13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards Winner (Family Category)

Last August, I received the good news that my book, Grace Up Grace: A widow’s journey, was chosen as the lone finalist in the Family Category of the 13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards.

I dreamed of great things for this book.  When I was writing this, I dreamed for it to reach the far corners of the world and even the farthest ends of the earth.  This is why when friends and family started bringing my book to the different parts of the globe to share to friends and even strangers, I was ecstatic! But then it urned out that the Lord has something far better for me. It is this:


Who would have thought that in an amazing twist of fate or rather faith, a rookie author like me would stand alongside legendary authors in the Catholic publishing world, as one of the winners of 13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards.  Truly the Lord annointed my head with oil and my cup overflows.

It is true what they say, as long as you trust and believe in Him, the Lord will take you farther than your dreams, for what He has for you is always way better than what you imagined.

To everyone who bought, read, and gave the book to others as a gift, I share this wonderful blessing with you. My mission to spread God’s beautiful message of joy amidst grief, and triumph over pain and sorrow, wouldn’t have been complete if you didn’t give the book a chance to heal/inspire you (and others). Thank you! Claim this win as yours too for I gladly share this with all of you.

To God be the glory and my dear Mama Mary, this is for you.☺️

P.S. If you wish to purchase Grace Upon Grace, kindle version is available for pruchase at amazon.com. For printed copy, message me at blancnotes@gmail.com

Happiness: A healthy recipe for the skin

Did you know that you need 43 muscles to frown whereas you only need 17 muscles to smile?! Compared to frowning, smiling also does not take much effort, and unlike frowning, it does not cause facial lines and wrinkles that tend to make you look tired and God-forbid?! O-L-D! Plus, aside from appearing gracious and friendly to others, you would actually be spreading good cheer.

The positive vibe resonates even among strangers. In a room full of people, notice how you are easily drawn to the one who flashes a beautiful smile. Having a light and cheerful outlook easily spells happiness. It is an unexpected treat especially when one is having a stressful day.

Starting the day with an infectious smile is like opening the door to more good tidings. You feel light, happy, and beautiful. But then of course, we also cannot deny the fact that there will always be those bad days when our patience will run thin. In this cases,  we can always choose to lighten the load by looking at the bright side or taking a deep breath to attract positive vibes.

Did you know that the warm, wonderful feeling that we label happiness is caused by the release of neurotransmitters endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Every time we receive good news or we feel excited the brain releases these happy hormones into the nervous system.  They are the ones responsible for our infectious giggles and hearty laughter. Happiness is, indeed, just around the corner. In this case, in our brain corner! And this can only mean one thing, we don’t have to wait for good news or thrilling events to happen, with a little bit of freedom and creativity, we can incite happiness! How can we do this you might ask? Well, here are some tips:

Goal Fulfillment

When you feel good about accomplishing your desired task for the day, or your boss compliments your excellent performance that wonderful feeling is known as a dopamine hit. You can achieve that vibe by setting realistic goals or by simply finding ways to love your work.

Regular Exercise

Seratonin is a natural anti-depressant. You release a healthy amount of serotonin when you exercise regularly. A 10-minute brisk walk, or 30-minute hip hop exercise can do wonders to your mood. I have recently went back to running after a long hiatus, and I must say, I have never been this happier..again!

Healthy Skin

Maintaining a happy disposition also brings out a youthful glow. Positive emotions promote skin renewal because it keeps the hormones in check. Notice how pimples immediately show up when you are sad and stressed out. Aside from negative emotions, other factors that can cause pimples include poor diet, genetics, and exposure to dirt and pollution.

Achieving healthy skin can be as easy as one, two, three with the Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System with its Smart Target technology that delivers anti-acne formulation directly to the pores.  Here’s how the Proactiv+ 3-step Clear System works:

Step 1: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. After washing with a facial cleanser to remove dirt, oil and other impurities, apply the exfoliator on damp skin. Give the face a two-minute massage before completely rinsing with warm water.

Step 2: Pore Targeting Treatment.  This stops the acne at the source. The blemish-fighting solution is directly applied on the pores by spreading it evenly all over cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. Leave on face until full absorption.

Step 3:  Complexion Perfect Hydrator. The moisturizer heals redness, helps diminish awkward acne marks, and brightens skin. Apply on face until full absorption. Reapply during the day as needed. Don’t forget to put sunscreen if you need to go outdoors.

The Proactiv+ 3 Step Skin System is available at Watsons and SM Department stores nationwide. The 30-day kit is sold at Php 3,250.00 and includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 60 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 30ml and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 30 ml while the 60-day kit is sold at Php 4,680.00 and includes Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 120 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 60ml, and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 60 ml.

Visit watsons.com.ph and start your Proactiv+ 3-step Clear Skin System.


