Destination: Manila, Philippines

Story by Kristine Ortiz.

Often considered by many tourists as a place to just “skip over,” Manila is slowly changing such impressions by emerging as the heart of Philippine development and by reflecting a strong Filipino spirit (Haiyan relief efforts were still going strong here). It’s a place where you can now find the traditional and the modern side by side, from the quaintest coffee shops to the most luxurious high-end boutiques (Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Prada to name a few), if you just know where to look. Though it may not be perfect, Manila is one of the most fascinating places in Asia today. Here are some of my favorite picks.


EAT

xocolat

Xocolat
Satisfy your sweet tooth at this cozy Quezon City cafe, which specializes in everything chocolate. Some personal favorites include the Xoco Latte, Churros and Chocolate, and the Chocolate Fries. With its charming, hand-painted decor and too-cool outdoor seating (popular with nearby university students), it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. Details: Xocolat.com.ph.

Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant
Open since 1997, Conti’s has combined traditional, homestyle Pinoy cooking with a contemporary dining environment. Expect attentive service and mouthwatering meals. Be sure to get the mom-approved fresh lumpia (my mother is a fan), lechon kawali (fried pork belly) and a generous slice of their famous cakes. Details: Contis.ph.

 


PLAY

intra

Intramuros Walking Tour
Former theater actor Carlos Celdran guides both locals and tourists alike on this two-hour tour of the “Walled City.” Undeniably entertaining and brilliantly thought-provoking, Celdran provides new insight into Manila’s history. As an added bonus, there’s free halo-halo at the end of the tour! Details: Celdrantours.blogspot.com.

19 East
Wanna hear what OPM (Original Pilipino Music) is like? Then look no further than 19 East. This music bar is the top spot to catch some of the best acts in the Manila music scene today. Besides the great music, this bar has a mean food and drink menu. Details: 19east.com

 


SHOP

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.55.23 PM

TeamManila
Started in 2001, this modern lifestyle brand has become a local favorite by taking cues from the distinct imagery that makes up life and culture in Manila. Expect to find prints, shirts and mugs emblazoned with the images of national hero Jose Rizal, jeepneys, Philippine catchphrases and iconography. Details: Teammanilalifestyle.com

Sunnies by Charlie
The brainchild of It-girl Georgina Wilson, Sunnies by Charlie is a too-cool boutique that features a quintessential Manila must-have — sunglasses. With on-trend offerings (we spotted some great Karen Walker and Prada dupes) that are also affordable ($12 or less), it’s hard not to pick up a pair or two. Details: Sunniesbycharlie.com.


STAY

soft
Sofitel Manila

This luxury resort is a true oasis amidst Manila’s infamous hustle and bustle. Looking to really treat yourself? Consider booking the 1,800-square foot Opera Suite, which features an incredible panoramic view of Manila Bay. Looking to indulge? Their buffet, Spiral, is hands down one of the best in town. Details: Sofitelmanila.com.

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Image of the Day: 2NE1′s Dara Park Meets Steven Yeun

If you’re a fan of both K-Pop and The Walking Dead, be prepared to get your fan-girling on. Recently Dara Park instgrammed a picture of The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun. (Steven, is that eyeliner we see!?)

Sandara Park, a South Korean idol singer, actress, dancer and model, has been a favorite of ours for years. Park, who began her career in the Philippines as an actress, is most known as a member of popular K-Pop group 2NE1.

Apparently, Steven Yeun is among her numerous fans overseas. The actor, who plays Glenn on The Walking Dead, is rumored to be in South Korea for a visit.

“It was very nice meeting you,” Park wrote as the photo caption. Yeun not only re-tweeted the photo, but started following Park on twitter.

This certainly isn’t the first time that Sandara has befriended overseas celebrities. Just last year, Dara gained viral attention after a photo of Justin Beiber kissing her cheek made its way around the internet. Needless to say, fans seem much more happy about her friendship with Yeun.

 

China Creates App to De-Smog Pictures

It’s no secret that the pollution in China has reached unbearable levels. In fact, China has had to deal with the youngest lung cancer patient ever: an 8-year-old. On some days, the pollution is so bad that classes, bus routes and airports shut down. This month, the Chinese government has confirmed that citizens should wear masks.

Wu Kai, a citizen of Harbin told Huffington Post “I couldn’t see anything outside the window of my apartment, and I thought it was snowing, then I realized it wasn’t snow. I have not seen the sun for a long time.”

So what are the netizens to do with such depressing and dangerous conditions? Well apparently, there’s an app that can make you feel better about it all.

Blue Sky, designed by Ogilvy & Mather for the World Wildlife Federation of China, launched on March 29th. It allows users to “paint” the sky and transform the grey to blue.

 

Some are complaining that this app cares too much for aesthetics when there’s a bigger issue at hand, but executive creative director Doug Schiff argues that the purpose of the app is to allow users to visualize a better world. By seeing a blue sky, Schiff hopes people will further realize what they are missing and they will be encouraged to more aggressively look for solutions.

While many believe the app will not achieve anything but prettier pictures, the creators are certainly right about one thing– we definitely see the extreme difference between a clean and a polluted sky.

 

About a Boy, About a Dog: An Uber Cute Photo Series

Story by Julie Ha.

There are dog lovers, and there are baby lovers. But both audiences can appreciate a series of oh-so-adorable pictures recently released by L.A.-based photographer Grace Chon.

The Korean American, who previously shot photos for KoreAm’s feature story on the most popular dog breeds among Koreans, is a commercial animal photographer, but since becoming a new mom 10 months ago, she’s added babies (human ones) to her repertoire.

“I’m a total crazy dog lady and first-time mom,” Chon confesses. Her 7-year-old dog Zoey and 10-month-old baby boy Jasper, of Korean and Chinese descent, inspired this photo series called “Zoey and Jasper.”

Chon said that both “inexplicably love the camera, and when they’re together, it’s adorable.” Well, just take a look.

The photographer has been snapping photos of her dogs Zoey and Maeby dressed in absurd outfits for years, but after she had Jasper, she realized that dogs look “amazing and ridiculous” wearing baby hats. “I took a photo of Zoey wearing Jasper’s hat, and my sister had the brilliant idea of sitting themside by side in a single shot,” said Chon, describing the origins of this photo series.

zj 1

“Zoey is an extremely shy rescue dog and hates new things—they make her shake in fear. But for some odd reason she loves clothes and absolutely loves posing for the camera,” adds Chon. “Jasper, being a photographer’s kid, loves the camera, too.”

For more of these precious photos, visit http://zoeyandjasper.tumblr.com/.

zj 2

 

zj 3 zj 4

 

This story was originally published in iamkoream.com.

Is Your Face Fling Material or Relationship Material?

“What do you look for in a woman?”

Smile, eyes, intelligence, or a “coke bottle” body? In this day and age, we seem to have heard all the responses. In fact, we thought nothing could surprise us. That was, of course, before we discovered that a man may actually determine what type of relationship he will have with you based on the shape of your face.

A study shows that the shape of your face may determine whether you are “fling material” or “long-term material.” Men and women alike may be skeptical of this, but researchers believe this preference may be entirely subconscious for a man.

Researchers studied hundreds of men by showing them faces of women and asking which ones would be chosen for long-term relationships and which would be chosen for flings. The faces were taken from European or Japanese faces.

The results? Apparently facial features which are considered feminine (such a small chins and full cheeks) were often chosen as fling traits while features considered more masculine (stronger jaws and square faces) were chosen for long-term relationships.

The theory is that men subconsciously find feminine features more attractive and the more attractive a woman is, the more fear a man will have that she will enter an affair.

“Previous research has found that attractive women are likelier to be unfaithful, particularly if their partner is ugly.”

We know what you’re thinking. This is absurd.

It’s quite insulting to believe that a woman’s likelihood of cheating is dependent on how attractive she is. This study claims that a man chooses his spouse dependent on whether or not she “looks” like she will cheat on him. Absurd.

Additionally, there are countless ways in which this study seems to have holes. Was race taken into consideration? Do full cheeks simply remind men of more youthful girls and they equate youth to flings? Does this study apply to women who are attracted to women?

Tell us what you think and comment below!

’47 RONIN’ Blu-Ray 3D Combo Pack GIVEAWAY

47 Ronin is the 2013 American adaptation of the real-life story of a group of samurai seeking to avenge their master. Keanu Reeves stars as an outcast who joins a band of ronin (samurai without a master or lord), led by Hiroyuki Sanada. Battling across a fantasy world of mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors, the ronin must seek help from kai (Reeves), an enslaved half-breed – in their ultimate fight for redemption. Other actors rounding out the cast include Audrey cover girl RINKO KIKUCHI, Koh Shibasaki and Asano Tadanobu.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.18.04 PM

The DVD was released earlier this month and now you have a chance to win the Blu-Ray 3D combo pack which includes the Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD.

HOW TO WIN:

1) Like Audrey Magazine on Facebook
2) Share this story on Facebook and receive at least 10 likes*
3) Send your name, email address and mailing address to ethel@audreymagazine.com

*screenshot required. Include photo with the email.

Comment below or email us if you have any questions. Giveaway ends April 30, 2014. 

Yuna Kim Sings (Yes, Sings) Popular ‘Frozen’ Song

Story by Julie Ha. 

