Saturday, October 30, 2010

Unilab Products on Beauty and Wellness

Unilab has many products, of course. These are some of their products, however, that cater to beauty and wellness and address the Beauty Habits prescribed by Ms. Marie Calica.

Brushing is not enough and keeping clean means fresh breath for a longer period of time. I find that such mouthwash also helps as gargle after eating sweets to avoid sore throats.

I have yet to try the Cool Wind variant which they say feels super cool down there but I have been using Ph Care (usually the pink one) for the longest time now. Again, keeping clean means even non-exposed areas are kept clean and fresh-smelling.

Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Scrub exfoliates the skin while Myra VitaQuench lotion moisturizes it after. And then, Myra E supplements nourishes the skin from within.

These are mostly face products. Celeteque as a brand is known for gentle cleansing already. I've only recently tried their moisturizer (but as I have the pregnancy mask, I can't quite vouch for it yet) which I use in the morning and at nights. I have nothing but raves for Myra's VitaGlow Tinted Moisturizer, however, because it's really sheer and applies easily and gives me that glow without making me appear as if I got enthusiastic with a bronzer. Because of it, I don't even need foundation anymore. Plus, it has SPF already so I really make sure to use it everytime I am going out. I also love the Myra e Shine-Free Face Powder (it smells real nice too, without reminding you of your mom's or grandma's old pressed powders). Both Myra products provide SPF which makes for more doable beauthy habits.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Reduced Rice Intake for Weight Loss

Before consulting and arguing with friends on which diet pills are the best for losing weight, reduce your rice intake first. Actually, just reduce your carbs intake.

If you love white rice so much and can't let go, then start by eating a smaller portion till you're maybe just eating half of what you normally consume per meal. Over time, that can be reduced some more.

Maybe you can also start by mixing your white with some brown rice and gradually transition to the healthier red or brown rice that are richer in fiber, more filling in the tummy and with more nutrients.

Now, if you're a bread or pasta person, go for wheat instead of white.

You don't need to cut off carbs totally from your diet because they also serve a purpose in providing you with all your dietary requirements. The truth, however, is we're all eating way more carbohydrates than we need.

Go for protein instead, from vegetables and fruits, nuts and fish. And always, go slowly but surely till it becomes a habit and way of life, instead of some diet bandwagon you will just as easily jump off from.

Scrubs as Business Opportunity

My relatives and friends are going into the hospitality uniforms business by providing fashion seal cotton scrubs sourced and made here in the Philippines to their friends and colleagues abroad.

It started with my uncle who refused to wear the uniform provided at the hospital he was working in and would instead buy a number of white polo shirts here to use as uniform there. Then, scrubs became in fashion. Even dental office uniforms required scrubs. And enterprising Filipinos realized that there was a market for Philippine-made scrubs not only because they are cheaper but the materials are nicer and the designs more beautiful.

So, if you've got friends or family in the caregiving business, don't hesitate to ask if they can sell medical scrubs for you. It could be the great business you're looking for that you can actually do in your own home.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fifteen Twenty One (1521) Restaurant along Shaw

It was my craving for binagoongan that got my hubby to know about 1521 restaurant along Shaw. After missing the Goldilocks event last week due to traffic, we decided to just have dinner at 1521 since it was still open at 9 PM. 1521 Restaurant is located at 547 Shaw Blvd., Brgy. Wack- Wack Mandaluyong, Metro Manila (beside Pan de Pugon and Mr. Poon).

1521 basically serves glorified Filipino dishes and all in all, they did a great job with what they offer.

The restaurant itself is small. I guess it can accommodate up to 40 people max but the ambience is great and cozy.

The only dish we didn't like: beef caldereta because we all found it too salty. We told the 1521 folks so.

Ka-Musta-Cat. This is the crispy catfish salad (they have quirky names for their dishes and I don't remember what they called it) that is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It was the perfect blend of sour and sweet and you can just really finish off an entire plate. Really very delicious!

fried chicken served with I forgot what sauce (I believe it was good but I didn't try it since I finished some other dish)

Bonggang Bonggang Bingaoongan. This pork binagoongan version is a lot like lechon kawali topping bagoong cooked/mashed with eggplant. Loved it too!

