Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community
Christmas list 2006
LOVE LUCY By Lucy Gomez
The Philippine STAR 12/17/2006

(Part 2)
I regret to inform you that Manang Tessie of Ulcing’s lechon lost her mobile phone so the number I shared with you last week is no longer working. Call her instead at 0919-3613291. I just enjoyed many servings of her authentic lechon today, and it tastes exquisite (if you can ever call lechon that).

Tapa. There are only two sources I run to for tapa that truly satisfies. Each is deliciously special, in its own distinct way.

From Dolor comes beef tapa, sliced so thinly it mimics bacon, but with a taste that is decidedly more Pinoy. I love it fried to a crisp over a bowl of steaming white rice topped with fried egg, but I enjoy it just as much in a sandwich or sprinkled over salad. Call Dolor at 0920-9143031.

From Picadeli comes Mega Tapa, made from tender beef sirloin bathed in a special, secret marinade. Delicious and highly desirable. For orders, call or text Marian at 0917-5306558.

I admit, I will never tire of the tapa these two ladies offer.

Tocino. For the best tocino in town, look no further than Pampanga’s Best. Theirs is the most delicious, with a consistent taste and quality you can trust. I once had a chance to peek inside their factory and it was sparkling clean, with world-class facilities. The hotdogs they make, which go by the name of Boom-Boom, are also wonderful. Both kids and adults will love them.

Ham. Christmas is almost never complete without ham. It is as ubiquitous as queso de bola and leche flan on the dinner table. There are many kinds and brands available but these three shine brightly like the stars the Three Kings followed: for Adelina’s ham, call 531-6833; for the bone-in baked Virginia ham from Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club in Lipa Batangas (perhaps my favorite, thank heavens they have an office here in Metro Manila, call 814-0743 and 893-1601 for orders. In Lipa, their contact number is 043-7567932; and for The Plaza Premium Baked Ham, call 729-0003, with a selection of sauces such as premium glaze, wasabi mayo, sweet mustard, and gutsy garlic.

Ham from these three sources is excellent.

Goldilock’s. One of my favorite value-for-money stops. As a special treat this year, they offer the Goldilocks Cookie House Kit. Building has never been such a fun, instantly gratifying experience! Hansel and Gretel must have lived in a house this deliciously pretty. Other top favorites include the choco crunch polvoron with sugar decorettes Christmas icons (P100 per box), the chocolate sans rival (a steal at only P400), and choco-dipped macaroons (P85 per box).

Symphony Sweets Gourmet Desserts. Try the following: Arabian holiday cake, a moist caramel-infused cake bursting with such royal ingredients as almonds, walnuts, dates, apricots, persimmons, and yogurt. It is topped with pecans, even more dates, and a glace cherry; the ultimate chocolate cake, two layers of dark, moist chocolate cake filled and frosted with coffee-flavored chocolate ganache, lavishly adorned with almonds; the white chocolate strawberry swirl cheesecake has a crunchy walnut crust, and a white chocolate and cream cheese layer brimming with plump, juicy strawberries, surrounded with white chocolate panels. For orders, call 823-5235, 0922-8536638, and 0921-5967821.

Claude 9 Sauces. I cannot decide which I love more: the custom-made bookshelves by Claude Tayag that run the length of one wall in our home, the beautiful wooden rice/ice/stew buckets lined with stainless steel bowls, or his special line of homemade bottled sauces that include taba ng talangka, XO chili sauce which happens to be my favorite, made with Chinese ham, dried shrimps, and spices, and balo-balo or burong hipon. All are made without preservatives and MSG, available at leading supermarkets and ABouT Design, at the ground floor of Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center. These sauces are great and I have taken them with most everything. I don’t have to choose just one, I guess; all I know is I am thankful Claude is around to share his many talents with us. Call 0917-5105771.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Makeup gift ideas for different personalities - INQ7.net

Makeup gift ideas for different personalities - INQ7.net

Makeup gift ideas for different personalities

By Kinny Salas
Last updated 07:38pm (Mla time) 12/14/2006

Published on Page F4 of the December 15, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CRICKET! She’s my only sister and although we both love makeup, our styles could not be more different. She is no-frills Zen while I am all Louis XIV.

Readers may be someone like her who is very streamlined or they may be like me who is full of drama. For the two classes of readers, here are makeup products they may appreciate this Christmas.

For the streamlined woman, recommended is the Bobbi Brown Sparkle and Rubies Collection 2006. The streamlined woman appreciates versatility but does not like carrying too much stuff around. The perfect gift options for her in this collection are:

-- Shimmer Brick and Lip Kit (P3,350) -- it has four neutral/nude lip shades that suit every outfit or skin tone. The Shimmer brick with multiple shades of brown, pinks, and beige can be used on eyes as shadow and liner. It can also be used on the cheeks and all over face as a bronzer for an instant healthy glow. The streamlined woman will stick this neat package in her bag, and after adding mascara, she is all set.

-- Mini Brush set (P2,600) -- it is made of real hair and structured in such a way that application will be easy as pie. It comes in a neat black zipper case, good for traveling.

For foundation, the Max Factor Flawless Perfection liquid (P895) is advised.

One side is a primer with SPF 12 to blur minor flaws, protect skin, and make foundation stay flawless longer. Another side is the actual shade.

One great thing about this is that every shade blends into a wide range of skin color so not finding your actual shade is close to impossible. In fact I can wear both Creamy Ivory and Sand and it blends beautifully.

For the flamboyant woman, Christian Dior’s collection is suggested.

Every year Dior manages to incorporate trinkets with makeup. This year it is a heart-shaped silver padlock surrounded by Swarovski crystals, called Dior Pretty Charm (P2,900).

It opens to reveal a lip color and gloss on both halves of a broken heart. A tiny mirror where you can check your lips is on the lid.

You don’t need to rummage in your bag for this as it is a bag charm so one always knows where it is.

The 001 Magical Seduction is fuschia with mauve gloss while the 002 Pink Enchantment is a duo of frosty pinks.

Rouge Dior lipstick has skincare properties that hydrates the driest lips, feels light and comfortable, and has strategic shimmer and rich color that makes lips look fuller without the cheap oily look.

The makeup is inspired by the lighting used in film sets and tries to come up with succulent lips for the user.

Check out the Christian Dior counters personally because although I loved the texture and finish, the two shades sent to me did not suit my skin tone so I cannot rave about any shade in particular.

Such a shame as the packaging was very elegant.

Flamboyant women have some unreasonable expectations when it comes to makeup.

I, for one, expect it to perform above and beyond the call of duty. I don’t mind retouching my powder, lipstick and blush during an event, but I expect my eye makeup to stay put despite heavy sweating in this humid weather.

Make-up Forever has come out with a pearly waterproof eye color (P880) and eyeliner pencil range (P780). This is truly waterproof as it was designed for women who join water ballet competitions.

Of course, women who are conscious of their small Oriental eyes have even gone to the extent of using the black and brown variants of this in Boracay to make their eyes appear bigger and more deep-set.

It does, however, wash out with cleansing oil and eye makeup remover so there is no fear of stale makeup causing breakouts in the eye area.

I have the eyeliner in Navy which makes the whites of my eyes seem brighter and breaks the monotony of beige and brown eye shadows, instantly transforming my day eye makeup into something more interesting for the Holiday evening parties.

Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

LOVE LUCY By Lucy Gomez
The Philippine STAR 12/10/2006

Great food finds to share with everyone on your Christmas list! Enjoy them, even long after this season of indulgent eating is over.
New Finds
Betsy’s Cake Center. The contact numbers are 281-1127 or 281-1131. You must try the mini rolls, soft pillows that remind me of a buttery kiss, with a hint of orange. I enjoy it very much with coffee, tempered only with a generous splash of milk or cream. A happy box of 12 goes for P210. Do try their broas also, a veritable sweet fix that will make you grateful for such things as sugar, eggs and milk and the baker that concocts them into a kind of magic that only the taste buds can fully comprehend. They sell for P16 a piece but I’m sure you will be wanting/needing more than that.

Ina’s chocolate bundt rum cake with caramel sauce. P350 for a box of six and P650 for a box of 12. This is delicious. Call 0922-7133465 for orders.

Toasted yema. From Hizon’s. I know they have been around forever, and that they are famous for their ensaymada, but it was only when they finally opened an almost secret little nook tucked at the Promenade this year that I got to feast on a cascade of other such treats, the toasted yema being the star as far as my sweet tooth knows.

Saltine. Products thoughtfully and passionately concocted by CIA-trained chef Tippi Tambunting, best-sellers include patties in seven flavors (spinach, mushroom, oxtail, pork belly, chicken, tuna, and chorizo) which make such great gifts because an assortment of flavors can be had in one box, and can be easily stored in the freezer and heated in the oven toaster as needed. They also have the best lemon squares in town (comes in a sugar-free version, too!), absolutely delicious toffee cookies, bread pudding and enganyo de bobo. All treats come in classy packaging, too. If you are not in the mood for sweets, they have the best pasta sauce (featuring juicy tomatoes that have been slow roasted) and salad dressing. Call 843-8970 to 71, 0918-8118088, 0919-8958603 for orders.

Carina. Why, oh why, did I meet Carina just recently? Another CIA-trained chef, Carina Guevarra first fed me and Kris Aquino (we were together when we first met) what perhaps was the most fulfilling tuna sandwich I’ve ever had. There also was a delicious salad that I devoured to the last bite. For Christmas, her specials include traditional garlic roasted prime rib, juicy herb-stuffed turkey, and rosemary roasted boneless leg of lamb – all of which are served with trimmings. Call or text 0920-9065650.

Kitchen Herbs. If you have been to the Saturday morning Ayala Alabang Weekend Market along Narra St. at Ayala Alabang Village, chances are you’ve met Jejo and Pinky and their lovely herbs. If not, you can always visit their garden in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and/or contact them at 0917-8108293 and (049) 541-2154. They have a wide range of freshly cut, chemical-free culinary herbs such as holy basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, cilantro, culantro (a.k.a. ngo ngai, Mexican cilantro), galangal, kinchai, lemon grass, mint, and pandan. They also have arugula, sweet basil, basil fin vert, fresh bay leaf, chives, dill, fennel, marjoram, Italian oregano, lemon mint, spearmint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Pinakurat Vinegar. After I first tried it, I vowed that my kitchen would never, ever be without it. I take pinakurat vinegar with everything, from fish, meat and Chippy to practically everything else in between (except dessert). It gives a kick to my meals and when you try it, you will know why. The Manila depot for this gem of a product is at 262 Amapola St., Palm Village, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City. You may also call 899-3494 for orders.

