Sustainability redefined with Vine Residences, SMDC’s master-planned development in Novaliches

Sustainability has taken a whole new shape in today’s world. The recent health crisis has put health, safety, and well-being in the center of the discussion, and climate change has placed disaster risk reduction and resilience front and center.

SM Development Corporation (SMDC), “Developer of the Year” at the DOT Property Philippines Awards 2022, remains resolute in building sustainable communities across the country that address the safety, security, and evolving needs of Filipino homebuyers.

Vine Residences - Central Park_Night shot
A sprawling oasis in the heart of the city, Vine Residences demonstrates SMDC’s unique ability to create holistic ecosystems of sustainable communities. The development sits right within the SM City Novaliches complex, offering a premium integrated lifestyle.

It’s more than just being green

Now more than ever, developers are being assessed against Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards — how they’re able to provide safe and secure environments, improve health, well-being, and overall quality of life, all while addressing the environmental impacts of real estate development.

One of the master-planned communities that encapsulates this trifecta is SMDC’s Vine Residences. This gated vertical community has dedicated 52 percent of its total land area to open spaces, which has rightfully earned Vine Residences the title, “Best Landscape Architectural Design,” from PropertyGuru Philippines in 2021. Its expansive amenity area brings the joys of the outdoors right to your very own backyard.

A slew of resort-style amenities await residents at the Central Park — intricately-designed swimming pools, an engaging children’s play zone, and lush sunken gardens that flaunt an exquisite use of space and foliage. If adventure is what you’re after, discover the beauty of nature at the Camp Hill Site. Go searching for treasure as you trek along the Eco Trail, or enjoy a competitive game of basketball or volleyball at the covered court.

What truly rounds up SMDC’s commitment to sustainability, however, are their upgrades or practices that, all in all, enhance each development’s resilience and overall efficiency while promoting environmental stewardship. For instance, Vine Residences has been raised from the ground by approximately three meters, not only to preserve the trees and vegetation in the area, but also to strengthen the community’s defense against flooding. It’s also equipped with a detention tank that controls and mitigates water discharge in cases of heavy rains. A rainwater collection system, on the other hand, enables rainwater to be recycled and used to water its landscape.

Vine Residences - Vine Nature Park_Night Shot
Sustainability is ingrained in each SMDC community. With its Nature Park, Vine Residences, a ready-for-occupancy (RFO) development, promotes green and healthy living in all aspects.

Couple these with the way the hotel-like lobbies and right-sized units at Vine Residences are designed to maximize the use of natural light and ventilation, and the walkability that a home right within the SM City Novaliches complex provides, and you are granted a sustainable lifestyle in a disaster-resilient property.

Novaliches as a hyper-connected economic corridor

Shaping today’s property sector along with sustainability is infrastructure. Given real estate’s confounding implications on both the economy and the environment, these two go hand in hand in uplifting quality of life — sustainability practices future-proofing homes and prioritizing health and wellness, and infrastructure developments triggering economic opportunities and paving the way for hyper-connectedness inter- and intra-cities.

Novaliches, in particular, is in a particularly exciting position when it comes to reaping the benefits of sustainable infrastructure. The soon-to-be-completed MRT Line 7 will connect the area to the planned North Triangle Common Station, where transfers can be made to other train lines. The west of the metro will soon be easily reachable via LRT Line 1, and the MRT Line 3, together with the future Mega Manila Subway, will enable ease of travel down south.

This not only signifies utmost convenience in getting in and around Metro Manila. It also solidifies Novaliches as a key economic corridor, and marks it as a real estate investment hotbed to look out for.

Real estate as the golden ticket to sustainable investments

When it comes to sustainable investments, financial experts agree that real estate is the safest, most practical choice. Real estate assets are not only income-generating, but inflation-hedging as well. 

It is a must-have in one’s investment portfolio, primarily because real estate is bound to appreciate in value over time. It stays ahead of inflation, protecting your hard-earned money and even growing it in leaps and bounds in a 10 to 20-year horizon. For immediate yet steady returns, you can always choose to rent out your unit.

Vine Residences - Lobby
As part of their continued push towards making the luxurious attainable, SMDC curates an affluent lifestyle for their residents. Opulently-designed lobbies and a dedicated front desk team not only make sure you get treated to a VIP experience every day, but are given more time and energy for the things that truly matter.

The secret lies in choosing the right developer. SMDC’s distinct formula of sustainable developments in progressive locations has, time and time, proven itself rewarding for both end-users and investors. Add to that the integrated mall lifestyle they’ve pioneered, and the human-centric approach to property management and leasing services they carry.

Steadfast in building an affluent nation of homeowners, the trailblazing developer has recently launched their Move In Now Campaign, which essentially enables more Filipinos to own and immediately move into luxurious and masterfully-designed, sustainable homes. The program allows prospective buyers to enjoy as much as 10 percent discount upon reservation on select SMDC RFO developments nationwide. It also lets them in on the opportunity to move in right away with a five percent spot cash  payment. On top of that, SMDC gives prospective buyers a housewarming present with a premium furniture item from Our Home.

More than just an after-thought, sustainable homes are a necessity, and they are now made attainable to many, thanks to SMDC. Start living sustainably and holistically with SMDC, and move in now to Vine Residences.

To know more about the promotions you can avail of under the Move In Now Campaign, follow SMDC on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tiktok, or visit the SMDC website.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Drag Playhouse PH honors Beyonce’s Renaissance with culture-defining themed show

Drag Playhouse Philippines recently celebrated the music of Beyoncé through a thematic show that further highlights the megastar’s enormous contribution to queer pop culture.

Aptly titled HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, the event provided an outlet for the queens of Drag Playhouse Philippines to express themselves freely without judgment, while sashaying to Beyoncé’s club-thumping 2022 album, Renaissance, and classic hits.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Aside from high-profile Drag Performances of OV Cunt, Marina Summers, Prince, and Eva Le Queen—three of them currently getting valuable airtime at Drag Race Philippines, the drag show also hosted friendly battles in several categories namely Drag Face, where contestants showcase exceptional makeup skills by serving mug on the runway; Drag Runway, where contestants exhibit head-to-toe fierceness during their runway walk; and Lip Sync Challenge,  where they pull their most creative tricks in synchronizing their lips to a prerecorded track.

A special drag performance featuring Viñas DeLuxe added more star power to an already eventful night as she performed a medley of Beyoncé’s hits, with House OfMizrahi Philippines, a local chapter of the Voguing community, joining in some of the performances. A purely Beyoncé-themed DJ set tucked in between the program segments also hyped the crowd, prompting them to sing and dance along to the Homecoming Queen’s iconic bops from the late ‘90s to the present.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Marina Summers, a fan-favorite and frontrunner at this year’s Drag Race Philippines, expressed how Beyoncé shaped her youth. “Her work has been an inspiration for a lot of queer artists, and personally, I’ve always loved performing to her songs. And ever since the Renaissancealbum came out, just like Queen B herself, my creative path has been challenged to be more innovative and unique.”

