When Eating Healthy Is Not Enough

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Aging is a privilege. With aging comes experience and wisdom, not to mention senior citizen’s discounts. But with aging also comes the onset of aches, pains and age-related conditions. Such is why older people try to adopt a healthier lifestyle – something you might have observed from your parents, grandparents, or older friends (or which you find yourself doing, if you consider yourself old). They try to keep themselves moving by doing zumba, for instance, and they become more watchful of what they eat. Eating healthier food is not just a trend among older adults – it is a norm. We know this is a good practice, but as we age, eating healthy food may not be enough. That’s because even if you eat healthy food, there’s a chance of you not getting all the good nutrition from it, which may happen if you are deficient in digestive enzymes.

You’re probably thinking, “Digestive enzymes? I remember hearing about that back in the day during Science class. What do digestive enzymes have to do with me getting good nutrition?” Digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down the food we eat into a form that can be easily absorbed by the body. It’s not the food itself that gets absorbed – it’s the nutrients from it.

But how exactly does it happen?

Imagine yourself eating a piece of bread. As you chew the bread, you are starting to digest it already. From your mouth, it passes through your esophagus down to your stomach, where it further gets digested. From the stomach, it goes into the small intestine where digestion gets completed. Enabling the digestion in your mouth, stomach and small intestine are your digestive enzymes. These enzymes break down your food into nutrients so they may be absorbed into your bloodstream and transported to every cell in your body. Such is the crucial role of your digestive enzymes. Healthy food provides the foundation for optimal health, but even the healthiest food is of little use if it is not properly digested and absorbed.

The thing is, as we get older, the digestive enzymes naturally produced by our bodies become depleted. Digestive enzyme deficiency is thus something older people may experience – and they may not even be aware of it. But how will you know if an older loved one such your mom or dad is deficient in digestive enzymes? If they constantly have digestive complaints like gas, bloating, or abdominal pain, and / or if their bowel movement is irregular, they could be suffering from digestive enzyme deficiency.

Good thing, Unilab has the answer to digestive enzyme deficiency. Introducing Enzyplex – a digestive enzyme supplement that helps promote healthy digestion. It has a unique combination of digestive enzymes, which break down food so your body gets the nourishment it needs. It also helps one avoid indigestion symptoms such as gas, bloating and stomachache. 

Aside from digestive enzymes, Enzyplex has vitamin B-complex which helps enhance the digestive process and aids in the conversion of food into energy to support normal body processes.

With Christmas nearing, why don’t you give your loved ones (or yourself) the gift of healthy digestion and optimal nutrient absorption? They’ll need it, especially with all the festivities! Buy a box of Enzyplex today and let them absorb life to the fullest!

Know more about Enzyplex and nutrient absorption! Visit and like the Enzyplex Facebook page (Enzyplex Philippines) and check out the Enzyplex website (www.agewell.ph/products/enzyplex).

#AbsorbLifetotheFullest with Enzyplex!
Enzyplex is available in Luzon branches of Watsons, South Star Drug and St. Joseph Drug .

Maskape Barako Gold: Coffee and Sugar 2 in 1 Coffee Mix

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Whether it's at home or at the office, there's one thing we can't live without - coffee!  We've tried so many coffee mixes and the recent one is Maskape by Might and Strong Foods Corporation

maskape barako gold
There are already many existing coffee mix brands in the market.  But, this is the first time I've encountered a Barako Gold variant.  I chose this variant because I always opt for the less sugar and more coffee for an ultimate caffeine kick.

maskape barako gold

Especially around 2 or 3 pm, my workmates would feel bored and sleepy so we need an extra boost...
I brought them some Maskape Barako Gold and indeed the bitter-sweet flavor and caffeine strength gave us a powerful jolt of awakeness. 

For the very cheap price of P5 SRP, this is one of the best options at such price range.  It definitely has sufficient coffee taste and in this variant, it only has 6 grams of sugar out of the 11 gram serving.  They have other instant coffee mix variants.  I also tried all of them but I found the blend of sweetness too much for my taste.  This one is best suited for those who want a strong coffee taste but on a budget.