Marisa’s truffles. Dark Belgian chocolate truffles lovingly and painstakingly homemade. You can choose from a box of four, six, nine, 12 or 16, with prices from P120 to P450. The boxes come in different colors as well, held together with a satin ribbon and inside the truffles sit prettily on liners with such designs as floral vines, circles or zebra stripes. These are delicious, a festive treat for an even more festive season. Call or text 0920-9608390 for orders, or you can e-mail her at ferrer.marisa@gmail.com

Arya. Wonderful Persian cuisine at The Promenade. They have great food, yes, but so, too, do they have lovely dessert. Try their rich and decadently delicious fig orange cake. Perfect with tea and on just about any day when you want to celebrate the joy of life and appetites. Call 727-5062; you must place your order for this sweet treat three to five days in advance.

Dulce Lin mango torte. Always a welcome sight at the meal table, this sweetheart of a dessert is refreshing – crispy and chewy at the same time with just the right amount of sweetness thrown in. A nine-inch pie goes for P480 while the 12-inch size sells for P750. Call 374-2165 to 67 for orders, although it is so famous that it is always readily available.

Krispy Kreme. You may have to wait in line, good-naturedly grumble a bit too for having to do so, but with donuts this good why shouldn’t you? My top picks are the honey-glazed (glazes me with such sweet happiness, I tell you) and the New York cheesecake. Available at Serendra, the mere sight of a Krispy Kreme box (with its famous logo set against the white background speckled with tiny green dots) is enough to set my heart aflutter.

Floring’s. For get-togethers which are de riguer this season, make mealtime one less thing to worry about by ordering Floring’s famous barbecue – tender, juicy, with the Pinoy taste we so love. Priced at P33 for a stick that is very siksik. Contact numbers are 709-0223 and 440-4292.

Wagyu burger patties. It is wonderful to have a stack of them in the freezer; you never know when you will have company. I am not much of a burger person, really, but I am totally sold on this one. No extenders here; each patty is a robust testament to beefy, meaty goodness. I do not know how you enjoy your burger, but here in the house after thawing, we simply fry it, plunk it in between two slabs of bread trimmed with fat slices of juicy tomato. Before the first bite we dress it up with a mayonnaise and mustard combo and occasionally, a dash of Lea & Perrins, too. Call Junie at 0906-4911270. They also have delicious rib eye, so tender it will melt in your mouth.

Florabel. For your noche buena feast, Florabel offers slow roasted US Angus rib eye with double baked potatoes with truffle cream sauce at P2,500 per kilo. Available whole cakes include sugar-free decadence chocolate cake P900; low-fat ricotta cheesecake, P1,200; almond chocolate cake (tastes like sans rival), P1,000; yema-filled chocolate cake with caramel sauce, P990; and walnut brittle cake, P1,000. Call 667-3220 and 638-7527 for orders.

Galileo. They have the best hot chocolate in town! Get a box or tin of their famous Cioco Delice, perfect for a rainy day, the Christmas season, every day. They have a great deli – choose from a variety of cheeses and cold cuts, Baci chocolates, panetone, Molinari coffee. They even have the traditional stove-top espresso makers. Located at No. 80 Calbayog St. corner Malinao, Mandaluyong, call 532-0482 or 534-4633.

Oysters from Spoon. The freshest and best oysters in town – fat, juicy, truly yummy. Call 929-9965.

Cosmo Bread. Try her fresh mango cake (refreshing) and her ginger chip biscotti (more chocolate-y, actually, with ginger bits thrown in as a delicious afterthought). Call Elaine at 0922-4874565.
Old Favorites
Roshan. You will never go wrong with Roshan, taste-, size-, and packaging-wise. She is always consistent and so, so good at what she does – baking lovely sweet treats for people like you and me, and presenting them impeccably, too. Aside from her famous chocolate chip cookies and brownies, she makes chocolate cupcakes with a surprise filling you just have to try. And her ginger biscotti is perhaps the Mercedes-Benz of biscotti, it is just oh-so-delicious. Call or text Roshan at 0917-833-6286.

Margaret’s torta espanol. Still unrivaled, the first and original is always the best. Light, spongy, and buttery Christmas will not be complete without this. Call 0918-9082576 for orders.

Ulcing’s lechon. Still the best in town, and a true-blue Cebu original, the taste is always consistently perfect. Call 810-6408 or call/text Tessie at 0919-4595591.

Le Canard D’or. Paris has never been this close. Farah’s foie gras, with its velvety, wonderfully indulgent taste boasts of nothing less than superior quality fattened duck livers especially flown in from Perigord, France. For orders call Farah Tolentino Ylagan at 722-4234 or 0918-9264671. Place orders a week in advance.

Delize. Jill Sandique, the woman behind Delize, is known for her Pavlova, Concorde, and she is also the sans rival queen, with no less than three specialties from her kitchen pistachio sans rival, cashew sans rival, and macadamia sans rival. For orders, call 721-7022.

French coconut pie. From Carmel. Slippery, sensuous, delicious, there is no other quite like it. Her carrot cake is the ultimate as far as carrot cakes go and she also makes great pineapple upside down cake, very similar to how Richard’s Lola Lydia used to make it. Tita Carmel is also well-loved for her bottled tuyo, caviar Pinoy, and daing flakes. Call 911-3443 or 0917-6220083 for orders.

Polly’s. Best known for her legendary chocolate cake, and her delicious bread pudding with the Spanish cream sauce. Call 824-7612 for orders.

Lydia’s chicken relleno. A treat that can be happily enjoyed the whole year through, call 0917-4405106 for orders. Still the best chicken relleno I have tasted.

Salted eggs. From Doc Larry Buenaflor. The salted eggs he makes always taste consistently good, naglalangis as those in the know always say, and that apparently sets apart a good salted egg from a mediocre one. Call 0916-7990787 for orders.

Bellini’s. For orange cake topped with grated candied orange rind. Even after a full meal, I will always have room for Bellini’s orange cake. Call 913-2550 for orders.

Conti’s chicken pie. Rivaled only by Conti’s tuna pie. Anyone should be happy to get a box of this.

Pawsitively purrfect. She still makes the best Irish fruitcake (P700) and now she offers Irish fruitcake cookies (P300 for 300 grams). A must-try is her pumpkin pie (P350) which also happens to be my daughter’s favorite. Her food for the gods sells at P425 for a box of 24 pieces and you can buy her apple walnut either in a bundt (P600), a loaf (P375) or muffins (P600 for 18 pieces). Call or text Cynthia at 0916-3115900.

Beware of pols, ‘Idol’ told - INQ7.net

Beware of pols, ‘Idol’ told - INQ7.net

By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Last updated 00:04am (Mla time) 12/15/2006

Published on Page A20 of the December 15, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

LUCENA CITY—With the coming election season, relatives and local fans of the first Philippine Idol, Maureen “Mau” Marcelo, have one piece of advice to her: Stay away from politicians.

“With her newfound national popularity, I would advise her not to allow herself to be used by politicians,” Mau’s grandmother, Erlinda Reyes, told the Inquirer in an interview on Monday.

The legions of Mau’s fans have the same message to the latest singing sensation who was born and grew up in this capital city.

Text messages

“Even before the finals at the Big Dome when she guested in my program, most of the text messages and phone calls from her fans that I received had also advised Mau to shy away from partisan politics,” said Arnel Avila, host of morning cable TV program “Pag-usapan Natin” aired over STV6.

Avila predicted that politicians would come in droves to get Mau’s support and endorsement in the coming elections.

“It would be good for her to just politely turn them down,” Avila quoted some of the messages of Mau’s fans as saying.

“And it would also be better for her to just concentrate on her participation in the upcoming World Idol singing contest next year and leave elections to professional politicians,” the local TV broadcaster said.


He said local politicians had originally extended their support to another local candidate, Raymond Sajor.

“In their previous streamers, only the name of Raymond Sajor was written. There was no mention of Mau, probably thinking that she had less chances of winning. But when Raymond was disqualified and she reached the finals, all of a sudden they shifted their attention to her,” Avila said.

He noted that when Mau arrived in the studio for the TV interview, she rode a borrowed barangay patrol vehicle, assisted by only one village councilor.

But a day after Mau bested the two other Philippine Idol finalists, Jan Nieto and Gian Magdangal, in the grand finals at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday and Sunday, streamers of all sizes and colors from local politicians extolling her feat suddenly mushroomed in major highways of this city and in some parts of the province.

Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Roars of approval at NU Rock Awards - INQ7.net

Roars of approval at NU Rock Awards - INQ7.net

Roars of approval at NU Rock Awards

By Pocholo Concepcion
Last updated 05:53am (Mla time) 12/07/2006

Published on Page E1 of the December 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT LASTED till 3 a.m. with no untoward incidents. For that alone, the 13th NU Rock Awards held on Dec. 1 at the Manila World Trade Center deserves commendation.

Describing itself as “the premier rock awards show for Pinoy rockers,” the annual event has continued to generate interest and excitement among listeners of NU 107. In the pre-MTV years, this FM station almost single-handedly promoted rock as a commercially viable force in the local music industry.

Amid the crowd’s constant roar of approval and the joyful din of the live performances, some things could not escape notice:

The Eraserheads may be long gone, but three of its four members have never stopped making music. Ely Buendia looked well-adjusted to the direction he’s taken as leader of the band Pupil. Appearing onstage in a bullet-proof vest, Buendia was visibly happy as he swayed while playing rhythm guitar and singing lead vocals on “Nasaan Ka Na.”

Even more obvious was Raimund Marasigan having the time of his life as a key member of two bands and much sought-after record producer—usually in tandem with Buddy Zabala, who is likewise a noticeable presence these days as the new bassist of the Dawn. Marasigan’s newfound role as vocalist of Sandwich, keyboardist of Pedicab and co-producer of albums by the Itchyworms and Dong Abay, among others, is an example of a musician’s generosity in sharing talent whose rewards were felt that night. Marasigan and Zabala picked up the Producer of the Year Award for Itchyworms’ “Noontime Show” album.

