Saturday, January 31, 2009

BB Cream

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this product called the BB Cream. I first heard about from this Li(z)terati, whose site I lurk. Askmewhats made an extensive product review as shown here.  It took me serious googling to finally find Indulgenzes, a local supplier.  I bought a tube from Indulgenzes before she ran out of stock. 

The rave about BB Cream, particularly the BRTC brand is captured by Indulgenzes description as follows:

"Blemish Balm, also called BB Cream, is known to have been formulated as an after-treatment cream to help patients who have gone through laser skin surgery to soothe and regenerate the skin. Soon, it became popular with many Korean celebrities.


-Helps soften skin texture
-Prolonged use of product may help improve overall texture of skin and fade acne scars
-Acts as makeup base and foundation
-Helps cover the irregularities on the skin, even out skin tone, camouflage under eye circles, scars and add radiance to face."

Of all the BB Creams available in the market, BRTC (Bio Remedies for Therapeutic Cosmetics) has the best reviews. I liked the sound of a cosmetic that actually heals the skin instead of ruins it. So far, it is an amazing makeup base. The Perfect Protect BRTC BB Cream  leaves a dewy effect instead of a matte effect. 

How do I apply?

1. Cleanser
2. Toner
3. Moisturizer (I skip it during the day because I tend to get oily.)
4. Sunblock spf 50 (My BRTC BB cream has no spf.)
5. BRTC BB Cream
6. Foundation (for better coverage)
7. Powder (to set)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bye Google Chrome, Welcome Back Firefox

I wanted to like Google chrome. Downloading it was amazingly fast. It was like magic. It has a malware/spyware alert system that actually prevented me from opening sites including blogspot sites that have some issues. I would have wanted it to work!

But, it was freakingly sloooooooooowwwww. I don't get it! It can hardly open its very own Google reader. It doesn't allow me to reply to my yahoo mail messages. I was unable to reply to group threads or to private messages. I don't get it.

Now, there is a theory floating around that google chrome's sluggish performance is due to its secret activity of actually mining information on the user's web activities. Ah ha.

That's it. I am outta here and running back to firefox!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

50 Favorite Nursery Rhymes

In October, 2008, the store Baby Company released the collection, "50 Favorite Nursery Rhymes: An Anniversary Collection" to mark SM's 50 year celebration.  I was in Baby Company at that time buying diapers when I heard this beautifully sang, "Hush-A-Bye Baby." I asked the sales girl how much a CD costs while bracing for the usual PHP300 and above price range. My jaw dropped when she said they were selling it for PHP60 only.

I hurried to the CD rack and I let out a major oohwah when I saw the collection:

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  2. Hush-A-Bye Baby/Rock-A-Bye-Baby
  3. Ride a Cock Horse
  4. Hush Little Baby
  5. Are You Sleeping Brother John
  6. Mary Mary Quite Contrary
  7. Rain Rain Go Away
  8. Row Row Row Your Boat
  9. London  Bridge
  10. Hickory Dickory Dock
  11. Mary Had A Little Lamb
  12. Humpty Dumpty
  13. Jack & Jill (Original)
  14. I'm a Little Teapot
  15. Happy Birthday
  16. Alphabet Song (A-You're Adorable)
  17. Supercallifragillisticexplaidocious
  18. Little Bo-Peep
  19. I Have Two Hands
  20. Old King Cole
  21. Hail! Hail The Gang's All Here
  22. Getting To Know You
  23. Hello! How Do You Do
  24. The More We Get Together
  25. Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat
  26. Three Blind Mice
  27. Ten Little Indians
  28. My Toes, My Knees, My Shoulder, My Head
  29. Eency Weency Spider
  30. (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window
  31. Musical Alphabet Song
  32. Little Sunny Water
  33. Where Is Thumbkin
  34. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  35. Ring Around the Rosy
  36. B-i-n-g-o
  37. Old McDonald Had A Farm
  38. On Top of Spaghetti
  39. Pop Goes the Weasel
  40. She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain
  41. Skip To My Lou
  42. The Little Pig Went to Market
  43. Three Little Kittens
  44. I've Been Working on the Railroad
  45. He's Got the Whole World
  46. Six Little Ducks
  47. Three Little Piggies
  48. Here We Go Looby Loo
  49. Shake My Hand
  50. The Farmer In The Dell
The whole CD was a real steal! Only problem is, I bought only one and it is no longer available after October. So, SM, if you are reading this, please, please make it available again.

