Inspired gifts from UNICEF

 

 

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During my travels with UNICEF I have personally seen how therapeutic food helped malnourished children get back to health, and how hygiene supplies made a difference for those displaced during typhoons, so your gift can truly touch a child in need especially this holiday season.

 

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This is a Tippy-Tap, a makeshift hand-washing station. We encourage and remind children to wash their hands using soap and water before meals and every time they use the toilets. This is one of the easiest ways to control the spread of infections (and germs). This was taken in Tacloban, months after Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit.

 

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It is important for children to play and be in child-friendly spaces after a traumatic emergency situation. This was taken in a make-shift daycare centre in Barangay Boston, Davao Oriental, three months after Typhoon Pablo struck. I remember being so touched by these two brothers. Older brother held and protected his little brother even as they walked home.

 

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School children in a crowded classroom in Davao Oriental after Typhoon Pablo struck in 2012. Most of the schools were destroyed. Through the government and partner organizations, UNICEF helps set up the kids to resume their education as soon as it is safe.

 

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One of my most memorable visits, I believe in 2010. We went to Sarangani province and visited areas affected by armed conflict. I spoke to mothers in many communities, and encouraged them to continue exclusively breastfeeding their infants until 6 months, and complementary feeding until 2 years and beyond.

 

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Not all my travels took me to far away places, some were right here in Metro Manila At one of the biggest public schools in the country, in Quezon City.

 

Every time I post stories about my volunteer work with UNICEF around the Philippines, I often get messages asking how they, too, can help. I am so happy to share that this Christmas you can help and be involved with UNICEF directly.

I know how it is to stress out over finding the right gifts. Every year I always promise to be more organized, but it never happens. I often find myself cramming in the malls or in online shops days before the big day. This time, I have found the best, easiest, most impactful gift you can give.

Here is a way for people to donate and dedicate an Inspired Gift for children in need. While you give your donation, you will be able to send a virtual Christmas gifts to your  to your colleagues, friends, or family. The gifts range from Php300 to Php 2,500 which include school and hygiene supplies, medicines and treatments for children who suffer from malnutrition, as well as seminars and training materials to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. Upon making their donation, the recipient of the Inspired Gift receives a personalized e-card from the sender.

 

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Make this the most meaningful Christmas yet! On behalf of your family and friends, give a UNICEF Inspired Gift to a Filipino child in need.

Shop for gifts that give back at https://inspiredgifts.unicef.ph

It will be the best Christmas gift they never got!

 

Dear Traveler

 

 

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It has been a while since I blogged. Instagram has kept us all trapped. So much has happened and it’s already June.

By now you know I hosted a travel series for AirAsia. The videos were shown in the Air Asia Facebook Page. We have recently released our first season’s finale. But I think each destination warrants a separate entry, so I will keep this short.

This one’s a bit more personal — my thoughts on traveling and motherhood. The poem in the end is by AirAsia’s Len Caccam. I think it captured what traveling means to most of us. I hope you like it. I’ve embedded the video in the bottom of this post, but if you can’t see it, just click here.

 

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Red Talks Episode 6 – Destination: FREEDOMShot around the beautiful skyscrapers of Shanghai, the season finale of AirAsia Red Talks with Daphne is an ode to travelers all from all walks of life . This episode has a special message dedicated to travelers that will hopefully inspire them to continue sharing their wonderful journeys. Being a traveler herself, Daphne shares her insights on how traveling has influenced her role as a mother and a travelogue host; and why she believes discovering new places is something a person should strive for. Join us as we cap off this season of AirAsia Red Talks with Daphne.

Dear Traveler, What’s your next destination?

Posted by AirAsia on Saturday, June 3, 2017

 

 

100 Years of American Express in the Philippines

 

 

Concert program 1

 

Last October 8, I had the honour of attending a special gathering in celebration of the 100th year of American Express in the Philippines, at the Forbes Ballroom of Conrad Manila. It was a very elegant dinner that culminated with a musical concert treat complete with the country’s top performers and a stunning big band. The event was attended by a select group of American Express Cardmembers.

 

Bathroom selfie at the Conrad Hotel before getting to the American Express 100 Years celebration, with BDO. Dress from @k_and_company, hair and makeup by me, complete with lashes again.
I flew solo and I felt silly posing in public by myself. So what’s a girl to do? A selfie in the Conrad’s grand bathroom, with game face on.

 

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I loved the understated elegance of the table setting.

