Judy Ann Santos, like every mom, wants the best for her family. She says one of her priorities is to provide her husband and children delicious dishes that have the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy. I find her a credible endorser for Del Monte Pineapple products because, aside from being a devoted wife and mom, she also has a solid culinary background.

At a media event yesterday, she affirmed how Del Monte Pineapple can turn regular dishes to more delicious and nutritious meals. She also acknowledged that children have to be presented with tasty food without compromising nutrient content. Thus, moms have to find ways to make sure that the food kids eat remain exciting as well as healthy to get the best of both worlds.

In a blind taste test, it was found out that 9 out of 10 kids prefer Chicken Adobo cooked with Del Monte Pineapple. Judy Ann describes the dish as "piña-level up sa sarap at sustansiya” because the kids were excited to eat, asked for second helpings, and ate everything on their plates. She recognizes that it's more challenging to cook for kids than for her teachers in culinary school. "Kahit chef ka, hindi madaling mahuli ang taste ng mga bata."

On the other hand, aside from the yummy taste, nutrient analysis shows that Adobo with Del Monte Pineapple has five times more fiber which kids' daily diet usually does not have enough of. Moreover, it contains Vitamin C, Manganese, and Phytonutrients that help boost the body's overall health and immunity.

Find new favorite dishes that can be “Piña-Level Up!” such Pork Humba, Pancit Guisado, and a lot more.  Just visit www.kitchenomics.com for recipes.

THOR opens in Philippine cinemas today! I watched the preview at SM North Edsa's IMAX theater the other night and found the special effects totally awesome! Go watch it soon with your loved ones  especially if they are Marvel comics fanatics like my hubby and sons.

Read my full-length review here.

You may also want your kids to gear up with new Thor collectibles from Jollibee ...

Press Release:

Young fans of Thor are in for a thunderous treat as Jollibee Kids Meal introduces its newest limited-edition toys, Thor Battle Gear. Based on the latest Marvel blockbuster movie, Thor, presented by Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, the feature-packed collectibles from Jollibee let boys and girls be part of the epic adventure that features their favorite hammer-wielding hero.

Be as mighty as the God of Thunder when you get hold of the Thor Disc Launcher that unleashes awesome discs. Load the discs into the top of the hammer and smash away to unleash the discs with every strike.

Kids can also join the action with the amazing Smash Propeller that shoots out flyers in two directions. Save the earth from evil forces by launching the flyer upward, or slam the hammer to launch the flyer forward.

Get ready for battle with the Blazing Top Spinner that glows as it spins. Just insert the ripcord at the side of the Blazing Top Spinner, pull it out and watch the top glow and spin into blazing action.

With Thor Battle Gear, kids can transport themselves to another world where they may become legendary warriors of thunder as well. Find out what it takes to be a true Marvel hero and head to the nearest Jollibee to gear up with all three collectibles now. Thor Battle Gear toys are available with any Jollibee Kids Meal for only P78 to P102.

THOR, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is a United International Pictures release through Solar Entertainment Corporation.

About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

Edit Dec. 2: Latest news about Somedaydream here. You can also win something autographed by Rez himself if you join the giveaway :)

I like music and I often discover new cool songs through my kids. They were the ones who introduced me to Hale and Owl City among other talented artists. Sometimes, they also get to like the kind of music their dad and I play on the radio. It's a nice give-and-take situation.

Photos borrowed from Jeman Villanueva

Anyway, I was invited by a blogger friend to attend Someday Dream's music video launch at Capones, A. Venue Mall Makati a few hours ago. Busy mom that I am, I haven't had the luxury of listening to local radio stations lately and missed hearing a very nice song called Hey Daydreamer. I immediately liked it when the band, Someday Dream, played it live. The melody is very catchy.

I heard that they already have a large following based on the fans that came early to ask for autographs and have their photos taken with the band members. I'm not surprised. Rez, the vocalist is very charming. He actually reminded me of my oldest son because they have the same built and slightly similar facial features. 

