In A Sonic State | My Top 5 Audio Companions

Waiting in line, being stuck in traffic, waiting for your order at a restaurant or even waiting for your friend who’s been “on the way” can happen more often than you’d like. New year’s resolutions abound, we’re all trying to be more efficient in one way or another. Why not be efficient with your idle time, and have a good time whilst doing so? Here’s a list of my top 5 audio companions.

JBL CHARGE 2+

Visible drivers to the left and right of this hefty speaker pump out the bass like nobody’s business. Emphasis on power to keep your music bumping, the Charge 3+ ensures that your music device doesn’t give up on you by way of a USB port to charge from when the inevitable low battery indicator comes up. Water resistant, speakerphone, and a sharing mode which lets multiple users play tracks alternately, as well as wirelessly daisy chaining multiple units of it’s kind as well as other JBL Bluetooth speakers makes this a top choice.

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JBL Pulse 2

Clear and balanced sound, speakerphone, Bluetooth daisychain connectivity by way of JBL Connect and a satin smooth metallic design makes this eye-catching speaker stand out from the bunch. A light show in your hand which matches the beat of your music, and can even sample the surface it’s on using it’s JBL Prism Color Sensor which mimics the color it’s pointed at is a definite win!

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JBL XTREME

If you want to be even louder, the JBL XTREME surely lives up to its name.  The ultimate in portable audio, this thing can fill up a room, the one beside it and still have enough power to reach the garage. Massive sound, powerful bass and distinct audio profile and presence makes this more than just a supersized sound machine. It’s definitely the powerful wireless portable solution for any sort of impromptu party, gathering or such in and out of town. Earth shaking sound that you can see with the two JBL Bass Radiators on each side. Splashproof design, dual USB out so your music keeps on going and a mesh/tactical cloth look that looks really premium. 15 Hours of clear, powerful sound to keep the party going!

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JBL Clip Plus

Ultra-portable, ultra-rugged and power for its size, the carabiner style design wherein it takes its namesake makes it perfect for clipping it to backpacks, beltloops and such. This Red Dot Design Award Winner (2015) boasts a dedicated bluetooth button which makes it a cinch to connect to. 3.5mm connecter for input or to daisy chain yours and your friends speakers plus a speakerphone is just the icing on this personal sized cake.

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Harman Kardon Esquire Mini

The sleek, premium metallic look of the Esquire Mini will match your premium gadgets easily, while the crisp audio profile of the device is sure to impress you and your colleague without being too in your face. Keep in touch with its standard speakerphone as well. The Esquire Mini comes with a wrist strap, stand, and battery indicator to let you know when it’s time to charge up again. Speaking of charging up, it can also charge your phone though mileage may vary.

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There it is, my Top 5 Audio Companions. Sure, some of the selection above may cost a pretty penny but what better to honour the musical greats while looking stylish doing it? Now that it’s a new year, time to be efficient and smart with your time. Life is short, buy the speakers!

In stores nationwide.

International Speed | Guam Ko’Ko’ Road Race

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I’ve been joining races and runs for some time now, starting from the Star Magic Run in the then-new Mckinley hill, then the first Century Tuna Run in BGC, then the numerous Condura Skyway Marathon(s) which eventually piqued my interest towards triathlon and you could say the rest is history. I’ve always been a believer in health, fitness and sport (cue Pain and Gain soundtrack) but I never thought I’d be this excited to join a half-marathon out of the country. Guam Ko’Ko’ Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay has been happening for ten years now, to bring awareness to the plight of Guam’s territorial bird the Rail or Ko’Ko which was brought to near extinction by brown tree snakes, pesticides and other introduced detractors. The community involvement and ongoing public efforts has helped the cause tremendously .

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At first I was ready to treat the Guam Ko’Ko road race just like any other, but then it dawned on me that Chuckie Dreyfus, Jeff Lo and I were to be the very, very unofficial Philippine representative runners, with that realization I knew that I had to push that fateful Sunday on Guam. Equals carb loading, very responsible carb breakfast loading at Denny’s!

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Followed by a very respectably carb packed lunch!

