Ballet Philippines’ The Sleeping Beauty

From December 2 to 11, 2011, Ballet Philippines will perform one of the most beloved classical ballets, The Sleeping Beauty, at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Perfect for the whole family, it will have 17 performances, including 13 matinees at 10 AM and 3 PM, where children as young as 3 years old can watch.

Tickets range from P200 to P600 on matinees, and student and senior citizen discounts apply.

Audiences of all ages will delight in the familiar music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, which was used in the 1959 Disney cartoon. Songs such as “Once Upon A Dream,” and “Hail to the Princess Aurora,” and soundtrack themes such as the battle scene and the bright and perky melody introducing the fairies are straight from Tchaikovsky’s score.

The Sleeping Beauty first premiered in 1890 at the Maryiinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. Based on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, the ballet’s music was composed by the great Tchaikovsky, and was choreographed by Marius Petipa, the duo behind Swan Lake andThe Nutcracker.

The ballet begins with the royal christening of the infant Princess Aurora, with her fairy godmothers bestowing gifts upon her. The festivities come to a sudden halt when the dark fairy Carabosse arrives, furious because she was not invited. She curses the princess and dooms her to prick her finger and die. The good fairies protect her only enough to soften the curse, and instead promise 100 years of sleep, which will only be broken by the kiss of true love.

The kingdom spends the next years protecting the Princess Aurora from her fate, but the evil Carabosse is determined to cast her spell. The good fairies, led by the Lilac Fairy, shine their light on the whole kingdom, and ensure that the princess and the whole kingdom get their happy ever after.

With opulent sets and costumes, and beautiful music, the ballet is sure to enchant audiences of all ages. Here, royalty and fairies walk the halls of the grand palace, and royal guests are well-loved fairy tale characters such as Puss n’ Boots and Little Red Riding Hood. There is also a lot of spectacular dancing such as the Bluebird pas de deux, whose music is more familiar as Princess Aurora’s song in the woods in the Disney cartoon.

The Sleeping Beauty was last performed by Ballet Philippines in October 1988, with then CCP Artist-in-Residence Lisa Macuja and BP principal dancers Cecile Sicangco and Nonoy Froilan in the lead. Latvian ballet dancer Aivars Leimanis was international guest artist.

The 2011 staging will have BP ballet master Victor Ursabia as restager, and principal dancers Carissa Adea, Candice Adea and Katherine Trofeo as Princess Aurora, and Jean Marc Cordero in the role of Prince Desire. He will alternate with international guest artist Nobuo Fujino, former principal dancer of Hong Kong Ballet, who will perform for two nights only.

The Sleeping Beauty will begin with a fundraiser Gala Night on December 2, featuring international guest artist Nobuo Fujino partnering our very own international award-winner Candice Adea, with the Manila Symphony Orchestra playing live.

The Sleeping Beauty will have 17 performances from December 2-11, 2011. For more details visit Buy tickets online and get exclusive promos and free tickets to BP’s next production, Wagas. For tickets call Ticketworld at 891-9999; Ballet Philippines at 551-1003, 624-5701; CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

Now Reading: Fresh-brewed Life

Coffee and a good read. Nichole Johnson, author of Fresh-brewed Life candidly talked about longings, anger, relationships and sexuality as she bravely shared her own struggle with beauty, sex, and how to be worthy of the call God has placed on her life.

The beauty of this book appeals to all women who struggle with significance, balancing schedules, and the busyness of every day life to take a pause and breathe. Take a sip and enjoy every cup.

 I’ve yet to finish this book and tell you more about it..





* I was provided by the publisher  a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®.

Now Reading: Heaven is for Real (for kids)

 A book you can read to put that frown aside and have all the negativity shrugged. Heaven is for Real kids (for kids), a 40-paged true-story illustrated book about a little boy’s real life account of Heaven after life-saving surgery.

We all know kids don’t lie and their naivety keeps them genuinely sincere. Colton, narrated how he was hugged by his older sister and Grandpa whom he never met and yet knew what their names was after he experienced his visit to heaven.

Does angels have wings? is our perception about heaven real? Colton shared what he saw and how joyful everyone were and how peaceful it is being there: Bright, smiling angelic happy faces.

A must read to every child who asks about heaven and the  perfect book to share with a child or anyone who has lost a loved one or who is facing a terminal condition themselves.

* I was provided by the publisher  a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®.

Now Reading: Healing is a Choice

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn

Wholeness – spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical – is a gift from God. But it’s a result of our own decisions, too. Arterburn outlines the biblical plan for opening our lives to God’s divine touch, offering 10 choices we can make and 10 corresponding lies to reject as we find our way to complete health and restoration.

Publisher’s Description

From chronic physical pain to deep emotional hurts, we are all, at some level, in need of healing. And healing, writes author Stephen Arterburn, is a choice, although not our choice-it is God’s choice. While that may lead us to understand that healing is out of our hands, there are several things we do or believe that can stand in the way of God’s healing in our lives.

