixed Martial Artists in the world today. He is a member of the legendary Team Lakay where he trains alongside fellow ONE FC fighters Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon under head coach Mark Sangiao. Banario comes from a Wushu background, an ancient Chinese martial art whose practitioners are recognizable by a diverse range of striking techniques. Despite his striking credentials, five of Banario’s eight wins were by submission, proving his fellow countrymen Eric Kelly at ONE FC: Return of Warriors via TKO. Banario will be looking to hold onto his title when he battles the ever so tough submission specialist from Japan, Koji Oishi.
Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes is undeniably one of the best fighters in the world today. His never-ending gas tank, explosive take downs and lightning fast strikes have garnered him a huge fan base amongst Asian and International fans alike. Fernandes made his ONE FC debut in August 2012 at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation where he defeated journeyman Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision. A veteran who has fought countless Japanese fighters, Fernandes will have his toughest test yet when he battles Japanese sensation Koetsu Okazaki.

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP is headquartered in Singapore; ONE Fighting Championship (http://www.onefc.com) is Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization. ONE Fighting Championship hosts the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions on the largest media broadcast in Asia. One Fighting Championship has partnered with STAR Sports, the number one leader in sports content, for an unprecedented 10-year cable television deal with a coverage that spans across 70+ countries in Asia.

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship, please visit http://www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA

Say hello to naturally beautiful hair with VANIDERM SHAMPOO WITH GUGO & ALOE VERA

These days, you really can’t identify which shampoo is natural or organic. Most of the shampoo makers all over the world are claiming that their shampoo is natural and safe. How are we going to validate? Checking the ingredients of our favorite shampoo brand is really important. It’s not enough that a shampoo smells good, or your hair is instantly shinier and softer right after shower. What we’re actually trying to avoid is to expose our hair to different chemicals that could further damage our hair. Considering that up to 60 % of our daily hair and beauty care products get absorbed into our skin, chemical free shampoos are gaining its popularity especially for the savvy organic inclined consumers. Good thing, Vaniderm joins the Worldwide Movement to go Green. It is introducing a safe shampoo for the young.Vaniderm Gugo Shampoo and Aloe Vera.
As Vaniderm campaigns to start young in the care of our well being, and the care of our hair, Vaniderm recommends their shampoo and conditioner with natural protection.

Vaniderm Gugo Shampoo and Aloe Vera

Vaniderm Gugo Shampoo and Aloe Vera

Vaniderm Shampoo has a natural conditioner provided by Virgin Coconut Oil which makes the scalp healthy and prevents premature falling hair caused by chemicals. The main ingredient, Gugo Extract, is taken from the bark of a vine known to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. It also makes hair darker and shinier.
Entada Phaseoloides or simply Gugo has been used by our Filipino ancestors as their staple hair care regimen. They soak the Gugo in cold water for an hour, squeeze the juice out of the Gugo barks and then use it as their shampoo. Saponin is the most active ingredient of Gugo. It has the natural property of preventing dandruff and curing eczema. If you also want to prevent hair fall, strengthen your hair and increase hair volume, Gugo is the answer to your needs.
Vaniderm Shampoo with Gugo and Aloe Vera is an all natural formula that is free from harmful ingredients. The lesser chemical, the better.
Aloe Vera, another natural ingredient of Vaniderm Shampoo, revitalizes and strengthens hair, thus, promoting thickening of the hair and prevents split ends. The gel-like substance of the aloe barbadensis leaf gives it a similar chemical composition of keratin, the naturally occurring protein in hair cells.

