July 31, 2011

Repost: Why Your Support For The PsorRocks Is Critical

I’ve read this note from our PsorPhil’s President (Josef De Guzman) and allow me to share it with you.  
"We were a small group of 5 people with psoriasis who only wanted a venue to vent out our frustrations, share our dreams and articulate our hopes.  Subsequently, an online support group for Filipinos with psoriasis was born – Psoriasis Philippines. 
I still remember a call from a stranger regarding his female friend who, because of severe depression, was about to take her life because her family do not understand why she acquired lesions on her skin. They thought she was cursed. [However, scientific studies say that having psoriasis may be attributed to genetic predisposition.]  Out of fear that she might infect them, her family drove her away. That was Christmas time, six years ago.
 It was the turning point of our advocacy. Soon we were extending support to many psoriasis sufferers who were on the verge of committing suicide.  Notably, more women sufferers have a tendency towards ending their life. Psoriasis Philippines continues to be instrumental in averting suicides among Filipinos living with psoriasis. 
Psoriasis Philippines’ advocacy brought us to face several issues that are mostly discriminatory.
  • Take the case of Ana (not her real name), 15 years old. Ana had to quit school because of Psoriasis.  She gets tired of being humiliated because her skin is rough.
  • Jenny (not her real name), is a young single mother who needs to work extra hard because her husband left her.  This was after he told her that he can no longer bear to touch her.
  • A pastor who had lesions on her face was not allowed to board the plane. Psorphil backed her up in bringing this matter to the court.
  • Mary (not her real name) was driven out of the swimming pool because the staff of the resort fears she may infect other customers.
  • Blanca (not her real name) was a young nursing student who was ill-advised by her dean to quit school because of her psoriasis.
If the 2million Filipinos suffering from Psoriasis will stop hiding and defy the stigma, this list can go on and on.
Having psoriasis is tough. It robs us of the very essence of our existence. And overcoming the discrimination that we face on a daily basis is no mean feat.
Psophil’s advocacy has brought us to the most remote parts of the country trying to educate the people on the grass roots level about this condition. Our hope is that one day, all psoriasis sufferers can live normally without the fear of being judged and discriminated.
We can only do so much right now. However, we need help to sustain our programs and projects that are aimed to improve the quality of life of our co-sufferers. But unfortunately, it is taking its toll on our volunteers and members who are already spending their own money just to push our advocacy. 
On August 20, 2011, we are putting up a concert at the Baypark Area, Service Road of Roxas Boulevard (near Raha Sulayman plaza) billed as PsorRocks to raise funds to ensure that our projects can go on.  Several popular bands are playing for free to support us: CallaLily, Slapshock, 6 Cycle Mind, Cueshe, Even, General Luna, Grace Note, Kenyo, Up Darma Down and others. Party music will be played by DJ Buddah after the concert.   We seek the support of everyone to allow us to continue our goal of serving the Filipino Psoriasis sufferers. Hope to see you at the concert. 
For more details, please call PsorPhil office at 8893596, 3794290, 09228297767"

Twenty more days before the PsorRocks concert, I hope you guys can be part of this advocacy.

July 29, 2011

Banana Treats

Banana is my son’s favorite fruit so we always have this at home but there are times that he doesn’t like to eat this so I have to think of some ways how to prepare it in a different manner. He doesn’t like to eat his pancake on our breakfast so I prepare him Banana Treats”. I just sliced three bananas, put some condensed milk and top it with nutella and peanut butter. He finished half of this and I ate the leftover.

July 27, 2011

Celebrities with Psoriasis

I always say that having psoriasis is not easy because once you have it you have to deal and live with it. Most people are not aware about this skin disorder and some people may not understand how difficult for us to live a normal life during our break out.

Some people dreams to have a fair complexion and willing to spend thousands just to have a smooth and white skin. But people with psoriasis like me spend thousands just to have a clear skin and free from psoriasis. I only have one wish, (for 3 years already) that someday I will be able to wear my shorts, skirt and swimwear again. Someday, I can wear anything that I want just like before and someday I will enjoy the beach and swimming pool without thinking that people might see the red patch on my skin.

