Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Start Cooking at Home: Tipid Tips

With the prices of basically anything skyrocketing now, working on a budget is a must these days. After all, we can’t control the soaring costs of commodities, but we can somehow get a hold of how we get to spend our hard-earned money. In this article, you will learn some practical ways to get the most out of what you spend on your food. You will also get tips to maximize the food you buy (and what to buy). Aside from these, you will get some insights on how to cook and when you have to cook your food to stretch your food budget even a little further.

Meal planning does wonder.

As with most things, planning can help you save time and resources because everything is already laid out before cooking Filipino food at home. Also, knowing what you will cook for the rest of the week will help you plan what you need to buy from the market. Therefore, you will waste minimal to no resources, and you get to maximize your budget.

Kathy Balmores

Based on your meal plan, create your grocery list.

This may seem overrated advice, but don’t go shopping if you’re hungry. Chances are you’ll get more than you need and spend more money. Eat your meal before you go for a quick errand to avoid this problem. Also, keep in mind to stick to the grocery list to avoid going overboard with the expenses. You may think that “it’s just for this time,” which is a dangerous mindset when you want to buy something that’s not on your list. You'll most likely get used to this line of thought and ignore your grocery list in the long run.

Do batch cooking and freeze the portions.

If you don’t have the energy or the bandwidth to do a large batch of cooking in a day, consider cooking a meal with a slightly higher number of servings. This is compared to what you would typically cook if you were to prepare something for yourself and your family. Set the excess portions aside and freeze them. Don’t forget to mark the container and take note when you prepare the food. This will give you a hint when you need to consume the food. Most frozen food will stay good even after a few months if prepared and stored properly.

In this regard, consider what types of food with their corresponding preparation techniques will freeze well. After all, you don’t want to end up with a sad, thawed meal. So you also need to do your research to avoid disappointment if you are planning to save money using this approach.

When you need a quick meal, just go to the freezer, get one of the portions, and heat them. You’ll save time and money and may even thank your past self.

Consider sustainable cooking.

Since the trend of sustainable living has been at an all-time high, so is the increasing demand to practice sustainable cooking. This requires you to use as many of the food ingredients as possible. For example, if the potato is one of the ingredients for your dish, consider using the peels and turning them into crisps for a quick snack. Another example is gathering and freezing all vegetable peels so you can later use them for your vegetable stock.

Get creative with your leftovers.

If you have leftovers that no one seems interested in eating at the end of the day, don’t throw them out just yet. You may “repurpose” it into another dish with similar ingredients as the original meal. Alternatively, you may also do an “enhanced version” of the dish by adding more elements that can make it more appealing. Another option is to turn the dish into a “spread” for your early morning pan de sal the next day.

Prepare or buy snacks that will keep for more extended periods.

We can’t stress this enough. If you tend to buy so much food that doesn’t last very long, and you don't manage to eat it all up before it turns rotten, you’re flushing precious money down the drain. In this light, we came up with a list of some items that are good to buy in bulk:


If you’re looking for a quick bite but not really into a heavy meal at the moment, perhaps a cracker or two can do the trick. Eat these alone or with some spread, and you’re good to go.

Pre-cooked vegetables

They come in handy because they’re versatile and can keep in the freezer for months. You can use them in soups, salads, and even baked goods if you’re into them. Plus, they’re usually not as expensive as their fresh counterparts.

Frozen fruits

These can keep for about a year if optimally prepared and kept in the freezer with as low of a temperature as possible. For best results, keep them in small airtight freezer-friendly containers, so you don’t have to take out the entire bag when you just need a cup of fruits for a quick snack or some addition to a healthy smoothie.


They are dry, which means they can keep for a long time even if you don’t store them in the fridge. They are versatile, can go with many other healthy foods, and can be very filling simultaneously.


Like crackers and oats, they store well for weeks and even months as long as they’re prepared and kept well in airtight containers. They’re great with oatmeal and can also be eaten alone as a source of fat. This way, you can stay full for longer periods. Complete for more extended periods means you don’t have to eat that often, which translates to savings in the long run.

Get your green thumbs to work.

Health is wealth, and what better way to see this in action than through eating vegetables, fruits, and other healthy food? Fortunately, there are a lot of edible plants that you can readily plant and grow so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor later on.

You don’t even have to own a piece of land to implement this tip. Container gardening is a thing, and you can also consider that option. It may have to spend a bit of cash at first (for the containers, soil, and other related necessities), but if you do it right, you can benefit from it for the years to come.

Some plants that you may consider planting include the following:

  • Kangkong
  • Eggplants
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilis
  • Malunggay
  • Okra

However, don’t limit yourself to just these examples and further explore what types of edible plants you can grow in your garden, regardless of space.

Budgeting and cooking are both challenges…

However, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise the nutritional value of your food if you’re on a tight budget for the coming months. After all, there are still some tremendous but easy ways to prepare your food that don't necessarily have to end up with you having long-term health issues.  

Monday, September 26, 2022

3 Reasons I Love VIU + Giveaway

I have always been a fan of Kdrama. I have watched a lot of it, and I was thrilled when I first learned that there was a dedicated streaming app full of Kdrama. It's like a Kdrama fan's dream come true. 


I'd like to share the top 3 reasons why I prefer VIU. 


1. VIU Originals 

The VIU Originals are always something that you need to watch out for. I love the Young Actor's Retreat because it gives you a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the Kdrama actors we love.

2. Tagalog Dubbed and Tagalog Versions 

I usually dislike Tagalog dubbed, but I've realized that it's a way to help those who cannot read subtitles to learn and love Kdrama. The Tagalog versions (Flower of Evil) are also excellent. Lovi Poe and Piolo Pascual did a great job in this. 

3. Affordability. 

Some streaming apps are a little high on the price point for the ordinary Filipino, but VIU makes it really affordable, giving more Pinoys the chance to subscribe and watch their beloved Kdrama, Cdrama, JDrama, and our very own versions of these Asian dramas.

