Post-Birthday Celebration with Friends

Justin’s 13th birthday happened more than a month ago, but he was only able to celebrate it recently with his three closest male friends in Pisay who were also his classmates in Grade 7. After their enrolment/reorientation last Thursday, August 1, all four boys (we call them 4J’s) bonded over Timezone and good old American food at Ayala Malls Vertis North. We call our boys the 4J’s because all their first names start with “J.”

Enrolment time

Playtime at Timezone

Chow time at Nathan’s Famous

The 4J’s with the Active Moms

We all want these boys to enjoy and have fun while they still can because for sure, Grade 8 will be more challenging, more stressful, and more exhausting. My son’s baptism of fire, which happened in Grade 7, was made more bearable because the three other J’s became not just his classmates but his closest friends. I do hope they remain friends for life.

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Posted in Ayala Malls Vertis North, Chow Time, Enrolment Time, Nathan's Famous, Philippine Science High School, PISAY, Playtime, Post-Birthday Celebration, PSHS, PSHS Main Campus, PSHS-MC, Timezone | Leave a comment

SAFE STEPS Kids Programme Educates Young Pinoys on How to Save Lives during Emergencies

One of the things that worries me as a mom, especially when I’m not with my son, is when he gets caught up in emergency situations that he isn’t prepared for. In cases of earthquakes, fire, or lockdowns in school, does he know what to do, and if he does, will he be able to execute what he knows in situations that may paralyze even the most knowledgeable adult? Good thing I was able to attend an event that alleviated my fear.

SAFE STEPS Kids, a new safety awareness programme developed by Prudence Foundation, in partnership with Cartoon Network, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was officially launched last Friday at Manila Ocean Park. It aims to equip millions of children across the country with life-saving information that they can apply in the event of emergencies or disaster situations.

In 2014, Manny Pacquiao helped launch the successful, more adult-focused SAFE STEPS programme, which sought to enhance disaster preparedness and awareness by providing key survival tips for natural disasters. Now Prudence Foundation’s SAFE STEPS Kids programme has expanded to reach a younger generation and includes a series of kid-centric, practical, and easy-to-understand tips with the help of Cartoon Network’s well-loved cartoon characters.

The initiative comprises a series of twelve (12) 50-second public service announcements. Each video features a set of characters from a well-known Cartoon Network series who will anchor the storytelling process to raise awareness and provide educational information to Filipino kids. The messages addressing three types of key life-threating issues (Disasters, First Aid, and Road Safety) are approved by IFRC.

Earthquake survival tip: Stay away from windows, glass, and heavy objects.

The first category of videos to launch focuses on Disasters (Fire, Flood, Typhoon, and Earthquake), featuring the irrepressible superhero trio, The Powerpuff Girls. Later in the year, the First Aid episodes (Choking, Broken Bones, Burns, and Wound/Severe Bleeding) will be rolled out, featuring We Bare Bears. Last but not the least are the videos on Road Safety (Seatbelt, Helmet, Pedestrian, and Distracted Driving), featuring characters from The Amazing World of Gumball.

Fire survival tip: Crawl to stay below the smoke.

The videos on the Disaster topics have been on air since May 2019 across Cartoon Network’s channel in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. From August 2019 onwards, First Aid and Road Safety topics will be released.

“Efforts to simplify any process for kids, especially in the matter of safety, will always be a worthwhile initiative the Department of Education (DepEd) will openly embrace,” said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua


“SAFE STEP Kids programme is a great opportunity to build a culture of safety in the Philippines, which we carry out through school safety or humanitarian education on disaster risk reduction and health promotion. This initiative does not only educate, but also enables children to be proactive when it comes to saving lives at an early age,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.

“For DepEd, finding the right partners, with the same dedication to learners, and committed to Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’ vision of providing Quality, Accessible, Relevant, and Liberating Basic Education for all is always key. Being able to effectively reach our learners, and in a format and manner they enjoy, is a welcome bonus” added Usec. Pascua.