 

Food
US beef tenderloin with roasted carrots and mizuna mash

 

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The AMP Band by Mel Villena

 

Toast with Executives
(L-R) Sharon P Chew, Vice President of Regional Product, Marketing & Business Development, Asia, American Express; Sanjiv Malhotra, Vice President and General Manager, Partner Card Services, Asia, American Express; Y C Koh, President, Asia, American Express International, Inc., Teresita Sy-Coson, Chairperson of BDO Unibank, Inc., Rolando C. Tanchanco, Executive Vice President of BDO Unibank, Inc. and Consumer Lending Group Head, Ma. Nannette R. Regala, Senior Vice President of BDO Unibank, Inc. and Consumer Lending Group Marketing Head

 

Y C Koh, President, Asia, American Express International, Inc., in his address said, “I’m proud to join our long-term partner BDO and our Cardmembers to celebrate American Express’ 100th year in the Philippines tonight. I want to give special thanks to our partners and our customers for their trust and support over the past century. American Express’ aim is to be the world’s most respected service brand, and we look forward to working with BDO to deliver a world-class experience to our customers as we enter our second century.”

 

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Y C Koh with Rolando C. Tanchanco

 

100 Years of American Express Heritage Panels
The centennial celebration gave us a chance to look back at milestones from the opening of the first American Express Asia office in 1916, to the strategic partnership forged with BDO in 2007.

 

AMEX-Platinum-Card (IDC)

 

American Express was the first in the world to introduce a Platinum Card. It made its debut in 1984 as an elite product. The Platinum Card® was offered to existing high spending customers by invitation only. It was labeled the “ultimate plastic” by one newspaper because of its exclusive and valuable benefits. In 1999, the Platinum Card was introduced in the Philippines. Today it continues to evolve with the changing premium marketplace, making it one of the most desired Cards in the market.

And during the 100 Years of American Express Gala, another highlight was the unveiling of the revitalized Platinum Card.

Designed for the affluent, seasoned travelers and their families, the iconic Platinum Card offers better travel experiences and a world of rewards and benefits for its Cardmembers. Platinum Cardmembers can now enjoy enhanced benefits such as:

  • Complimentary business class companion tickets when they fly with Philippine Airlines.
  • Privileged access to more than 900 lounges across more than 120 countries at Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club and American Express Lounges.
  • Automatic enrollment into elite membership status of prestigious hotel loyalty programs such as Shangri-La Golden Circle, Hilton HHonors and Club Carlson. Exclusive hotel privileges with the uniquely created Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Cardmembers will also enjoy exclusive complimentary benefits such as room upgrade upon arrival, daily breakfast for two, in-room Wi-Fi, early check-in, late check-out and a special amenity at each property.
  • A US$200 travel voucher welcome gift for use on your next getaway to purchase air ticket, book a stay, or upgrade your tour package.
  • Complimentary Meet and Assist Services for departure and arrival at NAIA Terminals 1 & 3 and at Davao and Clark International Airports.

BDO, the exclusive card-issuing and merchant-acquiring bank partner of American Express in the country, will continue to launch special promotional offers for Cardmembers throughout the celebration of American Express’ centennial year.

 

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My personal highlight was my encounter with the Chairperson of BDO Unibank, Inc. Teresita Sy-Coson

 

 

After the formalities and dinner, we were entertained by an impressive musical concert by Cris Villonco, Bituin Escalante, Charito, Mon David, the AMP band by Mel Villena, Yuki Arimasa, Kengo Nakamura and Juasa Kanoh with a medley of musical performances spanning different decades.

The theme was “Pop Meets Big Band Jazz”, the performers went through musical periods like the 1920’s to 1930’s where music expressed a new freedom and a very sexy rebellion by the likes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. In the 1940’s to 1950’s big band jazz became the pulsing sound of the mainstream with the talents becoming superstars of the era like Cole Porter, Glenn Miller, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis. The 1960’s to 1970’s was all about the youth quake and freedom in fashion and lifestyles. Jazz may have taken a back seat but still shone through Motown, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan. The 1980s to 1990s pop songs reflected cool, calm, collected jazz songs from Lou Rawls, Wynton Marsalis and Michael Jackson. The special show ended with the present era of songs by Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, and Pharell Williams.

 

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Charito, Mon David, Cris Villonco, and Bituin Escalante.

 

Mon David
Mon David

 

Cris Villonco
Cris Villonco

 

Yuki Arimasa
Yuki Arimasa

 

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Melissa shoes

 

 

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My girls and I, wearing Melissa shoes. And like always, they are wearing Gingersnaps clothes.

