Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas Feast Ideas That You'll Love

There are two traditional feasts that Filipino families often look forward to during Christmastime: the Christmas Eve Noche Buena and the one that follows on the 25th itself, which is often held as part of a festive family reunion. Either way, expect those in charge of preparing the dishes to pull out all the stops to serve the most delectable food on the table for everyone to enjoy. 

And if that happens to be you, chances are high that you already have some recipes in mind to make each of these feasts a gastronomic delight to remember. They might even be all-time family favorites, or even hand-me-downs from your great-great grandparents. Having said that, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to learn a few more recipes just to keep things fresh and put something different on the table for Christmas. Two that are guaranteed to make you look like Master Chef are Meatballs in Black Truffle Sauce and Three-Cheese Truffle Macaroni and Cheese.

The recipes are as follows:

Meatballs in Black Truffle Sauce

Meatballs in Black Truffle Sauce


• 2 slices white bread crusts removed, broken into pieces

• scant 2/3 cup whole milk

• 2 1/4 cups finely minced ground beef (or a mixture of meats, such as pork, chicken or turkey)

• 1/2 cup meat pâté

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Plain all-purpose flour, for dusting

• Olive oil for frying


• 1 tablespoon + 2 tsp butter

• A drizzle of olive oil

• 1 bunch spring onions scallions, finely chopped

• 1 carrot finely chopped

• 1 heaped cup button or oyster mushrooms finely chopped

• 3 1/2 tablespoon plain all-purpose flour

• 1/4 cup white wine

• 2 cups beef chicken or vegetable stock

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

• 1/2 cup double heavy cream

• 1/2 teaspoon Umbria Black Truffle Sauce


1. Place the bread in a bowl and pour over the milk. Set aside to soak.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the meat and the pâté. Add the soaked bread and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until smooth and well combined. Form meatballs by rolling walnut-sized pieces of the mixture between your hands. They should be about 1oz each. Dust the meatballs in flour.

3. Heat some oil in a shallow pan over a medium-high heat and fry the meatballs just until they are golden. Do not overcook at this stage as we are going to finish them in the sauce. Set aside.

4. To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over a medium-low heat and add the finely chopped spring onions, carrot and mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is transparent. Reduce the temperature to low and add the flour to the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Cook for about 4 minutes and then add the wine, continuing to stir until you get a paste and the alcohol has evaporated, then add the stock with the salt and rosemary. Keep stirring and cooking until the sauce thickens, then add the cream, stirring so that the mixture doesn’t split or curdle. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.

5. Put Umbria Black Truffle Sauce into the sauce, mix and fold and serve hot.

Three-Cheese Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

Three-Cheese Truffle Macaroni and Cheese


1 tablespoon butter, divided

1 cup mushroom (75 g), sliced

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk (240 mL)

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (110 g)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (100 g)

2 cups shell pasta (400 g), cooked


½ teaspoon Umbria truffle oil

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped


1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are softened. Remove from the pot.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour to the pot. Whisk until the flour is toasted, approximately 2 minutes.

3. Add the milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Cook until the sauce is thickened.

4. Whisk in the Parmesan and cheddar cheeses and season with salt and pepper.

5. Add the cooked pasta and mushrooms. Mix until the sauce coats the pasta well.

6. Top with Umbria truffle oil, fold and add chives.

Of course, it’s understandable that you’d stop at nothing to make these year’s Christmas celebrations as grand as possible. After all, last year’s Holidays were mostly muted due to the pandemic. Now, the scourge that is COVID-19 is still here, but the country is showing signs of recovery and the quarantine restrictions are easing as a result. 

However, that doesn’t mean you and your family should be letting your guard down. Rather, continue to be vigilant even as you think of ways to gather everyone this Christmastime—ideally, sharing some sumptuous Meatballs in Umbria Black Truffle Sauce and servings of mouthwatering Three-Cheese Umbria White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

LYKA, come back!

A lot of the popular social media apps can be found on my phone. You name it, even the controversial app that is LYKA. 

What is LYKA? I first heard of LYKA from the groups I'm a part of. I became interested in it because of the many cool and amazing things they could do with it so I downloaded the app. It kinda looks like Instagram. As I was browsing through the app, I thought to myself that I might not be able to focus much on LYKA because I have lots of social media apps. I did not think much of it but then I saw a post from an ex-colleague and friend showing the grocery items that she was able to buy for free using LYKA gems (Giftcard Electronic Mode). She even paid her Meralco bill using LYKA gems. So I asked her how and she explained to me that every post she does, a comment she makes, and post she shares has equivalent points or gems that you can use as currency to buy goods, or pay at LYKAMALL, yes they have their mall that accepts gems! How cool is that! They have everything your family could look for. Groceries, books for kids, apparel, gadgets from brands like Apple, Sony, JBL, Samsung, Palladium, Philips ,TCL, LG, etc. You get to enjoy posting your photos, you get to have new friends, and you can earn gems from it! 

 Rovi Bejer-Prado, one of the 10 million LYKA users, @mommy_rovi

 @mommy_rovi paid her Meralco bill and bought groceries FOR FREE using LYKA gems 

All the talks about the app got me motivated in using it just like the social media apps I use. Just when I was just getting the hang of it, news broke out that the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas ordered to stop the operation of LYKA because they had to register as an operator of payment system (OPS). 

