Friday, June 3, 2016

Cord Life:One Chance, One Choice

As a Nurse, I am very much interested on learning what's new in medicine science, health care technology, and innovations in health and wellness. I believe that these greatly impacts our existence and continuation of life while taking into consideration what are the available treatments and prevention measures we can do in order to achieve this.

Recently, I attended an event that provided a great opportunity for me to blog about stem cell research. The Cordlife team, led by brand manager, Ms. Jonelyn De Belen along with medical and brand experts were able elucidate the participants on the benefits of banking Cord blood.

Cord blood banking and cord blood stem cell is not new to me, but I might as well talk about this because I felt that majority of our Filipino parents are not familiar what this is all about.

Before I get into talking about medical terms and babble about stem cell research, let us first know the nature of the umbilical cord.

What is the umbilical cord?

Image from Adam
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is the only thing that connects the baby in the womb to its mother. It provides nourishment and sustains the life of the fetus baby for the whole period of pregnancy until it is born. Because it is connected to the placenta, the umbilical cord is also able to supply the baby with antibodies providing innate immunity for about three months after birth.

After birth, the umbilical cord is cut and gets discarded as medicine waste. No use.

But wait...

The umbilical cord is now making a name in medicine science as researches on stem cell technology have shown that cord blood is a viable alternative for stem cell transplants in comparison with traditional bone marrow transplants.

Okay, let us go deeper into the discussion.

Cord Blood and It's Benefits

Because the cord blood is rich in HSCs or Hematopoietic Stem Cells (I know it's a big word, but don't fret about it. The vastness of its name holds true to its potentials), it has been known that they have the capacity to do these following functions:
  • Replace and regenerate (build new) damaged or diseased bone marrows
  • Treatment for blood cancers. (I'm talking about the leukemias here)
  • Correct genetic defects, and
  • Potential for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine (yes, the fountain of youth!)

The HSCs are composed of the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) which are responsible for supplying oxygen to different tissues and organs in the body, White Blood Cells (WBCs) which are responsible for fighting infection an enhancing one's immunity to diseases, and Platelets which is responsible for blood clotting. 
So, the main idea here is that cord blood can be used later for medical emergencies such as stem cell transplants in cases like leukemia and lymphoma. Being diagnosed with leukemia or any form of cancer is like listening to your death sentence. Now, with cord blood, the name of the game is changed. Stem cells in the baby's cord blood have the potential to be used in the treatment of many diseases today. Stem cells could be used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders. In a cord blood transplant, stem cells are infused into a patient’s bloodstream where they go to work - healing and repairing damaged cells and tissue. With the successful engraftment of the stem cells (new blood-forming cells start to grow and make healthy blood stem cells), the patient’s blood and immune system are regenerated.


This is indeed a promising outlook, most specially if you have a high-risk familial disease to cancer or genetic disorders. Nonetheless, storing cord blood for later use is only done one time -- right after delivery. You can never repeat this again (well if you can wait until you get pregnant again and finally decide to avail this once in a lifetime opportunity). That's why Cord Life Philippines aptly selected a very good shout out to all parents that this is a One Chance, One Choice decision that can ultimately save lives for your baby and even up to the third generation of the family.

Yes, you heard it right. Cord Life Philippines provides coverage of storing your baby’s cord blood to 3 generations of your family with Cord Blood Network. This is an amazing biological insurance, so to speak, i.e., you have in your hands the answer to help your baby and your family's medical problems in the future.

If you are pregnant right now, it is the best time to think and consider about cord blood banking. This is indeed a very wise investment for your family. 

What's very nice to know is that you can now store cord blood here in the Philippines and processing of any request or transactions can be done easily and in a very timely manner. Unlike before that cord blood can only be stored overseas like in Singapore or India. That's a major hassle, right? 

For more information, you can visit their website here: Cord Life Philippines. You can also connect thru their Facebook page where you will be introduced to the celebrity moms who have already considered cord blood banking and are advocating other moms to do so.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Only the Best Brands for Moms and Kids at Galactic Mission 7

Blogger Moms and their families trooped to the most exciting party this year, Galactic Mission 7, featuring only the best-loved products for mommies and kids. 


Before I plunge into telling you all the blogging event yesterday, allow me to tell you how I ever had this best chance of attending it. 

Last month, I attended my first ever blogging event - The Mommy Blogger's Workshop.  There I met the very lovable host Marylaine Loiuse Lagran Viernes and she was very kind to approach me and said, "Hey, Mommy! I'd like to invite you to a Star Wars Party next month, May 29. Hope you can come." Oh, sure! I have nothing to do on a Sunday and Mika, my second daughter is a die-hard fan of Star Wars, so I said YES!

And so, we went yesterday and we had a great time celebrating this event and enjoying all the freebies and information that the major and minor sponsors have given us.