Aside from the live performances, we also got to watch the music video of Hey Daydreamer which will be aired for the first time on MYX this coming Sunday. To hear what the song sounds like, here's a fan-made video I saw on YouTube:

Search for the official video after the Sunday airing. Most likely, it will be uploaded soon :)

On a side note, my kids were ultra jealous when they found out where I've been because I met Champ Lui Pio (of Hale) there who happens to be one of their favorite singers :p

*Note: I now know that I should have typed Somedaydream instead of Someday Dream but I'm not changing the original entry because new fans keep finding this blog post when they use the latter as their search keyword :)

I like a clean house. Who doesn’t? My problem is, when I use any of these:

I end up with these

I haven’t been properly diagnosed by an allergy specialist but, given the chronic sneezing and sniffles that follow after I finish sweeping the floor or cleaning the dust off furniture all these years, I highly suspect I have dust allergy. I always (and I mean, always!) end up with a red nose and teary eyes after I’m done cleaning. My skin would also start sporting red, itchy patches so I have to be quick to jump in the shower right after I’m done with sweeping and dusting.

It gets worse when I have to scrape dirt off the carpet and clean the floor under our beds. Don’t you find it irritating getting down on all fours and trying to sweep all those dust and dirt toward the dustpan (and towards yourself) so you can get them all out? I do! 

So yes, I need change. I want to start the doom of the broom. I need help! I’d definitely love to find out how an Electrolux Dynamica vacuum cleaner could transform my cleaning ways for the better.

Opening in Philippine cinemas this April 23 are two enjoyable movies that you can watch with friends and family.

Arthur stars the hilarious Russell Brand with big names such as Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, and Nick Nolte.  This is a good movie to watch with a special someone or friends who simply love to laugh. Read my full-length review at HerWord.com here.

Next is Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. I found this sequel better than the first movie. Greg Heffley and his older brother are not as irritating here and the story has more substance. Review coming up also within the next few days. For now, bring your kids, especially boys, with you to the cinema. They'll enjoy this film while learning a new thing or two about brotherhood and family. 

I grew up eating Hunt's Pork & Beans for breakfast and snacks while I was a little girl. I remember requesting my dad to buy several a week because it was a novelty (and easy!) to eat right out of the can. I do that to this day but, this time, I have to buy more cans every time I do the grocery because I now have kids who also like eating Hunt's Pork & Beans.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there's a couple of recipes moms can do to easily turn home cooking into a fun and one-of-a-kind experience by trading in classic recipes for more innovative ones. I'm excited to try these out in my kitchen!

Press Release:

Dads and kids are in for a surprise when their all-time favorite Hunt’s Pork & Beans are infused into traditional dishes such as soyed chicken and spring rolls. Oozing with rich, savory taste and packed with protein and iron, Hunt’s Pork & Beans is an excellent source of essential nutrients needed by the body. With its unique blend of Great Northern beans and tender pork bits mixed with its rich and flavorful sauce, it’s something the whole family is bound to love – whether on its own or innovatively mixed with another family favorite.

Quick and easy to prepare, Hunt’s recipes such as the Soyed Chicken with Tender Beans and the Pork & Beans Spring Rolls promise to bring delectable fun to the dining table.

Soyed Chicken with Tender Beans

Heat 2 tbsps. corn oil in a deep pot, then saute 1 tbsp. sliced garlic, 1 tbsp. sliced onion and 2 tbsps. sliced ginger. Add 1 whole chicken (cut into small pieces) and 1/2 cup soy sauce. Add 1/4 cup rice wine or brandy (optional), 1 tbsp. five spice powder, 1/8 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce, and 6 cups water. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. Add 1 can (230g) Hunt's Pork & Beans before serving. 

This recipe costs only P200 and serves four to five.