But wait, there's more! 

There will be a giveaway of 10 ONE MONTH PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION of VIU to 10 lucky readers. The Mechanics will be shared on my page. Good luck! 


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Skapo Cafe and Grill in BFRV, Las Pinas

A new garden cafe has sprung up inside BFRV, Las Pinas, named Skapo Cafe and Grill. 

Skapo Cafe and Grill

It's located right across Father Angelico Lipani School, making it easy to find. The place is very spacious, and it's al fresco dining. 

Skapo Cafe and Grill

Skapo Cafe and Grill

Skapo Cafe and Grill

Skapo Cafe and Grill

I love that there's enough space to have my son walk around and run around. We just have to be mindful of the little rocks in the pathway because he might pick them up. 

If you are looking for an airconditioned room, Skapo Cafe and Grill doesn't offer one. It's all about being one with nature and immersing yourself in your surroundings. If you are a nature lover or want the Sonya Garden feels in the city, then this is a perfect choice. 

The ambiance is definitely perfect for relaxation.

Regarding food, we were able to try out a couple of things. The truffle pasta was delicious. It wasn't in your face truffle, but it sneaks in and surprises you. It's also very creamy, which was an A+ for me.

The creamy pesto was something that I know my sons would love. I can't wait to bring them and have them try this. 

Skapo Pizza is a vegetarian pizza. It pays homage to the fact that Skapo Cafe and Grill is a garden cafe. It is freshly made and has tomato, cheese, and basil. 

The Crab and Mango Salad are also very filling. They didn't scrimp on their ingredients which is always a good sign. 

True to their word of being a cafe, they had the best White Chocolate Mocha. It was so good I literally gulped down every drop before leaving. 

Pricepoint, it's mid-level. It's not cheap but also not super high when it comes to pice point. Overall, I can see myself going back here with family and friends. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

MetroMart launches tandem PISO SALE with FREE Delivery

Power up your pre-holiday shopping spree with the True Value-Handyman PISO SALE, exclusively available via MetroMart app and website. From September 24-26, 2022, select items can be purchased for only  ₱1.00 when you order and get it delivered via MetroMart across select True Value and Handyman branches. 


The tandem PISO SALE of True Value and Handyman will have various items available within a scheduled time per day, and the promo can be availed until supplies last. The selections include kitchen tools, different food storage containers, storage solutions, and more. The first 200 orders from True Value and Handyman will also get FREE Delivery when they meet the minimum order spend.

“As all Filipino families gear up for the holiday season, our MetroMart family wants to provide these amazing deals and discounts, working with our merchants and partners. In our own way, we help bring the Christmas celebrations, plus the spirit of giving and family togetherness, to fruition.” Stefano Fazzini, CEO and co-founder of MetroMart, said.

The True Value-Handyman PISO SALE promo is applicable to New and Existing Users of MetroMart. A minimum spends of ₱2,000 is required to avail of the 1-peso sale items. Only completed checkout of orders within the sale period can avail of the discounted items.

New to MetroMart? Get a ₱200 discount for a minimum order of ₱2k. Use the promo code “MMNEW” on the MetroMart app or website upon checkout. This is applicable across all stores and supermarkets for New customers, valid for one-time use until October 16, 2022.

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include  S&R (with or no membership card required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @metromartph. Order groceries online or download the app via

MetroMart Philippines is the #1 on-demand online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include S&R (no membership required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys R Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! Over 160,000 products are available with our 500+ partner supermarkets and partner specialty stores. Order your groceries through, or download the app on iOS or Android. 

Basics of a KDrama Fangirl/Fanboy

Movies, series, dance groups, song groups, books, and even events–name it, there’s undoubtedly a fan of something. Since early 2000, Korean Dramas, more fondly known as KDramas, have been sweeping the country by storm. The fans inevitably got pulled in on different genres and the plethora of dramas that flooded the screens. Read on to know more about the makings of a KDrama fangirl or fanboy. You may not know it, but you may already be a fan. 

Showing support for their favorite KDrama in the most creative way imaginable.

Some fan bases have their own organized fan meets, where the enthusiasts get a hand at how they express their never-ending support for the shows they love. Some are even updated as far as the latest news about entertainment in the Philippines is concerned.

One way to show their solidarity towards their bias is through the creation of banners or posters. In this way, they can quickly unleash their creativity and go wild, as far as their imaginations are concerned. They may even create a collage of the celebrities’ images and include the title of the show in bold and colorful lettering.


Another way to show their support is by cosplaying or dressing up as their favorite character in a particular KDrama. While this may not be an everyday activity in some fan meets, it can be exciting to do during gatherings, such as Christmas parties and Halloween celebrations. Some companies even adapted this and organized contests as a way for employees to bond together.

Getting a hold of all the feels.

There are a lot of KDramas that has already captivated our hearts. May these are because of their premise, plot, and plot twists. Or, you’re sure to get hooked on the movie or series you’re watching. 

In some instances, fans watch the show just because their favorite celebrities are there. As for the quality of the shows, there have been mixed reviews. But those shows with their favorite stars and endowed with a great storyline are a sure hit. And it just takes the mere word of mouth to get the message across all the different fandoms and annexes.

Knowing their limits.

It may seem that KDrama fans can’t get enough of the addicting shows and the cute couples, awesome dudes, and great concepts, but they sure know how to restrict themselves when setting boundaries–or not!

Case in point: Once they start watching a series, they can’t seem to stop for some reason. You can’t exactly blame them when the plot gets more exciting and more characters to get more involved in the building tension.

Collaborating with other fans with the same bias.

It can be as simple as having small talk with your officemate and eventually discovering that they also have the same interests as you–may that be the Oppa, the show, or even the genre, it doesn’t even matter. 

Learning the basic (and even the most complicated of) Korean vocab.

