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Cards, Tiles, Words | Fun Games at Solitaire.Org.

It's been a little over a month since the academic year started, and just like last year, we're still in online distance learning mode. And now that my son's school works and projects keep pouring in, day after day after day, this household has become a tad busier, noisier, and well, crazier than the usual. 

Surprisingly, amidst the busy-ness of guiding Yue with his projects and school activities, doing household chores, and beating writing deadlines, I still find the time to watch Korean dramas and play online games. Not exactly the hardcore games like Valorant, Sekiro, or Devil May Cry, but more like casual games to help me unwind, de-stress, or just keep my mind off of things. I've recently discovered, and this website has become my go-to whenever I need to take a quick break from writing, ease my anxiety, or simply chill out after a long and busy day., simply put, is a cornucopia of free online games. The site has an extensive collection of card games - from the classic Klondike solitaire to more challenging ones like Russian solitaire, Spider solitaire, and Taj Mahal. I really don't get the hang of the other versions of solitaire, so I usually stick with the classic Klondike whenever I feel like playing cards. 

Klondike solitaire - classic never goes out of style.

Aside from card games, also has an interesting collection of mahjong tile games, including Cooking Mahjong where you 'cook' dishes by matching recipe ingredients. I'm a greenhorn when it comes to mahjong, but this game has really got me hooked!

Cooking Mahjong.

But wait, the fun doesn't end with just card games and tile games! also has a selection of hidden objects games to stimulate your brain, improve your visual perception, and boost your awareness to details. I easily breezed through all ten levels of the Garden Secrets Hidden Objects, but Hidden Kitchen drove me to my wits' end because the objects were way too small, haha! I had to ask Yue for help in finding some of the hidden items, and eventually we both gave up after the fourth stage, lol.

Garden Secrets Hidden Objects.

Hidden Kitchen.

Of all the games in this website, it's with the word games that I had the most fun. The geek in me loves stuff like these, and I totally enjoy the Daily Word Search and Letter Scramble every single time. 

Daily Word Search.

Daily Word Search, as the name implies, is a puzzle where you search for words. There's a new puzzle everyday, and you can choose between 12x12, 14x14, or 16x16 puzzle sizes.

Letter Scramble.

Letter Scramble, on the other hand, is a Scrabble-styled game where you spell as many words as you can before the time runs out. If I were to pick my most favorite game in the website, this is it because I'm a Scrabble nerd ever since I learned how to spell and write. Even my son loves this game because he's a Scrabble champion himself, haha!

Another thing to love about this website is that you don't have to download or sign-up for anything to play. All the games are browser-based so you simply visit the website, choose from their wide variety of games, and play. The site is ad-free too, so you don't have to worry about annoying pop-ups that might appear in the middle of your game. 

If you're into card games, tile games, or word games, then you'll definitely have a blast with the games at I bet your kids will love this website, too!


Freebies await vaccinated customers when they dine-in at McDonald’s!

Part of the private sector-led campaign ‘Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat’ that aims to restart the Philippine economy by promoting and educating about the COVID-19 vaccine, McDonald’s invites fully vaccinated customers to experience the happiness of dining-in and sharing meals with loved ones. For every minimum purchase worth Php 150, fully vaccinated customers can enjoy a FREE Apple Pie, valid until November 30, 2021. The iconic McDonald's snack is the perfect sweet treat to go with your McDonald’s favorites— whether you’re in the mood for the Crispy Chicken Fillet or the tender and juicy Chicken McDo paired with rice or McSpaghetti.

Free Apple Pie!

Benefits await vaccinated customers!

Aside from the sweet treat from McDonald’s, customers can continue to expect a safe dine-in experience all throughout. As McDonald’s believes that keeping its customers safe starts with protecting their own, the company’s M Safe protocols remain in place, with its crew, managers, and customers all required to follow the set of stringent health and safety guidelines.

“The future may be uncertain because of the ever-evolving pandemic, but one thing is for sure: we at McDonald’s will continue to do our part in working towards a safer normal. Vaccination has an integral role in the country’s comeback, so by taking part in the Smart Bakuna Benefits program, we hope to encourage more Filipinos to get vaccinated— not only for their own safety, but for the country’s as well,” said Kenneth S. Yang, McDonald’s Philippines President & CEO.

