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iKON 2018 CONTINUE TOUR IN SEOUL (Korea Version)

3.24.2019

Eat Well, Live Well with Pinggang Pinoy® + Free Recipes!

The country has been facing the rise on the number of underweight and overweight Filipinos for more than 20 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined this phenomenon as the “Double Burden of Malnutrition” or the “prevalence of both undernutrition and overweight in the same community, nation, or region.”

To address this problem, our government launched the Pinggang Pinoy® campaign in 2014. Pinggang Pinoy® is an easy-to-understand food guide showing proper food group portioning on a per-meal basis. This reflects the principles of MOderation, VAriety and BAlance (MOVABA) to promote healthier eating habits.
Practicing Pinggang Pinoy.
Solving the Philippines’ Double Burden of Malnutrition should be a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors as it is not an easy feat. With this, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation partnered with government agencies to conduct education programs to raise awareness and promote the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® in malnutrition hotspots, where incidences of Double Burden Malnutrition are high. This training was given to homemakers/mothers who have malnourished (underweight, stunting, wasting, overweight and obese) school-aged children.

The pilot run resulted to improvements of the knowledge & attitudes of households related to the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® within target areas. However, behavior changes towards healthier eating habits remains to be a challenge. The program uncovered a number #MalnutritionTraps that some Pinoy households easily fall into. The following #MalnutritionTraps provide a picture of how unhealthy eating habits may lead to Double Burden of Malnutrition:

1. Overconsumption of carbohydrates
Voracious rice eaters can easily fill half of their plates with rice. Others have pandesal & noodles as regular meal deprived of other nutrients derived from a well-balanced meal.

2. Under consumption of vegetables and/fruits
It is common for some to be content with rice & meat to satisfy their hunger and skip/take insufficient amount of vegetables/fruits. Fact is, the variety of colors found in Glow foods are important sources of vitamins & minerals to sustain our energy & keep us from getting sick.

3. Overconsumption of protein
Typical Filipino “SILOG” meals include double serving of proteins (e.g. Tapa+Itlog, Tocino+Itlog, Longanisa+Itlog, Bangus+Itlog). Eating different kinds of protein is fine for as long as they are taken in moderation. We must also avoid protein dishes served high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Mag-Pinggang Pinoy tayo!
As a kid, I used to eat lots of high-carb food, especially for breakfast. My grandmother, who took care of us when we were kids, was also a working as a public school teacher back then and had little time to prepare a 'balanced breakfast' for my siblings and I. Rice and noodles, pan de sal with cheese, white bread with margarine - these were our typical morning meals before we all make a mad dash for school. So it's not surprising that my sibs and I were on the heavy side for the most part of our childhood and teenage life.

Not wanting to make this same mistake with my son, I adopted the Pinggang Pinoy® concept in preparing meals for my family. You too, can break free from these #MalnutritionTraps with the help of these Healthy & Delicious Pinggang Pinoy® Recipes, carefully selected and prepared by Ajinomoto’s Culinary Nutrition Team. Busy and budget-restricted homemakers will also find these Pinggang Pinoy® recipes useful because all are easy-to-do and affordable (P250/day for family of 5). You can download the recipes here.
Download now for free!
For updates about Mag-Pinggang Pinoy® Tayo!, visit www.ajinomoto.com.ph and www.facebook.com/CookmunitybyAjinomotoPH.

3.23.2019

What's in Your Bag?

I'll probably sound like The Old Man from Pawn Stars as I say this, but back in my day, partying was a lot more wholesome than it is now. Sure, we'd have booze and cigarettes at raves and concerts, and in the late 90's, that's as risky as it gets. Well, at least that was the case in the parties that I had been to.
Photo credit: NME Magazine.
These days, the party culture is on a totally different level. Partying now involves not just nicotine and alcohol, but also prescription medication and/or recreational drugs.