The educational messages and videos are available for easy viewing on the SAFE STEPS Kids website (www.safestepskids.com) and complement a series of collaterals (infographics and other print materials) that will be distributed to schools and communities across the country.

Leslie Lee, Vice President of Cartoon Network in Asia Pacific, added: “This unique partnership uses characters from shows that are really well loved in the Philippines. As the leading kids’ channel in the Philippines, Cartoon Network can create content that helps make this important message resonate with kids and their parents. Once again, the day is saved thanks to The Powerpuff Girls.”

These videos will air on Cartoon Network on Cignal Digital TV Channel 220 (HD), Sky Direct Channel 15 (HD), SkyCable Channel 178 (HD), and Destiny Cable Channel 178 (HD Digital) and on Cartoon Network’s social and online video platforms, websites and apps, including Cartoon Network Watch and Play.

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Posted in Cartoon Network, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Disasters, Emergencies, First Aid, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Life-Saving Tips, Natural Disasters, Philippine Red Cross, Prudence Foundation, Road Safety, SAFE STEPS Kids, Safety Awareness Programme, Saving Lives, Survival Tips | 16 Comments

Bubble Baby Exemplifies Love in Action (Product Review and Giveaway)

From the maker of Bubble Man Dishwashing Liquid, Mikewell World of Household Producs Corp., comes another environment-friendly product that gets the job done without putting a dent in your wallet. Bubble Baby is a budget-friendly baby bottle and utensil cleanser that’s safe for babies and kind to the environment, too!

Bubble Baby 880 ml (Php149) and 270 ml (Php55)

Ingredients: Plant-derived surfactants, Water

How to Use Bubble Baby:
1. Dilute 5 t0 10 ml of Bubble Baby in 1L water in a clean basin.
2. Soak these items into the solution for 30 seconds: feeding bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and other baby utensils.
3. Clean with brush and rinse.

My Experience:
We no longer have a baby at home, but we still have baby utensils (baby plate, spoon, and fork) that I haven’t disposed of, so I used them to road-test Bubble Baby. I didn’t even have to make the soaking solution for these. I just put a few drops of Bubble Baby on the sponge and wash the baby utensils. Everything was clean in a jiffy!

What I Like about Bubble Baby:
Here’s a rundown of things that I like about Bubble Baby:
• It is plant-based, so it is 100% safe and eco-friendly!
• It has no additives.
• It is fragrance-free.
• It is food-safe.
• It safely cleans feeding bottles, nipples, and other baby utensils.
• It is easy to rinse.
• It leaves no soap residue.
• It leaves no smell.
• It is mild and gentle on hands.
• It is inexpensive.

Bubble Baby is a product that prioritizes the needs of our little ones while caring for the environment, too. That’s love in action exemplified twice over! Bubble Baby is available at Lazada, Shopee, Walter Mart, AllDay Supermarket, and Landmark Department Store.

And now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will get to bring home this Bubble Man/Bubble Baby gift pack.

Giveaway Mechanics:
Only Philippine residents can join. This giveaway begins today and ends on July 18, 2019, 12:00 a.m., Eastern time. All entries will be verified after the giveaway has ended. Winner will be notified by email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in #BubbleBaby, #LoveInAction, Baby Bottle, Baby Bottle and Utensil Cleanser, Baby Bottle Cleanser, Blog Giveaway, Bubble Baby, Bubble Baby PH, Bubble Man Dishwashing Liquid, Bubble Man PH, Easy Rinse, Eco-friendly Product, Plant-based Product, Value for Money | 38 Comments

Rainy Day Health Tips: How to Prevent a Cold from Getting Worse

Rainy season has officially started, and with it comes the risk of catching a cold or flu. Studies show that an adult can get two to four episodes of the common cold annually, while kids can get six to twelve episodes, but you can prevent that from happening! As every wonder wo-mom knows, a little prevention goes a long way. Here are some ways help stomp out the sniffles.

1. A bottle full of water
Drinking lots of water will help decongest airways and keep the throat moist. Keeping your family hydrated is one of the best things you can do for their bodies while their immune system is gearing up for a fight against the cold.

