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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My 6 Favorite Food Places in Naga City

One of the things I loved about Naga City was that it was so easy to commute to anywhere! I stayed at Naga Land Hotel which was smack in the middle of town just a couple of yards away from a popular eatery, and a 10-minute walk away from the Cathedral and local churches. There were no scooter rentals here, but it was notably so easy to travel via tricycle and jeepney — and so affordable, too!

Here are some of my favorite places that you should try when you come visit. These are all easy to locate and reach whether by foot or local transport:

1. Que Pasa  Barlin Street, Naga City, Camarines Sur

I had just finished exploring the famous Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia when it suddenly rained and I found myself seeking shelter in a nearby barbecue joint. Intrigued with the quirky interiors, I was surprised to discover that it was actually open for lunch time. I had initially thought it was a bar!

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Que Pasa Naga is a fun resto with a very Instagrammable Spanish ambiance. They specialize in freshly grilled fare with 4 different sauces: Que Pasa sauce (reduced beer with butter and garlic), Cerveza Negra sauce (barbecue sauce), Chili Xocolate (spicy and sweet), Bicol sauce (spicy). Guys, try all the sauces if you can! They add all the character and flavor to the dish — nasa sauce ang sikreto!

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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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Be Reunion Ready with your L’Oreal Holiday Survival Kit

It’s Christmas! And you know what that means? Parties, lots of food, booze, and endless reunions with relatives and friends. As much as I love celebrating, there will always be that encounter with a nosy Auntie who will ask you those dreaded questions:

“May boyfriend ka na ba?” 

“Parang tumataba ka yata?”

As offensive as it may sound, these questions are usually asked lovingly and out of sheer concern. If this is your first time, don’t be alarmed as this is a tradition that Filipinos ask relatives whom they haven’t seen in a while. It’s sort of the counterpart to the American way of asking: How are you?

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Now before you roll your eyes or lash out at your over-inquisitive Auntie, the best defense is to practice grace under pressure. Smile and answer politely while looking at her in the eye — do not flinch but steer clear of the death stare (don’t overdo it!). While you’re at it, make sure you’re glammed  up with these L’Oreal holiday picks.

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Discovering the delicious sweet snack called Tutu Kueh

While whiling away my time in Food Opera in ION Orchard, I chanced upon an unassuming kiosk selling floral-shaped snacks that I thought was cute. The light pink color also caught my attention and I asked the seller what they were. He promptly answered, “Tutu Kueh” in his Singlish accent. I was perplexed, probably had a confused look on before he continued, “It’s rice cake.”

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Okay admittedly I am not a fan of kakanin, a Filipino word for native delicacies or sweet desserts made of [sweet] rice and/or root vegetables. I do love bibingkakutsinta, and puto, I’ll give you that. But these are pretty basic sweet munchies — almost everyone loves them!

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