The Nerds Are Alright

You might probably noticed that this blog remained stagnant for a good few months – I drowned in a sea of to do’s at work and I was not in a good place – occasionally battling bouts of stress, anxiety and depression which can be a harrowing experience once it hits.

Until one day, I said I just couldn’t mope forever and abandon the things that made me happy. I decided to blog again and attend events; trying to find time from my busy schedule to fit everything in.

One of the first events I attended was this year’s ASIA POP COMIC CON, which was always been in my calendar for ages. Being a big nerd since I can remember, I love collecting comic books and action figures, and would diligently troop to the cinemas for superhero movies. Yes, I am one of those people who have an annoying habit of explaining “comic book universes.” I am also a DC girl through and through, though I am level headed enough to accept that the MCU cinematic universe is kicking our dark, brooding DC asses when it comes to box-office adaptations.

I was there on the invitation of my friend Paul (extreme left) who hosted the blogging panel featuring David Guison and Chevrolet brand ambassadors Mari Jasmine and Donny Pangilinan.

After the panel, it was on to the good stuff:

The Superman figure above has been on a must-buy list for a good three or four years now. But it’s more than 10k pesos; I kept putting it off. To put it simply, it’s either I take home the little homage to (my forever love) Christopher Reeve or I pay off my numerous insurance plans. I’d rather stick to my investment track.

While going around, I also caught sight of the ongoing signing for Ready Player One lead and MCU alumnus, Tye Sheridan:

I was initially planning to register for his panel, but it was scheduled way late in the afternoon; and I hate staying too long in MOA unless necessary, so I decided to skip it.

Admittedly, the star of this year’s con is the Netflix installation which took a lot of space and attracted a huge crowd.

I don’t know if it’s just me but the crowd this year seemed a bit smaller compared to the past years that I was there. I went Saturday AM until lunch – so I might be wrong and missed the Saturday afternoon crowd.

There was also a significantly lesser selection on merchandise that was for sale because everything seemed to sell the same Funko toys everywhere I go around the floor.

After needing it out on the land of superheroes, I continued the rest of the day on kawaii land as my friend, The Filipino Rambler and I hied off to Hello Kitty cafe in BGC.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way – the place is freaking cute. It is cute personified and an Instagrammer’s paradise.

I’ve been planning to eat here even before but it was newly-opened and everyone wanted a piece of the action. It was always full whenever I go, with reservations stacked one on top of the other — so I gave up trying to score a seat. I figured, I would go when the hype finally died down – and sure enough, we were able to immediately score seats when we walked in at 3pm on a Saturday noon.

Of course, the food was adorable:

  • It was begging for double-taps; served in dainty cups and cake trays, with cute sugar bowls to boot. The cakes, of course, were designed to look cute and Instagram-worthy.
  • So, was it delicious? It’s average on my book; a good 3.5 out of 5 stars. To be fair, I only got the cake and not the rest of the mains – so there might be something amazing there that I haven’t tasted yet.
  • It was good to finally have the time to go out and enjoy the things that makes me less crazy and less stressed . I had the chance to indulge my inner fan girl and thanks to the great afternoon — I realised that yes, in spite living in the crazy adult world, this nerd is still alright.
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    It’s Bad when it’s a “Fad”

    Let’s be honest, there’s a reason why fad diets are referred to as “Fad Diets.”

    They can be the hottest thing in the planet, with multiple testimonials on how “effective” it is, but truth of the matter is that it’s simply fad, with no assurance that you will achieve your health goals effectively, safely and in a timely manner.

    Trust me, i know. I’ve been carrying the extra weight for about 10 years now and I could probably give you a grocery list of the diet plans I’ve tried through the years. Did any of them work? Maybe at first – but many years down the line and I still carry the extra weight with me like a baggage I can’t seem to shake off.