St. Francis Natural Healthcare Center by Sr. Regina a.k.a Shengrong Liu: Acupuncture for my PCOS & Eczema

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After my short recovery from eczema, I discovered that I had more health problems.  And, because of that I wanted to try acupuncture once again.  I have read a lot online about St. Francis Health Clinic by Sr. Regina a.k.a Shengrong Liu

st francis health clinic
First, let me elaborate on health problems... Last December, I was suppose to jog with friend when I had a really bad case of  Dysmenorrhea.  Because of that I just had to go and have it checked.  I went to my sisters OB at Healthway who suggested that I have an ultrasound and blood test.  I already knew it was bad news when the sonographist  and assistant were discussing at how odd my uterus is.  Upon receiving the result, it was stated that I had septate uterus.  The OB also discovered that I had PCOS.  She told me not to worry as my issues can be fixed.  She referred me to Dr. Joan Tan Garcia who she says specializes in PCOS.  Dr. Joan Tan Garcia advised me to exercise at least 4 hours a day and lessen my carbs.  She also required me to have a more extensive blood work.  As regards my septate uterus, she said I don't need to address it yet until I get married.  I got really sad and depressed and together with my busy schedule of work and exercise (yoga and indoor cycling), my eczema recurred by my leg and as of this moment it is getting bigger and bigger and spreading...

st francis health clinic
When my cousin heard about my PCOS issue, I discovered that it is common in the family so they suggested an OB.  I intend to go there for second opinion too.  But before that, I decided to try Sr. Regina Liu first because having so many issues, I wanted to check first a more holistic approach. 

Thanks to the guides in the internet, I was able to find St. Francis Health Clinic which had no signage from the outside.  All you have to look for is a green gate with number 19 along Panay Avenue (near the corner of Roces Avenue).  It is beside Japan Home Centre's warehouse (next to Mandarin Sky and BGC Hostel).  The small gate is already open and the guard is already expecting customers to come in.

st francis health clinic
My appointment was supposed to be at 1 pm but because it was raining and traffic, I got there at 2 pm.  Good thing I was accommodated because booking had to be 2 weeks in advance because slots are already full. 

Upon entering, I can't help but notice that the place is reeking with smoke.

St. Francis Natural Healthcare Center
But, I still focused on answering their 3-page questionaire.  I seated on the waiting area along with older Chinese women and Filipino married couples. 

St. Francis Natural Healthcare Center
This is my second time to try acupuncture.  The first one didn't involve answering an extensive medical chart like this...  I think this is better because they want to be able to address all your issues as much as possible.  Although I am aware that Sr. Regina Liu focuses on fertility and reproductive problems.

fertility acupuncture
I decided to seat outside because of the smoke.  There were a couple of young Filipino couples there too.  After around 15 minutes, I was called in by the receptionist and let to cubicle 4.  There were 12 cubicles in all.  While waiting, 2 nurses passed by asking me to wait as Sister will be coming anytime soon.  While waiting, I can't help but notice the room had photos of children (noticeably Filipino-Chinese with chinky eyes just like me).  Some of the photos had a thank you letter for Sister Regina Liu.  At first, I was struck with hope.  But, then I thought... it took me two months to book here.  There are around 15 people signed up on the log when I signed in.  So if there are 12 cubicles with 8 baby photos each then that would sum up to only 96 right?  But, Sr. Regina has been treating for almost 10 years with around 20 clients per day...   The odds aren't that great if you think that way right?  My thought was broken when the 3rd nurse asked for my name and shortly after Sister Regina came in.

fertility acupuncture
Sr. Regina seemed calm as she checked my Medical Chart.  Then she said, "So you have Septate Uterus.  Most of my clients have Septate but have successfully given birth." I said, "But, my doctor said I will need surgery." She said, "Yes, surgery may be needed depending on how centered it is.  But, with or without surgery... many have become pregnant."  I appreciated her assurance somehow. 
Then she asked how often my menstrual period was, how long and when was the last time.  She also asked if I had to take pain reliever during my period.  I told her no.  The pain is usually mild especially since I exercise.  She also asked who my OB was.  I told her I only visited once so I forgot.  She also asked if I was taking Metformin and I told her No.  She also asked the areas of my eczema and acknowledged my poor digestion issue which I've written on the form.  She told me to avoid drinking cold.  I told her I always feel cold.  She asked me what time I slept at night, I told her around 11 to 12 am and she said very late.