That’s how conscious I am when I am not at home, I am afraid of what people might say and feel about me if they know that I have psoriasis. So I really understand these celebrities who have psoriasis and I am happy that they come out in the open to show the world that psoriasis is not contagious.

photo from google
CariDee English is the 2006 winner of "America's Next Top Model" – click here if you want to see her story and she even reveals some of her pictures.

photo from google

LeAnn Rimes, the two time Grammy Award winning singer and actress who have psoriasis since she was two years old. Her full story here.

photo from google

And the latest celebrity who was diagnosed with psoriasis is no other than Kim Kardashian. Click here for the latest news.

I do not have any idea if there are local celebrities who have psoriasis.

July 24, 2011

Miguelitos Fried Ice Cream

After watching “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2” I saw this stall “Miguelitos Fried Ice Cream” where my hubby and son stayed while waiting for me because I went straight to the restroom (pee break). Out of curiosity, I bought one cup for P25, a choice of one flavor, syrup, and candy toppings. I chose vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and chocolate sprinkle.

The ice cream is not literally fried in oil, it is a combination of powdered mixture and water blended in a small blender. The staff will pour the mixture into their cold pan, let it freeze, and scrape it off.  I like the presentation of this ice cream but the taste is just ok for us, good thing that it is only P25.

Miguelitos Fried Ice Cream
SM Sta Rosa

3 Peso Movie Date

Believe it or not, this is the second time that we watched a movie on a big screen for 3 years. Not because we don’t want to but we cannot leave our son to anyone because we are the only people he trusts (me and my husband). Last year, when my son turns two, we tried to watch a movie but he can’t sit still, he keeps on standing and walking in every aisle so we never dare to watch any movie again even my husband has free movie tickets from his company. The last two free movie tickets are “Unstoppable” and “Transformers”.

I thought my son would not appreciate this type of movie but I was wrong because when I watched “Unstoppable” movie at home, he liked it and we watched this movie for one whole week because he no longer wants his Thomas and Friends DVD. =)

Well, last Thursday, I redeemed our Smart Rewards Points so we can have our movie date. We got three movie pass, three 24oz drinks, and three regular size popcorn. We immediately avail the rewards yesterday; we just scan the barcode on this machine to get our coupon. We need to pay additional P1 for each movie pass.

There are only a few movie choices so we chose “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2” (of course!). I was still in college when I watched the first showing of “Harry Potter”, we (me and my two friends) even skipped our last two classes just to watch this, my bad! Don’t worry mom, this was the first and last time that I’ve skipped my class just to watch a movie.

Anyway, I was not able to watch every series of “Harry Potter” because I am not really a fan, I think I missed 3 movies but I don’t want to miss the finale, though I’m not a fan it’s been part of my ten years life. I am not quite sure if my son enjoyed and understood the movie but when Harry killed Voldemort (spoiler), he shouted “Yehey!” and clapped his hands. I will never forget this experience because we’re able to watch a movie on a big screen with popcorn and drinks for only P3.

July 21, 2011

Smart Rewards and SM Cinema’s Tickets and Treats

I’ve been reading blogs a while ago and it reminded me of my expiring smart rewards points. I’ve been using Globe for more than six years and I just switched to smart when we moved to our new house because it has a better signal so I am not really aware of the promos, codes, and rewards of smart.

Last month, I received a text from smart that I have expiring reward points this August but I did not mind it because it was boarding time already (off to Kota Kinabalu). After blog hopping, I remember my Smart Rewards and I immediately inquired about my points. Since I rarely use my phone for call or text, I only have 39,360 points to redeem. I have 5 choices but because of my points, I’m down to 4 choices only.

1. P50 bill rebate for 12, 500 points

2. 1 24oz drink for 12,500 points
3. 1 regular butter flavor popcorn for 12,500 points
4. P100 movie discount for 30,000 points
5. Free movie ticket for 60,000 points

It is so easy to redeem rewards, all you need to do is Text REDEEM <item code> and send it to 9800. Ex. REDEEM 50. I chose the P50 bill rebate so I have 3 P50 bill rebates and it will be reflected on my next bill. Not bad at all, P150 savings next month.