Sit-Ka-Long. It's basically sitaw (string beans), kalabasa (squash) and longganisa (Pinoy sausage) but also very, very good.

My, My, My Mais. This is white corn soup with some fatty pork in it that was also very delicious. Everyone in our party absolutely loved this soup.

The food didn't take long to be served and the staff was friendly, considering we had two preschoolers who were noisy. We would absolutely eat at 1521 Restaurant again and I have even instructed hubby to order the corn soup for takeout whenever he passes by the area.

We also tried their leche flan (which was divine and flavored a little with dayap rind).

1521 restaurant really provides a filling and fulfilling dining experience, all in all. So, if you're in the area, do give it a try.

(It was called 1521 because that was the year Philippines was discovered by the Spaniards)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Soyami: Soya Chips that are So Yummy!

I was able to attend the Soyami Soya Chips mini launch at Active Fun (all the way to SM North Edsa) last October 22, 2010. Made from real Soya (that you can actually taste the tofu and burp it too!), these chips are a healthier alternative to the usual chips we grab when we're having the munchies.

Soyami comes in three flavors (original, white cheddar and pizza). Unfortunately, we've consumed the freebies we got before I remembered to take a picture.

Soyami soya chips in pizza flavor

Born from a desire to provide healthier snack alternatives to their patrons at Active Fun, Soyami soya chips was conceptualized and became a hit, not just with the kids but with the adults as well. Now, Soyami is expanding and will be sold in groceries (and some schools too!) starting November.

At P37 per 50 gram pack, it is a little steep compared to the usual potato chips we buy. For that price, however, you get none of the MSG and high sodium content of the usual chips as well. Since Soyami is made from real soya, it offers protein and fiber and calcium.

Since FDA recommends 25 grams of soya protein per day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to help reduce heart disease risks, Soyami at least offers you 165 of that requirement and none of the saturated fat.

Plus, Soyami chips are something you can send your friends and relatives in the Middle East as it's certified HALAL.

Oh and they do taste great! Soyami won't satisfy any salty cravings, however, but it really does the job for when you need some crunch in your life. It's a perfect alternative for parents to offer their kids or for those who already have health issues but are craving for chips.

As of this writing, their site is still undergoing construction but for further news, just check them out at

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jatujak at SM MOA

Jatujak is popular in Thailand as it's a weekend market that spans 35 acres (yes, it's probably the biggest weekend market there is). Jatujak is also there name of a Thai restaurant at SM Mall of Asia supposedly serving the most authetinc Thai cuisine there is.

It is located at the second floor near Tom's World, the bounce play area and all things baby/kids. The building where it's at faces the musical fountain of the MOA Park.

Jatujak, the restaurant facade (there are also some tables outside but the resto itself is small)

their Thai iced tead

a big single serving of rice

Pad Thai, just served

Pad Thai, which looked yummier to me when it was already mixed. And this was very good too. They ask you if you want chicken or shrimp with it. This had chicken.

This is like a spring rolls sampler. The shrimp croquettes were delish!

Their small order of Tom Yum soup can adequately provide heat for 2-4 persons (depending on your appetite for HOT broth). You can also order it mildly spiced or regularly spiced. There are the usual condiments of chili in oil, dried/ground chili, sugar and vinegar on their tables anyway should you wish to further season your soup.

The reason we ate here: bagoong rice. At P155, it can adequately fill two people because it is a much bigger serving than the one they serve at Makansutra Asian Food Village. I actually prefer Makansutra's (it's a little sweeter and 'lighter' for me) but this kind of bagoong rice can be really quite addicting. I just loved it. I'd suggest sharing it with someone else, and I don't know, maybe adding some plain steamed rice to it if you want to cut down on your possible sodium intake (but it's not that salty, I'm just suggesting 'coz that's what I do). Usually, when I order this dish, I just really eat the rice (and maybe the egg) and someone else eats all the meat and green mango.

I would say Jatujak servings are big which we failed to anticipate. I am not really adventurous with food and not a fan of Thai cuisine but I can just as easily Filipinize my way of eating here by coming back for more of their bagoong rice and pad thai (yup, carbs on carbs). Oh and I just love the pretty girl at the door who was so charming when she asked us to wait for a table. The staff was really accommodating and quick on their feet. It also doesn't take long for food orders to arrive (well, maybe because they don't really have much guests to cater to as their place was small). Ambience of the place was nice but not really for people with young kids like we did.

