The Round-Up: Say Goodbye To September With These Exciting New Tracks

Where to begin?

Time to get down to new tracks from Jungkook, Zack Tabudlo, B.I, VXON, and more.

Related: What’s Your Favorite Concert Of 2023, So Far?

Wake up babes, it’s the end of September. And given that we are already at the end of the month, it seems that most of the music industry decided to release new music. From big names to indie favorites, the week’s new drops can honestly be overwhelming to some. This is why were here to help you as we’ve picked the best releases that you need to check out as the month comes to a close.   


If you thought Seven was a lot, then you’re probably not ready for 3D, a smooth pop song about wanting that physical attention from your special someone.


Zack has us feeling seen and heard in this track about falling for someone, loving them from afar, and imagining being with them in perfect and happy scenarios. Through his signature falsetto and synth-pop sound, this dreamy yet funky song is evocative of the kilig that you feel every time you get a glimpse of the apple of your eye.


The vibes in this track are too immaculate. It’s nearly five minutes of R&B magic.


*NSYNC’s new era continues as the group dropped their first single in over 20 years and serves as a groovy return for one of the best boy bands in history.


This mid-tempo and chill track sees B.I and James in a casual collaboration of holding on to that love.


Laid-back and mellow, this cut from Unique’s Daisy album hits all the right notes and sets the mood for a chill afternoon.


Production? Check. Vocals? Absolutely. This collab just brought the whole church.


The beat during the verses is such a serve, it’s enough to cause shivers.


This baddie number feels tailor-made for the OST of a bad-ass spy movie.


Y2K never goes out of style for PinkPanthress as seen in her latest stylish track about spending as much time as possible with that special someone.


The vibes are vibing in VXON’s urban pop track on unrecruited feelings towards a friend who’s being mistreated by a partner. Whether on a night out, on a drive, or when you just want to relax, the song hits.


The song feels like its title and the perfect song to play on a sunny morning, even if it isn’t a Sunday.


Janine’s new track is here for those who find themselves in the complicated world of situationships but are ready to take things a little more seriously.


This newly-minted P-pop trio prove that they still got the music in their cover of the Dionela hit.


Dom goes straight for the heart in this tender ballad of how being kind actually makes a difference in a relationship.

Continue Reading: The Round-Up: Press Play On These New Bops Of The Week

6 Reasons Why We’re Rooting For Sophia Laforteza At Dream Academy

Sophia is on fire!

On HYBE’s survival show to form a new global girl group The Debut: Dream Academy, Filipino aspirant Sophia Laforteza shines like a light. Here’s why we’re rooting for her to earn a spot in the final group!

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About Dream Academy’s Sophia Laforteza

If you haven’t been keeping up with HYBE x Geffen Records’ survival show The Debut: Dream Academy, let us catch you up on how the only Filipina trainee, Sophia Laforteza, has been doing in 3 words: she’s killing it.

The 20-year old is consistently getting top views on her solo fancams and got a high number of votes for the first mission, ensuring her safety the first round of eliminations. Dream Academy just dropped the performances of its second mission, featuring cover performances of girl group LE SSERAFIM’s hit songs ANTIFRAGILE and FEARLESS. For this mission, four teams, with two performing the same song, are pitted against each other. Sophia, along with Lara, Emily, and Yoonchae, made up Team A (or Team SLEY), and they were assigned to perform ANTIFRAGILE.

Naturally, they ate. And Sophia stays being a favorite, and not just because she’s Pinoy! Here are a few reasons why we’re rooting for the Filipina singer and performer.


@lararajj the justin biebers of the #dreamacademyhq #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #SAMARASIQUEIRA #LEXIELEVIN #BROOKLYNVANZANDT ♬ original sound – LARA

One of the very first moments that endeared us to Sophia and the girls outside of Dream Academy promo was when they posted a TikTok acting like early 2010’s Justin Bieber clones. Sophia even pretended to pin Lexie to the wall! The contestants are active on socials, occasionally posting funny TikToks and behind-the-scenes looks at their life as trainees. We love a (soon-to-be) Gen Z idol.


@lararajj TEAM SLEY 😝 (Sophia, Lara, Emily, Yoonchae🤭) our mission 2 performance comes out in 2 hours!! make sure to VOTE for us on Weverse!! #DREAMACADEMYHQ #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #EMILYKELAVOS #YOONCHAEJEUNG ♬ I Know (PR1SVX Edit) – Kanii

In line with all the TikToks and the snapshots with the girls, it seems like Sophia’s getting along with them well! And if the TikToks are anything to go by, Sophia’s clearly a joy to be around. She’s also sang praises for her fellow contestants, like Emily, and teammate Yoonchae praised her Sophia-unnie for her skills and vocals. While this is a competition, it’s so great to see the contestants root for each other and hype each other up.


It’s a challenge to have clear, stable vocals while you’re performing an intense, complex dance routine. But Sophia’s been training in the performance arts since she was a child—and she comes from an artistic family—so it’s no surprise that she can sing well. Her vocals during ANTIFRAGILE as well as during the first performance of Paramore’s Still Into You have received praise from Dream Academy fans worldwide.


