Sawsaw-sarap ng Pinoy food, thanks to all-natural vinegars from Casa Lontoc

One significant feature of Filipino cuisine is the abundance of condiments.

We don’t consider a viand complete when it leaves the kitchen and is served on our dining tables. Nope, we still keep the option of further enhance its flavor or add some spice, zing or texture to it, through the use of condiments.

In his article The Psychology of Condiments: A Review, food scholar Charles Pence posits that “the existence of condiments is probably also an acknowledgement of the very different worlds of taste in which we all live.

After all, condiments allow us to personalize our food, adjusting its taste according to our individual preferences.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

There’s little wonder then, that we Pinoys developed a wealth of condiments and dipping sauces that make our dining experiences all the richer.

Husband-and-wife team Juan Carlos Lontoc and Louwina Ann Balboa Lontoc grew their small enterprise of making and bottling sinamak into a fast-growing business they called Casa Lontoc.

Sinamak is the spiced vinegar which is aged with spices and aromatics, making it very flavorful. It is a perfect complement for the Ilonggo delicacy chicken inasal, as well as grilled and fried dishes such as liempo and seafood. Plus, it can also be used as a marinade for various dishes or as the acid in the local version of ceviche, such as the tuna kinilaw.

Casa Lontoc’s Mild Sinamak is the best bet for those who want a distinct Ilonggo flair for their grilled dishes. It is made from all-natural distilled cane vinegar and spices, inspired by a Lontoc heirloom recipe.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Similarly, the Spicy Sinamak, is made from the same recipe but has more heat to it, not only enhancing the flavor of the dishes it accompanies, but also bringing a lot more spice to them.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Casa Lontoc’s Sweet and Spicy Cane Vinegar, on the other hand, is quite distinctive thanks to its sweetness. This makes it quite a match to the Filipino penchant for sweetness and is a great salad dressing or vinaigrette for ensaladas, or a dipping sauce for finger foods.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Other Casa Lontoc products include:

  • Spiced Tuba Vinegar
  • Spiced Iloco Vinegar
  • Chili Garlic
  • Habanero Chili Garlic

Casa Lontoc’s all-natural vinegars and sauces certainly help to bring new dimensions of flavor to many Pinoy dishes.

Who knows? Maybe they can also introduce new sawsaw-sarap possibilities to foreign dishes as well!

Try them as dipping sauces for your everyday meals or as dressings or marinades for special dishes during your weekend family barbecues.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

To know more about Casa Lontoc and its products, visit its website and follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

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.

Celimax
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.

Celimax
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.

Celimax
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.

Homemade goodness from Baba’s Kitchen

Want to jazz up your mealtimes without slaving all day in the kitchen? Or have tasty munchables ready whenever you get hungry for a midnight snack or get in the mood for a Tv binge?

Well, you won’t have to do hard kitchen labor because you can get your hunger pangs and cravings catered to by Baba’s Kitchen!

Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen

Yep, my cooler bag from Baba’s Kitchen is chock-full of tasty homemade goodies that opens up a world of wonderful gustatory possibilities.

I’ll tell you more about these but first, let’s check out the bag’s contents.

Baba's Kitchen
Mango Jalapeno Dip & Spread
Baba's Kitchen
Garlic & Herb Dip & Spread
Baba's Kitchen
Chicken Rum Pate
Baba's Kitchen
Breakfast Patties
Baba's Kitchen
Spanish Chorizo
Baba's Kitchen
Wagyu Tapa
Baba's Kitchen
Baba’s BBQ Sauce
Baba's Kitchen
Baba’s Spicy Bitchin’ Sauce
Baba's Kitchen
Beachcoast Crisps: Cranberry Edition
Baba's Kitchen
Meal Spread

These include ready-to-cook viands such as Breakfast Patties, Spanish Chorizo and Wagyu Tapa, snackable dips such as the sweet and spicy Mango Jalapeno, the tasty Garlic & Herb and Chicken Rum Pate, the highly snackable Beachcoast Crisps: Cranberry Edition, as well condiments such Baba’s BBQ Sauce and Baba’s Spicy Bitchin’ Sauce.

With so little time for food prep after a hectic workday, I had to get a bit more creative when coming up with a dinner that the kids will get excited for.

So, I whipped up a batch of Cheesy Peppery Burgers using Baba’s Kitchen’s Burger Patties!

Baba's Kitchen
Fry with little to no oil.
Baba's Kitchen
Place on butter-toasted buns.
Baba's Kitchen
Add lettuce, onions, tomatoes and cheese.
Baba's Kitchen
Enjoy!

