Let’s Show that Wonderful Smile! (Launch of Smile Pilipinas Campaign)

I have already learned the value of having nice set of teeth since I was young.  There was a time in my childhood that a dentist pulled out my three milk teeth all at the same time just to have good alignment when my permanent teeth were about to erupt.  Though the experience is kinda ‘traumatic’, it didn’t stop me of visiting our dentist on a regular basis.  Yes, I have good teeth alignment but sad to say, I’ve already lost three permanent teeth for good and currently wearing dentures.

So now that I have a son, before he had his first milk tooth, I already introduced him to proper oral hygiene.  I wash his mouth with silicone finger brush and rinse his mouth with water during bathing time.  I introduced him to toothbrush and toothpaste when he turned a year old. 

Kib's first toothbrush

Kib had his first visit to the dentist when he was three years old.  I’m so happy that he didn’t show any anxiety when he sat on the dental chair and the dentist even told me/us that he has good teeth.

Kib's first visit to the dentist

Kib was almost seven years old when his permanent teeth start to erupt.  Since he is in modeling industry, it’s a no-no that he has missing tooth.  So for some time, I let Kib wore kiddie dentures.

Kib's ninang-dentist taking a mold of his teeth for his dentures

Kib without denture and Kib with dentures

Last Friday, February 6, 2015, I was blessed to attend the launching of Smile Pilipinas.  This is a program that aims to bring back the healthy smiles of Fililipinos launched by UP Dental Alumni Association (UPDAA) in partnership with global oral care brand Oral-B.  This program was launched in time for the 100th year of the UP College of Dentistry.  Smile Pilipinas aims to uplift the deteriorating state of oral health in the country through an extensive campaign that enjoins the support of each and every Filipino.

Smile Pilipinas' official logo and website

Smile Pilipinas began to take shape through discussions between Dr. Jocelyn Tan (Chairman and President of UPDAA) and Mr. JP dela Vega, President and CEO of Yeaps Corporation.  Being members of the Rotary Club of Makati Dasmarinas, the two began to establish the structure for what would become the organization today.  Dr. Tan of UPCD added that the program was conceptualized in response to the alarming results of the study that revealed that 9 out of 10 Filipinos suffer from dental caries and worse, the Philippines has the 2nd worst rate of decayed, missing and filled out teeth in all of Asia.

Mr. JP dela Vega, Dr. Vicente Medina III, Dr. Jocelyn Tan, Iza Calzado, and two P&G Executives who talked about Smile Pilipinas during the press briefing

Oral-B, the brand known worldwide for its commitment to promoting healthy smiles, supports Smile Pilipinas.  Suranjan Magesvaran, Procter and Gamble Vice President, Home Products, Power and Oral Care, Asia said, “When the opportunity to be a key partner for Smile Pilipinas was offered to us, we knew he had to be a part of it.  This is a great opportunity for Oral-B to do something concrete about improving the quality of oral health in the Phlippines, kick-starting a movement that will involve both the professional body as well as regular customers.”

The founding partners of the campaign

During the program launch, the three focus areas were presented: Advocacy, Public Good, and Fund Raising.

Smile Pilipinas has five fundamental messages:

1.     Our smiles are fundamental to our identity
2.     Let’s bring oral health within reach of all Filipinos
3.     Everyone can easily help improve oral health in the country
4.     We need to take care of our children’s teeth
5.     We should all practice better oral health care habits

Unang Ngipin Patibayin and SuperSmileCon2015 are part of the activities of Smile Pilipinas.  The first activity is a public health initiative organized in partnership with Pateros and Pasig to provide oral health education and preventive measures for children and parents.  The second activity, on the other hand, is an oral wellness fair for kids with fee dental consultations, dental varnish application, games, stage shows, and dental health education.

Smile Pilipinas needs to sustain its activities.  The program will be accepting public and corporate generosity of time, talent, treasure, through donations, sponsorships and sale of Smile Pilipinas merchandise items sale via retail partners.

Actress Iza Calzado, Oral-B brand ambassador was also present during the event.  She also shared her thoughts on maintaining good oral hygiene.  “Let us not take this important aspect of our health for granted.  As our oral health professionals have repeatedly said oral health is a vital part of overall health.  It’s part of our personality, our heritage as a Filipino.  Let’s maintain the warmth and beauty of our smiles by learning how to care for our mouth, gums and teeth.”

Kib posing with Ms. Iza Calzado, Oral-B's brand ambassador

Smile Pilipinas indeed is a good cause to support, aiming for 100% Healthy Smiles for every Filipino.

To know more about Smile Pilipinas, you may visit  their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smile-Pilipinas/615691081846995 or email smilepilipinas@updaa.org

Kib’s CogMap Assessment at BrainFit Studio

Last November, Kib had his free trial class at BrainFitStudio in Greenhills and last January 20th Kib had his CogMap assessment.  This is a more intensive brain skills assessment compared with the free trial class. 

