Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Ben&Ben gets nomination for MTV EMA’s Best Southeast Asian Act

Award-winning nine-piece band, Ben&Ben joins the impressive roster of nominees for the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA).

The official announcement enlisted the critically acclaimed collective as a nominee for Best Southeast Asian Act—a special category that aims to recognize the region’s finest.

According to percussionist Andrew de Pano, the group wasn’t really sure of what to feel after receiving the news, but felt grateful to be part of this year’s selection. “Being nominated feels like such a huge honor, so we have nothing but gratitude to all the people who helped us get here,” Miguel says in a statement. “We all grew up seeing all our favorite artists get nominated for MTV awards, so to actually be in this same position feels nothing short of surreal.”

Ben&Ben vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin also expressed gratitude to everyone who supported the band. “We've always worked towards a collective goal to play music that speaks to and of the heart and soul of the Filipino. In our humble yet exciting journey of sharing our musical stories to the world, we thank everyone for continuing to believe in us. We promise to continue giving our all in every single step.”

Aside from Ben&Ben, other music acts that were shortlisted in the same category from the previous years include Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Nadine Lustre, IV of Spades and Moira Dela Torre.

To vote for Ben&Ben, click here. Voting runs until November 2 (Monday).

The 27th edition of MTV EMA will be aired on November 8. Details on the performers, presenters and hosts will be announced soon.

PCPPI’s Playbook on new normal promotes self-care and mental well-being

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainties and disruptions in the lives of most Filipinos, including businesses nationwide.

When the National Government mandated all business establishments to implement COVID-19 Prevention and Control Measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) complied and implemented immediate and essential changes in its operations in order to ensure the safety and well-being of its people.
PCPPI created a playbook that contains action points, polices and procedures, and served as a primary guide to the company’s “new normal.”
“This playbook aims to help our employees, or our Bravehearts, get and stay on track. It offers easy-to-read tips and measures as we return to work and live under the new normal. This also reminds us to continue caring for ourselves and one another. I hope that with this playbook, our employees will be able to re-build their momentum and work with renewed strength, so we can help sustain our organization and continue its growth during and beyond the new normal,” PCPPI President and CEO Frederick Ong said.
PCPPI believes improving one’s health and well-being is fundamental in the country’s fight against COVID-19. This playbook is also meant to promote mental health awareness through effective people management.
“Aside from educating and enforcing the new working protocols that both the government and science prescribe on the new normal, that includes frequent hand washing, social distancing, and wearing of face mask/shield, in PCPPI, we understand that our employees’ health and welfare start mainly with self-care and their mental well-being,” Ong added. The company encourages its employees to practice self-care. Their own health and well-being must come first before anyone and anything else. The playbook also provides mental health care tips, as mental health is as important as physical health, especially during this time of a pandemic.
It is important to stay socially connected while physically distanced. Here are PCPPI’s pieces of advice in mental health care: • Maintain connection with friends, family and loved ones. Leverage on technology. • Develop coping skills. • Seek medical and professional help when needed.
Embracing changes
PCPPI welcomed changes through three interdependent focus areas in the playbook. The first focus area dubbed “Great to be back,” highlighted the importance of getting correct information and guide on the new normal; the second focus area called “Great to be Pepsi” talked about setting the right mindset as employees embark on the new normal; and lastly, the “Great for others” focus area is about taking action for others and the environment.
The company also conducted a series of webinar on COVID-19, with Dr. Yvonne Ferrer of DLSU Department of Pharmacology; and on Stress Management for employees to deal with the effects of the pandemic, work-from-home set-up, and preparing them for the new normal.
“It is our goal to maintain a healthy balance to support our employees, the community, and the business. The company is committed to remain responsible in delivering our obligations in service to the Filipino people,” Ong added. “Let us make it a social responsibility to look after ourselves, customers, families, friends, organization, community and the environment, all pulling together to move forward.”

Aloe Vera, The Clean Beauty Holy Grail Reshaping Hair Care

As attractive as they look like in a pot, aloe vera plants have been hailed as a natural ingredient with many positive skin benefits for thousands of years. Aloe vera leaves are full of gel-like texture that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids.

Aloe Vera also contains enzymes that repair dead skin cells, while moisturizing the skin. It is rich in vitamins C and E which are nutrients that improve the skin's elasticity, for a firmer and youthful look.
Back in 2018, the rise of aloe vera gel tubs have taken over the Philippine beauty community. Aloe vera’s ability to soothe and provide hydration to the skin, boosted its popularity in the ever-humid country. And now aloe vera is proving to be an effective ingredient not only for the skin care world, but also the hair care industry.
Experience Plant Powered Showers with the Benefits of Aloe Vera
In its raw form, aloe vera can be used as a mild cleansing agent that gets rid of dirt and product build-up, while leaving hair smooth and with more volume. But if you're not into rubbing plant leaves on your hair, you can also experience #PlantPowerInEveryShower with Herbal Essences bio:renew blend shampoos that contain real aloe vera, kelp, and histidine. It hydrates each strand to provide frizz control, adds shine, and nourishes dry hair — making hair soft, manageable, and smelling great.
Herbal Essences bio:renew shampoos are crafted with an amino acid called histidine, which acts as superfood for the hair trapping and neutralizing the elements that can cause damage in the hair — such as pollution, sun exposure, and even shower water. With the power of aloe vera, and other plant based ingredients, Herbal Essences bio:renew shampoos are pH-balanced and free of parabens, silicone, and colorants which make it color-safe to use for color-treated hair to bring out it’s natural beauty.

Clean Beauty Transparency in Every Bottle
Transparency and sustainability are at the core of Herbal Essences bio:renew. As a catalyst for clean beauty, Herbal Essences continues with its mission to provide safe and non-toxic hair care options. And with the continued commitment to ingredient transparency in every bottle, all the high-quality botanicals and REAL plant extracts used are harvested sustainably and responsibly through various partners from all over the world. So, when they put a plant on our bottle label, it means it’s truly in there. Plus, all other plant and mineral ingredients undergo limited processing, which ensures a minimal blow on the carbon footprint.
It’s never too late to join the clean beauty community this holiday season. Treat your scalp and hair with the best of nature and science in a bottle.
Shop the Herbal Essences bio:renew range through Lazada or Shopee and experience #PlantPowerInEveryShower.

Monday, October 5, 2020

5 Immunity enhancing habits to help improve your daily routine

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during quarantine is a challenge for all women staying in control of their full-time career and personal life. With the piled-up tasks waiting to be done, health and wellbeing at most times have taken the back seat. If you’re one of the many women who’s feeling a sudden loss of motivation, lack of energy to concentrate, and suffers chronic fatigue, you might be experiencing a case of iron deficiency anemia.

Ang Dugo Mo, Kamusta? Iron deficiency anemia happens when your blood has a lower amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin than normal. This can cause you to feel weak, tired, dizzy, look pale, and experience headaches. People with chronic medical conditions, pregnant or menstruating women are most vulnerable in having anemia. While those who are not able to maintain a healthy lifestyle are also at risk.
A healthy blood means a healthy body, so to help you fight iron deficiency anemia here are 5 simple immunity-boosting activities that you can do at home.
1. Keep hydrated Forgetting to drink the daily recommended amount of water can sometimes be inevitable when you’re trying to stay on track on your endless to-do lists. This can result in dehydration to the body. Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue, headaches, and constipation. When you’re well hydrated, your body is provided enough nutrients for your muscles to move smoothly, maintain a cool temperature, and help filter waste from the blood so you can go on with your day to day tasks better.
2. Help keep iron deficiency anemia away with Multivitamins & Minerals (Sangobion IRON+) Eating an overall balanced diet helps your body in maintaining enough energy to keep you functioning all day. Yet as you age, your body needs the help it can get to sustain immunity and fight illnesses. If you’re running on a hectic routine whether you’re just at home or out for work, taking Multivitamins significantly helps when the food you eat isn’t able to provide your body the nutrients and minerals it needs.
Multivitamins & Minerals (Sangobion IRON+) is an iron supplement with vitamins and minerals that helps to replenish iron stores and increases red blood cell levels in the body. It has ferrous gluconate, a type of iron salt which allows better absorption of iron in the body, Folic acid, and vitamin B12 which are vital for production of red blood cells and during pregnancy. It also contains Vitamin C which helps improve iron absorption, and Copper sulphate and manganese sulphate that helps in the metabolic processes of blood cell production.
Recommended intake is one to two capsules daily, during or after meals, or as prescribed by your doctor.
3. Stay active at home Shortness of breath even when doing simple tasks at home can be caused by lack of exercise. Consistent exercise is important in keeping yourself in good health and shape; and not only does it promote good circulation, it also improves your overall health stability and energy levels. Simple exercises like walking around the house, lifting house items as hand weights, and stretching every now and then from your desk can help circulate healthy blood better.
4. Get enough quality sleep Constantly pulling all-nighters can negatively impact your health and nutrition. Your quality and length of sleep affect your body’s ability to fight sickness and fatigue. It is ideal for adults to have at least seven hours of healthy sleep to fully function the following day. If you’re having trouble sleeping or unable to get to the state of deep sleep, keeping gadgets away from your bed, and turning off bright lights may help your body relax.
5. Manage Stress Managing your tasks for work and home can get overwhelming and can possibly lead to anxiety and stress. Your body’s response to stress is by raising the levels of cortisol in the blood. When cortisol increases, the number of white blood cells in the body decreases, and this can put you at greater risk of getting sick and experiencing iron deficiency anemia.
Simple changes in your daily habits can greatly help in managing intense emotions. Handle your stress levels by having a limited time in a day to consume news. Connecting to your family and friends through video calls can help ease your mood as well. To help you keep your focus, remember to look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes to avoid stressing your eye muscles. Maintaining a healthy blood keeps you less susceptible to illnesses and infections. Taking Multivitamins & Minerals (Sangobion IRON+) helps regulate your blood iron so you won’t have to worry about experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency anemia.
If symptoms persist, consult your doctor. ASC REFERENCE CODE: P038P090120SS

