Human beings are born to discover. Just look at infants who already want to touch, smell, hear, and taste everything around them before they even celebrate their first birthday! As we grow older, this innate hunger for knowledge is fulfilled by educational institutions that fill our minds with various information. However, many of the data – including complex equations, formulas, historical dates, and scientific facts -- are often forgotten or merely stored and not fully understood.

In fact, numerous studies show that people lose that spark of curiosity through years of learning via rote memorization and repetitive instruction. You see, when we focus too much on what we learn, and not why and how we learn it, creative thinking can become inhibited.

nurturing curiosity 
This is a significant point, especially in today’s fast-paced, lateral-thinking, and creative-driven world. Yes, traditional methods of education may have produced some of history’s most brilliant minds, but in the past two decades, there has been a radical shift in terms of equipping students with effective skills for real-world success. Under uniform conditions, learning systems that emphasize strict standardization may be ideal but, as many of us know now, not all students learn the same way.

According to Sandy Arellano, a passionate educator at Montessori de San Juan School and an advocate of progressive type of learning, what is happening now is that schools and parents are too fixated on good academic performance. “I can tell you through years of experience, however, that doing well in school is the natural result of a happy, motivated, and well-adjusted student,” she emphasized. “So why not focus diligently on the cause, rather than the effect?”

"What we learn with pleasure, we never forget." - Alfred Mercier
Part of Montessori de San Juan’s core objectives, explained Arellano, is to address the downsides of traditional schooling that often result in lethargic, poor-performing children. These drawbacks include:

• over-scheduled students
• too much note-taking and not enough attention to actual lessons
• over-cramming information in a short period of time
• an unreasonable amount of homework that often goes unsupervised during the actual process of completion
• a one-size fits all mentality for learners

play is the brain's favorite way of learning
“Are our students less busy or less equipped?” asked Arellano. “Quite the opposite. Our children have such a love for learning, and a genuine excitement to go to school and practice what they are taught, that they consistently end up scoring higher than their peers in standardized tests.”

Moreover, she believes that schools should likewise make a determined effort to provide students with an environment that makes them feel empowered rather than constrained. “Each student is an individual, and different from all others. Children have their own special way of learning and understanding things,” noted Arellano. “Attempting to fit all of them into a rigid and standardized structure may not maximize their full potential.”

teachers who love teaching, teach kids to love learning
Reasonably, a small class size is vital for teachers to know the needs of each and every student. In Montessori de San Juan, there are around 150 students from grades 1 to 12, with approximately 12-15 students per class. With small groups like these, it becomes easier to gauge whether a child is a visual, tactile, or auditory learner. From there, teachers can better assess their approach to the students.

Arellano added that another education issue nowadays is too much time spent presenting material to students, leaving very little time for practice, which leads to piles of homework. “In our school, everything is worksheets, modules, and hands-on activities related to the subject matter.” Moreover, in the classroom setting, students are grouped in wider age spans, namely 3-6, 7-9, and 10-12 to help them form relationships and bonds with kids of different ages.

MDS encourages bonding between kids of different ages 
As students get older, the teaching method becomes semi-progressive and the setup semi-traditional, adding textbooks into the mix. With age also comes a bit of homework kept at a minimum since teachers assess their students through classroom performance. “Our classroom activities involve 90 percent application and only 10 percent discussion, so a lot of the kids are able to see the practicality and the use of the subject matter they are learning,” explained Arellano. “We try to show them the direct applications to what they are learning.”

