Summer Activities for Your Children from Manila Workshops

Summer's not yet over!  Nowadays, parents want their children to be busy while they are on vacation from school.  They wanted their kids to learn new skills and to discover new talents as well.  Apart from that, parents want their children to learn something that they can use on their everyday living.  

I also wanted Kib to be busy all-year long.  He tried sikaran (Filipino martial arts), dancing, acting, and singing in the past.  He also attended the kiddie crew workshop of a famous fastfood chain as well.  Currently, he is into swimming.  He has been begging me to attend other classes.  This kid really likes learning new things, and I am happy that he has the passion for it and I do not need to force him to attend these trainings and workshops.  He is also very active in participating during classes.  

As you know, I have been with Manila Workshops for four years now, and I am so happy that this summer, Manila Workshops is offering classes for children. Check out the classes that they will have this summer for children ages 7-12 years old!

I.  Young Photographers: Photography Workshop for Kids

If your child aged 8-12 years old is showing interest in photography, you might want to support his interest by letting your child attend this photography workshop!

This half-day workshop will teach children the basics on taking good pictures, by learning what the camera can and cannot do, its parts, how to take care of our camera, why we sometimes get blurred photos, how to find the right lighting and how to take different kinds of photo (still life, portraits, etc.).  So many things to learn in one whole afternoon!  

The workshop will be conducted by Mr. Keith Dador, a professional photographer who runs Catnip Studios.

This will be on May 6, 2017, 1-5PM at Launch Garage, Circulo Verde.

Regular rate is Php2500 but if you're going to use my code PHOTOG1000 when you register at, you will only pay Php1500! It's a huge savings!  The workshop fee is already inclusive of handouts, certificate, giveaways, and snacks.

II.  Little Heroes: First Aid and Rescue for Kids

We have been hearing news about accidents and disasters, and the first thing that comes into our minds is the safety of the children.  While it is important that adults know what to do when emergencies happen, we should also educate our children on what to do should these kinds of situations occur so that they can also help in providing the necessary assistance to his/her fellow children.

Manila Workshops, in partnership with Early Intervention Management would conduct a training for children ages 7-11 years old on how to administer basic first aid and rescue.

Children will learn how to administer first aid to the following:

  • cuts and wounds
  • burns
  • stings and bites
  • strains and sprains
  • broken bones
  • heat exhaustion/heat stroke
  • nosebleeds
  • head injury
  • cardiac arrest
This workshop will be held on May 20 and 27, 2017, 9-11AM at Early Intervention Management Office in Medical Plaza, Makati City.  You can choose only one date to attend for this workshop.  Learning fee is Php1500 inclusive of handouts, snacks, certificate, and giveaways. 

To register for this event, go to

Make your child's summer worthwhile by attending either of these workshops!  Hope to see you there!

Everyone is Called to be Successful

All of us are dreaming of having a successful life.  We want to have a wonderful career, a loving family, huge investments, high educational attainment, among others; however, not everybody can have all of these in life.  While the definition of success may vary from person to person, but when we reach a certain level of satisfaction and contentment in our lives, we can proudly say that we are successful.

Some people may say that they can't be successful because they lack certain qualifications to be successful.  On the other hand, some people are really trying their best to improve the quality of their lives in order to be successful.  Meanwhile, some people are lucky enough to have all the opportunities laid out to them without putting so much effort and success is just waiting for them at the end of the tunnel.

I do believe that success comes with the right mindset and attitude in life.

If you will ask me if I'm successful, I would proudly say I am.  Even if my life isn't perfect, I am proud to say that I was able to surpass a lot of life's challenges (my separation from my son's dad, my dad's illness and death, my status as a single parent, etc.).  I won't take the the credit for all of these; I thank God for sustaining me all throughout these years and guiding me on how to make things right and leading me to His wonderful plans for me.

People are in continuous search of success and trying to discover when they can achieve it or if they can still achieve it in their lifetime.

The questions are: How can we really measure success?  Is there really such thing as 'success'?  What can we do to have a successful life?

Successful Living Summit (SLS) will hold--for the first time in the Philippines--SLS1 Transformational Leadership on May 5-7, 2017 at Marriott Grand Ballroom, Marriott Hotel Manila, Pasay City.  Successful Living Summit is a popular leadership training in the USA.

This workshop will be led by Ever Miranda, a charming and charismatic consultant with The John Maxwell Team.

On this training, the participants will experience transformation by way of exploration, reflection, and participation in activities that parallel real life situations.  Participants will examine their behaviors and experience the effects of their behavior while embracing feedback in a safe and supportive environment.  Assumptions will be challenged and new ways of thinking will be formed.

This training is ideal for everybody!  Office workers, work-from-home individuals, entrepreneurs, business people--everyone is encouraged to attend this 3-day experiential learning in discovering themselves and reach their ultimate potential in life to be able to reach the pinnacle of success in life.

Testimonies of those who attended this training in the US said that it is life-changing and it enabled them to appreciate their relationships and helped them to overcome their success blockers to reach confidently for their lifelong dreams.

Here are what others say about the training:

Do these testimonials excite you on attending SLS1 Transformational Leadership?  Well, I am!

The training cost is Php18,000, but if you will register and pay until May 1st, 2017 you can avail of the early bird rate of Php15,000.  The fee is inclusive of snacks and training materials.  In addition, students and church workers can also avail of a special rate, just send an email to to express your intent to attend the training.

Here's the schedule from May 5-7, 2017:

May 5 (first day): Registration starts at 1:00 p.m. and training will end at 10:00 p.m.

May 6 (second day): Training will be from 12:00 nn until 10:00 p.m.

May 7 (last day): Training will start at 12:00 nn.  Graduation will start at 7:30 p.m. where participants can invite their family and friends as their guests.

The training is not a formal one!  You can wear any clothes that you are comfortable with, but since the training is at hotel, you may consider bringing some jacket should the temperature inside the ballroom gets a bit cold.  On the third day, bring extra smart casual clothing on which you can wear on the graduation ceremony.

You may find the training a bit long and costly, but the organizers guaranteed that this training is worth your time and money.  As an individual who loves learning, the learning fee on this event is the best deal considering that this will be held in a five-star hotel and it's for three days.  Usually, a 3-day event in a hotel can cost more than this, so don't hesitate anymore to spend in learning something new.  It's for your personal development and it'll help you boost your career.

Hope to see you there!  Register online at  

SLS1 Transformational Leadership is produced by Thirdmillenium Projects Inc., Makati City and organized by Event Detailer Events Management Services, Paranaque City.

Get Vaccinated Against Dengue Fever at Watsons!

Health is wealth, period.

I already have mentioned in my blog for several times how important it is to take care of one's health.  I am an advocate of healthy living that is why I have been educating people through my blog why we should take care of our health.

Whenever I am invited to attend an event with relation to health, I can't say no because I also wanted to learn something new about health issues and concerns and I also wanted to be one of the first to spread the news about through my blog.  

Last March 31st, 2017, I was invited by Watsons to attend to the launch of the newest vaccine available in the market.  It is called Dengvaxia, a vaccine against dengue fever.  When I learned about this, I got excited because I had dengue fever in the past.  The disease was really weakening, I was like a limp vegetable lying on the bed all day long.  Well, I still thank God that it was me who had the disease and not Kib, because if it was him, I could've died of stress and worry.

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely-related dengue viruses.  It is often transmitted by a bite of an Aedes mosquito carrying dengue virus.  Dengue virus can be spread when a mosquito bites a person carrying dengue virus.  Dengue virus cannot be transmitted from one to person to another.

Common symptoms of dengue are:  sudden, high fever; severe headaches; pain behind the eyes; severe joint and muscle pain; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; skin rash (which appears two to five days after the onset of fever); and mild bleeding (such as nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy brusing).  These symptoms usually begin four to six days after infection and can last up to 10 days.

Dengue cases can range from mild to severe.  Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have mild cases than older children and adults.  However, serious problems can develop during illness.  One of the this is dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph nodes and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system.  The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death.  This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

At present, there is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection.  The only way to treat dengue fever is to take paracetamol to lower the fever and to take pain relievers with acetaminophen to relieve patient from muscle pain.  The patient should also take plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.  When symptoms get worse in 24 hours after the fever goes down, patient should be rushed to the hospital immediately to be checked for complications.

Dengue vaccine

The dengue vaccination was launched in the Philippines by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (DepEd), and later on was made available in medical clinics in 2016.  Presently, Watsons is the first retailer of dengue fever vaccine in the Philippine market.

Mr. Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director said that it is part of Watsons' commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible to everyone.  "Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country, that's why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through vaccination," says Chiong.

Sanofi Pasteur, the leading multinational pharmaceutical company in the world and an expert in the development of vaccinations, developed the first dengue vaccine (Dengvaxia).  It took the company more than 20 years to develop the said vaccine.  Before it was launched to the public, the vaccine has undergone thorough tests based on the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).  To be able to create this vaccine, 41,000 people from 15 countries including the Philippines were used as subjects and the results were fully reviewed by a committee of independent experts and has also been recommended by WHO.

