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: https://bit.ly/3FsPGsi.


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: www.blueberry.org.  

Friday, November 26, 2021



The Sweet Talk Your Way Out of Diabetes media get-together was 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 event was 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 during her opening remarks.

The said event was well attended by press and bloggers, alongside the general public who were able to join the live via Step Up for Diabetes, Philippine Diabetes Support, and Sabrina’s Kitchen Facebook Pages. Both audiences were able to get 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 and Tonyo Silva of Gising Gising PH were generous enough to answer curious questions from the attendees and share their knowledge on how to create a healthy grocery shopping habit. They also talked about the role of their Panata Box and how it provides attainable access to lifestyle diseases care and management.


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.

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

For diabetic patients, community support is as crucial as the treatment itself. Cynthia Yu Duntz of Philippine Diabetes Support remarked how important it is to create a spirit of companionship and empathy among patients dealing with the same situation.

The event wouldn’t be complete without a special recipe demonstration. Former Bb. Pilipinas-International and now a chef, Sabrina Artadi shared a mouthwatering recipe for her Mango Pineapple Yogurt treat that can be enjoyed even by diabetic patients.

A longer Instagram Live on Sanofi PH’s official Instagram page will happen on December 1, Wednesday, featuring more of Chef Sabrina’s recipes and techniques on how to enjoy a gastronomic experience without the guilt.

“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 during her Q&A portion.

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



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Patient Summit to Strengthen Connection of Non-COVID-19 Patients with Doctors

Both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients battling any of the Philippines’ top chronic non-communicable diseases can now resume regular consultations with their doctors via various means. 

This issue will take focus in the upcoming Patient Summit, a free interactive virtual event organized through the collaboration of the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO), Mercury Drug Corporation (MDC), and Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc.

The Patient Summit aims to address the pain points patients encounter during the COVID-19 pandemic when seeking medical attention for diseases that remain deadlier than the virus, namely heart diseases, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.    

According to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority, in 2020 alone, 100,000 Filipinos died from heart disease, over 60,000 from cancer, almost 40,000 from diabetes, roughly around 35,000 from pneumonia, and 25,000 from hypertension.

Based on a SWS survey of 1200 adults across the country, 91% of Filipinos fear contracting COVID-19. Due to fear of contracting COVID-19, non-COVID-19 patients deferred preventive and routine health check-ups.

Event attendees will get to learn the various technologies and guidelines healthcare professionals and facilities are adopting to make patients of chronic non-communicable diseases feel comfortable seeing doctors once again.  

The Patient Summit will happen on November 26 at 4pm. Those who wish to attend can watch it live on the Facebook pages of Philippine Star or Mercury Drug Corporation.

This is an initiative of Kumusta Dok, an advocacy which aims to empower patients to reconnect with their doctors during the new normal, and to increase awareness to the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of the top causes of mortality in the Philippines, which includes heart diseases, cancer, stroke, pneumonia, and diabetes. The program also gives tips and updates on the channels available for patients to strengthen their partnership with doctors throughout their health-seeking journey. It shares efforts being done by healthcare facilities that ensure the safety of patients and healthcare staff.

Mega Global celebrates 3rd National Sardines Day with successful Mega Bigay Sustansya Program, and first-ever Mega Sardines Piso Sale

As the Philippines marks this year’s National Sardines Day, Mega Global Corporation, the company behind Mega Sardines, the leading sardines brand in the country, honors it through a program that supports undernourished children nationwide, even as it focuses on innovations and expansions that will help drive the company move forward. 

Mega Global Celebrates 3rd National Sardines Day

To add more meaning to the National Sardines Day Celebrations, Mega Global showcased its various initiatives that would help elevate not just the Philippines’ sardines industry, but the economy and people’s lives as well, at a roundtable event held on November 23 to kick off the celebration of the holiday on the 24th. Alongside this, it has also shared the successful results of the Mega Bigay Sustansya Program, which was done in partnership with Reach Out Feed Philippines (ROFP), reflecting its deep malasakit for Filipinos. 

Marvin Tiu Lim, Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan, Chris Fernandez, executives of the Mega Global conglomerate, alongside Dawn Marie Cabigon, founder and director of Reach Out Feed Philippines were present in the event to discuss how the Mega Bigay Sustansya program will bring long-term gains to its program beneficiaries.

Mega Bigay Sustansya (MBS) is a CSR program led by the Mega Tiu Lim Foundation that hopes to give a meal planning and distribution program to over 881 children nationwide. The program has supported children in six provinces nationwide for sixty days. Children ages 4 to 12 have received house-to-house delivery of meals every day that included at least one sardines meal, made using Mega Global’s nutrient-packed high quality sardines.

