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The shove I need

27 Apr

I bought 10. Don’t judge. I’ll pair it with diet and exercise, I pramis.

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Thank you 2010

31 Dec

Hot Air Balloon Fest

Valentine’s Day

Kapamilya

Sofitel

Mismo!

Nanay

Noynoy

Two-wheeler

Romulo Cafe

El Nido

Farewell

Conquering fears

Why hello there India!

Indian food overload

Smoothest flight and landing (Indian Air)

Landing on Bhubaneswar

Khandagiri Caves

Bumpiest flight and landing (Indigo Air)

Back in Delhi, a sigh of relief

Taj Mahal with minamahal

Hello kids!

On the way to Sri Lanka (Jet Airways)

The Indian Ocean

Meeting heroes

Meeting Sri Lankan mothers

Eating Sri Lankan bread

Mating elephants (Pinnwala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka)

My first ever train ride (Nagka-riot sa loob but the Sri Lankans protected us, thank you)

Tuktuk

Global Towers

Back in Manila

The addiction

The enabler

“Uniting Filipinos Worldwide” right from this office

Mike’s tattoo

Lock-in meetings

Weeee…

Trick or treat!

Check-ups

Showbiz

More showbiz

Late night burgers

Think Tank

People I love

Star ng Pasko

2010 was a blast!

Happy New Year everyone!

Oh and by the way…

20 Oct

…did you know that Kopiko 3-in-1 tastes so much better than Nescafe?

Plus it has a variant that uses brown sugar. I like!

 

Go natural

25 May

A friend once told me about a cousin who worked as a chemist in one of the multinational companies manufacturing hair care products such as shampoos and conditioners.  She said that her cousin refrains from using her company’s own shampoo line because they contain chemicals that can be harmful to our bodies.  It got me so praning, I wanted to go organic right away.   Unfortunately, the organic products available at that time were way too expensive.

But more than a year ago, my friend Sonia introduced me to Human Nature, a super affordable line of hair, face, body, and even baby care products that are made of natural ingredients and none of the harmful chemicals found in commercial ones.

Made by Gandang Kalikasan Inc., headed by Ana Meloto-Wilk, daughter of Gawad Kalinga’s Tony Meloto, Human Nature products are 100% made in the Philippines, with the ingredients mostly produced by Filipino farmers and Gawad Kalinga communities.

What’s good about Human Nature is that they do not just add a few natural ingredients on top of chemical ones and proclaim that their product’s natural.  They took pains to make sure that all ingredients are as organic as possible and not harmful to human health.

GOOD (Natural, Organic) BAD (Harmful, Synthentic)
SURFACTANT: Used to bring dirt to the surface, foaming agent
Cocoamidopropyl betaine (coconut cleanser)
Decyl glucoside (from corn oil)
SLS/SLES (Sodium lauryl sulphate /
Sodium laureth sulphate) – irritant
ALS/ALES (ammonium lauryl sulphate /
ammonium laureth sulphate) – skin & eye irritant
PRESERVATIVE: Prolongs shelf life of products
Rosemary essential oil
Potassium sorbate (food grade preservative)
Gluconolactone (from milk)
Parabens – allergenic / premature aging
BHA/BHT – may cause cancer & tumors
DMDM Hydantoin – weakens immune system
Phenoxyethanol – causes allergy; irritant
TEA (triethanolamine) – may cause cancer
EMULSIFIER: Helps combine 2 liquids especially water-based liquid and oil
Vegetable glycerine DEA (Diethanolamine) – affects the hormones
MOISTURIZER / EMOLLIENT: Softens, relaxes and soothes skin
Cocoa Butter
Virgin Coconut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Mineral oil – clogs pores; speeds up aging
Dimethicone – clogs pores; irritant
Isopropyl palmitate – clogs pores; worsens acne
Petrolatum / paraffin – clogs pores; worsens acne
Urea – may cause cancer; toxic by inhalation
FRAGRANCE: Substance that improves scent/odor
Essential oils
Natural fragrance oils
Parfum – causes allergy; irritant
Phthalates – damages the liver & reproductive organs
SOLVENT: Substance that dissolves another to form a solution
Vegetable glycerine Propylene glycol – damages liver & kidney
ANTI-BACTERIAL: Prevents the growth of bacteria
Acapulco extract
Sugarcane alcohol
Triclosan – Endocrinal & reproductive malfunctions

John Hopkins University (top medical university in the USA) has named mineral oil in cosmetics and moisturizers as the number two cause of aging (#1 is the sun).

