Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sun Life’s Money for life: How well are we planning for our future?

Despite the presence of dozens of insurance companies in the country, it is very alarming to know that the Philippines scores among the lowest rank in receptiveness in the Asian region with regards to being “insurance” conscious. Sun life Philippines, the leader in Insurance and investment business have recognized these facts and are diligently finding ways of bringing the message across through various campaigns and investment products. 

Sun Life's Money for Life Ambassadors...
Last June, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) launches its five-year growth plan dubbed as “Rise PH”. This aggressive campaign hopes to target to serve five million clients by year 2020. After President Benigno S. Aquino III exited his post as the 15th president of the republic, he left our country with a huge leap in economic growth. After three decades as the “sick-man” of Asia, it is now the fastest growing economy in the region, even surpassing China in terms of growth-rate.

Money for Life launch at Shangrila Makati...
However, these positive economic statistics is yet to be felt by the people on the lower scale of the society and it will take a positive and aggressive push to continue the momentum so that we will see a more tangible effect. Nonetheless, Sun Life have felt that this is the opportune time to break the culture of apathy among the working class society and view life in a new perspective. 

The Bus of the Future offers riders a glimpse of what lies ahead if they invest in Sun Life...
According to Sun Life, financial literacy is the key to transform the minds of the present generation towards financial consciousness. However, for some who are “awakened” and have started to do their own initiatives, like putting up savings account, halt their potential to go further to improve the financial dilemma. Somehow, seeking the advice of a professional Registered Financial Planner or RFP would be more costly, so they try gambling their resources in some investment. Some made good hits but many failed miserably thereby getting frustrated to be engage in any form of Investment.  

It allows rider an experience of 360-degrees virtual reality video...
The Money for Life is a comprehensive, customizable financial planning program that will ensure that the client will have sufficient funds for every stage of his life. To help inspire the public to create their own Money for Life plan with a financial advisor, Sun Life created a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video, transporting them in different scenarios based on their chosen life-stage. This will enable the viewer live the dream for a minute and be encouraged to start planning for their future through Money for Life and Sun Life’s life insurance and investment products.

These VR can be experienced by riding the Sun Life’s “Bus of the Future”. These buses are currently touring some parts of the major cities in the country, mostly schools and malls to help public see a “virtual” future of their own life can be if they plan their resources wisely. However, for those who failed to visit the Bus of the Future in their own locality, one can simply log onto the website: moneyforlife.com.ph, so they can instantly begin their own financial planning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Alomah’s Place: Organic Farm / Adventure Farm

Outdoor adventures are the reasons why Trails Unlimited was born because I love sharing the various outdoor stuff that I do to encourage more people to be active and seek a healthier lifestyle. Years ago, when I was still as strong as an ox, I would climb mountains with friends almost on a weekly basis. Those were the days where I can load my pack filled with 35 kilos of equipment and carry it on my back for hours while hiking. Truly, the journey going up to the summit is as good and enjoyable as reaching it.

The water fountain at the middle of the fish pond is gravity fed that comes from the mountain...

Alomah's Place is a Two-hectare Organic farm land...


Now that my life has become busier, hiking gigs also became less and less. I really miss going on those kinds of trip. Form packing up gears, sleeping in tents for days, and cooking food high up in the mountains, these moments were priceless. During these times I often wish I could bring my kids with me for them to experience it too.

Fresh pick with the morning dew...

Located at Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
Last month, I was invited to a blogging event that featured five organic farms in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. It was organized by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture as part of their public campaign on food safety and food security. In this trip, I was able to bring one of my sons, Gab, along so he can write a story for Family Matters magazine where he is a contributing writer. I’ve been to this part Mindanao before and I knew it will be high up in the mountains. So, I guessed this was the adventure trip I was wishing for in a long time.
Del Monte Pineapple Plantation covers 14 kilometer long...
At Alomah's Green house Nursery. Lettuce seedlings ready for transplant...

Preparing for this trip brought us sheer excitement and joy indeed. I even bought Gab a new pair of trekking sandals and parka shorts to complement the adventure trip. I also gave a few tips in loading his pack so that he will not strain his shoulders in carrying them. Our flight to Misamis Oriental was pleasant and we arrived at Lagundingan Airport where ATI's van was standing by, ready to shuttle us to Bukidnon.