Another Drag Race Philippines favorite and drag icon, Eva Le Queen, spoke adoration for Beyonce, pointing out how her music is a gift to the world. “Beyonce has always been an icon and inspiration to the community. Her strong and alpha energy resonated so much to a lot of us Drag Queens who are essentially the face and frontliners of the equality movement for the community. Her music, her soul, her POWER has allowed me to live my life in my own terms and take Eva Le Queen to greater heights. Being a female, POC and be THE QUEEN B is a permission for all of us to be the best that we can be.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Like Summers and Eva Le Queen, fellow Drag Race Philippines contestant and queen extraordinaire PRINCE, considers Beyoncé as an important figure in influencing her drag persona. She also considers Renaissance as an envelope-pushing record that deserves its place in the pantheon of pop music greats. “It’s totally different from her past records. Most songs were sampled from classic disco hits but somehow Beyoncé made it sound fresh and that’s what makes it great.”

OV CUNT, another royalty in the contemporary drag scene, also showered Beyonce praises, particularly her new album Renaissance, for empowering listeners to be unapologetically, themselves. “It has awoken parts of the colorful history of our community, whether it’s intentional or not. It gave the world possibly new names of icons that may or might not be forgotten by the past. The mention of houses from ball culture, the use of Moi Renee’s Miss Honey in the Pure/Honey—it gives you every opportunity to reference every icon that contributed to our community today.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Watch the video for the roundup of HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, Category is: A Night of a Thousand Beyoncé.

Listen to This Is Beyoncé playlist here.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Know how intentional cable-cutting disrupts your life

Intentional cable cutting and theft have been a rampant issue nationwide affecting thousands of Filipino households, depriving them of internet service, cable TV connection, , and at times, power supply.

With households affected from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, this malicious crime has been a major concern of telco and power utilities providers and the LGUs, that jeopardize customers’ access to news, information and entertainment crucial for their day-to-day activities.

Among its effects is how it disrupts the steady and seamless internet connection very much needed by professionals with remote set-up or online business owners. With disruptions affecting their connection, productivity halts, and attending to urgent tasks and clientele are disturbed.

Kontra Putol

Apart from the adverse impact to work, disruptions caused by illegal cable cutting can take a toll on the academic performance of students in hybrid learning set-up as they rely heavily on stable and reliable internet connectivity for timely submission of school work, taking online quizzes and examinations, and attending day-to-day classes. When the disruptions continue due to these illegal acts, this may lead to students having poor performance in school.

Kontra Putol

Intentional cable cuts also disrupt TV reception, which is still vital in getting the latest news and information, and providing quality bonding moments for the whole family in watching entertaining shows and movies in the comfort of their homes.

Kontra Putol

Aside from TV and internet disruption, illegal cable cutting puts the safety of individuals and the environment at risk. There have been reports that perpetrators have been electrocuted trying to cut live wirings that also resulted in fire in the neighborhood. Sometimes perpetrators also burn the non-profitable stolen wires producing harmful gas that pollute the environment and affects the health of individuals when inhaled.

In an effort to address these malicious acts and hold violators accountable by legal action, SKY partnered with other telcos and cable operators, power utilities providers, and more local government units in the country to strengthen its Oplan Kontra Putol initiative.

Oplan Kontra Putol takes prompt action to restore affected lines, to continuously monitor the situation by working closely with local authorities, and to observe the strict implementation of RA 10515, also known as the Cable Theft Law.

Those found guilty of violating the Cable Theft Law may face imprisonment from two to five years or pay hefty fines imposed by the court.

With the help of corresponding telco partners, barangay units, and local officials, SKY has filed legal charges against various perpetrators involved.

Through Oplan Kontra Putol, SKY continues to heed the call for immediate action and urges the public to join the nationwide initiative by being more alert as well as reporting related incidents to SKY’s official hotlines and their respective local authorities.

Concerned citizens can report suspected illegal cable cutting activities through http://www.mysky.com.ph/kontraputol, via Security Hotline number 34499111 (for Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan only), or by messaging SKY’s 24/7 messaging platform KYLA on Viber, Facebook Messenger, and SKY’s official website.

For updates regarding SKY’s efforts to restore services in areas affected by cable cutting, subscribers can check mysky.com.ph/help-service-advisories. They may also follow SKY’s social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its initiatives to improve services to its subscribers.

Power Mac Center’s ‘Portraits’ fete eco-conservation, Filipino drag culture

Apple Premium Reseller Power Mac Center (PMC) is no stranger to celebrating communities with unique stories waiting to be shared. This was the inspiration for “Portraits,” a special visual storytelling series created in collaboration with Filipino photographers showcasing the camera prowess of the iPhone. 

“Power Mac Center recognizes the power of the platform we are given, using the technology that we have, to put the spotlight on communities with important advocacies. We put this series together not only to lend a face and voice to our subjects, but to inspire our audience to use their talents, pursue their passions, and make their mark, with the help of their favorite Apple devices,” said Joey Alvarez, PMC Director of Product Management and Marketing.

The communities

The episodes of Portraits juxtapose two extremes — the quiet calm of Masungi Georeserve’s eco-conservationists against the unapologetically flamboyant drag queens of Butterboy Bakehouse. The contrast deliberately showcases the lengths to which iPhone photography stretches, effectively catering to every subject in between.

Featuring the fabulous drag queens Naia, Drag Race Philippines contestant Precious Paula Nicole, and Pura Luka Vega, the latest episode was shot on iPhone by photographer Cru Camara who has worked with international publications and global brands. It was set against the backdrop of Butterboy Bakehouse, which offers both delectable homemade croissants and entertaining performances during daylight drag or what they call as “drag brunch” and “meriendrag.”

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CELEBRATING IDENTITY, INDIVIDUALITY, AND CREATIVITY. Naia, Precious, and Pura Luka Vega use drag as an avenue to tell their stories and an artistic expression of their statements on issues that matter, especially to the LGBTQIA+ community. Shot on iPhone by Cru Camara.

Earlier, PMC tapped conservation photographer and filmmaker Noel Guevara to take the iPhone on a hike, along with the rangers of Masungi Georeserve and three city-based hikers who find sanctuary in nature. Scaling the verdant trails of the protected forest, they shared stories of their memorable climbs, confessed to what (or who) inspired their first hike, and reflected on the fulfillment they find in hiking.

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GETTING IN TUNE WITH THE SELF. Hiking helps Sarah, Felicia, and John rediscover themselves and reach their goals. Shot on iPhone by Noel Guevara.

Shot on iPhone

Conservation photographer Guevara made sure to capture every significant moment of the climb. Through stunning photos and videos shot on iPhone, he gave justice to the Masungi staff’s decades-long conservation efforts and hard work to achieve a balanced coexistence of man and nature in this little piece of paradise.

In this project, Cru—who is known for their photographs that express creative play of colors, contrast, and shadow—examines identity and the way femininity and masculinity co-exist.Armed with their iPhone, they were able to capture the vibrant drag scene as the queens transformed into larger-than-life characters, aimed at making drag mainstream in Philippine culture.

Both photographers’ expert grasp of the environment and the lenses’ inner workings exuded their visual storytelling talents, highlighting key iPhone camera features. To see the photos and watch the full stories of Portraits unfold, visit https://bit.ly/3S53a3M and subscribe to PMC on YouTube.

iPhone 14 Philippine launch

Portraits is part of Power Mac Center’s iPhone for All campaign, which aims to bring the iPhone closer to more Filipinos. By extending exciting offers, and creating great shopping experiences, PMC makes it easier for all to finally upgrade to an iPhone.

