January 31, 2018


Samuel is the Ecclesiastic Late Latin form of the Ecclesiastic Greek Samouel, which is from the Hebrew Shmuel, a name derived from shěmū’ē‘l (name of God, his name is God). The name Sam is popular in America, which means Sun child; bright sun.

I have always been fascinated with Sam name. I actually used it as my call sign (Sierra Alpha Mike) when I was in college during my two-way radio time. I had so many happy moments under Sam name so when Mommy Berlin of www.momiberlin.com asked me to be ninang to her youngest son Samuel, I felt pure joy!

I take pride whenever I'm asked to be a godparent. Out of 400+ inaanaks, Samuel is my first Sam godson kaya kahit ilang beses na re-sched ang binyagan, I made sure to be there on Sam's Christening day.

Mommy Berlin snd Sam
Mommy Elvie (Berlin's Mom)

Left to right.  SJ of All Around Pinay Mama, Madz of Mommy n More, Kat of Petite Momma, Reylen of Made it Through Mum, Berlin of Momi Berlin and the kids
Succulents are perfect giveaway for any occasions

SJ of All Around Pinay Mama provided these cool bracelets
Take home cola from Sinalco
(Photo courtesy of Mommy Berlin)

January 30, 2018

My Pope Magazine Philippines

I have plenty of Magazine subscriptions catering to fashion, travel and raising kids.  Now, I just learned a magazine that talks about being positive, loving life and feeking good. Start the year bright and light as MY POPE PHILIPPINES brings you the most feel-good issue of the year. Live, Laugh and Love upon browsing thru the pages of this Jan-Feb issue and learn more on how to actively seek and be grateful on the good things that comes your way. Get these 8 tips on how to live a life full of bliss. Tickle your fancy with the pope’s funny side and his confidence in the uplifting “power of laughter”. And with love month just around the corner, My Pope Philippines features the secret to smoother and harmonious life by discovering the five love languages which affects all types of relationships between family members, friends and yes, even sweethearts.

My Pope Kids Jan-Feb 2018 issue shares tips on how to bond with your kids. Can be on a field trip, play cool games or create your own stuff. Also some trivia to add on to that knowledge and values raising your kids.

My Pope Philippines magazine, Jan-Feb issue is now available on all National book stores, 7 Eleven and partner newsstands nationwide for only P85 per copy. For more information, you may text/ call: (+63) 917 711-1818 or email us at subscription@mypope.com.ph. You may also check out our official social media pages- MY POPE PHILIPPINES. Like us on Facebook & follow us on Instagram and remember to always use the hashtag- #mypopeph.

My Pope Philippines Website will be lauched in April where exclusive news and photos of Pope Francis will be shared. Visit www.mypope.com.ph to know more on how to live your life to the fullest, and more content.

My Pope Philippines YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtRI-3I4WUnI4ZCmfLPvc7Q

Day-to-day Themes (weekly). We’re introducing our day-to-day themes on social media to keep our followers engaged and to provide inspiration in all forms–from knowing what makes their favorite personalities happy to seeing trivia and feel-good articles on pop culture!

@mypopeph on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

January 29, 2018

Kris Aquino Signed Contract with Healthy Family Purified Water

Kris Aquino signed contract with Ayala Corp., earlier today at Seda Hotel, as the first ever endorser of Healthy Family Purified Water.

The 24th floor of the hotel were filled with media, guests and also present at the event was Mr. Geodina V. Carpio, President of Manila Water Total Solutions. 

To know more about Healthy Family Purified Water or interested in becoming a distributor/partner, visit www.healthyfamily.com.ph or www.facebook.com/healthyfamilyph

January 28, 2018

The Health Club at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel

While I appreciate all the happinesss, parties, reunions that December brought, it's sad to say that I gained 5 kilos from the merriest month. Though I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, I 'm hoping to achieve and stick to going to the gym this 2018.  My target this year is to be healthier, and sexier (wink, wink!). 

I started January right by going back at The Health Club, located at the ground floor of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.  The last time I was a member at The Health Club was in year 2000. I was at the hotel almost everyday because it was our reception venue so I decided to hit the gym. It was one of the best decisions I made because I reached my desired weight and body measurement. I was blooming during my wedding day.

Fast forward to 2018, I am back at The Health Club, and hoping to be active as I used to be in 2000. Wow, that was 18 years ago!