Pork & Beans Spring Rolls

Heat pan with 1 tbsp. oil, then add 2 tbsps. chopped onion and 6 pcs. chopped longganisa. Fry longganisa until well cooked. Add in 1 cup shredded cabbage and cook until wilted. Add 1 can (230g) Hunt's Pork & Beans and mix well. Simmer until almost dry and pasty. Spread a tablespoon (about 40 grams) of mixture over spring roll/lumpia wrapper, add some cheddar cheese then roll. Deep fry until crispy and serve with ketchup, if preferred.

This recipe costs only P110.00 and makes 16 rolls.

If you are in a relationship or on the way to being in one, you’ve got to watch Defending the Caveman!

This play is a one-man show starring Joel Trinidad. It starts off with a video of Joel and his wife getting married and starting a life together. Right after, Joel starts talking to the audience as if he’s just telling his friends a story.

What’s nice about Joel’s monologue is that he doesn’t come across as a boring guy talking to himself or the wall in front of him. He talks directly to the audience and even got us responding to his questions every now and then. His conversational tone makes one sit up and listen.

His topic is straightforward – the differences and misunderstandings between men and women with some analysis thrown in on why both genders act the way they do. It’s funny to notice that while Joel continues to speak about males and females along with various examples and scenarios, some members of the audience would be nudging or giving very pointed looks to his/her significant other. I went as far as pinching my husband’s arm a few times to emphasize that he is exactly who was being described by the man on stage. Hubby, on the other hand, would poke me in return whenever he thinks I should feel the barbs being thrown at the women.

In fairness, the words spoken on stage hit both corners. Nobody’s exempted. All of us had to sheepishly or grudgingly admit that we do, or have done, this or that at one point or another in our lives. Although the dialogue was delivered from a man’s perspective, Joel was able to effectively express the feminine side with his creative and very funny impersonations of several female characters in his life.

The script, written by American Rob Becker, is witty and entertaining and was intended as a vehicle to show that men have emotions too although they express them differently.

This play has been shown in theaters around the world and performed in sixteen languages. It holds the record of being the longest running one-man play in the history of Broadway. It was first shown in Manila last year and it’s coming back for another run, by popular demand, this coming May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 2011 at 8pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. 

Defending the Caveman is directed by Michael Williams and Cathy Azanza-Dy. Get your tickets now at www.ticketworld.com.ph or email cteshows@gmail.com

*Part of the proceeds of the May 7 showing of Defending the Caveman will go to the Japan earthquake relief efforts.

Edit April 26: Newsflash! Get 50% off on your Caveman tickets via Ensogo deals!
For Orchestra Center Seats at only P600 - click here.
For Orchestra Side Non-Aisle Seats at P300 - click here.

I wear many hats. I play wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague among many other roles.

As women, I believe that we have a vast capacity to share ourselves with others. Apparently, several ladies think so, too. Thus, a blog for women, by women, was born. I am very honored to be invited to share my experiences there along with some of the most remarkable women I know.

Please visit http://www.smartsuperwomen.com/ and read the many stories shared by women who may lead different lives but who are all finding, or trying to find, fulfillment in where they are and what they do.

Whether you are a student, an employee, a stay-at-home-mom, a single parent, or a married one, I'm sure you'll find more than one story there that will make you go, "Yes, I know what she means!"

Here's sharing the link to One on One, my latest entry there. Enjoy reading! :)

This week, HP unveils their new consumer PCs to connect end users to their personal passions. The new lineup of consumer notebooks, desktops and monitors come with sleek looks and the latest technologies to enhance the way people experience what matters to them most whether it be catching up on entertainment news, gathering information, or keeping in touch with their loved ones. 

"Computer is personal again!" states Mr. Albert Mateo, Country General Manager of HP Philippines' Personal Systems Group. He affirms that consumers can now easily enjoy music, play games, and experience intuitive touch experiences with the new range of HP's consumer notebooks and desktops which "offers style, performance, entertainment, and security features that work together to present a seamless connected experience."

With the new consumer PC portfolio, users will be able to:

-- Experience music the way artists intended it to be heard with Beats™ Audio, optimized by onboard quad speakers on HP Pavilion dv6.

-- Enjoy greater comfort with HP CoolSense Technology, designed and engineered for better cooling on HP dv series not ebooks.

