Chinese art, a family heritage

(SunStar Foto/Allan Defensor)

PROSPERITY and good fortune for the year has been opened beautifully through the display of aesthetics brought about by the mix of cultures and traditions. As doors are opened to welcome fortune, happiness and luck, SM Seaside City displayed a massive exhibit featuring 200 artworks by 43 artists mounted by the Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students together with Cebu Dynamic Youth entitled “An Exhibit of Chinese and Western Paintings.” The exhibit can be found at Mountain Wing Atrium for the celebration of Chinese New Year 2017. The launching was held last Jan. 21 with a free painting workshop for the media, together with some student artists from different art schools in the city.

Last Jan. 28, for the celebration of the Lunar New Year, a performance with the dragons was held as a tradition for good luck. The dragons danced on stage and roamed around the paintings to bless the event and entertain the audience at the same time. The paintings will be available for viewing until February 5.MORE

Student-filmmakers make it to Int’l Children’s Filmfest


IT’S VERY busy in Davao these days. There was the euphoria over the official state visit of Japan Prime Minister and his various activities in the city that included the adoption of Philippine Eagle Sakura with the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the visit at the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (International College), and the breakfast at President Rodrigo Duterte’s residence at Dona Vicenta Teacher’s Village in Matina, Davao City.

Then came the launching of the President’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Sunday attended by hordes of Asean leaders and visitors.MORE

Frigid northern China hosts snow and ice sculpture festival

In this Dec. 31, 2016, photo, visitors tour a castle-like structure made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province. (AP)
In this Dec. 31, 2016, photo, visitors tour a castle-like structure made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern’s China’s Heilongjiang province. (AP)

HARBIN, China — The city of Harbin in China’s frigid northeast is hosting one of the world’s largest festivals featuring ice sculptures of animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks.

The festival, which officially opens late Thursday and last year drew more than a million visitors, showcases the region’s tradition of snow and ice carvings as well as ice swimming in the Songhua River. Harbin’s temperatures can fall to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit).MORE

Agatha Christie helped in uncovering Iraq’s ancient Nimrud

NIMRUD. This Nov. 19, 2008 photo released by the US Army shows the statues of the lamassu, the winged, human-headed bulls that stood at the gates of the palace and were believed to ward off evil in the ancient city of Nimrud, near Mosul, Iraq. The bulls were destroyed by Islamic State group militants in early 2015 as they razed the entire site, one of the most important archaeological ruins in the Middle East. (AP)
NIMRUD. This Nov. 19, 2008 photo released by the US Army shows the statues of the lamassu, the winged, human-headed bulls that stood at the gates of the palace and were believed to ward off evil in the ancient city of Nimrud, near Mosul, Iraq. The bulls were destroyed by Islamic State group militants in early 2015 as they razed the entire site, one of the most important archaeological ruins in the Middle East. (AP)

NIMRUD, Iraq — Her diligence and face cream cleaned Nimrud’s most famous ivory. She captured the archaeological dig in Iraq on celluloid and Kodak film, developing the prints in water painstakingly filtered from the nearby Tigris River.

And every day, after she balanced the books and arranged for the next day’s meals, Agatha Christie sat down to write.MORE

South Korean market interested on virgin coconut oil

SOUTH Korean investors are interested on virgin coconut oil exports from Davao Region for their booming cosmetic industry.

Virgilio Sangutan, president of Davao Inventor’s Association and an advocate of coconut products, said that last Friday and Saturday, he met with South Korean investors in his MI Herbal Plant in Carmen, Davao del Norte.MORE

7 places to visit in Philippines this 2017

El Nido offers a wide array of watersports activities, including paddle boarding. (Photo by Alan Tangcawan)
El Nido offers a wide array of watersports activities, including paddle boarding. (Photo by Alan Tangcawan)

WITH 7,107 islands, there are plenty of places to explore around the country. Just browse through blogs and social media posts and you’ll find that another beach or natural attraction has captured the delight of travelers and adventurers. They are so many that it can last me a whole lifetime just exploring all of them.

I have come up with my own list of places in our archipelago that I hope to visit this 2017. If I can tick off even just two of them, it will already make my year a good one. But if my resources can bring me to all of these spots, why not visit them all? Here’s my travel wish list in the Philippines this year.MORE

2017, pinning spots on the world map

2017, pinning spots on the world map
2017, pinning spots on the world map

“WHERE is jeepney jinggoy traveling to this year?,” was the common question I am being asked by everyone I meet.

Being referred to by my newspaper byline and online platform is kind of cool. It’s nice to know that the written experiences get its share of readers. Thank you and I do hope it inspires them to pick their bags, go to their dream destinations and come back home to relate their own inspiring stories as well.MORE

Lake S’bu: the world of water and glass


“LABINDALAWANG kabayo,” my Skylab driver assesses. This was the value in livestock, the T’boli’s accepted currency, if he bought me as wife. I would be his sixth; the latest in a collection he hopes will equal that of his father’s, who had 39.

As a joke, I demand the herd to be all white. Pure, ethereal bodies that cross between dream and wake, the line of which dims with the fog surrounding S’bu, where a man could accumulate six life partners in the same time frame that I have accumulated none.MORE

Headstart to 2017: What you need to know

HAPPY New Year and welcome 2017! How’s your year going so far?

Now that we’re on another cycle around the sun, here are some of the highlights of the things that you need to know about this New Year for a headstart of what’s to come.


2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster

The Rooster Year will officially begin on Chinese New Year which will be on January 28, 2017. Cheers to the Rooster babies! (me lol)

Chinese Horoscope calendar says that 2017 is the Female Fire Chicken year. Greenery is Pantone’s color of the year 2017’s color of the year has been announced by Pantone early in December and it is Greenery.

The color has been described as “symbolic of new beginnings.” A perfect description for the New Year which is the season of new beginnings.
Last year’s color of the year was the blend of Rose Quartz and Serenity which was the first time for Pantone to choose two colors for one year.MORE

2017 Planning Tips

WE ARE now down to the last few days of 2016. Where did this year go?! I can’t believe that it’s almost 2017 already!

I am always ecstatic with the coming of the New Year and it gets me into the mood for planning and setting goals for my year.

This 2017 is my second year of using a planner (religiously) because I often get lazy during the middle of the year and just leave it unfilled but I have improved now. And because I am currently starting to fill up my new planner for next year, I thought, why not share some easy planning ideas with you?

Mark the important dates

Birthdays/Anniversaries – I suck at remembering this (sorry friends) so that’s the first dates that I mark, I used to do this monthly but I think that it is much better to do it for the whole year so that you won’t forget to greet anyone.

Holidays – This makes vacation planning so much easier.

Miscellaneous – Just like the showing of your favorite TV shows or movie that you wanna see.MORE

Jerusalem and Jordan: memories to last a lifetime (conclusion)

JERUSALEM, with its history of war and peace, love and hate, destruction and resurrection, is one of the most intriguing cities in the world. Its enthralling story dates back to the time before Jesus but for a non-historian like me, its significance lies in the fact that Jerusalem was where Jesus preached and performed miracles, was condemned and crucified, died and was buried, and then resurrected and ascended into heaven.

The Jerusalem interlude during our eight-day trip to the Holy Land touched me the most. It was an experience I will long remember. We started out at Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. From our perch in front of the Chapel of Dominus Flevit (the place where Jesus wept for Jerusalem), we could see a stirring view of the ancient and modern Jerusalem veiled by the light of a setting sun. Then there was the nearby Garden of Gethsemane where age-old olive trees with gnarled trunks (said to be the silent witnesses of Jesus’ agony in the garden) still stand.


There were days during our pilgrimage when we felt melancholic and pensive. This feeling came intensely so as we re-traced the footsteps of Jesus on his way to Calvary from the Ecce Homo where Pontius Pilate washed his hands.

It was at the Flagellation site that we began taking turns carrying the cross, four of us at a time, passing through the different stations of the cross until we reached the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There was a crowd lining up to go to the altar of the crucifixion.

We couldn’t help but stare intently at the image of the crucified Christ pondering on the happenings on that Black Friday more than 2000 years ago. Then there was the annointing stone where the body of Jesus was prepared for burial which we kissed.

What moved us most was touching, kissing and kneeling before the cold tomb of Jesus inside the dimly-lit chamber of the Holy Sepulcher. It made us teary.MORE

Hanabishi Christmas for OFWs

YULETIDE season typically connotes annual Christmas parties and holiday gift shopping. But for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the season means returning to the homeland to spend quality time with loved ones they haven’t seen for a long time. Sometimes, they’re lucky to book a flight home; but oftentimes, despite their best efforts, circumstances force them to spend yet another Christmas away from their families. Thankfully, OFWs can share the Christmas spirit with their loved ones, wherever they are: they can rely on Hanabishi products to make Christmas preparations easier and more memorable when they are spending Christmas here — or they can easily purchase Hanabishi products online, and send these to their loved ones as an early Christmas present if they can’t make it home this year.

Hanabishi Online

Not even distance can stop OFWs from sharing the Christmas love to their families now. Thanks to the new Hanabishi e-commerce store, they can finally buy Hanabishi appliances, which make excellent holiday gifts, online. OFWs can never go wrong with purchasing Hanabishi Refrigerator HASREF 70S and Turbo Broiler HTB 130, which promise to make mommy’s Noche Buena preps easier this year. That way, even if OFWs can’t be physically present at the Noche Buena this year, at least they can still be there in spirit.MORE

Fil-Am beauty, a wushu champ

FILIPINO-American Nhaya Mahal Paden was introduced to martial arts in the United States of America at age 11, giving her a strong foundation to excel in combat sports.

Paden, a 14-year-old member of King’s Sword Martial Arts under the supervision of Nell Jone Astudillo, recently won a gold medal in girls 52 kilogram category of the recent Batang Pinoy 2016 National Championships in Pasig City.


Because of the exceptional effort she showed during the recent nationals, the Fil-Am wushu athlete was invited for a three-month trial training with the Wushu Federation of the Philippines National Team.

“I will continue my training, and hopefully compete in next year’s Batang Pinoy,” Paden said in a Facebook chat with SunStar Davao.

Paden added that she will fly to Manila for the training next summer but she wishes to finish High School first so she could focus on her training.

Paden is on her 9th Grade at the Faith International Academy in Davao.

She was born at the Cocoa Beach in Florida, USA, but her family has been coming back to the Philippines as her parents Gilmer and Julie Paden are both missionaries.

Her father Gilmer, a Filipino, is working at the Christ Fellowship Church as a missions and evangelism pastor.MORE

Israel: Where Jesus spent his time on earth

OR us Christians, the story of Jesus is “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” As narrated in the New Testament, his life on earth was dedicated to the salvation of mankind.

During my childhood years, I loved best the Christmas story… of the God-child born in a manger… of the angels announcing the birth of the Savior to the shepherds… of the three kings guided by a star bringing gifts to the Holy Child… The entire narrative appealed to my young mind like a fairy tale.


Fast forward to my school years at St. Theresa’s College… The story of Jesus took on a more profound meaning and I found myself getting more and more fascinated by the gospel stories. However never did it enter my mind to go to these places mentioned in the Bible. I never thought I would get the chance to visit the different settings of the riveting and timeless tale of Jesus’ life on earth.

My first trip to Israel was in 2012 and that first visit awakened in me the desire to further explore the place Jesus called home. I promised to be back one day.


The opportunity came when Korean Airlines (through its super sales executive Ann Momongan) organized a trip to Tel Aviv (one of its new destinations) for its top travel agents. Cherry Lynn Callelero of Grand Holidays coordinated with Meteor Phils. Inc. (represented by Ligaya Tabirao and Mai Ibay Hasan) for an eight-day tour arranged by Israel’s Eternity Travel. We were a total of 4 pilgrims on the trip with Fr. Joseph Yntig of Mandaue’s Gethsemane Parish as accompanying chaplain.

Excitement was in the air as we set forth for our very first destination during the pilgrimage – Yardenit by the River Jordan for the reenactment of baptism where we dipped our feet in the river waters. So thrilling for us because we envisioned the baptism of Jesus by his cousin, John the Baptist in these very same waters. It brought to mind the dove (the Holy Spirit) descending on his head and the voice of God the Father heard saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am pleased.”MORE