Have It The Chado Way

Milk tea is an in thing today. People crave for it making tea shops sprout everywhere. And with this undeniable summer heat, who doesn’t want anything cool to slide on their throats to quench their thirsts?

My work is near Eastwood City so my officemates and I can visit it almost anytime we want for some food or other stuff that can only be bought in malls. One day, one of my colleagues and I were on our way to a popular milk tea shop when we passed by a tea stall new to our eyes called CHADO The Tea Room. Its offerings are priced lower and, hey, it’s also milk tea so we decided to give it a try.

Chado 01

For only 75 pesos for a regular-sized milk tea and 85 pesos for a large, people can experience the CHADO milk tea goodness comparable to those of more costly ones. Naturally, a milk tea drink is a combination of milk and tea and with this, the tea’s taste is more distinct giving off the notion that it is true to its tagline, “Herbs that heal!” That taste is what my colleague and I liked most about this discovery so this shop became our instant favorite.

And why wouldn’t it taste such when its name is derived from two Japanese words, “cha”  and “do”,  which mean “tea” and “way”, respectively, and are used to describe the Japanese tea ceremony. So its like whenever one drinks a CHADO beverage, he or she gets to experience the taste of the event minus the pure bitterness of tea.

Of course, the flavors of our choice from chocolate, cherry, and my favorite, winter melon, among others, are also present in this mix, my only point in this is that it really tasted like tea with milk, if you know what I mean. hehe 🙂

Chado 02

Herbs that Heal!

I found out on the net that CHADO The Tea Room’s milk teas are indeed a healthy choice. Aside from the antioxidant content of tea, CHADO’s milk tea uses the Chado Special Sago or Basil Seeds which are known to be good for the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems, and skin, and can effectively relieve of stress. Moreover, the seeds, once consumed, have the cooling effect in the body making the beverage perfect for this summer season.

So what do you think about that, huh? CHADO’s milk tea isn’t just a drink that can refresh us and satisfy our cravings, it also keeps us healthy. Try it now!

Chado 03

CHADO The Tea Room also serves green teas, jelly-filled drinks, FruitMix series, and more.

 

 

CHADO The Tea Room
1. Eastwood Citywalk 1 (near Cyber Mall)
2. Food Junction, Eastwood City
Quezon City

 

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SOURCES:
TRUTHNHEALTH
Pinoy Entrepreneur
Wikipedia

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Lovin’ the Right Way with Kuya Kevin’s Book

Basta Lovelife (Kuya Kevin)

My closest friends have found my battered heart on the ground some time ago. And while most of them showed support and gave me honest opinions and advices about it, my college buddy coupled hers with a book called Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions by Kuya Kevin, an American pastor/minister and blogger living in the Philippines for a decade now.

It just got buried on my pile of unread books, though, ’cause I was too busy both with adjusting to my new work and with helping myself stand up again. And besides, there’s that term “lovelife” on the title, and I didn’t need it then.

But now that time is swiftly turning the pages of my life’s book to my 25th birthday, and I’m starting to wonder if I was born for single blessedness or married life/committed doublehood, I remembered it, and so I dug my dusty pile, read it, and enjoyed the pieces of information I got from it.

Basta Lovelife answers relationship questions about love (like the right age to be in a relationship, dealing with rejection, same-sex relationships, etc.) and sex from a Christian’s perspective and with pieces of evidence from the Bible to support the ideas. Its aim is to help young Filipinos make wise relationship decisions.

When it comes to sex, those addicted to a premarital one may not like it because the book has a strong conviction about sexual purity. Kuya Kevin discusses why one should keep their virginity until the day they get married by comparing  purity and impurity with fresh water from a water dispenser and contaminated one from a freshly painted curb, and asks which one would people drink. He also tells sex is the highest form of intimacy and that each time people engage with it, they give a piece of themselves to each sexual partner, so just imagine what’s left to offer to their future spouse if they do it outside marriage. Sex even loses it true meaning in the process.