Registration is needed to ensure that the app functions safely, efficiently, and reliably by itself, consistent with the central bank's objectives of consumer protection and financial stability.

It was a relief to have been able to read an update from Rappler  "Lyka says it is 'continuously communicating' with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas regarding its operator of payment system or OPS application. "

LYKA has said that part of its intention is to register as an operator of a payment system so it can establish its Philippines operations and staff it with the best people available.

Users were also guaranteed by the social media platform that any duties and commitments made by DS to the, as well as their accreditation as a partner merchant, will be honored as quickly as possible.

Hoping that this happens soon because it has great reward system and benefits for its 10 million members. And I want to experience what my friends have from using LYKA, who wouldn't?

Want to know more about LYKA? Check these out:

LYKA is a free social media platform that allows users to connect, discover new material, share interests, share photos, and allows chat function with other users. It revolves around a Digital Point System, which rewards users for engagement on the platform. Users may receive LYKA GEMs for well-rated posts, uploading content, and spending time on the app.

DISCLAIMER Individuals of 18 years of age and below are required to have a legal guardian to claim the rewards through our LYKA Mall. Using LYKA GEMS with our Merchant Partners has exceptions to the rule as advised.

LYKA MALL Is an exclusive feature of the LYKA app providing a one-stop-shop for Online Shopping and Digital Transactions.

LYKA Mall also includes:

LYKA Grocery where you can shop 24/7 with no minimum order.

Digital Goods Section where you can buy prepaid loads, pay your bills (e.g., utilities, telco, insurance, credit card, etc.), remit payments (e.g., gov’t agencies, etc), and even pay partner merchants such as schools, real estate, etc.

Plastic and paper gift cards are a thing of the past.

Introducing the Giftcard in Electronic Mode (GEM) The 1st paperless, contactless and seamless social gift card in the world. LYKA GEMs are distributed and managed solely by our authorized service partner/provider, Blue Cat Global Limited (a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of Hong Kong with principal address at 14/F Chun Wo Commercial Centre, 25 Wing Wo St., Central, HK- SAR.), via the LYKA app, and through a preset reward system or maybe purchased in-app. These LYKA GEMs may be shared among friends, exchanged for goods with partner stores/merchants, and can be collected to purchase gifts from the LYKA Online Store (Lyka Mall). The LYKA GEMs are also available for sale through the LYKA app.

REWARDS AND POINTS SYSTEM Each Diamond rating corresponds to a specific LYKA GEM value that you can save and accumulate to transact with our partner merchants.

TOP-UP YOUR LYKA GEMs Users of the LYKA may purchase in-app GEMs from Blue Cat Global Limited. Purchase of the GEMs from the Blue Cat must be made through the “BUY GEMS” option in the account owned by the relevant registered User and paid for through any permitted payment method available from time to time by the LYKA. Purchased GEMs shall be reflected in the User Profile of the LYKA App.

USING YOUR LYKA GEMs Exchange your GEMs for goods/services with partner stores/merchants! On its initial country of operations, the Philippines, now with over 10,000 Partner Merchants in the service, retails, food, and automotive industries. Just look for the sign confirming that LYKA GEMs are accepted by the merchant and pay using the QR code system. It’s that easy!

SEND A GIFT OF GEMs TO FRIENDS & FOLLOWERS A new and unique gift to give to your friends and followers





LYKA is a mobile app platform owned and developed by Things I Like Company Limited (TIL), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Hong Kong, with principal office at Level 19 Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong. TIL was established and running since 2017.

With the company’s vision to create a digital ecosystem, LYKA, an application which includes Internet Community, Gift Giving and Receiving Method, Secure Chat, Unique Reward System, E-Commerce Platform, and more was launched in 2018.

LYKA was launched its pilot run in the Southeast Asia (SEA) market, primarily in the Philippines. TIL targets to expand to other countries in Asia in 2021 and the rest of the globe in the coming years.

Are you on LYKA ? Please follow my 2nd account @madeitthroughmum. 💙

Friday, December 17, 2021

‘LEAVING YOU NOW’ Powerful Piano Ballad by Joe & The Anchor


Indie-pop band Joe & The Anchor release new piano ballad ‘Leaving You Now’ - an emotional break-up song about experiencing first love, to grow apart and realizing there is nothing left in the relationship worth fighting for. The singer Joakim's powerful yet emotional voice goes straight to the heart.

“Leaving You Now has been with us for a long time. We’ve all been in that situation, when the first real love of your life turns into your first heartbreak. We tried to really capture that feeling when we wrote this song” - JATA about the song.

The single is the second one from their upcoming album ‘Coming of Age’ which explores the feelings of growing up, the fragility of life, love, and taking things for granted. Following a difficult few month when the band members had to experience the harsh reality of loss, Joe & The Anchor decided to process the events through music. During a hectic and focused period of time, the band wrote and recorded what would later develop into a full-length album, which will be released during the spring of 2022.

