Spotlight on BF HomeSarap, The Village Home-Cooked Food Directory

Spotlight on BF HomeSarap, The Village Home-Cooked Food Directory

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Do you love home-cooked food? Do you love BF Homes, the very large residential-commercial community that occupies portions of Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Las Piñas? Do you love grouping together on Facebook forming a very lively online community?

If you love all three, then you cannot go wrong with the BF HomeSarap Facebook group!

BF HomeSarap is not just any food-oriented, regional group on the social network. It is one of the fastest growing FB groups that highlights home cooking, good tastes, small enterprise and the BF Homes community members (plus friends).

BF HomeSarap’s growth in terms of membership is truly amazing. The FB group only started on April 2019 and from zero members it attracted to more than eight thousand (8,000+) members as of this writing! By comparison, there are other BF Homes-related (plus Barangay BF Homes-related) FB groups that lasted for years and still their respective memberships were exceeded by BF HomeSarap.

The FB group has described itself to be the resource for delicious home-cooked food (and drinks) right inside the village. As big businesses are prohibited, BF HomeSarap allows foodie sellers to post their specialties by showing pictures of the products, the name of the food or drink, prices and how they are being sold. What is notable about the group is that the people who make food at home are granted valuable opportunities to reach out to other members who might be interested to buy from them. In a business sense, the small food enterprises are able to make themselves known and gain chances to grow not only with selling products but also attracting new customers and establishing new business relationships.

And then something significant happened on December 7 and 8, 2019 – selected BF HomeSarap members came out in full force as sellers in the first-ever BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held at the open-air basketball court and at the nearby covered stretch  inside BF NorthWest, Parañaque City. That community event, which was organized by village governor-at-large Lorea Miren in cooperation with the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association and supported by PARA APP, was a big success as it attracted between 250 to 300 visitors (including Parañaque City Councilors Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza and Wahoo Sotto) and almost all the vendors sold out! Apart from that, a strong spirit of community interaction, business and socializing took place.

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A look at just one section where the first-ever BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair was held inside BF NorthWest. This one was taken at a covered facility near the open-air basketball court (where the other vendors were present and selling too).

With all of these mentioned, you must be wondering: Who started BF HomeSarap in the first place? Why was it established? How did it happen? Where will BF HomeSarap head to now that its presence online and within the real environment inside BF Homes has been felt?

For all of you, my readers and food enthusiasts, I am happy to present to you my interview with BF HomeSarap founder and food stylist Ditas Antenor.

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To begin with, Ditas Antenor worked in the corporate world as an advertising executive and worked with her employer’s big-time clients. After more than a decade managing multinational accounts in various multinational ad agencies, she moved on to the production side and there she became a food stylist. She even spent time in the United States to learn about food styling (for print and broadcast).

“I decided back then to take up food styling because I made plans regarding my career ahead of time,” Antenor recalled. “I really planned ahead. I could quit my nine-to-five job and engage in freelancing. So what would be a good, lucrative freelance job that I know I could be good at? That was food styling which is rare (in the Philippines.)”

Back then, food stylists in the Philippines were rare. Antenor became the fifth among the already established food stylists at the time. She eventually got hired by some clients and established herself nicely. Raised as an Alabang Girl, she and her children currently live in the Las Pinas City part of BF Homes subdivision.

BF HomeSarap’s origin and tremendous growth within Facebook

So how did BF HomeSarap started as a group within Facebook? It all started with a trigger on the part of its founder Ditas Antenor.

“There was a trigger. It was related to me and my kids moving into BF Homes subdivision coming from Alabang. Our house here in BF has been around for a very long time,” Antenor said. “My kids grew up with my cooking. Although they enjoy commercial foods like pizza or burgers that can be ordered, they can only eat those sometimes and ultimately they still love home-cooked food.”

Being the highly focused planner she has always been, Antenor had prepared menus for their family up to a few months ahead. She does the home cooking and, from time to time, her children cook adding variety. The love for home cooking, good food and relationships all connected with the beginning of BF HomeSarap.