We paired our meal with some crackers, Baba’s Kitchen’s Beachcoast Crisps and Baba’s Kitchen’s dips!

Baba's Kitchen
Crackers with Mango Jalapeno Dip & Spread
Baba's Kitchen
Crackers with Garlic & Herb Dip & Spread
Baba's Kitchen
Munchin’ on Beachcoast Crisps
Baba's Kitchen
Snack Attack!

With much of the prep work of the meal already done by Baba’s Kitchen, I had more time to enjoy dinner time with the kids!

Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen
Baba's Kitchen

This meal-in-minutes sure seems like a resounding success, wouldn’t you say?

UPDATE:

I also whipped up a quick lunch for the family: Tapsilog using Baba’s Kitchen’s Wagyu Tapa!

Baba’s Kitchen
Empty contents in a frying pan.
Baba’s Kitchen
Fry with little to no oil.
Baba’s Kitchen
Cook until it reaches your desired texture.
Baba’s Kitchen
Serve with rice and egg.

So, now, what can I whip up with the other items from Baba’s Kitchen? Use the Spanish Chorizos for some Deviled Eggs? Use the BBQ Sauce as a Chicken Teriyaki Marinade? Let me know if you have more ideas.

If you want to have more fun mealtimes with the fam while feasting on great food (with little effort!), check out Baba’s Kitchen!

Order now from Baba’s Kitchen’s website. To stay updated on Baba’s Kitchen’s products and offers, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

#BakeItTilYouMakeIt: Our Baking Mama Gift Set from Ka Tunying’s

As a working mom, I try not to let my hectic work schedule get in the way of my kids’ enjoyment. Things like freshly baked desserts served right after a family meal are what treasured childhood memories are made of.

However, baking is not always easy, right? Stocking up on ingredients and shopping for essential utensils can be tedious and time consuming. If only baking could be made a bit easier…

Well, Ka Tunying’s got something for busy moms who also want to try their hand at baking: the Our Baking Mama Pack!

Ka Tunying’s Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying’s Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix

This sweet little package contains an apron, a wire whisk, a baking mitt, a rubber spatula and a 500-gram brownie pre-mix, essentially a starter kit for a baking mama.

And here are the goodies that were brought about by this gift set in mere minutes.

Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix

Awesome, aren‘t they?

All I had to do was pour the contents of the jar into bowl and mix in 3/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 3 beaten eggs until just combined. Then I divided the batter into two separate baking pans – one of which I topped with just chocolate chips and the other I topped with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. After that, they went into a pre-heated 350-deg F oven and baked for a little over twenty minutes.

Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix

Once they’re done baking, I let them cool down for a few minutes then cut them into squares. Upon serving, I topped the brownies with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

My kids loved them!

Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix
Ka Tunying's Brownie Pre-Mix

So mommies, get a headstart on your baking adventures with the Our Baking Mama Pack from Ka Tunying’s, available for just Php999 this May. To order, call +63 995 2376684 or +63 917 1038673.

Got fellow momshies whom you’d like to treat with something special? Why don’t you gift them with other gift packs from Ka Tunying’s such as:

  • Kitchen Queen Mother (Php999): includes an apron, a food tong, a wooden ladle, a cooking mitt, a 250-ml jar of Ka Tunying’s Gourmet Tuyo and a 220-gram jar of assorted pasta shells
  • Break Ka Muna, Ma! (Php999): includes 3 pcs sugar cookies, a double-wall mug, a 120-gram jar of ground coffee, a 370-gram jar of butterscotch and a 120-gram jar of choco crinkles
  • As Sweet as You, Mom (Php249/6pcs | Php369/9pcs): special Mother’s Day cookies

All natural sweetness from Pure Via Stevia

Sugar permeates practically all of our food stuff. Aside from being a sweetener, it also acts as a preservative, texture modifier, coloring or flavoring agent and as an aid in fermentation.

However, sugar does have its downsides, especially if its consumed excessively. Being so calorie-rich, it can lead to weight gain and accumulation of visceral fat, and can increase risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, certain forms of cancer and even depression. Its ill effects may even manifest in our outward appearance in the form of increased acne and accelerated skin aging.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

Clearly, as we transition to our more mature years, we should wean ourselves away from sugar. Well that is easier said than done, considering how ubiquities it is, and, of course, how appealing sweet foods are to us.

Fortunately, we now have sugar substitutes that are all-natural, such as Pure Via Stevia.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

Made from the leaves of the stevia plant, Pure Via Stevia contains no sugars, calories, cholesterol nor carbs and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. In fact, 1 small stick of Pure Via at zero calories is equivalent to two teaspoons or sugar which contains 32 calories.

You can use it to sweeten your coffee or your smoothies, so you can start your day on a sweet but healthier note.

You can also modify your favorite dessert recipes using Pure Via Stevia as a substitute for sugar, making your cakes, pastries and creams a lot better for you.

Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia
Pure Via Stevia

So stock up on this wonder ingredient by adding it to cart in time for Shopee’s 5.5 Brands Festival and take advantage of discounts up to 50% off at the Equal Official Store.

During this online sale from April 26 to May 7, you can score a wide assortment of brands at unbelievable deals with 50% off Brand Bundles, 10% off daily, and Free Shipping with ₱0 min. spend.

So get started on a healthier way of life that is just as sweet as you like it to be with Pure Via Stevia.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

Why we moms should keep Getein PH testing kits in our bags

There’s no doubt that when the IATF declared Metro Manila under Alert Level 1, we moms were among those who breathed a huge sigh of relief.

At long last, after more than two years of living under strict community quarantine regulations, our families can now get some semblance of how we used to live prior to the arrival of the pandemic to our shores.

We started venturing out of our homes and exploring our world again: dining out, watching movies, visiting parks and going on staycations.

Hotel H2O
Hotel H2O
Sa Aming Munting Paraiso
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

These adventures added some fun, variety and excitement to our lives, especially for our kiddos who had been stuck at home for over two years.

But make no mistake, momshies, COVID-19 is still here and we should remain just as vigilant now as we were before. In fact, now is not the time to let go of our “mommy spidey senses,” in other words, our “pagka-praning!”

Getein PH
Getein PH
Getein PH
Getein PH

Aside from following the now golden rules of wearing facemasks, maintaining physical distancing, keeping our homes and belongings clean and sanitized, as well as meticulously washing our hands, we should also be able to quickly detect if anyone in our immediate circle has been infected.

This will help us to immediately organize our home to quarantine and care for the infected person while keeping the other household members safe from the virus.

Fortunately, a proven effective yet easy-to-use COVID-19 testing kit was approved by the Food and Drug Administration early this year, giving us moms a readily accessible and convenient way to detect COVID-19 infection.

Getein PH
Getein PH

The Getein SARS-Cov-2 Antigen Self-Test Kit contains the following:

  • SARS-COV-2 Antigen Test Card
  • Sterile Swab
  • Extraction Tube with Sample Extraction Solution and Tip
  • Bio Hazard Sample Bag
  • User Manual

Using it is so easy! Just follow the steps in the manual and you’ll get your results in fifteen minutes. You can even get a certificate by uploading your results through Getein’s mobile using a QR code.

I’m sure that I can trust that this testing kit is reliable as it has RITM validated results at 96.43% sensitivity and 100% specificity

Now that more people are going out or returning to their schools or offices, we moms can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to guarding our families against COVID-19.

Getein PH
Getein PH
Getein PH
Getein PH

What we can afford to do, however, is to stock up on Getein SARS-Cov-2 Antigen Self-Test Kits for our weekly antigen testing at home. At only Php298 per kit and available at leading drugstores, this self-test kit is an essential item that should always be within easy reach, whether in our medicine cabinets or in our purses.

We can still be praning but we won’t be as helpless as before, thanks to our new partner in early COVID-19 detection: Getein SARS-Cov-2 Antigen Self-Test Kits.

Know more about Getein PH on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Sample products were provided to facilitate this feature.

Cooling down for the summer with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Pints

Ooh, we sure are feeling that summer heat, aren’t we?

Well, it sure is lucky that we can always get our very own pint of ice cream to help us cool down, isn’t it?

Aside from giving us some respite from the heat and humidity of summer in the metro, ice cream gives us that little bit of sweetness to perk up our day.

I’m especially happy that one of the most iconic ice cream brands in the world is now available in our neck of the woods: Ben & Jerry’s!

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

You would be hard-pressed in finding larger-sized versions of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Originally, these frozen treats in cups and cones at the Scoop Shop in Burlington, Vermont. However, it was soon decided to package the iconic ice cream in pint-sized tubs which can then be sold in grocery stores. And from there, Ben & Jerry’s global domination for ice cream began.

And who could dispute its domination, with innovatively crafted flavors, such as:

New York Super Fudge Chunk (Php420). Born out of the brand’s desire to make a name for itself in New York, they named this ice cream after the city and added in all kinds of chunky pieces – such as white and dark fudge chunks, walnuts, pecans and fudge-coated almonds to the delight ice cream lovers.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Php420). Did you know that Ben & Jerry’s created the first chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream back in 1984? Until today, the appeal of this vanilla ice cream with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough has not waned.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

Karamel Sutra Core (Php420). A sexy combination of chocolate and caramel ice cream with a soft and luscious caramel core at the center.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

Half-Baked (Php420). Chocolate and vanilla ice creams are mixed together with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownies, making this a power-packed dessert!