Spotify  -

Apple Music -

Instagram -



Why Am I, Still Caving In
Why Can’t I, Get Rid Of It,
Our Long Nights I’m Thinking About You,
Maybe If, I Didn’t Know,
Just How Much It Hurts To Go,
I Could Have Put This Behind Me

Cause Baby I Don’t Know What To Say,
Cause I Know I’m Losing Any Way,
But I’m Just So Tired Of, This Enemy Inside,
So Darling, I’m Leaving You Now

Why Am I, Back Here Again
Why Can’t I, Just Let Her In,
My Long Nights Without You Beside Me, Oh No
Why Can’t I, Make Up My Mind,
Always Leaving You Behind,
Still I Keep Thinking About You

Cause Baby I Don’t Know What To Say,
Cause I Know I’m Losing Any Way,
But I’m Just So Tired Of, This Enemy Inside,
So Darling, I’m Leaving You Now

Cause Baby I Don’t Know What To Say,
Cause I Know I’ll Lose You Any Way,
But I’m Just So Tired Of, This Enemy Inside,
So Darling, I’m Leaving You Now

Darling, I’m Leaving You Now

I’m Leaving
You Now

For inquiries please contact


Joe & The Anchor is formed by childhood friends JOAKIM ROSENLUND, ROBIN ZHANG, VIKTOR EDSJÖ, RUBEN SONESSON from Malmö, Sweden. With their own sound and a distinct image, they produce modern, guitar-driven indie pop which resembles a mixture of LANY and The 1975 with inspiration from the timelessness of greats such as Fleetwood Mac and Del Amitri. Everything they produce - music, videos, graphic designs etc. - they do independently and together as a band.

Earlier this year they released their EP ‘Blue’ which was a huge milestone for the band. It helped them gain their incredibly supportive fan base called ‘Sailors’ and recognition abroad. The EP got plays from one of Philippines largest radio station “Wish 107.5” and the track‘ Wait On Me' debuted #3 on the US based internet radio show “Pop Smash” Radios weekly top 10 with 892K votes (it was on the top 10 for 6 weeks). The incredibly high votes show how engaged and supportive their fan base 'Sailors' is! The band also played Sweden's largest digital festival ‘Låt Live Leva’ as well as for TEDx (watch snippets of both performances here).

**** Many have asked about Robin, so we thought it would be appropriate to give you an update. Robin is currently focusing a lot of his time on his education and didn’t feel he could put as much time and effort into the band as before. So, he couldn’t attend on our photoshoots, meet and greets and music videos but he's very much still in the band and especially looking forward to going on tour with us .

“It’s an amazing soundscape that is sure to hook you and fill you with intoxicating and mesmerizing feels that will serve to push you forward into the unknown”. - Wolf in a suite

“The stirring vocals remind us of Sam Smith at times, making us yearn for more as we listen… the addictive beat sucks us in as we sing along with the poignant lyrics. The new track is powerful, heartfelt, and gives us all the feels!”
- Gas Mask Magazine

“ The EP’s strongest track is without a doubt Blue, which I would like to say is just a pure feeling of joy…” -Nöjesguiden

“(...) remember the name of this talented band, to watch very closely.” - The independent spirit

Vibal Foundation Celebrates Filipino Art with The Art of Window, Display, and Design

Last February, Vibal Foundation (VFI) released the latest addition to its growing Fifty Shades of Philippine Art series: The Art of Window, Display, and Design, written by Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo. The book was launched at VFI’s virtual tertulia, which honors its matriarch, Esther A. Vibal. Among the highlights of the online event were performances from an array of Filipino talent.

Richly complemented with over 500 beautiful images of window displays, objets d’art, travel sights, and artistic landmarks from around the world, The Art of Window, Display, and Design showcases the creative display of merchandise that can also quickly segue into its own art form transcending the banality of everyday objects to achieve an artistic visual narrative that is more transcendent and durable for all time.

This newest addition to VFI’s Fifty Shades of Philippine Art catalogues not only the famous windows of the authors’ lifestyle and home furnishings stores, but also their interiors and fashion productions. The book features ten essays featuring a myriad of art styles and design elements from across the globe and provides tips and principles of visual merchandising, interior design, and fashion.

One the highlights of the book is a trip to Kenya inspired by the Hollywood film Out of Africa and the legendary tale of Isaak Dinesen, leading to a detailed study of Anglo-African safari style; an in-depth look at the concept of mono no aware or fleetingness of life and Japanese art and style as filtered through the geisha culture of Kyoto; a peek into the world of fantasy and imaginative recreation as seen through the mad king, Ludwig of Bavaria; the distillation of classical aesthetics through the prism of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca and an intimate tour of the Eternal City; a behind-the-scenes examination of the authors’ private abode that is a veritable showcase of cross-cultural influences; and a summation of the cultural kaleidoscope of multi-cultural elements behind the duo’s wildly successful benefit fashion shows for the Philippine National Red Cross.

The creative duo of Vijandre and Toledo share a mutual love for the visual and performing arts. Chito Vijandre launched his career as a fashion designer, dressing the youthful and glamorous women in the city. He also mounted some of the most elegant fashion shows in the country. He then concentrated on interior design, creating distinctive residences for Manila’s A-list while designing upscale stores and restaurants. Ricky Toledo debuted as a production manager at an Italian publishing and design firm. Later, he established his own creative consultancy studio, creating award-winning television commercials and promotional shows in several world capitals.

Window display as an art form

Some of the world’s signature streets in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Milan are not only known for their street tableaux, but also for their specialist boutiques drawing attention and appreciation from the public’s eyes with witty, quirky, and even relevant window statements. 

It was in the 1950s when Robert J. Leudenfrost announced that in the US, “window display is fast becoming recognized as a new art form.” From museum exhibits, high art took over the high street with young artists extending their canvas to the enormous amounts of glass windows being installed in retail centers. Some of the world-renowned artists of the twentieth century displayed their unique art styles and visions in retail store displays, including the surrealist Salvador Dali and the pop artist Andy Warhol.

Similar to fine artists, window display designers need to engage potential customers with visual messages and creations that speak of their world and beyond. Each window display necessitates the perfect blend and expressive use of color, lighting, space, props, fabrics, mannequins, technology, cultural references, and ingenuity.

Interested readers may purchase The Art of Window, Display, and Design  and other VFI books at Vibal Online Shop, Lazada, and at Shopee.

About Vibal Foundation

Founded in 2007, Vibal Foundation is Vibal Group’s philanthropic arm. Its vision is to engage Filipinos in intellectual discussion of Philippine history, culture, and arts by providing beautiful and insightful print and digital materials.

Its institutional partners are the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; National Museum of the Philippines; Philippine Departments of Labor and Education; San Agustín Museum; UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum; Ateneo Art Gallery; Biblioteca Historica, Universidad Complutense, Madrid; International Rice Research Institute; Galleria Duemila; Gallery Genesis; and Premio Zóbel.

Fifty Shades of Philippine Art is a series of affordable and concisely written books on fine, modern, or popular art. Among its titles are Isabelo Tampinco by Santiago Pilar (2018), Toti Cerda by Laya Boquiren (2019), Francisco V. Coching by Andrea Peterson (2019), Damián Domingo by Luciano P.R. Santiago (2020), and Philippine Cinematic Art (2020) by Christopher Datol, Andrea Peterson, Gaspar A. Vibal, and Nick Lajom.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Ajinomoto and Municipality of Cainta partner to fight malnutrition with Mag-Pinggang Pinoy® Tayo! Program

The Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) Group and the Municipality of Cainta held a hybrid ceremonial contract signing event last December 3, 2021 to mark their commitment to  strengthen  the Mag-Pinggang Pinoy® Tayo! (MPPT) program in a bid to address malnutrition in the country. The event was held in Banquet Hall East, Filinvest East, Cainta and broadcasted in a virtual meeting. 

MPPT, a program launched by APC Group in 2018, aims to promote the practice of Pinggang Pinoy®, an easy-to-understand healthy food plate guide for Filipinos developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute. 

“This program embodies our Nutrition Commitment towards extending the healthy life expectancy of Filipinos. We also recognize the importance of our collaboration with the local government unit of Cainta. Together, we will create an ecosystem that would make the MPPT program effective and sustainable,” said APC Group President Tsutomu Nara during the event.

The Ajinomoto Group’s Nutrition Commitment is to help extend the healthy life expectancy of 1 billion people by 2030 utilizing its expertise in Amino Science. This allows the company to support delicious salt reduction using umami, provide products to contribute to people's wellness and provide health and nutrition improvement information as well as easy recipes/menus.

Joining APC President Nara in representing the company is Mr. Hironori Aoki, Director, Marketing, Sales and Public Relations. Meanwhile, the Municipality of Cainta was represented by Hon. Mayor Johnielle Keith “Kit” Nieto and its Municipal Health Officer Dr. Edgardo Gonzaga. Also in attendance were representatives of MPPT partners and supporters: UPLB-MPPT Project Team led by Dr. Angelina DR. Felix of the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food- College of Human Ecology, UPLB; Dr. Pauline Jean Rossel-Ubial, former Secretary of Health; and Ms. Sarah Coe, Redscope Communications CEO. 

“Thank you Ajinomoto for this opportunity, for having decided to give back, and for your willingness and your generosity in providing us everything we need. There is actually a lot more to do for us just to make sure that the people are always healthy.” said Hon. Mayor Johnielle Keith “Kit” Nieto in his address to the company and all the people that make MPPT possible. 

The APC Group, Cainta, and its MPPT advocates are determined to combat malnutrition especially amid the ongoing pandemic where food systems have been disrupted and have continued to affect vulnerable groups like children. In line with this, the drafted MPPT program in Cainta consists of the following: (1) online capacity building of community health workers, (2) online nutrition education of homemakers, and (3) one-meal dietary supplementation among identified undernourished children for 120 days. 

“This is truly one of the most important projects of the APC Group,” said Hironori Aoki, APC Group Director of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations. “Ajinomoto is not only a food company but a solution providing company guided by the Ajinomoto Group Creating Shared Value (ASV) with a mission to help resolve emerging social issues such as malnutrition through thoughtful initiatives.”

For more information about the MPPT program, visit today.

The Ajinomoto Group is a global company with specialties in the business of food and amino acids, guided by our leading-edge bioscience and fine chemical technologies.

Based on the corporate message “Eat Well, Live Well.”, we have been scientifically pursuing the possibilities of amino acids in supporting the healthy lives of people all around the world. We aim for future growth and continuous contribution to greater wellness by creating value through sustainable and innovative solutions for communities and society.

