Purefoods Heat and Eat line comes with its two flagship products, and Filipino family favourites, Crispy Pata and Lechon Kawali.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

Christmas meals and all the trimmings get to be a burden more than a celebration for the cook. I am sure you know the feeling as well. It’s Christmas day lunch, but rather than catching up with family, you’re cutting up the lettuce, preparing the salad dressing or chopping the ingredients for the Paella. Christmas Day should be relaxed and fun, for the cook as well as everyone else. I take pride in cooking meals for my family and guests but I learned to let go through the years. I pre-cook or cut ingredients of recipes ahead of time and freeze them thus reducing tasks in the immediate run-up to Christmas Day. I learned that having prepared meals in the freezer like pre-cooked food or even “Purefoods Heat and Eat” Crispy Pata and Lechon Kawali, are convenient.  That’s the trick for a stress-free Christmas. Plan your meals ahead of time.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

I stocked on these Filipino favorites in preparation for sudden arrival of Christmas guests or simply because I don’t want to run out of food.  There are days when there are many chores to do at home that there is no more time to prepare meals.  Having fully cooked, ready to eat meals, that can be reheated either via Turbo or Pan Fry is very convenient. Not only should it be convenient, but the meals should taste delicious.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

I wanted to make sure both variants lived up to the taste of these Pinoy food classics so I cooked them ahead of time and followed the directions of the package.

  1. Just remove from the freezer.
  2. Then turbo broil or pan fry.

The preparation time is pretty fast at 10-20 minutes. I used the pan frying method for the Crispy Pata. It took a total of 20 minutes to attain the right crispiness of the skin.

Crispy Pata

The Crispy Pata is a popular Pinoy dish where a whole pork leg is simmered in spices until tender, refrigerated overnight to dry, and then deep-fried until the meat is moist and the skin golden and crisp. That’s a lot of preparation time but thankfully, one has the option of storing the “Purefoods Heat and Eat” Crispy Pata in the freezer.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

I was at first skeptical that the Crispy Pata would not meet my expectations but I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Promise,…the Crispy Pata was delicious. It   was crunchy on the outside and moist and succulent on the inside. Even my husband and daughter loved it. Remember, Crispy Pata can be served as a main course but it also goes well as an appetizer dipped in mustard or served as beer food or “pulutan”.  You can also serve Crispy Pata with Atchara or vinegar and soy sauce dip.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

Lechon Kawali

Lechon Kawali is a popular Pinoy dish prepared with the pork belly simmered until tender and then deep-fried until golden and crisp. But this Lechon Kawali has been prepared ahead of time so I love the convenience. Then again, will it live up to my expectation?

Purefoods Heat and Eat

Just like the Crispy Pata, the directions are straightforward. Just remove from the freezer then turbo broil or pan fry. Using the pan fry method, the Lechon Kawali was done in 15 minutes.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

Take a look at those little air bubbles in the skin. The skin had the right amount of saltiness and was extra crispy, while the juicy meat was so moist and tender. Every bite was flavorful. I am very satisfied with the taste of both Filipino family favorites. In as fast as 10 – 20 minutes  I  get to enjoy the family’s restaurant favorites at the convenience of my own home.  It is just a matter of removing the meat from the freezer and frying the already tender meat! I am also assured of crispiness along with scrumptious succulent meat on the inside. The “Purefoods Heat and Eat” will now be a mainstay in my freezer even after the holidays over. You never know when guests arrive.


The Purefoods Heat & Eat line, has two variants: Lechon Kawali with a serving size of 425g per bag good for 3-4 persons and Crispy Pata at 900g per bag for 5-6 persons. These are available in major supermarkets in GMA (Robinsons, Landmark, Puregold, Hi Top, and South Supermarket) and Monterey Meatshops in Luzon.


Visit their Facebook page and Instagram

BioBalance, a leading health and wellness institute in the Philippines, has been addressing optimised health for its discerning clientele of health advocates, green living enthusiasts, athletes, and Manila’s cream of the crop, among many others.

I believe you know by now that the first thing  about extending youth and preventing illnesses is the fact that it begins from inside then out.

100% me is loving myself first by having my “ me time “ every week.

Each one of us has a unique nutrient profile and gut health, two major factors that affect longevity and overall health.  My body’s needs are different from yours especially when I  need to perform at its optimum and in tiptop shape. This emphasizes that when it comes to treatments for the skin and body, supplements, and diet recommendations, one size doesn’t fit all.

It is great that advancements in science and medicine allow more people to optimize their health, making it possible for us to not just live longer but look younger, and extending the look and feel of being at their prime.

Optimized health results to many things, from slowing down aging and addressing the effects of aging to boosting immunity.

This is where BioBalance comes in. They are a leading health and wellness institute in the Philippines,  addressing for its discerning clientele of health advocates, green living enthusiasts, athletes, and Manila’s cream of the crop, among many others.

Clients like  prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, entrepreneur and TV host Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, photographer Sara Black, sports and fitness coach Andy Leuterio, and actor and businessman Albert Martinez have been reaping the benefits of a renewed lifestyle through the help of BioBalance and its Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) specialists. These doctors help manage their nutrients and gut health, making disease prevention and health optimization a top priority. All of BioBalance’s health solutions are anchored on nutritional science, since it is proven that many chronic symptoms and serious diseases are caused by nutrient deficiencies.

European Double-Board Certified in Nutritional Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine, Dr. Ted Achacoso is the founder of Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) which is all about diagnosing and optimizing health rather than disease.

It begins with the science of measured wellness 

What BioBalance offers is the option to know and understand your body, from its cells to all the elements that drive its cycles, and from there determine and give you what you need to optimize your health and to prevent illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, psoriasis, gout, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, impotency, allergies, hypertension, and other illnesses.

BioBalance uses advanced tests like nutrient and metabolic profiles, gut health tests, and toxic metals profiles, to allow BioBalance HOMe doctors to personalize the recommendations for you.


BioBalance tested solutions

Among BioBalance’s signature programs is Nutrient Optimization, which measures nutritional deficiencies in your body and provides a personalized nutritional prescription including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and toxic elements. After measuring over 50 unique nutrients and metabolic markers, the program recommends supplements that would help restore nutritional balance in your body, resulting to improved performance, immunity, and optimal health.

Its Gut C.A.R.E program, on the other hand, uses advanced diagnostics to treat gastrointestinal imbalance and bring back a good amount of healthy gut bacteria into what’s now considered one of the most important organs of the body.

And finally, its newest program Weight Loss & Longevity, anchors on one of the oldest but most effective human habits—periodic fasting. With its breakthrough program, your body goes through regenerating and rejuvenating mode, resulting in sustainable weight and fat loss, and improvement of body’s health markers including blood sugar, lipid profile, and inflammation markers.

Age gracefully and prevent illnesses today and start from the inside then out.

From its first location, BioBalance finds its new home at the lower ground level of Shangri-La East Wing Mall in Mandaluyong. This location houses the institute’s health and wellness facilities, doctor’s clinics and client consultation rooms, as well as guest lounge for walk-in customers, where clients may also purchase BioBalance’s signature supplements.

For more information, call  +632 650 4858 or visit www.biobalanceinstitute.com.

Inviting you all to join the Starry Bright Christmas Promo of Sanicare’s Liwanag Box Series.  Check the mechanics at the end of my blog post.

Christmas brings out warm fuzzy feeling that glows inside for the entire season. Childhood memories of twinkling lights along with Christmas carols are enough to lift my mood. I am so excited my daughters are coming home for Christmas and I have been preparing for weeks now. Christmas planning is all part of the Christmas preparation so I will have a stress-free holiday season. These are some of the preparations I have been doing around the house and the kitchen.

