Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Spice Up Your Favorite Dish with Basics and Organics

Spices and herbs provide food flavor, but you might be surprised when you discover that they are also beneficial for your health, especially the Organic Herbs and Spices.  

Herbs and spices have long been utilized as traditional medicines, even before they rose to fame in the kitchen over the previous century.  

Basics and Organic, a local food business in the Philippines, sells all-natural and organic products that support local farmers. Its twelve Organic Herbs and Spices are Himalayan Sea Salt, Annatto  Seeds, Basil Leaves, Black Pepper Cracked, Black Pepper Ground, Black Pepper Whole, Chili  Flakes, Curry Powder, Oregano Leaves, Rosemary, Taco Seasoning, and Thyme Leaves. — all packing rich flavor with health benefits.  

These Basics and Organic Herbs & Spices include no preservatives, making them considerably healthier for Filipinos to consume. 

According to studies, spices are particularly high in antioxidants, which help protect cells from harm caused by harmful environmental components and free radicals that pass through the body's defenses. 

Here are the Basics and Organic Herbs and Spices and how they work as natural health  supplements: 

Annatto Seeds. This is considered a spice. The most popular usage for annatto is as a natural food coloring for various foods. Annatto is used to treat diabetes, diarrhea, and hepatitis to name a  few. It is also used as an antioxidant. 

Basil Leaves. Includes minerals and chemicals that may aid in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Basil contains eugenol, which can inhibit calcium channels and help reduce blood pressure. Magnesium, which is also present in basil,  can increase blood flow by helping your muscles and blood vessels to relax. 

Black Pepper. The presence of potassium in Black pepper prevents blood thickening and lessens the side effects of consuming too much salt or excessive sodium intake, which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure. 

Curry Powder. Typically contains turmeric, which also lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Curry's constituents have been demonstrated to have a beneficial impact on the body's stress response. They may contribute to a decrease in the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which may lower stress and anxiety. 

Chili Flakes. It aids in weight loss and boosts metabolism. Chili peppers assist your body in metabolizing fat, sweating more, and improving energy consumption. It was used to top pizza, stir-fry,  spicy pasta, and a variety of other meals. 

Himalayan Sea Salt. This salt contains a unique blend of minerals, including magnesium, calcium,  and potassium, which aid in circulation and detoxification. As a result, it can aid in the removal of toxins, the reduction of puffiness and bloating, and the keeping of soft, healthy skin.

Rosemary. This aromatic herb which is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, is high in both flavor and antioxidants. As a medicinal herb, it has long been recommended for strengthening the brain and memory and contains substances that are useful for improving digestion.  

Taco Seasoning. Taco seasoning is most commonly used to flavor taco meat; however, it is versatile and may also be used in other Latin meals and as a dry rub for grilled meats. Sprinkle it over fries for a delicious side dish or use it in taco-themed meals like taco soup. Taco flavor blends can provide iron and calcium through cumin, chili pepper, and oregano. 

Thyme Leaves. The antioxidant content of one teaspoon of thyme is equal to one carrot or half a  cup of chopped tomatoes. Besides flavonoids, which boost their antioxidant capacity and may have anti-inflammatory and age-related effects like preserving cognitive function and enhancing heart health, it also contains other beneficial ingredients. 

Oregano Leaves. It contains one of the highest antioxidant contents of any food. One teaspoon of dried oregano leaves contains the same number of antioxidants as three ounces of almonds and half a cup of chopped asparagus. Rosmarinic acid, found in oregano, prevents the growth of germs and parasites. 

For more information and details, visit the Basics and Organic Facebook page and Instagram Page  @basicsandorganicph.  

Friday, October 27, 2023

Parents and kids create special jolly memories at the Jollitown Kiddie Fair

Kids and their parents had the jolliest time at the Jollitown Kiddie Fair, held recently at the SMX Convention Center. The event served as the jolliest bonding experience for families, with its engaging learning activities, unique games and challenges, interactive shows, and all-day, all-around fun helping create special memories they’ll remember for a long time.

Jollibee has become a champion of joy for Filipino parents and kids throughout the years, and the Jollitown Kiddie Fair continues to give them more cherished moments. The event was opened by Jollibee’s brand ambassador, Jolina Magdangal Escueta, and her kids, Pele and Vika. She and her kids got to participate and have fun in all the event activities, while also getting interviewed about being a mother and brand ambassador.

“I’m so excited to be here at the Jollitown Kiddie Fair, having fun with my kids,” said Jolina. “Time passes so quickly, so I make sure that I spend quality time and make meaningful memories with Pele and Vika every chance I get.

“Jollibee is honored to be a part of many Filipinos’ core memories, from childhood to adulthood,” said Kat Facun, Jollibee Brand Manager for Noodles and Kids Category. “And with the Jollitown Kiddie Fair, we hope to give kids and their families more reasons to have happy, cherished moments because jolliest ang kids sa Jollibee.” 

