I first heard about Manna Cafe in 2012 when I got invited to its grand opening in BF Homes Paranaque. That branch no longer exists but I am glad to learn that Manna Bakery and Cafe is now more accessible in its new location at the third floor of SM BF Sucat.

Manna Bakery and Cafe at SM BF Sucat
My hubby and I had dinner there yesterday and found it to be a very relaxing place. I love its warm vibe that made us feel at home. The shelves, stocked with books and various knickknacks, plus the friendliness of the staff, added to the homey welcome. 

clam chowder soup in a sourdough bowl (P145.00)
We started our meal with New England Clam Chowder Soup. I ordered mine in a cup while hubby had his served in a sourdough bowl. The soup is creamy and very tasty. 

clam chowder soup in a cup (P95.00)


Fifty kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro and two kilometers from Dahilayan Adventure Park lies a two-hectare farm called Alomah's Place. This beautiful property combines its owners' surnames: Grace Alombro (her maiden name) and Benjohn Mahistrado, a couple who acquired their land through years of sheer grit and hard work. 

Alomah's Place -- a must-see destination in Bukidnon
Grace quipped that Alomah can also stand for A Love of Mountains and Horses, which applies to everyone in their family. 

OA Bloggers with the Mahistrados
photo credit: Juan Manila
The Mahistrados warmly welcomed our group of Organic Agriculture Bloggers when we arrived there late in the afternoon of May 24th. It started raining at the time so we didn't get to explore the surroundings yet. 

Alomah's camping grounds
What excited us though was finding out we could still go "camping" on the tent floor (yes, not tenth) as the ground was too wet for us to sleep in the tents outside.

yes! we still got to sleep in tents!


Many of us express the desire to be able to grow fruits and vegetables in our own backyards, or even in windowsill pots. Yet, we are hampered by various reasons such as not having enough space and time for, or knowhow about gardening.  

this 300sqm. organic farm grows several varieties of vegetables
using square foot and vertical gardening methods
I found inspiration in Brgy. Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao when I recently visited Sir Honorio Cervantes' farm, an Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Learning Site that is hailed for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The retired police officer turned organic farmer practitioner advocates urban gardening and is proof that we can really grow our own food no matter how little land we have. His farm only measures 300sqm but they are able to grow a lot of vegetables there using square foot and vertical gardening.

behind Sir Honorio are helpful charts and photos
that inspire visitors to also advocate for FAITH
Sir Honorio shared that he learned about the method of building garden boxes and structures to grow more in less space through a book by Mel Bartholomew, a retired businessman and engineer from Utah, USA. "I don't stop learning and continue to research and read about new farming methods," said Sir Honorio who added that he would usually immediately apply new learnings on his farm to see if they will work.

Sir Honorio demonstrated to us how he plants kangkong
using his square foot template (with holes for proper plant spacing) 


I've been a fan of Freeway's National Artist Collectors' Series ever since the F. Sionil Jose Collection was launched in 2011. The pieces they always came up with have very nice designs that beautifully incorporate each artist's specialty.

the Freeway x Imao collection features vibrant colors
inspired by Imao's adaptation of Muslim motifs
such as ukkil, sarimanok, pakorabong, and naga

This year, Freeway pays tribute to the first and only Moro honored as National Artist of the Philippines to date. Named National Artist for Sculpture in 2006, Abdulmari Imao was not only a sculptor but also a painter, ceramist, photographer, film maker, and writer. 

two of Imao's legacies
Known as a patron of Philippine Muslim Art and Culture, Imao had his own unique adaptation of traditional Muslim motifs such that his artworks exude a strong sense of nationalism and passion for his culture and heritage. Clearly, he made pieces that are fine examples of unity through diversity. 

visit Freeway's website to see all the breathtaking designs in the collection


One of the most talked-about names in fashion is now Penshoppe's newest global ambassador! Supermodel Gigi Hadid joins the international clothing brand to become the face of its newest line of super stretch denims for women.

Gigi Hadid x Penshoppe
Penshoppe is indeed staying true to its mission of putting the Philippines front and center in the glamorous world of international fashion by choosing the 21-year-old California native as the latest member of the already star-studded TEAM PENSHOPPE with fellow top models Lucky Blue Smith, Sean O'Pry, and Kendall Jenner as well as Asian superstars Sandara Park and Mario Maurer.