CORDLIFE Philippines: One Chance, One Choice. The Cordlife team, led by brand manager, Ms. Jonelyn De Belen along with medical and brand experts were able elucidate the participants on the benefits of banking Cord blood. There is only one opportunity to collect and store the stem cells found in the cord blood and this is only during birth.

Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most fascinating and revolutionary areas of medicine today. Doctors recognize that stem cells have the potential to help treat numerous diseases by generating healthy new cells and tissue. A wide range of diseases is treatable with stem cells such as acute and chronic forms of leukemia and myeloproliferative disorders to name a few.

CORDLIFE has also launched a bigger contest for bloggers, where 10 lucky winners will walk away with Sodexo gift certificates! Consolation prizes of 1,000 pesos worth of Sodexo gift certificates will be given away to 5 participating bloggers while 2,000 pesos worth of Sodexo gift certificates will be given to 4 minor winners and one lucky Cordlife Blogger will be awarded 10,000.00 worth of Sodexo gift certificates!

The Bloggers only need to follow Cordlife Philippines on Cordlife Social Media accounts and tag Cordlife to share the links to their blogs.

Cordlife alone offers expert cord blood banking services and as a group, has released a total of 35 cord blood units to date.

For more information, email info@ph.cordlife.com or visit www.cordlife.ph

Commanding happiness with COMMAND BRAND. Joining in the intergalactic fun and excitement is Command Brand Philippines, Damage – Free Hanging Solutinos from 3M who has also launched their official instagram account @commandbrandph and official brand hashtag, #iCOMMANDit .

Command was extremely generous, giving out freebies for all of the guests, as well as special gift packs for bloggers as well as during the games and raffle draw. They also had an exceptional exploratory photo wall featuring a few of the excellent products of Command, which is also a brand under 3M, devoted to serving customers and communities with an extensive range of innovative solutions.

Here are my Command freebies! Can't wait to install it to our bathroom. :D

For more information, visit www.command.com and also follow @commandbrandph on Instagram.


 Special thanks also to Scotch Brand, for letting the kids become all crafty and creative as they made their very own light sabers, using Scotch scissors and Scotch Brand duct tapes. 
A grand time with Giant Carrier. The truly magical experience was captured by Giant Carrier, who did not only showcase their exceptional products but also raffled and gave out a tone of their amazing products! The kids definitely loved seeing Baby Skipper, the official mascot of Giant Carrier, who gave out so much joy, happiness (and balloons) to all of the excited and gleeful kids in attendance!

Moms and kids played the Intergalactic Giant Carrier game, where the kids and babies also got to try out the comfort and ease of riding a Giant Carrier stroller.

GIANT CARRIER shares with you every step your child takes, with the care only a mother can assure. Giant Carrier offers an array of infant and childcare items to meet the needs of babies in different stages, making the baby comfortable and keeping the mother at ease.

HOME SUITE HOME. Yes, our home can definitely be sweet with the help of Home Suite, My Choice, the sister brand of Giant Carrier, also under CLC Marketing Ventures. Home Suite is the pioneer in metal based furniture and this brand also offers a ton of delightful products for home and family!

LIKE and Follow Giant Carrier on Facebook by simply typing in GIANT CARRIER, and also type in HOME SUITE to LIKE and Follow their official Facebook Page. You can also learn more about Giant Carrier, Home Suite and their other brands by logging in at www.clcmv.com.ph   


Moms love TINY BUDS Natural Baby Products.  Tiny Buds also delighted and educated parents and kids alike, through a segment about how important it is to use natural products for our precious children.  Led by its brand manager, Ms. Lorina Tan, Tiny Buds did not only empower parents to make the right choice when selecting products for their babies’ delicate skin, but she also gave out awesome prizes for every guest in attendance! Some of the featured TINY BUDS Products were Tiny Buds Baby Bottle & Utensil Wash, which is the brand’s bestseller! This natural cleaner easily washes away left over milk and food from baby’s bottles, utensils and breastfeeding accessories.

Kids and moms can share the award-winning Tiny Buds Rice Baby Powder, made from 100% real rice grains! This biodegradable and hypoallergenic product is completely free from harmful talc and other chemicals.

Much to the delight of everyone, TINY BUDS also gave out the favorite of most moms: TINY BUDS NATURAL LAUNDRY POWDER & LIQUID WASH FOR BABIES, and TINY BUDS NATURAL FABRIC SOFTENER FOR BABIES. These are both lovingly made with natural plant-based ingredients with a special formula and delightful scent that is perfect for our precious babies!

Please make sure to visit www.tinybuds.com for more details. 

SWEET CREATIONS BY MUMS takes everyone to cupcake heaven! All bloggers and guests were also treated to the yummy, moist and delightfully designed cupcakes, made only by the creative and loving hands of Chef Jo-Ann Tuazon, the lovely founder and baker of SWEET CREATIONS BY MUMS. Chef Joanne Tuazon gave out 300 pcs of those wonderful yummy cupcakes yesterday.

