La Germania dishes must-have kitchen tools for the holidays

Given the growing number of items on your holiday to-do list, staying ahead of the curve by doing your Christmas shopping in advance can save you a lot of time, stress, and money. It can be such a nuisance when you’ve already figured out the perfect gift for your loved one, but get beaten out by the influx of last-minute holiday shoppers and delayed deliveries.

That’s why La Germania is dishing out their must-have kitchen tools you absolutely need during the holidays. Not only do these choices help make you a whiz in the kitchen, but they elevate your home cooking experience.

For the aspiring baker

La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven

La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven

Gifted in the art of pastry making? Take your baking skills to the next level with the La Germania Electric Thermostat Oven. Tiny yet mighty, this portable electric table oven will help you bake pastries and other food items to perfection. Plus, it’s compact size makes it optimal for those who have smaller kitchen spaces.

For the foodpreneur

La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven

Running your own food business can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s why you should invest in a multitasking kitchen appliance like the La Germania Range FS5031 21XR oven. Equipped with three gas burners and one electric burner, a gas thermostat oven and an electric grill, this multi-tasking range can help you elevate your menu, and make cooking more efficient and hassle free so you can keep your customers coming back for more!

For the growing family

La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven

La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven

Preparing enough food for a big family can also be difficult, but having the La Germania Range 84cm FS8041 30XTR oven can make your life in the kitchen so much easier. Armed with a plethora of functions such as one turbo, one large, and two medium gas burners, one electric hotplate, a gas thermostat oven, and a gas grill with rotisserie, you can cook up a storm with this sleek kitchen appliance for a lifetime of delicious meals and family bonding moments.

For the serious home cook

La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven

La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven

If cooking is your passion, you can’t go wrong by investing in the La Germania Electric Range 60cm FS6004 40XTR oven. Packed with four electric hotplates, an electric thermostat oven with an electric grill, and a rotisserie function, cooking your noche buena extravaganza will be so much easier with this heavy-duty kitchen tool.

For big families

La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven

La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven

Home cooking never looked this good! Function and style combine in the La Germania Range TU140 71CX oven. Excellently designed with four aluminium gas burners and a fan-assisted gas oven with an electric grill, this particular model is packed with a lot of safety features. What’s more, it’s stainless finish will blend seamlessly into your chic home.

For the chef of the party

La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven

La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven

Cooking for a crowd is no easy task, but with the La Germania AMS96L 61LAX oven on your corner, you can prepare all your dishes to perfection. This super-duty kitchen appliance is armed with 6 brass gas burners and electric multifunction 9 settings oven, making it fit for the demands of a seasoned chef.

When it comes to preparing dishes for the holiday, it’s important you use good quality kitchen equipment like La Germania. Built according to the highest European standards in terms of construction and design, La Germania appliances allow you to prepare delectable dishes for the holiday season in an efficient and easy way. With guaranteed durability and superior quality, they’re a good investment for you to channel your inner chef, and unleash your kitchen genius.

La Germania products are available online through La Germania’s official e-commerce website http://www.lagermaniaph.com and e-commerce platforms on Shopee and Lazada. For more information on La Germania and its products, you may follow the official Facebook and Instagram accounts of the trusted kitchen and appliance brand.

About La Germania

Italian-heritage brand La Germania has been the preferred kitchen companion of Filipino homemakers for 53 years and counting. Its wide array of ovens, cooktops, and stoves is made of high-grade materials and designed to stand the test of time and extensive use. La Germania’s current line of products continues to serve the cooking needs and lifestyle of this generation and the next.

Product photos and details provided by La Germania in a recent press release.

Header photo created by DCStudio – www.freepik.com

Tips for a fresh and clean-smelling home that sparks good vibes and great productivity

Did you know that exposure to scents can affect your mood and productivity?

With many of us working or learning from home, we have seen the need to make our homes more comfortable and conducive to optimal work performance.

Odors do affect how we feel and how we work, primarily through how we associate events and experiences with them. Scents that we associate with good experiences (such as the aroma of freshly baked bread) tend to make us feel good, while scents that we associate with unpleasant experiences (such as the sterile smell of a hospital operating room) tend to make us feel bad.

Odors can also affect how we think and how we behave. For example, people exposed to pleasant odors tend to exhibit higher levels of prosociality, self-efficacy and work efficiency.

With these findings, it is important to ensure that all rooms in the house are clean and sweet-smelling so we can function as we should.

Living Room

Home Scents
Homr Scents

The living room is where we hang out with our household members to relax and unwind. It is also the place where we receive guests and make an impression on them.

To keep your living room smelling good, be sure to check the carpet from time to time. Carpets and rugs tend to trap odors from pet dander, sweat, smoke or mildew. Make sure these are cleaned and deodorized regularly.

It also helps to keep this room ventilated. Open a window to let fresh air in. Avoid overcrowding furniture to give the air some space to circulate. Using fans or air circulators also help to keep the air moving and dissipate most unpleasant smells.

Kitchen

Home Scents
Home Scents

The kitchen is where food preparation and post-dining clean-up occurs, both of which produce food waste which could contribute to foul smells in this area.

Make sure that food waste is properly put away in sealed trash cans and take them out of the house as soon as you can.

Ensure that your cleaning materials themselves – such as kitchen towels, sponges and brushes – are clean. Dry them after use as they will develop odors if they stay damp.

All kitchen surfaces should be cleaned and wiped dry after use as moisture can cause unpleasant smells.

Clean under heavy furniture or appliances such as the range hood, stove or refrigerator regularly as well. These can accumulate dust and grease which can trap bad odors.

Also, make sure that air can circulate when you cook by using fans or opening a window.

Wipe down drawers and shelves in your food storage areas and refrigerator at least once a week. Throw out any food item that may have gone bad or past its expiry date.

Dining Room

Home Scents
Homr Scents

As the place where the family converge to share meals and converse during breakfast, lunch and dinner, the dining room should also have an atmosphere conducive to a good appetite and happy conversation.

Before and after every use, the dining room should be swept and wiped clean and all surfaces disinfected to minimize any possible contamination or possible sources of unappetizing smells.

Bathroom

Homr Scents
Home Scents

As the place where we spend a lot of our personal time, the bathroom should have a relaxing and revitalizing atmosphere.

It tends to be a humid room, so keeping damp towels here is not a good idea. It would be best to dry your towels outside in the sun after use, and store them in another, drier part of the house when not in use.

Ventilation is also key to keeping your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. Open the door and windows to let the air circulate for at least 15 minutes everyday.

Bedroom

Home Scents
Homr Scents

As our haven for rest and recharging ourselves at the end of the day, the bedroom has no room for dank or musty smells.

To ensure a good night’s sleep and the restful tranquility that make the bedroom your place of respite, banish unpleasant odors by changing your bedsheets and linens to freshly washed ones at least once every week and ensuring that your bedroom rugs are vacuumed and deodorized.

