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2019 BTS Summer Package Vol. 5 (Korea Version)

5.15.2021

How to Keep a Garden in the City.

It's been more than a year since I moved out of our ancestral home and started living in the city. And while I do love and enjoy the convenience of living in a place where everything is easily accessible - supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, even my son's school - there are a few things about our ancestral home that I miss from time to time. 

For starters, there's my niece and nephew, who lived next door to our old place. I miss their noise and laughter, and being able to see them, play with them, and shower them with hugs and kisses everyday. I miss my grandmother, who also lived in another house next door to mine. I miss going through her fridge and pantry, hanging out in her bedroom, and talking to her about random stuff. Most of all, I miss our sprawling garden, which was one of the best, and my most favorite feature of our ancestral home. Our garden had all sorts of plants - ornamentals, shrubs, climbers, creepers, trees even. My grandmother was the 'plauntie' of all 'plaunties', and she tended to her plants lovingly despite her chronic back pain. 

Sunshine and laughter - my mother and my grandmother in the garden.

When we moved to our new place here in the city, it never really dawned on me to start keeping a garden, let alone grow a plant indoors. But then COVID-19 happened, and this whole gardening craze started because people were confined to their homes and turned to all sorts of recreational activities to cope with the pandemic. I was one of them.

I started with a small Adolphi plant that I got as a gift from my sister-in-law, and the next thing I knew, our tiny apartment became some sort of urban jungle. My boys are not complaining, though, and they find it really funny whenever I'd come home with a new plant, new pots, or gardening tools on the rare occasions that I would leave the house to run errands or do the groceries.

The succulent that started it all.

If you're thinking of starting your own urban garden, here are some tips:

Size Up Your Space
Whether you have a tiny hallway, a small patio, a bit of a balcony, or an entire rooftop, you need to measure how much space you've got to give you an idea of how large your garden can be. For instance, majority of the houses for sale in Toronto have yards that are perfect for container gardening. Another option is vertical gardening which work well for apartment dwellers or people living in small spaces.

Pothos varieties.

Pot 'em If You Can't Plant 'em
Potted plants are the best option if you don't have gardening beds. In choosing the perfect pots, consider the following - what plants will you grow, how many pots do you need, will you grow multiple plants or different plants in one pot. Self-watering containers are a good option if you're a gardening newbie or a busybody that can't stick to a regular watering schedule. If you have limited space, you might want to consider using hanging pots or windowsill pots as well. 

Choose Your Plants Wisely
When choosing or shopping for plants, you always need to keep in mind how much space you have at home. Don't overcrowd your plants, and don't dream of growing plants that are too big for modest spaces. Choose plants that grow up rather than spread out. If you're leaning towards vegetables and herbs, only plant those that you will actually eat. Some urban gardeners grow plants that go together with their favorite dishes - like tomato and basil for their pasta, and rosemary and thyme for sauces, soups, and stews. 
Aglaonema varieties.

Follow the Sun
Make the most out of your gardening space by choosing plants that can thrive in different locations. Flowering plants love the sun, and will grow well in a patio that basks in sunlight or a bright windowsill. Plants with bright or variegated foliage are most suitable near bright windows, but out of direct sunlight. Snake plants, ZZ plants, and peace lilies are great for growing indoors, as they are known for their resilience and ability to proliferate even in dim corners.

Have Fun
Gardening is an activity that's good for the mind and body. It's a great stress-reliever especially during these times, and it's a fun and relaxing way to get in touch with nature, get some sunshine, and even work up some sweat. It's also a wonderful learning experience, especially for the first-time gardeners. Mistakes are inevitable, and you might end up killing a plant or two along the way, but you can always try growing them again. 


5.12.2021

5 Things to Consider in Buying Your First Home.

Owning a home is one of the biggest, if not the greatest, achievement in your adult life. For our family, it's one of our ultimate goals - something that my husband and I have been working on for the past few years. It's also one of the many reasons why my husband has been working himself to the bone in a foreign country, and why I try to get as much side hustles as I can, even in the midst of a pandemic. 

Planning for your dream home is an exciting and exhilarating process, especially for first-time homeowners. For the most part, it can also be challenging, tiring, and very stressful. There were a lot of things that my husband and I considered as we started planning for our new home, and here are some of them:

Saving and planning, and saving some more.

Budget
Truth be told, our budget was initially, our biggest concern. Well, it was more of a constraint, actually. Sure, we have some money saved up, but not enough to pay in cash upfront for a ready-to-move property. 

My husband and I thought long and hard about how we can stretch our budget, computing all the the fees that we need to pay should we choose to buy a house that's ready for occupancy. We considered getting a loan either through bank financing or through Pag-IBIG Fund's Housing Loan, and did our research regarding mortgages, amortizations, and the like. With the help of a mortgage calculator, we were able assess our capacity to pay for the home loan deposit, and to project our monthly mortgage payment with different loan scenarios.

Our neighborhood in Seoul has everything - from supermarkets to karate dojos.

Location
When it comes to buying a home, the location is our topmost priority. As someone who has enjoyed the convenience of living in the city and in the suburbs, I want our new home to be safe, secured, and accessible, if not smack dab in the middle of everything - hospitals, supermarkets, malls, the police station, and of course, my son's school. Living on the outskirts of the city might be cheaper, but considering the travel expenses, or how much time it will take to get to my son's school or the hospital in case of an emergency, I'd prefer to spend a bit more for a home within the city proper that's accessible to almost everything.

Are we ready to take the plunge?

Land Developer
There's probably a hundred or so real estate developers in the country today, and quite a handful of them stand out because of their excellent track record and their ability deliver high-quality projects. With so many land developer brands to choose from, and with so many real estate properties sprouting up, it is important to look into their reputation and credibility, the quality of their work, and their ability to meet construction deadlines. We sure don't want to invest our hard-earned money in a house that's haphazardly done!

This was my "dream home" back in the 90's. 

Style and Design
House styles have evolved over the years, and most of the packaged homes being sold today are inspired by American, Mediterranean, or European architecture. Decide on the type of the house that you want and the design that best fits the size of your household and your lifestyle.

When I was a kid, the dream house that I envisioned was something like Kevin McAllister's house from the movie "Home Alone" - a grand staircase, spacious rooms, huge windows, and carpeted floors. But now that I'm a mom and I do all the home cleaning myself, I realized that a simple, minimalist house style would be better. Cleaning the house is a big chore, and I certainly would not want to break my neck while clearing away cobwebs from an eight-foot-ceiling. 

Coming soon, and claiming it!

The Current Market
The real estate market can be very volatile, all the more now that we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, the housing market is still booming and thriving despite the global crisis. 

Here in the Philippines, we've seen a great demand for pre-selling properties primarily because of the equity payments that can be paid on a monthly basis and not cash upfront. Most buyers are also acting fast because they have this notion that real estate prices will surely increase once the pandemic is over. 

If your savings are more than enough or if you are fortunate to be employed in an industry that has not been depredated by the coronavirus, it might be best to strike while the iron is hot and purchase your dream home now. My husband and I are taking advantage of this situation, and we're excited to see our dream home, the first home that we can actually our own, finally come to life.


5.07.2021

Bring My Pet to the Vet | Royal Canin's Campaign for Improved Pet Healthcare in the Philippines.

Global leading pet nutrition manufacturer and provider Royal Canin recently launched its Bring My Pet to the Vet (BMPV) campaign as part of its commitment to champion responsible pet ownership among Filipino pet parents. Pet owners across the Philippines can now access over 20,000 free pet checkups and 4,000 BMPV care kits for their furry friends through the Royal Canin Club mobile application, as well as other pet rewards made available on the platform.

Over the past year, more Filipinos are turning to pets as their trusted quarantine companions. However, a survey by Kantar shows that 93% and 50% of cat and dog owners, respectively, do not get their pets checked regularly. The survey also highlights that most owners only bring their pets to the veterinarian for vaccinations and medical procedures, reflecting how wellness checkups are not common in the Philippines.

Have you visited your vet today?

With this, Royal Canin introduced the BMPV campaign to encourage both new and old pet owners to bring their pets to the vet as early and as regular as they can, and understand the importance of pet preventive healthcare and medicalization. The campaign also underlines the role that veterinarians play in Filipinos' pets' lives, as it provides a platform for pet owners to connect with their trusted vet partners and clinics, ultimately building a more connected and engaged pet community in the Philippines.

This year, Royal Canin leverages its mobile platform, the Royal Canin Club app, to strengthen its 2019 Bring My Dog to the Vet (BMDV) campaign and relate to more pet owners nationwide. To claim the free checkup, pet owners just need to claim the free consultation voucher under the mobile application’s rewards, find the nearest clinic in the store locator by selecting the Vet feature, and reach out to the clinics directly to book their appointments for consultation. On the day of their appointment, pet owners need to present their generated checkup QR code on their Royal Canin Club app to avail of the free consultation. Afterward, users are encouraged to complete their post-checkup survey for more amazing perks and rewards in the application.

Cats need some vet care, too!

Royal Canin’s BMPV campaign seeks to redefine its previous campaign, which gave away 3,000 free consultations for Filipino pet owners through the company’s website. Now made available on the Royal Canin Club app, it becomes a culmination of two purposeful pet preventive healthcare campaigns. It hopes to further educate pet owners about the signals to watch out from their pets to guide them and encourage them to work closely with their vets in achieving optimum health for their beloved furry friends.

“We, at Royal Canin, recognize the value of preventive pet healthcare and the important role that our veterinary partners and clinics play in one’s pet’s life. Through our new Bring My Pet to the Vet campaign, we hope to instill this mindset and become a platform for pet owners to build a stronger bond with their veterinarians as we work together to safeguard the health of their pets even during such unprecedented time,” says Adriann Eusebio, Royal Canin Philippines’ Country Director. “We want to highlight how important it is for pet owners to have access to credible and reliable pet information, as we continue to improve our services with our loyal customers and partners giving us actionable insights about pet healthcare along the way.”

Free vet visits - one of the many perks of the Royal Canin Club app.

As the vet checkups require physical visits, Royal Canin ensures everyone that their partner veterinarians and pet shops follow the strict safety protocols of the government when taking in patients and customers. The company works closely with vet clinics to ensure that all pet owners secure appointments first before their visit to avoid overcrowding in their establishments.

“We understand the safety concerns of our partners and customers about going out to visit their vets amid the pandemic. With the lockdowns still in place, our BMPV campaign also ensures to encourage pet owners to become responsible citizens, as much as they are as pet parents, and abide by proper COVID-19 protocols of their vet partners and clinics to avoid the spread of the virus, “ adds Eusebio. “At Royal Canin, we aim to enforce extra precautions to address our customers’ concerns and are committed to improving our services by opening our lines of communication for improvement.”

For more information on Royal Canin’s Bring My Pet to the Vet campaign, pet owners may download the Royal Canin Club application, read about pet healthcare information, and claim their voucher through the platform. One may also visit the Royal Canin Philippines on Facebook and Instagram at @RoyalCaninPH for more details about the Royal Canin Club app and other updates about the brand.


5.06.2021

The Greatest Gift a Mom Can Get in the Newest McDonald's Ad.

With the world closing down and our lives revolving around the four corners of our homes, it has become all the more evident how hard our moms work to meet all our needs and give us a life of comfort. From daily housekeeping jobs of cleaning and cooking, to managing businesses or working a full-time job, helping children transition to blended learning, and finding meaningful ways to bring happiness to homes; moms have continuously put their families’ needs over theirs.

So this Mother’s Day, McDonald’s celebrates the moms who tirelessly give their all just so their children have a happy life and a happy home. Through the launch of their new online video ‘Himbing’, McDonald’s makes us realize that celebrating moms doesn’t always have to come in grand gestures and luxury gifts. Sometimes, the best way to pay tribute to her is to give her what she needs the most— a break from everything to rest and relax, even just for a day. This, alongside hundreds of Filipinos who have expressed heartwarming relatability to the video, sheds light on the idea that giving our moms time to just slow down and breathe is truly one of the most valuable gifts we can give her.

The greatest gift a mom can get on Mother's Day. :)


“McDonald’s has always been about ‘simple, feel-good moments’. We hold that true in whatever we do and offer. In these extraordinary times, we wish that all the more for all the moms who work so hard to take care of their families. So this Mother’s Day, we released a video to show just how easy and simple it is to give moms the gift they need the most: tulog na mahimbing. We hope we all remember that sometimes, it's the simplest things that can make one the happiest.” said McDonald’s Philippines Marketing & Channels Head Oliver Rabatan.

Show your love and appreciation for mom by giving her the gift of a well-deserved break and a treat to her McDonald’s favorites.

See how McDo says #LoveKitaMa through this video: https://fb.watch/5jdED1AbKE/


5.05.2021

100+ Creative Pinoy Dishes on the "I Love Ajinomoto" Virtual Cookbook!

Planning a menu daily can be a challenge --- and if you are looking for new recipe ideas that you can enjoy with your family, the I Love Ajinomoto virtual cookbook is the perfect kitchen partner you can use! Featuring over 100 creative Filipino dishes, the microsite compiles nutritious, delicious, and easy-to-follow recipes shared by moms and homecooks across the country.

“Mealtimes allow families to bond and create meaningful moments together. Through the I Love Ajinomoto microsite, we want to celebrate the kitchen creations of moms and homecooks across the country and likewise help households make easy, delicious, and nutritious meals that their family can enjoy,” says Roann Co, APC’s General Manager of Marketing and Public Relations.

From fish, meat, to vegetable recipes, the featured dishes in the microsite are an interesting mix of healthy and delicious choices. Made with love using AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning and AJI-GINISA® Flavor Seasoning Mix, all of them are perfect as ulam or as snacks that families will surely enjoy.

Try these winning dishes from the I Love Ajinomoto virtual cookbook!

Healthy Meals for Immunity
Immunity-boosting meals are a must especially during this time. Recipes such as the Calcium-rich Baked Potato with AJI-GINISA® by Josephine Borromeo, Healthy Chicken Soup with Malunggay and Talbos ng Kamote Leaves by Elizabeth Salazar, and Healthy-nolang Manok by Candice Salarete are some of the nutritious meals you can easily whip up at home.

Vegetable Recipes with a Twist
If you are looking for ways to level-up simple veggie dishes, you can check out the Lumpiang Kalabasa recipe by Marissa Zamora, Oh My Healthy Ginisang Petchay With Tokwa by Maricris Vergara, and Tortang Squash by Hilda Vasquez.

Must-try Unique Dishes
For those who want to experiment and try something new during mealtimes, you can take inspiration from the Kikiam Sardines recipe by Jacqueline Agravante, Cheesy Lumpia with Ilocos Longganisa by Rhea Damo, and Tuna & Veggie Sushi by Prelel Yu. These will surely surprise the palate of your family!

These recipes were part of the I Love Ajinomoto online recipe contest. From January 8 to April 2, 2021, homecooks shared more than 100 recipes on the iloveajinomoto.ph microsite. For their entries, homecooks submitted their complete recipe, together with a photo of the final product, and a picture of their family doing the heart gesture with the dish.

Eat Well, Live Well, Stay Well on GMA 7.

Thirty of the best dishes were featured on the Ajinomoto Eat Well, Live Well. Stay Well, a weekly cooking show hosted by celebrity mom Iya Villania-Arellano and Chef Jose Sarasola on GMA-7, airing every Friday. They were picked based on the appetite appeal of their dish, and creativity and mood of their family photos.

The featured moms and homecooks also received a gift certificate worth P1,500 and a selection of Ajinomoto products. Some of the winning recipes include the Eggplant Fingers by Jacqueline Agravante, AJI Tofu with Mixed Veggies by Roxanne Montierro, Rosie’s Pinangat na Hiwas by Rosie Mendenilla, and the Baguio Beans Ala Bicol Express by Jennylyn Cleofas.

“We were delighted by the delicious recipe submissions of our moms and homecooks. We are overwhelmed by the love and thankful to them for making Ajinomoto a part of their kitchen journey. We hope that this initiative reminds everyone that making delicious and healthy meals for the family can be easy and fun,” says Co.

The I Love Ajinomoto virtual cookbook and contest are part of APC’s Eat Well, Live Well commitment, which aims to create quality products and services for good food and better health for Filipinos everywhere.

To learn more about these exciting recipes, check out iloveajinomoto.ph and visit www.ajinomoto.com for more information.

5.04.2021

Coffee That's Really Good For You: Glorious, Isn't It?

For decades, coffee had received a bad reputation. Besides allegedly triggering high blood pressure, insomnia, and hyperacidity, the Filipino habit of adding lots of sugar and cream to one’s cup has been said to aggravate diabetes.

While there’s no denying the Pinoy coffee fan his morning cup, there is concern over the amount of sugar present in commercial 3-in-1 coffee mixes. The leading brand has 14.6 grams of sugar in one 20-gram sachet alone. Imagine how much sugar you’re taking in if you drink an average of three cups of coffee a day.
Coffee, but healthier.

What About Sugar-Free Coffee?
For health-conscious individuals, especially diabetics, turning to sugar-free coffee mixes seems to be the only option. This meant enduring tasteless cups of coffee just to satisfy their caffeine fix —until Stevia came along.

Stevia is the low calorie, zero sugar sweetener that tastes so much better than artificial sweeteners.

Stevia is an herb with a sweet-tasting extract that comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It has been enjoyed since pre-Columbian South America where indigenous people used the herb to sweeten their tea and other drinks.

The plant's taste stems from steviol glycosides, molecules which are 250–300 times sweeter than regular sugar. It became popular among health-conscious individuals because stevia has a very low caloric content. This makes it perfect for dieters and people who are trying to lose weight.

Moreover, Stevia makes coffee and tea taste so much better without adding any calories. Aside from beverages, Stevia is also used as an alternative sweetener when cooking or baking.

Coffee is better is Stevia!

The Health Advantages of Stevia
Stevia is a safe, healthy sugar substitute that can sweeten up food without the negative health effects of refined sugar. It’s also associated with several impressive benefits such as reduced calorie intake, managed blood sugar levels, and minimized risk of cavities.

Additionally, while other sugar substitutes like Aspartame have been linked with cancer, there's no evidence linking stevia to cancer since it is a natural ingredient. This means you can add stevia to dishes and drinks without fear that you’re taking too much sugar, or that you’ll get sick a few years down the road.

For coffee lovers, it’s also good to note that locally-made Glorious Blend coffees and instant beverages have Stevia as its natural sweetener. The blend of natural and healthful ingredients make the drink not only refreshing and safe, but also good for one’s overall health.

The Glorious Coffee family.

The Glorious Blend boasts a full line of healthy drinks, including a 7-in-1 healthy coffee mix. This special blend is made with proven medicinal ingredients like Malunggay, Mangosteen, Calcium, Gotu Kola, and sweetened with Sweet & Fit Stevia. What’s even better is that the Glorious Blend 7in1 Coffee is non-acidic and promotes regular bowel movement.

The Glorious line-up also includes the 3-in-1 coffee mix with Stevia; 7-in-1 choco mix; 4-in-1 coffee with Malunggay; 5-in-1 coffee mix with Brown Rice; and the MaxiTrim coffee.

All Glorious Blend beverages use Stevia which has no calories, no carbohydrates, and zero glycemic index. All of their instant drinks will keep you alert and energized throughout the day. Also, Glorious Blend products are locally sourced and manufactured. Their company supports local farmers, stevia growers, and other agricultural communities.

So if you’ve been cutting back on drinking coffee because of health problems like diabetes or hyper acidity, Glorious Blend coffee mixes are here to help. You can enjoy all the aroma and flavor of freshly made coffee all day —without the guilt!

Now, you can drink coffee for better health! Glorious, isn’t it? For more information about Glorious Blend coffee mixes, check out https://www.facebook.com/gloriousblend


4.29.2021

4 Easy and Healthy Summer Recipes for Kids.

For kids, summer means having adventures outdoors but quarantine restrictions have put a pause to that. Parents have to get extra creative in ensuring their children still have fun and lead healthy lifestyles even if they’re mostly indoors. Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation is helping parents this summer by sharing creative, affordable and delicious, yet easy and nutritious gulay recipes that will add colors and adventure to their kids’ plates at home.

Welcome summer with these easy and healthy recipes for kids!

We understand the challenge parents have in making meals for their kids, especially in encouraging them to eat vegetables,” says Ajinomoto’s Science Communication Executive, Deborah S. Fajarda, RND. “Through these veggie recipes, we want to address this concern and provide creative ways on how parents can make nutritious dishes enjoyable and fun for their kids. We want to show that mealtimes can be both a healthy and adventurous journey for parents and their children.”

Here are 4 easy, affordable, healthy, and fun veggie recipes that Ajinomoto developed for parents to enjoy with their kids at home:

Crispy Fry® Cauliflower Bites.

Crispy Fry® Cauliflower Bites 
Add a satisfying crunch to your kid’s meryenda with the easy-to-make Crispy Fry Cauliflower Bites. This could be an alternative to snacks like chicken nuggets. Cauliflower is high in potassium. Potassium, in right amount together with sodium, helps maintain fluid balance in the body which is important during the hot weather. CRISPY FRY® Breading Mix gives the crunch that kids love, while the SARSAYA® Sweet and Sour sauce offers a tangy flavor to make this snack even more special. Read the full recipe here.

Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizza.

Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizza
Make pizza healthier with this variant that uses spinach. Spinach is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin A, which help in strong bone and muscle development, maintaining good eye sight, healthy red blood cells and strong immune system for growing boys and girls. This recipe uses PORKSAVOR® All-in-One Seasoning Mix, which adds a meaty taste that children will enjoy. They can also join in preparing the pizza by adding the toppings all over the dough. Copy the recipe here.

Mixed Veggie Kiddie Patties.

Mixed Veggie Kiddie Patties
These patties can be enjoyed as an ulam or as a snack between hamburger buns. These are made from chicken breast, which contains more lean protein and less saturated fat and cholesterol. The ingredients also include cucumber, broccoli florets, and bell pepper, which are also filled with important nutrients. Not only is it healthy, but also simple. You can make this in 4 easy steps. Make the patties crunchier with the CRISPY FRY® Seasoned Crumbs. See the recipe here.

Fun Camote and Carrot Fries.

Fun Camote and Carrot Fries
Squeeze in that extra beta carotene into your kid’s meals by turning carrot sticks into “fun” fries. This bright and naturally sweet veggie is a great way to entice picky eaters. To make it more appealing, you can also mix it up with sweet potatoes or camote. Here’s a fun fact too! Did you know that camote, or sweet potato, is rich in potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber to keep bodies healthy. Adding AJI-GINISA® Flavor Seasoning Mix will also bring a meaty stir-fry deliciousness that will elevate this snack. This Fun Camote and Carrot Fries only takes 15 minutes to cook, so kids have something to eat right away when feeling hungry. You may also opt to use an air fryer to lessen fat content. Follow the recipe here.

With these recipes, Fajarda also reminds parents to know the recommended amount of vegetables needed by their children to ensure a balanced diet. For ages 3 to 5, 1/2 cup is ideal, 3/4 cup for ages 6 to 9, and 3/4 to 1 cup for ages 10 to 12.

These recipes are clever and fun ways of adding vegetables to kids’ daily menu---and making them can even help parents encourage healthy routines and strengthen their bonds with their young ones. Involving our children into meal planning and cooking, such as reading recipes and learning about veggies can likewise help them know about proper nutrition in a fun and tasty way,” says Fajarda.

These healthy and creative recipes are part of Ajinomoto’s Eat Well, Live Well commitment. Ajinomoto has dedicated itself to developing ideas and creating products and services that aim to improve the wellness of Filipino households.

For more creative and nutritious recipes, visit ajinomoto.com.ph


4.27.2021

Party Foods That Don't Need Many Ingredients

Parties take a lot of work! 
Fortunately, none of that has to be wasted on prepping food if you do it correctly. The following four recipes are fun but straightforward dishes that can liven up any party and keep people feeling satisfied.

Photo credit: Devour Dinner

Cream Cheese Fruit Treats
Thinly slice a baguette or another kind of firm bread. Mix sixteen ounces of cream cheese and half of a teaspoon of vanilla, with half of a tablespoon of sugar. Spread mixture a quarter of an inch thick over bread: rinse and dry berries of your choice. You can slice these to make them more visually attractive, but if you don't have the time to pull out a cutting board, you can use smaller berries like blueberries and raspberries. Serve as is, with a bottle of honey nearby if anyone wants to drizzle some on top.

If you want to make the presentation for this more beautiful, you can cut fruits like strawberries into heart or star shapes and create good color schemes by mixing and matching fruit.

Photo credit: Food52

Blue Cheese Potato Chips
Another take on nachos is a fun and exciting way to make a large tray of food that can be easily tossed together. Preheat your oven to 350, and lay tinfoil down onto a cookie sheet. Spread out a bag or two of plain potato chips. On top of this, drop clusters of blue cheese, bacon, and whatever seasonings you'd like. You can give these a touch of sweet and savory by drizzling with bacon jam as well. Bake for ten minutes until the cheese is soft and fragrant. Top with thinly sliced green onion and whichever other flavors you'd like to include. Serve immediately with lots of napkins!

The quarantine famous Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread.

Pull-Apart Bread
This recipe is simple and to the point so that you can get out of the kitchen and into the party! Take a round loaf of bread, like sourdough, and make a cross-hatched pattern of cuts on the top. Cut down into the bread, leaving about half an inch from the bottom uncut. Slice frozen butter and cheddar and shove these icy slivers into the cuts on the bread. Follow by putting in seasonings like garlic, oregano, or rosemary. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes at 350 degrees, and serve!

Photo credit: Dinner at the Zoo.

Broiled Open Face S’Mores
A three-ingredient recipe by nature, broiled s'mores give you the chance to make a toasty gooey chocolate treat for the whole party without having to spend more than five dollars. Lay tin foil down on a cookie sheet, and then set squares of graham cookie crackers down. On top of that, put a segment or two of chocolate, and then top with a giant marshmallow.

Set your broiler to low, and place this on a medium-high rack in your oven. Broil for three to five minutes, checking on them frequently until they reach a toasty golden color. Serve on a large tray immediately! The most vital part of a party is that you have fun and make some memories. Why are waste hours cooking when you could be enjoying the people around you?


4.26.2021

PCPPI to provide free vaccines to all its employees joins the private sector in Dose of Hope initiative.

Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI),—the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country—announced today that it will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all its employees who will voluntarily receive them. The company purchased the vaccines as part of the tripartite agreement between the private sector, the government and vaccine manufacturers.

Photo credit: PCPPI Facebook page

“Providing free vaccines is essential to a healthy and safe working environment at PCPPI. The inoculation will be voluntary but we highly encourage everyone to be vaccinated. This is to show gratitude to our employees who have all worked hard during the pandemic,” said President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Frederick D. Ong.

The vaccination program is part of “Dose of Hope” initiative led by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. The program already purchased 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca. Set delivery date of vaccines for the company will be on the 3rd quarter of this year.


“PCPPI participated in the ‘Dose of Hope’ initiative for faster vaccine rollout. This is our way of supporting the private sector’s goal of reviving the economy and the government’s efforts in controlling COVID,” Ong added. PCPPI also held a virtual learning session on COVID-19 Vaccination for its employees. Dr. Iris Radev, MD from Ocean Medical Clinic in British Columbia, Canada, facilitated the online event. With close to 300 attendees, the session aimed to encourage vaccination. "Our employees need to know the right information on COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of inoculation definitely outweighs the risks and fears we have," added Vibes Cheong, Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs.

PPCPI manufactures and sells well-known PepsiCo beverages brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Mug, Gatorade, Aquafina, Premier, Sting, Tropicana and Lipton.


4.15.2021

Prudential Corporation Asia and SuperM launch new “We DO” Music Video

Pru Life UK’s regional headquarters, Prudential Corporation Asia (PCA) and the Korean pop (K-pop) super group SuperM have launched a new “We DO” music video (MV) to encourage people to stay well and healthy, and have fun doing it. PCA announced earlier this year its collaboration with SuperM to launch the “We Do Well Together” campaign aimed at promoting new and engaging ways of maintaining physical and mental health.

The launch of the “We DO” song will be followed by PCA’s “We DO Dance” initiatives across Asia. This is a series of health and wellness initiatives designed to offer people a fresh perspective and approach to manage their health and wellness, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

Super M, the "Avengers of K-pop".

In the Philippines, Pru Life UK is set to launch the #WeDoDanceChallengePH from April 26 to June 25 via the social platform Tiktok, inviting Filipinos to create and upload their dance covers of the song “We DO”, accompanied by a short caption describing how dancing helps them keep fit.

Participants will get a chance to be recognized in the roster of the Top 100 videos and win a prize in the weekly electronic raffle draw – these include exclusive SuperM x Pru Life UK merchandise, as well as tickets to a regionwide SuperM virtual concert.

“In line with our long-standing commitment to help people protect their health and wellbeing, the launch of our ‘We DO Dance’ series aims to create a fun and exciting way to engage Filipinos to dance and be active to get the most out of life,” shares Allan Tumbaga, Pru Life UK SVP & Chief Customer Marketing Officer.

We Do Well Together!

PCA was the first regional life insurer to collaborate with a renowned Korean pop group. In January, PCA announced to hold a series of events with SuperM to motivate people to lead healthier lives and achieve better wellness in 11 markets in Asia, including the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Find out more about the “We DO Dance” initiatives on Pru Life UK’s website, and/or download Pulse app to be part of the “Dance For Wellness” community.

Watch the “We DO” music video here: https://youtu.be/45eaXV6CJOk.


4.12.2021

#StrongerNow Than Yesterday: Inspiring Stories of Great Hair Days.

There is no denying that hair has always been a significant symbol for women. As they say, “Hair is your crowning glory” and it’s not just because hair sits right on top of your head. Hair can contribute to a woman’s identity and can affect how confident they feel. While hair can look different from day to day, in moments they need to feel most empowered, a great hair day might just be the boost that they need.

Great hair days can transform ordinary moments into moments of empowerment that some can only dare to dream of. Here are some great hair day stories from local stars that many Filipinas can relate to and use as their inspiration.

Photo credit: Pinky Webb on Instagram.

Pinky Webb finally opens up on her recent iconic hair flip moment. “Looking back as I faced a difficult situation, feeling the tension and pressure about to get to me, I chose to remain calm and unintentionally did, well, a hair flip. Luckily, I chose to wear my hair down that day. Even better, I felt empowered with my Salontastic hair!”

Photo credit: Anne Curtis Smith on Instagram.

“No matter the length, style and colour of my hair Pantene shampoo and conditioner have made my hair look amazing, making me feel empowered. At the moment I’m loving the Pantene salon inspired conditioners!” Whether it be on stage as a host or performer, on screen as an actor or just at home as a mum and wife, Anne Curtis shares that Pantene has made her feel empowered through making her hair look amazing.

Photo credit: Gabbi Garcia on Instagram.

With so many tasks at hand from conceptualization to shooting vlogs, Gabbi Garcia talks about how challenging and fulfilling it is when she works on her content. “I feel more in control and empowered. Just like how Pantene empowers me to be more confident with my crowning glory, that even if I give less effort to my hair, it always stays Salontastic! Because with Salontastic hair, I feel empowered to own those challenging moments.”

Photo credit: Kylie Versoza on Instagram.

“Looking back at my my achievements takes me to a place of gratitude.” Kylie Verzosa shares, as she flashes back to memorable moments, such as when she represented the PH and won the Miss International crown, became a mental health advocate, and when Mental Health Matters — her own mental health organization was recognized by international organisations. “It was always a dream and accomplishment of mine. I feel more confident that even If I give less effort to my hair, it always stays to be Salontastic!’

Photo credit: Sofia Andres on Instagram.

“I think the most challenging part of being a mother is to embody the values we want to impart our children. It is not enough to teach or tell them what is right but we also have to show them that we practice what we teach them. Truly motherhood changes your ways, the way you see things and even how you think…” Sofia Andres shares how some parenting moments have provided her the empowerment she never realized she would have found as a mom. “If you are a mom and you are afraid too, just be the woman you want you children to be. In the little things like when our children play with our hair, we can stay confident that it will always stay Salontastic. Because with Salontastic hair, I feel empowered to own those moments.”

What’s their secret? For #StrongerNow defining hair moments, the Pantene Long Hair Solutions with Pro-Vitamin Formula & Japanese Rice Oil Essence Shampoo has your hair covered. It helps your hair grow longer with Tocotrienol—a super Vitamin E, which has 50X anti-damaging benefits, while Japanese Rice Oil Essence fortifies the outside. This ultimately repairs damaged hair and keeps it protected from external factors, allowing the hair to grow longer, stronger, and beautifully smoother.

To cap it all off, strengthen your hair against breakage with the Pantene Hair Fall Control Miracle Conditioner for 98% less hair fall. This smoothens 3 months’ worth of damage in just 3 minutes with the Pro-V formula. It also nourishes hair for added strength and shine so you can be #Salontastic, even without going to the salon.

With so many stories of inspiration and empowerment, who knew that hair actually contributes to women’s confidence? If you’ve been reluctant to change your hair routine, it’s high time to embrace the change and #PushMoLong just in time for Women’s National Month. Take on the challenge of being #StrongerNow than ever before and look forward to great hair days with Pantene.

Pantene allows your hair to be at its best condition yet so you’re able to experience empowering, great hair days.

Start your Pantene #StrongerNow journey now by checking out through the P&G Shopee Mall store.


4.08.2021

6 Factors to Take into Consideration When Buying a Home.

Buying a home is an exciting experience for anyone and is a big step to take in your life. However, the process isn’t as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of things to think about so that you can find a property that you truly love and enjoy living in.

If you’re thinking of getting started but not quite sure what direction to go in. Keep on reading! We are going to be discussing six factors to take into consideration when buying a home.

Let’s get started!

The current market
The real estate market is still prone to changes, so before you think about buying a home, it’s a good idea to look at the current prices and assess your financial situation. If the market has suddenly risen, it might be worth waiting a while until things are more affordable. Alternatively, if you need a home ASAP, you need to make sure that you can afford the initial deposit and repayments.

So Ji Sub in Terius Behind Me (2019).

Nearby facilities
Certainly, one of the most important factors to consider when buying a home is what facilities and amenities are available in that current location. Here are a few things you may want to look into:
  • Schools 
  • Emergency Services 
  • Parks/Play Areas
  • Restaurants, Cafes, Grocery Stores
  • Public Transport
By assessing what you want in a neighborhood, you can then start narrowing down your different options. Check out these homes for sale Callaway FL to get started!

Looks familiar?
Goblin, 2016.

Size and layout
The size and layout of a home play a big part in whether or not it is right for you, so you want to spend time looking at different house types and seeing what is practical for you and your family. From apartments, bungalows, condos, townhouses, and mansions. Each come with their own unique style.

Neighborhood crime rates
There are always going to be good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods, so before purchasing a home, you want to check its crime rate first. An app like AreaVibes is excellent, as it offers a liveability score based on different factors. Another good choice is Neighborhood Scout, which allows you to compare neighborhoods based on their individual crime rates.

This is how apartments in Seoul look like.

Hidden Costs
Before you purchase a home, you want to make sure that it is in good condition and free from hazards. One hidden expense that you will have to budget for is a pest and building inspection to ensure there are no structural issues. It may seem irritating at first, but it is crucial. Otherwise, you may be stuck with expensive renovation costs in the future. Some other hidden fees you need to think about include:
Future potential
Finally, the last factor you need to consider when buying a home is what you are going to do with it in the future. By thinking about what it can be worth later on, you may be able to turn it into a great investment opportunity. That being said, choosing to live in it for the rest of your life is ok too!