Monday, August 30, 2021

7 Ways you can do to cope up with boredom during the pandemic

Mama, I'm bored! 

Who isn't? Pandemic breeds boredom for many. As parents, we should think of ways and activities to keep boredom at bay.

I will share with you some of the activities we did to keep ourselves (especially the kids) from being bored. These activities kept them entertained and taught them a thing or two.
Ways to cope up with boredom

1. Learn to do manicure/pedicure- this is part of my hygiene and I want to impart this to my kids. Aside from that, I love cleaning my nails. Btw, Nailpolish used is hypoallergenic so it's safe for the kiddos.

Ways to cope up with boredom

2. Let the kids make snacks -  we accomplished one of Lady's Choice #DoItTogether Co-creation activities ~ Egg Mayo Sandwich Relay Challenge. This is a fun Go Grow Glow sandwich-making activity for 2-4 members of the family that teaches values such as positivity and teamwork.

3. Play board games - imaginative play. Children receive creative stimulation by making their designs with blocks. This is also one of the great ways to bond with family. 

4. Movie nights - Family movie night has benefits beyond the simple bonding that takes place between family members. Children who co-watch movies and television with their parents gain valuable insight into what’s wrong and right in the world, too. Of course, as responsible parents, we screen the movies we plan to watch! :)
Ways to cope up with boredom
Teen Titans, a popular superhero group from DC, they're cool! Free. No ads. Very simple yet enjoyable game and this will keep you thinking about your next strategy.

Ways to cope up with boredom
Teen Titans Go Slash of Justice Game Online - sounds like an R-rated game? Nope! I instantly got hooked on this one! Anyone from the family will enjoy this one. 

5. Gadgets at home. From computers to gaming consoles to tablets to mobile phones, we may not have all of these but we at least have some of them. Apart from social media, we normally use these gadgets to play online games. I stumbled upon this free online video games at .No need to download it. And yes, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear online games is in-game or in-app purchases. Well, here's the thing - you don't need to pay for anything! Yup! You PLAY FOR FREE! You won't need to pay to win, you just play to your heart's content. Play for fun! Play to learn! Yes, the games here are also games that will stimulate your mind. These games will help you think, analyze and most especially keep you entertained and excited! Really handy during these lockdown times.
Ways to cope up with boredom

6. Encourage to do exercise - By exercising together, you're encouraging teamwork and working together to achieve a common goal. Not only does this help strengthen family bonds and ties, but it also helps teach the importance of goal setting and accomplishment both as an individual and a team.

7. Let them help you. If you're cooking or cleaning, let them assist you. Give them a task they can handle. For young kids, that might be setting the table or packing away their toys. For older kids, that might be slicing vegetables, sweeping the house, or baking. 

Keeping our kids occupied is tough, but trying new activities for kids will somehow get them through this pandemic. 

Stay safe and healthy! Stay home. đź’›

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Vibal Foundation Marks Rizal Anniversaries with Launch of El Filibusterismo Critical Edition and E. San Juan’s Sisa’s Vengeance

In commemoration of Dr. JosĂ© Rizal’s 160th birthday and his 125th death anniversary this year, Vibal Foundation recently announced the launch of Isaac Donoso’s critical edition of Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo and E. San Juan Jr.’s Sisa’s Revenge: JosĂ© Rizal’s Sexual Politics and Cultural Revolution. 

El Filbusterismo

JosĂ© Rizal’s El Filibusterismo serves as the thrilling denouement to his first social novel, Noli Me Tángere, which exposed the ills of a decaying Filipino society enfeebled by colonialism. In the book sequel, Rizal tantalizingly employs two divergent paths of the social disease’s inevitable and natural progression—either a slow, debilitating cancerous spread or the body’s sudden collapse into a violent paroxysm of anarchy and terrorism.

This bilingual quincentennial edition, the latest addition in Vibal Foundation’s Filipiniana Clasica imprint, is a faithful reproduction of the edicion principe published in Ghent in 1891 and includes a comparative annotation of Rizal’s corrections, emendations as well as deletions from the original manuscript and the final printed text, making this the first-ever critical edition. With this volume, Rizal’s textual versions are recovered through a modern philological parsing, which spans 3,065 explanatory notes, thus unlocking the novel’s many enigmas for a new generation of readers.

The original Spanish text has been printed in parallel with Charles Derbyshire’s classic English translation. This collector’s edition also contains the novel’s extensive bibliography, tracing the history of its manifold translations and editions. Floro Quibuyen’s foreword sheds new light on the radical Rizal as well as the novel’s final conundrum, while National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario examines Rizal’s work as the ultimate in-joke much heavily influenced by French and German Enlightenment thought. 

