The reality of life is that we won’t stay young forever. I realized this last year while I was looking at the mirror. I noticed fine lines under my eyes! It suddenly dawned on me that I was about to hit the big 4-0 in a couple of years.

Personally though, I have no qualms about mentioning my age (my REAL age) when people ask for it. I just think that the older you are, the wiser you get. Also, people in this country respect you a little bit more when you’re older. Case in point, when I fainted in the gym two months ago, people were asking me… “okay lang po kayo, ate?” (are you alright, older sister). I just feel that if it were a younger ME, people would have just paid no attention, and they would go about their own business. Haha!

Anyway, my point is that I love myself; I love my age. But, loving one’s self doesn’t mean that we don’t want to look good, right? We still want to look our best. I have plans of living a long, fruitful and useful life. I still want to look and feel young even if I’m old, so I can do a lot of purposeful things. I want to make all the positive difference I can make in this life for the good of everyone in this world.

For us women, we need a little boost of confidence, when we want to complete our goals. We want to make sure that we can look back and be proud of ourselves (i.e. when looking back at old photos and videos).

Speaking of looking good and feeling good, I discovered this site called Bella Pelle: https://bellapelleph.com/

I instantly loved it. The site is an eCommerce site that brings you the best and premium dermatological beauty products in the Philippines. You can just sit back, navigate through the site and order online. The brands that it carries are the brands that we trust like Heliocare, Neostrata, Biologuique Recherche, Viviscal, Cosmetic Skin Solutions, Footlogix, Infracyte, Kamedis, MD Therapy, Rapid Brow, Rapid Lash, SErum V, Tizo, Vanicream, Yllume and Zo Skin Health by Zein Obagi.

What I like about the site is that you can search for products based on your skin care need/s. Also, these products are not those that you see being sold over-the-counter. They are those that you get from dermatologists. When you ask for recommendations via the contact us page, a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and board certified dermatologist is consulted.

These are the products that I got from the site.

Zo Skin Health Instant Pore Refiner, NeoStrata Tri- Therapy Lifting Serum, Heliocare Ultra Gel SPF 90 and Zo Medical Brightenex

I also got a prescription on how to use the products that I ordered. I’ll be reviewing each product soon and posting a vlog about each in my YouTube channel soon (http://YouTube.com/gingerarboledavlog) and on my Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/mommyginger).

Feel free to ask me anything you want to know about these products, and I’ll definitely try to answer them (to the extent of my experience with the product). I can also ask the derma who recommended these to me if you have more technical questions about the products.

Also, I wanted to interview the founder of Bella Pelle PH, so watch out for that article in the upcoming days.

So, that’s it, peeps! If you want recommended-by-dermas, trusted, premium skin care products, I highly recommend that you visit https://bellapelleph.com/.

Mabe has been in the Philippines since 2014. Although, honestly, I only heard and read about it recently. I was scouting for a washing machine, and came across this brand.

The reason why I was scouting for a washing machine (after surviving the longest time without it) is that for some weird reason, the laundry shop that we have always trusted keeps on making mistakes. They would send us bags of clothes that are not ours. They would forget to bring receipts (even acknowledgement receipts). We’re not too sure anymore if they send us back all of clothes that are sent to them.

It’s so hard when you don’t have full control of your laundry. We have a dryer at home, but our previous washing machine failed us. I saw that Mabe was actually partners with General Electric Co. So I did a little research, of course, and it turns out that Mabe was actually owned by Mexicans Mabardi and Berrondo. The company has been creating kitchen appliances since 1946!

About my Mabe Washing Machine WMA071XESXS

The Mabe Washing Machine is pretty straightforward and very user friendly. The buttons are not hard to figure out (especially if it’s the user’s first time to use a washing machine…hehe!). I created an IGTV video that you can view here: Mabe Washing Machine

But, let me take you through the buttons / functionalities, as promised.

Power Button – used to switch the machine off and on. If you forget to switch off your machine, it automatically shuts off after 5 minutes.

Start/Pause Button – This is used to start using the machine. You can also pause it anytime during the cycle.

Cycle Button – You can choose from the different programs shown:

  • Wash – Just run the washing cycle without the drainage cycle. The detergent in the tub will be recycled.
  • Rinse – removes detergent from clothes and rinses with clean water
  • Spin – removes water when the wash program ends
  • Air Dry – dries the inner and outer tub to avoid mildew
  • Normal – Recommended for mixed fabric and general clothing
  • Soak – For thick, heavy-soiled laundry
  • Delicate – For clothing which require extra care
  • Quick wash – Quick wash for normal laundry

Water Temp – You can select if you want Hot, Warm or Cold Temperature.

