Good news to meat lovers! Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila is inviting everyone to come and grab a big bite with their Blockbuster Burgers available at The Lounge for the whole month of April! They are offering a mouthwatering selection of gigantic gourmet burgers infused with local and international flavors.

my son, Gab, joined the Titanic Burger challenge
and finished in second place :)
Yesterday, my second son took on the Titanic Burger challenge with four other contenders. Living up to is name, this humongous treat is made of a savory 1/2 kg. Prime Angus Beef patty in sesame bun packed with Emmental cheese, bacon, lettuce, mushroom, tomatoes, and cucumber pickles. It is served with crispy fried onion rings and is priced at P1160 nett. The catch? If you finish eating everything in 20 minutes or less, you don't pay anything!

contenders Jawi Bantigue, Kirk Ngo (winner), Gab Floresca, Carl Acuesta, and RJ Dulas
I was amazed that three (including a lady!) out of the five people who took on the challenge were able to eat their Titanic burgers before the time ran out. In case I'd order one on a future visit, I'd prefer to have it cut then share pieces with several family members or friends.

As such, I chose to try the much smaller Burger ni Heneral Luna (priced at P560 nett) instead. I love the adobo glazed pork patty that comes with kesong puti, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and fried egg.

Trina and I with our Burger ni Heneral Luna and Jaws Burger 
My friend Trina opted for the Jaws Burger (P660 nett) made of beer battered fish fillet with tartar sauce and cucumber pickles served with French Fries. Needless to say, we were both fascinated by the black bun! 

Aside from the three burgers already mentioned, you can also choose between Wild Wild Mex (P460 nett) made with crispy fried chicken fillet with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard mayonnaise, and potato wedges; or the Prince of Persia's Burger (P660 nett) with Arabic spiced minced lamb with tzatziki sauce and pickles in turmeric bun served with fried crisp onions.

Everybody's a winner just for trying!
the contenders with Crimson Hotel executives and staff
Each order of these succulent burgers comes with a complimentary beer. For reservation or more information, please call (02) 863.2222. Don't forget, they are serving these only this April so make sure you drop by Crimson Hotel really, really soon!

Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. In fact, around 3,977 patients were diagnosed with the disease in 2012 alone. With mortality rate at an alarming 5.3%, this silent killer needs to be addressed to prevent more people succumbing to the life-threatening condition.

cord blood banking gives babies a lifetime of protection
One of the modern treatments for leukemia is stem cell transplant using cord blood. This is blood that remains in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. It contains the healthiest stem cells that can replenish blood, regenerate damaged bone marrow, treat blood cancers, and correct genetic defects. Potentially, it is also a source for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine.

Through cord blood banking, families now have a chance to survive fatal genetic diseases like leukemia and other blood-related disease. In Asia, Cordlife Group Limited is among the first to offer this service and technology. The company is an international provider of umbilical cord blood and cord lining services.

preserving stem cells = preserving life
Cordlife Philippines, officially launched in February 2010, is the country's first and only private cord blood processing and cryopreservation facility aimed to give Filipinos the chance to benefit from the advantages of having a readily available supply of cord blood.

Earlier today, Cordlife launched One Blood to create awareness on cord blood banking's importance as an available standard option for families who may need stem cell transplant. This national advocacy is in partnership with the Philippine Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (PSMFM).

Under One Blood, free cord blood banking will be given to chosen pregnant mothers with a family history of diseases or who have family members with disease/s that can be treated by cord blood and who might be a candidate for stem cell transplantation.

a newborn's umbilical cord contains the healthiest stem cells
During the press launch, it was announced that one family will be sponsored each month until December 2017 and choosing them will be based on need. Cordlife officials are hopeful that they can identify families who would benefit the most from the free service.

Apart from cord blood banking, other services will be extended to the beneficiaries such as:

Transplant Care is a one-time subsidy of SGD 50,000 to partially cover medical costs of transplantation for the child whose cord blood unit is stored, applicable for use in standard treatment at any accredited hospital in the Philippines  
Cord Blood Network - an assisted search for matching cord blood for legal parents and grandparents of the Cordlife child, tapping Asia's largest network of public cord blood banks.  
Cordlife Quality Guarantee that assures parents of a cord blood unit of suitable match or SGD 50,000 to defray medical costs if the cord blood stem cells lost its viability at the point of transplant, as well as additional Professional Indemnity Insurance to safeguard the family from financial loss resulting from direct malpractice.

many Cordlife moms attest that the investment is worth the peace of mind
Some of the popular Filipino personalities who have banked their babies' cord blood include TV personalities Jolina Magdangal-Escueta, Pia Guanio-Mago, and Dimples Romana; models Patty Laurel-Filart and Kelly Misa-Fernandez; and broadcast and radio personalities Nina Corpuz-Rodriguez, Delamar Arias, and Andi Manzano.  

For those who are wondering how much it costs: an 18-year cord blood banking contract is worth P165,000. To know more about One Blood, call Cordlife at (02) 332.1888 or log on to

There are more than 200,000 reported dengue cases in the Philippines in 2016 with around 1000 cases leading to death. Apart from the health risks, dengue also has an impact on public health costing billions of pesos of tax payers money with treatment costing tens of thousands in pesos per patient.

Did you know? Dengue cases in the Philippines number to thousands every year!
Recently, leading health and beauty chain Watson Philippines announced the availability of dengue vaccination in select stores nationwide. According to Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director, this is part of their commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible. "Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that's why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination," he says.

The dengue vaccination was launched in the country by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) early last year through school-based immunization approach. The program aims to vaccinate about one million Grade 4 pupils aged nine years old and above enrolled in public schools in several regions of the country. Later on, it was made available in medical clinics and now, Watsons is the first retailer to offer it in the Philippine market.

trivia: the first dengue vaccine was created by Sanofi Pasteur
Dengvaxia, the first vaccine against dengue, was created by leading multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, an expert in the development of vaccinations. The vaccine took more than 20 years to develop and has been thoroughly tested, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Studies of the vaccine included more than 41,000 people and were carried out in 15 countries including the Philippines. The results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO.

As of February 2017, Dengvaxia has been approved in 14 countries where dengue is endemic including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines. It has also gotten the endorsement of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

FYI, it only takes 3 shots to get protected against the 4 dengue strains
According to a study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health, the vaccine is expected to reduce dengue cases in the country by over 24 percent in a span of five years. To be taken in three doses at 0 - 6 - 12 months interval, the dengue vaccination can protect the individual from all four strains of the dengue virus. This can be administered to people aged 9 to 45 years old.

The latest addition to the vaccines offered by Watsons, Dengvaxia will cost P4,000 per dose or P12,000 for all three doses. This is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the Philippines.

get your family vaccinated against dengue to avoid costly medical bills in the future
Schedules of the dengue vaccination are as follows and will be available in more than 100 Watsons stores nationwide:

• First schedule: April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose), and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose) 
• Second schedule: May 14, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), and May 13, 2018 (3rd dose)

Watsons Team Sai Pascual, Aida Lopez, Viki Encarnacio
Danilo Chiong, Belle Pesayco, and Krista Tan with Dr. Rontgene Solante
during the Watsons dengue vaccine launch
Chiong adds, "Watsons also offer Cervical Cancer, Flu, and Pneumonia vaccination at scheduled intervals throughout the year. We will have a doctor in the store during vaccination dates to administer the shots." 

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