The event offered activities where kids not only enjoyed with their friends, families, and fellow kids, but also engaged in unique family-friendly challenges that helped them learn along the way through creative play. Kids got a chance to make their own Jolly Spaghetti, Yumburger, and test their store manager skills in the MiniBee station as they had fun assembling delicious Jollibee food for their friends and parents. They also had the Party Palooza, which was an energetic all-day party celebration that had a whole host of games and activities that offered the full party experience.

The Jollitown Kiddie Fair also offered activities that challenged their skills, like the Chickenjoy Bucket Throw game where they tested their aim to win prizes, and avoided spaghetti-shaped wires in the Spag-o-wired game. Kids also solved different puzzles in the Jollitown Puzzle House, which was also a fun learning challenge and an interactive experience for kids of all ages. They also uncovered fun prizes in the Fry-nd The Treasure activity, while other kids tried to grab theirs at Yum’s Claw Machine.

Alongside the many activities and fun games, kids also got to watch an incredible set of shows happening on the main stage. This includes the bubble show where kids rushed to the stage to get closer to participate in blowing and popping bubbles. The magic show had jaw-dropping tricks that left kids in awe with each routine. The Dancing Balloon Show by Tectonix was also a highlight, as kids were dancing along to the music while being fascinated by the many balloon tricks.

Aside from the activities, parents and kids enjoyed delicious Jollibee food. This included sweet-sarap Jolly Spaghetti, which families enjoyed so much during the event. With delicious food and the jolliest activities, the Jollitown Kiddie Fair gave families moments to remember, and memories that they cherish together.

Have the best time at your favorite Jollibee store, because #JolliestAngKidsSaJollibee! For updates on the latest exciting offerings and events from Jollibee, visit Jollibee.com.ph, follow Jollibee on Facebook at facebook.com/JollibeePhilippines, and on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at @Jollibee. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

π›πžπžπ©™ π‚πšπ«ππ‘π¨π₯𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐄𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩π₯𝐒𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 πŠπ…π‚ π’π’ππžπ¬ 𝐚𝐧𝐝 πƒπžπ¬π¬πžπ«π­π¬

Leading the charge in contactless micropayments, beep™ is delighting its loyal customers with FREE side dishes at participating KFC branches.

To claim this exclusive offer, customers simply need to make a minimum single-receipt purchase of P200 and present their physical beep™ card or their registered beep™ card on the beep™ mobile app during the transaction. They can select one (1) of the following delectable side dishes: mashed potato, brownies, buttered corn, mushroom soup, or crispy fries.

“KFC is a beloved food brand in the Philippines often found in the very transport terminals frequented by beep™ cardholders. Through this renewed partnership between KFC Philippines and AF Payments Inc., customers not only benefit from the convenience of a seamless fare payment system but also enjoy the rewards that come with using a beep™ card. Our company is open to collaborating with businesses interested in leveraging the 10.6 million beep™ cards already issued to the public to drive traffic to their establishments,” stated AF Payments Inc. President and CEO JJ Moreno.

This promotion is applicable at the following KFC branches: WM North EDSA, SM North EDSA, SM North EDSA Annex 1, Edsa Congressional, Victory Central Mall, Grace Park, SM Grand Central, Trinoma, Trinoma FC, Recto, Eton Centris, Pureza, SM Sta Mesa, Tutuban Mall, SM San Lazaro, Alimall, Araneta, Gateway, Farmers, Telus Araneta, Rob Galleria, Rob Food Court, Marcos Hi-way, Grandmall, Robinsons Metro East, Carriedo, Sta Cruz, Good Earth, SM Manila 2, UN Ave, UN Square, Taft PGH, Robinsons Ermita, La Salle, Buendia, Libertad / Victory Mall, Metropoint, Edsa Greenhills, Megamall, Starmall EDSA Shaw, EDSA Central, Shangri-la, CIGI Pioneer, Glorietta, Landmark, SM Marikina, and SM Masinag.

Please note that only one (1) beep™ card may be used per single-receipt transaction, and each cardholder can only redeem one free item per transaction, even if they possess multiple beep™ cards. No transaction splitting is allowed

This promo is valid from October 15 to December 15, 2023.

The beep™ card can be purchased at LRT1, LRT2, and MRT3 stations, select convenience stores, and online via official Shopee, Lazada, and Facebook Marketplace stores. Beyond facilitating fare payments in the elevated rail lines, select bus lines, P2P buses, and modern jeepneys, beep™ cards can be used to pay for products at partner retail merchants nationwide.

Per DTI FTEB Fair Trade Permit No. 178349, Series of 2023 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Holiday Shopping Made Easy with Home Credit

The holiday season is a joyful time, but it can also be filled with stress, especially when thinking of gift ideas for your loved ones and doing your holiday shopping. The pressure to find the perfect gifts, navigate crowded stores, and manage your budget can turn the season into a headache.  

