Friday, April 27, 2007

Endangered Tales, Endangered Planet

Jukka Holopainen's team unveiled their documentary "Endangered Tales" at Megamall last Sunday (Earth Day 2007).

For those that missed out on it, shame shame. It was well-made, informative and very relevant to all Filipinos. As the press release goes "Endangered Tales of the Philippines shows why this archipelago is one of the most biologically rich places on the planet.

This 58-minute film features unique footage from over 15 expeditions and eye-opening interviews with over 30 biologists, scientists, and conservationists—all of whom highlight the urgent need for conservation efforts.

For anyone interested in being part of the effort to save the country's rich biodiversity check out the website of the Center for Environmental Awareness.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Baler Summer Longboard Jam

Congratulations to ASRAI for the success of their very first longboard competition! Most of my photos are already up on my multiply site. The shortlist will be uploaded to my pbase galleries. (Mahdam and Kidlat - use whatever you want for your blogs.)

We all went up for a weekend of surfing, good vibes and magical Baler aura. On a personal note, I actually joined this comp because I figured it was a zero pressure situation -- first, it was a longboard comp and everyone knows I dont really know how to use longboard and second, I had zero expectations for myself. All I knew was that I wanted to get at least one wave during my heat. I cant help it, the competitive side of me just doesn't go to sleep I think.

I had a full day to get used to using a longboard and paddling for the super baby waves. First I used Aya's 540 Surf Buffalo board but come Sunday, it was decided that I was better off using Philip's 9'1 Southpoint.

My heat had Daisy, Elaine, and Jovin in it. And true enough, it was super fun and super zero stress. In fact, I was so stoked from that heat that I decided after this trip to seriously consider getting a longboard to widen my "quiver." (Addendum: I did buy a longboard a few weeks later. A 9'1 Southpoint we're currently calling Dagat because it seems like a suitable name for him)

The one thing wrong with this trip? We didnt get to eat at Gerry Shan's. :( Haaay. No mapo tofu, no sweet & sour fish, no buttered chicken. Sadness. BUT! We had Bay's Inn Onion Rings so I guess that makes it a little bit better.

Anyway, the results from the comp are as follows:

Men's Invitational:
Champion: Ian Saguan
1st Runner Up: Moro Gandawali
2nd runner up: Chris Par
3rd runner-up: Ronnie " Poks" Esquivel

Men's Open:
Champion: Okoy Rojo
1st Runner-up: Jefferson dela torre (AU)
2nd runner up: Allen De Vera (AU)
3rd runner up: Edmund mendoza (AU)


Champion: Daisy Valdez (LU)
1st Runner-up: Menchie Espenilla ( LU)
2nd runner-up: Marie Aquino (LU)
3rd Runner-up: Aubrey Namoro (AU)

Champion: Marvin Abat (LU)
1st Runner-up : Jefferey Esquivel ( LU)
2nd runner-up: Robin Dela Torre ( AU)
3rd Runner-up: Wilson Faraon ( AU)

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Friday, April 20, 2007

That's Not Al Gore!

So we're in Singapore now for the UNEP Champions of the Earth 2007 Awards. Proud to say, my mom was chosen as the champion for the Asia-Pacific region. Woot, woot!

Anyway, I'd been looking forward to these awards also because Al Gore is a co-awardee, representing North America. I even brushed up on global warming just in case I got a chance to talk to him. Plus we bought a real copy of his docu (kakahiya naman kung Makati Cinema Square pirated dvd yung papa-sign namin di ba?!).

Imagine my surprise when, instead of Al Gore arriving in the Merlion City... the award is received by (drumroll) ...

DARYL HANNAH! As in the original mermaid princess of the silver screen! Apparently they are very good friends and she is an advocator for the environment as well.

So yeah... I didn't get to meet Al Gore, much less actually impress him with my witty repartee (hahaha). But hey, props to Daryl for making the trip in his place and delivering his speech with as much panache as Bono lobbying to Free Tibet. And again, major ups to my Mama for winning!

(Super editorial: For an aging mermaid, Miss Hannah still looks good.)

For more information on UNEP and the Champions of the Earth click this

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

OMG, I'm in Surfline!

Late last year photographer/writer John Callahan asked me to help him out with some surf spots that needed to be covered for And now, months and months afterwards, the've finally come out!

San Antonio and Bagasbas Beach

Super thanks by the way to certain local groups from both places for helping me with some of the more technical information.

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Let Kage Eat Post-Lenten Cake

Every year during the Lenten season I give up either ice cream or cake. And believe me, it is a struggle for someone who loves pastries and sweets as much as I do. This year was made more difficult by the sudden proliferation of dessert places in the city. But, I made it. 40 days without cake. Woot, woot. And now, time to reward myself for the willpower.

On a lead from an old friend, I chose Banapple to end my Lenten sacrifice. Good call.