She then said, so you want to try acupuncture huh?  Then, instructed me show my tongue as she pointed me to lay on the bed.  She quickly began putting in needles on me.  The first one is the only one I felt.  It was on the left side forehead.  The others was painless.  I had some on the scalp, left lower arm, right lower arm, stomach area, and both legs and foot.  After placing the needles she left and I didn't see her again.

As soon as Sr. Regina left, a nurse came in placed a heated lamp on my stomach and asked me if I could handles the tingling pressure.  She also place a moxa next to both of my lower leg.  She asked if it was my first time.  I said, it was my first time there but second time for acupuncture.  I told her the first time had very few needles.   She then told me well, this time it's a lot as I have 21 needles in total.  She told me that the session will take 30 minutes. She left and and came back half way to check.  During that time, I just took a nap... not minding that the smoky smell of the moxa which I didn't like prior to the session.  After 30 minutes, another nurse removed the needles.  She wasn't as smooth as Sr. Regina so I felt the needles being removed as opposed to not feeling anything when they were put in. 

I then went to the reception.  The woman before me paid only 1,100 php so I was expecting an amount roughly like that too.  But, turns out mine was 2,210.  No receipt or any advise was given expect okay na so I just left. 

I now wonder if I need to go back for more sessions... But, let's see first if my issues will improve...

St. Francis Health Care Clinic
Address: 19 Panay Avenue, Quezon City (very near Panay cor. Roces Avenue)
Directions: Along Quezon Avenue (heading towards Circle), turn right at Roces (you will see SOGO Hotel). Turn right at Panay. Pass by BGC Hostel, Mandarin Sky, Japan Home Center's Warehouse  then you will see a big green gate with 19 in green.  The small gate is on the right side. 
Call first for appointment: (02) 373.5503 (0917) 541.5464

First Fujifilm Instax Coffee and Arts Workshops with Instax Mini 9 and Instax Square SQ10

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A few weeks ago, I attended the very first Instax Coffee and Arts Workshop at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) Adriatico Malate Manila

instax mini 9 and sq 10
What's cool about the workshop is that it is absolutely FREE thanks to the partnership of Fujifilm Philippines, Henry's Professional and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

instax coffee and arts workshop
Check out the whole new collection of Fujifilm Instax Cameras!  The Instax Mini 9 is the latest one sold at a retail price of only 3,999 php.  It comes in various pastel colors.  If you're more technical and meticulous, you should check out their latest Hybrid Instax Camera called the Instax Square SQ10 sold at 14,999 php.  As you can guess from the name, the instax photos are in square size making it very compatible with the 1:1 instagram size.  It also has it's own control screen at the back which allows you to choose from 10 filters, control the brightness and the vignette. 

fujifilm instax
As part of the workshop, we all got to create our own Fujifilm Instax Photos for free. And, with the workshop conducted by craft master Nica Cosio, we were able to upgrade our instax photos into a colorful and beautiful bag tag.

The next workshop will be held on September 8, 2017 at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Rockwell Business Center.  Check out the facebook fan page of CBTL or Fujifilm Philippines on how to participate.

I promise it is tons of fun.  And, did I mention there's CBTL coffee and food too?  Awesome right?  So, see you all there!

Grayns Rice Cooker: Only Healthy Rice Cooker in the World Now in the Philippines

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Last week, I was invited to attend the media launch of Grayns Rice Cooker.  Being health-conscious, I was really excited to know more about the only healthy rice cooker in the world!

grayns rice cooker
Grayns uses a patent advance technology which removed starch from rice and other starch sources resulting to low calorie content and glycemic load.  They have lab tests and customer testimonials o prove this.

grayns rice cooker
I really admire the company because they were very meticulous in discussing how Grayns works as a supplement to a healthy diet and exercise. 

grayns rice cooker
I didn't feel that they just wanted to earn by selling more products.  Instead, they allocated a lot of time (3 hours!) in explaining our biology and how the product works.  I usually attend medical conferences with my sister who is a doctor and I actually learned a lot more here than there.  

grayns rice cooker
Grayns will benefit most those with diabetes type 1 and 2 the most because it can significantly control their blood sugar level as well as prevent spikes and cashes just 15 minutes after use. 

grayns rice cooker
But with diabetes and obesity being common these day, I believe this is a necessity for every house hold. 