Mega Bigay Sustansya is one way for us to support communities who need us the most. Canned sardines is one of the Filipinos staple foods throughout the years and through this program that target to feed malnourished children all over the country, we hope to use the same staple product to nurture the health of these children, and sustain it through leave-behind materials that will help them prepare nutritious meals in the long run,” Marvin Tiu Lim, Chief Growth and Development Officer of Mega Global said.

On top of the updates on Mega Global’s MBS program, Mega Global executives have also shared in the discussion how they strived to continue elevating the sardine industry through innovations and the building of new infrastructures. These expansions would maintain the double digit growth of the company in 2022, allow it to create a more sustainable avenue in producing their products, as well as create new products that will surely be a hit to its customers. 


Host Shawn Yao with Marvin Tiu Lim, Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan, Chris Fernandez, executives of the Mega Global conglomerate, alongside Dawn Marie Cabigon, founder and director of Reach Out Feed Philippines were the speakers for the event, who discussed Mega Global's innovation for its flagship product, sardines, its CSR effort Mega Bigay Sustansya, as well as brand updates, and other pertinent information

For the past 46 years, Mega Global has been leading the way in supporting Filipino communities through its investments in the sardine industry, which has provided job opportunities for thousands of Filipinos. The company continued to upgrade its Zamboanga facility, where its state-of-the-art operations, including its can-making plant and offices, are based. As part of its sustainability endeavors, it is using solar energy for its warehouses. 

Mega Global also discussed details about a new plant in Batangas that will be opened next year. Located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, it will house state-of-the-art technology in manufacturing using sustainable energy sources and is expected to help add dynamism to the economy as it continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Mega SardinaSaya: Game Show Bonanza

On November 24, Mega Global will also be celebrating the National Sardines Day with an online game show bonanza. Kicking this off is an Instagram and Facebook challenge that will determine the players for the much-awaited Pera or Sardinas game during the online event which will be broadcasted live on Mega Sardines’s Facebook page and Shopee app. 

The game show bonanza will have three major segments representing the tagline of Mega Sardines: Sarap, Saya and Sustansya. For the Sarap segment, Mega Sardines’ ambassadress Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo will do a cooking demo that will serve as an introduction of new dishes that mommies can easily create for their loved ones. 

For the Sustansya segment, the audience can learn about the Mega Bigay Sustansya program, the company’s nationwide feeding program being undertaken in communities around the country with the help of its partner, Reach Out Philippines Foundation.

Lastly, there will be a series of virtual games for the Saya segment where fun games such as Pera or Sardinas, Call A Ka-Mega, and Trivia Game will be available for the audience to participate in. There will also be a grand raffle, where they have the chance to take home a wide selection of prizes.

For added fun, Mega Sardines is launching a Tiktok Challenge where participants can show off their moves and have some fun in the process of creating videos to win prizes. Mega Sardines is also holding an eye-popping piso sale in Shopee for Mega Sardines in Tomato Sauce, Tomato Sauce with Chili Added, Corned Sardines, and Mega Fried Sardines in Tausi--definitely a sale that will have customers rushing to add to cart!

Get ready to join and have fun on National Sardines Day with Mega Global! Check out Mega Sardines’s Facebook page for more information. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Mickey and Minnie Mouse go local at SM Supermalls!


Mickey and Minnie Mouse go local 

with ‘Mickey Go Philippines’ at SM Supermalls! 

Disney’s most-loved iconic characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse have delighted the hearts of many across decades, and this year SM Supermalls and Disney have teamed up to launch the Mickey Go Philippines collection at The SM Store, featuring a range of merchandise with a Pinoy twist! What’s more, SM and Disney have planned a surprise virtual party for Mickey and Minnie on their birthday this November 27, and we’re expecting you to join us!

Be among the first to get exclusive Mickey Go PH merchandise! Get first dibs on adorable Mickey and Minnie collectibles from clothes and footwear to tote bags, pillows, tumblers, kitchen appliances, and more! Mickey Go PH and Mickey & Minnie classic merchandise will be available at the live selling events on:

  • November 18 at 1pm-2m via Toy Kingdom’s official Facebook page

  • November 24 at 1 pm -2 pm via The SM Store’s official Facebook page 

Join Mickey & Minnie’s first virtual surprise birthday party! After you’ve shopped to your heart’s content during the live-selling events on Facebook, or at participating SM Store branches, you will automatically get a code to enter the virtual surprise birthday party on November 27. All you need is a minimum of PHP 500 single-receipt purchase of Mickey Go PH or Mickey Mouse Classic merchandise in any participating The SM Store (Character Shop, Kids’ Wear, Boy’s Teens Wear, Girl’s Teens Wear, Kids’ Shoes, Baby Company & Toy Kingdom Express) or Toy Kingdom outlet. 

