Grab your limited-edition Polland Special Tikoy from Shopee today!

With the Lunar New Year just a few days away, you may have hounded your Chinoy friends to send you some tikoy, am I right?

More widely known as Chinese New Year because most of the traditions surrounding it originated from China, the Lunar New Year marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional in countries such as China, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

It is a time when families get together to wish each other good fortune, happiness and health. Among the traditions that made its way to our country are wearing red clothes, the festive Dragon Dance, the much-anticipated gifting of ampao – red envelops containing money, and the exchange of Nian gao, which is more commonly known as tikoy.

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Nian gao translates to “sticky cake” but it also has a similar sound to the Chinese term for “higher year.” Eating some tikoy during the Lunar New Year therefore symbolizes raising oneself up in the new year. It is also produced in a circular shape, the same shape as money, which is said to attract wealth.

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

The term tikoy, on the other hand, is the Filipinization of the name tike in Hokkien which translates to “sweet pastry.”

Tikoy is traditionally made with glutinous rice flour, sugar and water. It can be sliced thinly and served as is, but we Pinoys love to dip the slices in egg then lightly fry them until the the outside is slightly crisp and caramelized while the inside is deliciously chewy.

Its lucky connotation and its appeal to the tastebuds make the tikoy a highly sought after delicacy especially at this time of the year.

The good news is that you won’t have to harass your Chinoy friends for some tikoy. Getting some for yourself is easy, thanks to Shopee!

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. With its wide product assortment supported by integrated payments and logistics, it makes it so easy for shoppers like us to find and get what we want and need.

Take our collective enthusiasm for tikoy, for example. By housing the online store of Polland Hopia, Shopee makes it so convenient for to buy our favorite tikoy but also discover new variants that appeal to Pinoy palate such as: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Ube, Strawberry, Pineapple and Buko Pandan. These tikoy variants are priced at Php125 for small (600 grams) and Php200 for medium (1.2kg).

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

But don’t stop there! Polland also made limited-edition tikoy that will surely tickle our fancy such as:

Mini Lucky Tikoy (Php100). A 300g white sugar tikoy topped with an intricate strawberry detail for “HOK,” the Chinese character for luck.

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Fish Tikoi (Php300). A 350g meticulously handpainted fish-shaped white sugar tikoy. Fish is traditionally served during Lunar New Year because the of how the Chinese word for fish rhymes with the Chinese term for “leftover”. Eating fish during Luna New Year is said to attract bounty such that you will have a lot leftover at the end of the year.

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Heart Tikoy (Php100). A 350g strawberry tikoy shaped into a heart. Everyone loves a good mash-up and this tikoy serves as an adequate segue from Lunar New Year on February 12 to Valentine’s Day on February 14.

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

The sheer variety of tikoy that you can have on your table is sure to add more color and life to your Lunar New Year celebrations.

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

How about adding more luck into the mix by including Polland’s claim to fame? Since the 1960s, Polland Hopia has been producing deliciously authentic flaky-crusted mung bean cakes, known here as hopia. Aside from the classic Mongo Special (made with yellow mung beans), Polland Hopia expended its hopia repertoire to include Black Mungo (made with black mung beans), Ube (made with purple yam) and Hopia Baboy (made with wintermelon chunks and pork). With their lucky round shape and snackable size, they make for a welcome addition to your Lunar New Year spread or snack stash.

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Here’s an idea: how about gifting your pals (especially your Chinoy friends) and wishing them fortune, health and happiness in the Year of the Ox with Polland Hopia products?

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Hopia and Tikoy

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Polland Tikoy and Hopia

Let me know how it goes!

Gong xi fa cai, foodies!

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature article.

Not yet done with shopping for your Valentine’s Day treat for the fam? Check out this post on Valentine’s Day gift ideas available on Shopee.

Get started on your wellness journey with Sunlife’s GoWell Studio

We’re halfway through the first month of the year and if you haven’t gotten around to making good on your New Year’s resolutions to live healthy, here’s a good place to start.

GoWell Studio is an on-demand holistic wellness platform launched by Sun Life Philippines as part  of its commitment to help Filipinos live healthier lives.

GoWell Studio

In this site, you can find top-notch content such as follow-along exercise programs, guided meditation sessions, various masterclasses, short courses, and healthcare awareness and education. These will be led by some of the country’s leading fitness coaches, doctors, allied health professionals, and educators.

