Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Daily heavy traffic, floods, noise, crowds. Living in Metro Manila may well be a health hazard. And for those who wish to not just survive but thrive in such a challenging environment, taking regular breaks in nature is a must. 

And no, I’m not talking about another trip to the mall or a costly weekend getaway out of town. I’m talking about something simpler and accessible to everyone: getting out of the concrete jungle and taking a walk in nature. 

The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku, a literal translation of forest bathing, an activity said to be so simple yet powerful that it brings a host of health benefits. 

Forest bathing is a walk through the forest, taking in the clean air and the refreshing sight of lush trees, feeling the breeze, relishing the sounds of nature. It is a mindful, sensory exercise known to calm the mind, reduce blood pressure, stress, and cholesterol levels, and even improve concentration and memory. 

An analysis published in the journal Environmental Research found that spending more time in nature also cuts the risk for chronic ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Walking in nature helps boost immunity, which researchers say could be due to chemicals emitted by trees called phytoncides—organic compounds with antibacterial properties. 

Luckily, there remain green spaces in Metro Manila that require little to no cost to visit. 

One of them is the La Mesa Ecopark, a patch of green in Quezon City where visitors may hike, bike, go on a boat ride or even dare to try the zipline at the adventure zone. Another green zone in Quezon City is the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, where visitors may take a stroll along pathways flanked by plants and trees. Or, there are campuses like U.P Diliman, which while not a forest, have sufficient greenery to calm the soul.  

These green spaces are few not just in Metro Manila, but across the country. In the face of overdevelopment, population boom and the threat of global warming, it is in imperative to protect the country’s remaining forest cover.

Thankfully, lending a hand won’t have to take a half-day trek or a massive mobilization effort. Through a carbon tracker feature of leading mobile wallet GCash, anyone with a smartphone can help.  

GCash Forest allows users to help plant trees at the Ipo Watershed, which is part of the system that supplies water to metro Manila. Just earn “green energy” by going cashless and using the app for transactions. Upon earning enough points, users may choose a native tree to adopt—an actual sapling to be planted at the watershed. 

GCash aims to plant 365,000 trees in one year, or 1,000 trees a day. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


There comes a time in your life that you have to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” And that’s the day when you decide to change your life for the better. Who doesn’t want to become accomplished? Even the “gifted” and brilliant ones have to pay the price so as to realize their goals in life.
When we fail to eat on time, get enough exercise or sleep between seven to nine hours a day, we’re compromising our health and wellness as we reduce the maximum extent that our body must function. Consequently, the effects in our body may extend and manifest as early warning signs of hair loss.

Take it from celebrity beauty and salon expert Fanny “TF” Serrano, who once personally experienced such an ordeal.  For him, avoiding harsh synthetic solutions and choosing to use the right products with natural ingredients is a must and still the best way to deal with mane problems like losing or thinning of the hair. 

With this in mind, embracing natural healthy lifestyle is so important to achieve optimal health, best physical condition and healthy full head of hair. Health products made out of natural ingredients are way effective for better healing and maintaining our body’s lifelong function than those of synthetic ones. Rather than investing in those branded shampoos or other hair treatments, there’s a natural way to help arrest hair loss and help remedy its four early symptoms, namely, excessive hair shedding, thinning hair, receding hair line, and bald patches. This is none other than NOVUHAIR, nature’s answer to hair loss.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Me and my hubby are both working. The only difference, he is a 9-6pm office worker, while I am a freelancer, most of the time work at home wifey.  Evenings are special, because it is the only time that we see each other, including the teens who are both busy with school. Weekends are totally devoted to family time. Being home buddies, both my hubby and I enjoy staying at home, cleaning and cooking - that's our type of bonding.


I describe our house as a simple one. It has always been a struggle to keep it organized and clean, because we don't have a helper and we are pet parents (currently have two dogs, an aspin and a labrador and seven cats). So it takes a lot of effort to clean the entire house.

Cleanliness is a must. And we devote our weekends to pocket cleaning. When we see the result, it always makes us smile (feeling accomplished). 

But we realized, to be able to feel relaxed during weekends -- the house shouldn't only be clean, but it should smell fresh as well.  And we have to combat two kinds of "bad odor". First, the smell of fish and whatever is cooking in the kitchen. Second, the smell of pets (especially when they do their thing in the powder room). Third, the smell of cigarettes from visitors (and yes I am highly allergic to this smell).


Good thing, we discovered... Mia Maison Home Fragrances. They have a NEW and exciting product, nano-enhanced home fragrances deigned to specifically eliminate pesky odors > ODOUR AWAY. 

These products don't just mask foul odors, it completely eliminate it, giving you fresher air feel all day long. It can even combat the most irritating of smells (to which I am highly allergic) - tobacco!


ODOUR AWAY oil is able to interact with malodors leading to reduction of the negative perception, giving a pleasant and harmonic smell. ODOUR AWAY reduction takes place immediately after and it remains over the area for quite a long time.

Just put one cap of ODOUR AWAY Waterbased Oil with a recommended level of water to Mia Maison's Air Purifier and Atomizers (I use the air purifier at home).


Kitchen Bliss: Cleaning fish, working with meats, mincing garlic, food prep can be a joy as it can be quite the hassle for ones olfactory senses. Kitchen Bliss works by ensuring that your food prep can be much more enjoyable when you are not attacked by strong odor from food prep and cooking. This scent works really well, especially when we have to clean the seafood inside, instead of the dirty kitchen outside when its raining. 

Bath Time:  This scent mimics the scent of floating cool and clean soap suds floating around and about. For me, it induces a relaxing bath time at night, and an energizing scent as I start my day with a good shower.

Clean Space: I love green tea!  This scent is a combination of green tea, blood orange and other exotic florals. The scent is subtle, perfect for me. Because there are certain scents that I really cannot tolerate, but this one induces serenity and zen as I lounge around the living room playing some  music on my guitar :)

Anti-tobacco. With lavender and bright citruses mixed with watery notes, sea salt, ambroxan and white sandalwood. As I have said, I am highly allergic to the smell of cigarettes, so this scent is really heaven sent! Also, our kitchen range hood is not working perfectly as of this writing -- this anti-tobacco scent also helps in eliminating the smell of smoke.

You can get these four scents in Waterbased Oil, Aromatherapy Oil, Reed Diffusers and Aerospray ranging from Php800-4,000. Available starting Sept. 15, 2019.