While I was scrolling through my instagram newsfeed a while ago, a post from one of the celebrities I followed there caught my attention. I guess it was meant to excite and send positive vibes this new year but it had a different effect on me. It caused my hair to stand on end. It reads: 2013 was practice. 2014 was warm-up. 2015 is game time. If you know me very well, you would understand why I had that kind of reaction to that post.
As much as I want to act all brave and positive about 2015, about the future, sometimes fear still grips my heart. Some days the memories of what we’ve been through the past 3 years still knock the wind out of me. I still wait with bated breath for the next big hurdle that life will throw our way and when nothing comes, I would let out a big sigh of relief. I used to chide myself for thinking this way but eventually I learned to allow myself to worry, be scared, and be stressed about the future because I am no God. I am no superwoman. I am not invincible. I am not indestructible. I get weak. I get shattered. I get hurt. A lot.
Fact is, I need God to strengthen me, keep me whole, and free me from all these paralyzing feelings. When I am blinded by fear, hurt, and worries, I see God more clearly. When I am in one of these states, I feel God’s love and blessings more strongly. For me 2013 and 2014 were both the same, they were full of grace. 2015 wouldn’t be any different. I shall welcome both the good and the bad of it with open arms, for I know either way, the Lord will not be far from my side and from my sight. It is not being positive or negative about the new year, it is being FAITH-full about the future.
“There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was with him.”
It was when I became a mother that the decision to teach began forming in my mind. I wanted a job that would allow me to spend as much time as I can with my baby. I figured with shorter work hours and paid vacation, teaching was the perfect job for me. So teaching was more of a calculated move rather than an inspired decision. At the start, I told myself that I have to choose an institution where I would eventually want Bianca to study so everytime I’d go for job interviews before, I ended up asking more questions about the school than the interviewer herself. I accepted Growing Place Pre-school’s offer. It is smaller than Casa Montessori Internationale and less popular than Elizabeth Seaton but more homey and progressive, perfect for Bianca I thought. The following year, I enrolled Bianca in Nursery. That was where she bloomed and where I first fell in love with teaching.
It was when she was in Pre-Kinder that I started scouting for big schools where I can teach. Between Southville International, De La Salle Zobel, Seaton, and Woodrose, I chose the later because of its personal formation. I want a school that gives strong emphasis on family and values formation, I found that in Woodrose. A year after I joined the faculty, I enrolled Bianca in Grade 1.
When friends ask me how I managed to raise a well-adjusted, cheerful, and resilient kid, I always tell them most of the credit go to Woodrose. Our mediocre parenting is nothing compared to the doctrinal and personal formations that the school provides. In our family we taught her love and respect for others, in Woodrose she learned empathy and a much deeper sense of caring and responsibility towards others. We introduced her to our faith but it is really Woodrose that deepened her love for our faith.
I appreciated the Woodrose education all the more when my husband, Nan, passed away two years ago and when Bianca was battling with cancer. During those difficult times, her strength of character and steadfast love for God never wavered. In fact, between the two of us, she was the epitome of amazing strength and grace. I can never credit my genes or emotional parenting for that. I often tell this to parents deciding where to put their child: our children will spend most of their time in school so we have to choose the one where we can feel God’s presence the most.
It’s that most
wonderful stressful time of the year again. Yup, you read it right! Christmas, the holidays, is synonymous to S-T-R-E-S-S. But wait, before you condemned me to grinchdom, let me explain myself. Christmas is all kind of stress. Good stress what with all the excitement brought about by christmas shopping, family reunions, gift giving, etc. and well, bad stress due to traffic, christmas rush, tying loose ends before closing the year, and scrambling to finish the work week before going on vacation! Let me tell you that both good and bad stress may aggravate Acne.
How’s so? You might ask. Well, the increased levels of stress stimulate the body’s production of various hormones and trigger different changes in the skin. Sometimes it causes the skin oils to become more viscous making you more acne prone. Stress also reduces your body’s natural immune defense. As a result, your skin doesn’t fight off bacteria build-up as well as when your body is out of stress. When these happen, we become more prone to breakouts. Acne begins when oil collects at the base of the hair follicle and becomes trapped by dead skin cells. Bacteria flourish, form a plug and swell beneath the skin. Stress can make acne worse, causing more anxiety, and creating a vicious cycle.
At the risk of sounding such a pimple errr party pooper, here are some tips on how to stay STRESS-FREE this christmas:
1. Get a good night’s rest. There’s nothing like an eight-hour sleep to ward off stress. This will pack you with enough energy for all those endless christmas parties and get-together.
2. Do your christmas shopping early. Saves you the trouble of braving the crowds in the mall and elbowing your way to the long line in the cashier.
3. Carpool to and from work. Traffic is inevitable in this crazy jungle we call home. Make getting stuck in traffic fun by having some good company with you.
4. Focus, focus, focus. The jolly christmas atmosphere at work can prove to be a total distraction. Who wouldn’t want to linger over coffee breaks a bit or check out what gifts your officemates receive? Although it is perfectly alright to get into the christmas spirit, this can cause some delay into our work making you in the end, more stressed to the nth power. Manage your time wisely and do first things first!
5. Use Proactiv Solution Combination Therapy to prevent acne before they begin. Proactiv’s Combination Therapy treats acne and prevents future breakouts. It is a 3-Step System that work together to cleanse your skin, fight the blemishes, help stop new one from forming, and gently heal damaged skin.
Step 1: Renewing Cleanser. This medicated Renewing Cleanser is made with exclusive micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide – featuring smaller, finer particles designed to quickly penetrate pores to start killing acne-causing bacteria on contact. Tiny exfoliating beads gently remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells to help keep pores from clogging.
Step 2: Revitalizing Toner. This refreshing, alcohol-free toner helps remove impurities and excess oil so your skin looks and feels clean, soft and refreshed – not tight and dried out. Soothing botanical agents gently balance skin tone.
Step 3: Repairing Treatment. The repairing acne treatment is a feather-light medicated treatment that gets deep into clogged pores faster but is designed to be gentler on the skin. It’s an oil-free formula that’s safe for your entire face.
Bonus: Refining Mask. This rich, deep cleansing mask uses sulfur, a proven acne blemish- fighting ingredient that reaches deep into the pores, heals existing blemishes, pampers inflamed skin, and softens and refines the skin’stexture.
Ongoing PROACTIV Promotion: The Proactiv 60-Day Limited Edition Pack with FREE Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control 50ml is available at Watsons and SM Department stores (Beauty Section) nationwide.
So, what are you waiting for. Follow these tips and have very merry stress-free Christmas!:)
If you are looking for gifts of “great value” or a thoughful way to say you care to your loved ones, consider giving them Tukod Foundation’s christmas gift card. When you purchase one, you will be making a donation in behalf of your loved ones. Proceeds from the sale of these gift cards will help fund the renovation of PGH-CPU (Child Protection Unit), the only child-friendly unit in the Philippines that provides comprehensive medical and psycho-social services to abused children and their families.
As you know, PGH is close to my heart since my daughter’s surgery there last year. I have witnessed for myself how this medical institution has been striving hard to provide excellent service to our fellow Filipinos despite the little funds that they have. Lets genuinely share and spread real love this christmas by supporting this great cause. For inquiries, you may contact Ms. Bambi Manosa through Ryan Vicente at 0917872519.
I have always been an avid supporter of Proactiv especially after it has effectively cured and controlled my Acne. But then again, I have to admit that purchasing Proactiv in the market can be a bit challenging for some since it isn’t something you can easily buy at any local drugstore or supermarket. It’s either you go to selected stores such as Watsons or to one of their kiosks in popular malls.
The good news is Proactiv Solutions recognizes this dilemna of consumers that is why it has made Proactiv available online. Yes, you can now safely and conveniently order and purchase your favorite Proactiv products from their website and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Yup, you heard it right! No need to leave your office as your order will be delivered straight to you. You can order anytime, that means 24/7 and even engage one of their friendly Skin Care Advisors to a chat if you have other concerns and queries. You may also do this via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at hotline numbers 02 729-2222 (Manila), 1-800-10-889-4444 (PLDT Provincial), 1- 800-8-7298888 (Globe Provincial) but personally, I prefer to engage them in friendly chat. Haha. And what’s more, they have a money back gurantee just in case you are not happy with your purchase. You can send back the products and they will give you refund (terms and conditions apply) which selfom happens I believe as most are satisfied with Proactiv.
HERE’S HOW TO ORDER ONLINE:
1. Visit: http://my.proactiv.com.ph and create an account. Depending on your browser, the link may not work with www at the beginning so please take note of this URL format and use it as is.
2. Once you have an account you may browse Proactiv products at the website. Select products, fill your shopping cart and check-out. You may fill out the delivery instructions and special notes to the rider on this section.
3. Finalize your purchase. The shopping cart accepts payment using Credit Card or C.O.D. (Cash on delivery).
4. Transaction details will be emailed to you.
5. For customer support, you may email: email@example.com or call 02 729-2222
(Metro Manila), 1-800-10-889-4444 (PLDT Provincial), 1-800-8-7298888 (Globe Provincial)
The following products are available at https://my.proactiv.com.ph:
Proactiv 30-day Kit (2,495)
Renewing Cleanser 60ml
Revitalizing Toner 60ml Repairing Treatment 30ml Refining Mask
Proactiv 60-day Kit (3,995)
Renewing Cleanser 120ml
Revitalizing Toner 120ml Repairing Treatment 60ml Refining Mask
*with Money Back Guarantee, terms and conditions apply
Green Tea Moisturizer 30ml (php 1,099)
Clarifying Night Cream 30ml (php 1,199)
Daily Oil Control 50ml (php 899)
Oil Free Moisture 50ml (php 1,099)
Deep Cleansing Wash 240ml (php 999)
Daily Protection Plus Sunscreen 118ml (php 1,099)
Wen Hair Cleansing Conditioner, a new product from the same manufacturer of Proactiv, which I personally use and love can also be purchased here for the following prices:
WEN Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner, 350 ml (php 995.00)
WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner, 350 ml (php 995.00)
If you purchase product extensions along with a 30 or 60 day kit, delivery is FREE of charge while a delivery fee of P150 for Metro Manila and P330 for non-Metro Manila deliveries will apply for purchases without the 30 or 60 day kit. So if I were you, I will purchase them with kits since they work more effectively anyway with the combination therapy system.
Orders are processed and shipped daily during regular business days so you will receive them within 24 hours if your delivery address is in Metro Manila: (Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, Taguig, Pasig, Pateros, CAMANAVA are, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque and Pasay) while it will take 2-3 days if you happen to live in Provincial areas (City of Proper).
Completed orders before 2pm will be processed on the same day while orders after this cutoff time will be processed on the next business day. So what are you waiting for, avoid the christmas mad rush, order your Proactiv Kit online now!
“Don’t let yourselves be shaped by the world where you live, but rather, be transformed, through the renewal of your mind. You must discern the will of God: what is good, what pleases, what is perfect.”
Before we put Bianca in Woodrose, we made it clear to her that we have our own way of doing things in our family and our own set of rules which may be different with other families. It was important that she understands that what maybe the norm in some households, may not be in our own. It is very difficult to raise kids nowadays especially that the dynamics in certain families they are in close contact with are changing.
I guess as parents we should never get tired of teaching or reminding our children of the timeless family values and virtues we’ve learned as a child. This way, no matter how totally different the dictates of their own generation are from what the family upholds and practices, our children will not find themselves confused. Instead they would automatically decide and act based in what is good, what is pleasing, and what is perfect for God.
My love affair with running started right after my husband, Nan, died. Weeks after he passed away, I remember fervently asking the Lord to give me something (not someone) to occupy my mind, fill my days with wonder, and make me feel alive again. I prayed for Him to bring back the bounce in my step, the smile on my face, and that same silly happiness I felt with Nan. He gave me running.
I remember that exact time I felt it, that gentle yet insistent prodding, that persistent desire to run. It was while I was standing by my husband’s grave one day, looking over at the horizon when I caught sight of this woman who was running strong and graceful, it’s as if her feet don’t so much as touch the ground. Her whole body was radiating strength and joy. I quite remember telling myself then that someday that’s going to be me.
Fast forward to my first attempt to run, my feet felt like bricks, I was gasping for air and I was just about ready to collapse on the pavement halfway through my lap. But I made it, oh yes I made it to the first kilometer, and to the second, and to the third…I have never stopped running since then.
But, my relationship with this sport, it isn’t always easy. In fact, everytime I am out running early in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps, I often ask myself, why do I have to do this? Surprisingly though, it is when self-doubt clouds my mind like this that the amazing thing usually happens. Always as if on cue, my mind will start to clear, my lungs will start to open, my whole body will sing in tune with each step, and I will be left there totally enjoying the exhilirating experience. Finding myself thinking yet again that, this, this is why you do this. So you’ll see that no matter how hard it may seem to get up in the morning, there’s always something great for you out there there. That no matter how difficult it may seem at the start, if just make a run for it with faith and determination, you will see yourself through.
Running has made me understand the beauty of a struggle. It made me see pain in a different light. It made losing my husband easy to bear. It made me realize a lot of things like difficulty will always be a given. The elements that can beat me down will always be there, it is your determination and attitude really that will get you to the next kilometer. It made me understand myself well enough to know when I am ready and strong enough for another push.
At present, I continue to run as passionately as when I first started. For me, love and running, they’re almost like the same thing. You love and run till it hurts because in the end, you’ll find that, it’s all truly worth it.
Blanca will be part of the hundred dreamers who will run their first marathon on February 22 at Nuvali under the TBR dream program of The Bull Runner. Want to run for your dream also visit www.tbrdream.com
Been trying out other several skin care products these past months and I must say that nothing is as effective really as Proactiv in eradicating pesky pimples. I thought that now that I am pimple free (thanks to Proactiv), I can get off the combination therapy and use ordinary skin care products instead. I thought wrong, my recent pimple breakout can attest to that. Nothing works as well as Proactiv when it comes to preventing acne breakouts and blemishes. The Proactiv Solution 3-Step System is still the right choice. As being the leading pimple-fighter, it treats acne safely and effectively by attacking it at the source where a build-up of dead skin cells and bacteria clog pores.
It is mild enough to use every day. In fact, this is the only skin care brand that I allow my 13 year old daughter to use because it doesn’t leave the skin itchy, red or stingy. The combination of medicines penetrates deep into the skin to destroy the bacteria and help reduce inflammation and heals the lesion. Skin clears without the drying, peeling or chemical smell that may be found in other products.
The Combination Therapy treatment consist of three products:
The Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (Step 1) and Repairing Treatment (Step 3) contain finelymilled, prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide with soothing botanicals. Together these ingredients gently exfoliate your skin, unplug your pores and attack acne-causing bacteria.
The Revitalizing Toner helps remove excess oils and dead skin cells to prevent future breakouts, and the Refining Mask helps reduce inflammation. When used together regularly, Proactiv not only eradicates pimples but prevent future breakouts as well.
Benzoyl peroxide, the powerful ingredient that is effective against all kinds of acne (blackheads, whiteheads, and big red pimples), is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria, rather than simply slowing down their growth. It also works very quickly improving acne as early as five days after starting treatment.
Proactiv contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. This concentration is mild, yet powerful enough to kill acne causing bacteria. It is finely milled, with proprietary advanced microcrystals that delivers the medicine without irritating the skin. The benzoyl peroxide technology is unique to Proactiv. Although it may cause drying, peeling or redness if not delivered in the right amount (too strong concentrations) or surrounded by the right mix of ingredients, it a great first line treatment when used in combination with antibiotics for severe cases.
To provide you with a stronger arsenal to fight acne, Proactiv released a Limited Edition 60-Day Bundle Pack with upsized Refining Mask (2.5oz instead of the regular 1oz) and Free 50ml Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control. These are exclusively available at Watsons and SM Department stores nationwide.
Whenever I feel sad about my life, I ask God to give me a good reason to smile. And it never fails, being the great cheerleader that He is, He sends out the most outrageous perk me ups. No husband to talk to at night, He gave me a free iPad. Feeling the blues on my first Valentines’ day alone, He sent Bianca and I packing for an all expense paid trip with pocket money to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Missing having someone who makes me feel beautiful, He had me walking the runaway at a fashion launch abroad and had us featured in a magazine too (nevermind if I am a scoliotic case with a back hump the size of Mt. Everest and pimple marks resembling the craters of the moon). Wanting to do more and be more, He had my writing career in full swing. Dreading the empty days ahead, He instantly sends either crazy conflicts or crazy friends to occupy my time. And my list can just go on and on…Amazing how God has gone to great lengths just to see me smile and laugh again. Yes life has been unkind these past two years but God more than makes up for it. He sends out positive vibes my way all the time so that in the end, I can see clearly that the good far outweighs the bad, always.
Last Saturday, I met a fellow widow in a gathering. When she learned about my own status, she pulled me aside to engage me in a conversation. She immediately asked me, “Nung nililibing na ba ang asawa mo, nafeel mo ba yung gusto mo na ding mamatay, yung tipong gusto mo ng tumalon at sumama sa hukay?” I was so surprised with her question, I only managed to look at her in horror and say, “Noooooo!” a little forcefully. She seemed disappointed with my answer and so she tried another one, “Me days ba na parang ayaw mo na bumangon at harapin ang mundo kasi wala na sya.” This time, I really cannot help it, I gave out a laugh. She looked at me miserably and jokingly said, “Siguro di mo mahal na mahal ang asawa mo no kasi tuwang tuwa ka pa dyan!” Now, that had me doubled up in laughter. Maybe I became a little insensitive with my reaction back there but I was thinking, someday she’ll look back at everything that’s happened and be able to smile, that’s what grace do to you. Anyway, no, I didn’t die a thousand death when Nan passed away or even wished that it was me istead of him (hehe) who died. What happened in fact was quite the opposite, I felt the need to get more out of life, to live it more fully after he died. It is because I realized, I want to live life the way Nan did. I want more time to, like him, love deeply, give freely, and live with gratitude completely.