Thursday, December 31, 2009

White Beach de Boracay Weekdays Promo

White Beach de Boracay is offering a WEEKDAYS PROMO for the months of January to March 2010. Bookings during this time for family rooms (good for 4 pax) will be given a most affordable rate of P4,498 for Beach view Rooms and P3,598 for Garden view Rooms (3D/2N).

Bookings must be made on or before January 31, 2010 and the promo is not valid on Holy Week. E-mail asap to make your reservations!

White Beach de Boracay is also offering a LOVE MONTH PROMO for the month of February. Couples can avail of 3 DAYS & 2 NIGHTS (Beach view Rooms P5,998, Garden view Rooms P4,998; 1 free pair of Havaiianas slippers) or 5 DAYS & 4 NIGHTS (Beach view rooms P11,588; Garden view Rooms P9,588; 2 free pairs of Havaiianas slippers).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Win an iPod Nano

Five bloggers have teamed up with Coca Cola and Real Leaf Green Tea and are giving away an iPod Nano each, with all contestants joining in also having a chance to win P10,000. cash and a year's supply of the drink.

Just check out the blogs of Yuga, Noemi, Chris, Anton and Apples for details asap.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Job Hunting in Forums

Usually, when we go job hunting, we go to job listing sites or look at the Classifieds in the paper. But sometimes, looking for job openings in message boards/forums could yield you better results.

It is firstly, a fact, that Human Resource people also like posting in message boards. Even managers, lawyers, and other professionals even. And when they need to hire asap, posting openings in forums is the easiest way to get applicants. It could even be a plus that you're both into the same things (say, you're both from motorcycle or photography forums). Even the adult site has a Classifieds section.

So if you're a member of some forum already, do take the time to check out if they have a Classifieds/Netwroking section. Even a Harry Potter forum may just land you a job that a Fort Lauderdale job search in Google cannot generate. Plus, you may even get an idea or two on how to improve your interview skills.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Gift of Self-Reliance

In coming up with your New year's resolution as a parent, why not commit to giving your kids the gift of self-reliance instead? Then, list down concrete strategies you can take that will give them enough opportunities to learn, develop, practice and make it a habit. Divide the strategies according to the ease and frequency it can be done, as well as considering if they are age-appropriate.

Here are example of things that will help them develop this wonderful trait:
~ Doing their own beds and cleaning their own rooms
~ Other household chores
~ Budgeting their own allowance
~ Helping you budget the weekly groceries
~ Planning a weekend or family trip
~ Coming up with ways to contribute to family purchases
~ Plan family events/parties
~ Create productions for family entertainment
~ Recycle and Reuse Program in the home
~ Babysitting or Caring for Pets

Say you asked your kids to plan the next family trip. They get to choose the venue and activities within a designated budget so they would also have to do the sourcing of service providers (from transportation to hotels to tour guides). All the research work will come in handy someday when you'd need them to help out finding Mopar parts suppliers or air condition cleaners. But more importantly, they learn that they CAN do things, and that the amount of effort and creativity they put into it is usually congruent to the results.

Now, the important thing is you ease them into it and that it becomes a lifestyle, rather than an enforced something they will forever rage about. Explain the benefits, start small, progress slowly but surely and always commend positive results. Highlight how their contributions helped exactly.

Make do without old resolutions that you really cannot feel passion for. Be a more intentional parent instead.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Box of Treasures Collection

Not only is offering free shipping for ordered photobooks, scrapbooks and framed prints, is also offering MY BOX OF TREASURES COLLECTION for free!

Start downloading it from here so you can digiscrap at will your pictures from the year that is about to end.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don't Max Out Your Paypal

Leave some dollars in your Paypal account.

I know that most people have probably already spent their bonuses and are considering withdrawing the remainder of their Paypal earnings. And I am here to remind those people not to empty their accounts because chaces are, subscription payments to online galleries and domain and hosting will be coming up soon. After all, we usually open such accounts after coming into money so we really wouldn't do well to be without in our Paypal accounts (one of the safest ways to transact online) when that day comes. Plus, paying early after getting the expiration notice might just get you discounts or free online backup. Those are little things that are worth paying early for.

If you must, just withdraw what you really need to tide you over, even if it means not saving $5 transaction fee. And get creative and resourceful with your other resources. There may be things you can reuse as gifts, after all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Boredom Busters In Kids

Kids nowadays are so used to being bombarded by multimedia that they're also easily bored. We never had boredom back in our day because we had to cut paper for play money, and crush ice candies for 'vitamins' to feed our babies while playing house. Now, fewer kids even play outside. Most of the toddlers in the city even attend preschool already where play is usually directed and stimulation is provided.

