northern mindanao

Anvil to launch Kagay-anon author’s first novel: The Girl Between Two Worlds by Kristyn Maslog-Levis

June 29, 2016

After Annie Gorra’s The Mystery on 17th Street earlier this year, now comes Kristyn Maslog-Levis The Girl Between Two Worlds, incidentally both published by Anvil Publishing Inc., the publishing arm of National Book Store (NBS). Kagay-anons thank the people in Anvil who championed our home-grown talents like Annie and KK! Incidentally, there’s another common thread running through these authors besides both hailing from Cagayan de Oro: they were both previously with media, Annie with broadcast and print (Newscope and Frontline Mindanao) and KK with ABS-CBN TV Patrol Northern Mindanao and some local specials by the same station. But we digress! “The Girl Between Two Worlds” is actually KK’s third book, the first two being self-published children’s books, “The Dragon and the Lizard” and “We Have It All (A True Story).”   The Girl Between Two Worlds will be launched this July by Anvil Publishing. Look for it in your nearst National Book Store branch. In a guest post at Kids Book Review, an online blog about children’s books( http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2011/11/guest-post-self-publishing-on-budget.html), KK relates the joys and trevails of “Self-Publishing on a Budget” as well as how the story came about.   To quote: “The reason why I wrote my book was not for publication but to preserve a family story Mama used to tell us as kids. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so books were a scarcity. I remember a torn and tattered copy of Alice in Wonderland and that’s about it.” “Luckily, my mother is a treasure box of stories. I was afraid to write The Dragon and the Lizard because inside I knew I might want to take it further that just a family book, and I was afraid to take it there on my own. But I couldn’t let the story die so I wrote it.” Like her first book, KK’s second was another children’s book “We Have It All (A True Story), also self-published and can still be purchased from Amazon. As she describes it: “Yes it is a true story…based on our childhood in the Philippines and the premise is that no matter how little you have, no matter what kind of hardships you’re going through, there is always a brighter side to things.” “It’s about our childhood years without TV, computer games, books and toys. It’s about our childhood living in a house with only half a roof and half a floor. It’s about how happy our childhood was and how we need these reminders to see the good things about our lives today.” (Pssst…Annie Gorra, are you reading this?) I bet a quick scan of this first effort would lead one to the present novel, like many great works which started life as a short story and eventually progressed to a full length novel.   Kristyn’s first self-published children’s book The Dragon and the Lizard. When asked about the origins of her first novel, KK replied to me in an email:   “For the last couple of years I’ve been working on my first ever novel that included the Filipino mythology and takes it outside of the Philippines. After four years of writing, editing and pitching, Anvil Publishing picked up my book last year.” “I vividly remember where the concept came from. I was wondering why when Filipinos migrate to other countries we stop ‘seeing’ spirits, ghosts and monsters everywhere. I remember saying tabi apo as a child and being scared of kicking ant hills because a Nuno sa Punso might be living there. I remember freaking out when I heard bat wings because it might be a manananggal! And who wasn’t scared of the harmless banga in the corner of the house? A Tiyanak might be living in there, you never know.” “But when I moved to Australia, all of those creatures suddenly disappeared. I stopped saying tabi apo and highways at night weren’t homes of the white lady anymore. I did feel a bit sad.” “So I wondered, what if even after you migrate to another country, these creatures still haunt you. What if there was a Tiyanak in the park where you take your kids? What if there was a manananggal living close to your house? That was how “The Girl Between Two Worlds” was born.” She also professed to having a “huge part of me” wanting to showcase Filipino folklore to the world. “Those vampires and werewolves are puppies compared to our aswangs and manananggals! We grew up with very rich stories – some scarier than others. Why not share this with the world?” With this first in a trilogy, KK hopes to “spread the wonderful fear that our stories provide.” Anvil Publishing House has set a July release for the novel and like Annie’s Mystery on 17th Street, it will also be distributed by National Bookstore. We can only hope NBS provides sufficient copies of the book especially to its four branches in Limketkai, Centrio, Cogon and SM unlike Annie’s novel which arrived in trickles (Good thing it’s finally available in all branches). Here’s an excerpt from The Girl Between Two Worlds as posted in the author’s Facebook page: “The day after Karina’s sixteenth birthday, supernatural things start to happen around her and she has no idea why. Her mother, who disappeared soon after they migrated from the Philippines to America, speaks to her in prophetic dreams. Stranger still is the old man who turns up at her house one day and claims to be her grandfather, even though Karina’s mother had told her he died a long time ago.” “Karina discovers that her mother is an engkanto princess who ran away from Engkantasia. Karina is now of age to take the throne and must do so to prevent a war between Engkantasia and the human world. She must learn to control her powers and fight a range of weird creatures trying to kill her and her family. To make matters worse, she finally meets a boy she likes and there’s something about him she can’t quite figure out.” As for influencers, KK admits to “reading a lot of books and it wasn’t really any one person in particular.” When she finished her two self published children’s picture books “it just flowed from there. I got bitten by the writing bug and couldn’t stop,” she adds. Please don’t! We have to have those two other books asap and we hope we don’t wait another four years for the next one! Kristyn Maslog-Levis is a freelance journalist/photographer/editor who used to be a field reporter for ABS-CBN Cagayan de Oro and the first journalist to reach the captured rebel camp in Sultan Gumander in Lanao del Sur in 2000. She Hosted shows and wrote scripts for some of the TV specials featuring different municipalities in Northern Mindanao and festivals in Dumaguete city, and a weekly health talk show sponsored by the Department of Health. She blogs at kmlevis.com and tweets as @kmlevis. A graduate of Silliman University, she took her Masters in Communications from Nanyang University in Singapore.

