Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014: Joy is everywhere!

It's my first Christmas away from home or any family member, but I'm surprisingly calm and okay about it. Not that I'm jumping for joy, but I've expected a good amount of tears and inevitable sadness which never came. Another senseless worry that never happened. Maybe it helped that I started thinking about spending this day alone the moment I said yes to this adventure. But this has to mean something more. Perhaps it's because I've come to a point where I know what I believe in and what I'm here for. That being in a foreign land, alone in time for the biggest and most important occasion in any Filipino family, is not an accident. It's too early to tell what living on my own will do to me, but I'm very keen to know.

However, spending Christmas alone for the first time (and the last time I hope) sure has its perks. For one, I don't have to worry about holiday weight. Haha. Filipino cooking, especially during Christmas, is totally fantastic, you have zero chance against food. All the lechon, menudo, hamonado and embotido won't go easily on the treadmill. And we haven't even talked about the desserts. But seriously, spending Christmas alone taught me a lot of things which will stay with me for a long time.

1. It's okay to ask for help. You are miles away from home, and something will always come up no matter how hard you try to set things in advance. In case of emergencies, don't hesitate to dial a friend. 

2. Communication, not talking, is key. A nice conversation over Viber or Skype can mean much more than mindlessly talking about everything, every single time.

3. I would never rejoice over the misery of other people. But it's sad to admit that you will always find someone in a worse situation. It shouldn't make you feel better, but it should make you feel grateful. And you have to act on it. Be more patient, be extra kind to people, you have no clue what they are going through. 

4. Christmas is always a good time to make new friends! I miss giving gifts so much, that I decided to buy something for my neighbor I hardly see. You should see the look on her face when she saw me standing before her door with a bag of cookies. Priceless. 

5. Joy comes from everywhere. Yes, everywhere! From joining the open house Noche Buena prepared by the parish, to drinking a cup of tea from Bangladesh, to talking about marriage, patriotism and freedom from traditions with a new friend to getting a random hug from the nice old lady who reminds me so much of my beloved lola. Joy finds you if you open your heart to it. :) 

6. God will always have the best plan. Ever. I have nothing fancy for today, but the Big Man has other plans. I got a spontaneous lunch visit from friends who's on transit from Singapore. I never had the chance to meet them in the Philippines before I left so it's nice to have a mini reunion after so many years. And right before I finish this post, remember the nice old lady who hugged me just this morning? She came back with a huge present. How amazing is that! You really see God's face  through people. :) 

Thanks Jeck and Mitch for making my Christmas super funny! Proud of your success. Love you both! :)

I will call her Annie
I'm not home for Christmas. But I have friends and family, far by proximity, but always in touch, always caring and always reminding me that there's really no reason to cry and feel kawawa. I have new friends and gained inspiring experiences. Christmas, just like love, transcends time, ethnicity and geography. Most of all, this is the season to be joyful because it reminds us of the higher Being who's so fond of us despite our imperfections. 

Merry Meaningful Christmas, everyone! Thanks for another year of sharing journeys through this humble blog. I hope you get the blessings you totally deserve! :)

Much Love,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food Review: The famous Digman Halo-Halo

If you're from the South, I'm sure you've heard of Digman, a humble baranggay in Bacoor Cavite made famous by Halo-Halo. Halo-Halo means "mix-mix" because you literally have to mix a dozen of different ingredients with milk and shaved ice topped with leche flan, ube halaya and ice cream. When I was young, my family often troops to Digman when we crave for indulgent desserts and Pinoy merienda. So visiting Digman again takes me back to my happy childhood. It's sweet nostalgia! 

There are several stores in Digman but I've only been to the two more famous refreshment parlors, which incidentally, also claims to be the original. The Original Digman Halo-Halo and Home Made Siopao (which boasts of a patent ha!) and the Talk of Town Original Famous Digman Halo-Halo Special. Don't expect too mucn from these places though, because they are simple old houses turned to stores and still have that laid back, canteen feel. I guess that's part of the novelty. I revisited Digman recently and here's hoping you'll either walk down the memory lane with me, or, discover something new. 

The Original Digman Halo-Halo and Home Made Siopao offers Pinoy merienda like pansit, sweet spaghetti, home made siopao and of course, Halo-Halo and its cousin, Mais con Yelo. A regular Halo-Halo is only Php 55, pansit and spaghetti is Php 40 and their home made siopao is only Php 22. A hundred bucks will go a long way! The owner also welcomes the visitors and makes friendly chit chats.