Banapple is a small bakery that specializes in pies and cheesecakes. Cookies and brownies go from Php35. The giant chocolate chip cookie (Php40) manages to be crunchy and chewy at the same time and is super delicious.

The Banoffee cake and the Strawberry cheesecake (see photo) are their top sellers. But since I am a contrary sort, I went for a slice of their Caramel-Fudge cake (Php75). And OH WOW... PANALO. The cake is moist and packed with fudgey goodness. The caramel icing is not too sweet. In a word: chewy. This cake is chewy and should probably be shared with at least one other friend because there is only so much gooey goodness that you can have before your body says "stop!" and your tastebuds rebel.

In fact, I still have half a slice left over from this morning. And I'm thinking with a fresh cup of hot milk tea, there's merienda waiting for me.

(Surfers: Bannaple is just beside the Shop, where City Jam used to be. Woohoo!)

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Holy Week in La Union

This year I went up to LU for Holy Week. The weekend before, I rode up with Aya, Philip, JP and Miko. They were there to pick up their longboards, I was there to drop off my Holy Week supplies. There were super baby waves that we kinda surfed but mostly, we were in the water just to keep cool. Until Miko smelled, then spotted, the dead rat floating nearby. Next thing you know, we're all getting showered and clean and heading to CSI for lunch and aircon.

I was back in Manila (and work) for two days, leaving to return to LU with Buji, Nikki, Earl, Migs, Tweet, Heart and Jing late on Tuesday night. Buji drove their refurbished VW Combi. Super cute. Unfortunately it broke down and we were delayed by almost three hours. We finally made it to LU at 9 in the morning.

Mid-week swell led to baby waves followed by the fear of a total flat spell for the weekend. My mom followed on Good Friday with a couple of her friends. I was thinking we'd get her on a board since the waves were super small. But no! She didn't want to try it just yet. Maybe next time daw. She met up with a friend there who took her around and invited her to their beach house. So, at least she wasnt bored di ba?

Easter Sunday we were blessed with 2-3 foot solid waves at The Point! So...

1. nagka-alon and
2. a lot of us had gone home na the night before so
3. I actually surfed The Point
4. with maybe 10-12 other people lang!

First I was using Doc's magic longboard and then after a few rides, I swapped with Joncy and he let me borrow his wonderful fish. (Thankies muchly to Doc and Joncy for the use of the boards). My boards (Pandora, Alex and even the newly named S9 Sage had gone home na ahead of me. Hehe).

In between the surfing: naps in the kubo, episodes of Heroes and Prison Break, nasty jellyfish stings, watching 300 again, cooking at the ancestral apartment of Viva and Doc, adopting Jam in the Yeah, Yeah house, having Mama spend the weekend in LU, the difference between
sunblock and suntan, karaoke and jamming with Atty Ely, sushi ala Takahashi and a very steady ride home with Moro, Beej and Perez.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007



Corporate Bohemian Kage Gozun gets to the root of her dry scalp woes for Metro Magazine's March 2007 issue.

I am perpetually under the sun. Even before the weekend approaches, I am already plotting my next out-of-town beach trip. Snorkeling one weekend, surfing on another, it doesn’t matter to me so long as I am near salt water.

As with most of my friends, I have learned the adage “rays today, rasin tomorrow” and have long ago shunned suntan oils in favor of high-spf sun block lotions and zinc creams to protect my precious skin from UV rays. This comes complete with an after-sun regimen that includes moisturizers and regular bouts of exfoliation.

The one thing I seem to have neglected is my head. Sure, my hair has lovely natural highlights and is free of split end. Each strand is conditioned on a regular basis and does not resemble a witch’s broom.

But my scalp? It recently came to my attention that it is dry. Starting to flake kind of dry. The type of dry that could no longer be ignored. Little did I know that a healthy head of hair is reliant on a healthy scalp. Under our scalps exist a network of muscles and that bring blood, nutrients and oxygen to the hair root. And a collaboration of sun exposure, salt water and product residue had conspired to block these pores, giving me (literally) head full of woe. Left untreated, my precious hair was bound to suffer too!

Thankfully, Hairworks Salon has a range of treatments that target specific types of scalp trouble. Three L’Oreal products are the main features in this product line-up. A variety of scalp troubles is treated by mixing and matching these three. Everything from a flaking to itching to general dryness can be addressed.

Usually, only two of the three remedies are used on clients. For the purposes of my visit, we decided to use all three to see what magic they could work on my beleaguered scalp. First up was L’Oreal Soft Peel, applied between rows of my hair directly to my scalp. Tiny beads and massaging hands gently exfoliated the dry skin, leaving my scalp with a fresh, “breathing” layer of skin. A quick rinse and L’Oreal Sensi Post was up next. It was explained to me that even scalps need moisturizing and this nifty little tube was going to do the trick. I felt a soft tingling sensation. Although I am not sure if this was due to the treatment or blood rushing through my head and the moisturizer was massaged into my skin.