 The CD is a real stress buster. The baby  loves it and sleeps soundly after we play it to her. It is a constant companion to our out of town trips. It has preserved my sanity by preempting some of baby's major meltdowns. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fabulous Blog

Amy of gave me this fabulous award. Thanks so much girl!!! Do check out Amy's website. 

Pat of also handed me the same award. Thank you, Pat. This time, though, I have to reveal my addictions. Uh oh. So here are the five:

1. Hubby and baby. I get really bad separation anxiety when it comes to my baby. Working on that. 
2. Japanese food
3. Internet surfing and lurking at other people's sites 
4. Books
5. Probably shopping, but not that much really.

In turn, I am passing on this award to those who visited me these past days despite my lack of activity. Well, Pat is one of them, but I can't give her back this award. These are:

Ask Ms. Recipe of

Thursday, January 15, 2009

BPA free bottle - Medela

When my baby was just a few months' old, my really good friend from Canada emailed me to dump my non-BPA free bottles and switch to safer bottles. At the start I said, nah, it's no big deal. I was using Avent at that time and I found it pricey to change bottles since Avent is not offering to replace bottles here in the Philippines. 

After some time of deliberating and tossing and turning, I relented. I figured what is a few hundred bucks of savings but with a possibility of a potential damage to my daughter's health.

What convinced me was the decisive action taken by the Canadian government based on the studies by Health Canada. On October 17, 2008, Canada announced its drafting of regulations banning the importation, sale, and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA), as announced here. As far as I know, the US has not initiated similar steps. 

There are two main sources of BPA for infants: (1) baby bottles; and (2) tin cans containing baby formula. Heating the bottle or putting in hot liquid may cause leeching.  I have been mixed feeding from the start and shifted to pure formula feeding when my baby turned 8 months. I have figured out a way of ensuring BPA free bottles by purchasing Medela bottles. However, I have not been as mindful of the formula cans containing my baby's formula. 

How to check if your formula tin can is polycarbonate. Check the bottom of the bottle for the number 7 in the center of the recycling symbol with a PC beside it. 

BPA Health Risks.  Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor. Studies have linked low-dose BPA exposure with permanent changes to the genital tract; increase prostate weight; decline in testosterone; breast cells predisposed to cancer; prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer; and hyperactivity. 

The scientific studies are not yet very certain, however, I find it best to err on the side of caution. 

After all this information, I went up to see Beng of Codienne Enterprises. It is my understanding that Codienne Enterprises is allowed to distribute Medela products provided that they distribute directly to consumers and do not put out their products in stores. Maybe, that is why their Medela products are cheaper. I was in luck and Beng had stocks so I bought 4 pieces of  250ml/8.5oz bottles with medium teat at  PHP 600/piece.

According to Beng, the Medela bottles are flexible as they can be used with all Medela breastpumps. The bottles are also shatterproof and do not crack or splinter when dropped. Best of all, they are BPA free!

Beng Feliciano
Medela Mom
Exclusive Authorized Distributor
Medela Philippines
mobile:  (0926) 7016248  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Massage Oil

Once more, I found this fabulous massage oil at the Legaspi Sunday Market. It is made and sold by the same people behind the very effective gugo shampoo with real gugo bark, as I posted here. I also bought from them the pure soap which I use as baby bottle cleanser described here.

What I love about the massage oil is that it is made of ginger. It is not oily or greasy. More importantly, it doesn't leave oil blots on my sheets or strong smell on the skin. That part I didn't like about coconut oil.

The label says:

Ginger Massage Oil
Folk medicine for centuries has regarded ginger as one of 
nature's most health-giving gifts to mankind. 
Modern science has attested to the fact that the rhizoid's oil
 and extract possess anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. 
Aestheticians the world over claim it helps beautify the skin 
by easing dermal tension  that may cause
wrinkles or varicose vein formations. 

The bottle shown about sells at PHP250.00. I already used some of it  once for a 2-hour massage. So sulit.

Anyways, I finally snagged the booth's owner's name and contact details:

Gerry Ruiz Villena
Mobile: 0927 577 2075
0922 471 0741

Gerry claims that he can ship his products. If you need more details, better reach him directly. His small booth is attracting attention at the Sunday Market. Celebrity sightings include Angel Aquino and Cory Quirino. I hope that doesn't affect either its quality or pricing.
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

6th Folder/6th Picture Tag from Amy

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Amy ( tagged me this post. 

The rules are: 
1. Go the picture folder of your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th foloder and get the 6th picture in that folder.
3. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with that picture.
4. Tag other glorious people to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog telling them about it. 

So, here goes. This is a photo of Caylabne Bay in Tarnate, Cavite. This was taken last year. Hmmm... we often head to Caylabne for weekend outing. Nothing much follows.