I’ve checked my husband's smart reward points and he has 296,138 points to redeem, hmmm…maybe it’s time to watch a movie on the big screen.

       REDEEM 100OFF

and send to 9800

Update: 2017 

You can also redeem online, log-in to your account, browse the different rewards and choose the rewards. Just click redeem and you will receive a text. Show the text message if you will redeem the freebies. We were able to redeem free mamon, roll cake and pinipig polvoron at Red Ribbon.

July 20, 2011

Wong Sau Restaurant

We finished our errands just in time for lunch and since we’re already in Mandaluyong we went to SM Megamall but parking is full and we do not want to wait anymore so we just went home. On our way home, my husband asked me if I want “lechon kawali” I immediately said yes. Then he brought us here in Wong Sau Restaurant (Specialty in Chinese Dishes), a hole in the wall restaurant beside PNP Makati Police Station. He said, it is just few minutes’ drive from his office and sometimes they eat their lunch here.

The place is not really inviting and parking is very limited but price is reasonable. The former names of this restaurant are D’Hong restaurant and Ding How restaurant. Since he is a frequent diner of this restaurant, I let him order our food. We got Bird’s Nest Soup with Chicken P110, Lechon Guisado Rice P90, Butter Chicken Rice P90 and 1.5 liter softdrinks for P50.

Bird’s Nest Soup is just ok; instant Nido soup is much better when it comes to taste and consistency but my son likes it maybe because of the quail egg and bits of chicken.

I tried the Butter Chicken of my husband and I was amazed how they cook this chicken because it is crispy and I can really taste the butter. I want to try this at home.

Finally, my order came and I was shocked because I am expecting for crispy lechon kawali but my husband said, Lechon Guisado is better than lechon kawali. Well, the taste is like chopsuey with lechon kawali. They also accept catering services and dine in party.


We visited this again last November 23, 2013 and ordered the same meal Bird’s Nest Soup with Chicken P150, Lechon Guisado Rice P115, Butter Chicken Rice P115 and Ampalaya Guisado P100. I was disappointed because the taste of butter chicken changed and my husband tried it too and he said “iba na nga lasa”. Checking the price, I think fastfood is much cheaper.

Wong Sau Restaurant
1551 Gen. P. Santos St.
Bangkal, Makati City
884 1744

July 19, 2011

Mila’s Lechon

P150 (1/4 kg)
Mila’s Lechon brings back memories when we were still bf/gf. We used to eat here when we were still in college because this is a few minutes’ walk from my hubby’s place. So every time we visit my family in Valenzuela, we usually go here before heading home. Last Sunday, after church service, we had an early dinner at Mila’s Lechon. We ordered the same thing, 1/4kg of lechon, rice and drinks. I always love lechon with or without the liver sauce.

July 15, 2011

Bechamel Sauce

Last Wednesday, I was able to make a gravy sauce and because of that I was inspired to make béchamel sauce. I know how to make this sauce because I always watch cooking show if my time permits me.  But I never tried it because I’m afraid that I could not make it, like my past experiences in making gravy sauce.

But there is no harm in trying so I decided to make a béchamel sauce. All you need is butter, flour and milk. But I made my own version, because I love cheese, I add cheese on my béchamel sauce. 

I was so happy that I made it and I will no longer use all purpose cream. For the past few years of making a baked macaroni, I always put all purpose cream on top of it before adding the cheese to make my baked macaroni creamier. But this time, no more all purpose cream because I know how to make béchamel sauce. =)

Cheesy Bechamel Sauce

4 tbsp flour 
4 tbsp butter 
2 cups of milk 
½ cup quick melt cheese (or any cheese you want) 
Two pinched ground pepper

1. Melt the butter in sauce pan (low medium heat). 
2. Put the flour and continue whisking it for 2 minutes or until the roux is bubbling. 
3. While stirring the roux, slowly add the milk (½ cup at a time). Be sure that the roux and milk are well incorporated before adding another cup of milk to ensure that you will not get any lumps. 
4. Stir the mixture until the sauce thickens. 
5. Remove from heat then add the cheese and season with pepper. 

July 12, 2011

Fried Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce

One of my favorite fish is Norwegian Salmon so it is always included in my grocery list. It is quite expensive so I only eat this once or twice a month and I rarely order this at the restaurant because the size is very small and the price is expensive. 

One of the reasons why I enjoyed my stay in Norway is because of their salmon. Norwegian Salmon is very rich in DHA and omega-3 fatty acid so it is really a healthful food. It is so easy to prepare you can grill, steam or fry it.

Hubby won’t be home for dinner so I decided to cook my favorite dish.

July 11, 2011

Important Advisory for Checking Account Holders

Philippine Clearing House Corporation or PCHC will implement the use of standard dorsal format for all bank checks, both personal and commercial checks. They aim to put an order in accomplishing the required information at the back of the check. 

September 1, 2011, is the tentative date for implementation but they are encouraging checking account holders to request a new checkbook with a new dorsal format and replace the old checks that have been issued even there is still no implementation.

So whether we like it or not, we have to order a new checkbook. For the second time around, we need to replace the checks that we have issued for our housing loan. Just last week; I received twenty pieces of checks that I need to replace for our Pag-ibig Housing loan.

I am not happy with this because I still have one unused checkbook with the old format that we plan to use for Pag-ibig because we want to close the BDO checking account. Aside from that we still have several checks left on our checkbook because we rarely use it. But what can I do if I can no longer use these checks?

I do not want to put this to waste so what I did is I reuse it. Voila! My very expensive scratchpad (P175 per checkbook). I can't find my padding glue so I'm just using a paper clamp to bind the paper

Update: January 2016

Important Advisory on Check Clearing

On January 4, 2016, checks with erasures, alterations, deficiencies or missing details will no longer be accepted by banks in the Philippines, even if with countersignature (based on PCHC Memo Circular 15-460)

This is preparatory for the Check Image Clearing System (CICS), which will use digital check images instead of physical checks throughout the clearing cycle. New CHeck design standards have also been issued by the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) to complement this new system. 

Meanwhile, checks in old and new designs are still honored by BPI until further notice. Please anticipate succeeding advisories based on PCHC's Updates to the banks. 

New Check Design Standards:

1. Length of 8 inches for Personal and Commercial Checks.
2. Box enclosure to Peso amount
3. A mandatory waiver that states "I/We allow the electronic clearing of this check and hereby waive the presentation for payment of this original to (Bank)"
4. Improved paper quality with new security features. 

Lunch at Teriyaki Boy

Last Saturday, we went to Mall of Asia to check their mallwide sale, it was past 12nn when we reached the mall, so we had our lunch first. I’ve been to MOA for the nth time already but until now I am not familiar so looking for a restaurant is really hard for me so we always stay at the main mall arcade.

We saw Teriyaki Boy and it was not crowded yet so we settled here. We ordered Large Tanmen Ramen PHP260 and their famous Teriyaki Boy Chicken Ju PHP198. Teriyaki Boy Chicken Ju is a grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce placed on top of steamed rice. I was a bit disappointed with my order because there is nothing special about this dish, and to think it is one of their signature dishes. 

The taste is so bland, can’t taste the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. I don’t know what happened to their chicken because this is not my first time tasting this. But my husband and son were both satisfied with their Tanmen Ramen. It is seafood noodles filled with prawns, dory, boiled eggs, and vegetables.

July 09, 2011

Insect Repellent

My dearest friend who gave me the yummy pastel has dengue and she is still fighting for this disease since Monday and we all hope and pray that she will be okay after the blood transfusion. Maybe she got this from her recent Camiguin trip. That is the reason why I’m writing this blog to inform everyone to protect ourselves from dengue and malaria.

Bgone insect repellent is one of my travel essentials wherever we go in order to have protection against malaria and dengue causing mosquitoes. I’ve been using this product for more than three years already; in fact, I even registered myself to become reseller. I just recently stopped because I have so many things to attend to but I still buy this product for our personal use.

There are several organic insect repellent out in the market that we can buy for our protection. It is just a little expensive compared to “off lotion” but it is still best to use organic products like bgone, no bite, giga, and ilog maria insect repellent. Do not take risk; protect yourself and your family. Insect repellent won’t hurt your budget.  

July 08, 2011

Things You Must Do To Make Me Happier

While I was “decluttering and organizing” our things yesterday, I’ve found this message pad. My husband gave me this pad last year, he told me to use it and so far I’ve only used it twice. I really laughed when he gave me this message pad, maybe he is tired of my voice and he just want me to give him this paper, no more whining, no more nagging and no more ranting.

As far as I can remember, the last message that I gave him is “from now on, do what I say or else….” lol!

The message pad has 60 sheets of 196 fabulous demands that you can choose from and it so easy to use, all you need to do is to check the box. It is a good way to express yourself and to convey your message. Tell him what do you want and what do you need in a simple manner. It will free you from stress. Have fun!

July 04, 2011

Kota Kinabalu Airport

Asian Delights Cafe

We’re supposed to eat at “Little Italy” but we’re too tired to walk again so we just checked out early and went straight to Kota Kinabalu Airport (Terminal 2), taxi fare is RM25. After checking in our baggage, we’re now ready to eat, we only have two choices KFC and Asian Delights Café, located on the second floor of Terminal 2. 

Of course, we chose Asian Delights Café; we had enough KFC for the past two days. We ordered Beef Rendang Rice Rm10.90 and Spaghetti RM9.90, I am not fond of spicy food so I just ordered spaghetti. Beef Rendang taste like Pare-Pares, hot and spicy version. Spaghetti is just ok; I still love my own spaghetti. lol.

Super Ice Cream Potong

I was looking for something to eat while killing our time and I still have a few smaller bills and coins left to spend. I saw this Taluwang Super Ice Cream Potong RM1.70 pero stick in one of the airport stores. 

It is Malaysians Popsicle that is made of coconut and fruit flavors, there are ten flavors to choose from such as durian, avocado, cendol, sweet corn, cempedak, red bean, yam, mango, and sweet corn. I chose sweet corn but my son did not like it so I ended up eating the popsicles. I love the taste of their ice cream because it is not too sweet and they use coconut milk instead of dairy.

DIY Kota Kinabalu City Tour

As early as 6AM we started our itinerary. We went to Atkinson’s Clock Tower; it is two blocks away from our lodgeIn 1903, this clock was built in memory of Francis George Atkinson; it is an all wood and no nails structure which is considered as the oldest standing structure in Sabah. It survived the World War II and until now it keeps the city’s time.

Gaya Sunday Market

Then, we dropped by at Gaya Sunday Market to buy some souvenirs. Every Sunday morning the whole Gaya Street is closed off to give way to Sunday Market. There are different stalls that sell flowers, pets, foods, handicraft, souvenirs, fruits, antiques, plants, herbs, footwear, antiques and many more.

I did not miss the chance of getting here; it is just one block away from our lodge. Gaya Sunday market is open from 6:30AM to 1PM. I bought some souvenirs here, keychain for RM10 (6pcs) and t-shirts for (RM20, RM9 and RM8).

DIY Kota Kinabalu City Tour

City Tour is my last itinerary before we leave Kota Kinabalu, I did not book any City Tour package because the price is too expensive for me, RM90+ per person so I decided to DIY my City Tour. 
I contacted few taxi drivers that I’ve got from the internet but no one replied. So we ended up walking and looking for taxi driver that we could hire for 3 hours of City Tour, after forty minutes we found the taxi driver who agreed for RM100 for City Tour.
First stop is Sabah Museum and Heritage Village; 10AM is the opening time so we just took some pictures outside the museum.

Second stop is Menara Tun Mustapha or formerly known as Sabah Foundation Building. The design concept of this building is very unique; it is a 30 storey high circular tower of glass stands and steel. There is also a revolving restaurant at the 18th floor but again, opening time is 10AM.

Third stop is City Mosque or Floating Mosque located in Likas Bay. This is considered as the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia.

Next is Puh Toh Tze Temple, this is a Buddhist temple that was built in 1980.

We dropped by at Sacred Heart Cathedral, a catholic church in Kota Kinabalu.

Last stop is Signal Hill Observatory Platform; this is the highest point in Kota Kinabalu City. The best place to get a good view of the city.