The Ajinomoto Group has offices in 35 countries and regions, and sells products in more than 130 countries and regions. In fiscal 2018, sales were 1.1274 trillion yen (10.1 billion U.S. dollars). To learn more, visit

Batang Matibay: Filipino students with ‘tibay’ for brighter future


For almost two years, Filipino students have had to stay at home and learn through the screens of their laptops or mobile phones. They had to say goodbye to their teachers, classmates, and friends in school. Their world abruptly changed and they had to adapt to a new learning environment that they have not experienced before. But through it all, our students persevered and showed how much they value education. 

And so, selecting 10 exemplary public school students from across the country became even more special for Nestlé Philippines this 2021, which also happens to be the company’s 110th year in the country. The Batang Matibay Awards, led by BEAR BRAND Fortified in partnership with the Department of Education, recognizes students who showed astounding strength or ‘tibay’ to overcome life’s challenges – whether physical, emotional, or social – excelling not only in academics but also in making a difference in their communities. 

Their stories of resilience and determination as this year’s Batang Matibay awardees will inspire and move every Filipino, regardless of their age, to keep going despite the odds.

Disability does not equate to inability 

Despite battling bone cancer and losing his left arm at a young age, Mark Angelo Sunio is determined to continue with his studies and has even become a consistent academic achiever in his school in Caloocan City. 

At a young age, who would have thought that Grade 5 student Mark Angelo Sunio would be battling bone cancer, let alone lose his left arm because of it. His parents have also had to work extra hard to cover the cost of his treatments. But the 11-year-old from Caloocan City was not discouraged by his condition and resulting disability. Instead, Mark had a greater drive to continue with his studies and has even become a consistent academic achiever in school. 

"Naging matapang po ako kasi kailangang maging matapang sa sakit na cancer... Mag-aaral po ako nang mabuti para matupad ko ang anumang gusto ko sa buhay o pangarap ko," he said.

He also continues to embrace life and help others when he can. As described by his teacher, Mark is determined to make his dream of a brighter future for his family come true, proving that no form of adversity can hinder his optimism to finish his studies and succeed in life. 

Helping out in their own simple way

Rich Lianne Dano may only be in grade school but she has already led a Clean & Green Project to plant trees around their school and set up a donation drive for unused clothes, which were turned into facemasks and donated to frontliners in Siargao. 

Rich Lianne Dano may only be in grade school but it has always been in her nature to help others in her community. Before the pandemic, Rich led her fellow students in a Clean & Green Project to plant trees around Socorro Central Elementary School and SPED Center in Surigao del Norte, where she is studying. When the pandemic hit, she did not think twice about setting up a donation drive for unused clothes, which were turned into facemasks and donated to frontliners on the island of Siargao.

Helping out in their community is innate in Audrey Nicole Lorenzo. She made and sold recycled potted plants to fund a lugaw pantry for underprivileged children in her community in Cavite.

Helping out in their community was also innate in Audrey Nicole Lorenzo. The student from Aniban Central School in Bacoor, Cavite, made and sold recycled potted plants to fund a lugaw (porridge) pantry for underprivileged children in her community. 

Gusto ko pong ma-inspire po sila, at tsaka gayahin po nila yung mga ginagawa ko po sa komunidad ko po,” Audrey said, as she hopes this act of kindness will create ripple effects in other communities. 

Kudos to the ‘tibay’ generation  

Since 2019, Nestlé Philippines and BEAR BRAND Fortified have commended 30 Filipino students for their ‘tibay’ to pursue education despite all the challenges they face in life. 

“Our students have risen above many challenges as a result of the pandemic. This year’s Batang Matibay awardees have proven that no level of adversity can get in the way of their dreams for a better life for themselves and their families,” emphasized Arlene Tan-Bantoto, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, Sustainability, and Communications. “As the Kasambuhay Para sa Matibay na Bukas of Filipinos children, Nestlé Philippines and BEAR BRAND Fortified are here to help nourish, support, and guide our young generation to face and win over all kinds of challenges that may come their way.” 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Luscious and Perfect U.S. Potato Fudge Brownie (Topped with Chocolate-Dipped U.S. Crisscut Potatoes)

I love to cook, but I rarely bake. When MITD gifted me with a 24L air fryer, I decided to put it to use and tried my best to learn some baking recipes. It was a rewarding experience seeing my family happy with the food I prepared for them!

Then I came upon Chef Miko Aspiras' U.S. Potato Fudge Brownie recipe. One of its ingredients piqued my curiosity - the potato granules. That made me decide to try it out, and besides, it looks divine and my family loves chocolates and potatoes.

I always thought that potatoes are all bought fresh from the market or frozen like fries. Little did I know we can buy them dehydrated.

So what are U.S. dehydrated potatoes?

U.S dehydrated potatoes come in slices, dices, shreds, flakes, granules, and flour. They are made of real potatoes, with just the water removed. They have been processed using state-of-the-art equipment that helps keep their nutrients intact.

They're simple and quick to prepare. They have a longer shelf life and are easy to store and convenient to use. No need for elaborate and time-consuming preparations, such as boiling, peeling, mashing, dicing or slicing.

U.S. dehydrated potatoes promise value for money, and their versatility is unquestionable. They can be used to make mashed potatoes, bread, cakes, cookies, biscuits, salads, soups, pancakes, casseroles, fresh pasta, as well as breading and batter for fried food, and thickener for gravies and sauces.