If you're thinking of joining a health gym, I'm highly recommending The Health Club for the following reasons:

1. A dedicated Flexibility and Stretching Zone boasts the Flex Area by Pavigym and a Stott-Pilates Spring Wall. My favorite group workout, Pilates and Yoga by Coach Sari.
2. The Up-to-the-Moment Cardio section consists of state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines that features Internet connectivity, swipe technology and smartphone-compatible custom-workout settings. 
3.  Go into action at the High-Energy Functional Training Zone, which showcases Synergy 360s for various functional exercises and a Boxing and Mixed-Martial Arts section equipped with the revolutionary BoxMaster. The Exclusive Triathlon Training space provides world-class equipment – the Vasa Swim Ergometer and the Google Map-powered Tour de France Bike and Treadmill.
The Health Club offers a unique workout experience with 5 dedicated fitness zones designed to provide a non-intimidating workout environment that is ideal for all users of all levels. It boasts fully-equipped modern and innovative facilities to help achieve personal fitness goals.
4.  The hotel also features a free-form outdoor swimming pool set amidst a lush tropical garden where guests can enjoy aqua fitness workouts and conditioning exercises. 
5.  Two tennis courts and offers a comprehensive training programme under the supervision of an international tennis training academy.
6. The Health Club provides the On–The-Go Kit containing on-loan items for guests to borrow. 
7. Complimentary Signature Workout Programmes and group exercises are readily available for specific needs and preferences.
8. Boxing and mixed-martial arts section, equipped with the new revolutionary BoxMaster and also features a kicking bag, heavy bag and double-end balls for individual training or circuit-based group classes. 
9. Exclusive triathlon training space for triathletes undergoing training have the following equipment at their disposal: 
10. Steam, sauna, jacuzzi, towels, yoga mat and is available for use of members and hotel guests.

The gym is open 24 hours. Locker room is open up to 12 midnight. Outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts is open 6am – 10pm.

Address 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City, 1650, Philippines
Tel (63 2) 633 8888
Fax (63 2) 631 1067

January 27, 2018

Mommy Mundo’s Preschool Fair 2018

Over the years, Mommy Mundo has always offered an avenue to help parents decide on the best preschool suitable for their children through Mommy Mundo’s Preschool Fair. Although my children aren't pre-schoolers any more (Julia and Rafael are in Grade 9, Juan is in Grade 6), I still attend  Preschool Fair to support Mommy Mundo and see Janice during the event.

Last Saturday at Top Shelf in Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, was another successful event for Janice and her team where  some of Manila’s top preschools for toddlers and young children joined to meet parents, as well as the pre-schoolers.

January 26, 2018

Yo! Panda in Mega

Buyng online isn't my thing because I'm too afraid to be scammed. Lately I've been hooked buying from Metrodeal because I feel safe and secured. For my recent voucher purchase, I bought two Yo! Panda in Mega for P299 each. For P598, Rafael and I enjoyed  Yo! Panda meal worth P1,000!  Not bad bad for a matipid mom like me.

January 25, 2018

Uncovering The Secrets of Vivo’s Success in 2017

There was just no stopping Vivo this 2017. The global smartphone brand proved to be the fastest growing in terms of popularity amongst the young and the hip crowd in the Philippines, settling itself on the third spot in the market beyond brands Apple, Huawei, LG, and Asus. To date, Vivo has at least 1.1 million users and 5,200 stores in the Philippines.

But before finding fame in the Philippines in early 2016, Vivo has already been named as one of the top 5 global smartphone brands and observed the highest year-over-year growth of 32% in global shipments. Vivo’s success remains unprecedented with 200 million Vivo global users and 19 overseas markets in 2017.

What made Vivo successful?

Vivo cares about its users, pushing the brand to constantly innovate and improve user experience. Vivo maintains six research and development centers and continuously improves their products. In order to ensure its top position in the technology and mobile phone arena, Vivo established a technical partnership and patent sharing with leading telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm.

In an aim to provide its users—mostly the young, selfie-centric generation, Vivo launched the world-leading 24MP front camera—one of the industry’s firsts with a special selfie soft light to cater to constant need to document one’s experiences anytime, anywhere, even in dimly lit environments.
Vivo took Sports marketing seriously in 2017

Vivo signed up NBA superstar Stephen Curry in mid 2017 to represent its equally first-rate brand. Likewise, the big-ticket brand became the official sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia which it heavily advertised in the entirety of 2017. In the Philippines, Vivo supported various sports events as co-presenter and sponsor of ABS-CBN NBA Philippines Season 2016 and 2017 and Season 2017 and 2018 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball and UAAP Men’s Basketball Season 80.  

Entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion were a spotlight for Vivo in 2017

Vivo’s entrance into the entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion scene were quite eventful in 2017. During the grand launch of the Vivo V7+, the biggest celebrities were formally introduced as the ambassadors for the brand with Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and Julie Anne San Jose headlining the roster of these star influencers. All in all, Vivo Philippines launched 25 local brand endorsers: Maymay Entrata, BOYBANDPH, Kisses Delavin, Chienna Filomeno, Darren Espanto, Tony Labrusca, Inigo Pascual, Ashley Rivera, Barbie Forteza, Maris Racal, Kira Balinger, Loisa Andalio, Paul Salas, KZ Tandingan, Andrea Brillantes, TJ Monterde, Sassa Dagdag, McCoy, De Leon, Sue Ramirez, Verniece Enciso, Joyce Pring, and Jason Dy.

Vivo also served as co-presenter of the 2018 Mega Fashion Week Spring Summer with their brand influencers Kathryn Bernardo and Kisses Delavin headlining the stylish event.

In order to reach out to more of the younger populace, Vivo mall and school tours were also in abundance with 59 mall tours nationwide featuring the Vivo brand influencers and 19 school tours in various colleges and universities in and out of Manila featuring the best bands and music artists.

ivo helps, heals, and cares

In December 2017, Vivo launched a touching tribute video for the freedom fighters of Marawi which garnered a total of 2.2 million views on the official Vivo Philippines Facebook page and 91,000 interactions. To follow through with their gratitude for the selfless heroism of the soldiers, Vivo paid tribute by way of a pre-Christmas CSR activity at the AFP Hospital. Vivo Philippines volunteers and Vivo brand influencers dropped by to spend time with the wounded soldiers of Marawi to give moral support. The Vivo group offered simple tokens and a bit of entertainment to the delight of the soldiers and their families. 

Vivo, indeed, maintained its momentum in the top tier of the mobile phone industry. This success can be attributed to the brands accurate consumer insight and creative marketing strategy. Vivo is relatable to the global young and hip consumers and is a reachable and serviceable brand anytime, anywhere.

For inquiries about Vivo, visit the Vivo website at www.vivo.com/ph or check out their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VivoPhil), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/vivophil/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/vivo_phil) accounts.

January 24, 2018

Babv Dove

I am a protective mom, very protective that at times my kids feels like I'm choking them. Let's face it, there are no perfect moms, just real ones because all we want is for our children to be protected at all times.

I am happy to annouce that Dove's new line of premium baby care products that go beyond mildness to moisturize baby’s delicate skin is now in the Philippines. Babv Dove has 2 variants: Rich Moisture and Sensitive Moisture, with the following products, Rich Moisture Baby Bar, Rich Moisture Hair-to-Toe wash (200ml & 400 ml), Rich Moisture Baby Lotion, Rich Moisture Baby Shampoo, Rich Moisture Wipes,Sensitive Moisture Baby Bar, Sensitive Moisture Tip-to-toe Wash, and Sensitive Moisture Baby Lotion.  These new products from Dove is recommended by d.ermatologists

#BabyDovePH #RealMoms

January 23, 2018

Travel Fairs in Manila

My plan for 2018 is to travel more so I'm taking it seriously to remember 6 Travel Fairs in Manila that can help me score affortable travel packages.

This travel fairs usually has an entrance fee of P50 and up. It's ok because you'll still be saving a lot. Although there a many food vendors at the venue, I suggest that you bring snack so you don't waste time lining up for food or drinks.

1. PTAA Travel Tour Expo is on Februray 9-11, 2018 at: SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City

2. NAITAS Travel and Trade Show is on April 2018, SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City

3. Travel Madness Expo happens in usually in July. This is where I bought my EL Nido plane tickets.
 SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City

4. Philippine Travel Mart, month of September, SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City

5. World Travel Expo, month of October, SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City

6. Travel Sale Fair, month of November, World Trade Center (2016 venue)

January 22, 2018


When we went to Singapore last year, it was Juan, my youngest son, who's very excited to swim. The twins have lost the appetite for getting wet in the pool then drying afterward. They just find swimming taxing and a waste of time.

So it was just Juan and I who enjoyed lounging at The Sky Park in Marina Bay Sands. Upon entering the glass door Juancho noticed this beautiful spot.

He asked me to stand and this photo came.  I love silhouette photos because it conveys drama, mystery and emotion.   Its simplicity tells story of what the photographer and the model wants to show. In this photo I felt like a beautiful and graceful ballerina.