Most of the KDrama fans are good readers, with their flair for going through the fast subtitles to prove this point. As such, it’s common to pick up some Korean words and phrases, know the translation based on the subtitles below the screen, and use them in daily conversations, especially if the fanboy or fangirl is a member of at least one fandom.

Here are some of the words/phrases that you may come across should you decide to watch a show or two:

Deok-ming out: Basically a phrase that tells other people that you have begun to be a fangirl or fanboy.

Kyeopta: This means that someone or something is cute or pretty. Your favorite KDrama characters, for example.

Fan-ssa: More of a term adapted into the Korean slang that refers to fan signs.

Choi-ae: Your bias (may it be a girl group, KDrama character, or anything else).

Cha-ae: Your bias wrecker or someone who makes you think twice about having your bias in the first place. Some KDrama fans use this term to refer to their second favorite.

Adopting the antics and culture.

Even some cutesy gestures will not go unnoticed as the KDrama fans can’t get enough of these simple hand or head movements that make the celebrities and their characters all the most adorable to their fans.

For example, flashing some finger hearts, whether that would be online or through face-to-face interactions, is one of the most common gestures that KDrama fans practice regularly.

Like Filipinos, Koreans seem very much into drinking and dining out with other people from their circle. It seems to be a bonding activity for them as well–at least, that’s what a lot of KDrama shows managed to show us.

The numerous scenes that portray eating out or even sharing home-cooked meals with friends and family feature many yummy Korean food and drinks. Thus, the birth of multiple samgyupsal spots with lots of Korean convenience stores springing up like mushrooms.

Breaking misconceptions.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding watching KDramas. This is one of the reasons that sometimes make it difficult for some fans to come out and tell the world that they are crazy about the shows that make KDramas unique and relatable.

One of the most common misconceptions, especially during the initial releases of KDramas in the country, is that these shows are only for girls. At that time, KDramas were seen more as feminine because of the focus on each character's emotional or psychological side. Most pilot series penetrated the country and have love stories as the central theme. In a country full of machismo and other similar beliefs embedded in the culture, this is one significant obstacle that needs to be eliminated to bridge the gap.

Another similar misconception is that if you’re a guy and you’re a fan of a KDrama, that makes you gay. This false belief has led to numerous debates on the internet, with hordes of fans reliably at the defense of their peers, ready to fight the online war while trying to break through the misunderstanding that restricts KDrama to a specific set of demographics.

With these considerations in mind, one of the keys to avoiding rejection is for fellow KDrama fans to break through the stigma and make sure that their fellow guy fans feel loved and that they do belong, regardless of what or who they identify as. 

At the same time, they need to come from a place of empathy and understanding while sending the non-fans the message that they are not okay with these unpleasant labels haphazardly thrown at them. It’s an uphill battle to climb, but with the rate of acceptance that KDramas have nowadays, it seems that there may be that much sought-after light at the end of the tunnel, after all!

As for the non-KDrama lovers, do not reject them just because they don’t share the same interests as you do. Who knows, you may share other interests and hobbies that you’re both passionate about–you may even have the chance to bond over these things in the future if the opportunity presents itself. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

4 Reasons Why these Wireless Earbuds are Ideal

Samsung officially launched its best and most premium earbuds yet—the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, boasting a new sleek design, immersive audio, and crystal clear sound perfect for today’s generation. With its exciting features, Samsung’s latest wearables are designed to complement the dynamic lifestyles of Gen Z. 

Gen Z consumers are known to be multi-tasking masters and digital natives. They will surely love the Galaxy Buds2 Pro for its superb aesthetic and practical functionality as it helps users go back and forth across real and virtual worlds. Whether streaming music while studying or working, watching videos while finishing chores, or simply escaping to a world of their own with a thoughtfully curated playlist, an immersive audio experience should be every Zoomer’s ultimate non-negotiable. 

Here we list down the top reasons why Samsung’s most premium earbuds yet are ideal for Gen Z’s lifestyles: 

1. Tune out the world around you with Intelligent Active Noise Control

In today’s world, where everything has transitioned to virtual space, having a device that has intelligent Active Noise Control (ANC) technology pays off. This feature comes with fully adjustable level control, automatic voice detection, and the capability to block up to 99% noise—letting users have better focus as they turn up or tune out the world around them and hear only what’s meant to be heard. Those who love to speak during online calls don’t have to worry either because having this feature also means having a three-mic system with high Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) Windshield Sound Technology, which delivers clear and crisp sound. 

2. Listen to sounds the way they were intended to be heard

There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing the sounds of a song move from the left ear to the right ear, grooving into the music instead of with it. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro features Hi-Fi 24-bit audio that produces better mids and highs. It is also custom-built with powerful 2-way speakers with sound by AKG that offer rich and balanced audio. Lastly, it has a 360-degree audio mechanism that can deliver theater-like sound that follows the user’s head movements for an exceptional immersive listening experience.

3. Seamlessly integrate within your tech ecosystem 

Using multiple devices is one of the best tricks in the book for those who lead hectic lives and try to balance their responsibilities with their passions and hobbies. That’s why it’s important that a pair of earbuds allows seamless switching between multiple devices without losing its great sound quality. With the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, transferring from one device to another is easy because it gives users a connected experience.

4. Enjoy non-stop listening with a long-lasting battery

Great earbuds sport a long-lasting battery life of up to 18 hours, at the very least in the cradle. It is even better if it comes with a simple, fast-charging feature and an IPX7 water resistance rating, which the Galaxy Buds2 Pro has. Having these will make the uninterrupted audio activity possible, no matter what users intend to accomplish for the day.

With the right wireless earbuds, brilliant sound can be enjoyed in every aspect of life. Such seemingly tiny devices can open new possibilities and, in fact, be a daily companion to achieve professional, leisure, and even wellness and fitness goals. Listening to distraction-free, multidimensional music boosts focus and performance not only at school and work but also during outdoor activities, workouts, and yoga sessions.

