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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

I’m scared

1 Oct

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Ondoy.

Though I was taking it very lightly Saturday afternoon, the moment I saw on TV the destruction it has caused got me thinking about our lifestyle.  And about life.

So, it’s climate change, they say.  And I believe it definitely is climate change.  But at the same time, I also believe that the flooding caused by Ondoy was ten times worse than many of the floods we’ve had before because we were reckless with our lifestyle.  Our cities are overpopulated.  Many of us — rich, middle-class, poor — still throw our trash on the street.  We cut our trees.  Our cars smoke-belch.  We don’t recycle.  And we still use plastic bags.  Our nation would be the perfect case study for National Geographic Channel’s “Supertyphoons.”

Last night, while Aya, Marl, and I were at the Megatent, a scary thought occured: What if all these plastic bags we use for relief become the cause for our next Ondoy?


What should we do? I don’t know what can replace the use of plastic in giving out relief goods either.  Suggestions?

Lovely Quote

“Some are saying it’s an act of God. It’s not. It’s neglect on the part of the government,” architect Felino Palafox Jr. tells Businessworld.

You heard it Rep. Bienvenido Abante? It’s not an act of God. So stop acting like one by imposing your twisted values upon your constituents.

Now, who can do a study on the correlation of overpopulation and climate change?


I take comfort, though, in the thought that the Ondoy tragedy has affirmed my belief that man is basically good.  The stories of heroism — of the 18-year old construction worker who, after saving more than 30 people, in exhaustion failed to save himself from the strong currents; the number of neighbors who, despite being stuck in the same predicament as others, extended a helping hand to the elderly, the sick, the little ones, and the many whose lives were in peril; and the thousands who, upon realizing that their brethren strongly need them now more than ever, came together to share their time, money, and other resources — is just overwhelming.  Everytime I hear them, my eyes well up with tears.

It makes me hope that many of us will come out of this tragedy more compasionate and more selfless.

I heart Gerard Anderson

28 Sep

Nakakatuwa lang na makita ito kasi hindi ko pa ito nababalitaan sa TV or dyaryo.  I think Gerard Anderson’s efforts to help his neighbors during the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy were very sincere.

These photos were taken by Dra. Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao, a resident of Vista Real Classica I in Quezon City.  This was the scene in front of her house.

dra divines house

And that guy wading in neck-deep floodwater?  Gerard Anderson a.k.a. JR Garcia.  The other guy on the right is his brother daw.

gerard1 by Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao

gerard2 by Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao

gerard3 by Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao

gerard4 by Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao

gerard5 by Divina Gracia Rosales-Murao

CLICK HERE to see more of Gerard in action.  It is said that they were asking the neighbors for plans.  Tapang, di ba?  Ano kayang masasabi ni Kim Chiu?

Now about the other “hero,” found this comment on Bryan Shane’s post.

crisitine reyes

From a witness:

“My mom, brother and my sister were right there at the Provident Village entrance waiting for my relatives to be rescued as well as helping out and giving food to the rescue volunteers at the time the Gutierrezes where there. Annabelle Rama was screaming her head off because Richard stupidly tried to rescue Cristine while the Navy rescuers were waiting for the current to subside. The water was really deep with a fast flowing current, cars were zigzagging all over making rescue really dangerous, that even the seasoned Navy men didn’t want to risk it. With Richard blindly going off, he had to be rescued and was chastised by the Navymen and his mother for doing such an idiotic act.”

Though I do not agree with Bryan Shane’s condescending tone on artistas, I think it’s just appropriate that stars do not milk this disastrous event for publicity.

It’s up now!

14 Jun

The new issue of One Philippines, the fastest-rising free newsmagazine for Pinoys abroad, is now on the web.

Get to read about him…




…and them.

HAYDENvicky belo-photo by danny tan


BAKETbaboy.jpg CANNEStarantino letter to mendoza Papa Fred (seated) with his sisters Myrna (standing) Millet (L) and Marissa (R) HAYDENprincess velasco2

And do follow us on Twitter for more insider updates.

To see the whole magazine and who made it on the cover, CLICK HERE.

(Photo credits: Aji Aggarao for Brillante Mendoza; Bicycle Pictures/MJM Productions, Mr. Adolf Alix and Ms. Arleen Cuevas for Manila and Independencia)

Writer’s Director

6 Jun

“Ito lang ang palagi kong sasabihin: Kung ano man ako ngayon, at kung nasaan man ako ngayon, at kung saan ako pupunta, I always owe it to Armando Lao. Siya ‘yung kinu-consider kong mentor ko, mula noong una hanggang ngayon, at hanggang sa darating na panahon. I owe it to him.”

– 2009 Cannes Best Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza in his interview with

‘Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema’

26 May

First Pinoy Best Director in Cannes Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza was presented at the awarding ceremony by Terry Gilliam, the director of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Heath Ledger’s very last film.


Mendoza’s acceptance speech goes:

“First of all I would like to thank the selection committee, who are responsible for bringing my films here for the past three years. And now with an award for Best Director, I would like to thank the Jury. And of course I’d like to thank my producer; thank you for the trust and faith in my films. I’d like to thank also a very committed staff and crew. I’d like to share this award with my daughter, Angelica, who has always been my number one critic and to an actor I really respect, Coco Martin. Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema.”

