HONG KONG:Lucky Number Eight in IKEA Shatin

HONG KONG: Lucky Number Eight in IKEA Shatin

The above “forced perspective” picture was taken by accident.

I was then about to take the picture of my younger sister and while motioning her to move a little to her left to block the view of the yellow wet floor signage at the back, an idea struck me.

I ignored the yellow wet floor sign and took the shot.

It is as if the number 8 was on top of her head. 

In Chinese tradition, the number eight (8) is one of the numbers believed to be auspicious (吉利) or lucky. In fact, it is treated as the luckiest of of all lucky numbers This is because bā” (八), the word for “eight” in Mandarin Chinese sounds similar to the Mandarin Chinese word fā” (发), which means “prosper” or “wealth.” In Cantonese, “baat” (eight) sounds similar to “faat” (fortune).

Another reason why the number eight is considered lucky is that the figure “eight” has a perfect symmetrical shape, which is equivalent to perfect balance, one that is considered ideal in Chinese Astrology.

IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings retailer known for its well-designed, inexpensive, and functional furniture for the home, must have these in mind when it placed an ornamental plant shaped into a figure “eight” outside its store in Shatin, Hong Kong.

This particular store of IKEA in Shatin is where we dropped by right after we climbed up to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery nearby.

IKEA was founded in 1943 by 17 year-old Ingvar Kamprad. As a young entrepreneur in south Sweden, Kamprad soon turned his business into a mail order operation selling a variety of household products, particularly furniture. The first IKEA showroom/store opened in 1953 in Sweden.

The name IKEA comes from the initials of its founder (IK) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E), the farm in Southern Sweden where he grew up, and Agunnarvd (A), the nearby village.

The IKEA logo’s colors are blue and yellow which are the same colors of the Swedish flag.

Swedish flag.

Before IKEA was known to be seller of home furnishings, it originally sells pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings, meeting needs with products at reduced prices.

Kamprad’s innovative strategy was to design functional furniture that was easy and inexpensive to build, receive it disassembled at stores, and display it on the show room floor with detailed explanation tickets, making salesperson assistance unnecessary. Employees were available for questions but the customers could choose, order, pick up, transport, and assemble their own selections. Cost savings earned by IKEA were passed through to customers in lower prices (estimated cost savings are 20-50%, compared with the competition). His stores soon became home furnishing centers, also offering restaurant facilities and play areas for children. The strategy continues to drive IKEA operations.

From the start, Kamprad’s desire to integrate social value into business practice has strongly influenced the IKEA vision. In December 1976, Kamprad wrote, “What is good for our customers is also good for us in the long run.” This objective of responsibility drives the company vision to create a better everyday life for the majority of people. The vision is realized by offering a wide range of functional and well-designed home furnishing items, at prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them.

Ikea will open its Philippine store soon! Abangan!

TAGAYTAY: Puzzle Mansion Bed And Breakfast Staycation

TAGAYTAY: Puzzle Mansion Bed And Breakfast Staycation

My friends and I spent one (1) night and two (2) days stay at the Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Tagaytay City.
Upon the invitation of Tita Gina Lacuna, we troop to Tagaytay for a much needed rest and relaxation sojourn.

My Kababayan from Bicol Noks loves to lie on his back even on this hard cement floor. Ha ha ha! Okay, okay, he wanted to pose ala modelo. So. pagbigyan! Ayan, I hope you achieved that model pose you’ve always wanted. We actually left him behind because he waited for his best friend to come and fetch him.  Ha ha ha!

I think Noks has a valid reason for laying on his back on that hard cement floor. According to studies, sleeping on a hard surface can be very beneficial for your back and spine because the floor does not sink like a mattress.

Missing these guys! I hope to have another out of town vacation with all of them real soon! Oh, we missed you Kuya Ted sa pictures natin! Waaa! 

With Blaire Villanueva (leftmost standing actually kicking Noks,lol) , Noks lying down, Anton aka Pusang Kalye and I aka travelonshoestring.



Boracay island is the most visited tourist destination in the Philippines all year round. It has a pristine white sand which is soft to the touch.

Since this is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas region of the Philippines, you need to take a plane from Manila .  You could either opt to land in Kalibo, Aklan and take a shuttle to Caticlan plus a short boat ride or take a smaller plane which will land in Caticlan plus a short boat ride to the island.

If you hate the crowd you could opt to stay in station one (1) where there’s less tourist because of the hotel prices in the area. Don’t worry,  I know you want everything on a shoestring that’s why I’ll point you to the place in station one where you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. Ha ha ha!

Just read my blog about that budget inn here

Boracay Island and its beaches have received various awards from different travel publications and agencies.

Enjoy and be safe!

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub

If you find yourself in Makati, you can venture at Century mall and try the various offerings of 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub. Located at the 5th floor of Century City Mall. To reach it, you take an elevator to the 4th floor and then enter a separate elevator to arrive at the 5th floor.
The orange chicken at 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is very delicious according to my friend.  You have to take my friend’s word for it because I never tried this dish yet.

I was able to try the burger and fries and it is superb. Kudos to the chef for this particular meal!

This is what I ordered, carbonara. And I shared this with Kuya Rey.  I am a bit disappointed. I think there is more room for improvement to this dish.  The chef at 12 Monkey’s should improve this particular dish. Make it more creamy and put more cheese please.
My seatmate got this for herself, a seafood spaghetti, She said it is delicious. 
At least, you and I now know what to order the next time we find ourselves at 12 Monkeys.

The waiters shared that the live music performers at 12 Monleys are musical icons in the Philippine music scene like Side A, The Dawn, Razorback, Wolfgang, Parokya ni Edgar etc.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review or a food review. 

IVANA CHUBBUCK: Acting Coach to the Hollywood Stars Up Close and Personal

IVANA CHUBBUCK: Acting Coach to the Hollywood Stars Up Close and Personal

“There is no ceiling. Human Beings could be anything they like to be!”- Ivana Chubback

Yes, dear aspiring actors and actresses! You probably have heard already about the Chubbuck technique one time or another. And guess what?  Ivana Chubbuck herself is here in Manila in the flesh! The author of book “The Power of an Actor” and the creator of the very popular Chubbuck technique used by many award winning actors & actresses in Hollywood will be holding a 2 (two) day Masterclasses in Manila! All together now- yeeeeheeeyyyy!!

Yes, that dream of yours to become an effective actor or actress is now an arms length away if not an inch closer! Be an observer and attend the two (2) days Ivana Chubbuck 2 (two) days master classes on September 3 to 4 at Dolphy Theater inside Abs-cbn compound.  See her live in action on how she coaches actors and how she transforms them from a mini to a biggie, from a flat 1 to a perfect 10! She’s absolutely a gamechanger according to everyone who attended her classes. 

Maybe this is the answer to your prayers to be a Hollywood actor/actress! Invest to the series of classes using the Ivana Chubbuck technique and improve your craft. Upgrade your acting skills. Raise your chances, up your score, advance your knowledge. After all, no one could ever tell what’s in your future! You might be the next big thing in Tinseltown!

Ivana Chubbuck has revolutionized fear and turned it into something productive through the arts.

Correct me if I am wrong, based from what I understand from Ivana herself during the question and answer portion, Ivana Chubbuck’s technique channels the negative experiences of a person into a positive force.  If that is correct then that is so refreshing! I heard it is an effective way to allow the actor to stop acting and really be in the scene.

Ivana is a rule breaker and at the same time a healer of scarred souls. 

Why a rule breaker? Adherence to the rules? Boundaries? Ahh, Ivana defies all of these by breaking free from the norm and winning big time with her unique principles.

Mind you, this technique is applicable even to those in the singing industry, theater and to life itself. Did you know that Beyonce’s acting coach is Ivana when she made the movie “Dreamgirls”? Beyonce got a lot of acting offers after that movie but Beyonce decided to quit acting and applied what she learned from the Ivana Chubbuck technique to her music videos and had dominated almost all mtv music awards since!

Tom Cruise, yes that Tom Cruise with so many acting awards under his belt, paid his tuition to Ivana Chubbuck by working as a chicken mascot in a restaurant when he was just staring out in Hollywood. He invested in his future and honed his acting skills and look at the fruits of his labor now! Amazing, isn’t it?

The 69 year-old Sylvester Stallone, tired of being a hum actor all throughout his 30 year plus career asked for Ivana’s help and had a one on one sessions with the exemplary coach. The Ivana Chubbuck technique had earned for Sylvester a nomination to a major award giving body.

Halle Berry profusely thanked Ivana for her help when she recently received an acting trophy. All other actors in Hollywood who had trained with Ivana has nothing but praises for her. It’s beyond words. You ought to discover for yourself how it is to be trained by the Ivana Chubbuck!

It is amazing how Ivanna Chubbuck turned something negative into positive.

A breath of fresh air, that’s Ivana! She’s a very down to earth and a very nice person. She smiles a lot and I find her so charming. The Pilar Pilapil deadringer is so gorgeous in person.  

“I studied anthropology in college and not the arts,” Ivana confesses.

Ivana ended up in the field of arts through her technique which she teaches to different people and brings to different parts of the world. Her book Power of an Actor had been translated to more than 12 languages incuding Japanese, Italian and Danish among others.

During the press conference early this afternoon. Ivana shared that when she was younger she was self destructing but a victor that she is, she reinvented herself from an actor to a full time acting coach in Hollywood.  Why? Because she realized that she enjoys teaching more than acting in front of the camera. I was left in awe when she speak with so much passion and said that she turned all her negativity and fear into something very productive and developed the Ivana Chubbuck technique that became so popular in Hollywood. Ivana believes that fear is universal. Along the way she discovered that her client in the US has the same fear with her other students in other countries as well.  She likened all her students to one big family whose fear and basic wants and needs are basically the same no matter where they are in the world. She observed that fear transcends religion, race and color.

I was so overwhelmed when I got to read the names of her Hollywood clientele. It is a wow as in super wow! Bigatin!!! As in! Hays, direk and Ivana that made me more curious what is the Ivana Chubbuck technique and why is it so popular?

Director Ryan Carlos is the only Asian to date which was authorized by Ivana Chubbuck to teach the Ivana Chubbuck technique

You survived. You are presently here in a space in the universe. Turn your fear as your greatest asset. Enroll now at ABS-CBN for the Ivana Chubbuck technique under the guidance of Director Ryan Carlos.

See you in Hollywood!