Isaac Donoso’s edition of El Filibusterismo and his companion critical edition of Noli Me Tángere serve as the definitive editions of these two foundational novels that launched an entire nation into being. The striking cover design by artist Toti Cerda adds a contemporary spin to the novel, foregrounding the more sinister aspect of the novel’s protagonist.  

Sisa’s Vengeance: Jose Rizal’s Sexual Politics and Cultural Revolution

In the sixth re-edition of Sisa’s Vengeance, its respected author, Prof. E. San Juan Jr., addresses the question, “who is the real and true Rizal?”  The book invites readers to look past the popular image of Rizal to understand his ideas as portrayed in his work, and how these ideas and beliefs were shaped by the events and circumstances of his life. It is a re-evaluation of the significance of Rizal's discourse on freedom, human rights, and national liberation, centering on the liberation of women and its ramifications in the total emancipation of a nation. The latter chapters also reveal Rizal’s principled beliefs and advocacy for women’s rights.

This latest addition to Vibal Foundation’s Academic Filipina collection critically assesses how scholarship of Rizal, including prominent biographies, have shown speculative or biased tendencies, or have formed an image of Rizal to suit an author’s ends. Moreover, the author uses the perspective of historical materialism to consider the totality of Rizal’s milieu, his ideas as well as his practice. 

The novel’s characters like Simoun, Padre Florentino, and others all reflect particular aspects of its depiction of society. It would be difficult to point to a single character as the mouthpiece embodying the entirety of Rizal’s beliefs. 

The author puts clear emphasis that Rizal recognized gender equality as a key component of national liberation, and that his criticism of colonial society can be seen in the tribulations facing the women in his fictional works. Passivity, obedience, and silence seem to be the cause of tragedy for Rizal's women characters. Thus, gender justice, as part of a counter-hegemonic revolution, would be Sisa's revenge.

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 AgustĂ­n Museum; UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum; Ateneo Art Gallery; Biblioteca Historica, Universidad Complutense, Madrid; International Rice Research Institute; Galleria Duemila; Gallery Genesis; and Premio ZĂłbel.

Filipiniana Clasica is the Vibal Foundation’s collection that upholds the continuity of the Filipino reading canon through the unceasing publication of lavishly illustrated and expanded new editions of cultural and educational books. Among its titles are JosĂ© Rizal’s Noli Me Tángere, Carlos Quirino’s Philippine Cartography 4th Edition and Old Manila 2nd Edition, Antonio M. Abad’s La Oveja de Nathán, Lolo Jose An Intimate and Illustrated Portrait of JosĂ© Rizal, Manuel Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, and Occupation 1942-45

Academica Filipina is the interdisciplinary series that pushes the boundaries of scholarly publishing with smart, literate, and thought-provoking works exploring the Philippine past, present, and future. Among its titles is Boxer Codex: A Spanish Transcription and Translation of 16th Century Exploration Accounts, The World of the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, More Hispanic Than We Admit Volumes 1 to 3, More Tsinoy Than We Admit, More Islamic Than We Admit, More American Than We Admit, More Pinay Than We Admit, More Tomboy More Bakla Than We Admit, The World of the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, El Periodismo Filipino, Santo Niño de Cebu, PĂşgot: Head Taking Ritual, Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice in the Philippines. 

Vibal books are available for online purchase at and Shopee

1253 G. Araneta Avenue cor. Maria Clara Street, Quezon City

Tels. +63 (2) 8580.7400 | 1-800-1000-VIBAL (84225)

E-mail: |

Website:  |

Zinbee: The Secret to Enhanced Immunity


Your immune system is your body’s defense against disease-causing agents, like bacteria, parasites, and viruses. This is the reason you need a strong immune system, so it can function optimally and keep you from getting sick. An immune system boost is particularly important nowadays with new, more contagious viruses just waiting to make you ill at the most inopportune of times.

Popular immune system enhancers include citrus fruits, such as oranges and apples, and vegetables, like broccoli and red bell peppers, as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. But to further enhance a healthy immune system, a study says our body will need the mineral zinc, which is more than just a remedy for cold symptoms. It is vital for a variety of reasons, including strengthening the immune system.  Aside from these natural, citrus fruits, you may get zinc from Zinbee, a pioneering zinc supplement that contains zinc gluconate, which the body may absorb more easily than the other forms of zinc.

Available in chewable tablet and syrup forms, Zinbee enhances your body’s defenses by increasing the production of immune cells which circulate your body and are always ready to strike the harmful microorganisms. More of these immune cells, therefore, mean more protection for you and better immunity from disease-causing germs.