Yano, too, has long been defunct, but its former vocalist seems to have recovered from the trauma of wrong career moves and legal problems. Dong Abay, now fronting his own band, remains a crowd favorite and was eagerly anticipated to upstage everyone. However, the superlative introduction by Imago’s Aia de Leon fell flat as Abay, strutting in a G-string and sporting a long beard, sang in a hoarse voice that made the staccato lyrics of “Bombardment” more difficult to deliver.

This is also a year that saw a veteran band like the Dawn back with a new album, coinciding with the release of a semi-autobiographical movie that earned raves in a recent digital film festival.

Noteworthy is the popularity of new bands Urbandub and Up Dharma Down, whose leaders, Gabby Alipe and Armi Millare, took home the Vocalist of the Year and Best Female Rock Icon awards, respectively.

It should likewise merit attention that, alongside Marasigan, two of the winners, Myrene Academia (Bassist of the Year) and Mong Alcaraz (Best Male Rock Icon) are actually band mates in several different groups. How they maintain this balancing act is praiseworthy.

But the night belonged to Kamikazee, which won Best Live Act, Song of the Year (“Narda”) and Artist of the Year Awards. The ruckus the band creates each time it performs could be attributed to the hell-raising stance of vocalist Jay Contreras, as well as the sarcastic humor and working-class sentiments of its songs—which in one way or another have a connection with the music of Parokya Ni Edgar and Yano.

The NU Rock Awards is 13 years old and should go on forever—if only because it’s greatly responsible for the fame, fortune and influence of the best young bands in the country then and now.

Best New Artist—Up Dharma Down
Drummer of the Year—Jazz Nicolas of Itchyworms
Bassist of the Year—Myrene Academia of Sandwich/Imago
Guitarist of the Year—Mong Alcaraz of Sandwich/Chicosci
Vocalist of the Year—Gabby Alipe of Urbandub
Producer of the Year—Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala for “Noontime Show”
Best Album Packaging—“5 on the Floor” by Sandwich
Best Music Video—“Sugod” (Sandwich) directed by Marie Jamora
Rising Sun Award—Itchyworms
Best Live Act—Kamikazee
In the Raw Award—Silent Sanctuary
Best Male Rock Icon—Mong Alcaraz of Sandwich/Chicocsci
Best Female Rock Icon—Armi Millare of Up Dharma Down
Hall of Fame Award—DJs of the Rock of Manila (DZRJ)
Song of the Year—“Narda” (Kamikazee)
Artist of the Year—Kamikazee

Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What to do when your kid refuses to eat - INQ7.net

What to do when your kid refuses to eat - INQ7.net

Published on Page C1 of the November 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WHAT do I do with my 3-year-old? He refuses to eat! He hates vegetables, hates taking vitamins, hates milk. Any ideas?


Sounds like my 2-year-old son Diego! He used to eat everything, from monggo to ampalaya to lamb! When he turned two, things became complex!
He, too, is milk-averse, and it worries me sick. I got so desperate that I came up with a milk menu, parang ordering from Starbucks. Strawberry, vanilla or chocolate? Fresh, whole or powdered milk? But when it’s brought to him, the eternal plea starts: Five minutes mom, please!

I have gone so far as coloring his milk purple, blue and green with food coloring because he got smart and figured his milk comes in just three colors. On some days, though, the trick works!

I suggest making meal times creative and exciting. The above photo of Mr. Egg Head Burger and the Veg Buggy are examples. The kids ate all the vegetables in class when we made them.

I find that children are highly visual, so fix their food up nicely. Mold rice on a cup and put vegetable eyes and ears. Make pizza faces. Make use of color, green spinach or red beet pasta instead of the regular ones. Cut vegetables with cookie cutters. Make trees out of broccoli or make fruit trees! Serve bread rolls with meatball heads or meatball snowmen! The possibilities are endless.

And whenever possible, make them a part of the food preparation. This has worked best for me yet.

As for vitamins, my sister Babot brought home a whole line of gummy vitamins for Diego. There’s even one variant made from vegetables and fruit to augment their absence from a child’s diet.

Fortunately, GNC carries one brand: Mr. Tumee (tel. 7214-GNC). These products are heaven-sent. They have done wonders for me. Diego now screams, “Medicine, please!” Vitamin time is finally happy time.

Our pediatrician, Doc Aye Nuguid, says, “The only downside I see in substituting regular vitamins over ‘kid-friendly products’ is the possibility of vitamin overdose. In the ER, we have seen kids consume a whole bottle of Flintstones! They did not just eat Fred but the whole Bedrock community! So I suggest all medicines be dispensed by the parents themselves and kept out of child’s reach.”

I’m no doctor, so I asked Doc Aye to share a few tips as well. And I thank him for being very patient with me! I hope this gives you a sense of calm, Millie.

“Don’t be alarmed. It is not unusual that children go through phases. There are many factors that cause appetite loss and usually they are not as serious as you may think. The more common one is that kids just develop a better liking to play than to food. So putting your child in a room with no distractions at meal time might just do the trick.”

“Nutrition is very important, and giving them a balanced diet is a factor that will greatly determine the child’s development. Healthy kids make healthy adults. It is the parent’s obligation to make meal time fun and happy for the kids.”

“Children are little people who have preferences. So introduce new food items to them a little at a time, without forcing them. Another trick would be to have them eat in the company of kids who enjoy vegetables and healthy food. Kids are competitive, and when they see others do it, di sila magpapatalo.”

“About milk, there is a syndrome known as milk fatigue. It could last anywhere from days to two months. Children just get tired of milk. The worse thing to do is to keep changing milk brands. It is best just to be patient in feeding them with solids or, if they dislike solids, persist in giving them milk. In time it should normalize. Monitor your child. I suggest consulting your pedia if the problem persists, if there is weight loss, a change in behavior or energy levels.”
Call Doc Aye Nuguid at 7518652.

My 7-year-old boy was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Am interested to try biomedical interventions and one of the key factors to successful recovery is switching his diet into a gluten-free and casein-free diet. I really need your help on this matter because I don’t know what kind of dishes to replace our present normal food dishes.


I am not at liberty to give you advice on this one. However, I have spoken to behavioral and developmental pediatrician Francis Dimalanta about the GFCF diet and his advice is that you must work with a BDPedia together with a nutritionist. He says that though this diet works well in some cases, it does not work for all. It’s best to get baseline lab data and consult with professionals before embarking on diets as such.

Brief advice: “When reading labels, make sure the ingredients do not contain any of the ingredients below:
Gluten—Wheat, oats, Barley, Rye, Semolina, Spelt, Triticale, Kamut
Casein—Any dairy from any animal, butter, cheese, yogurt, lactose, whey, caseinates

For GFCF diet guidelines, call Doctor Dimalanta at 7262578.
E-mail the author at raspiras@inquirer.com.ph

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Parents' cigarette smoke harms kids for years

Parents' cigarette smoke harms kids for years
Effects of exposure during pregnancy can last up to age 12, study finds

Updated: 12:13 p.m. ET June 20, 2006
NEW YORK - A new international study of more than 20,000 children confirms that exposure to cigarette smoke before and after birth impairs their lung function, and that parental smoking remains a serious public health issue.

The effects of smoking during pregnancy last up to age 12, while exposure to cigarette smoking after birth further worsens lung function, Dr. Manfred A. Neuberger of the Medical University in Vienna, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters Health.

It is difficult to tell, Neuberger noted, whether the impairment of lung function resulting from prenatal and early life exposure is permanent, given that many individuals with parents and siblings who smoke will have started smoking themselves by their teen years.
The researchers analyzed results from a subset of children who had participated in the Pollution and the Young Study, including a total of 22,712 children from eight countries. The findings appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were 31 percent to 40 percent more likely to have poor lung function than children born to non-smokers, the researchers found. Early-life exposure independently increased risk of poor lung function to a lesser degree, by 24 percent to 27 percent.

Teen smoking no longer declining in U.S.

Sixty percent of the children in the study had been exposed to cigarette smoke before birth or in early life, the researchers found. “Considering the high number of exposed children, this indicates that both environmental tobacco smoke exposure and smoking during pregnancy remain a severe public health problem,” Neuberger and his team conclude.

The findings are a “stark reminder” that legal efforts to reduce exposure to cigarette smoke in workplaces aren’t protecting the group of people at greatest risk from passive smoking, young children, Drs. Mark D. Eisner of the University of California, San Francisco and Francesco Forastiere of the Rome E Health Authority in Italy write in an editorial accompanying the study.

“Children are primarily exposed to tobacco smoke in the home, where legal restrictions do not apply,” they note.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Why you should not scrimp on sleep
AN APPLE A DAY By Tyrone M. Reyes, M.D.
The Philippine STAR 11/28/2006

For many years now, health organizations have been reminding us that we don’t get as much sleep as we used to – or as we should – and we’re paying the price in drowsiness and fatigue that affect our physical and mental health, and threaten public safety. Despite such warnings, not much has changed.

In the US, a survey found that compared with 1998, more people are sleeping less than six hours a night today. Average sleep on work night is 6.8 hours – still short of a good night’s rest. And sleep difficulties, the poll indicates, affect 75 percent of people at least a few nights per week.

How serious is the problem? Evidence from the relatively new field of sleep medicine suggests that truncated sleep may contribute to various ills, including memory lapses, trouble learning and paying attention, heart disease, obesity, mood problems, and impaired immunity. Some research suggests a cancer connection.

A sleepless night or two or a short-lived bout of insomnia is generally nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is chronic partial sleep loss – that is, failing to get enough sleep night after night. That can happen because you have a medical condition that interferes with sleep, or perhaps you’ve given up sleep time to accommodate life’s demands. Whatever the case, routine sleep loss can take a toll. Researchers found that after two weeks, people sleeping four to six hours a night are cognitively impaired as those who have been awake for two or three days.

How much sleep do we really need? Some of us seem to do well with six hours a night, while others need nine or more to feel their best. Judging by clinical impressions, experiments, and research in which subjects are allowed to find their "natural" amount of sleep, experts believe that seven to nine hours is about right. The goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and to stay awake and alert throughout the day without relying on stimulants or the other pick-me-ups.

