October 30, 2009

Do You See What I See?

No, I'm not singing a Christmas carol here! It's just that I've noticed that in the past year or so, my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. Perhaps it's because I'm in front of the computer for long all the time, or perhaps it's simply because of the aging process. Whatever it is, it definitely is a hindrance. For example, before, I could use my small lappy to do photo editing. Now, I need to zoom into the photos to edit it!

I think I'm not alone in saying clearer vision does make life so much easier. Take for example an episode in Grey's Anatomy where one of the characters was explaining her realization that the little green blobs she used to see around her were leaves after she got her glasses. Nowadays, prescription glasses, or contacts for that matter, are not the only way to get better vision. With laser surgery or correction, bad vision can be a thing of the past.

If you have your own story of how having clearer eyesight has made a difference in your life, join
the iLASIK Video Contest and get a chance to win $ 5,000!


All you have to do is submit a video telling your story in any of the following categories:
  • “My contacts are getting in the way of my good time”
  • “My favorite sport or activity would be so much cooler with better vision”
  • “You should see life after the iLASIK® Procedure

After submitting your entry at, tell your friends to vote! Besides the $ 5,000 grand prize, other prizes at stake are 3 HDTV packages (one for each category) worth $2,500 each, and 3 Flip UltraHD™ camcorders (one for each category) worth $ 199.99!

What are you waiting for? Join now!

Post?slot_id=80852&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark to continue reading...

I Ate To Educate!

click on photo to enlarge to continue reading...

My Halloween Cupcakes!!!

I just have to share my excitement over this:

aren't they so cute?!? I usually bake cupcakes/muffins, cookies and date walnut bars for the Christmas holidays but this year, my partner and I got an order for Halloween cupcakes for a party. After a few tries, we finally got a good frosting and set of patterns going. This is a perfect trick or treat giveaway for an office party don't you think? Hmmm...I wonder what would be a good costume for the servers handing these out. Perhaps a batch of waitresses in can can Halloween costumes? Now I wonder, what would be a bigger hit, the cupcakes or the costumes?!? to continue reading...

Battle For Terra

It is not very often that an animated film has a message about caring for our environment. However, the movie Battle for Terra is a good tale of just that. Although the story may not preach about taking care of our earth per se, it gives a good visual reference to what might happen if we don't do so.

Thanks to SM Digital Cinemas and Hero TV for the invitation to the special 3D screening of Battle for Terra! to continue reading...

October 28, 2009

Desperately Needing Car Repairs.

I really need to take my car in to the shop for it's 30,000 km check up. Unfortunately, in the wake of the killer typhoons that hit different parts of the country in the last month, car repairs are severely backed up. I can't even fit in a schedule! I understand the delay though. Some car shops have offered a helping hand to typhoon victims through lowering labor or service costs. Some companies have even completely waived these fees. Unfortunately, car parts needed for repair for cars that got submerged in floods are running low. Some car owners have started to turn to the internet to get good deals on car parts such as an ac compressor. Speaking of cars needing service, this is the scene I see outside my office window!!! to continue reading...

October 27, 2009

I Dare to Be Fit n' Right Again!

Three years and many pounds ago, I was at the peak of health. Perhaps, I could even say I was definitely Fit 'n Right. I had just won a battle with obesity and my health was in tip top condition. Two years prior to this, I had been diagnosed with a medical condition called PCOS which was being exacerbated by the fact that I was grossly overweight. I went from being almost 220 pounds to about 130 in a span of about 11 months, which left me looking somewhat haggard and old. However, after finding a good balance between diet and exercise, I got to a good place with regards to my health. I was not only physically fit, but I was living a healthy lifestyle. Like I said, Fit 'n Right. Just look at the transition:

at over 200 pounds in 1998

mid -2005. Much thinner but not healthy. Look at the sunken eyes and
haggard look

early 2006: some weight regained but definitely a healthier
and happier me

However, became lazy and careless with my diet, I slowly began to gain weight again. Plus my hormone condition started acting up again, thus the pounds just keep coming on. Before I knew it, I could barely fit into my clothes again. Because of that, I decided it was (correction: IT IS!) time for me to take the DARE TO BE FIT 'N RIGHT challenge. I know it's not going to be as easy as before, especially since I am much older now than when I first needed to lose weight, after all, it is a known fact that weight loss is usually more difficult once you reach your 30's.