Describing ten choices we can make, and the corresponding ten lies that we must reject, Arterburn outlines the plan for opening our lives to God’s divine touch. For example, to be receptive to God’s healing, we must make the choice to feel; but we often buy into the lie that we need something to help numb the pain. Likewise, we can choose to embrace reality; but we often falsely believe that if we act as if nothing is wrong, the problem will go away.

Healing on all levels-spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical-is a miraculous gift from God; but it is a function of our own decisions and beliefs as well. When we make the right choices, and reject the lies, we can find the way to wholeness again.


Healing is a Choice is a book written by a man, who has believed in ’til death do us part and everything that entangles tying the knot who’s divorce was announced right when he was about to board the plane; but this book wasn’t just entirely about divorce or his mishaps but rather a book on realization and choices on how your choices can change your life and why healing is important. How one allow change to happen for self-development and foreseeing affliction as a gift and how these experiences may heal the soul.

Each chapter ends with a workbook, towards the end you’ll be able to gain affirmation. One may find a future beyond whatever pain – of any kind – that you’re experiencing too.

Arterburn helps his readers practical methodology for making biblically sound decisions that will change their life for good. No quick fixes but a compassionate approach on how we can invest our time and energy in committing ourselves towards realizing the significance and importance of connecting with other people, moving forward and by acknowledging your baggages by courageously working on yourself towards healing.

The author along each chapter points out that God has provided us tools and properties to heal within every facet of our nature — physically, emotionally and spiritually. That we have a choice and it’s up to us on how we would want to be healed.

One can’t just sit in a corner and expect for a miracle or a blessing to shower. Just like how we work through our goals: we aim for it, work hard for it and go through the journey to achieve it.

The book supplements those who needs some quiet time to go through an inventory of themselves, a realization check up about choices and struggles we’ve gone through in the past, how we resolved it and if there are lessons that we’re consecutively been going through over and over yet still haven’t learned yet.

Healing is a choice, or it is many tough choices, and the results are worth the pain.

Each chapter tackles different scenarios: from the struggle recovering from infidelity, divorce, bankruptcy, obesity/illness, job loss, familial estrangement, or abuse. No matter how many years these baggages has been on your shoulder – Arterburn has equipped his pages with the realization to find courage, have courage to do something about it to seek out, obstain and  utilize whatever resources you need to treat the untreated areas of your life.

Without fear, there’s no courage but without courage, one may never get to resolve what they’ve been carrying all these years. Arterburn divided each chapters to mini-challenges for forty days.

  • Connect one’s life with others, or give in to the lie that “all I need to heal is just God and me.” – even an introvert needs a companion, support group and a helping hand.
  • The choice to Feel your Life: Face life (ugly emotions and all), or the lie that “real” Christians experience real peace in all circumstances
  • The choice to investigate your life in search of Truth: .. or embrace the lie that it does no good to look back.
  • The choice to heal your future, that “Time Heals All Wounds”
  • The choice to Help one’s life, or give in to the lie of self-sufficiency.
  • The choice to Embrace life, or pretend there is no problem by denying its existence.
  • The choice to Forgive: ..  or only bestow the gift on those who deserve it.
  • The choice to risk your life and  protecting oneself from any potential pain.
  • The choice to Serve and be served.
  • The choice of Perseverance , or give in to hopelessness.
Everyone has baggages and these baggages needs not to be carried all the way. People do feel numb at difficult times of their lives but often, giving yourself a pat on your back and self-talk that “everying is going to be okay” or relying to “God will take care of me” , you, must also do something about it and take charge of your choices. Either you commit yourself towards healing or you just stay in one corner – waiting – for nothing.

* I was provided this complimentary book through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze program in exchange for my unbiased review.

Start your business with a plan

By Entrepreneur Staff


Before undertaking your dream business, closely examine if you are up it. Here’s a guide to help you to do just that.

A would-be entrepreneur often starts with a great idea popping in his brain. He sees the idea very clearly in his mind and feels the urgency of translating the idea into reality. Depending on his passion for the concept, he could even taste the sweet success that his idea would bring.

Then it becomes apparent that he would have to put into motion a series of actions and events that would lead to this success. He could react to this realization in two ways: amuse himself thinking that all he has are mere ideas, or make a decision to act and see his idea not just in his mind, but also in reality. The former is simply a dreamer, and the latter, an entrepreneur.

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit,” says Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels chain. There’s the rub: It’s not how big or small you think your idea is but what you do with it, and how you deal with yourself as you go about turning your idea into your reality.

How do you go about turning your ideas into gold? Do you go out and tell the next person you meet on the street? Do you call your best bud over the phone? Or do you take out a pen and a piece of paper and start writing the heck out of your mind about that grand design in your head? Time’s up!