Anyone still bitter about South Korean skater Yuna Kim not winning gold at the Sochi Olympics under a cloud of controversy?

Then, it might be worth viewing a neat new video of Kim singing and skating to a popular song from the hit film Frozen. The video is from a newly released commercial for Samsung Consumer Electronics’ new Smart Air Conditioner Q9000.

Can you guess which song from the movie? Hint: “The cold never bothered me, anyway…”

As Kim is heard singing “Let It Go,” the famous anthem from Frozen, Kim is seen performing on the ice and then later recording the popular song with a children’s choir. The video has already attracted 786,000 views on YouTube.

This isn’t the first time the 23-year-old skater has dabbled in singing. She is well-known in Korea for her singing talent and has even performed on Korean TV music programs. In this 2010 performance, she sang the Brown-Eyed Girls’ “I’m in Love” in front of an appreciative audience.

Kim was the first from her country to win an Olympic gold medal in the 2010 Winter Games and controversially won silver in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this past February, infamously losing to Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova. Kim is also a two-time World champion and three-time Grand Prix Final champion. She retired from competitive skating after the Sochi Olympics.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a look back at KoreAm‘s 2013 story about Kim, as she was making her comeback to competitive skating in the run-up to the 2014 Olympics.

 This story was originally published on iamkoream.com.

(image source)

Another Heartwarming Life Insurance Commercial

Crying because of an emotional Thai video is not a new phenomenon. In fact, we’ve been guilty of it multiple times.

We cried during the three-minute video showing just how far a good deed can take you. We cried during the short which showed true love and bravery from a mother and, of course, we cried during the video which showed how strong the bond of family truly is.

Now, we’re crying again. This time, our tears are for a heartfelt life insurance commercial. The video shows a man who consistently does good deeds for others. Often, he sacrifices his own time, efforts, and money to help those in need.

For most of the video, strangers shake their head as he gives up all of his money to beggars on the street. By the end of the commercial, we are able to see what the kind-hearted man gains in return for his good deeds.

The video, which has gathered over 5 million views is winning the hearts of many. Watch the it below and let us know if it pulls at your heartstrings.

 

Who Knew Judo Could Be This Cute?

Anyone who is skilled in the art of judo knows that it should not be taken lightly. Although the name judo means the “gentle or yielding way,” an intense Judo match is far from gentle.

The objective of this martial art, which is derived from jujutsu, is to throw or takedown an opponent to the ground. You may immobilize or subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke.

The idea behind judo is to use your opponent’s strength against them and adapt to changing circumstances. Because it does not solely focus on one’s strength, judo can be mastered by anyone regardless of their body type.

Although judo welcomes all, we certainly didn’t expect to see these tiny girls on the mat for a judo match.

Our initial fear of the young girls getting hurt is quickly erased. We can’t help but squeal at how cute these girls are in their mini judo outfits. They bow to one another enthusiastically and take turns pinning one another to the ground.

By the end of the match, the girls simply run towards each other and hug before falling to the ground giggling. Watch the video below.

 

Jackie Chan Portrait Made Entirely of Chopsticks

A few months ago, we showed you the art of Red Hong Yi. Referred to as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush,” Hong Yi utilized make up to recreated scenes from Chinese myths and create cultural and traditional symbols of the country such as opera masks, firecrackers, cherry blossom trees and goldfish.

Luckily for us, Hong Yi continues to use unique mediums for her work. She has made portraits out of flower petals, sunflower seeds, candle wax, bamboo sticks and coffee cup stains. She’s even painted an entire portrait using a basketball as a brush.

Most recently, Hong Yi has payed homage to actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer, and stunt performer, Jackie Chan.

In addition to managing his first K-Pop band, JJCC, Chan is also celebrating his 60th birthday this year. In honor of this, Red Hong Yi decided to create a portrait of him. Of course, this isn’t just an ordinary portrait. It’s created with 64,000 chopsticks.

In the video description, Hong Yi writes, “Jackie turns 60 this year and being an artist who paints without a paintbrush, I spent a looong time thinking about what material to use for his portrait! He is an actor, a martial arts master, an environmentalist and is a world-renowned face! I finally decided on chopsticks – a symbol of the Chinese culture, Jackie has used chopsticks during his kungfu scenes in a few movies like the Fearless Hyena and Karate Kid. I used disposable bamboo chopsticks to show that disposable materials can be reused and made into something else more meaningful and beautiful. I spent a month collecting these chopsticks from cafes, stalls and factories in Zhejiang and Beijing, then tying each of them up. So honoured to present it at his concert on 6/4/14. Happy 60th birthday, Jackie!”