Not quite sure if Thai ingredients and too much Thai food will get you Googling "glucosamine chondroitin msm" but I really highly recommend the place for those with a taste for Thai dishes.
So make sure to check out Jatujak at SM Mall of Asia (Phone Number: 556-0850, 0917-8872413).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Avoid Meat for Cleaner Colon

We already know that fibrous food, basically fruits and vegetables, are natural colon cleansers. People, however, do not eat enough of it. Or they just eat food like corn and papaya if they want to facilitate bowel movement for the day, which is still not colon cleansing.

To avoid colorectal cancer as well as other colon-related problems, meat has to be avoided. You can start by eating smaller portions if you're used to eating lots of it. Then start skipping meals with meat, or skipping days. Alternate days of meat intake until you reach a point where you can go for days without it, or just use a little of it to flavor dishes on occasion.

Not only do you avoid colon problems this way and facilitate your movement, you also benefit from the nutrition vegetables and fruits bring. You also avoid hormones used on meat products and possibly a lot of preservatives as well.

Beauty Habits by Marie Calica

Miss Marie Calica, beauty coach and blogger (, shared with us the following beauty habits at the Mommy's Day Out organized by Unilab.

Finally, taking care of your physical appearance makes sense and seem doable!

Feel free to use face towels, gentle scrubs or just even your hands to get rid of dead skin cells. Miss Marie says that those with dry skin can exfoliate once a week but those with oily skin may have to do it daily. Just make sure to use gentle strokes and agents. For example, if using a face towel, just scrub the face gently in circular motion with mild cleansers/soap.

I have often thought that those with oily skin need not moisturize but I was wrong. We may not be as prone to wrinkling as those with dry skin but oil is still different from water. And what we need is to hydrate our skin so moisturizers twice a day (or more, if it's hot) is a must. And yes, over time, it will really facilitate more graceful ageing.

Moisturizing the body is also a must and there's already a wide array of lotions for that.

Whether you're washing your face, exfoliating it, moisturizing it or putting on makeup, do not forget your eyes and neck. Even the best makeup is no match for tired eyes and even Botox cannot quite hide ageing in the neck area.

The hands are also a better indication of age so you might also want to pay attention to those.

Hydrate from within and as much as possible, take twice the amount of water for every cup or glass of diuretic you drink (coffee, cocoa or tea). If you hate the taste of water, flavor it a little by adding a lemon wedge or two. Or get your water fix from fruits instead.

Vitamin E is responsible for skin eleasticity. This is especially significant for those gaining or losing weight as well as pregnant moms like me because it can spell the difference between manageable stretch marks to really ugly ones.

They say that Lucy Torres-Gomez even uses Vitamin E gel capsules directly on her face (I guess as a moisturizer) and one of the moms who attended said event that she used expired Vitamin E gel capsules to massage her feet with. At least, if they couldn't benefit her anymore from the inside, they still proved useful externally.

7-8 hours of sleep, preferably happening within 10 PM to 2 AM is best to let your body heal itself and for your cells to really regenerate.

We usually just put on sunblock when we're going swimming, and usually just before we're about to get wet. The truth is, we really need to put sunblock everyday and thirty minutes before we get exposed to the sun's rays. Sunblock can even protect you from the radiation of too much computer use.

Take a bath everyday, brush your teeth properly, exercise good hygiene. Wash your clothes, change your makeup, employ the use of cleaning agents and see experts occasionally (from dentists to dermatologists and massage therapists).

Use small containers as handy dispensers. Put your lotion and moisturizer in the bathroom so you don't forget to apply. Buy products that offer more, like tinted moisturizers with SPF or makeup with Vitamin E. Keep water bottles handy and moisturizers and lotions within reach while you're whiling your time on the computer.

See, when you really think about it, these beauty habits aren't really hard to incorporate in your daily activities. And they will go a long way in not just preserving your natural beauty but also making you feel good about yourself.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo Gifts from Artscow

Before Googling "women christmas gifts under $20" as you prepare for the coming Holidays and the resultant gift-giving attached to it, why not check Artscow first?