With some planning, you can enjoy a stress-free holiday shopping experience, discover exciting gift ideas, and even consider convenient payment options to make the most of your budget. These five Wais Tips shared by Home Credit, the country’s leading consumer finance company, can help you breeze through the process of buying presents and avoid the hassle of the holiday rush! 

Make a list.  

Santa is not the only one who benefits from making a list! Create a detailed shopping list that includes the names of the people you want to give gifts to, your gift ideas for each of them, and the shops where you can find those items. Having a list will keep you organized, help you stay on track, and reduce the likelihood of forgetting anyone or anything.  

Set a budget. 

Before you start shopping, establish a clear and realistic budget for your holiday spending. Check your list and allocate a specific amount for each person. Sticking to your budget will help you avoid overspending and refrain from experiencing financial strain during the holiday season.  

Start early. 

The early bird gets the stress-free shopping experience! Don't wait until the last minute to start your holiday gift shopping, and purchase gifts well in advance of the holidays. Starting early allows you to take advantage of sales and discounts, avoid the holiday rush, and ensures that you have plenty of time to find the perfect gifts without feeling rushed or pressured.  

Explore installment deals. 

One of the best-kept secrets of hassle-free holiday shopping is taking advantage of installment deals. Home Credit is your go-to destination for this. They offer an extensive range of 0% interest rate installment deals on a variety of products.  

Home Credit also makes it easier for you to check amazing holiday sales through its official website or My Home Credit App. You can also check Shoppingmall.ph, an online shopping platform for all authentic smartphones, laptops, gadgets, and home appliances. This platform helps you find the best deals in stores near you, making it much easier to apply for zero-percent interest rate installment plans and get pre-approved in minutes. You can also chat with a live Sales Agent for more information.  

By choosing installment plans, you can spread the cost of your purchases over manageable periods, keeping your finances in check during the holiday season. 

Home Credit also has your back beyond gift shopping. If unexpected bills or the need for extra holiday funds arise, Home Credit offers Qwarta and Cash Loan* to help you navigate the financial challenges seamlessly. With these alternative payment options, you can enjoy the holiday season while having the financial freedom to purchase what you need and experience what you want at your own pace. 

Stay tuned for more deals and discounts!  

This holiday season, make a commitment to stress-free shopping by following these expert tips. Watch out, as well, for Home Credit’s biggest and grandest holiday offerings yet. Stay tuned for more 0% interest rate installment deals and other flexible loan offerings for a wide range of products, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, home appliances, furniture and more!  

To know more about the latest updates from Home Credit Philippines, visit its official website, www.homecredit.ph. You may also follow its official Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok accounts. Customers are also encouraged to download the My Home Credit App on Google Play to learn more about the latest promos and see what’s new in the Marketplace.  

Home Credit Philippines is a financing company duly licensed and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).  

Monday, October 23, 2023

Review of Salmon HQ Express at The Corner Market in Podium

I was at Podium a couple of weeks ago to meet some friends and I remembered that Salmon HQ has a kiosk at The Corner Market so I decided to have lunch there with them. I wanted some Japanese food and sushi and nothing has ever come close to the freshness served by Salmon HQ whenever I ordered from them. 

Salmon HQ Express is located at Kiosk # 11. You go straight ahead when you walk in and then turn left and it's the second stall. 

The menu at The Corner Market is more diverse than their online store which I totally loved. People working near Podium are so lucky to be so close to this place. I am envious if I were to be honest. 

I guess because it was my first time to eat here, I went a little bit crazy and ordered a lot of things. It's a good thing my friends were game to gorge on awesome food. 

Sushi Boat

The Sushi Boat was the first thing that caught my eye when I perused the menu. It's a visually stunning spectacle, with a selection of delicate sushi rolls and sashimi elegantly arranged on a miniature wooden boat. Each piece of sushi was a mouthwatering treasure, and the freshness of the salmon was unmistakable. There's something about the combination of perfectly seasoned rice, silky salmon, and a touch of wasabi that's simply irresistible. It was a sushi lover's dream come true, and every bite was a journey to flavor town.

Poke Nachos

The Poke Nachos were an unexpected delight that had me pleasantly surprised. This fusion dish melded the beloved Japanese poke with the classic nacho concept. A bed of crispy wonton chips was generously topped with fresh, cubed salmon, avocado, and a drizzle of zesty sauce. The textures and flavors were a symphony of contrasts - the crunch of the chips against the melt-in-your-mouth salmon, and the spicy tang of the sauce playing off the creamy avocado. It's a bold twist on traditional flavors that's definitely worth trying for the adventurous palate.

Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl

The Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl was a highlight of the meal. A vibrant, colorful bowl arrived at our table, packed with chunks of succulent salmon, avocado, cucumber, and a spicy sauce that added a delightful kick. It was a hearty, well-balanced dish that made me savor every bite. The heat of the spice was balanced by the coolness of the cucumber and the rich, buttery salmon. This dish was a delicious reminder of how simplicity, when done right, can be a true culinary masterpiece.

