My husband and I believe in supporting advocacies that benefit children because they are our nation's future generations of leaders who need good foundations to become upright citizens in the years to come.

enthusiastic kids who joined the 500m race
On its fifth year, the annual charity event continues to promote a healthy lifestyle through running, while also raising funds to help secure a better future for thousands of Filipino children. This year's World Vision Run, co-presented by Run Rio Inc., not only called for support for children's education but also for their health and nutrition.

Marc Nelson, Miriam Quiambao, and Gelli Victor
before the 10k gun start
Did you know? Malnutrition is still the leading health problem among Filipino children. In fact, according to the National Nutrition Survey, 2 out of 10 kids under the age of five are malnourished and that, each year, 10 million children die before they reach their 5th birthday due to preventable diseases. 

with my barefoot running boys

I've been a Shopwise Wise Card holder since the year 2000 and have mainly shopped for our groceries in the Alabang branch because: 1) it's very accessible from our place, 2) it carries 99% of ingredients I need in the kitchen, 3) it offers value-for-money products, and 4) I am able to get rebates from the points I earn on my card.

cheers to the good life we can afford!
Shopwise is a trusted name by shoppers because, personally speaking, it does deliver a wide selection of quality affordable consumer brands from around the world. This year, the assortment just got even better with the addition of new top quality products.

Last June 25, Shopwise launched a new line of private label consumer products in its Sucat branch. The event, hosted by culinary celebrity Danica Sotto-Pingris, featured a cooking demo by Chef Jonah Trinidad, a renowned kitchen manager of GMA7 cooking shows.

Danica and Chef Jonah

This July, Robinsons Supermarket (RSC) continues its year-long Route to Wellness journey with the Wellness Festival, which was launched this past weekend at Robinsons Magnolia. There, shoppers got to learn more about healthier choices and practices through fun and engaging booths as well as an afternoon Fitness Glow Party led by coaches Jim and Toni Saret.

Karina and I biked on the digital road to wellness
My friends and I had fun trying out the different activities that included tandem biking along a digital trail, jumping on a trampoline to pick fruits, and shooting pingpong balls in fruits cups. We also enjoyed taste testing the many samplers offered by the food booths and by friendly roving promodisers.  

huge salad bar!
As the ultimate reward from getting our activity cards stamped at the various booths, we got to dig in at the huge salad bar where one can choose from an overwhelming selection of fresh veggies, fruits, proteins, and salad dressings. That was such a fun, healthy, and delicious treat!

freebies and fun at the Freshtival
You, too, can start (or continue) your journey to a healthier lifestyle! Starting July 1 until July 31, 2016, shoppers can get an exclusive Healthy You Rolled Oats bundle for every P3,000 single receipt purchase inclusive of P750 worth of participating products from the following health and wellness brands: Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Wyeth, Fontera, Nivea, Delfi, Del Monte, Federated, Unilever, Unilab, and P&G, among others.

Coaches Jim and Toni led participants to some fitness moves
Don't forget to grab items from Healthy You, Robinsons Supermarket's exclusive healthy brand. Aside from my favorite trail mix, check out the nuts, juices, oats, brown rice, coffee, and more. All these products have been evaluated healthy by the Department of Science and Technology - Food Nutrition and Research Institute (DOST-FNRI). Get additional 15 Robinsons Rewards Card points when you purchase P500 worth of Healthy You products for the whole month of July.

yummy sample dishes from the Knorr booth
Jody Gadia, RSC General Manager, points out, "A truly healthy and fulfilling lifestyle takes genuine commitment and follows a process that requires the will to say 'yes' to what it takes to achieve it. And Robinsons Supermarket's role is to keep everyone on the right track by offering an accessible and fun route to their desired lifestyle."

trying to pick a fruit this way is harder than it looks, promise!
Another thing to look forward to next moth is RSC's annual festivity called Freshtival, which highlights the Fresh department. Here, daily exciting offers such as freebies and discounts will further complement the ongoing wellness program as shoppers are encouraged to choose more fresh items for a healthier lifestyle. So be on the lookout for a lot of exciting activities and amazing deals! 

like Aussie beef, goat from Australia is tender and tasty
RSC's Route to Wellness campaign is a testament to its commitment of making it easy for Filipinos to find healthier food options and alternatives. Be updated by liking RobinsonsSupermarketOfficial on Facebook, visiting, and joining the conversation online by using the campaign hashtag #ILoveWellness.