Speaking of intense, complex dance routine, Sophia and Team SLEY slayed ANTIFRAGILE, channeling the globally-renowned LE SSERAFIM whilst also putting their own spin on the song as only a fresh group of aspiring artists could do. Sophia’s been taking dance classes since she was in single-digit age, and her honed talents shines. The way she’s also barely out of breath after the performance? We could never.


In a dance practice released by Dream Academy, the trainee could be seen wearing a t-shirt with a Jollibee pocket. Sophia’s repping Filipinos in more ways than one!


The Dream Academy contestants are driven beyond belief to show their talents and skills to the world, and Sophia is no different. She exudes such gratefulness, warmth, and bright enthusiasm that it makes perfect sense that she’s a top-performing contestant not just in terms of skill. She’s a joy to watch, and we hope we watch her reach new heights for a long, long time.


After the voting round of this second mission, four contestants will be eliminated. Vote for your favorite Dream Academy girls by liking their solo fancams on YouTube. Ten likes on a fancam equals 1 vote for Mission 2. Then head on over to Weverse to manually cast your vote for a total of four contestants from each team that performed either of the songs. It’s a little confusing, but essentially you can vote for two contestants per song per day. You can vote for two members in the same team, but all four votes can’t go to the same group.

Voting runs from September 28 11:00 PM until October 3 2:59 PM Philippine time, so you can vote for a total of 5 times.

Continue Reading: Meet the Only Filipina Competing for a Spot in HYBE X Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

All The Firsts Alex Eala Earned With Her Asian Games Medals Finish

A round of applause!

Alex Eala made an unforgettable splash at her very first Asian Games as she bagged multiple medals and historic wins along the way.

Related: Alex Eala Just Got Herself In The History Books With Her Groundbreaking US Open Win

When you think of Gen Z Filipino athletes who are bringing a new level of excitement to Philippines sports, Alex Eala is on that list. The wunderkind has been making a name for herself as one of today’s best Filipina tennis players with historic wins and matches for a few years now. The 18-year-old continued that winning streak with her recent bout at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

As her first time competing in the competition, Alex, who is currently ranked a career-high 190th in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), had a lot of expectations to live up to. And by and large, she did. As her Asian Games journey comes to an end, let’s take a look at the historic firsts she made at the continental competition.  


Alex’s debut at the Asian Games was energetic with the 18-year-old bagging not one, but two bronze medals, her firsts in her career. She first got social media talking when she went up against WTA rank 23 Zheng Qinwen and held her to a stunning three-hour match. And while Alex gave it her all, she eventually fell with a score of 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6.

However, Alex did take home the bronze medal at the Women’s Singles Games and had not only her first match against someone in the WTA Top 25, but also her first set win in the bracket. Later on, she and Francis Alcantara bagged the bronze medal in mixed doubles after they lost to Liang En-shuo and Huang Tsung-hao to a score of 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals. Still, two bronze medals at your very first Asian Games is nothing to sneeze at.


It’s almost hard to imagine that this lasted for nearly six decades. But Alex Eala is a once-in-a-generation talent, and if there was anyone who was going to end the drought, it was her. 57 years after Patricia Yngyao and Desideria Ampon took home the doubles silver at the 1966 Asian Games, Alex becomes the latest Filipina to bag a medal. Who’s doing it like her?


If you want to know how historic Alex Eala’s medals are, she ended the country’s drought in the sport at the Asian Games that is as old as Alex herself. The last time Filipino tennis players took home a medal at the Asian Games were Cecil Mamiit and Eric Taino in 2006 in Doha, Qatar. With Alex’s wins, she reset the drought and earned another mention in the history book.


With her two bronze medals, Alex Eala became the first Filipino tennis player to bag multiple medals at the Asian Games, ending a drought that began all the way back in 2006 with Cecil Mamiit’s men’s singles and doubles medal finishes. Meanwhile, the last Filipina to win multiple medals was Patricia Yngayo back in 1958. It’s giving history-maker and streak-ender.

Continue Reading: Alex Eala Just Won Her Second Grand Slam Title On Independence Day

Jamie Miller Is Living His Best Life In His First Trip To The Philippines

Making sweet, sweet music with his Filipino fans.

Jamie Miller opens up about his Filipino fans, working with OPM stars like Moira Dela Torre, his new EP, and more.

Related: At His Most Honest, Jamie Miller Reveals The Story Behind ‘I Lost Myself In Loving You’

In his over two decades of existence, Jamie Miller hasn’t stepped foot in the Philippines. But with the way he’s built a following in the country, he may as well be a frequent flier to the country. The rising pop star first landed on the playlists of many Pinoys with his viral smash, Here’s Your Perfect, back in 2021. Just a couple of years later, he’s already worked with a handful of Filipino artists and even got local representation after he signed with NYMA. And now, the musician is in the Philippines, and as you can expect, he’s been loving the moment. 


While Jamie Miller may only have a week to spend in the country, his itinerary could fit a month’s vacation. Among other things, Jamie has guested on numerous shows, had a busking session at BGC, rode a jeepney, and experienced the local nightlife. “It’s been incredible. It’s been really fun immerse myself into the Filipino culture,” says Jamie, who adds that he’s always wanted to visit the country but couldn’t due to the pandemic. After appreciating his Filipino fans over social media, it’s been everything and then some for the young singer-songwriter to finally experience all that in person. 