Woah! Now that’s my kind of kitchen ingredient! I now consider U.S. dehydrated potatoes as one of my pantry staples.

Check out Chef Miko Aspiras’ ultra-chocolatey and super delicious Potato Fudge Brownie recipe below, or you can also click here:

Luscious and Perfect U.S. Potato Fudge Brownie (Topped with Chocolate-Dipped U.S. Crisscut Potatoes)

• 30 Grams - U.S. Standard Potato Granules
• 80 Grams - Cocoa Powder
• 350 Grams - White Sugar
• 4 Grams - Iodized Salt
• 2 Grams - Baking Powder
• 5 Grams - Espresso Powder
• 150 Grams - Whole Eggs
• 227 Grams - Butter, melted
• 60 ml - Oil
• 10 ml - Vanilla Extract
• 88 Grams - Dark Chocolate Chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 175°C
2. Line a 7-inch cake ring with foil, spray with canola oil non-stick spray, and dust with flour, place on a baking tray.
3. Sift together the U.S. standard potato granules, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and espresso powder.
4. Using a large metal bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, oil, vanilla extract, and white sugar until fluffy and light, using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients.
5. Lastly fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour mixture onto prepared cake ring, bake for 45 minutes.
7. Cool down, remove from cake ring and serve with chocolate-dipped U.S. crisscut potatoes.

Chocolate-Dipped U.S. Crisscut Potatoes:
• 10 Pcs - U.S. Crisscut Potatoes of relatively the same size
• 300 Grams - Oil for frying
• 200 Grams - Dark chocolate, melted

1. Fry the U.S. crisscut potatoes until golden brown, strain excess oil, cool down to room temperature.
2. Cool down melted chocolate to 30°C. Using a fork, dip the fried potatoes on the melted chocolate coating the entire potato front and back, tap off excess chocolate, then place in a parchment paper-lined tray, let set inside a chiller for 5 minutes, place set chocolate-dipped potatoes on top of brownies.

Luscious and Perfect U.S. Potato Fudge Brownie (Topped with Chocolate-Dipped U.S. Crisscut Potatoes)

I didn't think I'd be able to bake the Potato Fudge Brownie, but it was a success! My family loves it! They were asking me to bake some more! 😉

Do you have any recipe ideas utilizing U.S. dehydrated potatoes? Share it by commenting below. I’m excited to try them!

Premium quality potatoes from the U.S. are available in membership shopping outlets and grocery stores nationwide.

For more information on U.S. potato products, you can check Potatoes USA-Philippines’ Website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Sanofi Philippines Capped Off The World Diabetes Day Celebration with Chit Chat and Healthy Treats

The Sweet Talk Your Way Out of Diabetes and What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’ online events were a sweet end to the month-long World Diabetes Day Celebration of Sanofi Philippines. In the words of Sanofi’s Country Lead Dr. Amal Makhloufi, “we put the spotlight on what is being done to create awareness and provide solutions for those affected by this lifestyle disease.”

For the organization, the events were created to amplify their Panata in cultivating a healthier Philippines for all. It was a friendly and casual approach on how they can bring important topics such as diabetes care into the spotlight without instilling fear among the audience.

“Our goal is to make it easier for every Filipino to seek access to quality innovative care. It is our mission to just go beyond medicines, but to look and explore holistic care and management especially for our patients with chronic conditions like diabetes,” Dr. Makhloufi shared.

The two events were hosted on Step Up for Diabetes, Philippine Diabetes Support, and Sabrina’s Kitchen Facebook Pages, as well as Sanofi PH’s ( Instagram respectively. Esteemed speakers and participants were able to share a handful of information about how to do grocery shopping for diabetics and how to mindfully create a healthy routine for everyone in the household. Several industry icons and experts were also present to add value to the event.

Bianca Dualan of Sakro Space and Tonyo Silva of Gising Gising PH were generous enough to grace these 2 important events and answer curious questions from the attendees and share their knowledge on how to create a healthy grocery shopping habit.

“We should take more time to consider what we eat. Kailangan empowered si patient and as well as the other people in the healthcare system--kailangan ma-educate si patient to know what goes on in their health. Coming from their food, we need to look into these not just as calories but as nutrients that can improve or worsen their condition”, Bianca said.

“When you buy this, incorporated na sa price ang shared box to Philippine Diabetes Support. Each box is up to 6kg that can support a family of 4 for a week.”, Tonyo explained the contents of the Panata box.

The Panata Box is Gising Gising’s newest addition, hinging from Sanofi’s Panata, which contains high fiber, low glycemic index/glycemic load fruits and vegetables that help in diabetes management. The Panata box costs P1,250 each.

For every Panata Box sold, Gising Gising PH shall also share a box to patients from the Philippine Diabetes Support. The Philippine Diabetes Support is an organization that helps spread awareness on this lifestyle disease. 

Former Bb. Pilipinas-International and now a kitchen diva, Sabrina Artadi shared a mouthwatering recipe for her Mango Pineapple Yogurt treat during the Sweet Talk Your Way Out of Diabetes private media event as a teaser to the longer What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’ Instagram Live. 