Though more research is needed to explore the links between chronic sleep loss and specific health consequences, it’s safe to say that sleep is too important to shortchange. Here are some important reasons why you shouldn’t scrimp on your sleep.
Learning And Memory
Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory by way of a process called memory consolidation. This process came to light largely through experiments in which subjects were trained to complete a cognitive task and later tested. Those who "sleep on it" before the test usually do better. In some studies, subjects discovered more insightful or creative ways to problem-solve after a night’s sleep. Research at Harvard has shown that performance on some mental tasks is correlated with the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) or dreaming sleep a subject gets. Other experiments suggest a special role for early-night, non-REM sleep in consolidating memory for facts.
Metabolism And Weight
It’s well known that excess weight can cause sleep disorders such as apnea. But sleep lab studies also suggest the reverse possibility: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain. How? By altering metabolic functions, such as the processing and storage of carbohydrates, and by stimulating the release of excess cortisol, a stress hormone. Excess cortisol has been linked to increased abdominal fat. Loss of sleep also reduces levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and increases levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone – a combination that can encourage eating.
There’s no evidence that we ever really adapt to chronic sleep deficits. Sleep debt only contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep, including "microsleeps" – seconds-long daytime dips into sleep that occur when sleep-type brain-wave activity impinges on the waking period. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents. The US National Highway Safety Administration estimates that each year, drowsiness causes 100,000 vehicle crashes, resulting in 76,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths!
Mood/ Quality Of Life
Sleep loss, whether long or short-term, may result in symptoms – irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness – that suggest psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Too little sleep can leave you so tired that you don’t want to spend time with your children, enjoy the company of your friends, or have sex with a partner. Poor sleep also affects the ability to work. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are associated with depression, although the relationship is complex, and cause and effect are not always clear. One study found that people with obstructive sleep apnea got relief from symptoms of depression when they were treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which keeps the airway open and improves breathing during sleep.
Cardiovascular Health
We don’t know much yet about the effect of chronic partial sleep loss on cardiovascular health. But serious sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, cardiac arrhythmias, and increased inflammation. Sleep apnea is also associated with difficulty metabolizing glucose, which may lead to type 2 diabetes, another significant risk factor for heart disease. In the Nurses’ Health Study, women who slept less than five hours per night were more likely to develop heart disease than those who slept seven to eight hours.
Immunity / Cancer Prevention
Though all the mechanisms aren’t clear, scientists have found that sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. For example, sleep loss around the time of vaccination for influenza has been shown to reduce the production of flu-fighting antibodies. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer. Harvard researchers have shown that women who work at night are at increased risk for breast and colon cancer. The connection may be through melatonin, a hormone that’s made by the brain’s pineal gland when darkness falls and helps put us to sleep. Light at night cuts melatonin production. The Harvard scientists also found that women with low morning levels of melatonin had a higher risk of breast cancer. Other research has shown that melatonin slows ovarian production of estrogen, a hormone that spurs cancer cell growth.
Ways To Get Better Sleep
Here are some tips on how to get better sleep to avoid chronic partial sleep loss:

• Get regular exercise but not within the hours of bedtime.

• Don’t use alcohol as sleep aid.

• Avoid caffeine from noon or midafternoon onward.

• Be careful about taking medications that contain ingredients that could keep you awake at night or make you sleepy during the day.

• Establish a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up, and avoid napping.

• Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable.

• If you have a chronic sleep problem, talk to your doctor.

Remember that for good health, you need adequate sleep as much as you need regular exercise and a sensible diet.

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Philstar.com - The Filipino Global Community

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Do you know that cervical cancer is caused by a virus?

That’s the big, riveting question you may come across as you leaf through the pages of a local newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where an ad, that’s part of an education campaign supported by Merck Sharp & Dohme and the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of Malaysia, appears.

And did you know that there’s now a vaccine that could prevent cervical cancer? But that’s getting ahead of our story.

"Are you sexually active? That’s the first question I ask women who come to me," Dr. Saunthari Somasundaram tells a roomful of women who flew in from different parts of Asia Pacific, including this writer, to attend the journalist workshop on cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases at FIGO in KL, that’s home to the Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest freestanding twin towers.

From the twin towers to the double C: cervical cancer. Progress has indeed come to Kuala Lumpur, now a vibrant cosmopolitan city that plays host to prestigious international events. But some things just refuse to change. Even as Malaysia forges forward, the women are still not on equal footing with the men.

Dr. Somasundaram, currently honorary general secretary and executive director of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, gives us the whys and wherefores: "I asked this woman who came to my workshop if she was sexually active, and she looked back at me and said, ‘How dare you ask me that question. I’m single. You should know I’m not sexually active.’ That’s the issue women face in Malaysia because of the cultural/religious constraints that they put on themselves or the community puts on them: that if I’m not married, I can’t be seen going to a gynecologist or getting a Pap scan. That because I’m not married, I don’t want people to know I’m sexually active. There’s just a lot of miseducation, there are a lot of misconceptions."

Take the story of this married woman, a teacher, who joined one of Dr. Somasundaram’s workshops. "She said she didn’t need to do a Pap scan because she was a virgin when she got married and had never had sexual intercourse with anybody else. I went on to tell her about HPV and how men can transmit it to women. She got up and said, ‘How dare you say that my husband is cheating on me.’ I never said that. What I was trying to say was maybe in those days, not now ... Majority of Malaysian women are virgins when they come to the marital bed. But the men are not – they must have had one or two sexual experiences before getting married. So the risk of getting HPV is there even before marriage. So no woman is safe, no matter if you’re in the most wonderful of marriages and monogamous. And I’m sorry, but we cannot expect the men to look after women’s health. It’s still very much a male-dominated society, where men make the decisions for women, including the latter’s health. Women need to be pro-active about their own health."

The "totally mortified" doctor shares yet another morbid story: "I had a woman in front of me dying of cancer of the womb, but she refused to have her uterus taken out. Why? Because her husband said that if her uterus was taken out, she could have sexual intercourse with anyone and he wouldn’t know about it."

The scenario gets grimmer as you go farther into rural Malaysia. Says the good doctor, "Women are continuously afraid that these are parts which make us who we are as women: our breasts, our cervix, our uterus. If anything happens to any of them, we’ll be less of a woman. These fears, irrational though they may be, stop us from prevention and early detection of cancer."

The focus is on demystifying the Big C, the mere mention of which is enough to make us cower in fear. "We’re here to teach people that, yes, we can prevent cancer, we can find it early," stresses Dr. Somasundaram.

She goes on to tell us that there are so many clinics in Malaysia but not many women go for a Pap smear. "Outside of child birth, no woman wants to be touched down there or a man to look at her private parts, although there are women doctors now."

The focus is on sex education.

"You need to be educated about sex while still a teenager so when you do become sexually active, you’re aware of the risks you’re taking, ways to try to prevent it, to keep yourself safe," asserts Dr. Somasundaram.

Sad to say, in Malaysia, the government does not agree that sex education should be taught in school. "A lot of the schools I go to would not allow the mere mention of the word sex," Dr. Somasundaram tells her astonished audience. "The book How to Talk to Your Child About Sex is banned in Malaysia. It’s a very good, very moralistic book that talks to you about not having free sex, about being careful, etc. If a parent cannot talk to his/her child about sex education, who’s supposed to teach the child? I call this miseducation."

The statistics are bleak. "At least half of sexually active men and women will acquire HPV at some point in their lives," says Margaret Stanley, professor of epithelial biology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge. "Eighty percent will be infected by age 50. It is most common among young adults, 18 to 28 years old. (In the US, one in four people, ages 15 to 24, is infected with HPV.) Women will acquire it from their husbands/male partners. But penile cancer is rare so I always tell my students that God is, indeed, a man."

The focus is on prevention.

"We’re targeting nine-, 10-, 11-year-olds because that’s when you get the best immune response," Prof. Stanley tells us in her warm schoolmarmish voice. "It’s not necessarily before sexual activity. When you hit puberty, it’s downhill all the way."

The focus is on the world’s first vaccine for cervical cancer developed by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).

Dr. Carlos Sattler, director, Biologics Clinical Research, Merck & Co., Inc., brings glad tidings: "The quadrivalent (four-type) vaccine was specifically designed to prevent HPV-related clinical disease by targeting HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, the four most common types of HPV. In clinical trials, the vaccine has shown high efficacy in preventing diseases caused by these four HPV types."

Developed after years and years of painstaking work, the vaccine has been approved for use in more than 40 countries and is currently under review with regulatory agencies in approximately 50 countries around the world. Make that 49. Because only a few weeks ago, Merck Sharp & Dohme Philippines announced that the vaccine has been approved in the Philippines by the Bureau of Food and Drugs. Gardasil, the quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine, is the first and only vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, vulvar, and vaginal cancer, and vulvar and vaginal pre-cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18, and to prevent low-grade and precancerous lesions (CIN 1) and genital warts caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18.

Says MSD medical director Cesar Recto II, "Bringing forward this life-saving scientific advance is yet another testament to MSD’s long-standing mission to research and develop novel vaccines and medicines that can greatly improve public health."

In the Philippines, according to the Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates published by the Philippine Cancer Society, Inc., cervical cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death in women in 2004. Last year, there were an estimated 7,277 new cases and 3,807 deaths due to cervical cancer.

Dr. Susan Nagtalon, president of the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society, notes, "The use of the vaccine can help significantly reduce the human and economic burden of cervical cancer, precancerous or low-grade lesions, and genital warts caused by HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 throughout the world, in this generation and future generations."

Here’s how the vaccine works: The vaccine contains virus-like particles (VLPs) of HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. VLPs are empty shells consisting of viral protein – but no viral DNA – that closely simulate HPV and are capable of generating an immune response in the body without causing disease. Its efficacy is associated with the development of antibodies, which are proteins used by the immune system to identify and neutralize viruses. These antibodies prevent the virus from establishing infection.
How effective is this vaccine?
The MSD vaccine prevented 100 percent of HPV 16- and 18-related cervical cancers in women not previously exposed to the relevant HPV types. The efficacy of the vaccine, including results from an HPV-16 prototype of the vaccine, was evaluated in four placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized Phase II and Phase III clinical studies. Together, the Phase II and Phase III studies evaluated 20,541 women aged 16 to 26 years old. Study participants were followed for up to five years after enrollment.