Everyone went crazy and simply couldn’t get enough of SWEET CREATIONS BY MUMS perfectly designed Star Wars toppers on yummy chocolate moist cupcakes! 

Trust only SWEET CREATIONS BY MUMS to give you the most memorable parties with perfectly designed cakes, cupcakes, dessert buffets and more! 

Please Like and Follow them on Facebook; just type in SWEET CREATIONS BY MUMS.  

BE CONFIDENT AND PRETTY WITH PRETTYLOOKS. That’s not all for all the moms walked away with soaps from Prettylooks! For over 33 years now, PRETTYLOOKS has been making ladies of all ages feel and look beautiful! The pioneer in aesthetic tattoo in the country, Prettylooks was founded by its President & CEO, Dr. Susan Co Dela Fuente. She has teamed up with Dr. Roe Dela Fuente, phlebologist and aesthetic surgeon in leading Prettylooks to the dominance it enjoys today. But adding to the success of Prettylooks is the daughter of Dr. Susan, Ms. Blair Ong, R.N., whose creativity has contributed so much more to her mother’s legacy. Among the brand ambassadors are loyal stars that swear by Prettylooks are award-winning actress JENNELYN MERCADO, DIANA MENEZES, AUBREY MILES, BANGS GARCIA, CARLA ESTRADA, MARIA OZAWA, ELLEN ADARNA, CORY QUIRINO, LINDSAY CUSTODIO, ALMA CONCEPCION, CHERRY PIE PICACHIE, JINRI PARK.

PRETTYLOOKS Branches have now grown to several branches and they have also come up with BROWS & BREW by Prettylooks, in order to address the need to make patients feel comfortable and enjoy coffee and refreshing treat while waiting for their treatment. They are open from Mondays thru Saturdays, from 10AM – 7PM. For more information, please visit www.prettylooks.com.ph or visit and call their branches:

ORTIGAS - Unit 201 Grand Emerald Tower, Garnet Road, Ortigas Center | TEL: (02)687-7507 / (02)470-2541 | MOBILE: (+63)917 533 1828 | THE FORT - The Fort Strip, Ground Floor, 7th Avenue, Corner 28 St.,Global City | TEL: (02)834-5523 / (02)886-9667 | MOBILE/VIBER: (+63)917 689 5144 | QUEZON CITY - IL Terrazzo Mall, Tomas Morato, Quezon City | TEL: (02)921-3056 / (02)709-3488 | MOBILE: (+63)917 689 5110 | B Hotel , Scout Rallos St. Brgy Laging Handa, Quezon City | TEL: 405 1449 | ALABANG - Ground floor Tower Wing The Bellevue Manila North Bridgeway Alabang Muntinlupa | TEL: (02)807-1846 / (02)810-7514 | Mobile: (+63)917 882 5713 | MANDALUYONG - 547 Shaw Blvd, Brgy Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City | TEL: (02)275-5482 / Mobile: (+63)917 877 3021

The following partners also made galactic mission 7 memorable:

GOLDILOCKS made sure that all the kids in attendance came home happy with their bitbit cake slices from Goldilocks. The event also showcased the latest commercial of Goldilocks, featuring the beautiful teen star, Liza Soberano, one of Goldilocks’ prized endorsers, a fitting face for the brand that Filipinos have always loved and have always made a special part of the most important life celebrations.

Without a doubt, GOLDILOCKS is the number 1 and the most-well loved bakeshop! Follow Goldilocks on Facebook and @goldilocksph on Instagram. 


Philips AVENT gave a ton of treats not just for the kids but also for a few lucky mommy bloggers during the exciting games and raffle draw! Many of the moms present are Philips AVENT moms, who believe in giving the best start for their beloved babies and kids. Follow Philips AVENT Philippines on Facebook and @philipsaventph on Instagram. 

To learn more about their wonderful promos and upcoming talks and activities for moms, log on to www.philips.com.ph

EPSON PHILIPPINES CORPORATION was the proud tech partner of the event, and who also gave out free loot bags for all the guests. This Star Wars themed event was also proudly POWERED BY EPSON, EXCEED YOUR VISION.

Learn more about EPSON Philippines and their astounding, world-class products today (such as the projector used during the talks and activities) by visiting www.epson.com.ph

Every kid got to take home awesome loot bags from EPSON too! 

Visit www.pitgamesmedia.net today!
PIT GAMES MEDIA. It may be the month wherein we celebrate Mothers, but as a treat to the dads, we also had Pit Games Media who distributed their leading magazine brands and served as our video and photography partner. We would like to thank the Publisher of PIT GAMES, Mr. Manny Berbano and his wonderful daughter, one of the leaders of Pit Games Media and Brand Manager of Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialist, Ms. Em Berbano along with her amazing team.