Varieties of fern trees and pine trees are also abundant in the farm...  

The African Night Crawlers (Earth worms) are essential for the Alomah's Place in producing the best natural Fertilizers.
 Our destination is the Alomah’s Place and it is located at Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. On our way there, we passed along Camp Philips, were the small community of staff and employees of the world famous Del Monte Pineapple plantation live. Soon after, we passed by the vast farm of Del Monte which stretches up to 14 kilometers long. Both on our left and right sides were acres and acres of pineapple plantations. Our van driver, Kuya Ren, told us that planes are used in pesticide dusting the entire place. I can’t help but imagine the tons of chemicals that are being dumped and absorbed by the plants and the soil every time they do that.

This is Cyclone. He already won eight trophies in Horse-Show Competitions...
Gab was euphoric because he was able to drive the horse all by himself...
 After an hour of trek driving, we reached Alomah’s Place. This farm is one of ATI’s learning sites that feature organic agriculture. But more than just an organic farm, it is also a tourist destination where guests can avail of its awesome outdoor adventure activities that everyone in the family can enjoy. To start with, Alomah’s Place has several horses which one can get some horse-back riding experience. These are not the usual small horses being rented in Baguio or Tagaytay, where the handler would asses a rider first if he or she is too heavy for the horse to carry

Catch fresh organically grown Tilapia at the pond...
Some of these vegetables are replanted on plastic pots which are for sale...
 These fine horses are actually much bigger and already won numerous awards in Horse Show competitions. The farm owner, Mr. Benjohn Mahistrado, is a skillful rider who allows daring guests to ride these fine horses with him along the steep valleys and along shallow river beds of in and around his farm. This definitely gives one the ranging cowboy experience. For some who wish to have a more relaxing and laid-back nature tripping, the fish pond is filled with organically grown tilapia, and one can enjoy catching them on a bamboo raft. These tilapia are fed with lettuces and duck weeds that make them healthy to eat.

Fresh Romaine Lettuce ready for harvest. The ones that didn't pass commercial quality are fed to the Tilapia...
Free-range chicken that are also organically grown...
 Moms will also have their share of adventures as they can experience harvesting lettuces, bell pepper and other vegetables which are grown free from chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. These vegetables are so fresh and safe to eat, one can tear a leaf from the plants and eat them where they’re planted. Alomah’s Place also feature different kinds of herbs such as 16 different types of mint! It was my first time to see and taste how a bubble gum mint and choco-mint taste like and they're quite amazing! In addition, the Tarragon, Spearmint and Stevia Tea is one of Alomah’s signature welcoming drinks which is very soothing and refreshing. And the preparation of these drinks is also very interesting.

Peppermint is just one of 16 varieties of mint
These are just among the 16 different kinds of mint herbs...
In a mug of hot water, put four to five leaves of Taragon, Spearmint and Stevia to make a soothing fresh herb tea...
 The accommodation of Alomah’s is another part that made this trip quite exciting. It features various types of sleeping styles, depending on the level of adventure one seeks. The farm offers Cabin / dorm types that accommodate  four to six people, outdoor tents that are securely pitched on the adjacent camping grounds and, of course, the “Tent-Floor”, which is located at the second floor of the Octagon Bamboo Pavilion. It’s for those who wish to experience sleeping inside the tent but under a bamboo roof. Gab and I braved to sleep in one of the tents outside to really feel the true camping experience; something that I really missed doing. At this time, the temperature was like 16 to 18 degrees Celsius with zero-visibility of fog all over the place. Yes, it’s cold because Dahilayan is situated 1,163 meters above sea level. It is almost as high as Baguio (1,500 meters).

Nipa Hut Cabins good for 4 to 6 people... 
Feel the true camping experience with their Tent accommodations...
Octagon Pavilion. The second floor holds the "Tent Floor"...
The Tent Floor offers five dome type tents Each tent can accommodate two persons comfortably...
 A few minutes from Alomah’s is the famous adventure park in Northern Mindanao which is the Dahilayan Adventure Park. During warm seasons, people from all over visit this adventure park that offers some of the best rides such as various types of ziplines from a novice 350 meter leisure lines, Flying Lizard Canopy glider, Python Roller Zipride to Asia’s longest dual Ziplines with its heart-pumping 850 meter length 100 meters above ground. There are more to experience in this park for a reasonable fee. However, accommodation rates may not be as friendly for some. That is why many who visit Dahilayan Adventure Park stay at Alomah’s Place where there are more affordable lodging rates.

Dahilayan Adventure Park's signature ride. Asia's longest Dual Zip line. (Photo credit: www.coconutinsider.com)

enjoy the rides or just relax with positive vibes being emitted by the vast pine tree forest in the park
But for people who prefer the “Farm adventure”, Alomah’s has more than enough to offer. Because it allows guests to be exposed to the beauty of organic farming. Mr. Benjohn, his wife Grace and son Diego are hands-on owners of the whole property. Many guests often mistaken them to be servants of the farm because they are the farmers themselves.

Alomah's Place is owned and managed by the Mahistrado family. Seated are Sir Benjohn, his son Diego and wife Grace...
For those who wish to visit Alomah’s Place and want to learn more about organic agriculture, you may reach Mr. Benjohn Mahistrado at 09177153560 or 09088972466. To learn more about other ATI organic agriculture learning sites, visit www.ati.da.gov.ph

A dream come true Camping trip for me... :)
Given a chance, I will definitely visit Aloma’s Place again, bring the whole family, and insist everyone to sleep in the tents.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

TW Steel Maveric Collection

Whenever I attend watch events, I always feel like I’m living in a "fantasy world" where the items I'll need to blog about are something I only fantasize of having but will not, most likely, experience in real life. That's mainly because such products are too expensive for my budget and are thus categorized as luxuries I could not afford in the meantime. 

launching of Son of Time, TW Steel Maveric Collection...
Still, one reason a lot of people enjoy reading blogs and why bloggers enjoy writing them is because, it is a "personal take" or a story of an “experience”.  Actually, I find it easier to blog about outdoor adventures like barefoot running, mountain biking on trails, and visiting far flung areas up in the mountains because my experience is part of the subject matter where I live the story. 

with Tough Leather straps...
Thus, it’s quite difficult for me to blog about something, most especially if it’s a product review that is not experiential, because I need to squeeze my imagination and "feel" having an actual product. In a recent TW Steel Watch event, I only had a window of minutes to creatively pretend about the awesomeness of owning the newly-launched remarkable timepieces as I only got to wear them for a moment of photo opportunities and a couple of selfies. That’s the closest thing I could get to.

HOG Rider, Ms. Rizalina Keating with her Harley Davidson  modified Chopper Sportster Seventytwo 1200cc with an awesome 16inch Ape hanger handle bar...
For those who are following my blog for quite some time, you must have probably noticed that I have been to several TW Steel events in the past and I've done my very best to write good personal blog posts about them. If some of you found them less entertaining, I apologize. I'll try to write more creative and imaginative posts next time.

This one is a monster...
Last week, the launch of the TW Steel Maveric Collection, which is part of the Son of Time Project, was held at the Revel Club at Bonifacio Uptown Mall. Unlike other TW Steel events I attended before, this one was graced by people from HOGs or the Harley Davidson Owners Group, which made the day very interesting. Part of the program is an outdoor demonstration of these bikers and, of course, their remarkable Harley Davidson Bikes, sparkling in chromes and glittery flames paint job. The highlight of their demonstration is a short bike ride cruise of 20 HOG members around BGC. 

Shiny! :)
 The TW Steel Maveric Collection projects a thematic rough and rugged image which made the presence of the HOGs very fitting. This launch was also made special with the attendance of TW Steel founder, Mr. Jordy Cobelens himself. An avid biker in his home country the Netherlands, Jordy is also a big fan of Harley Davidson Motor Cycles. That is why in the HOGs cruising portion, Jordy took the liberty to join the gang for a quick Harley ride. 

Mr. Jordy Cobelens (middle) with the HOGs...
The hugely successful Son of Time Project brought together TW Steel Chief Designer Ton Cobelens with Amsterdam based custom motorcycle builder Roderick Seibert. The collaboration exploded with creativity, delivering a unique one-off custom motorcycle matched with a unique time piece, the Son of Time. The project created so much noise it was clear the market was ready for a full TW Steel collection to mix their bold attitude and big styling with a new take on the Sport Heritage world.

