Sunday, October 23, 2016

Forest Wood Garden in San Pablo City, Laguna: Championing Life, Not Just Livelihood

In the province of Laguna, Forest Wood Garden in San Pablo City is known as the best landscaper, having already won many awards in the industry. Years back when they started, Joel and Myrna Frago didn't expect that their passion for collecting plants would eventually turn into a business.

beautiful landscaping at Forest Wood Garden
Joel, a Nursing graduate, and Myrna, who has a background in architecture, registered Forest Wood Garden with the Department of Trade and Industry in 2004 and opened it to the public five years later. In 2013, the place became an Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) learning site for farmers and stakeholders who are interested to learn about organic inputs, sustainable farming, and the farm to table concept.

Joel and Myrna showing us one of their magazine features
According to the husband and wife tandem, they have spent the past 10 years doing natural farming and applying practical agriculture practices. Both believe farmers play a big role in food production and security and that students taking up agriculture can also do much for nation building. "We are a living proof that there's money in farming," they said.

the famous pansit kalabuko

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Beyond Fashion: Using Art to Make Dreams Soar

One of the sad realities for parents like us who have kids with special needs is the big challenge of communication. Because many of these children are unable to talk, it can oftentimes be difficult to decipher what they want to say. I admit to feeling despair whenever my son, who has cerebral palsy, would cry nonstop and I begin to run out of ideas how to make him smile again.

Kang Rui and his mom, Jia Jing
The same is true for parents of children who have other forms of disabilities. Few people understand that acting up or throwing tantrums is one way for special children to vent out their frustrations about not being able to communicate their thoughts and feelings well.

art as a form of communication

Friday, October 21, 2016

Celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween with J.Co's Special Donuts

Anybody who knows me well enough would vouch on how crazy I am about J.Co's Alcapone donut. That still tops my list of favorite sweet treats. But, I am always open to trying out new stuff, especially ones made by J.Co Donuts & Coffee.

This 2016, celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween with three special Halloween-themed donuts! My family and I got to try them and they are all good! Check out below which one I'd be buying more of in the coming days …

they may look creepy, but they these guys are really yummy! ;-)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Healing Power of Green Earth at Terra Verde Ecofarm & Resort in Maragondon, Cavite

A few months ago, I learned from a wise organic farmer that literally getting one's hands dirty can make you happy. He said there are microbes in soil that act as antidepressants, similar to Prozac's effect on the brain.  

imagine waking up to this every morning!
When I recently visited the beautiful Terra Verde Ecofarm & Resort in Cavite, I discovered that the  place was founded in 2007 because of a "medical prescription." Emerson Atanacio, one of Terra Verde's owners, was diagnosed with a thyroid condition triggered by stress from his job as a school administrator. The doctor recommended his patient to take up farming. 

Emer and Eric Atanacio with Agricultural Training Institute's
Region IV-A Director Pia Cosico
With the support of his brothers, Eric and Erwin, and their families, the Atanacios acquired a piece of land in Maragondon that, amazingly, they found through an ad in Buy and Sell. According to Eric, the place used to be filled with grass, trees, and shrubberies. "Masukal (wild)," he described. "But Emer, a true visionary, said 'Look how wonderful this could be!' So we came together and discussed ideas. We got inputs from family members and that's how the farm evolved."

at Terra Verde, you can find all the vegetables mentioned
in the song, Bahay Kubo, from singkamas down to linga!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Five Superfoods New Moms Need to Boost Health

Carrying a baby for nine months and giving birth can take a toll on a woman’s body. Thus, new moms absolutely need to be mindful in choosing the right foods once the baby arrives. You see, eating a healthy diet packed with nutritious, high-energy foods is a positive step towards healing your body from the stress of delivery while also helping replenish any nutrients you may have lost in the previous months.

If you are breastfeeding, ensure that your little one gets all the necessary nutrients required for optimum growth and development by including a colorful variety of veggies, grains, dairy, proteins, healthy fats and vitamin-rich foods in your diet. 

Here, we list down five superfoods that work wonders for both mom and baby. They also happen to be delicious and can be easily prepared as mouth-watering dishes, which makes eating them an absolute pleasure. Routinely incorporating these powerhouse ingredients into a balanced diet along with drinking plenty of water will help boost your energy levels following the birth of your newborn.

Brown Rice

photo credit:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Promate Technologies: Making Accessories that Keep Up with the Filipino's Passion for Life

Filipinos are reported to be one of the world's most social media engaged communities. According to a 2015 survey by, the Philippines ranked 8th place among the 10 top countries with the most number of Facebook users. Meanwhile, found that our country is 5th in Youtube and Twitter, and 4th in Google+ as of August 2016.

trying out a Promate headset that delivers great quality sound!
The statistics only confirmed how Filipinos have willingly embraced and welcomed innovations that made mobility and social engagement integral parts of our lifestyles. I am sure anybody who owns at least one mobile gadget will acknowledge how technology indeed helped us pursue the things we are passionate about.