For those of you who are curious as to how PROACTIV+ actually works to eliminate pimples that would often lead to horrendous breakouts, here’s a quick rundown of some frequently asked questions about these amazing product:

1. What is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is a 3-Step skin care system that clears blemishes and prevent future breakouts. It helps to:

  •  clear Blemishes and prevent future breakouts
  • hydrate and soften skin
  • improve visible texture and clarity
  • reduce visible pore size
  • control and balance oily skin
  • helps reduce the appearance of redness
  • brighten and smooth skin
  • enhance overall skin radiance
  • diminish look of dark marks and wrinkles

2. Who can use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is for any teen or adult who struggles with blemish-prone skin and suffers from breakouts. It works for men and women of all ages, skin types, and ethnicities. It appeals most especially to women in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties who desire high quality skincare products.

The recommended age to begin using Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is 12 years and older, however the products are safe and effective for all age groups with adolescent and adult acne. For preteens, we recommend that you start slowly by using the products every other day. However, if you are unsure, we suggest that you consult your GP or pediatrician before applying the products.

3. Can I use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System on my body as well as my face?

Yes, you can use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System on any blemish-prone area.

4.  Will Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System work if I use the products individually rather than as a system?

The products within the Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System have been carefully designed to work together to achieve maximum results. Each product has been formulated to complement the other two. To keep your skin looking and feeling its best, use the products together as a system. You will also receive optimum results by using them twice a day as directed.

5. Will Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System clog my pores?

No. Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System was formulated to be non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging).

6. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System an anti-ageing regime?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is better described as an anti-blemish regime designed with skin care benefits in mind – notably smaller looking pores, improved texture and tone, visibly faded unwanted pigmentation, demised appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhanced hydration and suppleness, and a brighter, more luminous complexion.

7. Can I wear make-up over Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Yes, you can still wear make-up, but always look for products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. And always remove make-up before working out.

8. I am outside in direct sunlight for most of the day. Is it safe to use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Yes. However, you should always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Apply Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System first, then the sunscreen.

9. Does Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System have any side effects?

Side effects are usually mild, and include drying or irritation in some users who are sensitive to Salicylic Acid. If you are concerned or desire more information, we recommend you discuss with your GP.

10. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System hypoallergenic?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is not for people who are allergic to Salicylic Acid. However, many of our ingredients were selected due to their hypoallergenic properties. The products founds within the Proactiv+ 3-Step System are also paraben-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) and suitable for all skin types.

11. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System sold as pack or can components be bought individually?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is sold as a kit. It includes Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Pore Targeting Treatment and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator. The Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is available at Watsons and SM Department stores nationwide. Proactiv+ 30-day kit is sold at Php3,250 and includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 60 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 30ml and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 30 ml while the Proactiv+ 60-day kit is sold at Php4,680 and includes Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 120 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 60ml, and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 60 ml.

There you have it folks, hope this helps especially for those who wants to try the Proactiv+ 3_Step Clear Skin System.:)

Skincare Tips from Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System

If you have acne prone skin like me and you value every bit of tip you can get your hands to on how to stay pimple free and blemish free, here are some advice from Proactiv dermatologist Dr. Laura Savage on how to take care of your skin. Hopefully, these will help you on your acne journey as well.

Tip #1 – Cleanse gently and wisely
While deep cleansing sounds desirable to purify oily blemish-prone skin, over-washing and harsh cleansers can do more damage than good – by stripping away the protective barrier, skin is left dry and vulnerable to bacteria. Avoid using soap too – the high pH of soap will dry the skin and cause a compensatory surge in oil production, leaving skin in a confused state with an undesirable combination of dry and greasy patches. Choose a cleanser containing helpful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid to help soothe inflamed pimples, and gently massage over the entire face and neck for at least 60 seconds (to allow any active ingredients to take effect).

Avoid cleaners and toners containing harsh alcohol-based astringents and ingredients such as witch hazel, which typically cause a sting on application and make the skin appear red. Small flaking patches might indicate you’re over cleansing, so ease back and then gradually increase the frequency of use as your skin adjusts and gets used to the product.

I was guilty of over washing at some point. I have this mistaken notion that I can wipe off all my pimples if I wash my face more than usual and use astringents that sting. I could not have been more wrong.  To this day, I still regret that decision because it has left permanent scarring on my face. 

Tip #2 – Make salicylic acid your star ingredient
Salicylic acid is one of the most effective non-prescription ingredients that prevents breakout. It  is a great choice of exfoliant for those with spot-prone and oily skin too since it targets pimples by sloughing away dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts. Onen of its secret magic too is, it minimizes pore visibility.

I am a great fan of salicylic acid. You can never go wrong with acne medications that have salicylic in them like Proactiv!

Tip #3 – Moisturize!
A common misconception is that moisturizing is bad for oily skin prone to breakouts. It’s true that many creams and lotions contain ingredients that can block pores and make breakouts worse, so never put a product designed for your body near your face. Look for products labelled ‘non-comedogenic’, which is a fancy way of saying they don’t contain ingredients that block pores and lead to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads.

Hydrating the skin with an oil-free moisturizer will not only counteract the drying effect of many spot treatments, but also loosen the pore-blocking sebum (skin debris and grease) leading to clearer and healthier skin.

I used to avoid putting moisturizer on my face because I have oily skin. I feel like I am adding more grease on my face every time I put them on. Turns out, I was using the wrong kind of face moisturizer. In acne prone skin, mositurizers can actually help the healing process. 

