Sunday, October 30, 2016


September 3... It was a memorable bonding experience with my bunso, as half of the BackPack Squad spent the entire day in Pampanga.  It was the Northpine Bloggers’ Appreciation Tour of Pampanga.  And a huge huge thanks to Northpine Land Inc.’s pretty Sr. Manager for Corporate Communications Ms. Myla Cammayo for allowing him  :)   

The day started with a heavy breakfast/meet up at Starbucks Metrowalk.  My son just love starbucks and ate his heart out while fighting the sleepiness.  It was an early call time at 6am.

First order of the day was a visit of Montana Views in between San Fernando and Mexico Pampanga.  My detailed post about this stunning property is HERE

Then we passed by, for a quick look at San Guillermo Church.  This church in Bacolor Pampanga was used in the teleserye “May Bukas Pa”.  From the church’s facade, the impact of Mt. Pinatubo was very obvious. The 12 meters high church was reduced to half when the rampaging lahar devastated the town some 20+ years ago.  

Friday, October 28, 2016


Pampanga is known to be the culinary capital of the Philippines. Kapampangans pride themselves to be excellent cooks and chefs.  Some of the Pampanga’s noteworthy culinary gurus are Chef Claude Tayag, Chef Gene Gonzales... and the “guardian of Kapampangan Reseta” – Atching Lillian Borromeo.

Atching is a Kapampangan term for elder sister.  Atching Lillian began her life in the kitchen at the age of two.  She shared, “I was given my own space in the kitchen where I would join my maternal aunt Impong Orang  (Dona Maura Hizon Lorenzo of Mexico, Pampanga) and my late mother Imang Paquita  (Dona Francisca Mercado Lising) as we prepared meals for my maternal grandfather Incong Moning  (Don Monico del Rosario Mercado of Sasmuan, Pampanga)  and his political friends.  I was taught how to cut vegetables and how to properly set the dinner table.”

Atching Lillian wanted to follow the footsteps of his father and take up medicine.  But her family asked her to take BS Economics instead. She graduated from the Philippine Women’s University.  The decision turned out to be a big blessing for the Kapampangans,  Through Atching Lillian, we have heirloom recipes that are kept alive, not only for the people of Pampanga, but the entire Philippines.  It is well documented in the book, “Atching Lillian’s Heirloom Recipes”.

Monday, October 24, 2016


When I got the invite for this awesome event, I immediately confirmed.  The summit embodies everything that I believed in -- the beauty of social entrepreneurship, the importance of businesses giving back to communities, and being an empowered and fearless Pinay!   On top of that.... my favorite teacher in the world, Teacher Ani Almario is an awardee.  Yey!  Would be forever grateful to her and the Raya School for instilling national pride and love for learning in my children  :)

Human Nature teamed up with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde to inspire young people to serve the least, the last, and the lost while pursuing excellence with the mounting of the 1st Pinay & Proud Summit.

Themed “Your Goodness Shines”, the summit was held at Benilde’s School of Design and Arts Theatre last October 19. Part of Human Nature’s longstanding campaign to highlight the lifework of Filipino women from all walks of life, Pinay & Proud honors the unique and exceptional values of the Filipina: nurturing, courageous, kind, and beautiful.  

The campaign’s youth focus comes at opportune time. In a report published by the National Youth Commission in 2015, half of our country’s population will be under 25 years old. The report adds that “passion, experience, adventure and meaning are just some words that define today’s millennial.”

“We brought back Pinay & Proud because we felt that many of our youth are looking for role models. Our honorees are not just an inspiration because of their personal achievements in life, but because of their commitment to serve others,” explained Human Nature Co-Founder and President Anna Meloto-Wilk.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


 Hello dear Ka-Wise momsies....

Super excited to do another review of an organic, all natural product.  I get really giddy and happy whenever I am given the chance to experience for myself all these wonderful, organic, all natural products.  After all, why should we expose our families to the harsh and synthetic chemicals other products contain?  As mommies... we should be in charge of their health and well being.

So I repeat.... I won't get tired of discovering products that promote health, and promise natural and organic benefits!

And repeat after me... Go-go-go  Organic... always!

The product I am so giddy about is HAPPYGANICS... an all natural and bio-degradable laundry detergent.  From the time I unboxed this product, and I inspected what's written on the label, I was impressed.  Look at what the product offers:
  • it has no SLS (sodium Lauryl Sulfate).  There are several reasons NOT to use products with SLS because, it is a known skin irritant; it is actually a pesticide and herbicide; has corrosive properties; and is an eye irritant.  Would you like this chemical to touch your family's skin?  Definitely NOT!
  • No optical brightening agents.  These are synthetic chemicals added to liuid and powder laundry detergents to make clothing appear whiter and brighter, and thus cleaner. Optical brighteners transform UV light waves to enhance blue light and minimize the amount of yellow light to make things appear whiter.  So in short, they really don't get your clothes any cleaner.  Its just optical illusion.  I wonder if this is also what they use for all the detergent commercials on tv? hehehe....
  • No phosphates. This chemical is used to soften hard water and can contaminate our waterways on contact
  • No coloring agents
  • No chlorine bleach. This is so important to me. I am highly allergic to bleach. The foul smell triggers my asthma.


If the teenage brain were a house, what would it look like?

This is the inspiration behind the Mind Museum's 4th traveling exhibition The Teenage Brain:  Wiring-in-Progress, supported in part by Six-Inch and Uratex.  This is a walk through, mind through of a teenager's world, beyond the myths and stereotypes, based on the most recent scientific studies on the teenage brain.

The Teenage Brain is an amazingly unique house because it is neither the brain of a child nor of an adult.  From the bedroom, to the garage, yard and the kitchen, you will find out why the teenage body clock is different, why they learn so much in so little time.  Why their hearts easily blush or break.  Why they hardly ever talk or understand their parents.  Why they do not seem to think of the future and why their friends seem to matter more than their family.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The ABLE Store - Empowering the Differently-ABLED teens

I got this invite to a one-of-a-kind event.   It was the opening of the ABLE Store, the first and only retail store in the country dedicated to hiring differently abled teens.  

Was so excited to see for myself what the store has to offer.  After attending NOCHE: Dining in the Dark, where I tot to interact with visually challenged servers, I was just too happy that there is another project designed to uplift lives -- this time the differently abled teens.  I was geared up to check on what they are selling, and how they are going to sell it.
But it was a different afternoon... what transpired really moved me.  To tears.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Hello dear readers....  it's time for our Ka-Wise Mom feature for October.

Its Kumander Nene... PBB Season 1 Big Winner.

Flashback to 2005.  I remembered interviewing this slim and simple lass somewhere near UE Caloocan.  Good thing I live at that time in Malabon, and I know the place.  Nene showed me where she stayed during her UE days.  What are my first impression of her -- astig!  In principles, in living her life as a corps commander, independent life in Manila away from her family.  Such a survivor, and a fighter.  Walang inuurungan!

Now Nene is a happy mommy, wifey and a successful entrepreneur.  Let me share with you a glimpse of her personal life as she chats with Mrs.Wise  :)

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hi there momsies.... you still feeling healthy and beautiful.  Dapat lang.... Mommies like us must prioritize our health, because it is needed for us to be able to nurture our families.

How do I make sure I am always healthy?  Lots of sleep, lessen stress, eat natural and organic food.  I still maintain my little organic garden with turmeric, lettuce, kale, arugula and stevia.  So if I crave for something healthy, all I need to do is pick a some fresh produce.  Ang saya!   



And of course, I am always on the lookout for products that jive well to my organic interest. Am lucky to have reviewed some organic and all natural products, given to me by my awesome friends.  A "healthy" collaboration indeed.  From dishwashing soap, to anti dust mites, to the zika and dengue fighting mosquito repellant -- I am blessed to have tried them all  :)

I recently discovered HEALTH AND GLAMOUR PURE ORGANIC PRODUCTS, a company that distributes wellness and beauty products.  H & G provides consumers a better option to enjoy organic natural products that protect one's health.  


Saturday, October 15, 2016


If you are like me, who can't let go of old things accumulated over the years  (sige na, sentimental na) resulting to boxes of stuffs stored in the attic filled with toys, clothes, bedsheets, curtains, costumes, toys and other knick-knacks -- then you will be glad to know that there is a new mobile classified app -- CAROUSELL!

Carousell marked its official launch in the Philippines, last October 11, and I was lucky to be invited.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016


TRIPKADA: Your Trip Barkada ready to go out, explore, and have exciting adventures!

Sembreak is just around the corner and I know that each and every barkada is already planning for an awesome adventure!  If you are dreaming of the beach... or trekking to reach a mountain's summit, or simply go on a food and cultural trip to a province of your choice... TRIPKADA can make that dream come true.

Last August, FlipTrip launched its new mobile app, TRIPKADA, a platform where travelers can join group trips organised by fellow travellers. No need to wait for your friends to match with your schedules, budgets, and interests. No need to panic when flakers become one too many. Whether you’re a solo traveler, or a small group of friends, go on your next adventure and fill up your bucket list in a fun and affordable way with Tripkada.

Simply log into the app, scroll through the available trips, and pick what you want to do for your weekend. Reserving your slot has never been easier! There is a convenient downpayment system that allows you to pay PHP500-1500 before the trip, and let’s you settle the rest at the meetup point when you depart with your newfound group of travel buddies!

You can download the Tripkada App on the Google Play today! Fret not, iPhone users, the iOS version will come out on the app store in a few months.

Trips are organised by fellow travellers who apply via their website  and are curated by Tripkada, to help ensure that everyone has a great experience.

And hey.... speaking of sembreak... it will be my teens' break from school too. Hmm... we might as well experience TRIPKADA. It would be fun to join other travel enthusiasts and build friendships along the way, right?

the backpack squad  :)

From Palaui Island to..... our next travel destination... Continuing the Backpack Squad's mantra >> Explore PH one province at a time!

Visit TRIPKADA now

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: World Teacher’s Day: A Dedication to Teachers Who Tech

Lorelee Dedoroy Asignacion, is a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE), teaching at Bata National High School in the Philippines. Her journey began in 2012, when she was a finalist for the Microsoft Innovative Teachers’ Leadership Awards. Her winning entry was an activity about raising environmental awareness among local officials, where students were required to use technology as a platform for conducting research on the environment, organising mangrove-planting sessions in other cities and creating presentations for local officials.

Since then, her students have enjoyed getting involved in other environmental projects such as clean-up drives and environmental camps, using tools such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and PhotoStory, to share their findings on environmental issues.

Inspired by this experience, Asignacion endeavoured to introduce this to her colleagues. She demonstrated to them that even with limited Internet access in school, technology can still be integrated into lessons in many ways, such as by using quizzes created through PowerPoint and its hyperlink functions.

“The teachers love that technology has made their lessons more interactive and engaging than ever before, even without much additional effort,” said Asignacion. “What I find more rewarding is how students are raring to use them after seeing how these apps work. For instance, they now use PhotoStory in class to celebrate their classmates’ birthdays!”

The students of Duc Hop Upper Secondary School in Vietnam are so caught up in a game of Mystery Skype that they’ve dropped their initial reservations and are now enthusiastically interacting with their classmates—students from across the globe—for the day.

What is Mystery Skype, you ask? It is a global activity that virtually connects two classrooms together, encouraging students to learn more about each other’s culture without going beyond the four walls.

Offering the occasional help is their English teacher and MIE Tran Thi Thuy. She feels that her students do not get enough practice with English as they have few opportunities to communicate in the language.

“As an educator, my role is to provide the most conducive environment for learning,” said Tran. “Technology helps me achieve that. With Skype, I can connect to other classrooms around the world, and thus encourage my students to learn.”

It is this vision that drove her to strive for innovation in the classroom, leading to her runner-up prize at the Vietnam National Teacher Competition 2016. Her winning project was a Skype lesson about raising awareness of the dangers of pesticides in their area. By utilising a variety of technology tools, including Internet Explorer, Outlook, and PowerPoint, students had to research on the topic, reach out to experts, and present their findings through posters, banners, and standees.

Tran’s students using technology to carry out their projects

Tran is collaborating with another English teacher in Japan on how their students can explore a common social issue together: high levels of chronic stress in schools, which stems from the gruelling entrance examinations that students in both countries have to go through. After sharing more about the challenges they face as students, they were tasked to think about how they could use technology to resolve this issue, and then present their solution to the teachers.

“By interacting with overseas students on Skype, my students are more aware about global issues,” Tran shared. “Not only does it improve their communication skills, it also develops critical thinking skills and enhances creativity.”

Meanwhile in a town 10,000km away, Jarrod Aberhart, an economics professor at Nelson College, New Zealand, also implements the same philosophy of enhancing learning through technology.

“In this digital age, traditional classrooms are no longer conducive for learning. Students are born into technology, so why not teach them how to utilise it to better connect and collaborate with one another?” said Aberhart. “This pushes them to realise that with technology, the possibilities are endless as they can pursue goals that previously seemed out of reach.”

One of Aberhart’s favourite software to use in class is OneNote. As part of his courses, Aberhart’s students are required to group up and run a business—and he found that OneNote has been particularly useful in getting them to work together efficiently, both within and outside the classroom.

“Before I integrated technology into my course, progress on projects was slow,” shared Aberhart. “Students would work up a momentum on their projects in class, but once they stepped out of the classroom, it would come to a standstill. OneNote becomes a one-stop shop for them to communicate, work together and store information about their projects even outside classes.”

As IT Professional Learning Leader at Nelson College, Aberhart plans to introduce TPACK and 21st Century Design (21CD)—courses that emphasise the use of content and pedagogy in guiding technology integration into the classroom—to teachers in the school. His colleagues have already integrated technology in their lessons, and he hopes these will continue inspiring them to explore new ways of using technology which can help students develop crucial skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge construction.

Though Aberhart, Asignacion, and Tran are scattered across Asia and have most likely never met, it is clear that they share the same passion: to use technology to transform the way they teach and improve the quality of education.

Even though World Teacher’s Day has passed, we continue to celebrate the month of October to our teachers all over the world.  Happy World Teacher’s Month to Aberhart, Asignacion, Tran, and every single educator out there who has dedicated his or her life to changing the way students learn.


Monday, October 10, 2016


Standing in line is something that nobody likes, which is why TIEZA, the government arm tasked with the collection and allocation of travel taxes that once had to be settled either at a TIEZA office or at a dedicated queue at the airport, has now rolled out the Travel Tax 
Online Payment System.  No more falling in line at the airport just to pay your travel taxes, now all you need is to follow this simple procedure:

1   1.  Go to the TIEZA website at

2   2.  From the TIEZA home page click on “click here” at the Philippine Travel Tax Payment 
          System screen:   OR

     If the Philippine Travel Tax Payment System is not the screen displayed on the TIEZA            home page, click The Travel Tax Tab, and Select “Pay Travel Tax”

     3.  Click on “Don’t have an account? Click Here” (assuming you are a first timer).


4   4.  Fill out the member registration form.

5   5.  When done filling out the registration form, click “ok” to confirm information or “Cancel” 
          to change information.

6   6.  Open the email address you provided and confirm your registration via the confirmation 
          link that TIEZA will send you.  If the email does not appear right away, wait a few             
          seconds to a minute and refresh your browser.  Should the confirmation email never            arrived, there is will be a confirmation link to click on the TIEZA site.

Travel Tax Payment:
     7.  Once confirmed, click “Click Here to fill up Travel Tax Payment Form!” to bring up Travel 
          Tax Payment Form.

     8.  Fill up Travel Tax Payment form and click “Confirm Application”

     9.  The online payment form will appear, fill up Online Payment for and click “confirm 

1   10.Your travel tax payment transactions will appear on the next screen under “Recent 
          Travel Tax Application”, when a transaction has been fully completed, a “Print” button 
          will appear next to it.  Wait for the button to read “Print” and click the print button.  This 
          may take a few minutes.  Refresh your browser every 10 seconds until the print button 

1   11.From the final screen you will be able to print your Travel Tax Payment Receipt.  Print 
          the receipt, and bring the printout with you to the airport on the day of your flight, to be 
          presented with your other travel documents

For more information, call the TIEZA office at (02) 551 – 9533 for more information.