Likewise, the book may also receive a couple of eyebrow-raising from the close-minded people because it discusses the double standard in males and females. They say that men, unlike women, don’t lose anything in premarital sex. But the Bible, through Kuya Kevin’s simple explanation, says it is untrue. Men lose too; they lose self-control, intimacy, themselves, safety, and security. Men’s sex drive is also explained in the book to make it clear if it’s a blessing or a curse.

The book isn’t just being conservative. As Kuya Kevin says in the book, “I base my beliefs on biblical commandments and principles.” So if the Bible has no clear stand on a certain act, like kissing and masturbation, he doesn’t say no to it although he also explains the potential consequences of such. And he didn’t condemn anyone who has made the mistake of having premarital sex in the past. God, after all, forgives, as long as one will be committed to change.

Potential detractors’ reactions aside, Basta Lovelife is a must-read for people seeking a more fruitful relationship in the future, the book is after all made for them. If you want to be enlightened, too, about its subject and others that surround it, this book is recommended to be added on your book list. Its 161 pages sure have a lot to teach you.

 

***

I got a shocking question from a guy friend a few weeks before reading this book: What’s your opinion about sex? It was shocking because it was the first time I got such query (He even added: I can ask anything, right?and yes, he could, I guess, since I indirectly agreed to have that Q&A session with him. But still…), so I didn’t know which part of sex I should talk about, how to start with my answer, and it was awkward for me speak about it alone with a guy.

It took me maybe about a minute to compose myself before I finally said something like: I’m open-minded about it and I can talk about it with people. I don’t even have a problem saying sexual words like penis, vagina, and sex, unlike most people who bleep them, since I don’t find anything wrong with them. I surprisingly know a lot about sex as compared to what my personality would suggest, so I can talk about sex in an educational way–although I haven’t done it yet, mind you–and laugh wild with people dropping green jokes all the time. But I won’t do it. (I just find it fulfilling to be knowledgeable about any stuff foreign to me, but no applications, please. It’s way too early for that.)

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

Later on, I started questioning myself with my answer, thinking maybe I was way too conservative that I’m now missing a lot in my life. But as I read Basta Lovelife, I began feeling proud of myself and my beliefs and I decided to hold on to them tighter ’cause I know that I’m on the right track. The book is now a favorite. 🙂

Visit Kuya Kevin’s blog at: kuyakevin.blogspot.com

 

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.

–William Penn

A Taste of Health at Pho Hoa Noodle Soup

When the digits on your age are already telling you to drop the dilly-dally, maybe it really is the time to finally take some parts of your life seriously. Your health, for instance.

So why not try Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, which dubbed itself as the “Health Conscious Choice”?

Considered as the world’s largest Vietnamese restaurant chain, Pho Hoa Noodle Soup takes pride in serving its food offerings with the right mix of meat and vegetables, making them balanced meals.

I’ve known Pho Hoa ever since I got both the ability to roam around malls and read, and I used to just pass by it, not even thinking to ever eat at it. But on a night when all the people in the world seemed to be in Araneta Center, Cubao, and there was no other dining place that could accommodate me and Mom but this restaurant in Gateway Mall, we discovered a goodness that we should’ve tried a long time ago.

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao

The interiors, including the comfortable chairs and tables, are pretty decent, and the prices of the food are very affordable.

Mom is always on a diet, so she ordered Chả Giò, which is classified as an appetizer, for only 195 pesos. It is made up of minced pork and vegetables, rolled in rice paper and deep fried, much like the Philippines’ Lumpiang ShanghaiInstead of being dipped in banana ketchup or sweet and sour sauce, Chả Giò comes with a mix of sugar, nuoc nam (fish sauce), vinegar, chili paste, and a little bit of sliced carrot. It is also served with lettuce, slices of cucumber, and some rice vermicelli noodles for that healthy twist.

