Saturday, October 12, 2013

Meet Nana the Banana of the Goodness Gang

GOOD NEWS! K finally gets her free plush toy from Rustan's Supermarket. Naming it "Nana the Banana," this bright yellow fella from the Goodness Gang is part of the supermarket's campaign to promote healthy eating following the "5-a-Day Rule" among its shoppers.

The 5-a-Day Rule comes from the World Health Organization's recommended serving of at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables a day to lower the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers), among other health problems. By consuming five 80-gram portions of fruits and vegetables combined, one can get maximum benefits such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system.

The Goodness Gang are here to help us follow the 5-a-Day Rule.

Who's your favourite?


Get one (1) sticker for every PhP 300 worth of purchase in Rustan's Supermarkets plus bonus stickers for a minimum PhP 100 worth of sponsor products. Promo runs until November 30, 2013.

Sticker cards are available at Rustan's Supermarket cashiers and customer service counters or click here to download and print a copy.


1. Rustan's Supermarket: Goodness Gang
2. NHS (UK): Why 5 a Day?

Friday, October 11, 2013

How I Ran (and Not Walked) for the Pasig River

Sweaty Selfie, I had no choice! :D

I've almost called last Sunday's Run for Pasig River the run that wasn't.

With -- read: 79,000 runners in attendance at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, there wasn't only heavy vehicle buildup at as early as 5:00 am, foot traffic was also unimaginably shoulder-to-shoulder that it took my cluster roughly an hour just to get to the starting line.

It was almost impossible to run.

But thankfully, there were tiny opportunities called spaces that allowed me to zigzag through the thick crowd, consisting mostly of students and corporate volunteers. Then there were my fellow runners from the Metrobank Group who cannot be missed in their bright green shirts. Seeing a runner or two from our Group would inspire me to go on a little faster every time the conditions seemed tough.

At points where the crowd was really thick and dense that I just had to walk with everyone else, our solidly synchronised women and men from the Armed Forces of the Philippines helped me break through.

It also helped that I kept a focused mind. My goal was not just to finish the finish line; for once, I wanted to be able to say that I have run -- and not just walked -- for the Pasig River after two failed attempts in 2010 and 2011 due to personal emergencies.

Today, I am glad that finally did. Despite the sun, sweat and stench, I made through 5k in approximately just 37 minutes.

With my colleagues at the GT-Metro Foundation

Also read:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

An Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo that Works

I chanced by Forest Magic hair saver products during one of my health store trips early this year. They caught my attention because they are made of gugo bark extract, which my mom used to keep her waist-long hair shiny back in her younger years.

Gugo: A Herbal Wonder

Entada Phaseoloides or simply, gugo, is a large woody vine that is commonly found in lowland coastal forests in Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Western Pacific (Source: NTBG). I was surprised to find out about its medicinal uses other than treating dandruff and hair loss. But for this post, let us just focus on this. According to Forest Magic's product labels, gugo barks contain saponin, which stimulates hair growth, helps control psoriasis and dandruff, prevents premature baldness, controls lice, and strengthens hair roots in order to make our scalp healthy and hair, shiny.

From a Credible Manufacturer

Upon inspecting the label, I saw that Forest Magic is a brand under CRD Herbal Products, Inc. CRD stands for Dr. Carlita Rex-Doran, a Filipino inventor who was awarded by the Department of Science and Technology in 1990 for Best in the Use of Indigenous Materials. (Read more about Dr. Rex-Doran here.)

Having read (and verified) this information -- thanks to the free WiFi at Echostore, I purchased both the shampoo and the liquid lotion as gifts for someone who had a really bad case of hair fall. I also bought the shampoo at a much later date and made a little experiment recently.

Simple and Easy to Use

Forest Magic Herbal Hair Saver Shampoo is used just like any shampoo. After applying a small amount on wet hair, it has to be gently massaged in three to five minutes then rinsed thoroughly.

While it is advised that the Forest Magic Herbal Hair Saver Lotion be used in the morning and the evening, some users may consider using it at night only due to its natural gugo bark scent, which I assume might not appeal to everyone. After bathing, apply a few drops of the lotion and massage on scalp for five to 15 minutes prior to rinsing. It can also be left on overnight.

The Results

One visible result of using both products was the significantly less amount of hair that was collected in the drain after a few weeks. (Sorry, I do not have a picture.)

On the other hand, I did not observe any remarkable difference on my psoriasis but I did document some obvious benefits of Forest Magic shampoo in terms of hair fall reduction: Using the same comb and conditioner but different shampoos, it can be noticed that I lost more while combing after a bath.

Taken a day apart...
I won't share what the "Other Brand" is; the anti-hair fall shampoo is definitely Forest Magic.
Actually, the first picture (above) was a re-take since I thought that the comb that I originally used for the mini experiment was fine-toothed. Nonetheless, I am sharing how it looked like:

I thought that I could have possibly lost more hair here because the comb's teeth were finer than the other one.

Forest Magic products are available at Echostore (with branches at Serendra, ETON Centris and Podium) and in some online sellers at

Forest Magic products posted by sassyennaid, a seller at Sulit.