As with all parts of the house, proper ventilation and air circulation greatly help in keeping the bedroom smelling wonderful. Allowing some spaces in between furniture and opening the window from time to time to let fresh air in will surely help.

With these tips in mind, you will find it easy to maintain a sweet-smelling home you and your family members can comfortably live, work and study in.

Aside from these practical steps, we also have tool that help us in keeping our home smelling clean and fresh

Albatross deodorizer blocks and scented gels help in eliminating any home malodor in any part of the house. They also come in various scents and colors that suit our preferences and home decor. Shop now at Lazada through the links below to stock up on these for your home.

Albatross Deodorizer Blocks.

Albatross
Albatross
Albatross

Albatross Scented Gels.

Albatross
Albatross
Albatross

Venue for home interior photos courtesy of Alyssa Tuangco.

Heroes for Children: Step up and deliver hope

UNICEF Philippines partners with RUNRIO Events to bring Filipinos together for a virtual move-a-thon for a cause: “Heroes for Children.”

Amidst a raging pandemic, many Filipinos feel trapped and anxious. This is especially true for children who, because of the nationwide lockdowns, face even greater difficulties in continuing their education and declining access to life-saving immunization and proper health and nutrition services.

Hope is needed now more than ever—and it begins with people who are willing to get up and move to make a difference in this year’s Heroes for Children campaign. 

Delivering hope starts with one step

First launched in 2015 by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Anne Curtis, “Heroes for Children” is a fundraising initiative that supports and gives hope to vulnerable Filipino children.

This beloved fundraiser returns this year as a virtual move-a-thon where anyone can bike, run, walk, dance, or exercise at their own pace—and help children in need get a better chance at life.

Everyone is invited to be a hero 

“Heroes for Children” is open to all individuals, friends, families, PWDs, and even fur babies here and abroad. It’s a chance for everyone of every fitness level to practice self-care and do good for Filipino children—in the safety of their own homes and communities.

Participants can choose a category and activity, and complete their distance goals within the whole duration of the virtual move-a-thon from October 1 to 31, 2021

Registration is ongoing! Sign up for yourself, your friends, or family through the Race Roster website or visit bit.ly/UNICEFHeroes2021.

Hope comes in many forms, be part of UNICEF’s 75th anniversary

This year, UNICEF is commemorating its 75th anniversary by inviting everyone to help build a better world for children.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the many issues facing children today that put their rights at risk. This crisis is a pivotal moment to not only respond to most crucial needs of children now, but also to continue building a better world for them.

When you sign up and move through “Heroes for Children,” you contribute to improve vulnerable children’s access to quality education, routine immunization, and health and nutrition services. Every step you make in the virtual move-a-thon is a step towards making this better world a reality for every child.

The Basket of Hope and Heroes for Children virtual move-a-thon are among the many initiatives and projects that enable individuals to help and join UNICEF in its mission to protect children’s rights and ensure a better future for them. With your participation and support, we can make it possible for every child to grow up in a world where they can enjoy all of their rights.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil their potential.  

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.  

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org  

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph. Follow UNICEF Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Why Rizal is the perfect setting for your dream home

If you’re tired of the constant traffic, heat and pollution of the metro, but still want to have the option to venture into its cities every once in a while, then investing in your own house and lot in Rizal may be your best option.

Removed from the chaos of the metro but still highly accessible

Being located just outside Metro Manila, the province of Rizal offers you an alternative way of life compared to the busier conditions of living in the metro.

However, with new developing infrastructure such as the Metro Manila Expressway, as well as established public transport systems between Metro Manila and Rizal, you’re only a short ride away from where you want to go.

The site for sights, culture and leisure

With its location at the foot of Sierra Madre, with Laguna de Bay to the south, the province of Rizal also affords easy access to incredible sights. These include the awesome views from atop limestone formations at the Masungi Georeserve, waterfalls surrounded by lush forests such as Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls, and the dramatic sight of giant windmills against the azure sky at the Pililla Wind Farm.

Pililla Wind Farm 1
Pililla Wind Farm, Pililla
Pililla Wind Farm 2
Pililla Wind Farm, Pililla

Known as “The Cradle of Philippine Art,” Rizal houses notable museums such as Pinto Art Museum, which showcases contemporary artworks, and Casa Santa, which houses what is considered to be the most extensive private collection of Santa Claus items in the world.

Pinto Art Museum 2
Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo
Pinto Art Museum 1
Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo
casa santa 1
Casa Santa, Antipolo
casa santa 2
Casa Santa, Antipolo

Many leisure resorts capitalize on Rizal’s relaxing atmosphere. Aside from scenic vistas and refreshing swimming pools, resorts like Bahay Bakasyunan also provide adventure-themed activities that make the most of its natural surroundings such as ziplining, wall-climbing, ATV rides and more.

bahay bakasyunan 1
Bahay Bakasyunan, Tanay
bahay bakasyunan 2
Bahay Bakasyunan, Tanay

Gastronomic pleasures in beautiful surroundings

Taking advantage of the province’s rich culinary heritage, abundance of fresh ingredients and naturally stunning environments, restaurateurs are setting up their destination eateries in Rizal.

Sammy’s in Cainta serves Indonesian-inspired food in a cozy and intimate setting, while the Burrow Cafe in Taytay features a seasonal menu made with locally sourced ingredients in a underground cafe surrounded by a verdant forest. Tahanan Bistro in Antipolo, on the other hand, showcases Filipino food served against a breathtaking view of Metro Manila cityscape.

Sammy’s, Cainta
Sammy’s Cainta
Sammy’s, Cainta
Sammy’s, Cainta
Burrow Cafe, Taytay
The Burrow Cafe, Taytay
Burrow Cafe, Taytay
The Burrow Cafe, Taytay
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo
Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

A progressive province

Being so near Metro Manila, Rizal is among the most progressive provinces in the country.

In an April 2013 study, the National Statistics Coordination Board (NCSB) reported that Rizal is the third least poor province in poverty incidence after Cavite and Laguna, indicating its thriving economy that makes it a desirable place to live.

Affordable housing within easy reach

The province also offers affordable house options, particularly in Lumina Baras.

Located in Brgy. Concepcion in Baras, Rizal this newest housing development is just three minutes away from the National Road. Its location affords its residents with easy access to these establishments:

  • Marketplaces and Malls: Baras New Market, Savemore Tanay, Puregold Tanay
  • School, Colleges & Universities: Baras Elementary School, URS Morong, STI College
  • Hospitals and Clinic: Rizal Provincial Hospital System Tanay Annex, Ospital ng Baras, Tanay General Hospital
  • Places of Worship: St. Joseph Parish Church, Inglesia Ni Cristo Baras, St. Jerome Parish Church

Lumina Baras has an array of house models to suit the different needs of homeowners.

