Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sexiness Defined Differently


Have you ever came across someone who was twenty years younger, stared and gave you the eyebrow just because of what you were wearing? Did you find the reaction funny and simply ignored it or did you give your most poker faced attitude that blatantly said, " What are you looking at ? " Granted that we were given eyes to see and to admire the view from time to time, still one can never hide the fact that some shallow and limited people use them to measure you up and worst, analyze and judge you to lighten up what seem to be a boring day.

I just came from my early morning run and aero at the park. It was a Sunday, a day when I wake up at three in the morning, eat a very light breakfast and do some warm ups so I could prepare for my fitness day. I chose to run simply because there are no jeepneys yet at that hour and it is impractical to take a cab. Besides, the park where I join the early morning exercise was almost 10 kilometers away. It was also a very good excuse to improve on my running since Sunday is the only day I set aside for exercise despite my toxic lifestyle and age. I had been working in a call center for eight years now where I had sacrificed eight years of regular sleeping and working hours and felt its health drawbacks. I am now in my mid forties and I am not getting any younger. Thus three to four hours of exercise every weekend plus my daily brisk walking activities are the only way for me to get fit and healthy and that slimming down just to be sexy was the farthest thing in my mind why I wear work out clothes and sweat my butt out every weekend. 




Sometimes I find it funny to the point of being annoyed why some people just don't get that.

I was on my way home and had the displeasure of having a young lady in her mid twenties in the same elevator going to my unit. Her scrutiny at my work out clothes and sweaty body did not escape me while I pretended to ignore her. Whatever was running inside her ill mind was something that I have no time for, even her raised eyebrow which she made sure I saw before she alighted the elevator. I just wished she heard what I said in my mind which might have made her stares into glares, pathetic little fool that she is.

At times I feel that insecurity comes to all ages, faces and shapes. You can see it openly as some people wear their hearts on their sleeves whereas for others they have learned through practice how to hide it well. There is a sad truth that we all want to look beautiful and sexy. Some even make the extreme measures of maintaining it because that is how they earn for a living. Some strive for it due to vanity reasons while others have a crooked definition of it to the point of using people to their own advantage. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget that the brain is the sexiest part in the human body and sadly where all the chunk of trashy and toxic mindsets had lived for years. Sometimes I wish that our brains have filters where we could just screen all the negative thoughts clouding us from the right perspective which is a great help in having a healthy life.




You know what my definition of sexiness is? Subtlety, simplicity, less make up or none at all. A free spirit. Unconventionalism. Courage. Creativity. Compassion. Honesty. Proactiveness. Learning from life's blessings in disguise in silence or by eventually laughing it off. Accepting one's responsibility. Doing that extra mile to understand and appreciate children and the elderly. Finding time to hug your kids and discovering that inner child as you once again look at the world differently. Just like running at four in the morning as you wait and greet the early morning sun, basking in its glow on your sweaty self, seizing the day and living it for the moment.


So what is your definition of sexiness ? I would love to hear your thoughts.




( This post first appeared at voiceboks.com, an informational site about everything parenting. You could also visit them at facebook.com or follow them @ twitter.com )







Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving In to Online Shopping


I am not that much into shopping. Impulsive shopping is not in my vocabulary and will not trade a precious rest day just to spend it for window shopping even. When your salary is just enough for a family of nine, once you shop or visit a store, it is with the intention that you will be back to buy your purchase. That is how simple it is for me and my kids. We know the difference of needs and wants early on. We also take advantage of sales and discounts but not to the point of going our way to grab on any midnight sales. That is not how it works in our household where its main focus is on simple things and basic needs.

From time to time, I visit online stores just to look at the merchandise and ponder on the advantages of buying online. Accessibility and convenience are the major ones since you do not have to fall in line to check if the clothes or shoes that you are about to buy fit in, same thing when you look for a counter where the queue of customers are long. You do not have to spend money to get to the mall and suffer  that heavy traffic due to the holidays plus you are not tempted to buy more than what has originally been planned. On the downside, you have to set your expectations that the purchase you bought might not be tailor fit. But at the end of the day it is the novelty, the feeling of trustworthiness not only for your purchase but for the online store as well that will make you think twice if it is indeed smart to spend your hard earned money for an online purchase. That for me is the main reason why I am hesitant to try online shopping. But then no matter how novel the idea is, one should be open to change to get abreast with the times and move forward. And in order to do that, one should be brave enough to test the waters and take the plunge but not before getting informed.

I have heard  a lot of positive news about Zalora Philippines , their huge variety of products and brands that you can choose from, the ordering process, shipping and delivery where a minimal fee is charged for orders above 1000 Php and more importantly, the Cash On Delivery  option to pay for your purchase on authorized payment centers for customers who do not have credit or debit cards. What more, they now have an ongoing advocacy to Shop for a Cause where 10% of all sales from selected Zalora items will be donated to foundations and charities supporting the relief effort for Typhoon Yolanda.






That being said, I can't wait for my 13th month pay to arrive. I deserve to have a new set of work out clothes anyway and I already have my eyes set on that sports bra and running shorts. I might even be tempted to buy an extra set just in case. 







Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Benefits of A Foot Massage


Most people love a good foot massage in Indianapolis. This can provide you with time to sit back, relax and enjoy a luxurious experience. What many people don't know is that there are also a number of valuable benefits associated with foot massage and these include the following :
                   
                    
                                      *  Fast , effective pain relief 
                                      *  Relaxing and rejuvenating experience
                                      *  Instant stress relief
                                      *  Improves range of motion
                                      *  Improves circulation
                                      *  Enhances energy 
                                      *  Strengthens the immune system
                                      *  Shortens healing time from a range of diseases and treatments
                                      *  Stabilizes blood pressure



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 Enjoy Softer, Smoother Feet

Following a massage, your feet will usually feel softer, pain free and ready to walk 100 miles. The next time you have your spouse or a professional give you a foot massage, ask them to use a foot softening cream  on your feet. Following a massage, wear a pair of thick socks for at least an hour or overnight.You will wake up with considerably softer, smoother feet.