With numerous success stories regarding progressively educated children, Montessori de San Juan is gaining quite a reputation as an elite institution. The school, however, remains grounded in its mission to cultivate students who love learning so much, and learn so well, that they will be able to learn whatever needs to learned in the future. With these indicators, the school is definitely and successfully fulfilling its goals.

the future belongs to the curious
Learn more about Montessori de San Juan by calling 725-6306 or 239-1102 or visiting 

Two years since its inception, HOOQ continues to deliver the best of both Asian and Hollywood entertainment to homes across Asia. With subscribers in the millions, the largest Video on Demand service in South East Asia provides over 30,000 hours of quality entertainment that will be increased with new partnerships from Paramount Pictures, BBC Worldwide, and Endamol Shine.

celebrating HOOQ's 2nd birthday at 2020 Bar
In addition, HOOQ has just announced a new service that delivers movies fresh from the cinema to your home. Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) allows blockbuster movies to hit the service within three months of their theatrical release. To top it off, customers who currently subscribe to the Subscription VOD (SVOD) service will be able to enjoy one movie from the TVOD library each month as part of their subscription at no additional cost!

Happy Birthday HOOQ!
"Securing new partners such as Paramount Pictures, BBC, and Endemol Shine are a testament to the fact that HOOQ has the right formula to deliver quality entertainment to Asian homes, with a balance of the best Asian films and dramas alongside solid Hollywood blockbusters and series," described Peter Bithos, HOOQ Chief Executive Officer. "We have never been more elated and will continue to push boundaries to evolve and stay committed to delivering the best entertainment to our customers with new services such as TVOD that bring movies to your homes quicker than ever before -- even as part of your SVOD subscription."

HOOQ'S Peter Bithos
Build in Asia for Asia, HOOQ continuously innovates and delivers the best quality entertainment through the world's first download capability for Hollywood, its weekly pricing, or its ad-free freemium model. This successful formula comes from HOOQ's strategy of combining the best Asian and Hollywood content with a solid distribution partner network of the top telcos and broadband providers in the region including AIS, Airtel, Globe Telecom, Telkom, and Telkomsel, just to name a few.    

DJs at HOOQ's 2nd Anniversary bash
"In the Philippines, we made sure to put together the best Filipino content for our subscribers with a combination of the top local studios and independent filmmakers. This, combined with HOOQ's strategy of serving premium Hollywood content, as well as our key distribution partnership with Globe, has contributed to making HOOQ the regional leader," pointed out Jane Cruz-Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager.

Jane Walker (far right) with fellow HOOQ executives Sheila Paul (middle),
and Jeffrey Remigio (far left) with guests
As mentioned above, HOOQ subscribers will get access to watch one TVOD movie a month for free while additional movies can be rented for just P125.00 each. Every month, new movies will be uploaded from studios such as Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks, and Pixar with titles such as Arrival, Underworld: Blood Wars, Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, just to name a few. With this new feature, HOOQ customers can now enjoy the largest library of Hollywood and Asian hits, TV series same day as the US, as well as the latest movies fresh off the cinemas!

pretty models
Filipino movie fans would likewise be glad to know that HOOQ has inked exclusive deals with Regal Entertainment and Viva Communications for digital rights to their new movies within three months of theatrical release. Recent hits such as Camp Sawi, Bakit Lahat ng Guapo May Boyfriend, and I Love You to Death have already debuted on HOOQ and are consistently in the top 10 list of most watched content by subscribers. Next to be released within the next quarter are Mano Po 7, Die Beautiful, The Escort, and My Rebound Girl with newly released movies to follow throughout the year.

with blogger friends
HOOQ is moreover bostering its line-up of Hollywood studio partnerships consisting of Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks, Lionsgate, Miramax, Starz, and over a hundred Asian studios. New hit series are also now available from Endamol Shine and BBC including Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Mistresses, and Wolf Hall. Furthermore, the full catalog of DC shows are now also on HOOQ: Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, and Gotham. Meanwhile, Supergirl, Lucifer, and Powerless are available to stream within 24 hours of US airing.

my favorite show to stream on HOOQ
Get HOOQ'd by downloading the HOOQ app from the Apple Store or Google Play, sign up or log in to access its library of top Hollywood and Asian hits anytime, anywhere and on any device including computers, smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, smart TVs via Google Chromecast, and all Apple devices. 