Tip #4 – Give it time and be optimistic
Sometimes your skin can take a while to adjust to new products or active ingredients. Direct your attention away from the guide on the bottle and focus only on your skin. If you experience signs of irritation or over-drying, try reducing the application to every other day (or even less often) for a couple of weeks before gradually increasing back to daily.

Remember that it can take 4-6 weeks for breakouts to diminish, so you need to persevere with a new product for at least this long (and ideally a bit longer) before really deciding whether it is doing the trick and clearing your skin.

I am the queen of impatience! The reason why my acne took time to cure was because I kept changing products every two weeks especially when I don’t see immediate improvements. After a long serious talk with a dermatologist, I decided to stick it out and exhibit the patient of a saint. Treating acne can be a good training in virtue as well.:)

Tip #5 – Keep your hands off!
As tempting and satisfying as it is, squeezing a pimple really is the worst thing you can do so keep your hands off! Pressure on an inflamed pimple will push the contents of the grease gland (oil, bacteria and dead skin cells) into the surrounding healthy skin which causes damage and more inflammation. Squeezing can lead to a temporary darkening of the skin (so called ‘post-inflammatory pigmentation’) that can take weeks, even months to settle, and scarring, which can be permanent and difficult to treat – not cool. If you really find it difficult to resist squeezing, try applying a warm compress instead to the pimple for 5 minutes to reduce any swelling and then apply a small amount of salicylic acid-based product.

Who couldn’t resist popping a zit on her face? Me! And I have always bore the brunt of that silly decision. Believe me when I say that it takes every bit of self control for me not to do that especially when I see and feel a throbbing pimple on my face. Over the years though, I have come to appreciate the wisdom behind this advise. I sure would not want to end up with a face full of “tiny craters.”

Tip #6 – Review your make up choices and clean your brushes
It’s a fact that as breakouts worsen, the more we try to conceal them by putting on more make-up than usual. For pimple-prone skin, it is essential that we choose the right cosmetic and clean the applicators we use regularly to prevent future breakouts. Mineral-based make up products are a good option as they contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and silica that mop up excess oil without blocking pores. Also, switch to a concealer that contains a blemish-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid to not only reduce the visibility of blemishes but also help reduce the size.

Like in the case of not washing your face daily, make-up brushes can also accumulate a  layer of pore-clogging product, dirt and bacteria – your skin’s worst enemies. So, aim to cleanse your brushes at least once a week using baby shampoo or a professional brush cleaner to keep them in tip top condition.

I am not a heavy make-up user.  In fact, I can do way with it everyday, But, when it is necessary for me to wear one, I make sure that the brushes and sponges I’ll use are clean and the make-up products I’ll apply are acne friendly, since my face is sensitive to make-up.

Tip #7 – Review your diet
For many years, the jury was out as to whether there was a link between diet and breakouts – the hard evidence was simply lacking. But then over the years, dermatologists have seen a correlation between the hormones in cow’s milk and oil production that promote and cause breakouts. Similarly, foods with a high glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugars, causing a rise in hormone levels and sending grease glands into an oily overdrive. Try reducing cow’s milk intake to just 1-2 servings per day (or choose an unsweetened alternative like almond milk), and cut out fatty foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and refined sugars (generally found in all the foods you know are bad for you!) Even if your skin doesn’t dramatically improve, your waistline will!

I am diabetic and my usual gauge if I have too much sugar in my body is the presence and abscence of a skin breakout. My diabetologist says, too much sugar can cause inflammation and formation of cystic pimples is one example. Trust me when I say that it is better to lay off from the sugar than to cure a cystic breakout.

Tip #8 – Use a good skincare routine like Proactiv+
Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System has Smart Target technology that delivers acne-fighting formulation directly into the pores. It is formulated to address blemishes PLUS it helps deliver benefits such as improved skin texture and clarity, and brighter, radiant, and smoother skin.

The 3-step system starts with a Smoothing Exfoliator which removes excess dirt and other impurities. The exfoliator is applied on damp skin and rinsed with warm water after two minutes. The second step is called the Pore Targeting treatment where the lotion is applied all over the face for full absorption. This stops the acne at the source because it delivers blemish-fighting ingredient directly into the pore. The final process of the Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System is the application of the Complexion Perfect Hydrator. This moisturizer will reduce redness and will help brighten the skin as it works to lighten acne marks.

I have tried Proactiv+ and it really works. If you have been searching all this time for an effective acne medication treatment, I recommend you try Proactiv+ today and discover for yourself the wonders it can to for your skin. 

About Dr. Laura Savage:

Dr. Savage studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where she also obtained an honours degree in pathology. She trained as a Dermatologist within the Yorkshire Deanery. This included three-and-a-half years of research investigating the use of biological therapy in psoriatic disease culminating in the award of a PhD degree.

Here’s Dr. Savage taking about the importance of sticking with a skin routine to get rid of blemishes.


Proactiv Plus 3-Step Clear Skin System Product Information

I struggle with acne and I have been in constant search for the right treatment that would control my breakouts. Believe me, I have tried them all, over-the-counter medicines, even the popular ones plugged in social media, and countless treatment combinations from different dermatologists. But then, nothing works better than Proactiv+.

