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Asia Young Designer Awards launches its theme for 2021.

Still on a high from the AYDA 2020 grand finale, Nippon Paint once again opens its doors to budding architects and interior designers to give them a shot at the prestigious Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA).

Now on its fourteenth year running, the Asia Young Designer Awards aims to cultivate the next generation of talents through cross-learning experience and networking with industry professionals, while providing them a platform to showcase their work and realise their fullest potential. 

AYDA 2021 Theme Launch.

This year's theme is "FORWARD: Amplifying Empathy Through Design" and aims to challenge the new breed of architects and interior designers to rise above and grow beyond designing one-dimensional spaces while keeping the demands of consumers in mind, as well as important factors such as sustainability and caring for the environment.

A legend in the industry - Architect Jun Palafox.

AYDA 2021 officially kickstarted with the theme launch, which was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, and attended by students and mentors from 34 schools all over the country, as well as the judges, partners, and members of the media.

One of the esteemed guests was Architect Felino "Jun" Palafox, Jr., - environmental planner, humanitarian, legendary architect and the President and Founder of the Palafox Architecture Group, Inc. Also in attendance were Architect Richard Garcia - Senior Partner and Vice President of Visionarch, and Interior Designers Cynthia Almario and Ivy Almario - the powerhouse duo of the Atelier Almario Corporation.

Registration for AYDA 2021 is ongoing and will be open until October 15, 2021.
Do you have what it takes to be the best Young Designer?

For more details, visit the Nippon Paint AYDA official website.

Follow AYDA on social media for updates:


Ajinomoto shares special recipes for lactating moms in time for Nutrition Month.

Mommies with newborns do everything they can to make sure that their babies are the healthiest. Exclusive breastfeeding of infants from birth up to six months is the most effective way to ensure your child’s nutritional needs. Breast milk provides all the energy and essential nutrients, making it the most complete and sustainable food for an infant. While breastfeeding plays a crucial role in the growth and development of babies, it isn’t always easy to do, mothers too may need some support to get started.

To help mothers achieve optimum nutrition for their babies, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) joins in the call to safeguard infant’s health in this year’s nutrition month campaign, “Malnutrisyon patuloy na labanan, First 1,000 Days tutukan.” The theme calls for all sectors to help in spreading awareness about the importance of the First 1,000 Days of life as the strategic intervention to prevent stunting and obesity. The First 1,000 Days of life is the period from conception up to the first two years of a child.

“Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 month of life is also essential in forming the special bond between a mother and child. This is why we, at Ajinomoto, aim to empower more women to continue breastfeeding and support them with healthier methods at this special time in their lives,” Ajinomoto’s Science Communication Executive Deborah S. Fajarda, RND.

With this, APC developed four easy-to-cook recipes to help lactating mothers in their breastfeeding journey. Check them out!

Umami Mommy Burger 

Umami Mommy Burger.

Moms with newborns have a lot on their plate so staying on top of things is difficult to do. To help address this, Ajinomoto prepared this easy-to-prepare Umami Mommy Burger which is filled with energy and carbohydrates perfect for restoring energy loss of a breastfeeding mother.

Laing with Malunggay Leaves

Laing with Malunggay Leaves.

Ensuring moms get enough iron helps prevent the iron deficiency anemia and reduce the feeling of fatigue. Moreover, dark green leafy vegetables like malunggay and gabi leaves are helpful in increasing your milk supply. These veggies are rich in iron that would help fill for the high demands for Iron during lactation. Try this Laing with Malunggay Leaves dish developed by Ajinomoto that provides 33% of the daily Iron needs of a breastfeeding mom.

Squash Spaghetti in Cheesy Malunggay Sauce.

A unique and healthy take on spaghetti! Both squash and malunggay are rich in Vitamin A. Do you know that infants have low Vitamin A stores and are reliant on external sources especially on breast milk? Thus, it’s vitally important for lactating mothers to consume foods rich in Vitamin A to produce breast milk that is rich in Vitamin A needed for visual health, immunity, growth, and development of their infants. Eat well and have your baby share in the benefits!

Milk-Boosting Salad.

This recipe features Adlai rice, which is rich in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Not only does it help control the blood sugar levels of lactating mothers to help them produce milk, it also transforms the salad to a full meal!