Ms. Jane and Direk Erik Matti announced exciting news for
On The Job (OTJ) movie fans, stay tuned in the coming months!
If you are a Globe At Home customer, get up to up to six months access to HOOQ with plans P1,299 and up, while Globe mobile customers can also get u to six months trial on selected prepaid and postpaid plans. Visit to sign up for a 7-day free trial.

* photos courtesy of Trail Unlimited

Good news to meat lovers! Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila is inviting everyone to come and grab a big bite with their Blockbuster Burgers available at The Lounge for the whole month of April! They are offering a mouthwatering selection of gigantic gourmet burgers infused with local and international flavors.

my son, Gab, joined the Titanic Burger challenge
and finished in second place :)
Yesterday, my second son took on the Titanic Burger challenge with four other contenders. Living up to is name, this humongous treat is made of a savory 1/2 kg. Prime Angus Beef patty in sesame bun packed with Emmental cheese, bacon, lettuce, mushroom, tomatoes, and cucumber pickles. It is served with crispy fried onion rings and is priced at P1160 nett. The catch? If you finish eating everything in 20 minutes or less, you don't pay anything!

contenders Jawi Bantigue, Kirk Ngo (winner), Gab Floresca, Carl Acuesta, and RJ Dulas
I was amazed that three (including a lady!) out of the five people who took on the challenge were able to eat their Titanic burgers before the time ran out. In case I'd order one on a future visit, I'd prefer to have it cut then share pieces with several family members or friends.

As such, I chose to try the much smaller Burger ni Heneral Luna (priced at P560 nett) instead. I love the adobo glazed pork patty that comes with kesong puti, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and fried egg.

Trina and I with our Burger ni Heneral Luna and Jaws Burger 
My friend Trina opted for the Jaws Burger (P660 nett) made of beer battered fish fillet with tartar sauce and cucumber pickles served with French Fries. Needless to say, we were both fascinated by the black bun! 

Aside from the three burgers already mentioned, you can also choose between Wild Wild Mex (P460 nett) made with crispy fried chicken fillet with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard mayonnaise, and potato wedges; or the Prince of Persia's Burger (P660 nett) with Arabic spiced minced lamb with tzatziki sauce and pickles in turmeric bun served with fried crisp onions.

Everybody's a winner just for trying!
the contenders with Crimson Hotel executives and staff
Each order of these succulent burgers comes with a complimentary beer. For reservation or more information, please call (02) 863.2222. Don't forget, they are serving these only this April so make sure you drop by Crimson Hotel really, really soon!

Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. In fact, around 3,977 patients were diagnosed with the disease in 2012 alone. With mortality rate at an alarming 5.3%, this silent killer needs to be addressed to prevent more people succumbing to the life-threatening condition.

cord blood banking gives babies a lifetime of protection
One of the modern treatments for leukemia is stem cell transplant using cord blood. This is blood that remains in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. It contains the healthiest stem cells that can replenish blood, regenerate damaged bone marrow, treat blood cancers, and correct genetic defects. Potentially, it is also a source for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine.

Through cord blood banking, families now have a chance to survive fatal genetic diseases like leukemia and other blood-related disease. In Asia, Cordlife Group Limited is among the first to offer this service and technology. The company is an international provider of umbilical cord blood and cord lining services.

preserving stem cells = preserving life
Cordlife Philippines, officially launched in February 2010, is the country's first and only private cord blood processing and cryopreservation facility aimed to give Filipinos the chance to benefit from the advantages of having a readily available supply of cord blood.

Earlier today, Cordlife launched One Blood to create awareness on cord blood banking's importance as an available standard option for families who may need stem cell transplant. This national advocacy is in partnership with the Philippine Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (PSMFM).

Under One Blood, free cord blood banking will be given to chosen pregnant mothers with a family history of diseases or who have family members with disease/s that can be treated by cord blood and who might be a candidate for stem cell transplantation.

a newborn's umbilical cord contains the healthiest stem cells
During the press launch, it was announced that one family will be sponsored each month until December 2017 and choosing them will be based on need. Cordlife officials are hopeful that they can identify families who would benefit the most from the free service.