Delay – It will show the delay time of finishing washing (in hour). The point light flashes to indicate that it’s in the reverse mode.

Water Level – When you use Normal level (which we always do.. hehe), it will select the water level which is usually levels 4, 6 or 8. If you want to change the water level, just press the Start/pause button then press the water level button to select the desired level.

So far, it’s really cheaper if you do your laundry at home. The fact that this has an inverter motor, it works more efficiently. Check this article for more information about inverter washing machines.

If you have tried out Mabe appliances, let me know. Did it work well for you, too?

When I was younger, I was guilty of abusing my skin. Seriously. I would not care to put on sunscreen, and immediately bask in the sun during beach trips. I wouldn’t care if my skin was dry and scaly. I wouldn’t care if during some months, I would break out, too. My face would be incredibly filled with pimples.

But now, I know better. I am more sensitive to what my skin needs, and I have researched a lot of ways to keep it looking fresh and fab. Not a lot of people consider me as a beauty blogger (since I don’t really blog about make-up that often), but I am a skin care addict! haha! My friends know this fact.

I would spend time researching about products that I’d love to try out. I even have a notebook with a long list of the products that I intend to use and experiment with later on (three pages long! Yup!).

So when I heard about Eau Thermale Avene, I really wanted to try it out and see for myself if the product works.

Why I wanted to try Eau Thermale Avene?

I wanted to try Eau Thermale Avene for the following scenarios:

When I walk to work, I always feel sticky after. The weather is humid at times that using Eau Thermale Avene is just what I need.

I go to the gym, too (just recently) and using this product after I workout is a great pick-me-upper. I love how fresh I feel after.

I always get red skin after a session of threading or waxing. The spray helps soothes the pain and helps with the redness and inflammation.

I also use it also just before applying make up!

More about Eau Thermale Avene

  • Originated from the mountains of Cevennes in France
  • It is non-irritant and has soothing properties
  • It has the lowest mineral content on the market and neutral pH7.5 to maintain a perfect balance of the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • Suited for all types of skin, even sensitive skin

So to use the product, spray the mist onto the skin. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes then gently pat dry.

I was impressed with the Eau Thermale from Avene that I also tried the other products.

In the evening, I use the Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum followed by the Hydrance Aqua Cream-in-Gel (Yup, I’m a “layers” kinda gal when it comes to skin care). The Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum contains a patented Cohederm that is a lipidic trio that helps restore coheive skin barriers and prevent water loss. It contains hydration-boostin microspheres that gradually release Avene Thermal spring water and Cohederm to keep the skin replenished at all times. I noticed that this works well for people with dry parts of the skin, like the side of the nose (I told my husband to try it out… hehe!)

In the mornings, I would use the Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum followed by Hydrance Light Emulsion. Since I didn’t want to put on too many layers of products in the morning.

Overall, Avene products are perfect for people with sensitive skin and for those who just want a simple skin care regimen that they can follow. For me, it’s beauty is in its simplicity.

Try the products out and let me know what you think!

There has been much talk about whether parents should let their kids play with gadgets. I’ve come across millions of articles when I searched kids and gadgets Philippines. Some of these are…

Noemi’s column: https://www.manilatimes.net/2018/07/29/business/columnists-business/are-digital-gadgets-good-for-our-kids/424235/

The Asian Parent’s Article: https://ph.theasianparent.com/being-smart-about-kids-and-gadgets

GMA’s feature: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/657754/experts-warn-parents-gadgets-expose-children-to-cyber-risks/story/

I read these and some other articles, and this topic now becomes one of the most difficult conundrums for the parents.

Our personal belief when it comes to using gadgets is to limit screen time. Ever since she was 3 years old, she was exposed to playing with games on her iPad. She was never the type who would freak out when we take her gadgets away from her. When we would tell her to stop, she would.

She would then grab and read a book, or play with blocks, pillows, dolls or toys within her reach.

Being in the tech industry, too, we know that there are some games and applications that can help enhance creativity. We also play with her while she’s playing these games (usually Minecraft and Roblox). This way, we can monitor and see what she’s up to since we’re in the same game (we see who she’s chatting with, etc.). We know she’s a digital native, and later on, knowing how to use technology will be as natural as using a spoon and fork for her and her peers. We don’t want to stop her, too, from understanding how things work. We do our best though to guide her (teach her about privacy, etc.).

