Thursday, April 21, 2016

Every Child Deserves a Fair Shot: Let's #AskPharma !

As a mom I have always wanted the best for my daughter. The moment she was born, my husband and I made sure that we got the best paediatrician for her. We're so thankful that we were given one of the bests in town. Of course, part of securing the healthy growth of an infant is the required vaccines that the baby should get. Though the cost was (and still is) quite exorbitant, as parents, my husband and I did our very best to ensure that our daughter would get the shots she needed. Yes, shots are expensive, but what could we do? We didn't know any better.

Last March 19th, I was one of the mommy bloggers at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Knowledge Sharing Session held at the The Linden Suite. 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. They offer assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. It was founded in Paris, France in 1971. In 1999, MSF started the Access Campaign aiming to increase access to - and the development of - affordable, practical and effective drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests for diseases that affect people in places where they work.

Dr. Kitts Sarte, a paediatrician who's been working with MSF for 8 years now.
The main speaker was Dr. Kitts Sarte, a paediatrician who has been working with MSF for 8 years now. She helped the mommy participants understand about pneumonia, the availability of the vaccine and its cost and the current situation of pneumonia cases in the Philippines.

PCV in the Philippines
#AskPharma is an MSF's global advocacy to help developing countries and humanitarians access affordable life-saving pneumonia vaccines (PCV). Since the current price of PCV is very expensive ($150), MSF through #AskPharma is campaigning for lower vaccine prices. The cost to vaccinate a child has increased dramatically in recent years: many countries struggle to absorb the rising costs, while others can't afford to introduce certain vaccines.

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are the only two producers of this life-saving PCV. They have collectively reported more than US$28 billion in global sales from PCV. It's time for them to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5 per child for all developing countries and humanitarian actors. 

You can make a difference. I believe that every child deserves a fair shot. By signing the petition, you are supporting a child's basic right to life. Add your voice to this campaign and make a difference in the life of a child. On April 24th, MSF will hand over the petition to Pfizer and GSK. Share this link and ask your friends, families and others to sign the petition. Let our voice be heard! 

Note: All facts and figures stated are taken from MSF fact sheet.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Crafting Time's Polymer Clay Workshop: Mommy and Me Clay Play!

Last April 1st, I was one of the privileged few that was invited to join the Clay Play activity sponsored by The Crafters Marketplace. It was held in their studio located at the Rustan's Grocery, Shangri-La Mall right beside the GNC shop. I came with my daughter who got so excited when I told her about it a day before.

Look at how excited she is!
After the warm welcome and introduction from Ms. Alma Borruel-Ramirez, one of the owners of the Crafters Marketplace (the other one is Ms. Sunshine Asuncion-See), we were treated to a refreshing milk tea from Fiftea and yummy cheese roll from Mary Grace. Snacks came first since we would get busy, according to her (wink).
Ms. Alma, as she welcomes the participants
Yummy snacks
Afterwards, Melody, our teacher who is one of the leading clay artists in the Philippines, started the workshop. She's fun, accommodating and friendly. She's been into crafting since she was 10 years old (I'd like to say since birth; that's how good she is)! She introduced to us what a polymer clay is. She told us the different types/brands of polymer clay, what brands are best for kids' play and for jewellery makers and the things to remember before we handle or play our clay. Very informative! Also, she unselfishly shared her tips and secrets in decorating her clay. 

Melody, the clay artist
Fimo is best both for kids and jewellery makers while Sculpey III is good for kids
For this workshop, we used the Dukit brand (modelled by my daughter)
Some of Melody's creations
Would you believe that's all made of clay?
Then the real work or should I say, the real play began! (Note: Always make sure that your hands and everything you'll use are clean before you touch your clay)

Cut the clay before you knead it
She's getting ready
My daughter's hands :)
Don't worry, I did the cutting
She's kneading too! :)
Melody showed us how to make a flower. Everyone tried her best to come up with a flower too.
Little flower
My version :)
The mommies' and their children's creations
Melody's hand checking our work
Time to put them in the oven toaster. 
While waiting for our creations to be "cooked", Ms. Alma gave us a quick tour to their shop.

Crafting Time
Crafts by Melody
We also had our "class picture". We were just a small group but we had a great time!

The mommy bloggers together with our kids, Melody and Ms. Alma
 Then the moment we've been waiting for had come! 

They're done! Yay!
Ms. Sunshine, in an email, promised us that it's going to be fun and she certainly kept her word. My daughter and I enjoyed our clay play together. Just like what Melody said, "It's a relaxing bonding time between mother and daughter."

Polymer Clay Art of The Crafters Marketplace, a really must-try activity! :)
So, are you excited to know more? Don't fret! The Crafters Marketplace has prepared something for you and even for the kids! Please see the photos below for the schedule.

For the crafter in you 
For your kids
Hope to see you in one of their workshops! I promise you, you'll enjoy it! 

The Crafters Marketplace is owned by Sunshine Asuncion-See and Alma Borruel-Ramirez. They have been in the business since 2015. They bring in items from the US and Canada. For scrapbooking supplies, please visit and like their Facebook page. For more information, kindly send them an email at or contact them through Viber at  647.895.1051. Thank you. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Philippine Proverbs Book Launch: An Afternoon of Delight and Proverbs

"Kung may isinuksok, may madudukot." (Save now, withdraw later). This is one of the proverbs I have learned about when I was just a little girl. I heard my grandparents said it, my parents reiterated it (to us, their children) and one of my teachers mentioned it. It stuck to my young heart like glue that I have never forgotten it. That's why among my parents' siblings, I was the only one to open a savings account at the age of 12. Fast forward to today, I still believe in that golden adage and live by it. Now why do I remember it?

Last March 15th, I was blessed to have been invited to attend the Philippine Proverbs Book Launch. It was held in Via Mare (Oyster Bar) Greenbelt 3, Makati City. It was my first time to attend such that I didn't want to come late. I brought my daughter along and we arrived at the venue an hour early.

My daughter who was equally excited as mom. 

We were greeted by Ms. Neri, Tahanan Books' Publisher. She's so warm and friendly. She made sure that my daughter and I found a comfortable seat.

Ms. Neri, the Publisher as she welcomes all the guests to the Book Launch
While waiting, I took some photos of the venue. The decoration and set-up was altogether fitting and proper.

There was also a table for other Tahanan Books' products which are for sale.

While still waiting, my daughter and I had the obligatory or should I say, proverbial selfie. :)

Her allergy struck again that's why.
The program started with welcome remarks from Ms. Neri. A number of games was prepared while delectable snacks were served. The place was filled up with mommy bloggers (like me), friends and guests of the author and the artist.

The Proverbial Bingo
Sticky Rice and Mango

Puto Bumbong and Bibingka

The Mommy Bloggers
While we were enjoying our snacks, out of the blue, a couple "made a scene". They really caught our attention; everyone just stopped what they're doing. Before the "drama" ended they began quoting proverbs in different Filipino dialects, we then realised it was staged! Very unique!

The couple who "made a scene :)
The couple together with the author
The drama served as the introduction to the author of the book, Ms. Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz. After giving an inspiring message on how she came up with this book, the illustrator, Eisen V. Bernardo also shared his insights and experience in the making of this book. Shortly after this, the book signing followed.

The illustrator, Eisen V. Bernardo
My daughter and I with the author, Ms. Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz

It was indeed a fun and delightful afternoon. I believe that everyone went home as happy as me and my daughter. How did I know? Well, actions speak louder than words. Look at the photo below. :)

The mommy bloggers together with the author and the artist

The Philippine Proverbs Book is published by Tahanan Books. To know more about it, please visit their website, or their Facebook page. Thank you.