World Barista Champion Hidenori Izaki Judges the Latte Art Throwdown

I love latte art. It’s amazing how baristas can create beautiful images by pouring steamed milk into a cup of espresso. I’ve seen flowers, hearts, and once, a 3D panda. I thought that it’s all just fun and games. It turns out it’s quite competitive and there’s such a thing as the Latte Art Throwdown.

A Latte Art Throwdown is a competition amongst baristas where they have to create latte art given limited time. Participants compete in pairs and the winners go on to the next pairing until one winner is announced. This year, baristas from all over the Philippines converged in Pasay City, where they were judged by a panel of celebrities, including World Barista champion Hidenori Izaki.

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The Snow Crystal White Tomato is the Newest Addition to My Skincare Routine

Here’s a little secret about me: I’m obsessed with skincare. I don’t talk about it because I’d rather let people think “I woke up like this.” But I’m becoming more vocal with my obsession because I want to trade tips and recommendations with my fellow skincare addicts, and it’s part of my personal mission to open up more.

For a rundown on what I do with my body, I cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day (I have a day cream and a night cream). Twice a week I exfoliate my face and body, and once a week I put on a face mask. I use an organic shaving gel lightly scented with sandalwood. I use different kinds of soaps and lotions. It’s not that I’m excessively vain, I just want to always look my best.

I use a lot of creams, liquids, and organic products, but strangely, I don’t take a lot of supplements, except for the occasional vitamin C. I have a new addition to my skincare routine, and it’s the Snow Crystal White Tomato.

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Starbucks Card Celebrates 4th Anniversary with Bonus Stars and Free Drinks!

I love collecting Starbucks cards. I love its distinct designs, with themes reflecting the time it was released. I’m partial to the sleek and minimalist cards, but some of my favorites are the cards exclusive to Manila and the Philippines.

For its fourth anniversary, Starbucks released its 2017 Edition Pilipinas Starbucks Card, a striking design with elegant strokes of pink and yellow, representing the coffee aroma in the form of folk dances from Philippine culture.

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Globe Live and 9WT’s “Newsies” is a Spectacular Musical That Will Wow You

Last year, I declared that Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s A Christmas Carol was the best local theater production I’ve seen… ever. That title is now with Newsies, which coincidentally, is also a collaboration between the two companies.

Spectacle seems to be a keyword for Globe Live. It’s a word that perfectly defined A Christmas Carol, with an incredibly talented cast that delivered soaring vocals that sent shivers down my spine. They recreated the pageantry in the musical Newsies, where they demanded that each actor should be able to act, sing, and dance.

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I Went to Coffee College and Got a “Diploma”!

A lot of us drink 3-in-1s in the morning that we forget that coffee has a lot of nuances and flavors. Like a person, each blend is different, shaped by different circumstances to bring a unique flavor. There are drinks that are strong, while there are drinks that are more subtle, the kind that you get to know after a second or third date. I was able to learn more about the intricacies of coffee through Starbucks Philippines’ Coffee College.

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“Crimetime” is a Crime Anthology That Will Keep You Guessing

Eagle-eyed readers will notice the impressive list of names that adorn Crimetime, Maria LM Fres-Felix’s new crime anthology. On the cover is a blurb by award-winning crime author Charlson Ong. At the back is another blurb by award-winning fictionist Butch Dalisay. Inside are more praises by writers Sarge Lacuesta, Joel Pablo Salud, and Joselito D. Delos Reyes. There’s a glowing preface by National Artist F. Sionil Jose.

It’s a star-studded introduction to Felix’s anthology, but if its purpose is to entice reluctant buyers, it doesn’t need it. Crimetime is a compelling series of mysteries that will keep you guessing, set in Quezon City and starring Inspector SJ Tuason. As someone with a diminishing attention span, I was able to finish this book in a few days.

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Repertory Philippines Celebrates 50 Years of Telling Stories

When it comes to plays in the Philippines, the leading name in English-language theater is Repertory Philippines. They are behind some of the country’s best plays, having produced 443 productions since it started in 1967. Yes, the company has been around for 50 years and they celebrated their golden anniversary with a lavish gala at The Theatre at Solaire.

REP: 50 Years of Telling Stories pays tribute to its history by inviting its current roster of talents and alumni to weave together the company’s story. It covers every aspect of producing a show, from narration to music, choreography, producers, performers, comedians, set designers, and directors.

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