Friday, February 24, 2017

Nestle: Start Healthy, Stay Healthy Campaign

Last year, we celebrated the birthday of my great aunt, Mama Sefa (Josefa) who is already 103 years old! With her age she already out-lived all of her older siblings, several nieces and even nephews and some grand children. My mom, asked her what’s her secret to long life, and she said - “Healthy living.”

In the last fifty years, it was very noticeable on how life span of man became shorter due to various illnesses. I remember when I was young, the news of a death of someone who died of cancer at a very young age was relatively rare and shocking. Today, the big – C has become a very common cause of death among many people of their younger years, and cancer has evolved in many forms as well. 

In the advancement of technology to keep up with the fast pace of living, the “fast food” industry has become the staple sustenance of many people of today. As modern research shows, many of the common illnesses are traced back to poor diet and lifestyle and many of these processed foods are the culprit in many life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Even with the advancement of modern medicine, it seems that viruses and bacteria causing diseases are always one step ahead of the latest drugs available to combat them. 

Nestle, a leading food and beverage company that is noted for its brands in the field of health and nutrition advocates healthy living among new mothers and soon-to-be-mothers early on in their pregnancy. The first 1,000 days, according to medical experts is very critical in the life not just for the baby but also for the mother herself. This means that proper health and nutrition of a child expands from conception up to the baby’s second birthday, covering the first 1,000 days. 

A good nutrition in the first 1,000 days helps prevent Microcephaly, a condition where the brains of a child did not developed normally, thus having a smaller head. This and other health anomalies during the early stages of the child’s life can be controlled or prevented within the first 1,000 days of good nutrition. Mothers on the other hand will likewise have better chances of not getting illnesses but will have more reserve energy and be healthy in all aspect of her early stage of motherhood.

Nestle a keen advocate to this health philosophy launches a website that will help guide new moms and moms to be on how to sustain a good and healthy living during their first 1,000 days journey. The site covers all the semesters in child baring up to where the child celebrates his or her second birthday. With this campaign, Nestle pursue to spearhead a conscious and committed efforts in improving the health and quality of life of new breeds of Filipinos free from death causing illnesses and live fulfilling lives that perhaps may extends to more than a hundred years.

Visit and Register:

For more information on nurturing a generation of healthier and happier Filipinos, visit the website at and follow Nestle Start Healthy Stay Healthy – PH on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sun Life Foresees Continued Strength Growth of Philippine Economy

Less than a year in the Duterte administration, the Philippines experienced an unprecedented social divide that brought a phenomenal cultural revolution that expands to all social classes and sectors of the society. In the advent of internet technology and social media, all of us became witnesses on how perceptions of people determine the probable outcome of a state of a nation. 

So, here we are, after seven months under the new government, Filipino people are bearing the loads of realities on our backs such as an atmosphere of social unrest being felt by many brought about by the government’s unorthodox approach on its “war on drugs” campaign, wide spread corruptions in the executive office and legislative body, scandalous issues in the PNP ranks, and some fragile issues on diplomatic relationships with other countries, just to name a few. 

While all these are happening, peoples' confidence in our economy is put on a rigid test. Had the used-to-be “Sickly Man of Asia” truly recovered from his illness and indeed became the fastest growing economy in the region that's strong enough to support investments or have we just experienced a relapse and regressed to a state where our economy has gone from bad to worse?

Apparently, big players in the business are showing no signs of weariness despite the steady decline on stocks and weakening of the Philippine peso over the dollar. But, for small time investors like me, how should I react to these scenarios? Should I pullout everything and look at venturing into European markets? With my limited knowledge of how our domestic market will play in the next months or years, it is helpful to seek wisdom and hopefully find solace from the experts. 

Recently, the Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI) organized an intimate gathering of members of the media to present the current financial “State-of-the-Nation”. Mr. Michael Enriquez, Sun Life Chief Investment Officer, explained that with a continuous increase in consumer and government spending, the outlook remains fundamentally positive. "Remittances from overseas Filipino workers, the BPO industry, and the large number of Filipinos who are of working age are among the factors boosting our economy from the consumer’s end. On the other hand, the rise on government spending is bringing more jobs and has also increased the demand for construction materials," he said.

According to Mr. Enriquez, these so called positive developments are offsetting the impact of recent events in the market, including the weakening of the PH peso against the US Dollar and the drop in the Philippines Stock Exchange Index due to the shift of foreign funds to the US market. Further on, he encourages small-scale investors to stay the course, even boost their investments, and look further for a long-term season of investments. Since the stock prices are cheaper, it is the best time to buy to enjoy greater gains once the market goes up and recovers. 

One investment tool people should consider is investing in mutual funds such as the Sun Life Prosperity Funds, managed by SLAMCI. Historically, the Sun Life Prosperity Funds have been performing strongly despite the given scenarios in the market. The Sun Life Equity Fund for one, has gained a five-year return of 39% and a 10-year return of 119%, while Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund marked a 28% and 89% growth in the five and 10 year return respectively; the and the Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund lodged a 12% and 44% return for the same duration. The said figures is as of December 31, 2016.

So what does all these percentages mean to a small scale investor? According to Sun Life finance experts, basing on their technical parameters, our economy is still holding strong and investors of these financial tools are reaping relatively promising gains still. These revenues are results of a sound economic growth, perhaps brought about by the infusion of reserves that was left by the previous administration and the locked in tenures of foreign investments in our country.  On the technical side, these factors would equate to a relatively good statistics in the next coming months.

However, numbers and statistics may tell us promising futures but realistically, many would still hold on to their resources and seek a lesser risk taking investments instead. Given the overall present state of our country today, financial and investment decisions should be made with thorough analysis. SLAMCI advises investors not to take drastic steps due to “fear of the unknown”. Instead, we are all encouraged everyone to invest long term because Sun Life believes and are confident that things would get better sooner than we expected. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A really Good Time at Gringo…

“Gringo” is a Mexican term referred to a foreigner, particularly a “White American”. Having this in mind, one can have an idea of what Gringo (the resto) is quite famous for. They offer a wide range of Mexican/American dishes with its world’s famous Southern spices that comes in two sizzling hot and spicy variants. 

Last week, another branch was opened at the third level atrium of SM Mega Mall and I had the opportunity to be invited in their launch. A pleasant ambiance will be felt as the friendly staff greeted everyone – Hola! Gringo, despite its few branches, it has become a favorite hangout of the typical pinoy barkada and families who crave and enjoy delectable dishes.

According to restaurateur Mr. Reagan Tan, “Gringo is a friend we all wish to have. He host the best get togethers, along with his closest amigos and cooks up one mean Mexican-Latin feast”. Historically, the Philippines and Mexico has a long standing relationship, the food of Gringo is something that is very comfortable in the tastes of many Filipinos. Many of the dishes served were very similar to the ones we all enjoy as Filipinos."

These delicious foods are made extra special with the Southern Spices only Gringo can bring. The flavors also bring the old American-southern style of cooking which are evident in their grilled foods such as the Baby Back Ribs and grilled chicken. Many of its dishes are inspired by the Cajun Southern style smoky flavors with its original herbs and spices.

Sea foods are also something to try at Gringo. One dish that made a mark is the Crispy Catfish Salsa which is also deboned, and this one goes best with the Gringo spicy sauce, and Mexican Garlic Rice. So, what makes the garlic rice Mexican? It’s the tomato sauce that is added into it, of course! A side dish of Mushroom Garlic also very satisfying.

The food is made as you order and it will take a while before you enjoy it. While waiting, a recommended starters can be a Clam Chowder Soup with flaky pastry bread which is so delicious and a plate of Baked Mussels. Of course A Mexican restaurant would not be called to be one without Nachos with Salsa dressings. 


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