 

I was organizing our closets and found some shoes that my kids have outgrown. I always get sad when I realize how fast they are growing. Luckily, we love hand-me-downs, so it just goes down the line. A staple in our shoe closet is the brand Melissa. They’re so much fun – with their cute styles and interesting colours. But they are also very comfortable, and perfect for our tropical lifestyle.

 

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This is Stella’s favourite character – Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately she has outgrown the baby set and none of these fit her.

 

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I love this Alice in Wonderland style.

 

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01 Mini Aranha VIII Popsicle, 02 Mini Furadinha VII Pineapple, 03 Mini Ballet, 04 Mini Campana

 

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05 Mini Ultragirl Sweet, 06 Darth Vader

 

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My choice this season, Melissa Lady Love Ad.

 

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New High is a comfy, padded, elevated flipflop.

 

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Huarache, a modern take on a classic, is a nice gently platformed sandal.

 

Check out Melissa Philippines on Facebook for more styles. You can also buy Melissa online here.

 

 

Hi Precision Diagnostics Anniversary

 

 

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The new Hi-Precision Diagnostics in Alabang Zapote.

 

Hi-Precision Diagnostics, one of the country’s largest medical laboratory, is celebrating 20 years of top quality healthcare assistance. Hi-Precision has been my site partner for a couple of years now. And recently they also supported my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work.

Since knowing more about their services, I have been using Hi-Precision Diagnostics for most of my family’s lab needs. They offer services from routine laboratory tests, imaging, multi-specialty doctors’ clinics, and can perform tests that are not readily available in the country.

 

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Roomy and airy main lobby of HPD in Alabang Zapote Road.

 

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The 2D-Echo room.

 

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Hi Precision in Alabang.

 

Hi-Precision Diagnostics (HPD) opened its first branch in N.S. Amoranto Sr. Ave, Quezon City in 1996 with the aim of providing quality diagnostics healthcare at affordable prices. It has been ISO 9001 certified since 2004. The main laboratory in Del Monte Avenue, Quezon City is accredited to PNS ISO 15189 by the Department of Trade and Industry – Philippine Accreditation Bureauwhile its Bulacan branch is accredited by CAP (College of American Pathologists). HPD also participates in the internationally recognized External Quality Assurance Services (EQAS) certification from Bio-Rad , College of American Pathology Proficiency Testing and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

 

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A safe and accurate system for any lab-related procedure.

 

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I visited HPD main laboratory in Quezon City.

 

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With Hi-Precision Diagnostics’ Melissa Ongsue.

 

As HPD continues to innovate service delivery to its clients, the company has established facilities that are furnished with state-of-the art equipment and software, and manned by highly trained, licensed medical professionals. HPD currently has over 30 branches in Mega Manila and Mega Cebu which offer fully automated laboratory exams like chemistry and immunology, hematology and serology, clinical microscopy, microbiology, anatomic pathology, trace metals analysis, molecular diagnostics (PCR), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), electrophoresis, radio immunoassay. For imaging, HPD has digital X-ray, ECG, ICG, 2D echo with doppler, stress echo, treadmill stress test, general ultrasound, digital mammography, CT scan.

 

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In 2015 when I hosted an event for Philippine Medical Oncologists and moderated a discussion about genetic cancer screening.

 

HPD has special tests like Myriad BRAC Analysis, which can tell you your chances of acquiring genetic cancer. I blogged about it here. They have Endopredict, Food Intolerance Test, RIA Thyroid Function Test, HPV RNA, Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test, Non-Legal Paternity Testing (Specimen Collection only), Hair Follicle Drug Test (Specimen Collection only), CD4 Count, and Non- Invasive Prenatal Screening Test.

 

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I have done some blood tests at the comforts of my own home. Hi-Precision Diagnostics sends their medical professionals for home service.

 

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My husband needs his hand held during needle time.

 

Hi-Precision Diagnostics is the first medical laboratory in the Philippines to use a Laboratory Information System and bar-coding of specimens that help in tracking every detail about a patient from the minute they arrive until their results are released. This ensures accuracy, and allows patients to access and download their results online.

 

Hi-Precision Diagnostics App can also be downloaded to view results and be updated with the latest news, promos, and events with just one click.

 

To ensure patients’ convenience and comfort, HPD also offers Home Service and Mobile On-site Services.
For more information about Hi-Precision Diagnostics, visit www.hi-precision.com.ph or contact their hotlines, (02) 741-7777 or (02) 863-9999.