Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rethink your drink: Hydration is key to a healthy, happy life

What we drink and how many times we drink is the key to a healthy and happy life. Too often, though, many of us think of only two elements as we go through our daily challenges in work or at home: food and fitness. It does not matter how many diet plans we missed or exercise regimens that we did not complete; at the back of our minds, we believe that it is essential to eat the right foods and perform physical activities regularly if we are to meet the demands in our personal and professional spheres.
All this is well and good, but it still lacks the third, and unfortunately often-ignored, aspect that is also important to our physical and mental well-being: hydration. In the medical sense, hydration means “adding water to our body.” To many of us, this means following the age-old rule taught to us since childhood that is to drink eight glasses of water a day. It is a healthy advice that we try to follow but often overlook. How many of us do make it a point to take that much amount of water intake? 

The only time we do become aware of the need to fill up our body with fluid is when we engage in physical activity. Thirty minutes of pounding the treadmill at the gym, whipping up a storm in dance class, or just a brisk walk around the neighborhood – the minute sweat breaks out of our body and the pangs of thirst set in, that’s when we tend to look for the nearest water cooler or, if we are smart, grab the thermos we brought with us.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tokyo Joe: The Newest Casual Japanese Restaurant in Town

A new Japanese fast food restaurant just opened in Spark Place along P. Tuazon, Cubao, Quezon City. It's not at all like the common fastfood restos around that serve chicken and burgers. Tokyo Joe is a casual Japanese restaurant which serves the Gyudon, the 100-year old Japanese recipe of rice topping, also known as the Beef Bowl Misono, with the option to enjoy complimentary items like drinks, California Maki, Age Gyoza, or other sidings  to go with it.

There are three upgrades available for a Donburi, Bento or Ramen:

1) Maki upgrade (PHP 65) - California, Beef, Chicken, Salmon or Super California Maki with regular iced tea

2) Sides upgrade (PHP 75) - 3-piece Gyoza, Yakimeshi, Ika Ring, Kani Salad or Fish Fingers and regular iced tea

3) Combo upgrade (PHP 125) - California Maki and 3-piece Gyoza, California Maki and Kani Salad, or Yakimeshi and 3-piece Gyoza with regular iced tea

Tokyo Joe's Beef Bowl Misono

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park: A Quick Getaway Near Metro Manila

In the first week of October, after not having visited the place for more that five years with my wife and other blogger friends, I was able to visit Island Cove again, this time, not just with my wife, but with our son as well. This was an answer to our prayers because the week prior to this, our son had his bubble popped after the fishing area in Eden Nature Park in Davao closed on us. It was such a blessing to have his fishing dream fulfilled, thank God for Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park.

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park used the name "Covelandia Island Resort" back in 1976 until 1985 and the above photo is an aerial shot of the island back then

Located in Kawit, Cavite and only 15 minutes away from SM Mall of Asia via Cavitex, Island Cove is the nearest destination for every family, whether overnight or a quick day trip. No similar place is like it in terms of distance and amenities offered for visitors. For my family, it was an easy whole-day escape a few Saturdays ago. In less than an hour, we were getting off the van which we rode on from Makati Central Business District.

My wife, son and other bloggers getting on the van to Island Cove from 6750 Ayala.

After a quick meal in the van we were already on the bridge to Island Cove

As the one who drives in the family, I find this short travel for a getaway very appealing especially because taking a long drive to go to a vacation spot leaves everyone tired from the travel home. Imagine coming home from a trip - one to two hours on the plane and the drive home from the airport. It makes you want to just take another vacation when you get home.

Aside from its accessibility, there are a ton of things that every family can enjoy in Island Cove. For those who love nature and the sun, you have the Oceania Swim and Splash Park which has a new 350-square meter, child-friendly splash park with water-safe ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber flooring.

My son enjoying the feel of the splash park's rubber floor

The Oceania has a main pool which houses four giant slides and a huge inflatable slide. There are other pools -  a mini pool and the kiddie cove pool.

Paddle boats are available in the Kiddie Cove Pool for free.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jolly Cow is the Official Milk Sponsor for 2nd Philippine National Barista Challenge

Coffee is best with milk. The creamier the milk, the better. And the milk quality has to be the right kind that provides enough sweetness for really good coffee. I should know. My wife and I are now coffee drinkers. It took us a while as we only started drinking coffee when we visited the coffee country, Vietnam in 2012. There was no going back for the both of us. But I have to say, we are picky with our coffee. We discriminate, it must've something to do with our being late bloomers.

Incidentally, Jolly Cow has been one of the well-loved milk brands of coffee baristas in the country for its high quality milk froth which produces a distinctly creamy taste, complementing every cup of coffee. Allegro Beverage Corporation, organizer of the 2nd Philippine National Barista Challenge, has chosen Jolly Cow to be its Official Milk brand.
jolly cow fresh milk non fat milk
President and General Manager of Allegro Beverage Corporation Leo de Leon and Jolly Cow Senior Product Associate Ersanti Regi Santos discussed the qualities of a good cup of coffee while Kevin Israel Fortu, the reigning Philippine National Barista Champion, and Jonathan Choi, Champion of 8th Philippine Grand Barista Cup, demonstrated latte art using Jolly Cow during a roundtable discussion held Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at the Allegro Beverage Corporation headquarters.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Manulife Advisers Achieve Golden Global Standard for Better Client Care

Manulife Philippines is celebrating its insurance advisers attaining an internationally-recognized standard for client care and service. More than 30 Metro Manila-based advisers were awarded the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC), a global certification set by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC), the worldwide association for financial planners, based in Ohio, U.S.A. 

The advisers studied for the qualification at the Manulife Learning and Development Center in Chatham House, Makati City. Key topics included financial planning, risk management, education and estate planning, retirement and tax planning. All courses are taught by RFC-certified faculty, following the rigorous international curricular program of the IARFC.

Mr. Ryan Charland (center, seated), President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Philippines, is joined by members of Manulife Philippines Agency Training and Development Department (ATDD) at the Manulife Philippines headquarters in Makati City. Others in photo are Ms. Rogie Bertol, Senior Assistant Vice President and Head of Training, Manulife Philippines ATDD (seated, 4th from left) and Mr. David Grant, Senior Vice President and Chief Agency Officer, Manulife Philippines (seated, 4th from right) 

Quipper School Helps Raise NAT Scores

Quipper, an education technology company headquartered in London with offices in Manila, today announced that NAT scores at Valenzuela City Science High School have improved significantly as a result of using Quipper School in 2014, when compared to scores from the previous year.

Quipper School, an online education platform which connects teachers and students, was launched in January 2014 in the Philippines and is now being used by over 5,000 teachers across the country. Mr. Roderick Francisco, a teacher from Valenzuela Science City High School, used Quipper School in early 2014 to teach over 400 of his students in preparation for NAT 2014. As a result, Mr. Francisco has noted significant improvements, with an overall score improvements of 13%, and an outstanding result in English, where the scores rose by 25%.

Quipper NAT
Students from Valenzuela City Science High School use an online education platform, Quipper School to study and review topics from their subjects

Mr. Francisco is quoted as saying, 'We're extremely happy about the outcome. Quipper School offers a vast amount of K-12 aligned content, which students can access from wherever they want as long as they have internet connection. I assigned more than 500 questions to them, and most of my students have mastered them. I could also track those who hadn't done the assignment on Quipper School’s teacher portal, and gave timely reminders so that no one gets left behind.'

Mr. Francisco assigned Quipper School topics as part of 'clearance', meaning that students had to complete all their Quipper School assignments in order to get a report card.

Masayuki Watanabe, CEO of Quipper, stated, "We're proud that Quipper School has now become an integral part of teaching and learning for many classes. We'll keep improving our services so that Quipper School can empower students and teachers with digital technology".
Quipper School is also available in several other countries, including Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and the United Kingdom.