Like a true warrior, I went ahead and also tried the contender. The Talk of Town Original Famous Digman Halo-Halo Special (that's a mouthful!) is just across the street. They offer similar menu of Pinoy merienda but their Halo-Halo is a little cheaper at Php 45. It's also interesting to see framed news clippings and photos of their celebrity visitors including politicians. Don't forget to order their Pork BBQ which they consign from the vendor beside their store. It's tender and very tasty! 

I personally favor the Original Digman Halo-Halo and Home Made Siopao based on the taste of their lead star, the Halo-Halo. It's sweet but not sickening, ingredients are tasty and well-cooked and they use Alpine, which IMO is the best milk for Halo-Halo. I think they stick to their original recipe through the years. On the other hand, the Talk of Town Digman Original Halo-Halo remains to be a tough competition. Their Halo-Halo tastes okay, but I didn't particularly like two things - too much and artificial vanilla taste and cheaper, sweeter evaporated creamer. Yup, I can recognize the taste. Milk makes a lot of difference. But don't just take my word for it. Go try both and tell me what you like better. 

So if you plan to visit Digman anytime soon, here are some practical tips: 

1. Baranggay Digman is located very near the Bacoor Town Plaza and church. It's along Rubio and Gawaran Streets, you won't miss it. Go and check google map. :) 

2. To be sure, order bottled water, or bring your own. 

3. It's a very casual place where barkadas, students and families eat. Dress casually. 

4. Be adventurous with food. 

Enjoy your food trip! :)

Much Love, 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grown Ups

If you're looking for me on a Saturday night five years ago, you're likely to find me in a bar with some friends on the dance floor or singing along a cute rock band. I was not exactly a full blown party girl, but I've had my share of the crazies and pains of early twenties. Those were the days when responsibilities were less, time was plenty and I started to earn good money too. I had the energy of a bull and an exaggerated sense of YOLO, which I later realized, was not a good combination. I repeatedly got wasted on tequila and cheap bottles of brandy, and I didn't have to wait for the weekend to get my fix. I was young. Everyday was a weekend. I was fine with daily four-hour sleep that my colleagues nor my boyfriend (sorry, Sweetie! ;p) had no clue of the wreck the night before. 

Thankfully, I came out of the quarter life warzone scarred but alive! When I hit 26, the changes were just undeniable. I partied less, I got tired of wearing the once mandatory heels, I was sleepy by midnight and the loud music that used to pump me up started to sound like noise. It's annoying. Then the unthinkable...I lost all interest on alcohol, which to me, was the final straw. I honestly tried to fight it, especially that I retired from the game way earlier than my friends. I vividly remember a night out to celebrate a friend's birthday in a now defunct posh bar. I tried to trick my emotions into wanting it, so I put on my favorite party dress and ankle boots and arrived fashionably late. We had access to the VIP area and alcohol was pouring wildly. Half an hour into the party and I felt like I'm gonna be sick. I excused myself and spent the rest of the night drinking iced coffee in the cafe next door. That night, I bid my youth goodbye. 

Nowadays, look for me on a Saturday and your best bets would be (a) my room, (b) the kitchen or (c) in a laid back resto bar where the decibels are regulated. Haha. Last Saturday, I had a bottle of sweet flavored beer while swaying to a really old (like lolo-old) band playing Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. All the while feeling amused hearing my dear friend P, who just hit 27 and by all means more of a party girl than I ever was, tell me about how she's started to dislike, even dread partying. She ordered a flavored beer too, when I was so sure she's going to ask for a double black. Ha! Welcome to the club, my dear. I assure you, it's not so bad. 

I'm inching into the last year of my twenties, and I feel super. I'm confident that I now make better choices and since nursing a hangover is already out of the picture, I have plenty of time to do and discover more productive things than ever before. Like possibly growing my own herb garden. Or enrolling in a formal culinary class. Name it. I'm a grown up, and I wouldn't have it any other way. :) 

With my dearest friend, Pipi, after hours of talking about life, career overseas and love over tea lattes. How appropriate. ;)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What I Learned Today: On Vacation

Eight long years after graduation and I finally got what I wanted - a real break from work. Ever since I joined the workforce, the longest vacation I've had was a 9-day break which included 5 workdays sandwiched between two weekends. Spent wandering around Singapore and Malaysia, the trip was really tiring as much as it's fun. There's also the (not so) occasional call from work and the constant beeping of my BB. 