GoWell Studio

Got a question for a specialist?  Using the platform, you can look up from a directory various experts from whom you can seek personalized health and wellness advice. The line-up includes Ginastica Natural Philippines Founder Mark Cupino; Bukodon, Yin and Vinyasa Yoga Instructor Anna Manalastas; Myotherapist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Filbert Tan; Pilates Coach and Animal Flow Instructor Trisha Buhat; Founder of Awake.ph and Modern-day Kriya Yogi Neil Salang; Sound Healer Coach Yeyette San Luis; World Kettlebell Club Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Ayson; Alab Pilipinas, UP men’s basketball, and Petrogazz Angels Volleyball team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Chappy Callanta; and Sports Performance Specialist and F45 Functional Strength Coach Andro Amador, among others.

Access to the GoWell Studio may be enjoyed exclusively by Sun Fit and Well, Sun Senior Care, and Sun Cancer Care policyholders simply by registering in the GoWell website (gowell.com.ph).

GoWell Studio

“We take pride in GoWell Studio’s team of highly credible experts and carefully curated content, all of which a member can access in the comforts of his own home,” Sun Life Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer Gilbert Simpao said. “Taking care of ourselves remains crucial now that we are still in the middle of the pandemic. We invite everyone to become members of GoWell, Sun Life’s community that promotes holistic wellness through a fit and active lifestyle, healthy eating, and living a healthier life.”

Those who wish to know more about Sun Life’s health and accident insurance products are encouraged to consult a Sun Life advisor or visit sunlife.com.ph. For more about Sun Life’s health and wellness initiatives, visit gowell.com.ph and follow @SunLifePH and @GoWellPH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Details provided in a recent press release.

Pinoy Bloggers take on The New Normal

It has been more than three months since the pandemic has essentially turned our worlds upside down.

As we waited for quarantines to be lifted and restrictions to be loosened, many of us found ourselves willing time to hurry up so things can get back to normal.

But we can’t really go back to the way things used to be, right? Not when the threat of COVID-19 or any future communicable health risk still looms.

Hence, the emergence of The New Normal. While businesses re-open and people are more frequently moving about, the following principles still apply:

  • Increased importance of personal hygiene
  • Practice of physical distancing
  • Focus of all activities in the home
  • Transition of most interactions to digital

To help ease the way towards The New Normal, several Filipino bloggers have taken it upon themselves to broach topics relevant to the transition. They create content to guide, inspire or entertain as we all grapple with the changes to our way of life.

Keepin’ Fit and Healthy

Bloggers Take On The New Normal

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the value of one’s health. We have seen how this viral infections has wreaked havoc, not only on one’s physical well-being, but also on one’s finances and social interactions. Also, keeping fit has become challenging for many with exercising outside the home and in the gym no longer among the options available. It is no wonder, then, that bloggers have chosen to dwell on how to maintain one’s health and fitness during this time.

Ces Dimalanta of Manila Millennial, for instance, guides her readers on how to conduct a COVID-19 self assessment using FightCOVID.app.

Prevention is better than cure so it’s good that we continue monitoring ourselves if we develop symptoms, but at the moment, there’s just so much strain on medical workers and doing a self-check is the least that we can do to help. – Manila Millennial

Dale Palisoc of The Little Binger, on the other hand, shares a list of free apps and websites on home workouts that can help his bingers to keep on track with their health goals.

We spent every single day at home because we are restricted and it is not safe… But you know what it is not healthy to stay stagnant. We still have to keep on moving. The big question, however, is how to do it? Especially now that gyms are closed and it is terrifying to jog outside… – The Little Binger

Home is the place to be… stuck in?

Bloggers Take On The New Normal

The home emerged as the safest place to be in, but, as most of us discovered, it is not always the most comfortable or the most entertaining. People who are used to going out and having a social life now find themselves isolated. Families who used to just see each other at dinnertime or on weekends now spend the whole day in each other’s company. The problem that arose from these scenarios is how to while away the time while “stuck” at home? These bloggers may have just the answer.

Nicole San Miguel of Living Beyond Style, Wendyflor Palomo of Wendyflor.com and Mikhaela Adarve of Youthsoloartsy.com, all give their own takes on how one can make the most of the time at home resulting from the quarantine.