Jamie Miller

“It feels amazing. I feel like it’s everything that I imagined and more and just like to be able to meet the people that changed my life is just incredible.” And while he’s had multiple opportunities already to meet his Filipino fans, his biggest one will come this Saturday, September 30, as the British singer will be performing live for his first-ever Manila fan meet at Ayala Malls U.P. Town Center Activity Center. “I’m excited,” he says on his Manila mall show. 

From one amazing voice to another, Jamie knows he has some expectations to live up to performing for his Pinoy fans live and in person. “It’s an amazing feeling. But also it’s intimidating because every one of you is so talented out here.” 


Jamie Miller may have only visited the Philippines recently, but his collaborations with Filipino artists span a couple of years now. His TikTok duet with Morissette turned real when they dueted on ASAP, Jamie famously reacted to SB19 Stell’s cover of Here’s Your Perfect, and he recently teamed up with Moira Dela Torre for a new version of Maybe Next Time. The latter project in particular proved to be quite exciting for Jamie. 

“I’ve known of Moira for a long time. I think she’s incredibly talented. I remember me and my manager talking about having a Filipina on Maybe Next Time. And I said, maybe we could reach out to Moira. And when she said yes, I was just so excited. I think she just made the song so much better,” he gushes on the OPM superstar. And from talking over Zoom, the two finally met in person for a performance of Maybe Next Time on the Wish Bus. “She’s just an incredible human being able to talk to her about each other’s story and what the song meant to her was incredibly special to me.”

Jamie Miller

And if you’re wondering, no, Jamie isn’t done crossing his Filipino artist wishlist just yet. “I love Ben&Ben and Zack Tabudlo. I think they’re incredible. So, if I had the opportunity to work with them, I would love that.” In the same way Jamie’s music has connected with so many people around the world, so too is that connection found when he collaborates with artists from around the world. 

While he and the Filipino artists he works with come from two different cultures and continents, they find that common ground in music. “Just being able to speak to different artists around the world is just amazing. We all want to do the same thing and see each other win. And I think it’s really important that we embrace that about each other.” 


His trip to the Philippines isn’t the only thing to watch out for from Jamie Miller. On October 4, his second EP, The Things I Left Unsaid, drops. According to the UK musician, he used his experiences in the past year, warts and all, to fuel his latest musical project. “I started writing this project when I was coming out of a deep depression. For me, last year was kind of a rough year, personally and professionally. There was a lot of change in my life, like friendships ending and heartbreak.”

He continues, “I think I needed to take a little time off to recalibrate and figure out what I wanted to do and write about. And I think in that time, I learned a lot about Jamie. And I felt like I didn’t have that before. From the first song on the EP to the last time, you see, it goes into a healing process.” This introspective journey Jamie embarked on proved to be the solace he was looking for as he channeled the emotions, pain, and lessons learned into a manifesto of change. It all makes for an EP that Jamie believes is his most personal to date and the one he is most proud of.


Thanks to the power of social media and his undeniable talent and voice that cuts deep into your soul, Jamie Miller has seen his career exponentially grow in the past two years. But the young star has been hustling in the industry since the mid-2010s, first with an unsuccessful audition for X Factor and then the 6th season of The Voice UK, where he eventually placed third. 

While taking the reality competition route helped expose Jamie to many, he also wasn’t blinded by the stigma it gave him. “People will think you go into The Voice and it’s gonna change your life forever. The hard work starts when the show finishes. And for me, I could either go back to a normal job, or I can keep going.” 

Jamie Miller

As someone who has been through the whole system, Jamie finds it almost shameful that people get looked down upon just because they competed in a competition show. “At first, there’s a stigma and it’s sad that there is one because I feel like people go on these shows to have an audience and share their talent with the world. It’s how you work that makes it count.”

Instant success wasn’t in the cards for Jamie, but soon, the dam started to crack as more people, including A-list stars, started to see Jamie for his talent. “I think the stigma started to break when my idols started to post about me like Kelly Clarkson and P!nk, all these people that I’ve looked up to my whole life. That’s when people started to say, ‘Oh, it’s not just a kid from a TV show. This is someone who has a shot to do it the right way.”

But don’t get it twisted, looking back on his time in The Voice UK, Jamie wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. “I wouldn’t change anything. I would probably change how I sang the songs that I picked. But I wouldn’t ever change anything. I feel like everything happens for a reason.”


Many aspire to live that dream musician life. But few like Jamie Miller can say that they are living it in the here and now. The fact that he gets to travel the world is the kind of validation he needs on just how far he’s come in life.

“I feel like just being able to come to a place I’ve never been before and people are singing my words back to me, it was just a surreal feeling. I think for a long time, and I don’t know if it’s just me or if this is every artist, we kind of deal with disassociation sometimes. You go into these rooms and places that you’ve always wanted to be in and people respect you. This is cool, but it’s also like, how is this happening?” 

With a career that has reached all four corners of the world, Jamie has been booked and busy traveling the globe and getting that bag. But just because he’s getting his passport stamped doesn’t mean he’s missing out on the simpler things in life. 