When I decided to take up a new challenge in my career, which entails moving to a foreign country, I asked God for a favor to give me at least two weeks to rest, pack and spend time with my friends and family. But the heavens had other plans! I'm on my fifth week now, in between jobs, and quite honestly, getting a little restless. Call it withdrawal symptoms, but my body and mind longs for the demands of my job and its hefty dose of stress. I don't like being idle, but I force myself to look the other way. This is the break I've hoped for in a long time. More than deserving one, I needed one! Besides, I think this is also the heaven's way of telling me that it's okay to slow down a bit, and more importantly, to spend real, quality time with my loved ones. 

In the tradition of my What I Learned Today series, let me share a few thoughts I've had while sipping matcha tea from the neighborhood cafe, reading e-books, or while doing the grocery list. 

1. Stay-at-home parents have one of the toughest jobs on Earth! My mom is a kitchen diva, she's a natural. She cooks really well, but it's not her favorite house chore. I always frown at her when she complains how difficult it is to plan everyday meals. I mean how can that be so difficult? I never understood that until now. My mom is out of the country until December, and since I'm on vacation, I took over the kitchen duties. Two weeks into the job and I've already exhausted the list of "do's" and "da's" (adobo, menudo, afritada etc.). I wonder how my mom managed for the last 35 years! We haven't even started with the laundry, bathroom; then comes the kids, school work, social duties. Parents, moms especially, I suspect, are super humans.

2. A day is just a day. Sunrise and sunset, meals three times a day, and 24 hours essentially make up a day. It's going to be the same tomorrow unless you do something about it. You can sleep all day, watch TV 'til your eyes hurt or drown with too much social media; or you can go out and see the world. Spend time with positive people, visit your dearest lola, run that extra mile, try new things. You can never have too much to learn, and your supposedly idle days can be more fulfilling. 

Rekindling my love for bowling. I used to do this every weekend with my dad. :)

3. You'll be thankful you saved for rainy days. As much as I tried to be ready for this transition, I didn't expect my break will stretch for too long. Despite the setbacks the past months, I'm grateful to have saved enough to get me through. I still wish I saved more. The bills never stop, you know. 

4. Budgeting could mean everything. While I'm used to managing my own money, and even developed a fairly geeky tool, it's the first time I've tried my hand at budgeting for the whole household. In the last month, I've perfected my skills in scrutinizing the labels, ingredients, grams and price of every item in the shopping cart. I've discovered the best, off-peak time to do the errands to save time and gas, the perks and store discounts on certain days and how keeping a grocery list and bills tracker can save my sanity. 

5. Garbage in, garbage out. Eating and living healthy is a constant battle I've had for the past years. Staying at home, which means eating at home more often, gave me the opportunity to examine everything I put in my mouth. I have a long way to go when it comes to ditching soda and controlling sweets, but I'm happy to be eating healthier, more balanced and more natural food lately. I tossed all artificial flavor enhancers down the drain, and that includes MSG and anything "magical", "instant" and labeled "pampasarap".

I'm guessing I still have a few more weeks at home before I start my new adventure, hence, watch out for my next #LolaVibes and #DomesticDiva posts! :) 

Much Love, 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Todo por Amor

I've been wanting a tattoo since forever but I waited for the right moment to have something so meaningful to me, I have to impress it on my skin. To everyone I love and care for, you know fighting for you is a serious business. Thank you for inspiring me. 

Lots of love to my artist and friend, Erik Belbis. Your design is amazing, I hope I gave justice! Tattoo by Jonathan Sanchez of 55Tinta and DimpzInk. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Smart Buys: BYS Blusher in Fierce Fuschia

I got my hands on the BYS Blusher a few weeks ago after I painfully dropped my blush compact in the mall. I rushed to the makeup section, and since it's an unplanned purchase, I opted for an affordable but decent option. It doesn't hurt that the lady in the BYS counter was also very helpful and well made-up. After a few swatches, I went home with the BYS Blusher in Fierce Fuschia. I've been using it on regular days (which includes normal office days, errands and weekend strolls) and here's how it fared on my super oily skin. 