I must admit that the other dishes on the menu, including the Katsudon, Seafood Curry, Inani Plate, and Salmon Teppan, were also visually enticing and had fellow diners raving. However, the sushi boat and poke nachos were my personal highlights, and I can't wait to return for another taste. The restaurant's inviting atmosphere and friendly service only enhance the overall experience. So, if you share my love for Japanese cuisine and fresh salmon, be sure to give these dishes a try – they are a flavorful journey you won't want to miss.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Experience the Jollitown Kiddie Fair and have the jolliest memories with your family and friends!

Get ready for the Jolliest experience in town as the Jollitown Kiddie Fair arrives at the SMX Convention Center on October 22, 2023. Grab your tickets and have the ultimate bonding experience with your kids through fun activities and games. You can also get a chance to win exciting prizes and dig into some delicious Jollibee food!

Throughout the years, Jollibee has never failed to give parents and their kids special bonding moments they’ll cherish all their lives. The Jollitown Kiddie Fair aims to create even more memories for Jollibee fans!

Kids can become Jollibee crew members for a day in the MiniBee, a mini Jollibee store set-up, and serve their favorite meals! They can play and learn at the giant Jollitown Puzzle House and solve some brain teasers. Kids can try the Spag-o-Wired game and avoid the Jolly Spaghetti wire to win prizes. They can also test their aim at the Chickenjoy Bucket Throw and try Fry-nd The Treasure to search for jolly treasures.

Have artsy fun at Twirlie’s Face Painting Booth and bounce around in Popo’s inflatables. For even more fun prizes, Yum’s Claw Machine is there to give them another kind of challenge. On top of that, kids can also celebrate any occasion with Jollibee at the all-day Jollibee Kids Party, where they can participate in exciting activities, party games, and even dance with Jollibee!

Aside from these awesome festivities, there is so much more in store for kids and families all together!

Don’t miss the ultimate Jolly bonding experience and grab your tickets to the Jollitown Kiddie Fair soon! Tickets are available from October 17 - 22, 2023 for only PHP 150 with every purchase of any Jolly Spaghetti product or Jollibee Kids Meal in select Jollibee stores.

The ticket also includes one free Jolly Spaghetti you can claim in the venue along with a free entrance gift!

Ticket buyers can also choose between a morning session from 1-4 p.m., or an afternoon session from 4-7 p.m. Twenty lucky winners will also receive golden tickets, giving them a chance to meet and greet Jollibee’s newest ambassador, Jolina Magdangal, and her kids Pele and Vika. Look out for the official social media announcement from Jollibee to learn more about the Jollitown Kiddie Fair!

See you at the Jollitown Kiddie Fair and have the jolliest time with your kids!

Avail your tickets in the following participating Jollibee stores:

  • Jollibee Biopolis
  • Jollibee Bluebay Walk
  • Jollibee Maysilo
  • Jollibee BGC Triangle Drive
  • Jollibee Trium Square
  • Jollibee Five Ecom
  • Jollibee Libertad Burgos
  • Jollibee MOA1
  • Jollibee Taguig Bayan
  • Jollibee Ayala Malls Manila Bay 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Power Mac Center holds its biggest launch for iPhone 15

It’s officially here! Power Mac Center (PMC) has unveiled the new iPhone 15 series in its highly anticipated midnight launch party, complete with fun games and live musical performances from top OPM bands and artists. This year, more Filipino Apple fans received starter kits worth a total of over P18 million in free products and accessories, allowing them to instantly enjoy their iPhone 15 journey.

The launch happened simultaneously in the Apple Premium Partner stores in Greenbelt 3 and SM Mall of Asia, PMC Festival Mall Alabang and Eastwood Mall, and The Loop in Bonifacio High Street. Customers who lined up at these stores at midnight also received exclusive deals from event partner brands Anessa, KMC Solutions, Ikea, Saddle Row, and Yardstick.

“Power Mac Center’s new iPhone midnight launch has become that special occasion we get to share with our most loyal customers. This year, we’re celebrating the arrival of iPhone 15 in five locations and in three more pocket events in the coming days. We’re excited to have onboard both new and existing partner brands that help us provide the premium Apple universe experience that customers keep coming back for,” said Joey Alvarez, PMC Director for Marketing and Product Management.

Live musical performances, celebrity guests

Customers waiting in line at Greenbelt 3 got serenaded with the bittersweet repertoire of OPM band December Avenue and the soulful acoustic set of singer-songwriter Adie, best known for the single “Paraluman.” It rained excitement in the countdown to midnight as OPM rock band Lola Amour took center stage.

Also gracing the event were some of the country’s top celebrities and influencers.

At 12:01 on October 20, the participating stores opened to end the long wait for the iPhone 15 and welcome a new era of greatness.