Jamie Miller

“If it’s on a work trip, sleep. And if it’s personal, I just like to go out and explore. I love going out to explore new places and trying new foods, drinks, and more fun stuff,” he says about what he does during his free time. And when he’s back home in Los Angeles, he goes for the one-two punch of hiking and reality TV. “I love going on hikes. And I just like to watch reality TV shows. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I love a good reality TV show.”

The fast-paced life is what Jamie Miller always envisioned for himself. But even a star on the rise knows when to take breaks as he makes it a point to be kind to himself. “I definitely give myself grace with my schedule. I just make sure I have some time to rest.” Luckily, Jamie hasn’t experienced being burnt out as the mixture of excitement, past experiences, and a strong support system grounds him on his path. 

“I’ve experienced both worlds like I was a server and I was in a call center. And I think coming from that life also just made me so grateful for the life that I have now. I think my family keeps me grounded, too. So I don’t think I’ll be getting away with anything. I’m very happy and grateful but I do give myself grace if I’m feeling tired or burnt out.” 


From reality show contestant to a new name and voice from Gen Z to watch out for, Jamie Miller has been through enough lifetimes that many his age will never get to experience. While his journey has its twists and turns, he’s right where he’s supposed to be, something he wants his younger self to know. “One thing I would tell him is to take a deep breath, everything’s gonna be fine. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Everything’s gonna work out the way you want it to.” 

Jamie Miller

And given the name of his new EP, Jamie has the perfect advice on avoiding those regrets in life. “Surround yourself with good people and friends. And if there’s anybody toxic in your life, don’t be afraid to remove them. I think one thing I’ve learned over this chapter of my life and this season that I’m in right now is that not everybody’s meant to be in your life forever. And if it’s just a season or a chapter, don’t be afraid to close it.”

Photos by Drew Baker

Continue Reading: From The Voice UK To TikTok, Hear How Jamie Miller Is Taking Over The World One Song At A Time

How I Use The 5 Love Languages To Keep Myself Sane In College

Keeping me off the deep end.

After all, the primary temple I come home to in college is my own body. Time to practice the 5 love languages on yourself.

Related: On Self-Worth And Self-Love, Ruru Madrid Just Gets It

Overload units, thesis, several organizations, internships—it’s a miracle that I am still alive at this point. Keeping myself sane despite all these things happening all at once has been a huge challenge for me to the point where it takes a toll on my performance. The last thing we need right now is burnout. That is why I like to grasp onto micro-moments of practicing the 5 love languages to myself. Here’s what I do in an attempt to keep myself sane:

The Plant Experiment: Words of Affirmation 

Several researches have shown that saying positive affirmations to a plant optimistically affects their growth. According to a 2018 South Korean study, plants respond to sound stimulation. The noises of buzzing insects, for instance, plants distinguish the insects as either friends or enemies based on the sort of sound they make. Just like plants, our brains are wired to grow positively when positive affirmations surround us. 

Talking to myself in soft tongues, affirming that I am doing a great job, and complimenting myself goes a long way in keeping my sanity intact. Aside from this, I try my best to journal and spill my thoughts onto pages at least once a day. Seeing my abstract thoughts into words on paper has been an excellent way for me to keep up with the ruckus that is in my brain. 

Reading self-care books and essays has also become an excellent avenue for me to fill my mind with soft words of affirmation. Being kind to my brain was a learning curve I learned the hard way. After all, aren’t we all just plants seeking validation, trying to get by life?

Princess Treatment: Acts of Service

Doing myself a favor can be difficult, especially when dealing with an intense workload. But encompassing acts of service to yourself doesn’t have to be grandiose. The biggest favor I can do to myself to be able to keep my life moving is to stay organized. One method I have been applying in an attempt to keep it together is by building a second brain.

Simply put, a second brain is an external outlet for organizing and preserving the ideas and thoughts circling in your brain. Your second brain can be in the form of a traditional planner, a notebook, or go digital with curated organization tools found online. Just having a unified space for thought and task dumping helps me stay on top of everything. 

Micro acts of service can also be found in keeping my desk clean whenever I’m working, making my bed the moment I get up, cleaning around my space, and ticking off tasks from my to-do list. Doing these small things energizes how I engage with my environment, a HUGE favor I can do for myself. 

Aside from organization, I like looking through time and doing things that I know my future self will be thanking me for. Wearing my sunscreen every day, staying hydrated, saying “yes” to opportunities, and living in love and genuineness—I will look back to these moments and appreciate the softness I have developed all throughout my days. 

There Is Always One For You: Receiving Gifts

If I were to tally my most said words throughout my whole life, the word “deserve” might just make it to the Top 5. And you know what? Deserve. This might be a little over the top, but every time I finish a task, no matter its significance in my life, I reward myself with little dopamine shots in the form of snacks or watching an episode of my favorite show. It has been a system for me that every time I turn in an assignment, I reward myself with a Going Seventeen episode. Works quite well so far. This keeps me motivated to finish a task and get my reward after.

My dad also always reminds me not to guilt myself for wanting to eat good food. I can be stingy in other aspects, but not with food! Aside from the (not recommended) retail therapy, I like spoiling myself with good food. Deliveries from my go-to restaurants and slapping it on with a Modern Family episode on my laptop, and I’ll have the best time of my life. A happy tummy is equal to a happy life!