Unlike during the free trial class, parents are no longer allowed to observe during the CogMap assessment.  I just waited at the reception area and entertained myself by reading magazines and a book that I brought with me.

I entertained myself with this book while waiting for Kib

Kib had his CogMap assessment for almost three hours.

I was already given an initial impression about Kib’s performance on that day.  The teacher was impressed on how he performed on that day.  Kib went out of the assessment room without showing signs of lethargy; he was still active and enthusiastic and he even told me that he really had fun. 

Friday, January 23rd, Kib and I went back to BrainFit to know the results of the CogMap assessment.  Before showing the report to me, the whole process was explained to me, on what they did to assess each area (motor, visual, auditory, attention, social-emotional).  The assessment is a combination of paper and pen, computer/digital, and physical activities.  They used standardized tests and other tests proprietary to BrainFit.  The report is 18 pages long, which discussed each aspect thoroughly, and the method used to measure the categories on each aspect.

I will not show to you the details of Kib’s report because it is private and confidential but will just tell you how he did on each area.

Overall IQ—Kib’s IQ is at high-average range (high-average ability for verbal IQ and average ability for non-verbal IQ)

Motor—Kib has below average motor coordination ability.  He has average handwriting speed and balance but still needs to improve his manual dexterity and aiming and catching.

Visual—Kib has overall average visual basic perception ability and high average visual sequential memory. 

Auditory—Kib has above average phonological skills and average auditory memory. 

Attention—Kib has poor impulse control and average attention ability. 

Social-Emotional—Kib has average optimism level and high average social skills. 

Based on the results, BrainFit has recommended that Kib enrolls in Integrated Brain Package.  It is a 3-in-1 lesson covering Motor, Vision, and Focus areas.  Usually on this package, Listening is included and not Focus, but since Kib did well on this area, he can skip that and move on to Focus.  If Kib enrolls in Integrated Brain Package, it should be completed in four months.  It is a once a week lesson which will last for around three hours each session.

I am satisfied with the results of the CogMap assessment.  I do agree that Kib still needs to work on his motor skills.  It is also recommended that Kib gets involved in ball sports.  The assessment also showed that Kib is a reader and the teachers were very impressed on Kib’s comprehension skills.  Kib also needs to work on his attention which actually I am having a hard time when he is studying his lessons.  He seems to have a hard time concentrating and needs to be reminded to finish his tasks every now and then.

I need to fix my schedule and budget first before I finally decide on enrolling Kib at BrainFit.  Kib enjoyed BrainFit so much.  We left BrainFit with Kib still feeling energetic. Unlike other enrichment programs, the child feels so drained after each session.  God-willing, Kib will attend BrainFit classes.

To know more about BrainFit, you can check their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/BrainfitStudioPhilippines.  You can also email them at brainfitph@gmail.com or call at 725-8000 (Bindondo) / 554-0381 (Greenhills).

Win Against Asthma! Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015

First and foremost, let me clarify this: I AM NOT ASTHMATIC, neither my son nor any of my family members.  But I do understand that it is difficult to have asthma.  I have friends who have asthma and passed on the illness to their offsprings. 

A close friend of mine who recently had a vacation in Singapore brought all of her son’s ‘asthma prevention gadgets’ with them, which occupied almost half of their luggage.  His son is always confined in the hospital too for asthma attacks.  But despite of her son’s illness, she does not put so much restriction to her child that she lets him experience the best things in life.  She lets her son do sports activities and eat plenty of food, but there is one thing that she cannot provide: a pet dog.  Just to fulfill her son’s wish, she bought him a battery-operated toy dog, haha.

Anyway, I thank God for not giving us this illness.  Seeing a person having his/her asthma attack is really devastating and worrisome.  Sad to say, there are people who die due to a severe asthma attack.  Reports show that there are 235 million worldwide who have asthma with 250,000 annual deaths recorded.  Furthermore it is predicted that another 100 million people will suffer from the disease by 2025.

In the Philippines alone, there are over 10 million cases of people with asthma.  Asthma remains the most common chronic disease of childhood morbidity as measured by school absences, emergency visits, and hospitalizations. 

Some of the presentation slides shown during the event

However, despite of the illness, there are people who chose to battle asthma.  They became successful in their chosen careers despite of having asthma.  Yes, they still do have asthma attacks, but since they educated themselves with the illness, they know the things that they need to do to control the illness.  Take the case of Arnel Pineda, Kim Chiu, and Michael Christian Martinez.  These three have asthma and yet they accomplished so much in their respective careers. 

Can you win against asthma?

This February 5, 2015, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015.  The campaign aims to choose and recognize ten (10) young asthmatic achievers from different walks of life.  This is a nationwide search open to 10-30 year olds who are outstanding in their respective fields despite having asthma and inspire other asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against asthma.