One Click Straight Unveils the story behind their New EP “S.S.H.”, under Island Records Philippines


Listen to the EP here:

Visit the website:

Island Records Philippines held a media launch of The Story Behind: S.S.H. “Sumaya, Sumigaw, Huminga” by our synth-pop, candy pop band from the south of Manila, One Click Straight. The band shared exclusive behind the scenes outtakes and stories on how the whole S.S.H EP was made.

 After dropping the single of the same name roughly around two weeks ago, One Click Straight pushes their statement of hope through releasing S.S.H. EP.

 S.S.H., which stands for Sumaya, Sumigaw, Huminga, is the band’s newest offering created while in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like the titular single, the EP was produced with limited gear and equipment that allowed Toffer Marquez (vocalist, bassist), Sam Marquez(guitarist, songwriter), Tim Marquez (drummer, songwriter), and Joel Cartera (guitarist, percussionist) to be more daring and throw out the “rules” of their usual creative process out of the window.

 "One of the things that I want people to remember about the EP is that it's a statement coming from a hopeless situation, but with a hopeful heart." Tim Marquez says. “It's a hopeful outlook for the future as much as our lyrics are about missing someone, [whether] they passed away or something, and [about] frustration and anxiety.”

 The EP is released under Island Records Philippines, the home label of the band since July this year, that has expressed encouragement and support for One Click Straight with their refreshingly new mindset and their creative direction.

 Three Cheers for Freedom

 Each song from the EP is the four members’ cry for freedom in the new normal where many feel restricted and stifled, similar to the theme of ‘S.S.H,’ the first single.

 “Rock and roll, bahala na. We were thinking let's just write songs the way we want and the way we can. We didn’t have a studio, we didn’t have much gear here at home. [It’s the] complete opposite of what we were doing before.” Sam Marquez talks about the titular single. "Tim thought of the ‘S.S.H.’ song and that was the cherry on top to deliver the whole message of what we're trying to do." 

 The second track, ‘Wag Natin Sayangin,’ talks about making the most out of the time given to spend with one’s loved ones. The song notably features power chords, a nod to the band’s punk rock roots.

 "I think a lot of artists suffer from this. We're all connected all the time 24/7, there's social media eh. So you're always fed with people's ideas and opinions, and that forms the way people write songs these days and the way they produce. Hindi naman sa parang they’re pleasing people, pero subconsciously, there's this thought na 'Oh,what would people think of this?'" Marquez also explains. "So when we did 'Wag Natin Sayangin,' which [has a] weird arrangement, andun kami sa zone na 'Well, I'm happy with it; let's release it.'  And that actually started the wave of new songs."

 On the other hand, ‘Minsan (Palagi)’ speaks of the beauty and struggle of remembering someone special in one’s life. Keeping with the creative experimentation theme seen throughout the EP, this track was produced without the use of the electric guitar.

 "We branched off into ‘Minsan’, which was also experimental din. We literally recorded it and made a sample with a microphone of my earphones." Marquez shares as well.

 Hope through Their Eyes, and Ours

 Unlike their previous EPs and albums, S.S.H. is also represented by edgier and darker album art, a reflection not just of their grunge rock roots, but also of their motivation and emotions behind the music they are dropping.