I simply doubt any woman, especially a Mom, can resist personalized gifts such as photo bags (from clutches to netbook cases), photo books and custom blankets. You can eveb just make a calendar for the whole family and give away as gift. There are playing cards too! The possibilities of cuteness are endless so go create an account now and start uploading those pictures!

Anjie Gogna Makeup Artist

If you're looking for a makeup artist who uses top of the line products and works to enhance your natural looks (as opposed to making you look like someone else), then Miss Anjie Gogna may be the person you're looking for.

She's also just really a lovely person you can easily relate with. She was the invited speaker for the makeup session at our Mommy's Day Out with Unilab last October 11. She can be hired to conduct makeup workshops (entitled Makeup Up Front) to help regular people like us achieve basic looks for night and day makeup using the makeup they already have and employing easy-to-follow techniques.

For inquiries, rate card, trial makeup and booking, contact:
Anjie Gogna
anjiegogna at gmail dot com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Manila Hotel - Revamped for its 98th Year

Manila Hotel is perfect for weddings. And last October 06, we found out that it was made more luxurious by having all the rooms refurbished and updated. October marks Manila Hotel's 98th year in the hotel business and they celebrated by requesting friends and patron companies to send representatives for some cocktails and networking.

The President was even there to grace the occasion.

Now, going back to the updated rooms, Manila Hotel now has 570 fully-renovated deluxe rooms and suites offering wonderful views of Manila Bay and the gardens of Rizal Park. All rooms also now employ the Ving King electronic lock system. Their top suites also offer 24-hour butler service. Plans to put up two new wings are also going to be realized soon.

Other key features to be enjoyed by guests include high speed internet access (both wired and wi-fi ready), Italian marble baths, premium bathroom amenities and toiletries (L'Occitane), coffee and tea making facilities, MP3 player-compatible AM/FM clock radio, separate bathtub and walk-in rain shower, LCD TVs (there's another one in the bathroom), fully stocked mini-bar, welcome fruit basket and free daily newspaper (Manila Bulletin) and the usual complimentary use of the swimming pool and health club facilities.

The rooms are still done in classic Filipiniana style in keeping up with Manila Hotel's tradition and history.

It's not too early to book your rooms to welcome the New Year in, you know, so contact Manila Hotel now:
One Rizal Park Manila, Philippines
(632) 5270011

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gotti's Torante

The last time I ate at Gotti's Torante was June 2009. Yep, that's over a year ago. I suddenly craved for their pesto-based pastas and mussels marinara so when my husband and I found ourselves in the area last week, he allowed me to satisfy my cravings.

The musses marinara still didn't disappoint, and thank heavens my tummy didn't complain from all the garlic in the sauce! We had to order more bread again to scoop up the sauce!

I forgot the name of this dish but it's basically seafood pasta with pesto. I really love Gotti's pesto and the shrimps in this dish were sooo good and tasty!

Weirdly enough, I didn't like their Dirty Fingers (chicken strips) when I first had it last year but this time, even hubby was impressed. We especially loved the dipping sauce.

Obviously, dining at Gotti's is not the perfect time to discuss the best weight loss supplements out there because the food is so good. The servings are also just perfect, the ingredients really fresh and the ambiance nice. I would really dining at Gotti's Torante on a more regular basis.

I have even told hubs we should pass by there once just to order takeouts to share with his family. I am that in love!

Gotti's Torante, by the way, is located at the Atrium wing of SM Mega Mall. It's at the 4th floor and near Starbucks and Brothers Burger.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sale, Sale, Sale Today

If you still don't know, three-day sales in major malls begin today. All Robinsons malls and SM Mega Mall are having a sale, and tonight, they're all open till midnight.

Shop to your heart's content for retail cigars, perfumes, infant layette, clothes (Forever 21 at Mega Mall is on super sale!), toys, home decor, accessories and maybe even books. I personally intend to check out the makeup section again at Robinsons tonight.

Just make sure to shop after you've had something to eat though so you won't end up with really unnecessary purchases. Put your money to good use, and do set a limit on your credit card usage!

And enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park has changed in a lot of ways and remained the same somehow since we last went there. The Oceanarium is basically the same (but I think the mermaid show is no more). I couldn't really tell if there were more fishes (but some aquariums seemed to have bigger ones) but there were definitely more attractions, like the Jellies Dancing Sea Fairies, Marine Life Show (sea lions), Aquanaut Voyage (P1k/head), Swimming and Musical Fountain Show (which happens at 6:30 PM these days). And of course, Hotel H2O is already operational.

Here are some sights you can expect to see:

I personally don't think I'd ever try their Aquanaut thingie for the simple reason that I don't want strangers to be oggling me and taking pics of me as if I was some fish specimen

the jellyfishes, though surreal in their form and movement, were still generally small for my taste. I'd have loved big jellyfishes really.

because it's been raining a lot lately, Marine Life shows may be cancelled (ticket holders can just return). For slight drizzles though, they do provide guests with disposable raincoats

We availed the Marine Life Encounter package for P500/each to cover the Oceanarium, Jellies and Marine Life Show. For other packages, you can check out Manila Ocean Park's website. The Marine Life Show (11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 4:30 PM slots) and Musical Fountain Show (6:30 PM) are held in the same area... where the swimming pool also is (so yes, the swimming area is small and from what we were told, not open anytime). Guests at the hotel can go swimming for free, however.

They did include a "don't pollute our waters" aspect in the Marine Life Show, where the sea lions would pretend to be sad because a guest threw a water bottle in the pool. Then a sea lion would retrieve the trash. Nice :)

All in all, it was still a fun thing to do with kids. Plus, there are just so many shops there now and more dining options than ever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Makansutra Asian Food Village

Our family dined at the Makansutra Asian Food Village last Saturday after enjoying the Ocean Park and since we were a big group, we were also able to sample a lot of other dishes.

their crispy catfish is really a must-try

the crab and corn soup was delish!

this is a coffee-something ribs that the guys loved
but the others didn't

char kway teow, which was a hit

oyster omelette

i shall never stop raving about their binagoongan rice

Hainanese chicken rice

Makansutra fried chicken, which for me was just so-so in
taste but still very tender, it's P900 for this platter
good for 6-8

We also had grilled chicken with mushroom sauce which BIL said tasted very much like Andok's chicken. All in all though, the food was great and we had a fine dining experience.

Makansutra wasn't very cool, ventilation-wise, though. Service was fast as the dishes didn't take long to arrive (but we had to really wait for a waiter to get our orders) and they do accept credit cards. A waiter also took our orders compared to the first time we went there when we had to approach the register and order from there.

I think I may just visit Makansutra Asian Food Village again before the month ends just to feast on binagoongan rice!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

P900 Oktoberfest Brunch at Sofitel

Like beer?

Love food?

Have kids?

Then Oktoberfest Family Day at the Hotel Sofitel Plaza Manila is for you! This collaboration between Sofitel and CashCashPinoy means raffle prizes, clowns, magicians, and a spectacular carnival in front of the Harbour Garden Tent for your child and authentic Bavarian delights (think fresh roasted pork knuckles, laugen rolls, grilled sausages and mouth-watering pastries) for you. And there's beer too.

Two ticket-bearing adults can get a child under 12 years of age for FREE!!!

Sky Lounge at the Linden Suites

If you're looking for a venue for an intimate gathering (maybe for about 20 people or so), check out the Sky Lounge of the Linden Suites in Ortigas, Manila. It's located at the Roof Deck (28th floor).

The buffet table can be set up in the hallway, like they did at the Unilab Mommy's Day Out event I attended.

Catering by Linden is just great. I heard their lasagna was really good but since I don't eat lasagna, 'd just have to take their word for it. But the presentation was nice and the waitstaff really attentive and handy.

The food is enough to make you forget your ipods for a while and even stop you from using your Blackberries. Then again, you might just find it hard not to tweet pics of the food or rave about them.

The venue has enough space for a multi media projector and your laptop for presentations as well as enough sockets for other gadgets (like your iPad or media player, should you need to use or charge those).

So contact Linden Suites now for your booking requirements.
The Linden Suites
37 San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Centre
Pasig City 1600
Metro Manila - Philippines

Telephone (63-2) 638-7878
Facsimile (63-2) 638-7877
(63-2) 633-7012

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