What to do, then, with a child complaining of boredom?

You and your spouse can come up with a handy list ready for activities to suggest to them. Usually, suggesting that they read a book or take a nap would result in further complaints and whines. So try wording your suggestions this way. "Awww, you're bored you say? And I guess you're also not in the mood to be reading anyway since you'd have been doing that already. Good thing though because Mommy needs help in the kitchen polishing the silver. It would be fun, come on!"

Or give them options. "I know three things that should occupy you enough: finishing your homework, bathing our dog or washing the car. What are you up to doing?"

Chances are, they will at least complain less and find other things to do instead. And they may not help with the chores much but they'd also learn that being amused is a DIY thing. Hopefully, it means they will be more creative in a productive way and there'd be less chances of them seeking thrills elsewhere.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holidays and Fire

No matter how many times TV programs, magazines and other media remind us, there will still be several fires because of faulty or forgotten Christmas lights. Sure, your home insurance may be great but fires are very non-discriminating as to what they will destroy. Fires do not care if it's an old sofa set or a life, if it's just a painting or your entire picture and film collection.

So be vigilant against fires. Firstly, buy lights that have the proper seals. And only turn them on when you are still awake, usually between 6-10 PM. And make sure you unplug everything (except the fridge) in the house before you turn in.

Make sure also that there are no firecrackers in the house and should you be handling one, not to throw it towards your house or your neighbor's. And if throwing parties, make sure inebriated guests who might sleep over are not also smoking. Make sure there are ashtrays and garbage cans around for people to throw their butts in. And again, before turning in, inspect everything.

Sometimes, it really seems a hassle for us to always be checking for whatever could go wrong while we sleep. But these habits can save the lives of those that are really important to you, including your own.

Gift Card Mall

I found this wonderful gift idea online that lets the recipient shop for what he wants but lets you keep all the credit for the gifts. A Bass Pro Gift Card is a customizable gift card available at They have Bass pro shops/retail stores and catalogs as well as the site to shop from. For kids, they have gift cards for Pottery Barn, Buy Buy Baby and Build a Bear. For the women in your life, there are SpaFinder, Bed Bath and Beyond, KMart, Kohl's and Sears among other brands. Holiday gift cards are even being shipped free and inactivated, so only the intended recipients can really activate the card.

So for those in the US who still haven't shopped for their loved ones, get them a Bass Pro Gift Card asap. Just think how you're helping move the economy!!!

Art of Silence Photo Booth

The Art of Silence Photography is now offering Unlimited Photo/Prints with their Photo Booth. It costs PP6,000 for two hours and P8,000 for three hours.

It comes as one of the FREEBIE OPTIONS if you get their P45k Wedding Package (for the first 100 prints only, add P5k for unlimited shots and prints). A photographer still takes the shot (unlike the one by Photographico Geronimo) but printing is fast. The photographer will also take four shots and let you choose which one to highlight in the printing.

A booth was available at the Deaf Festival so here is a sample of the output.

They provide wigs and accessories but feel free to also provide some more if you're getting them for your party. Am sure posing wackily with friends while showing off your UGG Classic Short will be a better captured moment. This is especially perfect for Christmas parties where some people are inebriated and more likely to really project.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Toxic Fragrances

Part of babyproofing our home is making sure all industrial supplies and cleaning equipment are kept out of reach of children. Unfortunately, we have also started making these cleaning supplies in wonderful fragrances that somehow makes us forget thay they can prove toxic to kids.

Case in point: I just bought dishwashing liquid in watermelon, Irish Spring and raspberry scents. They came in mineral water bottles (1 liter) and candy-like colors. And we forgot to put the bottles somewhere high that my nephew thought it was juice and managed to open one. He is one and a half years old. My two year old son, on the other hand, can already prop a chair near the sink where the liquid hand soap and dishwashing liquid dispensers are easily within reach. And since these smell fruity, fresh and sweet, they don't get turned off.

Even some fabric conditioners and bleach come in fragrances that may even attract kids.

And one disadvantage of reusing some containers is that they can confuse kids, and even parents. My sister-in-law once thought she was putting alcohol on her son's hands. Good thing she smelled the different scent of the cleaning agent and washed my nephew's hands in time before they got really irritated. Clear cleaning agents, like alcohol or diluted dihswashing liquid should also not be put in mineral water bottles to avoid confusing people.

Be warned so you can be more vigilant. Sweet-smelling cleaning agents are still cleaning agents and can be toxic or fatal to babies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum

The Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum is located in the Villamor Air Base Complex. It's sort of in a cul de sac, where the road turns towards the Mariott, Resorts World, etc. complex.