The Instagram Live on Sanofi PH’s official Instagram page happened on December 1 that featured more of Chef Sabrina’s recipes and techniques on how to enjoy a gastronomic experience without the guilt.

She prepared a handful of recipes using the Panata Box which can be easily done at home including: Sigarilyas Okra Mushroom Vegan Curry, Pineapple Kangkong Salad, Pineapple Malunggay Mango Smoothie, Ginger Turmeric Iced Tea

Living with someone with diabetes, Mommy Eve Lugod of theAsianParent PH, who is also a nutritionist and dietician, also shared what she knows and what she does to help her family consciously choose to live a healthier lifestyle.

“I would recommend to moms out there to try preparing food with your kids. It’s very fun kasi while preparing the food, they get to learn also the different types of food included in that meal. And at the same time, they also learn why we are including this kind of vegetable and food for good health. Start them young!”, she shared.

“It is our Panata here in the PH to improve the management of this disease because [once again, remember] it's not the end of life, it's the beginning of change to empower people to [a] better life, live their life.” Dr. Amal Makhloufi shared.

For more information on Sanofi PH’s programs and campaigns on lifestyle diseases management, visit the official website and verified Instagram and LinkedIn pages.

Sigarilyas Okra Mushroom Vegan Curry

Ingredients:2 cups chopped sigarilyas, 2 cups chopped okra =, 1 tbsp garlic chopped, 1 tbsp onion chopped, 2 tbsp sliced ginger and 2 tbsp sliced turmeric, 1 cup malunggay, 1 cup fresh virgin gata, 1 cup water, 2 cups mushroom, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp curry, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 sili.

Salt and pepper to taste 


In the pot throw in all ingredients ( except okra).

Let cook to boil then simmer for another 15 minutes. 

Add okra.

Pineapple Kangkong Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups julienned kangkong, 1 cup diced fresh pineapple, 1/3 Rd cup diced white onions,  1/2 cup diced tomatoes.

Instructions: Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl . Make a dressing of 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar , 1/2 tsp cumin , dash salt ( beat and pour over salad) enjoy! 

Pineapple Malunggay Mango Smoothie

In a blender, place 1 cup diced mangoes, 1 cup diced pineapple, 1/2 cup malunggay leaves, 1/2 cup virgin coconut milk or regular milk, 1/2 cup water, abd 1/2 tsp cinnamon. 

Blend and  pour into a glass and add ice! Enjoy your energy boosting refresher.

Ginger Turmeric Iced Tea

Ingredients: 1/2 cup shaved ginger, 1/2 cup shaved turmeric, and 2 tsp cinnamon 

Instructions: Boil in 6 cups of water for 15 min. Let cool, pour into a pitcher, add 1 tbsp wild honey, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar and ice. Adjust your wild honey or coco sugar as required! Enjoy! 

The said live can still be viewed and rewatched via this link:

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Foster your child’s curiosity with this simple at-home experiment


The world around us is surrounded by the thrilling wonders of science. Growing up, be it we are swinging on a monkey bar, mixing colours for an art project, or even talking to our best friends using paper cup phones attached to a string, it is science that explains how these ‘magical’ moments are possible.   

Since children do not know what they don’t know, it is up to us parents, guardians, and educators, to intentionally explain the science behind each of these little joys and fill their minds with knowledge. This also helps to preserve their sense of wonder as they pursue big questions about the world, even if they are stuck at home due to the pandemic.

Today, we are seeing more young people value science and STEM subjects. Findings from this year’s 3M State of Science Index (SOSI), an annual, third-party study commissioned by global science company 3M, echoed this sentiment. In the Asia Pacific region, 73% agree that young people are more engaged in science and science-related issues than ever before (vs. 69% globally). Amongst those who believe corporations should be involved in supporting STEM education, the top action they wanted corporates to prioritize include creating resources for kids to get involved in science at an early age (46% vs. 44% globally).

To ensure that the appreciation of science remains high, we need to continue fostering curiosity and encouraging our young ones to unleash their inner scientists. Through this easy and engaging at-home experiment, you can help contribute to the growth of STEM by stimulating your child’s mind and having fun in the process.

Be sure to test out the experiment yourselves before trying it with your little scientists as the activity listed below would require parental supervision.

Blast off with a paper rocket

Preparing our children for different stages of life may seem like rocket science but let’s take a step back and enjoy the time we have together with some paper rocket science.

Materials needed: 2 pieces of paper, scissors, drinking straw and tape.

In science, we learn that variables may affect the outcome of an experiment. Let’s explore how different designs can change the way your rocket propels:

1.      Fold a piece of paper into four and cut them into smaller rectangles.

2.      Take one of the small rectangles and roll it around the straw to make a tube (not too tight). Tape the tube you have made so it stays rolled up. 

3.      Next, pinch and tape one end of the tube to make the nose of the rocket.

4.      With a different piece of small rectangle paper, cut some right-angled triangles to make fins before taping them onto the tube.

5.      Repeat steps to make a few rockets with different tube lengths and/or different numbers of fins.

Place the rocket on the straw and blow for blast off. When you are experimenting, you may realize that some changes make a bigger difference than others. Once you have an idea of what changes are the most important, try designing a rocket that can go the farthest, or fly the most accurately.

Learn more about this experiment at the 3M Science at Home website.