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

Ben & Jerry’s has been among the most progressive brands due to its values-led sourcing practices:

  • Cage-free eggs. Ben & Jerry’s ensure that its eggs are sourced from farms where hens are treated humanely: given nutritious food, clean water and access to space that neable to display natural behaviors.
  • Fair-trade. The brand sources its sugar, coffee, banana, vanilla and cocoa ingredients from small farmers in developing nations, helping themhold their own in the global market place.
  • Caring Dairy. Through its Caring Dairy Program, the brand partners with farmers to support them in improving their farming practices, keeping their cow herds healthy, and preserving the environment.
  • Sustainable Packaging. Ben & Jerry’s has been working to reduce its impact to the environment by finding plant-based and/or compostable alternatives to conventional petroleum-based plastic packaging and developing reusable packaging options
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint

So you know that with each pint of ice cream you buy, you are helping a company bring good into the world. So go ahead and enjoy your Ben & Jerry’s pints!

Grab them at your nearest Shell Select store or order them from Ice Cream Lovers’ online store.

Onigiris with Pinoy flavors from Samurice

If you’re a fan of Japanese food but got some #PinoyPride goin’ on for our local cuisine, then Samurice PH’s got something great in store for you!

This online food shop specializes in premium onigiris – Japanese rice balls stuffed with tasty ingredients.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

With its newest offerings – dubbed Filipino Favorites – Samurice PH brings to us Pinoys flavors that are closer to home, the taste of classic Pinoy ulams encased in a tightly packed ball of another Pinoy staple, garlic rice.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

Curious yet?

Indulge your craving for that Japanese and Pinoy combination with these onigiri variants.

Sisig with Garlic Rice. The famed Kapampangan viand finds a new iteration with this savory onigiri.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

Spam Mayo with Garlic Rice. Kiddos will love this onigiri that allows them to enjoy their favorite spam beyond breakfast.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

Adobo with Garlic Rice. The national dish broadens its horizons to include an onigiri iteration.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

These classic Pinoy flavors are available in a Filipino onigiri set that includes two onigiris of each flavor for just Php599.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

Enjoy these onigiris at home for a quick and easy lunch in between Zoom meetings or online classes. You may also pack one of these as your baon so you can have a handy snack anytime you get hungry, or include a set in your picnic basket so you and your companions can easily munch into a tasty meal while on the go.

Samurice PH
Samurice PH

Other Samurice onigiri sets available include:

  • Japanese (Php499): includes 2 Salmon Mayo, 2 Chicken Teriyaki and 2 Tuna Mayo onigiris; all made with imported Japanese rice and wrapped with soy nori
  • Korean (Php599): includes 2 Korean Spicy Pork Samgyupsal, 2 Beef Bulgogi and 2 Spicy Korean Chicken Galbi onigiris; all made with Gochujang-flavored rice and wrapped with soy nori
  • Spam Mayo (Php599): 6 onigiris made with Spam bits with a bit of mayo in garlic rice and wrapped with soy nori

Order your onigiri set today at Samurice PH’s online store. Payments via GCash and bank transfer via BancNet, Union Bank and BPI are accepted.

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

Happy and healthy holidays with Sanlo Salabat

Sometimes, the wisdom of old folk medicine are proven right.

Especially now when we worry about the state of our health on a regular basis, we gravitate towards remedies that have been tried and tested by generations before us.

sentot-setyasiswanto-2VePbF_YRK8-unsplash
julia-topp-Xz4M49O8QcE-unsplash

Aside from its use as an ingredient in many tasty Pinoy dishes, ginger (or luya in Filipino) has been known to have powerful medicinal qualities which include:

  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
  • Treatment against nausea, especially morning sickness
  • Supporting weight loss
  • Reduction of pain from osteoarthritis
  • Lowering of blood sugars and cholesterol levels as well as improvement risk factors of heart disease
  • Promotion of gut health and chronic indigestion
  • Reduction of menstrual pain
  • Lowering the risk of infections

Ginger may also serve as an alternative treatment for some forms of cancer, as well as help in improving brain function and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.

To take advantage of ginger‘s myriad health benefits, our forbears regularly consume salabat, the traditional ginger-based Filipino tea.

Sanlo Salabat
Sanlo Salabat

While our ancestors had to brew their go-to medicinal beverage the old fashioned way – boiling, slicing, boiling and straining ginger in water for minutes – we can save some time and effort with a sachet of Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat.