‘iPhone for All’ possible with these bank promos

PMC’s “iPhone for All” makes investing in the iPhone affordable, accessible, and possible for all. For a limited time only, customers can enjoy huge deals from partner banks including:

  • BDO (October 20-22, 2023)
  • FREE P1,500 Power Mac Center Gift Certificate for every iPhone 15 installment purchase using your BDO Credit Card. 
  • BPI (October 12-31, 2023)
  • FREE P1,500 Power Mac Center Gift Certificate for every iPhone 15 installment purchase using your BPI Credit Card. 
  • Citibank (October 12-22, 2023)
  • Get 5% off for a minimum single-receipt PayLite spend of P50,000 for 24 months.
  • UnionBank (October 12-22, 2023)
  • Get 5% off for a minimum single-receipt 0% Installment spend of P50,000 for 24 months with your UnionBank Credit Card
  • RCBC (October 20-December 31, 2023)
  • Get P1,000 worth of Power Mac Center Gift Certificates for a minimum spend of P30,000 using an RCBC Bankard at 12 and 24 months 0% installment and/or Buy Now, Pay Later.

Manila, Cebu, and Davao hold experiential booths

Apart from visiting Power Mac Center and The Loop stores, customers can experience the iPhone 15 firsthand through experience booths at Robinsons Galleria Cebu and SM City Davao on October 20 to 22, and at the Power Plant Mall in Makati City on October 24 to 26, from 10 AM to mall closing hours. 

Try out the iPhone 15 series’ amazing new features and learn tips and tricks to maximize the iPhone for work and play from PMC experts onsite. Premium brands will also be showcasing accessories that perfectly match your favorite Apple devices, while partners and financial institutions will be extending discounts and offers to local customers. More activities are in store so do drop by the booths.

The iPhone 15 series includes the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, and in the colors Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, and Black; iPhone 15 Pro available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities; and iPhone 15 Pro Max available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. Both iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are available in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium. Get yours now at any Power Mac Center and The Loop stores nationwide or online at <powermaccenter.com>, Lazada, Shopee, SM Malls Online, and the Viber Store.

Power Mac Center partnered with ADAM elements, Anker, Belkin, Cygnett, and PanzerGlass. Sponsors include LAUT, OtterBox, and QDOS, as well as AMAZINGTHING, Audio-Technica, AUKEY, Before Anything Else, Energea, InvisibleShield, iOttie, Jabra, JBL, and STM.

To be updated on news and promotions, follow Power Mac Center on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), TikTok, Viber, and YouTube. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Health Experts Raise Alarm on Dengue Crisis

Dengue remains to be a major public health problem in the Philippines. But it is reassuring to know that medical science has continued to develop and is working on real solutions, such as new vaccines and other novel and ingenious solutions that address the dengue crisis head on.

The inaugural Dengue Forum titled “Addressing the Mosquito in the Room” held last Wednesday, 27 September, aimed to amplify the conversation on dengue as a public health concern in the Philippines. The event was organized by RiseAboveNow Business Consulting Group (RAN-BCG) and was supported by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines and the Department of Health (DOH). 

Between 1 January and 9 September of this year, 125,975 dengue cases were reported across the nation, so far lower compared to cases in the last five years.  Since mid-June 2023, 5,000 cases have been registered on an average every week, according to the Department of Health (DOH), Philippines. Despite the plateauing dengue cases, the DOH is not shutting down the possibility of an uptick in cases during the coming the rainy season.

The present impact of dengue was described in the recent dengue forum "Addressing the Mosquito in the Room": The forum gathered a panel of experts from various relevant fields from both relevant government agencies, as well as from the private sector. It aimed to raise the alarm on the already ongoing Dengue Crisis, assess the extent of the burden at this time, map out a multi-sectoral strategy, but perhaps most importantly, to discuss new developments globally on newly introduced solutions that can make a real impact in ending the dengue crisis. This dengue forum was also an opportunity to establish a robust platform for multi-stakeholder collaboration in addressing the dengue situation in the country.

The DOH was represented by Ms. Angelica Garcia Supervising Health Program Officer DOH Epidemiology Bureau (Center), who gave a thorough situation report on dengue in the Philippines for the last 3 years. She is flanked by Lo-Anne Villanueva, Country Manager of Takeda Pharmaceuticals (Right) and Ranielle Mendoza -Founding Partner of Rise Above Now (Left).

In an official statement, Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) Teodoro J. Herbosa, MD, emphasized the urgency of the event, and the importance of a holistic approach: “This event carries profound significance as it highlights the importance of a Philippine Collaborative response framework. Dengue is a self-limiting disease, there is currently no definitive therapy or regimen available,” he stressed. With the COVID-19 threat now effectively mitigated, dengue now looms as one of the most prevalent health concerns in tropical countries such as the Philippines.

The fact that Dengue is among the leading causes of hospitalization in the Philippines was pointed out by Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, MHA, President Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (Center). He is flanked by Lo-Anne Villanueva, Country Manager of Takeda Pharmaceuticals (Right) and Ranielle Mendoza -Founding Partner of Rise Above Now (Left).

Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, MHA, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, and pediatrician Dr. Maria Fatima Gualberto of Otsuka Solar Phils. Inc. of Japan shared that dengue was among the leading causes of hospitalization in the post COVID-19 era. While Dr. Kim Patrick Tejano of DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau pointed out that dengue was the second biggest health condition in terms of cost for PhilHealth claims nationwide in the last year.

Meanwhile Ms. Angelica Garcia of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, shared the alarming truth, that statistically, 56% of all dengue fatalities are children 9 years old or younger. Furthermore, 70% of all dengue cases are people 19 years old or younger.

Representatives from Local Government Units where dengue incidence was relatively low namely Pasig, Caloocan, Quezon City and Baguio shared their best practices in the area of vector control, or eradication of mosquitoes, emphasizing adherence to the Five S method of controlling dengue:  Search and destroy, Self-protect, Seek consultation, Support fogging, Sustained Hydration. 

New hope, a LOT of new hope.

However, the most promising news came from the medical experts on hand, who shared that there are in fact new weapons that are available in the war against dengue. Consultant to the DOH and eminent infectious disease authority, Dr. Rontgene Solante fully acknowledged the need for stringent vector control, but he cautioned: “If you focus only on vector control, there is a possibility that it can also reduce herd immunity.” Dr. Solante then shared that there are in fact second-generation dengue vaccines, one that is actually already licensed for use in over 30 countries, including ASEAN neighbors Indonesia and more recently Thailand. 

Affirming that the full might of Japan, one of the healthiest nations in the world, is behind the Philippines in its fight against dengue: Minister Nihei Daisuke, Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

This  vaccine are far more advanced than the previous generation. They can be administered safely to people whether or not they have previously had dengue. Numbers are also significantly better than 1st gen vaccine. Solante shared that the TAK003 vaccine already licensed in over 30 countries are 80.2% effective at preventing dengue infection, compared to just 56% for first gen vaccine, it is also 95.4% effective at preventing severe dengue, whereas first generation vaccine had only 91% efficacy.

Dr. Solante shared that the reason behind the superiority of 2nd generation vaccines was that they were engineered on a dengue virus backbone, whereas the 1st generation was built on a Yellow Fever backbone. This is also the reason why 2nd gen vaccines are effective even for those who have never had dengue.

Despite the promise of an effective vaccine, Dr. Solante echoed Secretary Herbosa’s opinion: “Vector control, environmental control, patient education, awareness, even updates in the clinical management are all part of what we call an integrated approach and a vital part of this will be vaccination. So, this is what we call a comprehensive strategy. You have vaccination, as well as vector control.”

TAK003 is manufactured by global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company Takeda. Takeda was represented at the forum along with three other Japanese firms and no less than Minister for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Mr. NIHEI Daisuke who affirmed Japan’s commitment to help ease the global burden of dengue: “We also consider dengue as an international concern, and we are one with the Philippines in your fight against this disease.” 

TAK003 vaccine was also recently recommended by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) for introduction in settings with high dengue disease burden and high transmission intensity to maximize impact to public health and that the vaccine introduction should be accompanied by a well-designed communication strategy and community engagement

New vaccines are not the only new development, Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim, Chief of the Division of Infectious and Tropical Disease at the Philippine General Hospital shared that there is in fact promising news in the area of developing antivirals that could both provide immunity and cure already infected patients. In her presentation, Dr. Ong-Lim shared both the action of the antivirals in development, as well as what stage of trials they have already shown promise in.

While sharing the promise of new developments, Dr. Ong-Lim also talked about simple yet ingenious best practices that have worked worldwide, such as mosquito nets that are used to cover entire small villages. She did reiterate the importance of vaccine, but also pointed out how much more effective these would be if combined with other tactics: “Of course, we know that vaccines are known to be the most efficient approach to be able to target big numbers in these kinds of conditions, but when vaccines are complemented by therapeutic agents, you can even [have] better control.”

Ultimately with these new developments, it will be possible to bring dengue numbers down to insignificant levels. To make dengue vaccination widespread though, will require that every Filipino learn more about this disease and demand that any and all means be used to end this crisis. 

Manila, the Heat is On! UnionBank Cardholders Get Pre-Sale Access for Miss Saigon Tickets

So happy that I am a Unionbank cardholder! Acccckkkkk! 

The new staging of one of the most iconic musicals of all time takes the stage in the Philippines, and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is once again giving its cardholders a chance to score tickets before everyone! 