Lucky for me, I got invited to the Fit n' Right Blogger Event last October 23, 2009 held in Taste Asia in the Mall of Asia where I was introduced to two revolutionary tools that can help me take on my battle with the pounds.

First is a new workout routine by sports guru and Master Coach Jim Saret. His workout, coined the F.I.T. Workout, or the Fast Interval Training, it is a four-minute workout that makes you burn at least 400 calories. Not just that, this exercise actually continues to burn calories even after the workout! Imagine that! This is a workout that definitely can fit in to almost anyone's lifestyle, especially bloggers like me who find themselves in front of the computer for hours on end. Not only is the workout quick, it also is very accessible to all because you don't need any fancy gym equipment or space for that matter. In some ways, it reminded me of a workout that my sister, who is an athlete, used to talk about. She would talk about burst training and how these sudden intervals or bursts of speed in her strength training made her more fit. I guess the same scientific principles apply to both my sister and Coach Saret's workout. Bottom line: not only is this four minute workout is something I can have time to do, but it can burn more calories than an hour on the treadmill or several kilometers of jogging can do.

Bloggers Earth, Dani and Jeff take on the FIT Workout! The Workout
consists of a series of exercises you do in brief spurts (hence Fast Interval Training).
Exercises include body weight lifting (as Jeff is doing), squats (like Earth),
lunges (demonstated by Dani) and push ups. For beginners, do about 10 counts of
each exercise for as many reps as possible within the 4 minutes. For more
advanced individuals, you can increase difficulty by using
TheraBall, Bands andsimilar accessories.
photo credit: Jennie Aspacio of

A partner to this workout is Del Monte's Fit 'n Right Juice Drink.

This is the second revolutionary tool to fitness. I have to be honest though: growing up I was made to believe anything with juice drink on it was unhealthy. According to dietitians I went to back then, these were overloaded with sugar. However, these juice drinks have evolved since that time. This was even proven by a clinical study conducted by Dra. Leonora Panlasigui and the University of the Philippines. In their study, it was proven that Fit 'n Right can help one lose as much as 16.7% body fat in 6 weeks when combined with diet and exercise. Research shows that Fit 'n Right can actually help in weight loss because of the L-Carnitine and B Vitamins 1, 6, 12 in it. L-Carnitine, which occurs naturally in the body and is found in many of the things we eat such as red meat, helps burn fat by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, which is known as our cell's powerhouse or energy sources. These fats are then burned into energy. Vitamin B, on the other hand, helps speed up metabolism. As such, taking Fit 'n Right at least 2 hours before exercise can help maximize it's fat burning potential. Paired with the F.I.T. workout, these juice drinks can help speed up your weight loss. Since Fit 'n Right is the first and only juice drink with a blend of L-Carnitine and B Vitamins, it really is (as their commercial claims) a refreshing way to burn. Fit 'n Right now comes in more delicious flavors and more affordable 1 liter bottles. My personal favorites are the Blueberry and Grape, Watermelon and Apple flavors. For a healthy snack, try out the Fit 'n Right Fruit Snacks too!
One thing to remember, however, is that Fit 'n Right alone is not the answer to losing weight. It has to be taken in with a good diet and exercise. In the same manner, just doing the FIT Workout without watching what you eat does not mean that you will lose weight. Sometimes we tend to think that taking supplements OR doing a magic workout will be enough to burn away the pounds. It has to be a lifestyle choice. This means that you don't just stop when you reach your ideal weight (which obviously I did the last time around!). It means that you have to eat, live and breathe healthy. After all, that's what being Fit 'n Right is really all about! This is why as part of their commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, the Fit 'n Right campaign will culmuinate with the Dare to Be Fit 'n Right Fun Run 2009 on November 22 at the SM Mall of Asia. There are 3 categories to chose from: the 3K, 5 K or 10K run. Besides the health benefits of running plus the chance to take home exciting prizes, participants also support a very worthy cause: the Men and Women's Open will benefit victims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng through the SM Foundation.

click on photo to enlarge, or read details below.
Check out the Fit 'n Right fan page in Facebook too!

Fun Run Details:
When: November 22, 2009.
Where: SM Mall of Asia grounds
How: Register at the following areas: CEMG Office – Unit 3A Vernida I Bldg., Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City/ Look for Marianne Tapales (892.5842/09155498282); Dare to be Fit ‘n Right booths in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig and in selected SM Hypermarkets: Mall of Asia, Sucat, Pasig, and North EDSA; Fitness First branches on November 16, 2009. You can also REGISTER ONLINE.
Cost: Php 300 inclusive of race packet with the Dare to Fit ‘n Right Fun Run singlet, race bib, Fit ‘N Right products, etc.
Prizes at stake: cash and gift prizes from Del Monte and sponsors. Plus a chance to win a Lenovo Laptop in the raffle! to continue reading...