Customers looking to get the much-anticipated iPhone 14 series are encouraged to fill out the survey form at https://bit.ly/3S17ocN to be notified when the devices hit local shores. Meanwhile, other iPhone series are available for purchase at all Power Mac Center or The Loop branches, Viber Store, Lazada, and Shopee.

To be updated on news and promotions, follow Power Mac Center’s official Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts.

Details provided in a recent press release.

The best gift ideas for heat-addicted chili heads

We all know one person who absolutely adores spicy foods, constantly pushing themselves to see how they can challenge their spice tolerance. For these people, you likely can get them a gift related to food or spiciness and they will be overjoyed. So what can you give a chili-head that is both unique and useful at the same time? Here are some of the best gift ideas for heat-addicted chili-heads. 

Hot Sauce

The most obvious gift to give to a chili-head is a bottle of high-quality hot sauce. Hot sauce is a mainstay in the diets of chili-heads, as they use it to add spice to just about every dish. Obviously, since they’re chili-heads they’re going to have a high spice tolerance, so you’ll likely want to get them something extremely spicy. Thankfully, there are plenty of high-quality spicy hot sauces to choose from. Be sure to blow them away with something they’ve never tried before and challenge their spice tolerance. If they like it a lot, they can incorporate your gift into just about any dish.

Pepper Jelly

Another great condiment to get a chili-head is pepper jelly. Pepper jelly is similar to everyday jelly you would use, but it has a little bit of spice to it. With pepper jelly, spice lovers can add some heat to a variety of dishes you usually can’t. For example, pepper jelly gives your morning toast a little bit of a kick as well as spices up the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have for lunch. If you want a really unique and creative gift to a spice-lover, buy pepper jelly online and gift your friend an amazing gift.

Aerogarden

A very unique gift idea for a chili-head is an aerogarden. An aerogarden is used to grow plants indoors, allowing the recipient to easily grow fruits and vegetables. Additionally, an aerogarden allows for year-round plant growth. With the aerogarden you give them, your favorite chili-head should be able to plant their own peppers, meaning they can use fresh ingredients in their recipes. Fresh ingredients are spicier than the packaged and frozen variety, meaning spice lovers will surely love and appreciate the fresh food. 

Cookbook

A cookbook is a perfect gift for a spice-lover. Many cookbooks are themed around spicy food, catering to those that are fond of spicy foods. These cookbooks cover an array of different spicy dishes, allowing your chili-head to expand their horizons and try new spicy foods. Additionally, learning how to cook the dishes and successfully following the recipe is a satisfying experience that only enhances the enjoyment of the amazing cooked food. If you want a safe yet versatile gift option, this is a great choice. 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mondelez invites you to bring your plastic waste to the mall

Snacks company Mondelēz International in the Philippines is continuing its partnership with social enterprise The Plastic Flamingo (PLAF) for plastic waste collection and recycling. Started in 2020, the growth of the partnership shows the potential of the recycling industry in the Philippines and how it can support waste management to avoid marine litter. This 2022, Mondelēz International and PLAF are working with Megaworld Corporation for plastic collection initiatives in five of its malls to provide avenues for communities to practice proper waste collection and disposal. 

Not many people know what happens to plastic waste after it is thrown in the waste bin. Ideally, when you throw it in the bin, plastic waste should end up in the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) of your barangay for segregation – if not already segregated at home or by your waste collectors. After segregation, the plastic is recycled depending on its type, whether it is a bottle or sachet. In the Philippines, plastic recycling companies and organizations already exist and are growing; providing ways for waste to be reused. However, not all waste follows this ideal journey, plastic or not. The unfortunate reality is that waste whether plastic, metal, or paper ends up as litter when it is not disposed of properly in bins, or if they are collected but illegally dumped in open land or in bodies of water. 

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L to R: Erica Reyes, The Plastic Flamingo Chief Operating Officer, Atty. Joseph Fabul, Mondelēz International Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs, Aleli Arcilla, Mondelēz International, VP and Managing Director and Denisse Malong, General Manager for Eastwood City

Providing Ways for Plastic to be Recycled 

Contrary to the misconception that plastic is waste, the PLAF is demonstrating that it can be reused to make new things that we need. “We want to become part of the solution, and not the pollution,” shares PLAF Chief Operating Officer Erica Reyes. “Our work at PLAF consists of collecting, segregating, transforming and designing plastic for reuse. We make practical construction materials out of plastic, like eco-lumber and eco-boards. This ensures that we are able to recycle plastic and at the same time help reduce the use of precious resources like wood or minerals to make furniture or even shelters.” Currently, the PLAF can make and sell eco-lumber and eco-boards which can be used to make outdoor furniture, bike racks, benches, tables and others. 

Strengthening the Circular Economy 

“We support circular economy organizations like the PLAF,” explains Mondelēz International Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs, Atty. Joseph Fabul. “The Circular Economy is one where plastic remains in the economy by being reused and recycled; and stays out of the environment. Our goal is to make snacks with better packaging, to make it easier to recycle; to use less packaging by optimizing our pack sizes; and supporting improved systems through the collection of as much plastic as we put into the environment. We call this focus sustainable snacking, where people and planet thrive.” 

He continues, “We have worked with the PLAF since 2020 to collect post-consumer plastic for reuse and recycling. Since then, the plastic we have collected has been turned into outdoor furniture which were donated to the City of Paranaque and into eco-boards which are sold by the PLAF to fund further collection activities.” 

From 2020 to 2021, Mondelez International and PLAF have collected 43,000 kilos of post-consumer plastic which were repurposed into upcycled products. For this year, the company continues to strengthen its partnership with the social enterprise to collect and recycle another 20,000 kilos and turn it into usable eco-boards.

This year, Mondelēz International is also supporting PLAF’s partnership for a year-long waste collection drive in five Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, namely Eastwood Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, McKinley Hill, Uptown Bonifacio and Arcovia City. The collection drive begins on August 15 in Eastwood Mall, and for three launch days in each mall, consumers who bring in their plastic waste can get Mondelēz International treats as thanks for helping support proper waste management.

“Sustainability is in one of our core thrusts as a company, we are always open to collaborating with organizations which promote the same values. I want to thank Mondelēz International and PLAF for working with us in this milestone project,” says Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Head, Graham Coates. “We are glad that our malls have become avenues where people can practice a greener lifestyle. At Megaworld, we are committed to a culture of environmental consciousness and we continuously look for ways to practice and incorporate it in our township and lifestyle properties.”

For more details about this program, click here or click to learn more about the PLAF

About Mondelēz International 

Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2021 net revenues of approximately $29 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; SourPatchKids candy and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.  

About Mondelez Philippines 

Mondelēz Philippines Inc. has been providing consumers with delicious snack products for the past 59 years – since 1963. Its product portfolio includes Tang powdered beverages, Eden cheese, mayonnaise and sandwich spread, Cheez Whiz spread, Oreo cookies, Tiger energy biscuits, as well as Toblerone and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The company employs about 450 people in the Philippines, with a manufacturing facility in Parañaque City. Visit https://ph.mondelezinternational.com/home

About The Plastic Flamingo

The Plastic Flamingo, also known as The Plaf, is a social enterprise with a pilot project in the Philippines (Manila). Its core mission is to tackle marine plastic pollution by collecting and recycling ocean-bound plastic waste in emerging countries with maximum social impact. The Plaf collects all types of plastic, compensate for plastic footprint, educate communities and individuals, and transform plastics into upcycled products such as eco-lumbers, eco-boards, furniture and recycled pellets!

