Saturday, July 31, 2010

Toblerone 2nd Mothers Day dinner at New Orleans Bourbon Street Steaks & Oysters

Toblerone Philippines hosted an intimate dinner at New Orleans Bourbon Street Steaks & Oysters last July 23, 2010 for the winners of the Toblerone 2nd Mothers Day Promo on Facebook. Second mothers are women in our lives who are not our biological mothers but have played an important role in helping us become the people that we are today.

Toblerone 2nd Mother's Day Winners
Five out of ten winners were able to make it to the dinner.
(From left to right: Erica Yu-B, Josephine Bonsol, Rolly Nunez, Amy Tabunar, and Liz Gopez)

Winner Liz Gopez reads to her Mamay
The winners were all asked to read their entries out loud for their second moms.

Toblerone 2nd Mothers Day Winners Dinner
A sumptuous dinner was served after the sharing of 2nd mothers stories. Everyone got acquainted over a vast array of delicious dishes.

Boston Wings and Mushroom Duxelles at New Orleans Bourbon Street Steak & Oysters
Boston Wings and Mushroom Duxelles for appetizers.

Mardi Gras Salad at New Orleans Bourbon Street steaks & Oysters
Mardi Gras Salad. Really yummy... it even had big pieces of cornbread.

Fruit Medley and Cake at New Orleans Bourbon Street Steaks & OystersFruit Medley and Cake. Easily the best fruit selection I've ever had, it had fresh fruit tidbits marinated in fruit juice instead of the usual syrup. I couldn't get good photos of the main dishes unfortunately. :p

If you were not able to join Toblerone's 2nd Mothers Day Promo, it's not yet too late. You can join the Epic Friends Promo ongoing until August 11, 2010. This time, you get to share about your best friend. Check out the TobleronePilipinas Facebook Page for complete contest mechanics. There will be ten (10) winners of Toblerone Teddy Bear gift packs and P2,000 GCs from The Spa.

New Orleans Bourbon Street Steaks & Oysters
B6 Bonifacio High Street,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
856-4326

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Loving the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T

I recently tested the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T tablet PC. I've used many brands of portable computers in the past -- Toshiba, MSI, HP, Sony, Neo, and even IBM from the days of yore but it's the first time I ever got my hands on a Lenovo.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3TI was immediately impressed by its small and slim size. It's so lightweight that my 5-year old daughter can easily pick it up and carry it around. Did I mention that it sports such a cute design too?

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T keyboardsI liked the keyboard's matte finish. One thing I dislike about my HP Mini 311 is its "glossy" keyboard which attracts grime like there's no tomorrow. This one is easy to keep clean despite the fact that it's white.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3TI jokingly call the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T "The Exorcist" because the screen twists around the way Linda Blair's neck does in the movie of the same title. :p

The screen also folds onto the keyboard so you can use it as a tablet PC. The display adjusts based on how you hold it, so you can view stuff horizontally or vertically.


Another cool feature is the touchscreen. As you can see in the video above, the arrow cursor appears where you touch the screen. :)


The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T also has this customization menu which sort of reminded me of an Apple Macbook's interface.

This tiny powerhouse packs an Intel Atom 1.66Ghz Processor, 1GB RAM, 250GB HD, and it runs on Genuine Windows 7 Starter. It performed decently when I installed all my usual software which includes Adobe Photoshop, Plants vs. Zombies, etc. I still find Windows 7 clunky though, and I think at this point I still prefer Win XP which is what's installed in my HP Mini 311. The battery life is also about 2.5 to 3 hours, which I guess is average considering the Sony VAIO W's battery lasts for 2 to 2.5 hours. Since the screen is only 10.1 inches, you'll need to do a bit of vertical scrolling while you work.