grayns rice cooker
However, right now the price is steep at 27,000 php so you have to weight the pros and cons for yourself. 

grayns rice cooker
I suggest you inquire directly with the company because they are very dedicated in answering questions.  All their staffs are very accommodating.  

grayns rice cookerBasically, what the bad cycle of high sugar will lead to high insulin then storage of fat then inability to burn fat making you eat more.  Based on my experience after my GAPs diet during because of my eczema, I found this to be true.  The more efficient your body is with utilizing energy, vitamins and mineral, the lesser you will eat and the longer time it will take before you will be hungry again.  (You can check ketogenic and intermittent fasting on the full science on this.)

grayns rice cooker

grayns rice cooker
President and CEO Mr. Kelvin Co explains that they warranty the product parts and service 1 year from purchase.  They will replace it fully except for the colander which isn't mechanical.

Sounds good right?  Check out Grayns at Rustans, Abensons and their Facebook Fan Page. 

BPI BanKo now serving Self-Employed Micro Entrepreneurs (SEMEs)

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BPI Direct BanKo which is a combination of BPI Direct Savings Bank Inc. and BPI Globe BanKo. BPI Direct Savings Bank was formerly BPI Agricultural bank way back in the 70's and BPI Globe BanKo is an innovative micro-financing with mobile abilities which was just launched in 2009 in partnership with Globe.

bpi banko
Two separate thrift banks merged into one is now the powerful BPI Direct BanKo BPI Direct is now extending its reach by opening to Self-Employed Micro Entrepreneurs (SEMEs) by introducing its primary loan product "NegosyoKo loan" ranging from 25,000 to 300,000 php (depending on the collateral).

bpi banko
Loan is approved and released as short as 4-5 days to a maximum of 3 weeks for bigger loans.  Loan payments can be scheduled over a long term period. 

bpi banko
BPI aims to improve the quality of SEMEs as well as contribute to the country's economic growth by offering a legal and formal lending platform and spare them from being forced to go through informal channels. 

bpi banko
In line with this new venture, BPI has launched a new batch of financial advisors called BanKoPares and BanKoMares as loan officers who will guide and directly engage with BanKo clients.  Those interested in BanKo services only need to call and the BanKoPares and BanKoMares will go to them so they don't even need to leave their business.

bpi banko
According to BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing, this is the fastest business in BPI history.

bpi banko
BanKo now has a total of 24 branches, 15 of which are newly established branches in key areas around the country. 

bpi banko
BPI intends to reach 90 branches by October 2017.  The BanKo Direct BanKo launch was graced by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Incoming Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier and other BSP officers.  Incoming Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier has been with BSP since 1984 as Bank Examiner and has progressively worked her way to become Assistant Governor in 2017.  Ms. Fonacier shares that BSP has always strongly dedicated in financial inclusion - bringing banking services to more people as financial consumers where no one is left behind.  She believes that BanKo with the guidelines and regulations of the BSP that will improve BPI BanKo operations will lead to an effective and sustainable results. BSP guidelines and regulations are formulated to be enabling and not to be restrictive but as an active partner of financial institution. BSP is open to digital solutions as long as security is protected.  With only 30% of Filipinos with formal financial accounts, she recognizes that financial inclusion still has a long way to go.

During the launch BPI shares success stories of its BanKo clients who benefited greatly through micro-financing.  Among their clients are eateries, small farm owners, cellphone repair store, burger joint, food stall franchisee, sculptor, guitar maker and fruit vendor.

Doña Elena brings Origen Flamengco Show to the Philippines

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Doña Elena, the leading brand of Mediterranean products in the Philippines, brings Origen Flamenco Show to the Philippines.

Doña Elena
I've always been a fan of Doña Elena (as I've shared their pasta before). 

Doña Elena
Before the show began, guests enjoyed fine Doña Elena wines as well as tapas with Doña Elena ingredients.

Doña Elena

Doña Elena

Doña Elena

Origen Flamengco Show
origen flamengco show
The Origen Flamengco Show began as scheduled.  The performance was inspired by the music of the legendary Paco de Lucia, a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer and producer.

origen flamengco show
It was unlike anything I have seen before.  You could feel the passion of the Spanish dance group as they tapped into the soulful beats. 

origen flamengco show
Origen harmonizes the old and deep sound of the flamengco guitar by Alberto Marin together with the flamengco singers and the fineness of the flute. 