“Petroleum-based ingredients [e.g. propylene glycol, PEGs, isopropyl alcohol] pose risks of cancer, genetic damage and reproductive toxicity including infertility, to unsuspecting consumers and their infants and children” – Professor Emeritus Samuel Epstein, University of Illinois School of Public Health

This is why as a mother, I am more confident to let Maru use their Aloe Vera and Chamomile Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash.

And finally, a feminine wash without SLS/ALS.  Will be available starting June 10.

To order, visit www.humanheartnature.com.

I want a Dahon bike

5 May

Dahil ang “voluptuous” ko na, mahal na ng taxi ko araw-araw, at kawawa naman si Mother Nature, gusto kong bumili nito.

Because it folds like this.

It’s an Eco 3 Dahon bike, an entry-level folding bike which I could take anywhere I go. Gusto ko ‘to! Gustung-gusto ko ‘to!

Kaso, ang budget ko is only max of P3,500 para sa isang Japanese surplus folding bike.  The Eco 3 is being sold for about P15,000 here in the Philippines.

I’m back

16 Nov

I’m back, back, back.

Grabe, I got hospitalized due to dengue. So Third World, I know.  Lume-level sa Leptospiroris.  But I’m fine now and that’s all that matters.

But before moving on to other things, I’d like to thank my dearest cousins Gie and Bek for providing most of the financial and moral support during my confinement, my best friends Marlon and Aya, my wonderful son Maru for serving as my inspiration, and Mike for being my aliping saguiguilid all throughout my sickness.  I feel like I’m alive and well all because of you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I will be ranting in this post so don’t bother reading if you don’t want to read stuff about healthcards, crappy Duo/Superduo services, and being broke

25 Oct

After getting confined in the hospital for almost five days due to dengue, Maru’s home and well now.

maru hospital ward

Gad, it was his third time to get dengue.  Possible? Yes, according to the doc.  Buti na lang lagi namin naaagapan.  Everytime he gets fever for two straight days, I take him to his pedia, Dra. Elen, asap. And because I’m praning, I always couple it with a blood test.  Now I’m thinking of demolishing our old house and rebuilding a new and improved mosquito-proof home.

Anyway, I’m planning to get a health card. As in seriously planning, parang feeling ko there’s no more time to think — ‘Just do it.’  I’m choosing between Fortune Care and Medicard, although most of my friends are recommending the latter.

I realized now that Mike and I have already spent more than a hundred thousand pesos for hospital and medical fees due to Maru’s frequent hospitalization (intestinal flu once, dengue thrice).  If you knew how little we earn or how hard we work our ass off just to earn extra, you’d probably sympathize with us and give us donations that could rival those in DSWD’s warehouse.

But really, if I had a health card, say Philhealth for example, our medical expenses could have been cut in half.  Better siyempre kung may Medicard, Fortunecare, or Maxicare para covered almost all expenses — room, medicines, doctor’s fee, labs, etc. But because nag-procastinate ako sa pagkuha ng card (because hindi naman siya madali, imagine it would take more than 10 percent of my monthly salary to cover me and Maru), baon na tuloy ako ngayon sa utang sa mga pinsan ko.

So now, I will stand firm na kelangan na talaga ng health card — for me, Maru, and Mike. Dahil we’re not getting any younger and with our stressful lifestyle, hindi malayong magkakaroon kami ng sakit at ayoko na ulit mamroblema kung saan kukuha ng pera pampa-ospital, kung makikipagsapalaran ba kami sa public hospital, kung i-skip na lang namin ang pagpapatingin sa doc dahil baka may kung ano pang lumabas na sakit na hindi naman namin kayang maipagamot.  Really, I’m so fed up of having to put our health at the back seat.  Now is the time to get a health card.  And I’m not taking any more excuses — from myself or from Mike — not to get one.

***

GLOBE, YOU FAILED ME

During Maru’s daily checkup prior to getting hospitalized and while he was confined in the hospital, I decided to use my Globe sim to subscribe to the new Super Duo service of Globe in the hopes that I can easily call home or Mike (who’s still faithfully using a Globe number).  I subscribed to their P35/day service just to try it at first.