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro checks all the boxes in what Gen Z users must look for in earbuds, making it the ultimate premium gadget accessory for everyday use. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is now available for only PHP 6,495 in three trendy colors: Bora Purple, Graphite, and White via, Samsung Experience Stores, Authorized Samsung Stores, Lazada, Shopee,, and MemoXpress Online. 

From September 2 until September 30, customers will enjoy 50% off on the new Galaxy Buds2 Pro with every purchase of the Galaxy Watch5 or the Watch5 Pro. When purchased with the new Galaxy Z Fold4 or Z Flip4, they can enjoy 30% off on the Galaxy Watch5 Series and 50% off on the new Galaxy Buds2 Pro. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The CityDanse Academy presents The Nutcracker

At CityDanse Academy (CDA), we honor our rich artistic heritage as we continue to push the boundaries of dance.

CityDanse Academy is composed of professional dancers representing the highest caliber of talent. We present a broad repertoire, including timeless classical ballets, neo-classical ballets, contemporary, jazz and dancesports.

CityDanse Academy is more than just a school, we are a community that helps aspiring artists in pursuing their dreams. Whether your passion is ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern dance, hip hop or dancesport, you will find a class that meets your needs. We have great mentors for all ages and skill levels from 2 years old to adult. 

This holiday season, CityDanse Academy presents the magical Christmas ballet tradition for all the family. The Nutcracker is a timeless ballet story all over the world, with professional dance companies and schools doing their own version. Hence, CDA sets out to bring back the Christmas tradition with its own rendition.

Slip away into the warm drawing room of the Silberhaus family and watch as Clara’s surroundings transform before your eyes. From the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the snow, the land of the sweets and to the fight scene between the good and bad — this classical ballet will delight the audiences.

Gather your family and friends and embark on a journey to a dreamworld where bravery and imagination save the day. Join us as we continue a holiday tradition!

Reserve your ticket through CityDanse Academy’s official Facebook and Instagram pages or call 0917 2726893 . We also welcome Brand Partners and Sponsors. To know more about the packages, please contact PMCM Events Management at 0917 8344978. 

World Travel Expo Philippines 2022 has a new home in Okada Manila

Set your next Asian Adventure destinations at World Travel Expo Philippines 2022

World Travel Expo Philippines 2022 has found a new home in Okada Manila. Set your next Asian Adventure destination at World Travel Expo Philippines 2022 as Okada Manila is the next venue to open doors, check those bucket lists, and head to your next family or friends adventure with your loved ones.

Where great stories begin, Okada is the jewel of the entertainment city. With its 42 hectares of scenic oceanfront, you will definitely love this place from sunrise to sunset. Masterly crafted 5-star hotel, Okada Manila brings you the best hotel experience to offer.

The 6th World Travel Expo is happening on October 21 to 23 at Okada Manila from 10am to 7pm

Stay, play, dine and relax - it's all under one roof and there is that spacious parking space for you, your friends, and family.

The 6th World Travel Expo, a long-time annual event sets foot in one of the most luxurious hotels, Okada Manila giving longing travelers the comfort of a five-star hotel that offers spacious free parking, shuttle rides to and from designated pick-up points, and all in one shopping and restaurant experience that you need not get out in one building, be it a superhot sunny or wet rainy day.

The 6th World Travel Expo has been offering the best destination packages for the top cities in Asia where travelers and tourists alike, can avail of one-time offers that will blow your mind away. Be sure that you're ready to purchase all those offers since they will go away so fast that you will only regret not deciding on the time.

Before going to the 6th World Travel Expo Philippines 2022, here's a checklist that you will need to have before your next flight. In case you don't have it, you can avail of them in the event.

PASSPORT -Your passport should not be 6 months near expiration when you have a travel plan or a wish list for a travel destination. Find out VISA FREE destination

CASH - As the saying goes, CASH is King. This is true since you will never know the congestion during the time you will be availing tickets. Bring just enough that you are willing to spend.

Credit cards - next to cash, credit cards would be the replacement. Make sure you have the credit line ready before going to this event

e-Wallets - like GCash, Maya has been gaining traction and have 5x more users than credit cards. Airlines, Hotels, and Transportation have honored e-payments

Travel plan - secure a travel plan from your travel agent. A tour guide can be the best relaxing and safe alternative, especially for first-timers. There will be a lot of tour packages ready for you. Check out also local festivities happening all year round for your travel destination so you will have a clearer idea of what you are going to see in the Country of choice.

Luggage - always have luggage with wheels especially if you will be running from one place to another. Anything rolling is better than something heavy on your back and hands.

Cameras - carry only the right gears you need. Enough batteries and an sd card for storing your pictures. A laptop may be an option to dump your photos but it may also cause inconvenience carrying them based on your travel plan.

Smartphones - having more than 1 smartphone is a plus but may also be hard to manage when you travel as this may attract unwanted people. Have a sling bag or pouch that you can easily hide and pull out your portable devices when needed.

Pocket WiFi - Now you can avail of pocket wifi with roaming services that you can apply before leaving the country. This will enable you to stay connected at fraction of the cost of availing it in the country you landed in. This will give you flexibility and more savings in the long run especially if you are staying longer.

Hotel - choose the hotel that will let you take rides easily. There is public transport like buses, and trains that are so fast and safe for tourists. Check out the comments or read third-party apps that collate travelers' experiences. You can also check on your points gathered from previous trips that you may turn in and avail.

Transportation - in certain countries, ride-hailing apps are available. Having them updated and linked to your credit card or e-wallets will come hefty.

Comfy clothes - travel light as much as possible. Check on the weather and be watchful about the season you visit. You can also purchase some local clothing that would be appropriate for the occasion and the season.

Gadgets - having multiple fast charging stations can easily charge your smartphones and power banks. Just make sure to have an international adaptor that will work with any country

Backpack - aside from having trusty luggage, go outdoors with a backpack that has compartments so you can bring in extra shorts, a face towel, and a jug for your water since it is expensive to buy mineral water. Extra eco bags can be handy when you shop!