These recipes reflect the Ajinomoto Creating Shared Value (ASV) framework and Eat Well, Live Well commitment, as the company continues to develop ideas and create products to improve the nutrition of Filipino families, especially of the children.

“Through these recipes, we hope to be a companion to moms in their babies’ crucial First 1000 Days and even beyond, as we strive in helping shape a healthier generation,” shares Fajarda.

For more information and nutritious recipes, visit


Filipino resilience and creativity shine in the 2020 Asia Young Designer Awards.

A few weeks back, I had the honor of witnessing the much-awaited finale for the 2020 Asia Young Designer Awards (AYDA). One of Asia's leading design competitions, the Asia Young Designer Awards was first launched in 2008 as part of Nippon Paint's vision to nurture the next generation of design talents. Since then, the award has become a motivational tool for Architectural and Interior Design students to develop their skills and hone their talents, work with and learn from key players in the industry, and meet fellow Architectural and Interior Design students across the region. 

Asia Young Designer Awards 2020.

The awarding ceremony, albeit held virtually, was truly an exciting one. I had the chance to see such amazing and interesting designs, and get to know the story behind each and every one of these impressive works. This year's theme was Forward: Human-centered Design, which calls for an innovative approach to problem-solving that starts with the people you’re designing for, and ends with a new solution to meet their unique needs.

Representing the Philippines were Paul John Jandoc from the University of Baguio and the gold winner for Architecture, and Margaret Therese S. Hagad from the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and the gold winner for Interior Design

A glimpse of Paul John Jandoc's "Silong".

Paul's work was entitled "Silong", which means "to take shelter" in the Tagalog vernacular. "Silong" is Paul's straightforward solution to housing and shelter issues, especially during these trying times. The overall idea of Paul's masterpiece is to strengthen the community bubble and to find ways for the community to commune and interact, not only with each other but more especially with nature.

Margaret Therese Hagad's masterpiece - "Bagasse: Mountain Resort".

Meanwhile, Margaret Hagad's work explores the relationship of neuroscience and interior design to give emphasis on spatial memory, all in support of hospitality and sustainability. Entitled "Bagasse: Mountain Resort", Margaret describes her work as a sanctuary of wellness and wilderness, a place for learning, protection, and discovery. Margaret's masterpiece was hailed as the Best Sustainable Design in the Interior Design Category.

Despite the pandemic, AYDA and Nippon Paint continue to provide opportunities for budding architects and interior designers to showcase their talents and push their design boundaries beyond the norm. I was truly impressed with the designs from the recently-concluded awards ceremony, and I am definitely looking forward to see more of them in AYDA 2021.


Whiter and Brighter Teeth with PureSmile Teeth Whitening Trays.

It's been more than a year since this pandemic started and so many aspects of our daily lives have changed since then. Work from home became the norm for most companies and employees. Kids also learn at home via online classes, modules, or TV and radio-based instruction. Travel has stringent precautions, gyms and recreational venues remain closed, and mass gatherings are still a big no-no. 

Gone are the days when we could freely take the kids to the mall, sing and dance at concerts with fellow K-pop fans, enjoy the movies with the rest of the family (senior citizens included), or simply leave the house to run errands or do the groceries without fear of being infected with the coronavirus. My simple, occasional joys of getting a massage or getting my nails done have long been a thing of the past. Truth be told, I have not seen my dentist in over a year! And despite being fully vaccinated (I got my second dose of the COVID vaccine last weekend), I still have qualms about going to the dentist - with the coronavirus still on a rampage and the Delta variant being prevalent in neighboring countries.

This is exactly the reason why I now consider teeth whitening trays a blessing. I've recently discovered them through the PureSmile website, and they're exactly what Yue and I need right now since I don't have plans of seeing our family dentist just yet.

PureSmile Teeth Whitening Trays.

PureSmile is Australia's trusted one-stop shop for dental health, teeth whitening, and teeth straightening. They're currently based in New South Wales, but have clinic partners all over the country - from Perth all the way to Gold Coast. PureSmile offers an array of dental services, plus they have an online shop so you can enjoy superior teeth cleaning and teeth whitening right in the comforts of your own home.