Pho Hoa's Chả giò

Pho Hoa’s Chả Giò

For my part, I ordered a Vermicelli Bowl called Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò. For only 280 pesos, its single small serving is already good for two so Mom and I shared on it though Mom refused at first since, like I said, she’s on a diet. We both think it’s also a Chả Giò, only the rolls are thicker and the slices are smaller, tossed with other ingredients to make it balanced. Aside from the fried rolls, the meal also contains grilled pork, then vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce, all sliced in julienne cut, and of course, the rice vermicelli noodles. It is also served with the same dip as with the Chả Giò.

Pho Hoa's Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò

Pho Hoa’s Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò

All in all, our dine at Pho Hoa was nice, delicious, and definitely healthy. My Mom especially loved it that she said she and Dad will eat there again the next time they go to a mall that has it.

Truly, chances can sometimes make us stumble on hidden treasures. I am recommending Pho Hoa to my health-conscious friends. 🙂

Slumber Party in the Dark

When the clock hits 12, darkness begins wrapping the place and people vanish one… by one… by one…

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Nah. It’s not some horror story.

 

My work’s office has an unusual lunch break culture. Instead of the usual break time, most employees start going to the pantry or outside to eat lunch at around 11:30am, then go back to their workstations afterward to take care of some personal stuff. Then once the lights go off at exactly 12nn, they take their naps, which they do either by resting their heads on their desks with their arms as pillows or by lying on the back of their chairs, then when the lights are turned on at exactly 1pm, they wake up all ready to face their works.

 

When I was new in the company, I found this everyday habit completely awesome on the part of the employers since they allow total relaxation for their employees. But as months passed, I realized that it is not only for the benefit of the latter but also of the former. It is a two-way street after all.

 

Napping has a lot of advantages especially for workers and employers, whom all the jobs are being done for. Wondering what I mean? You better read on:
 

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

1. It makes us more alert

It’s official from a NASA research: Napping, though it’s not as long as sleeping, boosts alertness by 100%. Another study also shows that a nap as a break makes a person more alert and active compared to before the rest happened.

 

2. It promotes faster learning and better memory

Need to pay attention to your work? Taking a nap before attacking that hard task has an amazing result of helping you focus and keeping your memory working properly.

 

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

3. It helps avoid suffering from information overload

If you’re piled up with a lot of tasks, never do the mistake of not getting some nap. According to studies, failing to rest leads to decrease of productivity. So it’s better to take a short nap to have your mind refreshed.

 

4. It gets your creativity and senses going

A scientist in the name of Sara C. Mednick revealed it: Taking a nap is as good as a good night sleep when it comes to sensory perception. It also boosts creativity as it untangles the knots in overlapping ideas and binds the related ones at the same time.

 

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

5. It is good for the health

Lack of sleep is never good as it increases the cortisol hormone in the body. Cortisol is not bad, as it helps us deal with stress, but an excess of it leads to glucose intolerance and abdominal fat, it undermines muscular and immune systems, blocks memory and learning, and reduces levels of growth hormone and testosterone in the body, which can all cause diabetes and heart attack. Tsktsk. There’s just too much that can happen to our health if we don’t take that short, sweet nap.

 

6. It improves our mood

I have proved this numerous times. I am often so groggy and irritated in the morning, but after napping during lunch break, I am already feeling okay, I laugh, smile, and am very much ready for the rest of the day.

Well, that is because of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that handles our moods, sleep, and appetite. But during lack of sleep or stressing moments, the body uses more serotonin and it also stops producing it. The aftermath, then, is that we are caught in a bad mood.

 

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

7. It is budget friendly

Which is better, paying for something or getting it absolutely free? I am almost sure that everyone would choose the latter. If we get a cup of coffee, we spend for it, while decreasing our memory’s performance, but if we just take a nap, we get to energize ourselves not just for free, but also in a natural way! Isn’t way better? 🙂

 
 

Taking a nap is not just like that, though. Follow these simple napping tips from Dr Mednick for a more effective one:

 

1. Stick to a regular schedule

Ideal napping time is from 1pm to 3pm, but for people like me whose only break is from 12nn to 1pm, I get to sleep only within that time. I think it’s okay, as long as I stick to that schedule.