October 26, 2009

A Couch Potatoes Best Friend

The other day, my friend and I were window shopping around Mall of Asia when out of the blue, he commented on how easy it is to get good TV deals now. He was quite amazed at how affordable these television sets have gotten. In fact, he said that if only his cash wasn't earmarked for a new cellphone, he would have gladly gotten one of those more affordable LCD TV's. After all, a good TV set is a couch potatoes best friend!

If I were to purchase a new television, I think I would stick with a SamsungTV. The last two TV purchases we've made were of this brand, and so far, I've been happy with it. One thing I don't like, though, are the remote controls. For some reason, both the remotes broke within the first year or so. Then again, it really didn't make much of a difference since I have one of those universal remotes. How I wish Santa one of these down my chimney this Christmas! to continue reading...

October 25, 2009

The Ugly Truth.

Yes...this is why I'm single!!! I guess the Ugly Truth made me realize that. I think it's because growing up, most girls are made to believe in the fairy-tale romance. In the movie, though it did have a relatively fairy tale ending, was an eye-opening, hilarious look on the complex relationship called love. Suffice it to say: it made the concept of love, falling in love and being in love seem more real, yet fun. While watching the movie, I remembered words from a guy I used to go out with ring in my head. When he told these to me years ago, I dismissed it as him being insensitive and a coward but seeing it played out on the big screen made me realize that he was being real (but still insensitive I suppose, haha!)

Seriously, though, I have watched so many movies this year but this has got to be one of my favorites so far!!! to continue reading...

Surprise in the Mail.

More often than not, the only thing that enters most mailboxes are bills. Bills and junk mail. Since the email revolution, snail mail has decreased markedly, particularly for personal communication. Yesterday, however, I found a surprise in the mail. When I opened my mailbox, I found a birth announcement from a good friend of mine who I had not known was expecting! It felt nice seeing something from a mail box rather than an inbox for a change. So much so that I got to thinking, perhaps since Christmas is approaching, maybe I should send real Christmas cards this year rather than e-cards.

I wonder, though, if people still maintain these boxes nowadays. I know mine's kinda rusty and sometimes I find leaves in them. I looked around the village and noticed that most of my neighbors are in a similar situation. I did see, however, one of those pretty wall mount mailboxes with nice etchings on it. It made me realize that mailboxes aren't just drop-off boxes for mail, but they can also be very nice accessories or ornaments for your home. to continue reading...

October 24, 2009

All Set for Driving.

In less than a years time, my brother is turning 16. That only means one thing: getting a learners permit! For many people, getting a new car is one of the most exciting experiences. It sure was for me. As early as now, he is asking if he will get a new car when he is old enough to drive. Of course if money was no object, getting him a brand new car is definitely the best option. However, for new drivers like him, perhaps checking out trusty and reliable used cars would be a better option. Second-hand cars are often much cheaper than fresh-of-the-assembly-line cars. For someone who is still learning the ropes on being behind the wheel (thus perhaps a higher probability of fender benders and poor handling), it may be a more cost-effective way of getting a set of wheels. to continue reading...

October 20, 2009

The 411 on the Informant

Starring an almost unrecognizable Matt Damon, the movie The Informant is a dark comedy based on true events that inspired the book with the same title. It is a story of corporate espionage and conspiracy, and an uncanny hero: a pudgy, unassuming man in a suit.

Mark Whitacre was the youngest top executive in the company ADM when he turned informant by becoming a whistleblower about illegal price-fixing activities top officials in the company were engaged in. The fraud, which spanned international waters, revolved around a chemical additive called lysine which was used in livestock. After turning whistleblower, Whitacre had to endure years of wire-tapping and surveillance activities with the FBI to gather evidence against ADM. However, these activities eventually took its toll on the businessman who, apparently, suffered from a disorder.

I won't spoil the story much for you, but I have to admit, I kinda got lost in the story a little bit, especially given my background on psychology. Essentially what I can say is, I wasn't expecting that!