With this, we see the importance of a zinc-enhanced immune system in this pandemic—and even in post-pandemic times. A recent study found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low levels of zinc exhibited more serious symptoms as compared to those with sufficient levels of zinc. These findings underscore the results of a 2010 study, which showed that zinc helps keep SARS-CoV, an earlier type of coronavirus, from being active and replicating.

Zinc, in short, is one of the key components to having a strong immune system. A healthy, optimally functioning immune system, in turn, is vital not only in keeping you away from illness but also in ensuring your overall wellness. So, start making Zinbee a part of your lifestyle to give your immune system the boost it needs to protect you today and in the future. You may get it online at

Download BDO Apps only from official App Stores

BDO Unibank is advising its clients to download its mobile apps only from official app store platforms to ensure the security of data. 

The Bank’s mobile apps, namely, BDO Digital Banking, BDO Pay, BDO Deals, BDO Securities Mobile App, BDO Checkout, BDO Merchant, and BDO Unibank SG, can be downloaded for free from:

Google Play Store: 

Apple App Store: 

Huawei AppGallery: 

Meanwhile, clients who are unable to download mobile apps are encouraged to use the web version. 

BDO advises against downloading its mobile apps from unofficial app stores and other websites, which may offer outdated versions of these apps or worse, including malicious software or malware. 

Scammers use malware to gather confidential information that may be saved in mobile devices, such as online banking username and password, debit or credit card information, and other personal data. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Four Parenting Hacks You Should Try in the New Normal


Try these tips for better parenting in the new normal

Whether we’re ready for it or not, parenting changed during the pandemic. As everyone has to work or take classes at home for their health and safety, the needs of a parent have evolved.

If you’ve been struggling a little to match the demands of parenting in the new normal, worry not—here are a few tips to help you adapt to these times.

Set a schedule

Make a plan for yourself and help your kids plan their day. First, organize your day so you can focus better on your necessary tasks. Then, help your kids organize their day so that the important things during their online classes are prioritized. This will allow them to look forward to relaxing and unwinding after all the schoolwork is done. When kids know they have some rest and recreation time to look forward to, they’ll be able to participate better in their remote learning.

Encourage healthy routines in the household

Maintaining a proper and healthy lifestyle is considered to be one of the most important things you can do to achieve good physical, mental, and social well-being — especially in the new normal. A fun activity you can do with your kids is exercising regularly. To make it more interesting, instead of the usual exercises, try exploring games that’ll make them break a sweat such as DIY obstacle courses, treasure hunts, and many more. Be creative!

Take a midday shower

One good way to refresh your kids and keep them going is to have them take a quick shower in the middle of the day, preferably after lunch. You can do it too! It gets rid of the midday fatigue that’s built up from staring at a screen all morning, and it will energize them (and you) for the rest of the day.

Bond over activities and food

There are many moments in this pandemic where your kids will need you to be there for them. You need to set aside time in the day to give them your complete and undivided attention. Try playing fun activities and games with your kids and see how much stress can be lifted every day. Bond over mealtimes with food that will make them happy, such as Jollibee’s Jolly Spaghetti! The meatiest, cheesiest, and sweet-sarap na walang katulad taste of Jolly Spaghetti will make these moments truly memorable! It’s always better to put a smile on their face with their favorite food while spending time at home.

Get the Jolly Spaghetti from your nearest Jollibee store for only PHP 50.00 solo, and PHP 200.00 for a Family Pan! Have them safely delivered to you via the Jollibee Delivery App,, #87000, GrabFood, and foodpanda! Also available in Drive-Thru and Take Out!

For more info and updates on Jollibee products, like Jollibee on Facebook, subscribe to Jollibee Philippines on YouTube, and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Trip to a Spa


Why Everyone Needs a Trip to a Spa

When thinking about spas, the same imagery comes up for most people: soothing music, warm steam, soft towels, and face masks.  Decadent pampering has one purpose: helping us unwind and reset to feeling comfortable and happy again. But, unfortunately, spas have fallen out of popularity in recent years. Instead, people try to self-pamper at home but end up just sitting with face masks while watching television or scrolling through social media.

Everyone deserves better than that.

Here are the top reasons everyone needs a trip to a spa within the next year.

Pampering Yourself is Good for Your Self Esteem

We're all told that we shouldn't be too proud at a young age, but it's okay to appreciate yourself and see your value.  By pampering yourself, you're showing yourself that you deserve good in life and that you have intrinsic value.  This boost to your self-esteem could make you next in line for a promotion or able to snag the romantic partner you were interested in.  Don't be shy!