The vaccine prevented 100 percent of HPV 16- and 18-related cervical pre-cancers and non-invasive cervical cancers. There were no cases in the 8,487 women who received the vaccine compared to 53 cases in the 8,460 women who received placebo.

The vaccine also prevented 100 percent of HPV 16- and 18-related vulvar and vaginal pre-cancers. And 99 percent of cases of genital warts caused by HPV 6 or 11.

In all the studies, the MSD vaccine was generally well tolerated and only a few subjects (0.1 percent) discontinued due to adverse events.

Of course, the ideal time to administer any vaccine is before exposure to infection. MSD has zeroed in on adolescents as an important group to vaccinate against HPV. Studies show that one in four people, 15 to 24 years old, is infected with HPV.
What do mothers say about this?
In a survey of 525 mothers with children as young as 11 years old, up to 80 percent said they would allow their daughters to receive a vaccine that helps protect against cervical cancer. In the US, where young people are said to be more sexually active and adventurous than their counterparts elsewhere in the world, this vaccine is available in the schools.

Can the vaccine be given to boys, too?

"Yes, it can," comes Dr. Somasundaram’s quick reply to a question at the open forum at the end of the journalist workshop. "In a sane world, we’d be giving it to boys and men so we could impact on transmission."

Our distinguished panel of speakers at this forum can’t stress this enough: Cervical cancer is potentially deadly. But it can be prevented. Talk to your doctor about cervical cancer and go for regular Pap smear tests. It could save your life some day.

And now that you know, go tell someone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Senior citizen discount is not optional - INQ7.net

Senior citizen discount is not optional - INQ7.net

Senior citizen discount is not optional

By Linda Bolido
Last updated 00:16am (Mla time) 11/16/2006

Published on Page D3 of the November 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

A FEW months ago, this column received a query from Ray Dakis about discounts for credit-card purchases of senior citizens.

He said his wife accompanied her mother in buying some prescription medicines for the older woman in two branches of a drugstore chain in Muntinlupa City. His wife used her credit card and presented her mother’s senior citizen card issued by the city government.

But mother and daughter were reportedly told by the salespeople of both branches that the 20-percent discount for senior citizens did not apply to purchases using credit card. They reportedly said it was difficult to collect payments from credit-card issuers so they did not give discounts anymore.

Rather than resolve its problem with credit-card companies, it in effect penalized the senior citizens by not giving the discount. Dakis’ wife paid the full amount of P4,000 with her credit card.

Dakis and his wife will probably be happy to learn Rep. Joseph A. Santiago of Catanduanes has taken note of the problem and reminded establishments that seniors are entitled to the discount even if they use credit cards.

Santiago has urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Trade and Industry to require all business establishments and service providers “to grant seniors the 20-percent discount lawfully due them, even if they pay via credit card.”


The representative said establishments should be made to understand that under “the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, the entitlement to the mandatory discount on certain services and purchases is absolute, and does not discriminate against seniors paying through credit card.”

He said DSWD and DTI could amend the law’s implementing rules and regulations to indicate clearly that “the wrongful and prejudicial treatment of card-using seniors” was forbidden.

Under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9257), violators of the mandatory discount and other privileges for seniors face six months to two years in prison plus a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 for the first offense.

Subsequent violations are punishable with two to six years in prison plus a fine of P100,000-P200,000. The establishments’ business permits, franchises or other similar privileges may also be canceled.

Under the law, seniors who are at least 60 years old are entitled to a minimum 20-percent discount in hotels, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure, recreation and amusement.

They should also get a discount on purchases of medicines, and on medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees as well as professional fees.

In addition, seniors are also entitled to the minimum discount on tickets for domestic air and sea travel, as well as in public railways, skyways and buses.

Establishments may claim the discounts as tax deduction on the net cost of the goods sold or services rendered. The cost of the discount is also allowed as gross income deduction for the taxable year that the discount is granted.

‘Premyo’ blues

I decided, since I have all these receipts anyway, to join the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Premyo sa Resibo raffle. The newspaper advertisements said there were two ways to do it—you can send a single entry through text message to 9777 or multiple entries through 9778.

My single entries were successfully sent, then after collecting a bunch of receipts, I decided to send them all together to 9778.

The ad had specific instructions on the format for single entries but simply said the 9778 number should be used for multiple entries. So I followed the format for single entry for each of three receipts I sent together.

It seems the computer or whatever received the messages are not programmed for it. I got the reply, “Invalid entry—Too many parameters...”

Please send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., Makati City; PO Box 2353 Makati Central Post Office, 1263 Makati; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kitchen potions - INQ7.net

Kitchen potions - INQ7.net: "KNOCKOUT!
Kitchen potions

By Ria Francisco-Prieto
Last updated 00:29am (Mla time) 11/10/2006

Published on Page G4 of the November 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

I ASKED A FRIEND how she maintained her long shiny locks and the answer she gave was quite surprising to me.

She said that once a month she puts mayonnaise on her hair, wears a swimming cap and sleeps with it. Since the change in the texture and sheen of her hair was so noticeable, I followed her advice one weekend. I knew I was not going to be able to sleep with mayonnaise on my hair, so I figured I should just do it in the afternoon. After about three hours, I couldn’t take the smell anymore, so I eventually washed it off.

For about two days I could still smell the mayonnaise, and for about three months I couldn’t eat anything with mayonnaise in it. But my hair was at its shiniest!

So, yes, mayonnaise on the hair does work. The upside is, it’s cheaper than any hair treatment I know. The downside -- you already know about. However, I think it is very much worth a try.

The refrigerator is actually a beauty gold mine. Have you ever tried milk as a moisturizer? Another friend who has sensitive skin told me that her dermatologist actually recommended mixing 1:1 evaporated milk and water, leaving it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and then, with the use of a cotton ball, spreading it onto her face.

I tried that, too. What happens is, after a few seconds the milk hardens and you will feel a tightening of the skin. All you have to do is wash it off with lukewarm water. The effects are actually instant. Your face will be supple and smooth to the touch.
If you want to be a bit more luxurious, you may also buy a tetra pack of fresh milk and pour it on your body right after a bath. When you feel that tightening feeling again, just rinse off the milk. This is still so much cheaper than going to the spa or getting a massage.

For a facial mask, you may also want to try egg white. Scoop out a dollop and spread on your clean face. After it tightens, rinse off.

The grandmother of my friend has the best skin I’ve ever seen. When I asked my friend what her grandma uses, she told me it’s olive oil spread all over her body, including her face. This I have to try. Come to think of it, oils do help moisturize skin, so this regimen makes sense.

Inside our refrigerators, there are a lot of things that can be used to beautify and take care of ourselves. Check yours today! You won’t even need to shell out cash for it.

E-mail me at rbeauty@inquirer.com.ph

Quick Fix for Under-Eye Bags - How To

Nobody looks good with puffy bags under their eyes, but how to get rid of them?

Simple Solution:

Well, this is the easiest remedy I’ve ever run across, and it really works!

I was so surprised by the single kitchen-cupboard ingredient that this How-To calls for--it's not a cucumber, and you’re sure to have one on hand. Find out the secret here:

Raw potato slices will help tighten baggy, puffy eyes. All you need is a potato and a knife or slicer!

To Make:

1. Slice 1/4 potato to fit over your eyes.

2. Cut 2 slices or, if you prefer, 5 to 10 very thin slices, several for each eye. Either method works.

To Use:

1. Spritz eye area with water.

2. Lying down, place the potato slices on your eyelids and leave in place for at least 10 minutes for best results.

A Pinch of... what salt? --- from Inq7.net

A pinch of ... what salt?

By Reggie Aspiras
Last updated 11:48pm (Mla time) 11/08/2006

Published on Page C1 of the November 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANY salt questions have come my way... What is kosher salt, fleur de sel, tralalalala... Well read on for, after all, nothing makes the world more delicious than a smidgen of salt!

Do you know that the flakes of crystal that bring life to our food and health to our bodies is said to have over 14,000 other uses. It can be a stain remover, preservative, ingredient for bath and body products. In its other forms, salt is used to soften water, make paper, glass, explosives, rubber, dyes, etc.

Since its discovery some 4,700 years ago, salt has become an integral part of life on earth. Because of it, civilizations were built.

It was used to pay wages and wars were fought over it. Looking back, it’s been quite a journey for what seems, to many of us, a thing quite so modest.

So what is salt? It is a mineral. We often think salt and sodium are one and the same. That is technically incorrect. While salt is sodium chloride (40 percent sodium, 60 percent chloride), some salts, particularly unrefined ones, contain not just sodium but two other electrolytes: potassium and calcium, as well as other vitamins and trace minerals vital for optimal body function.

What is the best type of salt to use? While iodized salt is recommended for its iodine content, I would say unrefined salt is best if your diet contains other sources of iodine. Unrefined sea and rock salts have about 49 other minerals and vitamins that are not present in iodized salt.

Types of salt

Table salt is the most common kind. It comes from salt mines and, once it is mined, it is refined and most minerals are removed from it until it becomes pure sodium chloride. It is available plain or iodized.

Iodized salt is refined salt with iodine added (sodium iodide prevents hypothyroidism). Kosher salt is so-called because it is used in the preparation of meat according to the requirements of the Jewish diet. Sold as flakes, it contains very few additives and is saltier than the regular table variety.

Sea salt is unrefined salt which comes from the evaporation of sea water. Rock salt is not as refined as other types thus retains more of its minerals.

And now, there are gourmet specialty salts, quite the “it” thing in the food biz these days, thanks to a United States-based company, Salt Works, one of the biggest importers and distributors of specialty salts, carrying some 30 varieties from all corners of the globe, under the label Artisan Salt.

If you thought salt was only white and nothing more than just salty, think again! Perhaps, next time you dare play in the kitchen, use fancy salts, a perfect fit to your fancy meal!

I’d like to thank Claudine of Spices, distributor of Salt Works’ Artisan Salt in the Philippines for furnishing me with the photos. Call 8310449 or 7582159.

E-mail the author raspiras@inquirer.com.ph

Monday, July 31, 2006

Philippine STAR

Heal ye, heal ye, there’s medicine in our food!
The Philippine STAR 08/01/2006

The Father of Medicine Hippocrates dished out this mouthful of wisdom, "Let your food be your medicine." Part of Hippocrates’ legacy to the medical world is a compilation of over 400 herbs and their uses.

Over the ages, people have been aware of the health benefits of some foods. For instance, the Chinese have used ginger to treat nausea and upset stomach. Ginger tea, anyone? (But more on this pungent aromatic rhizome later.) Or remember your anxious mom lovingly applying a towel drenched in vinegar over your forehead to bring down a raging fever? Or are you one of those who gargle with lukewarm water spiked with a dash of salt when you have a sore throat?

Today, more and more people are discovering the healing powers of food and turning less and less to drugs.

Says Julie Conquer, director of Guelph’s Human Nutraceutical Research Unit, "We have an aging society who wants to stay healthy with less use of drugs. They don’t want to be on many different medications like their parents were. They want to be out enjoying walking and gardening until they’re 100. And that’s what they perceive these kinds of things can do for them."

Don’t be surprised if someday soon, we’ll see less prescription pads and more hearty menus or health recipes. For starters, here’s a menu of 20 "miracle cures for anything that ails you":

• Arthritis – Arthritis sufferers now have something to sink their teeth into: sardines, yes, or salmon, tuna, mackerel.

• Asthma – Have some onion rings. It’s been said that onions help ease the constriction of the bronchial tubes and thus provide relief for asthma sufferers. Indeed, in onion there is strength.

• Bladder infections – Drink cranberry juice. High-acid cranberry juice controls harmful bacteria. (Most health stores carry healthy juices, like cranberry juice.)

• Blood sugar imbalance – Eat your broccoli or snack on some peanuts. The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

• Bone problems – Bite into a slice of pineapple. The manganese in pineapple can prevent bone fractures and osteoporosis.

• Breast cancer – Take this wheat-y advice: Have some wheat or bran. And don’t forget to eat your cabbage to keep your estrogen at healthy levels and ward off breast cancer.

• Clogged arteries – Have some avocado. The monounsaturated fat in avocados lowers cholesterol. And so does the miracle virgin coconut oil, which the country’s so richly blessed with.

• Colds – Drink some hot garlic tea to clear up that stuffy head. According to the National Cancer Institute, garlic has anti-tumor properties. It’s got 18 anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substances. This natural antibiotic helps stimulate the immune system and flush out the toxins from the body.

• Cough – For that nasty cough, your friendly neighborhood herbalist prescribes hot red pepper. Studies show that a substance similar to that found in cough syrups is found in hot red pepper.

• Diarrhea – Get an apple, grate it with its skin, let it turn brown, and eat it. An apple a day can keep diarrhea away.

• Headaches – Take fish oil or ginger tea. Studies say that ginger tea relaxes the blood vessels in the head and diminishes swelling in the brain. It also activates the natural opiates in the brain that relieve pain and reduces prostaglandins responsible for causing inflammation.

• High blood pressure – Take some olive oil; it’s been shown to lower blood pressure. Or grab some celery. Celery contains a chemical that lowers blood pressure.

• Influenza – A scientist in Spain has gone out to prove that honey contains a natural ingredient that kills influenza germs and protects us against flu. Now, that’s a sweet way to beat those nasty germs!

• Insomnia – Take some honey if you can’t sleep. Honey acts as a tranquilizer and sedative. Sweet dreams, honey!

• Lung cancer – Have a dose of beta carotene (a form of vitamin A found in dark green and orange vegetables).

• Memory problems – Eat some oysters. Oysters are loaded with zinc that helps improve mental functioning. Don’t you forget that.

• PMS – Are you suffering from depression, anxiety and fatigue due to PMS (premenstrual syndrome)? Here, have some cornflakes. Cornflakes contain a healthy dose of riboflavin and niacin, both members of the vitamin-B family.

• Heart attack – Take a regular dose of tea, which helps prevent buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls. Also, eat fish, which is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

If you don’t like fish, try some scrambled eggs. The Ontario-based Burnbrae Farms Ltd. has come up with Omega Pro, a liquid egg mixture enriched with fish oil. Those who ate this egg showed a drop in their levels of triglyceride fat by 32 percent after 21 days, lowering their risk of heart attack.

• Ulcers – Go ahead and eat your cabbage. Cabbage contains chemicals that help heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

• Upset stomach – Have a banana. The most versatile of all fruits, bananas are almost a complete balanced diet, loaded as they are with potassium, magnesium, vitamins, and fiber. In case you didn’t know, potassium is an essential electrolyte that helps regulate blood chemistry and improve carbohydrate metabolism. Bananas are strongly recommended for diarrhea and constipation, too. Can’t blame people if they’re going bananas over bananas.

Excuse us while we finish our banana.
* * *
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Sunday, July 30, 2006

pera sa resibo

Want P1 million? Keep that receipt

Last updated 03:21pm (Mla time) 07/30/2006

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has restarted its “Premyo sa Resibo” (PSR) or Prize in the Receipt text messaging raffle.

This time, it has upped the ante with a much larger pot: five winners of one million pesos each every month until the end of the year.

A large part of the amount would come from The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which is BIR’s first-time partner for the raffle.

Likewise, the tax agency is also working with PhilWeb Corporation, which developed the random-number selection for the PSR raffle draw and Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular for their text messaging facilities.

So far, the number of text messaging participants for Smart alone has been averaging 70,000 per day since they started in June 1, the BIR said. The tax agency is expecting over 100,000 participants once Globe and Sun Cellular open up their facilities.

The PSR started three years ago as a method for the BIR to monitor the issuance of official receipts by tax-paying establishments, as well as to capture those violating regulations to issue receipts.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Lilia Guillermo said the one-million peso prize would entice more mobile phone owners to join the raffle.

In previous PSRs, the BIR offered 25,000 pesos for 38 winners each from 19 regions, and a monthly one-million peso winner.

However, Guillermo admitted that the BIR was unable to sustain the activity due to low turnout of participants and had to stop it last year.

Newly installed PhilWeb President Dennis Valdes said the new PSR raffle will run until the end of the year.

He said that the raffle could become a weekly event next year, depending on the turnout of participants.

PAGCOR PSR Manager Julio Peña said PAGCOR will shoulder most of the prize money for the winners. “It’s more of the BIR and PAGCOR’s corporate social responsibility to give back to the society what it deserves.”

To join the raffle, a participant has to type in the raffle code (PSR), the tax identification number and official receipt number, the total amount stated in the receipt and send the information to either 9777 or 9778. The minimum purchase amount in the receipt should be 100 pesos and each subsequent 100-peso amount in a receipt is considered one raffle entry.

Copyright 2006 INQ7.net. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Collateral-free loans

Collateral-free loans to ‘unbankable’ pays

By Ana Colayco
Last updated 04:13am (Mla time) 07/30/2006

Published on page A1 of the July 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PROFIT matters and is important to keep a business running. But it is people, not material capital, that make businesses an expression of human kindness and compassion.

Francis and Tess Ganzon believe this to be the secret behind their successful endeavor in the high-risk world of microfinance, the provision of collateral-free small loans and financial services to help micro-entrepreneurs reap the rewards of their own labor.

The Ganzons, who are part owners of the Bangko Kabayan-Ibaan Rural Bank in Ibaan, Batangas, are members of Focolare, the spiritual movement founded by a group of young women led by 22-year-old Chiara Lubich amid the destruction and hopelessness of World War II. Focolare members resolve to live their lives as people whose thoughts and actions are based on the Gospel.

Inspired by Lubich’s call to create a more humane and compassionate business and economic paradigm known as the Economy of Communion, or EoC, the Ganzons ventured into microfinance at the height of the Asian financial crisis of 1997 when bank loans became difficult to obtain even for those with good collateral.

They were well aware of the high risk of nonrepayment by people regarded by many as “unbankable,” but the Ganzons believed in their hearts that there was wisdom and joy in helping people without capital but who sincerely and honestly wanted to start their own businesses.

EoC beginnings

The EoC had its beginnings in Brazil in 1991 when Lubich issued a challenge to the Focolare community there, particularly the entrepreneurs, to build a new type of economy where the profits of an enterprise are channeled toward three goals: To help the poor, to develop the business, and to build structures that would ensure the continuance of this philosophy of putting business at the service of men.

This challenge was taken up eagerly, not only by the members of the Focolare community in Brazil but also by all Focolare members throughout the world.

The Ganzons had always lived by the precepts of fairness and justice when it came to managing their employees but they found new inspiration in the EoC.

“We were struck in our hearts by the message of Chiara Lubich,” says Tess Medrano-Ganzon.

“All of a sudden, something more was being added—the dimension that the reason for the existence of a business is to directly help the poor. We were being challenged to likewise ‘grow the business’ beyond the confines of our own satisfaction because it no longer existed just for us, or for the other stakeholders, or for the family of the employees but for a much larger group of people to support through its profits,” she says.

Potent tool vs poverty

The couple saw in microfinance a very potent tool for poverty alleviation. They saw that they could make a difference in the lives of a great number of people who would not otherwise have access to credit.

Microfinance was pioneered by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh in 1976 to address the difficulty of poor people in obtaining capital for livelihood and self-sufficiency. The concept is anchored on peer respect and responsibility, regarded as the best way of assuring repayment even among the most hard-up members of a community.

Microfinance works through the women of the community who are organized into cells and bigger groups called centers. The women are then given training in credit discipline and in other forms of livelihood to supplement their income.

“It means a lot of hard work because we have to meet with the women, organize them, train our credit officers to give an input in the weekly meetings, and then lend out only what they can pay back. And also collect savings,” says Tess.

But in microfinance, the Ganzons say they have “finally found greater meaning in our mandate” as a financial institution.

Giving, getting back

“When I have to deal with cash-strapped borrowers who ask for a restructuring of their accounts or for redeeming assets foreclosed by the bank, I just remember the phrase: ‘Give and you shall receive a hundredfold,’” says Francis.