2. A pack of immunity-boosting snacks
Consuming immunity-boosting food items on a regular basis will help prevent many illnesses including the cold and flu. If you are keen on living a healthy life, chow down on fresh fruits, yoghurt, and other healthy snacks. Doing so can save you and your kids from an unnecessary visit to the doctor.

3. A handy-dandy hand sanitizer
Here’s another thing that can keep the entire family healthy: hand sanitizers! Bacteria and viruses are everywhere, so it’s better for your kids to always have a bottle of hand sanitizer or even a good ol’ bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the bag. Keeping their hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illnesses.

4. A lot of tissue paper
When the cold and flu season hits, you’re going to need more tissue paper than you think. Always have a box of tissue paper because “lots” is never enough for a family. Just always remember to dispose of them properly and clean your hands after blowing your nose. By following this, you and your family can help effectively stop the spread of viruses.

5. A stylish scarf
Of course, you’d want your family to be protected from allergens and viruses outside your home. Give them something to cover themselves with! May it be a nice handkerchief, a stylish scarf, or a sterile face mask, you should always be prepared most especially when the fambam is going to a crowded place.

6. A ton of patience, love, and understanding
Being a mom to sick kids can really be a test of patience. They all have their own quirks, and nursing them can really wear you down, so it’s always good to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the battle. Remember to ask for help, pray for love and patience, and most importantly, keep yourself healthy.

7. A trusted cold defense nasal spray

Aside from having tons of patience and understanding, you need to have a trusted companion in keeping your family healthy. Hold the cold off before it worsens by using one of the leading and most trusted antiseptic brands in the country that is BETADINE®. It has a whole line of upper respiratory care products that are proven to be safe and effective including BETADINE® Cold Defense Nasal Spray.

By using BETADINE® Cold Defense Nasal Spray at the onset of sickness, you can shorten the duration of cold symptoms by up to two days and keep the viruses from spreading further and the colds from worsening. Its formulation includes Carragelose®, a natural active ingredient that has antiviral effects and is clinically proven to eliminate 99% of the common cold and flu viruses such as rhinovirus, coronavirus, and influenza A virus which are common causes of respiratory infections. BETADINE® Cold Defense Nasal Spray is recommended for children 1 year old and above. Plus, it is natural, steroid-free, drug-free, and has contamination-proof nozzle.

Don’t let common cold and flu hinder your family from creating many wonderful memories together. Always remember to stock up on BETADINE® Cold Defense Nasal Spray for Kids and Adults and stop cold and flu-like illnesses from the get-go.

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Posted in BETADINE® Cold Defense Nasal Spray, Cold, Cold Prevention, Cold Prevention Tips, Common Cold, Disease Prevention, Press Release, Rainy Season | Leave a comment

Why Are Filipinos Generally Happy?

Did you know 4 out of 10 Filipinos or 44% are “very happy” with their lives? That’s according to the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) poll. Of the 1,440 surveyed, 37% said they are also “very satisfied.”

Last March, the United Nations (UN) reported that the Philippines ranked the 69th happiest country in the world (out of 156). Forbes said this finding is consistent with a Gallup survey, “which finds an increase in the percentage of Filipinos who consider their life positive enough to rate it as ‘thriving’ in recent years.”

Interestingly, the country edged out China in the happiness rankings, considering the latter is the world’s largest economy, having a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) about four times higher than the Philippines.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said last month that the country’s 2018 GDP was 6.2%, with all regions posting growth. NEDA also noted that in the first quarter of 2019, the Philippines likely remains the 4th fastest growing economy in Asia.

The happiness and satisfaction among Filipinos surveyed by SWS indicate that the government programs geared for inclusive economic growth are working. An example of this is the improvement the delivery of social services in the past two years, according to Courtney Rickert McCaffrey, manager of thought leadership in strategy and management at consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2019/04/05/philippines-beat-china-in-happiness/#30d14b8826e3

Filipinos are ‘happy, resilient people.’