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

An honest promise to better skin: Celimax

Let’s face it: when you’ve reached the “wrong” side of forty, you have to step up on your skin care routine.

When you get to this stage, the sins of your past tend to catch up with you: the times when you stayed up at all hours, slept with your makeup on, or spent all day in the sun with no sunscreen on will start to leave their marks on your face and skin.

Hopefully, these sins of your youth against your present self are few and far between, and you still have so many years left in which to enjoy the skin that reflects how young and radiant you actually feel.

Personally, having grown up thinking that skincare simply involves washing my face with soap and water right before bedtime, I was dumbfounded to discover that it is actually comprised of several steps (which can be as many as ten!) and involves so many products. I could hardly tell where to start or how to go about my skincare regimen.

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Celimax
Celimax
Celimax

Fortunately, there are ways to pare down the complex skin care rituals to the most basic – yet essential – steps that still help to achieve to goal of minimizing pores and maintaining a youthful freshness despite the advancing years.

Honestly, I find a simplified routine a lot easier to do – and definitely a lot more sustainable to maintain in the long run.

This routine includes:

Step 1: Cleansing.

My busy days (and the hot and dusty city environment) tend to layer on dirt, oils and makeup residue on my face which may clog my pores, increasing the chances of unsightly breakouts. A skin cleanser should be able to remove the day’s accumulation of dirt while still maintaining my skin’s pH balance.

Step 2: Toning.

A thoroughly, but gently, cleansed skin should also be prepped to absorb moisturizers and other treatments you want to apply.

That’s the job of the skin toner. It also restores the skin’s pH balance and improves the overall skin tone.

Step 3: Treating

Despite a meticulous approach to skin care – or because of our past transgressions towards taking care of our skin during our youth – we may have some problem areas that we would like to address. These may include dull looking skin, fine lines and wrinkles, acne breakouts, among others.

Using serums, ampoules, acids or sheet masks with a higher concentration of ingredients to treat these problem areas will help in maintaining your skin’s health.

Step 4: Moisturizing.

Since we are not young as we used to be, moisturizing our skin is the order of the day – any day! How else can we keep our skin from drying out, keeping them nice, supple and young-looking.

To equip our skin care arsenal with the appropriate products to support our skin care goals, we can look to Korean skin care brand Celimax.

This line of beauty and skin care products is focused on transparency: it designs honest, user-friendly products with clean ingredients (allergen-free fragrance and no harsh chemicals) to bring about better skin for people with various skin types and skincare needs.

Among its products are the The Real Cica Calming Ampoule and The Real Cica Soothing Cream. As their names imply, both contain extracts from the cica (Centella Asiatica) plant, well-known for its healing, soothing, antibacterial and inflammatory properties, naturally derived within forty-eight hours of harvest to ensure maximum concentration of active compounds.

The Real Cica Calming Ampoule

This product contains 75% cica extract and an oil-free ultra-concentrated hydration complex to hydrate and soothe irritated skin.

To use, apply two to three drops from the automatic dropper and apply evenly across your face using your fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Use gentle pats to facilitate absorption of the formula.

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Celimax
Celimax
Celimax

Stock up on The Real Cica Calming Ampoule here.

The Real Cica Soothing Cream

This light-weighted hydrating gel cream is infused with 73% cica extract along with Dermatic AC3 (to manage sebum production and acne care for oily skin) and Niacinamide + Adenosine (to brighten skin and manage the effects of aging).

To apply, squeeze out a pea-sized amount of face cream then apply evenly throughout the face, gently massaging into the skin with small, upward circular motions.

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Celimax
Celimax
Celimax

Stock up on The Real Cica Soothing Cream here.

I love their light, refreshing and non-sticky feel on my face and the way they work together to quickly and effectively soothe away facial redness and swelling from irritation.

They are also easy and simple to apply, so including them as part of my nightly skin care routine would be no hassle at all.

Celimax
Celimax
Celimax
Celimax

Want to try these cica-based skincare products from Celimax?

While cica extract is usually safe for all skin types, it may aggravate or irritate the skin in certain cases. Also, results may vary from person to person. Be sure to scan the full ingredient list of these products before purchase and conducting a small patch test before the application to ensure your safety.

To know more about honest skincare products, follow Celimax on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

SKY boosts its 24/7 customer support system KYLA to service more subscribers nationwide!

SKY continues its commitment to provide top-notch and hassle-free service to its valued subscribers by making it more convenient for them to raise their concern with just a few clicks through their 24/7 customer support KYLA.

By expanding KYLA’s accessibility to more parts of Luzon (Baguio, Batac, Dagupan, Laoag, Urdaneta, Bulacan, Batangas) and in Mindanao (Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga) starting August 15, SKY ensures that SKY subscribers from different parts of the country can experience the same fast and convenient customer service.

Since its launch in 2021, more SKY subscribers expressed their satisfaction with KYLA in addressing their simplest to more complex matters when it comes to their cable and internet service. Here are some common concerns that KYLA can help manage to assist each subscriber in real-time:

Matters on monthly billings and payment

Got questions with your SKY bill? Do you plan on enrolling in digital payment methods for ease of transactions? Want to know the status of your monthly bill and so on?

KYLA’s got you covered on matters regarding your SKY billing and monthly payment. With KYLA, you can easily access your monthly statement and address any concerns from inquiries, status updates, information on SKY’s payment channels to transferring your billing details in an instant.

For more complicated billing matters, KYLA can also endorse you right away to a live agent to discuss other queries. A subscriber shared “I got the answer that I needed to check my account immediately. Good thing that my KYLA inquiry was answered quickly.”

Service concerns and real-time advisories

Got a technical concern with your cable TV or internet connection? KYLA is here to help solve the issue to restore services as soon as possible. KYLA can also notify SKY users of the latest advisories in real-time to keep them updated on SKY’s maintenance efforts, among others.

As shared by another SKY subscriber “Salamat kasi meron kayong ganitong customer service. Hindi ko na kailangan tumawag sa landline at maghintay nang matagal para malaman kung may ongoing maintenance sa area namin.”

Subscribers can also do their part in reporting anomalous incidents like cable cutting affecting their services by submitting their reports directly to KYLA.

Instant troubleshooting and account reconnection

For troubleshooting and reconnection confirmation, KYLA’s updated feature now accepts video and photo attachments so that subscribers can directly send proofs of payment for account reconnection or a video of their modem for internet connection diagnostics and troubleshooting with a live agent.

“KYLA is interactive and it guides you on what you need to do, for complicated matters it becomes personalized as soon as an agent takes over the conversation, everything is easy too,” a happy SKY subscriber commented.

These are among the concerns that SKY’s KYLA can help you with. Plus, it’s even easier to raise concerns through KYLA as all the subscriber needs to do is type a simple query in English to start a conversation. KYLA will be able to recognize the concern and direct the subscriber to the proper resources or journey to address the issue. To ensure a seamless conversation, subscribers are advised to keep their account number ready for transactions that will require it.

Access KYLA on Viber via mysky.com.ph/kylaofsky, on Facebook Messenger through m.me/myskyupdates, or on any web browser via mysky.com.ph/message-us. For more info on KYLA’s features and functionalities, please refer to mysky.com.ph/aboutkyla.

Easy and hassle-free online games with Plays.org

Now that the world is opening up again after being put on an extended pause due to the pandemic, we can expect our days to be a lot busier. Already, Zoom meetings take up quite a sizeable chunk of my workday, along with other tasks needed to churn out the outputs need to support my company’s goals. Soon, I might have to return to the harrowing commute from my home to the office and back again. Sigh!

At the same time, the kiddos will also be returning to some form of classroom learning, which means that they will depart from the relatively less-regulated learning environment to a more structured one in school. For the young ‘uns who have grown used to learning from home, going back to school (literally!) will be quite an adjustment.

The reshaping of our lives that this shift to the New Normal requires should not hinder us from taking care of the family’s mental health, though. Now, more than ever, we need to factor in activities in our day that give us a respite from our run-of-the-mill tasks as well as some enjoyable moments that add up to happy memories for ourselves and the family.

Fortunately, these kinds of activities are easy to find at Plays.org!

Plays.org
Plays.org

Who would have thought that, as a Gen X’er who grew up hearing a near-constant admonishment from my folks about playing computer games back in the day, I would be advocating for online games as a form of self-care?

However, we really shouldn’t discount the various benefits that online games bring to the table. Check out these Plays.org games that are big hits with my fam:

Welcome breaks from the daily drudge.

During my well-deserved coffee break, I like to indulge myself in a bit of low-stakes fun with Space Adventure: Pinball while my little ones can let off some steam after school with an exciting beat ‘em game like Adventure Time: Break the Worm.

Opportunities for fun family time.

We discovered the joys of casting our games from our laptop to our large-screen TV so that the family members can all take part in trying to best each other at the Tetris-inspired Tetra Blocks. On the other hand, educational games such as Garfield Sentences provide a fun way to supplement the kiddo’s school learning.

Brain relaxers before sleeping.

For minds that are too wound up to doze off, playing Neon Invaders, a throwback to Space Invaders, or a few rounds of Classic Solitaire would provide a sense of accomplishment that serves to round up the day and get us in the mood to sleep.

Plays.org is a website that houses thousands of free online games. These highly enjoyable pastimes can be accessed any time of the day using our desktop or mobile devices. Plays.org users are not required to register to be able to play, eliminating the need to keep track of yet another set of login credentials. Plus, since the games are web-based, downloading an app is also not required, thereby saving us some more of that precious storage space in our devices.

Another plus factor of Plays.org is that the site does not serve online ads so you won’t have to deal with irritating commercial interruptions nor the risk of exposing the little ones to advertising.

Plays.org
Plays.org

Ready to engage in some fun family playtime at Plays.org? Be sure to check out its newest games. You can also browse through its entire game catalog posted in the site’s footers.

Let me know how it goes!

Protecting children’s lives through vaccines

When the five-month-old son of Marissa Santos had recovered from measles, more commonly known as “tigdas,” Santos thought that that would be her son’s last encounter with the measles virus. Six years later, Santos’ son started to show symptoms of a rare and serious complication caused by measles—subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or SSPE. Santos says she hopes parents can take advantage of vaccination to help prevent measles and SSPE among their children.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral respiratory disease. The symptoms of measles include high-grade fever, rashes, and the three C’s—namely cough, conjunctivitis, and coryza. Measles can result in serious complications even among previously healthy children. The virus that causes measles can mutate and cause fatal complications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2018, more than 140,000 people—most of them children under five years old—died of measles. This was despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine against the disease. According to the WHO, before the measles vaccine became widely used, major measles epidemics happened around every two to three years. Measles led to an estimated 2.6 million deaths per year.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) reported in 2020 that about 2.4 million children under the age of five are susceptible to measles. The DOH also reported from 2008 to 2017, that there had been a decline from above 80 percent to below 70 percent in the first dose of measles vaccine in the Philippines. The DOH had declared measles outbreaks in 2014 and 2019. As with the cases of some countries, outbreaks happened despite attempts at wider immunization coverage.

A complication of measles

Baby Come Vaxx online forum
 (L-F) Dr. Anleyn Reyes, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist; Dr. Marissa Lukban, Pediatric Neurologist; Ms. Marissa Santos, Mother & SSPE Advocate and Ms. Diane Medina, Celebrity Mom & Host during the “Baby Come Vax: Mga Bakunang Nalaktawan, Panahon nang Balikan” online forum.

Sharing her story in an online forum, Marissa Santos said that at five months old, her son, Jan, was hospitalized because of severe fever and convulsion following his measles infection. Because Jan was exposed to measles at an early age, Santos received advice from a pediatrician that Jan no longer needed to be vaccinated against measles.

Santos said that Jan had recovered from his episode of measles infection and spent the next five years living a normal life. But at six years old, Jan began having twitches and seizures. At times, Jan would suddenly drop things that he was holding in his hands. His head would suddenly drop or he would be in a daze. Both Jan’s mother and teacher noticed, too, a decline in Jan’s performance in school.

Worried, Marissa brought her son to an expert in pediatric neurology in the country, Dr. Marissa Lukban. In 2002, 7 year-old Jan was diagnosed with stage 2 subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or SSPE, a rare but progressive, disabling, and fatal brain disease.

According to Dr. Lukban, SSPE occurs in 0.5 to five cases per million population worldwide, although these figures depend on vaccination rates.

SSPE may occur when the measles virus mutates, Dr. Lukban said. Unrecognized by the body’s immune system, the virus enters the nerves, reaches the brain of a patient, and remains dormant until several years later when it reactivates.

Symptoms of SSPE include involuntary muscle movements, seizures, and behavioral changes including diminished performance in school. With less than five percent of cases having remission, SSPE patients often eventually become unable to swallow, speak, see, hear, and interact with others. The last stage of SSPE is characterized by coma or long coma.

“’Yung nightmare sa akin no’n, sinasabi ni Dr Lukban, was that there was no cure [The nightmare for me then was when Dr. Lukban said that there was no cure for SSPE],” Santos said.

Marissa and Jan had joined a support group in the hope of finding a cure for the disease. However, after ten years of enduring SSPE, Jan died in 2014 at 25 years old.

Measles vaccine as form of protection against SSPE

While a cure for SSPE has yet to be discovered, the best protection against this disease remains to be vaccination against measles.

Based on the Philippine General Hospital’s experience and citing Dr. Aida Salonga’s (2002) work, Dr. Lukban reported that from 1999 to 2001, there were roughly 18 to 20 Filipino children admitted in PGH with SSPE each year. But increased vaccination efforts since 1998 led to significantly lower measles cases. In 2002 to 2006, Dr. Lukban noted that the number of admitted cases decreased to 10-15 new cases per year and more recently down to 1-2 cases per year.

“Vaccination is a protection against getting measles at ‘pag hindi ka nagka-tigdas, hindi na magkaka-SSPE. Kumpletuhin lang po ang MMR vaccine at dapat po may booster [Vaccination is a protection against getting measles and if you haven’t had measles, you will not have SSPE. Complete the MMR vaccine and there should be a booster],” said Dr. Lukban.

Dr. Lukban also warned that high vaccine coverage needs to be sustained to prevent future measles outbreaks and SSPE cases. In the Philippines, there have been reports of measles outbreaks in 2014 and 2019. There is a likelihood that SSPE cases may increase in the following years.

Nagkaroon tayo ng campaign in 2004 pero bigla nating napansin na umaakyat na naman at nagkaroon ng ilang outbreaks, which only shows na talagang dapat kapag may programa, dire-diretso [We have had a campaign in 2004 but we also noticed that the cases increased and there were outbreaks, which only shows that if there is a program to vaccinate against measles, the program should be consistent and steady,” said Dr. Lukban.

The importance of continuing vaccination amid Covid-19

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have been fearful of bringing their children outside their homes and have opted to postpone their children’s vaccination. Manpower and resources in public health have also been focused on the COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr. Anelyn Reyes, an infectious disease specialist, estimated that one in two children is not being vaccinated. According to DOH, the national vaccination rate in 2021 was at

48.5 percent. Dr. Reyes also cited a study that indicates three to four Filipino families are hesitant to have their children vaccinated due to misinformation on social media and lack of knowledge about vaccine safety.
The online forum entitled Baby Come Vax: Mga Bakunang Nalaktawan, Panahon nang Balikan is an activity under the Vax My Baby campaign–a vaccine mobilization campaign aimed at improving routine immunization amid the COVID-19 pandemic under the partnership of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, Metro Manila Development Authority, and GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, Inc.

Header photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels

How leading LPG company Solane makes sure all LPG tanks are worth your money and safe for the community

When it comes to everyday household essentials, it’s almost always tempting to go for cheaper alternatives to save money. It may seem easy to dismiss an item as “Pwede na” and “Nakasanayan na kasi” without giving much thought on its safety and quality. 

This may especially hold true for your LPG tank, but did you know that something as volatile as this product goes through so much to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe?

Every step of the way, Isla LPG, the company behind Solane, constantly checks that each tank is safe from leaks that may cause massive fires and explosions, while ensuring that valued customers get their money’s worth. With proliferating fake and substandard LPG tanks in the market, knowing that authentic and trusted LPG brands like Solane go through tedious security and quality checks means you have one less thing in the house to worry about.

Here’s how Solane tanks come from the plant and reach your homes, ensuring you get the LPG safety and quality you paid for:

Plant Operations

Safety starts at the source. Solane makes sure that its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products are compliant with quality standards. LPG storage facilities and pipe systems within the plant are also inspected to ensure that they are at par with local and global safety standards, ensuring that there will be no contamination and leak in the workplace.

Refill and Distribution

Before any distribution takes place, Solane ensures that all trucks that carry Solane products are checked and inspected to make sure that they are compliant with safety standards. 

Now what happens to the empty tanks and how do the replacement Solane tanks look smooth, clean, and rust-free? When empty LPG tanks are unloaded from packed trucks that come from distributors, Solane LPG tanks are cushioned from impact to prevent damage that may cause leakage.

Empty tanks are thoroughly checked for their authenticity, condition, and suitability for refill. Authentic Solane LPG tanks have a requalification date on the side, which indicates the date the tank is due for maintenance. Tanks that are found to be one month before their requalification date are removed from the refilling process and are re-inspected to ensure cylinder integrity.

Once clean, cylinders are refilled. Cylinders will then be double-checked for leaks and fitted with a biodegradable seal that has a unique serial number. Filled cylinders will be then tested based on their weight and safety. The cylinder weight must be exactly the sum of the tare weight, which is the weight of the tank when empty, and the LPG content. 

Delivery

Solane’s safety and quality check does not end with the distribution of LPG tanks to authorized showrooms and outlets. Each delivery Solane makes to your home comes with a 7-Point Safety Check, an exclusive and free-of-charge service made for your safety.

Solane’s well-trained riders conduct the 7-Point Safety Check to ensure proper ventilation, correct type and secure connection of regulator, o-ring and hose, as well as the flame quality. 

Solane riders can also conduct the ‘Timbang Challenge,’ where the tank will be weighed in your presence before installation. If you purchase Solane LPG tanks at authorized distributors, these stations are equipped with accurate weighing scales to verify the content weight you purchased.

Solane urges consumers to exercise vigilance in protecting their kitchen and home by trusting only safe and trusted kitchen fuel like Solane LPG. Fake and substandard LPG tanks do not undergo stringent safety and quality measures, making them prone to leaks which may cause explosions and fires.

From the moment LPG tanks are filled at the source to the time they are welcomed to your homes, Solane makes sure that each tank will fully serve its purpose down to the last flame and not end up as a threat to you, your hard-earned property and your loved ones.  

To order Verified Solane LPG, you may send a message to 0918-887-5555 or the Solane Facebook page, or place your order through the Solane app.

Reserving your Lumina home this week? Enjoy a 50% discount at Shopee!

Gone are the days when people believe August as a ghost month. And for Lumina Homes, August means celebrating its anniversary with its growing number of homeowners. You can say that it also marks the start of its long Christmas giveaways, beginning with this awesome 50% reservation discount during Shopee 8.8!

2022 AUGUST Lumina 1800x1080

Here’s the step-by-step guide to claim your discounted e-voucher:

  • Proceed to Lumina Homes Shopee Mall store at www.shopee.ph/luminahomesofficial;
  • Browse through the available or featured home reservation e-vouchers;
  • Read the e-voucher description and chat with the seller to inquire about Lumina Homes projects location where you can use the e-voucher;
  • Choose your preferred e-voucher and click “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” and pay for the e-voucher through Shopee Pay, GCash, or credit card.
  • The Lumina Homes Expert will receive a notification of the sale, then he/she will contact you to schedule an online appointment for marketing briefing and completion of documents.

Times are changing, and the ease of reserving your new home only gets more and more appealing, at least when you’re dealing with Lumina Homes. 

Choose your preferred location, whether you’re in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. The projects are available in over 50 key cities and municipalities in the Philippines, such as Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, Cagayan, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Albay, Sorsogon, Iloilo, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, and Davao del Norte.

Is stepping into your home your 2022 Christmas wish? This Lumina Homes x Shopee 8.8 could be your sign to fulfill that goal and more! With Lumina Homes’ beautiful houses and modern community centers, right away you’ll definitely feel that you belong.

DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-147555 Series of 2022

Here’s how to get Php500 off when reserve your own Lumina home online:

  1. Visit Lumina Homes’ website.
  2. Click “E-Services” and “Reserve Online” then fill out your details.
  3. Fill out the project name, phase, block and lot of your preferred Lumina project.
  4. Proceed to payment and use my code JLBLMN500. Payments via GCash or debit/credit cards are accepted.

For more information and announcements, follow @luminahomesofficial on Facebook or visit Lumina Homes’ official website at www.lumina.com.ph.

MetroMart gives tips on how to make the most out of your online grocery shopping

One great thing that came about with the new normal is the convenience of shopping for our groceries online. Here are some tips so you can really maximize your budget and time on your next digital shopping journey with MetroMart – the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines.

Make a list

Just like a physical trip to the store, go into the shopping platform with a plan, and stick to it. Try writing down all your meals for the coming week so you know all the ingredients you’ll need. If you come across something you like but can’t buy yet, don’t worry, just click the heart or like button and you can add it to your wishlist for later!

MetroMart

Save through sales

Try to schedule your checkout time when there’s a sale. These are usually during payday periods like the 15th and end of every month. Check out featured items on sale in MetroMart’s “Payday Specials” to score a big bargain. In this way, you not just save with your online shopping by foregoing the gasoline and transportation expenses, but you also get more savings on your groceries and essentials. 