But what makes these 'party drugs' a lot more worrisome is that their presence and availability is not limited to parties or bars and clubs alone. If you're keeping up with the news, then you've probably heard of the recent arrest of two college students involved in illegal drug trade. Yes, college students, one of them already in his senior year.
Illegal drug substances amounting to Php 1.5 million were found
inside the condominium unit of one of the arrested college students.
This prevalence of 'party drugs' and other illegal substances among the youth is the mainspring of  NCRPO Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar's proposal of implementing random bag and locker inspections in schools. This proposition was made after the police chief received reports that even elementary students are involved in illegal drug trade. Yes, you read it right, elementary students - kids probably the same age as my son.

"The background is because there was a case, elementary students that were caught in possession of 20 or 30 sachets of marijuana na binebenta sa school at ginagamit pa nila so well that was the result of the inspection that [was] conducted by the teacher," Eleazar revealed.
NCRPO Chief Guillermo Eleazar inspects the illegal drugs confiscated during the raid.
Implementing the surprise inspections will help prevent the youth from getting mixed up with illegal drugs, Eleazar said, emphasizing that prevention is important. He also clarified that these random inspections will be done by the teachers and/or school officials, and not the police.

"I just want to clarify that even when I was still the district director of QCPD (Quezon City Police District), I have suggested that already to the district supervisors of DepEd in Quezon City but the idea is for them to inspect, not the police," Eleazar explained.

"So naisip ko na mas maganda siguro na the teachers have surprise inspection of the bags and lockers," he added.

Although many individuals, including parents, welcomed this proposal, there were many others who opposed and said that this inspection policy might allow Oplan Tokhang to victimize students. Even  Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones was against this idea, because according to her, "this violates the students' right to privacy".
What's in your bag?
And so despite its good intentions, and its objective of protecting the youth from illegal drugs, this proposal never saw the light of day. At least, not yet.

If DepEd and CHED will reconsider this suggestion and come up with a protocol for the inspections, then maybe we can actually nip the drug problem in the bud. We can keep kids away from these drugs, seek help for those who are already involved, and track down the source of these illegal substances.

"If we can inspect belongings at malls, why not in schools?" Eleazar reiterated.
The man has a point.

3.22.2019

A Quick Guide for Bachelorette Parties.

Are you planning to hold a bachelorette party before your friend’s wedding? Then you might want to know the steps that you need to do in order to make the event successful. An option for you is to hire adult entertainers, exotic dancers, and strippers. For more information about strippers, click this link here. This will make your bachelorette night a fun-filled activity of cheering, laughing, drinking, and enjoying the performances of these professional performers.

If this is your first time hiring a stripper for a hen party, then here is a guide for you. If you are looking for a handy step-by-step guide on how to make your planned entertainment flawless, then you are on the right page.
Photo credit: Easy Weddings.
What You Should Do When Hiring Strippers
1. Get the Bride’s Opinion in Hiring a Stripper
Check with the bride if she wants a stripper on her hen party. Even if there’s a huge chance that the bride will agree to a stripper, it is still best to check on her and get her opinion. She might decide to invite her sisters, mothers-in-law, and other prudes who might not appreciate a bachelorette party with a male entertainer.

If the bride does not agree with a male stripper, there’s still hope. You can provide an eye-candy b going into restaurants where shirtless waiters serve meals. Remember to do a bachelorette party where the bride is comfortable because it is her party and it is her last night to a party as a single lady.

2. Decide whether you go to Clubs or Do a Private Bachelorette Party
When the bride agrees and she is comfortable hiring a male stripper, you have to choose between hiring private strippers and going to club revues. If you live in a metropolitan area, chances are, there are lots of venues with lots of exotic dancers that perform the whole night. However, an advantage of hiring a stripper is, the entertainment becomes a private offer which everyone in the party can enjoy.

There are pros and cons of going into the club. Some pros that you can consider are the following: more male entertainers, various choices of food and drinks, larger venues, and non-stop shows the whole night. The cons are the following: that the bride-to-be is not the center of the show, not very private, and expensive drinks and food. The pros are: the party becomes a private affair which all your friends can enjoy, you can choose the look of your male entertainer, no worries about drunk driving, and the main object of the entertainment is the bride.
The life of the (hen) party.
3. Find an Entertainer from a Reputable Company
If you agree to hire a private male entertainer, you will need to find the one that will suit you the most. The internet can be a great place but only if the company that you have found is legitimate. You can click the Majesty Male Strippers link to know more information about hiring a reputable company.