GMG Productions in association with GWB Entertainment, has announced that Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s globally acclaimed new production of Boublil & SchΓΆnberg’s Miss Saigon is coming to Manila for the first time this March 2024. Dedicated to bringing top-tier musical entertainment to Manila, GMG Productions has once again partnered with UnionBank to fan the flames of theatrical passion and give its customers exclusive access as the official presenting sponsor and pre-sale partner of Miss Saigon Philippines

Get the best seats before they're gone as UnionBank will be holding a ticket pre-sale event exclusively for UnionBank credit and debit cardholders. From October 23 to 27, 2023, UnionBank card holders can enjoy the exclusive booking period and a 10% discount on their ticket purchase by using the first six digits of their card as a promo code. There will also be another chance for UnionBank cardholders to get their hands on tickets, with the extended pre-sale from October 28 to November 3. 2023.  Tickets open to the public on November 6, 2023. 

Miss Saigon is a retelling of Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly, moving the story to 1970s Vietnam, where Kim, a young Vietnamese woman, falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris during the final days of the Vietnam War. The story follows Kim as she embarks on her three-year journey to reunite, all while carrying a secret. 

Filipino artists such as Lea Salonga, Monique Wilson, Joanna Ampil, Jon Jon Briones, Rachelle Ann Go, Isay Alvarez-SeΓ±a, Leo Valdez, Aicelle Santos, and Red Concepcion have all been a part of the classic stage production over the years, along with countless other homegrown talents who have showcased the incredible depth of talent within the Filipino community. 

Miss Saigon lands in the Philippines on March 23, 2024, at The Theatre at Solaire in Paranaque City.

Apply for a UnionBank credit card today for exclusive access to future events and promos! To learn more, visit www.unionbankph.com/cards/credit-card/


Review of Bistro Marahuyo in Marikina

We chanced upon this place about a month ago when we went to do a shoot. I've heard a lot about Bistro Marahuyo and I've actually ordered from them before but it was a delivery so I wasn't able to see the actual store. However, I did love the pansit habhab and biko I ordered so when I had the chance to visit its physical store in Marikina, I grabbed the chance. 

The place looks very cozy. It can only seat a max of 6-8 people if they are skinny. For people like me, it'd be 4 max hahaha. 

This place is located inside this eatery. 

We tried out their habhab, bico, and Igado. 

Everything was on point. I loved that the flavor was consistent. Everything tasted so good, to think that it didn't take that long for them to cook it. We didn't have to wait long for our food. Excellent service. 

They are the owners of Bistro Marahuyo. If you'd like to order from them, just message them on their Facebook Page. I promise you won't regret it. 

Review of Sichu Malatang at SM Mall of Asia

I was actually here a couple of months ago but forgot to blog it so I'm doing it now. As they say, better late than never. 

This place caught my attention because of the many choices of veggies, meat, noodles, and balls that were on display. I figured if they cared enough to have that many options for their customers, then they must be preparing their meals with care as well. 

They had over 8 kinds of noodles. They also had shrimp balls, lobster balls, fish balls, and fish cake among others. They also offered beef and pork slices. As for the veggies, you can imagine all kinds of greens being offered to add more flavor to the soup.  

The place seemed small from the outside but on the inside, it was actually quite spacious. 

There were also a lot of choices for the sauce. I chose the peanut one since I love peanuts.

These are the containers to be used when picking your veggies, noodles, meat, and balls. 

This is the process that you'll go through. Quite easy actually. Just make sure that you don't become too trigger happy when choosing and fill up your bowl because trust me, the servings are HUGE!

This was my ball. I was trigger happy. Please learn from me. Hahaha. 

This was my face when I saw my bowl. I kept laughing because I couldn't imagine at all how I could finish the entire bowl. It was HUMONGOUS!

VERDICT: I would definitely go back to this place. The peanut sauce was amazing. Everything was cooked right. It was a harmony of flavors. It was just so good!

Sichu Malatang is located on the Ground Floor of the new wing of SM Mall of Asia. It's at the South Entertainment Mall, Marina Way. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

How to Spot the Best Refrigerator for Holiday Season

With the fast-approaching holiday season and intimate gatherings, having a reliable refrigerator at home is a must-have. The refrigerator plays a significant role in our home as it reflects not just the food we keep but also the health of our family and loved ones. Thus, having the right refrigerator is a big factor, especially when it comes to efficiency, convenience, aesthetics, and ease it provides to every user.

Selecting the right refrigerator that will perfectly match your lifestyle and be tailored to your family’s needs is essential as it impacts your kitchen, which is a big part of our home. These are affected by multiple factors such as capacity, size, innovative features, and efficiency which guide you to a more informed purchase decision or switching to an investment-worthy appliance that will provide you the utmost convenience, ease, and value for money.

With customers in mind, Sharp addresses the needs of most Filipino kitchen household with its world-class refrigerator products that prioritize functionality and provides convenience and a hassle-free experience that lasts. Sharp is also proud of its Japan Technology products which offer quality, innovation, and technologies that uplift the standard of your kitchen. Sharp provides a wide variety of offerings including Side-by-side, 5-Door, 4-Door, and 2-Door Inverter refrigerators, and more, fit for all types of homes and lifestyles. 