Entrance fee is only P20 for civilians. It's not really a big museum and unless you're really interested in Air Force history, you might be disinterested with most of what they have on exhibit. There are a lot of uniforms, guns, plane models, plane parts

view of Resorts World near the museum's entrance

tour starts here (left side)

guns used during World War II (I believe)

one of the earliest planes used in combat (sorry,
am a girl, I didn't take note of the models)

cool thing to name a plane after Sumpak, an
improvides firearm we came up with

telephone used during the war

camera used during the war

the exhibit

night vision goggles

plane model on exhibit

an old car used as Presidential ride

the simulation room which wasn't open that day
(you pay for the gas to fire the thing up, and I was
concerned about not being eco-friendly anyway)

plane part (used for bombing, I assume)

another plane model inside

plane model outside

there were at least ten plane models outside

The Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum also features a function room they rent out for P5,000 for the first 5 hours. You have to bring in your own caterer, sound system, etc. but the room is at the 2nd floor and overlooks the plane models outside. It can easily accommodate between 200-250 pax. It had high ceilings and great ventilation and a steal for the price. Perfect for aviation-themed weddings or birthday parties.

There is also a mini theater that can accommodate around 30-40 people. Air Force people were using it at the time we were there, as well as the lobby, which is why I don't have a picture of those.

For inquiries or to visit, just dial (63) 2-8323498. The Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum is open at 8:00am - 12:00pm (Monday to Saturdays).

Amber's Best Restaurant and Ihaw-Ihaw

If you're looking for a caterer for your party, try Amber's Best (if you haven't already), which is known for their pichi-pichi.

Here is their latest brochure (click on the picture to enlarge). You can contact them at 403-5555, 403-7777, 403-5556, 403-5557 and 403-7778 (telefax).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Renae Homemade Chocolates

Still looking for goodies to give away to friends and family? try my friend's homemade chocolates!

The usual chocolate lollipops cost P50 for 5 pieces and P100 for 11 pieces (yes, you get an extra one).

I bought this instead however, which cost me P150. It's a chocolate house complete with snowman and whatever in front.

For Renae Homemade Chocolates, just text 0919-7697489. My friend lives in Pasay, by the way, and works in Makati, so you'll also know if it's convenient to order from them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Time to Replace

Twas only two months ago that typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc here in Manila. So many homes had something that was touched, submerged, or marinated in flood. Now that Christmas bonus has come, we can replace and repair more of them.

Since refrigerators are generally heavy and loaded, those who failed to put it up shiuld be having its motor checked and maybe replacing their refrigerator water filters. Those with tables who wallowed in flood should have these checked also for rot. You don't want a child climbing on top of it, or you leaning just a tad too heavily on it, or putting so many dishes on it only to have it collapse. Cabinets, if they cannot be repaired, should be torn down and replaced as well. Electric lines should be checked, most especially the plugs.

Carpeting and linoleum shoudl be replaced too, if you cannot have it professionally cleaned.

I know that spending more on these things is one of the last things you'd consider doing with your Christmas bonus. But not doing so may spell more trouble for you in the end. Even air conditioning units, for example, that were not submerged in flood but got rained on a lot during the typhoon season should be professionally cleaned. An ounce of allergy prevention is worth more than a pound of antihistamines, after all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hero Sausages

Hero Sausages purport to have NO MSG, TVP, Salitre and Food Coloring. They had at least three booths at the World Bazaar and the fat sausages sizzling on hot plates just really can't help but wheth one's appetite. One sausage in a bun cost an average of P80 and it was a very filling meal. The portion size is too big to be called a snack, see.

Hero sausages offer Schublig, Bratwurst, Hungarian and Frankfurters aside from Classic sausages. They also sell these in 500 gram and 1 kilogram packs.

And, Hero Sausages is looking to expand and is giving away free Franchise Kits. Just email and indicate the desired area you want to franchise to. Not all of us can afford to invest in orlando hotels anyway, and going into the foodcart business wouldn't require that much resource. All you need to have is some savings and a great location.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Got Heart 2010 Planner Giveaway

A long-time blogger friend who have long championed charities about children is giving away a Got Heart 2010 Planner.

Head over to her blog then and leave comments to qualify for the electronic raffle! Contest will end on December 26. Winner can expect the planner to be shipped to him/her in the first week of January.

World Bazaar at World Trade Center, Manila

The World Bazaar is sponsored by ABS-CBN and will run until December 16, 2009. Entrance to the bazaar is P30 per person. I was told by a friend that the wares being sold were good so we checked it out and it was indeed a good bazaar.