This ginger brew is made from the finest native ginger grown and harvested organically on the slopes of the mystical Banahaw. Upon harvesting, each ginger is meticulously selected, washed and sundried resulting in a cup of salabat that’s refreshing and irresistible flavor, as well as filled with health benefits.

Sanlo Salabat
Sanlo Salabat

Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat is produced by Prominex Ventures, Inc., which sources organically grown ginger from a rural cooperative composed of women and farmers, thereby promoting economic growth in the countryside.

Its Halal-certified product variants include:

Sanlo Salabat

Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat Original (10 sachets per box, 7.5g per sachet). Ginger brew flavored with just enough sweetness to suit everyone’s taste.

Sanlo Salabat

Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat Turmeric (10 sachets per box, 7.5g per sachet). The same premium quality ginger brew flavored with turmeric for a unique taste.

Other variants include Honey, Oregano and Malunggay.

To brew your own cup of salabat, empty the contents of a sachet into a cup with 150ml (2/3 cup) of water, then gently stir until the mix is fully dissolved. Enjoy your salabat hot or iced.

Sanlo Salabat
Sanlo Salabat

Sanlo’s invigorating and flavorful brew is great as a morning pick-me-up.

When I get nauseous or experience period cramps, it also provides some relief, so I can gamely get on with my day.

During this season of feasting, a cup after a meal can also help with digestion.

Sanlo Salabat
Sanlo Salabat

With this amazing ginger brew in our pantry, health and comfort during this holiday season and beyond is never more than a few seconds away.

Stock up on Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat at Lazada and Shopee or at your nearest supermarket.

For more information, visit Sanlo Premium Instant Salabat’s website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

Photo credit: Ginger photos by sentot setyasiswanto and  Julia Topp on Unsplash

Ulam in a jiffy: Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods

With the holidays coming up, home cooks will be in for quite a busy spell.

With all the food preparations for holiday feasts and virtual clan gatherings – not to mention the regular family meals – home cooks will surely have their hands full and will need all the help they can get.

Plus, despite the sheer variety of food options for the holiday spread, home cooke can count on their families to opt for the kind of dishes that are homegrown and possess familiar flavors.

At the Pinoy table, Filipino food does reign supreme.

Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods

For those with #PanlasangMakabayan, Ka Tunying’s brings its signature dishes in frozen packs that can be easily reheated and ready to eat in a few minutes!

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods are MSG-free and additive-free, and come in microwaveable containers with reheating instructions conveniently printed on their plastic seals

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Home cooks may opt to reheat these delicious heritage dishes on a stove or through a microwave, making food preparation very easy and fuss-free.

Here’s how easy they are to prepare:

Arroz Ala Tunying

Completely thaw out the pack and remove the plastic lid.

To reheat using a stove: Transfer the contents of the pack into a pan. On low fire, stir the arroz caldo for four to six minutes until thoroughly hot.

To reheat using a microwave: Place the container in the microwave or transfer the contents in a microwaveable bowl. Reheat on medium setting while stirring occasionally for three to four minutes until thoroughly hot.

Serve topped with cooked chicken, boiled egg or toasted garlic, or just sprinkle chopped spring onions on top and serve with patis and calamansi.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

The resulting dish is a gingery porridge that will warm the tummy during a cold or rainy day, or make a great merienda for the fam.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Bangus Sisig.

Completely thaw out the pack and remove the plastic lid.

To reheat using a stove: Transfer the contents of the pack into a pan. On low fire, stir the arroz caldo for five to eight minutes until thoroughly hot.

To reheat using a microwave: Place the container in the microwave or transfer the contents in a microwaveable bowl. Reheat on medium setting while stirring occasionally for three to five minutes until thoroughly hot.

Serve topped with a sunny side-up egg.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

I’m glad that there’s healthier version of my daughter’s favorite dish. While it may be drier than the regular sisig, you can add a small dollop of mayonnaise to add some creaminess.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Beef Caldereta.

Completely thaw out the pack and remove the plastic lid.

To reheat using a stove: Transfer the contents of the pack into a pan. On low fire, stir the arroz caldo for five to eight minutes until thoroughly hot.

To reheat using a microwave: Place the container in the microwave or transfer the contents in a microwaveable bowl. Reheat on medium setting while stirring occasionally for three to five minutes until thoroughly hot.

Serve topped with grated cheese and enjoy white steamed white rice.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

The resulting dish features melt-in-your-mouth beef in a hearty serving of rough-chopped veggies in a rich tomato sauce.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

I bravely volunteered to whip up the fam’s weekend lunch all by my lonesome, knowing that it’s going to be done in a jiffy, thanks to Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods..