The dengue vaccine should be taken in 3 doses at 6 months apart for each dose (0-6-12).  The dengue vaccine will protect the individual from all four strains of dengue virus.  It can be administered to people ages 9 to 45 years old and it can also be given to those people who had dengue fever in the past.

As of February 2017, the vaccine has already been approved by 14 countries all over the world where dengue is endemic, including Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines.

Philippines is one of the countries that has a high number of dengue cases 

In the Philippines, the DOH together with DepEd has launched the dengue vaccine administration through school-based immunization in April 2016.  This project aims to vaccinate about one million Grade 4 pupils aged 9 years old and above enrolled in public schools in several regions of the country.  Said project was initially launched in Regions III, IV-A, and NCR because these regions have the highest number of dengue fever cases all over the country.

In addition, the dengue vaccine has also secured the recommendation of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

It is expected that with this vaccine, it'll help reduce the dengue fever cases in the country by about 24 percent in the next five years, based on the study made by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIH).

Watsons' campaign for healthier Filipinos

The dengue fever vaccination is the latest addition to the vaccine being offered by Watsons.  It'll cost Php4000 per dose or Php12000 for all 3 doses, which is a reasonable price given the high incidence of dengue and high cost of treatment in the country.

Most people would think that the vaccine is expensive; don't fret because Watsons is offering a 0% interest for 3 months if you pay via credit card (BDO or BPI).  

Watsons will be offering dengue vaccinations in more than 100 stores nationwide.  The first scheduled vaccination will be on April 30, 2017 (1st dose), October 29, 2017 (2nd dose), and April 29, 2018 (3rd dose).  Another schedule for dengue vaccination will be on May 13, 2017 (1st dose), November 12, 2017 (2nd dose), and May 13, 2018 (3rd dose).  Experts reminded that people should have all the three doses so that the person will be fully protected from the harmful dengue virus.

Protect yourself from the harmful effects of dengue fever!  Get vaccinated now!  Visit any Watsons branch near you to find out which branches offer dengue fever vaccine.

The Watsons team who launched the dengue vaccine to the press

Usanimals--Your Child's Best Source of Complete Nutrition

Parents have this certain level of concern about our children's health.  We provide them the best food, the best environment, the best medical care so that our children won't easily get sick and will always stay healthy and strong.  Praying for good health is also one of the things that we always ask from from the Lord so that He will always keep us safe from any harm.

With the changing diet and food preferences of our children, most of the time we are no longer sure if our children are getting all the required vitamins and minerals on a daily basis that is why supplementation is important.

USANA Health Sciences, a U.S.-based nutritional company that manufactures high-quality supplements, personal care, and healthy food products.   Founded in 1992, USANA aims to develop healthy families through cellular nutrition.  USANA has been existing in the Philippine market for 8 years now and all of their products are FDA-approved and is classified as household remedy.  

Left to right: USANA Emerald Director Mara Pasco, UHS Essentials Health Philippines Vice President--Philippines and Indonesia Aurora Claudia Gaston, pharmacist Gen Blasurca, and 9-Star Diamond Director Josephine dela Fuente

Aurora Gaston, USANA's Vice President for Philippines and Indonesia said that the company only manufactures products that are well-researched and is backed by reliable and accurate science.  She also added that USANA has in-house world-class scientists who regularly test the potency and purity of USANA products to ensure complete and balanced formulas.  "At USANA, we believe that the quality of raw ingredients is of the utmost importance.  USANA only uses ingredients of high quality to ensure maximum purity, potency, and bioavailability," Gaston said.

USANA products are known for providing nutrition for adults, but since they also saw the need to provide good nutrition to the children, they introduced Usanimals.  It is a nutritional supplement for children ages 2 to 16 years old.  You might be surprised about the age range; USANA advocates breastfeeding up to two years of age that is why they recommend Usanimals to be introduced to children at the age of two.  Usanimals contains 23 essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support healthy growth and development for healthy immune function and energy levels, bone support, growth, and development of children.  Usanimals is listed in PPD and can be prescribed by pediatricians so parents don't need to worry about the potency and credibility of the product.

Usanimals contains vital micronutrients such as Vitamins A, C, E, and zinc to boost immunity; B6, B12, folate, and choline for healthy brain function; calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D for strong bones and teeth; and iron, thiamine, and B12 for energy.  It also contains calcium pantothenate, biotin, inositol, antioxidant phytonutrient complex (blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, blueberry fruit powder), selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, and molybdenium.  