The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T retails for P29,900 here in the Philippines, which is very reasonable considering it's selling for US$ 549 (+ sales tax and shipping) at Lenovo's online store. My kids had a blast with it, although we all agreed that my HP Mini 311 still beats this in terms of processing speed. I really love how light it is though, it's really perfect if you're someone who's always on-the-go and can't be without a computer. I can easily stuff it into one of my oversized ladies bags and bring it along.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ibayo by Barrio Fiesta at San Miguel by the Bay

We were invited to a Filipino food feast at ibayo by Barrio Fiesta last July 21, 2010. While Barrio Fiesta has been a household name that's tantamount to classic Pinoy cuisine through the years, one can consider ibayo as the next-gen Barrio Fiesta. It is the brainchild of brothers Tristan and Tyrone Ongpauco.

Nilagang Bulalo at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaSince it was a rainy evening, I decided to start off with a bowl of Nilagang Bulalo (P275, pictured above) to warm me up. I liked the flavorful beef broth that had sweet bananas as an added treat. I quite enjoyed the flavor contrast.

Crispy Pata at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaWe also shared an order of Crispy Pata (P480, pictured above), which is a house specialty. It was nice and crunchy outside, tender and meaty inside. I just had a very small piece since since there was a lot of food to sample.

Ibayo White Adobo at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaIbayo White Adobo (P280, pictured above) is one of ibayo's signature dishes. It is comprised of chicken and pork and it's cooked without using soy sauce. It's very tasty. :D

Barrio Fiesta Rice at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaBarrio Fiesta Rice (P250, pictured above) came in a small bilao. It's kind of like paella except that it's less saucy. It's topped with squid rings, mussels, prawns, and a crab.

Pusit at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaPusit (P199, pictured above) was one of the dishes I liked best. It's just grilled and sliced squid but I really liked it. :)

Kare-Kare at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaKare-Kare (P220 regular size / P350 family size, pictured above) was served in a clay pot with a tiny dish of bagoong (shrimp paste) on the side. I don't really fancy eating oxtail and tripe so I just had the vegetables and peanut sauce with a little bagoong.

Majablanco at Ibayo by Barrio FiestaFor dessert I tried some Majablanco (P65, pictured above). It was creamy in texture and you can clearly taste the corn.

Want to try ibayo by Barrio Fiesta for yourself? Well, you're in luck. My buddy Mrs. Martinez and I are giving away P1,000 worth of ibayo GCs. Check out the mechanics below:
  1. Pick any dish featured on this post and tell me why you want to try it via posting a comment. Indicate your full name and email address.

  2. Go on over to Mrs. Martinez's ibayo post and do the same -- meaning, pick out a dish you want to try from her post and then post a comment indicating your full name and email address.

  3. Mrs. Martinez and I will jointly raffle off P1k worth of GCs for one winner. P500 from me, P500 from Mrs Martinez.

  4. You must post in both of our blogs to qualify.

  5. The online raffle will be conducted on August 15, 2010 via the randomizer. This contest is open to residents of the Philippines, if you live in the province please be advised that you can redeem this only at Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. We will ship the GCs to the winner.
ibayo by Barrio Fiesta
San Miguel by the Bay,
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Lunch with the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challengers

I had a lovely lunch with fellow Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challengers at Madison in Greenbelt 5 last July 22, 2010.

Dove display at Madison GrillIt was Dove's way of showing their appreciation for those who participated. I loved the product displays, I want to try the Beauty Moisture line sometime -- preferably when the drier -ber months come rolling by.

Dove 7 Day No Mirror ChallengersFour high-profile challengers were unveiled, namely TV host Lexi Schulze, fashion model Raya Mananquil, career woman Erin Campos, and sports personality Mel Lozano. The four women shared their Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge videos and experiences with us.

Noemi Dado and Cecile Van Straten or ChuvanessI was seated with Noemi and Chuvaness as we were among the five bloggers who took the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge. Phoebe couldn't make it and Sasha arrived after the event. About ten traditional media people from different publications also took the challenge. We all shared what we learned via an open forum. Chuvaness readily admitted that the longest she could go on without a mirror was six hours but she really really loves Dove and has been using it since the 90's.

Dessert at Madison
Stories were exchanged over good food. It was a very intimate and relaxing event without too many frills and formalities. :)

Dove Beauty BarAs for me, I had gotten so used to avoiding the mirror that I automatically did so even after the 7th day. The habit stuck. It took me a day to re-adjust and not look away from the mirror every time I'd go to our bathroom. I was also surprised that my Dove bar still looked as good as new after a full week of using it to wash my face twice a day. I was told that it had been reformulated from the Dove I knew when I was younger, the Dove that would melt into a creamy puddle when left sitting in a dish even with just a bit of water.

Washing my face with DoveI captured the photo above from one of my early morning face-washing videos during the challenge. I wake up at 5:45am everyday so I look like a zombie. Like everyone who took the challenge, I have my own realizations:
  1. I can actually live without a mirror, but that would mean never putting on make-up again and living in a ponytail for the rest of my life. Hey, that's no fun...!

  2. I didn't miss the mirror during ordinary days, just days when I had events like parties, reunions, parent-teacher conferences, and the like.

  3. I felt no different about myself even when I spent a week not looking in a mirror. I would just wonder at the back of my mind if I looked okay. The challenge was actually easier than I thought it would be since I'm not really the type who would obsess endlessly about how I look.

  4. Dove makes my face feel just right -- not overly taut and dry, not overly moisturized. It's just really balanced that way. I'm still using it. But I still need my best deep cleansing exfoliator -- the Neutrogena Wave! :p

  5. Beauty bloggers are really reassuring companions to any event, haha. I felt quite out-of-place at the Sunsilk Co-Creations Launch but my beauty blogger friends kept saying I looked fine despite being amidst a sea of well-coiffed and fully made up people almost all of whom were dressed-to-kill.

  6. I hate taking videos and I was actually worried more about the video aspect rather than the no mirrors side of the challenge. I've never understood the appeal of video cams but I was surprised to find that it's actually fun taking videos with a Flipcam. :D
Thank you Dove for letting me be a part of this! It was quite an experience and one that I might not have gone through on my own.


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Animetric's World on Manila Bulletin's Blog-O-Rama today!

Happy day! My blog is featured on Manila Bulletin's Blog-O-Rama today. It's in the Technews section that comes out every Monday. :D

Manila Bulletin Blog-O-Rama July 26, 2010I bought a copy just as I was taking my kids to school. Thank you Ajay! :D

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Senju at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

For my brother-in-law's birthday, we had dinner at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel's Japanese restaurant Senju.

Place setting at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelWe stayed inside a function room and each of us ordered a set meal.

Kobachi at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelI decided to share the "Ume" set (P1,145 per person) with my 5-year old daughter. It's a full course meal complete with appetizers, main dishes, and dessert. It started off with Kobachi or Chef's Appetizer. The Kobachi was actually pickled veggies. I actually enjoy munching on Japanese pickles. :)

Sashimi santen-mori at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelIt also came with Sashimi santen-mori, which is 3 kinds of sashimi, namely raw salmon, raw tuna, and crabsticks.

Chicken Teriyaki Salad at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelThen there was Chicken Teriyaki Salad. It was good but it would have been better had the chicken skin not been charred. Service was extremely slow that night and I was very hungry so I did not bother to have it changed. I just removed the burnt skin.

Ebi-kakiage Tempura at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelEbi-kakiage (shrimp and vegetable) Tempura is served on the side. It's deliciously crisp.

Gindara Teriyaki at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelThe main dish of my "Ume" set is Gindara Teriyaki which is served with rice and miso soup which are not pictured here. Like my Chicken Teriyaki Salad, my Gindara Teriyaki was burnt. As a result the fish meat was overcooked and not at all tender. I don't know what was wrong that night but I simply peeled off the charred scales and salvaged what I could.

Kurogoma Purin and Fruits Moriawase at Senju, Edsa Shangri-la HotelFor dessert, there was Kurogoma Purin and Fruits Moriawase (Black Sesame Pudding and Assorted Fruit). It was okay.