Community quarantine may be a disorientating experience, especially for those of us who are used to spending most of our time outside the house. But, it’s also essential to look on the bright side, while channeling our energy into some productive activities. – Living Beyond Style

Beyond my motherhood duties to my two sons, I have come to appreciate the time I have: to do things I have always wanted to do but never got to, because I have always put them aside. – Wendyflor.com

Don’t forget to smile and be positive regardless of what situation you are in. One creative hobby helps us a lot to be more productive and manage our mental health to lessen the stress level. Despite the current situation, it always good to remember you got the passion to do things right and be the right person to deliver results to continue your undeniably creative hobby. – Youthsoloartsy

How can we get our hands on those food!

Bloggers Take On The New Normal

Anybody who knows me also knows that the enjoyment of good food is central to my happiness. When the community quarantine was implemented, my foodie friends and I worried about our favorite restos, and rightfully so. The restaurant industry was among the most badly hit by the pandemic and the resulting lockdown with the reduced clientele, lack of manpower and rising overhead costs putting a huge strain on their finances.

Those who were able to pivot their operations to be viable by making their food available for pickup or delivery stand a chance at surviving in The New Normal.

Plus, for those who are not used to cooking their own food, having tasty and easily accessible food options will make the quarantine restrictions seem not as harsh.

Since the start of the quarantine, I have featured noteworthy dishes from these establishments which can now be enjoyed at home. If you have time, do check out my posts on Fresh Takes on Filipino Food for Araw ng Kalayaan and Extraordinary Sushi for International Sushi Day.

So, what’s next?

Bloggers Take On The New Normal

Through all the difficulties we faced due to the pandemic, we are buoyed by the hope that someday it will end. When that day comes, we need to be prepared on what do do.

Ivan Jose of Ivan + Khris’ Travels gives advice to would-be travelers on how to travel safely and hassle-free.

Practice social distancing as much as you can. When exploring city centers and parks, take cycling tours instead of walking tours or bus tours. Cycling presents the least risk of coming into close contact with other tourists. Plus, cycling is great for your health at any time! – Ivan + Khris’ Travels

GV Caplas of Wandering Good Vibes presents a 30-day challenge to her readers to divert them from their worries and anxieties.

#30DayNewNormalChallenge aims to help citizens face this New Normal phenomenon. This will allow us to just live day-by-day unaware that we have adapted positively with this universal change. – Wandering Good Vibes

Karla Obispo of Travel with Karla, on the other hand, provides a playbook on how to be a decent person in the time of COVD-19 which I think still applies into The New Normal.

There are many ways on how to be a good citizen in the time of COVID-19. I hope you choose to be one. – Travel with Karla

Navigating the way into a new set of circumstances, norms and environments as a result of COVID-19 may seem daunting, but be assured, your blogger friends are with you ready to share what we can to guide, inspire or entertain you into The New Normal.

Many thanks to my fellow bloggers for contributing to this post!

Photo Credits:
Header photo by Sarah Killian on Unsplash
Health and Fitness photo by Cathy Pham on Unsplash
Home Life photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash
Food photo by Victor He on Unsplash
Beyond photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

How to boost immune system to fight off COVID-19

Legande Inc. recently had a 2.5 hour long live session with Dr. Ryan Nico C. Padua, internal medicine – cardiology, about how amazing our immune system is. As we all know, times have changed and we are now living a new normal where we stay at home as much as possible to combat an unseen enemy in the form of COVID-19.

Legande.Doctor

COVID-19 is a form of a virus that is transmitted from person to person via droplets in the air or through an object touched by an infected person. This virus gets into our system via our eyes, nose, or mouth. This happens when you either inhale air where there are droplets from an infected person or when you touch something and then touch your face. A person touches their face about 20x every hour on average. This is how easily you can be infected when you come into contact with someone or something with the COVID-19 virus.

So, how can you boost your immune system so that it can help you fight off COVID-19?

  1. Drink 2 cups of water every hour. It may sound a lot but it has been proven that COVID-19 thrives on parched throats. Keeping yourself hydrated not only helps fight off COVID-19, but it also helps to keep you hydrated and your internal system running on full speed.
  2. Eat a balanced diet. This means the Go, Grow, Glow food chart should be followed. Avoid eating highly processed food such as those that come in plastic packaging or have a long shelf life. It’s best to eat natural, organic, or those that are high in fiber like oatmeal.
  3. Avoid or cut down on vices. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs can lower down your immune system.
  4. Exercise and getting enough rest. You need to move your body to get your blood flowing and to stretch your muscles. However, you also need to get enough rest which means you need to sleep long enough that when you wake up, you feel refreshed, not tired.
  5. Enzymes and probiotics. Enzymes and probiotics can help foster the growth of good bacteria to fight the bad ones. They also help in preventing disease-causing bacteria to do damage in the body.

Legande Inc. offers Life Enzymes. Life Enzyme works better than most vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements. Enzymes speed up blood circulation, digestion, detoxification, and healing which are all necessary for the body. Legánde’s Life Enzyme contains 150 all-natural whole fruits and vegetables as well as medicinal fungi and ancient Chinese herbs which underwent a 1-year fermentation process. This slows down aging and aids in the relief of digestive disorders and boosts energy.

Legande

You can purchase Legánde’s Life Enzyme via www.Legánde.com or visit them at Suite 406, West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Ortigas Center, Barangay San Antonio, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1605 when the quarantine is over. You can also check their Facebook Page to send them a message.

Product details and images provided in a recent press release.

Header photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com

6 Ways to Care for Your Body During Community Quarantine

Since the announcement of the city-wide community quarantine, many Filipinos have been coming to terms with the loss of basic necessities and services needed to maintain their busy lives. And while it can be incredibly difficult for many in Metro Manila to continue with their daily routine during this trying time, there are a number of things we can do to take care of ourselves in quarantine.

6 Ways to Self-Care During Quarantine

1. Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to take care of yourself during the quarantine is to workout. While going to the gym may not be an option, there are a number of routines you can do at home such as yoga, Zumba, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In fact, some of the most popular fitness studios now offer free online classes through Facebook and Instagram to keep people motivated during the quarantine.

2. Enjoy a Free Show
Sure, it can be hard to go to the movies or see a live show, but that has not stopped the industry’s best from performing. Popular artists such as John Legend and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie/The Postal Service) have begun livestreaming their performances to fans on social media. In addition, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City offers free livestreams of classics such as Puccini’s La Bohème. Who knew you didn’t have to leave your home or pay for an airplane ticket to experience a little culture?

3. Read a Book
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all have a handful of books we haven’t read yet. With the entire city on quarantine and very little to do, it is now the perfect time to go through your pile of books to read. You never know, you may have had one of the best stories at your fingertips and you wouldn’t have known.

4. Pick-Up a New Hobby
It can be very easy to give in to cabin fever without a proper outlet. Stay calm. You have the internet. From candle making to crochet, or even learning how to play a new instrument, there is a whole world of skills you can learn without having to leave your home. Stay in, find a new hobby and discover a skill you never thought you could do.

5. Don’t Stop Working
Being locked up with nowhere to go can inspire our laziest traits. With many Filipinos working from home, comes the opportunity for us to actually get ahead of our work for once. By sticking to our regular 9:00AM – 6:00PM schedule, we can maintain a semblance of normalcy as we wait out the quarantine period.

6. Moisturize!
KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge is one of the newest aesthetic centers in Quezon City and Pasig. KimRey’s approved skincare hack is moisturizing. Like their facial treatments, the constant application of moisturizer is a must-have in order to repair your skin from cleaning and exfoliation. Don’t forget to properly sanitize your hands before and after your facial care routine. Hygiene is just as important as skincare!

Rejuvenate After Quarantine

KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge is currently closed until further notice. However, appointments can still be booked and KimRey’s experts are on standby to answer all your queries on social media (Instagram: @kimrey.ph and Facebook: KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge).

Located at Unit 8 & 9 3/F Richmond Centre 8001 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. Bagumbayan, Quezon City, KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge offers a host of state-of-the-art, non-invasive cosmetic treatments that revitalizes the face and body with no downtime. Contact KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge at (0917) 119-5816 to learn more!

About KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge

Founded by sisters Claire Kimble, Anna Reyes, and Vanessa Lee, KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge provides world-class, state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures to working-class Filipinos all across Metro Manila.

Product details and images provided in a recent press release from Centaur Digital Marketing PH Inc.

Multipure Water Purifier for clean and safe drinking water

Water makes up more than two-thirds of the human body and is very vital to every living organism.  However, clean and safe drinking water is not always available and accessible especially when you live in a third world country.  Many would rather consume unsanitary water which contains bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella than none at all and be exposed to various illnesses such as diarrhea, gastrointestinal flu, amoebiasis.

Why is clean and safe water essential?

Clean and safe water is necessary for us to stay alive in this world.  We use it for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, nourishment, and watering plants.

Clean and safe water is needed to prevent the spread of diseases.  With the ongoing scare of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID 19), it has been stated that the best prevention is to constantly wash your hands.  If you don’t have clean water, even washing your hands won’t prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Clean and safe drinking water helps in getting rid of toxins.  It aids the body to get rid of all kinds of toxins, whether they are created due to bodily reactions or ones that occur because of the consumption of contaminated water.

Clean and safe drinking water keeps you nourished.  Water helps in keeping our organs healthy and it allows the blood to maintain consistency in flowing freely while transporting oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body.

Though many benefits from the availability of bottled water and water shops, it does not guarantee the long-term water delivery and sanitation infrastructure improvements needed, aside from being costly.

The best way to ensure that you have clean and safe water all the time is to get a water filtration system that is guaranteed to work 100%.  This way, you can drink water straight from the source without having to worry about its cleanliness.

All these benefits can be found in Legánde’s Multipure Drinking Water Systems that uses its proprietary Solid Carbon Block Technology since the ’70s.  Multipure Drinking Water Systems includes the AquaDOME, AquaVERSA, and AquaMINI that have been tested, backed and certified by NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) – NSF/ANSI 42, Aesthetic Effects; NSF/ANI 53, Health Effects and NSF/ANSI 401, Emerging Compounds and Incidental Contaminants.    The units can be upgraded with a Legánde Pre-filter to prolong the life of your carbon block filter.  The Company also offers the AquaSHOWER which is tested and certified by the Water Quality Association according to NSF/ANSI 177 and guarantees the removal of 90% or more of free chlorine.

You can purchase Legánde’s Multipure Water Drinking Water Systems via www.Legande.com or visit them at Suite 406 West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road,  Ortigas Center, Barangay San Antonio Pasig City, Metro Manila Philippines, 1605.  You can also check their Facebook Page to send a message.

Product details and image provided in a recent press release.

Legande launches 3 new wellness products

Legánde, Inc marked another milestone in their history by unveiling a brand-new logo and tagline “Where infinite possibilities live” to usher a new year and decade with new products, compensation plan, and management team. Legánde, Inc is a fusion of two companies, Multipure Philippines and Pillars 5. Multipure Philippines is the authorized distributor of Multipure water systems of the United States of America while Pillars 5 is an all-natural nutrition and wellness company.

The event was held at Luxent Hotel and it was graced by family, friends, brand partners, entrepreneurs, media, and supporters of Legánde, Inc. The ballroom was filled to the brim, with everyone hanging off the edge of their seats, excited to witness and have first-hand dibs on the newest products and income opportunity that Legánde, Inc. has to offer.

Legánde, Inc. launched three new products that cater to health and wellness. They have the home essentials, health essentials, and beauty essentials. The home essentials include the Multipure Water Filtration Systems, the AquaDOME, AquaVERSA, and AquaMINI, that is backed by three certifications (ANSI 42 – Aesthetic effects; ANSI 53 – Health effects and ANSI 401 – emerging compounds and incidental contaminants) from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) which users can upgrade with a Legánde Pre-filter. Under the same category is the Multipure Aqua Shower that is marked by a Water Quality Seal. The health essentials include 100% pure essential oils, gourmet teas, and life enzyme. The beauty essentials consist of argan oil for the face, hair, and body.

Multipure is the premier manufacturer of high-quality drinking water systems in the United States of America and have been in business for 50 years. They are all about improving the quality of life. Multipure is the original developer of solid carbon block technology.

The gourmet teas being offered by Legánde is not just any tea. These teas are what purists call as the real thing. Legánde Inc. offers green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and a fusion of green tea and jasmine flower tea. These are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant which is a shrub native to China and India. This contains unique antioxidants called polyphenols.

Essential oils are another addition to Legánde’s growing roster of products. This is an absolutely perfect addition because Legánde wants to provide its customers with a more positive lifestyle. Legánde’s essential oils come in three types: Mood Lifter, Stress and Pain Buster, and last but not least the Energy Booster.

Mood Lifter contains Lemongrass, Grapefruit, and Frankincense. Stress and Pain Buster includes Tea Tree, Lavender, and Lemon. Energy Booster includes Rosemary, Peppermint, and Orange. Legánde’s essential oils can be used both topically and aromatically. It also comes in a sampler kit which comes with three 5ml bottles while the regular essential oils come in 15ml bottles.

Legande

Argan Oil is one of its most coveted beauty products so it makes sense that Legánde is offering this in 3 forms: Hair, Body, and Face. With its high Vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give skin a natural boost. It is easily absorbed because it is non-greasy and non-irritating, making it a natural moisturizer.

Legande

Lastly, they are also offering Life Enzyme which works better than most vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements. Enzymes speed up blood circulation, digestion, detoxification, and healing which are all necessary for the body. Legánde’s Life Enzyme contains 150 all-natural whole fruits and vegetables as well as medicinal fungi and ancient Chinese herbs which underwent a 1-year fermentation process. This slows down aging and aids in the relief of digestive disorders and boosts energy.

Legande

Legánde’s launch was led by Ramon F. Garcia, President, and CEO of Legánde Inc. as well as Ramon Paolo Garcia Jr., Chief Operating Officer. With an impressive lineup of new products from Legánde, it is safe to say that Legánde is kicking off the year 2020 with a bang!

Ramon Garcia Sr. ended the night with this quote: “We grow because we invest. We invest in our members and staff development. We invest in new technology. We invest in new products.

We invest in infrastructure to better our service. Now the result of caring, sharing, and investing is that we grow, we grow together, we grow our business together, and we grow together to realize our members’ dream at a sustainable level.”

With Legánde, you can be healthy while being wealthy.

Product details and photos provided in a recent press release.

Why we should donate blood

I joined the Red Cross Youth org in my university during my college years. While I handled several projects for the org, I never got around to donating blood. At the time, I was afraid of the needles used, the sight of blood or the medical team sometimes had trouble locating the blood vessel in my arm optimal for blood extraction.

I started donating blood a few years ago. The employees’ union at my office had a bloodletting activity and, as a show of support and with some friendly competition among my coworkers, I joined those donating blood. It was fairly painless plus the union officers even gave me a mug and a shirt as a souvenir.

Since then, health and schedule permitting, I have tried to regularly donate blood at a nearby hospital. I even brought my husband with me once and we made the experience into a bonding activity. On my next donation this December, I plan to bring my eldest daughter so I can instill the habit in her as well.

My reason for donating blood is that it’s one of the easiest ways I can contribute to someone’s life. One pint of blood can be broken down into three components – red blood cells, plasma and platelets – thereby possibly saving up to three lives.

And don’t worry about your donation going to waste.  There’s actually a lot of demand for donated blood.  Yours may even reach the farthest areas in the country, and may help save lives in far-flung provinces.

Given the demands on my time and resources, I can’t contribute much to charity or volunteer at my chosen causes. Giving blood, however, simply involves a trip to the hospital and a few minutes at the blood bank, or some time away from my desk during the office’s blood donation drive.

Blood donation also affords me several health benefits:

  • A free mini-physical that checks my pulse and blood pressure as well as a free blood analysis that checks for the presence of infectious diseases.
  • Prevents hemachromatosis, a health condition brought about by too much iron in the blood. By maintaining healthy iron levels in the blood, the risk of certain cancers, liver and heart ailments are also minimized.
  • It helps in weight loss. Every donation burns around 650 calories, which to me is the equivalent to three hours at the treadmill.
  • It also stimulates production of new blood cells further contributing to the maintenance of good health.

To be eligible to donate, I needed to be the following:

  • In good health.  You should be feeling well at the time of donation.
  • Between 16 to 65 years of age.  If below 18, you will need your parent’s consent to be able to donate.
  • Weighing at least 110 pounds.
  • Having a normal blood pressure, between 90 and 160 mmHg (systolic), 60 and 100 mmHg (diastolic)
  • Able to pass the physical and health history assessments that will be conducted immediately before the donation.

After the procedure, I was given refreshments (usually a snack and a juice box which I should consume before leaving the donor area), and these reminders:

  • Rest and remain in the area for 15 minutes.
  • Increase fluid intake for the next 24 hours.
  • No smoking within the next 3 hours and no alcoholic beverages for the next 24 hours.
  • No strong pressure or heavy lifting on the donating arm for the next 24 hours to avoid bruising.
  • No strenuous activity or hazardous work for the next few hours.

Blood donation is a way for me to give of myself. It is my gift of life to whoever has the urgent need for it.

If you want to donate blood, check out the Red Cross website for more information.