Promate Technologies, a multi-awarded Dubai-based digital lifestyle accessory brand, brings to the Philippines products that range from computer peripherals to mobile and car accessories. Dimples Conde, Promate Philippines Country Manager, shared that they are re-envisioning lifestyle technology to bridge the gap between the high-tech world and everyday life by delivering pioneering accessories for absolutely any place people are virtually connected during their waking hours.

Dimples Conde (rightmost) with Silicon Valley officials: president Joel Pe
marketing manager Christine Tan, and business development manager Mike Orbeta  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

HOOQ's First Ever Ad-Free "Freemium" Model in Southeast Asia Introduces Mobile-First User Experience

I've been hooked on HOOQ since last year when I started watching some TV series I missed several episodes of, as well as movies I didn't get to catch during their runs at the cinema theater. Now, Asia's first and largest premium video-on-demand service unveils its new app with ad-free "freemium" features.

find a wide selection of TV series on HOOQ
The first of its kind hybrid model built in Asia for Asian customers, HOOQ takes on a mobile-first user experience to cater to the varied demands of users who are always on the go. Jane Cruz-Walker, HOOQ Philippines' Country Manager, acknowledges that peoples' viewing times and habits have changed. "We are so mobile now and there are lots of waiting happening. So turn downtime to what you want it to be! Whether you're waiting for your turn in the salon or doctor's clinic, you can catch up on your favorite shows," she suggested. "You are in control to turn moments into HOOQ time, any time!"

HOOQ ambassador and Miss World 2013 Megan Young estimated that 90% of the time, her job in the entertainment industry is spent waiting. So, while having her hair and makeup done, exercising on a treadmill, or being stuck traffic, Megan plays catch up on her favorite TV series like Scandal and Revenge on HOOQ. 

nice to know that Megan, like the rest of us,
enjoys binge-watching her favorite TV shows

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Supergirl Season 2 Premiers on HOOQ Same Day as U.S. Telecast

I love the Supergirl TV series. My first reason, actually, is the presence of Calista Flockhart because I enjoyed watching the Ally McBeal series many years ago. Her character this time though is so far from being an eccentric lawyer and I find it refreshing to see her play something very different -- as Cat Grant, the very much put together media mogul and intimidating boss of CATCO.

Calista Flockhart plays Cat Grant, the boss of Kara Danvers/Supergirl
Second, I liked the 1984 Supergirl movie starring Helen Slater as well as the Lois and Clark series that featured Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. So, it was a very pleasant and welcome surprise when I found out in Season 1 that Helen and Dean play Supergirl's adopted parents. That, for me, seems like a full circle thingy ;-) 

former Supergirl and Superman now play the parents of the new Supergirl

Saturday, October 08, 2016

DOH's BILIS Campaign Aims for a Rabies-Free Philippines by 2020

The 10th World Rabies Day fell on September 28 this year, making it a milestone in rabies prevention. Unfortunately, thousands of people around the world still die from it each day, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

with A'quiya, the Alaskan Malamute
owned by The Pinoy Dog Whisperer Lestre Zapanta
Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted to humans through animal bites or even scratches, mostly by dogs. It is vaccine preventable but, once there's an infection, death is inevitable. Scary, right? In the Philippines, rabies continues to be a public health problem that is responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos every year, with children at the highest risk. 

Here, 1,463 deaths from rabies were recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) from 2010-2015 with 180 being noted from January 1 to September 24, 2016. Did you know? A total of 783,879 animal bites across the country were registered in 2015! This is 10% higher than in 2014 with 683,802 cases recorded.

The increase in the number of reported cases is attributed to improved surveillance and services that enabled bite cases to seek treatment at established public Animal Bite Treatment Centers (ABTCs) and/or private Animal Bite Centers (ABCs). As of March 2016, there's now a total of 486 ABTCs located all over the country, 32 of which are in Metro Manila.

Health Secretary Ubial with representatives of
partner organizations

Friday, October 07, 2016

Festival Mall's Pink October 2016 Campaign Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Unity in Pink

We now live in modern times and yet, despite advances in technology, 1 in 13 Filipino women is still diagnosed with breast cancer (BC), with most cases being discovered too late. One of the reasons for this is the lack of awareness about the medical condition.

women from the South supporting breast cancer awareness
This month, Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa is once more holding its Pink October campaign for the third year to help push for early detection and awareness of breast cancer, one of the top women's health issues in the Philippines

Since 2013, Festival Mall has partnered with breast cancer and women's health organizations such as the ICanserve Foundation, Stage Zero by Project Pink, the Asian Hospital Charities, and the Gender and Development (GAD) Office of Muntinlupa City to help promote women's health and early detection of breast cancer.  

representatives of partner organizations supporting Unity in Pink


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