After dinner, my sister complained to the manager about the burnt dishes. The manager gave her a calling card and told her we could avail of a free Chicken Teriyaki Salad and Gindara Teriyaki on our next visit.

Senju is a good place to splurge provided they don't burn your food and there aren't too many people. Service slows down to a crawl when there are a lot of diners.

Senju
Mezzanine Level, Tower Wing
Edsa Shangri-la Hotel
6338888 loc. 2738 / 2739

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunsilk Co-Creations brings you the hair experts...

Sunsilk recently launched Sunsilk Co-Creations, a whole line of shampoos and conditioners formulated in cooperation with hair experts from around the world.

Sunsilk Co-Creations shampoos and conditionersThere are seven (7) variants in all: Strong & Long, Straight & Sway, Smooth & Manageable, Damage Repair, Soft & Smooth, Anti-Dandruff, and Hairfall Control.

Phoebe and me at Sunsilk Co-Creations Media LaunchIt was a very glam event, everyone was dressed to the nines and fully made up... except me and my fellow Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenger Phoebe. I felt overwhelmed by all the beautiful people.

The event was hosted by Sarah Meier, and I'm glad she looks so much healthier now compared to when she was sporting the skeletal look at the J&J + Bayo Soft Look Collection Launch some months ago. She's really beautiful. :)

Sarah Meier hosts Sunsilk Co-Creations LaunchThere was a fashion show featuring clothes the in the same colors as the Sunsilk Co-Creations shampoo bottles.

Sunsilk Co-Creations Fashion Show
Sunsilk Co-Creations Fashion ShowSunsilk Co-Creations Fashion ShowSarah Geronimo at the Sunsilk Co-Creations LaunchSunsilk's brand ambassador Sarah Geronimo sashayed on the catwalk as a fitting grand finale, much to our surprise. We weren't told that she was going to be there. :)

Yuko Yamashita and Animetric at the Sunsilk Co-Creations LaunchLo and behold, international hair experts Teddy Charles and Yuko Yamashita were there as well! Given my penchant for all things Japanese, which includes Japanese hair straightening, I just HAD to take a picture with Yuko Yamashita even if I looked crappy as a result of not being able to look in the mirror. She created the Yuko Hair Straightening System back in 1996. It makes use of a straightening iron to create sleek and shiny tresses (rebonding? :p). Anyways Yuko is such a gracious and accommodating lady (she can't speak English though), I wish my Japanese was better so I can say more than just greetings and salutations. :p

Yuko co-formulated the Smooth & Manageable variant of Sunsilk Co-Creations -- it's the hot pink bottle and tube! :D

Photo Ops at the Sunsilk Co-Creations LaunchOf course what's an event without photo ops? Let's Go Sago, mrsmartinez, and I hammed it up for the camera.

Want expert-touched hair? Catch the Sunsilk Expert Salon from July 23-25 at Market! Market!, July 30-August 1 at Ayala Center Cebu, and August 13-15 at NCCC Mall Davao. It's a one-stop salon where you can get your hair analyzed and pampered with the Sunsilk Co-Creation variant that's right for you. :D

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Why I dislike Facebook "LIKES" contests

When will I ever learn?

I already said I've sworn off online voting contests after I witnessed cheating first-hand at Multiply.com more than a year ago. Still I found myself joining FB "LIKES" contests. O_o

Anyone who's active in Facebook would know that prizes are being given away by companies left and right. Contests can come in the form of a raffle, a speed contest (first to reply), or more often than not, a voting contest that counts the number of "likes" an entry gets. All one has to do to garner a vote is to have someone click on "like". In effect, it doesn't matter if your entry is crappy, so long as you get the most number of likes you win.

It makes sense for companies to conduct a "LIKES" contest because for all intents and purposes, it helps them recruit more followers and community members in their respective pages. It's really one of the quickest ways to pump up the fan figures to epic proportions... or so it seems.

Below is a screencap I took of the likers of a certain entry of a certain FB Likes contest. I will not name the company, the prize, or the contestant but I am posting this here so you can see for yourself:

Fraudulent FB Likes?What do you think?

There are people who would stoop to cheating to get a freebie or make quick buck. That's reality. Anyone who can register for a free email account can register for a free Facebook account. If you have nothing better to do with your time, you can easily come up with a hundred dummy accounts for vote-padding purposes. I just hope the company that is holding this particular contest will monitor the votes that come in and award the prizes to those who campaigned the old-fashioned way and garnered genuine likes from real FB accounts.

If you're a company who's striving to make your presence felt in Facebook, is this the kind of community you'd like to nurture? Just a little food for thought.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Canon's Green Nation Campaign

Canon Marketing Philippines launched the Canon Green Nation Campaign last July 8, 2010.

Ms. Earth Philippines WinnersCanon Green Nation is a sustainable environmental program that focuses on the proper disposal of ink cartridges and toners. Canon Selphy and PIXMA users can simply drop their empty cartridges in recycling bins (pictured above) placed in Canon concept stores in malls. Winners of the Ms. Philippines Earth pageant are the ambassadors for this campaign.

Proper disposal of used ink cartridges can reduce landfill since the metal and plastic components can be recycled.

Canon GreenNation activitiesApart from the recycling program, Canon Green Nation has a lot more in store for its citizens --tree planting activities, photography classes, and mall roadshows are but a few of examples of activities that are on the drawing board.

Hopefully, more companies will adapt this kind of proactive stance when it comes to taking care of our environment. :)

For more information, log on to http://www.canon.com.ph/section/environmental/

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Days 6 and 7 of the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge

Day 6 of the Dove Challenge was a Monday. I did my usual thing... woke up at 5:30am, brushed my teeth, washed my face, then took the kids to school...


Nothing exciting, but I'd like to share one way I avoided looking into the mirror during the last several days in the video above. Yup, I would leave the bathroom lights off so I wouldn't be tempted to sneak a peek.


The video above was taken on the night of Day 7. I looked at the wall where my headbands hung since I couldn't look into the mirror. This is my nightly routine -- slather on the eye cream and anti-aging night cream to keep the wrinkles away, hehe...

Yes, I successfully completed the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge... but I need a bit of time to compose my thoughts as to how I feel now that it's over. It's been a day after but I have gotten so used to avoiding mirrors I automatically did so even after the 7th day. I guess I can actually live without mirrors but they sure are handy to have around especially when you need to primp and prettify for certain events and occasions.

My concluding post and realizations to follow... :)

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Serenitea for the family!

My hubby and I are very much addicted to this small tea place called Serenitea. Of their three branches, we usually frequent two -- San Juan and Banawe.

Brewing teas at SereniteaBeverages are brewed and prepared as you order so you're assured of the freshness.

Okinawa Milk Tea at SereniteaMy personal favorite is cold Okinawa Milk Tea (P95 for a large glass, pictured above). You get to choose what topping or "sinker" to go with it -- QQ (mix of crystals and pearls), Pearl (tapioca balls or sago), Egg Pudding (custard), Black Bricks (coffee jelly), Crystals (nata), and Lime Jelly. Okinawa Milk Tea has a toasty bittersweet taste that I really love, but a lot of people I know prefer the Hokkaido Milk Tea which has a sweeter caramel flavor with a hint of coconut somewhere in the mix.

As you can see, my topping of choice is Pearl. I love the chewy and slightly sweet tapioca balls. Another thing I love about Serenitea is you can actually choose your desired sweetness level:
  • Full Sugar or 100% - Standard
  • Less Sugar / 75%
  • Half Sugar / 50%
  • Mild Sugar / 25%
  • No Sugar / 0%
I always opt for No Sugar. This is something I can't do at other tea places like Bubble Tea. I can't stand drinks that are overly sweet so this is really perfect for me.

