Live…Fully

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.

Proactiv 60-Day Limited Edition Pack with Free Daily Oil Control

I just got word from Proactiv that if you buy the Proactiv 60-Day Kit, between July 15-December 31, 2014, it will come with a Free Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control and  upsized Refining Mask ( size from 1.oz to 2.5oz). So you buy this Limited Edition Kit, you’ll actually receive the following:
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser 120ml (inside the box)
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner 120ml (inside the box)
Proactiv Repairing Treatment 60ml (inside the box)
Proactiv Refining Mask – upsized from 1oz to 2.5oz (inside the box)
Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control (shrink-wrapped with the box)
Yep, you’ve read it right, all these for the price of Php 3,995 only. Isn’t this a super great deal?!   I have been regularly using the Daily Oil Control but when my daughter and I tried this Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control, we find that we like it better because it not only absorb excess oil but it also gives a more mattified appearance. This allow us to forego powder application. The less you apply on your face the better! I noticed also that it really does help control excess oil because throughout the day my skin doesn’t appear too shiny when I use this. I am into running and sweat can really cause my face to become extra oily especially during long runs. I liked that the Advanced Daily Oil Control gently balances my skin. It hydrates my skin and leaves it healthy looking.

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My 13 year old daughter also likes using this lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. As a mom, I really have no qualms when it comes to letting her use Poactiv because I know that it is hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. Perfect for teenagers with acne problem actually. My daughter’s skin remains soft, smooth and hydrated while using this product. Plus it gives her and also me that satiny, flawless looking complexion.

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Using the Advanced Daily Oil Control is very easy, you just have to:
1. Apply daily or as needed onto clean skin.
2. Use fingertips to gently apply a thin layer to the entire face.
3. Allow to dry completely.
4. For best results, use after Repairing Treatment.

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This promo pack is exclusively available at Watsons and SM Department Stores (Beauty Section) nationwide. These special packs are specially marked with a red sticker on the upper rightmost corner of the box. Make sure to ask for it as items on display at Watsons or SM may be non-promo packs or dummy boxes only.

Little Light

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And so the story goes that on the fateful night of August 1, 1978, when Manila was being battered by the worst storm ever, a mother gave birth to an eight month old, scrawny little baby who weighed no more than 4.5 lbs. As the baby came out of the mother’s tummy, the light too in the whole city went out. And so the baby lay there in the dark nursery, illuminated only by the nearby emergency light. The grandpa who was waiting anxiously in the corridor with the father, when he heard the baby cried, cannot helped but uttered in silence, “there goes the little light.” My name Blanca, said my lolo, means little light. And yes, that baby is me. Everyday for the past 36 years, I strive to live up to the name given to me. Even during the most difficult time in my life when I see nothing but complete darkness, I struggled for my flickering light to continue to shine. It is so easy to live in the shadow or fade into the oblivion that darkness offers but life or rather God doesn’t always include that in the many options he always presented to me. I guess because He wants the light within me to help fire the world up with His love. And so here I am today, stil trying to live up to the challenge that comes with my name, still trying to light up (your) the world, through the big or small roles that I play in your life. Thank you for giving me the chance and the opportunity to do that everyday. And for the warm greetings and heartwarming birthday wishes too.

My "All Woman Race" Experience

Last Sunday, I joined the All Woman Race organized by The Bull Runner in Filinvest City, Alabang. Normally, I do not join races and fun runs simply because I do not find joy in waking up so early to drive myself to a race track just so I can clock in a 5 or 10 kilometer run. I figured I can do that somewhere near just the same. But, this race is different. First because it was especially organized for women and for few daring men who do not have any qualms running around in tutus. And second because it was a run for womanity as how the organizer aptly put it. I have always been a sucker for good taglines.
And so there I was at 4:30 in the morning driving along Daang Hari with my sister who’s just been home for the weekend from Singapore, all geared up and ready for this run. I have to admit it was pretty exciting. Off track, I am a 10K runner so naturally I joined the 10K race category.   The track with its curves, uphills, and downhills to me was surprisingly challenging yet fun. My friend, Shiela, who is a seasoned 10K and 21K runner, joined me in this race and paced me as well. We were able to finish in 1:04 hr. based on our own time and 1:10 hr. based on the official time. It was my first time to do a full 10K run. Normally I walk .30 of every kilometer to allow myself to recover. I am happy to note that I exceeded my own expectation of myself. I didn’t know I have it in me to run that long and that fast.  Must be the adrenalin and my friend’s coaching.