Another beautiful monster...
Inside the Revel Bar, where the main program took place, the complete set of the Maveric Collection was further highlighted with the watches’ features expounded by no less than Jordy with executives from Lucerne, the Philippine distributor of TW Steel watches. As a state courtesy, the ambassador of Netherlands Ms. Marion Derckx, was also present to give a short message on the good diplomatic relationship between the Netherlands and the Philippines. 

Jordy Cobelens, Lucern Group president Mr. Ivan Yao with Ambassador Derckx and the HOGs...
The TW Steel Maveric Collection is now available at TW Steel Boutiques located at Shangri-la Plaza, the Podium, Century Mall, SM Aura, SM North Edsa, SM Mega Mall and SM Makati, Lucerne Le Temps (Resorts World Manila), Chronos, Swiss Gear, Wristpod and Adora. 

Mr. Jordy Cobelens, Co-founder of TW Steel...
Shortly before the event ended, the organizers raffled off two TW Steel watches. Unfortunately, I've never had any luck winning in these kinds of raffles. So I just took a selfie with Jordy and hoped he could rub off some of his luck to me thereby getting me closer to my dream of owning a TW Steel watch someday ... preferably with a Harley Davidson bike attached to it.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

GROHE Opens showroom in Makati City

Whenever I visit someone’s home, I always had the habit to check the bathroom and the kitchen. I’m always fascinated by these areas of the house most especially the parts with shinny and sparkling chromes. At home, as much as I wanted to keep it clean most of the time, the frequent use by “uncooperative” members of house makes it a little difficult. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming to have a beautiful bathroom and kitchen someday, very much like the ones in design catalogues. 



Just the other week, I had the privilege of witnessing the launch of the newest show room of GROHE, the world’s leading producers of state-of-the-art sanitary fittings which offers the most complete line-up bathroom and kitchen products from a single source. The GROHE brands are manufactured by no less than the country of Germany, which is of course noted for quality and durability.


 
The show room is located at Designo Atlelier, 5th floor of Wilcon IT Hub along Pasong Tamo, Makati City. The event was attended by top GROHE distributors, architects, interior designers and real estate developers who are eying for a new look in their future projects. The launch features some of the brands latest models in kitchen and bathroom fixtures. 



Part of the tour of the show room, is a showcase of kitchen sinks that will make chefs and cooks drool for excitement. One model features a special control that allows you to mix cocktail drinks directly form the tap itself and another one also gives an instant hot water from the tap with just a twist of a knob. These exceptional kitchen sinks are equip with cutting edge technology only GROHE can offer. 



The tour highlighted the latest models of shower heads that regulate water flow. These designs were made not just for aesthetic purposes only but for maximizing the flow of water that allows to cover as much area of the body with less water consumption. It also offers special knobs and switches for various uses and effects. The bath tubs and Jacuzzis are also something you want yourself dip in to with their state of the art contour designs, making your personal bathing a very pleasurable one, each time.


After the tour, the guests were ushered to enjoy a sumptuous early dinner courtesy of Chef Jessie Catering services. A timely opportunity to give in to my gastronomical craving since I was not able to take my lunch early that day. Soon after the evening culminated by the superb talent rendered by no less than the world renowned Broadway star, Ms. Lea Salonga, with some theater favorites and Disney songs. 






Monday, July 4, 2016

adidas drops the next generation of running greatness with UltraBOOST Uncaged

 PRESS RELEASE:
The wait is over. adidas embraces the future of running with the introduction of UltraBOOST Uncaged, a shoe inspired by fans and perfected by the innovation experts of adidas Running. Featuring a new adidas Primeknit upper, an internal support system and unique tiered lacing system, UltraBOOST Uncaged is engineered for maximum performance.


Originally created as an evolution of the greatest running shoe ever, UltraBOOST Uncaged continues the performance legacy of its predecessor with each element designed to collectively deliver an unparalleled running experience. To transform the Uncaged look into a performance vehicle, adidas adapted an internal midfoot skeleton using technology developed for the world’s top track athletes, delivering highly technical support and comfort with a rebellious look. A re-engineered adidas Primeknit upper provides flexible breathability and natural movement through each stride to complement an adaptive knit collar. A new multi-tiered lacing system allows runners to personalize style and fit, while specially-designed flat laces offer enhanced comfort and stability.



Alongside its new innovations, UltraBOOST Uncaged also maintains its signature UltraBOOST features. A supportive heel counter showcases the iconic embossed UltraBOOST name and keeps the foot locked in place for additional stability; a full length BOOST midsole provides industry leading Energy Return and a Stretchweb Continental Rubber™ outsole flexes naturally for superior traction with every step.


In addition to providing running greatness, UltraBOOST Uncaged represents the commitment adidas has to its fans and athletes. After global trendsetters first modified UltraBOOST by cutting off its cage, adidas embraced the movement and invited partners to create their own stylized versions of the shoe. Following this collaborative approach and in line with its dedication to delivering only the best for the athlete, adidas created its latest running innovation - a sleek new silhouette with the performance benefits that separate UltraBOOST from every other running shoe.




“UltraBOOST Uncaged combines the performance and innovation standard of UltraBOOST with the unique flair of our passionately creative fan base,” says Ben Herath, Vice President of Design for adidas Running. “adidas is committed to making athletes better through innovation and UltraBOOST Uncaged is another prime example of that pledge being met with the input of runners from around the world.”

 adidas UltraBOOST Uncaged drops in adidas stores on June 29 for Php8995.

 Join the adidas Energy Running movement by following @adidasrunning on Twitter and Instagram using #UltraBOOST.

Robinson’s Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run on its 9th year!

Among the good things that were brought out after I started running six years ago, is the good influence I was able to bring to my family. Years ago, my wife, Ruth couldn’t even have the courage to run a three kilometer distance in any fun run, much so, trading up extended hours of sleep on a Sunday morning. My son, Gab could not take a break from playing video games and would instantly decline my encouragement to run a few kilometers within our village. But I just do what I do, and allow the people around me to see the good results I make whenever I run. After years of persuasions, lo and behold! From a sole running man six years ago, now to a running family!  

From NonoyRuns to #FlorescaRuns...
I started to join Robinsons Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run five years ago when the followers were still in a couple thousands. Year after year, as the growth of the running community are increasing exponentially, so does the new followers of the Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run. Soon after, my running buddies also grew in numbers from wife to now with the whole family. 

Robinson's Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run 2014, with my son Gab
This year, it was our first time to bring our third son, James who is a special child. Even though he can not run with us because of his disability, we made sure that he is part of the family that advocates wellness. My son, Gab and I ran for the 10k category and my wife, Ruth and my other son, Gene ran for 5k while James enjoyed being push by his mom and brother on his wheelchair along the 5k route. 

Robinson's Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run 2015 with Gab, this time a barefoot runner...  
Robinson's Fit&Fun Wellness Buddy Run 2016...
 This activity of Robinson’s is part of the wellness campaign of the Robinson’s Supermarket which highlights brands that are recognized to contribute health and wellness to the consumers. Last week was the kick-off of the campaign that was held at the Robinson’s Magnolia in New Manila district. The event was a show case of brands that supports health and wellness such as, Nestle, Johnson and Johnson, Nivea and Fontera among others. 

Photo from last year's Wellness Campaign event... 


Coincidentally, my wife and I recently visited several agricultural farms that advocates and practices organic produce. From vegetables, coconuts, herbs to livestock including pigs and cattle, these farms, as much as they are still few in numbers, refuse to use harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides even it will give them a much faster growth rate for a quick profit. It uses only natural concocted agents that are good to the plants and animals and to the consumer as well. 

Organic Coconut seedlings of Buhain Diversified Farm, Initao, Misamis Oriental...
Our visits in the organic farms indeed reinforces our lifestyle to live fit and healthy. So for those who wish to clean up and detox unwanted toxins in their bodies, one may consider buying foods that supports wellness and engage in one of the cheapest form but very effective exercises and that is running. Visit Robinson’s Supermarket and look for the brands with yellow tags. These products are guaranteed to offer no less than healthy results if you wish to live fit and fun, and there is nothing more exciting to pursue running than doing it with your love ones.

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