Anna Rowhouse. A single-storey dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for one bedroom, a service area and toilet and bath, quite suitable as a starter home. Price starts at Php583,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Angelique Duplex. A two-storey duplex home with a 35 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for two bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport. It’s quite well-suited for a small family. Price starts at Php1,450,000.

Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex
Lumina Homes Angelique Duplex

Angeli Single Firewall. A two-storey single firewall home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for three bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport, perfect for a growing household. Price starts at Php1,704,000.

angeli single firewall 1
angeli single firewall 2
angeli single firewall gf
angeli single firewall 2f

Armina Single Firewall. A two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area. Its features include a living area, dining and kitchen with provisions for three bedrooms, a service area, toilet and bath, and a carport. It also comes with additional features such as a free ceiling and tiles on the ground floor. Price starts at Php1,900,000.

armina single firewall 1
armina single firewall 2
armina single firewall gf
armina single firewall 2f

Athena Single Firewall. A two-storey single firewall home with a 53 square meter floor area and a 63 square meter lot area. It comes complete with one living area, one dining and kitchen, one toilet and bath, three bedrooms, one family area, a service area and a parking space. It will appeal to families who already want a complete home upon move-in. Price starts at Php2,000,000.

athena-single-firewall-image-2
athena-single-firewall-image-1
athena-single-firewall-ground-floor
athena-single-firewall-second-floor

These Lumina homes are well-built, made from high-quality materials and designed with modern conveniences in mind.

Within these walls, you and your family can rest and recharge, spend time with each other and pursue your various passions from from art, to cooking and more, even setting-up a home gym!

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

A lot of fun and adventure also await when you venture outside your home into your master-planned Lumina Baras community. You will find a basketball court and a play area where young and old alike can enjoy physical activity, as well as a multi-purpose hall and a gazebo where neighbors can gather for events and celebrations.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Polomolok

Investing in your own Lumina house and lot is made even easier, thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing: offers the lowest possible interest rate with a 14-month downpayment term and a 30-year maximum loan term
  • Bank Financing: has faster loan processing with a 16-month downpayment term and a 20-year maximum loan term
  • Deferred Financing: involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash: involves full payment of total contract price applying a 6% discount if made within 30 days from payment of reservation fee, 8% if made within the reservation month, and 10% if made within 10 days of reservation date

So explore the possibilities of living so close to Metro Manila but removed from much of its hustle and bustle by residing in Baras, Rizal. Contact Lumina Baras by calling +63 956 6252026 or +63 916 5641903.

For its latest updates, visit the Lumina Homes website, or follow it on Facebook.

Lola Remedios Food Supplement helps you chase the malaise away

With all the erratic changes in from hot and humid to chilly and wet weather lately, it would hardly be surprising that we get beset by that feeling of heaviness and malaise, or what we sometimes call “feeling under the weather.”

I have noted some days when I feel like I’m close to getting sick and I can’t drag myself out of bed.

However, we normally don’t have the luxury to wallow in this uncomfortable feeling, especially with our many roles and responsibilities.

Lola Remedios
Lola Remedios

Our lolas called this feeling “lamig sa katawan” and even treated us to to a rejuvenating rest in our warm beds as well other comforting home remedies to make us feel that “ginhawa ng pakiramdam.”

Fortunately, we can still get comforted by our lola’s loving care with Lola Remedios Food Supplement Syrup.

Lola Remedios

Authentic Lola Remedios (Food Supplement Syrup – for Soothing relief of “Lamig”) Ready to Drink 15ml x 1 sachet. Available at Lazada.

Inspired by our lola’s traditional home remedies, Lola Remedios is made of all-natural ingredients imbued with qualities that give comfort and relief when we are ailing:

  • Ginger. Treats muscular aches and pains, as well as sore throat and cramps. It also helps to ease various stomach ailments.
  • Honey. Used as a treatment for cough and cold symptoms, as well as helps in countering sleep difficulty caused by upper respiratory tract infection. It also increases immunity and has anti-microbial and antioxidant effects.
  • Mint. Contains menthol which has a cooling effect that relieves sore throat, nasal congestion and muscle pains. It may also be prescribed for nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, headache and cold.
  • Clove. Contains essential oil and eugenol that has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties.
  • Fennel. Provides relief for stomach discomforts due to gas and indigestion.

Lola Remedios is also conveniently packaged in ready-to-drink in 15ml sachets. To get soothing relief for Lola Remedios, just shake the sachet, tear off a corner and sip straight from the sachet.

Lola Remedios

Personally, I prefer to mix it to warm water for a soothing hot drink while relaxing.

Lola Remedios
Lola Remedios

So if you ever feel like you’re under the weather, know that #LolaCares and Lola Remedios can make you feel better in no time!

Check out my picks for self-care essentials at Lazada.

What you need to know about TB (Tuberculosis) in the Philippines

It is important to know the different types of TB prevalent today, early symptoms and their effects, and how to properly treat it. 

As we continue the fight against COVID-19, one of the biggest killers in the country remains overlooked — Tuberculosis (TB). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines has the highest incidence rate of active TB among all Asian countries. 

Today, many TB-affected individuals in the country dismiss getting checked due to the fear of contracting COVID-19, lack of education towards treatment, and many Filipinos perceiving it as a low-risk disease. To better understand the current state of TB in the Philippines, it is important to know the different types of TB prevalent today, early symptoms and their effects, and how to properly treat it. 

Early symptoms of TB and causes 

TB is an airborne disease, and is not transmissible when sharing utensils with a person with TB. It is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which affects the lungs and spreads through the air when a TB-infected individual coughs, sneezes, or spits. It generally affects all age groups, especially children and adults with underlying conditions such as HIV, malnutrition, or diabetes. Adults who smoke tobacco also have a higher risk of contracting the disease. 

Common symptoms include chronic coughing that lasts more than two weeks, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. If you ever experience these symptoms, it is best to visit the nearest health center or TB clinic right away to get checked up. If you are unsure of their location, you can use the online self-assessment tool — https://assessment.tbfree.ph/ — to find the nearest health center or TB clinic in your area. 

The different types of Tuberculosis 

TB can be classified into two types of infections, active TB and latent TB. In the case of active TB, the individual who is carrying the organism has active symptoms and can transmit the infection to other people. On the other hand, those who have latent TB do not exhibit any of the symptoms since their immunity is able to fight off the infection. However, at some point in their life, the bacteria can reactivate and become an active TB case. 

TB can directly affect different parts of your body. For instance, the most common form of TB is Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) which primarily affects a patient’s lungs. Another is Extra Pulmonary Tuberculosis (EPTB), a form of TB that affects other parts of your organs and body including lymphatic, pleural, and bone or joint disease which are the most common, while pericardial, meningeal and disseminated (miliary) forms are more likely to result in a fatal outcome.

In some other cases, the TB bacteria can also be resistant to the drugs used to treat TB which classifies as Drug-resistant TB (DRTB). Though, if a person is classified under Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), then the TB bacteria is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin, the two most potent TB drugs. Patients who fall under MDR-TB undergo a different type of treatment. Drug susceptible TB (DSTB) is the exact opposite. A person who is infected with TB bacteria that are fully susceptible, TB drugs will be effective as long as it is taken properly.  

TB detection and treatment 

Despite being infectious and potentially fatal, TB can be cured with proper treatment and early detection. The first thing people with presumptive TB need to do is schedule a chest x-ray test. If it is detected as possible TB, ask your doctor for a TB sputum diagnostic test to confirm if it is really TB. It is best advised to take the sample in the morning right before eating. Patients must then gargle water and take their sputum samples outdoors or in an open and airy place away from other people. If results come back positive, the patient must return to their doctor to begin treatment. 

TB medicine is free at the nearest health center or TB clinic in your area. However, Anti-TB medicine is not like other antibiotics that are only taken for a week or two since it must be taken for at least six (6) months. Patients who are undergoing treatment may also experience mild headaches as one of the side effects but there may also be other causes. If you experience this, it is best to return to your doctor immediately for a consultation. Additionally, the National TB Control Program (NTP) does not recommend vitamins or any supplements, but it is not prohibited. Remember, it’s even more important to finish treatment to be #TBFree. 

Do your part for a #TBFreePH 

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) is gathering more government support through the amendment of the National TB Law to increase funding and efforts for the National TB Control Program in 2022. In line with these initiatives, mobile chest x-ray vans that can provide TB detection results as fast as ten minutes will begin city-wide sweeps. With this, TB detection processing will be made quicker and should help solve mobility restrictions posed by the pandemic. TB is curable and can be attained if every individual does their part to support, educate, and encourage fellow Filipinos to to complete their TB treatment and take anti-TB drugs regularly, so they can end the spread of the disease and live a healthier TB-free life. For more information about TB, visit www.tbfree.ph or check out the #TBFreePH Facebook page.

About #TBFreePH

The Department of Health (DOH) has declared TB a priority, in its hope to make the Philippines TB-free by 2035. Their strategy towards a #TBFREEPH revolves around varying global views, encouraging unity among all potential allies. This diversity of ideas is a main pathway in implementing the government mandate Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP). The big tent communication approach they are implementing makes the process of information gathering inclusive and relevant for everyone involved.

The DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau (DPCB) and Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO) and various other development partners in designing this strategy through a series of consultation workshops and meetings.

Boost your gut health with Forever Aloe Bits ‘n Peaches

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to take care of our overall health.

A significant aspect of well-being is our gut health. However, unless our tummy acts out in ways that make us uncomfortable, we hardly take notice of it.

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

The state of our digestive tract contributes a lot to the health of other systems of our bodies: from the workings of our brain and heart, the effectiveness of our immune system, the state of our skin, weight and hormone levels, even the propensity to develop cancer.

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Needless to say, ensuring the health of our digestive system goes a long way towards a living a healthier life.

For centuries, the aloe vera plant has been used for health and medicinal purposes, especially the jelly like substance harvested from its leaves – called aloe vera gel.

From Pexels

US-based company Forever Living Products, has mastered the harnessing of aloe vera’s health benefits and delivering it to consumers with its own aloe fields, manufacturing facilities, research and development, quality control laboratories and distribution channels.

In the Philippines, its products are distributed by Forever4U, which also hosts bootcamps for health, fitness and beauty buffs.

One of its products is Forever Aloe Bits ‘n Peaches. A product of Forever Living’s aloe stabilization process, it contains 200 compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids and 12 vitamins which help in maintaining a healthy digestive system as well as a natural energy level.

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

With the addition of peach concentrate, this drink is not just infused with the sweet and fruity flavor of peaches, it is also fortified with carotenoids which are great antioxidants, source of Vitamin A and essential in maintaining the proper function of our immune system.

From Pexels

I started taking a small shot glass of this tonic drink before breakfast and after dinner everyday and after a week, it has helped in clearing my gut regularly (you know what I mean!) helping me feel lighter and healthier.

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Now is not the time to take our gut health for granted so do stock up on Forever Aloe Vera Bits ‘n Peaches, or other aloe gel drinks such as Forever Aloe Vera Gel or Forever Aloe Berry Nectar. These are great additions to any #LockdownCleansing routine.

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

To brush up on more healthy habits you can pursue during quarantine and beyond and to order Forever Living products, follow Forever4U on Facebook.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided to facilitate this feature article.

Buy these at Lazada!

Find your dream home in the Land of Dreamweavers: Lumina Polomolok in South Cotabato

Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to venture too far from Metro Manila when it comes to my domestic travels.

Aside from short stays in the provinces surrounding the metro, and the intermittent tours in the northern part of Luzon during Holy Week breaks together with the family, my jobs have allowed me to visit just some parts of Visayas such as Bohol and Cebu.

However, I haven’t really had the opportunity to explore Mindanao, which is quite a shame, really. After all, the country’s second largest island actually has a lot to offer when it comes to amazing views, captivating culture, appetizing delicacies and more.

Take Polomolok in South Cotabato, for example. This municipality does not just boast of a rich and vibrant culture and scenic vistas, it is also possesses a thriving economy.

The Land of Dreamweavers and Dreamy Sights

Polomolok is home to various indigenous groups whose rich heritage brings a lot of color and interest to the area. One of these groups – the T’boli – are renowned for the T’nalak, a special fabric woven by the women of their community from their dreams.

Various unique and colorful iterations of this fabric come into full display as during local celebrations. The Flomlok Festival held during the Foundation Anniversary of Polomolok in September showcases costumes made with T’nalak worn by the locals for the street dance competitions and other festivities.

Aside from the festivities, its nearby attractions which showcase nature at its best are sure to catch your eye. These include the crater lake of pristine waters surrounded by verdant forests Lake Holon; the woodland and wildlife sanctuary Lake Sebu; the colorful and rustic Strawberry Guyabano Farm; and one of South Cotabato’s most sacred sites, the Our Lady of Mt. Matutum Trappistine Monastery.

These vibrant and colorful aspects of life in Polomolok earned it the moniker Little Brazil of the Philippines.

A Thriving Way of Life

While the festivities and local sights would attract visitors, the high quality of life amidst the relaxed atmosphere will surely draw in people looking to build a life and raise their family somewhere new.

With a thriving local economy driven by agriculture and aquaculture, Polomolok is among the wealthiest municipalities in Mindanao. Despite this, Polomolok also boasts of a lower cost of living. Here, the cost of goods and services are much cheaper than in Metro Manila and most of the other areas in the country.

Lumina Polomolok

Polomolok also offers affordable housing options through Lumina Polomolok.

Find your dream home here

On the lookout for a house and lot for sale in Polomolok that won’t break the bank?

At this newest project of affordable house and lot developer Lumina Homes located in an 11.4 hectare area in Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok, South Cotabato, you can choose from over 1,400 well-designed and constructed house models for one that will suit your needs.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Looking for something fuss-free and low maintenance for your starter home? The Anna Rowhouse should be right up your alley. It is a single-storey dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 37 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provisions for one to two bedrooms, a service area and toilet and bath. Price starts at Php552,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

If you have a small family, you would find your perfect fit with the Angeli Townhouse. It is a two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provision for three bedrooms , a service area, toilet and bath and carport. Price starts at Php1,109,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

If you’re looking for a little more space, you will surely gravitate towards the Armina Single Firewall Home which is a single detached two-storey home with a 42 square meter floor area and a 54 square meter lot area, built with living and dining areas with provision for three bedrooms , a service area, toilet and bath and carport. Price starts at Php1,527,000.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Aside from having an affordable yet comfortable abode, living in a Lumina Homes community also affords you with amenities that make for great times spent out of doors!

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

These include a basketball court, children’s playground, function hall, and mini gardens enclosed in a perimeter fence with 24/7 security, plus free shuttle service to and from town.

Lumina Polomolok
Lumina Polomolok

Living in Lumina Polomolok also lets you stay close to the action with these establishments within easy reach:

  • Marketplaces and Malls: Gaisano Mall, Friendly Mart, TLG Shoppers Mart and Price Mart Super Store
  • School, Colleges & Universities: Christian School of Polomolok, B.E.S.T College of Polomolok Inc., General Santos Academy, Polomolok National High School, SDA Dolefil Elementary School, and Notre Dame-Siena College of Polomolok
  • Hospitals and Clinic: Polomolok Municipal Hospital Inc., Bontuyan Medical Hospital Inc., Heramil Hospital, and JGR Medical Clinic and Services
  • Places of Worship: Our Lady Of Lourdes Parish, Central Polomolok Baptist Church and Southern Baptist Church

Getting your own Lumina dream home is made even easier, thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing which offers the lowest possible interest rate with a 14-month downpayment term and a 30-year maximum loan term
  • Bank Financing which has faster loan processing with a 16-month downpayment term and a 20-year maximum loan term
  • Deferred Financing which involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash which involves full payment of total contract price applying a 6% discount if made within 30 days from payment of reservation fee, 8% if made within the reservation month, and 10% if made within 10 days of reservation date

So open yourself and your family up to fresh possibilities that living in Polomolok, South Cotabato has to offer! Contact Lumina Polomolok by calling +63 917 6296523, or drop by its sales office at Unit 4, 2F RCMIR Building, National Highways, Polomolok South Cotabato.

For its latest updates, visit the Lumina Homes website, or follow it on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Polomolok Field Photo by Julienne M on Unsplash

CITEM launches digital initiatives to boost PH Food industry

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has announced the launch of its initiative to promote the local food industry.

In a recent digital promotions meeting attended by representatives from its partner exhibitors, buyers, government agencies, embassies and media, CITEM executive director Pauline Suaco-Juan shared that these digital-based endeavors are part of the CITEM’s drive to provide a unique and comprehensive trade show experience for all of its stakeholders.

“Even before the pandemic started affecting businesses and events the world over, CITEM has already begun working on its digitalization initiatives in an effort to go where our audience is headed,” says Suaco-Juan. “With digital marketing and e-commerce disrupting the trade industry, one must be able to adapt to the new online processes, systems and methods that are the future of this industry.”

CITEM’s digital initiatives aim to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) keep up with their global competitors and maximize their resources in the new business environment, through the power of digital and content marketing.

Food entrepreneurs among CITEM’s registered exhibitors, for example, can now easily connect with, and promote their products to more buyers around the world through their digital storefronts and online catalogs housed in the IFEX Connect website (ifexconnect.com).

CITEM Digital Initiatives

Their online visibility will also be supplemented by hybrid events (partly onsite and partly online) as well as fully digital trade events which are promoted through communications in various online channels to extend the reach and discoverability of exhibitors beyond that of a typical onsite trade show.

Content in the form of social media posts, press releases, newsletters, event brochures and look books, among others, will also be created under the Food Philippines brand (foodphilippines.com), to help promote the local food industry by highlighting the country’s food heritage, recipes, feature stories, products, ingredients and culinary talents while linking back to the exhibitors’ digital storefronts.

To help exhibitors maximize the potential of IFEXConnect.com, CITEM is also running content amelioration programs to assist MSME’s in the production of product photos and brand copies meant to optimize both the user experience and their searchability online. This program started with a pilot batch of 100 MSMEs with top food stylist Chichi Tullao and food photographer Justin de Jesus helping in the production.

For all these efforts, CITEM enlisted the expertise of premier storytellers in the food industry: Joey Ong, advertising veteran and Managing Director/Executive Creative Director of Dojo as Chief Storyteller, and Angelo Comsti, chef, food writer, and author of the bestselling cookbooks, From our Table to Yours and Also Filipino, as Editor-in-Chief of the two platforms.

“CITEM, works hand in hand with these food luminaries along with ODV Creative who offered strategic support for content production and event management, and UM Philippines for web development. We are proud to have built a homegrown website and we look forward to building a community that will let the world savor the best of Philippine food,” added Suaco-Juan.

Food companies and buyers are encouraged to register and be the first to experience the shift to digital. Application for the initial batch of exhibitors is until August 25, 2021.

Click here to register as an Exhibitor and here to register as a Buyer.

CITEM Digital Initiatives

These digital initiatives will be managed with the aim of creating profitable relationships between businesses and their customers using a customer relationship management system (CRM) which MSMEs can now benefit from by virtue of being registered exhibitors of CITEM.

MSMEs can even link their e-commerce platforms (such as their online stores in Lazada, Shopee or Alibaba) to their digital storefronts in IFEX to facilitate seamless sales transactions and fulfillment.

Another support that CITEM extends to food MSMEs is its product innovation and development program, which is now known as NxtFoodPH. It is a year-long comprehensive and integrated assistance for the development and promotion of Philippine food products to adapt to changing consumer demands.

About CITEM

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally-competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

For three decades, CITEM has established the country’s image as the premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence and innovation to achieve export competitiveness in the international market.

Have fun in the great outdoors with your Lumina Rosario community

While we do spend most of our leisure time, safe and cozy, inside our home, it is the community just outside its doors that make it the ideal abode.

When we take our family on a sojourn beyond the walls of our house and explore our immediate vicinity, we are able to take part in the local scene. Our interactions with our neighbors and local merchants during our time out of doors help shape our total experience in our particular locale.

Lumina Rosario

Take living in Lumina Rosario, for example.

This newest project of mass housing community developer Lumina Homes is located in a 46-hectare property in Barangay Quilib in Rosario, Batangas.

Lumina Rosario House Models

In this location, would-be homeowners on the lookout for a house and lot for sale in Batangas, can find their dream home among the Lumina Homes’ well-designed and constructed house models, regardless of their stage in life.

The Anna Rowhouse, for instance, is a bungalow type dwelling with a 24 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter minimum lot area, perfect for those who want a starter home. Already built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, as well as a provision for one bedroom and service area, it is ideal for those who want something low-maintenance for their first abode.

On the other hand, home buyers with small families would gravitate towards the Adriana Townhouse. A two-storey home with a 44 square meter floor area and a 36 square meter minimum lot area, it is built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, provision for two bedrooms, service area and a garage.

Lastly, home buyers with larger families would find either the Angeli Duplex or the Angeli Single Firewall well-suited to their needs. Both feature a floor area of 53 square meters and a minimum lot area of 63 square meters, and are built with living and dining areas, kitchen, toilet and bath, 3 bedrooms with partitions, family area and garage. The difference between the two models is that the duplex is one of two adjacent units while the single firewall is detached from other units by a space of approximately 3 meters. These house models definitely provide families with more room to grow!

These housing options are made even more accessible to would-be home buyers thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing which has an interest rate of just 6.5% over a payment period ranging from 5 to 30 years
  • Bank Financing which has faster loan processing payable between 5 to 20 years
  • Deferred Financing which involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash Total Contract Price which involves full payment of total contract price within 30 days after reservation applying a 6% discount.

The Amenities.

Aside from a wonderful structure that they can furnish according to their taste and mold into a home for their family, Lumina homeowners also get to enjoy a sprawling outdoor area where they can hold fun activities together with their neighbors and establish their own community.

Kids can have fun playtime with their friends at the parks and playground area while the more sports-minded residents can make full use of the covered basketball court for sports and fitness activities.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario

Public events and private functions may also be held at the shared commercial area to help foster a community spirit.

The friendly guards at the guard house help to ensure the safety and security of the community while the shuttle service enables residents to easily venture out and enjoy more of what the locale has to offer by way of culture and entertainment.

Lumina Rosario
Lumina Rosario

The Local Flavors.

Rosario, Batangas is the home of the Sinukmani Festival, a feast held every year on the 9th day of June since 2005. It celebrates the local delicacy Sinukmani, more widely known as Biko, which is made with the area’s top local produce: rice, coconut and sugar cane.

Other must-try gustatory delights in the area include the Goto Batangas which is a soup made with tripe, intestines, liver, and beef shank in a broth flavored with onions, ginger, and annato powder and served with steamed rice, as well as the Lomi Batangas, a Chinese-inspired noodle soup made even heartier by the Batanguenos with the addition of pork meat, tripe, crispy skin and other sundry ingredients.

Places to Visit and Enjoy.

Residing in Lumina Rosario makes the region’s breathtaking tourist attractions all the more accessible to those with a little bit of wanderlust.

Villa Crisanta Garden Resort, for instance, is a perfect destination to escape the metro’s hustle and bustle with its verdant gardens and leisure spa facilities.

An hour’s ride away from Lumina Rosario would get the traveller to popular beach destination Laiya in San Juan, Batangas.

Laiya, Batangas

Those seeking serenity can enjoy the sun, sand and sea of beachfront resort Playa Laiya while those seeking thrills can enjoy the adrenaline-pumping activities at Laiya Adventure Park such as a 630-meter zipline, wall climbing, rapelling, freefall, aerial walk and downhill tubing.

Indeed, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy out-of-doors if you reside at Lumina Rosario. And the best part is that after all your outdoor fun, you can always come home to your vibrant community and your comfortable Lumina Homes abode.

So inquire now for a Lumina Rosario house and lot for sale in Batangas by calling +63 919 0812972 or +63 917 8342349 or by visiting the sales office at Lumina Lipa Site in Brgy. Tibig, Lipa City, Batangas and be on your way towards becoming a #CertifiedKabarangayLumina.

Other #LuminaHomes projects in the province are located in Lipa, Bauan, Tanauan and Sto. Tomas.

For more details, follow Lumina Rosario on Facebook or visit the Lumina Homes webpage.

Guidebooks for DIY room glowups from Sophia Calima

With all the time we have been spending at home lately, we have probably noted some areas for improvement already.

To give us a feeling of control over our environment, many of us are likely to have been tempted to makeover some of the rooms we frequent in the house.

As luck would have it, doing so by ourselves may not be too hard, especially with the guidance of interior designer Sophia Calima.

Having completed her Interior Design degree from the renowned Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy, Manila-born Sophia set about finding synergy between modern, western and eastern sensibilities. After honing her talents with stints with with Susan Fredman Design Group Chicago, Droulers Architecture Milan, Lor Calma and Partners Manila, The I.D. Dept Singapore, and Kenneth Cobonpue Cebu, she gained design chops that earned her the moniker “Home Designers That Should be on Your Radar” from Mega Publishing.

She recently launched a book series which is comprised of handy digital guidebooks targeting homeowners who want to make their design goals a reality.

Sophia Calima e-books

Sophia Calima e-books

Sophia Calima e-books

These e-books showcase tips on measuring spaces properly, layout planning for good flow, choosing pleasing color schemes and putting all elements together to transform existing home spaces towards their real purpose such as:

Making the Living Room an inviting place to gather together with loved ones and share meaningful moments

Arranging the Bedroom as a place of respite where people can rest and recharge

And for those who have shifted to working from home, setting up the Home Office to be a place for focus and creativity.

To get your copies of these highly informative e-books, download from SophiaCalima.com at Php350 per book.

Sophia also offers eDesign, an affordable alternative to end-to-end design services wherein consultations, custom design, tips and shopping lists are all provided online with no need for the interior design team to step into the house. This service is ideal for DIYers or clients on a budget as well as those who want to limit physical access to their household spaces in accordance to quarantine restrictions.

For more details on eDesign, click here.

Being stuck at home has afforded us the great opportunity to make it the place we truly want to spend time in. Let’s take advantage of this chance and the excellent resources available to accomplish our home design goals.

Disclosure: Complimentary copies of the e-books were provided to facilitate this feature story.

Header photo Credit: Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Examples of room design taken from Sophia Calima’s Instagram.

With GLife, you can shop straight from your GCash app!

Shopping online, ordering your favorite meals and even interacting with your favorite celebs just got more exciting with GLife! The one-stop-shop that upgrades you to your superlife!

#ICYMI GLife, your one-tap entry-point to all things online shopping has just added even more merchants you’ll definitely love. Shopping for a meal for the family? A snack to eat? Or even just looking to rock out to some new speakers and tunes, GLife has got you covered, now you don’t need to go through the hassle of constantly switching apps because they have got it conveniently available for us all! Here’s a rundown of this month’s newest merchants that’ll make you want to add-to-cart ASAP.