Choose a stripper that is available locally so you can meet up before the event if possible. Note that some of the time, the stripper won’t be able to make it on the night of your party because of some emergency. A reputable company will be able to send you someone as a replacement. However, beware of this method. Some of the companies display photos of models from different websites. This means that your chosen stripper might not even exist in the first place. Another option for you is to go to a local nightclub and see if there’s a stripper available that can perform on bachelorette parties. Make sure that the one you chose respects your rules, practice safety, and suits the bride’s taste.

4. Ask the Proper Questions When Hiring a Stripper 
You have found the perfect stripper and you are wondering what to do next. If this is the case, then the next thing that you should ask is the rates of the male entertainer.

• How many hours is the performance going to last? 
• How much is the rate is per hour? 
• Is there a fixed package rate if you need the service for five hours or more? 
• Do you cover the travel costs? 
• Will the stripper bring his own boom box? 
• Will he perform in display costumes? • Are there any rules that he should follow? 
• Does he need a specific drink, food, chair, etc? 
• Will he perform while completely naked? 
• Are there rules that the women should follow? 
• Are there any rules about photographs and videos? 
• How should the payment be processed?
Keep the wine flowing. :)
These questions and a lot more will help establish rules and make the night smoother. When it comes to payments, use a credit card that has a consumer policy. This is your safety net when the stripper doesn’t show up. When you make negotiations, you need to be clear on what you expect and what the stripper expects. If there’s a rule that is a deal breaker for both parties, you can either talk about it or find another entertainer.

5. Expect Some Kind of Recourse on the Night of the Party
Strippers are notorious for being late. Make sure that you have their private phone number and the number of the company where they work. You also need to properly give them excellent directions to the party’s venue. If your party is held in a hotel or apartment complex, you need to make sure that the concierge or security guard expects them to avoid delays. Before the party, you have to make sure that everything is confirmed. Do not change any details yourself to avoid confusion. Make sure that the drinks and food are already prepared.
Ready to be the bride-to-be?
A Final Word
Getting a stripper can be intimidating if you don’t know where to go. The great news is that there are lots of guides written to help you hire the perfect male entertainer for your party. You just have to contact the right experts, go to a legitimate website and hire high-quality adult entertainers. Get ready for a night of pure fun where the bride will not have any hesitations of leaving the single life because she has already experienced everything.


3.15.2019

Sneak Peek | Etude House Blossom Picnic Collection.

You know it's almost cherry blossom season when beauty brands launch their spring collections, and Etude House is one of the first in the K-beauty world to release their offering for this season. Etude House's newest collection is inspired by cherry blossoms, which isn't exactly surprising since these lovely pink blooms are the symbolic flower for spring.
Etude House Blossom Picnic Collection.
But if you're a die-hard cherry blossom fan (case in point, me), prepare yourselves for the cuteness because the Blossom Picnic Collection is as pretty as can be.

View the complete collection after the jump!

3.11.2019

Spotlight | Missha Cotton Blush.

I've been extremely busy lately with freelance projects, writing gigs, and my son's school activities, and with his final exams coming up, expect me to be swamped with even more work in the next few days. I know my plate is already full and I kinda have a deadline to beat today, but I wanted to squeeze in this quick review of the blusher that I've been using (and loving) as of late.
Missha Cotton Blush.
This is the Missha Cotton Blush, which I purchased from Althea and was one of the many items included in my birthday/year-end haul. I was initially attracted to its shade range (the complete Missha Cotton Blush line consists of ten shades which will suit a variety of skin tones and undertones) and its affordable price (dirt cheap, considering that it's from Missha).
Hangul text at the bottom of the pan.
A powder blush with soft, velvety texture, the Missha Cotton Blush gives your cheeks a lovely, natural flush of color. It's formulated with 'silky elastic powder' that controls sebum and allows for easy, non-cakey application.
Missha Cotton Blush in Vintage Robe.
Its packaging is sleek and simple, and the clear compact is small enough to fit your jeans pocket. Although the size of the Missha Cotton Blush is relatively smaller compared to other blushers, you have to take into consideration that each pan costs only Php 230. Also, for its price point, you're getting your money's worth - maybe even more - in terms of color payoff and quality.
Missha Cotton Blush Vintage Robe - swatched once on the right, twice on the left.
Missha Cotton Blush in Vintage Robe - swatched once on the right, twice on the left.
Missha Cotton Blush in Vintage Robe - swatched once on the right, twice on the left.
The shade that I got is Vintage Robe, a dusty rose with a hint of reddish brown. I love how nicely pigmented this shade is, and how I get a healthy-looking flush with just a swipe or two on my cheeks. It glides on smoothly with the right brush, has buildable coverage, and leaves the cheeks with a soft matte finish. This shade is quite long-wearing, too. Despite the sweltering heat, the color stayed put on my cheeks throughout the day with no touch-ups at all.
Missha Cotton Blush in Vintage Robe on my cheeks.
Needless to say, I am impressed by the over-all quality of the Missha Cotton Blush, and I'm planning to buy a few more shades the next time I go on a shopping spree in Korea or at the Althea website, whichever comes first (lol)