Treatments Can Soften your Skin and Hair

Why not enjoy the perks that come from the treatments for what they are?  Mud baths, clay masks, steaming, all of these are fantastic for your skin.  Although a spa might be a small stop while you're looking at real estate for sale in Whistler, it's a big step for your skin and complexion.  Steam can open your pores, and a clay mask will help draw out imperfections and clean away any excess oil.  Hair treatments, pedicures, manicures, and dozens of other beauty options are available at most spas; take advantage of them and enjoy how gorgeous you are afterward!

Treating Yourself Helps With Mood

Have you noticed you’re quicker to anger lately?  Do people seem to step lightly around you?  If so, it might be time to get some stress relief.  A spa can help change what you're thinking or what your line of thought is. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a negative idea here or there in your daily life, but it can affect how you feel day in and out if it's becoming a pattern.  A spa will ease that stress and let you look at life more evenly.

Massages Release Tension From Daily Life

Nobody is stress-free these days.  Whether a promotion you want has been put off for ages, or your kids are becoming teenagers and don't want to listen to you, there are clear issues that weigh on us all.  Most spas offer massages and hot saunas that allow that tension to drip away.  Stress-related pressure can cause medical issues like TMJ disorder, anxiety, or joint problems if we don't handle it correctly.  Spas help erase those issues.

A Chance To Be Selfish

There aren’t many reasons to be selfish in modern life.  We have to devote our time to our job; many have to monetize their hobbies to make any sizable income, which is on top of raising kids or maintaining a home life.  A spa gives people the chance to let go and think about only themselves for a little while.  Being selfish is good for our confidence and allows us to see the value in others as well.

BDO and partner schools: Finding ways to make it through the pandemic


We were already experiencing a global learning crisis, as many students were in school, but were not learning the fundamental skills needed for life

It’s not only entrepreneurs who have been struggling through the pandemic—schools have also been doing their best to survive and continue operations for the sake of students and teachers. One example of how a school has heroically met the challenge of the pandemic is Manuel S. Enverga University (MSEUF) in Lucena, Quezon Province. 

Manuel S. Enverga University (MSEUF) in Lucena, Quezon Province

Founded in 1947, the university has provided many generations the hope of learning and a brighter future. When the pandemic struck, the university had to adjust its administrative operations to assure the safety of its teachers and students while continuing to provide quality education. 

MSEUF had to shift to a combination of online learning and asynchronous modular learning for their students, as the community quarantine prohibited face-to-face classes.

The school also had to adjust its administrative processes to allow most staff to work from home. This meant shifting to an online platform to process vital transactions such as disbursement and collection of payments, including tuition. For this, the university sought help from its bank, BDO. 

Carlito Rodriguez, 
MSEUF Treasury Office Head

“One big solution BDO provided is their SME Online Banking facility. Before, we had to manually check with parents the name of the student and the amount paid for us to be able to monitor their payments. We had to update passbooks every day to make sure we monitored the payments properly,” said Carl Rodriguez, head of the university’s Treasury Office. 

“Furthermore, BDO SME Online Banking gave parents more options for payments.  They could pay through BDO online channels, Mobile Banking or Online Banking, simply by transferring money from their BDO account to our BDO account. They also have the option to pay at any BDO branch in Lucena or other areas. All of these made operations easier for us despite the pandemic. It also proved to be the most efficient as many parents are also BDO account holders” 

Apart from the collection of tuition fees, the university also processes its employee payroll with the help of BDO. “BDO was processing our payroll even during the lockdown when it was so hard to go from place to place because of travel restrictions. They found ways to keep our payroll process running smoothly without disruptions,” Rodriguez said. 

MSEUF can operate despite the challenges of the pandemic through the dedication and strategic thinking of its university officials, and with the help of its banking partner as well.  For more information on BDO’s Cash Management System, call (632) 88407500; email; or visit

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Negros Food: Beyond Borders


Negros Occidental has always been a cradle of delectable food. Rich in history, Negrense cuisine is a result of endless tweaking and testing, of constructing and deconstructing, all for that elusive adaptation that a household could call its own – “a family recipe”. And always, the process was swayed by Spanish, Chinese, and Malay cookery. But times have changed, and so have the influences. Filipino taste has learned to welcome Thai, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean flavors. So we asked three young Negrense chefs, what’s the fate of Negrense cuisine? To what ends will they take Negrense cuisine? What borders are they willing to breach? 