Do Not Disturb: Quality Time

One quote I greatly treasure goes, “Loneliness is still time spent with the world.” There is an unquestionable comfort in knowing that quality time does not always mean that you have to be with other people. Quality time with yourself, alone in your wandering thoughts and nonstop curiosity, is just as valid and important. I like giving a heads-up to my friends and family whenever I feel like spending the day with myself or what I call “me time” to respect my concept of being on “do not disturb.” 

Going grocery shopping, strolling in malls, immersing myself in museums, watching time go by at parks, or simply staying in bed accompanied by the serenity of the moving world around me are quality times I wish I were privileged to have more. Crunching in micro-moments of solitude keeps me sane and intact with my own peace of mind.

Of course, saying yes to hangouts is also a way of giving yourself quality time. Time spent with people you love provokes a different kind of serotonin. Sometimes, when I go out with my friends, I take the time to bask in and appreciate the very moment I am in. This is life, and life is worth living.

Be Kind To Your Temple: Physical Touch

Over time, I have learned that as much as I have to be kind to my mind, I must also pour the same gentleness towards my physical body. Sleeping within the suggested hours of sleep did wonders for how I could cope throughout the day. In the morning, I allot a 15-minute frame to stretch my body from my head all the way to the tip of my toes. Someone as busy as me does not have the time to engage in a full workout or attend gym classes, so I take advantage of the distance and walk myself to school to get my steps in! 

At night, after a long, stressful day, I like to freshen up with a warm shower while thoroughly cleaning every inch of my body, thanking it for braving yet another day. The delicateness of taking a warm bath is the best way to handle your body with absolute care. Having a skincare routine also helped me keep my life in order. Moving in steps and following a particular pattern gives the impression that I *might* just have my life together. Aren’t we driven by a little bit of a placebo effect sometimes?

Juggling life with my two tiny hands has been challenging for a while now. As much as I want to girlboss in everything I do, I must not forget that on the inside, I’m still a little girl trying to get through life—and this little girl deserves all the love in the world, even those from herself.

Continue Reading: Finding It Hard To Love Yourself Still? The Stories Of These Young Women Will Help

Let’s G? Uptown Bonifacio Is The Ultimate Destination For Every Friend Group

Let's go besties.

Whether you’re in the mood for morning munchies or a weekend bash, Uptown Parade has got your back for round-the-clock chill spots.

Related: 9 New Indoor Hangout Spots That’ll Beat The Heat

From fancy dinners to weekend getaways, the most memorable experiences in life happen in the company of your friend group. After all, who will shoot IG-worthy snapshots of your OOTD? Even for introverts who want alone time, it’s hard to argue against the fact that being with your friends turns every mundane moment into one for the books.

But the thing about planning your next night out is that it’s difficult to leave the group chat. Are all these exciting places really out of reach? Take a deep breath, because having the time of your life does not have to break the bank nor be a 3-hour drive away. ICYDK, Uptown Bonifacio is the ultimate destination for every friend group.

Get in, We’re Going to Uptown Bonifacio.

Uptown Bonifacio is the haven for every friend group seeking an epic time without the hassle. Situated at the heart of Fort Bonifacio , Uptown Bonifacio seamlessly blends the trendy and the timeless, offering an array of options for friends, families, and everything in between. Whether you’re in the mood for morning munchies or a weekend bash, Uptown Bonifacio has got your back for round-the-clock chill spots.

Shopping at Akimbo

Making a splash in the streetwear scene, Akimbo boasts a plethora of contemporary fashion brands. We’re talking about heavy hitters like Ambush, Converse, Facetasm, X-Large, and many more. No worries if you’re just up for some window shopping – the store is an experience in and of itself, with iconic pieces by Banksy, Bearbrick, and Jean-Michel Basquiat adorning the space. Can you imagine the thrill of shopping surrounded by these mind-bending artworks? It’s like stepping into a style sanctuary.

Fiery Dining in Alegria Manila

Grown folks often caution against playing with fire, but we’re taking that as a challenge. Next stop? The fiery sizzling scene in Alegria Manila. At the heart of this culinary adventure is the Latin-American Cantina, renowned for its perilla, an open, wood-fire grill with Argentinian origins. Well, it’s definitely exciting when everything on their menu sizzles.

Bar Hopping at The Palace

The city comes alive when the sun sets, especially at The Palace. Whether you’re partying all night or indulging in drinks and dining, the country’s biggest nightlife complex has your back. With Yes Please, Xylo, The Island, Revel, and Clubhouse, bar hopping is always a good idea. Imagine music, laughter, clinking glasses, and the echoes of new conversations. After all, it’s all about those nighttime vibes and having an absolute blast with your chosen crew.

Creative Director KENNETH DIMAANO




Associate Producer MIKA TAFALLA

Special thanks to Akimbo, Converse, Skoop, and New Balance.

Continue Reading: This Co-Living Space In Malate Should Be Your Next Go-To Workcation Spot

Retinol for beginners

Retinol 101: How To Safely Use This Active Ingredient According To Skin Experts

Here's the 411.