-- Amplify visual euphoria with HP TrueVision HD webcam (1) and the optional graphic enhancement of up to 1GB GDDR5(3) of dedicated video memory on the HP Pavilion dv4.

-- Help protect their personal information and simplify password management, with HP SimplePass(2) on the Pavilion dv6 .

-- Benefit from the increased range of motion on the HP TouchSmart 610 Consumer PC‘s reclining display of up to 60 degrees and forward-tilt of up to five degrees.

I was quite impressed with the Touchsmart All-in-One PC. I took this short video and when my son saw it, his first question was, "Was that an aquarium?!"

I also took a video showing a demo on how easy (and fun!) it is to play a game on the huge touchscreen. I showed it to my kids and they all thought it was cool :) Watch that one on YouTube.

Here's a quick rundown of HP's newest offerings:

The redesigned HP Pavilion notebook PC line and new HP TouchSmart610 Consumer PC are built on inspirations from culture, art, fashion and HP‘s MUSE (Materials, Usability, Sensory appeal and Experience) design philosophy.

MUSE includes a mix of materials such as metals, alloys and plastics; easy-to-use features for improved usability; a blend of artisanal elements for sensory appeal; and intuitive features for streamlined experiences.

The new HP Pavilion dv series notebook PCs include impressive features such as HP CoolSense Technology, HP TrueVision HD webcam (1) and HP SimplePass(2). Select models of the HP Pavilion dv series also feature BeatsTM Audio(2) for a powerful audio experience.

With a sleek, clean appearance, the new HP TouchSmart 610 Consumer PC reclines from upright to almost flat, providing increased comfort for longer-term use and the freedom to position the TouchSmart610 Consumer PC on a kitchen counter, or anywhere the family gathers.

"Pain," according to Maria Consuelo Pumanes M.D., MHPed, "can actually protect us when it warns the body that there is something wrong." However, pain "can also make us miserable, stressed out, unproductive, and suffer from a poor quality of life."

Dr. Pumanes expounds that pain is treated through conventional medications/pain relievers (topical, intravenous, and oral analgesics) or through alternative therapies (massage, acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractics, TENS/ultrasound, nerve blocks) or a combination of both.

She affirms that one effective analgesic or pain reliever is Ibuprofen because it is as, or more, efficacious (having the power to produce a desired effect) than acetaminophen (paracetamol) for the treatment of pain and fever in adult and pediatric populations and is equally safe.

Ibuprofen in the form of Advil's liquid softgel provides the same efficacy of Ibuprofen ... only faster! When 200mg Ibuprofen liquigel was compared with 200mg Ibuprofen tablet in terms of the rate and extent of ibuprofen absorption in the body, it was found out that Advil Liqui-Gel takes effect within 0.593 hour (35.58 minutes) while Ibuprofen tablet takes longer at 1.55 hours (93 minutes).

And since the innovative design of Advil Liqui-Gel allows the medicine to be absorbed more quickly by the body, it helps inspired individuals fuel their passions without delay. In our fast-paced environment today, there's no room to be slowed down by headaches and body pains. Even I become impatient when I get hindered by a headache and I can't finish my deadlines on time.

In a press con held yesterday, Jericho Rosales, the face behind Advil Liqui-Gel, shares how he remains professional in every endeavor he takes on.  As a singer and songwriter, model, surfer, and hopeless romantic, the suave and charming Echo manages to make his climb to the top faster by getting fast relief using the new Advil.

Like Echo, you can also greenlight your life by speeding ahead to reach your dreams and achieve your many goals. When pain gets in the way, go for the trusted brand that has been clinically proven to be fast and effective. With Advil Liqui-Gel, you can rush pain relief when you need it the most.

Read more about the Science Behind the Speed of Advil Liqui-Gel here.