“Then one day, I said to myself ‘maybe I should form a group’. I’m not an original member of the BF Homes community but still this is our home, even if I still maintain and occasionally stay in our Alabang house” Antenor recalled. “After doing an initial search for food-related FB groups that were related to BF Homes, I formed an FB group for BF by BF focused on home-cooked food.”

Along the way, the founder recalled her efforts on forming a name for the FB group that is unique and would strongly resonate with food enthusiasts and BF Homes residents and stakeholders. The result, clearly, was BF HomeSarap which was a clever combination of the name of the subdivision as well as the Tagalog word “Sarap” (English: Delicious).

“The name BF HomeSarap was formed out of my intention to include the local community’s name while reflecting people’s enjoyment of good home-cooked food. It had to be catchy and relevant at the same time. After searching for possible combinations of words, I came up with ‘sarap’ to partner with BF Homes,” she stated.

BF HomeSarap was created on April 2019 by Antenor reflecting her interest of good, home-cooked food her children would enjoy while establishing ties with the many members of the BF Homes community who share her interest.

The result? The membership of BF HomeSarap on Facebook went from zero to over eight thousand as of this writing. The members were a big mix of food enthusiasts as well as home-based cooks who are quietly selling food or drinks through their respective small-sized businesses. Already several small-time food sellers posted food or beverages for sale complete with contact numbers, prices, ways on how to avail of ordered items and the like. BF HomeSarap excludes the bigger, commercial food sellers giving more space and priority to the small ones. Along the way, there were a lot of buyers who had been searching for tasty home-cooked food. The result is BF HomeSarap establishing itself as a very lively online community whose members are united by home-cooked food and delicacies.

Of course, not just anyone could join the BF HomeSarap FB group. With the help of a few friends (who lived in BF Homes for a long time) and her daughter, Antenor and her co-administrators carefully review the many pending applications of FB users who wanted to join in as well as the many private messages sent.

“The membership of BF HomeSarap just kept on growing fast. Along the way, we made sure it would not become just another buy-and-sell type of Facebook group. I really wanted it to be an online community about good, home-cooked food and BF Homes which will be engaged with good quality content from time to time. I really want community engagement,” she said.

To engage the BF HomeSarap group members, Antenor researched online about the latest food trends, what kind of food people like lately, cooking tips, recipes and the like. The result was her releasing unique content in the form of articles, short videos, special greetings and customized images that get posted in the group occasionally. This approach of hers helped keep BF HomeSarap interesting and engaging, and prevented it from becoming stale or getting too flooded with sales-related posts.

For the future, Antenor stated that she is still striving to come up with ideas to make life better for the sellers and buyers of the group. She is exploring how to establish a dedicated delivery system that will carry BF HomeSarap’s name and cater to the clients’ needs. She and her team are also looking for other enclaves around BF Homes that could possibly host the next edition of the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair this year.

With almost 9,000 members counted (and growing) and continued daily engagement, BF HomeSarap is undoubtedly the premier FB group focused on home-cooked food with the people of BF Homes in mind. Even FB users from the rest of South Metro Manila noticed the group.

“BF Homes is very unique,” Antenor said in relation to the group’s phenomenal growth and influence.

The group is not even a year old, and already it achieved a lot of milestones even spawning three related groups: Merville HomeSarap, Antipolo HomeSarap and MetroEast HomeSarap.

Ditas Antenor’s Message to the Readers

“When I cook, I continue to engage the community. There is, indeed, a wealth of home-cooked food in this community. You just need to look for it. You just need to know who cooked it. Also, level up your food in terms of nutrition and quality. If you want good food for your family, aim for home-cooked. It can be cheaper and yet it can be prepared with the same love and care for the family.”


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Note: Article cover photo contains images from the book “SULÓ: Where Taste Was Style”, written by author/founder Erlinda Panlilio, published in 2015 by Anvil Publishing.

Muntinlupa City Government Provides Big-time Assistance to Taal Volcano Eruption Victims

The City Government of Muntinlupa proved it has the heart to assist others who badly need help in times of disaster as the local authorities approved big-time relief for the many victims of the recent Taal Volcano eruption.

Firstly, the City Council of Muntinlupa approved on January 14 the Mayor Jaime Fresnedi’s proposal of a P3,000,000 donation for the municipalities of Talisay, Laurel & Agoncillo, Batangas as aide for the victims of Taal Volcano eruption for their recovery and rehabilitation.

Fresnedi called for the public to continue to stand in prayer for the safety of affected families in Batangas and encouraged city residents to participate in donation drives.

Secondly, the City Government sent 3,417 grocery packs and 381 six-liter bottles of water to evacuation centers in coordination with Batangas Incident Command Post in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City on January 15. Muntinlupa Social Services Department head Analyn Mercado confirmed that the said relief packs went to the cities and municipalities of Calaca, Alfonso, Nasugbu, Batangas, Bauan, San Pascual, Balayan, and Sto. Tomas

Relief packs given to evacuees include canned goods, water, rice, sleeping mats, utensils, clothes, and other non-food items. Mercado added that an additional 300 sacks of rice and another 2,828 six-liter bottles of water will be distributed to the evacuees in the following days.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is still accepting any kind of donations at Muntinlupa Resiliency Building (Hall of Justice Compound) in Brgy. Tunasan or Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall.

To donate, the public may coordinate with SSD at (02) 8861 6223 and may look for Ms. Analyn Mercado.

Since Taal Volcano erupted, thousands of people living in close proximity had no choice but to leave their homes and possessions behind, occupy evacuation centers and hang on as more forms of assistance are coming. The City Government of Muntinlupa and several others are organization donation drives and public assistance campaigns for the victims. If you want to help, now is the time.

Where to Donate to Help Victims of Taal Volcano Eruption

It is depressing to watch news or see social media postings about many people whose lives got disrupted by the recent eruption of Taal Volcano which spew not only a massive amount of ash into the air (affecting Metro Manila) but also caused physical damage on all communities close to it.

Many people had to leave their homes and wait for assistance from the many emergency response personnel (who are undoubtedly working hard) deployed by the local authorities.

Meanwhile, several donation-driven initiatives or charitable operations to provide public assistance (in cash or in kind) to the victims were launched very recently. For its part, the City Government of Muntinlupa approved legislation of a P3,000,000 donation to Taal Volcano Eruption victims. The City Government also launched a public donation drive as well.

If you are here in the South Metro Manila area of the Philippines and you wish to donate, consider the following:

BARANGAY BF HOMES

Where: Barangay BF Homes Public Safety Department, Barangay BF Homes hall, Elsie Gatches street, Paranaque City

Contact number: 8809-8843

What to donate: Drinking water (encouraged by Barangay Captain Paolo Marquez), clothes, towels, blankets, food, toiletries, N95 masks, candles and matches.

Online donation option: None available.

OPERATION BLESSING FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES

Where: 5TH floor, Sagittarius Building, 111 HV Dela Costa street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Contact numbers: 8663-4701, 8663-4710 and 0939-9215543

What to donate: Food, clean water, clothes, slippers, kitchenware, diapers, milk, sleeping mats, blankets and face masks.

Online donation option: https://www.obphil.com/home/be-a-partner/

Cash donation option: Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines bank account numbers

BDO: 0030000-55279

BPI: 3001-0040-33

Metro Bank: 270-3-27050273-4

Union Bank: 00-216-072163-9

NEW LIFE COMMUNITY CARE

Where: 2 Don Manolo Drive, Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City

Contact number: 8809-1542, 8809-1543 and 8809-1533

What to donate: Cash, sleeping mats, blankets and food items.

Online donation option: https://newlife.ph/give/taal-disaster-relief

VICTORY ALABANG

Where: Classroom 1, Victory Alabang, 4th level, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City

Contact number: 8771-1212

What to donate: Canned goods, bottled water, medicine, face masks, blankets, new towels, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste and soap) and used clothes.

