Category: Lifestyle




It’s been almost 2 weeks that I’ve run out of GenEssentials primarily because the GNC Live Well branch here in my city has run out of stock of this useful digestive enzyme product. I first came across the function of digestive enzymes via e-mail subscriptions from Isabel De Los Rios and BioTrust Nutrition but it wasn’t until a year after I read their specific discussions on the said subject when it suddenly occurred to me to look for local stores that sell any and I did have GNC Live Well first in mind as the first stop.

I’ve only spotted one branch here locally and I browsed through 2 or 3 brands of digestive enzymes products they have on display but Genesis Todays’ GenEssentials was the winner for me because the contents are all plant-based whereas the other brands beside it had soy and wheat in them, something which I’m allergic to.

On the first day I used it right before my first meal, I did notice the lightness I felt that’s associated with no bloating nor constipated feeling which I often experienced in the past post-meal. So naturally when I stopped using this because of non-availability (I’ve noticed I seem to be the only one buying this from the local GNC store and I might have been the only one who bought off the meager stock they have of it!), I felt those uncomfortable symptoms again and this whole situation made me wish I lived in Manila again.


Overweight Ratio


Image source: Toonpool

I was queuing to get inside the movie theatre to watch Oz The Great and Powerful when a big woman blocked my view of the cinema entrance. She couldn’t have been in her twenties, she resembled a high school teenager but she was the big-boned type. What I saw suddenly reminded me of one of the first few observations I had during my time in Oz last year.

The day I arrived in Darwin I couldn’t help but notice while exploring the small city that there were more women who were overweight than men. I observed this marked ratio more during my long walks there.

I still observed the same ratio be it in the bustling Sydney Central Business District or laid-back Perth. It was interesting yet confounding. I guess it made me curious because this kind of overweight ratio between men and women is not something I was used to seeing where I came from.

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Chocolates and pan roasted garlic peanuts or adobong mani in Filipino has been two of my favorite snacks. I remember buying adobong mani from a local street vendor across our house during my elementary school years and it’s no secret every kid loves chocolates. I don’t know what had transpired post-puberty. I began to notice a marked change in my skin a day after I would eat pan roasted garlic peanuts – I was having acne breakouts. Dreadful.

I could randomly attribute it to hormonal change but it could also have been the dietary changes and eating habits that had drastically impaired my hormonal balance. I had avoided eating peanuts and chocolates for some time and I would eat it sparingly. Eventually I realized trying to completely eliminate it from my system was not what aggravated my acne problems as there were still other factors that triggered my acne.


From time to time I would experiment which of the two would easily cause me breakouts. Yes, I do love being my own guinea pig. The end result was consistent for me – deep fried garlic peanuts would cause breakouts more than chocolates do, though I prefer dark chocolates mostly. There’s no noticeable change on my skin when I’m on chocolate binge as opposed to eating just a small amount of peanuts.

It may or may not be the same for others but it is good to take note of these small observations. I still love eating peanuts but I habitually take a week-long or sometimes month-long breaks before I could eat them again. Although I have taken small measures to control my acne breakouts (perhaps one of these days I might write about it), I still believe we are what we eat and it’s taken me a long time to accept that. Nevertheless balance is the key.

Three Degrees of Separation


Two days ago I told my friend Caren that it’s almost a year when we first met in Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s Central Business District. Looking back on it I realized that there are people you meet for the first time with whom you mesh well with. It’s also interesting to reflect on stories about six degrees of separation and how far back you can trace your friend connections.

It was sometime in April or May 2005 when I moved to a new apartment closer to the Makati Central Business District. I became friends with Nona, a housemate, because we speak the same dialect. When I finally was cleared to fly to Malaysia for an overseas work for the first time in December 2007, she helped guard some of the boxes which contained stuff I didn’t want to bring for my sister to pick it up at a later time. She later became friends also with my sister and was even present when my niece was delivered in 2009 in a clinic not far away from my old apartment.

I went home in 2010 and a year after my sister and I would decide to go back to our hometown because of the high cost of living in Manila. I only saw Nona again in late January 2012 when I had to fly back to Manila for a seminar and for my flight to Sydney.

We stopped by a McDonald’s for lunch and I told her of my impending trip. Much to my surprise, she actually had a sister who lives in Brisbane while the niece of her husband, Caren, was in Sydney also. We had never talked about her connections to Australia before! And I thought it was too much of a coincidence that she only mentioned it a few days away from my departure. She suggested I add Caren on Facebook and get to know her.


Queen Victoria Statue

Once in Sydney, I started chatting up with Caren and she agreed to meet up so we can roam around the CBD. The minute I spotted her at the entrance of the QVB near the impossible-to-miss Queen Victoria’s Statue, I approached her in a casual and brusque greeting typical of people who speak our dialect. We couldn’t stop chatting and sharing stories on our way to Hyde Park and George Street.


For the next four weeks up until my last day in Sydney, we would meet up and roam around CBD and part ways with tanned skin and sore, tired feet but pleased nonetheless.