Schedule wisely - there will be unforeseen incidents like traffic, rain, or even snow. Make sure to have some gaps with your tours especially if you are visiting churches, museums and going to watch shows

Airlines - if you travel light going out of the country, I am sure you will travel heavily when you get home. It is cheaper to buy the bulk extra kilos you might need after some shopping

Top ASIAN destinations

Here are the top ASIAN destinations that you might want to go to.

Japan - Tokyo is the capital of Japan named the RISING SUN. But there are lots of cities in Japan that you can go to. Check out Nagoya, Hiroshima, Furukawa, and many more which are normally a train or bus away.

Singapore - Singapore is really a must-see where the MERLION is the city's attraction. There are a lot of destinations you can go to within and outside the city as well.

China - the Great Wall is probably the only man-made tourist destination large enough you can see from the moon.

South Korea - is getting popular nowadays with Koreanovelas, but also the food that has influenced a lot of the restaurants blooming on every corner now. Let's not forget they are also known for grooming the best of pop culture and a great following on them.

India - Mumbai, has the great colors and flavors one can just imagine.

Thailand - has been known for its museums and different religious spots that are open to all. Here's one of CNN's Travel hosts and blogger Valerie Tan with her latest visit.

Malaysia - Formula1 racing, Petronas Tower, Batu caves, and Genting Highlands, are just some of the tourist spots you might want to go to

Indonesia - Bali, who has not heard of it? One of the best beaches, sand, and sun.

Vietnam - the bicycle city. Vietnam is known for great food and scenic landscapes and seascapes

The Philippines - with more than 7,000 islands, as the saying goes, IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES! Don't be an alien in your country. The Philippines has the most festivals and all-year-round celebrations of patron saints, Church, and socio-civic-related activities that you can go to. Other than that, each region has its own best tourist spot attractions.

The 6th World Travel Expo is happening on October 21 to 23 at the Okada Manila crystal corridor. You can like and visit the World Travel Expo Facebook page updates. You can also email to get updates.

Entrance Fee: P80

Register Online to get Entrance Ticket Discounts:

Gates will open from 10am to 7pm. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Craft Therapy with The Crafters Marketplace

I have been crafting since 1995. 

Whoa. I sound so ancient haha. However, it's true. I have been crafting for almost 30 years now and it's only been recent that I had the chance to join a crafting session. 

You see, I've always crafted on my own. I thought that this was a solo kind of experience and the thought of crafting with others has never been something that  I wanted to do until now. 

This was my table before the start of the Craft Therapy Session by The Crafters Marketplace. She sent over a kit that contained the best goodies a crafter could ever want. 

It was exciting to set up and know that there were other people also set up for craft time. It felt like I was part of a community where people understand why papers, stamps, and pens make me feel happy. 

We had a Zoom session and everyone followed suit on what the main speaker was teaching us which was all about sustainable crafting and using what you have on hand. 

Here's a sticker that I loved. We learned about creating wonderful backgrounds using just markers, brush, and water then I kind of went my merry way and ended up with this. 

Here's my finished product. 

I enjoyed this session and now, I look forward to more sessions like this. It was so much fun being with like-minded people. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

World Famous Circus to Set Foot in Manila this December

Finally! After years of being locked down, Pinoys can now celebrate the holidays the old, exciting way again. This includes experiencing Christmas attractions and extravaganzas that we missed a lot!

One show that should be on top of our list is the upcoming Super American Circus which will be launched this coming December, in Manila, Philippines.

Super American Circus, which recently had its Hawaii and Guam tour, is a two-hour superpower, packed fun arena show created for the entire family.

The amazing show will feature industries’ world-famous acts with death-defying aerial stunts that will surely entertain everyone. 

Aerialists, acrobats, motorcycle madmen, live music, and talents from around the world will come together in this one breathtaking and jaw-dropping show to give Pinoy fans another once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Details of the Super American Circus including additional attractions and performers, tickets availability, venue, and run dates will be announced soon through our official social media pages:

FB page link:

IG page link:

Like and share the great news! We hope to see you and the whole family soon! 

#SuperAmericanCircusPH #grandestholidaytreat #AmazingChrismas #comingsoon #LikeAndShare 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Parents’ Flu-proof Guide to Sending their Kids Back to Face-to-face Classes

The resumption of face-to-face classes coinciding with flu season heightens the need for parents to stay on track with their children’s health and well-being. Increased exposure means that there must also be increased vigilance in the observance of public health and safety protocols.

"Parents are naturally on guard now that their kids are getting more face time. We’re dealing with dangerous illnesses such as COVID-19, Dengue, and Monkeypox, which happen to have flu-like symptoms," says Dr. Gyneth Lourdes Bibera, country medical director of GSK Philippines. “It’s important to remember that despite their similarities, these are all separate illnesses, caused by different viruses and having different treatments. This is why it is important to strengthen our immunity through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and eliminating the chances of catching communicable diseases by updating your vaccinations. 

To prevent contracting the flu or any of the transmissible diseases, here are 3 important health guidelines to remember:

Keep your child’s vaccines up to date. Experts advise that vaccination is the best way to stay protected from the flu. Getting an annual flu shot will reduce the risk of illness, severity, and hospitalization among children while lowering their chances of developing any complications. Flu vaccinations can be administered to children starting at six months old. Depending on the child's age and the doctor's recommendation, immunizations may be given in one or two doses.

Annual vaccinations are also necessary because the flu virus constantly mutates. This means that new strains may be formed from year to year, necessitating new vaccines. When getting the flu vaccine around the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, follow the national guidelines prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH), which is to take the flu vaccine 14 days before or after the COVID-19 vaccine.

Isolate at the onset of symptoms. If your children start showing or complaining about any signs of flu or illness, they should stay home to avoid potentially infecting others or having their symptoms worsen. At the same time, check with their schools as to what the standard protocol is when a student is ill so that they don’t miss out on important activities for any of their classes.