The next photos were taken at H20 Hotel. Why do I love them? Well because I look sexy on it, minus the stretch marks than can be seen when the photos are not taken as silhouettes.

Sharing here 5, among 8 Easy Steps on How to Photograph Silhouettes by Darren Rowse

1. Choose a strong subject with a strong and recognizable shape that will be interesting enough in its two dimensional form to hold the interest of those viewing your image. 
2. Turn off your Flash
3. Get Your Light Right. The perfect light for this is placing your subject in front of a sunset or sunrise – but really any bright light will be able to do the trick.
4. Frame your image so you are shooting with your subject in front of a nice plain, but bright background. Usually the best backgrounds will be a bright cloudless sky with the sun setting. You want to position the brightest light source behind your subject (either so that they hide it or so that its in the background somewhere).
5. Make silhouetted shapes distinct and uncluttered. If there is more than one shape or object in the image that you’re attempting to silhouette, try to keep them separated. 

January 21, 2018

Daranak Falls

Daranak Falls is one of Tanay, Rizal's pride. It is located at Bgy. Tandang Kutyo, at the foot of Tanay Mountain. Depending on the traffic, it takes about an hour and a half drive from Manila.  We reached the place in 45 minutes because we went there at 7 in the morning.  We were told that the 14-meter high falls is a favorite location shooting for movies and big television networks' telenovelas.

Expect that this place is very crowded during summer. We were advised that January and February are the best months to visit, and make sure it's a weekday.

January 20, 2018

Martessem Mountain Resort

El Nido Palawan is one of the most beautiful places John and I visited. We've met a lot of international and local tourists. Among them, we enjoyed most the conversations we had with Mike Catuira from Tanay and his friends.

Although we've explored Tanay in the past, we haven't heard of Martessem. Well because Mike said it just recently opened last year. He highly recommended Martessem for its stunning sea of clouds view. That conversation was last July 2017 and was only able to finally visit Martessem early today. 

We didn't get to see the sea of clouds but we enjoyed the trip, we like the view, the cold weather and  their coffee which is good enough to make us stay for the whole day and just stare at the lovely site of nature. As Greg Anderson once said, "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."
We're definitely going back, next time with the kids, to see that sea of clouds. What we did for a half day tour? We had unlimited coffee for P50 each. John ate tapsilog (forgot the exact amount). We took photos and videos. We wanted to see the rooms, they only have 7 room for now, but they have a wedding so it was fully booked.

For now, feel free to watch our quick getaway from Manila.

Martessem Mountain Resort
KM58, Lansangang Marikina-Infanta, Bayan ng Tanay, Lalawigan ng Rizal
(02) 697 1170

January 19, 2018

Mommy Mundo's Preschool Fair

Choosing the best pre-school isn't that easy. I know that for a fact since I have three children. Make it easy for yourself, moms and dads by joining Mommy Mundo's Preschool Fair will take place this January 27 (Saturday) at Top Shelf in Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The event will feature some of Manila’s top preschools for toddlers and young children. There will also be talks on early child development, developmental play, and technology use during the fair.

Over the years, Mommy Mundo has always offered an avenue to help parents decide on the best preschool suitable for their children through Mommy Mundo’s Preschool Fair. This concept was one of the first events Mommy Mundo Founder, Janice Villanueva, started with when she launched her parenting advocacy events back in 2000. In this event, Mommy Mundo gathers top preschools in Manila, and ask them to showcase their portfolio through an interactive exhibit --- where parents and kids could come and learn more about the schools and raise questions or inquiries directly to the teachers & instructors.

January 18, 2018


I am currently subscribed at 5 Languages of Love site and I'm lovin' it because they send emails that is helpful for all human relationships.  

Today's email is all about Anger. Sharing here...

Hi Joy,

In all human relationships, people will find certain behavioral characteristics irritating. Though the particular behaviors may differ, the resulting irritations often stir anger within us. For the most part, this anger is a distorted anger. By that I mean that the other person's behavior is not usually morally wrong; he or she has not perpetrated an evil against us. Their behavior simply violates our preferences. If the relationship is a close relationship and the person is one with whom we spend a great deal of time, such as in family or vocation, it is sometimes helpful to seek to mitigate these irritations by requesting change. Please notice I said requesting, not demanding or manipulating. None of us responds well to a demanding or manipulative approach. If we have a generally positive relationship, however, most of us are willing to respond well to requests.

The bottom line is that in most relationships, assuming we feel loved and respected by the other person, most of us are willing to make changes if they come in the form of a request rather than a demand. Such requests and subsequent changes can alleviate many of the irritating behaviors that stimulate anger.