Top Picks For Your Taste Buds

Whether it’s your cheat day or not, add these delectable options to your mental menu! 

Savor the flavors of Southeast Asian delights from Nanyang where you can get your kaya toast and kopi fix or go for heartier options like their curry, laksa, or Hainanese chicken rice meals. If it’s more of a dimsum day for you, enter the Oriental gates of Paradise Dynasty and enjoy fine Chinese dining right in the comforts of your own home. 

For more special occasions, relish the nostalgia of childhood classics with Goldilocks or go ahead and treat yourself or your family with comfort food feasts from The Racks Group with special deals from Racks, Tenya, & Rackshack. For a more personal touch, choose to make your own feast and cook up something different with trusted quality ingredients from The Rare Food Shop.

Get your fill of balanced meals with healthy options like Kenny Rogers and Go! Salads, or indulge from time to time with all the good stuff from Wildflour and Bricklane Doughnuts.

Whatever the craving, whatever the mood, and whatever the occasion – you’re bound to find something that makes your taste buds come alive on GLife.

Hobbies & Recreation

Even when it comes to different hobbies and interests, GLife has something for everyone. 

Take a break from tech and bond with your family or your closest friends with some fun games from Hobby Corner – your one-stop hobby shop for people of any age. Make the mood extra fun with some good tunes enjoyed through high quality audio from JBL’s speakers, headphones, and sound systems! 

If you’re into mobile gaming, why not flex your skills in some competitive casual gaming with Goama Games? Play anywhere by staying connected with a 5G SIM and no expiry data from GOMO! And when it comes to all your different multimedia needs, gadget goals, and dream upgrades, you can trust merchants like Datablitz, Game One PH, and Cherry to have what you need.

Home Essentials & Feel-Good Finds

From home appliances to home improvements and all the everyday essentials in between!

If you ever find yourself needing a break, curl up with a good book from Fully Booked where you can enjoy free shipping for a minimum spend of P799! You can also surprise your friends and spread some joy with something different by getting their favorite celebrity to give them a greeting with FanLove!

For those of you about to attend a period party, make your days feel extra nice knowing you’re switching to better habits that are better for the environment with Nalawoman – your go-to place for eco-friendly period care products at an affordable price where you can also get free shipping for a minimum spend of P500 when you enter the promo code “gcashnayan”. 

Aside from giving yourself and the environment some extra TLC, you can keep yourself and your family – including your fur babies – in tip-top shape with vitamins, supplements, and other health essentials for you and your pets from Healthmart and PetMart.

Want to save more on groceries and other good finds? Head on over to Triber! Asia’s social e-commerce platform for community group buying now accessible on GLife with up to 80% off in deals and discounts. You can easily breeze through how it works by going to Triber on GLife and tapping the “how to group buy” button under the FAQs section.

Curate your space with GLife. Invest in upgrades with Xtreme Appliances and explore home living possibilities with premium products from ConcepStore. Organize and declutter with quality home products at affordable prices from OKStore. And add a warm, rustic touch with Domesticity where you’ll find handcrafted pieces combining beauty and function made by a Gawad Kalinga Community in Negros Occidental. Get everything you need to turn your house into a home with GLife.

There’s always something for everyone to enjoy at GLife and if you haven’t checked it out yet, this is your sign to do so! Stay tuned for even more merchants you’ll love made even more exciting with exclusive promos and offers you won’t want to miss. If you don’t have the GCash app yet, you can download it via the App Store or Google Play. Just register your account and enjoy GCash as your new super-life app!

About GCash

GCash is the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines. Through the GCash app, customers can easily buy load; pay bills at over 600 partner billers in the app; pay at more than 7,000 online partners; send and receive money anywhere in the Philippines; pay using QR codes at over 130,000 partner merchants nationwide; save money while earning interest; and invest money at local and global funds — all through the convenience of their smartphones.

GCash is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom, Inc. GCash was recognized by The Asian Banker (TAB) in 2021 for its outstanding digital financial inclusion programs impacting more than 40 million Filipinos in the country today.

Get your groceries from SM markets within an hour via GrabMart

During pre-pandemic times, my go-to for groceries was, of course, SM Markets. Aside from having a store just a stone’s throw away from my house, SM Markets also houses a wide range of grocery products: from fresh and frozen food, snack items, canned goods, personal hygiene and sanitary products, as well as cleaning and houseware goods.

However, the restrictions on mall entry, shortened mall hours and the need to maintain physical distancing resulted into longer lines and longer waiting lines at my local SM Market.

Well, that’s no longer a problem with GrabMart’s partnership with SM Markets which enables users of the Grab app to place orders from selected SM markets via the app- including SM Supermarket, Hypermarket, and Savemore- and receive their orders at home in just an hour.

For a mom like me who manages a full household but has many demands on her time, the combination of SM Markets’ wide variety of products and Grab’s fast delivery times is a great time saver and takes the worrying over how to acquire my family’s grocery needs off my plate.

And here’s another reason to shop at SM Markets via GrabMart: With a minimum order of just Php1200 from any SM Markets branch on GrabMart, groceries delivery is FREE with code SMFREEDEL! Shoppers can save even more  by getting Php300 off with a minimum order of Php2500 with the code SM300! 

Now, mommies can rest easy knowing that their grocery requirements are readily accessible just by opening the Grab app.

Aside from this new amazing partnership, SM and Grab also joined hands to promote safe shopping inside SM Malls. This include allowing users of Grab’s in-app wallet GrabPay to top up their accounts at SM Supermalls. 

For more details on how Grab facilitates life in our New Normal, visit Grab on Facebook.

Grab is the leading super app platform in Southeast Asia, providing everyday services that matter to consumers. Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 214 million mobile devices, giving users access to millions of drivers, merchants, and agents. Grab offers a wide range of on-demand services in the region, including mobility, food, package and grocery delivery services, mobile payments, and financial services across 397 cities in eight countries.

How to protect yourself from credit card fraud

Even before the pandemic hit the Philippines, credit card fraud has been rampant in the country. Just last year, there was a recorded increase in fraud cases of almost 30 percent. With the rise of online transactions, fraudsters have found it easy to trick many cardholders into sharing their personal information and using it to steal money through unauthorized transactions.

Due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, the e-commerce industry has grown immensely. From food and groceries to furniture and appliances, almost everything can now be bought online. With just a few taps, purchases can be made without leaving the house. It may be convenient, but these kinds of transactions pose potential risks. One wrong click can cause the leak of sensitive information without the customer knowing it.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are different types of credit card fraud that you should watch out for and how you can avoid them:

Phishing & Vishing

Phishing and Vishing are some of the most common types of credit card fraud in the country. Phishing comes in the form of emails, fake job search sites, banner ads, fake browser toolbars, text messages, and chat room messages. Vishing, which is another type of Phishing, happens in the form of phone calls from scammers pretending to be bank representatives. With Phishing and Vishing, scammers lure their victims into giving their sensitive data by offering fake and too-good-to-be-true promotions or even by claiming that the account has been compromised and will be blocked.

