Baguio City is popularly known as a vacation spot that has a cold climate because it is way above sea level. But despite its elevated location, the city, surprisingly is still susceptible to floods. In fact, 2012's tropical storm Helen left Baguio submerged while 2013's typhoon Labuyo brought on the same devastation along with landslides. Given the continuous occurrences of atmospheric disturbances, we have to be prepared that more of them will come.

Flooded Baguio
photo borrowed from worldvision.org.au
SM Baguio is thus planning to build a catchment tank to capture and store rainwater to help reduce floodwaters that damage households and business establishments. In addition, stored water has many non-potable uses such as irrigation and watering of plants.  



Little kids love playing pretend. In their imagination, they could be doctors, pilots, artists, firefighters, and whatever else they can think of. Although there are toys that can help enhance this kind of educational play, wouldn't it be wonderful if Filipino kids could do these activities in a place that looks like a real work environment? 


Now they can! This 2015, the global leader in children’s educational entertainment, KidZania, is bringing the ultimate role playing experience to the Philippines! And to help bring this indoor play city to life are over 40 of the country’s most respected brands, which have signed up as Industry Partners working towards the common goal of helping kids learn how to build a better world.





One of the most elusive powers of attraction is a dazzling white smile. And in this modern world where fast fashion, passing trends, and ever-dynamic beauty looks have become the norm, people who know the importance of first impressions are aware that one should have classic go-to beauty must haves that will stand the test of time.


Now, there's good news for those who love having coffee and other dark beverages. Closeup has created a first in beauty oral care called Closeup Diamond Attraction. Inspired by the latest technologies in cosmetic dentistry and co-created with cosmetic dentists, it promises to give users visibly whiter teeth in one brush*.

Heart and her dazzling white smile
For celebrity Heart Evangelista, a smile is unlike any other beauty accessory, which is why she is glad to have Closeup Diamond Attraction in her beauty arsenal. "Nothing compliments your overall look better than a dazzling white smile, because it gives you that boost of confidence and it completes your total look," the beautiful actress said during the product launch held in Blackbird Makati the other night.

Heart with fiancé Sen. Chiz Escudero



By now, many of us already know that one way to save on our electricity bill is to switch to using more energy-efficient appliances. For instance, the old CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions consume power way too much than LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light emitting diodes) TVs. Study this very informative power consumption comparison table from energyusecalculator.com.


Similarly, when it comes to lighting technology, households and commercial establishments should have already replaced by now their tube fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs. In our house, we are slowly eliminating CFLs (compact fluorescents) one at a time with the slightly more expensive but very energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Below is another power consumption comparison table, this time for light bulbs from www.designrecycleinc.com. The website has listed down a lot of benefits in choosing LEDs: they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and reduce electric bills; they don't contain toxic mercury that is present in incandescent bulbs; the lower energy consumption helps the environment by decreasing carbon dioxide and sulfur oxide emissions as well as high-level nuclear waste; they are very durable and don't have the tendency to catch fire, smoke, or emit bad odors like incandescent bulbs do.


LEDs are the future and are now steadily being used by commercial establishments here and abroad in recognition of their energy efficiency and low maintenance cost. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency said that they also last significantly longer than incandescent and fluorescent lights, and generate very little heat. 

SM has chosen to follow the trend, beginning with its parking spot finders or indicators. If you've noticed those green and red lights in SM parking lots, those are built with LEDs that provide savings to the mall in terms of power usage. 

SM Lanang Davao Parking Lot
Photo credit: alvinfirst in Skyscrapercity.com 
Customers also benefit from this lighting system because they save on fuel when trying to find a parking space as they no longer need to drive around and around needlessly. They just have to find a green light that means no car is under it and the slot is free to be occupied. 

Indeed, LEDs have numerous benefits, including the ones that are not so obvious when they were first introduced to the public. If you haven't switched to LED bulbs yet at home or in your business establishment, you may also want to do so. You'll be amazed at the savings you'll get as well as the safety factors!  




It can't be helped that hair sometimes becomes prone to damage due to factors such as too-much styling and pollution from the environment. Discover a new secret weapon in Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner and learn about its benefits:


Smoothens 3 months of damage -- hair that has lost its protective layer and feels rough is already damaged. It is also more negatively charged than healthy hair thus causing frizz. Pantene's new formula with an improved conditioning agent or cationic polymer is positively charged to neutralize damaged portions of hair, and forms a shield to protect hair from future damage. The protective layer also reduces friction between individual hair fibers, which results in easier rinsing and reduced tangling.



In commemoration of the 19th National Autism Consciousness Week, about 12,000 members of the autism community attempted to set a Guinness World Record yesterday morning as the largest crowd wearing wings at the Mall of Asia Arena.


Angels Walk was also held at Balyuan Towers in Tacloban City and SM City Cebu. Families, friends, and advocates of various Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) chapters showed up mostly wearing green shirts and white wings. They all made a beautiful sight inside MOA Arena and while walking in orderly lines around the Mall of Asia complex.  


National Autism Consciousness Week, which began in January 1996 after the issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 711, aims to inspire awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of persons with autism (PWAs) in society.





I have learned to love Korean cuisine the past couple of years even though I am not that fond of extremely spicy food. What some people don't know is that not all Korean food leave the tongue burning! Many dishes are simply delicious and flavorful.

ribbon-cutting
Thus, it was really easy to say yes to an invitation to YOREE Korean Barbeque Dining's branch opening in Molito, Alabang the other day. I am glad that this dining establishment is now more accessible to a south Metro Manila resident like me.

food can be grilled at your own table
YOREE's interior gives off an elegant and inviting vibe. The soft lighting and lovely decor definitely make for a pleasurable dining experience. I appreciate how each table has its own heating plate and grill because servers won't need to transfer portable stoves from table to table and keep customers waiting.

Rhian and Vanessa



For a lot of people, scars are unsightly things that should be hidden or removed as much as possible. Beyond physical appearance, scars can leave a lasting psychological impact especially if a person is very conscious of having them. 


Every year, over 200 million incisions are made on children and adults worldwide. About 30% of those procedures result in pathologic (hypertrophic or keloidal) scars. If the wound healing is undisturbed, one may end up with a normal "fine line" scar. Unfortunately, alterations in the healing process could result to ugly scarring.

Studies have shown that scars can affect a person's physical comfort and functioning, self-acceptance, acceptance by others, social functioning, emotional wellbeing, and confidence in the nature and management of the condition. Women with scars, particularly, often feel a loss of attractiveness and femininity, associate negative emotions with scars, and feel insecure in their own skin.

Dr. Hector Santos, Jr.



For more than two decades now, homegrown brand RACKS continues to serve a great selection of signature comfort dishes that includes its famous flame-grilled, fall-off-the-bone baby ribs. 


People living or working in the Timog Avenue, Quezon City area as well as near Evia Lifestyle Center, Alabang would be happy to know that their favorite slow-cooked RACKS ribs just got more accessible with the opening of the restaurant chain's 15th and 16th branches. 




One of the top concerns of moms is our children’s wellbeing. For the past five years, our home has already been maid and yaya-free so taking care of my son with special needs means alternating babysitting duties with my husband and three other sons. Still, I tend to worry when I have to work outside our home and leave James for several hours.


Most of the time, I’d call whoever is with James to check if he is doing all right because he sometimes tends to be fussy and may cry for reasons we can’t figure out. It’s not always easy to guess what my son is trying to say because he is non-verbal and non-mobile so we really have to observe him closely to see if he’s in pain, simply hungry, sleepy, or plain bored and would want to watch one of his favorite DVDs.




I started running again (read here why) about four months ago. Before I went on my very first practice run, I downloaded several running apps that my friends have been using but had to immediately scrap one that required me to buy a gadget before I could use it.


I also got frustrated when the GPS on two other apps I downloaded on my iPod Touch won't work under the open sky without a roof to block the signal. Two practice runs later, by chance, I downloaded Runtastic on my Windows Phone to give it a try and got it to work the first time I opened it.


Here are several things I like about this app:



In the past months, I've blogged about how YSA Skin and Body Experts helps care for my skin and body. In case you missed out on reading them before, please check out my reviews on the full facial treatment, the LED mask, the Ultramask, and the Cryo-Slim Technology.  


This 2015, I am looking forward to checking out other YSA Skin Care Center offerings so I can again share the results with you. In the meantime, let's have a blog giveaway! I'd really love two of my readers to also have the #YSALoveStory experience.





It has been more than 20 years since Boardwalk became an active player in the fields of fashion and business. With the aim to create uplift Filipino lives and lifestyles, the company keeps business fashionable by looking at every opportunity as a fresh start.


This 2015, Boardwalk elevates fashion to a more meaningful spectrum with its new battle cry: Fashion for Social Change. The brand inspires Filipinos to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills through lessons on how to make a living out of their fashion signature styles.




Freeway is one of the fashion brands I personally love because it consistently comes up with great designs for clothing and accessories. The sizings of their clothes fit me very well, which is why some of my favorite items inside my closet have the Freeway label.


Aside from outfits though, I love, love, love Freeway's Art Bags! I own two but would love to collect more designs. A friend of mine, who's an art teacher, complimented my Ang Huling Babaylan bag just last New Year's eve. It is that eye-catching!




My dad worked abroad for a few years while I was still in grade school and one of the items I'd anticipate the most when opening a balikbayan box from him were salty pretzels. Back then, all you could buy in the Philippines were Jack 'n Jill pretzel sticks covered in chocolate or sugar. I love those, too, but I considered the salty ones the really rare treats. 

When my boys were small, some of their top favorite baon snacks to bring to school were Jack 'n Jill Pretzels' Choco Knots and Berry Knots. We'd usually buy extra packs we can share and eat at home.


Now, Universal Robina Corporation (URC) has just put a spin on the all-time favorite Jack ' Jill Pretzels by making them lighter and crispier! Pretzel Crisps comes in two new and tasty flavors: Honey Mustard and Cheese 'n Garlic. I think I'd be one of the firsts to say "Hooray!" because salty pretzels have just become affordable and more accessible for me.




Relationships are affected by many things and, with couples, intimacy is considered an important component. Thus, having any kind of sexual dysfunction could negatively affect both partners. Unfortunately, topics about sexual relations are usually considered taboo in the Philippines, even in these modern times. 

RJ Ledesma
The Menarini Group believes that when it comes to sexual intimacy, couples need to be more open with their partners about what satisfies them. Given that they are supposed to share a special bond, there should be no reason not to be comfortable discussing about what one likes, or doesn't like, about sex because it is an activity that is meant to be enjoyed and provide fulfillment for both parties.

As such Menarini Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Urological Association, boldly launched its Commit to Control PE Advocacy Campaign last year to address one of the most pressing issues in sexual intimacy -- premature ejaculation (PE)




If you regularly ride taxis around Metro Manila, you probably have encountered rude and demanding drivers, meters that fall too fast, inefficient air conditioning, bad smelling interiors, and on and on and on. Agree? 

hitching an Über ride with fellow bloggers Jonel, Marj, and Ryan
Sometime last year, I got a code that I can use for a free Uber ride. I have been vaguely aware of this service for a few months then, but haven't had the chance to research about it and ask around how it works. Since it was rush hour and I'll be going to Intramuros from Makati, I know heavy traffic would cost me a lot if I take a regular taxi. So I decided to use the code given to me by CreamSilk

First, I downloaded Uber for free from the App Store. Upon registration, I was asked to provide details such as my name, email address, mobile phone number, and photo. I also had to scan my credit card, the number of which the app saved under my profile.

my first Uber ride, it was so easy to make a booking!


Anybody who grew up reading (or in my kids' case, watching) Disney stories dream of someday being able to visit what many call "the happiest place on earth" -- in short, Disneyland! But while we wait for that day to come, I think the next best thing to fulfilling a Disney dream is to watch a Disney on Ice show.


Two years ago, my youngest son and I got to see Disney on Ice Presents Princesses and Heroes at the Araneta Coliseum and we loved it! Yesterday, thanks to Magnolia Chocolait and Yehey! Digital Group, we got to watch Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream. 





Deep in our hearts, we Filipinos want the best for our country, the Philippines. Despite the frustrations we experience with inefficient government officials and systems, many of us continue to hope for a better life for ourselves and for our countrymen. Agree?

According to Dr. Mina Ramirez, phenomenological sociologist and president of Asian Social Institute, “The year 2015 is harvest time - harvesting all what is good about the Filipino to transform our country into a great nation.” 


As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome the New Year, this is the perfect time to reflect about how we lived in the past year and what we plan to do in the coming days to reach our dreams of a better future. Why not begin listing down resolutions to start things right for 2015?!  

Inspired by this notion, Krem-Top coffee creamer launched the Change for the Better Campaign in 2012 to motivate and challenge individuals to exercise the habit of aspiring to become a better person.  This encourages everyone to commit and sustain personal goals, not just during the turn of the year but throughout the year and beyond.  

Since then, the campaign has grown from being a personal call to being nationalistic as the mission is not meant to just improve individuals but for the entire nation to join forces towards becoming better Filipinos. Krem Top’s Change for the Better campaign reminds us that even small changes, when put or done together, can create a huge impact in the community. 


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