    Image courtesy of Penn State U

    Here are some things about fad diets that you need to know:

    Fad diets may not be healthy. Fad diets may have short- and long-term effects on the body. In the short term, you may lose pounds but drastic weight loss without proper nutrition may have serious long-term effects on the body. When the body loses weight, the vital organs such as the liver and kidney will be overworked, as they try to get rid of excess fat and toxins from the body. It is important to support the body with proper nutrition. Proper monitoring of the body is needed when losing weight.

    Image courtesy of The Mayo Clinic

    Fad diets are not based on nutrition. You are what you eat. Even if you are on a diet, your body needs the right nutrition to keep energy levels high and to avoid adverse health effects in the long run. To get all the essential nutrients, the diet should include balanced nutrition with different food groups, such as lean protein, vegetables and controlled fat and sources of sugar, like healthy carbohydrates and fruits.

    Fad diets may lead to health problems. Losing weight may put some stress on vital organs. It is important that a person is healthy to go on a diet. It is always advisable to see a doctor before starting any weight-loss program and to be closely guided throughout the process.

    Fad diets results are short-term. Most fad diets will help you lose weight for a short period of time, but you will eventually gain more than what you lost. When the body does not get balanced nutrition, it will try to preserve itself by slowing down metabolism, making burning fat harder. While there may be weight loss initially, the body will eventually need more food to compensate for the loss, which can lead to more weight gain.

    Fad diets may not help get rid of the fats. When weight and muscle are lost initially, you may be led to believe that a diet is effective. However, most weight loss resulting from fasting or starvation comes from burning vital muscles and not the loss of fat. When the body is starving, metabolism causes it to store energy, which it gets from body fat. But when there is little fat or muscle left, the body will start to metabolize the organs that are made of lean tissue. This may lead to stroke, heart attack or liver and kidney failure.

    To lose weight, increase vegetable consumption, drink more water, eat lean protein, reduce fats and sugar consumption, including refined carbohydrates. Healthy habits like sleeping well and exercising will also aid healthy weight loss.

    While you feel the need to lose weight, remember that your health matters more than the numbers on the weighing scale. Do your research before trying any fad diets.

    Higher Learning: iAcademy and its mission of molding future Game Changers

    Stepping inside the new iAcademy is like stepping on a time machine from the future. A university housed in a 12-story building; serviced by elevators across all floors; an expensive and airy ambience – you would think that you are just about to set foot inside the Philippine headquarters of a red hot start-up.

    The analogy is not surprising; given iACADEMY’s positioning as the “School for Future Game Changers” – there are no boring White walls, staid lectures nor outdated lesson plans, no constricting uniforms, no need to pore over books since kids are encouraged to use Technology for their research.

    It’s the kind of place I see my 17 Year old self thriving and succeeding – where individuality is encouraged and learning is actually fun.

    As someone educated in one of our country’s state universities, I can’t help but marvel on how amazing and up-to-date the facilities I found during my tour of the school. When i was 17, I wanted to be a graphic artist and a filmmaker, but the options were limited for me back then because Money was actually low and my parents couldn’t afford to send me to a University with a good visual arts program.

    I was lucky that I passed my university’s stringest entrance exam and had the opportunity to earn my degree for barely the cost of a second hand iPhone 5. I took up Communication Arts, became a lifestyle reporter before joining corporate PR.

    Touring the iACADEMY campus, I remembered my long-forgotten dream to dabble in arts and design. Seeing all the equipment laid out before me brought a tinge of envy towards the talented kids who will use them and one day achieve their dreams. Consider the following:

    The kids do their design using Macs
    Light boxes for animation
    This is where the kids bring their plates of individually-drawn animation sheets and animate their drawing
    Inspiring film makers can use this green screen

    The classrooms are all conducive to learning – each can comfortably accomodate up to 35 students in a college class and 30 for senior high. Each is also equipped with a security camera (iACADEMY has a strict program against bullying), projector, fully airconditioned and wifi accessible (the whole campus has wifi).