Bringing retinol into your routine as a beginner is all about taking advice from skin experts and taking things slow.

Related: Beauty Beat: What’s The Difference Between Blurring, Gripping, and Jelly Primers?

I recall the carefree days when we’re all about that low-maintenance skincare—cleansing with body soap, swiping some lip balm, and we were out the door without sun protection. Today, as we slowly step into twenty-somethings, we’re realizing that skin damage, acne scars, and those sneaky signs of aging aren’t messing around. While the typical cleanser-moisturizer-sunscreen routine works wonders, an active ingredient that addresses aging is retinol. It’s an over-the-counter derivative of a retinoid, AKA Vitamin A.

On the beauty shelves, you’ll find serums, moisturizers, and creams infused with retinol, all synonymous with anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, and many more. With an impressive list of beauty benefits, including increased collagen production, unclogging pores, and reducing wrinkles, it’s no wonder why people are suddenly obsessing over the skincare superstar. If you’re introducing retinol into your skincare routine and don’t know where to start, these skin experts have got you covered.

Retinol 101

What if I have sensitive skin? Is it safe? After all, it’s one of those strong skincare ingredients. As a retinol newbie, I also found myself contemplating upon these concerns. While it’s got some seriously positive properties, there are a few red flags that might’ve made you think twice before purchasing a retinol product.

Here’s the thing: it’s an active ingredient that throws a curveball if not used correctly. From daily dosage, product mixing, and application, these skin experts explain the retinol dos and don’ts.

Start Slow and Low

Retinol is an antioxidant, which means it’s suitable for daily use. Begin with a lower concentration (0.05%) and slowly increase it as your skin adapts. As a retinol newbie, it’s advisable to avoid higher concentrations, as they usually result in skin that feels overwhelmed, irritated, and burning.

Filipina dermatologist Dra. Zharlah Gulmatico-Flores advises, “Start with the lowest concentration, especially if you have sensitive skin. Apply a pea-sized amount to the entire face and begin your retinol routine every other night.”

Skin Cycling

In skincare, active ingredients are the specific ingredients added to target specific concerns. For instance, retinol is used for anti-aging, while BHAs are used for anti-acne. Adding another layer of active ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and BHAs/AHAs is a recipe for a face fire. That’s where skin cycling comes into the routine.

This technique is all about taking a cyclical approach to your skincare regime. When you can’t mix and match some skincare ingredients together, this cycle alternates an exfoliant, retinol-based product, and hydrating cream.

According to dermatologist Dra. Vicki Belo, here’s how to skin cycle: “The first night is all about skin exfoliation, removing the dead skin. You usually use an Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid (AHA) or Beta-Hydroxy-Acid (BHA) for this. That’s all you do—one thing. The second night is your retinol night. You can do this either using retinoic acid at 0.05% or a retinol at 1%. Now, I always advise you to apply a pea-sized amount and massage it into your skin for at least three minutes. The third night is for resting; you don’t apply anything. Just wash your face and let your skin recover.”

‘Sandwich’ Method

When it comes to the ‘sandwich’ method, retinol is positioned between two layers of moisturizer. The goal is to reduce the risk of skin irritation and inflammatory areas, especially when initially introducing retinol into your skincare regimen.

According to dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu, “You are essentially creating a barrier, reducing the penetration of topical retinol, and thereby, experiencing less irritation. I think this method is better suited for those who are new to retinol, having a hard time tolerating retinols in general, or have sensitive skin.”

Morning Routines and Sunscreens

Surprisingly, retinol doesn’t actually cause sun damage, although SPF should always be worn. Retinol is recommended for nighttime use because it becomes inactive in sunlight. However, you can use it both day and night if you keep your skin moisturized.

Dermguru debunks the myth, stating, “Retinols can be photo unstable and break down in sunlight, making them less effective. Retinols can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you should always use SPF when using retinol.”

Recommended Retinols for Beginners

Continue Reading: Beauty Beat: September 2023 Beauty Buys To Prep For The Holiday Szn

Celebrate The Past, Present, and Future Of OPM At Pinoy Playlist Music Festival 2023

It's gonna be a grand time.

This September 29 to October 1 at the BGC Arts Center, celebrate the best of Filipino music with a stacked lineup of local artists, relevant talks, and fellow Filipino music enthusiasts at Pinoy Playlist Music Festival 2023.

Related: And We’re Live: Concerts, Festivals, and Fanmeets Coming to the Philippines This 2023 (and Beyond)

Filipino music has never felt more rich, diverse, and loved as it is today. Spanning generations and decades upon decades of different genres, styles, and messages, our diverse local music is rooted deep in our culture and history. There’s a reason why we show up and show out for every musical performance, whether it’s karaoke at your friend’s house or a full-out music festival featuring well-established musicians or up-and-coming indie artists!

Well, now we have the chance to show up and show out at Pinoy Playlist Music Festival 2023: Gunita At Mga Bukas, a 3-day music festival presented by the Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. through BGC Arts Center and curated by National Artist for Music Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Moy Ortiz, and Noel Ferrer. PPMF will feature a wide array of Filipino artists and musicians, performances, and conversations all about the past, present, and future of Filipino music.