The PureSmile Teeth Whitening Trays, for instance, is a take home kit that helps lighten teeth and remove stains caused by smoking or drinking beverages like coffee, cola, wine, or tea. Now I haven't smoked in over a decade, but as you all know, I'm a huge coffee drinker and caffeine sort-of runs through my veins. This is why I need one of 'em teeth whitening trays all the more - no dentists visits in over a year, plus the countless cups of coffee consumed throughout the pandemic... Imagine the state of discoloration my teeth are in right now!

Each box is good for a 7-day treatment in the comforts of your home.

Each box of the PureSmile Teeth Whitening Trays contains individually packed, pre-filed thermo-forming trays that mould to the shape of your teeth. The whitening trays are good for a 7-day treatment, and you only need to wear the trays for 45 minutes each day. Each tray is good for single use, and you don't need LED lights or messy syringes to make your teeth whiter and brighter. The best part? These trays are vegan and cruelty-free, meaning they have not been tested on animals. 

Just to give you an idea on how these teeth whitening trays work...

The PureSmile Teeth Whitening Trays retail for $79 AUD, but they're currently on sale now at $69 AUD! They also ship for free within Australia. I asked my friend in Melbourne to kindly buy me a few boxes of these teeth whitening trays, and I can't wait for the parcel to arrive here on my end and try these for myself! She said they worked well for her, so I have great confidence that these will work for me, too! Pearly whites, here we come!


Staying hydrated helps prevent illnesses during the rainy season.

The sweltering summer days are over as the country’s weather bureau declared the start of the wet season. During this season, we need to keep our guards up because many illnesses emerge.

These include diarrhea, caused by viral or bacterial infection; waterborne illnesses like typhoid fever, cholera, and leptospirosis; and vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.

To avoid contracting these diseases, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI)—the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country—reminds the public to keep hydrated, especially that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.

“It is important that we keep our immune system strong. One of the easiest ways to do this is to stay hydrated,” said PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong.

To stay fit and protect yourself from diseases, here are some healthy habits you may do.

Eat healthy

Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa in Reply 1988 (2015).

What you consume today will have a huge impact on your health in the future. A good eating habit is one of the most basic practices to have a robust immune system.

Making a well-balanced meal is simple - just add more fruits and vegetables, choose whole grain food, switch to low or zero fat options, and cut back on sugar.

Exercise regularly

Jung So Min in Soul Mechanic (2020).

Exercising remains one of the most effective methods to strengthen your body during the rainy season. You do not have to buy expensive machines or pay for gym subscriptions. You only need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. To safely exercise at home, you may check various workout videos online. If you opt to do outdoor walk or run, follow social distancing and other safety protocols.

As part of your workout routine, replenish what you lose in sweat with sports drinks like Gatorade. It contains electrolytes that rehydrate your body to avoid dehydration.

Get enough sleep

Park Bo Young and Seo In Guk in Doom at your Service (2021).

Getting enough sleep is as important as eating healthy and exercising. A study from the Carnegie Mellon University found that people with poor, short sleep have greater chance of getting sick.

Quality sleep helps uplift your immune system. To get quality sleep, reduce your blue light exposure at night, avoid caffeinated drinks before bedtime, and reduce day time naps, among others.

Proper hydration is vital in having a strong immune system. It detoxifies and flushes out waste materials from your body. It also helps transport nutrients to our organ systems.


Taking in safe water is a must to avoid infection from water-borne diseases. To have a clean drinking water, you need to boil water for at least three minutes or do water chlorination. Or you can drink purified bottled water, like Aquafina and Premiere.

Gatorade Ion.

If you’re moving all day and feel sluggish or tired, that’s because you lose more than just water when you sweat. You lose fluids and electrolytes. With this, it’s important for us to stay healthy and hydrated with an Electrolyte Drink like Gatorade Ion.

“Even during rainy season, we need to hydrate to arm our body from diseases and keep our immunity in top shape. Over the years, PCPPI has been helping Filipinos achieve that with our hydration drinks,” Ong said.

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


Award-Winning Philippines Inspired Book, Wing of the Locust, Named Finalist at Singapore Book Awards.

A moment of national pride as Filipino native, Joel Donato Ching Jacob was announced as a finalist at the prestigious Singapore Book Awards for his award-winning book, Wing of the Locust. Organized by the Singapore Book Publishers Association, the award recognizes the outstanding published works by various authors in the local publishing industry.