First things first: Keep in mind that your ideas will turn into dust if you don’t put them into writing.  How come? For the simple reason that writing about it gives it a physical presence—letters in ink on paper. Your idea is now real because it is already taking up space.

Psychologically, this also gives you perspective. But that’s enough space we are going to give to time-space mumbo-jumbo. It’s time to tell you how to put this business idea into writing.

This exercise will give you the opportunity to focus and plan what you need to do to turn these ideas into your dream business. Having a well-written business plan will also allow you to seek and engage investors who could give you that much needed funding to jumpstart you business.

A typical business plan consists of three parts:

1. The Business—Include in this section the following information:
a. Description of the business
b. Market
c. Competition
d. Location of business
e. Management
f. Personnel

2. Financial Data—Among others, this is what you should include in this section:
a. Sources and applications of funding
b. Capital equipment list
c. Breakeven analysis
d. Income projections

3. Supporting Documents:
a. Personal résumés
b. Personal financial requirements and statements
c. Credit reports
d. Letters of reference
e. Job descriptions
f. Letters of intent
g. Copies of leases
h. Contracts
i. Legal documents
j. Other relevant documents

Hopefully, after going through this exercise and organized your thoughts, you would have enough knowledge and information about yourself and the business environment, which you can later use to come up with a complete business plan ready for scrutiny by investors, lenders and venture capitalists.

This article was originally published in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.


Sharing one of my favorite blog post from

You’ve probably asked yourself how to be a billionaire. Perhaps, you’ve already read tons of articles about the ways on how a person can become not only a millionaire, but also a billionaire. With the multitude of stories told on what to do to become as rich as Carlos Slim Helu, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Bernard Arnault, Larry Ellison and the rest of the world’s billionaires, I wanted my piece to become different among the rest. Specific steps and procedures can become too narrow that only few people can actually consider them applicable. On the other hand, too broad ideas and instructions can sometimes leave us confused. Furthermore, there are also quick techniques to riches but are actually bogus. Then there is also a scheme of investing your cash in stocks, mutual funds and other equities that can give you certain wealth but will only realize in the quite far future – a long process of waiting that might not make you a billionaire and enjoy your wealth while you’re alive. Thus, let’s make things more applicable, simpler, timely and real. If you want to be a BILLIONAIRE and be on the cover of the Forbes Magazine, let the following guide you to your will.

B – Brave. You need to have boldness to pursue your dream. Becoming a billionaire is a great goal. That is why you should not just have an ordinary courage, but an extraordinary courage. Be ready to take the risk and be prepared to suffer pain and hardships. Be bold in sacrificing your comfort and convenience. Be courageous in standing on your own feet. If you will ask me how to be brave, the answer would be… workout and train yourself, be stronger, be smarter and be confident. Remember that Bill Gates was brave enough to drop out his Harvard College in exchange of pursuing his passion – to startup the company of Microsoft.

I – Interest. A billion worth of money needs a lot of attention and concentration to realize. This is probably the reason why many of the world’s self-made billionaires chose to not waste their time and energy in the classroom, and instead give all of their remaining time in life to focus on their passion. The fact is… if you want to be one of the wealthiest people in the world, you’ve got to be one of the greatest people in the world. Thus, you must give your pure energy, devotion, and determination to become the best of what you do. So if your passion is in software programming, then do everything to become one of the best software programmers in the world like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Larry Ellison (Oracle).

L – Lead. Billionaires are leaders: business leaders, industry leaders, political leaders and even spiritual leaders. They have armies; employees and a bunch of people following them. If you want to become a billionaire, you need to have the power to influence people. If you want to build a business empire that will give you billions of dollars, you should learn how to manage people. You must know how to lead and motivate your workers to become more productive. You must also learn how to deal with the behavior of your customers. Think of how Steve Jobs of Apple, Inc. lead the worldwide consumers into a technology revolution. Also, don’t forget to be successful in leading yourself. You cannot effectively lead others if you can’t even lead yourself.

L – Love. The greatest force that you can have to achieve even the most difficult goals of your life is love. Love gives you peace to have concentration. It gives you joy to have enthusiasm. It makes you truthful so you can buildup integrity, trust and good relations. Love transforms you to a selfless leader who inspires people. It also makes you a generous business person that satisfies customers. Love ties all your great qualities (i.e., diligence, patience, kindness and self-control) to work as one. But if you want to be a billionaire, you should not love money. Money is just a medium of exchange. It is what people will pay you for the good products or services you will provide to them. Hence, don’t love money, but put your love on good deeds.

I – Imagine. Self-made billionaires are people of imagination and invention. They are the geniuses that become the first to offer something very useful to the world. Think of the now billionaire creators of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), eBay (Pierre Omidyar), Amazon (Jeff Bezos) and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg). Also consider the inventors of Redbull, Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya, who are both included in the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires. They got their wealth by bringing their brilliant ideas into a money generating machine. So if you want to find a billion dollar wealth, think of a billion dollar idea, then, execute it!