In search of your ideal refrigerator, it is essential to understand the following qualities that will help you get through your busy day and meet your family's needs. Here are some qualities to help you spot the best refrigerator that will surely become handy this holiday season. 

Modern and Sophisticated Look

You’ll love Sharp’s NEW Peach Series Refrigerator (SJ-FTS08BVS-DS, 7.9 cu.ft (Also available in 8.9 cu.ft., 10.1 cu.ft., 12.7cu.ft.), a smart addition to your kitchen. Having an aesthetic kitchen makes cooking extra fun and home more exciting. The new Peach series has a sleek and modern design that you will sure love especially with its space-saving layout and elegant matte finish. Additionally, Sharp also has its 4-Door No-Frost Inverter Refrigerator (SJ-FTF525BVP-DS(20.8cu.ft)) that will surely be your next kitchen favorite with its sophisticated look. This model has won IF Design Award 2021, one of the world’s most prestigious product design awards. Truly, style meets comfort with Sharp refrigerators as they combine both beauty and functionality. 

Innovative and energy-saving

Sharp is committed in providing Japan Technology products, which embodies commitment to quality and innovative advanced features. The new model is equipped with J-Tech Inverter Technology which makes it more energy efficient and lets you save more. Sharp refrigerators have also passed the strict Japan quality, 7-Shield protection, which is proven to have safe operation and high endurance under various circumstances. It also has innovative features such as Biomimetic LED light, Smart Cooling Fan, Extra Cool Plus Mode, Energy saving mode, Express Freezing, and Antibacterial deodorizer, just to name a few. Indeed, this makes up the best choice for your home making life easier and more convenient.

Big Storage/Capacity

The storage capacity of a refrigerator is one of major look out to consider as it handles all the storage problems you will encounter especially for busy kitchen seasons. Some common problems are storing large food trays, boxed food, and larger quantity items. With that, having a reliable big capacity storage to cater to all your needs is definitely a must-have, especially for different types of occasions. One advantage of the New Peach Series model is that it also has a Mega Freezer usability, big vegetable case, and counter depth. Additionally, Sharp also has 5-Door (SJ-FTW27CVP-BK, 26.8cu.ft), (SJ-FTF27CVP-BK, 27.1cu.ft.) and 4-Door (SJ-FTS600BVP-SS, 23.9cu.ft), (SJ-FLG16AVP-BK, 16.7cu.ft) No Frost Inverter refrigerator, that will surely be your next best friend with its multiple storage capacity fitting all your needs.

Keeping food quality at its best

Maintaining the quality of food at home is crucial as it affects the health and wellness of the family. Thus, having a reliable refrigerator should be a priority to keep food at its best quality. Sharp is proud of its models that are equipped with Plasmacluster Ion Technology(PCI), which cleans the air inside the refrigerator by releasing positive and negative ions by turning them into water molecules which is already harmless to the food, reducing levels of undesirable contaminants and odor that prolongs freshness. The new Peach Series (SJ-FTS11BVS-DS, SJ-FTS13BVS-DS) models also have this PCI Technology and Moisture Shield Feature that retains the freshness and moisture of food for a longer period.

The start of the Holiday Season also marks the start of a busier kitchen, which also calls for a better and sharper solution to your needs. Sharp refrigerators’ efficient and advanced features, make the coming holidays more exciting, and hassle-free, and a moment to celebrate cherished moments at home.

For more updates and information regarding Sharp Refrigerators and the New Peach Series Model, please visit Sharp's Official Website at https://ph.sharp/ and Sharp Facebook Official Page at https://www.facebook.com/SharpPhilippines. You may also visit the leading appliance stores near you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Review of Happilee Korean Kitchen

I passed this place 3 days ago along CAA Road in Las Pinas. This was near Southville International School and I said I wanted to try it out. Luckily, I was able to do so because of my husband who picked me up from a birthday party yesterday.  

This is the menu for Happilee Korean Kitchen. As you can see the prizes are very reasonable and the best part is that the servings are actually good for 2-3 people. 

We ordered the Cheesy Tteokbokki which was enough for 2 people. We also got the Soy Glazed Chicken which was more than enough for 3 people. The last item that we got was the tangsuyuk which can definitely feed 3-4 people. 

I guess the disclaimer here is if you have a hearty appetite then make it good for just 2 persons. 

The place is pretty spacious. I love that the chairs and table are spread out nicely. It feels very comfortable. 

My husband loved the cheesy tteokbokki. They used real cheese which made him really happy. They also made the spice milder so it was easier to eat for those who are not fans of spicy food. Best of both worlds. 

The soy-glazed chicken was another delight. It was marinated through and through. The chicken was also very soft and really tasty. 

We got so excited when we saw the tangsuyuk that we didn't have time to take a solo shot. I actually took a bite before even taking this photo. 

VERDICT: SOOO GOOD! This is a must try when you eat here. 

We spent around Php1200 for all of these and it was definitely worth the money spent. I would gladly go back here and bring my family so they can try it as well.