SUMMIT MEDIA also showered the event with support by giving free copies of Good Housekeeping Magazine, Yummy Magazine and Smart Parenting Magazines for all the parents, as well as K-ZONE Magazines to all the kids in attendance! 

BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (BPI), the foremost bank in the country also talked about the BPI PAMANA SAVINGS ACCOUNT, an exceptional product from BPI, which serves as both a savings account and insurance product! Beyond the savings devoted for your family, you get FREE Life Insurance worth 3x your account balance, up to 2 million pesos. Talagang the BEST pabaon for your loved ones! Please visit www.bpiexpressonline.com today! 
Universal Robina Corporation (URC) also joined in the fun by making sure that our fun kiddy piƱatas as well as every kid got to take home yummy bars of Cloud 9! Special thanks to sales head Mr. Ron Borbon of URC Sales for the delightful treats! 
GALACTIC MISSION 7 Featured talks from Mompreneur and Blogger, Chai Castro Galapon who introduced 4D Flashcards, as she is the authorized seller in the Philippines. It also featured a fun Star Wars treats making activity with celebrity Chef and Philips AVENT brand ambassador, the talented Chef Dang Adrias who is also a professor at MOST Institute. It also featured the talented and inspiring artist and book writer, Mr. GUTCH GUTIERREZ, the visionary behind STORYTELLERMNL. Gutch Gutierrez, along with Zig Marasigan created the award-winning book entitled, ‘The Day of Darkness,” which the kids truly enjoyed through his live storytelling activity. Follow StorytellerMNL on Youtube today!

This exciting and memorable learning event and family party was co-organized by Ms. Marylaine Viernes, events host and blogger at www.marythehost.com along with a team of loving mommy bloggers including mommy bloggers/ mompreneurs and party specialists, Ms. Gemma Alcid and Ms. Melanie Castro, with their Facebook Page at MCJ Balloons & Party Needs. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hypertension Awareness Month

Hello everyone!

This blog post is already due as I was planning to post it just in time for the World Hypertension Day celebration. In the USA, May 17 is the slated date for this annual event created by the World Hypertension League to increase awareness about high blood pressure. Well, I guess it's not to late to talk about hypertension because the Department of Health has proclaimed the whole month of May as Hypertension Awareness Month.



Now, this blog post is very timely because just yesterday my dear hubby had his medical consultation and he was already given two anti-hypertensive medicines to consume for three months. His BP reading is 160/90 mmHg.

"Know Your Numbers"

This year's theme is "Know Your Numbers". Doctors recommend that everyone age 18 or older should have regular blood pressure checks, and, if the numbers are high, they should take steps to lower them. The biggest challenge is that there are generally no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. That's why they call it the silent killer. But, having high blood pressure long term can cause many serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke, so it's vital to keep blood pressure numbers down.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure

  • Normal: Your blood pressure is normal if it's below 120/80.
  • Pre-hypertension: You have pre-hypertension if your top number ranges from 120 to 139 or your lower number ranges from 80 to 89. Pre-hypertension tends to get worse over time.
  • Hypertension: You have hypertension if your numbers are above 140/90.. (so we are in this range already).
As a nurse, I know what are the effects of persistent and uncontrolled hypertension. It could lead to many complications like heart attack or stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, weakened and narrowed blood vessels in the kidneys, thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, and even trouble with memory or understanding. All of these medical conditions can be prevented if one is able to manage his or her blood pressure.

Just to be brief, once diagnosed with hypertension, you will have it for life. It's not treatable like fever or tooth ache. But it can be controlled, meaning to say, you can manage your numbers (the systolic and diastolic numbers of your blood pressure reading) to remain normal thereby preventing you from experiencing and suffer the medical complications that I have mentioned above.

Your doctor will probably prescribed you with antihypertensive drugs already to help lower down your BP reading. Now the thing is, you just don't stop taking these medicines if you feel like you are already feeling well or have known that your BP reading has now come down to normal. People often misunderstand this concept of medication adherence in hypertension management. Always consult and follow your doctor's advice.

Nutrition also play a major role in hypertension management. The American Heart Association have been recommending the DASH Diet for persons with increased blood pressures. 
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
It's most know as a low sodium diet. With that, it is recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables, grains, lean meat, non or low fat dairy, fish, poultry, avoid fats, cholesterol-laden foods, full-fat dairy, sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.

And lastly, exercise regularly, quit smoking, limit alcohol, and maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you're overweight or obese.

So, with my dear hubby, I am now starting to help him manage his BP. I hope that he will be more cooperative and patient in this journey. Next time, I will be talking about different ways to prepare DASH diet meals.

Let me know if you have some health topics you want me to discuss here and I'll be most willing to share it with you guys.


DISCLAIMER: This post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information above is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.  If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weekly Planner Spread: Week 20 and Week 21

Hello Lovies!

Before I start, let me show you my Last Week Review: Week 19 --

Status post Week 19

Sooo.. I juggled between crewmembers' calls, update reporting to my clients, one hospitalized crew in Washington due to multiple fractures secondary to fall, and finishing two online quizzes from my eHealth Management class. Not much.... just the usual havoc week for me. 

Oh...before I forget.. I attended the Mom Workshop by Smart Parenting with the topic on All About Toddlers last Saturday. The draft has been written for this blog post, but I'm still waiting (researching) for other inclusive topics to add to this article. Just watch out for this post by the end of the week.

If you want to see the before and after look of this weekly spread, just click this one here: Weekly Planner Spread: Week 18 and Week 19

Week 20 and Week 21

How's your week so far? As for me, I'm just about to start my work week. I was not able to work yesterday because I was feeling under the weather. We are now beginning to experience some rain showers, but the weather bureau has no official statement if the summer season has ended already. Oh well, I'm just glad that the temperature is beginning to cool down a little bit.

Now, let's talk about my weekly spread. From what you see here, my set-up for this week remains moderately spartan. With just minimal decoration -- I used decorative tapes and the Bible passage that I printed in bond paper. I like planner decorations like stickers, stamps, and other blings that some people put into their planners or organizers. But with the work that I have right now, I don't want to flood my pages with other stuffs that may distort my organizing thoughts. 

So, my spread is still clean. I can't wait to see the "after" look of this one. 

Week 20 and Week 21
To keep me motivated and inspired while doing what I do.
I'm eager to see what's your planner looks like this week (and thereafter). You can always share what you think of this blog post by commenting below.

See you soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2016

Hello Lovies!

May 9-15 is a week-long celebration for nurses around the world. Since Monday, I've been tweeting and posting status on my Facebook account greeting my fellow nurses Happy Nurses' Week! I just want to congratulate everyone for doing a great job on being a nurse. And today, May 12th is the International Nurses Day and at the same time the birthday of Florence Nightingale - the Lady with the Lamp, the grand mama of professional nursing that all of us are practicing today.


Just always remember that we, nurses, are unique. We have the power to promote comfort and relieve strife. Many times we are gifted with the privilege of seeing rapid results of our caring actions. The true benefits of nursing are felt in our minds and hearts. No matter how hard we try, only a nurse can truly understand and appreciate the magnitude of our job
Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about the history of nursing or preach about the technicalities of being a nurse. I would like to share to my avid readers my professional journey in this medical field.

My Nursing Career

The nursing profession has dramatically changed its image from being a doctor's handmaid to becoming an independent and critical thinking nurse who collaborates and communicates with different members of the healthcare team in order to achieve patient/client goals. Gone are days that we bow down and follow orders without questioning or sharing your thoughts on it. We have become an empowered professional who have more options in developing and enhancing one's career. I do believe that nurses are the reason why hospitals and other medical care facilities are surviving.
You don’t build a house without its foundation. You don’t build a hospital without its nurses.
To those who don’t know me yet, I am a nurse by profession and have been a nurse since 1996. Okay, just do the math and you will know how long I have been in this line of work. LOL! All these years, I have shifted careers but the bottomline is I remained a nurse. Just to give a brief summary of my career, here it goes:
  • Worked at Philippine General Hospital as a Staff Nurse
  • Worked at OIC Construction Company as Occupational Nurse
  • Worked at St. Anthony College of Roxas City as Clinical Instructor
    • Graduated Masters of Science in Nursing major in Community Health Nursing at St. Paul's University of Iloilo City
    • Nominated as Outstanding Nurse in Capiz in the field Academics
    • Received the Award of Outstanding Alumni of St. Anthony College of Roxas City in the field of Academics
  • Started to work as Online Freelance Medical Writer
    • Written several nursing articles and NCLEX, LPN, Medical Transcriptionist Course, Medical Case Studies for clients in the USA and Europe
    • Adjunct Nursing Faculty at Texila American University, one of the best Caribbean Medical Schools is located in Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. 


    • Worked as Nurse Adviser to some students at University of North Florida
  • Presently working as International/USA Sr. Medical Nurse Case Manager at Future Care, Inc.
    • Cited by LinkedIn as one of the Top 10 International Nurse Case Managers

  • Presently taking Master's degree in E-Health Management in Rome Business School.


With everything that I do as a nurse, the one thing that I considered as my biggest professional achievement is being a Nurse Educator/Clinical Instructor. For 12 years, I have contributed to molding young minds in achieving their dreams to become a nurse. And now, as I see them all over the world, practicing the profession with all heart and soul, and making their families happy and proud of what they do, is the best feeling in the world. 

I know I did something good, I know I did a job! That's why I'm proud to say that I am a Nurse.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Brew of Civet Coffee

Hello coffee addicts!

Probably you already heard the story behind this coffee or even tasted it. As for me, this is my first cup of joe and I’m truly glad that my friend sent me this.