Chef Don Colmenares

In three separate editions in August and September, Negros Season of Culture will feature Chef BJ Uy of East Bite Asian Kitchen, Chef Don Colmenares of Berbeza Bistro, and Chef Nico De Asis of Portiko CafĂ© and Lounge. Their cooking styles and techniques are unique to themselves, but their Negrense hearts are threaded through with the same reverence for Negrense heritage food. 

Chef BJ Uy

Their entries into the culinary arts were egged on differently, but eventually, they all found their way to our tables. Schooled in Business, Chef BJ was supposed to help run his family’s hotels, but off-hours found him with the kitchen staff. Chef Don watched cooking shows on television while other kids his age were stuck on anime as if becoming a chef was written in his heart all along. Chef Nico’s journey begins and ends with his passion for food: “…what I want to eat influences what I think people want to eat. I believe I serve the type of food that I want to eat myself and I enjoy it very much.” So there.

Chef Nico De Asis

It is heartwarming to see how proud these young chefs are of home, despite their exposure to foreign cuisine, how they relish their shared identity by birth and breeding, despite the onslaught of foreign food kiosks on every street corner. With responsible innovation, Negrense cuisine is in good hands for the next half-century, at least. Into that future, these chefs assure us, we will continue to take pride in the classic Linutik, Pancit Molo, and Chicken Binakol, all rich in history but always made for the times.   

For these stories and more on Negrense heritage, visit or like us on FB and IG @NegrosSeasonofCulture.

Friday, August 20, 2021

BDO Foundation finds ways to reach out to Filipinos affected by Typhoon Fabian


In line with its disaster response advocacy, BDO Foundation recently assisted communities hit by heavy rains triggered by Typhoon Fabian and the southwest monsoon.

Supported by the St. John the Baptist Parish Church and St. Michael Parish Church, the foundation provided aid for more than 5,000 families in nine barangays in Calumpit, Bulacan and Masantol, Pampanga. Local officials and volunteers led by parish priests Fr. Ventura Galman and Fr. Roland Moraleja distributed the relief packs containing food, rice and drinking water to disaster-stricken beneficiaries.

The corporate citizenship initiative was also backed by BDO branches. BDO Waltermart-Malolos branch head Emelita Crisostomo and BDO Pampanga San Fernando-MacArthur Highway branch head Rowena Evaristo helped the foundation coordinate the delivery of the relief goods.

Masantol, Pampanga

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, mounts relief operations for Filipinos affected by natural disasters or armed conflict. As a follow-up to its relief efforts, the foundation pursues long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in disaster-hit areas.

The sixth typhoon to enter the Philippine area of responsibility this year, Fabian enhanced the southwest monsoon or habagat, bringing continuous rainfall and widespread flooding in parts of Luzon and the Visayas. Floods forced many residents in affected areas to evacuate.

Finding ways for Filipinos. Backed by the BDO Unibank community and church volunteers, BDO Foundation found ways to support thousands of families in Bulacan and Pampanga affected by Typhoon Fabian and the southwest monsoon.

Vibal’s Happy Homeschool is Now in its Second Year!


Following the success of Happy Homeschool last school year, Vibal continues its independent homeschool program for Kinder to Grade 10 for SY 2021-2022. Enrollment is now ongoing, with classes officially starting on September 20.

Vibal’s Happy Homeschool now offers MAPEH and Computer in addition to the five major subjects English, Mathematics, Filipino, Science, Araling Panlipunan. Combining DepEd’s K-12 Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs) curriculum and interest-driven learning, learners will attend online classes taught by Vibal’s licensed professional teachers, take offline modular self-paced courses, and will join non-academic programs and special courses based on their interest and learning journey.

Supporting Independent Homeschoolers

With independent homeschooling, parents can avail themselves of flexible curricular options for their children. They don't have to enroll with a DepEd-accredited school or homeschool provider but can conduct homeschooling on their own or with a learning and teaching provider like Vibal to support their child in a home-based learning environment.

Vibal’s Happy Homeschool is designed to provide independent homeschoolers and their parents with the support system and infrastructure of a school while retaining the flexibility for parents and learners to customize their learning journey through interest-led activities. Vibal will provide support through the help of learning specialists who would serve as students’ teachers and tutors. 

How are classes taught?

Classes are taught synchronously by Vibal's licensed professional teachers using VSmart School, our online school platform. Classes may also be conducted asynchronously through self-paced courseware in VSmart School, and/or assigned printed learning materials, such as Vibal’s Smart Class (modular class book), Vibal’s Smart Wizard (workbook), and Vibal’s Academic Book (textbook). 