As a last step, my hair (and my body along with it) was transported back to the sink for another quick rinse. The final step of the procedure involved L’Oreal Power Clear, a leave on that was supposed to banish any dandruff I’d caused from my years of scalp mistreatment.

An hour later and I was left with a scalp that felt softer and refreshed. It is suggested that clients come in one more time after the initial visit for a follow-up check and another dose of the scalp care regimen. It takes more than one round to truly banish the baddies of itching, dryness and dandruff, especially if you’ve been disregarding scalp care in your day to day routine.

At home products such as L’Oreal Sensi Balance shampoo help maintain the scalp’s moisture while Sensi Balance leave on gives you protection all day.

Hairworks Spa is located on the ground floor of BSA Tower along Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati.

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By Kage Gozun (published in Metro Magazine, March 2007 issue)

The newest way to sexy!

You know how this goes. After months of exercising and eating properly, you’ve still got that last little hump to get over before achieving your ideal body shape. Sometimes it’s those last stubborn five pounds. Other times it’s those final few inches that just refuse to budge.

Well, hard-working woman, be frustrated no more! A new treatment has been introduced that promises to re-shape your body without the hassle and stress of traditional yet invasive procedures such as liposuction.

The treatment is called UltraShape, after the company that patented the technique. The technology that drives UltraShape is a patented machine that uses therapeutic ultrasound waves. These waves target specific fat deposits and fat cells in the stomach, flanks and saddlebags. It breaks down fat cells in these problematic areas without damaging the tissue in nearby areas of the body. Afterwards, the body’s natural flow processes the fat through the liver.

UltraShape is painless, requires no recuperation time and doesn’t take more than two hours per session. The contouring treatment is revolutionary and continues to expand their scope and market.

To date there are over 100 clinics in 35 countries around the world that offer it. In the Philippines, it is the Marie-France Bodyline International chain that has added UltraShape to their menu.

Finding answers

On a mission, I checked out the Marie-France clinic in Makati to sit down with their doctors and discover more about this seemingly “too-good-to-be-true” procedure. Doctor Hajji Palaruan and consultant Evelyn Meriales took me on a tour of the facilities, where we came upon somebody in the middle of an UltraShape session. And it turned out that this “client” is actually another doctor of Marie-France.

In fact, many of the staff have tried the treatment and are living testimonies to its effectiveness. Of course, explains Doctor Palaruan, you cant expect miraculous results if you aren’t a “good patient” afterwards. Essentially this means no salty, oily and creamy food for at least four days after the treatment. Also, a change in lifestyle is needed in order to maintain the sexy new body that you’re sporting around. The ultrasound waves may have destroyed the fat cells but that doesn’t mean you wont get fat again if you insist on chowing down on fast-food. The fat may return, just in different areas of the body not treated with UltraShape.

UltraShape can show results after even just one procedure although the recommended standard treatment is four sessions spanning a phase of four months.

Doctor Palaruan also clarified that this is not a solution for everyone. There are certain restrictions for would-be patients of UltraShape. “UltraShape is more of contouring the body so it is not offered to obese patients. It will not have a significant effect (on them). We treat them with other treatments before we can offer them UltraShape. We also can not give this to patients who are too thin. And because the fat that is disrupted from the fat cells is processed by the liver, we can not give the treatment to clients with liver diseases.” Also on the blacklist for UltraShape are people with wound-healing or coagulation problems, cancer patients, expectant mothers, and those with pacemakers and metal prostheses.

The procedure is currently only available for the stomach, flanks and saddlebags because the device used to deliver the ultrasound waves (known as a transducer) is too bulky to use on smaller portions of the human body such as the arms and inner thighs. As of press time, clinical studies are in the works on a smaller transducer.

Trial by Treatment

I decided to go under the frequency knife and have my stomach go through the UltraShape procedure. Dressed in a comfy Marie-France tank top and shorts, I let Doc Palaruan measure my body and carefully marked the areas that the transducer is meant to target. It was explained to me that the transducer – a round instrument with a flat surface – is moved over these targeted zones with the aid of some castor oil.

Next, I lay down on a table under a bright light while assistants draped my sides with rubber sheets to keep the oil from spilling. A computer monitor was switched on and I could see myself on the screen. It felt very Nip/Tuck only without the blood and the drama.

The process took a little over an hour. True enough, it was painless and trauma-free. At most, there was a tingling sensation as the transducer was moved slowly over my abdomen. Near the bonier areas such as the ribcage, it felt slightly hot but not uncomfortable. In fact, I may have fallen asleep a few times because next thing I knew, it was over.

Hopping off the table and wiping off the excess oil, the attendants reminded me about eating properly and getting exercise. Mentally picturing the fat-less abs I could be sporting I made a mental note to pay heed to their advice.

The UltraShape solution is currently offered at the Timog, Makati and Alabang branches of Marie-France Bodyline International.

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