Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students Showcasing 135 Hand-Painted Fans at SM City East Ortigas

I love art.  I appreciate art.  I love going to art exhibits and art museums because I admire the artist and their technique in painting a wonderful masterpiece.  It adds to my amazement when I can see the very fine details added to the artwork.  It takes so many man-hours to finish one piece of art, no matter how big or small the image is.  Each artist really puts his/her heart, sweat, and tears in each artwork he/she creates.  Each artwork is truly a gem, a valuable treasure, a magnificent creation out of one's imagination and hand control.

Last Sunday, August 27th, I got invited to the opening of the latest exhibit of Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students at SM City East Ortigas, showcasing 135 hand-painted fans by 42 artists.  This exhibit is to celebrate Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival to show Chinese culture and artistry.













The Chan Lim Family of Artists is best known for their Asian-themed art with particular focus on Chinese brush painting.  The family has been actively engaged in the arts for more than half a century to date.  The three generations of Chan Lim Family use a multitude of media, styles, and techniques to incorporate Western into Eastern art.  They continue to get involved in the arts by actively developing and promoting Chinese brush painting in the Philippines and abroad.

Chan Lim, the family patriarch, originally uses oil and watercolor in his artworks.  He usually uses canvas to paint his masterpieces.  Recently, he ventured into using other types of medium such as ceramic and porcelain plates, Asian lanterns, and fans to blend Western and Eastern painting techniques.  On the other hand, the second generation of Chan Lim family--Alex, Felix, Rolex, and Jolex--are all engineers by profession and are engaged in leadership positions with multinational companies.  While they are engaged in business, the siblings are also into painting.




With Dr. Alex Chan Lim


The Chan Lim Family of Artists has traveled extensively across the Philippines to conduct numerous art exhibits, classes, workshops, seminars, and on-the-spot painting demonstrations.  Several thousands of people have attended the activities that they have organized.  The entire family is always in support of their travels, both locally and internationally.  Now, the third generation of Chan Lim family is now into exploring modern art techniques, such as digital media and mobile apps, and incorporating them into their unique and signature art style.


Dr. Alex Chan Lim doing a live art demo in front of the media

Dr. Alex Chan Lim held the Chinese brush a bit high so that the media will have a nice view of what he is creating

And here's the final artwork


What's good thing about the Cham Lim Family is that they create art which do not exclude any form of media to showcase their talent.  Over the years, they have continuously pushed the envelope on the type of media used for the Chinese brush.  Their art subjects have included flora, fauna, landscape, and even human portraiture.  These themes can be seen by the family's signature art, on which they also passed on the style and technique to their students.  The family is one of the few remaining notable Chinese brush painting artists in the country today and because of this, they are sought-after to exhibit and teach people in using Chinese brush in painting.  Their current studio is located in Pasig City and their art works can be found in private collections all over the world.

To inquire about their classes, art works, and exhibits, you may visit www.chanlim.com and their Facebook page (ChanLimFamilyofArtists).  You may also email chanlim@yahoo.com for more inquires.


Ribbon-cutting ceremony of Chan Lim exhibit at SM City East Ortigas.  Photo credits to Chan Lim Family of Artists' Facebook page

Chan Lim family and their students for a photo opp.  Photo credits to Chan Lim Family of Artists' Facebook page


The exhbit at SM City East Ortigas will run until September 24, 2017.

Admire the 135 hand-painted fans and appreciate each artwork as they are all painted with love for Chinese art.




We Love Photo! ASUS Philippines Launches Zenfone 4

Every year, we hear of a new technology on our gadgets and we have this desire to own the latest model.  There are instances that we remain loyal to the brand and when news about the latest model has leaked, we start saving for it.  We wanted to be one of the first individuals to own that gadget that we sometimes even pre-order it before it is released to the market.  Moreover, when we learn who will be the brand ambassador, the more that we wanted to own one especially if the brand ambassador is our favorite actor or actress.  That's how excited we are in terms of the latest technology.

Last August 19th, 2017, ASUS Philippines has launched the release of the latest Zenfone series to the Philippine market. After months of being near tight-lipped, ASUS Philippines finally unveiled the long-awaited Zenfone 4 series--in the most unique and vibrant manner yet: the rise of Zenfone 4 City.