Start healthy habits at home. Following the right health and safety measures should always start at home, and parents must ensure that children learn these early on. Practicing good hygiene plays a huge role in the prevention of diseases like the flu. Instill in your children the practices of covering their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, washing their hands with soap and water, not touching their eyes, noses, and mouths, wearing masks, keeping a safe distance from other students or teachers, and disinfecting their personal spaces.

Besides this, other good habits they may also follow include getting enough sleep, being physically active, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious food. By setting these practices as the standard at home, children will be more likely to follow them when they go out for school or other activities.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coinciding with flu season might raise alarm bells for parents who are now sending their kids to school but making sure to follow the proper ways to prevent sickness will go a long way in staying healthy.

"The health protocols we've been following the past two years must be standard practice by now," reminds Dr. Bibera. "Beyond that, we've seen the positive effects of vaccinations on disease severity. We implore all parents to get the annual flu vaccine for themselves and their kids, as this is still the best way to protect against the flu," she ends. 

Zenbook S 13 OLED and Collaboration with Filipino Designer Zarah Juan

ASUS today announced the newest offering in its premium line of laptops, the Zenbook S 13 OLED (UM5302) — a 13.3-inch ultraportable 2.8K OLED laptop that weighs a mere 1 kilogram, making it the world's lightest in its class[ii]. Making this milestone memorable and stylish, ASUS celebrates Filipino craftsmanship with its collaboration with homegrown brand Zarah Juan.

Premium look that stands out

The premium Zenbook S 13 OLED is lighter than any other 13.3-inch laptop in its class, with a sleek 1 kg-light, 14.9 mm-thin chassis made entirely from durable magnesium-aluminum alloy. It’s the ultimate ultraportable laptop for effortless on-the-go productivity and creativity.

The all-new contemporary design features the new monogram logo on the lid. Finished in four sophisticated new colors — Ponder Blue, Aqua Celadon, Vestige Beige, and Refined White — Zenbook S 13 OLED is designed to stand out, yet it blends in anywhere.

Despite its thin and light form factor, the Zenbook S13 OLED is built to be extra tough with MIL-STD 810H military standard, making sure it’s durable and reliable for daily use in any environment.

Premium vision with OLED screen

Any visuals will look better on Zenbook S 13 OLED’s gorgeous 2.8K OLED HDR Dolby Vision display. The expansive 16:10 aspect ratio provides a bigger workspace, and the four-sided NanoEdge design with ultra slim bezels creates more screen area for an immersive viewing experience. The super-bright PANTONE Validated screen is color-accurate with a 100% DCI-P3 gamut for ultra-vivid colors and is VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certified for deeper blacks and ultrahigh contrast. It’s also TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye care, so the user's eyes will stay comfortable even during long viewing sessions.

For unrivaled audio quality, Zenbook S 13 OLED has a stereo sound system that supports Dolby Atmos, indulging the listener in their favorite entertainment with sound that moves all around with breathtaking realism in music, movies, and TV.

Premium, dependable performance

Zenbook S 13 OLED may be #LighterThanAir, but it is a dependable, high-performance companion, powerfully equipped with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U Mobile Processor, up to 16 GB of fast RAM, and AMD Radeon mobile graphics, so users can confidently tackle any work or leisure task, wherever they are. Its ultrafast up to 512 GB PCIe 4.0 SSD ensures fast boot times and instant app loads.

With its long-lasting high-capacity 67Wh battery and up to 19-hour battery life, Zenbook S 13 OLED needs fewer trips to the power outlet when the user is out and about. And when it’s time for a top-up, the fast-charge technology can take it to 60% capacity in as little as 49 minutes, so there’s no need to break the flow. With ASUS USB-C Easy Charge, it can be quickly charged using a USB-C Power Delivery-certified charger or topped up with any standard USB-C charger such as an airline charger, a portable charger, or a power bank.

Zenbook S 13 OLED features the latest WiFi 6E that loads online content in the blink of an eye, enhanced by the exclusive ASUS WiFi Master Premium fine-tuning technologies and software features that help deliver speed, stability, and wide coverage.

Premium user experience

Zenbook S 13 OLED is designed to offer a premium user experience, with exclusive features and technologies that make everything easier to accomplish.

To keep Zenbook S 13 OLED hygienic, it’s protected by ASUS Antibacterial Guard[iii] — a special surface treatment that keeps the bugs at bay. In fact, Antibacterial Guard has been scientifically proven[iv] to inhibit the growth of bacteria by more than 99% over a 24-hour period, ensuring the surfaces of the laptop stay clean and sanitary for longer and reducing the spread of potentially harmful bacteria via contact.

Zenbook S 13 OLED implements ASUS AI Noise-Cancelation Technology and real-time webcam optimization to ensure the best hybrid working and video conferencing experience. Zenbook S 13 OLED also features the new full-size ASUS ErgoSense keyboard for the most comfortable typing experience ever. For easy data entry, there's the ASUS NumberPad 2.0, an LED-illuminated numeric keypad integrated into the touchpad.

It may be slim and compact, but Zenbook S 13 OLED has all the I/O ports you need. The USB-C ports support Power Delivery and 4K external displays for enhanced productivity. There’s also a convenient headphone jack for your wired audio needs.

Premium style that empowers

To mark this milestone launch, ASUS collaborates with Filipino social entrepreneur and designer Zarah Juan to develop a limited edition, sustainable, locally made bag. Aside from environmental sustainability, Zarah Juan pushes for social sustainability and upholds cultural continuity through showcasing Filipino heritage.

The Zarah Juan Zen Tote materializes ASUS’ thrust towards human-centric design thinking. Made by the Artisan Communities in Bulacan and Zamboanga City and of locally available materials, the Zen Tote depicts the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality — the perfect accessory with the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED.

Those who will purchase the Zenbook S 13 OLED from September 15 to October 31, 2022, get a chance to win the limited-edition Zarah Juan Zen Tote worth PHP 8,500.00. To know more about the promo, please check

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UM5302) is available in ASUS Concept Stores and authorized resellers today with a starting price of PHP 63,995.00. Check out the complete list here Filipinos can also score the Zenbook S 13 OLED with up to 12 months of 0% installment via Home Credit for as low as PHP 4,533.00. 

BPI SEAL-BETA program helps Micro Enterprises Expand

BPI Foundation, the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), sealed a partnership with BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of BPI, the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA), and the Department of Trade and Industry – Regional Operation Group (DTI-ROG) to empower micro and small enterprises (MSEs) through its Small Enterprise Acceleration Lab – Business Expansion thru Training and Application or SEAL-BETA program. 

BPI SEAL-BETA is a comprehensive integrated training program designed exclusively for qualified micro and small enterprises affected by the pandemic that seek to rebuild and expand their businesses. It aims to equip MSEs with a resilient outlook on business and to assist entrepreneurs in creating their sustainability plans and in rebuilding and expanding their businesses through access to loans from BPI Direct BanKo.

In 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that 99.51% of all businesses across the country belong to the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sectors. Micro enterprises account for 88.77% or 850,127 of the total MSMEs. 

For this pilot run, SEAL-BETA will focus on micro enterprises located in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Eastern Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN, and the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Micro and small enterprises play a crucial role in our country’s economic development”, said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “With the recent resumption of economic activities, it is our social responsibility to provide support to the ailing MSME sector.  The BPI SEAL-BETA program aims to capacitate and help qualified micro and small enterprises expand and grow their businesses amid this ongoing pandemic.”

According to DTI-PTTC Executive Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera, this partnership is among DTI’s initiatives to design programs that will help micro-enterprises survive the pandemic and support them to thrive during these challenging times. “Skills shift is not a challenge but it should be seen as an opportunity,” she said.

Ensuring that micro-enterprises will be financially capable, BPI Direct BanKo is committed to providing easy, convenient, and affordable loans to fund their operations and help them grow their business. 

“Ang access to finance ay kadalasang hindi available para sa mga maliliit na negosyante. Kaya nais naming ipaalam sa mga micro entrepreneurs na nandito ang BanKo, ang micro-finance arm ng BPI, at meron na kayong ka-partner sa pagkuha at pag-access sa dagdag na kapital para sa inyong negosyo, (Access to finance is often not available for micro entrepreneurs. We want to inform you that BanKo, the micro-finance arm of BPI, is here, and that you now have a partner in accessing additional capital for your business,)” said BPI Direct BanKo Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Head Rodolfo Mabiasen, Jr.

There will be 250 MEs who will participate in the 8-week boot camp. They will then showcase their plans through a business pitch to an esteemed panel of judges. All qualified MEs may avail of a loan from BPI Direct BanKo.

The business challenge is open to micro-entrepreneurs who are 25 years old and above, and whose enterprise’s asset size is Php3 million and below. Meanwhile, the training will start on September 7, 2022.

To know more about the SEAL-SEGA program, visit and follow BPI Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.  

Friday, September 16, 2022

PCPPI, Gatorade No Sugar Encourage Public to Maintain Active Lifestyle

In celebration of Obesity Awareness Prevention Week, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI)—the exclusive distributor of PepsiCo beverages in the country—encourages everyone to explore various ways to maintain a healthy weight and prevent the risk of diseases linked to overweight and obesity. 

Obesity has been a rising health problem in the Philippines, with nearly 27 million Filipinos being overweight and obese, according to the latest Food and Nutrition Research Institute survey. This increases their risk for severe diseases and health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. 

As the overall rate of overweight and obesity is expected to continue spiking, interventions need to be taken. In pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, being the strongest is not necessarily essential. Showing up and sheer grit are what will take you far. PCPPI has listed some sports that you can hop on to start shredding those extra weights. 

“Exercising plays a significant role in our overall health and wellbeing beyond weight loss. The Obesity Awareness Prevention week promotes a healthy lifestyle to the public,” said Frederick Ong, PCPPI President, and CEO. 


Walking is effective in promoting weight loss and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Studies show that walking is a mood and brain booster. It improves memory and cognitive capability. 

Jogging & Running

Jogging and running are easily the most effective ways to trim weight. Studies have found that it can help burn harmful visceral fat that could cause chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. 


A gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just 30 minutes. Swimming is also proven to increase the body’s metabolic rate. This helps in increasing energy levels and lowering the risk of diseases. It also provides mental benefits. 


Cycling is a fun cardio workout that can help burn calories, improve heart health, and lose weight. It enhances posture and coordination, improves joint mobility, and increases muscle strength and flexibility. Studies have also found that it boosts the body’s insulin sensitivity, which reduces insulin resistance and the risk of diabetes.


Boxing is a form of high-intensity interval training and a total-body workout. This sport helps improve heart health. It also lowers blood pressure, improves balance, boosts strength, and reduces stress.

Regardless of your fitness routine, it is crucial to stay hydrated. Fueling up with Gatorade No Sugar can help improve your performance to achieve your goals. 

Gatorade No Sugar has no calories and no sugar, but it provides the same electrolyte level as the regular Gatorade to give you the necessary hydration boost for your activity. 

Gatorade No Sugar is available in 300ml and 500ml PET bottles in stores near you and in e-commerce platforms. 

PCPPI is the exclusive manufacturer of Gatorade and other well-known beverage brands like Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Mug, Sting, Tropicana, Lipton, Aquafina, Premier, and Milkis. 

S&R Kicks Off Exclusive PISO SALE this Sept 16 - 19, 2022

You heard that right! You can get incredible discounts with S&R’s PISO SALE, exclusively available via MetroMart App and website. From September 16-19, 2022, select items can be purchased for only ₱1.00 when you order and get them delivered via MetroMart across select branches of S&R. 

The S&R PISO SALE promo will have various items available for a limited time per day, so stay tuned and make sure to add them to your cart right away. These items include Spam and Prem luncheon meats, Yakult, bottled drinks, milk, potato chips, and more.  

All MetroMart customers can avail of this promo, with or without an S&R membership card.

“Christmas and the holiday season play an essential part in the lives of Filipino families. Our MetroMart family is very excited to help kick off the holiday season at the start of the 100 days countdown to Christmas with the S&R Piso Sale and other upcoming promos and events.” Stefano Fazzini, CEO and co-founder of MetroMart, said.

The S&R Piso Sale promo is applicable to New and Existing Users of MetroMart. A min. spend of ₱2k is required in order to avail of the 1-peso sale items. Only completed checkout of orders within the sale period can avail of the discounted items.

New to MetroMart? Get a ₱200 discount for a minimum order of ₱2k. Use the promo code “MMNEW” on the MetroMart app or website upon checkout. This is applicable across all stores and supermarkets for New customers, valid for one-time use until October 16, 2022.

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include  S&R (with or no membership card required), Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Ever Supermarket, UltraMega Supermarket, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @metromartph. Order groceries online or download the app via

Thursday, September 15, 2022

WFH Bedroom Set-up Triggers Sleeplessness

Do you work from home? 

Is your bedroom also your home office? Read this to learn how WFH Bedroom Set-up Triggers Sleeplessness.

As Filipinos climb up the charts as the 4th most sleep-deprived people in the world, a sleep specialist advised that one of the "cures" could be making your bed a sanctuary only for sleep, rest, and sex.  This is amid the current work-from-home (WFH) set-up, where many people have converted their bedrooms into their temporary workstations.  

Dr. Debbie Bernardo, neurologist and sleep specialist, emphasized that removing all work activities and gadgets is a critical way by which Filipinos could revert back to healthy sleeping habits.  

In a webinar hosted by the business community Bounce Back PH and health and wellness company Wellspring Philippines, she pointed out that sleeplessness could lead to depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and breast and prostate cancer.  

Tips for the sleep-deprived  

Dr. Bernardo added, “People are not aware of their insufficient sleep, so they don’t make it a priority in their schedules.”  What can help them distinguish their personal and workspaces is transforming the bedroom into a “sanctuary for sleep and sex only. It has to have a comfortable, chilly room temperature and slow relaxing music. Ambient lights must be replaced by night mode, and all other electronic gadgets must be turned off at least an hour before snoozing off. Go to the bedroom only when you want to sleep.” 

For her part, Casey Ching, COO of health and wellness company Wellspring, anxiety in their family was the cause of their sleeplessness.  

“Our anxiety level was high, especially during the pandemic we were concerned about the senior members of the family and the babies, and we were also constantly thinking about our businesses, so we suffered from bouts of anxiety and sleeplessness,” Ching said. This led them to look for something to relieve them, and they created the Wellspring melatonin gummies.  

“We were the first to use Wellspring melatonin gummies, and we continue to do so when the need arises. These gummies have helped relieve us of our anxieties and sleep deprivation.” 

Discipline and mindset change 

Ching shares with sleep-challenged Filipinos the lessons learned during her bouts with chronic sleep inefficiency:  “When we lack sleep, we tend to not function optimally. Because you are stressed, you wake up not well- rested, which hampers productivity generally.” 

In bringing the FDA-approved melatonin gummy to the country, she saw that it addressed the sleep problems of “young adults who suffer from anxiety, mommies, and freelancers who have to do the extra hustle to make a living.”  She described Wellspring melatonin gummies as “not sleeping pills, but they are there to relax you.  Melatonin, for example, is produced by the body and has now been developed and manufactured in vitamin form. It can alleviate fatigue and let you sleep naturally and deeply.” 

Regardless of their parenthood stage, mothers of all kinds---stay-at-home moms, single moms, working moms, and entrepreneurial moms---tend to be sleep-deprived. “Mommy “Vanna Reyes, a resident mom of Madiskarte Moms PH, one of the biggest mommy communities in the Philippines, pointed out that sleeplessness can also affect personal ties, not just work: “You can struggle in your relationship with friends. I have to be more attentive to my children. Alone time with your significant other is important; intimacy can decrease if it is set aside and is often overlooked because of the loaded responsibilities and worries.” 

Starting sleep habits early 

Balaswit recommended a drastic change in mindset to acquire good sleep: “Filipinos wear this badge of honor for sleeplessness, but it needs to stop. Why not do something about it and consider alternative solutions like Wellspring melatonin gummies, exercising, and eating healthy?” 

Dr. Bernardo clarified that the recommended minimum hours for adults are still seven. Fewer hours of sleep, especially in mid-life, “can contribute to dementia in the future. Start as soon as possible to improve your sleep.” 

Reyes agreed about developing sleep habits as early as possible, this time for the younger generation.  “Let your kids know that sleep is essential in their lives. I collect their gadgets before they sleep. When its light’s off, its light’s off.” She also tells her kids, “You can succeed in life if you have a good foundation in sleep.” 

The devoted wife and mother of three also finds that melatonin relaxes her more and makes her “willing to fight the day with a more agreeable mindset.” 

The fun way to take your vitamins  

Ching believes that “many people nowadays opt to take gummies because they’re easier to swallow and taste better.”  Aside from melatonin, Wellspring gummies contain other ingredients with added benefits, such as vitamin B6 and Passiflora extract. 

Ching added that Wellspring is the only brand in the market today to have three variants of their melatonin gummy products. These are the Melatonin Sleep Aid Gummies with passion fruit extract to help relax and promote calm before bedtime, Wellspring Nighttime with Collagen and Hyaluronic acid for better sleep and glowing skin, and Extra Snooze Extra Strength Melatonin with L-theanine and Lemon Balm gummies for an added dose of relaxation for that extra good night’s sleep. 

Dr. Bernardo expressed hope that others, incredibly the sleep-deprived, will help her spread “the gospel of sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for good health.” 

I also wrote about 10 Things You Can Do When You Can't Sleep