    The facilities including the campus cafeteria (covers whole fifth floor), their very own parking lot (2F – 4F), a Student Affairs Center, library, basketball court, dance studios, rooftop deck and Assembly Hall.

    But what’s impressive about the campus is that its strong points go beyond the physical (the facilities), but also and more importantly, on the degree Programs being offered by the school.

    Initially established as a College with full emphasis on an Information Technology program, iACADEMY is now the undisputed leader In the Arts and Design Program — thanks to the vision of its president and CEO, Ms. Vanessa Tanco.

    For the incoming school year, iACADEMY is excited to introduce new academic programs, including: Bachelor of Arts in music production and sound design,

    Bachelor of Arts in film and visual effects and Graphic design and illustration.

    The school is also on the final stages of a possible MBA program in partnership with the renowned DePaul University in the US.

    The level of quality education should, of course be viewed as a worthy investment. We were informed that the tuition ranges from 70k to 80K per term – which to me is fair enough, considering incoming students are given access to quality education, using World Class equipment – in a relaxed, enjoyable and safe environment (the school also does not have any fraternities among the student orgs).

    For more information on how to raise future game changers, go to the iACADEMY site.

    From 10 to 3: Miyu Skin Care by Amway (A Review)

    To say I a.m obsessed with skin care is an understatement – and to me, nothing beats Japanese and Korean brands when it comes to skin care. Maybe it’s the fact that they know Asian skin better than anyone, their amazing dedication to R&D and commitment to using nothing but only the best ingredients from Nature.

    That’s why the invitation from Amway to mark the first anniversary of their very own skin care line, Miyu, came as a nice surprise.

    For the uninitiated, Miyu is Amway’s very own foray to the exciting World of Korean skin care. Their unique advantage is they’re making it less complicated for Everyone – by removing the (sometimes) tedious ten-step process and simplifying it to just three.

    While I do not mind going through the motions and finishing the whole 10 steps, there are definitely days when all i wanna do is just make sure My Face is clean, devoid of make-up and just crash and sleep.

    Miyu’s line up of there products are all infused with natural ingredients, with buckwheat sprout and chaga mushroom on top of the list and are said to be rich in anti-oxidants to help revitalize and brighten the skin.

    The process begins with the Miyu Free Me Up 3-In-1 Whitening Cleanser with cleansing, moisturizing and whitening effect. Intended to remove make up residues, dirt and oil; this cleansing cream also moisturizes and whitens skin.

    Step 2 is the Miyu Pore Me Down 3-In-1 Whitening Toner with toning, pore minimizing and Whitening effect.

    Unlike other toners that stings upon application, this one is a lot milder (I still felt a slight tinge upon application), and there’s no strong smell. If you’d Love to have that smooth, glass-like, pore-less look that is so common among Korean celebrities – this might be the perfect tool to achieve the look.

    Lastly, we have the Miyu Easy-Peasy Baby 3-In-1 Creme with SPF30 PA++ for whitening, protesting and moisturizing.

    A small dollop can go a long way with this beauty creme – it feels a bit heavier compared with other Korean-branded creme; but In spite of that, there’s no sticky feeling after every use. The test sample I have from above seems a bit too much but I was just about to spread it so it doesnt look good on camera – but yes, a small amount really goes a long way.

    I’ll share with you what I learned from watching all these K-beauty channels: apply on the face evenly; then spread by massaging your face in circular motions.

    Typical of all Korean-made brands, Miyu comes in a cute packaging; with the colors pink and green giving off that strong Kpop girl group vibe.

    These babies are exclusively distributed via Amway Philippines only and has recently marked its first year in the Philippjnes.

    My verdict?

    These babies are worth a try!

    Retailing for PHP499 for the cleanser, PHP699 for the toner and PHP749 for the moistirizer – price points is a mix between the current selling price of other beauty brands in the market.

    I will keep on using these to test their effectivity; but offhand- for the last three days, my face is less oily and more moisturised.