Items were not so expensive. You can buy ladies tops for 2 for P150, P150, P300, etc. There were also a lot of stalls selling baby clothes, a lot of really cool shirts, a lot of imported overruns (you know, cutesy dresses that are intended as winter wear). There were a lot of infant PJ sets, onseies, dresses. There were a lot of clothes, and a lot of Christmas decor (that's what will greet you at the entrance), a lot of chips/snacks and vitamins.

My best buy was liquid hand soap (3 liters for P120). They sell them in 500 ml bottles with pump but as I have so many empty dispenser bottles at home, I bought the 1 liter refills instead at the same price. And they smell soooo nice! Melon, raspberry and Irish Spring scents, haha!

Expect a lot of shirts embroidered with the map of the Philippines. Even mugs were being sold with the Philippine archipelago. And yes, there were so many statement shirts (even for babies/kids).

And there's no worries about going hungry at the World Bazaar because there are so many food stalls (at least three Hero Sausage stands). There's also a play area for kids where they can run around like crazy but there is a serious lack of sitting area for those who want to rest. There are also kiosks outside WTC selling native food products.

After the World Bazaar, GMA's Christmas Bazaar is next at WTC.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Becky's Kitchen

People will fall in line again this Christmas at Becky's Kitchen. This institution of great cakes and even yummier brownies only has two branches, the main one being at Vito Cruz, Manila.

If you want a Becky's cake gracing your Christmas Noche Buena, do pay for your orders now to be picked up on the 24th. Otherwise, you'd have to line up and settle for whatever cake they have on hand that day.

And should you want to give Becky's Kitchen treats to special people and friends, here is their Christmas Gift Packs:

Current price list is here. I highly recommend the walnut fudge brownies (P270) and the potato almond krunch cake (P575). Their chocolate mousse (P435) is also wonderful and I have been a slave to their caramel cake (P455) ever since.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Why Go to Bazaars?

Every big Church community, school and village are holding bazaars aside from the really big ones at the World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center. And people may be wondering why other people don't just go to Divisoria or Baclaran... or the malls that are also having Christmas sales.

Goods are not necessarily cheaper indeed in bazaars. Usually, if you have the patience and resourcefulness, you can get the same lovely products at a cheaper price from direct sellers in Dapitan or Quiapo or Divisoria. Since bazaar sellers have to pay for their booths (St. James sellers have to pay P15,000 a day), they really have to charge extra for their wares.

But some bazaar sellers, you can't find anywhere else. A lot of them save and make products only to sell during the Holidays. A lot of them only bake during the Holidays. A lot of them are also homebased entrepreneurs who don't sell on Multiply while others are attached to big industries and this is the only time, and the only way, they sell overruns cheap. So bazaars are still a minefield for new and exciting products you can't get anywhere else.

Plus, other companies are sure to also sponsor and exhibit in bazaars to launch and distribute new products. A Promotional usb drive is just one of the things you can get for free in a bazaar. Some give away sim cards, some give away free products, while some give away coupons or gift certificates. So even if you pay an entrance fee, you don't really lose in a bazzar. At worst, your senses would still have been treated to a feast as you browsed through all the wonderful products being sold.

And if you're keen, you may just walk away with good bargains.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fernbrook Gardens

Fernbrook Gardens is an offshoot of the success and popularity of Fernwood Gardens. It is located at Portofino South, Daang Reyna, Las Pinas, Metro Manila and was fortunately spared by the recent typhoons.

Hubs just recently attended a wedding at Fernbrook Gardens and said it was really such a great indoor venue with an outdoor appeal.

The great thing about Fernbrook is that, as a garden venue, it sells even during typhoon months. Clients also have six caterers to choose from (Center Table Catering, Josiah's, Via Mare, Juan Carlo and Mandarin) and their Venue/Amenities Package Promo already offer choice of lighted dance panels, photo booth, mobile bar, sky lanterns or bridal car. As you can see, the bridal cars are luxury models. Plus, if you get the All In Promo, you also get to hold your Pre-Nuptial Photoshoot there which will make for a more cohesive-looking album and wedding stationery.

Kid's Party and Baptismal Rates at Fernbrook Gardens start at P45,000 plus VAT.

It would be such a dream to host a party there someday. Anyway, if interested, contact Fernbrook Gardens now:

LANDLINE: 218-2457/218-2455/505-0904/710-8608/710-8545
0917-860-5460, 0928-500-0614, 0915-871-6342, 0917-568-3972,
0917-860-6478, 0905-227-1679, 0905-227-1684
USA Phone: 1-215-717-7194
Portofino South Daang Reyna Las Pinas Metro Manila email:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Holiday Spirit Collection at Scrapbookflair

If you still haven't sent out your Christmas cards (which you should have already) and haven't even made any but still want to go the personalized way, Scrapbookflair just might save you with their Holiday Spirit Collection.

This digiscrapping collection is more suited for those living in places where there is snow because it has frames with snowmen and Christmas Tree surrounded by snow. If you're living somewhere tropical, however, you can still use the many backgrounds and trees and word art. Grab it now!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

December 2009 Bazaars

Somebody painstakingly scoured the net and papers and every possible network she has to come up with this December Bazaar Schedule. So if you're not done shopping or just want to broswe new trends and fads, do check the link out.

If you're also a budding entrepreneur, now is the time to do your research and see what's already out there and what isn't. Or, come up with ways on how hits could be better so that come next year, it's you exhibiting at a Christmas bazaar already.

Even gadget freaks shouldn't shun these bazaars, even if ornaments and clothes and food feature the most during this time, because some gadgets and accessories also get sold. Plus, if you really need a video card badly, chances are, shops in malls are also having a Christmas sale.

Happy shopping! Do spend your money wisely!

Monday, November 30, 2009

TSA Locks

More expensive bags and luggage right now, like Samsonite luggage, all sport TSA locks which supposedly makes securing your luggage easier. Supposedly also, it's a durable, secure locking system.

However, my husband's recent trip to Malaysia proved that such locks are really easy to pick. Unfortunately for him, he also forgot that his media player was in the luggage so he lost it.

So although TSA locks are easy to use, lock and open, make sure you also hand carry your valuables. You can also secure your luggage by shutting the zips together with plastic locks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paypal Wishlist Can Earn You Dollars

Sounds too good to be true right? But at least, it's Paypal.

They now have a Facebook application where you can create your list of dream gifts and share these with your Facebook friends. All you have to do is share the link to your wishlist and get people to also create one of their own. You get a dollar for each referral and can earn up to $100!!!

So do check my Paypal Wishlist and create your own asap!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guess, Mossimo, Mango Sale

The much-awaited and much-anticipated *GUESS, MOSSIMO & MANGO SALE *in the covered court/clubhouse of Bellevue Townhomes inside Grace Village, at the Bellevue Gym in Balingasa, QC is already ongoing until December 6, 9am to 9pm*.

Other details include:

~ no entrance fees

~ other brands are also being sold (like Maldita)

~ for those taking public transport:
From Del Monte, ride a jeep going to Frisco/Munoz. Go down at the intersection of Sienna College/Jollibee/Maynilad/Snow White styro factory. Walk to Sto. Domingo (where Maynilad & Styro Factory is located). Ride a tricycle at the terminal to go inside Grace Village and get off at the main gate of Bellevue. Walk to the left where the Bellevue gym is located.

~ for those driving there:
Take Quezon Ave. (going towards Welcome Rotonda), turn right turn at Sto. Domingo
St. (1st street after Araneta Ave), go straight then cross the 1st traffic light (intersection of Del Monte Ave and Sto. Domingo St.). Continue going straight till you see the 2nd traffic light (intersection of Sto. Domingo
St. and Araneta Ave), cross it, going towards the arch of Brgy. Balingasa. Follow the main road going towards Grace Village. When you are inside already, just ask around (esp tricycle drivers) how to get to Bellevue Townhomes. Once you cross the Brgy. Balingasa arc, you should be in the sale venue within 5 to 10 minutes (maximum).

~ don't bring children but do bring someone to help go through the clothes and fall in line

~ wear comfy outfit because it can get very hot and crowded

~ make sure you've eaten and gone to the restroom before hitting the sale

news and directions from Newlywedsatwork yahoogroups

Friday, November 27, 2009

Delimondo Corned Beef

I have heard of Delimondo Corned Beef for a while now but since I am not really a fan of corned beef, I never cared to sample it. I also haven't been to the Legazpi Sunday Market where such is sold.

But then a classmate brought some in our FSL class and decided to give me a can because I haven't tried it. I prepared it with a potato, chopped, and some onions. And it was really, really tasty. Really quite different from the usual corned beef. It also comes with a lot of its own oil (which could prove a bummer if you used plastic dining ware) so you need not add anymore when you're heating it. It's really very delicious. One can if good for 2-4 people (depending on whether you have anything else to eat with it, and how much you eat of it). Perfect for both rice and bread!

If you cannot wait for the Sunday Market, you can purchase these from Petra and Pilar, at Chinos Roces Ave. cor. Exportbank Drive, Makati.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anvil Publishing Book Sale

Anvil Publishing is helping parents on a budget come up with cool Christmas gifts with its ongoing Book Sale. Friends have already bagged P5 Archie Comics and stocks are replenished every few days. Make sure you drop by, November 17 to December 12, Mondays to Saturdays (8 a.m. to 9 p.m.).