Buy in bulk

Take advantage of the wholesale and retail prices of supermarkets such as UltraMega, that’s now also available on MetroMart! Re-stocking for your home pantry or for your sari-sari store is now 1, 2, easy, and just a few taps on your phone. Especially with the wide selection of items with budget- and retailer- friendly prices from UltraMega Supermarket. You can also avail FREE Delivery for orders with a minimum spend of ₱1,000 until August 2.

MetroMart

Pay and get more discounts

All customers of MetroMart have a wide selection for modes of payment on their online shopping. These include Cash on Delivery, via e-wallet through GCash, or via Debit/Credit cards with leading banks nationwide. Even more promos and discounts will be available through the different modes of payment availed by the customer.

Buy for your special someone

Did you know that you can order your groceries with MetroMart and then get it delivered to another address, even when you’re out of town or abroad? This would be especially helpful if you want to get fresh vegetables and food for your family, but they’re in a different location. What’s really cool too is that MetroMart has expanded to new locations throughout the Philippines like in Davao, Bicol, Cabanatuan, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Palawan, and Pangasinan. The big convenience of online grocery shopping is definitely for every Pinoy!

MetroMart now in Bicol and Davao

Try new things, love local

Sometimes, you just never know what kind of food you may want to try or what you’ll suddenly need for your home. Never fear, just go straight into your MetroMart app and order right away! Apart from the leading supermarkets, MetroMart has other specialty stores in different categories like hardware, toys, novelty items, pet care, food products, furniture and medicine. It’s a great way to check out and support new brands by awesome Pinoy entrepreneurs, all in the comfort of your home and on your smartphone.

Stay tuned for lots of upcoming promos, discounts and sales events at MetroMart this 2022. Carpe diem and carpe discounts, happy shopping!

MetroMart

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include Robinsons Supermarket, S&R (with or no membership card required), Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys R Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/MetroMartPH. Order groceries online or download the app via https://bit.ly/DownloadNowMM.

High Vaccine Coverage, Vaccine Suitability, crucial to combating Pneumonia in PH, says Vaccine Expert

A VACCINE EXPERT reinforced high vaccine coverage and the suitability of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) as crucial strategies to reducing overall pneumococcal disease burden in the Philippines.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death of children below five years old in the Philippines. Globally, around 672,000 children die from pneumonia every year. This is equivalent to a child dying every 47 seconds.

Dr. Olakunle Oladehin, a vaccine expert and current Regional Vaccines Medical Lead for GSK, stressed the importance of high vaccine coverage to ensure success of a vaccination program especially in the current context of the pandemic.

[PHOTO 1] Dr-Oladehin-Lecture

“Even if we have the best vaccines, we will not be able to see its full impact if vaccination coverage is low. It is critical that every country strives to revive its vaccination uptake against diseases like pneumonia,” said Dr. Oladehin in a scientific lecture with local healthcare experts last July 7.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), childhood immunization fell to 48.5% in 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary focus on COVID-19 vaccination as a response. The DOH has continuously ramped up its routine immunization activities including implementing the Chikiting Bakunation Days from April to June.

“I commend the determination of the Philippine government to bring back its immunization rates coming from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Oladehin.

Meanwhile, Dr. Oladehin also reiterated the importance of ensuring that a given PCV should protect against relevant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the Philippines, a type of bacteria that causes pneumonia and other invasive diseases.

“To achieve overall protection, the choice of PCV should address the most prevalent strains in the local landscape,” said the vaccine expert.

In 2020, the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) of DOH reviewed the use of PCVs in the country, coming from a position statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. The mandate of HTAC is to undertake technology appraisals by determining their clinical and economic values in the Philippine healthcare system.

In its report, HTAC recommended the use of PCVs protecting against 11 important strains which accounted for 48% of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) cases found in the Philippines namely 1, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F. The recommendation was based on local surveillance data from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) from 2012-2019.

Majority of these strains are highly invasive, and it is imperative that a given PCV should have evidence of being able to protect against them, Dr Oladehin said.

“Invasive pneumococcal strains like 18C and 4 can destroy living tissues or spread to many organs of the body through the blood, increasing likelihood of death,” Dr Oladehin zeroed in during his presentation.

Currently, there are three PCVs pre-qualified by the WHO—PCV13 and 2 kinds of PCV10: PHID-CV and SIIL- PCV. The two PCVs that were reviewed by HTAC—PHID-CV and PCV13—are suitable to address the 11 strains in the country.

Backed by real-world evidence and experience of being used in National Immunization Programs (NIP) across the world, both PHID-CV and PCV13 are included in the Philippine National Formulary (PNF) and can be procured for use under the Philippine’s own NIP.

Details and photo of Dr. Oladehin provided in a recent press release.

Header photo by CDC on Unsplash

8 reasons to have your family weekend getaway at Timberland Highlands Resort

Are the heat and the humidity of the metro getting to you? Do you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Or do you feel bored to bits while stuck in your room as you work from home?

It may be high time for you and the fam to take a break from the daily grind and hie off to a quick getaway for a much needed change of scenery.

That’s what Hubby and I did this last weekend. Together with the kiddos -#ExhibitA and #ExhibitB – we went off to a mountain adventure to Timberlands Highlands Resort for some family bonding time and well-deserved R ‘n R.

Here are 8 reasons why you should, too!

1. You won’t have to travel far to get there.

Timberland Highlands Resort is a sprawling property located within Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal.

Thanks to the ever-reliable Waze app, we were able to reach the resort in less than an hour from our home in Pasig (not counting our lunch stopover in Marikina).

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

If traveling by car, it’s also around 40 minutes away from the Batasan area in Quezon City, and a little over an hour away from the cities of Manila and Makati.

Imagine being that close to your staycation destination!

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

2. It’s your escape back to nature.

Surrounding the Timberland Highlands Resort property are lush greenery with the Sierra Madre mountains as a backdrop.

With this high altitude and its situation away from the busy cities, the area boasts of fresh air and a cooler climate. As is typical with other green spaces, the area is conducive to outdoor activities and socializing while promoting both physical and mental well-being.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

3. You can engage in revitalizing physical activity.

One of the physical activities that the fam can do together is taking a leisurely stroll through the path surrounding the property. Doing so brings you to various vantage points to appreciate the surrounding mountainside.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

After your invigorating walk, you can all take a dip in the swimming pools to cool down. One is an infinity pool that lets you enjoy the view while taking a swim. The kiddie pool, on the other hand, features a slide and cascading water, guaranteeing lots of fun time in the sun for the little ones.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Adult Pool
Timberland Highlands Resort
Kids Pool
Timberland Highlands Resort
Chillin’ at the Pool with #ExhibitB
Timberland Highlands Resort
Diving in.

If the weather does not permit outdoor activities, you can always engage in physical exertions indoors, thanks to the resort’s well-equipped gym (which got a thumb’s-up from fitness buffs Hubby and #ExhibitA).

Timberland Highlands Resort
Gym
Timberland Highlands Resort
Gym

Did you know that the resort used to be known as Timberland Sports and Nature Club? The indoor sports facilities it was famous for – such as the basketball court, badminton court, table tennis and indoor rock climbing areas are still here for guests to enjoy.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Basketball Court
Timberland Highlands Resort
Badminton Court
Timberland Highlands Resort
Table Tennis
Timberland Highlands Resort
Indoor Rock Climbing

4. The kids are sure to have a great time.

While all the grown ups are exercising and getting into sports, the kids can play and entertain themselves near the pool area, thanks a wide space they can run around in, and kiddie-sized chairs and plush seats. Here, they can learn a game of chess, challenge themselves with Jenga or even spot a mascot or cartoon character handing out treats.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Recreation Area near the Pool Bar
Timberland Highlands Resort
Entertaining games like Jenga
Timberland Highlands Resort
Kiddie-sized chairs and comfy plushy seats
Timberland Highlands Resort
Blippi handing out cookie treats

5. You can settle down to a relaxing retreat.

After your very active day, you can wind down and relax in your well-appointed accommodations. The hotel has 70 fully air-conditioned rooms which can all accommodate two adults and two children sharing the bed with their parents, making the hotel perfect for a family retreat.

The Deluxe Twin is a 35-sqm room situated in the main building, furnished with comfy twin beds.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

The Deluxe King, a similar-sized room furnished with a king bed and features a fitted bath tub, is also an options

At the newly renovated building annexed to the main hotel, you can find the 32-sqm Premiere Deluxe accommodations.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Premier Deluxe Twin
Timberland Highlands Resort
Premier Deluxe Twin
Timberland Highlands Resort
Premier Deluxe King
Timberland Highlands Resort
Premier Deluxe King
Timberland Highland Resorts
Timberland Highland Resorts

All hotel rooms are equipped with a safety deposit box, flat-screen TV with cable channels, Wi-Fi connection and a work desk. (The latter two, in particular, were very helpful during our first day there as I was doing remote work. I was able to log in to three consecutive Zoom meetings, and was presenting in two of them with nary a dropped call or frozen screen.)

Note: Mobile phone signal may be spotty in the room and at some other locations within the hotel so I would suggest logging your devices into the hotel WiFi. That way, you can be reachable via online messaging to your work colleagues and family members (if you want to be reachable, that is, hehehe!)

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highland Resorts

Other room features include toilet and bath (with hot and cold shower), dental kits, bath items such as soap, bath gel and shampoo from Aum Spa, a minibar, a coffee/tea set and bottled water.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Hot and cold shower
Timberland Highlands Resort
Dental Kits
Timberland Highlands Resort
Toilet with bidet
Timberland Highlands Resort
Minibar and Coffee Set

The fam loved the crisp linens and the blackout curtains that helped us get a restful slumber after our activity-filled day.

6. Dine with a majestic view at Ridge Cafe.

Of course, any weekend getaway wouldn’t be complete without a gastronomic adventure, wouldn’t it?

Fortunately, the hotel two in-house restaurants, one of which is Ridge Cafe. It has an elegantly appointed interior dining room, as well as an al fresco area which boasts of grand view of the surrounding mountains and overlooking Metro Manila.

Every weekend, foodies can look forward to a sumptous breakfast buffet which includes:

  • The makings of classic Pinoy silogs such as Corned Beef with Potatoes, Tocino, Longganisa and Tocino (just add the Garlic Fried Rice and a sunny-side up egg from the Omelet Station)
  • Locally-grown fresh produce for salads or fruit desserts
  • A variety of freshly baked breads, including four types of pan de sal (regular, ube, cacao and malunggay).
  • Continental breakfast choices such as cereals, chicken nuggets and breakfast sausages
  • Kiddie treats such as mini pancakes and cookies
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

On weekdays and for other parts of the day, guests can order ala carte from a menu that includes Appetizers, Sandwiches and Burgers, Pastas and Noodles, Salads, Sushi, along with main courses and desserts.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

Curious about the foodie possibilities here? I’ll tell you more about our dining experiences at Ridge Cafe here, here and here.

And should you fancy a drink while hanging out at the pool or viewing deck, you can always get refreshing beverage from The Pool Bar.

Pool Bar - Timberland Highlands Resort
Butterfly Pea Lemonade
Pool Bar - Timberland Highlands Resort
Fresh Mango Juice

7. It supports local industries.

Timberland Highlands Resort recently partnered with local merchants in showcasing sustainable and home-grown products. These include brands such as Zarah Juan, TÙ by Modern Filipiniana, Gourmet Farms, Engkanto Brewery, Alab.Mnl, Lakan Lubi, Circa 1740 by Timplado, Better Snacks PH, Tu’ka Spiced Vinegar and more. Their wares are all prominently displayed and available for purchase in the Live Love Local corner in Ridge Cafe.

These are also great for souvenirs or pasalubong to your city-bound friends and relatives.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

8. The management and staff are all geared up to provide you with a memorable stay.

All of these are just the tip of the iceberg, as they say, because more exciting developments are in store for guests and visitors, as envisioned by resort’s management.

These include additional restaurants and other exciting renovations (which will be revealed in due time!)

Timberland Highlands Resort
Zeon, Director of Operations. He’s also got great things planned for the hotel. Watch out for them!
Timberland Highlands Resort
Ranuka, Executive Chef. He’s gearing up to bring more exciting cuisines for hotel guests to enjoy.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Stephen, Sous Chef. He’s keeping the kitchen staff in tip-top shape.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Moira, Pastry Chef de Partie. She’s whipping up new kinds of breads for guests to enjoy.

The resort also helps local communities by sourcing its manpower from nearby areas, upskilling and retooling them to provide world-class service to guests.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Derek, F&B Manager. He oversees the dining room staff to bring you a great dining experience.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Rey, F&B. He also taught me how to add a background to your Tiktok video (thanks, Rey!)
Timberland Highlands Resort
Josh, F&B.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Jona, F&B

They’re always ready to give you a hand, so when you see them around, be sure to say hi!

Timberland Highlands Resort
Rom, Housekeeping. He gives quite an animated tour of the hotel room.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Analyn and Marlyn, Housekeeping. These friendly ladies will keep your room spic-‘n-span.
Timberland Highlands Resort
Edison, Kar and Genie, Front Office. Count of them for your queries about the hotel.
Timberland Highlands Resort
JR, Lifeguard. He also takes care of the gym and guided me on a tour of the indoor sports facilities.

Thanks to the above reasons, my family and I had a fun, restful and memorable stay at the Timberland Highlands Resort, so why don’t you treat your family to one, too?

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

For more details, visit Timberland Highlands Resort’s website, call +632 8891 8288 or +63 918 9799863 (calls are entertained between 9am and 6pm) or email reservations@timberlandresort.com

Check-in is at 3pm while check-out is at 11am.

Timberland Highlands Resort is located inside Timberland Heights, Barangay Guitnang Bayan II, San Mateo, Rizal 1850 Philippines.

Timberland Highlands Resort
Timberland Highlands Resort

In accordance to COVID-19 safety guidelines set by the Department of Tourism and the local government, the following safety practices are in place:

  • Observance of minimum public health standards such as wearing of face masks, maintain physical distance and frequent handwashing
  • Requirement for guests 18 years old and older to present proof of full vaccination or a negative result of a swab or saliva-based RT PCR test, taken within 48 hours prior to check in
  • Guests below 18 years old should always be accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian

To know more about Timberland Highland Resorts’ latest updates and offers, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

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