Was it a good film? Well, suffice it to say it was not really my cup of tea. The fast transitions and endless narratives, twists and turns (although clearly essential in the film) threw me off somewhat, plus much as Matt Damon's performance was good, it was a bit of a letdown because he didn't look so much like the Matt Damon I love :-)

However, I am almost 100% sure my friend Janine (who enjoys the exact opposite kinds of films that I do) would probably say otherwise. In fact, I kinda missed her on the drive home from the screening because I'm sure should she have been there, we would have had an interesting debate going. Honestly, it was an interesting film, despite it not being the typical movie I would seek out.

The true-to-life film will be shown exclusively at Ayala Mall's Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3 and Trinoma starting tomorrow, October 21. to continue reading...

Kitchen Classrooms

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets for use in my classroom is the oven toaster. It allows me to include the magic of cooking into any lesson I teach in class while providing enough room for my kid's safety. I like, too, how these gadgets can toast, roast and bake almost anything. During Valentine's day or Parents Day, the kids love whipping up a batch of cookies that they can easily decorate and take home as presents. Besides the fun the kids get from baking, what I like best about using the kitchen in class is the unique lessons they get from it. From concepts like hot and cold, safety rules and basic math skills, these are practical learning experiences that the kids get, all because of a simple kitchen gadget.

Of course we only have the basic, cheap kind of toaster but if I had the opportunity, it would be nice to invest in one of those large and multi-use toasters, such as a halogen toaster oven which will allow us to finish tasks faster. Sometimes some of the kids get frustrated because our toaster is so small we can only fit in a few cookies at a time. Hopefully by this Christmas our directress agrees to getting some new stuff for school...or perhaps Santa would be nice enough to drop some off for us!!! to continue reading...

Being Thankful Despite Ending on a Sour Note.

I hate how sometimes, no matter how much the logical side of me tells me to let things slide, the emotion driven core of me does not allow me to do so....Tonight ended on a kind of sour note, somewhat due to circumstances beyond my control, but also partly because of my reaction to it.


Then again, tomorrow is another day that I can start over. Incidentally, it is National Thank You Day so despite things turning out the way it did, I'd like to say thanks to my blogger friends for a fun and eventful evening :-) Till next time! to continue reading...

October 18, 2009

Identity and Information Protection.

I recently finished watching the entire five seasons of the television series Alias, which starred Jennifer Garner as an agent with the CIA. It took me about two weeks to finish it all. Basically, that's all I watched day in and day out!!! It was amazing to see how technology was even as early as 2001. In the same breath, it showed me how easily one's identity and information can be stolen or violated. And to think they were showing supposedly protected information. It may be kinda mind boggling for me to understand how they crack codes and encryptions as well as penetrate systems with auto logoff and security measures in place. In this day and age, it is very important to be vigilant about how our information is being processed, especially online. Also, when it comes to shared work stations, it is vital to have your own profiles protected by passwords and the like because it is so easy to peep into others documents. In fact, I had a student who once stole someone else's paper because she forgot to log off from her email. I guess this is also one reason why I refuse to use other computers at work despite the fact that I hate lugging around my heavy lappy!!! to continue reading...

Safety in this Dangerous Times.

As I write this, I am keeping tabs on breaking news on a robbery at Greenbelt 5, one of the poshest and trendiest shopping malls in the metro. At the same time, I am reading Plurks from a contact that her home was broken into last night. Yesterday, another Plurk contact experienced the same thing. It is scary! Lately I catch myself checking and double checking and even triple checking the locks at home because of how frightening crime is getting nowadays. Can you imagine, armed robbery in a shopping mall in broad daylight? My gosh...what is going on?!?

I think more than just beefing up home security we also have to be more aware of things in our community. It is true that partly to blame for the rise in criminal behavior is the downspiraling value of our money in the face of steep prices in the market. Given this, we need to make it a collaborative effort to keep ourselves safe. Nowadays living in a gated community is no longer an assurance that you are exempt from break-ins and robbery. Nowadays I am being more vigilant about the goings-on around me and I will no longer just stand passively when I see something out of the ordinary. Call in hypervigilance, but I'll call it being safe. Oh, and I won't leave Bubba out in the garden too much when I'm gone. I heard from that friend that her dog was poisoned by the robbers. I think if he's on the inside, no matter how much they try to bribe him with food that is poisoned, all they'll end up doing is getting him to bark noisily which hopefully can catch the attention of our neighborhood watch.

Let's all be safe, People. May God watch over us all. to continue reading...

A Web-by Weekend at KK.

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since I tried to learn the ropes of updating and managing a website. It's so much harder than managing a blog site for sure, especially for someone like me who has no idea of how html, css and other codes work. However, thanks to the careful guidance and the patience of a good friend, I was able to get a basic overview of how websites work. Over coffee and doughnuts, I was able to update our clinic website and put in articles and descriptions to our services. Not bad for a noob like me! It kinda made me more confident in my capacity to start looking for my own webhosting deal.

Although I don't intend to start my own website though, but since I'm becoming more involved in blogging, I think getting my own domain and host would be a good investment soon. I want an unlimited hosting plan where I am free to manage all the different sites I am currently trying to navigate through. Of course, I have to get them redirected to my own domains first! For now, I think the best thing for me to do is read up on what are the best options and offers are out there so I can make the best informed decision that suits my needs. to continue reading...

October 17, 2009

I've Got a Feeling....

That this week's gonna be a good, good week....

And I was right! Let me back track a bit...last weekend, I read several Plurks about upcoming contests online. Two of them caught my fancy: one was an Ovi sponsored photo contest featuring "Food you eat in secret"and the other was sponsored by which offered a grand prize of a trip for two to Hong Kong. I excitedly thought about my entries.

For the photo contest, I immediately knew what it would be about. I had an inkling I'd win, mainly because my entry was really so weird (you can check it out at, but I will post about it in my food blog in the coming days too). So when I got the confirmation that I won, it was great!

The second, I have to admit, ended up being an almost-last-minute submission because I've been super, super busy at work. This one, I crossed my fingers hard that I would win, but I didn't think I would. I was right again...kinda. I did win a set of Yummy books. While it's not Hong Kong, it definitely is a thrill to see my hard work pay off!! I'm so excited to see what these books are! Will post photos when they come :-) to continue reading...

October 15, 2009

My Commitment for Change this Blog Action Day.

Just an hour ago I had lunch. It came from a styrofoam box. Yup, I did it again. I drove another nail into the coffin called Our Green Earth.

Admittedly, buying my lunch from the carinderia (food stall) outside campus is so much easier than carrying a reusable container.

The issue of Climate Change was never in the list of my priorities before. I don't know why but I just never thought much of the issue. If I were to think about why, I suppose it would be because I always assumed someone else will take care of it for me. I also used to rationalize climate change as simple side effect of progress.

I did not intend to make a Blog Action Day post here in my personal blog (I initially only registered my advocacy blog) but as I wrote that post, I realized that I really do have to be an example for the kids I teach. How can I be a role model if I don't make actual changes to my behaviors as well, right? So I sat and thought about it, and as I threw my styro box away I whispered an apology to Mother Earth and made a commitment for change.

Here are my 5 Personal Steps to a Greener Earth:

1. I will not leave my television on when I go to bed. I have a bad habit of needing to hear the sounds of the TV while trying to fall asleep. I often forget to press the sleep button on my remote and starting today, I will not forget to do so anymore.

2. I will bring a reusable container to school everyday. Yes, I will ask Ate Ems to put my food there instead of her styro!

3. I will bring my reusable bag to the grocery all the time! In fact, as soon as I unload groceries, I will have the bag placed in my car already so that there is no excuse for forgetting. I wonder if it would be possible, however, to ask the bagger to just place the items on the cart after check-out? That way I don't get the plastic bag anymore. After all, sometimes not all the stuff I get in the grocery fits in the bag.

4. I will dispose of old gadgets appropriately. In the past, I have thrown away phone chargers, CD players and the like, just in the dumpster. Now, I will try to find a disposal center for it. I know some malls have those e-garbage dumpsters, as does the school I teach in.

5. I will plan my trips more efficiently. Given the nature of my job, it is difficult to not drive to work. However, I am committing to being more purposive in planning my schedule so I don't waste time going back and forth thus lessening my consumption of gas. Also, I'll take extra steps to ensure my car is in tip-top shape so it doesn't use up more energy than necessary.

With these steps I hope I can start becoming a caretaker of our earth as well. I think it is about time for me to stop taking and taking from Mother Nature. While giving back may be minimal, I think honoring and caring for what is given is essential. to continue reading...

October 14, 2009

Choosing the Right Infant Formula

In light of the recent Typhoon Ondoy calamity in the Philippines, I was initially confused about the news that infant formula was not an encouraged donation as relief goods. I could not reconcile the idea that despite the big need for baby milk in evacuation centers, it was not being allowed. But as I read through articles and discussions as to why it was not allowed and/or encouraged, it did make sense to me. I do agree 100% that breast milk is best for babies and for as long as it is available, I feel that infant formulas should be the last option for mothers to choose. However, given the fact that after being subjected to such intense trauma, many of the mothers were unable to feed their infants adequately. While I try not to encourage formula feeding early on, I do recognize that at times, mothers (much as they want to do so) really cannot breastfeed for long. For example, many mothers do not have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. Ergo, after a certain period for maternity leave, they are forced to go back to work. Some also have health issues which may limit their capacity to breastfeed. Given these factors, it seems the best alternative a mother can do is find the best infant formula available. However, parents should not be fooled in to thinking that the more expensive the formula, the better it is. Just because pharmaceutical companies can easily advertise and pump up a brand for a product doesn't equate to better nutrition and quality. In fact, store brand formula IS nutritionally equivalent as popular brands.

While there are cheaper alternatives for milk substitutes for babies, this should not be an excuse to not breastfeed. In the US, it is interesting to note that the WIC or Women, Infants and Children program is taking steps to encourage breastfeeding by decreasing subsidy earmarked towards formula and other baby food products that can actually be addressed by breastfeeding. As such, families under the program now need to take more practical steps in managing their subsidy, which can include breastfeeding longer, opting for less expensive yet equally nutritional formula or go with branded milks. In the case of the situation here in evacuation centers, especially since the long-term effects of this storm seems apparent, I think having options for cheaper and yet good quality milk is essential. But as the experts say, breastfeeding is still best for babies.

Post?slot_id=67862&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark to continue reading...

October 13, 2009

My Favorite Word: SALE!!!!

Sale, sale, sale!!!

Everywhere I look I find new announcements for sales. I don't know if that's a good thing, but for me, it makes me spend WAAAAYYY too much!!

The shopaholic in me wants to get loose!!! I do need new shoes and clothes....

Note to self: avoid these shops!!! yeah right!!!! See you in Trinoma!!!

Other branches of Ecko and Zoo York also on sale. to continue reading...

"I need to lose the baby weight"

I wish I had that excuse!

Seriously though, it the last four years, I've slowly piled on the pounds. I was always a fat child, but at one point in my life, I was actually skinny. Well, that was when I had undergone a medical crisis. However, since then, I began to gain weight again. Now that I'm trying to lose the weight again, it's so much harder. I think its a combination of age, lifestyle and time constraints that is making it so much more difficult to lose weight, as compared to when I lost almost 80 pounds years ago. Sometimes I am almost tempted to try something like
Proteinex or other similar slimming supplements to help me get started. I'm a little bit scared to try, though, because I don't know how it will affect me. to continue reading...

October 10, 2009

Sweet Treats for Everyday Heroes

The past two weeks have shown the triumph of the Filipino Spirit. Business communities and establishments all around have also extended their helping hands in countless ways from being donation drop-off centers to offering discounts and free services for those affected by the tragedy.

Tomorrow, Krispy Kreme Philippines invites you to join in on their efforts to raise more money for the support of victicms of Typhoon Ondoy. By simply purchasing an Original Glazed Donut, you help raise funds that will be distributed to the Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter and the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya foundation.

Truly a sweet treat for today's heroes...the Filipino! to continue reading...

October 7, 2009

My Choice? I WANT SAGO!

If I were to think back to what really introduced me to my whole new world of blogging (as I'd like to call it) is an event I attended last year in Taste Asia. That's where I met one of my favorite bloggers: Jonel of LetsGoSago. Hindi ako sumisipsip ha!  Honestly, it is through the evolution of his blog that I got interested in making my blog a venue for my advocacies as well as using it for fun and games as well. What I like best about LetsGoSago is that I get to see so many new places and things with just a click of my mouse. Plus I get to go join in on some events too! Oh, and of course, I love Sago's contests too! to continue reading...

Quick Click Files.

In my job as a teacher, whether with the little ones or in the undergraduate level, I find that using music and film clips are highly effective. However, since some viewing sites are blocked in my school, I have to find ways that allow me to easily find such materials. At times, I have some video presentations that either I or my students create and it is so difficult to share these files, especially when they are huge and heavy. Sometimes we succeed in using video hosting sites but then if you don't know the file name, it can take time to find the right video or clip you are looking for. Not so long ago, someone mentioned that using Rapidshare Search can make the job easier. I have yet to understand how it works, but based so far on what I've read, this definitely is more user-friendly. Have you tried it? to continue reading...