Summer is officially here and it's super hot, hot, hot! The other day, I accompanied  two of my sons to BPI Family Bank to open Jumpstart Savings accounts for each for them. We're starting afresh no thanks to Banco Filipino which, unfortunately, still harbors all my sons' savings since they were small :(

Anyway, after walking under the hot afternoon sun, we dropped by Star Mall in Alabang to buy a new battery and charger for Josh's dying mobile phone. We also made a detour to Robinson's Supermarket to buy some grocery items. 

Feeling hot and tired, we were drawn towards the ice cream freezers. I was contemplating if we really NEED to buy a tub or not. Then I saw this sign on top of one of the freezers. It says, "For every purchase of ice cream products, Robinsons Supermarket will donate to the World Vision Feeding Project for 250 children." And so we ended up buying two flavors of ice cream with the thought that the purchases would be able to help a feeding program.

Still, if you'd really like to help poor children, please do consider sponsoring a child via World Vision. It costs P600 a month to send an underprivileged, but deserving, child to school and help put up livelihood projects in the community he/she lives in. For more info about child sponsorship, please read WV's FAQs.

One of the signs that let me know I really have a lot of things on my plate is that I barely have time anymore to read for pleasure :( Nowadays, I read books and articles for research purposes which do not bring the same satisfaction.

I love reading and I enjoy poring over the pages of the many books and magazines I have at home. Unfortunately, as my workload became heavier and heavier in recent months, I found myself yearning for those times I could snuggle in bed with a good book and finish one within a few hours.

A few weeks ago, I chanced upon a pack of eight cassette tapes in Booksale. It's the audio version of a book I have entitled Emma's Secret, the fourth in the highly acclaimed A Woman of Substance series by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I figured, I could make use of an old Walkman we have at home and hear the story being read by someone else. Thanks to rechargeable batteries, I won't have to spend a lot on powering the gadget up like what we usually did ten or so years ago.

Joy of joys, I was able to listen to the first two tapes while I was folding clothes the other night. "So that's how audio books work!" I thought wonderingly having had no time to even download free audio books in mp3 format which, I've been told, are already available in many websites.

It was nice revisiting the story via another medium. I found that  it's easy to "read" by ear while I do what I call mindless chores (ironing clothes, sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, etc.). When I visit Booksale again,  I'll be sure to look for more audio books in cassette and CD formats for the meantime because I don't think I'll have the patience, or the time, to download audio books online yet.

I went to Two Tots' store warming last week and had a nice time looking at all the great pieces there. All items are wonderfully and proudly Philippine-made! Parents who are redecorating their kids' rooms would love selecting choice pieces from the assortment of home accessories and kiddie furniture that mostly come in cool, pastel colors.

I especially like the pretty magnetic boards (P355.00 - P545.00) that let kids stick notes and artworks on the wall using magnets instead of push pins that can be harmful to small children. The magnets also make it easy to move things around without damaging the board with tiny pin holes.

The personalized pillows (P845.00) have very cute designs. One says, "I lost my tooth, please look here. Love, Charlie." :)

The bedrooms for boys and girls are lovely. They look like great places where a child could unwind, read a book, or daydream.

Aside from expecting parents, guests to a child's christening or first birthday would find a lot of gift ideas just by browsing what Two Tots has to offer.

Please click here to see more photos of what you can find at Two Tots. It is located at the second floor of the ID Warehouse in Pasong Tamo Ext. just a couple of buildings away (on the left side) if you're coming from EDSA.

ISANG BATA sends out a call for books to build a library for elementary school children. Donations will go to Cabasagan Elementary School in Lanao del Norte. The books will be turned over on April 26, 2011. The school doesn't have a library, doesn't have one decent book. It's a run-down school damaged during conflict in 2008. Cabasagan is a remote barangay in Lanao.

Please consider donating. Getting some help to the children there is a RARE opportunity.

If you need more details, please email my friend, Ime at blubitel@yahoo.com or text her through 09179378617.

School has been out for a couple of weeks now and I'm sure a lot of moms out there are raring to find different activities where their kids can have fun and which doesn't involve watching TV and playing computer games. This weekend, bring the kiddies to the following events or attend an event for pregnant moms or moms with babies and toddlers.

*Please click the photos to enlarge and read the small text

Nickelodeon's Nick World at the Bonifacio Global City Open Field

Promil's i-Shine Talent Camp at the SM Mall of Asia
Click here to read the press release especially for those
who live in Cebu, Dagupan, and Davao

MOMSToday's Mommy Power 2011 at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati

According to Big&Small Company's FB page, preggy moms get FREE ENTRANCE* by visiting Cordlife's website, www.cordlife.com/ph to register. And when you visit the Cordlife booth, you get a free preggy goody bag too!

*Entrance fee is P175 per session; P300 for whole day session

I always like watching animated movies with heart because they are not just for kids but for everyone to be reminded of and learn new lessons from. RIO is one such movie and I thoroughly had fun watching it.

This 3D animation feature comes from the makers of the Ice Age films, which I also love, by the way. The story is mainly set in the lively and quite magical city of Rio de Janeiro and the lush forests of Brazil. Blu (with the voice of Jesse Eisenberg), a rare but highly domesticated macaw, has just been identified by an ornithologist as the last of his kind.

From their Minnesota home, Blue and his owner, Linda (Leslie Mann),  reluctantly head to Rio so he could meet the last female blue macaw on earth. Unfortunately, it was not love at first sight for the feisty Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) who'd rather be back in the rain forest where she says she belongs. When the two were bird-napped by animal smugglers, they had to fight and search for their freedom while chained together. Along the way, they meet new friends, made some enemies, learned to know more about each other, and discover courage on many levels.

There are so many great things about RIO: the heart-tugging story, it's remarkable characters, the witty dialogues, the bursts of beautiful colors, realistic backdrops, and lots of wonderful music. When I first saw the trailer months ago, heard Sergio Mendes' Mais Que Nada, and learned that he's going to be the film's executive movie producer, I immediately knew the musical score alone would be awesome.

(Trivia: My husband and I love Portuguese music. In fact, our very first date as BF-GF almost twenty years ago, in June 1991, was to watch the Sergio Mendes and Brasil '88 concert at the PICC! :p) So it's no wonder my feet were constantly tapping the floor every time an energetic song is played in the movie.

It would be hard to forget the other zany characters that made the story more engaging. Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am, and George Lopez provide the voices to the friendly and hilariously funny birds who helped Blu and Jewel in their journey. Oh, and the monkeys? They're really something! I just regret not paying much attention to the geese so I failed to recognize the voices of Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch.

Towards the end, Blu has to have the guts to finally learn to fly. I won't, of course, reveal the ending. You have to find out if Blu will return with Linda to Minnesota or stay with Jewel in Brazil and who gets to live happily ever after.

RIO is presented by 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. and opens on April 7 in Philippine theaters. Do bring the whole family!

If you have "Liked" MyPhone's Facebook page, you also probably saw this digital poster of the MyPhone T23 Duo Sale sometime last week:

I did and showed it to my eldest son who's been complaining that the second hand phone (another brand) passed on to him last year has been giving him problems for weeks already. With it, he could only send and receive text messages but can't receive calls.  He said he has been saving for a new phone since he realized that his old one might totally conk out one of these days. He even reminded me of the time I was trying to call him and the call won't get through.

So I said yes, I will add to the amount he has already saved so he could buy a new phone. Anyway, he has been doing good in school (got his grades a couple of days ago and his average is 1.98, yey!) and he does know how to be frugal.

We arrived at Festival Mall in Alabang at around 5 p.m. last April 1. When we got to the MyPhone booth, only two units of the T23 were left. We bought one and I had to shell out an extra P1000+ because my son wanted a 2GB micro SD card to store his files in.

That day, another touch screen phone with the same features, but which has TV access added, was also on sale at another kiosk. The price was the same as the MyPhone T23. But we chose the T23 because we are already sure that the MyPhone brand is trustworthy.

If you have been visiting this blog frequently, you probably have read the post about the day my hubby bought his MyPhone Q22. That was one whole year ago and the phone is still in good condition! So, there was really no contest about what to choose. Even my son said so.

