Saturday, May 19, 2018


A few days back, I was invited to the "Choose Natural: My Novuhair Salon Experience" held at the Fanny Serrano Salon and Boutique in Quezon City.

Was glad that I attended this event because aside from getting pampered, I also learned a lot about my hair.

First I experienced the hair and scalp analysis. My result --> I have conditioner residue on my scalp.  Which is actually not good because it clogs the pores, and when not removed properly will result to dandruffs. But generally, I have normal hair growth -- 2-3 strands per hair root. And even the bald spot at the back of my head due to alopecia, has hair growth.

After the hair and scalp analysis, came in my treat!  They gave me a thorough scalp massage using the Novuhair Lotion, which I also use daily at home.  But I have to admit, I am kindda lazy in doing scalp massage so I was really glad that someone has to do it for me  :)   I really liked that natural, organic smell of Novuhair, and its cool effect on my scalp.

After the massage, I was given a Novuhair shampoo and conditioning treatment.  It was close to 2pm, on a hot summer day.  I almost fell asleep while they were doing this.  So relaxing.

Then it was time for a well deserved haircut.  I told Ms. Lea Pilongo, my stylist, that I would want a hairstyle that would require minimal styling on a daily basis.  And I wanted to go back to a bob cut. So she suggested for a simple bob cut, with minimal layering at the back, just to achieve that "body".  TF was also there to supervise the haircut  :)

And this was the result:  


While Ms. Lea was giving me a haircut, I asked her for some summer hair care tips.

>> if you have hair color, its best to put hair conditioning products like argan oil before hitting the beach. It will protect you from the heat of the sun and the salty water.
>> if you plan to color your hair, you have to wait for a few days before exposing it to extreme heat of the outdoors and again... sea water, because there is a big chance that your color will fade upon early exposure.
>> because of the heat, you will have the tendency to always have your hair in ponytail. A word of caution, if you are prone to hair fall, put too much pressure on your strands by tying them tightly. This will also contribute to more hair fall.


Saturday, May 12, 2018


I am an avid coffee drinker.  But I limit my coffee intake to maximum of two cups a day. I cannot start my day without coffee.  It perks me up, gives me that energetic feeling to start my day.  Surprisingly, I am one of the few people who can drink a cup of coffee before sleeping, and not suffer from insomnia. I like my coffee light. Not too sweet, not too bitter.  I prefer my coffee with milk.  

A lot of people will swear by the benefits of coffee if taken in moderation. And I won't argue with them. But for me, it is the fact that it keeps me awake and alert, specially on those days that I have to write several articles and scripts. It is the major reason why I always have my caffeine fix!


Now that my son is also getting hooked on coffee -- I wonder if there is a healthy coffee alternative that I can give him?  

And then... I was introduced to Barlico.  It is 100% caffeine free and is made from all natural ingredients -- barley and chicory.


Barley is one of the oldest consumed grains in the world and is believed to: Cleanse the digestive system and aid in kidney function;  promote bone health; lower blood cholesterol; reduce risk of type 2 diabetes; help prevent cancers in the digestive system;

Chicory is a pretty flowering plant, and the roots are roasted and ground to be brewed with coffee in some parts of the world. Chicory promotes liver and gall bladder function, aids in digestion, helps manage osteoarthritis and other bone and joint diseases and contains probiotic fiber, which promotes absorption of calcium.


My first sip of the 3-in-1 variant -- it was light and mild in taste. I also liked that it is not "too sweet".  It also gave me that "perky and energized" feeling in the morning. 

My digestive system is a bit "lazy" -- which makes me constipated most of the time. When I started drinking Barlico -- even my digestive system became active. I think the high fiber content of the barley helped a lot.


I take the Choco Barlico at night, before I sleep, and it relaxes me. Hoping to add some pounds to my skinny self with this rich chocolatey drink. I also enjoy it with whipped cream and ice, during meryenda. A nice refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon. 

Will I recommend it?  YES!  Especially to individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.  Or those who are trying to minimize their caffeine intake, but cannot give up their coffee 100%. YES, I will recommend this to my teen -- to be taken in moderation, of course.

According to Barlico Philippines website, even pregnant and breastfeeding mommies can enjoy Barlico because it doesn't have caffeine.  But it is still WISE to consult your doctor if you think you have barley or chicory allergy (which is rare).

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


As a family, we love the beach. If we decide to hop on a plane for that next summer destination, chances are -- an island tour is on top of our itinerary.  We just love to bask in the sun, swim, snorkel, cliff dive -- these are some of the fun adventures we already explored in the past years.

So what is needed for that awesome, memorable summer vacation?


I am an OC planner. I plan and do endless research months before a family trip. I make the family's itinerary, with one thing in mind >> how to maximize our limited stay in a province.

What I usually do, is book a trip with a minimum of 4 days stay, maximum of 6 days. I want my family to somehow get the "vibe" of the place, sort of an immersion.  We always include a visit to the public market for all that awesome local food; museum tour if there is any; actual meeting/interaction with locals and learn some words in the dialect;  this is how every family vacation becomes a learning process too for my children  :)


We have experienced both.  And I think the right mix of the two will result to a stress-free summer vacation.

We usually start with a city/day tour upon arrival. We arrange to use the van that picked us up at the airport for the city-tour, which is very practical.  Or we arrange the city/day tour with the hotel/inn that we are booked in.

Getting a glimpse of the city on your first day, will give you a bird's eye view of what to expect in the next few days. We ask the driver where to eat, where to buy stuffs while we are on tour  :)   This worked well when we visited Puerto Princesa, Bohol and CDO.

For smaller provinces -- we usually opt for a DIY city/day tour -- usually on a tricycle. It is more budget friendly, and we get surprise adventures along the way too  :)

But for island/sea tour, we always opt for pre-arranged tours. Boat rental can be expensive if it is not packaged. Plus, packaged sea-tour always include lunch and merienda -- which maybe a bit of a problem if you visit a secluded island, and stressful if we ourselves will prepare for our meals.

We also avail of sea tours just for the four of us. Why? When we enjoy a particular island, we can easily request for a longer stay. If you go on a tour with other people, you cannot do this.  


In all our trips, we just use the hotel/inn -- for sleeping. We wake up early and explore right away, and we usually go back to the hotel/inn after dinner. So who needs a fancy hotel right?  Just a decent and clean inn, or even a backpacker hostel will do!


What are our staples when we go on a vacation. Our backpacks that carry all our vacation essentials.  Gadgets which include >> camera, phones, selfie stick or tripod, underwater camera, charger and extra batteries.  

And we never forget our sunscreen!


Because summer is here again, it is the perfect time for Banana Boat to unveil its latest product - the Banana Boat Dry Balance.  The product is designed to give customers the most enjoyable experience when it comes to sunscreen. It aims to eliminate that heavy feeling by absorbing excess moisture to help keep you feeling dry and fresh even after a day in the sun. It is available in two variants -- the lotion and the aerosol spray.

(L-R)   Banana Boat®  Protect & Hydrate, a 2-in-1 Sunscreen and Moisturizer
Banana Boat®  Dry Oil,  with Argan oil for silky soft skin
Banana Boat®  Sun Comfort Spray,  brushes off sand easily, moisturizes skin 
and relieves dryness

I got to test this product at Pico de Loro during the product launch -- wherein I also participated in the the AmazeSkin Race Challenge. And yes -- it works well on my skin (no sunburn, just a little bit of darkening) and NO sticky-yucky feeling even hours after  my skin was exposed to the seven real life conditions -- sun, pool water, ocean water, wind, sweat, sand and extreme heat!

If you are ready for an adventure this summer -- head to Subic and join the Banana Boat AmazeSkin Race Challenge -- open to the public.  More info about Banana Boat products and the AmazeSkin Race Challenge, you can visit the official Facebook Fan Page.