New Year Check-up

One of the things people should really be scheduling, or including in their New Year's resolutions, is getting a check-up come January. Especiallly for people abroad who feasted during Thanksgiving and then the Holidays. Most probably, everyone let go of diets and control and partook of freshly-baked cookies and bread, steaming mugs of cocoa or sinful orders of frappes, dessert upon dessert from the Christmas table, stuffings and turkey and pumpkin pie, and all the fruit cake and candies we can get our hands on.

A check up in January will give you the reality check of how much you slipped, or what needs work, or just to assure you that you are not the worse for wear. Better safe than sorry, right? So maximize your Blue Advantage and schedule those check ups and doctor visits as early as now. At most, your teeth will require cleaning anyway.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Immunity Foundation

Wikipedia defines Immunity as "a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion."

Every parent hopes for a healthy child, one that will not get sick at every change of environment or temperature. Aside from the cost of the check-ups and medicines, expense that could have been more happily spent buying a new book or a trip, illness in the family disrupts routines and exhausts family members, especially if the sick one is a child.

So how can parents build a great immunity foundation for their own children?

Everything starts with the root. Parents who lead healthy lifestyles and eat healthy meals are more likely to produce healthier offspring. A healthy mom is less likely to have pregnancy complications and difficulties, and the baby is also more likely to be term and just the right size at birth.

Mothers should also breastfeed their child exclusively for the first six months and to continue breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. This way, not only does a mother provide her infant with nutrition in perfect proportions but she also passes on her antibodies to her child. Breast milk also provides probiotics to the baby which can be very crucial in protecting her once she reaches an age wherein she puts everything in her mouth. Breastfeeding also limits the possibility of an infant getting diarrhea from non-sterile feeding equipment and water. What's more, an infant does not get exposed to processed cow's milk in formula, which contains hormones and other possible contaminants from all the handling and storage.

Once a child is already ready for solids, pureed vegetables and fruits are the way to go. Providing only healthy options for babies will raise them eating right. Do not make processed food, junk food and fast food so readily available at home. And when you do go to fast food joints, always order the healthier options. Get rice and viand instead of french fries (which may be potato but has very high sodium content).

For school age kids, prepare snacks and baons ahead of time for easy reheating and packing in the morning. Make your own chicken nuggets and pork balls instead of buying them to make sure there are no artificial seasonings. Extend fried meat favorites with vegetables, or make empanadas instead. Provide variety so the child is more likely to eat. Take a leaf from bento boxes, put something of everything good for each meal. So for lunch, pack a golf-sized ball of rice, some vegetable strips, a hard-boiled egg, 2-3 chicken nuggets and a banana. The next day, pack a tuna sandwich, apple and milk instead.

Providing the proper nutrition is just one factor of Immunity Foundation. Lifestyle is equally important as well. Babies need all the sleep they need and kids should not be driven to and fro so many activities day in and out. It is important that routines are established so they get adequate rest and sleep during the day. It is also very important that they engage in activity daily. Play should involve movement. Being exposed outdoors, to some sun and fresh air, is imperative.

It is also very important that you work with a pediatrician you trust who will advise you lengthily about your son's nutrition, development and vaccination. Do all this and your child will be set on the right track and there would be less worries and possible heartaches in future.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Better Investment

Not everyone will be blessed with a Christmas bonus but at least, most people who are working will get 13th month pay as mandated by law. And though many malls and bazaars are doing a great job inspiring us to buy and buy and buy, let us all make sure that part of the money we get will go to better investments, samples of which include:

1) Insurance - go over the insurance quote that was already given you by your agent for your home, car or your kids' education. You may not be able to start payments on everything but you can at least make an informed choice on what to prioritize.

2) Car - change your tires, clean your air conditioning, check break/clutch fluid, install shocks, etc. It may seem pointless if the car is running fine right now but investing in your car is investing in you, and your family's safety so don't skip it.

3) Health - apart from a health plan, have that executive check-up you need or start paying more for healthier items (like whole-grain breads and fresh cow's milk). Also add important supplements like Vitamin C and Fish Oil in your daily routine and buy the running shoes that you need to help you exercise.

4) Family - it does not have to be a grand trip but maybe an overnight camping trip at a nearby lake will do you good. Maybe family games or a new set of something (books, perhaps) can facilitate bonding times and communication in your home. Maybe an extra bathroom is really, really important already.