What you can do: Carefully examine the emails and text messages that you receive and do not click on the links right away. For suspicious emails or text messages, contact your bank immediately to verify if the message you received is valid. At the same time, listen carefully to the phone calls you get as scammers can also claim to be bank representatives. When in doubt, it’s better to ignore and not entertain them. Never give your sensitive information to anyone, especially when visiting unverified websites.

Lost or Stolen Cards

You are on your way home when you realize that your wallet is missing and it could have been stolen or it could have fallen somewhere. What’s worse is it contains your debit cards, credit cards, IDs, and cash! Whoever gets it will have access to your credit cards and can use them to make unauthorized transactions under your name. You can only hope that someone with a good heart finds it and returns it to you, but that may not always be the case.

What you can do: If this happens to you, contact your bank right away and report your lost or stolen cards so the bank can block your accounts immediately. Moreover, cardholders should treat their cards like cash. Don’t place your wallet in areas where it can be easily seen and stolen. It is also helpful to have a different pouch for cards and cash so that you do not lose everything if anything happens to your wallet.

Card Replacement Scam

It’s just another normal day when you suddenly receive a call or message asking you to surrender your credit card because it is due for a replacement and an upgrade. You’re probably wondering why. The last time you checked your credit card was working fine. Since it sounds enticing that you’re getting an upgrade, you willingly submit and give up your card. But lo and behold, it’s a scam. Now you don’t have your card and the bill is stacking up because a scammer is using it to make expensive purchases.

What you can do: Always be careful with calls or messages you receive concerning your credit card or bank account. Remember, banks will never ask you to surrender your card even if it is up for replacement. Instead, they will ask you to destroy it or to go to their branch to give you the replacement card.

Skimming

You are out of cash and you need to go to an automated teller machine (ATM). You find the nearest one, insert your card, and withdraw cash. Little did you know, the machine was rigged. Fraudsters installed a device on the machine to skim your card’s magnetic stripe which contains all your sensitive information. Or maybe, you are shopping for a nice bag at the mall and you use your credit card to pay for it. However, the cashier’s credit card terminal has already been tampered, giving fraudsters access to your account.

What you can do: Thankfully, banks have upgraded their credit cards’ microchips and switched to EMV technology, making it harder for skimming devices to collect information from your card. However, cardholders should remain vigilant. Always make sure that all of your credit card transactions happen in your presence. Keep on checking ATMs for skimming devices by shaking the card scanners before inserting your card.

Other ways you can protect yourself from fraudsters and scammers:

One way is to avoid using public WIFI when conducting credit card transactions. It’s difficult to determine if these free WIFI connections have been hacked by fraudsters who are waiting for people to expose their sensitive information.

Another is to ensure that your issuer has your updated contact information so they can reach you for any suspicious and unusual account activities. Remember that issuers will call you to verify transactions, but will not ask for your sensitive information.

When you encounter suspicious activities or unexpected declined transactions, immediately call your bank to check and advise them. You can also use your bank’s mobile app to track your activities. If it has the lock/unlock feature, choose to lock the card when not in use for increased safety. Always be on the lookout as well for notifications from your issuers.

Overall, the very key to avoiding scams is to make sure that your account details are always secured and inaccessible to the public. Never share your personal and sensitive information, like your CVV or one-time-pin (OTP), with anyone! Fraudsters will never be able to take over your account if they do not have these important information.

Today, it is so easy to ‘add to cart’ and ‘check out’, thinking na-budol na naman ako for giving into the temptations of online shopping. But the real and more dangerous budol are the credit card fraudsters who are taking advantage of the online space to trick you into giving away your hard-earned money.

As cardholders, you should take control of your credit card transactions and be extra vigilant before engaging in any online transaction as it is one of the prevalent ways that fraudsters can gain access to your sensitive information. Join the Credit Card Association of the Philippines’ (CCAP) #FightBudolMovement and protect your sensitive information, ward off fraudsters and take charge of your finances!

Follow CCAP on their Facebook page to learn more about CCAP’s campaign.

Header image created by lifeforstock – www.freepik.com

3 reasons to chill out and pig out at Arca South’s Fieldside Market

More and more, the ability to escape from the confines of our home for some rest and recreation has become a much-desired luxury.

This is hardly surprising since the home is still the safest place to be at this time. For those who are feeling some kind of cabin fever at being cooped up and isolated at home for days on end, an opportunity to venture out and meetup with family and friends is irresistible.

Fortunately, Arca South, the Ayala Land mixed-use development located in parallel to South Superhighway, provides a way for people to come together over good food and have a good time through its weekend outdoor food market.

Arca South Marketfield

Fieldside Market by Arca South presents visitors a great way to re-discover homegrown flavors in the safe outdoors by:

1. Supporting small businesses by featuring an eclectic curation of food items from various local concessionaires.

Whatever you’re craving for, you’ll probably find it here. Check out some of the numerous food options you can indulge in:

Authentic Ilocos Empanada.

Arca South Marketfield

Premium Beef Wagyu Cubes and Tempura.

Arca South Marketfield

Arca South Marketfield

Nacho Chips with Beef Dip and Cheese.

Arca South Marketfield

Pork Barbecue.

Arca South Marketfield

Streetfood.

Arca South Marketfield

Burgers.

Arca South Marketfield

Corndogs.

Arca South Marketfield

With so many food options, I’m sure you’ll find an old favorite or discover a new one. Do try out as many offerings from the concessionaires and have a picnic with your companions.

Arca South Marketfield

2. It keeps visitors safe by implementing safety protocols and contactless payments.

Located in the expansive outdoor area called The Fields, there is enough space to practice social distancing.

Arca South Marketfield

Aside from strictly implementing health checks, requiring face masks and face shields and limiting the number of visitors, Arca South also made cashless payments via GCash the preferred payment method, making transactions safer.

Arca South Fieldside Market

3. It provides live music that you and your companions can chill out by.

Contributing to the relaxing atmosphere are the chill tunes performed by live acoustic bands and solo performers.

Arca South Fieldside Market

They will surely get visitors in the mood to let loose and enjoy.

So if you’re eager for the chance to venture out and have a good time with your nears and dears, do check out the Fieldside Market at Arca South.

Fieldside Market is located at The Fields across Visitors’ Center, Ayala Land – ARCA South, Taguig City, open every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm. For updates and more information, follow Fieldside Market on Facebook and Instagram or email fieldsidemarket@gmail.com.