Find out what other experiments 3M scientists are sharing by watching the videos at the Science at Home webpage. Hopefully, these experiments can help inspire your child and ignite their passion for science and learning. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Take a Pause from the Discomforts of Menopause with Neufemme

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process that women will have to go through eventually. It is a transitional stage in a woman’s reproductive life, a stage where your once-regular period will suddenly be irregular before reaching a full stop, thus marking the end of a woman’s childbearing years.

More than that, this stage may also be marked by a lot of discomforts; from hot flushes or a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads from the chest, neck, and face - to vaginal dryness that may cause itching, soreness, and burning sensations. 

Menopausal women may also experience psychological symptoms, conditions that can take a toll in personal relationships due to mood swings and irritability. Various vasomotor symptoms especially at night may also disturb your sleep cycle, making it challenging to achieve a good night’s sleep.  

The changing estrogen level of the menopausal woman also makes her prone to different health conditions like Urinary Tract Infections, it also increases the possibility of having Osteoporosis and Cardiovascular Conditions like heart disease and stroke.

But don’t despair, Science has come a long way in terms of assuaging the discomforting symptoms of menopause.

Neufemme, an herbal dietary supplement for women that contains herbal extracts derived from Mung beans and Eucommia ulmoides.

This Singapore-made supplement may help lessen the discomforts caused by perimenopause and menopause, clinically proven effective in reducing the vasomotor symptoms, with 90% of trial participants experiencing fewer hot flashes, 77% experiencing fewer menopausal symptoms, and 79% experiencing reduced emotional distress.

Neufemme has a unique mechanism of action and has also been proven effective to provide 7-day quick action relief. Just as important, Neufemme is safe and is not toxic to the liver.

Bring balance back into your body – Neufemme, the natural way of managing and relieving the signs and symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause.

With Neufemme, Look and Feel Great even in your Menopausal Years.

You may get them online at and www.goodwill. market 


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

'Tis the Season for Blue! PLUS My No-Churn 4-Ingredient Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe

Is it Christmas 2021 already? I can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve celebrated the holidays under lockdown. Luckily, with the country slowly opening up, we might be able to spend more time outside and finally meet up with more relatives and pals.


During the “holiday rush” last year, I remember how everyone resorted to buying everything online. Food, gifts, clothes, plants, decors, school supplies, gadgets, you name it. Essential or non-essential – you can find it on the internet!


The pandemic has also resulted in unfavorable eating practices. Hands up if you’re guilty of this. I sure am. But I’m now acting, and I’m re-adopting healthier lifestyle habits.


This brings me to one of my most favorite activities during quarantine – cooking! A healthful lifestyle involves eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods. There should also be variety in the food we consume. I try to find balance whenever I cook for my family: veggies, fruits, meats, beans, dairy, the list goes on.


My kids can be picky eaters at times, but I’m glad they enjoy snacking on fruits, and one of their favorites is blueberries. They taste so good! It’s sweet and tart and oh so juicy! I love that my kids love them, too, because blueberries:


💙 are a good source of vitamin C that helps support the body’s immunity.

💙 are a good source of dietary fiber that makes us feel full longer and contributes to a healthy heart.

💙 are an excellent source of vitamin K that regulates blood clotting and bone metabolism.

💙 are an excellent source of manganese that supports bone development.

💙 are low in sodium, virtually has no fat, and has zero cholesterol.


I’m glad that blueberries can be enjoyed year-round, thanks to USA Blueberries! Fresh blueberries are harvested during spring and summer in many parts of the U.S., and when it’s off-season, blueberries can still be enjoyed frozen or canned.


Blueberries are highly versatile ingredients. Desserts are so much better with blueberries (cakes, pies, muffins, ice pops, etc.). They can be used in savory dishes, like a blueberry sauce for barbecued pork and blueberry dressing for salad. Try adding them to your pasta dishes and tacos!


I recently prepared a no-fuss dessert using frozen USA Blueberries. Check out the recipe of my No-Churn 4-Ingredient Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream. It’s so creamy good!




No-churn 4-ingredient blueberry ice cream


2 cups heavy whipping cream

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup frozen USA Blueberries 



1. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur, be careful not to overwhip.

2. In another large bowl, whisk the vanilla into the sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly incorporating the two mixtures together.

3. Gently pour the blueberries into the cream mixture.

4. Transfer the mixture to an insulated tub or paper container and freeze for 4-6 hours.

5. Serve frozen and top with nuts and fruits!


No-churn 4-ingredient blueberry ice cream




USA Blueberries invites you to enter the “blue” phase of your cooking! Join A Blue Christmas Recipe Contest and win GCs worth Php 5,000.00.

Post photos of your best holiday dish using frozen and/or canned USA Blueberries on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, set to public with the hashtags: #ABlueChristmas #USABlueberryRecipeContest #USABlueberries #USBlueberriesPHL and tag @usblueberriesphl, @mommybloggersph, and @madeitthroughmum.


Interested? Check out the full mechanics here:


The deadline for submission of entries is on December 15, 2021.

Your recipes must be UNIQUE, so try to think out of the box. 😊 Can't wait to see your awesome blueberry holiday dishes! Good luck!


Thank you to USHBC-Philippines for sponsoring this post. For more information on USA Blueberries here in the Philippines, like and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also visit their website: