September 24, 2012

SM Cinema Brings the IMAX Experience to Davao

SM Cinema, the country’s leading film exhibitor, continues its quest to elevate this country’s cinematic experience by bringing in state-of-the-art theater technology. Introducing the IMAX Experience to the Filipinos is one of SM Cinema’s ways of delivering world-class quality entertainment.

One of the highlightsin the opening of SM Lanang Premier is the opening of the IMAX Theatre.IMAX Lanangopens with 467 seats and a digital projection system that can support both 2D and 3D films. 

IMAX is the world’s leading film entertainment technology. It utilizes laser-aligned digital audio feed in addition to a revolutionary projection system that enhances image quality and display, delivering unparalleled and realistic sound and visuals.

IMAX is more than a technology; it is an experience. The IMAX Theatre is designed to fill your field of visionand engulf you in sound so powerful that it is almost tangible. IMAX screen is several times larger than the screen of the standard theater, delivering an image so large that it fills your entire field of view.  The screen is slightly curved and the seats are angled to allow audience to have an unobstructed view of what they are watching. The IMAX image is several times larger than any other cinema format, offering far greater resolution than the 35mm film. All these contribute to bringing images to life like no other—making you feel you are part of the movie and not just a mere spectator.

The immersive movie-viewing experience that IMAX brings is made possible by IMAX Digital Media Remastering (DMR), the transformative process used to enhance and optimize the image and sound of Hollywood feature films for the IMAX format. During this process, IMAX spends hours, weeks and months working directly with the filmmakers and technical teams of each film on dozens of ways to enhance the movie, including adjusting the saturation, contrast, brightness, re-mixing the soundtrack, and a bunch of other variables in virtually every frame.

The result delivers an unparalleled image and sound quality that is designed specifically for IMAX theatres. Watching a film in an IMAX Theatre gives you a unique experience; it allows you to lose yourself in the scenes unfolding before you.With IMAX, you are absorbed by the movie.
Through SM Cinema, Filipinos are able to enjoy the IMAX Experience--an experience that takes you beyond the edge of your seats to a world you have never imagined.

September 19, 2012

Makati Street Market: Thriving with Makati’s Dynamism

How can an urban street market flourish and become a must-visit destination for city goers with varied tastes?

The generous dollop of hard work and the exceptionality of the dining and shopping finds do count, as evinced by the continuous success of the Legazpi Sunday Market in Makati. For seven consecutive years, the weekend street souk—a must-visit stop in a dynamic city spearheaded by propitious entrepreneurs and artisans—remains a place where international cuisines, organic finds, hand-made products, green items, and local products can be found. Complementing the array of lifestyle possibilities in Makati, the Legazpi Sunday Market in Makati evidently showcases more of what Makati has to offer.

Meanwhile, GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc. (GMCI), a Makati-based transformative social marketing company, and the Legazpi Sunday Market organizers realized that what the street market currently presents to its customers can, in fact, further develop to nurture the promising businesses of the artisans and highlight the escalating stature of Makati.

“Being a Makati denizen and as a long-standing communications partner of the most distinguished industry players for years have given us a perspective on how staying relevant to the ever-changing lifestyle of your market matters,” notes Amor Maclang, Director for Communications of GMCI. “It’s one of the ideals that make us challenge ourselves to produce new, transformative, and game-changing ideas that serve as our inspirations to generate exceptional campaigns.”

Hence, GMCI, together with its partners and sponsors, are transforming the Legazpi Sunday Market into the Makati Street Market, the first and biggest artisanal market of its kind in the Philippines. Enthused by the verve of the renowned outdoor lifestyle markets in Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki, and Paris, the Makati Street Market will retain the Legazpi Sunday Market’s open-air venue laid-out in a dazzling urban backdrop, which allows people to take pleasure in dining and shopping amid the vivacious Makati atmosphere. Furthermore, the enhanced street souk will be adapting the idea of artisanal market concepts, where purchasers will deal with the food artisans themselves.

To further foster the thrilling vibe of the district, where the street market is located, the market organizers will set up pocket events for four consecutive Sundays starting September 23 to October 14. The said activities include grilling competitions, adobo festival, dance and cocktail events, and even biking workshops highlighting Makati’s landscape as a city that boasts of accessibility.

A Destination that Marks the Spot

Geared to become the biggest of its kind in the country, the upcoming Makati Street Market is truly a grand scene, which will highlight not only the selection of good finds and good food in Makati, but also one of the reasons why the city is a dynamic address of endless lifestyle possibilities. Nonetheless, facades and environs aside, the main goal that the initiative truly aspires is to uphold and support more of the country’s local products and homegrown services, which will arguably lead to the growth of budding artisanal businesses like Mantequilla, Budbud Gourmet Suman, and Pinoy Ordurvz Foods for delicacies; Patika Beads and Wiresworks for fashion accessories; and Creative Definitions, Bicol Sweetgrass Handcrafts, and All in Red Clay Factory for crafts and home decor.

One of the known sponsors of the event is one of GMCI’s long-standing partners known for being at the helm of fostering the leisure and lifestyle options present in Makati.

Alveo Land—Ayala Land Inc.’s benchmark of lifestyle innovation—is joining the said market transformation since the location of the market itself is pivotal to the thriving dynamism in the district, where two of its landmark projects are located—The Lerato and Kroma Towers.

Apart from this, Makati Street Market also complements the Make It Happen! Make It Makati! campaign, an ongoing project initiated by Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), Makati Commercial Estate Association, Inc. (MACEA), and the local government of Makati, aiming to underscore the opportunities for the changing lifestyles of the city’s denizens. To date, the market’s location—Makati North—is being highlighted by the abovementioned groups as a lifestyle spot for young and creative denizens, since this district is landscaped with a range of bars, shopping spots, museums, and concept stores.

Evidently, the ongoing success of the Legazpi Sunday Market was no fluke, despite the fact that Makati already houses a wide-array of dining and shopping spots. And with the exceptional lifestyle concept that will be adapted and enhanced by the amplified Makati Street Market, the initiative will further strengthen Makati’s dynamism as an ideal address for today’s evolving urbanites, as well as the flourishing business of our fellow countrymen.

The Makati Street Market is located at the Legazpi Park in Makati City. The pocket events will run for four Sundays (September 23, September 30, October 7 and October 14), from  7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Interested sponsors may contact 0917-521-4624 or

September 16, 2012

Suzuki holds free motorcycle-riding seminars in Diliman, QC

Suzuki Philippines, in partnership with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Motorcycle Philippines Federation (MCPF), will hold another round of the Suzuki Motorcycle Safety Learn to Ride Program on September 15 and 16, and Sept. 29 and 30, at the LTO Head Office, East Avenue, in Diliman, Quezon City.

The 2-day seminar will run from 8 am to 5 pm each day for both schedules. All the participants who will pass the driving exam on the second day will receive certificates authorized by the LTO. This certificate of completion can be presented to the LTO when applying for a restriction 1 non-professional driver’s license.

The first day of the Learn to Ride seminar consists of a lecture about motorcycle riding basics, including proper protective gears, handling, balancing, starting the engine, throttle control, and start and stop exercises. The second day focuses on advanced lessons. These include the use of the headlights, mirrors, how to shift gears, and riding techniques about the posture of the rider when driving and taking turns.  Suzuki Philippines will provide riding instructors and personnel for the assistance of the participants.

The Learn to Ride Program is part of Suzuki’s corporate social responsibility efforts in helping alleviate the incidence of motorcycle-related accidents in the country. “We are one with the government in creating a safer and more responsible driving environment through road courtesy and discipline,” Suzuki Philippines President Mr. Satoshi Uchida said.

 Suzuki conducts a 2-day Learn to Ride program at the LTO grounds in its effort to promote its safety riding advocacy.

Mr. Uchida also added that their partnership with LTO boosts their endeavor to familiarize to the motorcycle riders and would-be riders the fundamental traffic laws and regulations, and how to handle the motorcycle properly. Virginia Torres, LTO Assistant Secretary, also commended the partnership because it has given LTO’s free riding seminars a wider reach.

Interested participants for the Suzuki Learn to Ride Program may sign up with Suzuki through the customer care hotline at 902-1001; or provide the following details: name, age, contact number/s, address, and send to

September 5, 2012

Soderno, The Mercato Centrale of Alabang, Re-Opens this September

For food lovers based in the South, we've got great news for you! Soderno returns just in time for the Holiday season!

From the same organizers that brought to you the highly successful Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, the Soderno Night Food Market in Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang (corner of Commerce and Madrigal Avenues, in front of Alabang Town Center) serves the vibrant night food community of the South every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 12mn.

 The Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 at Soderno Night Market last July 29

Foodies tasting the different dishes at Soderno

Soderno Night Food Market brings together food and dessert finds from the all over the South like Rice Pots, Tong Baracas barbeque, Elle’s Torta, Piper’s Pan pasteries and more, along with the favorite food and dessert stalls from Mercato like Big Bob’s fresh char-grilled burgers with mozzarella, Juana Bowl’s juicy rib-eye steaks, Manila Q’s ‘Bagwang’, Pinoy street foods, Med Chef’s revel bars and pastries, Mio Gelato home-made Italian ice cream and Serendipitea Milk Teas. Soderno marketgoers can also take in the great food and lively company while enjoying the free wi-fi, live sounds and air-conditioned tent.

Family and friends enjoying at Soderno Night Market

                               The festive environment at Soderno Night Market

“After a short break, we’re very happy to re-open the Soderno night food market this September!” shared Anton Diaz, co-organizer of Soderno and the man behind the popular food and travel blog “Last July, we successfully held the Ultimate Taste Test – a food event where our marketgoers had a chance to be food critics for a night. The event was very well-received and it looks like the South-based foodies are raring for more unique food and dessert offerings!”

 Taste Testers from The Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 at Soderno

“To make the Soderno market experience even more enjoyable, we have weekly themed bazaars in the market for the Holiday season!” shared RJ Ledesma, another co-organizer of Soderno. “We have chosen reputable bazaar organizers who are known for their great selection of bags, shoes, apparels, men’s wear, beauty products, novelty items and more!”

“Soderno is also now open for school and private fund-raising activities, corporate launches and even wedding receptions!” added RJ. “In fact, we have several wedding receptions and private birthday parities booked in Soderno for the year!”

For vendor, bazaar or event inquiries, please contact or 09159322330.  Like us on Facebook and follow @soderno on Twitter!

September 2, 2012

Esquire Financing and Philippine Franchise Asia see fast growing future of SMEs

According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), franchising currently represents 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion worth of economic activity in the U.S.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines leads in terms of franchise concept development. Last year, more than 124,000 franchisees offered the products and services of over 1,100 franchisors in the country. The industry generated more than a million jobs while recording a total of $9.45 billion output—equal to five percent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP).

PFA Chairman Lim said that the recent growth can be attributed to the entry of new players from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the continued rise of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, and the introduction of indigenous and food concepts.

ESQUIRE Financing Inc. also recognizes the potential in funding the development of emerging enterprises, especially now when there is positive economic growth in the country. “MSMEs are the pillars of growth of the Philippine economy. They will catapult economic production into greater numbers through job development,” ESQUIRE President/CEO Rajan Uttamchandani stated.

Learn more about how EFI can help you grow your SME with its fast and efficient financial solutions by visiting, or contact or call 0917-5135573.     

 In the photo: In the center ESQUIRE Financing Inc.'s CEO Rajan Uttamchandani with staff at the inauguration of the new CAPITALIFE Business Center in Makati.

In the picture: ESQUIRE Financing Inc.'s CEO Rajan Uttamchandani at the Philippine Small and Medium Enterprise Expo 2012

A Classy Destination in the Metro: Buddha Bar

The newest lifestyle destination that is nestled in Makati at Picar Place has now become the haven for people who want to escape the frenzy of urban life and bask in Buddha-Bar Manila’s fantastic backdrop. Formally launched in January, Buddha-Bar Manila’s opening was graced by the presence of top fashion models Tweety de Leon-Gonzales, Mariana Benipayo, Bianca Valerio, fashion designers JC Buendia and Randy Ortiz, TV personality Rovilson Fernandez, and other prominent and discerning individuals who all have a penchant for classy party spots.

As a franchise of the world renowned bar-lounge-restaurant chain conceived by the late Raymond Visan in Paris, France in 1996, Buddha-Bar Manila carries the Buddha-Bar signature sophistication that has awed even the crowds of Monte Carlo, Kiev, Prague, Budapest, Mexico, Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and Tblisi. Buddha-Bar Manila has the same grandeur and opulence, with mystical interiors coupled with a glorious expanse filled with ornate fixtures, subdued amber lightning, and eclectic Asian décor.

With or without themed events, Buddha-Bar Manila is always poised to satisfy its guests.  In addition to its luscious treats and drinks, the mix of original Buddha-Bar music— ambient tracks and chill-out grooves— complement its overall ambiance. And since Buddha-Bar is known for its world-class DJs, it also offers compilations of musical collections that are exclusively selected by these DJs and stamped uniquely Buddha-Bar.

And of course, what’s a party without delicacies and thirst-quenchers? Palates are guaranteed to feast with Buddha-Bar’s wide array of drinks and dishes that are all conjured with first-class ingredients and gustative concepts. With cuisine that perfectly fuse the strong Asian flavors with delicate French influences, dishes like Seared Sesame Tuna with Shiitake Vinaigrette, Fillet Mignon cooked “Teppan Yaki” Style, and a full selection of sushi palates will truly lift any party up a few notches.

Buddha-Bar Manila is located at Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue and is open six days a week from 12nn until 2am (3am on weekends). For more information, visit


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Don Garcia Jr is the author of Don Garcia Photography and My Thoughts and the Act blogs. He is a graduate of Information Technology of Saint Mary's University. Currently working as an SEO/SEM and Social Marketing Specialist. A photography hobbyist, a frustrated dancer and singer.


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