Happy Homeschool implements a mixed ODL (online distance learning) and MDL (modular distance learning) learning modality. Learners are not required to undergo blended learning (mixed face-to-face and distance learning) at any point throughout SY 2021

To enroll or to learn more about Vibal Happy Homeschool Program, please visit 
www.happy You can also text or call 09687616294, or email or  

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Manila Hotel mooncakes express gratitude and a wish of togetherness

At a time when we are mostly apart, the bonds among family members and loved ones are more important than ever. And we can show them we care with thoughtful gifts when our presence just can’t be assured. 

The coming Mooncake Festival on September 21 marks the end of the autumn harvest and it is traditionally a time to give thanks to the gods. As we adopt certain aspects of the Chinese culture, it has become symbolic and synonymous with expressing gratitude—something we can and should all do despite the challenges that have beset us since last year. Along with gratitude, the upcoming celebration also focuses on prayers and togetherness.

The Manila Hotel helps you plan for gifts for your loved ones to show them how much they mean to you. The special, hand-crafted mooncakes make the perfect gifts this season, and you can get them at a discounted rate when you order from now until August 20, 2021. The Early Bird promo gives buyers 30% off for purchases of Solo Boxes (PhP288 nett) or Boxes of Four (PhP1,188 nett) with no minimum order. They come in beautiful boxes that can be straight-away given out as gifts. 

The hand-crafted mooncakes by the hotel’s premiere Chinese chef come in four flavors: the classic Single Yolk Ted Bean Paste, and Single Yolk Pure White Lotus Seed Paste; and the special flavors Taro Paste, and Red Dates Paste. The mooncakes can then be picked up after the promo period when the hotel is back in operations. 

For more information or to pre-order, call 85270011 or 0998-9501912. The promo cannot be availed of in conjunction with other promos and government-mandated discounts like Senior Citizen and PWD discounts, among others.

Friday, August 6, 2021 The First Cold- Chain and Sterilized Food Delivery in Metro Manila Pioneers Cold-Chain and Sterilized Food Delivery in Metro Manila: Frozen Goods are Delivered Virus-Free at −20°C Right to Your Doorstep

Do you need to stock up on chicken, beef, or pork during the lockdown but want to make sure that these arrive clean and virus-free? Are you craving for fresh salmon but not confident that what you’d get isn’t sterilized or fresh enough for your grill? Are you anxious your frozen veggies would turn soggy and not be safe to eat when the courier rings up? is here to banish all the fears, uncertainties, and anxieties that surround getting frozen or chilled foods delivered right at your doorstep as frozen, cold, and fresh as they were first flash-frozen. Only delivers your favorite foods at −20°C from their freezer to your home! This quality assurance also comes with a guarantee that deliveries have been sterilized and thus far from the dangers of a Covid-19 infection.

Eliminating the Fear of Frozen Foods

“People didn't believe in frozen food,” started Gerald Egrasse, a French food industry veteran whose experience in France and French Africa led him to the Philippines, “but frozen is mostly defrosted food, thawed in transit, then frozen again at home.”

Quality is lost from the time of purchase until the product reaches the home kitchen. “Undergoing multiple temperature changes from the market and multiple defrosting robs food of quality,” he explained, “worse, when they’re stored in less than −20°C.” Frozen food begins to deteriorate when temperatures go up, so freezing is key to fresh foods: flash freezing at the source and keeping in negative temperature from storage to delivery. Only can do that in the Philippines! 

Gerald’s Most Recommended Bestsellers

Lamb leg (bone in)

From the Butcher Shop, Monsieur Egrasse recommends lamb leg (bone in) not only on Father’s Day on June 20 but also for all of those occasions and holidays where an extraordinary treat is called for. Available in 2.4-3.2 kilograms, you can get your leg for P1,7950 frozen and vacuum-packed from Australia or New Zealand. Great covered in butter and filled with rosemary sprigs before roasting for two hours at 180°C.

Whole Salmon Fillet (skin on)

Whole salmon fillet (skin on) from the Seafood section is best for grilling with lettuce and roasting with butter and herbs. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and very good for the heart, each 1.8-2.0 kilograms pack from Chile or Norway costs P1,880. Scallops are so versatile that the Galicians bake it with bread crumbs, ham, and onions; the Japanese serve it in soup or topped on rice; and, the French cook it Ă  la nage in broth flavored with herbs and wine or sautĂ©ed, grilled, or broiled in skewers or en brochette. 