Psychologist Therese Castillo said the Filipinos are generally “happy people.” “If our people were as privileged as other countries, we may not have developed the coping skills distinct to Filipinos. Most Filipinos use humor as part of coping with problems and struggles.”

“Happiness is not just the absence of sadness or problems but is also related to the quality of life, well-being, pleasure and satisfaction. There are major areas of our lives such as our work, relationships, health and leisure (how we spend our free time) that impact our happiness,” added Dr. Castillo.

If happiness were based on these, then construction worker Rodolfo Corpuz is much happier. Corpuz attests that his life now is much better than before.

“I can say that my life is more comfortable now. I feel the ease and convenience of my life today, with my work, and so do my colleagues,” Corpuz said.

Corpuz used to earn PHP334 a day (USD6.45) weighing chemical ingredients used for various animal feeds. Now he earns over PHP500 (USD9.66) daily (plus overtime) as a trainer for his fellow construction workers and as an assessor–roles he bagged after a rigorous set of trainings. His family is living more comfortably now with all the opportunities he is getting.

Corpuz’s construction job is in-demand these days as the Duterte administration prioritizes flagship infrastructure projects under its Build Build Build (BBB) program. Last year, BBB held its first job caravan, with more than 17,000 vacancies posted and over 5,200 hired directly by employers. Twenty-eight of these flagship projects are eyed to be completed before Duterte’s term ends in 2022.

Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/03/05/19/28-build-build-build-projects-finished-by-2022-official

Filipinos are hopeful.

Californian Liana Meyer used to work for a non-profit organization doing fund-raising and donor communications when she first visited the Boracay, Philippines in 2009. She returned to the country in 2011. While sitting at the edge of a pool enjoying the warm sun and sipping a cool mango shake while her friends were in the water, she thought to herself, “Why can’t I have this life? Nobody is stopping me except myself, and so in 2012, I walked away from my career in search for a greater adventure in the Philippines. I have lived here ever since.”

While settling here, Meyer had to deal with difficulties that took a toll on her mental and physical health. But instead of returning to the United States, Meyer stayed simply because she loves working and living here. Aside from the solid support system of friends and colleagues (both Filipinos and expatriates), she also discovered that the Philippines has world-class medical professionals that are far more accessible and affordable than in the US. Through such difficult experience, “that I found my faith in God. I was an atheist all my life before I moved to the Philippines. Years after living here, I discovered my faith and it is that, above all, now helps me cope with difficulties,” she revealed.

Dr. Castillo said “our ability to cope with or react to circumstances greatly affect our ability to be happy. We’ve experienced natural disasters and socio-economic struggles over many years and the Filipinos have come out strong and hopeful. Filipinos are generally hopeful despite poverty and lack of resources.”

Filipinos are supportive.

Dr. Castillo also noted that Filipinos are generally supportive of each other. “We’re sensitive to another person’s needs and feelings that other cultures may not have. We value the sense of community and support as Filipinos. At times of desperation and struggle, we hold on to these values that keep us strong and hopeful.”

Meyer said that it would help expatriates like her to have Filipino friends. “It’s true that Filipinos are very hospitable. I’ve met so many parents, siblings, titas and titos (aunties and uncles), and they treat me like family. I urge anyone though to only seek out these friendships if you intend to return the favor … You don’t need to be showy or give expensive gifts. You just need to show up … and don’t forget to bring food!” she advised.

But adventure, according to the 2018 US News & World Report, is another area where the country outranked China. Adventure can also relate to friendliness, fun, pleasant climate, and scenic beauty–characterizations that Meyer saw and experienced for herself being in the Philippines.

Meyer, who is now based in Cagayan De Oro with her fiancé, hopes that Filipinos continue to protect their heart. “Filipinos are a fun-loving and faith-filled people–qualities derived not from their circumstances, but their spirit. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to humble my heart and adopt this way of life.”

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Posted in Filipinos, Happiness, Happy Country, Happy Folks, Hopefulness, Philippines, Pinoys, Press Release, Resilience, Supportiveness | Leave a comment