Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Put those postage stamps away: these Christmas cards deliver in style


Sydney, Australia — 2/12/13 — Each year Australians spend hours waiting in checkout lines, licking dozens of icky stamps and worrying that snail mail won’t get their holiday messages to friends and family in time. And all in the name of the humble Christmas card.

Perhaps that’s why less cards are being sent now than ever before. And sheeeesh, the decline isn’t slowing down: the number of greeting cards posted has dropped 24 percent in the past decade. But no surprises there — it’s often the last thing on our mind with countless family gatherings, presents to organise and the mad holiday shopping rush.

So what if you could say a heartfelt ‘Happy Holidays’ to the people you care about with a personal design that’s just as sentimental as a handwritten note, but super quick and simple to create? Forget the text message; hold that Facebook post. Heck, why not make this Christmas a bit more special…

Simple online design platform Canva has a cracker of a Christmas surprise this silly season. The folks at Canva believe they can anyone into a designer with their free drag-and-drop design tool. The company has today launched a collection of entirely customisable, beautifully designed Christmas cards. Want to know how to create a spectacular looking card with Canva? Here’s the 1, 2, 3…

  1. Choose one of the 20 stunning hand-crafted designs
  2. Customise the card however you like; add family photos, write a personal message, change the graphics, or create your own from scratch
  3. Pick who you want to send it to, and… badda bing -- you’re done!

Canva has been in exclusive closed beta for the past two-and-a-half months, but are now giving you the chance to join the more than 110,000 people who for the first time have been able to create their own designs without spending thousands of dollars on frustrating desktop software that takes years to learn. Hey, don’t take our word, here’s what others have said:

“Canva enables anyone to become a designer” — PSFK
“A graphic design platform anyone can use” — TechCrunch
“Canva could very well become an industry disrupting household name” — Web Appstorm
“The easiest to use design program in the world” — Netted by the Webbys
According to Canva CEO Melanie Perkins the company wants to make it easy for people to create and share their own designs with people they care about, and receiving personalised Christmas cards is something everyone appreciates.

“Together with the world’s best photographers, designers, and illustrators, we’ve set out to introduce beautiful design to everyone," she said. 

"This Christmas we want to give more people the ability to craft something special for family and friends. Designing with Canva is as simple as choosing a layout, searching our library of 1 million images and graphics, or uploading your own, then clicking ‘Publish’.”
Make this Christmas a little more special by heading to www.canva.com/christmas.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Soles for Happy Souls


Anne S. Tiangco, Senior Writer-Editor

WITH its iconic cheerful colors and fun prints, every pair of Havaianas flip-flop is sure to transport a person into a happy state.

So when Tropical Retail Company, Inc.- All Flip-Flops, retailer of the well-loved quality footwear, Havaianas, in the Philippine  donated 5,000 flip-flops to Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc. for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda, everybody was naturally ecstatic.

The Havaianas flip-flops, ranging from baby to adult sizes, was delivered by Chinnie Alpay, Executive Assistant and Administrative Coordinator and Candice See, Recruitment officer, at the Operation Blessing headquarters in Pasig City. The donation was received by Peter Kairuz, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBN Asia and Operation Blessing and Dr. Kim Pascual, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Operation Blessing.

Havaianas Ph retailer donates 5,000 flip-flops for Yolanda victims through Operation Blessing

“We are extremely grateful for this huge donation of Havaianas. This is a company with a really big heart. We assure you that these beautiful Havaianas flip-flops would bring smiles to the faces of the Yolanda survivors,” Peter said.

Chinnie said that it was only a couple of days ago when their Managing Director Geronimo Begre, informed them of the company’s intent to help the Yolanda victims through Operation Blessing and everyone in the company immediately went into action, completing the 5,000 flip-flops for donation in a matter of 3 days.

“We are blessed that we could be of help. Mr. Begre is so happy that all the employees worked together to make this happen. Nagkapit-bisig po talaga kami para dito. ,” Chinnie said.