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Watsons challenges consumers to take the switch test

June 24, 2016

Those who answer quality believe a reliable product demands a premium price. Those who answer savings think the money they have can only take them so far. But here’s the thing- neither one is actually right, now that Watsons has a better answer. Switch & Save with Watsons.   For several years now Watsons has been running its Switch & Save campaign, showing its customers that if they switch from the leading brand to Watsons brand they can get excellent quality personal care products at up to 80% less. The effort has met with massive success, convincing tons of people from everyday shoppers to high-profile endorsers (Iya Villania, Christian Bautista, Tessa Prieto Valdez, and Patty Laurel) to make the change. But with such unbelievably great savings, some skeptics remained unconvinced that Watsons products could be as good as the leading brand. To settle the question once and for all, the Watsons team decided to put it to the test- The Switch Test. Setting up unbranded booths in major cities around the country, Watsons put its products up against the best of the best- the category leaders. Without showing or telling them what brands were involved, the Switch Test mediator had each customer try out two products- Watsons and the leader. They were asked to hold them, examine them, test and compare them, and eventually to choose the one they would buy. Which ones came out on top? Here’s what the customers had to say. “Brand A lotion smells good, and is softer on the skin, compared to Brand B,” said one shopper who was surprised to learn that Brand A was actually Watsons. She was even more surprised when she found out Watsons costs 80% less. Holding a toothbrush in each hand, another participant observed of the Watsons product, “The bristles are softer and I feel it would clean my teeth better.” He too made the switch and was thrilled to learn of the additional savings. The team tested lotion, toothbrushes, body scrubs, tissue, even hair irons, and, in the end, less than 20% of shoppers chose the leading brand over Watsons quality. But when informed of the sizeable savings afterward, even they were easily swayed to switch. One in particular summed it up perfectly, “Up to 80 percent savings on body lotion, 60 percent on body scrub, and 55 percent on hair iron, what’s there to think about?” Indeed, with the Switch Test done, the results are clear- 8 out of 10 shoppers prefer Watsons quality, not to mention the Watsons price. And as for that age-old question about quality or savings- it finally has an answer it looks like everyone can agree upon. Take both. Switch to Watsons and save! About Watsons Watsons is Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, currently operating over 4,800 stores and more than 1,400 pharmacies in 11 Asian and European markets, including China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine. In 2002, A.S. Watson Group joined hands with SM Prime Holdings Inc., the Philippines’ leading shopping mall developer. Watsons caters to a variety of lifestyles with an unrivalled diversity of products, with a mission to help people around the world to look good, feel great. Media Contacts: Angie Limbaco Publicist First Tier Branding Solutions, Inc. angie.limbaco@firsttierbrands.com +632.812.5764 Karen Fabres Group Marketing Manager Watsons Personal Care Stores (Phils.) Inc. karen.m.fabres@sm-shoemart.com +632.902.8888 loc 1401

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SM Supermalls celebrate the country’s 118th Independence Day

June 21, 2016

In Mindanao, SM malls had a festive celebration through inspired installations and performances that were reflective of the cultural heritage of the region. At SM City Davao, the Independence Day was marked with a flag hoisting ceremony at the mall’s front covered walk along Quimpo Boulevard. The occasion was kicked off by a parade of 118 colors. Around 250 mall tenants and mall employees attended the occasion along with more than 300 bikers from BJMP and the Habagat Bikers Group. Joining the celebration at SM Davao were the Department of Education XI, the Department of Social Welfare and Development XI, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration XI, and the Department of Foreign Affairs—Mindanao. On the mayor’s behalf, Councilor Bernard Al-ag graced the event and delivered the incoming president’s message. Brgy. Capt. Rolando Trajera was also in attendance. The shoppers were greeted with mall employees donning traditional Philippine costumes as they entered the mall. The Annex Event Center was filled with Filipino music with the performances from UP Mindanao’s Koro Kantahanay and Musikademy. SM Davao’s in-mall music was also aptly composed of OPM hits. Apart from the musical performances, in conjunction with the Independence Day celebration was the Philippine Eagle Foundation’s interactive exhibition for the Philippine Eagle Week from June 5 at the Annex Art Strip. Among the exhibit’s components were a forum on conservation, art sessions as well as wildlife interaction. In SM Lanang Premier, mall employees, clad in various national costumes and Mindanaoan tribal wear, together with tenants, security forces and various community stakeholders, gathered for the flag-raising activity along the mall’s Grand Boulevard. Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries President Bonifacio Tan graced the activity and shared a message to the audience. Delegates from Davao City Police Office led by PSupt Emmanuel Palicte Caquilala, Philippine Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao headed by Ensign Howard Dwight Dolino, Bureau of Fire Protection-Lanang Fire Station led by SF01 Ulysses Cervantes, Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Girls Scouts of the Philippines also participated in the event. Barong collector and local media personality Architect Michael Dakudao was on hand to join the celebration. The Davao Girls Choir sang nationalistic tunes during the said event. In commemoration of Independence Day, SM Lanang Premier also placed on exhibit “Mindanao in Fashion” highlighting traditional Filipino wear – Filipiniana with modern and interesting designs from Kultura Filipino, custom-embroidered Barongs from the collection of Arch. Michael Dakudao, and various tribal wear of the Tausugs, Maranaos, Higaonons, T’Bolis, Tagabawa Bagobos and Matigsalogs. In SM City General Santos, Councilor Shandee Llido graced the event along with the GenSan settlers led by Pat Salazar and the head of City Social Welfare and Development, Rebecca Magante. The celebration started with a parade participated by MPC Cadets, students from SPED, HTC Band, mall tenants, affiliates and admin employees. It was followed with a historical performance by Teatro Ambahanon and a flag-raising ceremonial afterwards. Inventor and educator William Moraca shared a short message on nationalism. This year, SM City General Santos mounted a mythical Sarimanok as their giant centerpiece. It is a legendary icon of the Maranao tribe in Moslem Mindanao which symbolized wealth and prosperity. B’laan performances and “The Lutes of Philippine Exhibit” highlighted the celebration. Two faglong masters Ailon Jaman Tolentino and Rosita Tao entertained the public by playing their tribal songs using a faglong, a Philippine two-stringed, fretted boat-lute. Bing Cariño, who curated “The Lutes of Philippine Exhibit,” said that the exhibit raises awareness to the public, especially the youth, about the rich and diverse culture of the country. In SM City Cagayan de Oro, employees take pride in wearing Filipiniana and Barong Tagalog to show their love for the country on Independence Day. To add to the patriotic celebration, Momz Perfect wowed the audience with their powerful rendition of OPM classics while the Xavier University Dance Troupe performed beautiful and vibrant Philippine folk dances. Other highlights include the solo performance of Ran Obenita singing “Umagang Kay Ganda” and the ballet dances of Grace and Pointes to commemorate the Philippine Independence. For many years, SM Supermalls has stood at the forefront of engaging the public in the country’s Independence Day celebration. It has recognized its significant role in every community where an SM mall operates.

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A Father’s Day treat at the Body Shop

June 16, 2016

Introduce him with The Body Shop’s Spa of The World range for an at-home spa experience. There is the Hawaiian Kukui Cream with kukui oil that helps restore skin’s natural suppleness. Help him relax after a hectic day at work with Spa of The World’s French Lavender Massage Oil with lavender essential oil from the south of France that has a natural relaxing scent which promotes a sense of well-being; or the invigorating Thai Lemongrass Massage Oil, which boosts vitality, awakes senses and revitalizes the skin. The Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil, on the other hand, leaves skin and hair silky soft, and can be used as a hair treatment, massage oil, or bath soak.   Other great ways to pamper Dad from The Body Shop: Maca Root Shave Cream, Kistna Hair & Body Wash, Activist Shower Gel, White Musk Sport Anti-perspirant Deodorant, and Red Musk Eau De Parfum, all made with organic and cruelty-free ingredients. The best part is that The Body Shop offers 30% off on its Men’s category from June 2 to June 29, 2016. The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all their stores nationwide. The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good. With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to focus on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

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Montierra grand launch this Independence Day

June 10, 2016

Montierra, conveniently located at Upper Balulang, this city, will reshape townhouse living just the way you want it. And nothing is more apt than launching it on Independence Day as a symbol of emancipation in searching for an excellent home for you and your family. Owning a single-detached home built by a developer where you’d find your immediate neighbors’ fence a few meters away may be far from one’s financial reach. Much more if you have one singularly built for yourself even in a suburban area in the metropolis. The best option for those who practice their profession or undertake their trade in the city would be to acquire, own and live in a townhouse built in a vibrant modern community. You can get a lot in the same stuff in a townhouse that you can find in a regular free-standing house but yet at a more attainable price including the upkeep of your immediate surroundings. Being part of a townhouse community who are in relatively the same status and upbringing could mean that neighbors are more likely to know one another and be more interactive, cooperative and even helpful. This works well for those who travel often or those who need to leave at home kids or seniors who may need some assistance or even just to occasionally watch over one’s home while everyone is away. A condo unit in the city may be an option if only meant as a second home but one’s investment generally covers just but an airspace for living, not a direct ownreship of a piece of land. More than the land where your townhouse stands, you still have more land space for your garage and a yard for a garden just enough especially for a busy person to keep. These are just the basic benefits a family gets in opting for a new home at Montierra, a subdivision of Asian-themed townhouses for middle-class families on the hills of Cagayan de Oro City. With an investment of P600 million, the new project of Johndorf Ventures Corpo. is located in upper Balulang up ahead SM City Cagayan de Oro, Xavier University High School and Rosevale School. Montierra is amaster-planned community of 600 new homes with its own commercial hub that sits on a 7.5 hectare property enclosed by an 18-meter high perimeter fence with a grand 15-meter wide entrance. With two-storey contemporary townhomes with carport, Montierra has since the April 8 sales kickoff been generating positive responses from the market. “The string of successes in our recent projects has encouraged us to undertake Montierra, especially that it has been quite atime we had a project in Cagayan de Oro City,” quipped Richard Lim, Johndorf president and CEO. “We want to provide the market in Northern Mindanao with a better choice for living in a safe-gated livable community that value-driver homeowners aspire for. It is built for professionals and entrepreneurs who seek for a meaningful life, those who venture into challenges if only to achieve it, even crossing seas and enduring storms.” Michele Bacungan, Johndorf sales and marketing manager, said the project is positioned for startup families of emerging professionals and entrepreneurs. It has notably been a preferred choice among overseas Filipion workers who can afford homes priced around P2.4 million. Buyers can have their purchas eof a Montierra townhome finance dby Pag-IBIG Fund or by banks where the project is accredited with. Johndorf boasts of Montierra as the only middle class housing project in Mindanao with amenities and facilities usually built in higher-end subdivisions, a new trademark by the company in this market category. Residents will enjoy the use of a grand clubhouse with a spacious swimming pool, landscaped parks and playgrounds, basketball court and jogging trail. Each townhouse is designed to be spacious than usual at about 64 square mters in floor area and stands on 54 to 108 square mter subdivided lot, each with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The townhouses at Montierra are grouped in clusters of green, peach and yellow with finished interiors when turned over to the homeowner. Every townhouse will have a wooden staircase, tiled toilet and bath with complete fixtures, kitchen cabinet with stainless sink and granite countertop while the master’s bedroom features a small balcony. “The concept, as our studies show, attracts businessmen and profesisonals, young entrepreneurs and some foreigners who seek for the right choice for a home to live in,” Bacungan said. “Montierra will now set the benchmark of what attainable living truly is with these well-planned and innovative amenities and facilities and after-sale and post move-in services.” As Johndorf builds up the character of being Always There to custoemrs, it has organized a property management team that would respond to homeowners’ needs especially before the establishment of their association and concerns the organization could not address. The project will appeal so well to the discrimnating taste of the market despite the competition with other developments and condominium residences. Johndorf is blessed to have developed after 30 years of building quality homes and livable communities uniquiely applied construction procedures that hasten the development without compromise to cement curing. Come and see what’s different about Montierra. PR

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Lanao del Norte showcases Maranao culture in DOT’s Pasundayag event

June 6, 2016

The Maranao or ‘people of the lake’ is the dominant ethnic group inhabiting the two Lanao provinces. Inhabitants of Lanao del Norte is a mixture of Maranaos and Cebuanos, with some Chabacanos, Tausugs, Yakan, and Bajau. On May 29, Lanao del Norte teamed up with Iligan City government for their joint cultural presentation and audience participation activities. The Lanao del Norte contingent is putting on display a miniature replica of the Torogan house. The ornately decorated Torogan house is the official residence of the ruling Sultans and Datus of the Maranao people. The Lanao del Norte Dance Ensemble also performed traditional Maranao dances like the Kapamalong, Pag-apir, and Singkil. They also played lively Kalilang music (maranao word for celebration) played through indigenous musical instruments like the kulintang, debaken and gong. The Pasundayag event is an annual event organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) – Region 10 and shown in different mega cities of Luzon. “The Pasundayag sa Northern Mindanao is an iconic promotional activity of DOT-10 which showcases the culture, adventure and natural wonders of the 9 cities and 5 provinces in our region”, explained Supervising Tourism Officer Decius Esmedalla. Among the LGUs represented include the provinces of Camiguin, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and the cities of Iligan, Ozamiz, El Salvador, Cagayan de Oro, and Tangub. During the Lanao del Norte Day, visitors also tasted delectable Maranao delicacies and the famous mudcrabs of Lala town during the food sampling. Participating guests also won special products from Lanao del Norte as prizes in the trivia portion. The event was also the official launching of Lanao del Norte’s provincial dish dubbed as “Seafoods with gata and palapa” created by top regional Chef Soy Sollero Fiel III with the mudcrabs as the main ingredient. The Lanao del Norte delegation is led by Provincial Tourism Officer Minda Regis. VNL/PIO-LDN

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