Pepper Corn at SereniteaApart from a wide variety of brewed concoctions, Serenitea also serves yummy snacks like Pepper Corn (P50, pictured above). Golden sweet corn is roasted and seasoned with pepper and curry powder. Delicious!

Chicken Chops at SereniteaChicken Chops (P60, pictured above) is Serenitea's most popular snack. Crunchy breaded chicken strips topped with fried basil leaves are seasoned with pepper and spices. Slightly spicy but really good -- my kids love this snack. Try munching on a chicken strip and a basil leaf at the same time... so yummy!

Pepper Potato at SereniteaAnother snack item we all love is the Pepper Potato (P50, pictured above). It's just like the Chicken Chops except it's comprised of potato strips. It's like fries with a twist. A sure hit with kids... and even adults.

Lemon-C at SereniteaIf you're a mom like me who doesn't approve of caffeinated drinks for her children, you can have them order Lemon-C at Serenitea (P70 for a medium glass, pictured above). It's a blend of fresh lemon and calamansi juices which are rich in vitamin C, so it's actually good for your kids. It also comes with a free topping of your choice, but my daughter opted to have it plain with the sweetness level set to Half or 50%.

Serenitea
G/F G&L Bldg., J. Abad Santos St.,
Little Baguio, San Juan City

Serenitea
N. Roxas St.,
Banawe, Quezon City

Serenitea
Aguirre Ave.,
BF Homes, Paranaque City

Central Delivery Hotline: 379-4166

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Days 4 and 5 of the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge

...and the Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge continues.



Last Saturday was officially day 4 of the challenge. I had work so I spent the morning in the office and lunchtime at my in-law's house. Let's just say they have the perfect bathroom for this challenge since it had totally no mirrors...

Dove 7 Day No Mirror Challenge Day 4 PMThat night, I had a sudden dinner with my high school friends at Gloriamaris in Greenhills. I took a video, but it has all their faces since we were seated on a round 12-seater table. I doubt they'd want to be seen on my blog since they're very private people so I just grabbed a snapshot from the video, and that's the pic you see up there. Sorry, I suck at taking videos of myself so it's only half of my face.

I had to go bare-faced with my hair stuck in a non-descript ponytail since it's very hard to apply make-up or do any form of styling without looking into a mirror. Oh well.


I did not go out at all on day 5, which was a Sunday (just yesterday actually). I had a 1200-word article to write for Health Today Magazine which was due over the weekend plus I had to tutor my son for three tests that are all taking place today. And so all I have for Day 5 is this noontime face-washing video. I was so sleepy that night that I dozed off without washing my face before bed. Ooops.

Two more days to go! I haven't seen myself in a while except for these videos that I take...

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

AOC launches eco-friendly LED monitors

My first brush with AOC monitors was when the Viewsonic monitor I bought back in 1999 conked out in 2006. While the Viewsonic was being diagnosed, I was already scouting for a replacement in case the repair costs came out too high. AOC was one of the brands that the shops recommended to me, saying that it was reasonably priced and of good quality. Fortunately for me, we were quoted only P800+ to have our Viewsonic working again -- and so I ended up not buying a new monitor.

AOC iF23 monitorFast forward to 2010. I was invited to the launch of AOC's new line of LED (Light-Emitting Diode) monitors last July 7, 2010 at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel. I was surprised by how sleek and snazzy they looked. The model above is the AOC iF23, a full HD 23" monitor. I found out that day that AOC actually stands for Art of Colors. :p

AOC LCD TV DK99UAOC also launched its first ever LCD TV in the Philippines, AOC LCD TV DK99U. It boasts of an eco display which saves power that in turn helps save the environment.

Glee Electronics CEO Jason ChengJason Cheng, CEO of Glee Electronics (manufacturer of AOC), addressed the media guests. It was explained that LEDs consume 50% less energy compared to LCDs. AOC monitors also have no mercury content, making it the safer choice.

If you're in the market for a new monitor or LCD TV, you might want to check out what AOC has to offer.

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