She, likewise, informed the Operation Blessing team that this is the first major humanitarian donation of their company but they will explore more ways to partner with Operation Blessing Philippines in order to help more people.

Operation Blessing will distribute the 5,000 pairs of Havaianas flip-flops to Yolanda victims in Bantayan Island, Cebu coinciding with the screening of the Superbook animated series, trauma counseling, program intervention and healing art, as part of the rehabilitation process immediately following the relief efforts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Run and become "Heroes of Change" in the First-Ever Superbook Fun Run {Press Release}

RUN and help our kababayans in need with the first-ever Superbook benefit fun run dubbed “READY… GIZMO…GO!” happening on December 14, 2013 at the Bonifacio Global City. Warm up starts at 4:30 am and the official gun start for the 10K run is at 6:00 am. 

Join Gizmo, the Superbook agents and other Superbook lovers as they make “every kilometer count” and contribute in raising funds for the disaster relief operations of Operation Blessing, the humanitarian arm of CBN Asia. Various OB Teams have now set up a base camp in the most hard-hit areas of Super Typhoon Yolanda distributing relief goods, doing medical missions and trauma counselling.

This event will also benefit the CBN Asia Prayer Center, the Asian Center for Missions and the CBN Asia Media (The 700 Club Asia, Superbook and Tanikala).

Run and Become Heroes of Change

Superbook takes the lead in the fun run with its phenomenal success in its first season drawing close to 20 million viewers.

And in this time when everyone is joining hands to help our kababayans in the Visayas, Superbook, through its “Bida ng Pagbabago Advocacy,” invites everyone, especially the kids to participate in this first ever “Ready… Gizmo… Go!” Fun Run and help raise funds for the CBN Asia Family of Ministries.

Superbook’s “Bida ng Pagbabago Advocacy” believes in empowering the children of today. As young as they are, they can already be of influence and become examples to their friends, families and community.

“The effect of Superbook on the family has been amazing. Through Superbook and the adventures of Gizmo, Chris and Joy, more and more children have developed the joy of Bible-reading and have become heroes of change by showing positive difference at home, in school and their community. Superbook also empowers parents to introduce positive values to their children in a fun way and it has become a catalyst for families to become closer and to grow in love and faith,” says Icko Gonzalez, Superbook Project Head in the Philippines.

How To Register

Participants may choose to join either of the following categories: 1K, 3K, 5K or 10K. Registration fees are P300 for the 1K; P400 for the 3K; P500 for the 5K and P600 for the 10K, inclusive of singlet, race bib, exclusive Ready…Gizmo…Go! ballers, and finisher’s shirt for 10K.
Registration is now open until December 9 or until supplies last.

To join the “Ready… Gizmo… Go!” Fun Run, visit any of the following venues during office hours for registration and payment and immediately claim your specially-designed race kit:

·      CBN Asia Head Office Sagittarius Bldg., HV Dela Costa / Leviste St., Makati City
·      House of Praise (HOP) Robinsons Galleria and St. Francis Square, Ortigas
·      ADSTRATWORLD Holdings Inc. Head Office
·      Brooks SM North EDSA
·      Toby’s Sports Branches in Glorietta 2, Shangri-La Plaza and Trinoma
·      RUNNR Branches in Alabang Town Center and Bonifacio Global City

Do not miss this chance to be a part of the first Superbook Fun Run and make a difference in the lives of thousands this Christmas!
For more event details, please visit our event page at www.batangsuperbook.com/readygizmogo

For updates and announcements, please visit and like our Batang Superbook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/batangsuperbook

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lactum 3+/6+’s Disney Doodle

Get a chance to win a trip to Hongkong with your family! HOW?

Join Lactum 3+/6+ Disney Doodle!

Just ask your child to draw his/her favorite Disney character found in Lactum 3+/6+ Disney Mealtime Surprise. Take a photo of your child’s artwork together with Lactum 3+/6+ Disney Mealtime Surprise and upload the photo as your child’s official entry!