To know more about M Safe and the protocols in place to ensure your safety, visit For more details about how McDonald’s, the private sector, and you can take part in the #IngatAngatBakunaLahat movement, visit the Ingat Angat website or Ingat Angat Smart Bakuna Benefits promo page, and follow McDonald’s Philippines on Facebook.


Lumina Cabanatuan | Property Investment Made Easy for Every Juan.

I've always associated Cabanatuan with longganisa, mostly because of veteran actress Gina Pareno. In the 2006 hit movie "Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo" which starred Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, Gina Pareno took the role of Nanay Belita, Judy Ann's mother, who is a "politicians" (a barangay councilor, to be exact) and a "businesswoman" (she makes and sells homemade butotay, aka Cabanatuan longganisa). This is one of the few Filipino movies that I truly enjoyed watching, and the terms "politicians", "Bronson", and "butotay" have been etched in my memory ever since.

Photo credit: Ang Sarap.

Cabanatuan is located in the province of Nueva Ecija, and is known as the "Gateway to the North" because it is strategically placed along the Cagayan Valley Road that connects Central Luzon to Cagayan Valley and the Ilocos Region. The city has also earned the moniker of "Tricycle Capital of the Philippines" because of the presence of more than 30,000 motorized tricycles, aka the taxi of the masses. 

A first class and highly urbanized city, Cabanatuan takes pride in being the economic heart of Nueva Ecija. It is home to a number of banks and financial institutions, including a branch of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Investors from different industries - motor vehicles, retail, food (this probably includes butotay!) energy, IT and business services, to name a few - have been flocking to Cabanatuan even before the pandemic started, making it one of the most competitive cities in the Philippines in terms of doing business. As such, real estate has also been booming in Cabanatuan, with Lumina as one of the key players in the industry. 

If living in the metro no longer seems appealing to you, and countryside living seems like an alluring, more lucrative, perhaps an even more practical option for you and your family, you might want to consider investing in a property in Cabanatuan City. Lumina Cabanatuan is your best bet when it comes to property investment in Cabanatuan City, and there are several reasons why. Here are some of them:


Strategically located in the heart of Cabanatuan City, Lumina Cabanatuan is a mere 6-minute drive from the city proper.  This 15 hectare subdivision is also easily accessible to major establishments such as schools, hospitals, banks, malls, public markets, supermarkets, and transport terminals. Some of these are Waltermart and SM City Cabanatuan, Sangitan Public Market, Cabanatuan High School, and Weslayan University and Weslayan University Hospital. 

Cabanatuan Freedom Park.
Photo credit: Marc7travels

Tourist attractions are also in close proximity to Lumina Cabanatuan. Popular travel and leisure destinations in the city include Gabaldon Falls, Minalungao National Park, Camp Pangatian War Memorial Shrine, Cabanatuan Freedom Park, and Khaliblu Palace - a quirky Persian and Egyptian-inspired hotel.


Lumina takes pride being the most affordable housing developers in the Philippines today. With over 51 developments in key locations across the country, Lumina has made the dream of owning his/her own home a reality for every Juan.

Lumina homes are built of high-quality materials and cost from Php 500,000 to Php 1,700,000. If qualified by Pag-IBIG Fund as a “low-income earner,” a buyer can pay for as little as Php 1,898 a month at 3% interest for a brand new home in a safe and secure Lumina community.

Take a look at what could be your new home in Lumina Cabanatuan.

Lumina Aimee Rowhouse

Inside the Aimee unit.

The Aimee Rowhouse is a good unit to start with if you're living solo or perhaps a newlywed couple. This 26 meter home has one bedroom and one bath, and sits on a regular 36 meter lot. 

Lumina Angelique Townhouse.

Inside the Angelique unit.

For a family of three or four, the Angelique Townhouse fits the bill. This 35 square meter home sits on a regular 36 meter lot, and has two bedrooms, one bath, and a carport provision.

Armina Single Firewall.

Inside the Armina unit.

Bigger families will find the Armina Single Firewall spacious and more to their liking, as this 42 square meter home has three bedrooms, one toilet and bath, a carport provision, and a service area as well.


Aside from the property itself, you also get to enjoy several amenities in the Lumina Cabanatuan community. Lumina developments are part of masterplanned communities that come complete with amenities like a community hall, basketball court, mini gardens and playground, and commercial areas.


Basketball court.


Lumina believes that by building in accessible locations close to major thoroughfares, transport hubs, schools, hospitals, and business and leisure centers, it not just builds a self-sustaining community, it also provides every Juan the pride of homeownership.

Is Lumina Cabanatuan the one for you and your family? Get in touch with Lumina through their official website or their social media pages.


Anne, Kylie, or Gabbi: Who is your Salontastic Persona?

Every woman is unique. Every woman has different needs. And every woman is equally beautiful and deserving of the best products and experiences that make her confident in her own skin. When it comes to hair, every woman is different too. Some are confident with colored hair while others prefer natural locks. Others feel most beautiful with straight hair, while others like to rock big waves. Some women feel most authentic when they grow their hair long while others like to cut theirs short. But no matter what unique hair desire she has, she deserves salon-level treatment for her strands, so she can continue to be the fantastic woman she is meant to be.

For Every Kind of Salontastic
With the new Pantene 3-Minute Miracle, women can take their pick from three variants to match their unique hair needs: Collagen Repair, Keratin Smooth, and Biotin Strength. When matched with Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo, every woman can achieve stronger* hair as if they just stepped out of the salon!

A perfect example of how every woman has unique hair needs is how our very own Pantene women each have their own favorite variant! Which of our strong women do you relate to the most – Biotin Beauty Anne, Keratin Queen Kylie, or Collagen Gal Gabbi?

Strong like a Biotin Beauty

As a multi-talented host and actress plus a young mom, Anne faces more and more responsibilities every day. She needs strength for her mind and body, but also for her hair like a true Biotin Beauty! Anne shares that Pantene Biotin Strength keeps her hair luscious, “All smiles because I can still get the same salon lush treatment my hair needs at home with @pantenephilippines. Look at what I’ve been using to help strengthen my hair from breakage so I have less hair fall and #Salontastic hair!

Photo credit: Anne Curtis

Pantene Biotin Strength 3-Minute Miracle helps repair 3 months’ worth of damage in just 3 minutes, while strengthening each strand to lessen hair fall due to breakage. Feel the nourishment penetrate deep into the hair, strengthening it from root to tip, giving you that salon-level look right at home!

Smooth like a Keratin Queen

Kylie makes everything look effortless! She’s a mental health advocate, a content creator, a public figure, and so much more, and she does it all while wearing a crown (figuratively and literally) on her head! She shares, “I got my Miss International crown 👑 in 2016, but I got my crowning glory 💁🏻♀️ from @pantenephilippines! I conquer every day like a true Keratin Queen with the help of my very own #SalontasticAtHome kit.

She shares how Pantene Keratin Smooth 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner is her “…secret to #Salontastic hair that’s effortlessly soft, smooth, straight and without lagkit!” She adds, “So happy with this NEW Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner! Give your hair the salon treatment it deserves today, too. 🤍 #panteneph

Photo credit: Kylie Versoza

You too can effortlessly help manage frizz with Pantene Keratin Smooth 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner. Inspired by salon Keratin treatments, every bottle of Keratin Smooth infuses your hair with ultra-rich moisture so you can transform dry and damaged hair to visibly healthy, shiny, smooth, and strong locks!

Confident like a Collagen Gal

Young, bright-eyed, and talented, there is so much ahead for Gabbi! She’s enjoying life and sharing her thoughts with her millions of followers. She shares, “Fine, I’m guilty of posting a lot of photos of myself here on Instagram, but who wouldn’t when you have #Salontastic hair? 🙆🏽♀️✨ And now that #PantenePH just sent me this #SalontasticAtHome kit, I’m going to flood you guys even more! 😅

Photo credit: Gabbi Garcia

With beautiful hair to match her beautiful personality, Gabbi is confident she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Get the same confidence with Pantene Collagen Repair 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner. Gabbi shares that this is her favorite variant and it’s, “what I use as a Collagen Gal with healthy, smooth hair that’s free from lagkit! 💁🏻♀️ I can style my hair any way I want without worry, as if a salon-expert touched my hair! 💫 Love this NEW Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner!”

With Pantene Collagen Repair 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner go ahead and experiment with your hair because its formulation helps transform dry and damaged hair into Salontastic smooth hair.

Be Your Own Kind of Salontastic

So which Pantene woman are you? Are you strong like a Biotin Beauty? Smooth like a Keratin Queen? Or are you confident like a Collagen Gal?

Whichever you relate to the most, you can be sure to enjoy Salontastic hair when you use the new Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner. Use it after you wash your hair with Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo that’s specially designed to repair 10 visible signs of damage, on top of that, it also prevents split ends* up to 3 months! The best part is that you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home.

With Pantene, every kind of woman can feel like they just stepped out of the salon every time they step out of the shower.

What are you waiting for? Start your Salontastic journey today. All variants of Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner and Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo are available at the P&G official stores on Lazada and Shopee.

* breakage from styling, color, perm; with regular use


Powering up essential workers with Sting Energy Drink.

The pandemic clearly showed us that not all heroes wear capes. We have our economic frontliners who make our lives easier and safer. They are the delivery riders, construction workers, and market vendors, among others.

As the most festive season of the year nears, essential workers prepare for busier days ahead. They expect larger volumes of delivery, more traffic in grocery stores, and higher demand for their services. To get them going through their day, they need a little boost from energy drinks.

Sting Lemon.

Sting is one of the energy drinks known and well-loved among Filipino essential workers. It is a product of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI), the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country. Sting helps build stamina needed to last a long and tough day. It sharpens the mind and body to endure taxing situations.

As we enter the last quarter of the year, we hope to power up our economic frontliners through Sting. Their commitment to their jobs, despite the threat of the pandemic, is commendable. PCPPI, for its part, continues to produce beverages that are not only refreshing, but energizing as well,” said PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong.

Sting Strawberry.

Sting is a refreshing energy drink that gives one a positive kick. It comes in strawberry flavor in 300ml and 330ml bottles. It is available in supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, and sari-sari stores nationwide.

PCPPI is also the exclusive manufacturer of well-known beverage brands in the Philippines including Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Gatorade, Tropicana, Lipton, Mug, Premier, Milkis, and Aquafina.


Budgeting During the Pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made life difficult for everyone. Regardless of the socioeconomic status, this pandemic continues to sweep across the globe and cause damage in almost every aspect of our lives - physical first and foremost, as well as emotional, mental, and social, at times spiritual, and worst of all, financial. 

Aside from the health and wellbeing of millions of people, this disease has also threatened the livelihood of many - from entrepreneurs, to small and medium-sized enterprises, and even established companies and large scale industries. Many have lost their jobs, most businesses had to close temporarily, and some even had to totally cease operations or file for bankruptcy. 

During these trying times, how can we manage our money and take care of our finances? Here are some tips on budgeting during the pandemic.

Budgeting is very important, now more than ever.

Analyze Your Situation

There are three things to consider for you to be able to get a good grasp of your financial situation - your earnings, your expenses, and your savings. If you still have a steady income despite the pandemic, that's great. But if you or anyone from your household has been laid off or given a salary cut, then there's definitely a need to make adjustments to your budget.

You also need to check your savings as this can tide you over and help you with your expenses. Having a bit of money saved is good, but having saved more is better since we really have no idea as to when things will get back to normal

Prioritize Your Expenses

Before you check out that luxury brand lipstick or limited edition sneakers from your online shopping cart, think twice or thrice and ask yourself - "Do I really need this right now?" 

When it comes to spending, you need to prioritize the essentials first: food, utilities, housings costs, and insurance. These are your non-negotiable expenses - basic needs that you really need to spend money on month after month. 

Lee Sung Kyung in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2017).

Then comes your variable expenses, or costs that can change over time. This includes your spending on gas, clothing, personal care products, travel and recreation, or even that Venti Flat White that you have to have every morning on your way to work - or so you think. Categorizing your expenses will help you determine which ones are the most important, and which ones you can do without. 

Spend Wisely

Work hard, be frugal, spend smart. 

Spending money wisely means getting the most out of your money's worth. You can do this by taking advantage of sale events, couponing (using vouchers to get discounts on products), and using cash back apps if you are purchasing online. With the cash back feature, you get back a percentage of the money you spend. Some credit cards also offer cash back programs, but be wary when using your credit card as there is a tendency to overspend when you're mindlessly swiping (or tapping) at the check-out counter. 
Jin swiping his rare Black Hyundai card.

Reduce Your Debt

Budgeting, saving money, and paying off your debts might seem impossible with the current financial situation. There is a way to work around this, only if you avoid adding more to your debts. Because of the pandemic, many companies are giving leeway to customers and helping them work around their bills by extending payment due dates and reducing interest fees. Some companies even have payment schemes to help their customers get by during these trying times. Get to know more about debt payoff here.

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged us into a whole new world of uncertainty. But with the right budget and a positive mindset, we will be able to get by. Always see the good in everything. And as the cliche goes, every cloud has a silver lining. 


Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog and Financial Literacy.

Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments and Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the multi-awarded resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), are launching a new version of their financial literacy themed play “Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog” (LLBB). The five-episode web series will be free for streaming starting this September.

Launched in 2017 as an interactive musical that is supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), LLBB features the story of teenager Gwyneth as she struggles to handle her finances and learns the value of proper financial management with help from her family and friends, and some Filipino heroes brought to life.

It’s important to teach young Filipinos how to make smart financial decisions and the Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog theater performance has been extremely successful in helping us achieve this objective. This year, we wanted to create new stories that are relevant in the new normal, while making the play educational and entertaining. We are excited to partner again with our trusted allies in financial education such as Tanghalang Pilipino and Teach for the Philippines to introduce the web series, to expand our outreach to more Filipino children and young people in the country,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam.

Lukot-lukot, Bilog Bilog.

Written by Eljay Castro Deldoc and directed by Avic Ilagan, the new LLBB stories feature five web episodes that focus on various financial topics such as the concept of promotional sales, value of saving, basics of credit, earning additional income, and scam awareness and prevention.

The protagonist is Gwyneth, a teenage girl who will embark on a journey to financial literacy with guidance from characters like Lolo Sally and best friend Jing-Jing. The new web series also introduces new roles such as Gwyneth’s mother Blessie and friend-turned-admirer Aaron, with special appearances from Philippine national heroes and cultural icons.

Well-known financial literacy experts Salve Duplito and Rose Fres Fausto are also featured in the after-show interviews with Lolo Sally to enlighten the audience by providing financial education tips. Through their helpful insights and easy-to-apply tips, viewers will gain a deeper understanding of financial literacy concepts and gain better money management skills.

With Filipinos relying heavily on digital platforms to access media and entertainment, the web series is accessible through the social media sites of Tanghalang Pilipino (Facebook, YouTube) and its other non-profit organization partner for children’s education, Teach for the Philippines ( It will also be showcased on Visa’s Facebook channel.

To reach remote parts of the country with limited access to the internet, LLBB also adapted this web series into a radio play which will air in local radio stations nationwide via the radio networks of Manila Broadcasting Company and Cultural Center of the Philippines.

We are thankful to partner again with Visa for the new LLBB stories. The success we had with the live performances of LLBB in theaters and on campuses showed how impactful theater is when it comes to education. The new LLBB web series will further prove that theater as a medium remains relevant and versatile to help not only the youths but viewers of all ages to become better in managing their finances,” said Carmela Millado-Manuel, Tanghalang Pilipino Company Manager.

Since its debut four years ago, LLBB has reached over 37,000 students and educators across the Philippines. Fans of the show can watch the original story again via Tanghalang Pilipino’s YouTube page. For more information about Visa and LLBB, visit

Check out these behind-the-scenes photos of this highly of the popular play:

Philippine cultural icons like the Katmon tree will help Gwyneth
in her journey in the new LLBB series.

Philippine heroes like Josefa Llanes Escoda will make appearances
in the web series to guide the characters in their financial journey.

From the stage to the screen, Tanghalang Pilipino will showcase
Filipino theater talent in the new LLBB series.



The McDonald’s Famous Twister Fries Is Making A Glorious Comeback!

Coming through! 
The return of the iconic and long-awaited crowd favorite comfort snack is finally here! The McDonald’s Twister Fries is making its way back to the spotlight and we know you won’t be able to resist these delicious, perfectly seasoned, crispy, and golden curly fries!

My all-time favorite Twister Fries is coming back!

With the Twister Fries making a comeback to McDonald’s stores on September 15, you’ll be able to get the same great-tasting fries you love and missed. Savor the flavor and let it fill your tummy when you order it on its own or as an add-on to your McDo favorites like the Big Mac or Coke McFloat.

But for a limited time only!

As all good things come to an end, the Twister Fries will be available for a limited time only and will be retreating backstage before you know it. So don’t miss your chance and be sure to make the most out of this glorious comeback! Level up all your McDo meals with this mouthwatering snack, which will be available in Regular and Sharing sizes!

Great for solo or sharing! (Not sharing mine, though haha!)

What are you waiting for? You already know the drill! Get McDonald’s great-tasting Twister Fries you love before it’s gone! Order it now via McDonald's Take Out, Drive-Thru, McDelivery, Grab Food, and Foodpanda!

Save the date - 09.15.2021!

For more information, follow McDonald’s Philippines on Facebook to stay up to date on all McDo announcements.


There’s More to Obesity than Meets the Eye.

As the world finds itself preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors have come to address and shed light on an equally critical pandemic that has been affecting the world, including roughly 18M Filipinos – that is Obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016. Statistics from 2020 showed that 39% of adults, are considered obese – almost two out of every 5 persons.

President of the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity (PASOO) and obesity expert, Dr. Mia C. Fojas mentioned that in the Philippines, as far back as 1999, obesity was already one of the country’s most serious health concerns.

It was relevant then and even more so today
“It has taken years to recognize obesity as a disease with almost 40% of the population of Metro Manila at this point being either overweight or obese,” revealed Dr. Fojas.

“There are so many complications attributed to obesity, including metabolic, mechanical and even mental diseases, hypertension, diabetes, thrombosis, dyslipidemia, and many others,” Dr. Fojas added. The PASOO president stressed the relevance of obesity awareness in light of Covid-19, “Obesity is known to impair normal bodily function and to confer harm or morbidity especially now in this pandemic. Obesity is one of the comorbidities that can worsen a patient’s condition.”

Obesity Prevention Awareness Week Webinar, a call to knowledge and action
As obesity is truly a health concern, Proclamation No. 162 known as the Obesity Prevention Awareness Week was signed on August 21, 1999 by then President Joseph Estrada. This is observed every first week of September with PASOO as the mandated lead agency.

In line with its commitment to drive change in diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases in the country, Novo Nordisk Philippines, conducted a media forum with a multi-disciplinary group of key opinion leaders in the field of medicine and health & wellness in observance of Obesity Prevention Awareness Week.

As part of Novo Nordisk Philippines’ the Body of Truth obesity advocacy campaign, the program was designed to shed light on the truth and dangers of obesity as a disease as well as the ways by which Filipinos can come together to stem this silent pandemic even beyond lifestyle changes and exercise.

Experts on this program include the President of the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity (PASOO) Dra. Mia C. Fojas, radio personality, talk show host and multi-awarded physician Dr. Bles Salvador, life and fitness coaching couple, founders of FITFIL challenge, and former coaches of The Biggest Loser Philippines Jim and Toni Saret, and was moderated by the Senior Medical Manager of Novo Nordisk Philippines, Dr. Cyrus Q. Pasamba.

Obesity is a disease
One of the key learnings discussed was the hard truth that obesity is a disease. Dr. Fojas mentioned that obesity is known to impair bodily functions, causes characteristic signs and symptoms, and confers harm or morbidity. It affects 30% of Filipinos nationwide and afflicts 40% of Filipinos in Metro Manila.

Probed further on the matter of how obesity is diagnosed, the PASOO president said, “It is not just the weight, it is also the waist circumference that correlates well with mortality and morbidity, like hypertension and other illnesses associated with the disease.”

Beyond the body mass index (BMI) of 29 from the World Health Organization and International Obesity Taskforce for Asians, it really is the waist circumference threshold of 90 cm for males and 80 cm for females that are the key determinants for obesity diagnosis, even beyond the weight and the height of an individual.

Dr. Bles Salvador furthered the discussion when she cited many patients’ concerns and ailments that trace their roots to obesity, and stressed that if left untreated, is indeed life threatening.

“We even have 13 types of cancer identified that are all associated with obesity, and even under the findings of the Center for Disease Control that at the start of the pandemic 78% of those diagnosed with COVID were found to be obese.” according to Dr. Salvador.

The bottom line is that having obesity increases one’s inflammatory markers, lowering immunity and resistance to diseases and comorbidities including insulin resistance, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic, and mechanical issues.

Women and obesity
One of the questions raised was if women, more than men, are prone to having obesity.

For Dr. Fojas, “Physiologically, women are engineered to store more fat, having less muscle mass and more abdominal fat to protect internal organs.”

Dr. Salvador, an OB-GYN, spoke of her experiences where patients approached her for common diagnostic procedures because of recurring infections or a variety of ailments like diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gynecological cancers, as well as infertility only to find out that most were rooted in weight issues and obesity.

“Women have fat-friendly hormones like estrogen and progesterone which really respond to adipocytes and fat cells,” added Dr. Salvador.

One of the more troubling observations of Dr. Salvador was the impact of obesity on family life wherein sufferers cannot join activities of their children, are subject to inadvertent hurtful words, and other stresses. In the course of her practice, she has created a formula wherein she would advise patients to lose ten pounds, adjust their lifestyle, and if needed, take proper medication to see and sustain marked holistic improvement.

Movement is key
Dr. Cyrus Pasamba of Novo Nordisk Philippines mentioned that due to the various lockdown permutations for the past 17 months, more and more people are suffering silently from obesity or “quarantine fat” as they have limited opportunities to move, to go to the gym, and often rely on high-calorie fast food deliveries.

Coach Jim and Toni Saret stressed the importance of movement, how we in this pandemic must strive to consciously find ways to be physically active to prevent and control obesity, and to increase our immunity to fight Covid-19.

Coach Jim Saret explained that our bodies can only take in enough calories per day and anything we do not burn will be stored as fat, so over time fat accumulates, and we gain weight.

“Lifestyle is a big factor, and, in this pandemic, we need to be more conscious about moving because we are consuming a lot of calories but move less as we continue to stay home more.”

Coach Toni added, in this pandemic “Our metabolic and fitness age has surpassed our biological age because of our sedentary locked-at-home lifestyle. Movement and exercise defy this metabolic aging process.”

The prevention and cure for obesity
When one is starting to gain weight, PASOO president, Dr. Fojas advised to first target a 5 to 10-percent weight loss to achieve ideal BMI or waist circumference and to consciously live a healthier lifestyle. This of course can be done by healthy diet and exercise.

The fitness and wellness couple Coaches Jim and Toni Saret echoed this by saying, “Exercising is just moving.” They advised everyone to move more, even while sitting down. This principle will be the focus of the interactive Body of Truth 8-Week challenge and community to be launched in the Body of Truth Facebook page ( ) on September 13 to help people kickstart their health journey.

Shin Min Ah (Cosmopolitan Korea, 2018).

“What if exercise and diet are not enough to address the issue,” asked Dr. Pasamba, since obesity as a disease has been proven to have farther reaching complications if not diagnosed early. Coach Jim acknowledged this and mentioned that they have been advising people to seek medical advice prior to engaging in any diet or fitness regimen.

Dr. Fojas added, “Normally, people approach fitness experts first on matters of weight. However, there is a need for people to consult their doctors first, as all doctors are qualified to assist, diagnose, and manage patients especially on matters concerning the prevention and management of obesity.”

In addition, Dr. Fojas stressed that there are instances when medication is needed especially for morbidly obese-classified patients. There are medicines, like over-the-counter ones and injectable GLP-1 Receptor Agonist drugs, among others, that can be prescribed by endocrinologists. These are options used to treat the disease.

In the end, the right knowledge, information, and treatment are key to beat obesity. These can be done by healthcare professionals who are able to provide the right diagnosis and proper guidance. They are the very same experts who will pave the way so we can all beat obesity as one community.

For more information on obesity and the chance to join the Body of Truth 8-Week challenge, please visit