What is the Proactiv+ 3-Step System?

Proactiv believes that everyone deserves the confidence that comes with clear skin. Whatever your skin condition, age or lifestyle, the Proactiv+ skincare solution can work for you.

Proactiv+ which has been developed by dermatologists contains blemish-fighting ingredients including an exclusive Smart Target technology. The following contents make it one of the leading acne solution in the market:

+ Salicylic Acid: this ingredient helps remove dead skin cells which often lead to clogged pores.

+ Glycolic Acid: like salicylic acid, this ingredient is renowned for its exfoliating properties. It helps loosen dead skins cells and make face appear more radiant.

Proactiv+ is for those who struggle with blemish-prone skin and suffers from breakouts.  It works for men and women of all ages. But then, it would appeal especially to women in their twenties to fifties who desire high quality skincare products.

Here are just some of the benefits one can get from using Proactiv Plus:

  • Helps to clear blemishes and prevent future breakouts
  • Hydrate and soften skin
  • Improve visible texture and clarity
  • Helps reduce visible pore size
  • Control and balance oily skin
  • Helps reduce the appearance of redness
  • Brighten and smoothen skin
  • Helps enhance overall skin radiance
  • Helps diminish look of dark marks and wrinkles

Proactiv Plus Kit Includes:

Step 1: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator

Step 2: Pore Targeting Treatment

Step 3: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator

For best results it is recommended that  Proactiv+ be used consistently. Using Proactiv+ regularly and following the 3 steps of the Core System both in the morning and at night before going to bed will instantly result to improved skin.  This is because the blemish-fighting ingredients in Proactiv+ works to keep your skin clear and your pores targeted. The 3 Core System includes the following:

Step 1: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
The Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator contains blemish-fighting salicylic acid and gentle exfoliating beads which helps to gently remove dead skin cells, dirt, oil and other pore clogging impurities while caring for your skin.

How to use:

+ Apply a coin-size amount to dampened skin.

+ Using fingertips, gently massage in circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes, avoiding the eye area.

+ Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

+ Pat dry and follow with Step 2.

The Skin Smoothing Exfoliator contains gentle exfoliating beads (paraffin) and blemish fighting ingredients. As you apply the product, the exfoliant work to slough away dead skin cells, dirt, oil, grime and makeup – as well as any other pore-clogging impurities. The salicylic acid in this Proactiv+ product works to fight blemishes while Glycolic Acid helps to improve skin texture.

Step 2: Pore Targeting Treatment
Step two is the Pore Targeting Treatment. The secret to this amazing product is how it gets to work deep in your pores to break down dirt, dead skin cells, and sebum thus. It not only clears pore but also helps to tone and tighten them, thus, improving the texture of your skin. If your skin is irritated and sore, it  soothes the irritation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to use:

+ Apply to clean, dry skin.

+ Use a pearl sized amount and apply to entire face.

+ Do not rinse off. When fully absorbed, follow with Step 3.

Step 3: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
The Complexion Perfecting Hydrator starts by hydrating your skin, leaving it feeling smooth, supple, and even-textured. It helps reduce the appearance of redness, blemish marks, and any imbalance of dryness and excess oil. It also help reduce the appearance of breakouts and prevent blemishes from reappearing.

How to use:

+ Apply a minimum of a large coin-size amount to dry skin.

+ Gently smooth over entire face – do not rinse off.

+ Reapply throughout the day if needed. If going outside follow with an SPF 15 or higher.

I had a chance to try this and I must say it really works. I love how it prevents blemishes from appearing after a breakout which in my case can be nasty especially when I am nearing my period. I noticed too that ever since I started using this, my pimples don’t grow into painful, cystic ones.  They dry easily too. Since I have an oily face, I also love how it controls the oil without leaving my face totally dry. Now, I have just the right amount of shine on my face making it appear more like radiant.

Here’s a video on how to use Proactiv+:

The Proactiv+ 30 day kit which includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 60 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 30 ml, Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 30 ml, retails at Php3,250.

While Proactiv+ 60 day kit which includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 120 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 60 ml, Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 60 ml, retails at Php4,680.

The Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear System is available at Watsons stores nationwide.

Wish A Prize for this exciting Expo Mom South Giveaway

This is it, mamas! ✨ Time to check something off your wishlist because Mommy Mundo Expo Mom is making some wishes come true! An exciting giveaway for #ExpoMomSouth is coming our way !

Wish-A-Prize is an @expomom giveaway where you can wish for the prize YOU want!

Mechanics are easy, all you have to do is:

Post your entries from today until June 27, 6PM and they will announce 3 winners on June 28 (Friday)!  Please note that winners must claim their prize during Expo Mom South from June 29-30 at Alabang Town Center!

Three prizes a day will be posted at Mommy Mundo social media pages until this Friday. You can change your wish if your entry is chosen so mamas, start posting and start making those wishes!


Expo Mom South is happening on June 29 – 30, Saturday to Sunday at Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City, from 10AM to 9PM!

Expo Mom, now on its 12th year, is the longest running event of its kind.  It is Mommy Mundo’s banner event where moms-to-be, dads, kids, and whole families are gathered to witness a showcase of the latest top mom picks and services!