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The night before. I always do this whether my race is triathlon or a run, so less psychological traffic in the morning. Also, flat lay means business. I’m sure if someone from the cleaning staff of Hilton Guam Resort and Spa they’d think the person staying in the room was downright obsessed! No matter. I readied my Ford Forza Gear, 2xU visor, Rudy Project shades and Shotz energy gels.

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Here I am with Chuckie and Jeff. As you can see I am still trying to shake off the morning sleepiness. I am excited in this photo I promise. This could also be my sleepy gameface.

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Ready to go with Gatorade to sip before the race!

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Course maps can tend to look like hieroglyphics the morning of the race, so I suggest you study them a few days prior to figure out how far hydration stations are, which part you should push, recover and flat out. Knowing is half the battle!

course-map-2015-20151103Right before the 10k turnaround point, Carmel our “official” race photographer took this! haha!

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Too fast for the camera! Haha! Pulled up my shirt because I think I started out too hot!

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The volunteers assisting the race were very cheery and helpful. Which improves the vibe of the whole race. Which I believe helped my performance that day.

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After a seemingly flat hilly race, the cold air, seeing the difference running styles, pacing with a number of faster than me people, and drafting behind others, I made a sprint to the finish! This was my first half marathon outside of my triathlon 70.3 races, so I am pretty happy with my results! My results are on the right by the way (how I wish it was the 1:05:15 but that would be insane)

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The Boys Guam Out conquer the Ko’Ko’ road race!

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Myself with 2015 Miss World Guam. My arm is like that because I was drenched after really pushing it out on the race!

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Our 21K finisher smiles!

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The international half marathoners!

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With the Guam running crew! Spotted a lot sporting Jeff Lo’s hard to miss Pinoy Fitness running shirts.

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Of course a run isn’t complete without a groupfie!

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All in all, the Guam Ko’Ko Road Race and Ekiden Relay 2015 proved to be a real treat. The weather was perfect, the course well plotted out, the organisation top notch and the support that the city really gives to the runners is a great example of how races should be organised. Thank you to the Guam Visitors Bureau for letting me race in such a beautiful setting and showing me around the breathtaking sights around the island. Hope to be back again next year to better my new personal best!

 

 

Don’t Mess With The Best | Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang has always been a personal favorite of all the numerous muscle cars from that era. You know, the one where machizmo and being bad-ass wasn’t something you’d have to be ashamed of. Where going for a drive was exciting and exhilarating and not to just get from point A to point B. Well, I believe Ford has brought all that back and then some with the launch of the new Ford Mustang. The venue was in High Street Central in Bonifacio Global City and immediately had a racing heritage feel and spoke muscle in the automotive sense.

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Some of my teammates from Ford Forza Triathlon.

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My friend Mikko leading the mirrorless revolution of Fujifilm! Haha!

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The cars were covered but their iconic shapes were too striking to hide.

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A quick retrospective that I am sure brought back memories to a lot of the people in attendance.

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I know what you’re thinking, it’s not a fastback but it is a beaut nonetheless! They revealed the Mustangs one by one with the help of models.

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Hubba hubba! (the car, the car)

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I saw this Mustang a few weeks prior, I dig the racing stripes.

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Like it’s ready to go!

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Then lighting and rock music blasted while the two Mustangs were driven in by Matteo Giudicelli and Stefano Marcelo!

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I could hear the rumble of the 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine inside this Mustang despite the loud music! Rolling in was also a white Mustang with the all-new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 engine.

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The design is impeccable. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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Onlookers in awe.

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Stefano delivering details on how the handling feels and probably wanting to drive the Mustang more.

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That my friends, is a smile no woman can give you. Only oil, smoke, gasoline and the roar of a V8 can give you that!

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Nice shoes.

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Every angle thought out.

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Ford Forza Triathlon with Ford Philippines.

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The “Ok na (nag-down na ako)” face! Haha!

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High shoulder and masculine interiors make me want to schedule a test drive real soon.

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Look at that rear end!

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DRL that looks menacing and powerful and less bling.

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Concluding that the Ecosport version of the Ford Mustang is a “practical” car good enough for daily driving and errands. Right? Right? Help me out here.

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Read more about the new Ford Mustang.

Unleash Yourself

http://www.ford.com.ph/cars/new-mustang

http://www.ford.com.ph/

A Pinatubo Trek | ECCO

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I rare to go to places that I’ve never been, with people who are just as excited to be outdoors as I am. I always see my friend Marc’s photos of the whole Pinatubo experience on facebook complete with 4x4s and always find myself incredibly envious! So when SSI contacted me for this trip out to the active volcano with Scandinavian shoe brand ECCO I immediately accepted even if was to arrive from Boracay on that same day. But hey, no rest for the wicked right? My plane had arrived late in Manila (no surprise there) so I just high-tailed it to the north with sand still stuck in between my toes.

I love the drive to the north, it’s really smooth and can even be a bit too comfortable if you’re driving alone because it can be hard to stay awake when all you see are road reflectors and you’ve got cruise control engaged. I reached Green Canyon (a peaceful, eco friendly hotel which features a lot of wood carvings by artist Nico Jose) in about an hour or so, I missed the dinner they had for everyone but I was determined to join in the adventure the next morning with ECCO.

I was greeted with this “Go Anywhere” kit! ECCO 02 shoes, a cap, shirt, towel, socks and umbrella (just in case) after a quick inspection I was off to bed.

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After a rejuvanating sleep, probably thanks to the peaceful surroundings I was ready for a whole day of trekking and filling up my camera with photos. Slipped my ECCO 02 shoes on, and was surprised with how breathable they were.

Good morning guys! Roy Macam and Alyanna Martinez were there also, I was glad there were more than a few familiar faces in the group.

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Tall guy in photo is Martin Hein, who is the Business Development Manager for ECCO in Asia. He was with his team from Singapore.

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Up and at ’em.

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We got a covered 4×4 which I was thankful for when the sun started to really come out.

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Bloggers united! Paul aka Paultheprguy was there too!

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The ride is around 45 minutes until the start of the trek, it’s mostly lahar and looks very otherworldly. No traffic, no roads, just an appetite for adventure!

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Kwentuhan underway, I learned about the brand’s origins as well as how Martin started out with ECCO and the brand’s range and commitment to producing quality shoes. Was pretty impressed with the care and detail given to each shoe, it isn’t mass produced and is premium.

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Talking about triathlon now, totally bro-ing out. I found out Martin is training for his first IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon!

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Quick stop for photos!

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Roy’s ECCO 02 pair!

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Daniel Tan! Mr. Photog, aerial cam extraordinaire!

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Shoe selfie. I like how sleek they are without looking too-fashiony. You get what I mean? Classic lines but still stylish without looking overly designed.

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“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Dr. Emmet Brown

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ECCO 02 shoes with smart air channelling system and breathable yak leather uppers, which offers more effective heat transportation as well as a waterproof and breatheable GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ membrane.

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Okay, I admit it. I didn’t actually drive. This was more of my shoot with Paul! Haha!

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The trek begins! Daniel must have been carrying 20lbs of camera equipment!

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Admiring nature’s art.

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Here we go!

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Water is no problem whatsoever.

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No trailblazing please. Even if it’s really tempting!

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After a few steep climbs, narrow paths and streams we made it to the caldera!

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And what a site she is! It’s hard to believe this place looked like the end of the world when Pinatubo erupted.

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Friendly reminders were scattered about.

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Requisite OOTD! Thank you Paul! Ray-Ban Aviators, ECCO shirt, APC x Carhartt trousers, ECCO 02 shoes.

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What a view. I was speaking to Martin about how this is how I imagine this is how the Fjords in Norway look like. He has been there and agreed, I have yet to confirm this in the future.

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Paul with his trusty Fujifilm camera! Mirrorless revolution!

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Roy said that swimming was allowed before, but alas no more.

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Daniel’s drone, excited to see his video!

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Utterly breathtaking!

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The walk back!

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“Artsy” shot of Sam.

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Every corner a sight to behold.

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Back by the 4x4s complimentary cleaning was offered, to show how easy to maintain and clean ECCO shoes are. They are clearly a company that cares about the lifespan of a shoe and doesn’t just churn out pair after pair.

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ECCO is exclusively distributed by Store Specialists, Inc. (SSI) in the Philippines. Located at Rustan’s Makati, Glorietta, Bonifacio High Street, Robinsons Midtown, SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Robinson’s Magnolia, Gateway, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, and Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu. Visit http://www.ssilife.com.ph for more information!

Made Fresh, With More Flavors Than You Can Shake A Stick At | Wingstop Opening Glorietta 2

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Wingstop just opened up their 9th fast casual (as they would put it) restaurant in the country! Wingstop is America’s largest wings chain and I am pretty stoked that the Table Group decided bring it in to the Philippines!  Wingstop Glorietta 2 (across landmark) is now also serving up the signature wings with 9 different flavors!  They launched with a big party, with great music, hip-hop dancers, wings, and a refreshing guestlist. Badkiss played first setting the tone for the evening -block party, which also felt to me like an actual backyard barbeque atmosphere complete with seemingly unending drinks in iced metal drums.

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My personal favorite right after the diabolical Atomic wings are these! Garlic Parmesan for the win! All wings are crisped perfectly, sauced liberally, and soft and moist on the inside. I am getting hungry just writing about them again!

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Cajun (foreground) and Atomic on the far end. Nice to go through the whole spectrum of spiciness ranging from mild to Atomic!

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As I said, free flowing drinks! They had a number of these iced drums for guests. Ice cold!

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Hand sauced and tossed, the wings are made fresh. Troy Aikman swears by them (NFL Fans, may know him). These are the type of wings that are just plain delicious.

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There are 9 flavors available, Hickory Smoked Barbecue, Hot Buffalo, Mild Buffalo, Garlic Parmesan, Cajun, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Louisiana Rub and my personal favorite the hottest and spiciest Atomic! One thing I like about it is that it’s not just plain old heat but actually flavourful combined with the sweat inducing heat! Great ice breaker I tell you!

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Great seating areas which all have quick access to paper towels, and sinks to wash off the sauce from your fingers. Others use provided plastic gloves but where’s the fun in that?

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This little fellow’s wing game was strong, he was just walking around enjoying his wings and apparently acting grown up (according to his mom)

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Nix Damn P! This was my second time to see him play that day, he is all over the place! Great tunes, always surprising what he decides to play.

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Chino, giving me the “I just had a couple of atomic wings my mouth is on fire” look.

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Check out their Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/wingstopPH

Follow them on Twitter:

…and Instagram!

https://instagram.com/wingstopph/

Branches:

Glorietta 2, Greenhillls Promenade, Estancia, Eastwood, University Mall, Trinoma, Fairview Terraces, Starmall Prima Taguig, Starmall Las Pinas

Timely | SevenFriday

“What time is it”

A beautiful woman asks your group of friends, and while the rest reach into their pockets for their phones you proudly announce the time, ask her what’s the rush, get her number, have an amazing conversation and ride off into the sunset. The end.

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This never happens. But it could if you were wearing a Seven Friday. These watches have a sense of excitement about them, when on your wrist you look like you’re about to break a course record or close a deal. It’s a watch that exudes confidence, it doesn’t say country club money or finesse. It’s big on the wrist, well designed and slightly aggressive. I would say rough around the edges but it’s so well made that that wouldn’t be a fitting description.

The watch case looks retro but not to the point of novelty, and though the dial isn’t so easy to read, one doesn’t get sick of looking at it and will be impressed how much refinement is in it.

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It’s a watch that isn’t conservative, traditional, or usual. It makes a statement, it shows you know a thing or two about design but aren’t looking to flaunt your wallet size.

Espoused with 15 years of in-depth experience in the watch industry, SevenFriday

founder Daniel Niederer shares his passion for advancement, product performance,

and mélange of styles. “Our intention was to create a timepiece with the best

standards and highly perceived value, but still quite affordable. We wanted to

produce a watch that you just don’t put in a drawer. Normally, you look at a watch

and you think—it’s either a jewelry watch or a sports watch. But when you look at

this watch, you’re actually not sure. Is it classic or modern? I don’t want to specify

what it stands for. I believe a good design shouldn’t explain too much,” he said.

As Niederer’s individualistic nature and lifestyle preference mirror his creations,

SevenFriday shows every self-driven and bright bloke a different take on profoundly

engineered items with the mix of two superb major features in its wristwatches—the

iconic box with an aluminum animation ring and made of stainless steel that serves

as a protective casing; and the impressive interface of mechanical layers composed

of multi-layer dial, unique hands, and complex watch movement.

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Meticulous focus on material and finish combined with a workhorse Miyota caliber which keeps time better than you can makes for an excellent companion on your wrist. Highly recommended.

SEVENFRIDAY is available at the following retail stores—SevenFriday Watch Boutiques (Promenade and Mega Fashion Hall at SM Mega Mall); Washington Jewelry Emporium (Alabang Town Center, Eastwood Mall, Festival Mall, Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 1, Robinsons Place Manila, Shangri-La Plaza, Powerplant Mall Rockwell, and SM North EDSA); and Urban Superior Store at Banilad Town Center Cebu City

#BlackIsTheNewClean | Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean

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Charcoal is black, teeth are white. Two questions are raised in my mind. How does it make your teeth whiter since the concept seems so counter-intuitive? And what other possible benefits can I get with this new product from Colgate?

Here’s a snippet from good ol’ wikipedia

Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, activated coal, or carbo activatus, is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.[1] Activated is sometimes substituted with active.

Due to its high degree of microporosity, just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m2, as determined by gas adsorption. An activation level sufficient for useful application may be attained solely from high surface area; however, further chemical treatment often enhances adsorption properties.

This microporosity and surface area in just a minute amount of charcoal is more than a football field! I now realize the logic behind how it can remove toxins and stains from your teeth resulting in whiter teeth! Benefits from a substantial amount of toxins and bacteria being expunged from your mouth are stated on the the professional looking tube of toothpaste, to protect from cavities, plaque, sensitivity, tartar, staining, bad breath, et cetera.

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On top of the aesthetic quality of whiter teeth and social appeal of fresh breath, removing bacteria also contributes largely to better mouth health. Now I know why #BlackIsTheNewClean.

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A Decidedly Men’s Store in High Street Central | GENERAL

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Linen Jacket by Uniqlo, Linen Shirt, COS Trousers, Massimo Dutti driving shoes, American Apparel Belt, Vintage 1973 Seiko Watch. (mirror shot. I really need an intern!)

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GENERAL!  A decidedly Men’s store, one of the few in Manila. I was invited over to check out the new collection of Lyle & Scott, being on a holiday and fond of the brand, I decided to make the visit. The moment you step into the GENERAL store, a feeling of quality is felt. The polished concrete floors, geometric tiles, oxblood chesterfield couch all lend an air that is very british and longstanding.

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I particularly liked the window display as it was travel themed and had an informed explorer feel to it as opposed to a glossy, well-heeled yet out of place checklist traveller.

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I love Harrington jackets, they have always been quintessentially british to me. The red one is perfect for people looking to incorporate (a lot) more color into their wardrobes.

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I take a long time looking and selecting clothes, thinking of how to incorporate into my existing closet, if the stitches are clean, if the material is natural or synthetic, and the walang kamatayang “is this a good investment?”

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Trying things on, I opened the curtain just for the photo of course! This is an older piece, but fits really well, felt like Steve McQueen until the moment I took it off.

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No fail oxford shirt, with some nice details that make it unique.

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Of course a discussion about the different brands available in the store, top of my head I remember Lyle & Scott, Penfield, Johnston & Murphy, SWIMS, Clae, Herschel, Hedgren, Boxfresh and Reyn Spooner. Well established brands that are identifiable for us guys and with rich brand histories. GENERAL is a good store to check out if you’re looking for new styles or upgrades to your existing favorites.

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GENERAL

UNIT 203 & 204 C1 BUILDING UPPER GROUND FLOOR, BONIFACIO HIGH STREET CENTRAL, BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY

http://stylegeneral.com/