Zenfone 4 series was launched in a way that is far from the traditional practices.  ASUS Philippines wanted to show to the public how versatile the latest Zenfone series and to tailor-fit each of the model in the series to the lifestyle of an individual.  "We wanted to bring something not only creative but also innovative to the table, as well as tell what's true to us being born explorers--that's why we decided to build our own city," said Francis Garcia, Product Marketer for ASUS Smartphones.  "Because what can be more versatile for adventures than a city? There are a lot of discoveries to be made in the urban jungle, so many alleys to explore, rooftops to hop, people to meet, and--most of all--so much moments to be caught," he added.

George Su, ASUS Philippines Country Manager added, "For one to fully understand the power behind the Zenfone 4 Series, we must be able to experience each phone where they are designed to be, and these are in places that we can search for in the city.  That is why we are very excited to have our dearest friends and partners share with us moments of exploration and discovery of what the newest Zenfone 4 series really is, and how it will innovate the landscape of smartphones towards the incredible."

Are you excited to learn about the new Zenfone 4 series?  There are three major models for these series and each one has a special feature.  Choose which model fits your lifestyle!


ZENFONE 4 SERIES


The latest generation of Zenfone models is bannered by its two powerful flagship smartphones: the Zenfone 4 and the Zenfone 4 Pro.  Both are equipped with the finest and most advanced technologies for an incomparable mobile photography experience.

The Zenfone 4 features a top-of-the-line dual camera system that expands creative options to new heights.  Its 12MP main camera is equipped with the industry-leading Sony IMX362 image sensor with large 1.4um pixels and a wide, F1.8 aperture lens to capture up to 5x brighter and clearer photos in low light.  Its 120-degree wide-angle camera provides 200% larger view than standard normal smartphone, letting you fit more scenery and people.  Its camera performance is further improved by the Qualcomm Spectra 160 image signal processor (ISP), which assures faster and smoother focusing and zooming, as well as photos with better color accuracy.



Meanwhile, Zenfone 4 Pro is engineered to provide luxury in every detail of your photos.  Equipped with dual-lens camera system featuring a standard camera with the Sony flagship IMX 362 image sensor, and F1.7 aperture lens and a 10x total zoom capability, and a front-facing selfie camera with fast phase-detection auto-focus, this special variant captures gorgeous photos that is at par with professional cameras.  The Zenfone 4 Pro is the world's first smartphone that incorporates three high-end Sony image sensors and the ASUS SuperPixel Engine, which promises 8x brighter photos in low light.  Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform and 6GB RAM, the Zenfone 4 Pro delivers a smooth and responsive camera experience, and the best performance with today's apps and games.



Price: Php39,995.00 for Zenfone 4 Pro, will be made available via pre-order by mid-September
          Php28,995.00 for Zenfone 4, inclusive of JBL Clip 2 portable bluetooth speaker, a premium Clear Case and ZenPower Slim.  Those who will place pre-orders from August 19-September 3 will also get an ASUS tripod.  

Both Zenfone 4 variants will come in Midnight Black and Moonlight White colors.


ZENFONE 4 SELFIE SERIES

The Zenfone 4 Selfie is endowed with dual-lens front camera of 20MP base camera and a 120-degree super wide-angle camera to capture selfies and wefies, 200% more than the usual view.  The Zenfone 4 Selfie also comes with the newest ASUS SelfieMaster, a smart beautification technology that helps one take better photos and livestreams.  In addition, the Zenfone 4 Selfie is also equipped with Snapdragon 430 with 4GB RAM and with a F/2.0 front camera with 5P lens, softlight LED flash, and 16MP rear camera with 5P lens.  With these features, Zenfone 4 Selfie will not fail at catching your best selfies and wefies.  The Zenfone 4 Selfie also comes with a tri-slot tray for two sim cards and a micro SD card.



On the other hand, Zenfone 4 Selfie's sister, Zenfone Selfie Pro has a dual-lens front camera of 24MP base camera and 120-degree super wide-angle camera.  However, what makes this particular variant unique from the Zenfone 4 Selfie s its capability to take photos with up to 2x light sensitivity, which makes it perfect taking low-light selfies.  Not only that, but the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro also showcases a curvy premium metal design and a 5.5" fulll HD AMOLED display, meant for more vivid displays on screen.

In addition, its f/1.8 SONY IMX 362 front camera with its 24MP Duopixel Camera Technology, powered by a 14mm Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB RAM assures you to great quality photo finish selfies and wefies without hassle.



Price: Php18,995.00 for Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, available in three color variants (Rogue Red, Sunlight Gold, and Deep Sea Black).

          Php13,995.00 for Zenfone 4 Selfie, available in three color variants as well (Deep Sea Black, Sunlight Gold, and Rose Pink).

          Purchases for both units will come with a free limited edition of Gong Yoo A4 poster.


ZENFONE 4 MAX SERIES

Zenfone Max series is considered as the "Battery King" and is returning with it latest variant, the Zenfone 4 Max.  It has an incredible 5,000mAh battery life that can last up to 46 days on stand-by mode.  In this latest Zenfone Max model, it has 2x faster reverse charging capability, making the 'go everywhere' power bank everyone's been wanting to have.



While Zenfone 4 Max's battery life is one of its main features, this smartphone also comes with a powerful dual-lens camera--the only international smartphone brand in the local market to have a dual camera smartphone below the Php10,000 price range.



To add, the Zenfone 4 Max carries a dual lens rear camera with a 13MP base and a secondary 120-degree super-wide angle camera, meant to capture the bigger and wider picture without compromising quality.  

With these main features, Zenfone 4 Max is perfect for those who live and breathe the active and adventurous lifestyle.

Price: Php9,995.00, available in 3 color variants (Deep Sea Black, Sunlight Gold, and Rose Pink).


ZENFONE 4 SERIES BRAND AMBASSADOR

Gong Yoo, the much-celebrated Korean actor, has joined the ASUS Zenfore family recently, being the face of Zenfone 4 and Zenfone 4 Selfie series.  Gong Yoo is known for his stellar roles in The 1st Shop of the Coffee Prince (2007), Train to Busan (2016), and The Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017).  



"When ASUS team showed me their Zenfone AR, I was completely stunned at how such a small device could possess so much technological innovation and produce a whole new world of imagination and creativity with its AR and VR features.  It was then that I realized I wanted to collaborate with ASUS to see what new possibilities we could discover together.  I am looking forward to embarking on this amazing adventure with the new Zenfone 4 series," Gong Yoo said.

Korean drama fanatics will surely get crazy after learning that Gong Yoo will be the latest face of ASUS Zenfone 4 series.  Limited edition of Gong Yoo merchandise will soon be made available in major ASUS and Zenfone stores in the Asia-Pacific region.  These merchandise will be given for free with every purchase of Zenfone 4 series smartphone.

Meanwhile, Bea Alonzo, the Movie Queen of the New Generation, will be the face of ASUS Zenfone 4 in the Philippines.  Her ambassadorship will include being part of her very first two-part web series.  "Being part of the Zenfone family is an incredible venture for me not only as an actress but also as a hobbyist too, and I'm very excited to be a part of the project," she said.  "This is all new and I will try my best to give everyone something that they will love," she added.


#4THESMILE--IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OPERATION SMILE PHILIPPINES

During the launch of Zenfone 4 to the public, ASUS Philippines had also announced their latest partnership in making our world a better place.  ASUS Philippines partnered with Operation Smile Foundation, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to helping children with cleft lips and palettes.

The online fund-raising campaign, #4thesmile, is inviting users to simply take a selfie using any of the new Zenfone 4 series smartphones and uploade these pictures with the hashtag #4thesmile and #zenfone4.  This campaign hopes to generate a total of 1.3M selfies, which will be converted to support medical missions of Operation Smile Foundation in key provincial areas in the Philippines by the end of 2017.  All selfies taken with the official campaign hashtags will be displayed in the Zenfone 4 microsite and selfie bank.


