Sunday, November 30, 2014

Super Enjoy Afternoon at Play Date Soon Event

Last Sunday had been an exciting and wonderful day for me and my little boy Ivan. We headed to the Metro and spent the whole afternoon at Babyland Spaces. I was luckily invited to the Play Date Soon event organized by celebrity mom LJ Reyes and the very beautiful Tiffany Tuazon.

We are the very first guest who arrived and according to Ms. LJ, they are still setting-up. Anyway, Ivan immediately comforted himself at the play area. They got a very nice spot for the kids because the flooring is rubberized, and there are mini-houses and mini-slides and some toys that really amazed the kids. Soon the venue was filled with others guests, moms and kids, and set-up by the different sponsors.

Moms and kids participated in some yoga exercises spearheaded by Urban Ashram. And there were these two little babies who kept on giggling seeing their moms move about, to everyone’s delight.

Teacher Mariel of The Learning Basket did some story-telling with the moms. Miss Chriselle of MollyManners conducted an interactive activity for the grown-up kids. My little boy Ivan had so much fun looking for those golden chocolate coins and participated in some games and craft activities.

Snacks and sweet treats were provided by Rufo’s, Serenitiea, Sweet Nest, Gypsy Girl and Mommy Treats. I really had to control my little boy’s sweet tooth cravings (mine as well ha!ha!) because these assortment of goodies are really delectable and tempting.

Some guests including me won in the raffle. There were lots of giveaway prizes from JoomaJam, Momas & Papas, K’Tan Baby Carrier, GCs from Reluxe Spa. We won the very intriguing Kahone Art Box, read our unboxing HERE.

Everyone went home much happier with a bag of gifts.

Also spotted at the event were local celebrities daddy Marco Alcaraz and mommy Bettina Carlos, with their own kids.

Again, my heartful thanks to Ms. LJ and Ms. Tiffany for inviting us. We really had a blast and full of enjoyable moments. Looking forward to more playdates.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Secret to Taking The Plunge? Confidence

Living the life you’ve always dreamed of begins with confidence. If you feel that it’s the one thing you’re missing, here are a few steps that will help you gain self-assurance.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Confidence comes from knowing who you are, which means being able to determine both your strengths and weaknesses. By being in touch with both, you can make better life choices. This is also a good gauge on things you need to improve on and work hard at, helping you create a better version of yourself which you can be proud of.

Expect your success. Pessimism is not just draining: it also undermines your performance. Expecting the worst possible outcome can dampen your spirits and make you more worrisome rather than hopeful. Choosing to think that the outcome will be positive and successful helps in building your confidence.

Take risks. Ironically, taking risks helps develop us into becoming better people. There’s no confidence found in doing the same things over and over again. We develop who we are by doing things that we don’t naturally do. By overcoming things that used to scare us, we develop a stronger sense of self, something needed in becoming more confident.

Confidence also comes from having a strong support system, liike your friends and family. A longtime partner of risk-takers everywhere who like taking the plunge is Nestea in a Bottle. Nestea’s convenient, easy-to-bring bottle makes it easy to go from one adventure to another without any hassle. Coming in three exciting flavors of Apple, Lemon Ice, and Lemon, there’s one for all kinds of risk-taking adventures.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Media Forum: Results of ADVANCE-ON Study on Intensive Glucose-Lowering Treatment (World Diabetes Day 2014)

Diabetes is a disease condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. This is due to deficiency or lack of insulin which is needed to utilize blood sugar.

In the Philippines, diabetes is considered one of the leading cause of death among Filipinos. Ranked at #8, in 2004-2008 data showed there 22 Filipinos died of diabetes and its complications for every 100,000 population. In 2009, it rose to 24 and possibly rising due to major risk factors such as lifestyle, diet, sedentary habits, excessive smoking and consumption of alcohol and hereditary predispositions, among others.

Complications of diabetes are: cerebrovascular diseases, retinopathy, heart disease, nephropathy, neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease in the lower limbs, ulceration and amputation for diabetic foot.

Diabetes, however, is a controllable and preventable disease through lifestyle modifications and the correct medications.

In a media forum (in observance of the World Diabetes Day 2014) held last November 12, 2014 at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, presented to the public was the result of this worldwide long-term study which aimed to assess the effects of intensive glucose and blood pressure control of major vascular outcomes in a broad cross-section of patients with type 2 diabetes through the ADVANCE and ADVANCE-ON.

What is ADVANCEAction in Diabetes and Vascular Disease PreterAx and DiamicroN MR Controlled Evaluation, was one the largest morbidity-mortality trials conducted in type 2 diabetes. ADVANCE is an investigator-initiated trial designed, conducted, analyzed, and interpreted independently of sponsors. Median duration of follow-up was 5 years.

The Philippines, with four (4) accredited testing centers was among the 20 countries where the study was conducted for more than 10 years period and covered 11,140 patients aged 55y old and above. The four centers are: Philippine General Hospital led by Dr. Mary Anne Lim-Abraham; East Avenue Medical Center – Dr. Maria Teresa Plata-Que; Makati Medical Center – Dr. Augusto Litonjua; and at the Institute for Studies on diabetes Foundation – Dr. Araceli Panelo.

What is ADVANCE-ONAction in Diabetes and Vascular Disease PreterAx and DiamicroN MR Controlled Evaluation – Post Trial ObservatioNal Study. A post trial follow-up study involving all surviving patients from the ADVANCE trial for another 5.9 years (median).

Results proved that long-term intensive glucose control based on a gliclazide-modified release strategy among diabetes patients may create a major impact on the reduction of kidney failure. According to leading researchers of the ADVANCE-ON Post-trial Observational Study, an intensive glucose-lowering treatment is likely to produce major long-term benefits for the kidneys.

With this strategy, diabetes patients may have lower risk of renal failure that requires dialysis or transplantation. Researchers also note that patients did not experience any increase or decrease in the risks of death as well as any cardiovascular disease.

The findings highlight the importance of active and effective blood glucose management for renal protection in patients with type 2 diabetes. According to the study director and first author Associate Professor Sophia Zoungas, of the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, among patients with long standing type 2 diabetes, blood pressure-lowering treatment with perindopril-indapamide for an average of 4.5 years resulted in attenuated but significant long-term benefits with respect to death from any cause and from cardiovascular causes, whereas intensive glucose control for an average of 5 years did not provide any long term benefits with respect to death or major vascular events. (Zoungas, S. Follow-up of Blood-Pressure Lowering and Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes, The New England Journal of Medicine, Sept 2014).

The ADVANCE-ON research was funded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, and Servier International

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Italianni’s New Twists to Old Hits!

Who wants Italian dishes? I think most Filipinos love Italian food and of course our love for pasta.

Italian indulgence might be the reason why people would initially go to Italianni’s.There are a lot of rightful reasons for this. Besides the quality food and family-friendly environment, Italianni’s has proven time and time again how it can reinvent itself.

Italianni’s presents new and improved dishes that are pretty to the eyes and yummier in your tummy. Your much loved house specialties and favorites are improved with the belief that better is always best. Now Italianni’s can really cater to your every mood. Every visit is guaranteed an experience where customers fall in love with Italianni’s now more than ever.

You can start your new and improved Italianni’s experience with either the Crostinis with at least three mouthwatering dips to choose from or the Italian Truffle fries. Italianni’s can assure that this will jumpstart your appetite for a gastronomic experience. You can follow it with a classic Italianni’s Salad and munch on some fresh greens or you can go the exact opposite and go big with the oven-roasted Lamb which is so good, it’s only available at Italianni’s Greenbelt, High Street, and Mall of Asia. Now that’s a lamb you should really follow.

If you’re opting for a little seafood but also craving some pizza, then you’re in for a treat. You can have the Smoked Salmon and Dill pizza made with cream cheese, goat cheese, onion, and gorgonzola dill sauce. To make it the perfect Italian combination, get the Peperoncino and Chorizo pasta and you’ll feel like you’re just in Italy with its fresh spaghetti pasta tossed in olive oil, bacon, shrimp, and olives.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try the ever so delicious Panna Cotta, a freshly made Italian cooked cream served with sauce and topped with caramelized oatmeal. All it’s goodness is presented in a jar that is just as good to go as it is to eat in the restaurant.

If you feel like only having a small snack that is just as filling but not as heavy, you can go for the Light and Easy sandwiches with a choice of salad or soup of the day and sourdough bread. You can choose from Italian Meatballs, Salami and Olives, Smoked Ham and Tomatoes, Shrimp and Dill, Prosciutto, Chicken, and Smoked Salmon. It can even be our little secret if you order all of them just to get a bite of all the goodness in every sandwich. Or you can settle for the tasty complimentary Italian bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and it’s just as good.

Top your new and improved Italianni’s experience with another classic in the form of a strawberry cheesecake and end your meal not only with a fizzle but with a bang.

We don’t even need a celebration to go to Italianni’s anymore. The food is celebration itself.

Check out Italianni’s social media pages:
Facebook: Italianni’s Philippines
Instagram and Twitter: @ItaliannisPh
Join the hashtag: #ItaliannisPh
For more details visit the website:

The Philippines Welcome a New Potent Collagen Drink from Japan

Nowadays, we Filipinos have become health-conscious. that is, we now take care of ourselves either the natural way or by taking health supplements. Whatever options we choose, our ultimate objective is not to get sick thus live a longer life and enjoy more our time with family and friends. 

Among most Asians, the Japanese are considered to possess not just flawless and youthful skin, but also live well beyond their years, with a longevity that is probably the envy of others.

It is a good thing that Filipinos can now also enjoy the benefits of not just looking young, feeling young and moving young as these same secrets are brought to the Philippines by FINE Japan Co., Ltd.

Established in 1974, FINE Japan Co., Ltd. is a nutraceutical company with a reputation to manufacture, research and develop excellent beauty and wellness supplement products that help restore youthful glow to their skin. For more than 40 years, FINE Japan Co., also known for its top-notch ISO 9001 certified manufacturing processes of its products, beginning with research, production to inspection that are all done in-house.

Its success was further highlighted during fiscal year 2013 when FINE Japan Co., Ltd. posted annual sales of more than JP¥ 2.6 billion, or around P1.06 billion. Its unprecedented success in the field of beauty and wellness thus prompted company officials to further expand the business.
Among its well-known creations include natural health-food supplements whose ingredients were gathered and extracted from various plant and animal sources. These were then transformed to food products, health-food supplements, even beverages and cosmetics, all discovered using outstanding product research and made by consistently following high manufacturing standards that will help contribute to a better society.

These qualities further enhanced FINE Japan Co., Ltd.’s reputation as a quality manufacturer of health and wellness products that spread throughout the world, in countries such as the USA, Hong Kong, South Korea, China and Vietnam, and now in the Philippines.

And now, added to the products that will further lift the company’s image in the nutraceutical industry is its newest and most innovative product, Premium HyC 150, which possesses some of the most natural elements that will help restore skin’s youthfulness and active glow as we advance in age.

Premium HyC 150 has a unique combination of 150 mg. of Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Collagen, and Ubiquinol, three major components especially made potent with the right amount of dosage in one sachet to effectively counter the rapid deterioration of the skin because of aging. It works from within, making it more effective than topical creams and lotions, plus the effects are more sustainable and ever increasing. The product is proven effective and truly safe for use by people who not only want to delay the effects of aging but also improve their health. Attesting to the superior quality of the product, Premium HyC 150 has won the prestigious Monde Selection Gold Award in 2014.

“We want more Filipinos to enjoy their lives longer and healthier, and maintain youthful skin, especially for those advancing in age. With the help of Premium HyC 150 and the expertise of FINE Japan Co., Ltd., consumers can look forward to ‘revealing their new youth’ through beautiful, flawless and youthful skin they can be truly proud of,” explains Imelda ManookTesalona, RPh, President of Fine Nutrition Trading International, the local importer of food supplements by FINE Japan Co., Ltd..

Collagen is a major component of the body that helps keep skin flexible while Hyaluronic Acid, found in the body’s skin tissues, helps hold moisture in the body, reduce skin dryness and at the same time hydrates the joints and connective tissues to prevent problems such as osteoarthritis, and even cataract. Ubiquinol on the other hand is an antioxidant, providing energy and protects skin against free radicals.

Other elements in Premium HyC 150 include Elastin, a protein that allows the skin to “spring back” and keep it resilient and firm. Biotin, on the other hand, helps keep skin, hair and nails healthy, and ease eczema and dermatitis.

The Pearl Coix extract, meanwhile, serves as a detoxificant and promotes clear, fair and luminous skin, while Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, helps repair the body’s natural collagen and maintains the strength of our body’s tissues.

Premium HyC 150 is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by BrightRAY Enterprises, now available in Watsons stores nationwide. For more information, visit

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Tiny Buds Rice Powder: Then and Now

My little boy grew up with Tiny Buds. My ever favorite is the Tiny Buds Rice Powder. I am glad as well when he was among those selected as Tiny Buds Baby Ambassador in 2012. Yes! I can honestly say, I am proud this is one product I always recommend to my relatives and friends.

So why the Tiny Buds Rice Powder? I found out about it when I attended an ExpoMom Event some years back. I was really intrigued by it because accordingly it is made from rice, therefore it is organic and that’s what I primarily like about it. It is unlike those baby powder that we can usually buy in the market that are made from talcum and comes in various scents. But this is the kind that I am avoiding ever since my baby was born. According to his pediatrician, my little boy has asthmatic condition thus powder and colognes is a no-no for him. Sighs! Powder and colognes what makes our babies smell nice right? 

And it was a real dilemma for me. More so my little boy is real “pawisin” he sweats a lot especially when playing. They say that makes a boy different from a girl, they prefer to play more and likes running around. But nevertheless I always wanted that Ivan will smell nice and clean even after long hours of playing.

Thankfully, I found the answer. When I began using the Tiny Buds Rice Powder, even with excessive sweating it was less worry for me because I just need to rub some on his back, it repels the sweating thus minimize the need for me to change the towel on his back. And with less “pawis” he now smells so good. 

The Tiny Buds Rice Powder is of premium quality baby powder made from 100% real rice grains. This biodegradable and hypoallergenic baby powder is completely free from harmful talc and other chemicals. It repels water which allows sweat to evaporate naturally. This makes the Tiny Buds Rice Powder perfectly unique in keeping baby’s skin healthy, fresh, moisturized and dry from perspiration. Because it is made from natural ingredient that is rice, it is rich in protein and amino acids. Therefore it provides a natural UV protection for the baby’s delicate skin. It is also perfect for our tropical climate and to counter those rashes that usually occur during the summer months. How about that? So its just like natural food and a real protection for our baby’s skin.

Now my baby is all grown-up, I will never get tired of the Tiny Buds Rice Powder. It is my regular companion wherever we go. Its just like having our best friend with us, a friend that I can always trust and rely for my son’s health and skin protection. 

But did you know that the Tiny Buds Rice Powder is not only for our babies? It can also be used by us mommies and everyone in the family. Instead of using face powder on your face, try this one. Hint: use a kabuki brush to dub it all over your face, it will keep you moisturized all day.

Like Tiny Buds on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for more information and product updates.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Indigenous Vegetables Used in School Feeding Project

Despite being surrounded by several bodies of water, the Philippines still houses vast land areas for agriculture and forest utilizations. Due to the rich soil, a diversity of indigenous vegetables can be found in most areas of the country. However, the changing food habits and preferences of individuals lead to the underutilization of these indigenous vegetables.

According to the 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), vegetables only comprise 12.8 percent of the total household consumption and only 3.9 percent of this is the consumption of green leafy and yellow vegetables.

Vegetables are valued not only for their contribution to fiber in the diet, but also for nutrient content. Furthermore, green leafy and yellow vegetables are rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and other micronutrients.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) revised in 2012 not only recommends eating a variety of foods everyday but also eating more vegetables and fruits daily to get the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for regulation of body processes.

In an attempt to promote proper eating in the school setting, the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2007 provided specific guidelines under DepEd Order No. 8 Series of 2007 on the foods sold in the school canteens.

The DepEd memorandum circular also indicates that the school canteen in both elementary and secondary levels shall only provide or sell nutrient-rich foods such as root crops, noodles, rice and corn products in native preparation, fruits and vegetables in season, and fortified food products labelled rich in protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals.

Also, the memorandum prohibits the sale of carbonated drinks, sugar-based synthetic or artificially flavoured juices, junk foods, and any food product that may be detrimental to a child’s health.

Another program is the production of indigenous vegetables in school and household gardens which is a cheap, sustainable and feasible way to hit two birds with one stone—undernutrition and food insecurity.

In 2009, a project conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in coordination with the World Vegetable Center, launched the promotion of 10 indigenous Philippine vegetables these include alugbati (Basella alba), ampalaya (bitter gourd) for leaves or bayok-bayok (Momordicacharantia), himbabao (Allaeanthusluzonicus), kulitis (Amaranthus), labong (bamboo shoot), upo or bottle gourd (Lagenariasiceria), malunggay (Moringa), pako (fiddlehead), saluyot (Corchorus), and talinum (Talinumtriangulare).

image from the web
Known as “Promotion of Indigenous Vegetable for Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition Improvement of Rural Households in the Philippines” project, it was implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Nutrition Council (NNC), and local government units (LGUs).

The project proponents advocate aggressive promotion in encouraging Filipinos to produce and consume local vegetables for a sustainable and healthy living.

Likewise, a collaborative project by FNRI-DOST, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), DepEd, and International Development Research Center (IDRC) entitled Integrated Approach to Address Food and Nutrition Security in the Philippines utilizes indigenous vegetables from the school garden in a supplementary feeding program among school-aged children in two schools in Cavite.

The project integrates Gardening, Nutrition Education and Supplementary Feeding or simply GarNESupp, to alleviate undernutrition in target students in two selected schools.

Sustainable food sources, like gardens, are important especially in times of low food production, while the utilization of indigenous vegetables can provide a variation in the diet of the household that help in forming correct behaviors towards healthy eating among children.

Moreover, the FNRI-DOST developed recipes utilizing indigenous vegetables found in the school garden. These recipes were also used in the supplementary feeding of 160 school-aged children six to eight years old conducted by the FNRI-DOST, IIRR, DepEd and IDRC.

To supplement these two approaches nutrition education sessions were conducted by the DepEd Grades 1 to 3 teachers to parents of participating students and nutrition education were also integrated to the lesson plan. The materials that were used in these sessions like visual aids, were joint effort of all the Grades 1 to 3 teachers of the participating schools at the General AloƱa Memorial Elementary School and Felipe Calderon Elementary School.

Physical and behavioral developments of school-aged children are usually targeted in supplementary feeding programs.

The introduction of indigenous vegetables to school children familiarizes them with the local produce rather than solely consuming and opting for high-yielding and foreign crops. Using indigenous vegetables in supplementary feeding programs also decreases the cost of menu and allows for proper knowledge information to ensure continuous consumption of healthy foods among school-aged children.

About the Author:
Assistant Scientist
Department of Science and Technology

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:
Dr. Mario V. Capanzana
Food and Nutrition Research Institute
Department of Science and Technology
General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City
Telefax: 837-2934/837-3164/837-2071 local 2296

Monday, November 3, 2014

An Enjoyable Treat or Treat Experience at Nuvali

Trick or treating is an event my little boy always look forward to. Weeks before, we have to discuss what he will wear on that grand day. In the past years, he always opted for some cutie cartoon character costume like that of Mickey Mouse, Spiderman, the Pirate, or Iron Man. This time, he told me he wanted to try being scary, a kid vampire. And since we are on a budget, luckily I chanced upon a vampire cape at a thrift shop for P20.00 only (yeah! it was a great deal). For his tops, a Gap black long sleeve shirt with was a gift from my friend in Brunei. And for his pants, a hand-me down dark colored jogging pants. Anyway, I think it came out fine.

I had an invite from Saddleback Church Manila located in Nuvali Sta. Rosa (Laguna) for their halloween event. Going to Nuvali, we took a van ride at SM Calamba Transport terminal. Before going there, Ivan did some store hopping to collect some treats.

Since it was still early when we arrived at Nuvali, again some store rounds. There were also craft sessions for kids, free twisted balloons and lots and lots of candy treats. Krispy Kreme gave out free doughnut, Ivan liked it and munched it immediately, ha!ha!

Ok, so after all the treating, we headed to Monochrome Nuvali for Blocktober, its a halloween party organized by Saddleback Church Manila. Registration for the event only costs P100.00 (good for 2 persons). Upon signing-up you will be given a passport which is the ticket to avail of the various games, rides and amenities plus a raffle.

My little boy was so amazed with this event and he just wanted to try all the games and rides especially the inflatable slides where he kept on coming back. He also braved the wall climb but midway he stopped. When he got down, I asked him "why did you stop? he replied mommy I am afraid of heights". So funny, I remembered it was a dialogue from Planes movie. They also gave out loot bag containing candies and toy prizes. Best of all was the magic and puppet show by no less than Kuya Ruther Urquia, a grand finalist of Pilipinas Got Talent (a local talent search contest).

with Pastor Narry Santos of Saddleback Church

treats . . . loots . . . candies . . . toys . . . third eye!
It was near dusk when we headed back home. We had a long and truly enjoyable day. I am just so fulfilled when I made my little boy Ivan happy.