5) Savings - always save something for rainy days and emergencies. If luck is on your side, this may just pay for a luxury in future but if not, at least you need not be borrowing money or pawning stuff.

When you know what your priorities are, you will know how to stretch whatever money you receive as bonus. So remind yourself asap on what you should be investing in... and if you notice, all these actually spell 'peace of mind'.

Tres Reyes - Melchor Island

Melchor Island is the nearest to mainland Marinduque of the Tres Reyes group of islands. Plus, they say that the other two (Gaspar and Balthazar) aren't really conducive for docking.

Melchor offers crushed corals as sand. In front, there are cottages for rent and a thriving community of locals. Marinduque waters is clean and perfect for swimming. However, there is a strong current in the waters in front of Melchor so visitors are always advised not to go too far. It offers a view of mainland Marinduque, Malindig Volcano and farther in the horizon, Elephant Island.

Boatmen and guides usually bring guests to the back of Melchor, where a cove of sorts offers shade and privacy to swimmers. The waters here is also more conducive to swimming and snorkelling.

boats anchor on protruding rocks

and some underwater scene

take closer pictures, but take nothing but pictures

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aristocrat's Chicken BBQ

There is now Reyes Barbeque and Casa Reyes Resraurant but the original restaurant, Aristocrat, continues to cater to old-time patrons and new, younger clientele. It also helps that the restaurant has expanded and opened up branches in major malls now, bringing their fare not just to Manila-based residents but to other places as well (my SIL first enjoyed Aristocrat in a mall in Pampanga).

The most popular food order remains to be the chicken barbecue. I still don't know why one order includes three chicken pieces but nobody did say you cannot share. Plus, Aristocrat offers good food at affordable prices.

And do check out their bakeshop. I highly recommend the TORTA DE LOS REYES which is like chocolate sans rival in a purely sinful and yet heavenly way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Season for Colds

Why is it that when the Christmas Season approaches, people also start going down with the colds? Ear infections, pneumonia and allergy is also prevalent nowadays.

The only real defense is to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. Enough rest and sleep and stress management is key.

Fortifying yourself with Vitamin C or malunggay capsules will also help. For the highly allergic, maybe some antibodies shots is called for. Also, you may have to change your humidifier filters and get your air conditioning units cleaned.

But do enjoy the outdoors. Staying inside does not really help colds and allergies. Do avoid crowds though as much as you can while you're still down so you won't catch more opportunistic infections.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

4 New Books for Adarna

Join Adarna House's launching of four new titles in partnership with Eastwood Mall, at 2:00 P.M., on November 28 (Saturday) at the third floor of Eastwood Mall. New storybooks include this year's PBBY-Salanga Prize and PBBY-Alcala Prize winner, May Higante sa Aming Bahay. The event will also serve as part of a book drive for the typhoon victims — for every 500 pesos you buy, you will be donating 1 storybook to UNICEF for the benefit of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

There will also games and prizes, freebies, face-painting and storytelling, and book signing by the authors.

The new titles will be sold at P50, same price as the other storybooks being sold between November 16 to December 19 at their Showroom Christmas Sale at 2/F FSS Building, 20 Scout Tuason corner Scout Castor Streets, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. Open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mondays through Saturdays. Call Dang at 372-3548 local 102.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Becky's Kitchen

It was a long while since we bought anything from Becky's. I guess it didn't help that I started baking with my in-laws plus I've already gone on several Becky binges in the past.

But anyway, we revisited their cakes again. I was super surprised that their POTATO ALMOND KRUNCH (their best cake ever ever!!!) already cost P525. But it still tastes every bit of heaven so I can forgive the price hike. I guess since they only have two stores anyway, they'd rather increase their prices and trust their faithful patrons to grin and bear it, rather than sacrifice proportions and ingredients.

Becky's cakes (and their brownies, for sure) are not exactly new york vacations but I can vouch for the gustatory delight they bring.

World Pyro Olympics 2009 Photo Festival

Where is it perfect to give an engagement ring or a Diamond Initial Pendant perhaps?

Why, the World Pyro Olympics, of course! And it's happening at The Fort Open grounds, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig every Saturday starting Nov. 21 to Dec. 19. Tickets cost P200 now though (when it started, it only cost P10 back in 2005) and may be bought at Ticketworld *SM Department Stores, Robinsons Department Stores, National Bookstores (Call 891 9999).

But that's not all. There's also a Photo Festival for all photography enthusiasts. Details are as follows:

WPO 2009 PHOTO FESTIVAL – Capturing the art of fireworks!

The 2009 World Pyro Olympics will be a more explosive, more spectacular experience!