I hope he had already called the scriptwriter Bing Lao and personally shared his glory with him.

Tarantino liked “Kinatay”

26 May

But while Hollywood movies are not much in abundance, the stars still come out, if somewhat fewer this year. Most of the American headliners (“Brad!” “Angelina!”) turned up at the premiere of “Inglourious Basterds.” They soon disappeared, but Mr. Tarantino was everywhere. He danced on the red carpet, chatted in English on French television and praised Mr. Mendoza’s “Kinatay.” Mr. Mendoza, a rising talent who was at Cannes last year with the rowdy “Serbis,” could use all the help he could get with this movie. A morality tale that he wields like a blunt instrument, “Kinatay” hinges on the inaction of a police-academy student while a prostitute is murdered and dismembered. The movie had its respectful fans, but many others fled the theater.

– Manohla Dargis for The New York Times

And I kinda know why he liked it.

A roaring rampage of revenge

A roaring rampage of revenge

Here’s the list of winners at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival

Palme d’Or (Golden Palm):
“The White Ribbon,” by Michael Haneke (Austria)

Grand Prix (runner up):
“A Prophet,” by Jacques Audiard (France)

Jury Prize:
“Fish Tank,” by Andrea Arnold (Britain) and
“Thirst,” By Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

Special Career Prize:
Alain Resnais, director of “Wild Grass”

Best Director:
Brillante Mendoza, “Kinatay” (The Philippines)

Best Actor:
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds” (United States)

Best Actress:
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Antichrist” (Denmark)

Best Screenplay:
Feng Mei, “Spring Fever” (China)

Camera d’Or (for debut film):
“Samson and Delilah,” by Warwick Thornton (Australia)

Best short film:
“Arena,” by Joao Salaviza (Portugal)

Short film special distinction:
“The Six Dollar Fifty Man” by Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston


25 May

Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza, the controversial director of this year’s Cannes Film Festival entry, Kinatay, received the Best Director Award.  This is the first time that a Pinoy won Best Director in Cannes.

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

To me — a non-insider in the indie film circuit — it’s a very happy news.  I don’t know, however, why some Pinoys seem to hate Mendoza so much, they criticize him for the littlest things like changing his name from Dante to Brillante then later to Brillate Ma.’s Edgar O. Cruz even insinuates that Mendoza has a “French Connection,” hence, his inclusion in Cannes for two years in a row (Mendoza has already denied this).  Some call his works, including last year’s Cannes entry Serbis “exploitation cinema” or a disservice to “what Lino Brocka stands for” due to its “lack of anti-dictatorship stand.”

Ano ba? Bitter?

Anyway, I hope that this award will open more distribution deals abroad for Pinoy filmmakers.  It is true that there are many talented Pinoy directors, writers, etc. in our country and a little funding and “kita” can go a long way.

My wish, though, is that screenwriters/writers get as much credit and exposure as the directors since a film’s worth all boils down to this: “Story is King.”


24 Apr

One of my closest friends in the world, Polee, has just come out that he’s got HIV.  Though I initially felt sad about the news, I’m super happy and proud of him that he’s turned into an advocate.

And to celebrate his birthday on May 30, he’ll be taking a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the Gay & Lesbian Center that’s been helping him through this ordeal.  Please help him in raising funds so that more HIV-positive persons can live well until a cure is finally found. 

Here’s an excerpt of Polee’s letter:  

From May 31st through June 6th I will ride 545 miles on a bicycle as part of AIDS/LifeCycle 8 to raise money and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS and support those living with this disease.

AIDS/LifeCycle is the only AIDS fundraising cycling event in California organized and co-produced by the beneficiaries. With your help, my fundraising efforts will enable L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to continue providing leadership to prevent new HIV infections and to develop ground-breaking prevention program and bold policy initiatives. The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. Together we can do our part to support the Center and its clients.

I am asking for your financial support as I ride to Los Angeles for this cause. Side by side we CAN realize a world free of HIV and the human suffering it causes.

I greatly appreciate your time, your consideration, and your donation. I will keep you posted on my progress.



Paoi Eulalia

Tara na and donate!  CLICK HERE to help Polee in his cause.

Pinoys in Cannes

24 Apr

Just read from that three Pinoy films have made it in the super prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  

Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay will be competing against the films of Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion, and many other well-known directors for the much-coveted Palme D’Or award.  Adolf Alix’s and Raya Martin’s Manila, which by the way stars its producer Piolo Pascual, is in for exhibition.  And again, Raya Martin’s Independencia is included in the Un Certain Regard category (what is that, anyway?). 


I think Mendoza’s Kinatay, a film about the chop-chop cases here in the Philippines, is written by Sir Bing Lao.  They’re the same award-winning tandem who made Serbis, which also made it in Cannes last year.  I attended Sir Bing’s advanced scriptwriting workshop a couple of years back and I remember him sharing with the class that he was working on a script about chop-chop victims.  So I guess heto na ‘yun.  And it’s already in Cannes.  Ang galing di ba?