Tips for a stress free Christmas

  1. Create your Noche Buena, Christmas day menu and grocery list

List down your menu and the ingredients needed for each meal and slowly collect the ingredients needed. I pre-cook or cut ingredients of recipes ahead of time and freeze them thus reducing tasks in the immediate run-up to Christmas Day. Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time.
Have specific areas for baking, snacks and breakfast items. Baking condiments, spices, cereals, pasta, canned items are some of my zones. I also created a kid zone where the kids could just grab cookies, and other snacks from easy-to-reach spots.

Menu planning is a must before the holiday rush. The supermarkets are usually full so I take this opportunity to already shop for the ingredients which cannot be found in one supermarket.  You might want to check out my Recipe Ideas for Noche Buena at my Food Blog.

Clean and go is a motto in my kitchen so I make sure I have paper towels nearby for a quick wipe of any spills or simply wiping the splashes off a serving plate, just before serving. Of course , a festive looking Kitchen towels is a nice touch to my red-green holiday theme . I am happy that Sanicare released their special Christmas prints for their Kitchen Towels. The Sanicare Kitchen Towels have moisture locking technology, making it very absorbent.

2. Organize the pantry

Christmas day will be celebrated with my sister’s family so I will be hosting 20 guests. Before Christmas day, I expect a few guests coming in so I need to prepare for such occasion.

Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time. Have specific areas for baking, snacks and breakfast items. Baking condiments, spices, cereals, pasta, canned items are some of my zones. I also created a kid zone where the kids could just grab cookies, and other snacks from easy-to-reach spots.

This is the opportunity to take stock of my inventory: spoons, forks, dishes, glasses, table napkins. Christmas planning involves the table setting aside from the menu so I envision the look for Christmas day. Nothing fancy. I make use of my Christmas decor as a festive accent to my informal table setting.

The table napkins are placed in a holder so anyone can easily get hold of it. I use Sanicare Mood Dinner Napkins . They come in two colors, white and black which has a very luxurious strong but soft feel.

3. Get something new for your Christmas decor

The traditional red-and-green always works for me as it allows me to collect decors through the years. Repeating the color scheme or pattern is essential for that unified look I want in my home.

I always buy something new each year to get me excited of the Holidays. This year, I bought Laser lights instead of a string of Christmas lights. It is less hassle and I don’t need to wire around the fence. Stress-free lighting is what I need and it looks so pretty and magical at night.

The lights make my heart grow tender with warm childhood memories and love of my family. Anything to lift your spirits will relieve you of stress.

4.Take some time for yourself.

On my extra busy mornings, I chill at my working area and just enjoy the view from my chair. I feel it is a waste of time to stress out when stress can be minimized. Stress will also add wrinkles to my face which I want to avoid.

Take a moment to just sit still and enjoy the moment. Dab the sweat away from your forehead. Take frequent breaks.

The Liwanag Series boxes

Speaking of the red Christmas themed box of tissues on my table, take a look at how it adds a new look and holiday touch to my red-green theme. The box comes in white, blue , red and green so it can fit any color scheme of your home.

These specially designed boxes from Sanicare is called Liwanag Christmas Boxes which is centered on parols (lanterns) and stars. The boxes were designed by the artist Alex Eduque, the founder of MovEd.

Alex chose to utilize parols in her design. She believes parols are a symbolic representation that evoke a notion of promise and unification.  It also transcends social classes and lights up all Filipino homes. Alex chose to integrate the stars in her design because it is a constant reminder that we share the same sky and despite the stark differences and circumstances in all corners of the world, that each one of us has a star shining brightly within.

Starry Bright Christmas Promo for the Liwanag Series boxes

Christmas is usually a time of joy, not stress. Doing a little planning now will help you relax and enjoy your friends and family during Christmas. To all my readers, I also want to give you the opportunity to enjoy even after the Christmas is over by inviting you to join the Starry Bright Christmas Promo.

Here are the mechanics

1. Post a creative photo on your Facebook account featuring the Sanicare Facial Tissue Liwanag Series Box.

2. The caption should start with the phrase, “My Christmas
is extra bright this year because ____!”
and please tag three (3) other friends.

3. Entries also should include the mandatory hashtags #SanicareLiwanagSeries #Sanicare #SCPA

4. Once posted, the participant must go back to the Sanicare PH Facebook promo post and click the link provided in order to submit the entry.

5. The promo will run from November 22 to January 01, 2018. Deadline of submission is on January 01 at 6pm.

6. Winners will be announced on January 15, 2018 on the Sanicare PH
Facebook Page.


1. The grand prize winner will be given four (4) all day passes to
Dream Play and Lunch buffet for four (4) at The Café at the Hyatt
City of Dreams Manila.

2. 10 consolation prize winners will also be chosen to each receive a 2,000 peso Sodexo Gift Certificate from Sanicare.


Visit the Sanicare PH Facebook Page for more details about the
promo. DTI Permit No. 18311 Series of 2017

There is something about Christmas carols sung by children. Their innocence and eager spirit shows the true meaning of the Christmas season.


manila children choir 1

During my stage mother days, I never tired of listening to my children sing over and over again. Singing is a tradition in my immediate family but sadly, I don’t have the voice yet I can tell if the singing is sharp.

Singing Christmas Carols has been a treasured family tradition. I remember the last Christmas I had with my mom. I was 18 years old then. All the 7 siblings gathered around the Yamaha organ as my late brother, Oscar played festive carols. Sometimes it was mom who accompanied the songs in the piano.

Those were the days when my two girls would readily sing in front of me. Good thing Manila Children’s Choir recorded an album and with that I converted 3 Christmas Carols in mp3 format. L. was 12 while M. was 11 years old with another girl and 2 boys from the Manila Children Choir. The choir conductor chose only 5 children for this recording but with recent technology, it sounds like they are a big group of kids.

1. Hark The Herald Angel Sing (Click here to download– 2.9 MB) – Charles Wesley/Felix Mendelssohn , adapted by Jack North , Arranged by Jack North/John Wilson
2. Christmas in Our Hearts (Click here to download– 3.0 MB)- Jose Mari Chan , arranged by Carmina R. Cuya
3. Pasko Na Sinta Ko (Click here to download– 4.8 MB)- Aurelio Estanislao/Francis Dandan , Arranged by Bernadette de Leon

Pasko na Sinta ko is actually a love song but the melody is very poignant . It reminds me that my love would not have been with me this Christmas , if we didn’t collaborate to make it work. Some of you may find that you can relate to the lyrics.

Pasko na sinta ko

Hanap-hanap kita

Bakit ka nagtampo

Iniwan ako

It’s Christmas, my love

I’m longing for you

What did I do

that made you leave me

Kung mawawala ka

Sa piling ko sinta

Paano ang Pasko

Inulila mo

If you’ll be gone

From my side, my love

What will happen to my Christmas

That you made so lonely


Sayang sinta ang sinumpaan

At pagtitinginang tunay

Nais mo bang kalimutang ganap

Ang ating suyuan at galak

Our promises have gone to waste, my love

And our love that was so true

Do you wish to forget everything

All our affection and joys

Kung mawawala ka

Sa piling ko sinta

Paano ang Paskong

Alay ko sa iyo.

If you’ll be gone

From my side, my love

What will happen to my Christmas

That I offer to you.

manila children choirThere is something about Christmas carols sung by children. Their innocence and eager spirit shows the true meaning of the Christmas season. It has been said that music can open a window to the soul. To anyone with a loss, music may either drive a knife into an already festering wound, or it my begin to soothe and bring comfort to a shattered and broken spirit.

Christmas Carols sang by my children keeps me happy even if my boy is no longer with us.

May you be blessed with peace and love during the Christmas season.

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. Agnes Pharo