Main poster Pinoy Playlist Music Festival 2023

From September 29 to October 1, there will be over 45 performances across three venues at the BGC Arts Center in Taguig City: the Globe Auditorium, the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, and the Sun Life Amphitheater. The sets are designed with photos from the Camera Club of the Philippines and digital art by local artists.

Filipino artists, solos and groups, will give their usual best while also performing something a little different. Each performance will bear a tinge of “change” from how it’s usually performed or heard on playlists. Whether you’re a music connoisseur or someone who sticks to one genre craving to explore the diverse genres offered, you’ll definitely find your niche—or find something new to love—at the event.

To honor those that made rippling waves in Filipino music, PPMF will also pay tribute to the Ryan Cayabyab Awardees of 2023, Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata, Mel Villena, and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, with special performances on each day. Exemplifying the theme Gunita at Mga Bukas (“Memories and Futures”), these tributes, along with the entire event itself, is an amalgamation of the past, present, and future—an exploration of how Filipino music is a unique blend of all three as new artists, new genres, and new stories emerge through the art.


Day 1: Abby Clutario, Adjeng, Jasmine and Noelle, Joey Ayala, Mijon, Pauline Cueto, Raven, Sam Concepcion, Simon Tan Walotao, Sitti, & Tamara. Special tribute performances for Mr. Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata by Pundaquit Virtuosi & Steps Dance Studio.

Day 2: Autotelic, Ebe Dancel, 春 haru, Kammerchor Manila, Leanne and Naara, Of Mercury, Rivermaya, The Edralins, CHNDTR, Viva, Vicor, & Wild Dreams Records Artists: Amiel Sol, Matt Wilson, Nicole Abuda, & Rob Deniel, & Young Cocoa. Special tribute performances for Mr. Mel Villena by AMP Decktet, The CompanY, Mike Guevarra, & Mitch Valdes.

Day 3: Arman Ferrer, Davey Langit, Debonair District, Gary Granada, Janine Teñoso, Lara Maigue & Gian Magdangal, Nica Del Rosario, Room for Cielo, Therese Villarante’s “Girl With A Broken String” feat. Ivy Gallur & James Gulles, & The Nightingales. Special tribute performances for Ms. Regine Velasquez-Alcasid by Katrina Velarde, Phi Palmos, Trina Belamide, Ima Castro, Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, Jona, & Jed Madela.


Talks poster PPMF 2023

Besides the live performances, PPMF will also host talks and workshops that delve into the current issues and circumstances surrounding Filipino music and its artists—namely, songwriting, artificial intelligence, and the Filipino audience.

  • Day 1: “Filipino Songwriting: From Dreams to Sheet” with Trina Belamide, Jonathan Manalo, and Moy Ortiz
  • Day 2: “AI: Friend or Foe of Filipino Music?” with Thyro Alfaro, Gino Cruz, and Marlon Barnuevo, moderated by Maria Isabel Garcia
  • Day 3: “The Difficult Filipino Audience (Perfect Ka, Teh?)” with Direk Floy, Dexter Martinez Santos, and Paolo Valenciano

Pinoy Playlist Music Festival 2023 is all about the Filipino, and all about the music. Get your 1-Day Pass or Festival 3-day Passes via the TicketWorld website (or call 8891 9999) or at the BGC Arts Center TicketWorld Box Office.

For more information, visit their website and follow BGC Arts Center on Facebook for more updates. See you there!

Continue Reading: Everything We Know So Far About the Manila Pop Culture Convention 2023

5 Things Fat-Shaming Relatives Should Know

Crazy to think that this is normalized behavior.

Getting fat-shamed by family is an insult that cuts deep, even when they think it comes from a place of “love.”

Related: Moira Dela Torre Claps Back With Kindness At A Body-Shaming Basher

I love my family and I know they love me, but over the years, it has bothered me about how some members of the extended family would shame me about my weight disguised through comments that point out how big I am. And I know I’m not the only one who has dealt with this as studies have shown how body-shaming is prevalent in society. The weight stigma is real. It’s a global health problem that hits at the most personal of levels. 

Yet, when I do bring up how I feel, I get shut down because they think that they’re just helping me or it’s just light teasing. If they really want to help me, then I hope they can listen to what I have to say, and maybe others who are going through the same experiences as me can find comfort that we aren’t alone in this struggle.


Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known that I’ve always been a big boy. Medically, I land on the overweight scale, but in some of my family members, I may as well be a walking ball of fat. Yes, I know this is not an excuse to live unhealthily. But it always makes me feel uncomfortable whenever my weight is pointed out to me like that. I know I’m big, I see it in the mirror every day.

And I always find it off-putting that my weight seemingly is the first thing that enters a conversation or how they’ll find a way to bring the conversation to it or insert a side comment saying that my stomach is so big. To be put on the spot like that is embarrassing and even demeaning to who I am.  


It goes without saying that getting body-shamed is a dehumanizing experience. It’s already bad enough I get self-conscious in public hoping to not look too big to others, but to have relatives put me down like that is a low that’s not easily forgotten. 