Other qualifications are as follows:

·      Asthma patient diagnosed by a qualified physician
·      Filipino citizen or individual permanently residing in the Philippines
·      An achiever in his/her chosen field (sports, arts, academics, work, etc.)

There will be two age groups: 10-19 years old and 20-30 years old.  Ten (10) finalists will be chosen for each category, but will only choose five (5) winners for each category.

This search will run from February until May 2015.  Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2015.   GSK will be touring to different schools and drugstore outlets to spread the advocacy and invite more people to join the campaign.

All entries will be screened during the first week of April 2015.  The top twenty (20) finalists will be announced on World Asthma Day on May 5th.  There will be online voting for the top twenty finalists and the top ten will be announced and awarded by the third week of May 2015.

The criteria for judging is as follows:

Excellence in their Field or Category
Evidence of winning over asthma
Online Votes

Each of the ten (10) winners will receive the following prizes:
  1. Five Thousand (PhP5,000) worth of GCs from Folded & Hung
  2. Huawei P7 Smart Phone
  3. Twenty Five Thousand (PhP25,000) worth of Sodexo GCs

During the launch of the search, my son tried some Huawei smart phones displayed at the function room lobby.  My son enjoyed using the smart phone that he does not want to leave anymore, haha. 

Kib on Huawei's booth

I didn’t know that Huawei has been in the Philippines since 1997; wow, almost 20 years in the Philippine industry!

Going back to the event, it was really inspiring to hear the success stories of Arnel Pineda, Kim Chiu, and Michael Christian Martinez.  Arnel Pineda just gave a video message, Kim Chiu was the event launch herself, and Michael Christian Martinez was on phone patch from USA. 

Arnel Pineda giving a video message to the press

Kim Chiu telling her story about her battle with asthma

Michael Christian Martinez on a phone patch being interviewed by Sam Purvor, the host of the event

Indeed, when you dream big, no matter how difficult it is, you’ll succeed.  These three asthmatic achievers never let their illness as a hindrance to to their success.  The Search for Winners Against Asthma may inspire other asthmatics too their illness should not be a deterrent from living one’s life to the fullest.

Kim Chiu posing with GSK executives and physicians

You may visit: http://facebook.com/winagainstasthma and click on “Search For Winners” tab for the contest mechanics and other details.

It’s now easy to have a minigosyo with PLDT KaAsenso

It is everyone’s dream to have their own business, no matter how big or small it is. More than having a feeling of accomplishment or self-fulfillment, Pinoys venture into business as a means to provide a better life for their families.

I also dreamt of having a business of my own. I tried direct selling when I was younger, and actually until now, if there are chances to do so. I also wished for having a franchise of any sorts but whenever I see the amount of capital needed, I get scared to risk such a big amount. I’m also a bit hesitant to do all the necessary paperworks in registering a business. Presently, my mom rents out our old house. We have been renting it out for more than five years now and so far, it helps in augmenting our family’s monthly expenses, but then again, I’m still thinking up of other ways to earn.

Lucky for today’s minigosyantes, they are given access to tools to help them with their business operations thru PLDT KaAsenso. PLDT KaAsenso is the micro- entrepreneurship arm of PLDT, which aims to help Pinoy minigosyantes in their quest to give their families a brighter future by ensuring success in their humble businesses. The upgraded services of PLDT KaAsenso aims to provide a level playing field to big and small business owners, giving them more ways of earning and to become more productive in their livelihood endeavors.

PLDT KaAsenso team posing for the press

PLDT KaAsenso has been existent for several years now but this time, they made the business packages more budget-friendly and the requirements needed are as easy as 1-2-3. Apart from that, there are newest additions to their current plans.

They introduced PLDT KaAsenso Plan 1888 – their most affordable package yet as it already comes with high-speed internet at up to 3Mbps plus the ever-reliable PLDT landline. Good thing about the package is that there will be no upfront fees collected upon application for this plan.

PLDT KaAsenso Plan

A good add-on to Plan 1888 is Store Watch. This comes at a perfect time since some types of businesses are now required to have security systems installed within their premises. Store Watch can be availed for an additional P99 per month and will enable minigosyantes to monitor their minigosyos wherever they are.

PLDT Store Watch

Most interesting of all is Cyberya! It’s perfect for anyone who wants to start their own minigosyo. It’s an all-in-one Internet café package that includes broadband at up to 2Mbps plus a complete computer set, cabinet, and coin-operated timer. It allows users to enjoy 4 minutes of surfing for just P1! Imagine – P1! Now, anyone can have internet access. This will be a big hit especially for kids and students who are on a budget. The Cyberya Package can be availed for an initial capital of P7,300 – very affordable indeed!

PLDT Cyberya

Kib and Nini checking the Cyberya

Now, with PLDT KaAsenso, it’s now easy to have a minigosyo!

For more information about PLDT KaAsenso, you may visit their website at pldtkaasenso.com