Apart from cord blood banking, other services will be extended to the beneficiaries such as:

Transplant Care is a one-time subsidy of SGD 50,000 to partially cover medical costs of transplantation for the child whose cord blood unit is stored, applicable for use in standard treatment at any accredited hospital in the Philippines  
Cord Blood Network - an assisted search for matching cord blood for legal parents and grandparents of the Cordlife child, tapping Asia's largest network of public cord blood banks.  
Cordlife Quality Guarantee that assures parents of a cord blood unit of suitable match or SGD 50,000 to defray medical costs if the cord blood stem cells lost its viability at the point of transplant, as well as additional Professional Indemnity Insurance to safeguard the family from financial loss resulting from direct malpractice.

many Cordlife moms attest that the investment is worth the peace of mind
Some of the popular Filipino personalities who have banked their babies' cord blood include TV personalities Jolina Magdangal-Escueta, Pia Guanio-Mago, and Dimples Romana; models Patty Laurel-Filart and Kelly Misa-Fernandez; and broadcast and radio personalities Nina Corpuz-Rodriguez, Delamar Arias, and Andi Manzano.  

For those who are wondering how much it costs: an 18-year cord blood banking contract is worth P165,000. To know more about One Blood, call Cordlife at (02) 332.1888 or log on to

There are more than 200,000 reported dengue cases in the Philippines in 2016 with around 1000 cases leading to death. Apart from the health risks, dengue also has an impact on public health costing billions of pesos of tax payers money with treatment costing tens of thousands in pesos per patient.

Did you know? Dengue cases in the Philippines number to thousands every year!
Recently, leading health and beauty chain Watson Philippines announced the availability of dengue vaccination in select stores nationwide. According to Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director, this is part of their commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible. "Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that's why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination," he says.

The dengue vaccination was launched in the country by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) early last year through school-based immunization approach. The program aims to vaccinate about one million Grade 4 pupils aged nine years old and above enrolled in public schools in several regions of the country. Later on, it was made available in medical clinics and now, Watsons is the first retailer to offer it in the Philippine market.

trivia: the first dengue vaccine was created by Sanofi Pasteur
Dengvaxia, the first vaccine against dengue, was created by leading multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, an expert in the development of vaccinations. The vaccine took more than 20 years to develop and has been thoroughly tested, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Studies of the vaccine included more than 41,000 people and were carried out in 15 countries including the Philippines. The results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO.

As of February 2017, Dengvaxia has been approved in 14 countries where dengue is endemic including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines. It has also gotten the endorsement of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

FYI, it only takes 3 shots to get protected against the 4 dengue strains
According to a study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health, the vaccine is expected to reduce dengue cases in the country by over 24 percent in a span of five years. To be taken in three doses at 0 - 6 - 12 months interval, the dengue vaccination can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus. This can be administered to people aged 9 to 45 years old.

The latest addition to the vaccines offered by Watsons, Dengvaxia will cost P4,000 per dose or P12,000 for all three doses. This is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the Philippines.

get your family vaccinated against dengue to avoid costly medical bills in the future
Schedules of the dengue vaccination are as follows and will be available in more than 100 Watsons stores nationwide:

• First schedule: April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose), and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose) 
• Second schedule: May 14, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), and May 13, 2018 (3rd dose)

Watsons Team Sai Pascual, Aida Lopez, Viki Encarnacio
Danilo Chiong, Belle Pesayco, and Krista Tan with Dr. Rontgene Solante
during the Watsons dengue vaccine launch
Chiong adds, "Watsons also offer Cervical Cancer, Flu, and Pneumonia vaccination at scheduled intervals throughout the year. We will have a doctor in the store during vaccination dates to administer the shots." 