On many occasions, a farmer would come to him asking to redeem a piece of land that had long been foreclosed and offering payment that is less than the amount due. Seeing there is no other means to raise the additional money, Francis finds himself acceding. Later, during the week or within the month, another transaction pulls through where the bank earns an even larger income.

Bangko Kabayan reaches out today to more than 3,500 small entrepreneurs in Batangas province, where businesses range from small cottage industries like weaving, vegetable farming and making native delicacies to medium-scale pig and poultry farms.

Barbecue business

Typical customers are Elma and Rodolfo Guerra. The couple has to struggle to support their five children. Their main source of income is a small barbecue business which they were able to set up with credit from Bangko Kabayan.

Domingo Fesalbon has been a client of Bangko Kabayan for almost three years now. Through a loan, he and his wife were able to expand their business of making nilupak, a native delicacy made of cassava.

With another collateral-free loan of P50,000, Domingo was able to buy a four-hectare property where he plants his own cassava. He now supplies nilupak to a hundred vendors and keeps a small general merchandise store.

It is no easy task, though, to introduce the concept of savings to people who have been used to several generations of hand-to-mouth existence.

Personal savings

Bangko Kabayan has found the solution in contractual savings. More than 50 percent of the bank’s microfinance portfolio is now matched with the personal savings of its clientele. These savings are an integral part of the microfinance program.

Domingo for instance has about P15,000 in the bank, which he intends to withdraw only in an emergency.

“People are not only able to engage in livelihood projects but they are slowly acquiring the habit of saving,” says Francis.

The borrowers who put in their personal savings not only enhance their own personal resources but they also help the bank beef up its net value.

6th most profitable

Bangko Kabayan is now the largest rural bank in the region and the sixth most profitable of the more than 700 rural banks in the country.

Francis attributes the expansion of the business to the Economy of Communion.

“In the years following our decision to expand in response to the call of the Economy of Communion, we grew from a one-unit bank to nine units spread all over the province of Batangas,” he says.

Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Steps

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Steps
20 March 2006
My friend sent this to me and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree. If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks. Seriously.. Please read:
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm, Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Thank God for the sense to remember the "3" steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK . to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

{NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue... if the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke}

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

From PhilStar.com

A family guide to caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease
AN APPLE A DAY By Tyrone M. Reyes, M.D.
The Philippine STAR 07/18/2006

Most of the thousands of Filipinos with Alzheimer’s disease live at home, where they are usually cared for by their spouses, children, relatives, or caregivers. Home-based caregiving often continues for many years, sometimes with occasional hospital admissions for related medical problems. People who develop Alzheimer’s disease in their 60s or early 70s live an average of 7-10 years after the diagnosis. In the coming decades, as longevity increases, the period of family caregiving is likely to become even longer.

In many ways, caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is like caring for a small child. The caregiver needs to be constantly concerned about safety and has to oversee activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing. Like young children, people with the disease may not be able to express thoughts comprehensively or wholly grasp what others say or do. Their frustration and fear cause behavior that tries the caregiver’s patience. But a person with Alzheimer’s disease, unlike a developing child, becomes increasingly dependent, rather than increasingly independent.
What To Expect
No two people with this progressive degenerative disease follow exactly the same course. At first, they may appear to function almost normally. But signs of the disease are already appearing: They grope for words, forget what happened a few minutes ago, cannot add a list of numbers, seem unable to pay their bills regularly. They may become depressed as well.

As short-term memory worsens, Alzheimer’s patients may ask the same questions over and over. They become lost in familiar places, constantly misplace their belongings, and can no longer prepare their own meals. They start tasks and fail to finish them – a serious problem when, for example, they are cooking. Frustrated by these failures and sometimes fearful of surroundings that suddenly seem unfamiliar, a person with dementia may become agitated and argumentative – or the opposite, depressed and withdrawn.

Ultimately, short-term memory loss is severe. They are barely able to communicate. They may become incontinent and lose most of their motor skills, including the ability to swallow. At that point, they are totally dependent on caregivers for the most basic functions of life.
Take Advantage While There’s Still Time
If you notice changes suggestive of Alzheimer’s disease in a loved one – or in yourself – make a doctor’s appointment soon. Although Alzheimer’s is by far the most common cause of dementia, other conditions may be responsible and, in many cases, the symptoms may be reversible. Also, several helpful medications (called cholinesterase inhibitors) have become available. These medications don’t reverse the damage that has already occurred, but they may delay further loss of cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. A newer type of drug that blocks the activity of glutamate in the brain is now being used in moderate to severe forms of the disease.

In early Alzheimer’s, life can go on with few adaptations. As long as the ability to read remains, reminder notes like "Take your pills after breakfast" are helpful. Planning for the future, however, is a more difficult task. Assess finances and legal issues while the person with Alzheimer’s disease is still able to participate in decisions. Legal documents such as a will or a durable power of attorney need the signatures of mentally competent individuals.

As difficult as these issues are, the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be rewarding for the family. Because long-term memory is generally intact, the person with Alzheimer’s can entertain loved ones with reminiscences. There’s still time to act on a delayed project, such as a vacation trip or a home improvement project.
Caregiving Principles
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is an endless series of often unpredictable challenges. A few basic principles are helpful:

• Provide structure for the person with dementia throughout the day.

• Stay with familiar routines.

• Plan activities that call upon the individual’s remaining abilities, modifying them as the impairments worsen.

• Plan meaningful activities whenever possible.

• Allow the person to do things as much as possible alone, but be ready to intervene with simple step-by-step instructions.

• Limit expectations. Focus on the process rather than the end result. What counts is that a grandparent with dementia makes an effort to send a Christmas greeting to a grandchild. It doesn’t matter how perfectly the greeting card is cut.

• Use distraction at the first signs of agitation or frustration. For example, change the topic of conversation or bring out a photo album you can look at together.

• Give yourself a break. Looking after a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is so taxing that caregivers themselves are subjected to significant stress. Call on family and friends to take over once in a while. Seek help from an Alzheimer’s support group.
Day-To-Day Challenges
Activities of daily living – things that most people take for granted – are among the greatest challenges in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some examples of what you might encounter and how you can handle the situation.

• Eating problems. A person with Alzheimer’s may become easily confused when at the table. In the later stages, he/she may lose the ability to use utensils.

What you can do: Use unpatterned dishes and serve only one item at a time. Bowls are better than plates because the raised side of the bowl makes filling a spoon easier. Put a utensil in the person’s hand to get self-feeding started. Finger foods work well for meals and snacks. Keep mealtime conversation simple and background noise to a minimum (no TV or radio with meals!). When needed, give instructions, such as "Take a bite of chicken." Keep medicines, household cleaners, and similar substances out of sight.

• Difficult dressing. Getting dressed, a process with many steps that must be performed in the proper sequence, becomes a difficult challenge for someone who has lost the ability to organize tasks. Buttons and zippers are especially troublesome for people in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, with their impaired motor skills.

What to do. Select clothes with elastic waists and Velcro closings. Lay them out in the order they need to be put on, with underwear on top. If he/she needs help, hand him/her one item at a time, and give simple instructions. Allow plenty of time for dressing.

• Bathing aversion. Like dressing, bathing requires many steps and is an activity adults are accustomed to doing in private. People with Alzheimer’s often become resistant or hostile when they are naked and feel vulnerable.

What to do. Cover the bather with a large towel for privacy. Let him bathe himself as much as possible. If he puts up a fight, try a distraction like singing together. Postpone the bath if resistance continues.
Problem Behaviors
Some behaviors cause too much stress for family caregivers. Here is what you can do.

• Wandering. Leaving the security of home unaccompanied is a major risk for a person with brain impairment.

What you can do. Provide a safe place at home for wandering, such as a yard with a gate that requires a key, or an uncluttered hallway without stairs. Install locks in unusual places, very high or very low on doors. Be sure the wanderer always wears an identification tag with his name and yours, a phone number, and an address. A common cause of wandering is boredom, so fill the day with activities.

• Incontinence. In late Alzheimer’s disease, incontinence of the bladder and sometimes bowel is common.

What you can do. Have a doctor check for treatable conditions such as a urinary tract infection. Establish a regular toileting schedule. You can start with a trip to the bathroom every two to three hours and modify the schedule according to individual needs. Mark the bathroom door with a picture of a toilet. Pull-down pants without buttons or zippers allow quick use of the toilet.

• Aggression. People with Alzheimer’s disease may lash out in anger because of frustration, confusion or fear.

What to do. Stay calm. Don’t shout or lash back. Find a way to distract his/her attention. Remember, he/she is not doing it on purpose; he/she cannot help herself.

Learning how to manage Alzheimer’s-related behaviors can ease the burden for both the persons with dementia and the family members taking care of them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mabuhay ang Batangueño!

A groundbreaking museum opens in Batangas City

Last updated 01:08pm (Mla time) 07/05/2006

Opening in Batangas City on July 15 2006, Museo Puntóng Batangan raises the standards for research, exhibition design and interpretation for local community museums.

Moving away from the tired exhibition formulas, Museo Puntóng Batangan utilizes multiple video projections, computer and television monitors, audio programs, and large-scale photographs to convey information and come close to its viewers.

It will not draw attention to its high tech components merely for their novel use, however. Batangas City is a community in motion, with a lively character that comes across best through a multi-media approach. The fluidity offered by moving images and sound prove appropriate to a place where an independent spirit is the community’s most precious gift, expressed in its use of language, songs, and interpersonal relations.

To further deepen understanding of this independent spirit, this museum is organized according to key concepts in Tagalog.

Fourteen words were selected by the curatorial team, and the social importance of each word in Batangas City is given a small exhibition of its own. Some of these words, like ‘punto,’ will be ‘exhibited’ as sound experiences; while others, like ‘bayan’ and ‘awit,’ are shown as video productions. Others still, like ‘batang,’ and ‘kalumpang,’ are explored via displayed objects.

Through all these sections, extraordinarily beautiful photographs by the renowned photographer Neal Oshima will assist the visitor in understanding the concepts.

Why create a museum in Batangas City?

The creation of a museum in Batangas City began with a resolve to say something to and about an entire community, not just its leaders and well known individuals living in the city center. And so the museum accomplishes a number of ‘firsts.’

