Filipino Artist Uses Sun and Magnifying Glass to Create Detailed Portraits


As a child, I was left in awe after I discovered that the sun is the source of the earth’s heat and energy. I can still recall hunching over a piece of paper with a magnifying glass to test if the sun would leave a burn mark. As it turned it out, this was a much harder task than I had anticipated. Unlike Toy Story, where it only took Sid a few seconds to burn a spot on Woody’s forehead, this task required a lot of patience and a steady hand– I had neither.

However, in the Philippines, Jordan Mang-osan is doing what my 5-year-old self couldn’t do. He uses the power of the sun to create images from vast landscapes of Philippine’s cascading green rice terraces to larger-than-life portraits of Manny Pacquaio. Many pieces draw inspiration from the natural beauty of his home–the Cordilllera mountains. Much like Kalinga’s last traditional tattoo artist, his choice in medium stays true to his roots as he uses only a magnifying glass, the sun and wood– a method that has been coined as “solar pyrography.” It requires the utmost patience and poise.

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All photos courtesy of Jordan Mang-osan.


Viral Coca-Cola Ad Shows the Importance of Saying “Thank You”


With Thanksgiving just a few hours away, it’s a good time to remember all the people we are thankful for. You’ve probably expressed thanks for family and close friends, but what about the people who often go unnoticed and unappreciated? Do you give thanks for the hardworking UPS guy? What about the waitress at your favorite restaurant that always makes sure you get the best table? Or what about the barista who knows exactly the way you take your coffee every morning?

These people may serve us on a day to day basis and certainly make our lives easier, but how often do we actually recognize their work? In fact, do we even know their name?


A new Coca-Cola ad, which was released in the Philippines, has already gained nearly 3 million views because it asks that very question. As it turns out, acknowledging someone by their name can mean so much– especially in a job where they are often unnoticed. Most importantly, the ad reminds us that a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

“Challenge yourself to take time every single day to thank those who serve you – just be sure to get their name,” Liftable reminds us. “Not only will you make their day, you will encourage them to continue their work with the knowledge they are positively impacting the lives of those around them.”




Filipino Actor Uses Makeup to Transform Into Female Celebs


Paolo Ballesteros, a Filipino host and actor, has suddenly been making headlines internationally. Surprisingly, it’s not his acting and hosting skills that’s given him viral attention. It’s actually his unbelievable makeup skills.

Before all this international attention, the 31-year-old was most known for his acting, modeling and hosting. More specifically, he was known for one of his earliest hosting gigs on the television show “Eat Bulaga.”

Recently, his Instagram account has jumped up to nearly 500,000 followers and understandably so. In addition to photos of his adorable daughter Keira, his Instagram is filled with unbelievable makeup transformations. In fact, Ballesteros currently known as the man who can transform himself into any female celebrity using makeup.

That’s right. Looks like Michelle Phan has some competition when it comes to being the ultimate makeup guru. With the help of skilled contouring and wigs, he has transformed into Drew Barrymore, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Julia Roberts, and even Ariana Grande. Needless to say, he looks nothing like the girls he transformed into.

Because of his interest in makeup, many who are unfamiliar with Ballesteros have questioned his sexuality. Apparently, he has never minded the question. After all, this isn’t the first time. He has portrayed many gay roles in the past causing fans to question his preferences. Ballesteros has confirmed that he is heterosexual and clearly, he has no problem going against the gender stereotype which says makeup only interests women.

Check out the transformations below!

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Jennifer Lawrence

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Kim Kardashian

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Julia Roberts

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Kristen Stewart



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Tyra Banks

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Ariana Grande

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Emma Stone

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Keira Knightley

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Jennifer Anniston

See more here!


Filipino Basketball Prodigy Kobe Paras Commits to UCLA, Gains Thousands of Fans


It looks like Los Angeles will soon have a new Kobe to cheer for. Kobe Paras, a 17-year-old basketball prodigy from the Philippines, first gained major attention for his athletic skills when he participated in a 2013 Nike exhibition in Manilla. Despite the presence of LeBron James, the 6’6″ teen was able to slam the ball into the hoop. The move was caught on video soon went viral. It wasn’t long before Paras was known as “the kid who dunked on LeBron.”



But now it seems the young athlete is going for even bigger nicknames. Paras, who played for La Salle Greenhills before pursuing a career in the United States, currently attends LA Cathedral. Paras has apparently already received scholarship offers from UC Irvine, Fresno State, Texas Arlington, Arizona State, Portland State, and Boston College, but it wasn’t until last week that he received an offer he couldn’t turn down.

UCLA coach Steve Alford visited a Cathedral game to watch Paras practice and sure enough, by the end of the game Alford offered him a UCLA scholarship. It didn’t take long for Paras to commit.

“I have made my decision… I’m really happy to say that I have committed to UCLA!” Paras posted on his offcial Twitter account on Saturday. In 24 hours, he picked up 1,000 more Twitter followers. In fact, the young athlete now has over 50K Twitter followers.

In a video posted on the Middlebrooks Basketball Facebook account, Paras was asked to describe how it felt to have committed to the Bruins. “It’s an unbelievable feeling, especially for a kid coming from the Philippines, a place that no one even knows about that much,” he said. “I’ve just been here for a couple of months… I can’t explain that much. It’s just a great feeling, just amazing. I’m so excited.” Of course he ends with an enthusiastic yell.

Many are claiming that Paras gained his talent from his father Benjie. Los Angeles Times reports, “In 1989 [Benjie] became the only player in the history of the country’s professional basketball league to be the rookie of the year and the MVP in the same season.”

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Images courtesy of


Another Viral “Let it Go” Cover To Give You Goosebumps


We thought the days of “Let it Go” covers had come to an end, but it looks like we may have spoken too quickly. Just last week, we showed you a girl group from the Philippines who left Korean Superstar K judges in awe with their version of the popular Frozen song.

Now, it appears we have yet another aspiring Filipina blowing us away with her vocals. Of course, 19-year-old Alisah Bonaobia is not singing to a panel of judges during a television show. No, she seems to have been uncovered in a far less likely place– a shopping mall in Manilla.

In fact, the shoppers surrounding this karaoke station are chatting away loudly and initially we can’t even hear the young girl. However, she quickly demands attention with her strong voice and she effortlessly belts out all the high notes of the beloved song.

The video was captured and uploaded by a YouTube user by name of Henrik Jensen and was re-uploaded by Bida Sa Kalokohan. Both videos have over 300,000 views and are capturing the attention of viewers worldwide.

Check it out for yourself below.

Want to be Part of Ariel’s World? This Philippine Academy Shows You How


Some fifteen years ago, little girls all over the U.S., myself included, had our eyes glued to the television watching The Little Mermaid and praying that one day we would wake up with the latter half of our bodies covered in colorful scales. Um hello, who doesn’t want the ability to live underwater and hang out with adorable fish all day? But then we experienced true internal conflicts as we watched Ariel give up her beautiful tail to be with the love of her life.

Now, even with raging hormones fighting against us, most of us (hopefully) know better than to change our appearances for some boy. Even if he has piercing blue eyes, an adorable dog and lives in a castle. Like whatever, we’re so over it.

But for those of you who aren’t quite ready to give up on your lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid, we have great news for you — the Philippines Mermaid Swimming Academy has just opened to turn your dreams into reality, at just $40 per session. According to Elitedaily, the classes are open to anyone regardless of age and gender, and they also offer mermaid water scooting and mermaid scuba diving classes. Boys, that means you too can swim around with a heavy rubber tail while being strapped to an oxygen tank.


Here are some pictures so you know what your getting yourself into:







And here’s a promo video to really get you into the mood:


Americans Taste Filipino Street Food and Are Pleasantly Surprised


Last month we all rolled our eyes at Americans overreacting to Asian food where, as you can guess from the title, a few taste testers made it seem like Asian food was the most horrible thing in human existence. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Asian food is amazing —end of story. (Am I biased? Maybe a little.)

So you can imagine our fear when these same Buzzfeed taste testers decided to try some Filipino street food. After all, we’ve seen this before and it wasn’t pretty. A controversial blogpost titled “I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Street Food Again!” made its way onto the Web a few months ago and sparked some controversy for its writer, Agness Walewinder.

The story received nearly 700 responses and even led other writers, such as travel writer Nathan Allen, to allege that Walewinder was intentionally abrasive and offensive just to gain attention for her blog.

For instance, Walewinder comments, “No wonder why [sic], in the north, the vast majority of Filipino kids and young people are overweight. This is something we have noticed straight away. People in young age [sic] are huge and it’s due to poor quality of food.”



After such controversy, we couldn’t help but expect an even worse reception in Buzzfeed’s Filipino street food taste test. After all, these are the people who cringed at Japanese snacks. (Seriously, how do you not like jelly cups and green tea Kit Kats?)

So you can imagine our pleasant surprise to discover that Filipino street food was rather well received this time around. Although the tasters showed some hesitation before taking a bite, they were quick to admit that the street food was pretty good and even ended up enjoying many of the treats. Finally, we’ve found something they’re satisfied with!

Check out the video below and excuse me while I go indulge in some turon.



You’ll Be Seeing Gowns From These Top Filipino Designers on the Red Carpet Soon

As we ooh and ahh over celebs in their gorgeous gowns on the red carpet, we often forget about the creative minds behind the spectacle — the ones who’ve designed these chic creations. Though Asian American designers are having a serious moment, there are three designers from the Philippines who are taking the red carpet by storm and who you need to know.

1. Michael Cinco

Michael Cinco, left, with a model in one of his designs.

Michael Cinco, left, with a model in one of his designs.

Known for his couture gowns, especially in the Middle East, the Dubai-based Cinco impresses Arab royalty and onlookers alike with gowns intricately embellished with Swarovski crystals. Cinco has shown his collections at Dubai Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Swarovski Shows and Philippine Fashion Week, and dresses celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga.

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A look from Michael Cinco’s runway show at Philippine Fashion Week.


2. Oliver Tolentino

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Tolentino’s designs have been featured everywhere — from the Oscars to American Idol to everywhere in between. Not only are Tolentino’s designs gorgeous, he also specializes in eco-friendly fabrics that make his dresses environmentally conscious. He also dressed Jennifer Lee, the Academy Award winning co-director of “Frozen” at the most recent Oscars, the first Filipino designer to dress an Oscar winner in 53 years.

Gowns from Oliver Tolentino's Eco Couture line.

Gowns from Oliver Tolentino’s Eco Couture line.

3. Alexis Monsanto


Monsanto is the designer and founder of West Hollywood-based fashion design studio, Alexis Monsanto Atelier. With his precise tailoring, Monsanto’s designs complement and enhance a woman’s body by showing off a woman’s natural curves.This savvy fashion innovator was also the first designer in the U.S. to create a 3D fashion show with his spring/summer 2012 collection that propelled his name into fashion headlines.

A look from Alexis Monsanto.

A look from Alexis Monsanto.




Tearjerker Alert: Cancer Patient’s Final Wish to Marry the Love of His Life

Get your tissues out. You’ll be needing it.

A video from the Philippines has just been released and has already gathered over 2 million views. What could get this much attention this quickly? The beautiful and painful story of a cancer patient’s last wish.

Just last month, Rowden Pangcoga was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer. The disease took over quickly. Realizing his time was limited, Rowden made one final wish: to marry Leizl, his beloved girlfriend and the mother of his 2-year-old daughter.

Earlier this month, they fulfilled that wish. By the time preparations for the wedding were complete, Rowden’s state had gotten worse and he was unable to leave the hospital. This didn’t stop them. It was ultimately decided that the wedding would take place at the hospital.

The viral video shows footage of the beautiful and heartbreaking wedding. In a hospital room filled with tears from loved ones, the couple said their vows.

Less than 10 hours after the wedding, Rowden passed away.

“Our family would like to thank the Main Man up above, Jesus Christ, for orchestrating this very inspiring story. And for giving us enough time to give Rowden what he wanted, and show him how loved he was.”


Filipino Teen Creates Footwear That Can Charge Phones & Access Electricity

A fifteen-year-old Filipino teen named Angelo Casimiro has created a new way to charge a phone or flashlight with footwear that can generate electricity by walking.

He recognizes that this concept may not seem necessary for everyone. After all, who wants to walk when they can just plug their phone into a charger and go on with their full day of watching Netflix? Well, this is certainly not the average day for everyone.

“I’m a Filipino. I live in the Philippines. And just by looking around my surroundings, I can see that a lot of people are suffering from poverty,” explains Casimiro. “A simple source of light is a big deal for people who don’t have electricity.”

The footwear was Casimiro’s entry to Google’s Science Fair this year. He realized that the average human takes 7,000 steps a day and wanted to find a way to utilize that energy.

Of course, this will still take quite some effort. During Casimiro’s experiments, he was able to give his phone about 10 minutes of battery life after two hours of playing basketball. None the less, this is clearly a start to something extraordinary.

Learn more about his invention with the video below.