I have become more conscious about advocating for Mother Earth's protection since I became a mom more than two decades ago because I know that my children, and the generations after them, would still need the resources our planet generously provides.

fyi, neither of us are celebrating our 60th birthday yet :p
So I am glad to see more and more establishments taking up this worthwhile cause and it was a pleasure to join Conrad Manila's first Earth Hour celebration the other day. The hotel took action locally to conserve energy and help raise awareness of climate change as part of a global initiative that is open to Hilton's more than 4,900 properties across 104 countries and territories.

With other Conrad Manila guests and team members, led by Hotel General Manager Harald Feurstein, my husband and I spent Earth Hour 2017 by joining them at the Hotel veranda where they had a symbolic formation of "60" using dozens of candles. In addition, their annual switching off of lights was done simultaneously with the Mall of Asia complex.    

While gathered around the candlelit formation, Mr. Feurstein and other hotel executives also led a commitment ceremony with children of hotel staff and guests to symbolically engage the next-generation of earth savers.

Conrad Manila executives with a future earth-saver
Checked-in guests were moreover invited to actively participate by switching off their room lights for 60 minutes in a unified effort to show commitment. Conrad Manila''s back-of-the-house facilities likewise observed the one-hour lights-off initiative.

Apart from conserving a significant amount of energy consumption during Earth Hour, the Hotel's dining outlets also made an effort to make the occasion an interactive experience for diners. Brasserie on 3, the Hotel's all-day dining outlet known for its open kitchen and live action stations, featured farm-to-table organic and sustainable dishes; the famed China Blue by Jereme Leung offered guests a special four-course set menu; while special cocktail mixes complemented by a live acoustic performance took center stage at the C-Lounge

the lobby of Brasserie on 3
An ardent environment advocate, Mr. Feurstein affirmed, "Conrad Manila is deeply committed to making a difference in the communities where we operate, particularly along environment protection, education, and social enterprise. We share a strong partnership with our local community partners for sustained environment community projects: clean-up drive, proper waste segregation and management, water recycling and energy conservation, and educational-cum-nutritional program assistance for pre-school children and their families."

In 2015, Hilton and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced a multi-year commitment to collaborate on a water-stewardship strategy, expand sustainable seafood efforts, advance food waste efforts, and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy across Hilton's portfolio.

It is Hilton's view that sustainability is a key part of its business because water, energy, food, commodities, waste requirements, and other factors significantly impact the economics of the company every day around the world. As such, preserving the environment is a business imperative and a cornerstone of Travel with Purpose. This is the company's corporate responsibility strategy to create shared value for Hilton Team Members, guests, business partners, and communities. 

young people pledging their commitment to also help protect Mother Earth
Learn more about Hilton's commitment to preserving the environment by visiting

One-time, big-time. This is what a lot of people think and dream about when it comes to shedding extra pounds and body fats. The thing is, even if you achieve losing a lot of weight, staying that way for good is what would really matter in the long run, right?

once you lose the pounds and inches, can you keep them away?
photo credit:
Unfortunately, few people achieve that kind of success after spending money on fad diets, weight-loss supplements, gym memberships fees (that aren't maximized because you ended up not having enough time to work out), and other solutions that didn't let you achieve the results you wanted.

According to Aesthetic Science Clinic, everyone who wants to lose the extra pounds permanently should make weight management part of their lifestyle. That means unlearning misguided beliefs and being re-educated on the basics of loving and taking good care of one's body.

love your body through healthy eating!
this is the roasted pumpkin cream soup we cooked at the BodyLight media launch
Presenting the BodyLight Program -- a system that integrates Science, Wellness, and Life Coaching to help manage weight and give you the ideal lasting results that balance the mind, body, and spirit. This holistic approach is anchored on the following guiding principles:

• Men and women are not created equal. Differences in genetic make-up, upbringing, and other environmental factors require a more personalized approach to weight management. What works for one might not work for another.
• The weight of a person is impacted greatly by his or her lifestyle that encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of that person.
• There are no quick fixes and no shortcut to losing weight. 
• Losing weight can be a pleasant journey and should not be equated with suffering.
• The ultimate goal is not to lose the excess weight, but to stay healthy.

with Glenda, Ira, and Dexter who I enjoyed cooking and eating healthy dishes with
photo credit: Marcie Linao 
Under the BodyLight program, a personalized plan will be made based on the following steps to a HEALTHY Weight Management:

Heed experts' advice instead of believing infomercials that are created to sell products. Take the words of celebrity endorsers with a grain of salt because they are paid to say the right things. Verify that the health professionals you are consulting has the appropriate license for the products and services they offer. Do not believe everything you read on the internet!

Evaluate medical history to rule out any underlying medical condition that may be causing unhealthy weight gain such as hypothyrodism, Cushing's syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, adrenal insufficiency, and gut problems.

Avoid unhealthy eating habits. Many people fail at their weight loss journey because of the lack of discipline in consuming the right kinds of food. Eat whole and real foods, avoid refined grains and bad fats, choose a low sugar and low salt diet, alkalize your body with an alkaline diet, get adequate hydration, and limit alcohol consumption.

AS' steps to healthy weight management
Live an active life. Engage in a regular physical activity like running, brisk walking, yoga, pilates, or any sport that you can include in your daily regimen.

Take a break and find ways to reduce and manage stress. Most emotional eaters don't realize that stress contributes significantly to excessive weight gain. Manage stress by learning relaxation techniques such as meditation, taking walks and connecting with nature, listening to music, or practicing yoga.

Have enough sleep because lack of it also contributes to weight gain. Stay fit by getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep and avoid sleeping very late at night. Try to get as much sleep as you can and avoid substances that disrupt sleep.

You have to keep a healthy mental and emotional state because a lot of weight problems stem from psycho-emotional issues. Keep a happy disposition and stay away from toxic relationships. A positive self-esteem can foster love for one's body and translates into a desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

More than losing the extra pounds, BodyLight aims to eliminate faulty beliefs and unhealthy practices that contribute to excess weight gain so that positive results will be easier to sustain. With this program, losing will be just as sweet as winning.

(from left) Chef Nicole Pimentel of 25 Mushrooms, nutritionist Weizel Gulfan,
and Dr. Yanee Vasquez, AS Medical Director and founder
For inquiries, call Aesthetic Science Clinic at 809.8021 and 0917.808.2921 (Alabang) or 899.3643 and 0917.808.2926 (Makati). You may also email or visit: 
• G/F Kennedy Center Bldg. Prime St. corner Venture St. Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa
• G/F Jupiter Place Bldg. Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati City

Get updates via, Aesthetic Science Clinic on Facebook, @BeautyByAS on Twitter, and @aestheticscienceclinic on Instagram.

I've seen demos and photos of people doing AntiGravity Aerial Yoga in the past and, while the performers seemed graceful and flexible, the poses looked very challenging! They made me curious if I'd be able to do even half of what I've seen but I am willing to try to and see.

with AntiGravity Aerial Yoga teacher and classmates
This past weekend, thanks to an invitation by 2nd Avenue, I took on the challenge and attended my first ever AntiGravity Aerial Yoga class at Beyond Yoga Rockwell. It was comforting to know that I was not the only neophyte among our group but I had to concede that they are all very young and probably more flexible than I could dream to ever be.

We were taught by Michelle Brown-Araneta who encouraged us to achieve the poses, especially the inverted ones, as much as possible. Honestly, I was surprised to be able to do the first inversion! 

The second one was harder though because it required a strong upper body, which this runner hasn't developed yet. Still, with Michelle's help, I got to remain upside down using the strength of my arms and core even for a few seconds. 

Doing the many stretching exercises made me realize how much I still need to work on in many parts of my body. But I found this kind of yoga another great start. I've tried doing Vinyasa and Kundalini before and also learned a lot about myself from them.

first two of four inversions
When I posted an inverted photo of myself online, one friend asked if it's scary to do an inversion while others expressed outright that they don't think they'd be able to do it. If your thoughts are like theirs, let me tell you now that you have nothing to worry about. AntiGravity Aerial Yoga may be challenging but it is also fun! Plus, you'll be mighty proud of yourself when you find yourself doing something you never thought you could!

Another thing, AntiGravity Aerial Yoga is a mind/body/spirit class that burns up to 600 calories! It is open to all levels and there are no other class prerequisites. We were told that attending lessons regularly will give you the following benefits:

• Decompress tight joints
• Relieve pressure while aligning the vertebrae
• Perform advanced yoga inversions without neck or back compression
• Hold challenging yoga postures longer and in correct alignment
• Stretch further with less strain
• Add an entirely new dimension to your yoga practice
• Create better body awareness while increasing overall agility

"mountain peak" - one of the stretching movements I like
Here are other things you may be curious about: 

• Every portion of the AntiGravity Hammock is rated for over 2000 pounds. That means it can hold the weight of even a baby elephant so you need not worry if you feel you might be too heavy.
• All Beyond Yoga AGY instructors have been trained and certified by Christopher Harrison to teach the routine. FYI, he is the dancer / choreographer / acrobat founder of AGY. 
• Every student will leave the class feeling good because everyone works at their own pace and, since this is a suspension yoga class, no competition nor ego is encouraged.
• You don't necessarily have to be physically fit and have prior yoga experience to do aerial yoga. In fact, it is a good routine for people who are not too flexible because the hammock will support your poses. However, AGY will be easiest for those who maintain a consistent fitness regime and has a strong core.

more stretching
• As to contraindications, AGY is not recommended for those who are pregnant, have glaucoma, a recent surgery, heart disease, very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, osteoporosis / bone weakness, and/or other serious medical concerns.
• For those who are afraid of heights, know that the difference between fear and excitement in the body is relaxation. The instructor will help you through your apprehensions. Besides, you'll only be 3 inches off the ground during an inversion. 
• AntiGravity Aerial Yoga is the only aerial yoga program certified by the governing bodies of America and the EU. Christopher Harrison, inventor of the silk hammock apparatus, has put 10 years into developing the technique. Also, AGY is present in over 40 countries.
• When attending class, wear workout outfits with sleeves, preferably cotton or cotton blend fabric and remove all jewelry.

one of the stretches that challenged my flexibility
If you'll ask me if I'd attend another aerial yoga class in the future, the answer is YES. I'd love to conquer the movements I had difficulties with during the first class :)

BTW, you can learn other fitness tips by watching Work Out New York, which premiers tonight on 2nd Avenue at 9PM. For more details, please read:

Many people dislike getting darker skin or becoming sunburned during these summer months. However, a lot of individuals still seem not to know how to properly apply their sun care products! The thing is, even if you bought a sunblock or sunscreen to protect your face and body but fail to properly apply them on your skin, your money and effort will just go to waste!

So, while you get psyched in welcoming the hot season in style with a new summer wardrobe, make sure you also have the right tools and tricks to ensure that you'll enjoy your vacay to the max without worrying about painful summer burns.

do you know how to properly apply these products on your skin
to get the best protection from the sun? 
Be ready to bask under the summer sun with Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care specialized products! Take note though that you need to know first how to properly apply them to get the best results. So, read on before you start your wanderlust journeys.

Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care Face and Body Sun Defense Spray with SPF50 (P499 for 100ml) will give you light and breezy but potent sun protection. This is non-sticky waterproof double sun defense against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays that can be used in dry and wet conditions. It leaves no visible white marks and looks flawless when applied. The Vitamin E and sunflower oil content mattifies when rubbed unto skin to keep it moisturized even when under the sun. 

How to use: Shake well, hold the can 6-8 inches away from the body while spraying generously and evenly on skin before sun exposure. For face application, spray onto hands and apply to the face. Re-apply after swimming, perspiring, or whenever needed to maintain best protection.

avoid getting sunburn to maintain healthy skin!
Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care Matte Moisturizer with SPF30 (P299 for 50ml) will make you look and feel flawless so your summer selfies don't show an oil-slicked you. Apart from getting mattified double sunscreen protection against UVA/UVB rays during prolonged sun exposure, it hydrates the skin and lends it an oil-free and smooth matte finish. It is hypoallergenic and safe for everyday use and is also non-comedogenic as well as tested for efficacy and moisturization.

How to use: Apply evenly on cleansed face and neck for daily sunscreen protection. This product is both shore- and city-ready so keep it in your bag all the time this summer.

before you go out under the hot sun, make sure your skin is protected from its burning rays!
Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care Relief After-Sun Gel (P290 for 200ml) will soothe the after-effects of the scorching sun. It provides immediate moisturizing and cooling relief to sunburnt skin. It has anti-inflammatory soothing extracts to reduce possible skin inflammation after prolonged sun exposure. Plus, it has wheat and aloe vera skin conditioners to soothe and lessen flaking of overly dry skin. This product is also hypoallergenic and safe for everyday use and is the sun remedy you need for those beach trips.

How to use: Apply generously on dry and reddened skin immediately after long sun exposure for fast relief and moisture replenishment. Re-apply as often as possible until the sensation of intense dryness and heat subsides. 

enjoy summer to the fullest by using trusted sun care products!
I really hope you'll find this post helpful for the benefit of your skin. Have a spectacular time under the summer sun, everyone!

* Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care products are available in Watsons stores and leading grocery and beauty stores nationwide.

Can you compromise quality in favor of savings? This is what many people first think about when faced with the choice of buying a well-known expensive product versus a more affordable one. But, when a person has a tight budget or is conscious about spending, being a wise shopper is essential.

Thankfully, we are no longer forced to choose between quality and savings when Watsons launched its Switch and Save campaign in 2012 that allowed smart shoppers to save on personal care essentials so we can also afford more of the things we want. All one has to do is shift from the leading brand to a Watsons product.

Watsons' Karen Fabres, Danilo Chiong, Jared De Guzman, Viki Encarnacion, and
Aida Lapez with Edu Manzano, Lorna Tolentino, Iya Villania, Kylie Padilla, and Christian Bautista
In the past five years, Watsons customers across the Philippines made the switch. They changed their toothbrushes, tissues, lotions, and more for the affordable and yet still high quality Watsons alternatives. With such great momentum behind the movement, the personal care store expanded the campaign to the pharmacy.

In 2014, Watsons Generics was launched to bring the same promise of affordable quality to Filipinos when it comes to medicines. Of course, it's always a huge win when something is done to improve the state of the nation's healthcare.

some of the high quality Watsons Label products
However, despite already having many switchers on board, there are still those who need more convincing because they keep holding on to the notion that anything "cheaper means lower quality." So, the Watsons team came up with a way to prove that the brand's amazing products are comparable to more expensive ones by testing people if they could even feel the difference.

The Switch Test became an in-store activity where shoppers can compare Watsons products to leading counterparts without being able to see the brands. Customers were asked to try out two products -- ranging from body scrubs and lotions to toothbrushes and hair irons -- and choose which they'd rather buy.

get up to 80% savings when you switch to using Watsons!
Results of the Switch Test showed that 8 out of 10 shoppers chose the Watsons Label product over the leading brand counterpart. This is an overwhelming testament to Watsons quality. The surprise didn't end there, though, because upon learning of the big savings they could get with Watsons Label, even shoppers who first chose the leading brands also made the switch.

Next to take the Switch Test challenge were Watsons' celebrity endorsers: Christian Bautista, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Iya Villana, Kylie Padilla, Lorna Tolentino, and Edu Manzano. They were asked, "What's the difference between these two products?" Their verdict -- none! Watch the video below and see that even they were amazed because it was hard to tell any difference in quality. On top of that, switching can give savings of up to 80%!

To kick start 2017, Watsons will also air this video as its new TV commercial to reach and make more people realize why they have to switch and save, too. Catch it and see if you can tell the difference between a Watsons brand and your usual brand. You might just surprise yourself with your answer ;)

* Thank you First Tier Brands for the photos!

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