July 2008

SONA 2008: A Mother’s Hope

To capture my initial reaction of the President’s SONA, I wrote this entry while watching the SONA 2008 live coverage.

I care about my children who will inherit the country’s future.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thinks of the poor and her fellow Filipinos in her State of the Nation Address (SONA 2008) (View SONA 2008 Video Archive and SONA 2008 Full Text). She kept saying “I care…”

Madam President, I think of my children all the time. I had high hopes for the Philippines. I refused the US immigrant application in 1986 when Lauren was still a baby because I wanted my children to stay here and work for the future of their country. Sometimes, I think I made a mistake after seeing the state of our country through no fault of ours, you say.

To address these global challenges, you said that ““we have to reach out to those we need and who may need us, yet we strive for self-reliance.”

Read More »SONA 2008: A Mother’s Hope

Glutathione and Accepting Imperfection


My sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal-Dofitas appeared in Jessica Soho last night as the resource person in behalf of the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) for the “Glutathione Supplements for Whitening”. My sister, a dermatologist by profession wrote the PDS position paper on glutathione supplements. There is also the recent controversial withdrawal of the license of 3 glutathione brands in the market which the public should take note. I’ve been meaning to blog about this because I see billboards everywhere on Supplements for Whitening. The most important message my sister wanted to convey is that there is still a lack of good quality scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of glutathione supplements and injectable glutathione for lightening skin color.


(Above is the Youtube video of the Glutathione segment in the Jessica Soho show)

Read More »Glutathione and Accepting Imperfection

Dealing with Household Helpers

Our newly employed househelper wanted to visit her family for the weekend. Sure, I told her you can take your weekend off. I soon left for a movie date with my husband. The next morning, one of my helpers reported that she caught her sneaking out at night carrying a bag. Good thing one of my ex-househelper/Luijoe’s yaya was around for a visit and corroborated my other helper. I took a look at the bag. What did I see?

Lipton Milk Tea
Yoghurt Milk
Instant Coffee mix

Disappointed more than angry, I asked her why she stole those items?

Her reply: “I pity my kids.”

I didn’t buy it. Her children are still small. Why would they need Lipton Milk Tea? or coffee mix? Now that the trust was broken, I could not retain her for employment. Petty stuff like this can lead to other bigger loot. She can also be a security risk for those theft syndicates that commonly invade households in Manila.

I never had to worry about security in my old residence. The village guards checked their bags at the gate and they couldn’t leave the gate without our clearance. Quite a snobbish village. I hate checking their bags. I would like to believe that employers should trust their employees. But being nice does not get me anywhere. I lost my cellphone and camera once. Lauren’s Birkenstock sandals too. And probably many other things.

After employing househelpers for years, I should have been an expert by now in sizing them up. Sure I have shared a few tips with you in the past. In fact, that entry on Tips for Household help or Yaya (nanny) caught the eye of the Baby Magazine writer that they featured it alongside an article for the July 2008 issue.

Read More »Dealing with Household Helpers

Danvil Plans Feature on PROBE

Every now and then, readers email me requesting for such and such topic to be blogged. If I think it benefits the public, I usually blog about it. One simple email request came from Diane on May 25 .

If it’s not too much to ask, can you please link my entries regarding Danvil Plans to your website? I need enough noise to stop this from happening again to other people.

Of course, I had to do my own research on Danvil Plans (soon to be Legacy Consolidated Plans) first before blogging about it. I was appalled to discover that it was the same Family First who have been using this high-pressure and unethical practices for years. The problem with blogging about this topic is that I was not a victim of Danvil Plans . After reading entries upon entries from bloggers, I was convinced that this kind of high pressure tactics need to stop. Not only Danvil Plans but other “scams” as well.

I soon blogged about the Danvil Plans and other Scams with a mirror entry at my Multiply Account entitled Buyer Beware of Danvil Plans High Pressure Tactics.

Read More »Danvil Plans Feature on PROBE

Mamma Mia! the Feel-good Movie

I woke up this morning to my husband humming the tune to Abba’s I have a Dream. You know how it is when a song gets stuck in your head. Mine was the Dancing Queen sequence from the movie,
Mamma Mia we watched last night. I loved the movie! I was 19 years old at the time Dancing Queen became a hit and I remember twirling around and around to the music. I love to dance. I could not contain my excitement when Meryl Streep started jumping up and down on her bed. I wanted to dance right there and then. Holding my husband’s hand, I pretended to sashay to and fro on an imaginary dance floor.


Full Dancing Queen Scene – Mamma Mia! The Movie

Read More »Mamma Mia! the Feel-good Movie

Breastfeeding in the Philippines: Hoffman Study Promoted by Doctors on +7IQ points is Misleading & Inaccurate

This entry is a continuation of PR Companies and the Milk Formula Manufacturers (Part 2)

I still remember my son tugging at my sleeve “Mom, did you do that to me?”

He led me to the room where Maan, his former caregiver was breastfeeding her son.

“Of course, I breastfed you.” I hugged my boy.

“Are you sure mom? Breastfeeding is good for babies.”

My son didn’t seem to believe me. Too bad I didn’t have photos of our breastfeeding moments. I pointed out the cross stitching projects in the kitchen .

I explained “When I breastfed you, I did cross stitch projects because it took you an hour to feed.” He seemed satisfied with my answer but the next day, he nagged me with the same question. Memories like these often make me nostalgic. I will never forget his words.

breastfeeding mom
Breastfeeding Lauren at 5 months old

Read More »Breastfeeding in the Philippines: Hoffman Study Promoted by Doctors on +7IQ points is Misleading & Inaccurate

PR Companies and the Milk Formula Manufacturers (Part 2)

This entry is a continuation of PR and New Media Publishing.

A few months ago, I got invited to watch the presentation of a scientific study that correlated DHA and ARA (components found in Breast Milk which Milk companies now add to their formula) to the increase of the IQ of a child to 7 points. I was quite puzzled by the presentation of Dennis Hoffman’s Recent Evidence that Dietary Supply of DHA and ARA in Early Infancy Leads to Possible Trends in IQ of 4-Year Olds. Though no milk company was mentioned or direct promotion of the infant formula, I noticed that a popular celebrity was around to host the event. An idiot can easily put two and two together and correlate it to that milk company. I felt sick to the stomach because I thought I was attending a parenting seminar.

No problem there because like I told you, if I don’t believe in the product or event, I am not compelled to blog about it. So I left it at that.

Three months later, I got a call from the PR company. I could have said NO from the start of the conversation. But I listened out of sheer curiosity. She admitted that she was being candid and was exploring the possibility for mom-bloggers to be an advocate.

Hm, an advocate? How?

Read More »PR Companies and the Milk Formula Manufacturers (Part 2)

PR Companies and New Media Publishing (Part 1)

2006 is the year I started my personal blog. What most of you don’t know is I’ve been blogging on web development, food and entertainment as far back as 2002. The year 2006 is significant to me because I got introduced to New Media Publishing. I know a few bloggers who raised their eyebrows, that bloggers should not be attending PR events or product launches because it is “unethical”. Let me just say that these bloggers are entitled to their own opinion and I’d like to leave it at that.

I have my reasons for venturing into new media publishing.

Read More »PR Companies and New Media Publishing (Part 1)