ASUS Zenfone 4 Series is now available for preorder until September 3rd!  For details on pre-order process and its participating dealers, go to ASUS Philippines' website and go to the ASUS pre-order page.  To know more about the Zenfone 4 series #4thesmile campaign, visit ASUS Philippines' Facebook page and ASUS Zentalk Forum.

Grab yours now!






Friday, August 25, 2017

Undeniably I'm 40! Mommy Donna and Kib's First International Travel

Life begins...er....life restarts at 40.

In my case, I am celebrating a milestone on my birthday--me reverting to singlehood. Indeed, my 40th birthday is something to be really celebrated in a grand way!

My son and I love traveling.  Yearly, we try to go to a new place around the Philippines.  We already had been to Boracay, Puerto Princesa/El Nido, Cebu City, Bohol, Davao City, Tagum City, Ilocos Province, Tagaytay City, Quezon Province, among others.  We also had been to different places around Metro Manila.  However, it has been three years since we rode an airplane.  Kib and I both miss riding an airplane, so for this year, I really wanted to go somewhere by airplane.

This year is the best year for us to travel abroad.  I planned to go to Hongkong before to celebrate Kib's 7th birthday but plans have changed.  I really prayed hard to God to give me an opportunity to travel abroad.  I prayed hard for provision and schedule (Kib and I are very busy people).  I renewed our passports last March and I made a promise to myself that I will put a stamp on it.

I booked our first international trip in June, a month before our birthday.  Good thing that my July wasn't that hectic that is why I was able to squeeze in a time-out for the two of us. I booked a Cebu Pacific plane tickets and accommodation via Traveloka and tickets for Ocean Park and Disneyland via Klook.  

As the day comes near, I suddenly got extra busy.  I got stressed few days before the trip due to some unavoidable circumstances.  I also got sick two weeks before the trip.  I thought we won't be able to push through with the trip because of the last-minute stuff that I need to accomplish.  I did last-minute preparations for the trip, did some grocery shopping and final tasks for my small business and work.

I booked an early flight going to Hongkong so that I would be able to maximize our time.  I booked an Uber ride going to the airport three days before our trip so that I won't have difficult time booking for it on the day itself.  

When we arrived at the airport, I immediately looked for the queue for checking-in.  Since I got our plane tickets at Traveloka, travel tax wasn't included in the amount I paid, so I need to pay for travel tax at the airport.  


Where's our check-in counter?


Our plane left on time, and our air travel was a smooth one.  

As soon as we arrived at Hongkong International Airport, my son and I started to enjoy our first time adventure outside the country.  We were both excited and nervous at the same time.  Before leaving the airport, I got some brochures and travel guide and map.  I got an Octopus card.  It is a reloadable debit card which can be used to pay for train and bus fares and paying for other commodities where Octopus card is acceptable.  It was a good decision for me to get it because it spared us from buying train tickets every time we go around Hongkong.  Octopus card can also be surrendered and the remaining balance on it will be refunded together with the HKD50 bond I paid when I got it.


Welcome to Hongkong!

The Octopus cards.  In Hongkong, they implement a child rate on transportation, it's 50% off,



I rode the Airline Express getting out of the airport.  It was a bit expensive but it gave Kib a wonderful experience riding a deluxe train.


Inside Airport Express.  It was free Wi-Fi.  I was able to call my mom in the US to tell her that we're already in Hongkong

Airport Express from the inside.  It's spacious and has a special space for luggages.


When we got off the Airline Express train, we had our first 'adventure': riding the wrong train line going to our hostel, haha.


The train system in Hongkong. It can be a bit confusing at first


Our hostel is along Nathan Road in Kowloon.  I chose that area because Kowloon is a shopping district and Nathan Road is Kowloon's main road.  


The building where our hostel is located

Alhambra Building is originally a residential building, but due to high cost of living in Hongkong, residents converted their units into a hostel to be rented by tourists

Our room

There were five rooms in this apartment unit

We can avail of the laundry but with extra charge.  I borrowed an electric kettle so that I will have water to drink.

The main door of our hostel

The alley


On our first day, we just wandered on the streets in Kowloon: Mong Kok, Ladies' Market, Temple Street, Kowloon Children's Park, Garden of Stars, Kowloon Pier, and back to our hostel.  It was a tiring walk but worthwhile because we saw a lot of interesting sights.

