Lifestyle

Mittens: The Dumpster Kitten

While traversing Scout Rallos at 9pm, I had noticed incessant meowing of teeny proportions coming from a stacked heap of plastic garbage bags. I looked down and saw a small black kitten, barely a week old, running towards me and finally parking itself haphazardly on my new Flossy Mary Janes.

“Gera! It’s a kitten!” I was unsure if I wanted to pick it up. It was so tiny, so scraggly, so pitiful. Plus, it was crying nonstop. Gera, who had walked on ahead, turns to me and tells me sternly, “You don’t pick that up, Kira! It’s so dirty and we’re late to a party!” She trudges on leaving me behind.

I take a deep breath, try to walk away, but later decide to take in this little critter. I yell, “Gera, we are taking this kitten home and you have no choice but to come with me!”

There was no plan to take on another pet, not to mention a kitten. I had grown up with dogs, chickens, turtles, pigeons, pigs, fishes, rabbits, even squirrels at some point — but never did a feline join our household.

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So as any responsible pet owner would do, I fed it Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR for short also known was Kira Mae Ramirez lol), housed it in a comfortable kennel, took care of it, and tried to make her ready for adoption. The last one was a major fail as we ended up loving her so much.

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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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