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Home cooks, if you want to have a tasty yet effortless addition to your holiday spread, or want to serve your fam a delicious meal you won’t have to slave over in the kitchen, Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods may just be your best bet.

Ka Tunying’s
Ka Tunying’s

Get this set of Ka Tunying’s Holiday Heats (250g Bangus Susig, 400g Arroz Ala Tunying and 450g Beef Caldereta) for only Php895.

Other Frozen Goods sets include:

  • Ready to Cook Set (Php1,390): 6 sticks Pork BBQ, 250g Chicken Tocino, 8pcs Longganisa Recado, 12 pcs Lumpiang Shanghai, 8pcs Longganisa Batutay)
  • Heat & Eat Set (Php2,590): 370g Bilo Bilo, 250g Pork Sisig, 250g Bangus Sisig, 250g Beef Caldereta, 450g Classic Kare Kare, 400g Arroz Ala Tunying, 450g Chicken Caldereta, 300g Roasted Lechon Belly)
  • Complete Frozen Set (Php3,890): combination of Ready to Cook Set and Complete Frozen Set

Stock up on Ka Tunying’s Frozen Goods for your family meals or as holiday gifts to your loved ones by calling +63 995 2376684.

Ka Tunying’s also operates physical restaurants open for dine-in, takeout and delivery located at:

  • 88 Brgy. Vasra, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
  • UG Level, Mega A Building, SM Megamall,Ortigas, Mandaluyong
  • 4th Floor Food Hall, NAIA Terminal 3, Pasay City

Follow Ka Tunying’s on Facebook or Instagram to know more about its latest offers and promos.

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

VREAL Cosmetics brings real beauty solutions for real people

I pretty much consider myself a low-maintenance kind of girl.

I seldom have the time or the patience for tedious beauty rituals and multi-step self-care routines. With this personal bias, you can bet that when presented with a beauty routine that involves several applications or complex instructions, you can bet I’d be avoiding that like the plague.

However, I’m definitely not getting any younger. As a woman nearing – or already in – middle age, I have resolved to let myself age gracefully but not to just let myself go.

Fortunately, VREAL Cosmetics makes it easy for me to inch my way into a beauty routine.

VREAL Cosmetics

True to its tagline “Real Beauty Solutions for Real People,” homegrown beauty brand VREAL Cosmetics seeks to make skin care more accessible to Filipinos.

An offshoot of one of Ilocos’ biggest beauty service businesses, Villareal Salon and Spa, VREAL Cosmetics prides itself on its unique formulations and simple applications, such as:

VREAL Cosmetics

VREAL RealNew Set A.

This illuminating set that began as an aftercare routine for salon customers who availed of facial services received so many positive reviews that it was spun off as a retail product and started the VREAL Cosmetics line. It consists of a triple whitening soap, toner, nutrifirm gel, day cream and night cream.

VREAL Cosmetics
Realnew Triple Whitening Soap. Combines the whitening powers of papaya, glutathione and kojic acid.
VREAL Cosmetics
Realnew Toner. Deep cleanses into the skin to help reduce pore size and promote fresh and youthful skin.
VREAL Cosmetics
Nutrifirm Gel. Contains collagen that helps tighten and tone skin, octyl methoxycinnate which helps protect skin from the sun and aloe barbadensis extract which helps treat acne and dry skin and provides protection from photoaging.
VREAL Cosmetics
Day Cream and Night Cream. Both clinically proven to help prevent premature aging and pigmentation.

Morning Routine:

  • Wash face with Realnew Triple Whitening Soap. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  • Using a piece of cotton, apply Realnew Toner all over face and neck.
  • After cleansing and toning, apply a sufficient amount of Nutrifirm Gel on fingertips and spread evenly on face and neck.
  • Apply Day Cream liberally onto face before sun exposure. Reapply as needed.

Night Routine:

  • Wash face with Realnew Triple Whitening Soap. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  • Using a piece of cotton, apply Realnew Toner all over face and neck.
  • Using your fingertips, apply a thin layer of Night Cream onto face and neck.
VREAL Cosmetics

VREAL Sensireal Foaming Wash.

A facial wash that helps reduce acne as it gently cleanses and brightens skin.

VREAL Cosmetics

VREAL Ultra Real Deo.

An effective anti-perspirant that protects from excessive sweating and body odor, as it gently whitens underarms.

I’m in my first week of use, and while I experienced a slight amount of peeling but there was no discomfort. The peeling is caused by the tightening of the skin’s pores and removal dead skin cells.

VREAL Cosmetics
VREAL Cosmetics

This new skin care routine is very easy to follow up and does not significantly add to the time I take to get ready for my day or to wind down for the night.

VREAL Cosmetics products are available in Villareal Salon and Spa branches in:

  • Ilocos Sur: Second Floor, Bantay Arcade, Bantay, Ilocos Sur (Contact: +63 077 6040628 or +63 917 5682043)
  • Ilocos Norte: Viven Hotel Phase 2 Ground Floor, Valdez Center, Barangay 1 San Francisco, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte

VREAL Cosmetics products are also available online through Shopee and Lazada.

Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature story.

This post contains affiliate links.

Boost your gut health with Forever Aloe Bits ‘n Peaches

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

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

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

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

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

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

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

From Pexels

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

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

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

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

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

From Pexels

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

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

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

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

Forever Aloe Gel Bits ‘N Peaches

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

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

Buy these at Lazada!

Yummy sushi galore from Salmon HQ

Since I belong to a family of Japanese food lovers, it’s hardly surprising that I would develop a liking for sushi.

Traditionally made with vinegared rice (sushi-meshi) combined with other ingredients (neta) such as (often raw) seafood and vegetables, sushi has become showcases for the sushi chef’s creativity and ingenuity.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

During pre-pandemic times, we usually needed to venture all the way to our go-to Japanese restaurants to get a taste of our favorite sushi variants.

But with restrictions on movement and dining out within the metro limiting the choices available, I’m glad that innovative food entrepreneurs have ventured into sushi delivery such as the people behind Salmon HQ.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

This New Manila, QC-based enterprise specialized in delivering fresh salmon sashimi right to the doorstep of Japanese food lovers.

It soon expanded its product offerings to include the latest food trends, incorporating its fresh seafood ingredients into delectable creations, well-suited for delivery.

The Sushi Bakes.

Sushi bakes are deconstructions of the maki (sushi rolls) where, instead of rolling the sushi rice and the sushi fillings and wrapping them in nori (dried seaweed) sheets, they are layered on a baking pan and cooked in an oven. Sushi bakes are enjoyed by scooping out some of the dish and folding them into small nori squares.

Salmon HQ

Similar to traditional maki, the sushi bake offers a lot of possibilities in incorporating tantalizing tastes and textures into the dish.

I was able to try out samplers of sushi bakes from Salmon HQ, which included:

The Crunchy California (a variant of the OG sushi bake with kani and mango) and Unagi Madness (with slivers of freshwater eel and generous sprinklings of roe).

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Aburi Salmon Scallops Ebi (torched slivers of salmon mixed with scallops and shrimp) and Softshell Crab and Ebi (wonderfully textured combination of shrimp and softshell crab).

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Prices for the full trays of Salmon HQ’s sushi bakes start at Php500 (for small) and Php1,200 (for large).

The Pasta.

Who would have thought that a pasta dish can taste so distinctly Japanese? With the Seafood Wafu Pasta, you get spaghetti noodles tossed in a soy butter glaze with scallops, shrimp and salmon. It’s a perfect blend of hearty pasta goodness and the fresh flavors of the sea.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Get a tray for Php500 (small), Php1,000 (medium) or Php1,200 (large).

The Salmon Cake.

If you ever wondered what could possibly make a show-stopping cake for any celebration, well, here’s the answer.

Salmon HQ’s Premium Salmon Cake is a wondrous creation: pieces of fresh pink salmon sashimi are layered and interlaced to form a two-tier cake, with the bottom-tier hiding layers of kani (imitation crab meat), ebiko (shrimp eggs), seaweed salad and Japanese rice.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

It’s a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Treat yourself to this delectable treat for Php1,200.

So if you think you’ve seen and tasted all sushi possibilities, think again because Salmon HQ has these and more to surprise you.

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Salmon HQ

Send your orders to Salmon HQ via Facebook, Instagram or by calling +63 922 8943679. Payments via Metrobank, BPI, PayMaya and GCash are accepted.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate feedback.

No need to suffer through pain with Tiger Balm

I admit: I’m not as young as I used to be, nor as indestructible as I thought I was.

Given that I’m no longer a sprightly spring chicken, some aches and pains are to be expected… which can be kind of a drag.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

After all, there is so much for me to do and so much I want to accomplish. Between juggling my responsibilities at home and at work, and squeezing in activities to broaden my mind and slim down my waistline (hopefully!), I really have so little time to waste just wallowing in my pain.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

I also can’t ignore it either. Chronic pain can be quite detrimental to anyone’s physical, mental and even emotional well-being. It can lead to lethargy, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, increased anxiety and even depression.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

It’s a good thing, then, that for small aches and pains, quick relief can be provided by Tiger Balm.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

For more than a century, Tiger Balm is the recognized topical medication for pain relief against swelling, backaches, muscle and joint strains and sprains. It products are made with powerful blends of medicinal herbs known for their curative effects such as camphor, menthol and other essential oils which soothe pains away.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

Ointments. For shoulder and neck pains, or to help ease tension headaches or muscle soreness after physical activity, the Extra Strength Ointment, characterized by its warm reddish-brown color and cinnamon-infused scent, is the go-to medication. For an intensified pain relief against backaches, stiff muscles and joint strains, the non-staining and light-hued Ultra Strength Ointment is the way to go. The penetrating heat from these ointments helps open up blood vessels and increase circulation that assist out body in repairing damaged tissues.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm Red Ointment
Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm White Ointment

Just rub the ointment onto the affected area until it’s fully absorbed and wait for the soothing heat to work its magic.

Tiger Balm ointments can also be used to alleviate cold symptoms, free up nasal congestion and treat mosquito bites.

Pain-Relieving Patches. For strong, targeted and more convenient relief from post workout pain, Tiger Balm’s Pain-Relieving Patch is your best bet. Combining the soothing effects of Tiger Balm’s medicinal ingredients with the handy and mess-free application of a patch, it is a practical and hassle-free solution to muscle and joint aches. The warm plaster is best for strong pain relief, especially from chronic pains at the thigh, back and shoulders, while the cool plaster is effective for relief from sprains nd strains, and also aids in recovery from sports injuries especially at the wrist, elbow and ankle.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm Warm Plaster
Jelly’s Picks
Tiger Balm Cool Plaster

Tiger Balm also produces Mosquito Repellants, perfect for those living in a tropical country like ours where pesky mosquitoes abound, especially during summertime. To prevent the irritating insects from getting near and biting your kids when they play outside or even indoors, spray the citronella-scented scented solution around the area or attach the patch on your little one’s clothes.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm Mosquito Repellent Patches
Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm Mosquito Repellent Spray

I’m glad that with my Tiger Balm stash, these aches and pains can remain minor inconveniences that I can easily eliminate. That way, I can go on with my day and get back to all I need to accomplish.

Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm

You, too, can stock up on Tiger Balm products by ordering from Shopee or Lazada.

Stay updated on Tiger Balm’s products and promos by following it on Facebook and Instagram.

Warnings: Use Tiger Balm products as directed. Do not ingest or apply to sunburned, irritated or chapped skin. Avoid contact with eyes, mouth or any open wounds.

Disclosures: Product samples were provided.

Brunchmate Premium Tapa for a quick and easy family meal

Being a working mom myself, I know the struggles of juggling the demands of family and work responsibilities.

Despite the many freedoms that working from home has allowed me, I still sometimes feel like I’m falling short in my duties at home.

Take our family meals, for example. I always want to make sure that my little brood enjoys our mealtimes: tasty comfort food, therefore, is always the order of the day.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Sometimes, though, my Zoom meeting would go overtime, or I would be too engrossed in my work that I find myself pressed for time in preparing the family’s meal.I’m sure a lot of other moms out there have the same problem.

If only there was a way to quickly and easily whip up a wholesome and delicious meal for our family, yes?

Well, that’s what the couple behind Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa – AR and Jam Periquet – set out to do.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Both love to eat out, but with the pandemic and the quarantine strictures, their dining adventures were curtailed and they were forced to spend more time at home.

Being a foodie himself and beef tapa connoisseur, AR sought to elevate this Pinoy comfort viand by using premium Angus beef and incorporating some secret ingredients.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

The result? Strips of tender Angus beef strips, marinated to perfection, packaged into 350 gram packs.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

All we need to do is thaw out the packet, pour its contents into a pan and cook over low heat (no need to add oil). Spread the strips evenly across the pan and allow to fry in own juices until, flipping occasionally, until the beef strips are tender and brown. These are best served hot.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate’s Premium Beef Tapa come in four variants – Original (Sweet), Garlic, Seeet & Spicy and Spicy Garlic – all at Php280 per pack. My Original tapa was juicy and flavorful, and went well with rice and fried eggs, much to the fam’s delight!

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Too bad there were none left to make into tapa flakes the next day.

Fortunately, ordering my Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa is a breeze with this online form. Payments via BPI, BDO, GCash and COD are accepted. Brunchmate delivers from Las Pinas to anywhere in the metro.

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa

To know more about Brunchmate Premium Beef Tapa, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

So to stop yourself from stressing over mealtimes, momshie, order your Brunchmate now!

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

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business: