The 1st Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse 2017


I am grateful to be invited to the 1st Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse 2017 hosted by the Philippines.  It was held at Peninsula Manila in Makati City last November 27 to 29, 2017.


It was an event to remember.  For two days,  I watched different video entries of different countries.  I experience a roller coaster of emotions.  Some entries made me laugh, some made me think and other video entries made me cry.   In the process, I did not only had a chance to view other countries entries and learned from them but I also gained new friends both locals and international.

Maybe you’re wondering how the first Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse came about? Well,  according to the organizers it was inspired by the events at the Prix Jeunesse International Festival held in Munich, Germany in May 2016.

Noting the scant representation of Southeast Asia in the festival, and recognizing that the SEA region, which has a vast young population, stands to benefit greatly from such a project, Anak TV Inc., through its president Elvira Y. Go ( The chinky eyed lady in Pink), proposed the first Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse, to be staged every two years, falling on the year prior to the PJ festival in Munich, Germany.

Four out of Seven of the Philippines video entries won.  I bet it was a very rewarding experience for those involved in the production of those children’s television video.

One particular person that catch my attention is the 16-year old student who won three trophies.  He was very humble.  He said he can’t still believe it.  He also quips that he thought his work was ugly.  And was really amazed on how come he won three trophies.


The Prix Jeunesse Foundation is known internationally for advocating excellence in children’s television. Established in Germany in 1964, it has been promoting, celebrating and honoring the highest quality in youth and children’s television.

TV producers dream of bringing home recognition from the Prix Jeunesse Festival because it is among the highest honors in children’s media. It is likened to receiving an award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, more popularly known as an Oscar award, in this case, for outstanding achievement in kids’ TV.

The first Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse Festival was well-attended.   Various media entity and television networks participated in the various activities during the three day event.   The jurors were composed of different countries coming from Brunei,  Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.




Our very own representative from Light Network TV were the person in charge during the competition screenings.  Eden Rose Rivera shared that the judges had various discussions together with the other jurors.  They had a very engaging judging sessions.  They even had justifications on how and why they chose a particular winner, even how they were selected.


The first Southeast Asia Prix Jeunesse coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN which the Philippines had hosted this year.

The Prix Jeunesse Foundation has agreed to be a partner for the Southeast Asia Festival. The Prix Jeunesse’ Dr. Maya Gotz and Kirsten Schneid will act as advisers, as well as Andreas Klempin of Goethe Institut-Bangkok.

Anak TV, an association of Philippine television networks, was the Chief Convenor, and the one who organized, coordinated with members, and staged the first SEA Prix Jeunesse in Manila.

As a convenor-organization, Anak TV helped set the tone for the succeeding SEA Prix Jeunesse.  It was announced that the SEAPJ will be hosted next by Singapore next year and subsequently be hosted in a round robin style by the various countries of the region. All efforts was aimed at formally establishing and sustaining an independent SEA PJ organization to be run by the groups joining the festival from ASEAN member countries. The organization official name and logo, membership, bylaws, officers and other matters was discussed and decided upon collegially by the various ASEAN stakeholders  with AnakTV, as convenor.

Although inspired by the Munich Prix Jeunesse, the SEA PJ modified some rules of the competition.

For instance, the PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL holds the competition ONLY for professionals whose works have been aired either on free TV, cable, digital TV channels, internet or mobile services.

The SEA PJ, on the other hand,  had welcome children, amateurs and students to inspire and prepare the future TV producers in crafting excellent video works for children.

It provided an opportunity for ASEAN children and youth to create video works themselves, works that mirror their aspirations and desires as well as their pride in family and traditions, which Southeast Asian people hold dear.

Each country was encouraged to assemble its own National SEA PJ Committee which ensured that many local entries are generated, local judges are tapped and had evaluated various entries and made sure that enabled each country to select works which it feels can stand the chance at international competition, in terms of strong content and technical polish.

The committee also ensured that entries that every entry were either subtitled or dubbed in English. It also ensured that entries are appropriately categorized and were entered in their proper section.

The head of the said local committee, either elected or appointed internally,  and had sit in the board of SEA PJ and properly represented the said country.

Congratulations to everyone! You’ve done a great job!

I would like to commend and thank #LightNetwork team for a very good job! Excelsior!  Thank you so much Sir Nestor Tugade Laydero, Ms. Eden Rivera,  Ms. Arlene Retania and Atty. Jacky Silva

George Town Ruins

This ruins is a historic site in Penang, Malaysia.   George town has one of the most preserved historical sites and ruins in Malaysia.


It has an interesting mix of old and restored houses. Some of their famous street has art that has faded quite a bit that only adds to its charm.

#MalaysiaAdventure #TravelonshoestringInMalaysia #Travelonshoestring

TAIWAN: Visa-Free Entry Requirements

During the announcement of the visa-free entry, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines stated that this will be applicable for Filipinos who will visit the Republic of China for tourism, business, visiting relatives or attending events and functions for up to 14 days.

To avail the visa-free entry, here are the requirements for Filipino Travelers:

  1. An ordinary/regular passport with remaining validity of at least six months from the date of entry ( Diplomatic & official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment) 
  2. A return ticket or a ticket for the traveler’s next destination and a visa for that destination if required
  3. No criminal record in Taiwan
  4. Proof of accommodations (such as hotel booking) or host/sponsor’s contact information or arrangements of tour, travel, visit, events, meetings, etc.

Please note that those who are planning to stay for more than 14 days for the purpose of studying, employment, missionary, and other gainful activities, a visa is still required.

With the new visa-free entry system in place, TECO said the TAC will be suspended starting Nov. 1, but passengers who enter Taiwan before this date with valid TACs may continue to stay for up to 30 days.

Those who have already obtained long-term and multiple Taiwan visas which have been stamped on their passports can still use their visas to enter Taiwan

TAIWAN: Visa-Free Starting November 1

Rejoice! An early Christmas gift of Taiwan to us Filipinos! Filipino citizens who like to visit Taiwan up to 14 days will be granted a visa-free entry beginning on November 1.

Yes, fellow Filipinos, you read it right, you and I will be able to visit Taiwan with no visa required starting November 1.  This visa-free entry will be on a trial basis until July 31 next year.

According to my kinakapatid Joy, who is married to a Taiwanese and who lives in Taiwan, there’s a lot of budget-friendly and Instagram-worthy places and super delicious restaurants there. Oh, Joy and I could go on a Taiwan Food Trip real soon!

“This visa-free initiative shall undergo a 9-month trial period until July 31, 2018, as part of Taiwan’s goodwill and efforts of the ‘New Southbound Policy’ to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between Taiwan and the Philippines”

Following this visa-free entry for Filipinos, Taiwan Representative to the Philippines Gary Song-Huann Lin is also urging the Philippine government to provide visa-free entries for those coming from Taiwan.

He mentioned that these significant efforts will enhance the bilateral tourism, educational, cultural, economic, and other areas. These exchanges will also bring mutual benefits for both citizens of the Philippines and Taiwan.

He said that these exchanges will also bring mutual benefits for both citizens of the Philippines and Taiwan.

Are you excited this coming November? Did you already book your airline ticket to Taiwan?


I discovered the E-Jeepney facilities only this year when I got invited to an event at UP Town Center.  I don’t know how long have they been operating though.  But, what is important now is that you and I have another option whenever we like to visit the UP Town Center mall.

The terminal is located just in front of SM Main Building along EDSA .  Yes, yung dulong dulo na terminal malapit na sa tawiran going to Trinoma.  Please ask around if you happen not to find the E-Jeepneys at first.  For sure somebody would point you at the right terminal of the E-Jeepney.

When I was looking for it, somebody told me that there was no E-Jeepneys anymore because they like me to just ride the regular old type jeep that has a UP Ikot signage.  I told the old guy that I know that there exists an e-jeepney somewhere I just don’t know where is the exact location.

From the terminal the E-Jeepney traverse along Katipunan Avenue and make a u-turn under the flyover in Katipunan Avenue.

Fare is only Php20.00




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Tabaco City is located an hour away from Legazpi City and is the home of well-crafted “Tabak” or Bolo” .   Funny as it is, I have to admit, that yes, I was so wrong with my initial impression about Tabaco City.  It turned out Tabaco is well-known for its swords, scissors and bolos.  The mastery of this craft is considered family heirloom and is transferred from generation to generation.  With the recent developments though such as free education up to vocational courses levels, the number of masters in the craft dwindled. So, there’s a possibility that one day, not a single member of the family of those masters would want to continue the tradition of making bolo. After all, it is easier for them and their body (katawan lupa) to just study and look for employment elsewhere rather than to sweat it out at the factory of bolo where one had to do hard labor for hours just to make one single bolo. Video to be inserted here.


My best friend ate Rocelle got assigned in Metrobank in Tabaco for many years when she was still alive.  I always thought Tabaco has acres and acres of tobacco plantation. Lol. Well, for some reasons, I never visited her in Tabaco, maybe because she always visited us in Manila.  And it seems, that there is no need for me to visit her in Tabaco during that time.  Maybe because our friendship was time-tested.  That no distance, travels and years of not seeing one another could break our ties. The ties that binds. She is a friend closer than a sister.  Our friendship went beyond the typical barkadahan in laughter and fun alone.  We had so much more. From crying in pain to crying in sorrow ( she always make it a point to be there for me and I for her, especially during those times when she broke up with her former boyfriend and when I lost my parents).

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I believe, everything happens for a reason.  I lost all the pictures and videos I took together with my micro sd card during the recent Tabak Festivities in Tabaco City. Followed by my laptop refusing to power on.  Oh, did I mentioned that my Sony RX-100 camera had conked out the moment I reached Tabaco?

But God is an almighty God.  August seems to be really good to me.  I felt so blessed since day 1 of August.  Maybe because it is my birthday month.  Yesterday, all I did the whole day was to recover pictures and videos from the roots of my phone and my clouds. That’s the beauty of this so called clouds! It automatically upload all the pictures I took during the event to my private cloud.

The pictures I took using my phone, may not be of topnotch quality but they’re all mine. Please bear with me, as I try to clean the pictures.  I would like to thank the people who invited me to Tabaco City most especially Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman- Luistro, Sir Eric Valeriano of Tourism Office,  Sir Rome Candaza of Malilipot Albay.   Thank you also to the Vice Mayor for sending us a Japanese cuisine for dinner.  Salamat ( thank you also) to the drivers, tourism employees, the local government of Tabaco City and most especially to the people of Tabaco City who lent their time to tour us around and answer our questions.  You give us a memory of a wonderful Tabaco City. Dios Mabalos sa saindo gabos.




















When in Roxas City, Capiz you should not miss the opportunity to feast on seafoods.  And one of the best restaurant in that city for me is Coco Veranda.

Coco Veranda is an open air casual dining restaurant that serves different Filipino as well as some international cuisine. They’re quite popular both with the locals and tourists in Capiz.   I think that’s primarily because of their yummy seafood offerings.

The restaurant offer freshly caught seafoods for a very reasonable price.  Whether you’re alone or with a big group they’ll treat you like royalty! Their staff is very attentive and friendly. They serve with a big smile on their faces.

Their Seafood Paella is a complete meal by itself. I super love it! Imagine the goodness of paella flavored with the glorious catch from the sea, such as a generous serving of crabs, shrimps, oyster, squid and even eggs on a bed of spanish rice! Yummy!

Rating: 5 Stars                                5 STARS


This Ginataan crabs is very fresh because it is so tasty! Yes, I could taste the difference between a frozen seafood vs. a freshly-caught one.  This particular dish reminds me of the crab I had in Kota Kinabalu.  The crab was bathe in a sea of “gata” or coconut milk.  It is best to order plain rice to appreciate this.  Its coconut milk goodness sips through your senses.

Rating: 5 Stars                                5 STARS


The highlight of my meal is their baked oyster topped with cheese, pimiento, pepper and garlic! I could taste the good quality of butter that Coco Veranda used.  It is so delicious that I finished this one whole plate in a matter of minutes. Lol! I super love it!  I could go back any day and finish off one or two whole plate, lol!

Rating: 5 stars                                  5 STARS


Their steam fish is so soft! I love it. It is not rubbery. I almost finish off the whole fish. Very delicious.

Rating: 5 Stars                                  5 STARS

How to commute to Baybay,  Capiz

From the city center of Roxas you could ride a tricycle going to Baybay,  fare is Php14 per person.

Overall impression: Good .  A must visit restaurant in Capiz!  Not to be miss when in Capiz!

Ambiance: I love how you could hear the crashing of the waves and breath the soothing ocean breeze while you dine in and if you’re there before sunset, you’ll be able to witness one of nature’s gift to mankind– the majestic sunset while enjoying your seafoods with gusto!

All of the dishes were freshly-caught, served hot and was nicely arranged and was served with a smile. What else would you look for?

Coco Veranda Grill and Bar Restaurant
Lawis, Baybay, Roxas City
Capiz Province, Philippines

Phone Number
(036) 621 6185, 0918 930 9087
Opens daily, 10 AM-11 PM


Many years ago, I wrote about “triangle of travel“.   Yes, Siree!  My triangle of travel includes, good health, time and money.  Three essential elements that ensure that we get to enjoy a happy travel.

Each one of us has different preferences when it comes to travel.  Like for example my cousin Charissa,  she loves long-haul flights,  while my friend Jessica loves road trips and I love food trips! Ha ha ha! Well, isn’t it obvious? Lol.

But, alas, sometimes sickness prevents us from having a memorable and enjoyable trip no matter how long we plan ahead, and yes, even if you have enough funds to cover the cost of transportation and hotels.  Thus, it is essential that we have a healthy well being at all times so we can have a worry-free vacation.

Let’s focus on having a healthy state of body and mind. And here’s a line of health and wellness for your travel needs!

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United Home Ceetab (Ascorbic Acid) – helps promote immunity against sickness. SRP per piece Php1.75

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United Home Dizitab (Meclizine HCl) – relief from dizziness/motion sickness (for long-haul flights and road trips) Cost per piece Php9.50

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United Home Supracid (Sodium Bicarbonate) – relief from hyperacidity (for food trips) only 0.75

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United Home Lormide (Loperamide) – relief from diarrhea/LBM (for food trips) Php8.00

These medicines are only an example on what you can do to ensure good health.

United Home offers quality-proven products from Unilab at an affordable cost!

My September 23, 2013 article:

FALAFEL YO: A Taste of Israel

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Falafel Yo! classic sandwich is one of the most satisfying non-meat based meal I ever had to date. It is very tasty and yummy! Yes, I refused to call it a snacks basically because of its size. I didn’t expect that their serving size was really enormous. Yes, it is huge enough that two to three people could share in one Falafel Yo! classic sandwich.

I am not a fan of veggies. So, when I first saw the event invitation mentioning garbanzos or chickpeas, parsley, coriander, garlic and Mediterranean spices, I had second thoughts. But, as fate would have it, I attended Falafel Yo!’s grand opening event yesterday. Boy, was I surprise that the Falafel sandwich I ordered dances inside my mouth. It has a fusion of flavors that makes it one notch higher than your regular sandwich! The imported seasonings from Israel must be the secret!

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I discovered too from Guy Mann, Falafel Yo!’s General Manager that it is Israel’s national snacks. And they did not scrimp on the ingredients because they wanted Filipinos to taste the authentic Falafel that they used to have back in Israel. He even mentioned that it is Israel’s version of “Mang Inasal”

I really love their mango flavored dip! It also have olive oil mind you, healthy peeps! I know, those who know me personally would be probably in awe on how in the world did I learned to love vegetables. Ha ha ha!

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Hand model Gus Villa of Gus Station

Well, simple, the vegetable was neatly packed inside the warm, chewy pita bread with the six crisp, beautifully browned falafel balls on a bed of salad served with Tahini sauce and yogurt. Customers have options whether to have a “side salads”, or add-ons like fried eggplant, homemade hummus, pickled onions ( or sumac), roasted green chilies, cabbage, lettuce, Mediterranean lean tomato and cucumber mix from Falafel Yo’s salad bar. Kids and adults alike would love Falafel Yo! Sandwich. Believe me, your brain would send the approval signal on your first bite.


I have not yet tried their experimental sandwich aptly labeled Falafel Beast because it has beef on it. I am excited to try it next time I visit the Falafel Kiosk.

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By the way, the Falafel sandwich I had were greatly complimented by their super delicious mint flavored lemongrass drink.

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Anyway, you’re in for a very big treat today, July 1, 2017, Saturday. Falafel Yo! will be giving their classic sandwich ABSOLUTELY FREE to their first 100 customers starting at 10 o’clock in the morning. Falafel Yo is conveniently located at the 4th floor of Greenbelt 3, Ayala Malls, Makati City ( Just above the 3rd floor cinema)

Photography by Cha Sy


ILOCOS SUR: Banaoang Bridge

Jump Shot of Cha Sy at Banaoang Bridge

I had an amazing time at Banaoang Bridge in Ilocos Sur.  If you love taking photos then you can have a pit stop there and enjoy its majestic backdrop!

Photography by Cha Sy

This 456-meter bridge is located in Barangay Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur.  The bridge’s name is really Quirino Bridge but it is more popularly known as Banaoang Bridge.   iIt majestically connects and separates two transcending mountains.

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This steel trusses bridge was no longer being used since it was damaged by a typhoon in 2001. When it was damaged by a typhoon it was replaced with a newer bridge.  The new Quirino bridge was constructed to replace the old Banaoang bridge that got damaged but the government had it preserved and now became a must see, must visit tourist attraction since it is very near Vigan City.   It is 20-minute motorcycle ride from the town proper.  Please take note that heavy vehicles are strictly not allowed to pass there.  It is not only a tourist attraction but also a backup bridge.

If you’re a photographer, then you would really love the picturesque panorama view from the Banaoang/Quirino bridge.  The Abra mountain backdrop is a sight to behold. You could also avail of the ZipLine that would carry you across the river for around Php300, Price may change without prior notice.

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Photography by Kieth Walter Ayuso