 “For this upcoming EP and the single, we just wanted to let loose and wanted to go all out, not really caring or not letting other opinions change what we feel.” Cartera paints a picture. ”This resulted in more of a bahala na, messier look."

 With the message of staying true and finding hope in mind, One Click Straight goes beyond their music and into the realm of visual arts through a very special music video for ‘S.S.H.’ Directed by Simon Te, the MV comes in the form of a performance video of the band expressing everything that they have been feeling during their creation of their newest release.

 Along with the new music and the accompanying music video, the band is also launching Alone, but Not Lonely, a website that displays art that One Click Straight has found inspirational while making their EP. The website will also host the documented process of how the band conceptualized and created the EP.

 With the artistic mix of raw, honest music and digital visual art, S.S.H. is not just a treat to Nostalgics and all the other listeners the band has. The new EP is also One Click Straight’s reminder to everyone who needs to stay at home that despite the trying times, we can find hope, support, comfort and most especially joy in each other.






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 About the One Click Straight

 One Click Straight is a synth-pop, candy pop band from the south of Manila, Philippines. OCS consists of Toffer Marquez (vocalist, bassist), Sam Marquez (guitarist, songwriter), Tim Marquez (drummer, songwriter), and Joel Cartera (guitarist, percussionist).

 While heavily influenced by their alternative rock and metal rock roots, One Click Straight has always been a reflection of the four members’ authenticity and passion, shown through their experimental yet honest music and lyrics. 

 The band was officially founded in 2014, its four members have been making music long before then. With three among them being brothers and all of them close childhood friends, they explored their love of music together while growing up, from learning classical piano from the same teacher to discovering other instruments like drums and guitars.

 In 2015, they joined and won The Yellow Room Battle of the Bands (Year One). Under the same label, OCS released Nostalgictheir first EP that features a single of the same title. In later years, the title would be adapted and used to refer to the band’s official street team.

 One Click Straight launched their debut album The Midnight Emotion in October 2018. In 2019, the band represented the Philippines in the Music Matters festival in Singapore. 

 After releasing their first full-length album, the band started writing songs in Filipino. In January 2020, One Click Straight released their first all-Tagalog EP: Harana ComaThe EP featured two well-received singles. ‘Manila,’ the first single in the vernacular the band has ever dropped, aired on the MYX Pinoy Countdown for 6 weeks straight and was #2 in Jam 88.3’s Top 10. On the other hand, ‘Paraiso’ made its way into the #5 spot at the Apple Music Top 200 alternative chart in.

 One Click Straight also claims to be Asia’s finest softboi candy pop band.


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Alessandra de Rossi signs with Lilystars Records; releases remastered version of “Make It Better”

It’s official: ADR, the ambient music project of actress/producer/director/writer Alessandra de Rossi, officially joins the growing roster of music acts under Manila-based indie label, Lilystars Records.

 Her first major project as a solo artist is the re-release of the landmark single “Make It Better”—now out on all digital platforms worldwide this October 2, 2020 (Friday). Delicately arranged with ethereal soundscapes, trip-hop beats, and New Age-inspired vocals, ADR’s self-penned and self-produced electro-pop number has been given a remastered treatment, making it sound more polished than ever.


Written in as early as 2010, “Make It Better” is a product of its time: a confessional outlet that simmers with disappointment and heartbreak. “It’s supposedly written for someone, but maybe I was looking for the exact words that I really wanted to tell myself,” the multi-hyphenate artist shares in a statement. “But dedicating it to someone else felt easier. Is it too vague? Don't worry, the feeling is mutual.”

 Aside from “Make It Better,” ADR’s debut record, Adrift will also make its way to several music platforms soon in remastered format. Initially released in 2012, the 13-track chillout, electronic and ambient album was made available for free download as a zip file.

 I was told by so many, that no one would buy my music because it’s not pop enough for radio,” ADR said. “But it’s 2020: everything is much more accessible, thanks to all online streaming platforms. I'm just really happy that people who don't have access to laptops or computers can now finally hear it through their phones. And skip throughout the whole song, if it's not pop enough.”

 Music was once just a hobby for ADR, and dropping old and new music under a record label felt very new to her, despite giving out songs for free since 2008. “Now under Lilystars, it makes me feel crazy to be lined up with musicians who are really legit, and I’m still trying to let everything sink in. I don’t know if I should be terrified or very terrified.”

 The remastered version of “Make It Better” is now available worldwide via Lilystars Records.