Civet is not a fancy brand like Starbucks or Figaro. It’s actually a wild cat that is mostly found in the jungles of Indonesia. The connection of this cat to the bag of coffee that I have here in this photo will truly amaze you. 

Ready for action!
Civet cats love to eat coffee cherries. The pulp of the fruit gets digested but of course the coffee bean remains intact until the cat eliminates it from their body. The beans (now in the poop) are gathered, cleansed and processed, and sold as kopi luwak. Because of this unusual preparation, civet coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world. Imagine having a cup of coffee at the price of $35 to $80 and one pound bag of beans costs $100 to $600!

Image grabbed from: http://bit.ly/1QYwEZJ 

Preparation

My friend told me to visit this site on how to properly brew a perfect cup. My kopi luwak is already ready for brewing. I had my French Press ready and prepared to brew for 2 cups – one for me and one for Didi.

The directions said 1 ounce of coffee to 450ml of fresh hot water – never boiling water. I measured my coffee with the use of the espresso shot glass (this is equivalent to 30cc or 1 ounce), put it in the French Press first. Pour water inside the French Press and let it brew for about 4 minutes. Make sure that the lid and plunger of the French Press are pulled all the way to the top. If you like it stronger (like I do), you can have it stay a little longer to achieve that ideal coffee kick.

The longer you brew it, the more bitter and stronger the coffee becomes.

Now, push the plunger down to the bottom as the coffee grounds will be pushed down to the bottom as well and gets separated from the brewed coffee. Pour your freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!

The Moment of Truth

The moment I’ve been waiting for --- to sip and taste the unique taste and aroma of civet coffee:
  • Taste – since I brewed it for almost 6 minutes, I experienced bitterness and a little bit of tanginess on the side. But no crude after taste. I did not put any creamer or sugar because I wanted to taste its natural flavor. And it did not failed me. 
  • Aroma – from the time I opened the sealed bag of coffee up to the time that it was brewing, its strong smell emanates a powerful energetic aroma that I really like.

I’m no coffee connoisseur (I just love drinking coffee), but I can say that this coffee holds its true mark of being the most expensive coffee in the world. I love the flavorful and bold taste of civet coffee. I hope I can more supply next time. :)

If you love to order this coffee, feel free to contact me. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10 is World Lupus Day

Hello Mommies!

I have been thinking on adding another section to this blog of mine which I believe is still part of what I have been doing professionally. For all those who don't know me yet, I am a Nurse by profession and a Clinical Instructor for almost 12 years. I have changed nursing careers, but still my fervor to teach is still there. With this, I decided to launch today the Health and Wellness category where I will be talking about health concerns that are relevant and this will also be a sort of an educational tool to all who will visit this site.

For this maiden post, I will start off by informing you all that May 10 is World Lupus Day.

This is from Nursing Mnemonics and you can see how lupus affects the body in the lungs, heart and kidneys.


What is Lupus?

It is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks different parts of the body. The body's immune system cannot identify what foreign agents are attacking the body that it creates a wide array of signs and symptoms particularly in the lungs, heart, skin, and kidneys. This is a prolonged medical condition, thus the word chronic, which can last from 6 weeks or even longer.

The word lupus means 'wolf''. The medical condition was named after this because the butterfly rash on the face of the person resembles the bite marks of a wolf attack.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Lupus is mostly hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal. From our illustration above, allow me to translate the identifies clinical manifestation and some of its complications:

In the lungs:
  • Tachypnea - fast breathing
  • Pleural inflammation/Effusion - the protective lining of the pleural cavity (the one that encase the lungs) is inflamed and can sometimes lead to water entering this area or effusion.
In the Skin:
  • The person develops photosensitivity when outdoors. The person can develop erythematous rash (redness of the skin) whenever he/she is exposed directly to sunlight. 
  • The very distinct mark of lupus is the butterfly rash or malar rash on the face because its shape resembles the outstretched wings of a butterfly across the nose and cheeks. The rash can be mild or severe but is not usually painful.  It can be itchy if it is more like a rash than a blush and some patients even report a ‘hot’ feeling with more severe malar rashes. 
In the Heart:
  • Raynaud's phenomenon, commonly affecting women, is when fingers turn white or blue with exposure to cold or during stressful situations, caused by the constriction of small blood vessels in those areas. 
  • Pericarditis is the inflammation of the muscle of the heart.
In the Kidneys:
  • Lupus Nephritis it inflammation of the kidneys that is caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). This inflammation can lead to kidney failure, but like most lupus symptoms the effect on the kidneys is quite variable and hard to predict. 
  • Proteinuria is increased protein (showing as blood --hematuria) in the urine, swelling of the feet and legs, and high blood pressure can be indicators that the kidneys may be affected.
Other signs and symptoms:

Perhaps the most earliest signs of lupus are unexplained fatigue and fever. There would also be constant headache and confusion, joint pain, sores in the mouth, and digestive disturbances.