What they think are comments that are meant to help me do the exact opposite. It makes me feel bad and brings me down to the point where I don’t feel inspired to attain the weight that they think is good for me. I resort to self-blame as my self-esteem goes down. When I get body-shamed, my first thought isn’t to hit the gym but to retreat.


Can you imagine people who should be your supporters tearing you down with little comments that seemingly have no end? That’s the experience I’m starting to have with some of my relatives. How my body becomes the topic of conversation in nearly anything we do is beyond me. It’s reached a point where I dread talking to them because I do not want them to point out how big my stomach is or that I’m getting fatter. 

Growing up shy and introverted, I’ve always had to battle my anxiety, and getting fat-shamed by family does nothing for my self-confidence. My worth should not be determined by my BMI.


The main defense of many relatives is that these comments are just their way of pointing out that we’re getting bigger. They want us to be healthy and better, and they think talking about our weight is the way to go. But that’s not how you do it. There is a lack of respect and dignity that can lead to lasting damage physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

It’s already a struggle for many when it comes to dealing with their weight, fat-shaming makes the healing even harder. These comments are supposed to come from a place of love and concern, but they feel like attacks that do the exact opposite of what they want. FYI, insulting someone or putting them in uncomfortable situations is not how you want to help someone. 


At the end of the day, I know that (most) families do this because they want to help me. It’s the right intentions, more or less, but the wrong execution. If they want to help me, there are better ways to do so. Firstly, you can talk about my health without using snide comments that just point out I’m getting bigger. Helping someone shouldn’t involve punching down. My body is not something for you to take shots at while I do nothing. 

Second, don’t invalidate my feelings when I say that I’m feeling uncomfortable in a conversation. No, this is not my excuse to avoid important discussions but my way of setting my boundaries when I feel that the conversation is becoming one-sided. These are sensitive topics being discussed and require a sensitive approach, not side comments that compare my body to airplanes. Lastly, defend me in situations where I’m being put down. It would be everything to me if I felt that I was supported. Change begins at home as attitude shifts start in the family. So, let’s shift the conversation to more healthy outcomes. 

Continue Reading: 6 Heart Evangelista Clapbacks To Use When Dealing With Body-shaming

5 Times Kathryn Bernardo And Dolly de Leon Were The Dynamic Duo Of Our Dreams

They're murderers, 'cause they're killing it.

The duo of Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon is the gift that keeps on giving.

Related: Kathryn Bernardo Can Add Another International Award To Her Trophy Closet

It honestly feels like it was just yesterday that we first learned that Kathryn Bernardo’s co-star in her highly-anticipated movie comeback would be Dolly de Leon. Months later, A Very Good Girl is out in cinemas, and with that, we get to see the magic these two titans make together. When people say that these mothers are mothering, they mean it as Kathryn and Dolly have displayed an electric chemistry, mutual respect, and a beautiful friendship that’s seen on and off screen.

This acting duo was the gift we never knew we needed, and we’re more than grateful. Not only did they give us a bomb film, but also a tandem we’d love to see more of in the future. Scroll down for some of our favorite Kathryn and Dolly moments. 


When you’re #unbothered like Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon, dealing with haters can almost seem like playtime. Such was the case when we were treated to nearly twenty minutes of the duo reacting to hate comments. While the whole video is worth watching, our favorite moment goes to when Dolly offered Kath a hit of her vape pen. IYKYK.  


While the lie detector went off throughout the entire video, we have a feeling Kathryn and Dolly were both telling the truth. Not only did we get a peek into the mutual admiration these two have for each other, but we also got to see them in a more relaxed setting as they had fun, spilled some tea, and let loose a few profanities. 


It’s clear to see that Kathryn and Dolly developed a bond throughout this project. These two good girls have nothing but love and respect for each other in a moment that means so much to them. It’s a feeling that Dolly de Leon put into words in a heartwarming Instagram post right before the movie’s premiere. “My very good girl, we’re about to reach the finish line of this insane journey and the sepanx is slowly creeping in so before our film hits the world.” 

She then goes on to thank Kath for being so supportive during the entire journey together. “[L]et me thank you for being there for me, always looking out for me, supporting me in my other projects (a little birdie told me about the block screening of Iti – ikaw talagaaaa), for being inclusive and making me feel comfortable in situations I’m not used to, for making me laugh and for just being your crazy little you. Many things are good and great about our film but you were the best “surprise!” of them all.” Understandably, Kathryn, along with many others, took to the comments to express how touched they were by the gesture. 


@bernardokath The (un)mothering continues, brahhh 💁🏽‍♀️ #AVeryGoodGirl ♬ original sound – Kath Bernardo

This new chapter for Kathryn Bernardo brought a lot of exciting developments, such as the superstar launching her own TikTok account. And as you can expect, she and Dolly de Leon made sure to show the girlies how it’s done with their take on TikTok trends. We believe they call this a motherquake.


If you’ve seen A Very Good Girl (no spoilers here), then you’d know that the costumes were costuming in the movie with the many looks Kathryn and Dolly gave in the film. Even during the promotional tour, the two would not miss on their ‘fits as they gave us joint slay after joint slay. Two talented and fashionable besties? We know that’s right.  

Continue Reading: 6 Dolly De Leon Fashion Moments That Prove She Can Wear Anything And Look Good