Thursday, February 25, 2021

National Bookstore Warehouse Sale is now available in Lazada and Shopee

The National Bookstore Warehouse Sale was one of the events that I look forward to every year when we were still residing in Metro Manila because of one main reason --- the discounts are crazy and real. I would even allocate one full day to shop and just go through piles and piles of good stuff offered at around 70-90% off. 

They offer not just books but office and school supplies, toys, crafting supplies, stationery, and even computer accessories. So, when we moved to Bacolod, this one of the things that I truly miss.

Photo credit to https://www.facebook.com/nbsalert

Now, the good news is NBS Warehouse Sale is now available in Lazada and Shopee. Yes, you read that right. You can now shop for these sales items online. Please note that this is different from the National Bookstore's Flagship Store. 

Here are the direct links:

NBS Warehouse Sale on Lazada

NBS Warehouse Sale on Shopee

Please take note that items may sell out fast so, you might have to check out really quick. 

Of course, you might want to consider the shipping costs especially if you are planning to purchase books since they're heavy. So far, we find the shipping fee for provincial addresses more reasonable in Shopee (with the shipping vouchers) 




We also noticed that items from Lazada and Shopee are different. So, it is still worth browsing both stores. :) 

NBS Warehouse Sale on Lazada

NBS Warehouse Sale on Shopee

Anyway, that's it for now. We'll update this post once we receive our orders and share with you our NBS Warehouse Sale haul. 

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

5 Disney-Themed Activities To Do with Family at Home

We know you miss Disneyland as much as we do and this is why we are going to share with you ideas and activities that will blow your blues away.   



The best part? This is free and you can do this in the comforts of your home. So, without further ado, Let's get started! 

1. Be a Castle Architect - Pick up your scissors and design your own castle. Just download this free Disney printable from HK Disneyland. You can pick between a simple castle layout or an advanced castle layout. Grab your castle guide here 

2. Brush up on your Coloring Skills - Disneyland has a lot of free printables of coloring sheets featuring your favorite Disney characters. It includes Disney princesses, Pixar characters from Toy Story and Finding Nemo as well as our classic Disney favorites. Download the free printables here

3. Binge-watch on Disney shows - Disneyland Paris has been organizing watch parties since December last year and you can enjoy watching these magical shows at home. 

4. Learn how to cook the Ratatouille - I have always been curious about this famous recipe of Gusteau's so this is the perfect time to learn how to prepare this nostalgic dish that impressed Anton Ego. No other than Michelin-starred French chef Jean Imbert will teach us how. Click here to start the tutorial

5. Discover Wakatoon - Through this activity, you can watch your own paper coloring pages come to life through the app. Enjoy the magic as you create a personalized, two-minute cartoon that will teach children an important lesson about recycling. Yes, it sounds exciting to make our own cartoons and see them come to life.

That's it for now! Comment below on what activity are you interested in or if you have any other Disney-themed ideas. :) 


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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Book Review: Sunsets are Sonnets and Other Poems by Alvin B. Cruz




Have you experienced feeling empty, but you don't know what you are missing?

Was there a time that you feel down and alone but can't properly explain what is happening?

Are you someone who is silently grieving and lost?

This book, Sunsets are Sonnets and Other Poems will help you find the right words to express how you feel. The book features 30 poems – old and new that talk about the 3L's: life, love, and loss.

It was written by Alvin B. Cruz, a writer, professor, and communication consultant. He is an inveterate traveler and has lived and worked as an English teacher in the United States, Japan, and the Maldives. His earlier poems were published in The Philippine Graphic and more recently his poetry at Wales Haiku Journal.

Through the poems and the traditional Japanese haiku in the book, the author was able to paint a picture of the realities of life that teaches us a valuable lesson on dealing with loneliness and pain. Each poem is unique and rooted in different experiences of the author.