Expo Mom continues its promise of providing moms with everything and anything they could possibly need to make taking care of their families a happy experience!  Enjoy jam-packed activities for two days filling your shopping bags with amazing & trusted finds from local mompreneurs and exhibitors, lounge areas for mom, dad, and kids to enjoy, and all-day on-stage program for you! Learn from the workshops and talks from the experts tackling the latest on parenting and motherhood, pregnancy, parenting, self-care, and many more! 

Different ways you can #PassItOnMom at 

Expo Mom South 2019!





Pre-register for Expo Mom South 2019 at 


Expo Mom South is co-presented by Baby Dove, Sun Life FinancialCycles, Cradle Natural. W Express is their official courier while  Inquirer.net, InqPop! are their official media partners. Official venue for this year Expo Mom South is Alabang Town Center. 

Grace Upon Grace Book

I took a short hiatus from this blog mainly to focus on finishing my book, Grace Upon Grace (A widow’s journey).  And I did finish it! In fact, I launched it last November 18, 2018. 


It took me six long years to finish my book. Much love, sacrifice, and yes tears were put into the writing of this. I went through a long period of self- doubt and eventually discernment in order to be sure that every word, sentence, and paragraph clearly convey the message God wants you to know through my story. 

Indeed, there is really no escaping God when He wants us to do something. I have put off writing this book many times but it continued to haunt me in my dreams and even my every waking minute, and so when I turned forty last year, I decided to fully commit to the goal of publishing this book. What I struggled to finish in six years, I made sure to finish in six month and it is just amazing how God led me to Margie Quimpo-Espino, former Business features editor of Inquirer, who readily agreed to edit the book even on short notice; To Eloise Valencia-Lozada, professional photographer, who eagerly volunteered to shoot the cover; To Boom and Matt Domingo, co-owner of Casa Domingo, who graciously offered their beautiful home as the backdrop of our cover photos, and to Ms. Beng Robles of Inkwell, my publisher who did an amazing job turning my manuscript into a paperback. 

Clearly,  the essence and purpose of my long, difficult, and grace-filled journey is to write this book–to help the hurting find healing, to help the lost navigate their way in the darkness, to help the grieving find joy in sadness, to help the hopeless discover their dreams again, and to help the fearful and uninspired to find the courage to do what they have always wanted to do for themselves and others. So yes, this book is not only for the widows.  It is for everyone who is looking for an inspiration or even an affirmation that yes, despite the struggles that we face, life as we know it, is still good, for the very reason that, God’s grace is sufficient, limitless, and overflowing. His grace will meet all our needs. 

If you are interested to get a printed copy, send me a message at blancnotes@gmail.com or download the kindle version of the book in amazon.com. Just click this LINK.

Special thanks  to  Mr. Ryan Chan of B Hotel, for graciously opening B Hotel’s door for me and for making my dream of launching my book in a big venue come true.

Anytime Fitness: My Healthier Place

Anytime Fitness is Paving the Way to a Healthier Place. Anytime Fitness is the leading global neighborhood gym, providing convenient and unconstrained 24-hour access to members, 365 days a year. With currently more than 4,000 gyms open worldwide across a span of 30 countries—and over 70 operational branches just within the Philippines, Anytime Fitness has enjoyed extraordinary growth since it was first founded in 2002 alongside its dedication to its members’ fitness both in and out of the trademark purple gym.

The brand’s constant support for healthy lifestyles outside the gym is what spurs this latest campaign: “My Healthier Place,” a series of pop-up classes and competitions happening throughout the month of August 2018. There will be three major events happening in popular locations across the country: one in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo specifically. Each event has been paired with their own selection of special classes and demos hosted by certified Anytime Fitness instructors and special partner brands.

More than a decade after its founding, Anytime Fitness has stayed loyal to its core principle that the healthy lifestyle should be as accessible and unhindered as it can possibly be. Now, the brand aims to bring the healthy lifestyle even closer to everyday life—because even if Anytime Fitness has their gyms available 24/7, the average gym-goer only spends about 30 minutes to an hour inside. In fact, 30 minutes of exercise is all that’s necessary to maintain the regular adult’s health. But in bringing fun exercise trends closer to the everyday Filipino, Anytime Fitness allows both the gym buffs and the average human to spend more time thinking about taking care of their health.


“My Healthier Place” is not just for the gym buffs or fitness gurus. It’s a much-needed reminder that everyone’s gym—no matter how convenient, well-equipped, accommodating, or purple—is still just the starting point. Whether your everyday routine involves walking to the office, doing a quick home workout, or having a yoga session during that beach vacation, the real gym-goers are accountable to their body’s fitness anytime, anywhere. So why not join Anytime Fitness as they explore and celebrate the different healthier places of members both in or outside the gym?
The Anytime Fitness “My Healthier Place” campaign culminates on August 25, from 8:00AM to 8:00PM, at Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater with the crowning of their various contest winners. As a bonus, Anytime Fitness will also be hosting free fitness classes! To top it all off, awesome prizes will be awarded by sponsors throughout the day of games and activities.

