Bento Workshop with Yumbox!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When I was a kid, my mom would stress about me not eating during lunch.  I always came home with my lunch food INTACT.  She would often wonder why that was and I couldn't answer her straight why I didn't touch my food.  She even went as far as preparing me a plate, with spoon and fork in an envelope.  To be honest, I wasn't hungry - and I was enjoying watching people around me eat that I forgot to eat.  As I grew older, the problem subsided - I had friends to eat with so it was not an issue anymore.  Now that I am a mother, I understood how frustrating it was for my mom.  My only guess is, all moms need to go through the stress and worry of their kids not eating enough in school.

When Kailee started school in Eduplay, I was worried that I'd have the same problem.  Luckily, I didn't - she would enjoy having her snacks with friends.  When she started big school, it wasn't much of a problem - in fact, she enjoyed showing off her Yumbox to friends.  She would come home and tell me that some of the mommies of her friends would ask her where she got her Yumbox!  Haha..

A few Saturdays ago, I was humbled to be invited to join the first ever Bento workshop hosted by Yumbox distributor - BrightBrands Inc.  The workshop was done by Kat Maderazo aka bentobykat, my kids and I enjoyed it as it was the first time for us three doing it together.  I wasn't able to take pictures while assembling the bento, as I was too engrossed helping out my children.  How I wish I had a Yaya photographer along, hahaha!

Kat was very helpful and cheery, she went around checking on us if we needed help.  I am not creative, so you can just imagine my alpaca, felt lucky that Kat was able to salvage it!  Hahaha...

I think I was too engrossed with making the bento that I wasn't able to take pictures - well, just some - as in a FEW!  HAHA..  But here are the finished products made by me and the kids.  Pink is Kailee's while the blue is Connor's.  I won't make you choose which is better - they put effort into this - I mean, I put a LOT of effort into this.  Hahaha!!

It's true that they say, there are no two bentos that are alike!  Hahaha..  Well, in my case that is!  Haha..

For Yumbox's current collection, these are the colors that are available for the Yumbox Panino:

Visit THIS LINK for a complete catalogue of Brightbrands' products and how to get yourself a Yumbox!

DIDIscoveries: Health Fusion Gummyvites + Giveaway!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Vitamins is something that I find hard to give the kids.  So many factors to be honest - the taste, the smell and the consistency.  I once found one type that they liked - but after a few weeks, they refused taking it because it was nakaka-umay.  Strange to be honest, because when I was younger - I don't remember having a choice of which to take - it was a *force it on yourself kind of thing* and I always thought it was like that all the time.

A few months ago, I received a care package from Health Fusion - inside the package was gummyvites, gummy vitamins for the kids.  The looked really cute and are packed very nicely and appropriately.  I was honestly skeptical that my kids would willingly take it, but they did!  They liked it so much that they would remind me EVERYDAY to give them one.  It's something that's quite surprising since it was a pain having them drink vitamins every morning before school.  But with Healthyfusion's gummyvites - they welcomed and even ask for it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I told myself that I would finish at least 3/4 of our given supply before I make a review.  I know I won't be able to see the effects immediately and it won't sound reliable and accurate if I review it when the kids have been taking them for less than a month.  Now that they have been taking if for a month or so - I can finally make an honest to goodness review.

So, what do I think about Health Fusion's Gummyvites?  Well, they're very good!  Taste wise, the kids love it - without question.  They ask for it and even go as far as reminding me EVERY SINGLE DAY.  They have their preference - Kailee likes the strawberry which is the Multi-Vites while Connor is partial to the orange flavored Vitamin C.  They still had to take one of each kind everyday but no complaints at all.  They actually look forward to it.  Hahaha!! :)  An honest to goodness observation is that the kids make me KULIT to have them take it, there are times they would trick me into giving them more.  It's THAT GOOD!

For about a month now, the kids have been in good health.  They have been in school for more than a month now and so far, I am very happy to report that they've been quite healthy.  No scare of coughs or colds or anything more.  I would like to think that the gummies have been very helpful to their health which is really very very good, right?  One of my concerns is that when they start school - they would be exposed to so many germs and it's just but natural to them to get sick from time to time.  But crossing my fingers (and toes) because, so far - so good!

These are the Vitamin C, orange flavor - Connor's favorite! 

These are the Multi-Vites, it's Strawberry flavor and Kailee LOVES it!

So do I recommend this product?  HELL YES!  I do, HIGHLY recommend this product because it's easy to give, it's economical, it's made with natural ingredients and the kids love taking it!  There is no drama nor force to ask them to take it, they WANT to take it, they're very willing to have it everyday!

If you want to try it, you can buy their vitamins in pouches.  I loved this idea because it doesn't force you to buy a lot, but believe me - you will want to buy more after this because the kids really really love it!  They will be the ones to make you kulit to give them vitamins!  Hahaha..

Prices are as follows:
Bottle of 90's is P599 each
(Promo is buy 2 bottles for P1,000 + Free Shipping!)
Pouches of 30's is on introductory price of P250 per pouch

To order, you may check out their:
Facebook Account - Health Fusion PH
Instagram Account - healthfusionph

Send them a Direct Message to order or send an email to
You may get them at Boardwalk and on LAZADA!!
Stay tuned as these gummyvites will soon be available in drugstores!  Yeyness!


The wonderful team behind Health Fusion has partnered with me to host a GIVEAWAY!
There will be ONE winner (with a Metro Manila address only) that will receive
 (1) one pouch of - Multi-Vites
(1) one pouch of - Vitamin C

Mechanics are SIMPLE:
a)  Just LIKE their FB Page & follow them on Instagram
b)  Share this giveaway on your social media accounts (FB and Twitter)
Don't forget to use the hashtag #candishhhXhealthfusionph
This giveaway will RUN from today until 11:59PM of August 15, 2018
c)  Leave your name, a VALID email address and the URL of your shares in FB and Twitter on the comment section here OR on my FB page. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON!
Just make sure you have a Metro Manila mailing address
(please do not ask me to shoulder the shipping fee if you're outside of Metro Manila)

Yaya Diaries: Red Flags that we choose to ignore

Monday, July 30, 2018

One of the things I REALLY REALLY dislike is poor listening skills.  I was taught to listen carefully, all throughout my schooling life and life on this earth - I was taught to LISTEN.

And so when people around me don't listen - well, I get a bit irritated.  I get more agitated when it is I that is giving instructions and I have to repeat it more than two times.  It really gets to me, as in really gets to me.

Last week, I found myself with just one helper in the house - Yaya B.  By some sort of grace, I was sent one by a recruiter.  Yes, it was a risk - but I was desperate, so I took her in.  There have been red flags while I was interviewing her - but as you know, when one is desperate - one is willing to forego those red flags.

Red Flag #1
When I asked the helper, how many employers she has had in her lifetime of work.  One would immediately answer, because I feel that you will remember all of them, right?  Well, she fell silent, and it was an awkward silence - and so the recruiter answered for her.  I told the recruiter not to asnwer because the question was directed to the helper.  And guess what, she couldn't answer.  She answered me with *Yung huling pinasukan ko, 1 year po ako doon*.  Since I was desperate, well, I let it go and just shook my head.

Red Flag #2 - 
She doesn't smile nor talk.  Most of us dislike talkative helpers, right?  Well - it's quite obvious that we don't like talkative ones for fear of divulging sensitive information to strangers in the future.  I remember hearing stories that their helpers would volunteer information to other helpers.  I do understand that they may do that innocently, but some do it as a form of boasting what they have to others.  But this helper, well - I was glad that she's the quiet type - it's just that she doesn't smile.  It seems like it's so hard for her to smile.  When her recruiter told her to always greet me with *Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening* I told them both that I didn't need to hear any of those.  What is important to me is to SMILE or just a pleasant expression.  But you see for next few days - her expression is always blank, and she will just stare at you.  I didn't mind this.  Yaya B observed that the new helper is just serious.  Yaya B said she works well naman daw.  But honestly, it's really too early to tell.  My Panget found it strange - he said that there might be something off with this new helper, I just told him - we need to wait and see, give her a chance.

Red Flag #3
When she moves a bit slower than the usual.  I am very particular with mabilis kumilos.   I am big myself, but that doesn't give me the right to move slower than the others.  Whenever I get home and have stuff in the trunk of the car, I would honk the car's horn to signify that there are things that needed to be brought down from the car.  So I told the new helper this.  For the next day or two, it was still Yaya B who would come out of the house to get the stuff.  I told her that she needed to stop as the responsibility is now the new helper's.  I would notice that Yaya B would always repeat the same instruction to the new helper and I would also remind the new helper of this.  On more than three occasion, I would sit and wait in the car to see how long it would take her to come out.  It took her more than 3 minutes to come out.  And reluctantly come out she did with a frown on her face.  I was already getting impatient, but what was I to do right?  So, I reminded her again on this.  She seemed to be irritated to come out and get the stuff.  I would think that after reminding her, she would improve right?  Well, it's still the same.  Slow and with a frown of if I am lucky, just a blank stare.

Red Flag #4
Poor listening skills.  One thing I really really REALLY dislike is poor listening skills.  So yesterday, she was filling my pitcher for cold water.  I saw that she was using the very slow water dispenser to fill up 2 liters of water.  I then suggested to use the pump in the helper's area instead - it's faster (and it's what I do).  As she was walking to the room, I then asked *Twing kelan mo ba nililinisan yung pichel?* She just proceeded to walk, not hearing me - I had to call her attention and asked again.  And do you know what her reply was? *Eh malinis pa naman eh*  Damn, I wasn't asking if it was clean, I was asking WHEN she cleans it.  So I asked her again telling her *Makinig ka sa tanong ha, twing kelan mo nililinisan yang pichel?*  She doesn't answer but proceeds to walk towards the sink with the intention of washing the pitcher.  I had to stop her and then said *Hindi ko naman pinapahugas sayo, tinatanong ko lang TWING KELAN MO NILILINISAN YUNG PICHEL?*  She then replied with *ISANG BESES, ISANG ARAW - TWING UMAGA AT GABI*  I almost fell on the floor with her answer.  In English, her reply was *I wash it once a day, every morning and evening* That's NOT once a day, that's TWICE a day!  I then told her, to listen to my question and to answer correctly.  I don't like it when they answer basta lang may masagot, I need them to listen and answer correctly - diba?

I think there are incidents that happen every day, but I choose to just let them go.  My Panget said to ask the recruiter for a replacement already, since it's not worth the stress I am feeling.  On my part, well - I am hoping that she will somehow improve as the days pass.  But I swear, it's really getting to my nerves.

Just this lunch time, when I got home - I noticed that when I entered the house, she was hurriedly walking towards the dirty kitchen.  She looked in a rush, and so I wondered why.  As I was walking towards the dining room, she was in a hurry taking out plates and utensils.  So when I reached the dining area and saw that only my Panget's plate was set, I was confused.  She then entered behind me uttering *Akala ko po kasi si Sir lang ang kakain dito* I then uttered *Don't tell me walang pananghalian* It was Yaya B who answered that she cooked everything and left word to re-heat it for lucnh.  So that meant, either this new helper FORGOT or didn't notice the time.  Everyday, Connor and I eat lunch at home, with the exception of Thursday - but that was it, Thursdays - it's Monday today.  I swear, I was at a loss for words and reasoning why she did what she did.  As much as I wanted to ask more questions and pry, I chose not to anymore.  To be honest, I was really irritated - but I had to keep my cool.  My Panget was just smiling and laughing.

Today marks her 7th day with us.  And it has not been 7 days of bliss and quiet, it was a of mixed emotions and having to be quiet - just to keep the peace.

I feel there will be more stories to tell, so ABANGAN.

BTW, this helper's name is Faustina M. Aloro.  She's from Northern Samar.  She has an old FB account and she smiles in her profile picture.  Go figure.

Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil partners with Philippine Heart Center

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil partners with Philippine Heart Center 
for a heart healthy nation

Being good to your heart requires not just exercise but a good diet. This Nutrition Month, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil and the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) partnered, once again, to spread the gospel of delicious, heart-healthy food.

Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil Brand Ambassador Chef Donita Rose and Chef DJ Santos showed over a hundred guests in a recent Philippine Health Center seminar how to make Ube Champorado with fried danggit and Rib Eye Tapa dishes more heart-friendly using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil.

Jolly Heart Mate brand ambassador Donita Rose w/ resident chef DJ Santos

“I believe we can enjoy good food while being healthy, specifically heart-healthy.” Chef Donita told the staff and patients of PHC. “We just need to be mindful of the ingredients we use to make the food that we love.”

An ideal kitchen staple that possesses chock-full of benefits such as Vitamin A for good eyesight and high amounts of Omega 3 and 6 that are good for the heart, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is also the lowest in saturated or bad fat among vegetable oils and also has one of the highest heat point that makes it ideal for frying and especially for deep-frying.

During the event, a lecture was also given on how people can better manage their weight to maintain good health. Practical tips as well as uncommon ways to boost weight loss were also discussed.

“We are very happy to have advocates like Chef Donita, Chef DJ and of course the Philippine Heart Center as our partners in making the country a heart healthy nation,” said Fly Ace Corporation Group Category Manager for Oils Zen Prudentino. “We hope that our efforts will help Filipinos be more mindful of what they cook their food in, and that they are making better choices in the ingredients they buy, especially with their cooking oil.”