The promo is open to all parents or guardians with kids aged 37 months to 9 years old as of contest date. Submission of entries will be until October 15, 2013. Voting period is from October 16 to 31, 2013.

So what are you waiting for? Submit your entries now! Click here https://www.facebook.com/LactumPhilippines/app_192098884297697

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Leptospirosis: What you need to know

It's been raining cats and dogs (or elephants and dinosaurs, as one friend would say) for the past 3 days . Here we are again, Manila, in the middle of a crazy monsoon accompanied by a mad storm called Maring. Flood is everywhere. And if we know a disease that is synonymous to flood water exposure, it would be leptospirosis. I found this helpful infographic on leptospirosis that can help you recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease early. If you identify these signs and symptoms, do consult a doctor immediately to prevent  severe complications.  I had seen patients with leptospirosis and the complications can be pretty scary.

I hope this little heath advisory helps. Stay safe, everyone.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Batang Superbook: Bida ng Pagbabago Roadshow

I look at the cartoon shows of today and I think that cartoons from before were way better.  This is why I can't help but feel happy that some of the cartoons from when I was growing up are making a comeback.

Recently re-launched is CBN's Superbook.  The show follows main characters Chris, Joy and Gizmo (the robot) as they travel to the time of the New and the Old Testaments of the Bible (the Superbook). Each story ends with a valuable Christian lesson that kids can pick up. It's a great way to teach young kids about the Gospel.

batang superbook

After more than a decade, this lovable show is back with a brand new look and name, Superbook Reimagined.

batang superbook
Superbook Reimagined

Since it aired last June, Superbook has gained a new set of followers who are called Batang Superbook. Last week, my family and I joined these Batang Superbook at the Batang Superbook: Bida ng Pagbabago Roadshow. The show was hosted by Superbook agent and mommy Bettina Carlos. 

Batang Superbook Roadshow

It was a fun-filled event full of games, singing and dancing. There was even a magic show and also a  film showing of one of their episodes.

Batang Superbook

 Batang Superbook Roadshow

Batang Superbook Roadshow
Henry enjoying the show with a new found friend
Henry also got a chance to have his picture taken with Gizmo the Robot.

Batang Superbook Roadshow

The roadshow was a great way to introduce Superbook to Henry. He's now really excited to wake up early on weekends just to catch the show.

You too can catch Superbook every weekend on GMA 7 at 7:30 in the morning. 
For more info about Superbook, visit http://www.batangsuperbook.com.
You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (@BatangSuperbook).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Belly Blessed Fest 2013 Press Release

Calling all expectant moms and moms, the Belly Blessed Fest 2013 is here!

Celebrate the many joys of pregnancy with Belly Blessed Fest 2013! A three-day event dedicated to expectant moms, Belly Blessed Fest will be held from July 12 to 14, 2013 at the 2nd and 3rd Level Atrium of The Podium Mall in Pasig City.

There’ll be exciting interactive stations to delight expectant moms and dads-to-be like the Pregnancy Portrait Booth sponsored by Little One’s Portraits, Clay Medallion Making Station, and a wishing wall where moms can write special messages to the miracle growing inside their wombs. Alongside the activity stations will be booths showcasing the latest mom and baby products and services in the market today at the 3rd level. Moms-to-be can also browse and shop for essentials at the mompreneur booths.

There will also be products for toddlers and children, Crumbs and Grubs Lactation goodies and snacks for expectant and nursing moms. As part of the Mommy Mundo events' tradition, there will be raffle draws throughout the day.

On July 13, Saturday, there will be an all-day program of informative talks and refreshing entertainment. Music and entertainment Gentle Universe and  a belly dancing session with the Goddesses of Belly Dance by Jill Ngo will get moms-to-be gently grooving while various and informative talks like that of Rome Kanapi, Childbirth Education teacher to reveal some Labor and relaxation techniques while importance of Safe Sleep will be discussed by Halo Philippines. Protect your baby for life! Listen to Dra. Aurora Tajan of CordLife Philippines, and Teacher Jeannie Castillo of Kindermusik Mama, will help get them more ready for the big Delivery day. A Keepsake Journal Making by Namaste and Craft MNL might just encourage many of them to make one-of-a-kind keepsakes of their pregnancy.

The event is open to everybody, but expectant moms are encouraged to pre-register to get Belly Blessed Fest goodies; interested attendees may simply text their name and the number of weeks that she are pregnant to 0917-8162524 limited slots available!

Belly Blessed Fest is presented by Mommy Mundo, the Manila’s go-to resource portal for active, modern moms; PACE, Mommy Matters, Nurture Nook, and venue partner, The Podium Mall. It is supported by Cordlife Cord Blood Banking, GlaxoSmithKline, Cycles Mild Detergent, Cradle, Philips Avent, Crystal Clear, Cluebebe, Little One’s Portraits and Crumbs and Grubs Lactation Goodies. Media partners are Urban Mom, Mommy Pages, Working Mom, Lifestyle Network, Crossover 105.1, and When in Manila. Logistics partner is Creative Juice Communications (www.creativejuiceph.com).

To check out photos of last year's Belly Blessed Fest, click here:

Key Contact:

Angela De Luna

Jeanne Marfal

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Put your coins away

Hey! Yep, I'm still alive. Junior internship has been eating most of my time. I just finished my ENT rotation a week ago. It was my first rotation that had an ER post. And, let me tell you this, ENT is where they will point you when you've swallowed a foreign body accidentally (or on purpose).

Of all the cases that I've encountered in the ER, more than a dozen were foreign body ingestions. And all of those patients were kids. Apparently, kids, 1-3 year olds, like to swallow 1-peso coins before bedtime since they always show up at the ER at 10pm-12am. Studies have shown that coins are the most common culprit in foreign body ingestion in kids. 

Now where does the coin go? There are 2 possible areas - the airways or the esophagus. You'll know it's lodge in the airways because your child will be gasping for air. If it's in the esophagus then the child may present with drooling, gagging, vomiting and food refusal. Sometimes, it may even show you no symptoms. Scary, right? An x-ray is a must to localize the coin. 

Can you guess where the coin is?

If a coin gets stuck in the esophagus, it can cause esophageal erosions or tissue injury. Although it can pass to the stomach and eventually to the intestines, it's still best to be sure. If the coin gets stuck in the esophagus then endoscopy must be done which will require your child to be under general anesthesia. 

Be it in the airway or the esophagus, foreign body ingestion is a medical emergency. If you suspect foreign body ingestion, bring your kid to the nearest ER. 

I'm telling you this because ER doctors want to rest at night too. But kidding aside, wouldn't it be such a bummer to have a trip to the ER just because of a measly one-peso coin? Aside from the stress that it will bring you and your child, that one-peso coin can also cost you thousands of pesos. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Family Vacations without the Fuss {Guest Post}

Everyone needs a getaway
Photo Credit: kennymatic via Compfight cc

Vacation time is approaching quickly.  For moms that often means added stress to an already hectic schedule.  But do not worry, you can travel with kids and reduce the hassle.  There are many things that can be done, so use these tips to help guide your next vacation.

1. Planning Makes Perfect
Where would a mom be without her lists?  I personally use lists for just about everything – and that certainly doesn’t stop with planning vacations.  There are a variety of things we often overlook when planning a vacation like stopping the mail or mowing the lawn.  Making a list well in advance will help you avoid doling out money on vacation for things you already have.  Give your list some attention and you’ll be more likely to be fully prepared.  Instead of grabbing a piece of scrap paper, buy a planner or customized notebook to keep in your purse.  That way you’re less apt to lose it and more likely to enjoy adding to it.  

2. Efficiency Travel
The most important thing that you need to do is figure out “the how”.  If flying, you should take the time to print out all of your boarding passes 24 hours in advance.  This is a great way to avoid wasting time in the check-in line.  You should also check with the hotel that you will be staying at to see if they have available shuttle service from the airport.  If you do decide to take a cab, try to order it before and contact the hotel to establish the going rate.  Most great hotels will give you all of the information you need to get this done easily.  It saves a lot of hassle and keeps children moving to avoid unnecessary waiting.

3. Your Pillow Away From Home
Deciding where to stay during your vacation is key.  While your accommodations may seem like merely a bed at first glance, they actually play a much larger role.  Having a fridge in your room allows you to bring healthy snacks like yogurt and fruit and prevents you from raiding the vending machine at 11pm.  For my kids, a microwave is excellent for heating up chicken nuggets in between meals.  A pool or playground can provide hours of safe entertainment for your little ones while allowing you to relax.  There are even 5 star hotels and resorts that offer specialized kids programs while still providing top notch dining and spa facilities.  Upon traveling to the Hawaiian Islands, my family stayed at a stunning top Honolulu hotel that provided a little something for every member of our family.  No matter your requirements, make sure you’re looking into your options before booking.  The right amenities at the right price make all the difference.

4. The Technology Solution
You may also want to think about bringing the technology with you.  The mobile games, audio books and other forms of media can keep everyone entertained during a long car ride, train ride or flight.  Of course you don’t want your children attached to their game boys or iPads while you’re touring the Grand Canyon, but allowing them during travel time will save you all a lot of headaches.  To limit the junk and keep them learning during summer break, look into fun, educational apps that you both will approve of.

5. Stick to the Clock
Stay on schedule the best that you can.  You may have many things that you want to enjoy with your family, but if your child is accustomed to having a nap at a certain time, you really should try to get the nap in.  The child is more likely to become cranky and irritable without it, resulting in a meltdown no one will enjoy.  If many of your reservations fall during traditional naptime, try adjusting their sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to the trip.  Just moving naptime 15 minutes earlier or later in the weeks before your trip will help your small one adjust.

About the Author

Kendra Thorton is a 37-year old mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where she was able to travel around the world. Kendra has been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and have been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States. Follower her on Twitter (@KendraThorton).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Day For Discovery and Exploration at Baby Blast Year 4!



As more and more diversions are created for children to engage in, how can we help in making sure a child gets the best kind of learning at his or her most crucial stages? Kids nowadays are spending less and less time outdoors, having been exposed to gadgets and other forms of technology even as infants. But recent studies show that children, especially those aged 3 and below, who play outdoors regularly grow up happier, healthier, and stronger!

Since 2010, Baby Blast has spread awareness that enjoyable, unforced learning, as well as hands-on play and parent-child bonding during the age of 0-3 years is critical in laying down the foundation for the child’s future learning and holistic development. Every year, attendance to the event grows in number, as more families enjoy the fun activities and learn from the featured topics.

Outbox Media Production Agency, in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), once again celebrated the wonder of life at its early stages! EHS advocates, teachers, experts and parents together with their kids, gathered last April 14, 2013, from 10am-8pm at the Trinoma Activity Center for “Baby Blast Year 4: Discover, Create, Imagine and Explore!” a one-day event highlighting the importance of early childhood education.

This year’s event was hosted by Toni Aquino of DZMM, Jackie Go of gojackiego.com, pre-school teacher and TV host, Nikki Veron Cruz, celebrity moms Snooky Serna and Jenny Miller, sportscaster Anthony Suntay and journalist Peach Mascarinas, together with the tandem of Anthony and Rossel Taberna. Performances and messages of support for early education were also given by Gail Blanco, Paolo Santos, Patricia Bermudez-Hizon and Tintin Bersola-Babao.

The program was opened by a dance number from talented child singer Pauline Agupitan, together with the Neutron Acrobats and OBM Dancers.

This year’s program highlighted the importance of allowing babies and kids to experience the outdoors and engage in physical activities that can benefit their social, mental, physical and emotional development, given today’s tendency to merely rely on gadgets and technology to keep kids busy.


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