I was curious to find out what other moms think about this topic. Here are some of the replies.

Mommy Berlin Domingo

Mommy Berlin is the mommy of five boys (Gabriel, Miguel, Daniel, Yael, and Samuel). Follow her at https://momiberlin.com and FB, Twitter, and IG: @momiberlin

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, they have their own devices. They have a laptop which they use at school but the mobile phone, they have to surrender to me on weekdays.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, during school time and before bedtime to lessen temptation to use.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
Mobile phones are with me on weekdays and they can have it on Friday after class until Sunday before bedtime. At home, Saturday is help day and after all the cleaning and errands, they can have their mobile phone and laptop with them.

Mommy Ley Reinares – Almeda

Mommy Ley is the mommy of Addy (10), Arriana (3Y) and Amanda (almost 2Y). Follow her at www.leyalmeda.com and Instagram: Instagram.com/mommyplannerley

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Addy at 10 and in Grade 5 has no Cellphone. When I asked if he wants a cellphone, iPad or laptop, he answered that he wanted a laptop, so he can do his projects and research at home without waiting for me.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes! But it depends on the kids personality pa din. All of my 3 kids naman practice less screen time.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?

With Addy, since I was a single mom, it was hard. So talaga Disney sya; plus, I was a first time mom. When he was 2, I would notice that he kept on blinking his eye, so I stopped him from watching TV and using the iPad.

So with, Arriana, I decided na no gadget talaga until 2 years old. I was homeschooling Addy at that time, so I make sure to include Arriana with the activities. We have a messy house but it means quality time with them while learning. We have iPads at home and a nintendo switch, but even during weekends, they don’t clamor to use them.

They want to play outside instead. Addy on the other hand became interested with sports, particularly basketball. Since he was 3, he’s has been training (not formally thou). My husband taught him. Arriana naman was exposed to arts as early as 6 months.

When Amanda came it was easier! We dont turned on our TV na nga. And of course, we lead by example. We limit the use of cp when we are all together. It is a big factor talaga. Its easy to raise multiple kids when you have a good role model as they mirror eh. So now, the 2 girls copy Kuya Addy.

Mommy Donna Donor

Mommy Donna is the mommy of Kib (13YO). Follow her at www.donnaandkib.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/donnaandkib

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, he does.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, because they tend to be disctracted and ignore things around them. It causes hearing problem (pag tinawag mo, hindi sasagot.. haha!).

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

Mommy Ciara Magallanes

Mommy Ciara is the mommy of Olivia (1YO). Follow her at www.mommydiaries.co , Facebook https://facebook.com/MommyDiariesPH and Instagram: https://instagram.com/ciaramagallanes

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
No. my kid doesn’t have one.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Studies show that excessive use of gadgets has negative effects on kids such as impaired learning development, delay in speech development, attention span is shorter, and less socialization to name a few. So we really limit the use of gadgets. Most of the days, no gadgets at all talaga. But in times of desperation haha or whenever I need some breather, I’d allow her some screen time but it is limited to 30 minutes a day only.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

We are advocates of actual play. Kids learn through play. In fact, we conceptualized this what we like to call P.L.A.Y. formula for kids to reach their optimum potential. This stands for Pretend Play. Limitless. Adapt. Yipee.

All this are about letting kids explore the World. They are pint-sized scientists, and they love to experiment to learn how things work. Their potential is limitless!

Mealtime Confessions

In our household, one of the things that we are strict with is that we don’t allow gadgets during mealtimes. Zeeka can only use her iPad again after eating. And admittedly, getting her to focus on having a meal with us was hard at first.

We looked at what would make her or kids interested in eating a meal together with us or their parents and we noticed that kids who love eating and conversing had a FUN time with their parents. Everyone at the table was engaged in a conversation, because everyone was PRESENT (no thoughts drifting to finishing work stuff, etc.).

We also need to do our part as parents to make kids interested with things offline as much as they are interested with things online.

Today, I’m sharing a video that we (The Arboledas) shot during one of our dinners. It’s called Mealtime Confessions. We were inspired by the videos that featured real conversations over dinner (like the one of Chuckie and Ella): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ysMe-C1DwI

Hope you like it!

We invite you talk to your kids during mealtimes. You can also do your own version of #MealtimeConfessions.

What our children need more than the material things that we give is our love and attention. Let’s give them that 🙂

Are you familiar with what HMOs are? Healthcare Maintenance Organization or HMOs are organizations that provides or arranges managed care for individuals or employers at a fixed fee / premium or prepaid contract. For the entirety of my “employed” life, I think I always had a health card from an HMO provider.  

The best provider that I encountered so far (I think I have experienced 2-3 providers) was Maxicare. This was the HMO that my dad dealt with to give health cards to the employees of the family business. 

I wanted to get a health card when I resigned from my corporate job last 2012. so the first thing that came to mind was to get from Maxicare. I heard from my friends and family that Maxicare’s services were expensive. This perception of the product stopped me from researching about it, and since I started becoming busy with my business, getting an HMO card became least of my priorities.

My family then would get occasional colds and cough, nothing that worrisome though. So I continued living like this, comforted by the fact that no grave disease or serious illness will fall upon any of us in the family. I also thought that I would always have enough, so I could just pay for any hospitalization or medicines that we would eventually need.

In 2018, Zeeka, my daughter had her first episode of benign febrile convulsions. For kids who are younger than 7, our pedia mentioned that they are prone to have convulsions when their fever reaches 38 degrees celsius. The child will then have convulsions and will have to be monitored constantly until temperature drops. Zeeka was confined for 7 days twice that year. Since we didn’t have HMO, we had to pay Php 75,000 for 7 days of confinement. We had to dip into our savings and these health issues really hit our finances hard.

I started scouting for a Healthcare Maintenance Organization or HMO that I can trust. During my research, I came across the brand that I was initially curious about, Maxicare, and went to the Maxicare Philippines website.

When I checked out their products, I was surprised to see a plethora of products and services that would suit one’s needs. And hey, it wasn’t that expensive at all. 

For those considering which HMO to go with, here are the top three things that made me decide to go with Maxicare Philippines!

I want to go with an established HMO!

Do you really want to worry about service when you’re sick and rushing to the ER? With Maxicare, they have 30 years of solid healthcare expertise. With this, I’m assuming that in terms of service and internal processes (haha! I sound so nerdy here!), they’ve encountered all kinds or concerns and inquiries from their members. They have more than 1000 accredited clinics and hospitals and they have more than 56000 doctors and specialists nationwide (more than 18000 warm bodies). 

I want to go with an HMO that really understands my needs!

If you go through their products and services, they have full HMO products and they have prepaid products that suit your needs! I really just wanted to enumerat these here but I will try to explain them in succeeding posts.

Full HMO / Full Risk Products

  • My Maxicare: For individuals and Families
  • Maxicare Starter Plan: For Businesses with 3 to 99 employees (Best for start-ups like Taxumo!)
  • Maxicare Plus: For Businesses with 10 to 99 employees
Check out other Maxicare products here:
https://www.maxicare.com.ph/healthcare-program-for-me-and-my-family/

Prepaid Products

  • My Maxicare LITE: A prepaid health card which provides one-time Confinement coverage for eight (8) identified illnesses (Including Dengue!)
  • Maxicare EReady: A prepaid health card which provides a one-time coverage for Emergency related cases
  • Maxicare PRIMA: Maxicare has what they call Primary Care Centers (PCC) and PRIMA offers unlimited Outpatient Consultations, and availment of laboratory and diagnostic procedures in these PCCs.

I want to go with a company who innovates!

Yup, this is actually important for me. I want to know my balance or whatever credits I have availed from my plan. With Maxicare, they have a member gateway that contains the member info, the availments, emergency contact, Online Letter of Authority or LOA Request (print online; available for 3 days after printing), etc. You’ll also see that Maxicare always tries to improve their products and services.

So that’s it… these are the things that made me avail of Maxicare’s services. I’ll be writing more blog posts and posting more information on social media about Maxicare and its products and services, since health and “outbreaks” have been constantly talked about.

Feel free to comment on the section below for anything that you want to know!

*Full Disclosure: We were impressed with what Maxicare offers! Hubby and I decided to become agents! If you need help deciphering which of these you need, you can comment below and I can get back to you. You can also message me on my Facebook page. 🙂

For prepaid cards, head over to the Maxicare store: https://shop.maxicare.com.ph/ Please type gingerarboleda as your agent 🙂 Thank you!