To join, simply scan the QR code to register from November 23-25. A confirmation email or SMS from SM Supermalls with the website link and passcode will be sent to you to join Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Birthday Party! Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out on this big day filled with fun games, activities, and surprises!

Help Plan Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Birthday Party! Join us as we secretly plan for Mickey and Minnie’s party! Don’t spoil the fun okay? There are lots of games and prizes to be won! Kids will also get the chance to greet both of them and create their very own birthday card which they will be making during the event! Mickey and Minnie will surely appreciate the sweet gesture! After all the fun and games, it’s time to meet & greet Minnie, so get ready to strike a pose. Mickey and Minnie are excited to meet their Filipino fans! 

It’s going to be one special and memorable surprise birthday party for Mickey and Minnie, and we want you and your kids to join us! It’s time to bring back the nostalgia and relive your favorite childhood memories with Mickey & Minnie by celebrating their birthday only at SM Supermalls!

SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers an equally convenient online shopping option with the SM Malls Online app on Google Play or App Store. For more information, visit www.smsupermalls.com and follow @smsupermalls on all social media accounts.

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Dairy Kitchen by Real California Milk Now Delivers


The holidays are fast approaching!

If you are craving U.S. dairy deliciousness, The Dairy Kitchen by Real California Milk has got you covered. With just a few clicks, you can enter the world of The Dairy Kitchen by Real California Milk to choose mouthwatering dishes delivered to your doorstep.

The Dairy Kitchen by Real California Milk is a special online food delivery project from Real California Milk-Philippines. A selection of distinguished Filipino chefs have been specially chosen to cr te dishes using products made with California dairy. California is the U.S.’s leading producer of milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy products, having some of the best dairy farms in the country.

If you’re ready to dig into some sumptuous creations, or if you’re working on finishing that Christmas gift list, then follow these fabulous chefs on social media now.

Chef JV Bautista

Chef JV Bautista of Hogwings House of Griddle has stirred up his passion for fusion to create the 12-inch Goody Pizza and the 10-inch Porker Quesadilla. The Goody Pizza is a thin-crust pizza topped with tomato sauce, olive oil, basil, orange cheddar, mozzarella and Vigan longganisa. For the Porker Quesadilla, he made soft flour tortillas nice and crisp and filled them with 8-hours slow-cooked pulled pork, pan-roasted peppers and melted cheddar.

Chef Alvin Ong

Meantime, Sourdough Café and Mono Wine Café’s Chef Alvin Ong has thought of the perfect food gifts. You might even want to order them for yourself. First up is the Solo Cheese Can, a ribboned graze box filled with two types of California cheeses, salami, jam, nuts and other accoutrements. For a price, you can even add on a bottle of Italian wine

There’s also the Cheese Fondue dip made with California cheese, chorizo and beer that comes with a demi-baguette. Or try his Tirokroketes, Greek cheese croquettes made with California cheddar, mozzarella and feta. This one comes with a yummy yogurt dip. Chef Alvin has also made a twist dubbed the Kwahsaimada, Filipino-inspired cronuts converted into ensaymada then topped with California cheddar.

Chef Gerevic Orocio

Over at Ome Japanese Café, Chef Gerevic Orocio sought to deliver pleasurable Japanese dining with a touch of California dairy. He has created three dishes: Udon Carbonara, Japanese Omurice, and Chicken and Cheese Katsu. His unique take on carbonara features udon noodles with applewood-smoked bacon, poached egg and homemade California milk ricotta. For the omurice, a creamy Japanese omelet is topped on chahan rice with California cheddar. His extraordinary katsu is made of chicken and California mozzarella fried in panko and served with homemade tonkatsu sauce and shredded cabbage.

Chef Markus Patimo of Happy Tummies knows a lot about spreading happiness. For the Dairy Kitchen, he’s created two varieties of Stuffed Squash Blossoms. One is stuffed with orange cheddar and cream cheese and served with mixed berries compote, while another has cheesy pork filling served with plum sauce. His second offering is Cheese Bacon Scones, golden on the outside and tender and flaky inside, with cheddar cheese and bacon spread. Perfect for serving with some jam or cream cheese.

Ready to order? Follow these participating chefs on social media. Your food orders will be with you in no time. For more information visit www.realcaliforniamilk.ph/the-dairy-kitchen/ or like and follow Real California Milk-Philippines on Facebook and Instagram. The Dairy Kitchen by Real California Milk runs from October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

As a bonus, Real California Milk thermal bags will be given away:
* for a minimum order of Php 500 of any of the special dishes at Hogwings House of Griddle
* for a minimum order of Php 1,000 that includes any of the special dishes or an item with California Cheese at Sourdough
Café and Mono Wine Café
*for a minimum order of Php 1,000 that includes any of the special dishes at Ome Japanese Cafe
*for every order of any of the special dishes at Happy Tummies

California dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream, and drinkable yogurt are available in supermarkets, delis, specialty stores, and membership shopping outlets nationwide. Always look for the Real California Milk seal for top-quality dairy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Malayan Science ensures students' well-being through programs, efforts on mental health

Staying true to its commitment to promoting the holistic development of its students, Malayan High School of Science spearheads programs and implements efforts on mental health to ensure the well-being of its learners. 

(L-R) Jasten J. Zorilla’s “Communication,” Hanz Gabriel C. Melendez’s “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body,” and Samantha Kirsten S. Dayag’s “No Stress, Just Positivity” were declared winners of the Mental Health Virtual Creative Art Contest. 

In the observance of the recent World Mental Health Day, Malayan Science conducted the stress management webinar “Mental Health After COVID-19 and Its After-Effects” for its students last October 11. Facilitated by University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) psychology instructor Jholyan Francis S. Fornillos, the webinar dealt with mental health concerns and issues during the pandemic such as stress and its relationship with mental health, common reactions to stress, and coping mechanisms in promoting mental well-being. 

Fornillos highlighted the importance of raising awareness on mental health, as it plays an integral part in an individual’s good health and quality of life. Mental health is also critical to social and economic prosperity, as mental illness can impact an individual’s productivity, which could lead to high levels of economic burden to society. 

UPLB psychology instructor Jholyan Francis S. Fornillos facilitates “Mental Health After COVID-19 and Its After-Effects,” a stress management webinar for Malayan Science students. 

“The positive outcomes of mental health awareness benefit not only the individuals involved but also the society at large. This makes mental health everybody’s business,” Fornillos shared. 

According to Alyssa Claire T. Firmalo, MHSS guidance counselor, the webinar was aimed at helping students in managing their emotions that may be caused by the current restrictions and circumstances brought about by the pandemic.

“We want to provide our students with a platform for genuine connection amid the current situation and encourage them to field questions or concerns regarding mental health with an expert or experienced professional,” Firmalo said. 

Malayan Science also held the Mental Health Virtual Creative Art Contest, further raising mental health awareness among its students. Students submitted digital illustrations depicting the theme “Be Kind to Your Mind.” 

Jastene J. Zorilla of 10-Alanine topped the competition with her work “Communication.” Meanwhile, Hanz Gabriel C. Melendez (“Healthy Mind, Healthy Body”) of 8-Argon and Samantha Kirsten S. Dayag (“No Stress, Just Positivity”) of 7-Einstein placed second and third, respectively.

“Through this competition, students were able to explore and express their creativity while encouraging other youth to speak up, seek help, and be empathetic,” Firmalo shared. 

Guidance and counseling programs 

Malayan Science continues to deliver its guidance and counseling programs to students through online channels, tools, and resources. Spearheaded by the Center for Guidance and Counseling (CGC), the programs help create an environment conducive to learning and provide the means to help the students achieve their academic and developmental goals.

It regularly holds Virtual Turn and Talk, a program that builds and fosters camaraderie among students within their respective batches. 

CGC works with teachers and instructors for a collaborative approach to the holistic growth of students. It holds routine interviews to determine students for counseling. The counseling sessions will help address students’ personal issues and academic concerns. CGC also conducts personality and IQ tests to help students become aware of and understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Malayan Science also helps students make informed decisions on their future professions through personality development and career planning activities and exercises. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

SM City Legazpi's Endearing and Heartwarming Nutcracker & Gifts Centerpiece

Nutcrackers are regal soldiers and they’ve become an iconic symbol of the Christmas Season.

According to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring luck to families and to protect their homes.  

This Holiday, may we all have pure luck and bountiful blessings as we shower ourselves and our loved ones with the best gifts, an enjoyable time, and simply the best of the Christmas season at the mall.

During the Christmas Centerpiece launch, members of the LGU, media, and SM Employees graced the event.

For the Ceremonial Lighting segment, on stage were Regional Operations Manager Mr. Marlo Niko Alvarez, Mall Manager Cindy S. Lilia, and Legazpi City Vice Mayor Bobby Cristobal.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Enchanted Christmas at SM Masinag

The atrium of SM City Masinag turns into a charming oasis of reds, greens, and golds as they launch their Christmas centerpiece, which is aptly named, Enchanted Christmas.  

Giant embellishments of peonies, roses, Christmas balls adorn towering Christmas trees at the center of the display. Lighted butterflies swirl the trees, the rustic swings, and the entire centerpiece. Tall-lighted gazebos and entrance arch entice shoppers to take photos of this beautiful holiday indoor scenery. Poinsettias, gift boxes, and huge bows are spread on the patches of greeneries at the centerpiece.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Mondelēz International Puts the “We” in Well-being as Need for Holistic Well-being Surges

Putting People Well-being First

Well-being Challenge achieved 5 million steps and 4,800 kilometers 

Company Activates Annual Purpose Day in the Philippines

Mondelēz International (NASDAQ: MDLZ) celebrates its Purpose to empower people to snack right by focusing on well-being for its colleagues, consumers, and communities during its third annual Purpose Day. The event, which is held around the anniversary of the global snacking company’s founding on October 1, mobilizes nearly 31,000 colleagues to activate a key element of the company’s purpose in unison around the world.  This year’s theme is “Let’s put the ‘we’ in well-being.” 

Given the strains of the pandemic, well-being has never been more urgent. According to IPSOS’ 2021 Global Well-being Survey, only one-third of people say well-being is fully or slightly integrated into their company’s business and talent strategy. Top employee well-being issues include work-life balance (61%), mental health (61%), work environment/culture (47%), and burnout (43%). 

With the importance of holistic well-being climbing rapidly, the company has chosen to focus its annual Purpose Day activities exclusively on well-being in the areas of mind, body, and connection, including:

MDLZ Master Class held last Sept. 30 on LinkedIn Live https://www.linkedin.com/company/mondelezinternational for colleagues and the public focused on demystifying personal well-being with the following thought leaders present: 

  • Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO, Mondelēz International 
  • Anh Tran, M.D., M.P.H. and Global Director of Health, Mondelēz International
  • Clif Smith, Mindfulness Leader, EY, and bestselling author of Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads 

Healthy Habits Challenge where colleagues can complete simple micro-actions in the areas of mind, body, and connection to enhance their well-being

40 Local Well-being Volunteer Events were possible and which benefited community well-being, from harvesting vegetables for disadvantaged communities to promoting physical activity for kids  

35 Local Well-being Chats highlighting local efforts such as new well-being product innovations, mindful snacking, mental health, meditation, and nutrition.  

The company celebrated Purpose Day in the Philippines by having three activities to promote the well-being of its people. The first was a Walk/ Run/ Bike competition where as many as 18 colleagues were given prizes for having the most number of steps and kilometers during a 2-week challenge period. In total the company achieved more than 5 million steps and 4,800 kilometers for the bike and run challenges with half of its workforce participating. With October being Mental Health Month, a virtual session was also held which featured Dr. Shake Hocson of the Far Eastern University, who provided tips to colleagues on how to take care of their mental health during this pandemic. Lastly, a Passion Showdown was held, where colleagues submitted causes they are passionate about, for a chance to win funding for a donation. The winning cause was to support the Children’s Joy Foundation. 

About Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2020 net revenues of approximately $27 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as OREO, belVita, and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka, and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100, and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

About Mondelez Philippines 

Mondelez Philippines Inc. has been providing consumers with delicious snack products for the past 58 years - since 1963. Its product portfolio includes Tang powdered beverages, Eden cheese, mayonnaise, and sandwich spread, Cheez Whiz spread, Oreo cookies, Tiger energy biscuits, belVita breakfast biscuits, as well as Toblerone and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The company employs about 450 people in the Philippines, with a manufacturing facility in Parañaque City. Visit https://ph.mondelezinternational.com/home

Summit SuperSHEroes Come in Pink!


100+ Leaders of Breast Cancer Patient Groups Band Together

Last September 11, 2021, Olympic Gold Medalist Hidilyn Diaz surprised a group of Breast Cancer patient advocate leaders on the last day of the 2-day Patient Power Summit led and organized by the ICanServe Foundation Inc.

A SuperSHEro herself, Diaz related her humble beginnings,  how she hurdled the battles that got in the way of her dreams with the grace and determination of a champion’s heart.  Diaz emphasized, “Hindi ako sumuko. (I didn’t give up).”   She said the formula was simple “level up your game to reach your goal.” As a sports icon and an authentic leader in her field, she said the goal should always be to become a  survivor and a victor.

Crisann Celdran, co-founder and Chairman of the ICanServe Foundation

In a gathering of cancer advocate leaders that represented 34 breast cancer patient groups from all over the country, the mission was beyond helping navigate a patient through wellness. “We continue to believe that early detection saves lives and we need to continue to make strides. But we also see the need to reach out and help each other, to share cancer resources, to work together to make an even bigger difference, to possibly come up with sustainable solutions for the breast cancer community,” Crisann Celdran, co-founder and Chairman of the ICanServe Foundation. She opened the summit with a call to the forerunners of the community to work closely together, elevate the advocacy and work towards speaking as one.

Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, founding Chairman of the ICANSERVE Foundation, pointed out this is a unique time in the health space where one witnesses the most number of founders of cancer patient groups carving a new path. “It’s a historical moment in the cancer space, as we witness the evolution of a new frontier we call the patient movement. We’re all founders, pioneers, and first or second-generation volunteers. We have to be navigators for each other, as we shape a future, free of cancer,” Alikpala said.

Cancer patient leaders in attendance belonged to organizations that were independently created, hospital-based, or founded with the help of a cancer doctor or a socio-civic group. Yet they all shared the same concerns from psychosocial, the drastic interruption in family life,  to financial, to lack of access to quality care and affordable or free cancer diagnostics, treatments, palliative, and survivorship care. ICANSERVE President Nikoy de Guzman also observed they shared the same burning desire to serve, “walang survivor na hindi lumaban.” 

The patient leaders vowed they will not rest nor be complacent till breast cancer is diagnosed in its early stage cancer when it’s most curable, till every patient with cancer, no matter the stage, age, income bracket, religion, ethnicity, are given quality care and a chance to be with family for longer. Till seeing the end to breast cancer.

The Patient Power Summit was made possible and successful through the help of partner brands and organizations such as Bio-ONCO, AIA Summit, In the Pink, Pfizer Philippines Foundation, Nestle, Mondelez Philippines, and Skincare for Hope.

To find out more information about how you can support breast cancer advocacy, like and follow the official ICanServe Foundation Facebook Page, www.icanservefoundation.org, and ICANSERVE on Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Planning for your Financial Freedom


The pandemic that caused a lot of trouble to both the economy and the health system around the world can be regarded as a great equalizer. No one is spared from the effects of it. The rich feeling the downturn in their investments, the middle class either losing their job or getting lower income due to the revenue plunge of their employers, and the poor being the most vulnerable because of the disruptive effect of the pandemic to their livelihood.

No one can say they were ready for what happened in 2020. Now that everyone is slowly picking up the pieces and trying their best to live with the virus towards the new normal, here are some tips to turn finances around and repair one’s credit. 

Understanding Your Current State. It is important to know your current financial stand to appreciate the situation and prepare how you will go about it. Look closely at what your present financial capacity is and evaluate what your current standing is. Are you on track to growing your assets, or are you in a situation when you have more debts to pay than what you are earning? Assessing your current situation will help you identify the next steps to turn your finances around and plan to mitigate existing challenges.

Knowing Where You Want to Go. After determining your existing hurdles and leads, define where you are heading and put a timeline on when you think you should get there. Knowing your course would help you prepare and identify the resources you will need to get there, the time you will require to achieve your goals, and perhaps the help you might need to further boost your success. Like planning for an important project, it will be helpful to come up with a blueprint of your vision as it will put more order on how you should go about achieving your objectives for the future.

Doing What You Need To Do. Now that you have defined your destination, it is time to create your personal project plan. Putting in the activities or the roadmap to where you want to go gives you a clear picture of how to go where you want to go. Parallelly, it allows for you to identify the resources you will require for each step you will go through as defined in the plan – the right people to connect to, opportunities to explore to help increase your financial capabilities like investments in the form of a new business venture, insurance, cash bonds, forex trading, stocks, cryptocurrency and other forms of financial investment depending on your risk appetite and readiness to get into a venture based on your defined timeline. Similarly, it allows for you to identify steps that will help you mitigate your current liabilities like paying off debts, setting up a realistic budget to spend for your needs, assessing your spending for those that are not really needed, reconsidering if you really need a credit card – things that will help you control the flow of money outwardly.

As you start filling up the activities, timeline, and resources you will need to build your plan, it will also be important to define key success measures that will tell you that you are meeting your set targets and lead you to your ultimate goal. One example of a success measure is defining your disposable amount from your total income against the amount that you can set aside for future needs. A disposable amount will be allotted for paying the necessities, debts, and other obligations. The amount for future needs will be allocated to savings, investments, emergency funds, and some amount to celebrate special events and mini successes that will be beneficial for your total wellbeing. 

Keeping Yourself Motivated. After putting together all of this important information in your project plan, you should already have a good appreciation of what it looks like to go on a journey of financial readiness and wellness. But before you say you are ready to move ahead, do not forget the primary reason why you are doing this. Ask yourself what your general purpose is why do you want to turn your finances around and repair your credit. Know your higher intention aside for having better credit. The path to getting to your target will be very difficult, that at times, you will feel like you would like to give up and limit yourself to achieving the easier way to get things done. Having an answer to your why will allow you to keep yourself motivated and see through the challenges that await your path to success. It's best to always find someone so you could both talk to win.

Do you want to increase your chances of achieving financial freedom? Learn more here.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Vibal Launches Quiz App


Vibal Group continues to make headway in making online teaching and learning more user-friendly and convenient for schools, teachers, and students by developing new dynamic applications. This October, Vibal releases the VSmart Quiz App where students can keep their memory sharp and their minds well-tuned—all while having fun competing with other students. 

VSmart Quiz

Quizzes are effective in training and practicing our minds in analytical thinking, regardless of the platforms. It forces our brain to regain the information we learned and helps us imprint them in our memory for good. VSmart Quiz exactly does that. It is a free mobile application where users can answer questions on different subjects. The application has thousands of questions that cover topics about history, culture, politics, science, arts, sports, technology, entertainment, pop culture, and more. The questions are distributed according to three difficulty levels: low, medium, high so the users may test their knowledge as they progress through the app. Choose the difficulty level that best suits your mood. 

There are also four modes for playing. Solo mode lets you challenge yourself to an exciting brain game. You may test yourself and earn points as you go from one level to another. Versus mode lets you play with another player. You may challenge a random player in a battle of wits and earn more points. Group mode lets a maximum of five players answer the questions for three rounds. Versus group mode lets one group compete with another group. All modes have a time limit for each question so be sure to be sharp in reading the questions and choices!

The group and versus group modes let you create your own group, come up with a group name, and even select a group avatar. Teachers may also use the application to conduct a quiz bee through the Group or Versus Group mode.

The application is available to download at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Users only need to register using their email address or Facebook credentials and they are good to go!

Friday, October 15, 2021

SM Supermalls launches The SM StartUp Package for aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs


100 Small business owners invited to set up shop in SM malls

It has been almost two years since the pandemic brought Filipino life and many livelihoods to a screeching halt. According to a 2020 Asian Development Bank (ADB) study of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs, 70.6% were forced to temporarily close with 66.2% reported to have temporary staff cuts during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bucking these statistics and the odds created by the changes in the landscape, the enterprising Filipino found many opportunities in online businesses, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recording over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations at the end of 2020. This figure is projected to be a million e-commerce enterprises by 2022 (from 500,000 in 2020). By taking advantage of the online space, MSME owners have become unsung heroes of the economy, all the while providing for their families and making their business dreams a reality. 

SM Supermalls very well understands the potential of each Filipino to be successful business owners because of their founder, the late Mr. Henry Sy’s own inspiring story. Sy, fondly called “Tatang” in SM, started as a small business owner with his first footwear shop ShoeMart.

It is said that because of this, it is in SM’s DNA to enable and inspire small businesses like the one it once was. This October 15, not coincidentally Tatang’s birthday, SM launched The SM StartUp Package, which aims to provide small online businesses the valuable support they need so they can set up their shop in an SM mall.  This is available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have a shop inside SM or any other physical store in general.

The package offers features such as start-up-friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; marketing assistance to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls; financial assistance with BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.

The Start-Up Markets, as they will be called, will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.

"We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year. Very much true to the spirit of Henry Sy, who always said he worked harder during bad times,  many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products -- even from their own homes. We want to give them a chance to further grow their businesses and brands, and enable them to start their SM shops which they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder once did.,” said SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan.

Following Tatang’s legacy

The late founder Mr. Henry Sy is also proof of an entrepreneur’s resilience and hard work. After arriving in the Philippines at just 12 years old from China, he helped sell products in his father’s retail store. When he saved enough money, he was able to open his first business in 1958: a footwear shop called ShoeMart, which would later become the foundation for today’s 77 SM Supermalls. 

The success of the mall didn’t come without challenges. A notable one was when Mr. Sy opened SM Megamall in Edsa in 1985 during a turbulent time in the Philippines. Instead of letting the political and economic climate discourage him, it pushed him to work harder to overcome the crisis. This disposition would carry over in the next few decades and would inspire a new generation of MSME owners to look for opportunities even during adversity. 

This is evident in the stories of entrepreneurs like Chizmozza founder Hannah Ramos, who sold her mozzarella recipe online before opening her food cart at SM, Ian Darcy, who started his namesake fragrance brand after being forced to resign from his marketing job; and Oishii Maki chef Ramon Molina, who started a sushi and maki business at SM after working as an Overseas Filipino as a Japanese Chef in 5-star hotels. 

Starting with just one humble ChizMozza cart in SM North Edsa in 2016, the small business has steadily grown and now has a total of 21 branches, situated in various SM malls, nationwide. Seen in the photo is ChizMozza founder, Hannah Ramos - a true believer in the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos, as well as how SM continues to help entrepreneurs like her become even more successful with the recent launch of its SM Startup Package.    

“I took a chance to grow Chizmozza from an online store to having one humble food cart in SM North Edsa back in 2016. Now Chizmozza has 21 SM branches. They saw the potential of our unique cheese products and through our mutual hard work and perseverance, we grew, even through the pandemic.” Hannah shared

These are just some of the stories behind successful MSME owners and how they were able to succeed when empowered with the right resources. The SM StartUp Package will allow more people to level up their online start-up, inspiring them to follow in the footsteps of “Tatang” so they can take more confident steps even during these uncertain times.

During the virtual launch of the SM StartUp Package hosted by Sam Yg last Oct 15, SM Supermalls President Mr. Steven Tan was joined by three young successful MSMEs; Nina Cabrera from Colourette, Patty Ang from Patton, and Jerald Sze from 365 Designs Retailing, who talked about how their business began online and how they successfully grew it at SM Supermalls. 

Other notable guests during the launch included Ms. Jean Pacheco, Assistant Secretary of DTI, and the SM Super Team composed of BDO Network Bank’s SVP and MSME Business Head Karen Cua, BDO Acquiring FVP Merchant Partnerships and Retail Sales Head Bob Tolentino, SM Supermalls VP for Corporate Marketing, Grace F. Magno, and AVP for Leasing Strategy and Operations, Gina T. Katigbak, who discussed details of the SM StartUp Package.

For more information, visit www.smsupermalls.com or follow @smsupermalls on all social media accounts to find out how to sign up for The SM StartUp Package.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Malilimutin: Dahil nga ba sa katandaan?


Early detection of dementia is critical -- expert

A medical expert has sounded the alarm on early and proper detection of dementia in the Philippines which is often misinterpreted as an aging problem or being ulyanin and malilimutin in Filipino terms. 

In the first episode of a webinar series called “Malilimutin: Dahil nga ba sa katandaan?" 

Neurologist and dementia specialist Dr. Jacqueline Dominguez shared her knowledge on dementia and how to differentiate it from mere forgetfulness on the part of the patient. 

HI-Eisai sponsored the webinar to raise awareness on dementia and related types of diseases. 

"Dementia is a collection of symptoms with a decline in cognition, change in behavior, and impairment of daily function," Dominguez said in the live webinar held last Thursday (Sept 9).

She enumerated the types of dementia, including the most common one, Alzheimer's disease. Other types are frontotemporal, Parkinson's dementia, dementia due to traumatic brain injury, and dementia due to depression and other medical conditions. 

For her part, digital influencer Nina Rayos acknowledged that there is still a lack of awareness when it comes to dealing with dementia. 

Rayos is known on social media through her vlogs featuring her mother, Donya Toyang, who has been clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 

She shared how it took seven years before her family learned that Donya Toyang was forgetful, not due to old age, but was inflicted with the disease.

"My mother started to show early symptoms of [Alzheimer's disease] in 2012, but we only just had her diagnosed in 2019. We didn't really think about it so much back then, thinking that maybe she's just simply getting old. She forgets a lot of things, and she always misplaces house keys and money," Rayos said. 

What triggered her to finally bring her mother to the hospital was when the latter was hallucinating. 

Rayos recalled how Donya Toyang started to become confused about basic day-to-day activities such as cooking and began to forget important details in her life such as the name of her children and granddaughter and the fact that her parents and other loved ones already passed away. 

Dominguez said disorientation or hallucination is one way to differentiate mere forgetfulness from dementia. She said that is most likely dementia when someone's moment of disorientation already makes it hard for her to go back to reality and determine what's real or not.

"Early diagnosis prevents the disease from progressing. Elders suffering from dementia are treated badly because the family doesn't understand their situation," Dominguez explained. 

Dominguez then highlighted the importance of the role of family and relatives in spotting the aforementioned symptoms. She said it’s the patients’ loved ones that can help direct them to appropriate medical responses to their condition.

Meanwhile, Dominguez said other symptoms to watch out for are extreme cases of memory loss wherein the potential patient could no longer remember a lot of things; when the person is already having difficulty in performing tasks that she or he is used to doing; when the person is already having poor judgment. 

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to help slow down the progression of Dementia. Visit your doctor at the earliest sign/symptom to give you or your loved one the best treatment possible.

The “Malilimutin: Dahil nga ba sa katandaan?" Facebook Live last September 9 and 23, 2021 webinars are available at the HI-Eisai Pharmaceutical, Inc. Facebook page.

September 9 - https://fb.watch/8l03eKdR33/ 

September 23 - https://fb.watch/8l0228zJoY/