If you'd like to receive emails such as this, subscribe at 5lovelanguages.com

January 17, 2018

Inax Immersion at Okada Manila

LIXIL, the Japanese global leader  in shower seat technology, has once again set the recors in terms of comfort and luxury as they hosted Inax Immersion at Okada Manila.  The event was a success with the full attendance of Lixil's top executives, guests, media. Even actress and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla was there.  Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez hosted the event.

Lixil on its milestone 50th year continues to spearhead  innovation, inventing and reinventing smart toilet systems, producing world-first technologies, and  developing  the most  advanced sanitary ware products    that   shape the market  and enhance  living spaces. Inax, with its Plasmacluster Technology  that cleans even the air after every use;  its  hands-free convenience with its fully automated system delights,  and its   automatic seat and cover with a built-in sensor to open and close its lid whenever it detects the presence of a user simply amazes the indulged guest. Inax deodorizer kicks into action instantly. Another hands-free feature is competently demonstrated in its fully automatic flushing action where flushing will occur as soon as the user steps away from the toilet.

To xperience Inax and its fine bath products at Okada Manila or email customerserviceph@lixil.com 

January 16, 2018

Mara Smith

This is Mara Smith, one of my favorite models in the whole wide world. She may not (yet) be well-known by others at this time but for me and my family Mara has already achieved what others could just be dreaming of. Mara is now a model at L Scout Model Placement, and has travelled several countries and modelled for international brands like Calvin Kline.

Grabbed from Mara's FB Profile
I've first written about Mara when she was a 15 year old aspiring model and singer. My husband, John, was the first one to shoot Mara to help her build a portfolio. 

I first met Mara in 2009 at Grace to be Born - where she and her mom volunteered during weekends to tend to abandoned babies and pregnant moms.  I first noticed Mara's beautiful and expressive eyes, and of course her height. Her semblance to Wilma Doesnt and Tyra Banks was apparent, too.  Mara's mom, Ate Lou, and I talked for long hours about Mara's dream of becoming a model. But due to financial constraint, she can't enroll to reputable modelling schools here in Manila.

Long-story short, Mara Smith has come a long way and I'm really happy and proud of her. I will continue to support and pray for her until the time she can finally help someone as well. Mara made me happier when she took the time to meet me during her short vacation after her Milan work. May pasalunong pang Chanel perfume! I told her, gifts isn't necessary but very much appreciated.

January 15, 2018

Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia Trip in 10 Days

John and I used to travel a lot but the last time we went on an out of the country trip was in 2001. We got busy as I took medical care under Dr. Roger Mendiola to conceive. Luckily, we had the twins in 2002. After 3 years I got pregnant again and gave birth in 2006. From then on, our travels were all Philippines bound, bringing the yayas and any relatives and friends who'd like to join us.

When the twins turned 7, I planned for a Hong Kong Disneyland tour but it was cancelled. Every year since then, I'd book and pay for a trip but would always be cancelled due to the class schedules of my kids and weather.  Last July, I booked a Singapore trip at the Travel Fair. I didn't tell my kids about it right away because I was afraid their class schedules might change again.

To cut the long story short, the weather and class schedules finally agreed and allowed us to travel. Again and again, I'm thankking my friends Ampeloquio Family, Vangie, Honey and Family for helping and accommodating us for this Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia Trip in 10 Days.

Singapore isn't only the most expensive city in Southeast Asia – it's the most expensive city in the world, topping the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 Worldwide Cost of Living survey for the third year in a row. That said, I made sure to maximize our time there. For 10 days, this was our jampacked itinerary:

Oct 23  6pm Naia
Oct 24 Arrived Sing Airport at 1am
            Stayed at Vanj Cua's place til 7am
            Early check in at Costa Sands at 9am
            Universal Studios at 10am to 6pm
Oct 25 - Costa Sands
              Sea Aquarium
              Tour around Sentosa, Vivo City
               Merlion Light Show at night
Oct 26 -  Madame Tussauds
               Checked in at Marina Bay Sands
               Helix Bridge         
Oct 27 -  Marina Bay Sands
               Shopping and sight-seeing
               Back at Vanj place to sleep
Oct 28    Indonesia
               Went at Ampeloquoi's place to catch up and stay for the night
Oct 29   Checked in at Legoland Hotel
Oct 30    Legoland
Oct 31    Twin Towers at Kuala Lumpur
Nov 1      KL Airport 820am
                Arrived Manila, Naia 1215pm

Legoland, Malaysia

Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia