July 31, 2013

UN in PH Joins Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2013

Every year, the world commemorates World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) on 1-7 August under the auspices of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)[i]. On this occasion, Governments, civil society organizations (CSO), and the private sector celebrate WBW to raise sustained awareness on the importance of breastfeeding and the need to support, protect and promote it worldwide. The theme for WBW 2013 is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to the Mother.”   

This year, the United Nations in the Philippines, represented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO) joins the rest of the world in commemorating WBW, and World Breastfeeding Month in August.  

Breastfeeding is a natural way of providing complete nourishment to a newborn baby from the first hour of birth to six months, which is continued with adequate and nutritious complementary feeding up to the age of two years and beyond. Breastmilk also enhances optimal brain development, promotes maternal and infant bonding, and has immune properties that protect babies and young children from diseases.  

“On the basis of these inherent benefits”, says Dr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF Philippines Representative, A.I.,  “UNICEF upholds  and advocates breastfeeding as a cost-effective strategy for survival, growth, development and protection of infants and young children from birth up to two years.” 

This year, WBW seeks to:

Draw attention to the importance of peer support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.

Inform the public on the highly effective efforts to expand peer counseling programmes.

Encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to be trained to support mothers and babies.

Identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, for support even after giving birth.

Call on Governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.  

Government has enacted the National Milk Code (Executive Order No. 51—National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and Other Related Products) and its Revised Implementation Rules and Regulations in 1986, and the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act (Republic Act No. 10028) in 2010, which address the objectives of WBW 2013 in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, women’s participation in wage employment has increased over the years. However, women are likely to be trapped in vulnerable forms of employment.  This poses a greater challenge for women to effectively balance their work and family life.

“With the fear of losing their only source of income, working women find it hard to continue exclusive breastfeeding even just until their babies reach six months; some are forced to give up exclusive breastfeeding altogether,” says Lawrence Jeff Johnson, ILO Philippines Director.

“The benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to a baby especially in the first six months are irreplaceable. The positive effects for working women in terms of productivity, staff continuity and loyalty, reduced absenteeism, lower healthcare and training costs are equally rewarding,” Johnson adds.

Meanwhile, Dr. Julie Hall, WHO Philippines Representative, observes that “the National Milk Code and related laws are among the best in the world, and have served as models for several countries. What is urgently required are resources and partnerships for their full implementation in workplaces and communities.”  

According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the nutrition status of children under age of five years has not improved in the last 10 years in the Philippines. The ILO, UNICEF and WHO are, therefore, calling on the public and private sectors, including CSOs, to ensure that the National Milk Code and related laws are implemented and monitored across the country. 
(Press Release)

July 30, 2013

Tasty Tucker's Tasteful Food

At least once a week John and I go to HMR Philippines in Pioneer St., Mandaluyong, to check out imported items on sale. Last month as we were parking, we were surprised to see a new restaurant adjacent to HMR. We were  supposed to eat at Robinson's Pioneer but we decided to check out Tasty Tucker's menu first.

As I smelled the newly-baked bread, pastries and pizzas I asked John if we could just stay and eat at Tasty Tucker instead.

I settled for a slice of pizza and because I worked in Shakey's in the past and Round Table Pizza, I'm very particular about how it taste. My verdict, Tasty Tucker's pizza is delicious and big just like Sbarro's pizza but priced lower.

John ordered sweet and sour dory.  He's not much of a sweet and sour guy but after eating John said, "masarap ha!

A must have for vegetariansTuscan roasted vegetables

Tasty Tucker has big space conducive for company meetings, birthday parties and reunions. 

I frequent restroom so I'm happy that they have clean restroom, with bidet...

After two weeks we went back at Tasty Tucker along with Blogger friends. We got to meet the powerful triumvirate of Chefs, namely Chef Peter, Chef Eric and Chef Rizza.

We learned that tucker means food in Australia.  We learned that Tasty Tucker's first branch in Sucat, Paranaque opened just last year, exactly last March 28, 2012. They also have other branches in Novaliches, Sta. Rosa, Araneta, Balintawak, and soon to open in Malate. Tasty Tucker's Pioneer branch opened just last month. We also learned that Tasty Tucker's idea is much like Ikea - There's Tasty Tucker in every HMR Philippines.

The commisary where they prepare everything
What's great about Tasty Tucker is that they take care of HMR employees, as well as other workers from other companies nearby, by serving them delicious and nutritious food at a an affordable price. At the time of our visit, Rizza was cooking tortang talong for the employees. 

Tasty Tucker's owner likes Cheesecake Factory in New York so Patry Chef Rizza came up with 10 cheesecakes to make the boss as well as customers happy, just like me! 

If you want to buy a cake or give as a gift, Tasty Tucker customize cakes.  One whole cake is at P1,100. They sell it at 20% discount to coffee shops and other bake shops. 

Tasty Tucker serves 10 varieties of heavenly cheesecake! My favorite, as always, Blueberry!

John's  favorite - Apple Crumble

You can meet friends or clients over a cup of coffee. While waiting, feel free to connect to Tasty Tucker's wi-fi


Cakes, breads, pizza are made fresh everyday. It was a joy to see the chefs prepare the food that we are about to partake...

 Just a month of operation, Tasty Tucker's already has faithful clients. They've been at Tasty Tucker three times already. Among their favorites are the rice meal and pansit.

Happy and satisfied diners. From left to right: Nene and Riyo Caday, and  Holly Alba

You might want to try the following food when visiting Tasty Tucker:

Pepperoni and supreme stuffed pizza. Pizza - Supreme special, All meat, Hawaiian, Cheese and mushroom. Beef meat pie, Sausage roll, Gourmet steak sandwich, Chicken parmigiana, Rice meal such as Pakbet with rice, Sweet and sour fish, Beef steak, Beef Salpicao.

Tasty Tucker's Branches:

Pioneer St. cor Reliance St. Mandaluyong City/ Telephone number: 634-0526

Quirino Highway, Brgy.Talipapa, Novaliches, Quezon City

Daystar Industrial Park Pulong Sta. Cruz, Sta. Rosa, Laguna,

KM 21 East Service Road, South Super Highway, Sucat

GF Telus Building, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

Like their FB Page:https://www.facebook.com/TastyTucker

Mga Kakaibang Hayop

Sa aming mga paglalakbay di na bago ang mga kwentuhang kakatawa. Ang asawa ko ay ubod ng galing ng sense of humor na bigla na lang nakagagawa ng mg usapang di nadidinig kung saan saan lang.

Halimbawa na lang sa huling destinasyon namin sa Pangasinan, patungong Tara Falls at Bolinao Falls, naka diskubre kami ng mga kakaibang hayop na matatagpuan lamang sa New World Mendiolables Dictionary.

Una ay ang Bakambing, ito ang uri ng kambing na nagdi-disguise as baka, mukhang baka pero maliit sa kadahilanang ito nga ay kambing.

Ikalawa ang Bakaso, isang uri ng aso, di tulad ng bakambing na mukhang baka, ang asong ito ay hindi mukhang baka, me identity crisis lang at nagpapaka-baka.

At ang Tutambling, isang tuta na akala niya ay kambing siya at tumatambling tambling.

Ganito po kasaya ang aming mga travels. Sa mga nais makaranas ng mga kakaibang trips at usapan, maaari po kayong magpa book sa Occasions of Joy Travel and Tour Agency. Di po kamahalan ang aming rate. Kailangan lamang ay handa kayo sa walang habas na tawanan at kulitan.

Mga munting paalala: Bawal po ang maaarte, tamad, pasosyal, at di adventurous dahil ang tour guide na si Rafael Mendiola ay spontaneous, mabilis kumilos at multi tasker. Ang isang destinasyon ay nagagawa nyang sampu, mandalas ay lagpas pa.

A sense of humor…
is needed armor.  
Joy in one’s heart 
and some laughter 
on one’s lips 
is a sign that the person 
down deep has a 
pretty good grasp of life.

-Hugh Sidey

July 28, 2013

Love Sees Beyond Differences - First ever-Filipino Written and Illustrated eBooks on Adoption

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) and McCann Philippines introduced the first-ever Filipino original illustrated eBooks as part of the Adoption Advocacy Campaign entitled, “Love Sees Beyond Differences.” 

Since the campaign was launched last November 2012, the Inter-Country Adoption Board and McCann Philippines have worked closely together for many months to find creative solutions to encourage more Filipino families to openly declare their love for their adoptive children and help erase the stigma of adoption.

Adoptive families and media personalities led by Miriam Quiambao introduced the seven eBooks through a series of storytelling sessions held at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. These stories are the first-ever written and illustrated stories for Filipino adoptive families who faced with the challenge of introducing the idea of adoption to their adopted children. Often, many adoptive families face the stigma of adoption. This stigma has made some adoptive families keep their adoption secret from their very own adopted children.

Adoptive families
DSWD Undersecretary Parisya H. Taradji, ICAB Alternate Chair, says, “Through this storytelling event, we hope that more adoptive families will volunteer their time and talent to this advocacy campaign. The adoption process has numerous adoption-related challenges and concerns which needs the participation of adoptive families.”

Add caption

Storytelling can be an effective tool to introduce one’s adoptive child to adoption.

“These e-books were created to equip adoptive parents with tools that will help them openly share their adoption journey with their children,” says Cecile Gabutina-Velez, Managing Partner of McCann Philippines.

“The day we first met”

Telling the story of “the day we first met” can be one of the most challenging stories to tell to adoptive children. This moment, ideally, should be the right time and situation.

Jojo and Janet Villa met Anna Isabel the day after they committed to adopt her. They had been praying for Anna, so they knew that she was God’s Best for them even without having met her. They opened their home to Anna on March 5, 2010 and filed the petition for adoption in 2011. 

Janet first told Anna about her adoption when she was 10 months old. “I first told her by way of song,” Janet says. “I’d pick a tune and insert my own lyrics. I’d sing the truth. She might not have understood it then, but her spirit welcomed our love.” Since then Janet would insert adoption in the books and stories they’d read together, sometimes using a doll house to tell about how a king and a queen died, and their pretty princess now lives in this dollhouse with her new Papa King and Mama Queen. They once were sad, but now are joyful because the princess graces their days. That joy, Janet told Anna, is called adoption. “If you would ask Anna what adoption is, she’d say, ‘Love!’” says Janet. Anna understands that some children don’t have fathers, others don’t have mothers, and others don’t have both.

Some of Anna’s favorite books include “Are You My Mother?,” “Guess How Much I Love You,” and more recently the “Baby Circle” eBook.  “Again and again Anna would ask for it, ‘Mommy, I want the circle book,’” says Janet. Anna loves how the Baby Circle, round and rolling, has changed the solid, stolid Square family. “I tell Anna, ‘You are our Baby Circle,’” says Janet. Janet says that since our own lives are tales to be told, one of the best ways to tell children about their adoption is by way of a story.

Janet herself is an accomplished writer, having twice won the NVM Gonzalez Awards for Best Short Story. Her stories, including Anna’s adoption story, have been published in magazines and anthologies, such as Best Filipino Short Stories, Motherhood Statements, Hoard of Thunder: Philippine Short Stories in English 1990-2008, Against All Odds, among others.

For the Santos Family from Makati City, “Baby Circle” is also the favorite by their two-year old daughter, Felice. “She became part of our family a couple of years ago. Since then, I have never stopped reading her stories,” says Nanette. Felice likes looking at the family of Squares and how Baby Circle literally reshaped their world. 

Nanette adds, “At age 2, she looks at pictures of characters and how they are transformed as pages are turned. The book shows how families are created by people who live together and love each other, not just by those who look like each other. Storytelling connects. It connects Felice with her beginnings, and with our beginnings.”

Both Sonny and Nanette Santos strongly believe that at any early age, their adopted child should know the circumstances of her adoption. “While it might take years for our child to fully understand the circumstances of adoption, we are willing to go through this process with our child. Felice deserves to know,” explains Nanette. 

Stories are not just for bedtime entertainment or a tool to put children to sleep. When told in a fun, convincing manner and even an animated manner, these stories impart moral values to both adoptive and natural born children. They help form a strong bond between parents and children. 

John Remwil Valeria, Guidance Counselor from Don Bosco Technical School says. “As a guidance counselor, and as a parent myself I have seen how storytelling has helped shape values for our young children here in Don Bosco.”

“For adoptive families, storytelling is an even more important tool for the adoptive parents to slowly help their adopted children understand their roots and early beginnings. It is a tough challenge for adoptive parents but the results are beautiful as it builds strong family relationships based on trust, honesty and openness," adds Valeria, who has 17 years of guidance counseling experience.

Seven stories that warm the heart

Storytelling has proven to be an effective tool for learning and shaping values. Stories about family are universal. It cuts across cultures and economic class. When parents tell stories to their children, it helps kids learn and understand their environment. For adoptive families, these stories become tools to introduce their children to the idea of adoption.

"At St. Paul College Pasig, teachers strongly encourage parents to find storytelling time for their young children. Our academic team strongly believes that storytelling is

part of a child's learning process. It helps stimulate imagination while strengthening the bond between parents and children,” says, Marisol Fabie, Academic Team Leader, Grade School Department, St. Paul College Pasig. 

Fabie says that their school has had several adopted children as students. “They have grown up as normal students. There is actually no difference between adoptive and natural-born children. The issues and challenges they face are the same. Storytelling help enlighten children on these issues especially for adopted children. These eBooks is good start for adoptive families.” 

Mylene Piedad, an adoptive parent, narrates, “When Paul and I adopted our daughter 8 years, we both agreed that we were going to be honest with her about it. So, I was so happy to find Jamie Lee Curtis’ book, “Tell Me About The Night I was born” in one of our trips to Singapore. The storybook became our way of introducing the concept of adoption to our daughter. As she grew up, we started including details about her own adoption story. She would ask questions about it and we answered her willingly.”

Their daughter now happily tells other people that she was adopted. “One time, we heard her confidently answer her cousins’ questions about her biological family. She made us feel proud,” adds Mylene. The Piedads have recently adopted another baby girl and intend to continue using storybooks to impart to their younger daughter about her own adoption story.

Flipside Publishing Services Inc will be publishing the 7 books online. Honey de Peralta

Vice President & General Manager hopes to see many adoptive families download these eBooks. “Flipside Publishing strongly believes in sending out a very strong and positive message about adoption. Through storytelling, we know we can get the conversation going between parents and adoptive children.” 

“We want families to openly share their stories so more can be inspired to adopt children,” says Atty. Bernadette Abejo, executive-director of ICAB (the Inter-country Adoption Board). The ebooks are available for free download at www.iloveyouanak.com

Adarna House Inc. Director Agno Almario said that these eBooks will open a new category in children’s book. “These eBooks will not only strengthen the bond between parent and child, but plant the seeds for the adoptive child to be enlightened about his or her roots.” Adarna Publishing is one of the country’s biggest publishers of children’s books. 

“There really are no local books that speak of adoption telling or will act as aids in the acts of adoption telling. How fortunate for Filipino adoptive parents and their children that these books are made possible,” adds Ani Almario, School Director of Raya School.
Design and Illustrations

Stanley Chi, a cartoonist from a leading newspaper and illustrator says, “Illustrating for children’s book is a very difficult and challenging task. I need to put myself in the mindset of our audience, children who can be as young as 2 years old. Thus, we literally go back in time.” Stanley has agreed to work on illustrations for a story to be written by Gil Velez, a professor from UST and one of the adoption advocates.

Ben Deluyas, who illustrated one of the eBooks, says, “When I created ‘Juju, Looloo and Baby Wuwu’ I was inspired by a family member who recently adopted a baby girl. As a family, we instantly fell in love with her when we first saw her.  I wrote and illustrated this book to help loving parents tell their adopted kids that they are very special. Deluyas hopes that when adoptive families get the chance to read this book together, “it will strengthen their relationship as a family.”

Mariel Escalabanan, a pre-school schoolteacher from Preschool Camp in Magallanes had read and reviewed all the seven books. She found them all inspiring. “Each story warms the heart of both the parent and the child. Its impact may not be immediate but the memories of these stories last a lifetime.” Mariel adds that a story well told, especially in a fun and animated way adds to the imagination of a child. “Thus, each book can be remembered in its own unique ways for many years.” Mariel is an Early Childhood Education graduate from Dela Salle University.

Positive Change

Raul Castro, Executive Chairman, McCann Worldgroup Philippines, knows that through this advocacy the agency can be true to its vision of driving positive values that will help transform lives. “This campaign on adoption is enabled by a team who commits to the advocacy on a personal level. Many wanted to get involved in the creative work, which aligns with our desire as a company to positively impact on lives”, proudly says Raul. Many Filipino families are willing to open their hearts and homes to adoptive kids. There is an opportunity to encourage this mindset and this is what the communications aims to do. The campaign is a solution that magnifies the life-changing, positive impact of adoption,” adds Raul.

Abejo says, “I am happy to see this adoption advocacy campaign finally come to reality and I am very positive that this campaign will soften the stigma on adoption.” The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) created by Republic Act 8043 (RA 8043) was designated as the central authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption of Filipino children.

The campaign wants to get a clear and simple message across. “Let us openly declare our love for our children. Open our hearts and homes for adopted children and allow love to see beyond differences.”

July 27, 2013

Turbo Movie Review

Turbo is a high-velocity 3D comedy about an ordinary snail who dares to dream the impossible by wanting to join car race. TURBO is a short film, about ninety-six minutes, brought by DreamWorks.  

It is comparable to the movies like Cars and Tron. This is a film by Jarrett Conaway, from the makers of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. 

Although the movie reminds us much of the Cars movie, it was entertaining enough for the kids. What I really like about Turbo is the lesson  they impart to the viewers, especially the young viewers. I find this movie about a racing snail inspirational as it emphasized on reaching for that dream, and doing the impossible possible.  It is a family-friendly movie which is visually entertaining and stunning.

Turbo encourages viewers to be determined, believe in faith and fate and to use will power to its maximum use. The line "no dream is too big and no dreamer is too small" is a quote that my kids remembered. 

Directed by David Soren, It is star-studded, voice by Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg, and my super favorite - Samuel L. Jackson.

Official Synopsis:

Turbo is a high-velocity 3D comedy about an underdog snail who kicks into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed. But after making fast friends with a crew of streetwise, tricked-out es-car-goes, Turbo learns that no one succeeds on their own. So he puts his heart and shell on the line to help his pals achieve their dreams, before Turbo-charging his own impossible dream: winning the Indy 500. 

July 26, 2013

Fashionable Friday: Taking Inspiration from Jennifer Aniston

I wanted to wear something with a blue for Johnson's Baby Milk Bath event, but at that time I didn't have much blue in my closet except for the scarf my insurance agent gave as a Christmas present. I googled  blue scarf to check what to wear for the said event.


Among the many photos that appeared, I chose Jennifer Aniston. And here's how I wore it...

Bench denim pants, Forever 21 white shirt, Bench belt and blue scarf from Ms. Kathryn
Pasado ba sa panlasa ni Jennifer Aniston? Okay, wag na pong punahin ang medyo lumalaki kong tyan, napapadami na naman ng kain lately (hehehehe!) 

The Wolverine

John and I found time yesterday to watch Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman.  My husband who's a fanatic X-Men Novel reader found the story different from the book. Well, most of the movies usually deviate some scenes and stories to suit the time, cinematography and more in the big screen.

As for me, who's a big Hugh fan, the movie was good enough (di ako natulog). Plus, seeing those to- die-for-muscles and a bit of Hugh's behind shots made it, yeah, nice to see...I mean the movie (wink!)

All in all, the movie is still packed with action that is worth watching. If you're a reader like John, you will not be as happy. Butt (err...but, lol!) if like me, you're a Hugh Jackman fanatic, you wouldn't mind spending two hours inside the theater.

July 24, 2013

Mesoesthetic's Ultimate W+ - The Skin Whitening for the Asian Skin

At Felix in Greenbelt, Mesoestetic, the world leader in medical cosmetics launchedUltimate W+ - the skin whitening solution formulated specifically for the Asian skin.

Michael Coyiuto briefly welcomed guests and media before opening lunch buffet.
Mikael Coyiuto, President
Charles Font, COO, introduced to the Philippines Mesoestetic

Dr. Enrique Lorrete, Explained that ultimate W+ is the most comprehensive whitening solutions in the market today because it is enriched with (meso) white complex, a complex based on active substances which helps brighten theskin, reduces wrinkles and fine lines. it also protets against UV rays and  pollution.

Dr. Lucia Fores, Dermatologist Philippines, talked about making sure on buying whitening products that is from company that actually understand the procedures and look at the safety of the skin.

PatriciaFernandez, Bb. Pilipinas international, hosted the event.

Find out more about Mesoestetic® Philippines - skin care innovations from Barcelona, Spain:
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