Diagnosing Lupus

There is no specific test to tell if you have lupus or not. If you have some symptoms that you think you have lupus, talk to your doctor and he/she will be taking samples of your blood for a variety of tests.

Be honest to tell your doctor your family health history and your own health history as the disease is oftentimes linked to be familial or hereditary. If your doctor strongly suspects that you have lupus, you will be referred to a specialist (a rheumatologist for joint and muscle problems and dermatologist for skin problems) for further medical assessment and treatment plans.

Life with Lupus

Although there is no cure for lupus, living well should not hinder you from doing so. It means balancing your daily life activities with rest, and trying to avoid stress. I suggest that you do the following:
  • Listen to your body, but don't give up your goals and dreams. 
  • Learn to take a rest for a while if your body is wary enough and then pick up the pieces again and strive on.
  • Accept help from others, but do something proactive every day.
  • Question your doctors, but don't ignore their advice.
  • Follow instructions carefully when taking medications
  • Closely monitor your condition with your doctor.
I hope I have given you enough basic information on this one. What topic do you like me to write about next time? I'd love to hear from you.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information above is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.  If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Last Week in Review

I've been up since 11:30 PM. I can't go back to sleep anymore so I might as well put these thoughts of mine into writing.

It's Monday already and the start of Week 19. Remember last week, I posted my weekly planner spread for Week 18 and Week 19? Well, here's the post-Week 18th page:

The aftermath of Week 18.
What can you say about my week page? As I have mentioned before, it's mostly work-related and my personal entries or activities were only added on tiny spaces in between my client's appointments and other office-related stuff. I'm going to share to you what transpired during this week:

Monday - this is usually my "checking-in" day with my clients. Since I have a 3-day off, I make sure to follow-up on my clients by calling them, checking-in on their conditions, and try to determine if all went well during the weekend. I usually ask about their current physical and medical conditions and monitor their treatment processes. For this particular day, I had 3 client calls only.

Tuesday - Ahh..this was Didi's 44th birthday. The original plan was to go to a comedy bar and celebrate with small and selected friends. But since, it's the height of the election fever, every one has their own red alert statuses and we decided to have a home celebration on Friday instead. Here's my birthday message to my loving husband over Facebook with matching video that I made over Blackberry:

Who knew that the day you were born 44 years ago today was the day the stars would laugh in the face of fate, for they knew they had already planned a match for you

You are my advisor when I'm lost, you are my clown when I'm unhappy, you are my companion when I'm lonely, you are my all in all.
Thank you for being a very supportive and loving husband; for being a number one fan and cheerleader to our children, and for taking good care of us despite of all the hardships and tests of life. I pray to God that He will continue to give you the spark of life, the endurance, and vitality to go on till we see our children grow old together.
I love you infinitely beyond all the galaxies!

Wednesday and Thursday - As my weekend is fast approaching, the amount of work is also increasing. I reviewed medical reports and provided status update reports, called doctor's offices to schedule medical appointments for our crewmembers then called them to ensure that they attend these appointments, and tried to contact a doctor in Argentina to discuss a medical management. I really don't like Thursdays!

I was reminded by Facebook that it was Sr. Marilyn's birthday. She's my former Dean and a musical genius who can play several musical instruments. Several years ago, I wrote a poem in honor of her birthday.This time, I decided to write her a letter: 

I remember vividly the first time I met you during our choir practice for our Capping and Candlelighting ceremony. Boy! I was so nervous of missing a note because we have to repeat the whole song again until we finally get it right.
Yes, you are that person who do not settle for "Ok na yan" philosophy. You always make things perfect, pristine, in order, organized, and leaving no trace of breadcrumbs in any undertakings that you are involved in. A lot of people misunderstand (and not like) you because of this - that perfectionism attitude. Nonetheless, this is the best thing that I learned from you -- Always strive to be the best and not settle for just "Ok na yan".
I will never cease on thanking you for all the wonderful experiences that we shared together and thanking God that He allowed me to meet and learn from you. Happy, happy birthday to you! I pray that you will be more blessed than ever....
Love you! heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon

Friday - I slept for 5 hours only and then Gabie and I went to SM to buy our mini-birthday meals for Didi. I did not cook any fancy this time because I was so tired from all the week's work. I also paid our PLDT and electric bills.

We had crispy pata and pancit canton from Kuya J's, the pork and shrimp siomai from Rustan's supermarket, my own version of Dynamite, and the Chocolate Indulgence cake from Red Ribbon. Plus 2 bottles of Franzia California Red Wine to cap this celebration. 
Saturday and Sunday - lazzzyyyy days....well, it's a long weekend for us since Monday, which is today, is National and Local Election Day. Last Saturday, each political parties went out to stage their last campaign rallies and by the looks of it, it is already expected that there's going to be heavy traffic on the road. We stayed at home, watched movies, and the news after that. As I have said...lazzzyyyy days!

Oh, before I forget, Sunday is Mother's Day! Here's what I wrote for this occasion:

10 Superpowers that Mothers possess:
1. We have X-ray vision that we see microbes whenever you touch unidentified objects.

2. We have heightened senses that allow us to anticipate what's going to happen.


3. We have the strength of Strennua and can carry loads of groceries, baby bags, and other shopping bags at the same time.

4. We have the angst of Bellona and will fight for our children until our last breath.

5. We have the wisdom of Athena, as we teach our children the knowledge that will bring them wealth as they grow old.



6. We have the patience of the monks as we can hold on to anything thus allowing everyone to be at peace. But if all goes unwell, you can always go back to #4.

7. We can be at 2 places at the same time -- believe me, we can do that.

8. We have been taught by the world's Master Chefs that we can cook and whip delicious food for our family to eat even if the ingredients are not complete.

9. We have developed special skills like speaking different language, deciphering wall paintings, and sing like opera singers.

10. We have the biggest heart that we give our children all the days of their lives.


Ain't that cool? Happy Supermom's day!

So, that's all folks! I hope and pray that today's election will be peaceful and whatever will be the results, I pray that we will all be blessed.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekly Planner Spread: Week 18 and 19

It's the first week and first Monday of May!

Gosh.... just how time flies! Anytime soon, we all be scurrying off to bookstores and department stores to buy school supplies for our children just in time for the school opening in June. But since it's only May, I will just focus on what's going to take place this month. First of all, here's my weekly planner spread for the Week 18 and Week 19.


As you can see, most of the entries in this spread are mostly related to work. These are my client's medical appointments and follow-ups for this week. To all who just visited my blog, I am presently working as an International and USA Medical Nurse Case Manager. Having a planner is a must for me as I keep track of these appointments and deadlines. Aside from that, I have other things that I put in Filofax planner. I'll try to discuss and show them to you next time. :))

I also like to design my planner for the sake of art! LOL! I lined the pages with design tapes and motivational quotes or passages from the bible. I have discovered this very cute device, similar to a wipe out tape, but they dispense cute and lovely kawaii designs where you can easily lay out in any paper. Here are the materials that I used for this weekly spread:


We have a lot of things to look forward to this month. There's the National and Local Election on May 9 where we get to elect the next President of the Philippines. Most importantly, this month is very special to my family, because the love of my life will celebrate his 44th birthday.

I hope that we can achieve whatever we have outlined for this week. Till next time!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Our Sarsa Bar and Kitchen Experience

I can't sleep! This has been my weekend struggle since I started to work in the US time zone. My whole family are already deep in their slumbers, yet I am still wide awake and can't get Morpheus to visit me. Maybe he don't love me anymore. Oh well, better put this insomnia to a better use. Let me tell you about this local restaurant that we went to last weekend.

This summer season is by far the hottest temperature I've encountered. You surely don't want to go out and feel the scorching heat of summer if the heat index is at the staggering reading of 42-51 degrees Celcius, right? But last weekend was an exemption. The whole family trooped to SM Mall of Asia to meet our very dear friend Wendell, who is also Ninong to our second daughter Mika. He surprised us that he's visiting the country at this time of the year, so we decided to have some catching up moments with him. 


Sarsa Bar and Kitchen


We went to Sarsa Bar and Kitchen located at the second floor of the Entertainment Complex. It's also our first time here and I just have to experience what they have to offer. Sarsa Bar and Kitchen is owned by Chef Jayps Angelo. He's not only famous among circles of restauratuers, but he's also among the judges in the Master Chef Pinoy Edition TV show before. I have read from internet reviews and was also featured in Kris TV, that this new restaurant is serving local and traditional Negrense cuisine with a modern twist. So we finally had the chance to taste their food! And of course, allowing our dear friend to eat his favorite country meals by heart. We ordered a lot of food but I only got to take few photos of them since everybody was already hungry and can't wait to eat them. That's alright, Just visit the place and get the chance to taste their food.

Here are our delicious photos:


That's their Kinilaw Corner.


Crispy Pata
Crispy hito sa gata
Sizzling Kansi. The bone is literally cut in half so that it will not be difficult to extract the bone marrow. Can you see that whole bone marrow oozing with goodness? Yummmmyyyy!
Special Batchoy
Sinuglaw.
My habit of taking the ceiling shot.
I wrote a caption on what were they doing here. Read it here: http://bit.ly/1VZlVXm 


For their full menu and prices (as of this writing), please check below:



Overall, the food was splendid! I really love the sizzling kansi and crispy hito sa gata. Serving time was also very quick. We ordered several food items and yet all of them were served immediately. The place is also very homey and child-friendly. And because of this, I'll give them 4 stars for the food, service, and ambiance.

Let me know if you have been to this place and what's your favorite food.



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