New to Althea? Here's a discount voucher that you can use to get 20% off on your first order. :)

3.10.2019

The Complete Guide on Fishing Gear and Tackle Reviews.

Most people think fishing is passive. But that can’t be further from the truth. What is dull for many people is actually exciting for fishing enthusiasts. Just being outdoors makes most of the experience fun. You go out and enjoy the view of a beautiful river, lake, or the ocean. This can be very relaxing to most people. When fishing, you get to clear your mind of all obligations and all your worries. It’s just you and nature. Over the years, people develop skills that help them become better. You’ll get to know where the fish are hiding, and what kind of bait to use.

A thing that reels in people is the anticipation. No one ever knows when the next catch is going to be. It could be in the next minute. Or, the entire day can pass by without any action. Many people think that soccer is interesting because of never knowing when the next goal is going to happen. It can be at any time. You’re always on the edge of your seat, thinking and preparing. A big one might come out of nowhere, and you must be ready for battle. This is the same with fishing.
Fancy fishing?
All you need to know about fishing rods 
You can’t go into the wild waters without a rod. This is the most basic equipment piece that’s shaped like a long stick. The better the rod, the better the placing of the bait. With a good quality one, you will be able to cast wherever you want. Of course, some factors come into play when choosing the best one. The qualities that make a great rod stand out are the length, material, power, and action. For example, if someone wants to catch big fish, that means that there will be a lot of close combat scenarios. For this, the best option is to use a strong short rod. They’re also good for kayak anglers who want to save a little more space.

On the other hand, longer rods are used for casting great distances. Bass anglers love to use them because they cover water quickly. As for the materials, the rods can be made of graphite, fiberglass or both. This makes some of them indestructible and able to withstand hundreds of pounds of force. Of course, this influences their flexibility as well. You can check out more info in sites like the Top Gear Reviews at ProFishingGearReviews.
When I think of fishing, I think of Running Man. :)
All you need to know about tackle boxes and bags
Tackle boxes are a necessity. They help to keep all the parts that make up the puzzle of fishing. These types of boxes help to keep the contents dry. And, to inhibit rust from coming up on all the hooks, lures and accessories. When searching for the best one, it’s advisable to look for ones that have a five year or more guarantee.

Most of them have divided spaces. This will help you to organize everything as you’d like. This means separating the baits from the lures and the hooks. They usually have thick walls that help in keeping the contents safe. The most important thing to look out for is water resistance. Since you’ll be carrying this item with you on a boat, it shouldn’t allow water to get in and damage the rest of your equipment. Some people keep their personal things in these boxes as well. Nothing can ruin a great day of fishing like a water damaged phone. That’s why waterproof tackles are recommended.

Success! :)
All you need to know about baits and lures
To catch a fish, you need bait. They don’t come just swimming to the hook. They see a reward on it, and this makes them come to get it. Lures come in different shapes and sizes, depending on what you want to catch. However, there are six main types of bait. These are worms, leeches, insects, clams, minnows, and dough balls.