Aside from promoting a healthy lifestyle and the use of an all natural product, Vaniderm also reminds the teens to always check the label of the products that contain harmful chemicals.I really enjoyed using Vaniderm Gugo Shampoo and Aloe Vera It smells really nice and it still managed to clean my hair without stripping off my hairs natural oils. That’s what you call peace of mind. Yes, peace of mind in a shampoo bottle, knowing that you’re using an all natural hair product and knowing that your hair and your overall health is safe without the nasty chemicals that ordinary and commercially available shampoos offer.
Vaniderm Gugo shampoo and Aloe Vera
is available in all Mercury Drugstores nationwide.
It is available in two sizes–100ml = ₱198.00 and 248ml = ₱348.00.
Call (02) 9117854 for availability at a branch near you.

New Attractions Open in Fun Ranch!

I got so excited when I received an e mail from Fun Ranch saying that I am invited to experience new rides and that my kids can join me too!It’s been a while since we last visited Fun Ranch.I We arrived three hours earlier, because we also came from a mommy seminar in the morning so we decided to have our lunch at the nearby SM hypermarket. It was a very hot Saturday afternoon but I knew then that it’ll be worth our time and effort to go there. I was right! I was blown away, got super excited that I found myself and my son running so fast, trying to compete with other mom and kid contestants so that we could finish the race.The Amazing race type of contest that they prepared was so fun and challenging because you need to be smart in order to decipher which track you should go first. Our first clue lead us to Go! Speed Racing, and then the Fun Ranch Playdium, next is the Balloon Flight which is the newest addition to their pool of transportation, kids go up, down, forward and backward. It’s like flying in a hot air balloon! Up up and away! You can actually see how happy we were when we rode the Balloon Flight!Take a look at this:


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I told you that was fun!

Our last ride was the Dragon Roller Coaster.The new Dragon roller Coaster is perfect for kids who want more adventure in their ride experience. Bunny Hills were installed on the track to make the ride more intense. This kiddie Roller Coaster can sit the entire family, even the kids at heart. (like me !)
The Dragon Roller Coaster
My kids had a wonderful time with the new attractions at Fun Ranch. We were served delicious food by Big Red Barn. Thank you!

We made it!

We made it!

Fun Ranch takes excitement to new level. At Fun Ranch kids can ride a train, car or boat.They can even fly a plane and explore outer space with Space Quest. The fun continues with the all time- favorite Carousel, and mechanical horse rides. You can even celebrate your child’s birthday parties in their function rooms that can fit a small group of ten to a large group of five hundred people. And to make your stay more pleasurable,rest rooms were refurbished and new paving blocks were installed. Now on its sixth year,Fun Ranch, with its major partner Pepsi,continues its innovation of products and services to guarantee the best experience for the entire family.

We really had a tremendous time hanging out at Fun Ranch! Thank you Fun Ranch! See you again soon!

Have a Hoppy Easter Sunday at the Power Plant Mall

Jump right into the excitement of Easter Sunday festivities at Rockwell’s Hoppy Hunt, an Easter egg hunting festivity on Sunday, March 31, 2013 at the Rockwell Tent. Let your little ones enjoy a fun-filled afternoon as they catch a puppet show and mascot dance, and join in the interactive Easter story performance. What’s an Easter celebration without the egg hunt?
Kids of all ages can collect colorful eggs and add them to their baskets filled with goodies from Monde Nissin, Lemon Square, Bizu Patisserie, CPK, Build City, and many more. The fun doesn’t stop there as kids can busy themselves in activities such as bunny ears making, ceramic and plastic egg decorating, and face painting. Plus! Kids get a chance to win 1 of the 5 Apple iPod nanos courtesy of Beyond the Box. Rockwell’s Hoppy Hunt starts at 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Tickets are priced at Php550 for one child and one adult, and Php 200 for an additional adult.