    Product Review: Novelina Deep Sea Collagen Mask & CoEnzyme

    We all have our guilty pleasures – bags, vices, that six-figure pair of shoes, a cartful of cosmetics and jewelleries.

    Whatever that maybe – these guilty pleasures keep us sane, helps us relax and remains as our own dose of happy pill. In my case, my go-to mood booster is the so-called “Korean 10-step Face care process.” I get a kick out of all the cleansing, scrubbing, gentle messaging, slathering and the whole nine yards of Face care. The highlight for me is Always the part where I put on a Face mask; pop on to whatever Korean Variety show I a.m watching and just chill.

    So, it’s not surprising that I have a ton of Face masks, of every variant, brand and sizes at home.

    Some of My stash: Innisfree, Dermal, Farm Stay

    I collect them how a 10 year old would collect his trading cards. So I a.m excited when I was asked to review two new face mask variants from skin care brand Novelina.

    I first tried the Co-Enzyme Anti-aging & Age Defying Mask and here are My thoughts:

    • I Love that the smell is not too strong and not to cloying.
    • After taking off the mask sheet, I noticed that the essence (composed of Algae extract, fish scale collagen, Allantoin, among others) were not too sticky.
    • The mask did not dry out easily even after I left it on my Face for a long time.
    • Mask is sturdier compared to other brands; material is a bit thicker compared to those sold by Innisfree and Face Shop — however…
    This Time using the Deep Sea Collagen Mask

    I also find them too big.

    And that’s my only problem with Novelina Face Masks – I don’t know what size they are based; but everytime I use it; I feel like a giant lumpia (spring roll) wrapper has been slapped on my face! The slot for the nose is too big; the slot for the mouth is on my chin and I keep on trying to adjust the holes that were supposed to be for my eyes!

    But other than that, Novelina is a promising brand. I just tried the Deep Sea Collagen Mask and I love it. For one, it smelled better than the Co-Enzyme variant, and the essence is more watery, without any sticky residue.

    Like always, I left the masks on for a good 10-15 minutes; washed it off with miscellar water and my Face felt immediately refreshed after. Skin also feels more supple and softer; just the perfect prep for the next skin care step. At this point, I would usually start massaging my go-to Laneige Face essence on my cheeks, forehead and crease line near the amount; moving on to the Eye essence before usually ending the whole thing with a slather of Nivea Face Creme.

    Would I recommend the product?

    If you’d like to add something new and different from your usual brands; you can give Novelina a try.

    Both variants contain Collagen which is a known anti-aging Ingredient, while the glycerine component whitens, leading to fairer skin.

    I a.m looking forward to trying this again – hopefully, by that Time, the size of the sheet masks have also been improved.

    My no-make up; freshly-scrubbes; Face mask-pampered Face

    Investing in affordable health care is easy with PhilCare’s ER Vantage

    I was 33 years old when I realized how unprepared my husband and I was for life’s emergencies.

    It all started with a throbbing, steady pain, said my husband. He would wake up at 12 midnight staying until 3AM, silently bearing the pain on his right abdomen.

    After months of trying to keep it from me, I woke up one morning to see him curled silently in the couch downstairs. The check-up and all the tests that followed confirmed our suspicion: gall stones, which was then pressing already to the small opening leading to his liver. After months and months of tests, medications and even a complete check on his stomach to make sure there wasn’t any other obstruction — a sudden, sharp pain one Saturday afternoon finally sent us to the Makati Med ER where the doctors immediately scheduled him for surgery.

    Our expected expense: about PHP250,000 including doctors’ fees. Our bank account had a total of PHP20,000, give or take a few hundreds.

    It was my health card that saved us from all the worries, and gave us the energy to focus on his treatment and on getting the best medical care possible.

    After surgery and recovery which constituted the five days he was in the hospital, our total bill came up to PHP220,000. I paid 50 pesos for the portable potty he needed to use; while PhilCare, my health care provider took care of all the rest — hassle-free.

    It was that time when I became obsessed on getting any form of health care for my loved ones. Granted that my health care coverage was made possible by employment, I was relieved to note that PhilCare took their services to the next level by introducing a line of prepaid health cards.

    The following Christmas, I gave my favorite aunt and uncles PhilCare ER Vantage cards, and encouraged cousins to buy one. Before my father turned 65, I bought him his own ER Vantage.

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    One of the earlier versions of the current ER Vantage. This served my father well. Having the peace of mind by having any form of health card was my goal always.

    It is not surprising that PhilCare would come up with an affordable prepaid card.  Only 4% of Filipinos enjoy HMO coverage, and the bulk of that small percentage have that coverage as a corporate benefit from their employers.  The reality for most Filipinos is that if and when a major health crisis does occur, they simply aren’t prepared.

    As one of their most popular products, ER Vantage is available for both children and adults and will cover the bearer for a single use or a period of one year — whichever comes first.

    ER Vantage gives you a one-time coverage for emergency room care and hospitalization expenses, inclusive of Doctors’ fees, Laboratory and diagnostic procedures, Room and board (regular private room) Medicines (except vaccines) as medically necessary during confinement except for cases declared as non-coverable, Special modalities of treatment which are medically necessary during ER and confinement and subject to standard inner limits, Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as medically necessary during ER and confinement

    Emergency cases are the sudden, unexpected onset of illness or injury, which at the time of contract reasonably appeared as having the potential of causing immediate disability or death or requiring the immediate alleviation of severe pain and discomfort. Emergency cases include but are not limited to Massive Bleeding; Acute Appendicitis; Fractures/multiple injuries secondary to accidents; Convulsions; illnesses or conditions resulting in moderate or severe dehydration such as diarrhea or fever; and Syncope. Pre-existing conditions and those conditions under the general exclusions of PhilCare are not covered.  In addition, ER Vantage comes with a death of dismemberment payout.

    ERV-40ERV-60

    ERV-80
    The latest version of the ER Vantage – can’t wait to have this again as a gift for the oldies this Christmas

    Prices for ER Vantage for adults range from Php 1,050 to Php 4,950, amount of coverage is between Php 40,000 to Php 80,000 depending on the ER Vantage card/voucher purchased.  For kids the prices range between Php 2,950 to Php 4,950.

    In my family, I have a lot of aunts and uncles who have no children, or those with no means to get their own health card. Like before, I’ve bowed to get them the ER Vantage Plus 40 for Christmas.

    I know, it’s a bit pricey as a Christmas gift for the extended family, but since these are my favorite aunt and uncles — and from experience — would depend on our help during medical emergencies. Giving them the security and protection afforded by a health card is worth it.

     

    If you want to know more about ER Vantage or shop for your own:   http://shop.philcare.com.ph/index.php?route=product/search&search=er%20vantage%20plus

     

    How I put my skin care woes to rest with DermClinic

    skin care rediscovered

    Let me tell you something about myself: I am deathly afraid of anyone poking my face – because of this, I avoided going to dermatologists, never even tried a facial treatment, more so use any local skin care brand, sticking to my tried and tested brands The Faceshop, Innisfree and Laneige.

    To take care of my skin, I tried variations of the 10-step Korean Skin Care Routine, and I haven’t had any break outs since.

    images

    So, I was a both scared and excited when I was chosen by Dermclinic, one of the country’s top skin care and dermatological centers, to try out their 3Face, a moisturizing and anti-aging treatment which combines Microdermabrasion, Collagen Renewal and Skin Tightening leading to full on pampering.

    We were also given a full set of the Nuderm Intensive Whitening Package (more on this later), to further achieve that fair, young-looking skin.

    Let’s talk about 3Face facial treatment first.

    On the day of the visit, I literally asked a few of my friends what to expect during a facial treatment. I was a having a bad case of jitters and I really wanted to have a better understanding on how it will help me take care of my skin. I also had the mistake of watching too many “pimple-popping” videos on the net, further adding to my agitation on having my face screened and prodded for the first time.

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    Dermclinic – The Link Ayala Center branch

    The process is easy and very straightforward. Upon arrival, new patients are asked to fill a patient information sheet before being lead to thoroughly clean the face prior to the treatment, then finally to the treatment room assigned to you.

    father's

    I love the fact that the 3Face treatment begins with a facial. Assigned to me was the kind nurse Jane who patiently answered all my questions, starting from – if the pricking will hurt, to asking her to explain the process she’s doing to my face. I love how my skin was gently cleansed all the way through; steamed to open up the pores and then slathered with a cooling facial mask, said to tighten and encourage smoother skin. I loved the facial massage in between, which was just what I needed, considering the full load that I have at work.

    I asked Jane if she will be the one to do the treatment for me, but she explained that at Dermclinic, only doctors are allowed to do procedures/treatments on patients. As a first-time visitor to a dermatological center, this gives me the assurance that I needed.

    From the longest time–and because I really don’t have pimples or zits, save for some lone stragglers during a specific time of the month–I’ve always believed that I have a “passable” healthy skin. But apparently, my 10-step process is not working out as much as I would have loved.

    Jane and the lovely Dr. Tiu pointed out quite a smattering of white heads on my forehead and then a few black head spots on my chin, then promptly took them out. Contrary to my foremost fears, the pricking wasn’t too bad.

    3FACE is composed of three procedures which results to younger-looking, smoother skin. The process begins with the Microdermabrasion, to exfoliate and rid the skin of dead skin cells; Collagen Renewal, where a special liquid-based emulsion was applied to the face to regain elasticity and firmness of skin; and then finally, Skin Tightening, through a small suction/vacuum type tool with the aim of restoring skin’s radiance.

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    The procedure lasted a good two hours, with waiting in and prep included. I loved the fact that Dr. Tiu and Jane moved quickly without sacrificing the quality of their work. They are also conscious of the pain tolerance and comfort of their patients, with Dra. Tiu asking me in-between procedures if I am feeling any pain at all (FYI, there was none).

    To achieve the fairer skin, we were given full sets of Nuderm Intensive Whitening Package, composed of the following products:

    Intensive Whitening Soap with Micropeal – which helps rid pigmentation and hot spots; Intensive Whitening Toner with Micropeel, intended to refresh skin and inhibit its melanin-production; then finally, the Intensive Whitening Cream with Micropeel, which lightens, removes discoloration and promotes regeneration of healthier skin.

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    I’ve been using the product for almost a week now, and I love how squeaky clean my face gets after a very long day at work or on field work. The toner doesn’t sting while the whitening cream smells fresh and clean. On the third day, I noticed a slight peeling near my jaw already, which was manageable and was expected. I am curious to see (and share!) if there will be noticeable changes in my skin following daily use of Nuderm.

    I am grateful to Dermclinic for tapping me to be one of the lucky few to experience this 46th Anniversary treat. While taking care of your skin through serums and creams are always commendable, it’ still different when you rely on the expect care of a doctor – in my case, it helped me understand that there are minor skin concerns that I needed to address soonest. And yes, sleeping with make-up (no matter how tired you are) is always a bad idea.

    To maintain good results, it’s a good idea to have 3Face at least once every two months. This is something I now seriously consider adding to my “Me Time” routine, especially since looking presentable is a must when it comes to my job in PR.

    For more info about  Dermclinic, click the link to head to their website.

     

    ABOUT DERMCLINIC

    One of the pioneers in the industry, Dermclinic opened its doors more than 46 years ago, providing medically-vetted, safe and effective skin care consultations and procedures to many Filipinos.

    Known for being accessible due to its high presence in malls, Dermclinic offers a wide range of services, ranging from simple facials to more complicated procedures.

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