A+ for ASUS!

I got a notification from ASUS in my email today about the company's efforts in helping the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. As per their press release, they are extending special services to those whose ASUS products were damaged in the flood. These services includes all notebooks, Eee PCs, motherboards and video graphic cards including accessories such as LCD panels and adapters. Plus they are giving 20% discount on other spare parts as well. This is really great news to those who are now struggling to get their lives back on track. Marketing Manager Jason Teh states that they're efforts in helping victims highlights what ASUS stands for: providing heart touching service.

The special services offered to typhoon victims runs till October 31. Customers can visit the ASUS service centers at the following venues:

ASUS ROYAL CLUB: #14 United St., Bgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
ASUSWORLD MEGAMALL: 4/F Cyberzone, SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City (+632 6382955)
ASUSWORLD VIRRAMALL: 4/F Virramall, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City (+632 9943497) to continue reading...

Shopaholic Needs New Clothes.

I have to admit it: I can't fit in to most of my clothes anymore. Yup....this is me acknowledging defeat for now in my weight battle. I remember how exciting it was to go shopping for new clothes when I first lost a LOT of weight. It was such an exciting experience! However, now it is frustrating and disappointing. To be fair, I'm glad to see how differently clothes are now sized, as compared to before. It seems finally, manufacturers have realized that one size fits all is not always true!

However, one thing that still is exciting to shop for is shoes! Like most girls, a shoe binge in any store is like therapy to me. Now that its more rainy and cool, I think I'll invest in a good pair of boots soon. Maybe I can even get some scarves and stockings or tights to add to my diminishing wardrobe. The only thing that frustrates me when it comes to shoe shopping, however, is having to ask for my size all the time. I wish my feet were a little smaller so I can fit the display sizes. to continue reading...

Awaiting my Red Cup.

Christmas is definitely in the air, despite the recent series of devastating natural events that have plagued not just Manila, but parts of Asia as well. While we can't deny Christmas will definitely be more quiet and less extravagant than the usual, I can't help but feel a little bit excited about the holidays. Whenever I am stuck in traffic, I enjoy hearing Christmas carols playing. It helps me feel less stressed and annoyed at the fact that I am sitting in my car wasting time because of another traffic jam. One thing I am really looking forward to in the upcoming weeks is the arrival of Starbucks' Red Cups. If I'm not mistaken, it comes out around October/November. I really hope this year they have Peppermint Mocha Fraps again, as I missed that immensely last year. Plus I hope their planner is nicer than last years. As usual, I ended up using less than a months worth of this years planner hehehe! to continue reading...

October 4, 2009

Back to School.

Tomorrow students of all ages will troop back to school. No, it is not the start of the school year, but a fresh start after the devastating typhoon that ravaged the country. Over the past seven days, school officials have worked hard to get schools and classrooms that are not being used as evacuation centers back to normal. Just this morning, I read on my FB page that med students were being asked to clean out their lockers so that they can be hosed down. However, one problem with many school lockers is that they're made out of wood, unlike a gym locker which is usually made of metal or steel. Also, unlike the detached lockers for sale, these tend to be built in to the walls.  To make matters worse, these wood lockers tend not to have slats on them, so if it did get flooded, it would definitely take longer for the water to seep out of it. I shudder at the thought of molds that may be growing in there if left unattended for longer.

I suppose, in some small way, its a good thing that often times, here in Manila, a kids locker is more for storing school and emergency supplies, such as a health kit with extra clothes, pad papers and the like.Books are not often encouraged to be left in there as kids have so much homework nowadays. Also, most moms prefer to have their kids bring home their books for advanced reading. I'm sure many students need a lot of new supplies. Hopefully, they were able to salvage a lot of it, thus lessening the burden of new purchases in the middle of the school year. to continue reading...

Caring for Our Mental Health.

According to the DOH calendar, Oct. 5-9 is National Mental Health Week. This commences with the celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10. Being a graduate student of psychology and a lecturer of the same, it is encouraging to know that there are efforts being made to bring awareness about caring for one's mental health. In line with this, I am launching my new blog, temporarily here in Blogger, (I already bought the domain, where it will be transferred shortly :-) ). I hope to use this as a portal to help dissimenate information about mental health issues and disorders, as well as to promote wellness by encouraging people to understand what menal health care is all about. Do check it out! :-) to continue reading...