  • Color payoff is good. I lightly swipe my Charm blush brush twice and it's enough to nicely color one cheek up to the temple. Just make sure to apply lightly to get an even tone. 
  • Lasting power is average. I have super oily skin and on a humid day (which is normal in PH btw), I need to reapply twice to thrice a day. 
  • It contains shimmers, so if you're into matte, this is not for you. If you are, then the shimmers are fine enough to just give you a glow. No shimmer shocks, don't worry. 
  • I dropped it twice and it's still in tact. Hooray! 
  • It's super affordable at only Php 249.00. My college self will totally agree. :) 
  • No brush included. Make sure to have a good blush brush. Try Charm or Suesh. Blending makes a lot of difference especially with blushers. Remember, aim for natural, pinched look and avoid harsh lines. :) 

Repurchase is a possibility but I'm far far away from hitting the pan so maybe trying out other shades from BYS is more likely. 

Happy end of the week! 

Much Love, 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gratitude List: #ProjectGoodVibes

My friend, Kristel, tagged me on her #ProjectGoodVibes post on Facebook. The challenge is to list three positive things in your life that you're truly thankful about. I guess I'm no stranger to this as I have #GratitudeList and #ProjectPositivity on this blog, hence, posting it here instead. Here we go. 

1. A deeper relationship with the Lord, and sharing the journey with my partner. (Hello, Sweetie!) I was born and raised in a very religious family and I grew up admiring the faith and dedication of my lola and aunts. I went to a Catholic school from nursery and practiced my religion as expected. But for so long, I did it out of tradition and duty. It's been only a few years since I started questioning, reading, deciding and finding out more about my personal relationship with my Creator. I discovered new ways to practice and deepen my faith, and even debunked a few practices I don't understand and believe in. I now understand people and their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) better. Faith, I discovered, is truly personal. We can't go around shoving our own ideals to people just because we think it's the right thing to do. That's why I love our Pope so much! I can't say my journey is complete, but everyday is a revelation I'm truly grateful for.

HS Girlfriends

2. Blessed with Good People. I consider myself a really lucky blessed girl. Maybe not so much on material things, but my life is really brimming with the nicest, smartest, most joyful people. My clan is wickedly awesome, I can't stay sad in their company. My childhood is epic with memories of family outings, late Happy Meal Drive Thru's and silly Christmas games. I also have a circle of trusted girls whom I've been friends with since Elementary and HS (Hello, Tara, Chai, Yhel, Tethas, Cath, Ren and Libay!). If I wasted myself and gone astray, I'm pretty sure they will find me and pick me up from my mess. No questions asked. 

Amazingly, I also found a good man (10 years ago!) who's been with me through all my ups and troubles. He's also been unbelievably patient with me when I can't even be patient with myself. My 29 years have not been exactly breezy but I've managed to get through and remain positive because the love I receive from people are simply overwhelming. It would be a shame to let them down. For some reason, it's as if I'm born with a magnet that attracts good people. Hooray! :)

3. A Second Home in EON. It's been more than three years since I took a leap of faith and left my comfort zone to join EON. One of the best decisions in my life. I met and learned from the smartest and most brilliant people in the PR industry. EON honed and polished my skills, exposed me to various industries and practices and stretched me to go beyond perceived limits. It's one hell of  a ride, sometimes scary, most of the time fun, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. More importantly, this is where I met really good people who eventually became trusted friends.The management (and everyone else!) is so supportive of me, it really felt like family. 

A career in PR is never too easy (if it is, then you're probably doing it wrong), but amidst the tiring days, unholy working hours, crazy deadlines and uhm, challenging clients, it's my colleagues, mentors and my friends who kept me going. EON is and will always be a second home. Plus, I tell you, we know how to have fun! ;)

Boracay 2012
Christmas Party at Club Muah 2012

Creepy Matryoshka dolls | Halloween 2013
EON Anniversary at Spicy Fingers October 2013
Shell FuelSave Drive Feb 2014
Bohol June 2014

As I type this, we got news that EON won the South East Asia Consultancy of the Year Award from The Holmes Report. The first ever PR agency recognized from the Philippines! Woot! :)

Now's your turn. Join the #ProjectGoodVibes and spread positivity and all around!

Much Love, 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Perfect Timing

It's funny how people are always in a hurry for everything. Kids can't wait to grow up, young professionals slave themselves to get a promotion ASAP, lovers jump on the next chance to get hitched. I'm no exception. If there's a value I need to practice more than anything, it's patience. When it comes to this ballgame, I'm an amateur. In basketball jargon, bangko.

When I was 16, I applied for a part-time job as a fastfood attendant. I didn't need the money, I just wanted a fastlane to the grownup world. My parents didn't sign the waiver, and you wouldn't believe the amount of tears and tantrums I threw at them all summer. Now that I look back, I'm glad they did that. Summer was a good time to meet new friends (boy crushes even, ha!), learn new things and spend more time at home. I mastered my biking stunts, bruised my knees, started my love affair with cooking and did things that I don't have the time and chance to do now that I'm already in the workforce. 

Most people I know spent a few weeks after college just to take a break after 15 years of schooling. I did the opposite. My graduation ceremonies was still a month after the official end of school so I said what the heck, I'm not wasting a minute being a bum. I logged into Jobstreet, sent my CV to a BPO company, got a call for an interview the next day and signed my first job offer later that evening. Did that work out? NO. BPO environment was not for me. Graveyard shift killed me. I was miserable. All because I was in a hurry. For what? Nothing really. 

Now that I'm in my late twenties, I still get high on impulse, but I can manage better. I now choose my battles more carefully. I buy time to go over big decisions. I finally met patience. He's like a gentle old friend, rich with life's experiences. He's mild-mannered and composed. He has no reasons to cram or panic, because he's well aware of the universe's perfect timing. And I tell you, the Big Man above is not shy to show His great mercy and glory to the believers!

Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur | 2010

When my dad had a massive stroke earlier this year, I prayed hard that he gets transferred to a regular room at least before my birthday. After three gruesome weeks, we got the doctor's order to move him. It was the night before I turned 29.

I then decided to pursue my plans to work abroad, and since my brother and a handful of other relatives live in Dubai, it was a natural choice. If not for Ramadan, I would have flown to Dubai last May. But Mr. Patience asked me to painfully wait again. It's impractical to go around and hunt for a job in Dubai when offices operated for only half a day for almost a month. Not to mention that average temp is 50 degrees. So when Ramadan ended in July, I gave myself two weeks to pack and say my good byes. I had a ticket for August 14. Alas. I got my job offer to expatriate to Kuala Lumpur on the eve of August 13. It's a dream job for PR practitioners like me. I had to let Dubai, and the promise of still being with family, go.

I will be 30 years old next year, and I've told myself time and again that I will move out and live on my own before I hit the big 3-0. I've been ready for so long, but I didn't have the heart to leave my mom alone until this great opportunity came. I broke the news over Chinese dinner and she gave me her full support. Now is the perfect time to live independently, alone (but not lonely I hope!) in a foreign country. It's also time to learn how to properly do the laundry.

Now, can you honestly say these are mere coincidence? I refuse to believe so. I call it God's Perfect Timing. And I'm very very excited for the rest to unfold. 

Have a blessed weekend! :)

Much Love,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I Learned Today: In a Snap of a Finger

I expected my third visit to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to be relatively uneventful. But traveling has so many ways to delight and surprise us. I met several new friends, set foot on the outskirts of the Sabah state, tried pickled fruits that tasted like bugs, traditional Malay and Dusun cuisine and a really badass rice wine called Tapai. A few sips and you're buzzed for the night.

On top of that, I also managed to get myself into a very sticky situation that involved near drowning, a good amount of blood and medical evacuation from Kiulu river. Don't panic, I've fully recuperated. My frantic mother scolded me for being too "brave". What was I thinking when I jumped in the raging water to body raft, as if river rafting is not exciting (and risky) enough? 

It was an unforgettable experience. But while it's nerve-wracking, I don't think it will hinder me from seeking future adventures. In fact, it drew me closer to my desire to see and experience more of this world. Among the things that ran through my mind after brushing with death, this truth struck me the most. If we can be gone in a snap of a finger, why waste our lives with mediocrity and regrets? Each morning is an opportunity to chase our dreams harder, to act kinder towards our neighbors, to love more passionately, to serve our Lord more faithfully, and never forget, to find life's greatest adventures.

Rice paddies at Tambunan Village
Feeling small
and all playful at Mahua Falls
Gearing up for white water rafting at Kiulu river
Token shot at the snake road going to Tambunan village

Thank you for all the love and well wishes! I'm up and about and ready for my next adventure. Shout out to the lovely Kitingan family who hosted us so graciously especially to Ann who escorted me to the clinic and all the way to the hospital. All my love for you guys!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The 3-month late Birthday

Here's a 3-month late post on how I spent my 29th birthday. It was a difficult time because my dad was still in the hospital then, hence the missed birthday blog. But despite that, my family was still able to arrange a swimming party for the April celebrants and some relatives from abroad spending summer vacation in the PH. How blessed can I be! :) 
It was a fun night of hot spring pools, cakes and bubblies.

On top of that, my colleagues invited me to a pseudo brainstorming, which turned out to be a Japanese birthday lunch. Hooray for good friends!
For what it's worth, Happy Birthday to me! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gratitude List: Downtime

Glenda, one of the most powerful storms to hit the the Philippines this year, has left eastern and southern Luzon in shambles. Manila, the mega city and the country's capital, was left in chaos and some areas remain powerless for several days now. We got our power back a few hours ago after four days of struggling with darkness. While I'm too happy that the power, along with all the comforts it brings our home, is back, I'm also grateful to have a bit of a lull to see a few things in a totally different light. So today, I woke up early from a fake cold night, grabbed my computer and listed some things I'm thankful for during my forced downtime. 

Preparation is key. Parts of Manila was (and some are still) in the dark. Most households I know are equipped with the usual emergency supplies but only to a certain extent. Are we prepared in the event that the blackout stretches to a week or more? With the batteries, emergency lights and candles sold out in almost all groceries in our area (only on the second day!), I guess not. Time to beef up my Doomsday Preppers vibe.

Be with an employer who genuinely cares for you. It was 3am, and I was desperately trying to do something about the banging windows and ceiling when I read the office thread over WhatsApp. It was our business unit head, tracing the whereabouts and safety of each and every employee. I know some companies, especially those whose clients are overseas, cannot suspend work because of the nature of their business. Not entirely their fault, but I'm just happy to be where I am right now where people's safety matters more than anything. 

Do not take communication for granted. I cannot stress enough how it's so hassle-free to communicate these days. You can message or call anyone with a few tap on your personal gadgets. For a digital immigrant who still remembers how my dad and uncles send voice tapes from abroad, I value how communication is now at our fingertips. Sadly, once a thing becomes too easy and too abundant, people tend to take it for granted. So when the networks went wonky, people scrambled to their phones to reach their loved ones. Do we really have to wait for a storm to reach out? 

Home is where my heart is. Power was out in our place for four days. That's almost a hundred hours of sweltering in the dark. By the second day, cabin fever sets in. In this time and age when I and most people in my circle are connected to the web 24/7, I'm sure you get where this is heading. A number of good friends who live in buildings with generators or in unaffected areas offered to host me and my family until we get our power back. But my mom is old-school and didn't want to leave the house. I was very tempted to stay at a friend's place since I needed to sleep to be able to work, but somehow, I long for my home. It's where I'm most at peace despite the lack of all the usual comforts. Aside from the sleepless nights, it still wasn't so bad. 

Makeup-less and home with the boss

Live a simple life. A friend posted about how they drove for hours to find a hotel because her kids cannot take the power-less night. They didn't find any because all hotels are fully booked, and people were actually waiting in line. She also said how she remembers that when they were kids, they managed to survive a few days without electricity and how people nowadays will die of the inconvenience rather than the typhoon. I have nothing against people, especially families with kids, who cannot survive a night without hot water and air conditioning. But personally, I want to try to keep a simple lifestyle and be less dependent on the everyday luxuries. Just in case we get doomed, I have better chances of adapting.

No sandwich maker? That's fine. I'm happy with my hot and freshly delivered taho! :)

One day at a time. In relation to living a simple life, no power means no fridge, which means we have to cook food just enough to finish in one sitting. On a broader sense, there will be days and instances when the world will ask us to slow down and not be sick and worried too much about the future and just live one day at a time. We could all use a break from paranoia. 

Sharing one of my favorite verses from the scriptures
Pray for resilience. In times of difficulties, we usually pray for the energy and strength to survive. In life, we aim to display courage and power. In truth, when our humanly strength and betrays us, what we need is the ability to spring back to our original form and bounce back from all the difficulties. SHRUG. IT. OFF. 