As of this writing, my techie boy has already customized the phone's wallpaper, screen saver, etc. and even added mp3s in it. I've tried calling my husband using the headset accessory and the audio is very clear! I admit I'm a little envious because the phone does look sleek and fun to use :p I hope MyPhone comes up with another touch screen unit, this time with WiFi, soon and I might finally, probably, consider buying one for myself :)

Edit April 7: You have one more chance to catch the sale! I tagged along with hubby to the Philippine Cable TV Association (PCTA) Convention yesterday at SMX Mall of Asia and was given this flyer at the MyPhone booth:

The booth exhibits will be open to the public (free entrance) tomorrow, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catch the T23 sale there and also check out the nice booths of various cable channels :)

Summer time will not be fun if kids are not allowed to play out in the sun and enjoy various activities. Johnson's Baby encourages parents to let children bask in the warmth of the season so that they would develop physical stamina as well as learn social and interactive skills together with their peers.

Many kids these days are becoming couch potatoes as they spend more time in front of the television or computer instead of finding other interesting things to do that will greatly improve their general health and well being. When children are urged to engage in physical activity, it not only leads to physical benefits but also helps kids focus, release energy, and have fun in the company of friends.

Last March 26, Johnson's Baby launched Presko Play, an initiative that's synonymous to freshness, at the main promenade of Market Market in The Fort. A lot of kids had fun joining the activities including bouncing on top of huge balls, hula hooping, and playing futkal (football kalye or football in the streets). 

To make the event more exciting for parents and kids alike, Johnson's Baby invited several Going Bulilit Kids as well as the Tondo Futkaleros, a team of young men who did exhibitions and helped facilitate games. And to help the young players stay fresh and play longer, there are booths where they can freshen up with Johnson's Baby Powder and Cologne. At day's end, they can wash off all the day's sweat and dirt using Johnson's Baby Bath.

After the launch, Johnson's Baby will continue to spread its advocacy for outdoor play by visiting grassroots barangay areas to hold Futkal workshops and training.

Friends and readers who live in, or near, Los Banos and are looking for kiddie activities this summer, I'm highly recommending this workshop. It will be facilitated by the cooking and creative genuises of Arla Diner located at 5024 National Highway, Maahas, Los Banos, Laguna. Please contact Chef PJ Aquino or Teacher Lem Rosellon at 0917-9019323 and 0949-7308170 to sign up :)

Last March 24, child-focused development organization World Vision recognized its over 2,000 graduates nationwide. The graduation celebration, dubbed "Flying High" was held at the PS Bank Center in Makati.

Amid the increasing number of out-of-school children and school drop-outs in the country today, World Vision takes pride with the children it is able to graduate each year through its Child Sponsorship Program.

Twenty students were selected from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to represent all the WV sponsored children who are marching closer to their dreams as another school year ends. The chosen 20 students are graduating with the highest honors in their batch. They came from as far as Misamis Occidental, Palawan, Aklan, and Cebu.

Fying High is World Vision's way of giving due recognition to children who excel in academics despite their plight in life. WV Marketing Director Boris Joaquin reveals how proud they are of how the students continue to persevere and work hard to reach their dreams despite the limitations of poverty.

It was a joy to watch those 20 kids being acknowledged for giving their best. Some of the children's sponsors were present and it was very touching to see them make the effort to be there and join in the celebration. My husband and I are also sponsoring a child each via World Vision so I know how happy the sponsors are at seeing how their support have made a difference in a child's life.

Read here the story of Shena, a born achiever who will be graduating from elementary as Valedictorian this April.

Two years ago, the first Flying High celebration was graced by World Vision Ambassadors Lea Salonga and Nikki Gil who both gave inspiring messages to the children.