It worked well on my first and second call.  But the succeeding calls, ayaw na.  Still, I gave Globe the benefit of the doubt and subscribed to Super Duo again when my initial registration of P35/day expired.

But whaddayaknow, the second time I registered, I wasn’t able to use the landline feature at all.  As in ayaw pumasok ng calls na ginawa ko sa lahat ng landline na tinawagan ko.  So I just gave my cousins/Mike my Super Duo number so they could call me.  Ayaw pa rin. Wala. Zilch. Nada.  Hindi raw matawagan, sabi nila.

Kaso, may problema talaga ako sa pagkatuto because when Globe failed me the first and second time, I still gave them another benefit of the doubt.  So for the third time, nag-subscribe ulit ako.  At ganun pa rin, hindi ko pa rin nagamit ang landline except for one time when we asked someone to call us at 2 a.m.?  Isa pa, I even had a hard time calling other Globe numbers.  As in I had to repeat the call process several times bago ako makatawag.

So siyempre, nadala na ako. Kaya hindi na ako nag-subscribe sa Super Duo. SA DUO NA LANG!

Ang kaso, ganun pa rin. Hindi pa rin ako makatawag sa landlines at hindi rin ako matawagan sa Duo number.  Ano ba???  Sobrang hassle!

I actually called Globe after the second time I registered.  Ire-report daw nila ang problem ko. But the service failed to improve and I feel like I wasted more than a hundred pesos on a service that didn’t even work.  So now, I will try to get a refund from Globe dahil super nakakainis.  I know it’s just a hundred pesos. But hey, sobrang hassle kaya ang ginawa nila sa akin while I was trying to make a call from the hospital. At bukod dun, as a customer, feeling ko na-trick nila ako to part with my hard-earned P100++ just to get crappy service.

Globe, will I get THIS as well?

Go BPA-free

29 Aug

There’s an ongoing debate on whether BPA or Bisphenol-A, a chemical used to make hard, clear plastics, is dangerous to human health.  Since baby bottles are usually made of hard clear plastics, I decided that I don’t want to risk Maru’s health and invested on BPA-free bottles when he was just a few months old.

But a year ago, BPA-free bottles were hard to come by in the Philippines.  Buti na lang there are many enterprising Pinoys selling imported stuff on Ebay.ph and Multiply.  I went gaga over bottle-shopping online and bought Avent, Sassy Mam, and Gerber Gentle Flows. (At that time, BPA-free Avents were not yet available here; I haven’t seen any store selling those Sassy Mams and Gerbers though.)

BPA-free Avents are now available at department stores.  But it’s still cheaper to buy online since a single 9-0z bottle sells at about P1,000 at the mall. OA di ba?  Parang hindi 3rd world country ang Pinas.  Ang advantage lang, mas matibay siya from all the other BPA-free bottles.  Inaapakan kasi siya ni Maru lagi at inihahagis and so far, his Avents show no signs of breaking.

Philips-Avent-BPA-Free-9-oz.-Bottle-Twin-Pack

The Gerber Gentle Flow bottles, on the other hand, are clear copycats of Avent, except that they come in cute colors and are way cheaper.  I replaced the Gerber teats with Avent teats since the Gerber teats leak.  If you’re buying Avent teats in bulk, go to Ebay.ph. Way cheaper (only P260) as compared to the P375 per pack of two at the mall.

Gerber-9oz-GentleFlow-Bottle-3pack

I like the Sassy Mam bottle because it’s so cute, except that it’s harder to clean.  Its bottom can be unscrewed and has an anti-colic valve for less bubbles.  Honestly, I don’t know if all the anti-colic features of these bottles work.

3-pack-9oz-Mam-Boy-Bottles

Then there’s really good news.  Maru and I dropped by SM San Lazaro earlier and saw these.

08292009(004)

Sesame Street BPA-free bottles for only P130!  At cute pa.

I checked the entire baby bottle section of SM San Lazaro and noticed that Apruva and Barney have also come out with BPA-free bottles. Hurrah!  Apruva sells a pack of three for only about P130. Now nobody has to starve to buy BPA-free.  Apruva also came out with BPA-free training cups.

08292009(005)

I’ll probably get my 6-month old niece some Apruva to start her with BPA-free bottles.  I think everyone should go BPA-free.  Our children’s health is way too important to take risks.