My mind is a bottomless pit of insights and life lessons the past days. I guess 96 hours of downtime did me well. Wishing everyone's safe after the storm. Take care!

Much Love,

Monday, July 14, 2014

12 Things You Need to Know About Oral Care

I had the funniest conversation with my closest girls about always smelling good, people's natural scents and well - nasty body odors. As much as I want to impose equality, I have to agree that girls are ALWAYS expected to smell good compared to boys. Of course it's no excuse for boys to put their guards (and deodorants) down, but somehow, their athletic activities and abundant sweat glands give them a bit of a leeway to occasionally smell otherwise.  Girls do not have any excuse. 

Fortunately, this is not the case for oral care. Boys, girls, young and old, we are all expected to always mind our breath. Being social beings, it is a must to ensure that we have fresh breath whenever we talk to people, which means all the time! My friends and I agreed that it's a social responsibility, and we even made a pact to be honest with each other and with people around us in an effort to promote healthy mouths and fresh breath all around! :)

In view of this, here are 12 things you should know about oral care:

1.  The perfect angle to tilt your toothbrush is 45 degrees for that optimal reach. To properly brush your teeth tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline by using short strokes. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that's right, 120 seconds! FACT: Most adults do not come close to brushing that long.  

2. The ideal length of floss to use is 20 inches. Ideally, floss should be waxed. Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks in between teeth and below the gumline, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. Waxed floss allows the floss to glide along your gums.

3.  Three months is the ideal lifespan of a toothbrush. Clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that's worn out, ensuring that your brush is working its hardest to help keep your teeth clean and healthy. That's because, no matter what type of toothbrush you use, its bristles can become frayed and worn and may lose their effectiveness.

4.  A healthy gum is pink in color and does not bleed when brushing or flossing.  If you experience bleeding gums often, visit your dentist as this may be a sign of oral problem.  

5. There are 500-650 types of bacteria species living in the oral cavity, one of the main reasons for having bad breath. Over 500 different strains of bacteria have been detected in the human mouth, though most people are only host to 34 to 72 different varieties. Most of these bacterial species appear to be harmless when it comes to our health. Other bacteria actually protect our teeth and gums. There are some bacteria, however, that we'd rather do without, since they cause tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.  

6.  Mouthwash takes care of the spaces inside the mouth that your toothbrush cannot reach. A mouthwash with fluoride will help reduce cavities and periodontal disease.

7.   There are two kinds of tooth stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods and tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains are minor and can be removed with brushing and prophylactic dental cleaning. Stubborn extrinsic stains can be removed with more involved efforts, like teeth bleaching. Persistent extrinsic stains can penetrate into the dentin and become ingrained if they are not dealt with early. Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride

8.   We need to use a tongue cleaner. A tongue cleaner (also called a tongue scraper or tongue brush) is an oral hygiene device designed to clean the bacterial build-up, food debris, fungi, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. Using a tongue cleaner will ensure a cleaner, healthier mouth. 

9.   Oral Health is linked to systemic health. Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?    

10. Canine teeth are the cornerstones of the mouth. Known as the strongest teeth, the canine teeth are also responsible for keeping the face shape intact. Most common action of the canines is tearing of food. The canine teeth are able to withstand the tremendous lateral pressures from chewing. There is a single cusp on canines, and they resemble the grasping teeth found in carnivorous animals.  

11. Tooth Sensitivity is triggered by food, drinks, air and touch. This problem often happens when gums recede. The gum tissue acts like a protective blanket to cover the roots of the teeth. As the gums recede the underlying tooth roots are exposed. They are not covered by hard enamel. Think of your gums and the enamel on your teeth as a down comforter covering and protecting your body from the cool winter air. Over time, the gums may recede or the enamel or dentin on your teeth may wear down, creating the condition for tooth sensitivity. Thousands of tiny dentinal tubules (channels) leading to the tooth's nerve center (pulp) are than exposed. These tubules allow more stimuli like heat, cold or pressure to reach the nerve in the tooth and you feel pain.

12.  Visit your dentist at least twice a year. You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though they may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health like stains, crooked teeth, cause of bad breath and other mouth problems.  
     Thank you to Colgate Philippines for the useful information. To know more, visit Colgate’s official Facebook Page or Website

Much Love,