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Joining this definitely changed my perspective a little bit about signing up for races. I have to admit, I have become some sort of a race snob these past two years.  When friends invite and encourage me to join them in fun runs, I always scoff at the idea of going to all the trouble and spending a few hundreds just so I can run. I always tell myself and others that I don’t need to measure myself up against other people’s standards just so I can be a good runner and I don’t need to join major races in order to motivate myself to make and achieve new running goals. But then, running along side ladies who are just as passionate as I am with running last Sunday, seeing the same determination and focus on their faces, and witnessing their strength, I mean it just made me feel so inspired and thankful that I joined. If anything the whole experience left me humbled. I went home more determined than ever to continue setting a new pace and running goal for myself.

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Whereas this experience made me more open to join future races, it didn’t, on one hand, turned me into a race fanatic overnight…yet. If anything, it just made me reassess my running goal and plan for myself. Now I have included in it joining key races that will allow me to learn from the best so I can take my running to the next level, which is half/full marathon. I know it’s an incredible dream but seeing myself run alongside these women who clearly were making a run for their dreams and goals last Sunday, and seeing myself fall strongly into step with them, I know it is possible. I can make it happen.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Proactiv

There seemed to be a lot of over the counter medications in the market today which claim to be the perfect treatment for acne. While it is good to have a good number of choices or options in terms of acne treatment, it is also wise to be discerning when it comes to products that we use on our faces.
For years now, the gold standard for treating mild to moderate acne is benzoyl peroxide. This topical antimicrobial medicine is known to specifically target P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne breakouts and is widely popular for its anti- inflammatory and anti-pore clogging properties.
Though not classified as antibiotic, it has been the cornerstone of prescription and over-the-counter acne therapy medication including Proactiv for over 50 years now.
An exclusive form of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) can found in the Proactiv 3-Step System’ s Renewing Cleanser (Step 1) and Repairing Treatment (Step 3). The crystalline BPO present in these Proactiv products were finely milled in order to achieve the pore penetrating action that is needed to control the acne cycle without compromising gentleness on skin.
Other Ways To Treat Acne
PROACTIV SOLUTION VS SOAP
While it may seem counter-intuitive, harsh scrubbing does not unclog pores any better than gentle cleansing. To a certain extent, they have been seen to do more harm than good since such actions only worsen acne. While we cannot deny that cleansing and scrubbing reduce surface oils and dead skin cells, most cleansers available in the market today are laden with alcohol and foamy surfactants (detergents). Surfactants which are responsible for the sudsy foam and lather in most cleansers, strip skin of its essential oils. As a result, the skin’ s barrier becomes damaged and vulnerable to irritation and infection. Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser contains fine polyethylene beads that gently relieve impacted pores without irritation.
PROACTIV SOLUTION VS SALICYLIC ACID
Salicylic acid, another ingredient present in most acne treatment medication, breaks through the plug but does not kill the P. acnes bacteria, the bacteria that cause acne breakouts. Acne is caused by a variety of factors so it is best to use a medicated cleanser, like Proactiv, with proven ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide or sulfur that help unclog pores, kill bacteria and/or reduce inflammation.
PROACTIV SOLUTION VS. ORAL DRUGS
When acne is severe, dermatologists sometimes prescribe oral drugs like isotretinoin or hormonal pills. Although there are studies which support the effectivity of these methods in controlling severe acne, due to the nature of these drugs, there have been rising concerns about the safe use of these drus as well. For example, in 2010 alone, suicidal tendencies and psychotic behaviors among acne patients on isotretinoin have been reported. Hormonal pills, which are primarily use as contraceptive are found to cause water retention, weight gain, mood swings, and in the long run, even breast cancer too. With Proactiv Solution you’ll have none of these side effects.
We should always exercise extreme caution when choosing acne treatment medicationsince it is not just just our beauty that is at stake here but also our health. We have to always choose an acne treatment product with ingredients that are proven and tested safe for us to use like Proactiv Solution.

Honeysuckle Breastmilk Bag

Two weeks ago, one of our colleagues in the faculty was looking for breastmilk to give to her three-week old granddaughter who was in the Neonatal ICU. The mom was unable to produce breastmilk which the baby needed so she can be strong and fight the pneumonia that has afflicted her. I wasn’t sure if they were able to get enough for her though because last week we learned that the little angel succumbed to death.
I was unable to produce my own breastmilk too when I gave birth to my daughter so I really envy moms with newborns whose only problem is how to properly store and handle their own breastmilk. When my daughter, Bianca, had cancer last year, it did occur to me that perhaps she wouldn’t have it if I had breastfed her when she was a baby. But then of course that’s more like my guilt talking to me than Science. Anyway, I know the importance of having a good stock of breastmilk and a proper storage kit that would keep it safe until it is ready to be consumed by the baby. I have heard it enough from my mom friends to know that pumping breastmilk is one thing and keeping it from getting spoiled is quite another.
My two best buddies recently gave birth and we were just so thrilled when I received a package with Honeysuckle breastmilk bag inside. I just had to share it to them. They have been looking for one that is handy so they can pump and store their breastmilk easily especially when they return back to work. And of course something that is proven safe to use for storing their oh so precious mama milk. We were so glad to know that HoneySuckle® which is 100% tamper-evident, BPA-free, Oxo-biodegradable and recyclable is already available in the market.

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HoneySuckle® is the more enhanced version of the popular reclosable breastmilk bag Lansinoh® which inventor Nossi Taheri created in 2002. HoneySuckle® as compared to its predecessor, has wider side seals, double zipper and ribbed gusset to protect and prevent breastmilk from leaking during storage. It has a pour spout that would eliminate spills when transferring breastmilk in bottles and an outer write-on tab to help mommies date and organize their breastmilks. It doesn’t take much space as it can lay flat in the freezer and can stand on the counter too when needed. It is the strongest and most economical breastmilk storage bag in the market today.

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With HoneySuckle® babies need not take alternative food when mom is not around and mommies need not worry about how to save their precious breastmilk after working so hard to pump them. Two less worries for mommies if I may say so. To know more about HoneySuckle®, you may check honeysucklemoms.com.

Mompreneur MeetUp at The Crib

Inviting all active and aspiring Mompreneurs! The next Mompreneur MeetUp is going to be this Saturday, June 28, from 9 am to 12 noon at The Crib, Fun Ranch in Pasig.

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With no less than Success Coach, Jackie Caniza as the workshop speaker/facilitator, this Business By Design workshop aims to provide interested mompreneurs the necessary know hows when it comes to designing one’s own business according to target goals and needs.
Based on the book, Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, this is designed specifically to teach momprenuers, business owners, and teams, how to view their business through a one-page framework that captures all the critical components of a business model. Workshop fee is 800 but free for all past attendees and Mommy Mundo Passport Holders.
To register and for more information, text 09176272425 or clike the link here. Hurry as slots run out!:)

Product Review: Novuhair 3-in-1

Last month, Anna Macaraig sent me some Novuhair products to try. The 3-in-1 pack contains Novuhair Topical Scalp Lotion, Novuhair Herbal Shampoo and Novuhair Herbal Conditioner. Now I haven’t gone bald yet but I must admit that the stress these past two years have taken a toll on my hair. I have been experiencing excessive hair fall these past months that in no time I am afraid I will have my own landing strip at the top of my head.
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Anyway, to tell you honestly, this product is totally new to me. In fact I had to search this online and watch Fanny Serrano’s own testimonial video before I start using this. As we all know, Fanny is a widely respected and seasoned salon/hair expert here in the Philippines so his opinion counts. Well, based on his own personal testimony on the effectiveness of Novuhair, it doesn’t only combat hairloss and hair thinning, it also provides optimum nutrition to hair. It rejuvenates hair follicles, improves blood circulation to the scalp, eliminates dandruff, detoxifies scalp and improves scaling. Pretty promising right?
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But what totally sold me out on the idea of using this product actually is its active natural ingredients. Since my daughter had cancer last year, I am very particular with the products that we use on our body. Good thing Novuhair boasts of natural herbs, essential oils and co-factor nutrients that are proven safe and effective in treating hair problems. Some active natural ingredients that you will find in Novuhair products are: Moringaoleifera / Malunggay / Moringa which helps restore healthy hair. Sweet Almond Oil / Prunusamygdalus, a moisture-rich oil that contains vitamins A, B1, B6 and E, and other essential minerals such as magnesium and iron. These are known to penetrate the scalp to relieve hair dryness and itching, and promote hair nourishment and growth as well. Peppermint, can also be found here which slows down the growth of bacteria and fungi together with Panax Ginseng which  improves blood circulation. The Ginger formulation also provides nutrient to hair while the Aloe Barbadensis effectively induces hair growth and prevents hair fall. Lavender aids in relieving itching while Rosemary contains properties that help disinfect and combat dandruff formation on the scalp. And lastly, Lemongrass which controls sebum flow, clean the scalp’s pores, and prevent dandruff too. I am all into juicing and organic stuff so this product complement the kind of healthy lifestyle that we’ve been adapting at home.
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I am using Novuhair  for a  month now and I have been seeing great improvements on my hair. I noticed how it has suddenly become much thicker and fuller after continued use. It did add volume and shine to my otherwise dry and limpy hair. There is also a noticeable increase of hair growth too in the area of my scalp that has grown thin so I can personally vouch that it really does wonder. If there’s just one downside to it though, it’s its scent. Novuhair scent is nothing like the deep floral scent of most commercial shampoos. Though not really offensive, it is not too pleasant either but then after a while you get used to it. Results were not visible from the first two weeks of application so patience is really the key plus consistency.
The 3 in 1 pack contains: Novuhair Scalp Lotion which energizes and rehabilitates the scalp. Novuhair Herbal Shampoo which removes build-up that can clog pores and renews the scalp. And Novuhair Herbal Conditioner which restores strength and improves hair elasticity, reducing breakage.
I highly recommend Novuhair to people who have been experiencing  hair loss and hair thinning or those who just want to restore health and shine to thei crowning glory. The Novuhair 3-in-1 Topical Scalp Lotion, Herbal Shampoo and Herbal Conditioner Pack, come in 200 mL bottles each. These are available as a bundle at all Mercury Drug and Watsons stores with an SRP of PHp 4980.

Proactiv Unselfie Campaign

Time magazine recently awarded the Philippines as the selfie capital of the world. Not surprising  considering the amount of time Filipinos spend taking selfies of themselves and posting them everyday in various social media. Both young and old alike have actually taken to selfies as a means to express themselves or get themselves noticed in a way that is both fun and refreshing.
Due to the popularity of “selfies,” instant filters and photo editing apps have sprouted left and right in the internet too. And in their desire to join the “selfie” bandwagon, people with skin problems have resorted to using them to keep their acne and other blemishes from showing in their “selfie” photos.
Proactiv recognizes the need of Filipinos to express themselves and connect with others through photos.  And so in an attempt to support this and at the same time enjoin netizens to address acne for real and be proactive, they recently launch the “Unselfie campaign.”  In this campaign, netizens are encouraged to post an unedited photo of themselves with an unselfie pledge placard:

ProActiv_pagepostADProactiv wants to  take active role in making sure everyone start their own journey to  self improvement so they will have clear skin.  They are hoping that this campaign will make them comfortable and confident in posting their real and unedited version of their selfies.  That means without any filters. To join, simply follow these steps:

  1. Like “Proactiv Solution Philippines” Facebook Page or follow Proactiv Philippines Instagram Account, @ProactivPH”
  2. Write a pledge in a piece of paper “I need to be Proactiv”, “#Unselfie” and “#BeProactiv”.
  3. Take a “selfie” with the pledge placard and post it at:
  • Proactiv Solution Philippines’ facebook acccount.  Forthe link, click HERE
  • personal IG account, tagging  @ProactivPH and using the hashtag #Unselfie and #BeProactiv

Their will be three winners of Proactiv 30 Day Kit per week. Join now and start your journey to a clear beautiful skin.

God's Amazing Love

“You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments.”
And here I thought God’s love is unconditional. Well obviously, I thought wrong. Well, He has every right because He is God and He is wise afterall. He knows that the only way He can push us to be the best that we can be for Him and for ourselves is by giving us a set of guidelines to follow. Although He’s clearly a rules kind of guy or rather God, He is far from cruel. He works along the principle of rewards rather than punishment. And although He has set simple and practical conditions for us to remain in His love, He is not one to jump at every chance to scream, “Go to hell!” whenever we fail to follow one of His commandments. Instead, He provides us an all-day access to the confessional, “lifelines” that can last a lifetime, 24/7 prayer hotlines, and best of all, unlimited chances of winning a one way ticket to heaven. Thats how badly He wants us to always have our eyes on the prize, that’s how badly He wants us to win the prize—His amazing love.