With Cassie, Caren’s cousin

I like happy accidents and I can’t look back on my Sydney escapades without being reminded of friends I also made through Caren.


I just got this Facebook birthday notification a while ago and was confused for a moment. I tried to re-read it and feared there was something wrong with my eyes. Apparently not because Facebook mistook February 14 for February 10.

I have received Facebook birthday notifications but the headlines have always been something like “John Doe and Jane Doe have forthcoming birthdays” and the actual birth date would be in the body of the message.

Even if I don’t receive these Facebook birthday notifications, I know my friend Psyche’s birthday is very easy to remember. In fact I remember which friends of mine are celebrating their birthdays every year on February 14th.

Nonetheless this Facebook notification error today made me laugh and cleared out the negative cobwebs in my head this afternoon.

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Six days after my aunt’s birthday , I decided to invite my aunt, cousins and family to have lunch at T.G.I. FRiDAYS. I do know that this popular American restaurant always prepare a surprise for guests who happen to celebrate lunch or dinner on their birthdays so I chose the restaurant because I wanted to surprise my aunt.Even though I like to eat out just to get away from the ennui of a work-at-home life, T.G.I. FRiDAYS is one of those I rarely visit because it is one of those expensive restaurants in my locality. On average I go there once a year.Our orders understandably took 15-20 minutes to be served. The waiter asked me what the occasion was and I replied that it was my aunt’s birthday.
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Shortly after I asked for the bill, T.G.I. FRiDAYS’ waiters and waitresses handed my aunt a cup of ice cream with a candle in the middle. Shock registered on her face but she eventually understood when they all broke into the tune of Lady Gaga’s song, Born This Way.

My aunt was pleasantly surprised and every one of us had a great time. Even though we went on a Wednesday, T.G.I. FRiDAYS made us feel like it was indeed Friday!

Engaging With RedGage

I’ve been invited by a good friend of mine to join RedGage. I signed up at a time when I had been looking for opportunities to earn a bit of money from uploading pictures.

If you don’t know what RedGage is yet, you can go to their website and see this introductory message: “RedGage is a website which pays you for your content and monetizes your social activity.” You can upload your own original photos, your blog, your link, a document or note or/and your video.

What I like about RedGage is it will show you the unique views and the earning each of your uploads garnered. There is no limit to the number of uploads you can make.

To earn more in RedGage, it is advisable that you socialize and make more friends within RedGage. If you have less friends, you will get noticed if you comment on Featured uploads by other members. Social media sharing is also encouraged. Each upload has a Share This button which has Digg, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, and Friend Feed. If your friends aren’t on RedGage yet, it’s the best idea to invite them. Not only will they earn by sharing their uploads, they will also expand their social network online. I could see a lot of artistic photographers in RedGage in my few days with the site.

Posting pictures that weren’t taken by you is not advisable. You have to post your own content.

The problem I’ve encountered with RedGage which I’ve already contacted their Support about is regarding the Invite Friends tool. I tried my Gmail address and even though I provided the correct username and password by re-checking and re-entering them, it still gives me an error.

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I got an e-mail from Gmail regarding authorizing a third-party application login. I followed the  instructions but to no avail. I still haven’t received a response from Support regarding the issue.

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Another difficulty I encountered this afternoon was my recent photo uploads seemed to be duplicated to the earlier uploaded photos once it appears on my feed. You can see in the photo that even though all three have different captions, they have the same picture of the starfish which was the third picture I uploaded. It seems that the two previous photos I uploaded assumes the picture of the most recently uploaded photo which is very very frustrating. In annoyance I contacted Support again.

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I have yet to get a reply from them. Despite these problems, I still recommend you check out RedGage for yourself if you’re not yet a member. Maybe I just have a sucky internet connection on my end.

Since I resigned from my job last November, my perception of a calendar time has been a blur. Like the concept of space, our concept of time has a lot to do with our current state of mind and affairs. Since I have removed myself from the office doldrums and am currently doing freelance work, I rarely feel the compulsion to check which day of the week it is. And so one recent afternoon I almost forgot it was close to New Year’s had I not gone out to a coffee shop.

On my way back home my mind played a few snapshots of my younger days concerning the New Year celebration. I was taken back to my primary and secondary school life when my teachers would require us to write an essay about our New Year’s resolutions on the first day of school after the two-week Christmas break. My unseasoned, adolescent mind was uber optimistic then. As the years wore on, it became a very boring writing assignment precisely because I was disillusioned with myself and with goal-setting.

The most common New Year’s Resolutions I would hear from my friends come in the form of “I aim to lose weight/I aim to eat right this year” or “I aim to get better grades next school year”.  I find it ridiculous that I would only want to think of losing weight in the next year when I can start selecting the right healthy food at this moment. Proper goal-setting is a continuous decision, not a one-off. How did I know? Of course, I was once a dawdler.

Aren’t we all made up of moments? That moment that tells us NOW is the only presence we must immerse in. The perception that there is a past and future is only a result of being in a third-dimensional platform such as Earth’s. (READ MORE…)


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