As a service to Philippine Heart Center patients, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil also gave free Nutrition Counselling from July 9-13 and provided Karada Scan Body Fat scales for use of the Nutrition Department to help the nutritionists give accurate information about an individual’s body weight, BMI Index, fat percentage and muscle composition, helping patients know their health status. 

Jolly Heart Mate Team w/ Philippine Heart Center representatives during the Karada Scale Donation

With Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, there’s one thing less to worry about when it comes to your diet. From menu ideas to life-changing nutrition tips, Chef Donita Rose’s heart-healthy recipes will surely excite everyone’s taste buds with a diet that won’t leave anyone feeling deprived.  For more information on Chef Donita’s Festival Tour with Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, visit their Facebook page on

Fly Ace Corporation is one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino consumers, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands. To learn more about Fly Ace, visit

Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is the number one canola oil in the Philippines according to Nielsen Retail Index 2016-2017. It is one of the house brands marketed and distributed by Fly Ace Corporation and is available in leading supermarkets nationwide. To know more about Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, like our page on

Yaya Diaries: Riza Tepace

Monday, July 23, 2018

This is Riza Tepace.

She worked as a helper in my household for a total of 23 days.  To be honest, she is nice, hardworking and cleans well.  She's smiley and is friendly.  The kids like her and Yaya B said she works well.

I got her from my mother in law's mom.  Panget's Ama was the one who got her for us, there was a transportation fee of P1,500 that we needed to give to the *recruiter* because she advanced it.  When I let her into my home, we talked about rules and she needed to do around the house - such has days off and how I go about making bawas the advances we made.  She agreed and said that she really needed the work for her son (who is 1.5years old) even if her husband has been bugging her to come home - she told her husband that she was in Manila for just 2 days - how will she afford to go home?  I thought, well at least this helper knew what she needed.

The next few days went by without a hitch.  Yaya B said that she was very easy to teach and she learns fast.  The household really felt lighter when she was arrived because of her extra set of hands cleaning the house.  Yaya B was much more relaxed and seemed happier.  Everyone seemed happier, and I thought to myself, hopefully this was it.

I think after a week, my mother in law calls me to tell me that the recruiter called her to ask an advance of P1,000 from the salary of Riza.  This was because her family in the province really needed money.  I told my MIL that I'll wait for Riza to tell me as I do not like the method of having another person ask for her.  But then I remembered telling her that I did not allow advances as much as possible.  My MIL tipped me off saying that if I didn't give the advance, the helper will leave.  This made me a bit iffy - so I confronted Riza about it.  She then told me that the recruiter was the one who taught her to ask for an advance *to test the waters* if I allow it or not.  I then told her, that had she asked nicely, I would be willing - as long as she worked for it.  But honestly, I didn't like it because she's barely a week old in the household and immediately needed an advance, she told me that she'd be working anyway - to which I countered, what if you suddenly had to leave?  She was then quiet.  So I asked her how much she needed, she said P1,500 - I said, I was told that she only needed P1,000 - so how come it became P1,500?  She said the 500 was for her expenses - like shampoo and soap and etc when she goes out to send money.  RED FLAG.  I told her, I'd be sending the money as I had a feeling that when she goes out, she might not come back.  I asked for the details of who to send money to and she gave it almost immediately.  So, imagine - on her first week, she had already advances P2,500.  But I guess, she was right - she would be staying and working, right?

Yaya B noticed though, that nightly she would get calls from her husband, mother, sister and recruiter.  Yaya B said that she always had someone on the phone at night.  One time, she overheard the person on the phone asking if she wanted to move employers.  It seemed too that her husband was bugging her to come home everyday, she would say that she can't yet as she still needed to work for her salary.  As long as she was doing what she needed to do, I had no care in the world who she was talking to.

Then last week, during our lunch out.  My Panget and I suddenly asked Yaya B how Riza was doing, she then said that it seemed like Riza was going to make paalam to leave when the month ends, she said it might be because her husband and mother has been calling her every night.  Riza mentioned to Yaya B that she would make paalam on the 26th.  So my Panget and I prepared for it.

But yesterday afternoon when I got home from hearing Mass, she went to me telling me that she would be going home when the month ends.  She says no one was taking care of her son, it was her mother who convinced her to go to Manila, siya na daw bahala sa anak niya, but the son was too magulo and the mom couldn't handle it.  That's why she needed to go home.  Being 35 weeks in, I asked her if she can stay until after I gave birth - pakiusap lang since we needed her help.  She just nodded.  I then reminded her, that when the month ends, - I will need to bawas our advances to her and she will be left with less than half of her agreed salary - she said it was okay, and began to tear up and said she didn't mind that she didn't have a lot of money to bring home as long as they're together as a family - in Tagalog *Ayos lang po kakaunti ang pera, ang importante po is magkakasama kaming pamilya*  When I heard it, all I could think about was this was all drama.

Panget overheard it and snickered.  I told him that I was a bit pissed because she knew my condition, yet she didn't care.  I honestly was ready to let her go the next day - I computed the amount and found that her remaining balance was not enough to cover for her transportation back home.  My Panget said to wait until the month ends, as Riza might still have a change of heart.  After dinner, I thought about it - I gathered, her family might quit bugging her when she sends them money - after all, money talks, right?  So I approached her and told her I was willing to advance the whole remainder of her salary, just so to help her and her family.  But she declined saying that she has decided to leave at the end of the month.  I guess, she really made up her mind.  Then so be it, right?  I felt really stressed out last night.  I was at a loss, I am giving birth in a few weeks and this happens.  Looking on the bright side - I was thinking, I still had at least a week to look for help and regroup.

Then the unthinkable happened when I got home before lunch.  Riza approached me CRYING - she said that she needed to go home NOW, as in right there and then because her eldest sister passed away.  I laughed so hard, you know (it may come off as mean, but SERIOUSLY?!)  - I was in disbelief of the reason she gave.  She then started crying a bit more harder (maybe to sell the drama), but I told her she is free to leave.  I then reminded her that what remains of her salary is not even enough to cover for her transportation back.  But if she didn't care - then I shouldn't too right?  I told her to pack up already, as I didn't want more drama - I didn't need it really.

So I prepared her salary, made the computations (even if I made it the night before), so I took out the money and waited for her.  I waited for 15 minutes and finally got impatient and went to the area of the helpers.  I found her having her lunch.  I was surprised, I then asked her if she was already packed - she said she hasn't yet.  I was really pissed that she prioritized her tummy first before packing - when minutes before she was asking to leave RIGHT THERE AND THERE.  I looked at her blankly, pissed and told her to start packing her stuff.  I felt so disrespected and taken advantaged of, I mean - have her lunch first before leaving when she wanted to leave right away.  I haven't had lunch too because I had to fix her balance and then this happens?  It's really nakakainis!  I mean, mahiya naman siya diba?

Anyway, when I handed her, her salary it just dawned on her that her salary was less than 1,000.  She looked at me and I showed her the computation.  She then understood that it was really less than P1,000.  So I gave her exactly what was due her, no more no less.

After she left, Yaya B showed me a text message coming from *someone* I can only guess was her recruiter or sister or whatever.


Reason 1:  Her son needed her *badly*
Reason 2:  Her eldest sister died.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Starbucks Fruity & Vibrant Yogurt Frappucinos!

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Bring on the fruit with new vibrant Frappuccino® flavors from Starbucks

Summer’s here to stay as Starbucks brings you two of its refreshing Frappuccino® blended beverages! Find yourselves sipping endlessly as your savor these vibrant and fruity flavors.

Starting July 24, Starbucks will serve up two fruit-forward Frappuccino® blended beverages—Apricot and Peach Yogurt Frappuccino® and Açaí Mixed Berry Yogurt Frappuccino® for a limited time only.

The Apricot and Peach Yogurt Frappuccino® packs two mouth-watering fruits in three gorgeous layers, creating one cup of yogurt goodness. The multi-layer of flavors unfold as you sip – from succulent peach jelly with real bits to a creamy, tangy yogurt blend drizzled with zesty apricot sauce.
Making a return this season, the Açaí Mixed Berry Yogurt Frappuccino® is a pretty, light purple, Açaí  berry-infused drink with pearls that burst with mixed berry flavors, topped with velvety milk foam for that added creamy texture.

Available for an initial activation of Php300, the new Summer Shades Card is a cool addition to your collection that will make you want to head out, travel and relish the end of summer.
Bring Starbucks to your next adventure with the latest collection of tumblers that will trigger anyone’s wanderlust. The collection features a bright palette with fun, adventure-inspired prints that are sure to add color to any journey.

The rainy days are here but it almost feels like the season of sun is here to stay. Head over to your favorite Starbucks to dive into the last act of summer!

Waaait!  There's more!  A new Starbucks card!!  Wooohoooo!!

Available for an inital activation of P300!