T.G.I. Friday’s Kicks off Summer with a New Bar Menu

T.G.I.Friday’s has always been close to my heart. It has been our family’s favorite restaurant especially when we stayed in Dubai a couple of years ago. I can still remember when my husband brought us to T.G.I.Friday’s one time in Dubai Mall, we had dinner there alfresco style with the great view of Burj Khalifa and the beautiful and spectacular Dubai Dancing Fountain over the balcony. Oh! How I wish could go back there and eat my favorite steak with Cajun dressing…Hmmm…I fell in love with T.G.I.Friday’s a long time ago. My son Luis too, has special memories and stories to tell about T.G.I.Friday’s. Luis once tried to be one of the Kids in Stripes in T.G.I.Friday’s Trinoma branch in 2011. Well, yes I am sure that he loved the food there, but he once told me that his experience of being a kiddie crew at Fridays is one of his most enjoyable experiences he’s ever had.
This is why, when I received an invite from T.G.I.Friday’s I immediately confirmed. We had a great time there watching the performances of the Stars behind the Bars. I even won a bottle of Stolichnaya Vodka in Cranberry! It was such a lucky night for me. They served delicious food and we were offered to try cocktails of our choice.


Logo - TGI Friday's
T.G.I Friday’s is the first American casual dining chain in the Philippines, which opened in 1994. To date, it has 14 branches throughout the country. It is also celebrating a sizzling start to the summer with a new bar menu. The updated bar list includes a wide array of affordable drinks such as the Ultimate drinks, beer on tap at P60, local bottled beer at P75 and beer by the bucket for only P350. Cocktails will also be available starting from P125, and includes staples such as the Long Island Tea, Bahama Mama, Kamikaze, and 77 Sunset Strip. To cool down for the scorching summer, the Refillable Mojito is also continuing its run as one of bar’s most popular offerings, available everyday at only P295.

The new beverage menu features concoctions to fit every bar personality, whether you’re the life of the party or just winding after work. To entice patrons to let loose and enjoy the distinct T.G.I.Friday’s atmosphere, the T.G.I Friday’s Red Card will be available by first week of April, which is a passport for a buy-one, take-one on cocktails every Thursday. The cards will be distributed free of charge to dining guests. The launch of the first leg of the Stars Behind the Bar tour will definitely add more excitement, which includes a showcase of celebrity bartenders, free drinks, and a chance to learn basic flairs and cocktails.
The Stars Behind the Bar
The featured bartenders went through a rigorous round of auditions, with most being previous participants of the renowned Shake, Rattle, and Pour Bartending Championship, which will be on its 18th year in 2013. T.G.I.Friday’s is known for popularizing flair tending, and hosted the first known flair bartending competition in the US in 1985. Patrons are also known to flock the bar to watch bartenders dazzle with flips, flairs, and tricks before drinks are delivered with a personalized touch.

The T.G.I.Friday’s Stars Behind the Bar tour is in partnership with Stolichnaya Vodka. Catch the tour at the following dates and locations:
Bonifacio High Street on March 21, April 11 and 25, and May 9
Glorietta on March 22, April 12 and 26, and May 10
Mall of Asia on April 4 and May 16
Eastwood on April 5 and May 17
TriNoma on April 14 and May 4
Malate on April 18 and May 23
Alabang Town Center on April 19 and May 24
Tomas Morato on May 2 and 30
Robinsons Galleria on May 3 and 31.

Aldrin “The One” Javar,Genrev “The Revolution” Bacasno,Gino “The Bomb” Simbillo,Junjun “The Entertainer” Marcelo,Michael “Unstoppable”Rabago,Ronilo “The Showstopper” Bautista

Aldrin “The One” Javar,Genrev “The Revolution” Bacasno,Gino “The Bomb” Simbillo,Junjun “The Entertainer” Marcelo,Michael “Unstoppable”Rabago,Ronilo “The Showstopper” Bautista

TGIFriday's Red Card

TGIFriday’s Red Card

Thurday night is a buy one take one night too on cocktails! Hurry! grab your Red Cards now1

T.G.I.Friday’s is a Bistro Group restaurant, and its latest promo is part of the group-wide Taste the Love campaign.
Logo - Taste the Love

For more information, visit http://fridays.com.ph/, like http://www.facebook.com/welovefridays on Facebook, and follow @Fridaysphil on Twitter.

The search for the country’s very first “Cucina Idol”

I can almost feel how the finalists of the first Cucina Idol Cook Off felt that Saturday afternoon. I was once a finalist in a culinary competition too, two years ago. And all the memories came back, one by one.The heat, the tension, time pressure, worries and fear about the outcome of the dish that I was cooking, and the adrenalin rush. I can only empathize with them that day and I remember hearing one of the contenders of the first Cucina Idol saying these lines nervously during her interview. “Cooking is really my passion. I put my heart and soul in cooking .” The competitors banked on their culinary skills and talents in the kitchen as they battled in the most exciting culinary cooking competition to date, the “Cucina Idol”.Cucina Idol’s objective is to bring home the honor and prestige of being the very first Cusina Idol Champion, and a true kitchen idol.



A total of 7 finalists battled out in the cook off held last Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the GalaStars Culinary Studio of the renowned Chef Sylvia Reynoso Gala in Pasig City. Each finalist cooked one chicken and one seafood dish which they prepared on site.They were all given one hour to cook and present their dishes to the judges. The finalists used Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware, Urban Kitchen, Rosseto and Loveramics products in the final plating of their dishes.


Prior to selection, the finalists all went through a rigorous screening process after a single receipt purchase of P500.00 worth of Melawares, Bestware, Perfect Dining, Urban Kitchen, Rosseto, Loveramics and Sodastream, or a combination of said brands. They then received and filled out a contest registration form and answered a few questions as to why they should be the next “Cusina Idol.”


The panel of judges consists of distinguished culinary masters and personalities in the industry, namely, Chef Ernest Reynoso Gala, Chef Sylvia Reynoso Gala, Chef Jill Sandique, Chef Danny Dela Cuesta, Vice President for Sales and Marketing of Superb Catch, Inc., (SeaKing), Jennifer Uy, and Vice President-Advertising Sales of Business Mirror Group of Publications, Marvin Estigoy.



The first “Cusina Idol” champion will get a total of P500,000 worth of kitchen showcase from Melawares, Bestware, Urban Kitchen, Perfect Dining, Urban Kitchen and Sodastream and will also be featured in a magazine and in the country’s top newspapers.


“We are quite excited with the holding of the ‘Cusina Idol’ cook off because this will give the finalists a chance to showcase their talents and skills when it comes to cooking, which can be a great asset in achieving their goals and charting their future careers in the culinary sector. It is also a chance for us and the public to witness our customers’ brand of culinary talent. Who knows? The next best and brightest star in the culinary world may come from these guys,” explains Charmaine Chua, General Manager of CDC Manufacturing Corporation, makers of popular tablewares brand Melawares and other quality tableware since 1969.
CDC Manufacturing Corporation

Mark Justin Tee, a 26 year old culinary student from Mandaluyong City brought home the bacon and was hailed the very first “Cucina Idol Champion” among all the seven finalists.


Congratulations Mark Justin Tee!

Congratulations Mark Justin Tee!


Sponsors of “Cusina Idol” organizer include Superb Catch, Inc., makers of the “Sea King” brand of seafood products, appliance brand Westinghouse, Uni-Fab Metal Industries, Inc. for the cook ranges, San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center and Magnolia, Business Mirror Group of Publications as media partner and GalaStars Culinary, which serves as official competition venue.


From a company that sourced its products through importation, CDC Manufacturing Corporation now carries 4 brands, namely, Melawares, the classic brand that carries high-quality melamine tableware products, Bestware, its affordable line of tableware products, Urban Kitchen, the company’s modern brand that carries food service products outside of melamine tableware, and Perfect Dining, the company’s exclusive brand for the SM chain that carries high-end melamine products, on top of being the leading manufacturer of customized dinnerware for Quick Service Restaurants serving the biggest names in the food industry.


Visit http://www.melawares.com for more information.

Melawares 1