With all of the above-mentioned ingredients of Usanimals, there is no need for parents to buy separate supplements for the nutritional needs of our children.  While some leading supplements say that they provide complete vitamins and minerals to our children, it is also very important for us parents to check the label.  Not all leading supplements provide the required amount of vitamins and minerals, thus there is still a need to buy another supplement to fulfill the needs of our growing children.

One advantage of Usanimals is that it is free from artificial flavors and sweeteners.  Each tablet is chewable and stamped with different animal shapes, thus the name Usanimals.

USANA gives back to society through USANA True Health Foundation (THF).  USANA THF recently partnered with Cornerstone Foundation--an education program under the group Couples for Christ, the Ateneo Center for Educational Development and the Department of Education--to conduct a six-month feeding program during their Saturday classes.

Throughout the program's duration, the students were individually weighed and their heights were measured before and after each feeding cycle, to track their physical development.  This is done to monitor the other health needs of the children included in the feeding program.

During the feeding program, each children are also given a 6 months' supply of Usanimals. 

The results of this project will be released later this year, so let's watch out for it.

You might think that Usanimals is expensive, but if you will compute the prices of the separate supplements you give to your children, Usanimals is still cheaper because of the complete nutrition it gives to your children.

What are you waiting for?  Find a USANA dealer and try Usanimals to your children now!

For more information about Usanimals and other updates about USANA Philippines, visit and follow USANA's social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  You may also visit USANA's official website at and its official blog

Mount Purro Nature Reserve: A Place to Commune with Nature

I have been living in Rizal province for more than 30 years, but there are a lot of places here that I still need to discover.  Rizal province is also rich in history, having lots of old churches and historical sites and rich culture as it has lots of talented artists.  It also offers wonderful views of nature overlooking Metro Manila and Sierra Mountain Range.  Rizal province is considered your short getaway from the Metro since it is the nearest province from National Capital Region and you do not have to pay toll fees just to get here.

Recently, I was invited to go to Mount Purro Nature Reserve together with my son. It was located on the mountainous part of Antipolo going towards to Cogeo.  I drove going there, thanks to Waze.  There are also directional signages going to Mount Purro along the way and you can even look at Mount Purro's website for the directions.  Mount Purro Nature Reserve can also be reached via public transportation; however, you need to make several transfers going there.

Mount Purro Nature Reserve's main gate

Reception area

This is where the adventure starts

Mount Purro Nature Reserve is owned by Alberto 'Toto' Malvar and his family.  You guessed it right, Mang Toto is one of the descendants of General Miguel Malvar.  They originally hail from Sto. Tomas, Batangas.  They have a family home in Quezon City but since he really loved nature, he spends most of his time in Mount Purro.  The 35-hectare property has been acquired by the family in 1990s because Mang Toto has this desire to plant trees (btw, Gen. Malvar is considered the Father of Reforestation).  At first, the property is only exclusive to family members, relatives, and close friends, but eventually they shared the property to the public so to educate the people about the importance of preserving nature.  Mang Toto is very much active in promoting reforestation and he gives back to the society by providing jobs to the people who are living near Mount Purro and by sending deserving children to school for free.  Indeed, he has a heart of gold to serve the people and nature!

Alberto "Toto" Malvar and his youngest son TJ.  TJ is the one managing the operations of Mount Purro Nature Reserve

Baby Malvar, Mang Toto's wife, the chef behind Loli's Kitchen

Mount Purro Nature Reserve is proud to showcase a variety of plants and trees.  Their cottages and function halls look like a traditional bahay kubo.  Since they are most proud of showing God's wonderful creation, they do not offer modern facilities such as TV, Wi-Fi, karaoke (they used to have this but they felt it disturbs the serenity of the place so they decided not to offer it anymore), aircon, and even telco signal, having a 'fasting' on these modern entertainment will make you appreciate nature more.  Just like what Mang Toto said, "disconnect to connect," this is your opportunity to disconnect to the digital world and get connected with the environment.

Our temporary home for the weekend.  It is loft-type, with two bathrooms, can accommodate up to 12 people.

So spacious inside!  The whole house is covered with net and the only ventilation available is electric fan.

The loft has 3 beds

There is a private room in the loft which has its own T&B

Some of the open cabanas for people who are not staying for the night

Pavilion for groups

Function hall

Other cottages

While Mount Purro offers cottages to families and groups, you can also pitch your own tent at the tent area if you want to have a camping-style of stay there.  