Serving as a timely reminder that fitness takes many different shapes and sizes, “The Search for the Next Digital Ambassador,” which has been running since July 30, will also conclude the ceremonies at BGC. The online contest was open to everyone willing to participate, and the candidate with the most likes on their Facebook post and highest score awarded from a panel of Anytime Fitness judges will be crowned the Next Digital Ambassador 2018. Finally, there is also the much-awaited tournament: The Battle of the Purple Warriors, where five qualifying teams made up of Anytime Fitness’ best and most loyal members and coaches will battle it out in an exciting series of obstacles—from the standard push ups and sit ups to more challenging attempts like deadlifting weights. This is a battle that will surely have contestants breaking a sweat, while juggling elements like time and finesse. Only the best of the best will be given the honor of being crowned the new Battle of the Purple Warrior Champions.

Anytime Fitness is eager to host these upcoming days of fitness fun and activities. In keeping aligned with our mission of making exercise as accessible as possible, everyone is invited! All of our special fitness classes, headed by some of our best certified AF instructors, happening in these locations will be available to non-members as well as members. Your first time? Experience some of the hottest fitness trends like Yoga, Zumba, Pound, Circuit, Metapower, and more. Membership is not necessary here. (But we can talk membership after.) The Anytime Fitness My Healthier Place Campaign is co-presented by Havaianas, with our official hydratio partner Gatorade, supported by New Balance, Arena, Pro Touch, McCormick, La Espanola, ProSource, Sabrina’s Kitchen, Treetop, Regilaif, Nestle, Precor, Finix, Kkday.com, and Samsung. Media partners include Inquirer.net, InqPOP, CNN Philippines, TV5, Espn Sports and Manila Bulletin.

You can still join us at culminating events at Bonifacio Highstreet, BGC, Taguig City, by pre-registering on http://bit.ly/MHPMetroManila with your details to save a slot and score some free Anytime Fitness merchandise! Step out of the gym for Anytime Fitness’ “My Healthier Place” and let’s make fitness part of live, anytime, anywhere.

Anytime Fitness SM CDO Downtown Premier on August 4
Classes: Metapower, Yoga, Zumba
Anytime Fitness Greenfield District, Iloilo on August 11
Classes: Circuit, Yoga, Zumba
Culminating event: Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on August 25
Classes: Yoga, Belly Dancing, Pound

Love Letters to God (Lenten Devotion 2018)

40 Day Lenten Devotion 2018
Day 1: Dear Lord, help me fix my steady gaze on you this lent. May I develop a heart that longs only for you and a spirit that delights in pleasing you.
Day 2: Dear Lord, may we remain firm and committed in loving and honoring you this season of lent. May our choices be guided by your holy spirit, and our actions be blessed by your grace. Amen.
Day #3: Dear Lord, thank you for always anticipating my needs, for lining up solutions to my problems even before I bring them to you, and for being one step ahead of me all the time. May I always be aware and sesitive to your gentle insistent proddings so I won’t easily give in to anxiety, worry, and despair. As I affixed my steady gaze on you this lent Lord, may peace that you alone can give rein in my heart. Amen.
Day #4: Dear God, “what if your blessings come through raindrops. What if Your healing comes through tears. What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near. What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?!”—-Then I welcome each and every heartache and all the sleepness nights. I won’t detest the struggle or give up the fight, if this is what it takes to have you and know that you are by my side, I welcome them Oh Lord, for I know these are your mercies in disguise.
Day #5: Dear Lord, may your loving grace sustain me this week as I try to accomplish all that you set my heart to do. When life tries to pull me away from you, may I hear your loving command to follow you more clearly.
Day #6: Dear Lord, may I always remember that it is you I seek and long to please. When the pressure of succeeding at something becomes too much, may I always remember that as long as I do everything for your honor and glory, all my efforts, lovingly made, will be enough to make you proud and happy.
Day #7: Dear Lord, may I never forget to offer to you each and every discomfort and difficulty I face each day. May I not succumb easily to discouragement and despair when they come. Instead, may I recognize them for what they are—my ticket to heaven and my only way to you.
Day #8: Dear Lord, thank you for getting me through the toughest days and for providing me with the strength I need when I feel like I have nothing left. You are indeed the source of all grace. I praise and honor you always.
Day #9: Dear Lord, today I choose to focus on the good that my cross brings. I choose to be grateful for the graces that come from it. I choose to believe that as long as I embrace it close to my heart, I will be blessed always and in every way that matters.
Day #10: Dear Lord, show me the way of love that I may always do even the hardest things with great joy. Show me the way of love so I may always respond to people, even to the difficult ones, with kindness . Show me the way of love that I may always see you in others.
Day #11: Dear God, this week I trust that you already have a ready answer to all my prayers, right solutions to all my problems, perfect plan to all my undertakings, and even contingecies just in case I mess up and fail to recognize your gentle insistent proddings. I trust that you will connect and lead me to the right people who will help me bring to fruition all that you have set my heart to do. I shall draw heavily on your resources, on your grace Lord, and trust that everything in my life this week and in the days to come will work in accordance with your own mighty will. Amen.
Day 12: Dear Lord, how swiftly you respond to my prayers, how sensitive you are to my needs. Many times, I do not have to ask, you just simply give. I am blessed and grateful to have you as my Father. In return, I promise to be as attentive, devoted, and commited to you.
Day #13: Dear Lord, teach me true humility so I may learn to do my work in quiet joy and be motivated only by a deep desire to please you and give you glory. Teach me true humility so that it is your affirmation and not some wordly recognition I will seek. Teach me humility that I may learn to follow the path of Christ, and remember that success or victory is a grace that can only come from heartfelt and humble service.
Day #14: Dear Lord, may my heart and mind remained siLENT and focused on you alone this blessed season of lent.
Day #15: Dear God, bless me with a kind heart that is slow to anger and is not quick to judge. A kind heart that can forgive and understand even those who appear too difficult to love.
Day #16: Dear God, in the face of difficulty and uncertainty, I choose to give thanks and praise to thee, and promise to trust where I cannot understand.
Day #17: Dear Lord, many times we’ve found ourselves in places we never thought we will be. I used to question things but then over the years, I have learned to just simply trust that wherever we may find ourselves in, it is your will and your plan we are living. We are exactly where you will manifest to us fully your blessings. Thank you for this trip, Lord and for the people who are with us in this blessed journey.
Day #18: Dear Lord, we take different paths to get to you. Some journeys are easy while others are not. What’s truly amazing is this, however different our journeys are, you have blessed each and every one of them so that in the end, we may all enjoy a life of full blessings and grace.
Day #19: Dear God, sometimes we get lucky and meet friends who’ll make us feel like we just had the best conversation with you after being around them. It is because when they speak of the faith, their words ring with sincerity, wisdom, and truth. They also live out the faith with so much passion, they radiate joy. I just want to say thank you Lord for blessing my life with this kind of friends. Friends who help me grow in faith, and make me appreciate and love you more.
Day #20: Dear Lord, when I find it hard to forgive and understand others, may I always remember how easily You forgive my own shortcomings and how generously you show compassion and mercy towards me everyday.
Day #21. Dear Lord, how swiftly you answer my prayers and how attentive you are to my needs. I am truly blessed to be loved by you. As I commit to a life that is pleasing to you, may I always live up to your expectations. You have my heart forever, Lord and I promise to serve you in any loving way I can, now till forever. Amen.
Day #22: Dear Lord, may my heart be moved only by compassion and a burning desire to love others at whatever cost and my spirit be strong and ready to brave and withstand even the fiercest of storms. May my eyes remain joyful and my smile bright despite knowing sorrow and grief, and may my lips speak nothing but faith and loving grace, even in the face of defeat.
Day #23: Dear Lord, may my heart and soul long for you alone, and my mind be filled with only thoughts of you. With every strength, may I learn to translate my faith and love for you in actions, blessing, inspiring, and enriching the lives of many so your name will be glorified. Amen.
Day #24: Dear Lord, may I always humbly seek your mercy so I will receive your grace. By your example of charity, patience, and understanding, and through your transforming love, may I learn to show compassion and mercy even to those who are difficult to forgive and love.
Day #25: Dear Lord, I will start the week with a grateful heart. I thank you in advance for my prayers that shall be perfectly answered this week. For the unexpected opportunities that shall fall on my lap, for the little yet significant miracles that I shall witness, and for the big and small victories that I shall achieve in the coming days. A week may seem short to experience all these but I know that with you, anything and everything is possible.
Day #26: Dear Lord, I take your word that you will restore whatever is broken and heal whatever afflictions we may have. I believe in your wonders and miracles, Lord and I have complete trust in your saving word and healing love.
Day #27: Dear Lord, I am grateful that you’ve met every occassion of sorrow in my life with grace until there’s nothing left for me to feel but joy in your presence. I fear not the future for I know you have gone there before me and that whatever happens, it shall be according to your plan and in my favor.
Day #28: Dear Lord, teach me how to be as gracious and merciful as you, slow to anger, patient, understanding, and kind. May all that I do be born out of compassion and love. Amen.
Day #29: Dear Lord, when I want to do little else but pull my hair out or throw my hands up in the air in frustration, I am glad there’s always heaven to look up to and you to call on. Thank you for taking care of my worries today and tomorrow, Lord.
Day #30: Dear Lord, that was some work week. I am thankful for every occassion I found myself stressed, mentally drained, bone tired, and emotionally weak this week, for they reminded me that indeed, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.🙏🏻😌❤️
Day #31: Dear Lord, I will stay where you’ve put me and allow you to direct my days. I will continue to trust and believe I am here because this is where I will be abundantly blessed, and that this place will connect me to greater opportunities ahead.
Day #32: Dear Lord, instead of making me weak, may my cross gives me strength and inspires me all the more to press forward and rise in faith this week. May it continue to open a lot of opportunities for me to live and receive your grace.
Day #33: I grew up near this old brickstone church in Las Pinas that houses the Bamboo Organ. That is where I was baptized and confirmed, and where as a teenager, I promised our Patron Saint, Tatang Jose, that if I ever find a man as decent as him to marry, I will personally drag him there and present to him. Truth be told, five years after leaving my hometown, I stood before St. Joseph’s altar swapping “I dos” with my own version of St. Joseph, Nan, my obedient, steadfast, and loving husband. The one I asked and prayed for from him and the one he faithfully gave to me.
Dear St. Joseph, I ask that someday, may you bless Bianca and all the young ladies with husbands who will protect, love, and care for the family the same way you have loved, protected, and cared for Mama Mary and Baby Jesus. Bless them with husbands who, like you, would seek, listen, and follow the Lord’s will with all their hearts too.
Day #34: Dear Lord, I love how you direct my steps and line up solutions to my problems even before I ask for them. I love how well orchestrated your answers to my prayers are, and how they always leave me dumbfounded in awe. Indeed, everything is ready in your plan, I just have to learn to trust.
Day #35: Dear Lord, no matter how uncertain things may seem, I shall continue to live with this expectancy that something good is coming my way, and that you are ready to amaze.
Day #36: Dear Lord, you said out of difficulties grow miracles. I’ll take your word for it. I won’t complain nor be anxious. I will just simply wait patiently for my miracle.
Day #37: Dear Lord, may I always remember to put love in everything I do for love is love, there is nothing attached to it other than, service.
Day #38: Dear Lord, it comforts me to know that you are a constant in my life and that your presence will always remain. I look forward to a future with You.
Day #39: Dear Lord, if there is one thing I learned from Jesus’ sufferings it is that, despite the circumstances, despite the pain, hardship, and sorrow, still do love, still do all things with love.
Day #40: Dear Lord, I underestimated your ability to deliver again. I once more gave in to that fearful, cautious voice inside my head that says, you are dreaming too big, you are aiming too high, you are not managing your expectations. I turned a blind ear to that gentle yet persistent whisper in my heart that says, trust, surrender completely, He will make it happen. Lord, thank you for letting me know today that you are aware of my petitions and that you’re always on it. Sorry for letting my fears and doubts get the best of us again.
Day #41: Dear Lord, sometimes your reasons are lost to me but I firmly believe that you know what best is for us and so, I choose to trust where I cannot understand.
Day #42: Dear Lord, today is mine but tomorrow is clearly yours. There’s nothing I can do but trust and believe that what lies ahead has already been blessed and planned beautifully by you.
Day #43: Dear Lord, I hope that when the time comes, I will be given the chance to spend my last night, my last supper with my loved ones. I pray that like Jesus, I may be able to share a hearty meal with them, and be given the chance to show them through my loving service just how much they mean to me. In my hour of death, may I be in the loving company of my family.
Day #44:”O all you that pass by the way, look and see, was there ever a sorrow to compare with my sorrow.” (Lamentation 1:12)—Dear Mama Mary, I never really knew how painful it was for you to see Jesus suffer on the cross until I stood beside the recovery bed of my own suffering child after her surgery and during the few times I’ve witnessed her battle illnesses. My sorrow even then was nothing compared to your sorrow. As I watched my child cry in pain, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for you seeing your own child suffer and die on the cross to save us. As I venerate the cross today Mama Mary, I venerate you as well for giving birth and raising our reedemer, our savior, Jesus Christ. You are the perfect example of deep courage, humility, and trust. May I learn to be the perfect handmaid of the Lord like you. May I learn to carry grief and sorrow gracefully, and may I learn to submit myself and surrender my child graciously to the will of God like you.
Day #45: Dear Lord, like Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome in the gospel today, may I always be amazed by your power to bring back to life whatever it is that is dying in us; flickering hope, failing health, diminishing dreams, and broken relationship. If there is one thing that your son, Jesus Christ’s resurrection taught me it is that with You, anything and everything is possible, the miraculous is almost always at arms reach, just simply waiting to happen anytime, and these awe-inspiring wonders that oftentimes leave me breathless, as long as we remain in faith with you, they shall never, ever cease.

Expo Kid 2018: The Best Place to Look for Kids' Summer Activities!

Mark your calendars for Expo Kid, happening on March 3 to 4, from 11 AM – 9 PM, at the Bonifacio High Street Activity Center!
Mommy Mundo, the country’s most active resource for moms in the Philippines, has teamed up with Manila for Kids, a leading online resource for fun activities in and around the Metro. Together, they are bringing top summer activity providers around the metro that parents can choose from for their kids to have the best summer ever!
Now in its 10th year, Mommy Mundo curates a space to bring together some of the most exciting summer activity providers under one roof. This year, we celebrate the champions – kids who have discovered their passions and talents, worked hard on developing these, and have accomplished admirable feats. To showcase their talent and recognize them for their hard work will hopefully inspire their fellow kids to strive for new heights during summer and beyond.

Expect a curated lineup of art, music, sports, and multi-activity programs that will help you choose the best activities to suit your child’s interests. There will also be live onstage talks and demos. Get a chance to experience some of these fun summer activities first-hand!
If you’re looking to keep your kids engaged and interested this summer, Expo Kid is the place to be! Let’s all look forward to making this summer our child’s best summer yet!

For those who will be making it to Expo Kid 2018, we will be giving away super special Pasta Gift Packs from La Filipina, and apple juice samples from Motts! So make sure to come early if you want to go home with this!
*Supplies are limited!