One of the reasons I love being in establishments near Roxas Boulevard is getting a glimpse of Manila Bay and enjoying the relaxing vibe its beautiful sceneries always offer. My husband and I recently had a late lunch with foodie friends at New World Manila Bay Hotel and had the pleasure of getting acquainted with food offered in one of its dining places.

meeting Executive Chef James Williams, the brain behind
The Lounge's innovative and delicious offerings
The Lounge is a stylish gathering place where hotel and walk-in guests can enjoy leisurely breaks. There, one can have a delicious snack and a refreshing drink from a wide selection of cocktails and beverages, or order a round of drinks at night while listening to some lively entertainment to end a busy day.

tomato with local handmade burata salad (P695)
During our visit, I thoroughly enjoyed the Tomato with Local Handmade Burata Salad with its crispy greens, juicy tomatoes, and creamy cheese. I love how it doesn't have any heavy cream-based dressing as I prefer vinaigrette on my salads.

spam fries (P470)

Every little girl should be brought up hearing positive words about her physical appearance. That way, she would grow up to be confident and unafraid of hearing criticisms from others who, unfortunately, just don't know any better.

me wearing an SM Woman blouse and skirt from GTW by SM
This month, SM WomanGTW by SM, SM Accessories, and Parisian once more encourage ladies to embrace our figures, no matter what size or shape we are. During a fashion show held in SM Makati last June 16, beautiful ladies showcased the different designs of clothing, footwear, and accessories available at The SM Store. Led by celebrity host and editor-in-chief Sarah Meier, a number of lovely ladies strutted the runway wearing pretty clothes, many of which are surprisingly affordable, especially during the up-to-50%-off sale that happened later that night. 

how nice these color combos!
Empowering women through the #IamStrong #IamConfident #IamBeautiful #IamSMWoman movement, Sarah shares, "What makes me strong is that in everything I do, I listen to my truth first. And every time I do that, I feel like I honor why I am put on this planet. And the more that you do that the more unshakable you become." 

Sarah with other models

I've watched a lot of stage musicals over the years and have several I'd highly recommend parents to bring their kids to. Godspell has just been added to that list. This is a very entertaining, as well as inspiring, production to watch. Here's why:

see those kids on stage? they're members of the audience!
1. It's rated GP. If you haven't introduced your child yet to the wonders of theater, this coming weekend is a perfect time to do so. Godspell is a delightful show that induces foot-tapping, clapping, singing, and even dancing! There are interactive portions where the cast invites a few members of the audience to sing and dance along then brings them up on stage for several minutes of fame. Plus, you'll have a grand time laughing out loud (guaranteed!) especially during the parables of The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son

amazing choreography - check!
2. It has great songs and dance numbers that will have you LSS'ing for days. Great job to Musical Director Ejay Yatco and his live band, Sound Engineer Jethro Joaquin, Choreographer Dexter Martinez Santos, and his assistant Stephen Vinas for making the songs come vibrantly alive! Kudos as well to John Batalla for the amazing (as always) lights design that helped so much in perfectly capturing the moods of each scene.

this show will NOT make you fall asleep

I've learned long ago that one doesn't need to buy really expensive brands all the time to get the best quality because there are also products that provide good value for money. Watsons has taught me that since I started buying many items from the store and helped me save money without compromising quality.

take The Switch Test and save!
There are many shoppers though who still believe that reliable products come with premium prices and that more affordable items are inferior and won't last longer. However, that's a misnomer especially if you still haven't encountered Watsons' Switch & Save campaign. 

For the past several years, Watsons have been showing its customers that switching from the leading brand means still getting excellent quality personal care products that are priced 80% less. The campaign has been enthusiastically embraced by everyday shoppers as well as high-profile endorsers such as Iya Villania, Christian Bautista, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, and Patty Laurel, who have already made the switch.

(from left) Jared De Guzman, Ines Bernardo, Karen Fabres, 
Tessa Valdez, Krisel Macatangay, Christian Bautista, 
Janelle De Leon and Helen Capunong

Metro Manila's heat can be unbearable at times and one of our solutions to beating this is to travel to somewhere colder. It's a good thing that Tagaytay is not too far a destination for a day or overnight trip. I love this city, not only for its cool weather, but also for its beautiful sceneries and very nice places of interest. 

loved hanging out on our hotel balcony with a beautiful view
Recently, my family went there and it only took us an hour to get there from Alabang. Granted, it was on a Friday morning so traffic wasn't bad along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road. We headed to Max's Tagaytay first to grab some brunch then proceeded to Residence Inn to check out its new attractions.

Taal Vista Hotel shot from the View Deck 
It was past 1PM when we arrived at Taal Vista Hotel where we were booked for the night. I've heard good things about the place and found it to be a charming establishment with a very interesting history. They also have accommodating staff members who are always ready to answer questions with a smile.

welcome treats for weary travelers

Our parents will not remain physically strong forever. As they age, it is our responsibility as their children to help keep them safe and secure, especially if they live separately from us. Although our elderly loved ones may insist they are perfectly capable of caring for themselves on a daily basis, we still tend to worry, and rightly so. 

photo borrowed from
Yes, it is important to respect senior citizens' autonomy but, that said, many things can happen and we, adult children, would be doing them a great favor by keeping them from getting ill or injured and free from discomfort as much as we can. 

Here are several tips when coming up with plans to help elderly family members live happily in their homes. Remember to keep your parents' safety foremost in your mind when planning: 

1. Talk to them and their doctors. Find out what kind of medical, psychological, social, economic, and emotional support your parents need to live a full and rich, as well as safe, life. Have your own list of their current medications, the names and contact information of their doctors, and a record of recent medical procedures. Enlist advice and support from medical and legal professions whenever relevant. Check that medication is being taken regularly and is stored in a secure location. 

photo borrowed from

Beautiful skin starts with having healthy skin. That's my personal belief and I am glad that it is shared by Céleteque Dermo, one of the brands I genuinely love and trust. 

fact: beautiful skin begins with healthy skin
Many beauty brands claim to make women beautiful but that promise usually latches on transformations that are, honestly, beyond many customers' reach. What I appreciate about Céleteque Dermo is that its products are co-created with dermatologists and curated by beauty experts. It also grounds its philosophy on the dermatological proposition that beautiful skin, and in turn overall beauty, starts with healthy skin.

Celeteque's Advanced Anti-Aging line
Moreover, Céleteque Dermo offers customized skin care solutions for every skin type using derma-grade ingredients and technologies to consistently release new products while also improving existing ones to further promote skin health. As I wrote in my product review before, I love the thought of having makeup take care of my skin while I am wearing them!

(from left) event host Gelli Victor, Céleteque Senior Product Manager AC Salvador
Céleteque Brand Assistant Ella Adriano
and Unilab Category Head for Skin Care Cate Reyes 
You see, every Céleteque Dermo product is proven by clinical tests and evidence-based research to be effective and safe for everyday use, so there are no empty promises. With the assurance of healthy skin, (and really giving women healthy skin) we are not just at our most beautiful, but ultimately #DermoBeautiful! 

playing scientist :)
Recently, Céleteque Dermo celebrated 10 Years of #DermoBeautiful Skin with interesting activities at the Unilab Bayanihan Center.  I enjoyed the "laboratory visit" where we played a game that enabled us to learn more about Céleteque's products. I also love the result of my makeup done by the talented Mark Lariosa (I hope I got his name right) using Céleteque Dermo cosmetics. 

with Mark, a very talented makeup artist
Leveraging on Unilab's pharmaceutical expertise, the brand is able to provide a deeper and long-term enhancement of skin health. As it continues its commitment in promoting #DermoBeautiful healthy skin, Céleteque Dermo welcomes more opportunities to provide answers to women's skin concerns. 

Celeteque's Hydration line
Women (even men who are very concerned about their skin) can find what they need from the brand because its lineup of celebrated products include skincare products from the Céleteque’s DermoScience line that range from Hydration, Acne Solutions, and Sun Care, to Brightening, Advanced Anti-Aging, and even Hair and Scalp Care. These products already have a loyal following and are staples for even the most meticulous beauty experts. 

demo area for the DermoCosmetics line
For those searching for expert color and cover, there's the Céleteque DermoCosmetics line that combines the enhancing touch of makeup and nourishing benefits of skin care. It offers everyday makeup that not only complements your skin care regimen but also enhances it. 

products for a #DermoBeautiful you
Truly, as far as beautiful skin goes, consumers should have standards that rely on derma-level skin care because healthy skin must be the baseline of beauty before we can really say we do have beautiful skin!  

Fun and laid-back -- that's how it is in South Metro Manila where residents like us still get to enjoy city life blended with nature and the suburban spirit. Here, there's a nice commercial destination that's considered a "village within a big village." 

the South vibe -- fun and laid-back
Westgate Center combines innovative dining, retail, and lifestyle concepts in a street-style, neo-cosmopolotan setting. It shows off the Alabang lifestyle -- a passionate, relaxed, and artistic one where this southern city reveals its more playful side.

This community-within-a-community feel has just been reinforced with Westgate's recently completed renovation. Now, its new look features a corner plaza with a green wall, a landscaped activity park, and even more refreshing greenery.

Martin sang some of his timeless songs
even the millennials were tapping their feet :)

Money is not evil. It only becomes so when it is used in ways that benefit only a select few and when spending it can do more harm than good. The simple truth is, we all need money to tide us through various stages of our lives.

Fact: our needs and goals will change as we go through life 
Our parents needed money to provide for our education and the family's basic needs. When we begin working, we also need money for food and transportation going to and from the office. If we're planning to get married, we'll need money for the wedding and beyond. Of course, when the kids start coming, we will need more money to raise them. And, even after we reach the retirement age, we'd definitely need money for the expected higher medical bills and maintenance medications.  

This June, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc., is once more celebrating Financial Independence Month to further promote financial literacy to more Filipinos. One of the financial institution's initiatives  is to encourage everyone to Hop On the Bus to the Future. There, you can view a 360-degree virtual reality video (with an introduction by Piolo Pascual no less!) that will transport you to different scenarios based on your chosen life stage.

Let Piolo encourage you to better plan for your future
Through the VR glasses, viewers will be able to "live the dream" for a minute and be encouraged to start planning for their future through #Money4Life and Sun Life's life insurance and investment products. You can request to be referred to a financial advisor after your virtual tour so he/she can properly explain to you how and where you can grow your hard-earned money.

Catch the Bus to the Future at different malls and campuses nationwide! Among the stops are Bonifacio Global City High Street (June 11), Eastwood (June 19), SM City Cebu (June 25), and Solenad, Nuvali (July 2). 

members of the media trying on the VR glasses

It was my first time to visit the city of Malaybalay in Bukidnon and one of the things I initially noticed is the truth of its tagline: "cool weather, warm people." There, we met the very accommodating Bayag family who owns Jaya's Secret Garden.

with the very inspiring Bayag family
The garden's name is very apt because it is accessed via a narrow side street that would eventually reveal a small paradise. Passing through houses and commercial establishments, one wouldn't think that there's a verdant place hiding in the middle of a very busy city.  

a secret garden in the middle of a busy city
Our group couldn't help exclaiming oohs and aahs at the beautifully kept property managed by a family of three. Another amazing revelation was finding out that Junah and Hazel's young daughter, Jayashree Harsha, would serve as our tour guide.

Jaya, our young and very knowledgeable tour guide
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