Candy Poster Book 2011

This was one of the most fun projects I worked on this year with Candy's Art Director Steph. The poster book features photos of the hottest local and international stars, plus two giant posters of Sam Concepcion and Elmo Magalona.
Plus, it features the very first "Ed's Letter" I wrote! :)
The Candy Poster Book is available in all leading bookstores and magazine stands for only P150. Grab a copy now!


Running Man

Despite the legions of fans literally chasing him down the road, actor and runner Piolo Pascual has learned to stay focused and disciplined when it comes to achieving his fitness goals.
By Angel Constantino 
Photos By Dix Perez

Published: Runner's World Philippines, April-June 2011
Section: Cover Story

Last January, I officially joined the Runner's World team as managing editor. It was a great opportunity as it merged two of the things I love most—writing and running. One of the things I worked on was the cover story on actor and runner Piolo Pascual. He was very accommodating and easy to talk to despite being a big celebrity, and he had a lot of interesting insights as a runner.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

When Piolo Pascual geared up for his first 10-K—the Timex Run in November 2009—he did not expect all the buzz that would surround it. While running alongside his coach, Rio Dela Cruz, Piolo was oblivious to the crowd of runners, mostly women, trying to get his attention and doing their best to keep up. He was there for only one thing: to finish the race.

Running has always been a part of Piolo’s workout regimen. “It’s one of the most relaxing sports and I’m very comfortable with it,” he says. “I grew up not competing in any sports, but running has always been part of my routine for cardio. When I got into fitness, I would run to lose weight or to tone my muscles.”

When Timex invited him to join his first race, he welcomed the challenge. “It was very surreal,” recalls Piolo. “It was my first ever competition, the first time I got to start something and finish. It was really fulfilling since I’m not usually competitive.” And finish he did, with an impressive time of 47:56, ranking 23rd out 1024 10-K runners. The running community took notice—suddenly, he wasn’t just a celebrity who had joined the running bandwagon. His time was something runners not only admired, but also aspired to reach.

Piolo himself was surprised by his excellent performance at the race and the admiration he received. “It was flattering, of course, but it doesn’t end there,” he says. “You just have to keep getting better.”

Click here for another excerpt from the article on

To read more about Piolo and for all you need to know about running this summer, grab a copy of Runner's World's first stand alone issue!

I had a great time working on this issue with art director Glen Concio, editor in chief Marie Calica, and team publisher Christine Ong.


Old World Charm

For a couple who loves Philippine history—and who have a long shared history of their own—it was but natural to tie the knot with a Filipiniana-themed wedding, infused with traditional elements and family traditions.
By Angel Constantino
Photos by Pat Dy and Patrick Martires

Published: Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines, September 2010 - February 2011
Section: Real Weddings

I felt so honored when my good friend and boss, Mia Custodio-Dizon, asked me to write this article about her wedding. I enjoyed sitting down with Mia and her then-fiancé, Patrick, and talking about how their love story unfolded. When the issue came out, she texted me, "Thank you so much for the beautifully written piece. You made us and our wedding sound amazing, but at the same time you kept the sincerity which had me so kilig. It really felt so personal yet professional at the same time, like you wrote it not only for us, but also for every Martha reader. Thanks for the extra effort. It meant a lot to me that a good friend wrote it, and wrote it well." :)

Below is an excerpt from the article:  

Dr. Patrick Dizon and Mia Custodio have been together for as long as anyone can remember. Their love story began in their junior year of high school, way back in 1993. They met at a soiree, which Mia attended in search of a prom date. Just two months after they met, Patrick and Mia became a couple. But it wasn’t until more than a decade and a half later (with Patrick now a medical resident) that the high school sweethearts finally wed.

Patrick proposed at the picturesque Fort Ilocandia Hotel in Ilocos. It was a special place that they both loved, as they had been there before on a vacation with Mia’s family. Patrick picked a spot on the hotel’s second floor balcony, and with the help of the hotel staff, prepared a beautiful set up with dessert, champagne, and rose petals that formed the shape of a heart. “I had no idea what was happening,” Mia says. “When I climbed the stairs and saw the walkway lined with candles, I stopped and started crying. It felt unreal.”

As Patrick and Mia are both history buffs who have always loved visiting old churches together, they very aptly decided to hold their wedding ceremony in San Agustin Church, one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful stone churches. Their wedding date, December 19, was already a special one as both Mia’s parents and grandparents were married on that same day. For another touch of history, their arrhae was composed of pre-war coins that were used in all the weddings in Mia’s family.