Tent area

Don't fret, Mount Purro still offers activities that will make your stay in this place worthwhile and memorable.  It has an activity room where you can play sungka, table tennis, billiards and foosball.  They also offer traditional hilot massage, mini-zipline, and rope course.  It also has a large swimming pool where you can have a dip and relieve yourselves from the scorching heat of the sun.  They also have horseback riding around the area and you can even hike around the area (they have trails so you can survey the area), go to the summit of Mount Purro (it's a two hours' hike) or go to the Kabunsuran falls (you can go there by foot from Mount Purro Nature Reserve or rent a tricycle and have a short hike going there).  However, Kabunsuran falls doesn't have much water during this time, so if you want to see overflowing water there, you should go during -ber months.  At night, you can have a bonfire activity, cooking your favorite hotdog and marshmallow while enjoying the warmth of the fire.  They also offer teambuilding activities to companies.

Bonfire area

Swimming pool

Mini-zipline area

Rope course

Activity area for teambuilding

The pathways/trailways inside Mount Purro Nature Reserve 

Activity/gaming area just after the reception hall

Bonfire at night

Short hike going to Kabunsuran Falls

Kabunsuran falls.  Water is not overflowing, better to visit during -ber months

Mount Purro's summit.  It takes two hours to hike going to the summit

Kib wading at the fresh water at Kabunsuran falls

Mount Purro is also open as an events venue.  You can have your weddings, birthdays, or even workshops/seminars at Mount Purro, just inquire for the rates.

One of the things that I enjoyed during our overnight stay there was the interaction with the Dumagat people.  Dumagat is an indigenous tribe from Sierra Madre.  They showed us how to cook rice and sinigang in bamboo.  They also demonstrated how to start fire by putting friction on two dried bamboos.  At first, it seem to be very easy, but actually it's a bit painful to the hands because of the sharp edges of the bamboo.  It's difficult to put friction on the same spot to produce fire because the bamboos are a bit slippery.

Making fire by putting friction on two dried bamboos

In cooking sinigang, they used binukaw leaves to make the soup sour.  I tasted the raw leaves and indeed they taste sour, just like a fruit of kamias tree.  Kib also enjoyed eating the leaves of binukaw.  I asked for some leaves to bring home so that I can try cooking sinigang using binukaw leaves.

Pork sinigang, Dumagat-style

Pandan leaves were used to cover the hollow bamboo

Cooking starts now!

Steamed rice cooked in bamboo

Bamboo spoons

Pork sinigang sa binukaw.  It didn't have much soup but when I had the taste of the soup, it's heavenly!

Kib enjoying the pork sinigang

He loved munching on the binukaw leaves!

Kib ate the rest of the sinigang

When you will go to Mount Purro, include the interaction with the Dumagat as part of your activity.  It'll help the tribe by giving jobs to them and it'll also help in preserving their culture as well :)

Photo op with the Dumagats.  Thank you for the extra binukaw leaves!

Mount Purro Nature Preserve also offers wonderful and delectable dishes to their guests.  Loli's Kitchen offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner at an affordable price.  You can bring your own food though, but they charge a corkage fee of Php150/head per meal.  Light snacks and liquor are allowed to be brought inside as well with no extra charges.  If you are staying in a cottage, eating inside is discouraged as leftover food will invite rodents and insects inside.  Footwear is also not allowed inside the cottages, there is a special place for your shoes and slippers just outside your cottage.  Each cottage is provided with drinking water in a jug and glasses.

Loli's Kitchen from the outside, it is located just across the reception area

This is what you will see first as you enter Loli's Kitchen.  The mess hall has lots of interesting stuff inside, there are books, some historical artifacts, and plaques received by Mang Toto

The buffet table

Brewed coffee at Mount Purro Nature Reserve is a must try!  

Mount Purro Nature Reserve aims to preserve the environment, so as responsible guests we should also be responsible in taking care of our trash.

I really enjoyed our short stay at Mount Purro Nature Reserve, and my son is already asking me when are we going back there.  Being a nature-lover, I enjoyed listening to the sounds produced by the nature and enjoy the cool temperature provided by the trees.  

The place is really promising and it can offer more to their guests in the future.  I suggested that since this place aims to educate people about the importance of conserving the environment, they should have some signages/trivia posted all over the place so that there is something people can see and learn during their stay there.

For sure, Kib and I will be back there!

For more information about Mount Purro Nature Reserve, you may visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts.  You may also visit their website at for other details.  Advance booking is recommended before going to Mount Purro Nature Reserve.  You can reach them at  0921-442-7337 (Reservations), and for groups more than 30, send an email at