 

2. Naps should be quick

When we take a nap, we do it quickly, otherwise, it may already be called a sleep. The ideal duration is 30 minutes or less so make sure to set your alarm. In my case, I start resting my head at 12:30pm, so when it is 1pm and the lights are on, I wake up.

 

Photo grabbed from ♥♥♥ Fufue ♥♥♥ via Flickr

Photo grabbed from ♥♥♥ Fufue ♥♥♥ via Flickr

3. Do it in the dark

The reason is simple: It helps us fall asleep faster. If you can’t turn off the lights in your office, you can opt to wear an eye mask.

 

4. Be in a warm place

Our body temperature drops when we sleep, so Dr Mednick advised this or at least bring and use a blanket. But if you’re living in a tropical country like the Philippines, this is a bad idea, otherwise, you’ll wake up drenched in sweat.

 

 

I always say that when it is lunch break, I really take a break. And people should really give me a break. So for that precious hour, I toss away my work load and relax, either by eating outside the office or taking a nap right after munching my lunch in the pantry. I especially do the latter when I know that I will be needing that extra energy to work my mind for my current task.

You should take a nap, too, during your lunch break even though your office doesn’t have the same culture as ours. It’ll help you big time in finishing a quality assignment or two. Well, of course, it’ll not only benefit you, but the company you’re working for as well. 😉

 
 
 

Sources:
Art of Manliness
WebMD

And I Sing La-La-La…

Today is All Souls’ Day.

But no, I’m too unconventional to be narrating a ghost story or two, I leave that to people who have heaps of it. I’m into a different kind of horror. That horror that gives one the urge to run away fast, screaming, to the farthest they can go to, or cover their ears while silently pleading they can disappear like bubble. The horror that makes others camouflage and choose to keep quiet in fear that they’ll get caught and exposed, while some who have lots of guts put their lives at risk.

I’m talking about singing and hearing someone not so blessed do it. WAHAHA.

 

Kidding aside, do you feel better whenever you sing (Despite other people’s angry stare at you or laughs)? Well, you should be for studies show that singing has health advantages physically, mentally, and socially.

Karaoke night at Leonardo’s Bar and Restaurant, Antipolo with high-school friends after attending a friend’s wedding

Singing’s physical benefits are the following:
– It is an aerobic activity so it exercises the heart and lungs
– It tones the intercostal muscles and diaphragm
– It tones the muscles in the face (With the way we sing with full-blast emotions)
– It improves posture (When singing from the diaphragm)
– It opens sinuses and respiratory tubes wider
– It strengthens the immune system, thus helps our bodies fight diseases

Then the psychological benefits are:
– It makes the body produce endorphins, the happy hormones, thus:
        a. it relieves stress
        b. it reduces anger, depression, and anxiety
        c. it makes us feel contented
        d. it is energizing
        e. it promotes positivity
        f. it uplifts us spiritually
– It boosts self-esteem and confidence
– It nurtures creativity
– It improves memory and concentration (probably because of the lyrics)

Late Christmas Party with my former colleagues at Music Match Revolution Family KTV, Ortigas Home Depot (Photo by Champy Cachola)

Lastly, its social benefits are:
– It bonds people
– It opens doors to giving and receiving feedbacks
– It promotes fun and lots of laughter

What more can one ask for in a single, pleasurable, and worthwhile activity?

 

Filipinos love singing and most are great at it. This is evident on the karaoke bars or KTVs that sprout all over the country, and the number of our countrymen, half or not, who stand out on international singing contests. And now we know why we are regarded as happy people.

Bonding time with former officemates at Center Stage Family KTV & Resto Bar, Bel-Air, Makati (Photo by Champy Cachola)

I, myself, enjoy singing so much that I do it for about 30 minutes from the moment my father opens our home’s gate when I arrive from work. There’s just something about it that after a while always makes me do it at the top of my lungs–which I call a concert–that my younger brother–whenever he’s home around that time–always annoyingly tells me to stop soon. Little did I know that it is actually because of the endorphins that my body releases whenever I sing. It’s something that’s perfect after a stressful and exhausting day at work.