It will be the country's first pyromusical competition at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The world's best teams will showcase their artistry and technical skill by shooting dazzling fireworks synchronized with musical scores. The competition's new venue, a departure from the past years' water-based firing, will allow for more creativity and versatility in the use of ground level and special effects.

With this new firing base, the 2009 World Pyro Olympics present more challenges to photographers – to portray the magnificent moments of each country’s presentation from the ground up.

So, experience the art and culture of pyro and music – capture its pageantry and win big, because over P100,000.00 worth of prizes await you!

The WPO 2009 Photo Festival is a photo contest open to anyone who wants to join using point and shoot or DSLR cameras (except phone cameras).

The photo competition will cover the five (5) Saturdays of the event starting November 21 to December 19, 2009.

How to join

1. The contest is open to all (students, amateurs and professionals.) legal age individuals.

2. Interested parties may register by any of the following:

>Download a registration form from WPO 2009 website.

>Register at WPO 2009 Photo Festival secretariat at the venue.

2. Pay the Registration Fee to be able to join.

>P400 per person inclusive of entrance ticket to the general viewing area for one (1) night.

>P600.00 per person inclusive of entrance ticket to the special viewing area for one (1) night.

This allows the contestant to submit a maximum of three (3) entries for the event.

Secure ACCESS ID at the WPO Photo Festival Exhibit area.

Entry Specifications:

1. A registrant may submit as much as three (3) entries.

2. All entries must be printed in 8”x12” full color - bleed format; prints with borders or framings are automatically disqualified.

3. Each entry must be labeled with the contestant’s name, registration number and entry title at the back. This information must be printed on a 3”x6” white paper and not written directly at the back of the print.

4. Manually retouched and/or painted over print outputs are not acceptable.

5. 300dpi per entry is the acceptable format.

6. For uploading purposes, the maximum is 4 Mb file size saved as JPEG per entry and only allow untouched/unedited entries, limiting photo/traditional editing to resizing are acceptable.

7. Prints and files not in this format will be disqualified from the competition.

8. Submit all printed entries in one (1) brown envelope together with the file saved in CD. Label the envelope with the Registrant’s Name and Registration Number.

9. Entries must be submitted Monday to Saturday December 21, 2009. Deadline for submission is January 4, 2010.

Prizes and Awarding

1. P10,000.00 – 2nd Runner Up

2. P20,000.00 – 1st Runner Up

3. P50,000.00 – Grand Prize Winner

4. Travel Workshop w/ George Tapan – Online Winner (all expense paid)

Winners will be awarded on the opening of the 2009 WPO PHOTO FESTIVAL EXHIBIT in one of the Ayala Malls.

For inquiries / registration and payments, please call:

Danica Macam or Kathleen Olarte at 401-3733 / 729-4013 / 887-3803

3/F - Building 1269, Batangas Street, San Isidro, Makati City

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doña Salud Resort

Doña Salud Private Hotsrping Resort is located in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna. It was recommended by a friend so we arranged to celebrate our birthday there with our immediate family.

Generally, we were happy with the resort. We stayed at Villa Flor (which can be rented for 24 hours for P10,000). It has three bedrooms (one of which is the master's) with their bathrooms. There are also two shower rooms and a CR outside, near the pool. There is a billiards table (which we didn't use), a videoke (which we didn't use much), dining area and kitchen.

Rent for use of the gas range is P200 while additional beds cost P100/ea. Blankets are not provided but could be rented for P50. All beds in the bedrooms have trundle beds under so the place can really accommodate groups of people as big as 20-30.

The map to the place could have been better, but anyway, all one has to do is watch out for the Binalot restaurant after the public school (at your right, if you're coming from Calamba Crossing). The entrance to Solemar Subdivision is just right across Binalot.

Villa Flor

the shower area near the pool

netting over the pool, kiddie pool is 2-2.5 feet deep
and the adult pool is up to 5 feet

master's bedroom

other bedroom

fountain and garden area

kitchen with a really deep sink

bathrooms in the rooms were styled as if you're still outdoors

The aircons were working super fine, it was cold. There's a spotlight on the pool at night. There are no TVs in the rooms though. There is a grill area and they even provide the tongs. The master's bedroom is nearest the kitchen and videoke/dining area. Surprisingly also, we weren't bugged by mosquitoes and flies so everybody really had fun being outdoors.

The 4-bedroom villas cost P16k for overnight (and P18k during December). There is a room not within any villa that could be rented for P1k that's also air conditioned.

All in all, we were really satisfied and the staff were very accommodating and responsive too.

For reservations and contact numbers, call Ruth at:
Mobile: +639209052766
Land line 049 502 2533
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