Now on to Maru, we saw this humongous Mickey Mouse stuffed toy at the toy section.  I thought he’d get scared but when he saw Mickey, his eyes lit up and hugged Mickey.

08292009(008)

He really likes Mickey Mouse, as in he always recognizes him on wall posters, clothes, etc.  He has a small Mickey Mouse puppet at home which he loves very much.  So when I took the stuffed toy away (because it costs P1,999!), he cried.  Sorry Maru.

They were all yellow

29 Jul

We hate to say it but the whole country is on deathwatch.

100_6897

100_6900

100_6909

Even I believe that miracles do happen.  But then again, as a nation, we should also start counting on ourselves to make real democracy happen.  True, Cory Aquino is a living reminder that tyranny can be overthrown by the will of the good.  But Cory is not the only icon of democracy.  Like Ninoy, hindi rin siya nag-iisa.

Every person, dead or alive, who fought against the oppressive governments today and those that went before us, who shed his or her blood to achieve the gains we have achieved today, who walked the streets in protest, who cried against greed and corruption is also a symbol of democracy.

Democracy seems to be dying along with Cory.  But it is not because of the former president’s deteriorating health.  It is because many of us have lost interest in getting our voices heard, in walking the streets in protest, in fighting against the oppressors, the corrupt, and the greedy.  We wait for leaders to emerge, yet believe that “‘pare-pareho lang naman ‘yan.”  We wait for the bishops to speak for us, but they remain in conflict with our need for reproductive health care.  We want to rid our country of corrupt officials, but we worm our way out of traffic violations or get business permits by feeding the greed of small fries.  We’re a country of contradictions, and each one of us a work in progress.

So as many hold vigils for Cory, let’s not forget to hold vigils for our own country.  Pray, not for serenity that lets us accept things we cannot change – we’ve had that far too long – but for courage, that we may change the things we badly need to change.

And pray for wisdom, to know the difference between Hacienda Luisita and the rest of the country’s agricultural land.

Kaya pala mataray!

4 Jul

I’m having a hard time getting this off my mind.  Masyadong graphic!

“The President has been suffering dysfunctional bleeding, likely due to polyps or myoma in the uterus. She had first walked into the hospital one dawn in 2008 for D&C (dilation and curettage) and left at dusk. News then was that she had an executive check. She’s had three follow-ups this year, the last in June. Menopause is inducing abnormal tissue growth and hormonal imbalance, a source said.

Wednesday dawn Arroyo checked in again — for less serious causes. She needed mammoplastic repair of leaking breast implants done in the ’80s. Occasion too to have doctors take out an inguinal cyst (in the groin), and laser off extra hair growth in that area and the armpits. Though a bit groggy, Arroyo was set to check out yesterday afternoon.”

— From Jarius Bondoc’s GOTCHA column on the Philippine Star.

Malacanang, however, made some clarifications and the President was given a clean bill of health.

Anyway, na-imagine mo ba ever na may breast implants pala ang lola mo?

gloria arroyo china

Tiis Ganda

7 Jun

It’s official: I’ve reached the 200-pound mark.  Oh gawd, how did I let this happen?  Since Maru turned one last May, I don’t think I can still use the I’ve-just-given-birth excuse.  Look at Nicole Kidman or Angelina Jolie or Sheree (Gian Magdangal’s GF).  They look as though nothing happened, while I’m now way heavier than when I’ve just given birth.  Hindi na pregnancy weight ito!

So now, I’m thinking: Maybe I should go into Pilates.  Why Pilates?  See BB Gandanghari to know why.

Facebook photo

Facebook photo

She looks so lean and svelte, di ba?

So to start, I’ve been searching the Net for basic Pilates workouts I can do at home.  About.com has an extensive instructional guide on Pilates and I think I can start with that.  Then the other day, I dropped by SM and found a very good Pilates mattress for only P300+.  Since I don’t have the budget right now to enroll in a Pilates class, I think I should invest in a good Pilates book or instructional video.

Another workout I’m very interested in is cycling.  I used to bike around our neighborhood and around the Intramuros area way back in high school and I must say, it’s the perfect workout for me.

I wanna look as fierce as Britain’s Victoria Pendleton.

Victoria Pendleton Britain cycling

At gusto ko ganito ang outfit ko habang nagba-bike.

Victoria Pendleton Britain cycling2