July 02, 2011

Malaysia: Seri Selara

On our first night in Kota Kinabalu, we got lost and we’re not able to eat at Seri Selara, but I promised to myself that we will eat here before we leave Kota Kinabalu. So after Monsopiad Cultural Village tour, I told the taxi driver to drop us in Seri Selera, thank God, he knows the place.

Seri Selara is formerly known as Sedco Square, it is the famous popular seafood restaurants among the locals and tourists because of its affordable prices. It has 6 famous seafood restaurants and 21 exotic Asian food stalls that offer different cuisines. 

It is an open-air restaurant that can accommodate up to 1,200 diners. It is really big and spacious. Every Friday and Saturday, diners will be entertained by live cultural performances and traditional music, 7:30 to 9PM but we did not experience this because we had an early dinner.

As we reached the Seri Selara, we’re immediately welcomed by a Filipino guy named “Awang” who works in “Old Village Restaurant” so no sweat in ordering our food and he gave us discounts too. Seafood choices are inside the glass tanks so you are guaranteed that you will eat fresh seafood.  Just choose the seafood that you want and they will cook it for you, free of charge.

I thought the peanuts and papaya are complimentary food but when I checked my receipt it cost RM2 each. Cup of rice is RM1.50, 1 kg of crab is RM16.80, 300grams of shrimp is RM18 and coke in can is RM2. Fruits are complimentary. 

There are available utensils that you can use, there are chopsticks, spoons and forks but of course, the best way to enjoy crabs and shrimp is to use your bare hands. They will give you small bowl where you can wash your hands if you do not want to go to the restroom.
We both enjoyed our seafood experience; it is really worth the price. Do not miss the experience if ever you will go to Kota Kinabalu. It is really a walking distance from our lodge, if I did not easily give up on our first night I will find Seri Selara, one to two blocks away from Secret Recipe.
Business Hour: 3PM - 2AM daily
Sedco Square, Kampung Air, 88300,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel: +60 88 210 400   Fax: +60 88 213 400

July 01, 2011

Monsopiad Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

They say that you have not seen Sabah if you have not visited Monsopiad Cultural Village that’s the reason why I included this in my itinerary. It is a thirty minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu City, you can ride a bus or taxi and I chose the latter because I do not want to get lost. Asking price of the taxi driver is RM120, we haggled for RM100 (roundtrip) but if you will take the bus, it is only RM3 per way. (big savings!) 

Monsopiad Cultural Village is a living museum and historical site in Sabah. It was founded in 1996 in memory of Monsopiad, the great head hunter and Kadazan warrior. He was the famous headhunter who defended his village three hundred years ago. No enemy could match his power and as a proof, he took 42 skulls with him. 

The 42 skulls are displayed in legendary House of Skulls. Aside from being a living museum, the village aims to revive, conserve, keep alive and document the culture, traditions and Kadazan community beliefs.  You will learn more of the ways of life of Kadazan people and Monsopiad warriors’ stories.

The entrance fee is a little bit expensive, RM75 for the guided tour and cultural show. As I was told in the email, guided tour can be anytime but we ended up waiting for the cultural show which is 2PM before the guided tour. 

I was bit disappointed because we will not be able to visit Green Connection and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, but I could no longer back out because I already paid RM150.

After the registration, you will proceed to Riverside Café for your welcome drinks (coffee or tea); we stayed here for almost one hour, waiting for the cultural show. The cultural show lasted for 30-45 minutes. We enjoyed the show; visitors can also take part in the cultural show.
Start of guided tour. We learned about Rice Wine Making, Sago Grating (mamagalus). Sago Grub (butod), Shooting using Traditional Blowpipe (monupuk), Catapult (lastik) and Stilt walk (tampanau). Some of these are familiar to me since I live in the Philippines, alam ko may ganyan din sa Pinas. 

We paid RM75 per pax but we were not able to experience all the inclusions in the package like “Taste betel nuts and Traditional cigarettes” and “Experience Traditional Handicraft Making”. They just need to improve their guided tour because we kept on waiting for the next activity. If you are into history, you will enjoy the experience but if not, you can skip this tour.