Lifestyle

My Experience at Brigada Eskwela 2017

My family (Father’s side) are educators, born and raised in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. Brigada Eskwela has been a joint effort of the government and community for 12 years running. I first heard about it in 2016 when I was on vacation in my hometown and promised I’d be back next year to help.

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A few weeks before the scheduled 2017 Brigada, I got a message from my cousin that it was slated for May 15-20 — a month earlier than last year AND the same weekend I was supposed to set off for Apo Reef and swim with the sharks.

But, a promise is a promise, I booked a ticket and flew home. The sharks can wait.

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Cusina Natural Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquids

This is such a late post but I received a package of Cusina Natural Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquid last year and have only started to use it last December. They’re my favorite dishwashing products by virtue of their delicious scents, plus the potent formula effectively dissolves oil and grime.

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While most commercial variants smell painfully artificial, Cusina uses only real fruit and plant extracts that not only leave our flatware and kitchen utensils fragrant but effectively rids bacteria while cleaning.

Created in tandem with perfumers and chemists from Spain (very highbrow, I know), these dishwashing liquids pamper the noses as well. Take your pick from Ginger Yuzu Peel, Grapefruit Lemon Zest, and Lemongrass Citrus scents that will leave your kitchen smelling fresh and clean with no nasty chemicals.

Tip: Since these are certified gentle on skin yet effectively cleans, you can use a drop or two to rinse makeup brushes and bikinis post-swim. Another bonus? Cusina Natural Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquids are a steal at only Php 85 each!

To order, visit http://www.cusinahome.com/cusina.htm

Our Medical & Dental Mission in Bgy. Cararayan, Naga City

As the propeller plane approached Naga City, I was half relieved and half disappointed: relieved to finally be landing after a tremendously bumpy ride (a storm was brewing), and disappointed because obviously it was very gloomy. So much for trying to get some sun, I thought to myself.

Still, I was thankful to be here. Naga City has been on the news as it was devastated last Christmas by tropical cyclone Nina (internationally called Nock-ten). Images of destroyed houses, trees and concrete blocks flung to the grounds, displaced locals flooded the news. When my friend, artist Pepe Gaka, said he was invited by Missionaries of the Poor for a commissioned project and a Medical and Dental mission was in the works, I said I would be more than happy to tag along. This was a good a time as any to come visit, see the damage myself, and help if needed. Given different circumstances, I would never have finally decided to visit Naga.

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The Medical and Dental Mission is a yearly event spearheaded by the Missionaries of the Poor in Bgy. Cararayan, Naga City in partnership with Maronites on Mission of Australia (MOM), a Christian voluntary organization that helps marginalized sectors of society.

This year, they have 18 volunteers from different industries and professions. They flew all the way to Naga from Australia, sourced all the medical sponsors for the event, and did all the leg work. Most arrived on January 9th to help full-time while I arrived on January 11. The mission was an 11-day event which involved numerous charity works including medical and dental support, house building, and food relief. The medical and dental mission was slated for January 14 in San Rafael, Bgy. Cararayan and was the major event I helped out in.

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How to turn your trash into Eco Bricks

I feel that a lot of times social media bombards us with so many things: Save the environment! Ditch your desk and go travel! Plan for retirement! Love with all your heart! It can get frustrating and sometimes confusing. How do we live a meaningful, purposeful life without having to leave our jobs or relocate? Surely there is something we can do without having to make drastic changes.

The Eco Brick Challenge came at the perfect time: it was practical, it was easy, it was something I can do with my friends. There was an element of fun and a feeling of accomplishment after each task. And did I mention: it was so darn easy!

The Eco Brick Challenge

Spearheaded by The Circle Hostel, the task was to fill used plastic bottles with non-biodegradable wastes like candy wrappers, cellophane, styrofoam, cigarette butts, coffee or shampoo sachets, basically packing whatever waste we could find at home, at the office, or while on the road.

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Thank you Alex and Gera for helping out!

Initially I was skeptical I could fill even one bottle so I asked help from family members and neighbors. Little by little I started filling up one, two, three bottles per week mostly from press gifts, daily trips to the wet market, or from my own consumption of foil sachets from my wheatgrass drinks. And those oil clear sheets we take for granted? Yup those are plastic, too! I stuffed them right in!

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After a two-year hiatus, I’m finally back to Barre3

It’s a little TMI but when my personal life went disarray early this year, I decided that the only way I’d distract myself and feel better was to work out. I was getting bored of just using Youtube as my exercise guru (my yoga mat at home was not very inspiring) and the treadmill was boring the hell out of me, so the obvious choice was to go back to Barre3 which I’ve tried 2 years prior.

What is Barre3?

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The short answer is: it’s a fitness program that combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates. Barre3 makes use of pulses or isometric movements to wake the muscles and fire them up. I’ll be upfront, it’s not particularly easy especially if you’ve been sedentary like me. But the graceful “ballet” part of it attracted me the most, as I was a frustrated ballet dancer growing up.

It’s said that the combination of all three programs help lengthen the muscles, target more muscle groups at once (we’re advised to tighten the core while doing legwork or push-ups on the barre), plus help improve mind-body connection (more focus means we get to hold a certain position longer, it’s all in the mind).

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Dry Needling at Polarity Physiotherapy

No matter how much we try to keep our health in check, there are some things that will eventually lead to aches and pains. Aging is one of them (ouch!) but lifestyle also contributes a huge part to our body pains. Like for example: I found out during my first Myofascial Release session that because I’ve been carrying my bag on my left shoulder for decades, my posture is leaning towards the right. Additionally, I found out I have a lot of knots around my neck area, my hip is misaligned, and I have pelvis dysfunction.

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While regular monthly sessions at Polarity Physiotherapy have greatly eased my neck pains, alleviated the taut muscles in my glutes, and improved my posture, there are times when the pain is so great or the lactic acid has collected over a couple of weeks that we need more “intensive” measures. This is where the Dry Needling comes in.

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