His haiku was beautifully written with illustrations that match perfectly, allowing the readers to enjoy the images described on each page. The use of the different elements of nature, allowed readers to realize that we are not alone with whatever problems we are dealing with right now that even our surroundings understand what we are going through. Just like one of my favorite lines and the title of the book “Sunsets are sonnets whose lines of light overshadow the hidden dangers that lurk in the deep recesses of this dark world.”

Overall, the book was an easy and light read with just over a hundred pages. This book is powerful and will bring out the deepest emotions within us through the author’s excellent wordplay and imagery.

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Title: Sunsets are Sonnets & Other Poems
Author: Alvin B. Cruz
Publisher: Central Book Supply, Inc.
ISBN: 978-621-02-1248-8
No. of Pages: 116
Size: 5 x 7 inches
Edition: 2020
Binding: Softbound

You may order your copy through Central Books

Disney Songs That Will Empower and Inspire Every Dreamer



Walt Disney is known as a pioneer of animated films. He is also the creator of famous cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and the man behind Disneyland and Disney World which we consider to be the happiest place on earth.

His works represented imagination, optimism, and success inspiring individuals to dream and to work towards achieving that dream. He is someone who was creative and was constantly innovating. He was not scared to push the boundaries which has been one of the key factors to his success.

One of his famous quotes is something that I hold on to. I even have this written on our bedroom wall to remind me every day to pursue my dreams.


"If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

Throughout the years, Disney has been producing movies and songs that are aligned with these values as they continue to bring happiness and inspiration to individuals all over the world.  

Thus, let me share with you some of the Disney songs that will surely empower and inspire the dreamer in you. 

1. How Far I'll Go by Auli'i Cravalho from the movie, Moana (2016)



2. Try Everything by Shakira from the movie, Zootopia (2016)



3. Almost There by Anika Noni Rose from the movie, Princess and the Frog (2009)



4. Happily Ever After by Jordan Fisher & Angie Keilhauer from Magic Kingdom. 


The song Happily Ever After is a personal favorite and this is usually played in Disneyland during the fireworks display. This resonated with me so much that I cried during the first time I heard it and it still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.  :) 

Anyway, do you have other favorite Disney songs that inspire the dreamer in you? Feel free to comment below. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Chinese New Year Food Ideas and Symbolisms

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Have you started with the preparations already? 

To be honest, my family and I prepare more during the Chinese (Lunar) New Year compared to the traditional/ western calendar new year every January 1st. This is because feng shui, a traditional practice that uses energy forces to arrange the pieces in the living space to create balance and harmony between individuals with the natural world and their surroundings, follows the lunar calendar. Thus, the forecasts by feng shui masters actually start during CNY and are applicable during this time as well. 


Filipinos, even those who are not Chinese, have been celebrating the Chinese New Year for a long time. In fact, it has already been declared as a special non-working holiday every year here in the Philippines. 

A lot of beliefs and rituals believed to bring luck and good fortune every New Year is followed by many such as house cleaning, wearing of red clothes, giving out red envelopes/ Hong Bao, etc. with the hopes of gaining good fortune and having an auspicious year.  

One of the important things that we prepare during the Chinese New Year's celebration is the food. The Chinese New Year Eve's dinner is actually considered the most important meal of the year. In China, family members would see to it that they get to go home and be with their families during the celebration.

Here are some food ideas that you can prepare for the upcoming Chinese New Year:

  • Noodles for good health and longevity
  • Round cake or round sweets for continuous prosperity and promotions.
  • Whole pork dish (e.g. Patatim, Ham, Lechon Belly) for bountiful blessings
  • Sweet Sticky Rice (e.g. biko, palitaw, bochi, tikoy) for abundance and good luck
  • Seafood (except lobster or crabs) for happiness.
  • Dumplings (siomai, lumpia shanghai) for wealth
  • Fish (must be served whole and with scales, e.g. bangus or lapu-lapu) for prosperity
  • Green salad/ vegetables for money
  • Good fortune fruits (e.g. oranges, pomelos, tangerines) for fullness and wealth
Now the big question is - when do you prepare and eat this? As mentioned earlier, Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is the most important meal of the year. Thus, you prepare and enjoy this feast the day before Chinese New Year. Thus, for 2021, it will be on February 11. 

Each family member is expected to have some of every dish except the fish to signify that they will have a remainder, savings, or surplus for the year.  

Anyway, that's it for now. We hope that we are able to help you with your CNY preparations. Whether this is true or not, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try as we have nothing to lose in enjoying a bountiful meal with our families. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Why is Philhealth the ONLY Government Entity Without an Online Payment Facility for Voluntary Members?

2020 was the year where most businesses, institutions, and organizations have shifted to online or digital platforms. Online classes were implemented. E-commerce has taken a huge leap and the use of digital wallets such as GCASH, Paymaya, and other online payment facilities has never been this popular.

These initiatives and lifestyle changes took place as a response to the government's and health experts' call to stay at home and avoid unnecessary trips. So, this made me wonder Why is Philhealth the ONLY Government Entity Without an Online Payment Facility for Voluntary Members?
 



For weeks, I have been researching how I can pay my voluntary contribution to Philhealth without going out of the house, and sad to say, I had no luck finding one. We haven't gone out for over a year (literally!) and that's how serious we are about staying at home so, going to the nearest Philhealth office is not a good option for us. 

I was able to read about the Moneygment app but based on the latest update, it is currently available. 


According to Philhealth's website, they have several accredited service partners who accept online payment however, when we checked it seems that these are for corporate accounts/ employers as it has been asking for a corporate/ company code, corporate name, etc.  

So, this just makes me wonder Why is Philhealth the ONLY Government Entity Without an Online Payment Facility for Voluntary Members? 

Given that is attached to the Department of Health, do you think it should be one of the key agencies looking after our welfare and safety? 

Do you think they should be the first institution to offer these online services so that people so, that it is possible for people to follow their advice to stay at home?

For now, I still have no clue how and where I can pay my Philhealth contribution without leaving our house. If you know a way on how to make an online payment for Philhealth, please share it in the comments below. It would mean a lot to me. Thank you! :) 

Hope in a Box: Get your own limited edition merchandise from Davao's Top Fashion and Design Creatives and Artisans

by Jon J. Nuñez

When the health crisis hit the country almost a year ago, among the most affected are the communities of artisans in the different parts of Davao region. Most of these creative people are members of the lumads or ethnic tribes of Region XI. 

Unknown to many, the Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC) have been partnering with these artistic folks by way of commissioning their weavers, beaders, and sewers to create world-class creations that are a big hit around the country and even globally.  



Alas, the pandemic came, the fashion industry is among the first to be told to cancel events as it would entail the gathering of crowds-- such as fashion shows and exhibits. Thus, the Philippine Fashion Coalition (PFC) headed by Manila fashion directors, designers, models, and behind the scenes production staff, have been doing fundraising drives ever since last year. This time, through the partnership of DFDC, comes the Box of Hope


By supporting this project, we can help the displaced creatives and artisans of the fashion industry, especially the community of sewers, beaders, and weavers. For every purchase of Box of Hope, you help put food on the table for the family. A Box of Hope consists of a Kadayawan Bomber Jacket, 3 Kadayawan Masks, and a limited edition Araw Brooch for only Php 10,000. 





To order please send a private message to DFDC designers Edgar Buyan, Dodjie Batu, Emi Englis, or Benjie Panizales.

We would appreciate if you can share this post. Thank you for your support! 

Bump'd Leggings Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win

(1) pair of Zen Mama Leggings from Bump'n

   

Sponsored by: Bump'n

Hosted by: MamatheFox.com

Co-Hosted by: Mama Banana's Adventures and Versitiller

   

Any pregnant mama knows the value of having comfortable maternity clothing on hand...especially as her bump grows! Maternity pants especially can be hard to find, in addition to getting a good fit that will expand with you as your baby gets bigger. Bump’n Clothing was designed with comfort and practicality in mind, providing mama’s with a stylish legging that not only looks good but also considers her growing body and helps support it! From maternity support leggings to postpartum leggings with built-in waist trainers, Bump’n Clothing has leggings to support mama’s through all stages of motherhood!


Bump’n Clothing is generously offering a pair of their Zen Mama Leggings as part of a MamatheFox Giveaway! These leggings are not only appropriate for over the bump maternity wear, but they also fold down for non-maternity lounging too!

   

Join via this Entry-Form

This giveaway runs 2/8 through 2/22 - The winner will be pulled on 2/23. Open to the US only.

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Friday, February 5, 2021

3 Easy Tips To Keeping Your Home Summer-Ready

Summer can be a little tough in the Philippines. At its peak, temperatures can reach 32°C,  peaking at almost 36-38°C due to humidity! One of our best refuges is our home, blasting our air conditioning units and electric fans.

However, our homes aren’t safe from the scorching heat of the sun either. Summers can cause damages to our houses, which can lead to some serious problems later on. 


Before the summer hits, make sure you keep your home summer ready! Here are some of the best ways to prepare for the summer.




1. Change your curtains


If you want to keep your home cool, change your curtains to light-colored ones. Hanging dark-colored curtains can absorb and retain more heat. It’s a simple hack to keep your home summer-ready.


While you’re at it, install curtain ties too! This opens your windows further to let more of the cool breeze into the home. If you want to all-out, lose the curtains! Although, it may not be ideal especially if you live closely with your neighbors.


2. Clean the fans and aircon


To keep you and your home cool for the summer, you’ll likely use your fans and air conditioning units to the max. While doing this is efficient to keep the temperatures low, it may easily collect dust and other small particles that can clog the filters.


So, clean the fans and aircon at home before the summer regularly. It makes your home cool, plus cuts down the expensive utility costs! There are several tutorials on how to clean them properly — but if you don’t get it, better consult an expert.


3. Check the maintenance of the roofing


Unlike other home maintenance that can be done whenever the maintenance of the roofing is best conducted during the summer. You don’t have to worry about the suddenly getting rained on when you clean the gutter and remove fallen leaves.


Since it’s the sunshine all day long, conduct your roofing fixes during the summer too! This includes covering small holes with sealants as well as changing the overall roofing. It’s an easier and less costly choice for you.


Ensure the quality of the house you’re purchasing


Summer or not, ensure the quality of the home you’re purchasing. This includes checking not only the obvious things like the finishes and paints, but also the trivial things like roofing, piping, wiring, and more! They’re often overlooked, but they’re one — if not the most important — aspects of buying a home.


Looking for a quality house within a friendly and secure community? Get a house from BellaVita today — Sakto Sa’yo!


For more inquiries about BellaVita homes and location, visit BellaVita, or send a message through Facebook.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

How Essential are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils have been around for many centuries. For ages, many cultures around the world rely on the reliable uses of essential oils for many of man's ailments and conditions. From Africa to Asia to Oceania to Antarctica, essential oils have been permanent fixtures in many home medicine cabinets. It really isn't a medicine, but wise 'medicine folks' in the rural areas around the world have been known to use it as an age-old alternative medicine and therapy.



In the Philippines, a growing herd of believers and users have been observed over the years. But since time immemorial, essential oils have been known to be used by "Mangagamots" or "Manghihilots" (medicine men and women), whether for massaging or traditionally called 'Hilot' or touch therapy. I think this also how the word "oilbularyo" was coined. 

With essential oils, a wide range of uses would come to mind. Such as remedy from snake bites, relief from bee stings, high fever, sprained ankle or wrist, assistance in childbirth, and even to such extremes as curing a said person suffering from the possession of an evil spirit. 

In the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, another age-old Philippine traditional medical practice has been resurrected, and that is the 'Tu-ob' or steam inhalation. Nowadays, people mix a few drops of essential oils in a bowl of freshly boiled water and immediately inhale the steam while the head is entirely covered with a towel. The vapors give instant relief from colds, sore throat, and cough. 

But what are essential oils? It is the purest form of a substance derived mostly from flowers, plants, trees, and seeds. Essential oils are the concentrated compound that imparts the scent and herbal essences from which it was sourced from. 

Today, essential oils come in many different variants. Here in the Philippines, the most common essential oils are Lemongrass and Citronella since they’re the easiest to grow and require the least maintenance, and very abundant. However, Casa de Lorenzo under its flagship brand CDL Naturals has pioneered the introduction of other essential oils from native plants and trees of the Philippines and is working to create and discover more essential oils from the country. 

  • CALAMANSI ESSENTIAL OIL – From the peels of the beloved Calamansi we use as refreshments or as part of cooking, CDL extracts Calamansi Essential Oil by distillation. The aroma of the essential oil is distinctively Calamansi. The scent of Calamansi has been suggested to help alleviate depression and anxiety. It is also among the few aromatics that not just mask the bad smell but completely neutralizes them, making the essential oil a great additive to cleaning products. It is also an excellent additive to skin toners or blended with other essential oils in a massage blend.
  • DALANDAN ESSENTIAL OIL – Just like Calamansi, the sweet citrus of the Philippines’ oil is extracted from its peels via distillation. Unmistakably citrusy and sweet, Dalandan Essential Oil is among the all-time favorites. Aside from feeling really good after smelling Dalandan Essential Oil, this can also be used as the oil from Calamansi.
  • ELEMI ESSENTIAL OIL – A world-renowned oil because of its benefits, Elemi Essential Oil has been popular to the rest of the globe but to us Filipinos, it seems we are just slowly being familiar in spite of the world’s supply coming from our country. There are 2 types of Elemi Essential Oil, the first one and the most popular, comes from the resin of the Canarium luzonicum tree or the Manila Elemi. The 2nd one comes from the resin of the Canarium ovatum tree or the Pili tree, which have yet to gain popularity as an alternative. Dubbed as “poor man’s frankincense,” Elemi Essential Oil is basically the more abundant and readily available substitute for Frankincense. Well known for its skin rejuvenation benefits, Elemi Essential Oil is also an amazing anti-inflammatory, a great additive for massaging strained or tired muscles provides relief to respiratory troubles, and a great stress reliever.
  • ALMACIGA ESSENTIAL OIL – Known to the world as Manila Copal, it's globally traded as an ingredient in making varnishes. Traditionally, Almaciga is used as a fire starter, caulking for boats, smudge for mosquitoes, and incense for religious ceremonies. There are documented evidence that the resin is burned and smoke is inhaled for asthma and other minor respiratory troubles. The Almaciga Essential Oil is extracted by distilling the resin from Agathis philippinesis trees, which are native to the Philippines. Not much is known for the use of its essential oil because of its extreme uniqueness and it is virtually unknown up until its creation by CDL. The Almaciga Essential Oil’s aroma falls in-between Elemi and Frankincense making it another potential alternative to Frankincense.
Essential Oils can also be used as aromatic oils in the form of candles and used in Aromatherapy. Essential Oils can also found in water bath essentials such as Castile soaps and their purest form placed in diffusers to perfume the entire room with a relaxing scent and calming effect. Thus, essential oils have been used as a topical agent and aromatic ingredient as it acts as neurotransmitters via breathing and suggests an instant gratification to the brain.

Essential Oils are helpful physically, physiologically, psychologically, and mentally. This almost spiritual experience is not yet liberally focused and touched by science but it is something that touches man's very core and encompasses the bliss this world has known. After all, essential oils are the closest to what Mother Nature can offer.

Now, here's the best part? Since we have established that essential oils are indeed essential, We would love one of our readers to win this set of Castile soap and essential oils for CDL Naturals. 




To join, check out our Facebook page for mechanics.