Online donation option: None available

CITY GOVERNMENT OF MUNTINLUPA

Where: Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall, Muntinlupa City

Contact number: 8861-6623 (Social Services Department)

What to donate: Any kind of donation.

Online donation option: None available

COMMERCENTER (Until January 17)

Where: Commerce Avenue corner Filinvest Avenue, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Contact number: 8893-1450

What to donate: Canned goods (preferably those easy to open), flashlights, ready-to-eat food, bottled water, face masks, hygiene kits and towels, blankets and mats, basic medicine, clean clothes, paper plates, cups, plastic utensils

Online donation option: None available

PERGOLA MALL (Until January 22)

Where: Aguirre Avenue, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque

Contact number: 09173752299

What to donate: Laundry items, toiletries, medicine, children’s clothes and toys, bottled water, dog and cat food, food containers, pillows, mats, blankets, slippers

Online donation option: None available

MADISON GALERIES (Until January 17)

Where: 398 Don Jesus Boulevard, Alabang Hills, Muntinlupa City

Contact number: 88770702

What to donate: Canned goods, bottled water, medicine, mats, blankets, towels, face masks, clothes, bags, whistles, flashlights and hygiene kits.

Online donation option: None available

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So there you have it. These are the ongoing donation drive campaigns to help the Taal Volcano Eruption victims. The victims need your help right now.

Note: Picture used for this article was sources from Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines Facebook page.

 

My Observations: Ash Monday

Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.

The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.

Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…

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At the park.
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Volcanic ash still somewhat wet on this slide.
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Look at all that wet ash.

I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.

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Lots of ash on the surface of the road in Filinvest City, Alabang.
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The view outside Commercenter.
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This guy was the first Filinvest City cleaner (he wore a Filinvest City uniform) I saw along Commerce Avenue.

I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.

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At one of the parking lots of Festival Mall.

So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.

 Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.

Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.

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So much volcanic ash on the open space.
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A maintenance worker struggles to collect the volcanic ash.

The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.

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More of the ash collected at the place.

Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.

I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.

One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.

The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.

So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #35 (1995)

When Marvel Comics first launched the 2099 imprint of comic books showcasing many futuristic versions of their present-day characters – like Spider-Man, Ravage and Dr. Doom – it was inevitable that the same treatment will be applied to their popular supervillains.

In 1993, the 2099 version of Vulture was introduced and he sure proved to be one tough opponent for Spider-Man 2099. Even back then, there already was clamor for a futuristic version of Venom which at the time was riding high with readers being the featured anti-hero in several limited series (starting with Lethal Protector) of comic books.

Then in 1995, after doing a creative teaser in issue #34, Marvel formally introduced Venom 2099 by releasing Spider-Man 2099 #35. This is my review of the comic book written by Peter David and drawn by Andrew Wildman (X-Men Adventures).

Cover
The cover drawn by Rick Leonardi.

Early story

Picking up from the events of issue #34, the story begins in Washington, DC with Dana freeing herself only to find out that Alchemax’s CEO Tyler Stone was down suffering from a gun shot and losing blood. Minutes later, emergency personnel take Stone’s body for immediate treatment.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara) encounters the SHIELD flyboys in New York. After almost getting into trouble together, Spidey gets informed that US President Doom 2099 ordered them to leave him alone for a period of seventy-two hours while he considers a cabinet offer. Back in Washington, Dana gets interrogated by one of the authorities. President Doom enters the scene telling Dana that she will join Tyler Stone immediately in the medical center.

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Andrew Wildman’s take on Spider-Man 2099 and the future was really nice to look at.

In New York, two guys sitting on the sidewalk witness a moving black liquid coming out of the sewer. The thing turns out to be a living symbiote (or alien costume) forming into a human-like shape – Venom 2099!

Quality

As with other comic books of this particular series, the writing by Peter David is pretty deep and engaging. The usual balance between dramatization, character development, plotting and spectacle is here once again but with a slight touch of horror in relation to the introduction of Venom of 2099. Speaking of dramatization, the portrayal of Venom 2099 as a vicious villain is similar to the 20th century Venom (Eddie Brock) but with a very powerful obsession to kill Miguel O’Hara and Tyler Stone.

Here’s an excerpt from the dialogue of Venom of 2099: Miguel O’Hara…and Tyler Stone…together again. We…I get to kill you…at the same time…how awfully…awfully…considerate. To show my appreciation…I’ll kill you slowly.

What makes this comic book unique is the artwork by Andrew Wildman who temporarily replaced regular illustrator Rick Leonardi. For comparison, I find Wildman’s art style a welcome thing in this comic book mainly because he draws with a lot more detail per panel and per page than Leonardi ever could. Instead of seeing the usual sketch-like art style of Leonardi, Wildman’s style is livelier and more expressive to look at. I also enjoyed Wildman’s visual take on Spider-Man 2099/Miguel O’Hara, Lyla, Tyle Stone, and the other established characters. Their facial expressions are also livelier to see.

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Venom 2099 appears! Take note of the “liquid” at the edges of the page.

More on visuals, Wildman’s take on Venom 2099 is unforgettable. Like 20th century Venom, he has a dark suit, elongated jaw with rows of sharp teeth and an elongated tongue but with green acid dripping all the time. There are also those tentacles-like things that stretch from his body until the arms. Also his white-colored mask with large eyes make him look horrific.

Conclusion

Despite being shorter than the usual 22-pages, Spider-Man 2099 #35 is still a very engaging and fun old comic book to read. Its purpose was to build-up anticipation leading to the introduction of Venom 2099 was achieved nicely and the respective qualities of the writing and visuals are very good even by today’s standards. More on the presentation of Venom of 2099, it seems like Peter David took inspiration from movie director James Cameron on building-up tension and suspense before showing the villain. That’s a move I enjoyed in this comic book.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #35 is highly recommended. If you plan to acquire an existing and legitimate hard copy, be aware that the near-mint copy of it is over $100 for the newsstand version while the Rich Leonardi-drawn “Venom 2099 AD” cover version is priced at over $80 at MileHighComics.com as of this writing.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Mantra #1 (1993)

If there is any intriguing way of utilizing fantasy concepts to introduce a superhero (or superheroine) to readers, Mantra #1 from the Ultraverse published in 1993 by Malibu Comics is one fine example.

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The cover of Mantra #1.

Early story

Written by Mike W. Barr with art by Terry Dodson, Mantra #1 was an Ultraverse launch comic book that follows Lukasz who is an eternal warrior belonging to a group of other warriors which had been fighting another group (led by eventual Ultraverse villain Boneyard) for several centuries.

How did that conflict last that long? As told through the views of Lukasz, any individual warrior who dies will eventually be placed in a new body (often that of an existing person) and take control of it effectively displacing the its soul. Behind it all, Archmage, the leader of the warriors’ group that includes Lukasz, uses magic to ensure that each member will be reincarnated after dying.

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A page for your viewing pleasure.

The story takes a major turn for the shocking and intriguing when something unfortunate happens to Archmage and that the protagonist himself gets killed again. Fortunately for him, he gets to live one more time but there is one major difference – Lukasz occupies the body of a woman named Eden Blake (and the revealing scene remains shocking).

At this point, I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story. If you want to find out how Mantra came to be, you just have to read the comic book yourselves.

Quality

From an analytical view, I still find Mantra’s concept very intriguing to this day. In terms of mysticism, it reminds me a little bit of George Perez’s take on Wonder Woman in the mid-1980s and in some cases Mantra/Eden Blake herself reminds me bit of Wonder Woman/Diana albeit in a more motherly way.

When it comes to storytelling, Mike W. Barr’s script is very solid and made very good use of the twenty-eight (28) pages of the comic book. Unsurprisingly, there was a good amount of expository dialogue and narration but it was handled efficiently. The first-person views of Lukasz/Eden Blake are truly immersive to read. Along the way, there were several scenes that were intriguing to read and there were some nice moments of unintentional comedy which helped balance the overall tone of the story.