Are You Suffering From Pain?

If you are suffering from a condition that may cause pain on your feet, calves or legs, you may enjoy even greater benefits from a professional massage. For instance, if you suffer from planar fascia, diabetes, arthritis or physical injuries, a foot massage can help your life back on track. Massages, acupressure, foot manipulation and reflexology services can help to enhance your body's natural healing abilities, whether you are suffering from a sports related injury or ongoing pain. Best of all, massage therapy has little to no side effects and can greatly benefit nearly every aspect of your life.


Do You Need A Pro?

The best way to get a worthwhile foot massage in Indianapolis is to visit a professional. Call your local salon or spa to schedule for an appointment. However, you can also enjoy a number of benefits, along with an incredibly relaxing experience from home. Ask your spouse if they will give you a massage in return, you can give hem a relaxing massage as well. Foot rubs are known to be a sensual and loving experience, so don't forget to give your loved one a relaxing massage tonight. 








Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Toy Drive For the Traumatized Children of Yolanda


One of my favorite episodes from the old Oprah Winfrey Show was when her whole staff and crew together with Oprah had visited South Africa for the first time where they brought along tailor fit shoes, toys and dolls for  50,000 children who had never received any gift in their lives. When it was time for the kids to open their presents, the cheers of happiness and excitement were overwhelming that even Oprah could not contain her own tears. It was a trip that had been made a few months before Christmas but had touched Oprah in so many ways that she adopted ten children who had no family nor relatives to take care of them, an experience that she described as the best Christmas she ever had. 

When I read a Yahoo article by Thea Alberto-Masakayan early this morning, I again remembered all the devastated people that was hit by Typhoon Yolanda. Men, women and children who lost  everything. I chose not to watch the news on TV because no matter how true it is, it still gets in to your psyche, making you stop for a minute while eating, heading for work or walking your way home. I know that at this age of social media, one can pretend to be blind or deaf but a historical catastrophe such as Yolanda will be heard and talked about anywhere especially at work where some colleagues hail from the affected areas whose families and their conditions are still unheard of until now. You cannot help but tear inside especially if your think of the young children who have witnessed everything and the trauma that will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives.


Here in the Philippines, fund drives, donation boxes and the spirit of volunteerism again can be seen and felt anywhere you go. From schools, churches, malls, offices and especially the social media. In fact a colleague who just learned about his family's whereabouts is now on his way home, bringing with him relief goods and donations, both in cash and in kind so he could fly to Tacloban faster because his parents need their maintenance immediately especially during this trying times. Advocacy groups are also doing their share so that relief goods can be distributed as soon as possible. And though it is a given that food, water, clothes and medicine are top priorities, the power of a hug cannot be under estimated and might even help the trauma felt by the children. Since every kid deserves all the comfort they could get in times like this, the Advocacy group 1000Bearhugs has set up a toy drive to help the traumatized children of Yolanda recover faster.






How The Advocacy Started

It all started when Cathy Baboa initiated the sending of stuff toys and teddy bears in December 2011, when Typhoon Sendong devastated Cagayan De Oro. I will never forget that incident because a female colleague lost both parents including her home and spent her very first tragic Christmas by herself. Since then, the 1000Bearhugs had sent out toys to typhoon wreck areas like Bicol and in conflict zones like Zamboanga. Mon Corpuz of the Black Pencil Project, who now heads the toy drive for traumatized children of Yolanda said that they were able to transport the toys to the disaster areas through the help of military personnel and local non-government organizations. He also noted that the organization does not accept cash donations, barbie dolls, battery-operated toys and toy guns. He added that the movement does not only give away toys but includes facilitation of psychosocial therapies through the help of volunteers.


How You Can Help

The 1000Bearhugs will be accepting new and pre cleaned huggable stuff toys and teddy bears until December 8 where the toys will be brought to typhoon-afflicted communities in Leyte, Panay and Bohol in time for Christmas. If you want to join the toy drive, check the nearest drop off points here. Now if you want to organize your own toy drive area, you can download the toy drive kit here .You can also send an email to 1000bearhugs@gmail.com or call (63)917 7961 378 and look for Mon.


Every kid deserves to have a huggable toy, whether given or hand me down. Children who have seen and witnessed a tragic catastrophe like Typhoon Yolanda will always remember the horrible experience of seeing it all. My only prayer is that they may learn to survive and overcome the scars of such nightmare in their lives, enough for them to move on. I also hope that one day they will again learn how to smile, laugh and see the world in the eyes of a child. With every huggable toy given, a child's pain is lessen. And with every smile seen in a child's face the minute a huggable toy is received, an undeniable, happiness is felt. Compassion after all is universal, so is pain, emptiness and hope.

I just wished that whatever we have witnessed, felt and experienced with Typhoon Yolanda and its aftermath will remain in history and stay there forever, never to haunt us again.






Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Surprise Your Friends and Family With This Unique Gift


You know that feeling when you cannot find the right gift for your neighbor or colleague. It is even worse when you are seeking for something perfect for a friend or family member. The next time you find yourself in this tricky situation, consider surprising your loved ones with an order of special cookies.

There are websites offering customized cookie options that everyone is sure to love. Who doesn't love a good cookie? It is difficult to go wrong when there is something sweet and delicious in the mix. If you do a search online, you will  find  the most detailed and artistically decorated cookies around. They are little works of art that you can eat, and who doesn't love to eat something that looks as beautiful as it tastes ?






The decorated cookies come in wide variety. You can find seasonal assortment and you can have the cookies decorated to support the cause or theme of your event. If you are looking for something nice to send a business associate, these beautiful cookies can be arranged in fun whimsical bouquets. You will be amazed at what can be done when you have a team of creative geniuses with access to sugar cookies and frosting in hand.

Your guest of honor, birthday recipients, or unsuspecting neighbors will be delighted when they see what you have purchased on their behalf. A bouquet of cookies is such a fun and unique gift that won't clutter up the home or sit on a shelf collecting dust. Usually those are  the best kinds of gifts.