Inspiring Blog Award

My friend, Q, (and no she is not a James Bond 007 character) has been all too kind to pass these awards to me. 

The Fourth Edition Tag

Amy tagged me this fun tag. Amy is from Cagayan de Oro but is now in the US. I follow her blog and we have had a few exchanges. She is the sweetest. Anyways, here is her tag:

4 favorite things to munch on

4 places I like to visit and why

Rome and all of Italy - wanna visit it again but this time with hubby and baby.

Lourdes, France - to have a pilgrimage to our Lady and, of course, ask for healing

New Zealand - I love a laid back tour. 

California and the US - to visit family; to outlet shop in the US :)

4 favorite sites for online shopping.

my wishlist is up to 30 items already....
can't have enough of amazon books
can't find Tan Books google image

4 things that pop up when you google my name

That my name is a flower is pretty obvious. 
Thankfully, no irish spring soap popped up in google image. How annoying for pinoys to identify my name with this soap and not with any of the beautiful images below. Perhaps, that's why they always spell my name with an "h".  Hay.

That my name is an eye part is also common.

That a perfume with my name is understandable.

But to have named a nebula, Iris, is astounding! Indeed, a far cry from irish spring. Har har har

I am tagging all those in my followers button to do this fun post, well, except, Amy (, who tagged me in the first place. She has 3 blogs and I follow all three. 

Jenny ( blogs about political issues, and the girl can jump! 

Ren ( is a Cebuano who blogs about Cebu.

Momgen (  blogs about a myriad of things.

Melanie ( talks about her life as a pinay mom in Seattle. She must be busy preparing for Gabz's birthday. 

Dharlz ( )  is a SPED teacher based in Cagayan de Oro City. 

Hot Topic ( is a certified Bisdak [bisayang dako]. She talks about anything new or hot at the moment.

Krissy (  ) is a new blog friend. I visit her site often.

Jigi ( She is a Filipina who lives in Sydney with her Greek chef husband. I can't imagine how good the food must be in her house. She blogs about her life and her own kitchen. 

Claire (  ) -She blogs mostly about food finds that leave my mouth watering most of the time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tomato Soup

It is a challenge finding healthy eats in malls. Therefore, it was a welcome surprise stumbling upon the menu selection of the Buzz Cafe in Island City Mall (ICM) in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.  I particularly liked its tomato sauce with fresh vegetables. The soup came with bread and the Bohol Bee Farm spreads. It is offered at PHP160 per serving. I know, it is a tad expensive for Bohol rates.  

Upper Ground Floor, Island City Mall
Tagbilaran Ctiy, Philippines

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I have always loved tomato soup. I used to prepare it for dinner along with bruschetta. Below is the tomato soup recipe which I cherish. It is from the The Best of Food Magazine (ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. Pasig City, 2001)

Tomato Bread Soup
6-8 servings

1/2 cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin) plus additional for serving
1 large onion, minced
4 large cans (about 16 oz. each) whole plum tomatoes, undrained, cut into large pieces
5 cups chicken broth OR 2 bouillon chicken cubes dissolved in 5 cups water
10   slices crusty bread cut into chunks
teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of Italian seasoning
2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces OR 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and saute onion.
  • Add tomatoes and their juices and saute for a few seconds, pressing tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour in chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in bread chunks and blend well with the rest of the mixture. Season with salt, sugar, Italian seasoning and the dried basil if using. Let simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If using fresh basil leaves, add the leaves at this point. Heat through for 30 seconds.
  • Spoon into individual serving bowls. Pour a dollop of extra virgin olive oil into each soup bowl for added flavor. Serve with warm bread such as focaccia or baguette.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Acupuncture in Tagbilaran City, Bohol

While in Bohol, I went to see Dr. Jefferson Huan Ong for acupuncture treatment. Dr. Ong is a licensed doctor of medicine and graduated from Cebu Doctor's College. He went to China to train in acupuncture and has now opened an acupuncture clinic in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Dr. Ong is accredited with the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), a government owned and controlled corporation attached to the Department of Health. 

I can't believe that Bohol is so fortunate to have this alternative treatment available. 

Had I known about acupuncture during my pregnancy, perhaps, I never would have gone through two days of induced labor and ended up with a c-section just the same. Oh well, I am charging everything to experience and blogging about it so people are informed of other choices.
Dr. Ong was very accommodating. He agreed to see me during his lunch break, though, it was a bit unusual. I had no other time and was running really late for my other activities. He explained very well what the procedure is about. It was my first time to have a heated moxa (a bitter herb) used on my acupuncture needles. Dr. Ong explained that sometimes a person's qi (pronounced: chee) is very deficient that you need external stimulus like the heat from the moxa to fire up the qi. He also adds that the moxa is used to treat dysmenorrhea, insomnia, etc. People with insomnia would put moxa herbs under their pillows and would have really deep sleep and very vivid dreams. 