It is the first Philippine museum built on a massive research effort that combed through performed and oral traditions of more than 100 barangays comprising this single city. It is the first Philippine museum focusing on specific bodies of knowledge carried by rural folk – identifying Batangas City’s principal culture bearers.

It is also the first Philippine museum that utilizes a foreign archive extensively, i.e. the National Archives of the United States, and the United States Army Archives, which keep the records of the Philippine American War. Batangas province was among the few areas that sustained the most intense impact of the American conquest (it was one of three provinces where the writ of habeas corpus was suspended for continuing resistance to American rule). Handwritten testaments by Batangueños, presently kept in Washington, D. C., allowed the curatorial team to piece together the events that transpired during this now-unknown and brutal war ― including the effects of starvation and cholera.

Museo Puntóng Batangan is also among the handful of Philippine community museums that utilize the Philippine National Archives. Documents like the late 19th century ‘fincas urbanas’ (real estate declarations) have allowed the reconstruction of the poblacion as it was 120 years ago, including old street names.

Finally, three maps owned by the Museo del Ejercito in Madrid, Spain that show the poblacion in the 18th and early 19th centuries have allowed the curatorial team to identify an extensive fortress/wall system which used to surround the church.

The museum comes with a new book

Another first: the book “Puntóng Batangan: Katwiran at Dilà dine sa Batangas City (Batangas Accent, Reason and Tongue Here in Batangas City)” which accompanies the Permanent Exhibition is the first full-color, hardbound book written in both Batangas Tagalog, as spoken, and English.

In five chapters that poetically organize disparate materials gathered through research, this book endeavors to evoke the flavor (or taste) of an oral language with a distinct accent. It does this by emphasizing the attitudes embodied in the old ‘salawikain’ (aphorisms or sayings) in expressive old Tagalog phrases.

This museum was accomplished within a relatively short period of time by a team of veterans with extensive field work, analysis, and design experience. Members of its curatorial team are Filipinos with substantial local, national, and international practice. Their efforts were supported by the current Mayor of Batangas City, Eduardo B. Dimacuha

Copyright 2006 INQ7.net. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bubble Gang's

utas na ko katatawa!!!!!!!! =))

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

From Philippine Star

Signs of the hard times
The Philippine STAR 07/04/2006

The signs of the hard times are everywhere. You see the grim face of poverty every day in the street urchins pressing their noses on your car window and begging for whatever change you can spare. Jobs are getting scarcer and the lines to the doors of overseas job recruitment agencies are getting longer. Criminality is on the rise and lawless elements lurk everywhere. Stealing or killing (or stealing and killing) incidents are just so rampant. Whether you’re in the relative safety of your own home or you’re out there, there’s the nagging fear that you could be the next victim. These days, mall goers/shoppers are easy prey. A few weeks ago, a friend of ours had a very unfortunate experience while shopping at a mall. She went to the toilet, got into a cubicle, and made sure to hang her bag on the hook on the door. Before she knew it, her bag – with her company’s pay- roll and half a dozen credit cards – was gone! Apparently, somebody fished for her bag, deftly disengaging it from the hook where it was hanging. Of course, she didn’t see who did it. But when she went out of the ladies’ toilet, she saw a woman carrying an extraordinarily big bag – but she was casually walking and not running away from the scene of the crime. Could it have been this bag lady? You never know. These days, criminals come in all sexes, shapes, and sizes. It could be a pregnant woman who’s about to deliver any minute now – who knows what she’s got under that preggy dress! It could be a dashing guy in a corporate suit. Hard lessons learned: Keep your eyes on your bag even when you think you’re alone in the toilet. (Another friend left her bag by the sink when she washed her hands and it disappeared in an instant!) And never trust a stranger, even a pregnant woman or a guy who looks like Jude Law.

Here’s another unfortunate mall incident e-mailed to us:

Dear everybody,

I’d like to share with all of you my horrible and scary experience last Friday night at a mall. Maybe by being aware of this incident, you will be more vigilant even while you’re leisurely shopping.

It was one rare time on a weekday when I and my daughters had the chance to go out for an evening together. Anyway, we took the escalator leading to the store where we were going. I was about five steps away from my two daughters and in front of me were two people (one gay and one girl) in white. They were about five to six steps ahead of me. I noticed that they were walking backwards and I thought they were playing because I only see children doing this. They continued doing so until they were about two steps away from me. I noticed that the gay removed the ponytail band from his hair. Then, as I reached the top of the stairs, he bent forward, as if to pick up something from the floor. I was standing there trying to keep my grip on the handrail lest I fall down. All I could say was, ‘Ano ba, ano ba?’ I felt I was being squashed. I did not know that my daughters were being overtaken by two other people and they thought it was so rude of them to do this. The next thing I knew I was being crushed in front and at the back. I finally got out and cursed the two people for being so ignorant, not knowing how to use the escalator. Then, my daughter noticed that my bag was open and she asked me to check it out. My cell phones were there, but my wallet was gone. We reported the incident to the security guard and all he could say was, ‘Inipit ba kayo?’ I said yes and he told us it is the modus operandi of mall pickpockets. Apparently, this is not the first time he’s heard of such an incident at the mall he’s guarding.

The next day, a construction worker called up my house and told me that he saw my wallet in one of the plant boxes at the bus stop near the mall where I was robbed. He saw a receipt with my name and phone number and he so kindly called me up to return the wallet.

Don’t let this happen to you. Look around you and keep an eye on your belongings even when you’re leisurely shopping.

A concerned shopper
* * *
Follow the law to the litter
Are you a litterbug? It takes little not to be a litterbug, according to the Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines, which surveyed its members for possible reasons why this ugly habit seemingly can’t be junked. The respondents, which included the Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Desk, Ateneo Environmental Science Society, Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Buklod Tao Foundation, Concerned Citizens Against Pollution, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm, Institute for Educational and Ecological Alternatives, Maskara Youth Theater Group, Pusod Inc., Mother Earth Foundation, November 17 Movement, Sanib Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan, Sining Yapak, and Zero Waste Philippines, shared their opinions on littering and offered practical solutions to eradicate this filthy habit. Read this (and pick up some gems of wisdom):
Who And Why People Litter
Litterbugs are those who strew trash in gutters or streets because they’re just plain lazy or they lack ecological consciousness. They also include motorists who throw their trash out of windows, residents who dump their waste in street corners, vacant lots or waterways, and attendees of sports, entertainment and political events who leave their discards all over the place.

Littering transcends age, gender, educational or class delineation. People who have not yet risen above their self-absorbed consciousness tend to litter more, oblivious of its consequences.

Filipinos generally value a clean living and working environment. The ancient proverb "cleanliness is next to godliness" is, in fact, known to many. But why do people continue to litter? The citizens’ lack of awareness and appreciation of their inherent responsibility to the environment and society is probably the foremost reason.

"Someone else will pick it up." Some people think that littering is acceptable because there are people (such as the diligent janitor and the street sweeper) being paid to clean up after them.

"I simply don’t care." Some people are socially indifferent and are not informed about the health, environmental and other costs of littering.

"Everyone else is doing it." Some people tend to litter when litter already exists.

"It’s a statement!" Some people take it against the authorities, for instance, by rejecting public discipline.
The Effects Of Littering
Carelessly disposed discards cause numerous health, environmental and financial problems. It shows an uncaring culture and perpetuates an attitude of irresponsibility and disorder, which are damaging to the national psyche.

Litter attracts rodents and other pests and serves as breeding sites for disease-causing bacteria, germs, and insects. Dangerous items such as broken bottles, expired drugs, used condoms, and syringes as well as used containers of toxic chemicals are potential health hazards. Cigarette butts are possible fire hazards, too.

Litter affects water quality and obstructs waterways, causing water to overflow, flood surrounding areas, and disperse water-borne pathogens. Removing litter from storm drains and water bodies costs a considerable amount of money. Discards, especially plastic scraps, usually end up in natural water bodies such as rivers and oceans, causing injury and death to wildlife. Cigarette butts, for instance, have been found in the bellies of birds, fishes, whales, and other marine animals who mistake them for food.

Litter turns off tourists, causing revenues to plummet. Litter ruins the aesthetic charm of our country and makes for bad publicity!
Preventing Littering
Sustained education and values formation at home, school, church, and workplace, the active promotion of earth-friendly consumption choices, and the honest-to-goodness enforcement of anti-littering directives and penalties are needed to contend with the culture of littering.

For starters, the Ecowaste Coalition offers these practical ways to free our environment of litter:

As a citizen:

• Never litter. Instead be a role model to your family and community. • Reduce your waste size and exert creative efforts to reuse and recycle your discards.

• Avoid single-use disposable plastic bags, containers, and utensils.

• Trim down your consumption of plastics. Choose products with minimal packaging and remember to bring reusable carry bags when you shop.

As a pedestrian:

• Keep litter until a proper trash container is found.

• Make sure your waste goes into the container and not outside it.

• If there is no proper container, take your litter home for recycling or composting.

• Carry a handy litter bag in your pocket or bag for your discards.

As a motorist:

• Do not hurl your discards out of the car windows.

• Provide a litter bag or bin in your vehicle.

• When transporting waste, do not overload garbage trucks. Also secure and cover loads.

As a smoker:

• Quit smoking for the sake of your health. If you have not yet kicked the habit, ensure that your cigarette filters are disposed of in the proper bins.

• If there is no ashtray available, put the cigarette butts in your own litter bag.

As a law enforcer:

• Implement ecological system for managing discards in your area of jurisdiction.

• Popularize anti-littering ordinances through various channels and enforce them. Apprehend and duly penalize violators.

As a business owner:

• Provide separate bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards for the convenient use of your clients and customers.

• Put up a creative reminder to your patrons not to litter anywhere.

• Keep your dumpster secured and free of debris and pests.

As a homeowner or renter:

• Stop wasting! Separate your discards, reuse, recycle, compost.

• Pick up discards for recycling or composting, and do not hose them down into the gutters and drains.

• Keep the lids of your separate bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards secured to keep them from scattering.

• Never set your discards on fire!

For more information, call the Ecowaste Coalition at 929-0376.
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We’d love to hear from you. E-mail us at ching_alano@yahoo.com