If a bouquet is just not your style, you can go to the more traditional route and send a box of the most delicious cookies of your choice. You can select from a variety of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia, ginger snaps and much more. A box of special cookies from you to someone you love or just to show appreciation for, will always be received with open arms and a watering mouth. Do not wait another minute to go online and order a gift that is sure to be unforgettable.






Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Love For Reading


I had been reading as early as I could remember. Old magazines borrowed and bought once a month because my Dad enjoyed answering the crossword puzzle and books from school, whether torn or old which was typical from somebody who had studied in a public school. Some days I got lucky when I visit my cousins who studied in private schools and bought books every year. Since it was a given that lots of their school books will no longer be use, my Dad took the liberty of acquiring a few of them, instead of letting them rot due to non usage. I think that helped developed my love for reading and how I learned to value books, whether borrowed or not.

Thus commenced my journey of spending hours alone, learning and knowing words, worlds and phrases including the colorful names, characters and plots that went with it. That habit continued until I had kids. There may have been instances that I felt when the love for reading perhaps had waned because I could not  even finish one book in a year, still I tried to revive it until I succeeded. Old habits die hard indeed.



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The love for books and reading was something that I have inherited from my Mom. Though our reading choices had become different through the years, we somehow still get connected when we discuss about the books that we have read. The story lines, the dialogues even the authors will always be a favorite topic each time we have our long conversations which had gotten rare over the years. A sad fact considering it was her who taught me how to read not only because she was a teacher but simply because I believe every parent always find the time to read to her young kids no matter how tired and busy she is.

There had been a time when my Mom had read almost every day since my Dad passed away. The line "to ease the pain of losing one's other half " can be seen and read on the book's first or last page with every pocketbook that she had bought. Perhaps it had been a mantra or a silent prayer at that time. She once  told me that the minute she started reading, she let the story carry her to where it went, making her mind busy and wander helping her forget  the pain, loss and misery that will start to envelope her once she finished the book. I am not sure if the pain had started to lessen when she started having grandkids and witnessed all the growing pains that went with it to such time that all of them had left until she was alone again in her empty nest.

A few years ago my Mom had one major stroke that had affected her speech. It was the first time I heard her talk differently over the phone, unaware that tears already rolled down on my cheeks,  trying my best to cover the sadness in my voice. Despite the lack of sleep due to working in graveyard shifts, I immediately went back home, forgetting all the tiredness, afraid that it might be the last time. The minute I arrived in the hospital, my eldest daughter who went ahead to take care of her said that my   Mom had asked if we already bought the seventh book for the Harry Potter series. Though  she was already on her late 70's, Mom had read every Harry Potter book and was even familiar with terms like " Quidditch " and " Gryffindor. " Despite her condition, she wanted to know if Harry Potter died in the end.  My daughter saw the eagerness in her old eyes, now both with cataracts, eagerly waiting for an answer.

" We already bought the book, Nanay. Try to get well soon because it is a good read until the end."

My mom then replied, "Very good because if he died, I am not going to read the seventh book anymore, "

When I heard about this, I knew that my mom will recover. And she did. And every confinement there after, whether due to a mild stroke or not. I know that no matter how many times her health may seem to fail her, the love for reading will not. It will continue to shield her like an invisible fortress, willing her to turn another page in her life, knowing that in every chapter, there will always  be a story needed to be told.






Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Surprise Cake At 45


How often do you celebrate your birthday? Do you plan on it every year, allotting money consciously so you can treat your family and friends perhaps or do you just simply celebrate it in your own home? Was there ever a time that your special day seemed just like any ordinary one, with nothing special in mind and doing just the same routine and chores ? Was there even a time that you dreaded your birthday because that would mean you have aged another year, that life's clock is ticking non stop and you have no control over it ? Do you even look forward in celebrating your birthday?

I just had my birthday more than a  week ago. Personally I prefer to celebrate birthdays the simple and subtle way. Simple because I grew up in a family where going to church and kissing the hands of my parents and relatives after hearing mass was the best way to start my special day and though that tradition had become seldom thru the years due to the nature of my work and lack of sleep, I decided that it would be best to be grateful each day that comes instead of pretending to hear Mass while my mind wanders lazily until I end up sleeping and sad to say, "snoring,"during homily especially on my birthday. Subtle because I chose to celebrate it at home with my family, having "pancit" for lunch. No drinks, ice cream, not even a cake. As simple as that which was just fine.


A day after my birthday I was scheduled for training for two days. When I arrived at work, one of my colleagues said that there was something for me and when I asked about it, they handed me a red box whose package was easily recognizable because of its brand. That's when my puzzled face turned into a big smile. I have to admit I was surprised and all I could say was "Thank you. My kids will love this." I immediately kept the cake in my locker, which gratefully had fit in and went to the training room to start my day.





This was how my Red Ribbon cake  looked like,with my name on it making it personalized. I never got the chance to take a picture of it because my youngest son, Red devoured his slice the minute he saw it. I should have known that my birthday cake will not be kept hidden for long inside the fridge because of my hyperactive, semi sweet and sugar deprived kids but I also made sure I got to taste it as well. And I have to admit it tasted "yummy and delicious," just enough for my semi sweet, deprived taste buds. So I decided to research further by visiting their website where you can check their different products, promos and store locations. What more you can order online and take advantage of their birthday package promo if you are planning to have a birthday on a budget. Once you register, you get your next orders easier and faster.

When I asked my colleagues if they had ordered my cake online, they gave me a different story.They told me that after shelving their contributions including that of my Unit Manager, one co worker went to the nearest store to order and what's great about it was the fact that she was able to get the cake on the same day. Fast and easy in a jiffy enough to surprise any birthday celebrant. And though it has been more than a week since my birthday, I could not help but recall how I planned and spear headed a surprise gift for our fourth grade teacher who happened to be my Mom many years ago. I had told my classmates then about "our teacher's" upcoming birthday and had asked for voluntary contributions so that we could buy a card and a simple gift. I had almost forgotten about that incident but writing this post somehow triggered that memory of gift giving which has now become full circle. Life indeed has a strange way of rounding things.

Simple and subtle, that was how I  always celebrated my birthdays. A lot of things may have come and gone but not the simple act of giving and making your special day worth remembering. A family's shared meal, cooked by a daughter who decided to stay home in exchange for her thesis' initial defense, a hug from a Mom who you seldom see and had stopped counting on the many missed birthdays celebrated, messages and greetings from people, especially those whom you have not met yet and had not seen for a long time both here and abroad, and a spontaneous thought of generosity from colleagues whose respect and affection can be felt even from a simple cake. At this age I realized I am such a lucky and blessed person for being remembered on my special day and because of that I promised myself to celebrate each coming year with profound simplicity and subtlety, making each one more memorable than the last.

If you are planning to celebrate your birthday or even your love ones birthday, take time to check out  Red Ribbon's website . You could also visit their facebook page for updates.








Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Solutions For Common Eye Problems


Being that people constantly use their eyes, except during sleep, it is only right to want them to work well and feel great. Unfortunately, every part of the human body comes with several potential problems and whether you have dry eyes, red or puffy eyes or sleep-related eye issues, there are many possible solutions  for you.


Dry Eyes and Allergies

With seasons changing every couple of months, many people feel the effects. If your eyes are dry and itchy, if you use eye drops or if your eyes are red from all of the rubbing that you're doing, you probably need some kind of allergy treatment. One way to help you with this as you sleep is to use goggles with temperature - related treatment. Reusable gel packs are used to create heat and moisture for your eyes. This can protect them against drafts from the air conditioner. Basically, oils are released from your glands and the goggles help to slow evaporation of your natural tears, keeping your eyes moist. Talk to your doctor for other solutions for dry eyes.


Red or Puffy Eyes

Just like with your muscles, you need cold temperatures to reduce inflammation. If your eyes are puffy, the same solution applies.The same goggles mentioned above also include cold therapy solutions, which can reduce sinus pressure and lid puffiness. Other external products can be used to moisturize and rapidly regenerate cells to create a younger look to your eyes. Redness in your eyes is actually a symptom of dryness so using the hot and cold treatments should reduce redness and retain the whites of your eyes.





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Sleepy Eyes

Sadly many people have sleep disorders or don't get much sleep due to frequent traveling for work. Being on  a plane can make your eyes dry, resulting in symptoms mentioned above. Other people deal with sleep apnea and use C-PAP which is a breathing machine to make it  through the night which can result in dry eyes. You maybe one of many people whose eyelids do not close all the way during sleep. Silicone shields or temperature-regulated goggles can help with all these problems and those mentioned before. Visit eyeeco.com and ask your doctor if this could be a solution for you.




Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Can Dance, I Can Serve


We all know that October is the month for Breast Cancer Awareness. Seminars, Fun Runs, breast cancer screening,mammography tests at a discounted rate, even for free can be read, heard and seen whether in social media or in print for the whole month.What more communities and other organizations gather together for different causes and events to create awareness to those who are still in the dark regarding the dreaded disease and to empower  both breast cancer patients and survivors.

It so happened that October is also my birth month and my dad's death anniversary who died because of lung cancer. It was also his sister's anniversary as well when she succumbed to colon cancer. Every first week of October becomes a memorable date since my dad passed away and since I just turned 45 years old, I vowed to celebrate this first week into something cause worthy that will hopefully become a yearly event for the rest of my life. That is why a week before my birthdate I had searched online for events like fun runs, seminars and communities who proactively spreads breast cancer awareness in any way they can. It was then that I have discovered I CAN SERVE FOUNDATION.


History And Mission 

Formerly known as Information on Breast Cancer and Other Services, I Can Serve Foundation, Inc. was founded on 1999 by four breast cancer survivors headed by journalist Kara Magsanok-Alikpala and co founded by Crisann Celdran, Becky Fuentes and Bet Lazatin. These four friends saw the need to provide a circle of support and information for women who were early diagnosed, those who were in cancer treatments and breast cancer survivors who were in remission navigation through their "new normal" life.

A non-stock, non profit foundation based in Manila Philippines, it advocates early breast cancer detection through high impact information campaigns and community based screening programs.It empowers women with breast cancer and provides cancer related information so they can have a voice in their own health care, offering hope that they are not alone in their journey.These cancer survivors become volunteers, willing to share their stories, enlightening other patients so that their path is better lit and their journey a bit lighter.


The Event 


facebook.com


I have long wanted to celebrate my birth date in a different and memorable way. I am not that much of a cook and a bit anti social so throwing up a party will not do me much good. I would love to go visit an orphanage, donate some clothes or books but I realized my kids and I also do that during the holidays. When I read about the two hour Zumba Party for the benefit of ICanServe-Foundation-Inc in celebration of the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month I knew that my wish had been granted.

So for those of you who want to help raise funds for the benefit of breast cancer patients and survivors this second Saturday of October come and spend your afternoon in a Dance Fitness Party for a cause.


SHOW SOME LOVE. SPREAD SOME HOPE. BE IN THE LOOP!



For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/pages/ICanServe-Foundation-Inc.




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running In The Rain


It has been over two months that I have not done my early morning run nor walk from work to my home since I had my injury. Though my doctor told me that he could not see any reason why I cannot run again he strongly advised me to take it easy and wait for my injured foot to heal. As hard as it was I tried my best to comply but I have noticed that since I now only exercise once a week I again became sleepy at work, worst even during my rest days. I told myself that I should go back to brisk walking or running again, even twice a week at least. Would you believe that my prayers have been heard as last Friday there were literally no jeeps available due to the heavy traffic. I had no choice but to walk all my way to work and mind you I was not late. I took that as a cue so after having fully rested on Saturday I woke up at about 4 am to prep myself for my Sunday aero at the park. Coincidentally it was also the day for my son's DOST scholarship exam so as I prepared for his breakfast I took time to do some warm ups. I did some stretching while I boiled water, fried a couple of sunny side ups and  "broiled tilapia" in case he wanted to eat some rice. When the food was ready I took a couple of sandwiches, drank my cereal and woke my son for his big day. As I readied myself and got dressed, I told him that I have to leave early because it was a Sunday and that I did not want to be late. Good thing my son understood what I meant and after telling him to lock the door properly, I hugged him tightly and said my goodbye.

As I left the building I have forgotten that it had been raining the past evening and much to my dismay the sky was a bit dark. I was thinking twice of getting an umbrella but I might be late again. The warm up exercises at the park usually starts at 5:30 am but recently it became thirty minutes early because of the rains. So instead of going back I went ahead and did my early morning run until I reached the terminal on route Bonifacio Global City. Luckily I came just in time before the group exercise started however at the middle of the aero, the rain started to fall and to my disappointment it did not stop until the pavement was drenched. I was tempted to curse at the rain but decided that once the downpour lighten a bit I might as well go home and accept the fact that I have to wait for next Sunday to visit the park again.

On my way home I managed to jog with a few fitness buddies and tried to exchange some light conversation before we separated. It was good to know that there were still people who find time to get fit that even the uncertain weather could not stop them from doing what they like best. Though I felt somewhat cheated that day I tried to make the most of what's left. The rain continued to fall and as I alighted from the jeep which passed by the market in front of the San Ildefonso Church I still took time to buy some bananas and squash. Funny I was thinking of that "broiled tilapia" that my son must have left untouched and unmindful of the pouring rain, ran myself to my heart's delight on my way home. I know for a fact that some onlookers may have wondered what had gotten into me especially with my gray hair and all but I did not really care. In all honesty it had been a long time since I had ran in the rain and though it was just a short run, I am glad I had the chance to do it again.




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Life is too short to live with regrets anyway.






Thursday, September 19, 2013

The International Beauty,Health and Wellness Expo


Perhaps we have heard not just once that to live a healthy life is a wealth in itself and that with age comes the wisdom that beauty cannot just be seen in the eyes of the beholder but from the inner peace that comes from within. Though some resort to traveling, going to the spa, or discovering a new restaurant to unwind and to handle stress, still a portion of the pie goes to those who want and choose to live a healthy lifestyle. And because such interests had grown through the years it is only but natural that a venue not only for health and beauty enthusiasts but for business minded individuals meet and gather every year to showcase the current trends and information that would help enrich the well being of those who advocate for it. 


My interests on fitness and well being had been sparked early mainly because of my family history. Information, updates, events and even tradeshows about health and well being always catch my interests each time I stumbled upon them online. Thus when I received an email that The International Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo will hold another event this year I did not think twice on writing about it.


beautyhealthwellnessexpo.com.ph


Headed by  Ex-Link Events manager and trade show organizer Orly Ballesteros, The International Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo  (IBHWEX) offers international trade associations, manufacturer, exporters, importers and wholesalers the platform to launch their products in the Philippines. The event's main purpose is to create a venue for local buyers, manufacturers, suppliers to meet potential foreign partners, manufacturers and suppliers as well as to showcase the newest technology and products that can compete internationally. It also invites  not just the business players, beauty, health and wellness enthusiasts but the public as well to experience plus enrich their knowledge on this three day program slated this coming September 26-28,  2013 at the SMX Convention Center.


Interested parties may pre register at the event website. You can also view the program and scheduled events here. See you there!



Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Lampara Story Writing Workshop


I used to spend a lot of time reading. I had always loved to read ever since I learned how, in fact there was a time in high school when I read more than I studied my lessons, something that an observant friend and teacher who turned out to be bookworms had noticed. At first I thought it was just okay but when I started misplacing  my library cards, cramming on home works and school projects, worst paying fines for overdue borrowed books I slowly reduced my time reading on school days and just made up for it during vacations. Looking back I realized I never regretted any of it and given the chance I would do it again.

When I started working I spent less and less time reading books and even novels. Deprived of regular sleeping hours plus the demands of parenting and work contributed to it. The last time I had a chance to read was when I filed for a LOA due to my mom being hospitalized. In less than a week I got to finish two James Patterson books both given to my daughter who is a much more book addict than I am. I found out that I could still do fast reads and tell when some scenes are becoming predictable, even to the point when the author is drying up creatively that the story becomes dragging. Though my expectations after reading the books were not met, still I was thankful that I got to spend time  knowing, learning and meeting a new set of friends and characters in a world that I will never get tired of coming back.


I have long wanted to write a story, not the crime and legal fiction ones packed with action and conspiracy theories that I enjoy reading nor the adult love stories with all the relationships drama where my interests are no longer triggered. Ever since I had read the Harry Potter books and watched them all in film I learned that there was this child in me that had been awakened which helped me understand and cope the crazy life of being a parent to my seven kids. I realized that stories about kids, with all their craziness made me forget how cruel this world sometimes can be and why I decided and chose to look and see the world in the eyes of a child. I also know that in order to be an effective story writer I need to know at least some basics. Considering I never really had journalism subjects way back in high school nor took up a creative writing course in college, I only have this blog, family and friends to share my stories.


Coincidentally this coming Saturday, Lampara Books Publishing Inc  together with Precious Pages will hold a Children's Story Writing Workshop at the 2/F SMX Convention Center Meeting at RM 8, from 1-5 pm on Sept 14. 2013. A special treat is given to teachers, librarians and students where they get a 30% discount when they buy three books of any Lampara Books imprint and get a free ticket for the Lampara Story Writing Workshop. Take note that books should be bought at the 2/F  SMX Convention Center starting on Sept 11, 2013. This in connection with The 34TH Manila International Book Fair   event which will run from Sept 11-15, 2013.



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Slots will be limited as the first 80 registrants will only be accepted. So if you are interested to join and learn from this Children's Story Writing Workshop go grab this opportunity. It is never too late to chase the dreams you thought you have missed. 







Monday, September 2, 2013

A Never Ending Thanks To Grandparents


Ever experienced being grounded by you own parent only to find out that the terms of discipline had changed? Personally I never did but if you ask my kids, they will attest that such incident did  not happen just once and that they are thankful they have my own mother to run to their rescue. Not that my mom meddled every now and then and even though my kids all grew up with her in the same household she had learned through the years when to let her presence felt and when to step back. Besides she knows how independent and hard headed her grandkids that taking a firm stand had helped a great deal in bringing them up with their feet planted on the ground.

Contrary to my kids upbringing, my grandmother( my dad's mom) had lived next door  where I only get to see her mostly during afternoons after school and who only visited us when she watched her favorite Sunday TV Mass. My sister and I  would fetch her favorite gardener, Cynthia, also a relative so she could water and take care of her plants. This grandma of mine had a green thumb and had lots of roses and bougainvilleas all lined up in pots. Funny what motivated me and my sister every afternoon to follow her orders was the incentive we got in fetching Cynthia, a ten centavo coin where we can get to buy our choice of candy. There was even a time that this grandma of ours gave me a raincheck for being included on the top five of my 1st grade class. A whooping 200 Php which I gave to my dad so he could keep it and just give me the money I needed each time I bought my favorite candy or bubble gum. 

On the other hand my mom's mom we call Lola Oyang was the independent and proactive grandma who we only visited during school breaks. She chose to stay in her hometown that we literally have to take two provincial busses and a ship to get there. And since traveling and having a vacation would entail a lot of money, we cannot visit her every year. I could recall visiting  her place three times, the last one being the saddest as that was the year she had crossed over.

My kids also never got the chance to see and be with any of their grandfathers and just like me, they grew up not knowing how it felt to have a grandfather by their side. Though they do have a grand uncle who they get to visit during Christmas, it never really mattered if they grew up without one. But there were days that they could not hide their excitement and longing when I told them stories about my dad, his lone brother who is still alive and who will return for a homecoming next year.They might have all grown up but the yearning could not be hidden especially with the knowledge that they still have a grand uncle that they would finally meet after all these years.

At times I ask myself where all the excitement and yearning come from considering they were lucky to have grandmothers who took care and watched over them since they were kids. Perhaps it is the fact that one can never get enough of being loved, appreciated, affirmed, remembered and taken cared of. A feeling of home, belongingness, accepted and nurtured that one will always look forward at the end of the day. An unforgettable, unexplainable feeling that will always remind you of childhood and all the happy and good memories that went with it. An unending smile that lighten one's face each and every time you think of them.



My Mom with my two sisters in law and some of her grandkids  


You know what I think of people who have known at least one grandparent in their lives? I think of them as blessed. It takes a lot of undying courage and love to look after ones' grandchildren despite the  unending battle with age, illness and empty nest challenges. At times grandparents chose to live longer because they know they are needed still, that some broken pieces of their lives needed to be fixed still and they knew that making it up with their grandkids is their ow special way to heal it.

This coming Sunday, September 8th is National Grandparents Day. Take time to greet them or any grandparent for that matter. A simple act like offering a seat, showing them directions, assisting them while they take the stairs mean a lot to them. One can never go wrong in thanking and remembering grandparents even in simple ways because they are such a blessing.


Lucky are we who have felt such love from our grandparents.







Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Lend A Helping Hand


It had just been almost two weeks since Typhoon Maring left the country but its effects can still be seen and felt almost every where. Some provinces are still flooded, electricity and water just recently resumed in some localities, homeless families still in evacuation centers and garbage can be seen almost ANYWHERE. It is hard not to get affected each time you hear or read about the news especially if you pass by them on your way home. Though typhoons are catastrophes that this country had gotten used to, the creepiness sometimes starts to built especially if they become worst year after year.

During these days a little act of kindness goes a long way.Volunteerism that started during the height of the storm still continues. Donations whether in cash or in kind, in the form of food, clothes, water and medicine matter a great deal. Different organizations, malls, fast food chains, schools, churches and even in the offices accept donations. There is the willingness to give and to look for ways to share that even hand me down clothes means a lot especially if the recipient have nothing else left.

I grew up in a family where most of my clothes were hand me down. I thought then that it was just  normal for my cousins to share the clothes they no longer use. Those hand me down acts continued and developed until I had kids. My cousins including my in laws would give not just clothes but shoes, bags, toys and even books that their kids no longer read. And just like me, my kids thought it was no big deal. On the contrary they are happy to have something new (to them at least) and get to show it to their friends. There was even a time that they would sleep with their "new toys," making sure that they get to wake up with them still in the same place.



www.facebook.com/phredcross


Now that most of my kids had grown up, I tell them time and again that the value of giving is an  unending cycle.When there are instances that donations especially for typhoon victims are needed I encourage them to look for the things they no longer use and have it given away. I make it a point for them to always remember that the reason why we share was because we knew how it felt not to have much and that for every little thing a person receives in times of need, it matters a whole lot.


At times It does not really take that much to lend a helping hand.


To those who want to volunteer, you can visit www.redcross.org.ph and call your nearest chapter.






Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Is Cataract Surgery


Cataract surgery is the surgery used to remove  the natural lens of the eye when it has become opaque. When a person's natural eye lens becomes opaque, this is called a cataract . When someone develops a cataract it makes it very difficult to see clearly and glasses or contacts can do nothing to help clear up the problem. For this reason people who have developed a cataract need to have surgery in order to repair their vision.


 How Does  a Cataract Develop?

The first question that someone with a cataract usually ask is, "How did this cataract develop in my eye?" This is a very important question to know the answer to. A cataract develops when metabolic changes occur in the fibers of the lens. Over time these metabolic changes cause a loss of transparency in the eye's lens. A person's next question may be, "What could I have done to have prevented this?" However there really is no way to avoid this metabolic changes, making it impossible to prevent yourself from ever developing a cataract. This does not mean that everyone will develop a cataract in their life; it just means that there aren't any health practices you can follow in order to ensure that you will never get one.You can, however, look out for signs for a cataract.These signs include experiencing a strong glare from lights and reduced sharpness to low light levels. If you notice these symptoms then you should go to your optometrist to check your eyes for a cataract.



What Is The Procedure Like


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After a doctor has examined your eye and confirmed that there is a cataract, the doctor will determine if you are a candidate for surgery. During the actual cataract surgery the patient is put under anesthesia. The pupil is dilated and the doctor enters the eye through a minimal incision. The doctor then injects stabilizing substances to maintain the pressure in the eye. They destroy the cataract and insert an intra-ocular lens, which is a synthetic lens that restore the lens's transparency. The wound is then sealed and the eye is hydrated if it needs it, depending on how long the eye went without blinking hydration.







Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Worth Dying For


With Typhoon Maring and its tail end still bringing gusty winds and occasional rains, most of us here in the Philippines continue to move on with our lives irrespective of flood, illness, hunger, lost lives and destroyed property. While classes remained suspended in certain localities, some employees chose to go to work. Rather than moping where our taxes had gone and thinking that this catastrophe might happen again next year, hope and faith still prevails for those who believed.

I was one of the reasons why he returned many years ago even if he knew that would cost his own life. Though righteousness may have been a road less travelled by many, some still believe that a life full of meaning is a life worth dying for.


Photo Credits to Pinoy Ako


I will and always be proud to be a Filipino.






Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Last Memory I Have Saved For A Rainy Day


Remember that old story about the grasshopper and the ant? Perhaps some of you do. Honestly the continuous downpour of the rains from the past days, add to the fact that there were a lot of ants on the floor made me remember that revised grade school story which tells about the happy go lucky grasshopper and the industrious ant who was busy storing and saving up food for the coming winter (My grade school teacher had read a revised Filipino edition where the winter season was changed to the rainy days and based it on a Philippine setting). And if my memory served me right, the story started one summer time when a grasshopper greeted the day by singing and dancing his heart away yet failing not to notice his friend ant who was busy storing food for the coming rainy days.  He invited his friend to join him since the rainy days are still too far away but the ant explained that he need to keep going and not wait for that time when there is no more food to save away. In short the ant did not listen and ignored the grasshopper's pranks until one day when it started to rain that the grasshopper realized he did not have much time left to gather and save on food. And as he tried to survive the cold and hunger brought about his carefree days, the wise ant stayed indoors, safe and warm because he knew he had enough saved for the rainy days.




ipad.qualityindex.com


In the Philippines, rainy days are felt from June to September the most and due to global warming that could even extend until December. Typhoons and floods had been a part of the country's catastrophe ever since I can remember. There was even a time that my parents and I had saved what ever we can spare. Funny thing was I did not literally have money to put in our piggy bank which was an emptied Johnson's baby powder. It was just bought mainly for my use which my dad fondly called as "my piggy bank."In fact I liked how heavy it felt and the sound it made each time I rattled its contents which was almost music to my ears until the day when my dad told me it was time to open it up because we needed the money to buy some food and candles due the coming typhoon.That was the last memory I have when my family had saved for a rainy day.

Lately I have not been blogging because my mom was confined again for more than two weeks in two hospitals. From the town's district hospital she was transferred to a private one that has an ICU where she was monitored for almost a week. She had three doctors because she had a mild stroke, a mild heart attack and respiratory tract infections where the complications greatly reduced her oxygen and hemoglobin level. She was in oxygen for two weeks and had to have blood transfusion because she became anemic. I went on LOA for eight days, leaving my six kids with my husband's care and took care of my mom together with my sister in law and my eldest daughter who had put on hold all her job applications just to be a caregiver for my mom. During those two weeks my two siblings abroad worked and called non stop so they could send the money. My brother worked on a 12 hour shift in Saudi Arabia including his rest days and my sister doing odd jobs in the US while I literally spent most of my last salary to pay my mom's hospital bills confinement at the district hospital and asked help from my former classmates. It was a grueling and very emotional period in our lives that I even thought my mom would not make it. Even the doctors who interviewed my daughter and sister in law about my mom's medical history also could not believe about the series of mild strokes she had survived and  commented that though she may be 78 years old,she is still moving up and about. Miraculously her CT Scan proved normal and the rest of her lab tests. With the help of prayers from family and friends, kind and encouraging doctors, nurses and medical staff, even from old classmates and my mom's students, we were able to survive.

Now that my mom's memory is back, she keeps asking how much was the hospital bills. Since I know for a fact that she is as sharp as ever, I jokingly told her that such information is classified and the minute she is (very) well enough to walk and take care of herself again, she might know the answer. That would mean that the sooner she gets well the better and I know she understood. It maybe a long time for my family to get back on our feet from our financial worries, but what matters most is my mom is still here. And even though financial problems come and go, it is never too late to save not only for the rainy days. It maybe difficult at the start and would entail a lot of hard work but once you get the hang of it, every small accomplishment will be a milestone.

Besides, I have always thought that financial independence come to those who believe in it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Products For Your Curly Hair


Devachan Salon curly hair products are made specifically for curly hair. Those of you with curly hair know that those curls can be stubborn sometimes. There is wavy hair that is broken down into an S-shaped wave, a gentle S shape with a small amount of waves, and a combination of waves and curls. The next category is curly and not wavy.The first level is the type of curl that will spring back up when it is pulled down. A curl with a tighter hair coil is the next level, and then there are tightly coiled curls that are also called ringlets. The level that comes next does not have an S shape; it has a Z shape. Some people call it kinky hair.This level is followed by hair that is kinky but finer than the previous level. The curliest hair is the kind that you can't really even comb through and has to be styled very carefully because the hair is so delicate.




devachansalon.com



The First Steps

Having a good conditioner to go along with your shampoo will help with curly hair tangles. There are products you can put in when you are done with shampooing and conditioning your hair that will help moisturize your hair and to keep the frizzies down. There are serums that, if used sparingly will help unfrizz the frizzies during the course of your day when they need a little taming. Finishing creams are also great  and will help protect the hair when you are blow drying or using a curling iron. Sprays can help with volume, keep the curl just the way you want it, add bounce to those beautiful curls and make sure the curls last long as you need them.



Knowing Your Products

With Devachan Salon curly hair products or products you get from other locations, you can tame the curls, accentuate the curls or make them beautiful as they were intended to be. You can have curls that bounce, curls that bend and curls that are with waves and look like you have just come back from the beach. With the right products, you will discover how to create beautiful curls.







Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Purchase and Butcher Natural Chicken?



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If you are sick and tired of preparing and cooking the same old brand of dry chicken pieces, it is time to make the switch over to natural chicken.The ease of preparation and the high-quality taste will keep you coming back for more, not to mention that it can also be prepared in a myriad of ways.


From Oven to Plate


If you are  a healthy cook, chicken may usually be the star of your dinner menu because it is low in calories, can be prepared several ways and can taste delicious paired with numerous side dishes. If your weeknight dishes showcase this bird several times a week, each bite may begin to start tasting like it did the nigh before. This could be because the brand and the quality of chicken you are using. It is vital that you purchase moist and tender pieces, so that each dish comes out perfectly each time around. Do not get stuck buying a cheap brand; you will get what you pay for and your end results will make you pick up the phone and call your local Chinese restaurant for easy take out. Choose a brand that looks good in the package and smells fresh. Cooking plump and juicy pieces will ensure that your main dish comes out right each time.


Grab A Knife

If you are not scared of a bird that is intact, purchase a whole chicken and butcher the pieces you want to use.This is a natural and organic way to get exactly what you are looking for. You will know what is inside of  the chicken or on the outside because you butchered it with your own hands. This can be a very fulfilling job that you want to take on several nights during a week. Cooking with a fresh bird ensures that you are eating healthy and organic with few calories and fat involved in the recipe.


A Yummy Meal

Cooking and preparing natural chicken will give your taste buds a ride, and it can save some money in your pocketbook for a tasty treat to end your perfectly cooked chicken dinner.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Shared Thoughts For A Giveaway


 I love giveaways especially if I get to win them and I think everybody does.  Imagine getting a 3day/2 night stay in a luxury Narra Pool Villa at the Farm at San Benito simply by going to Women's Health Philippines facebook page and answering the survey. By the way do not forget to like the their facebook page and follow them on twitter. Give it a shot because you only have until July 31st to share your thoughts.


  Below are some of the photos taken from  the Farm of San Benito facebook page.


The Narra Villa Bedroom




The Narra Villa Bathroom





The Narra Villa Terrace



So what are you waiting for? Visit the  the facebook page of Women's Health Philippines and get the chance to win this awesome giveaway. Let your voices and opinions be heard and who knows you just might get what you deserve.






My Sprained Foot


It had been more than a week that I had not been updating this blog simply because of my (sprained) left foot. No, I was not injured while having my early morning run but because I stepped on an uneven pavement on my way home from the wet market after buying a bunch of bananas  and mind you, I fell with my left foot immediately letting go of the two bags filled with veggies and fish. Good thing the stall owners were kind enough to assist me, even applying liniment to ease the pain because it hurt so much that I felt so cold I almost wanted to throw up.That happened on a Friday before lunch where I will have my first taste of an 11 hour killer shift after almost two years before my weekend off.



www.buzzle.com


Since I needed to get home, I gathered what little strength I have left for that day to drag my left foot and bear the pain. I try not to focus on it and think how I will manage to get to work because I know I cannot afford to be absent. A lot of things have been going at work that I rather not share at this time. The minute I arrived home, I left the goods at the kitchen counter and immediately went to rest, propping my left foot on a pillow. I could already see the swollen part of my foot near the ankle and wondering how I would start and end my day at work. I could not recall if I even took my late lunch, just that I woke up having difficulty moving as I ready  myself to work which will start at 6:30 pm and ends at 5:30m the next day. And as what to be expected, I was 30 minutes late because I moved so slow, literally dragging my left foot.

Coincidentally, there were a few agents who were limping on the floor that Friday and since we have our own pain to handle we just acknowledge each other  on our way to the pantry or the restroom. There was one point that I would almost pound at the door of my cubicle  the minute I reached the restroom because of the pain, biting my lip yet trying to control what I was feeling less I my hurt myself more. And because of my gray hair a lot of people did not miss my limping figure including my SOM who worriedly asked if I was all right in which I answered "I am trying to be." Good thing there were Nurses on the floor who chose to be call center agents who were kind enough to put the ice bag I got from the clinic on the swollen part of my foot, advising me on what to do so the swelling will heal faster and telling me of their own sprained ankled stories to lighten up my day. Laughter in between work was very helpful to make me through the day. And those were not just some of the things that I was thankful. My online customers turned out to be less problematic, a good friend listened to all my troubles and finally one of my daughters fetched me from work. I felt like I was a kindergarten which brought a smile to a couple of my colleagues when I told them about my daughter coming over to pick me up from work.

Blogging about this incident more than a week when it happened made me realize how badly I treated my feet. Perhaps I have forgotten that some ligaments had been overused or stretched due to frequent brisk walking. Guiltily I recall how I walked so fast on days when I had problems to lighten my already cluttered thoughts. I could not even remember the last time I had propped them up which I used to do or  had a foot massage to make them feel cared for. I even find it funny that the post I wrote before my injury was somewhat related to this one. Perhaps it had been a warning, a reminder that I had seen coming but chose to ignore. Surprisingly during those days that I stayed in bed almost the whole day making them rest did I find the time to "talk to them." I apologized for treating them badly and how I overlooked the fact they too needed caring and attention, especially to my injured left foot. I told how they matter to me and the many runs and walks that we look forward to once I recover. Though the company doctor told me it will still be two weeks before I get back to my fitness activities, deep inside I already long for that day when I am no longer limping and see myself in my workout clothes, greeting the early morning breeze and sun to start off my Sundays.

It will just be a week before I am back to my old self but this time a wiser and a more forgiving person. Thanks to my sprained left foot.