When people think fishing, they always associate the bait with worms. Well, there is a good reason for that. Worms are the easiest to find, and they are the least expensive of all baits. They come in abundance and with a little digging at night, you can see loads of them in your backyard. And, most notably, by using them as bait, you can catch a wide variety of different fish. Here is a great tip in case you don’t know it. Put only a small piece of the worm on the hook. In this way, the chances of a fish getting stuck are significantly higher. That’s because if the worm were longer, the fish would nibble on the sides and leave the part that’s attached on the hook.

On the other hand, leeches are harder to come across. They are usually bought in shops, and you keep them refrigerated. Many fishermen like using them because the leeches move in the water. This attracts loads of fish because the bait is moving and struggling. Minnows fall in this category as well. They are small fish that can be caught with nets or bought in a store. Just be careful not to hit their spinal cord when you put them on the hook. This will paralyze them and make them unable to move in the water. Also, in some waters, it’s forbidden to catch minnows. So, be careful about that too. Read more about baits here.

To sum up
Finally, putting this all together should be done for only one thing – to catch a fish. When you get something pulling on the line, prepare yourself for a fight. That’s the most exciting part of the sport. The fish will pull, and try to escape with all its power. Sometimes, the line will break. Other times, it will shake off the hook. But, if you’ve got the skill mastered, then you might have a dinner that’s nothing like on the supermarket. Fresh, delicious fish are the thing every fisherman is looking forward to.

3.05.2019

How to Choose the Best Prom Dress.

Shopping for your prom dress is one of the most exciting part in preparing for your prom. It can also be very taxing, especially if you are presented with countless styles and a variety of options. So how can we make this task easier? Simple. You have to know your body shape.

Photo credit: Beauty Bridge.
The Pyramid
For instance, if you have a rather narrow bust and wide hips (pyramid silhouette),  you can opt for a dress with thin straps adjusted at the top, with a bit more width at the hips. If you are the exact opposite (reversed pyramid silhouette),  you can go for a prom dress that's slightly loose and has short sleeves. Better if the dress is long enough to brush against your knees.
Fine Strapless Fuchsia Dress.
The Rectangle
If you have broad shoulders, but your waist and your hips are practically undefined (rectangular silhouette) and you gag on Empire style dresses, that's okay, because this look will definitely flatter you! Go for a scoop or round neckline and do not be afraid to experiment with a pleated dress.
Short Sleeve Yellow Dress.
The Hourglass
If, on the other hand, you have broad shoulders and hips with a slim waist (hourglass silhouette), a V-neck dress would be perfect for you. Opt for a dress flared at the bottom and falls below the knee.
Pink V Neck Dress.
The Curvy
Finally, to put your curves (round silhouette) in value, go with an ample and vaporous dress, which twirls up to your knees, and defines your size.
For the curvy girl.
Consider your complexion
When the time of the ball arrives, you'll have all that fresh complexion of happiness. It is so easy to get lost among all the beautiful colors of dresses that come before our eyes as we shop. Trust your complexion to see more clearly.

If you have clear skin, red is your best friend, while pastel colors are your enemies. If, on the contrary, you have dark complexion, pink, green, yellow, white, and gold will enhance you. Your skin tone pulls a bit on the olive?  A blue or black dress is your best bet. Finally, if you have pink skin or have freckles, coral and beige or turquoise (if you're more fly) will make you shine brightly at your ball.

Don't forget the fabric
More often than not, you have certain prom dresses fabric that you love. It does not mean that the fabric loves us back, lol. Just as the cut of dress should suit you, you should also pay particular attention to the fabric which will complement your silhouette.

Thus, if you are slender and you have endless legs, fine cotton and silk are excellent choices. If, on the other hand, you are rather small, opt for a dress cut in a light and vaporous fabric that's neither too thick or rough. These fabrics are also good for those with more curves.

Finally, know that lace is better for those who have broad shoulders, but few hips, and that princess dresses with a skirt in tulle or crinoline will flatter those with well-defined hips.