6 Butter Croissants

From the Bakery comes ready-to-bake butter croissant dough in packs of six. For P320, you can enjoy authentic French croissants baked right in the comfort of your home. Watch Egrasse bake one on their YouTube channel. prides itself in locally sourcing export-quality Philippine mangoes for their P250 per 908 grams pack mango halves - skinless. Seedless, flash-frozen, and ready for your smoothies and shakes, mangoes are rich in vitamins C and A. Also Proudly Pinoy is mango jam for P149 per 270 grams jar. All-natural and homemade, this honeylicious jam is perfect with multigrain bread, yogurt, croissants, bananas, pancakes, milkshakes, and juices! 

From the Cheese & Dairy section, and also from the Philippines, is the 500 grams premium mozzarella log. You can melt it in your oven dishes, grate it for your pizza or pasta, pair it with white wine, or serve on your cheese platter. At P450, this log is a steal. They also have traditional Italian mozzarella and traditional cherry mozzarella all from the Philippines at P290 per pack of 250 grams.

Scallops (roe off)

Carrying the Healthy Food stamp from the Seafood section are scallops (roe off) from the US at P799 per 454 grams pack. Excellent as appetizers or main dishes, these low-fat and high-protein shellfish are also excellent sources of vitamin B12 and zinc. also carries two gourmet wild mushrooms considered as culinary delicacies: porcini mushrooms (Cèpes) and chanterelle mushrooms for P1,195 per pack of 500 grams and P750 per pack of 454 grams, respectively. These European mushrooms are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but they’re also great for sauteing in butter, grilling, or oven-roasting as well as in casseroles, soups, and pasta.

Soon, will be partnering up with coco producers for its line of ice creams in choco, cafe, mango, and coco flavors that are plant-based, vegan, and lactose-free.

Educational and Interactive Website has an interactive website that gives consumers a wide array of products categorized by section (like in a supermarket): Bakery, Butcher Shop, Seafood, Fruits & Vegetables, Cheese & Dairy, Wine Shop; and, by food type (like in a health food store): Gluten-Free, Healthy Food Swaps, Organic & Vegan, Keto & Diabetic Friendly, Supplements, and World Cuisines. The best thing about the website though is that every product page features an encyclopedic wealth of information, including product description, health benefits, cooking instructions, ingredients, place of origin, recipe suggestion, and nutrition facts!

To further increase consumer trust, has come up with two barometers of quality: product reviews and trust labels. Everyone who has registered an account with, whether they have purchased a product or have tasted some from friends or as gifts, can submit their product review and rating online. “We read these reviews and take them seriously,” he admits, “so we can remove from our inventory products that get bad reviews. All our products should consistently delight customers.” also makes it easier for consumers to immediately spot the best products through three quality seals. Health Food for the healthiest options with no additives, Proudly Pinoy for the highest-quality locally-sourced choices, and Authentic French for products imported from France or made with French ingredients.

Safe and Clean Online Shopping Alternative 

“Unlike when shopping onsite in supermarkets where buyers tend to handle and smell products before buying,” Egrasse explains, “ assures you of quality products without these risks.” Moreover, buyers engaged in physical shopping in warehouse outlets like SNR “tend to overbuy foodstuff, even the fresh ones, most of which just get thawed in transit, go straight into the freezer, and get stored for some time.”, thus, not only offers the freshest foods flash-frozen at the source then transported and stored for consumers’ online convenience but also delivers these prime goods in negative 20 degrees right to your doorstep.

“If you order before 2 p.m., you get your goods by refrigerated truck between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. the following day,” he advised. Minimum order is P2,000 plus P90 delivery fee within Metro Manila. “If you order P5,000 and above, delivery is free.” 

“For same-day delivery, you have to order before 12 noon and pay P250 for a dedicated motorcycle rider to bring you your order in an insulated cooler at −20°C.In the meantime, only entertains orders within Metro Manila, isn’t encouraging pickups, and accepts GCash.

Future Plans

“We want a clean website, improved services, and greater product range. We want to carry Italian stuff like ravioli pasta, meatless products, no-fish products, mushroom-based products, and breaded scallop burgers,” Egrasse enthusiastically shared. The new website design should be able to identify customers if they’re shopping frozen, fresh, or dry. “We also plan to partner with restaurants and bakeries for our ready-to-eat meals; but, instead of pushing the restaurants, we’re pushing for the brand.” 

For Phase 1, plans to increase its cold storage to 50 feet wide by 5 feet high for a good size warehouse with ample space for picking and organizing without the need to rush as well as dispatching and shipping.

For Phase 2, the specialty grocery intends to have a chiller to store positive-temperature inventory like salads and fresh veggies. “Arugula, for instance, won’t do well in −20°C,” he said. Scheduled for phase 2 as well as the purchase of another truck to cover Metro Manila and two motorcycles for prime delivery, “We’re thinking of having the freezer truck go around the Metro the whole afternoon for deliveries.”

“We want to bring value to the brand without being out of range of peoples' means,” he concluded.

About is healthy food and gourmet grocery delivery, online deli, and gluten-free food delivery in Metro Manila and around the Philippines. The shop began as an Icebox gourmet store at the Ecoplaza along Pasong Tamo in Makati in 2010; evolved as a French and European online specialty store in 2015; and, boomed in 2020. Business peaked when the pandemic struck, driving consumers to shop online, and when Geoff got onboard as Gerald’s business partner, finance manager, and lucky charm. is on Esquire’s list of 11 best online specialty grocery stores in 2020 and alternative online grocery stores in the Philippines to try in 2019

EXTENDED! PHILPLANS' SPECIAL CASH PROGRAMS Amid Growing Concerns over COVID-19 Delta variant

PhilPlans, one of the country’s top pre-need firms, has extended its special cash programs until September 30, 2021, to assist planholders who may be affected by the still ongoing pandemic especially given the threat of a new surge due to the Delta variant.

“Given the higher risk that this more dangerous variant poses to the health of our families and its potential impact on their finances, we thought it best to extend our special cash programs as a way of providing a much-need financial lifeline for our plan holders,” said PhilPlans President and CEO Monico V. Jacob.

Jacob noted that the special cash programs may be very useful in particular to planholders in Metro Manila during the return to enhanced community quarantine on August 6-20. 

Launched in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, PhilPlans’s special cash programs were extended to 30,661 planholders and their families with a total of Php6.55 billion as of June 30, 2021. Of the said amount, Php2.28 billion or 34.8% were given in the first half of 2021.

Apart from the special cash programs, the company has also given a total of Php2.38 billion in maturity benefits for education, life, and pension plans to 36,236 plan holders from the beginning of 2020 until June 30, 2021. Php1.03 billion or 43.2% of the aforementioned amount was disbursed in the first six months of 2021.

Planholders who wish to avail of extra cash for their emergency needs to fund their medical expenses or to augment lost income may visit to apply for the C.A.R.E. (COVID Assistance, Relief, and Emergency), ECQ Emergency Fund, Education Lump Sum Payment, and Plan Termination Value cash programs.

PhilPlans will get in touch with all planholders qualified for the said offers.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

PH Book Hits Number One in New Releases in Amazon


A Philippine-published book has made it to the top of Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases.” Vibal Foundation’s Boxer Codex: A Modern Spanish Transcription and English Translation of 16th-Century Exploration Accounts of East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific entered the number-one slot in “Hot New Releases” under the historical study reference category on August 2.

The Earth’s Biggest Bookstore
Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace and bookstore, has an algorithm that showcases the recently released titles that are most bought. To be included in the Hot New Releases, which is essentially the Best New Sellers list, Amazon’s algorithm looks at the paid sales of a recently released title. Aside from being the number one new release in Historical Study Reference, Boxer Codex has also reached number 19 in the Southeast Asia History top list as well as number 38 under the History Encyclopedias category.

A New Hope for Filipino Publishers
In an interview, Vibal Foundation Executive Director Gaspar Vibal expressed his surprise as to how an academic book rose to the top of the Amazon list. He attributed its startling success to the pan-Asian appeal of a late sixteenth-century Spanish text that not only concerned itself with early modern Philippines but also China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia. “This goes to show,” he added, “that it is possible after all for a Philippine publisher to be seen worldwide and to ride to the top of the Amazon lists.”

Boxer Codex, transcribed and edited by Isaac Donoso and translated and annotated by National Artist for Literature Carlos Quirino, together with Ma. Luisa Garcia and Mauro Garcia is a sixteenth-century codex that was eventually named after its last owner, the British scholar Charles R. Boxer. The sumptuously bound and illustrated manuscript contained a collection of eyewitness accounts of various cultures and places in East and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. These accounts—rich with anthropological detail about pre-colonial customs and beliefs and lavishly illustrated with depictions of native peoples in their traditional costumes—were compiled into a book to convince the king of Spain to launch further expeditions in the region.

In the decades since this manuscript was discovered in 1947, a constellation of scholars has expanded our understanding of this valuable document, which gives us perhaps the clearest depiction of the lives of early Filipinos as well as the culture and politics of early modern Asia.

In addition to presenting the Spanish text and English translation side by side for comparison, Vibal’s edition contains an insightful and synthesizing introduction by Isaac Donoso that situates the codex within the global and historical context at the time it was written.

Interested readers may purchase Boxer Codex and other Vibal books at Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee. The Boxer Codex 2nd Edition is also available for preorder at the Vibal online shop at