Clinic facade

From Dr. Ong's flyer:

What is acupuncture? It is an ancient system of treating and preventing disease developed in China. It has at least 4,000 years of history and is based on the balance of the vital energy of the body called Qi (chee). Qi follows consistent pathways through the body connecting the outer skin and muscles to inner organs. By inserting very thin sterile needles into the skin and underlying tissues, a well-trained acupuncturist can manipulate the flow of the qi and improve the target health issue.

How does it treat disease? Diseases are generally classified as excess or deficiency of qi. The manipulation of qi along its pathways in the body allows the physician to regulate the flow, reducing excesses and increasing the deficient. Obstructed pathways which are usually responsible for pain are also freed through manipulations. An herb called moxa from the Mugwort plant is sometimes heated over the acupoint to increase positive energy. this is especially useful in diseases where pain has been present for a long time (e.g. arthritis, spondylosis, disc diseases, etc)

Acupuncture is safe to combine with most modern medicines and maintenance medications should be continued even while undergoing acupuncture.

Inside the clinic

Is it painful? The insertion of the needle is hardly perceivable due to the very thin gauge of the needle used. When the needle contacts the acupoint, there may be one of a number of sensations around the area. Feelings such as numbness, tingling, heat or cold, heaviness or a sensation of electricity passing through the limb may be felt. This is called the "arrival of qi" and is directly related to the benefit that can be derived from the acupuncture session. 

Dr. Jefferson Huan Ong, M.D.

What diseases can be treated with acupuncture? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that all diseases can be treated using acupuncture becase the qi affects everything in the body. The World Health Organization however has a list of around 30+ medical conditions approved to benefit from acupuncture:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain/stiffness
  • Sciatica
  • Elbow joint problem
  • Knee pain
  • Arthritis of the shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Facial pain/Bell's palsy
  • Headache (including migraine)
  • Dental pain
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMU) dysfunction
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Induction of labor
  • Correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
  • Morning sickness/dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain after surgery
  • Stroke
  • Essential hypertension
  • Primary hypotension
  • Renal colic
  • Leukopenia
  • Adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis including hay fever
  • Billary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Acute diarrhea
  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Peptic ulcer/gastritis
  • Insomnia and generalized anxiety


   Point of Care Acupuncture Clinic
Upper Ground Floor, Bohol Quality Mall
CPG Avenue, Tagbilaran City, Bohol

   +63 38 411 3164 loc. 294 (landline)
+63 920 962 3457 (mobile)

Clinic Days: 
   Monday to Saturday but call for appointment

Rates: PHP500 for first session
PHP300 for succeeding sessions

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Child Is This?

It is now Sunday and we are preparing to go to mass. The long vacation is over and we are looking forward to the new year, though not exactly thrilled to go back to work. Then, I stumbled upon Jennifer's blog.

I was mesmerized by a video she posted.

I, too, was challenged to really consider the importance of the Christmas we just celebrated. When we are back to the grind of our daily life and work, we simply forget. Then, we remember, when we are in dire need, when we are sick, or when we feel helpless. I hope to remember each time. After all, "If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation." (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, Inaugural Mass, 24 April 2005)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Raw Fish and Fresh Seafood

When I was young, my mother used to share an anecdote about a guy from Cebu who was diagnosed with cancer. The guy went on leave from his job and lived on an island. He went fishing with the local fishermen everyday and had a regular diet of raw fish dipped in sea water. He thought he was nearing his end until one day his doctors discovered that he was already cancer free.

True or not, this story has always fascinated me. I love being out to sea. I love eating raw fish or what we Visayans call, kinilaw or kilawin for the Tagalogs.


Preparing the kinilaw

So during my trip home to Tagbilaran, I asked my mother to prepare kinilaw. It was the best!!! I couldn't have enough. If only we have more fresh seafood in Manila. I also went to see the market in Dao District, Tagbilaran City. This is the market across from Island City Mall (ICM).

Below are my finds at 5:30 in the afternoon.

I've been awarded!

Finally, I am back! It is good to  have an internet access. To start the year, I will first post about the awards I received from my amazing online friends. 

Thanks to dez for giving me this award.

Thanks thea for handing me this award.

Finally, thanks to dharlz who also gave me this award:

This is definitely starting the year with a bang!