This year, World Vision invited selected youth achievers from Jollibee’s Yumbassadors led by teen star Sam Concepcion who himself has been a long-time World Vision Ambassador. He was joined by Bam Aquino, youth leader and social entrepreneur who pioneered the HaPinoy project; Carmela Lao, first Filipina to bag International Mathematical Olympiad medals, Sunshine Plata, renowned coffee painter whose fan base includes Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; and Miro Frances Capili, the youngest three-time Palanca awardee.

The Yumbassadors represent young Filipino achievers who have excelled in different fields through talent, hard work and determination – values that World Vision also hopes to impart to its graduates. WV Chairman of the Board Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato also graced the event and shared an inspiring message to the graduates.

"World Vision believes that nobody is bound to poverty all their life; but with education, poor children are given wings to pursue their own passions and soar high and reach their dreams," adds Joaquin.

World Vision extends its special thanks to its event partners and sponsors Cebu Pacific for the students’ airfare, PS Bank for the venue and food, Gohotels.ph for accommodations, Jollibee, Italdesign and Dunlopillo, Hobbes and Landes, and Unisilver.

World Vision’s Community Development initiatives are present in 29 provinces and 33 cities nationwide. Children from these assisted communities are enlisted for Child Sponsorship and linked to willing sponsors for support. Children in sponsorship are provided access to education, healthcare, child protection and values formation. The organization works to ensure that they stay in school, and are equipped and motivated to pursue excellence. Nationwide, over 112,000 children are being supported by World Vision through their sponsors.

As early as now, before another school year starts, please consider sponsoring one child so he/she could go to school this June. You just have to share P600 of your monetary blessings each month. To know more about World Vision and the Child Sponsorship Program call 372-7777 or log on to www.worldvision.org.ph.

I wish I have more time to sit back and watch movies on cable TV. Here's hoping I get to catch at least one or two of these when I take breaks in between writing deadlines. I haven't seen any of them yet! Reading the plots, I found the story lines of the last two very intriguing!

Press Release: Enjoy Star Movies’ April epic romance and fantasy flicks

Are you looking for an escape to the time of magic and imagination? Or are you up for a tear-jerking heavy dose of teenage coming of age story and a romantic New York love affair?

Witness an action-packed trip through the deserts of Persia, a heartwarming cougar-style love affair in New York, a teenage story of two star-crossed lovers, and a journey through imagination with awesome visual effects and choreography.

This April, you don’t have to choose as Star Movies lets your mind travel the depths of fantasy and reality.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (April 3). Go on a journey with Jake Gyllenhaal in this epic adventure in the heart of Persia. After he was falsely accused of killing his adoptive father, Prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) tries to avenge his death by discovering the identity of the true killer. Along the way, he joins forces with the mysterious Princess Tamina (Gemma Artenton) as they go against the dark forces and guard an ancient dagger, which holds the famed Sands of Time.

Remember Me (April 10). Robert Pattinson switches from brooding vampire to rebellious NYU student Tyler Hawkins in Remember Me. After his brother’s suicide and his parents’ divorce, Tyler becomes isolated and troubled. He meets fellow NYU student Ally (Emilie De Ravin), and find strength and inspiration in each other. As Tyler and Ally strive to overcome their own tragedies, love seems like a possibility on the horizon, until their secrets start to unravel and threaten to tear them apart.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (April 17). Experience a fantastic visual ride into the world of imagination and stories of Doctor Parnassus. Played by Christopher Plummer, Parnassus leads a traveling troupe, which includes Anton (Andrew Garfield), Percy (Verne Troyer), and his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole). Because of a deal with Mr. Nick (Tom Waits), Parnassus is on a race against time to save Valentina from becoming another soul sacrifice. Then Tony (played by Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law), an unpredictable comical man with amnesia, enters the picture, and he might be Valentina’s only hope.

The Men Who Stare at the Goats (April 24). George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey star in a comedy war film that is loosely based on Jon Ronson’s book of the same name. Reporter Bob Wilton (McGregor) lands himself a story of a lifetime where he meets former U.S. Army member Lyn Cassady (Clooney). Together, they try to uncover the secret of a unit that employs paranormal powers and goats in their missions.

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