For Patrick, the highlight of their wedding was seeing Mia walk down the aisle. “When she appeared from amongst the crowd, I suddenly got teary-eyed,” Patrick shares. “It was that feeling of being overwhelmed that comes with believing she's the right person for me.” For Mia, the high point was knowing that all the people who mattered to them were present. If there’s one thing she was thrilled to learn throughout the planning process, it’s the fact that she and Patrick make a great team. “We have different strengths and weaknesses,” she shares. “But together, we get things done quickly. And the best part was that the daunting task of planning a wedding turned out to be so much fun.”

The Candy Team with the newlyweds :)

For more tips on how to plan a wedding that is beyond the ordinary, grab a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines!


Grace Under Pressure

A mainstay of the fashion and beauty scene, well-recognized on TV soaps, professional model, versatile actress, and adept TV host Angel Aquino rises to every occasion. 
By Angel Constantino
Cover photo by Jay Tablante

Published: Women's Health, October 2010
Section: Cover Story

Angel Aquino couldn't be any more different from the character she plays on ABS-CBN’s popular primetime show, Magkaribal. Vera Cruz is a mean and conniving model-turned-fashion mogul who stops at nothing to get what she wants. Her piercing stare and shrill scream are enough to make you run in the opposite direction.

Angel, in real life, is friendly and down to earth. Dressed in a plain black button-down, shorts revealing toned, kilometric legs, and sandals, she warmly greets everyone when she arrives at the cover shoot. Her smile lights up the room as she candidly talks about her career and personal life.

The fact that she can portray a character so different from her is a testament to her skill as an actress. Angel admits she enjoys playing the villain. “I was excited about the role,” she says. “It’s fun because the show is about fashion. I get to dress up, play Barbie, and be a bitch without having to feel sorry about it. It’s a pat on the back when people tell me I’m doing a good job.”

Though she never had any formal acting lessons, she gets inspiration from her idols, veteran actresses Cherie Gil and Sharon Cuneta. “I watched a lot of Pinoy movies when I was younger. I know the silhouette of a kontrabida, what their head and neck movements are.”

One aspect Angel finds challenging about the role is when she has to cry. “It’s emotionally taxing; it doesn’t come easy for me,” she admits. “I’m not a Bea Alonzo or an Erich Gonzales,” she says, referring to her younger co-stars. “When I do scenes with them, I’m surprised that they can make their tears fall without batting an eyelash," she adds. "It’s easier for me to be angry because I can draw energy from the environment and the people around me. The emotional investment is not that much compared to crying, which you have to draw out from the deepest part of your soul.”

Angel says part of being an actress is being vulnerable. “If you just open your mind and heart to the situation and to your co-actors, the perfect emotion comes out of you," she says. "I used to process a scene too much. I didn’t want to expose myself before, but now I can handle myself better. I’m less afraid and more self assured.”


Oh, The Places I've Been!

My Lakbayan grade is C+!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

I saw this map on and I thought I'd make one for myself. (I actually have a real map of the Philippines on my desk which I post pins on whenever I visit a new place in the country.) Looks like I'll have to do a lot more traveling to turn that C+ into an A! :)


Hitting the Trails in Baguio

By Angel Constantino
Photos by Roland Aquino

Trail running combines two of the things I love to do most—mountain climbing and running. In contrast to mountain climbing, one does not have to bear the burden of a heavy backpack on one’s shoulders while trail running. And while running on the road can be a bit monotonous, the varied terrain and mountain views ensure that the runner will never get bored on the trail. 

I woke up at about 4:00 am on Saturday, April 25, to participate in The North Face Trail Run in Baguio. The race began in Burnham Park at precisely 5:30 am. There were only about a hundred runners in the 22-km category giving it a feeling of exclusivity—after all, not a lot of people are crazy enough to go all the way to Baguio “to torture themselves.”
The first 10 minutes of the race proved to be a challenge as we were met with a steep, inclined road. My throat dried up and my heart beat fast as my body adjusted to the cool climate and the thin air. For a while there, I doubted if I would finish this race at all. Shortly before 6:00 am, we reached the old gate of Camp John Hay where the 11-km runners were gathered for the start of their race. They cheered us on as we jogged past and entered the trails.
Over the next few hours, we had to go through two extremes: steep ascents and sharp descents. The longer we ran down, the higher up we had to hike. It was fun to run downhill, but the instinctive reaction to slow myself down (in order to avoid rolling straight to the bottom!) made me think that my knees would pay for this later.
My favorite part of the trail was a long stretch of rolling terrain enveloped by pine trees. The fresh air—and the fact that I could actually run on this part of the trail—invigorated my spirit. At certain points, we were also blessed with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
By the last hour, I was drained of energy, like a car running on an almost empty tank. When we hit the road, signaling the last three kilometers, I gathered my remaining fuel reserves and decided to run for it (with Roland’s encouragement, of course). As we ran, we passed a few people who had opted to walk the rest of the way.
We finally crossed the finish line after three hours and 59 minutes. A friend wisely noted, “Angel, siguro you would have finished first place if you didn't stop for all these pictures.” Haha! Well, maybe not first place, but we probably could have run a little faster. The time never crossed my mind though as I was more than happy to stop and pose—it was definitely a good excuse to rest.
One thing I learned through all my years of running is that the sport becomes more enjoyable when one has proper training and the right mindset. Then, one feels the exhilaration of running through long stretches of open road without a care in the world—or in this case, one certainly feels the thrill of the trail.
The TNF Trail Run in Baguio is the author’s fourth trail running experience. The first was a 10-km trail run in Batulao, Batangas; the second, a 20-km run in Sacobia, Clark; and the third, an 11-km Valentine’s Day run in Nuvali, Laguna. The 22-km Baguio trail run was the best one by far. All trail runs were organized by The North Face Philippines.


Special Olympics: Caring for People with Mental Disabilities

I made this video for my Visual Literacy class with Prof. Isabel Kenny (Asian Center for Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University, March 2010). It was part of a group project about mental health in Asia with my classmates, Bintang from Aceh, Indonesia, and Walter from Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Check out their articles in our website:

On March 11 and 12, 2010, a hundred athletes from all over the Philippines gathered at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City to participate in the National Athletic Games. But these are no ordinary athletes. They are members of the Special Olympics Philippines.

Omar is an 18 year old boy with Down syndrome from Davao City. He has been an athlete since he was 12 years old. This is his second time to participate in the National Athletic Games, where he competed in the shotput and running events. Aside from sports, he is also into the arts like painting and dancing.

Omar’s mother says he was teased and bullied as a child. Neighbors would keep their kids away from him. But in Special Olympics, Omar has found a place where he is loved and accepted by others.

In the Philippines, 3 to 7 per cent of the population are born with mental disabilities. Groups like Special Olympics Philippines believe that through sports, they can develop their talents and achieve their full potential.

Alex Babst, National Program Director of Special Olympics Philippines, says, "The Special Olympics is a worldwide organization. Right now we have 170 countries with 3 million registered athletes. Our mission is to uplift and work for the advocacy for the inclusion of intellectually disabled persons throughout the world. Special Olympics Philippines has about 10,500 members, all intellectually disabled. We’re really showcasing our athletes because we want to show our community that through sports they have the ability to succeed, to do their best, and to become winners."

Medals were given out during the event. Omar took home a bronze medal for running. His mother Joy says participating in sports improved his confidence and social skills.

In October, Omar will join the national games for rhythmic gymnastics. But for the meantime, he will celebrate his success with a victory dance.


String Sensation

Be inspired to create sweet tunes with Noelle Cassandra, Asia’s only harpist-singer-songwriter.
By Angel Constantino
Photos by Patrick Martires

Published: Candy Magazine, January-February 2010
Section: My World

Full name: Noelle Cassandra
Birthday: June 25
Nothing makes me happier than: sharing my original songs with a good audience.
Five words to describe me: determined, funny, athletic, quiet, loyal
My idols are: my mom and my music mentors.
If I could go to any place in the world, I would visit: Vancouver, to see all my childhood friends and family.
Claim to Fame: Awit and Aliw Awards Finalist, Yonex Badminton Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion
Tips for being a top musician:
1. Be passionate.
2. Practice, pray, and work hard!
3. Take time to relax so you don’t burn out.

On playing the harp
I started playing the harp when I was four. Every day before school, I would wake up half an hour earlier to practice. It just became a way of life. In 2004, I graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver with a Bachelor of Music. I moved to the Philippines in 2005 and the experience has been good so far. People usually brand the harp as instrumental or classical music, but the type of music I play is mellow pop. It was a bit of a struggle to come out and say, “I’m a singer and I write songs too, and I want to share my music with all of you.” But I managed to do it!

On composing songs
I composed my first song when I was 17. I love sharing my music with others—it’s like my diary. You can tell exactly how I was feeling when I wrote it, so it’s really personal. It’s a challenge to make a song good enough to touch people while portraying exactly what it is you want to share. I also like to make it sound a bit different on the harp so that people will think, “Wow, I've never heard that before!”

Read more about Noelle Cassandra in Candy's Jan-Feb 2010 issue or log on to Plus, watch a video of her playing the harp and singing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" on Candy TV!
That's me and Mimi trying to rock the harp and organ :)


Points of View

Clueless about love? We got TV hosts Sam YG and Lia Cruz to answer your most burning relationship questions—and behind their witty banter actually lies some sage advice!
By Angel Constantino
Photos by Patrick Martires

Published: Candy Magazine, January-February 2010
Section: Relationships

First question! What’s the best way to get a guy’s attention?
Sam: Hello, recorder? I’m Sam YG and with me is Miss Lia Cruz!
Lia: I think the best way to get a guy’s attention is to just be yourself.
S: I was going to say the same thing.
L: Yeah right!
S: No, really! Be yourself—but of course, you’ve got to have character.
L: Yes, like an outstanding quality or trait. So if you think you’re good at badminton, you can try and develop that so you can stand out in your field.
S: Focus on your strengths and be very confident. Also, make sure you look him in the eyes.
L: And smile!

Once you’ve got his attention, how do you start a conversation?
S: I always ask the person about herself. If you’re talking, always say something that makes sense. It helps to read and to know what’s going on with the world. On the other hand, if you’re on the listening end, make sure you pay attention so that you can keep the conversation going.
L: You’re stealing all of my answers, Sam! I would start by asking the person about himself as well. There are so many possibilities and directions that a conversation can take from there.

How will you know if someone is secretly crushing on you?
L: I know that Sam is not so secretly crushing on me!
S: Ako kasi, I’m very open. I’ll tell you to your face if I have a crush on you. But for teen guys? Let’s break it down. He keeps texting—with smileys and “mwahs.” If he’s uneasy when he’s around you, then it could be a sign that he probably likes you. Or if he keeps checking you out in a subtle way.
L: Some guys are really good at hiding it, but in most cases, you can tell by the way he looks you in the eye and leans forward when he talks to you or when he really goes out of his way to do something for you or to communicate with you. For instance, every time you go online, he’ll chat you up.
S: Or magpapadala siya ng quote kahit laos na yun.
L: Ask yourself, does he treat you the same way your guy friends do? If the answer is no, then that’s a different story.
S: When it doubt, consult with others. Ask your friends! Just don’t assume.

Read more of Sam and Lia's conversation in Candy's Jan-Feb 2010 issue!
 Behind the scenes with Lia, Mimi, Macy, Noelle Cassandra, and Sam YG


Prom Princess

Cover girl Isa Abiera talks about her dream prom and how to make yours a night to remember!
By Angel Constantino
Photos by Pat Dy

Published: Candy Magazine, Prom 2010
Section: On the Cover

Full Name: Isabelle Abiera
Nickname: Isa
Birthday: August 28, 1992
Where you’ve seen her: Astigs, Abt Ur Luv

A perfect prom is: having the best time with all your friends. Nothing can go wrong!

My ideal prom date is: Prince Charming.

My dream prom dress is: a red Valentino gown.

A unique theme for the prom: The girls would wear suits and ties, and the boys would wear gowns. Hehe!

One thing you should definitely do on the night of your prom: Go to the after party!

My ultimate prom essentials are: powder, blush, and lip gloss.

The sweetest thing that happened to me during prom was: when my date brought me flowers. He was such a gentleman. :)

My most embarrassing moment during prom was: when my shoes kept coming off.

My prom playlist:
1. “Love Story” by Taylor Swift
2. “With or Without You” by U2
3. “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams
4. “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani
5. “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga

How to have the best prom ever:
1. Wear comfortable heels.
2. Buy a dress ahead of time, not just a day before—like me!
3. Be confident and have FUN!

For more prom tips, grab a copy of Candy's Jan-Feb 2010 issue, which comes with the special Prom supplement or log on to!

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