Of course, it’s more exhilarating when I finally get hold of a karaoke machine’s microphone and I can sing a song not only with accompaniments, but also with full interpretation of the song itself like I’m a real singer in front of a large crowd.

So next time you’re feeling down, just sing–sing with all your heart. You may be in horror of getting yourself in peril from people trying to throw things at you for doing it, but at least, deep inside you know you’re feeling terrific. Surely the menace of some cans, bottles, and other stuff hitting your head is nothing compared to the benefits singing can offer you. 😉

Karaoke time until who-knows-what-time-of-the-mornight-it-was at the nipa hut located on the rooftop of the Nualla Residence (Photo grabbed from Yuko Konishi-Legaspi)

A word of advice, though. If you are broken hearted, never ever listen to or sing any heart-breaking songs. ‘Cause instead of making you feel better, it’ll leave you a wreck, a lot worse than before you started humming the single. Tsk tsk tsk.

Happy singing! 😀

 

 

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Incidentally, Yahoo! News Philippines reported October 30, 2012 about  a casket equipped with a karaoke machine. Manufactured by R.G. Nogoy Casket  from Pampanga, the coffin will serve as a “gimmick to surprise guests and lighten the mood of solemn funerals or Halloween parties.” For the full story, click here.  (Photo grabbed from Yahoo! News Philippines and is owned by Cheryl Ravero/REUTERS)

Sources:
More Singing Please
The Huffington Post
Heart Research UK

Pucker Up those Healthy Lips :*

It was just in April of this year when I started wearing lipstick.

My officemate, who is a close friend and a long-time wearer of red lipsticks, had convinced us, her lady co-workers, to buy inexpensive lippies from NYX online. At first, I wasn’t interested in joining the craze, thinking my lips are way too dry for it and that wearing one would be very uncomfortable.

But then my friend pointed to NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink and said it would look great on me since its light color fits my “demure” image. I considered what she said for a few minutes, then I thought, hey, it’s only 135 pesos, so why not try it for a change.

NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink (Photo by Champy Cachola)

So the purchase was made and I got my first. ever. lipstick. Oh boy, it’s kinda embarrassing, but it did look good on me and even on my other colleague who also bought the same shade. It makes one’s face bloom!

The Tale of the Lipstick Addict

That NYX shade became my official lip color for a few months except when I felt like using the NARS lipstick my close friend gave me some time when we transferred to another job.

Then one July night,  a seductive little catalogue arrived home with the letters A, V, O, and N on its cover page. I flipped through its contents and was completely hypnotized. And so, it was then when my love for lipsticks was born. I got two from it, was sated, then I bought another one from MAC. I thought of trying a red shade, but I was afraid it wouldn’t look good on me, so to be safe, I purchased a very affordable one from the local brand Fashion 21, then I bought another from a foreign brand, until voilà! I already have a lipstick collection!

It is true that mothers know best, though. When my mom noticed that I buy lipsticks like I was simply changing clothes, she suggested that I stop because it was getting too impractical. She said that there are other better stuff that I can use my hard-earned cash with. I got her point, and it had sense, and so like your regular obedient child, I took her advice. Whew!

Okay, I confess. It didn’t stop there. Just this month, I bought Avon Ultra Color Rich Brilliance Lipstick in Vermilion on a whim. I have this Avon dealer co-worker who always brings her catalogue to the office, and I saw this other officemate deciding on what to buy, then BOOM, I guess you know what happened next. I told it to my mom, and as she was about to say something, I quickly interjected that it was only 199 pesos, and that I promise that this time around, it’s really, really, really, really, reeeeaaaalllllyyyy the last. Hehe. Really now… >.<

Taking Good Care of Your Lips

With dry lips and a great lip color come great responsibility (Whoa. Who would’ve thought it would be just like being Spiderman? O_o).

Lips should be kept healthy so you can confidently pout like this! Just kidding. >.< Next photo please…

As I said above, I wasn’t into lippies before because I have dry lips (Along with my dry hair, dry skin, and dry eyes. Dry everything.). So just imagine yourself in my shoes. You’re on your way to work and you’re wearing a noticeable fuchsia pink lipstick. You’re so happy about it, but after a while, you feel your lips are getting dry. You’re tempted to lick it but doing so will erase what’s on so you act like a martyr who has mastered the art of self-control for the sake of beauty.

Then there comes a cute guy from the opposite direction and he is kind of looking at you. He is your type so you smile at him until you suddenly realize that he may be looking at the horror that is your now chapped fuchsia pink-colored lips. So what happens next is you look away in shame. Not a very good sight for him, not a very good sight, indeed. Tsk tsk. And you just ruined that potential love affair before it even started. (Note: This is purely fictional, okay? There’s no way I can smile to the guy I like like that. 😛 ) Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

Devastated, you mull over stopping painting your lips ’cause it’s turning into a discomfort. Yet just like anything else, once you start with it, you can never live without it ever again. So you need another option for this little challenge.

But what may it be? Thanks to the pieces of information I got all over the Internet, I now know. If you’re also a lipstick wearer but have lips that are always dehydrated, you may want to continue reading for useful tips on how to take care of your lips without causing you a fortune.

Aside from the dry lips itself, there are lipsticks which formulas are very drying and hot on the lips like that one I got from Shiseido. So add those two up and you get double pain in the neck. The solution? Simply put lip balm first about three minutes before you apply your lipstick. That way, it wouldn’t only moisturize your lips, it’ll also make it shimmery (That is, if you’re into that kind of lips).

Then before going to bed every night, always put petroleum jelly on and leave it overnight to achieve that soft duckface-worthy lips.

… Or like this! The “sexy” way, if it can be called that. hahaha This is getting too shameful, this blog entry is turning into my vanity pout page. :’) My apologies. Last photo please…

But applying those on your lips isn’t enough, for just like the skin all over your body, your lips should be stripped off of the dead skin cells to expose those healthy live ones. There are several simple ways to exfoliate the lips:

1. Toothbrush. After brushing your teeth, put a small amount of toothpaste, petroleum jelly, or nothing at all on your toothbrush, and gently rub it on your lips in circular motions. Do this for one to two minutes, then put petroleum jelly to moisturize your lips afterward.

Among the exfoliation methods, this is the only one that I do since it promotes no bother. I brush my teeth thrice a day with the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste (just like everybody else), so the only extra stuff that’s needed is another few minutes to my brushing time, that’s all. There’s no way I would forget it or I would be lazy ’cause all the essentials are with me thrice a day. 😀

2. Sugar. Mix sugar with olive oil or petroleum jelly. Use it as a scrub and gently rub it to your lips in circular motions using your fingertips. After rinsing off with warm water, don’t forget to put petroleum jelly on your lips.

3. Baking Soda. Mix baking soda with water until it resembles a paste. Put it on your lips, then with the use of a toothbrush or your bare fingertips, rub it gently in circular motions for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. To moisturize your lips, do not forget to apply petroleum jelly.

4. Honey and Sugar. Make a scrub of honey and sugar by mixing both and applying it to your lips, again, in circular motions. Let it stay on for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. Honey is known to be a natural moisturizer, so by using this method, you won’t need to apply petroleum jelly anymore.

So those are the four simple and budget-friendly steps to exfoliate the lips. Whatever method you choose, as long as it’ll get rid of the dead skin on your lips, go, go, go, I support you! haha.

Serious mode. Of course, a duckface is more fun and better done with a close friend who has equally healthy lips. Meet Mao, the person who persuaded me to wear lippy. 🙂 (Photo by Champy Cachola)

Oh, I almost forgot. Wearing lipstick did something good to me aside from the aesthetics. It stopped me from licking my lips whenever I feel like its very dry. Did you know that saliva evaporates fast making your lips drier than before you lick it? If you don’t, well now you know. That’s all. Hope this entry helped you if you have the same problem as mine. 🙂