To say the least, Mantra’s concept about dead warriors’ souls entering bodies of existing people to live again sheds light on the moral or psychological implications of such events. If you were a warrior who just died and eventually got a new lease on life by occupying the body of let’s say a software company’s chief executive officer, would you not be concerned as to what happened to the soul (of the body) you displaced? Would you not think about how your control of that displaced soul’s body would affect not only the person’s established life but also the personal association with other people? Truly Mike Barr’s writing got me hooked and Terry Dodson’s art really brought his concepts to life.

Conclusion

So what else could I say? Mantra #1 is highly recommended not only because of its story and concepts but also because this particular series lasted several issues more and, for the most part, Mantra’s adventures and misadventures have often been fantastic and fun.

Even though it is fact that the Ultraverse remained in limbo and Marvel Entertainment showed no intention to revive the franchise, Mantra is still a fun and engaging comic book series to read and this comic book is the golden start of it. Mantra #1 itself is one of the most defining superhero comic books of the 1990s ever published and its mature themes combined with strong fantasy concepts made it stand out among all of those other superhero comic books I spotted on the shelf of a BF Homes comic book store that I visited in July 1993.

You guys can order copies Mantra #1 online at ComicCollectorLive.com, at MileHighComics.com (a near-mint holographic cover version of the comic book is worth over $40) or by visiting your local comic book retailer selling old issues.

Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you just read on this website is the most definitive version.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Duty Free Philippines Grows 4% in 2019

DutyFreeLogo

Hey everyone! Have you shopped at a Duty Free Philippines yet? Me? I have not been to a Duty Free Philippines outlet or shopping center for quite some time now.

Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) announced today that it grew 4% in 2019 in terms of year-on-year sales growth. Notably, the achieved growth was a clear improvement  over the 2% growth it achieved in 2018.

To put things in perspective, the consolidated sales reached a total of $226 million in 2019 compared with $217 million the previous year.

In relation to the latest statistics, DFPC chief operating officer Vicente Pelagio Angala said the Philippines’ hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and the opening of Duty Free Luxe have significantly contributed to the upswing.

He said the growing number of tourists visiting the newly-rehabilitated Boracay Island via Kalibo Airport has been beneficial to DFPC sales.

When it comes to the top source markets, 85% came from Filipino tourists, balikbayans (visiting Filipinos who live overseas) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Confectionery is still the major growth driver, with 31 percent share of the total sales, followed by liquor (21 percent), fragrance and cosmetics (18 percent), and fashion merchandise (10 percent).

The DFPC claimed it has met a number of significant milestones last year, including the opening of “Go Lokal’s” Marahuyo this past November.

“In line with the directive of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), we have augmented our product portfolio which now includes more local artisans,” Angala said.

With the agency’s strong commitment to giving top local products a global audience, DFPC was recognized as “Highly Commended CSR Initiative of the Year “at the 2019 Frontier Awards in Cannes, France for supporting The Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The DFPC has expanded the list of exclusive brands that it carries which now includes: Gucci Beauty, Armani Beauty, Hogan, and MCM. Last year, it also embarked on the renovation of the Fiestamall and NAIA Terminal 1 Arrival stores.

DFPC is expected to maintain the momentum in 2020 with the opening of Duty Free store at the Hilton Sun Valley Resort inside Clark Freeport Zone by the first quarter of this year.

For everyone’s reference, the DFPC is the country’s sole operator of the duty-and tax-free merchandising system, and a vital component of the DOT as it contributes to the efforts in the development of the country’s tourism infrastructure, programs, and projects through revenue remittances. There are Duty Free Philippines outlets and shopping centers around the Philippines including Parañaque City (Fiestamall shopping center), Cebu province, and Clark International Airport to name a few.

For further learning, posted below is the official FAQ of Duty Free Philippines.

DFPFAQ

Check out their online store at https://www.dutyfreephilippines.ph/