October 2, 2009

Rebuild, Renew, ReLIVE.

When I saw the devastation Hurrican Katrina brought over New Orleans, I never imagined that my country would face it's own devastation. That's what Typhoon Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) did. I was awestruck at the power of nature. I could not believe how whole homes were swept away and inundated with water. Almost a week has passed since that fateful day, but still, those deeply affected by the storm have yet to rebuild their lives. I pray for them as they try to start their lives anew. It saddens me to hear how some construction supply distributors or stores have increased rates for cement and the like in a span of a week.  To make things worse, flood victims report that their homes are being robbed now by looters. Even water closets, kitchen sinks, and light fixtures have been stolen from their already devastated homes. I understand that the law of supply and demand really dictates a lot of this price movements, but given the severity of the storm I think businesses should try to help out by not jacking up prices yet. I wish I had a magic wand to help rebuild all these damaged homes so all those who were caught by this storm can once again live happy and healthy lives. to continue reading...

The Year That Was.

Usually something with a title like this would indicate the end of the year or perhaps mark the beginning of a new one. Albeit there are still two months before the official end of 2009, I wish it would come sooner. The year that was has definitely been difficult for many. Not only did 2009 open with an economic crisis, things spiraled downward quickly for many. A lot lost jobs, Mother Nature proved her prowess, and many important and influential figures passed on.

Despite all the difficulties and trials of the year, I'd like to believe the year that was also gave us something to be happy and proud of. At the end of the day, no matter what it was that came my way, I know 2009 made me realize how truly proud I am to be Filipino. to continue reading...

Emergency Preparations for Every Home...and Car.

With the country still reeling from the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, people all over Manila are frantically preparing for what is now predicted to be Super Typhoon Pepeng. I never used to heed typhoon warnings much, mainly because I used to think I live in a flood-safe neighborhood. However, this weekend's events made me rethink my assumptions. I'm sure all those who were taken by surprise last Saturday never imagined what would have happened, right? In fact, if it weren't for the fact that I slept through my alarm, I was all set to leave my house for a day of work thinking it would just be another ordinary rainy day.

As I watched the news unfold, I started to realize that with climate change being what it is, I have to rethink a lot of things. I decided my best defense here is being prepared for what ever Mother Nature throws at me.

I decided to make a emergency kit for both my home and my car. Thankfully, I have a whole bunch of freezer sized-Ziplock plastic bags which helped me waterproof a lot of things! I have a bag with some extra clothes, one with medicines, another with photocopies of important documents. I also put in one of those thick candles, a box of matches, a flashlight and batteries in one bag. Toiletries and cleaning aids (alcohol, wipes, disinfectant) in another. I put these all in a big box near my door so I can grab it in case I need to flee. There are also some canned goods in it, crackers, a gallon of water and one of the air mattress adjustable beds my mom brought home from her last trip to the States.Oh, and of course, at least two days worth of food and biscuits for my dog.I hope I never have to use this box in my lifetime, but it helps to be prepared, right? Save for the bed, I have similar supplies in my car's trunk now. Of course, with much smaller quantities.

Other suggestions for emergency preparations include the following:
1. Rope. I saw a lot of this being used to protect against currents last weekend.
2. Tools (like a wrench) to help shut off water valves.
3. Duct tape. Why? Because I'm a big fan of duct tape!!! Seriously though, these suckers are just about good for anything.
4. Rehydrating salts or oral hydration tablets.
5. Copies of prescriptions and the like.
6. Toys, books and entertainment stuff for yourself and kids, if you have them.

I'm sure there are a lot of other things that may come in useful during an emergency. I suppose finding what you need and value personally will be an important factor in planning out your disaster preparedness kit. to continue reading...

Bringing Back the Joy.

Whenever I check out my Facebook updates, or perhaps tune in to the news, my heart bleeds for all those affected by the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy. There is a pain and sadness in their eyes, a sense of hopelessness and despair for many. For others, I feel encouraged and inspired when I hear them say I know I can start over. There is a long road ahead, not just for rebuilding homes but also rebuilding lives.

While the forefront or the main line of defense at present understandably is the need for food, clothing and shelter. However, closely behind this is the need for psychological support and debriefing. I came across this photo in my FB account and I would like to share it with you:

 Let's all get together and help bring back the joy, yes? to continue reading...

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