Wing of the Locust by Joel Donato Ching Jacob.

Jacob’s coming-of-age fantasy novel first burst into the literary scene after clinching the winning title of the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Awards (SABA); a flagship initiative by Scholastic Asia that recognizes excellence in Asian literary talents and inspiring stories for children.

“At Scholastic, we believe that children’s literature is a vital starting point to enrich the literary world with a diverse representation of Asian voices. Especially at a time with limited social interactions, stories play a critical role in exposing children to the world and igniting their imagination. Through SABA, we are ensuring Asian authors and their inspiring stories are rightfully represented to give Asian children a glimpse into their own cultures and that of others,” shared Selina Lee, Vice President of Scholastic Asia.

She further added that authors like Joel Donato, whose literary work has seen success beyond SABA, embody the mission championed by Scholastic Asia in bringing Asian heritage to life, one published story at a time. SABA is now open for submission and authors with unpublished Asian-inspired manuscripts are encouraged to submit their work before August 31, 2021 via the following link -

The award-winning author, Joel Donato Ching Jacob.

Following the success at SABA in 2018, Wing of the Locust has also gained national recognition in the Philippines with the National Award of Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honour) in Literary Arts.

Winning SABA 2018 only felt real when I finally saw my mother cheering me on as I received the trophy. Being awarded Ani ng Dangal for Literature is every one of my family and friends, peers and mentors, and even complete strangers, standing there with me, winning with me.”

Currently a finalist with four other nominees in the Best Literary Work category at the Singapore Book Awards, Wing of the Locust continues to inspire young readers’ creativity and imagination. The announcement of winners will be made on September 24, 2021 via a livestream on Singapore Book Publishers Association’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. For more details, visit

Get a copy of Wing of the Locust, available on Lazada -


"Cooked with Love" | Family, Food, and Nostalgia in Ajinomoto's web series.

Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC)’s latest web series entitled “Cooked with Love,” reveals a heartwarming take on cooking as a shared love language among Filipino families.

Have you watched "Cooked with Love"?

Cooked with Love features interwoven stories of three generations of women who show their love for each other through sharing recipes and dining together. Showcasing heart-warming stories of relationships and how cooking with love was made more memorable with AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning. The series feature Tessie, the grandmother; Jenny, the mother; and Therese, the daughter. Viewers can watch the first episode, “Slurp,” and second episode, “Squeeze,” on Ajinomoto’s Cookmunity® Facebook page and Youtube channel. Meanwhile, the last episode, “Sniff,” will premiere this Saturday, July 10.

Cooking food and sharing mealtimes are powerful in shaping wonderful memories with our loved ones. With Ajinomoto being a part of the Filipino cooking and dining experiences for more than six decades now, we want to help them relive and celebrate those feel-good moments through Cooked With Love,” says Roann Co, APC General Manager of Marketing and Public Relations.

Passing it on

"Slurp" starring Mommy Jenny and Therese.

Slurp” tells the story of Mommy Jenny who shares their Nilagang Baka family recipe with her teenage daughter, Therese. The parallel scenes of two mother-daughter generations making the family recipe ties the episode together well. The cute and kilig first installment captures how love can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Paying it forward

"Squeeze" starring Therese and Lola Tessie.

Squeeze” features the relationship between Therese and her grandmother Tessie. Viewers will see how cooking Arroz Caldo becomes Lola Tessie’s way of saying “I love you, apo.” It shows that cooking traditions persist because of people who care for and love their family.

Putting the pieces together
The concluding episode “Sniff” showcases food as a source of comfort in tough times and more importantly, in dealing with the constant changes life has to bring. It recalls how Tessie comforts her daughter Jenny since she was a child until now that she's a mother who is about to face a life-changing situation. Through it all, the women share their love while cooking and eating their classic Adobo recipe.

With community quarantine protocols urging Filipinos to remain at home, stories of familial love are sure to encourage Filipinos to express their feelings through food. Cooked With Love lives up to APC’s Eat Well, Live Well promise in its pursuit to provide good food, better health, and wonderful dining memories to Filipino families with the help of umami, a nature-based ingredient that brings out the meaty, savory deliciousness, and deepens the flavor of food. For more information, visit


Lebron James and the Space Jam Tunes Squad have arrived at McDonald's!

The iconic Space Jam Tunes Squad is making a comeback this year, and this time with McDonald’s Philippines!

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, and the rest of the crew are all returning as McDonald’s launches the new Space Jam Happy Meal! The new collection of toys is made even more exciting as King Lebron James joins in the toy character lineup. The new design collectibles are in honor of the much-awaited sequel to the beloved classic Space Jam movie which was released 25 years ago. Space Jam: A New Legacy is the standalone sequel that features another exciting adventure with our Looney Squad.

Slam and Jam with every Happy Meal!

As McDonald’s aims to bring families closer together, it teamed up with the iconic squad and has created an exciting lineup of must-have toys which would bring nostalgia to parents and young adults, and play time fun for kids. The Space Jam Happy Meal consists of 12 Tune Squad characters which include: Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Road Runner, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Taz, Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian, and of course, Lebron James.

Practice your shooting skills with LeBron and the Space Jam Tune Squad, and score as many points as you can with every Happy Meal! Collect all 12 toys starting July 9! Order via McDelivery, McDo Drive-Thru, Take-Out, or Dine-In and have a family bonding time that is loonier than ever.


Vaccinated! | My COVID Vaccine Experience.

I got vaccinated! After weeks and weeks of waiting, I finally got my first dose of the COVID vaccine!

Vaccinated! 06.26.2021

You've probably seen this photo on my Instagram or on my Facebook page (if you're following me, that is). It's been a little over a week since this happened; I actually waited for a few days before writing about my vaccine experience because I was looking out for the side effects. That being said, here's what transpired before, during, and after vaccination day.

A bit of a backstory first... 
We had a COVID scare sometime last April. Two of our neighbors from the same household tested positive, and although I did not have direct contact with them, I was a close contact of my next-door neighbor who had been exposed to them. Upon hearing the news that they tested positive, I became extremely frantic, broke down, cried, and prayed so hard that neither Yue and I got the virus Yue and I immediately went on self-quarantine and spent the next 14 days completely locked up inside our home, not even daring to set foot outside the door.

We were hoping that we would be swabbed (RT-PCR test), but no one from the City Health Office came to our place because we weren't declared as close contacts despite possible exposure and living next-door to two COVID patients. Thankfully, we were able to finish our 14-day self quarantine without a hitch. No symptoms whatsoever. No colds, no cough, no fever, and definitely no loss of smell and taste. 

After that ordeal, I became more hellbent than ever in getting vaccinated. About a day or two after our quarantine ended, I immediately went to our barangay hall and submitted my vaccine registration form (this form was distributed house-to-house by our barangay officials a few days before our COVID scare incident) together with a copy of my government IDs (Philhealth, SSS, and TIN) and a 2x2 ID picture.

Our LGU's vaccine registration form.

Afterwards, I got in touch with doctor friends and relatives working in local hospitals on what I should do next. My Mum, who is a nurse in the UK, strongly advised me to get a blood work done before I get vaccinated because of my hypertension and asthma. I skipped this part, though, out of fear of catching the virus (most of the diagnostic laboratories here also offer rapid antigen testing, and I don't want to be exposed to anybody possibly carrying the virus)

Thankfully, I was able to secure a medical certificate and an updated prescription from my pulmonologist with the help of my cousin who works as a nurse at the general hospital. Both are required for those under the A3 category aka 'Persons with Comorbidities'.

And so the waiting game began...
About a week or two after I have submitted my registration form, the vaccine rollouts began in my city. First to be vaccinated were the medical frontliners, barangay health workers, and other frontliners for the barangays and LGU (A1 category). Later on, they began vaccinating on the senior citizens (also known as the A2s), as well as those with comorbidities (A3). During these times, the vaccines that were being administered were either Sinovac or Astra Zeneca. 

I have to admit, at first, I wasn't too keen on getting either of these two vaccine brands for myself. Like most people who have heard of the news about blood clots related to Astra Zeneca, or the fact that Sinovac has the lowest efficacy among all the COVID vaccines currently available, I wanted the Pfizer vaccine. But after that COVID scare and with these new COVID variants coming out, I was ready to be vaccinated with whatever brand that's available. Because like what they keep on saying on TV, the best vaccine is the one that's available to you.

The month of May came and went, and still no notification from the barangay or the City Health Office about my vaccination schedule. Entering the month of June, news about the Pfizer vaccine arriving in our LGU started to spread like wildfire. By this time, I was getting excited, at the same time desperate to be vaccinated. From time to time, I would check with my cousin if I already have a vaccination schedule.

After so many, many weeks of waiting, the call that I had been waiting for finally came. Around noontime of June 25, I got the call from the General Hospital that I was scheduled for vaccination the next day (June 26). Luckily, my siblings and I were scheduled on the same day, too. We were advised to come to the vaccination site in the morning, as early as possible, because the vaccination will be on a 'first come, first served' basis.

Vaccination day, finally!
The following day, I was up by 4:30 am, the earliest that I have woken up ever since the lockdown started. By 6 am, my siblings and I were on our way to the Mega Vaccination Site, located in the outskirts of the city, about 2 miles from where we live.

The Mega Vaccination Site, located in Brgy. San Jose, San Pablo City.

There was already a throng of people when we entered the building. They were all seated, already occupying almost half of the seats inside the vaccination site. Thankfully, we were able to secure seats easily, and as soon as we sat down, we were handed a bunch of papers which included a consent form, an assessment form, a monitoring checklist, a discharge form, and some pertinent information about COVID vaccines and what vaccine will be administered to you. 

Vaccine FAQ's + some forms that you need to fill out.

From the get-go, I knew that we were getting the Pfizer vaccine, and inwardly, I was screaming for excitement and joy. I tried not to get too excited though, because my blood pressure might shoot up. 

Now here's what to expect if you're getting the COVID vaccine at the San Pablo City Mega Vaccination Site. First is the Registration Area. This is where they confirm your identity and double check if you are indeed scheduled for vaccination on that particular day. Strictly no walk-ins! 

The organized crowd, sitting in line for the Registration Area.

Step 2 is the Counselling Area. Here, they check and monitor your blood pressure and inform you about the vaccination process. The staff and nurses at this point are nice and friendly, and more than willing to answer all your questions regarding vaccines.

Normal blood pressure, yay!

My brother, also sitting in line.

Next is the Screening Area where a doctor will check your health condition and assess whether or not you are fit for vaccination. 

Step 3- Screening Area.

My greatest fear that day was my blood pressure shooting up and not being able to get vaccinated because of my hypertension. Thank goodness that did not happen and I was given the 'Vaccinate' stamp of approval by the attending physician.

Then, we got to the much-awaited step - the Vaccination Area. The photo above is the line leading to the vaccination room. 

Inside the Vaccination Room.

This photo is inside the Vaccination Room. I asked permission from the doctor if I could take pictures of myself while getting vaccinated for blogging purposes. The kind doctor, Dr. Lucy Celino, asked me to hand my phone over to the nurse beside her so she can take my pictures instead. Thank you, Doc! :)

Good jab! Excuse my fat arms, lol.

Once you exit the Vaccination Area, you go straight to the Encoding Area where they check your forms, your ID, and your vaccination card. Afterwards, the nurses will then usher you to the Monitoring Area where they will once again check your blood pressure and monitor your condition for the next 30 minutes before endorsing you for discharge. The nurses had to check my blood pressure twice because my blood pressure was at 140/90 when I entered the Monitoring Area. 

After fifteen minutes, my blood pressure was back to normal and I was then endorsed to the Discharge Area. This is the last and final step where a doctor will talk to you and explain the possible side effects of the vaccine and what you should do in case you get allergies, feel nauseous, or experience difficulty in breathing. 

And with that, after nearly four hours of waiting/sitting in line, our first dose of the COVID vaccine was done! Thank you to the hardworking nurses, doctors, and staff of the San Pablo City General Hospital who were in charge of the San Pablo City Mega Vaccination Site! You guys are awesome!

Good jab! :)

Any side effects?
Surprisingly, there were no adverse side effects with the Pfizer vaccine. My left arm felt very heavy and the injection site felt quite sore for the next three days, but that was pretty much it. I felt a bit of nausea the day after vaccination, but it was fleeting, like less than an hour. I can't even attribute it directly to the vaccine because I was also extremely busy that day - cooking, cleaning the house, replying to emails, beating a writing deadline, and working on a blog campaign all at the same time. 

I'm hoping the second dose won't have adverse side effects as well. We're getting our second dose on the 18th if there will be no changes to the schedule. 

For those of you who have not been vaccinated yet, you may now register online, especially if you belong to the A1, A2, and A3 categories. The San Pablo LGU is also encouraging those from the A4 (Economic Frontliners) and A5 (Indigent Population) categories to sign-up for vaccination, too. You can now register online with this link:

For more information about the registration procedures and requirements, follow the San Pablo City Health Information Center's official Facebook page.

For announcements about the vaccination schedule, follow the City Information Office's official Facebook page.

You may also coordinate with your respective barangay regarding the registration and your vaccination schedule.


Foodie Goodie | Gimbap (Korean Sushi Rolls).

If we're friends in Facebook or in real life, then you probably know how much I love gimbap aka Korean sushi rolls. I especially love the gimbap from Gwangjang Market for many reasons - they're cheap, very filling, and exceptionally good! It's no surprise that they're called 'mayak gimbap'. 'Mayak' means narcotic in Korean, and yes, you can easily get addicted to those flavorful sushi rolls.

I've tried the gimbap of some of the Korean restaurants here in my area, and although some of them were quite good, they were still a bit lacking to my palate. Why, you ask? Well, most of them don't use danmuji (Korean yellow pickled radish). It's one of the basic ingredients of the traditional gimbap, and makes your gimbap a lot more flavorful because of its sweet/sour flavor and crunchy texture. 

As such, I finally decided to just make my own gimbap, complete with danmuji and all. Thankfully, I easily found danmuji strips, along with many other Korean sauces, condiments, and cooking ingredients on Shopee. (Will do a separate blog post about this later.)

And with that - because you asked for it - here's my version of Yachae Gimbap or vegetable gimbap. This gimbap uses very simple ingredients, making it the most basic among all the gimbap varieties. 

Easy Gimbap (Korean Sushi Rolls)

2 cups cooked rice (Japanese short-grained rice)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pack Aji Savor on Rice (or any furikake of your choice)
5 sheets gim (dried seaweed/nori)

1/2 carrot, julienned
1/2 cucumber, cut into strips
5 crab sticks, cut into half lengthwise
5 danmuji strips
2-4 ham slices, cut into strips
2 eggs, beaten

1. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Mix well, and make sure that both salt and sugar are completely dissolved. 

2. Pour the mixture over the rice and toss until the rice is well-coated.

3. Sprinkle the Aji Savor on the rice and mix well.

4. Preheat a pan/skillet. Add a dash of cooking oil and let it spread around the pan. Add the beaten egg, cook both sides over medium heat. Once cooked, slice the egg into long strips.

5. In the same pan, cook the carrots, ham slices, and crab sticks for about a minute each, separately.

6. Arrange all your gimbap ingredients in a plate (or two) and prepare to roll.

We're ready to roll!

7. Place a sheet of gim on top of a bamboo mat, with the shiny side of the sheet facing down. Place a scoop of rice on the gim and spread evenly so that the rice covers about 1/3 of the gim. Add more rice if needed.

8. Arrange the filling on top of the rice close to the side towards you. Place one danmuji strip, one cucumber strip, and 2 crab sticks. Then add the egg strips, ham strips, and carrot sticks. 

9. Lift the entire bottom edge of the gim with both hands and roll over the filling away from you. Put pressure on the roll using the bamboo mat. 

10. Repeat steps 7-9 for the rest of the gim and the other ingredients. 

Get it, let it roll!

11. Place all of the gimbap on a chopping board. Brush each roll with some sesame oil and sprinkle with some roasted sesame seeds. 

12. Using a sharp knife, slice the gimbap into bite-size pieces. 

13. Squeeze some Japanese mayonnaise on top of each piece, and serve with some light soy sauce on the side. 

Gimbap + brownies :)

 Here's a list of ingredients that you can also use as filling for your gimbap:
  • Spinach
  • Canned tuna
  • Bulgogi
  • Kimchi
  • Sliced cheese 
  • Eomuk (fish cake)
  • Tonkatsu
  • Luncheon meat 
Enjoy! :)