Gigi's first campaign with the brand involves The Penshoppe Power Stretch Jeans, a line of specialty pants that promises to take wearers to more places with the use of soft, stretchable material that provides absolute comfort plus a snug and flattering fit. Gigi's photos were shot on location in sunny Los Angeles by top fashion and celebrity photographer, Yu Tsai, who the lovely model started working with since she was 14.

event host Janeena Chan with Penshoppe's Jeff Bascon


I love living in the South of Metro Manila. Although it takes us time, a lot of traffic, and toll fees to reach places like Makati or Ortigas, I always feel happy to be going home. Here, life may not be necessarily as laid back as we'd like it to be but my husband and I still try to make it as such. 

serenity in the middle of the city
How? We allot time for activities we enjoy doing! Thankfully, there are many areas in Alabang where those are possible. For instance, we have our established practice running route near Palms Country Club and there are so many dining places here, such as River Park, where we could do food trips with the family.  

a photo op with the Bambike
This past Sunday, hubby and I dropped by Filinvest City Alabang to join other physical fitness enthusiasts usher in Carless Sundays. Weekends, after all, should be devoted to relaxing and enjoying carefree moments without the traffic jams and pressures of work. The good news is, residents and visitors can freely roam around certain areas where people are encouraged to do stuff that do not involve driving any cars.

bikes and trikes for rent starting at P80.00/hour


There are still so many things to be done to improve the lives of Filipinos, especially when it comes to health services. Yet, we must not forget to appreciate the milestones that have already been achieved in the past six years during President Benigno Simeon Aquino III's term.

launching of dengue vaccine for public school students
full story, here
Before 2010, the state of affairs in the health sector included a low budget for health, high out-of-pocket payments, inaccessible health services, and inequitable health outcomes. The good news is, from 2010 to 2014, the Department of Health (DOH) was able to pass Landmark Legislations including the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (2010), Mandatory Infants and Children Immunization Act (2011), Sin Tax Law and Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (2012), National Health Insurance Act (2013), Graphic Health Warnings Act and Amended Senior Citizens Act (2014).

Dr. Janette Garin became Health Under Secretary in 2013 and provided leadership to the Women, Children, and Family Health Bureau. In early 2015, she was appointed by President Aquino as Secretary of the DOH and was tasked to continue the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), the administration's core thrust for achieving better health outcomes through financial risk protection, improving access to quality health services, and strengthening existing public health programs to attain health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Health Equity for All


The Philippines is a country where beautiful women come in all shapes and colors. However, let’s admit that not everyone is happy with her skin tone. As much as I admire Filipinas who are already comfortable in being kayumanggi or morena, I also respect those who would like their skin to look fairer.

#bringyourskintolight with Kojie San
In my case, I was born with fair skin but I tend to get sunburned easily. Since I usually run outdoors, my face, arms, and legs often get darker than the rest of my body. Thus, I get help from products that can make my skin tone look more even. 

For about a month now, I’ve been using Kojie San to help lighten the dark areas of my skin. I like how the Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap is gentle enough, it does not make my skin peel like other Kojic soaps I tried in the past. I also love the smell of the Kojie San Body Lightening Lotion on my arms and legs. 

no fear of being outdoors and staying out under the sun!



For many people, buffets are good reasons to indulge the palate with various bursts of flavors. However, when the selection of food is too overwhelming, we end up not tasting everything even if we wanted to, right? That happens to me a lot! 

The Round Table buffet
At The Round Table, they limit the selection so diners get to enjoy their food more by taking out the immense pressure of choosing what particular dishes to eat. I like the concept of offering a simple setup where every dish is prepared in small batches to always maintain the freshness and integrity of flavors.

Roast Beef every day, anyone? :)
The Round Table is the restaurant of catering company Q Provisions. The establishment serve as their "all you can eat Tasting Room" that is open to the public daily and showcases their signature dishes. It is called such because of the round shape of the buffet table. "We are a small craft-buffet. We don't want to mislead diners expecting a grand set up similar to other buffet establishments."    
   
dinner date with hubby



Did you know that 98 percent of Filipino asthma patients continue to lack proper treatment? According to the Global Asthma Report, an estimated 300 million people worldwide are affected by asthma. In the Philippines, there are approximately 11 million or 1 out 10 Filipinos who suffer from this debilitating condition. Incurable, asthma burdens patients with restrictions that prevent them to live life to the fullest.

are you part of the 98% of patients who has uncontrolled asthma?
A study covering the Asia Pacific showed that it is quite common for people to limit their activities due to asthma. In fact, an average of 44.7% of respondents reported that normal physical activity was compromised, and 37.9% were convinced that their choice of job or career was limited. On the other hand, 52.7% of the respondents said that sports and recreation were affected, and 37.6% believed their lifestyle was restricted while almost 50% reported sleep disturbances.

Dr. Melvin Pasay, a pulmonologist and GSK's Medical Affairs Manager, described asthma as "a recurring inflammatory disorder in the airways of breathing, which undergoes variable expiratory flow and reversible bronchoconstrictions. In people with asthma, the airways are chronically inflamed. Certain triggers can make the inflammation worse and cause a narrowing of the airways."

doctors answer questions about asthma
Some of the common symptoms are constant wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing often late at night or early in the morning. Triggers for asthma include dust, changes in weather (often cold), animals (pet hair in particular), exercise, tobacco smoke and stress.

"A lot of asthma patients have resigned and became ‘prisoners’ to their condition. Many seem to have created imaginary cages and locking themselves up with lifestyle restrictions. They are assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are inevitable consequences of having asthma - unaware that their condition can be controlled," observed Dr. Pasay.

doctors sign a pledge to help patients achieve asthma control 



Getting old is something we cannot do anything about. However, looking one's age is definitely optional :) A lot of individuals would admit to wanting to look young as long as possible. And, why not? As long as you can afford them, there are a lot of beauty-enhancing products to choose from in the market today.

Mesoestetic offers a full range of anti-ageing solutions
The fact is, as we add years to our lives, our skin stops producing hyaluronic acid, a substance that can be found in the skin tissue and connects fibers to give the skin a smooth and firm appearance. The lack of hyaluronic acid results to the breakdown of skin tissues and leaves the skin dull and looking old.

In aesthetic medicine, hyaluronic acid is used as collagen booster to smoothen creases and wrinkles. It is injected directly into non-muscled areas that suffer from dryness as the substance is known to retain large amounts of liquid.

hyaluronic acid in gel injectable form
Mesoestetic, a Spanish brand and an international leader in the cosmetic medicine sector, first became known two decades ago for its extensive range of medical skin care and luxury products. It has never stopped innovating the industry since.

Among Mesoestetic's facial, sun, and body treatments, Mesohyal Hyaluronic contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid in gel form, which was obtained through bio-fermentation. It is used to hydrate and firm up skin but is not a filler. Instead, it enhances the effects of fillers and botulinum toxin when used simultaneously.

with Eiskin president Mikhael Coyiuto, Dr. Nestor Torres, and John Singleton of Mesoestetic
(second, third, and fourth from left, respectively)



Nowadays, many young Filipinos want to keep updated on what's fashionable and trendy by following certain fashionistas online. Style mavens Kryz Uy and Camille Co built a large following on their blogs, Lookbook, and Chictopia pages with their style smarts. Their signature styles have also been featured in magazines and which millennials use as fashion pegs.

Camille and Kryz
photo credit: SkechersPH
Recognizing these achievements, global footwear brand Skechers collaborated with the young stylists to show their peers what top fashion footwear picks go well with the latest shoe collections: Skechers GO Flex Walk, Originals, GO Step, and Burst.

Camille Co, a young entrepreneur, started her own brand Coexist right after finishing college. The OOTDs she uploads online has made her one of the Philippines' top fashion bloggers today. She expressed how happy she is with the collaboration because, "Skechers shoes are not just comfortable, they are also stylish!"

OOTDs made perfect by Skechers


I have four kids and am very mindful of the products I use on them, especially when they were still very small. Although three are now taller than I am, my son with special needs remains the family’s baby.

always our baby
Our James has cerebral palsy. He cannot talk and walk, nor is able to even sit up by himself. Him being non-verbal poses a lot of challenges for us because we usually have to guess what he wants even though we try, as much as we can, to provide what we believe he needs.

It breaks my heart every time my son would cry nonstop for reasons we couldn’t figure out. Thus, we make all efforts to ensure he’s comfortable so he’ll be in a happy mood all day. 

When I was asked to review the new Belo Baby line of products, I immediately said yes because I wanted to know how gentle they are for my son’s skin, if they would keep him smelling fresh longer after we give him a bath, and if his skin would be kept hydrated and free from irritations.

the Belo Baby line 
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