We need all the help we can get when it comes to staying healthy these days. The many advances in technology have made our lives so fast-paced that we forget to take care of our bodies while we rush to finish projects and earn a living for our families.

Image borrowed from turbosquid.com
Environmental pollution and preservatives in the food we eat don’t help. Many times, we opt to take the fast lane and choose convenience over anything else. We drown our systems with food that we know are bad for our health and yet, we eat them anyway, because they were the easiest choices.

Pay attention to your body. As of this writing, I am recuperating from a bad case of flu and I’ve noticed that I don’t recover from sickness as fast as I did when I was much younger. Thus, I am more determined to tread the healthy path towards better food choices and more rest with the help of supplements that provide various benefits.

Circulan, for one, is a natural dietary food supplement that promotes good blood circulation. It is the first of its kind to be introduced to the Philippine market and combines 4 top herbal extracts into 1 formula:

1. Hawthorn Berry has crataegus extract that helps improve heart circulation. It has an antioxidant that is 50 and 20 times more effective than Vitamins E and C, respectively. This results to providing protection against heart disease, cancer, accelerated aging, deteriorating eyesight, arthritis, allergies, oxidative stress, and other free radical related diseases. The extract moreover improves skin elasticity, aids wound healing, and prevents excessive scar formation.

Image borrowed from metrohealthhmo.com
2. Ginkgo Biloba also has a powerful antioxidant property that supports brain function and is linked to improved concentration and memory. Components of the extract are also associated with improved circulation to all parts of the body, notably the brain, which help in making better the eye conditions of patients with diabetes, those with Alzheimers and dementia, and people who have suffered strokes.

Image borrowed from eol.org
3. Garlic oil is included in Circulan because it lowers lipids (fat-like molecules), prevents and controls plaque build-up in the arteries, and reduces the formation of carcinogenic compounds that may lead to esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer.

Image borrowed from futureceuticals.com
4. Lemon Balm extract has mild sedative, spasmolytic, antibacterial, and antiviral effects for people suffering from nervousness, sleeping problems, and gastro-intestinal complaints.

Image borrowed from livingherbaltea.com
All 4 work in synergy with one another to help improve the entire circulatory system of the body.  If you suffer from any of the above-mentioned medical conditions, you may also want to consider taking Circulan to improve your wellbeing. After all, we can’t afford to get sick especially if we have loved ones who rely on us to provide for their needs.

For more info and to get updates on the latest promos, please Like Circulan's Facebook page

The Cherry Mobile Flare has made waves when it was launched. This month, Cherry Mobile unveils its successor, the Flare 2.0.

This new phone runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor. It enables users to switch seamlessly between apps, display and capture content in HD, enjoy premium multichannel audio, take high quality photos, and navigate through towns and cities with ease. Other features include a 5 Megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED Flash, a VGA front-facing camera, a 4-inch capacitive screen, FM Radio, 4GB ROM, 512MB RAM, and MicroSD up to 32GB.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon features industry-leading 3G connectivity that makes high-quality voice calls possible as well as supports easy switching of networks for dual SIMs. The quad-core CPU runs at 1.2 GHz and has a high performance GPU among others. This latest Snapdragon processor is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Poch Zenarosa, Marketing Head for Cherry Mobile, expressed how proud they are of the Flare 2.0, which they have dubbed Quad-Core ng Bayan (Quad-Core of the People). "We believe that advanced technology is for everyone and low-cost should not always mean low-capability."

According to Lonson Alejandrino, Product Manager for Smartphones, users can also do more while having to recharge less with the Flare 2.0. "The device is capable of running multiple apps and switching between them [doesn't sacrifice] performance or battery life."

The Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 retails at P3,999.00 and is considered the most affordable quad-core smartphone in the country. "We are delighted to be able to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies on this product to deliver a superior mobile experience to customers," said Alejandrino. "With significant upgrades in hardware and software, the new Flare 2.0 is powerful, yet still affordable."

For more information, please visit www.cherrymobile.com.ph, like Cherry Mobile on Facebook, and follow @cherrymobilePH on Twitter and Instagram


Personal care products shouldn't be something we should scrimp on because they help us maintain health and wellness. Essentials, such as basic medications should not also be cut out of families' budgets. Thanks to Watsons Label products, shoppers can buy personal care items at affordable prices that don't compromise on quality.

Recently, actress/MYX VJ Iya Villania and actor/commercial model Mikael Daez joined the Watsons family after discovering the many benefits of switching and saving with the brand. 

Mikael admits to always being value conscious and trying to be very efficient when it comes to spending. "That's similar to what Switch & Save is all about," he likens. "I think it's great to be the face of such a campaign."

Iya, on the other hand, says she switched to Watsons because it is actually a place she often visits for her needs. "They provide great quality daily essentials that allow me to save a few pesos here and there, which, at the end of the year, do all add up."

The Watsons Switch & Save campaign started in February 2012 and continues to enjoy popularity with Filipino shoppers who want to spend less on daily essentials. Since the products are of top quality but cheaper than their branded counterparts, it's not surprising that Watsons Label items are a huge hit even with celebrities.

"As a leading health and beauty brand in the Philippines, Watsons recognizes that to be truly beautiful, one must also be healthy," affirms Viki Encarnacion, Marketing Director of Watsons Philippines. "Consistent with Watsons Label products, our Health and Compliance Packs [also] offer great quality at affordable prices, giving you fantastic value for money." 

A partnership with United Laboratories Inc., allows Watsons to offer top-quality vitamins and medicines at wallet-friendly prices with compliance pack bundles providing up to 80% savings versus leading brands.

Aside from Iya and Mikael, personalities Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Patty Laurel, and Divine Lee acknowledge the value of switching and saving with Watsons. All say they are satisfied customers.

You, too, can save money on your daily essentials so you can also spend on other things you need when you switch and save. More importantly, you can invest on your family's health to enjoy more things that life has to offer.  

* To see more photos taken during the event, please view this Facebook album

Did you know? Toby's Sports started thirty five years ago as a small toy store. Since then, it has grown and evolved through the years into the leading and largest sports brand in the Philippines we know today. With 50 stores nationwide, Toby's Sports now covers 56 sports and carries nearly 500 brands.  

Yesterday, Toby's unveiled its latest campaign called "It Starts Here" at SM Aura, which espouses that the first step in achieving greater heights is commitment. This is how the brand sees itself through the years and continues its commitment to the purpose of helping Filipinos live their best through sports and an active lifestyle. 

The country's largest sports chain embodies passion, greatness, and excellence. Thus, in line with the launch of its new look, Toby's tapped some of the Philippines' most respected athletes who show the same values in their respective sports.

Toby Claudio
According to Toby's Sports President Toby Claudio, "It Starts Here" encompasses the driving force of Filipinos who are committed to their goals. In the world of sports, he stressed how important it is to know within yourself that you have to start somewhere to get to where you want to be. "That's where Toby's Sports is: we are the starting point to help you on your journey to greatness."

James and Michelle with Toby Claudio
The launch of the brand's new logo further strengthens and communicates its mantra and goes with the store's all-new look created by a Tokyo-based design firm. To best epitomize the "It Starts Here" campaign, Toby's chose PBA all-star James Yap, volleyball champion Michelle Gumabao, and Azkals star goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. The three exhibit what's it like to have a burning passion for sports, be motivated to reach greatness, and prove that excellence can be fulfilled.

Everyone needs to start somewhere. For James Yap, being selected as a ten-time PBA All-Star and two-time Most Valuable Player did not happen overnight. He rose from a humble background to become a college phenomenon before he because the face of the PBA. Now, he is recognized as one of the top five Filipino basketball players of all-time and undoubtedly the most recognizable male athlete of his generation. He affirmed that everything begins with the decision to commit to ones' goals.

Likewise, Michelle Gumabao learned the best life lessons inside the volleyball court. She discovered that for passion to turn into greatness, everything starts with discipline. Her passion for her sport is unmatched as evidenced by a stunning career that has yielded three UAAP championships and recognition as the UAAP Finals MVP.

On the other hand, Neil Etheridge understood that he had to work his way up to reach his goal of playing for English Premier League team Fulham and for the Philippine team Azkals where he shone as a hero in several crucial victories. He shared that playing for a first division team with some of the best players in the world is something he has always dreamed of. "It's the reason why I've worked so hard. And I keep working hard because I know that with the Azkals, I have a shot at doing something that can make the whole country proud."

Thus, if there is one thing that Toby's Sports and its athlete-endorsers have in common, it is knowing that there is power in commitment. And having been behind many successful athletes for decades, Toby's remain committed to serving more generations of rising stars. 

For more information, please visit www.tobys.com, like Toby's Sports on Facebook, and follow @tobyssports on Twitter. For inquiries, call 651-7777.

* To see more photos taken during the event, please visit this Facebook album

Anybody who dreams of making it big believes, deep within their hearts, that their time to shine will come. Whatever field or industry they want to be successful in, however humble their beginnings were, or how big an impact they hope to make, everyone longs for that moment when they can truly say that they've "made it".

At a recent event hosted held in Opus, Resorts World Manila, TechnoMarine recognized four individuals who have become big names in their respective fields. The brand's campaign, "It's TiMe", affirms the following four celebrities who are now at the top of their game and that their time is now. 

TV host, fashion magazine editor, and media personality Bianca Gonzalez's mix of strength and femininity personifies TechnoMarine's Cruise Ceramic Line. Although ceramic has a smooth and sensual exterior, its precise craftsmanship ensures its strength and durability along with a beautiful finish much like this eminent force in the media who encourages the youth to become active and involved.

Arguably the biggest name in Philippine football, Phil Younghusband, formerly of the Philippine Azkals and now of the Loyola Meralco Sparks Football Club, has planted the seeds of football's growth when he and his brother James put up the Younghusband Football Academy to help enhance the skills of young Filipino athletes. He personifies TehcnoMarine's Black Reef Collection -- a masculine, oversized watch full of energy and testosterone that draws inspiration from one of the best diving spots in the world. The collection features the vibrant colors of underwater spectacles and is water-resistant, which makes it ideal for diving and other adventures.  

Having been in show business for more than 10 years now, Heart Evangelista's career remains colorful as ever. This celebrated star has dabbled in creative outlets and found success in her endeavors. Much like her is TechnoMarine's Cruise Treasure Quest with Diamonds that brings a new twist to its predecessor, the Cruise Treasure timepieces. This time, there are more luxury elements added such as Mother of Pearl, pink gold, white diamonds, and blue sapphires. 

Young basketball player Kiefer Ravena of the Ateneo Blue Eagles has exceptional skills on the court that earned him nicknames such as "The Phenom" or "Blue Mamba". This junior college student has an impressive basketball resume that includes playing for the national team in 2011's SEA Games, Rookie of the Year in his freshman year, and two UAAP championships. An unstoppable force on the court, Keifer is very much like the Steel Evolution watch, TechnoMarine's next generation steel chronograph that has colored sub dials against a cool steel face. It sports the brand's interchangeable strap system that makes it versatile for any occasion and is perfect for a college basketball hero.

At the heart of all their stories is the fact that these four young personalities' time has come in the pursuit of their passions. They exhibit that with hard work and determination, success is not too far behind and that we can find fulfillment when we do things we are passionate about and use our talents to fullest. 

Don't wait for forever to be on top of your game. Like TechnoMarine, believe that your time is NOW!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining with friends in Eastwood. It was my first time to try the food at Kogi Bulgogi and I loved many of their dishes! Kogi, if you're wondering, is Korean for meat while Bulgogi is a dish of marinated beef cooked with onions, one of Korea's most popular dishes. 

What's nice about this versatile restaurant is that you can request dishes adjusted to your preferred spice level. This is great for people like me who are not overly fond of spicy food. 

Last Saturday, I got to taste once again the delicious food I've come to love at Kogi. The store launched its newest branch at Promenade, Greenhills and the opening was well-attended by media friends and guests. What made lunch better for me was getting to share the experience with my husband and our happy bunch of friends.

Among the mini appetizers, I chose to take a few bites of the sweet and spicy dilis, the pickled ampalaya, and the slices of sweet banana. All are great for jumpstarting my salivary glands for the gustatory treats I know would be coming up soon. I steered clear of the kimchi though because I know I wouldn't like the fiery sensation it will leave on my tongue. 

Our first dish was the Bibimbap (P210), a popular Korean dish of rice with meat, eggs, and vegetables, which was mixed in front of us by a very accommodating Kogi staff member. It's actually already a complete meal by itself but, of course, it would not be that fun if we don't get to sample more of the restaurant's other yummy offerings!

I like the "ceremony" of eating Chicken Kalbi (P280). It consists of flavorful grilled chicken thigh  strips that you wrap in lettuce leaves and drizzle with several sauces. 

For me, that one goes very well with forkfuls of one of my Kogi favorites: the Japchae (P258), a dish composed of stir fried vermicelli with beef, pork, and mixed vegetables. Honestly, I can finish off a whole plate of this by myself given a chance!

The plates of Salmon (P275) and Tuna (P195) Sashimi didn't last long on our table. I guess everybody simply likes chewing on these fresh slices of fish. 

The Tuna Tataki (P320) also seemed to disappear in seconds! I didn't get to have a taste but hubby said it is something I should order the next time we eat at Kogi. This dish is made up of seared tuna over hot flame with vinegar sauce sprinkled with chives.

To satisfy my soup craving, I ordered a pot of Tuk Bulgogi (P395), another favorite dish of mine at Kogi. This has well-marbled premium imported beef, golden mushrooms, tofu, vegetables, and glass noodles in a light sauce. It's so enjoyable to sip spoonfuls of the liquid that truly warms the tummy. 

For dessert, I ate a stick of strawberry-flavored Melona ice cream that served as a great ending to a very filling meal. There are more items in Kogi Bulgogi's menu that I'm reserving for succeeding visits. The servings are usually good for sharing so it's great to bring along friends and family to have a meal with. 

Visit one of Kogi Bulgogi's branches in Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown, and Promenade, Greenhills to taste for yourself the wonderful bursts of flavors it has to offer. Watch out, too, for the opening of another Kogi restaurant in Gateway Mall, Araneta Center later this year. 

What first comes to your mind when you hear the word "cancer"? For many people, just the mention of The Big C, especially when it pertains to someone we know or love, can strike us with fear because people have always associated the dreaded medical diagnosis with dying or death.

Here in our country, I think the most common cancers we hear of are those about breast and lung. But, did you know that based on research, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the Philippines? According to the Philippine Cancer Society, recent statistics show that at least 8,000 new cases are diagnosed every year and the number is steadily increasing.

The figures may be alarming but, according to gastroenterologist-internist Dr. Jaime Ignacio, colorectal cancer is preventable and curable if detected early through screening. During a press briefing held the other night, he mentioned 4 procedures: CT colonography, flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood testing, and colonoscopy.

Dr. Ignacio
Dr. Ignacio emphasized that colonoscopy is the best way to properly detect if a patient has inflamed tissues, ulcers, and abdominal growths. This is a medical procedure wherein the entire colon and rectum are examined using a colonoscope. It has the capacity to remove polyps in the colon, which can significantly reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. "Emphasis should be for colorectal cancer prevention rather than detection," he stressed.

Unfortunately, not many Filipinos are aware that this procedure is available to them. Some think that they should only have it done when they get old or if their doctor tells them to, which could be too late especially if the patient is predisposed to having CRC.

Whether you live in Metro Manila or outside of it, the expertise in colonoscopy is widespread in the Philippines so there's no excuse not to undergo it if you are already past 40. People of this age and above are said to be more susceptible to acquiring the disease. Dr. Ignacio shared that there are now over 400 certified doctors all over the country who can perform the procedure.

With these lifesaving facts in mind, Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) and Carewell Community partnered to create an advocacy campaign called Lifesaver.

"Dulcolax, the number one prescribed laxative in our country, is generally known to provide effective relief for constipation sufferers. But what most Filipinos don't know is that it is also used for colon screenings," said Ms. Jo-Ann Ramos, Dulcolax Brand Manager. She expressed that they wanted to tie up with a group whose sole purpose is to help those afflicted or affected by the dreaded disease and  Carewell Community became their answer.

Carewell is a non-profit foundation that provides support, education, and hope to persons with cancer and their loved ones. "It is a fitting partnership to help save lives. We saw it as a great opportunity to increase colon cancer awareness. The objective is really just to make people aware that they should get screened early on to prevent or detect [the illness]. With the Lifesaver partnership, we can all be lifesavers," she encouraged.

Jo-Ann Ramos and Melly Guerrero of Boehringer Ingelheim
In the coming months, Lifesaver will be rolling out various programs to effectively spread the lifesaving message to as many people as possible. It will also be conducting a series of presentations in different hospitals to gain support from doctors to encourage people at risk to get screened. Another key program is the sale of Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) Lifesaver packs of which portions of the proceeds will go to sponsored colonoscopies.

Dr. Ignacio, who specializes in digestive endoscopy as well as liver and abdominal diseases, presently heads the Digestive Malignancy Council of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology. He advocates to raise public awareness for the early detection of colon and various digestive cancers. 

Help spread the Lifesaver message and save lives by sharing the link of this blog post to your loved ones who are already over 40 years old. You may also know more about CRC and colonoscopy by visiting and liking facebook.com/ColonCarePH.

* Thanks trailsunlimited.blogspot.com for the use of the photos :) If you were present during the press con, check if you have your picture in this Facebook album

We all need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. And one great way to unwind is to stay somewhere peaceful and yet rejuvenating. 

If you're planning a trip to Negros Occidental any time soon, I suggest you book a room at May's Organic Garden in Pahanocoy, Bacolod City. It is a beautiful place with relaxing views, comfortable rooms, friendly owners and staff, and good organic food.

Our group of Organic Agriculture (OA) Bloggers, through the courtesy of the Agricultural Training Institute's e-Extension Program, stayed there for four days and we loved it! When we first arrived straight from the airport, we were immediately treated to a filling lunch that includes brown rice, crispy salad, and several viands. 

After eating, we went upstairs to check out our rooms. It was so funny that all six of us, girls, started exclaiming over how pretty our beds look and were almost screaming (to be heard among the noisy chatter) that nobody should sit anywhere until after everyone has taken photos that the guys had to rush over to find out what the commotion was all about hahaha. That is one really nice room!

After we're done settling in, we all got to meet the place's owners, Mr. Ramon and Ms. May Uy, who warmly welcomed us. On our way to the meeting area, we had to cross a bridge over a large pond with really nice views. 

Later, after a refreshing snack made with organic ingredients, we got to tour the place and were amazed that they have pigs at the back of the property! They have no foul odor and they eat leaves that you can hand-feed to them. 

We also saw the property's Vermicomposting area where they use worms to make vermicompost, a kind of organic fertilizer. This is what they use for the many kinds of fruits and vegetables they nurture. 

Sir Ramon also introduced us to his RU Foundry business. Here, they make various kinds of shredders that can cut, not only grass (for composting), but also paper, hard plastic, glass, and big stones in just a matter of seconds! This process makes recycling stuff easier. The powerful machines are proudly Philippine made, are very sturdy, and can compete with any other shredders bought abroad. 

I was fascinated by the pressing machine that can make tiny bricks (kinda like charcoal) using recycled paper, which could be used for cooking. Families who are unable to buy expensive liquid petroleum gas and don't have gas stoves could use these instead. 

He likewise showed us their Hydraulic Ram Pump that are very useful when irrigating high areas that are far from bodies of water. The pond was near the swimming pool but we, unfortunately, had no time to take a dip the whole time we were there. 

Next, we rode a cute little tour bus to go to the big vegetable plantation across the road. There, we got to see how they make lemon grass oil and saw where the veggies in our salad came from. The plants are very healthy and pesticide-free!

The following days had me snapping photos of the lovely flowers and restful nooks within the area. We even had a videoke session one night which was a riot given the antics of some of my wacky friends. 

One afternoon, some of us also walked towards the sea which is only about 10-15 minutes away from May's Organic Garden. We reached the mangroves just as the sun was setting. It was great to find out that they have a lookout area (albeit dilapidated) where we were able to take good shots. 

I will always have fond memories of our stay in May's Organic Garden and I hope, someday, I'll get to go back there with my husband and kids. The room where the girls stayed, with six beds and two bathrooms, would perfectly accommodate my whole family :)

*To see more photos of the place, please view this Facebook album

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