Watch here for my favorite parts of the show.  Although this is Origen's first time in Manila, the group intends to be back in November.

origen flamengco show
Both Origen and Doña Elena showcases the exquisite Spanish heritage.  Origen as an art and Doña Elena in bringing out quality and healthy Mediterranean food products.

It was a truly unforgettable night of food and art for all.  Thank you for this Doña Elena!

You Are Called to Rescue: Let's Stop Human Trafficking Together!

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A few weeks ago, I was "Called To Rescue".  

called to rescue

The event was organized by Called to Rescue supporters Stephanie Henares, communications agency ComCo Southeast Asia and Boutique Burger Kitchen (BBK), a family-oriented diner from Chef Carlo Miguel of Draft Gastropub

called to rescue

What is Called to Rescue?
Called to Rescue is an international non-profit organization founded in 1988 by Dr. Cyndi Romine, who is one of the leading authorities in the fight against children injustices. 
Called to Rescue combats child trafficking in three ways:
  1. prevention through education and training of youth of all ages and their parents
  2. dedication to the child until he/she has experienced healing
  3. continuation in every aspect of child trafficking awareness.
Called to Rescue Philippines was officially registered as a non-governmental organization
(NGO) in 2009, with Mr. Anthony Pangilinan as its Officer-in- Charge.

called to rescue

What is Human Trafficking?
Actually, the definition of human trafficking varies depending on which law so it makes it difficult for the layman to understand.
Human trafficking is the buying and selling of men, women and children within countries and across borders in order to exploit them for money.  Human trafficking is a large-scale profit scheme which involves syndicates.  It is overtaking arm smuggling and drug trafficking because kids can be used more than 20 times per day.
It is very broad covering many illegal activities such as:
  • Forced labor
  • Debt bondage
  • Trafficking for sexual orientation
  • Child labor
  • Forced begging
  • Trafficking for organ removal
  • Forced marriage (mail order bride)
  • Trafficking in domestic work
  • Child soldiers
  • Rape or Date Rape
Factors Affecting Human Trafficking in the Philippines
  • Lack of awareness 
    •  Did you know that there are more than 500,000 cases of human trafficking in the Philippines last 2016 alone?  And, there are over 30 billion cases worldwide.  I was really surprised by this because most human rights cases in the Philippines focused more on Extra-judicial killings, disappearances and torture and it didn't occur to me even during my human rights violation research as a law student that there is such an issue.  And, this lack of awareness over the issue is what I think is the main factor why it became such a big problem. 
    • It's not as uncommon as we think.  There was even a case where the perpetrator who sold young teens in BGC is a wealthy Filipino-Chinese residing in Corinthian Village who had two rooms just for girls.  And, Tindr was used as a means to lure girls in.
  • Poverty 
  • Philippine as an archipelago
  • Friendly culture
  • Lack of parental oversight 
  • Lack of implementation of laws
    • Corruption
    • Weak judicial system
    • Court congestion
    • Shortage of prosecutors
    • Although laws are continuously being developed:
      • ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ratified February 2017)
      • RA 7610 as amended on 2003 (Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) 
      • RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) 
      • RA 6955 (Mail-order brides)
      • RA 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act)
      • Revised Penal Code
        • Art. 202 (prostitution)
        • Art. 341
      • PD 442: Labor Code of Philippines
      • Philippines Constitution
What Can We Do?
So previously I said I was Called to Rescue.  What do I mean by that?  How can a private person like me take part in such a big issue? Well, we can do A LOT actually. 

called to rescue
  • Parents should oversee their child (Parents better to struggle than worry so don't give up!  Although before 9 out of 10 Filipino kids look up to their parents, now only 4 out of 10 do.)
    • Don't give your kids gadgets; Lend them gadgets so you have degree of control
    • Teach kids to say No
  • Learn self-defense such as shouting and learning Krav Maga
  • Share the awareness
  • Join the community by liking Called to Rescue in Facebook
  • Report trafficking, abuse, and cases of missing children with the Called to Rescue’s local hotline at (0917) 541- 0287, through their facebook fan page or website calledtorescue.com.ph.