3.04.2019

6 Reasons Why Snacking on Peanuts Can Be Beneficial to Your Health

Peanuts have been declared a superfood for good reason. They’re full of vitamins and minerals contained in a tidy little package that’s easy to pop when you’re feeling the urge for a quick snack between meals. But did you know that snacking on them also comes with some added benefits? Below are some of the major benefits of regularly consuming peanuts and peanut-derived products:
Peanuts are good for you!
Peanuts Can Help You Lose Weight 
They’re chock-full of fiber and protein, which keeps you feeling full and sated for longer. As such, they’re an excellent way to manage the hunger pangs that have you reaching for chips or sweets. They also increase your metabolic rate as well as help stabilize your blood sugar. If snacking on peanuts whole doesn’t happen to be your thing, you can get all the benefits without any of the chewing by drinking a glass of milked peanuts or getting them from another source, such as peanut flour or peanut butter.

Peanuts Are a Great Source of Biotin
Biotin is a water soluble vitamin which can help convert certain nutrients you absorb through food into energy. It also helps keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong. Research also suggests that getting enough biotin is vital for pregnant women, in order to reduce the risk of congenital birth defects in the fetus.
Peanut-derived products are heart-healthy, too.
Peanuts Are a Heart-Healthy Food
Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been known to lower your risk towards cardiovascular ailments. These monounsaturated fats help clear the arteries and keep your blood flowing strong and healthy. In a study conducted in 2017, it was found that regular consumption of peanuts led to a 15% reduction in the risk for coronary heart disease in a sample size of 200,000 participants.

Peanuts Are Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that combat free radicals, which cause cellular damage. Excessive free radicals have been linked to cancer, which means that getting your antioxidants in is essential to reducing your risk towards certain cancers. Peanuts contain many of the same powerful antioxidants present in red wine, notably resveratrol. You don’t have to pop peanuts on the daily to boost your resveratrol intake, either—you can drink peanuts in the form of all-natural milked nuts, just as you would with wine.
Peanut Bars, anyone?
Photo credit: Betty Crocker.
Peanuts Are Nutrient-Rich Powerhouses
Niacin, folate, thiamin, and riboflavin are only a few of the nutrients you can get from a serving of peanuts. They’re also rich in vitamins B6 and E, pantothenic acid and choline, as well as essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium, among others. Niacin and vitamin E in particular are nutrients that help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline due to advanced age.

Peanuts Can Lower Your Risk of Developing Gallstones
Gallstones are small, hard, crystalline masses that form in the gallbladder or bile ducts as abnormalities. Certain individuals are at a higher risk for it: women, those who are obese or overweight, people aged 40 and up. An unhealthy diet composed mainly of refined carbohydrates and calories can also increase your risk of developing gallstones. Consuming at least one serving of peanuts per day can lower your risk of them forming by up to 25%.

So the next time you have an urge to snack on chips or other types of junk food, you might want to consider eating a handful of peanuts instead. Aside from being a tasty treat that can stave off those hunger pangs, the health benefits that they bring are a much appreciated bonus that no one can deny.


3.01.2019

Seoul Searching | Seodaemun Prison History Museum.

Today couldn't have been a more perfect time to write about Seodaemun Prison History Museum, and what we saw and experienced during our visit. Because on this day, exactly one hundred years ago, the March 1st Movement (Samiljeol) took place.

One of the earliest public demonstrations of Korean resistance during the Japanese occupation, Samiljeol was initiated by thirty-three core activists who came together at the Taehwa-gwan Restaurant in Seoul and announced the Korean Declaration of Independence.

They then took it to the streets where they were joined by many others, marching and shouting "Manse!" which means "long live Korea". As more and more people joined the procession, the Japanese officials panicked and asked the military forces to intervene. Many of the Korean protesters were arrested, but many more were killed. Apprehended activists were brought to Seodaemun Prison, where they were locked up, tortured, or worse - executed.
The entrance to Seodaemun Prison History Museum.
Ticket prices: 1500 Korean won for adults, 500 Korean won for kids.
Forcibly built during the Japanese occupation, construction of the prison began in 1907 and was completed the year after. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name of Gyeongsong Gamok. This name eventually went through a few more changes until 1923, when it finally became the name that we know today - Seodaemun Prison.
The Administration Building, used mainly for interrogations.
This now serves as the exhibition hall of Seodaemun Prison History Museum.
Uncovering the horrors of Seodaemun Prison... more secrets revealed after the jump!