Check our photos on our first day in Hongkong:


The underground tunnel in Kowloon

At the Garden of Stars.  Avenue of Stars is currently being renovated

Bruce Lee's statue at the Garden of Stars

Overlooking Hongkong from Kowloon side

Temple Street Night Market


Walking along Nathan Road

While payphones are thing of the past, they are still there serving its purpose

At Ladies' Market in Mongkok

Street food in Kowloon

At the viewing deck of Hongkong Bay in Kowloon side

Fire station in Kowloon

Parking meter.  Kib was so amazed to see a lot of luxury cars in Hongkong.  He said, "Mommy there are a lot of rich people in Hongkong!"



On our second day, we went to Ocean Park.  Ocean Park is very accessible via train.  There were lots of things to do at Ocean Park--seeing different aquatic creatures on different places around Ocean Park, seeing rare animals like panda, koala, wallaby, riding amusement park rides, and watching the dolphin and sea lion show.  So many things to do at Ocean Park that you have to spend the whole day there.

Here are some of the photos we had at Ocean Park:



















We still managed to go to Victoria Peak via Peak tram on that day.  There was a long queue for the tram ride.  On top of Victoria Peak you will have a wonderful view of Hongkong.  We didn't go to the observation deck anymore because we have to pay extra for that.

Check out the view of Hongkong from Victoria Peak:


The skyscrapers at Hongkong while we were on our way going to the Peak Tram

There were lots of directional signs in Hongkong!  You cannot get lost here.  The pink signage indicates places of interest

While on queue for riding the Peak Tram

The Peak Tram.  It's the fastest ride going to Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hongkong

A view of Hongkong from the old observation deck

The Peak Tower.  You can go on top of the Peak Tower to get a wonderful view of Hongkong, however, you have to pay extra to get on top.


On our third day, we went to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.  It was a dream come true for me because I haven't been to any Disneyland theme park.  There was no Disneyland yet when I first came to Hongkong in year 2000.  I wanted to have a picture with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. 

The first thing we did there was to line up to have our picture taken with Minnie and Mickey Mouse!  I was so happy that I hugged them before having our photos taken.

Disneyland was so huge that you really need to plan your day there so that you won't waste your time in lining up on each attraction.  Sadly, there were attractions that we weren't able to try because of time constraints.

Spending the whole day at Disneyland was worth it!  It's really magical till the very end.

See our photos at Disneyland:












































On our fourth and last day, I planned to go to Ngong Ping, but when I checked our budget, I do not have enough anymore.  In addition, the weather was not fine, there was a typhoon, so we just decided to just take a stroll in Hongkong Central.  There were lots of Filipinos there, so happy to see my fellow countrymen having a get-together during their day-off at work.


Filipinos lining up at remittance centers to send money to their loved ones in the Philippines.

We saw two Jollibee stores in Hongkong and this is one of them, located near the Central train station

Filipinos bonding in Hongkong

Bad weather didn't stop Filipinos from gathering together

Route of the Hongkong tram.  It's a double-decker tram

Hongkong tram

More Filipinos gathering at the pier

Kib taking a short nap while waiting for the ferry operations to resume


Inside the ferry going to Kowloon, it was a short ride, about five minutes only






We took the tram, and walked at the pier.  We waited until the ferry operations resume again at 3:00pm.  We rode the ferry going back to Kowloon.  We went back to our hotel to get our luggages and waited for the double-decker bus to bring us to the airport.

And oh, we lost our city map!  I tried looking for a hotel to ask where I can get one but didn't find any.  I just thought of going to Macau ferry station to get one and yes, there is a city map there, whew!


Waiting for a bus going to the airport.  There are designated bus stops for each bus line.  When there are no passengers on a particular bus stop, the bus doesn't stop anymore

Double-decker buses scramble at the streets in Hongkong


Our view from the double decker bus while on our way to the airport

Just checked-in on our way back to the Philippines

Which terminal to go?


Our first international trip was a blast!  Hoping for more international adventures with Kib.  Where do we go next?