One Thing You Should Do Now to Combat Climate Change

Three words. Reduce plastic waste.

I was shocked to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of over 3.5 million tons of plastic spanning 10 million square miles.  80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea.

It’s a horrifying twist to the saying “Don’t shit in your own backyard.”

Charles Moore, the sailor who discovered the Northern Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, warns that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, this plastic soup would double in size over the next decade.

Plastic has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives.  At the moment, it’s virtually impossible to spend a single day without touching the stuff. However it IS possible to avoid creating MORE plastic waste. Here are just 2 actions that you and your family can start implementing TODAY.

1. Ditch the straw
Think of how many thousands of plastic straws you have used, wasted and thrown away. Did you know that it takes centuries for each one to biodegrade! The next time you dine outside, do think twice before accepting that straw. For those operating food joints, make that paradigm shift: makes straws an option, not the default.

2. Bag the Bag

Seriously, do you really need that plastic bag when you buy something at the local 7-11 or Ministop?

Let’s try to reduce our habit of using plastic bags when we don’t need them.

I discovered this pocket bag at the check-out counter of my favourite shopping centre – Daiso (aka the $2 store). I usually have it folded into a tiny square and tucked into my bag organizer. I whip it out whenever I grab a bite at 7-11, buy office supplies, pay a visit to the Library, use my umbrella on a rainy day… etc etc.
We are now also taking a conscious effort to reduce our collection of plastic bags when buying groceries. Those cloth bag giveaways at trade fairs & bazaars are discovering a second life.
It’s Blog Action Day today, focusing on Climate Change. How exactly does the reduction of plastic relate to tackling climate change? Everything is interconnected — manufacturing plastic depends on consuming oil so the indiscrimate use of plastic literally fuels global warming. Getting rid of them (plastic) in incinerators also adds a little bit more to the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.

As our family has found,  it’s not that hard to make that shift to a greener life. Just take it one plastic bag/straw at a time and make the world a better, cleaner place.


1.  How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Save the World by Tony Juniper

2.  Save Cash and Save the Planet by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird

Get With the (10,000 Step) Program

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!


One of my many goals which I’m working on starting this January is be fit and trim… in the most frugal way possible.    


I recently learned of 10,000 Steps Program.  Studies have shown that a person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2,000 and 3,500 extra calories per week, resulting in a vastly better health profile and longer lifespan.  Two recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have confirmed that this lifestyle approach can be as effective as a traditional exercise program.


It should be noted that 10,000 steps is the recommended daily step goal for a healthy adult.  If your goal is to lose weight, start slow and gradually work yourself up to walking 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Walking is a great way to lose weight—and keep it off.   


For the past few days, I wore the pedometer I recently bought at JHC and discovered that I walk less than 5,000 days a day, placing me firmly in the “sedentary lifestyle index” bracket.  I suppose the continued advances in technology (and the continued popularity of high heels) makes our lifestyle more sedentary:  it will require a concerted effort to make active choices.


What equipment will you need?

1.     A pedometer.  It does not need to be fancy.  I found a perfectly functioning one at the Japan Home Center for only P88. Tip:   The pedometer should be worn in a location above the hip so that it can detect the leg movement.  I also learned that you can’t just stick it in your pocket but rather,  should firmly clip it to a belt or waistband around your waist in order for it to work properly.

2.     Sturdy shoes.  Preferably with plenty of cushion. If you have any concerns about your joints (ankles, knees or hips) discuss your exercise plans with your doctor.


These shoes were made for walking.. that’s just what we’ll do.

·         Start out by wearing the pedometer each day for two weeks and don’t do anything to change your normal routine.  Log your steps at the end of each day for the entire two-week period. What’s your daily average?

·         Take the highest number of steps you have walked on any given day and use that number of steps as your daily step goal.  Aim for your goal each day for the next two weeks. Let’s assume your first step goal is 2500 steps. That means that for the next two weeks, you are going to try to walk 2500 steps each day. Before bedtime each night, be sure to log in the number of steps you actually took.

·         At the end of that two-week period, review all the steps you took each day and decide if you are ready to add another 500 steps to your goal. Your new step goal is now 3000 steps a day for the next two-week period.

·         Continue in that manner, working up as slowly as you wish, until you finally reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day.

·         Check with your physician if you experience any pain or discomfort that concerns you. Remember, the goal is to keep you active for the rest of your life.  It’s better to be the tortoise than the hare.  =)

·         Be prepared to dedicate yourself to your daily goal each day for a minimum of six months. If you do that, you are much more likely to maintain this goal permanently.

But it’s soooo hard!!!!  Here are a few ideas on where to find those extra steps:

  • Park the car further away from the entrance to shops
  • Walk to get your lunch or go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Get up and do something…  walk to the water station to get more glasses of water…. walk and talk with a colleague instead of emailing.
  • Get your family and officemates involved. I’m reviving an old family tradition and going out for a walk with my son after dinner.  It solves the problem of looking for more steps but also provides a priceless bonding opportunity.

Well there you have it, a frugal way to achieve good health or to lose weight.  Just remember, put your pedometer on when you dress in the morning, and don’t take it off until bedtime. Every step you take counts!


For more information on the 10,000 Step Program go to:



Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Harried Woman? Me.

…we know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.

—Albert Einstein

 Today’s paper had an article which caught my undivided attention.  No,  it wasn’t about the proposed $700Bn bailout or the latest government scandal.  The title went something like this:  “Do you have the harried woman syndrome?  In it,  a few sentences lit my inner light bulb: “Studies have found that many of us are suffering from continued partially interrupted state, an inability to focus, reflect and process tasks and information. Sucked into the vortex of speed and haste, we have also lost the ability to enjoy the simple things in life. We killed joy.  We have become wretched, burnt-out slaves to time. “

I don’t know about you but I dread month-ends.  Month-end signifies impossible deadlines which need to met.   There are days when I feel that I’m living to work,  not working to live.  This month has been particularly wretched.  It has been increasingly difficult not to bring work home… not to wake up in the middle of the night, reaching for an invisible keyboard. Heck… it’s been hard to sleep while my brain running at full steam,  thinking of the gaps I missed in my write-ups. 

I’ve been running in this darn rat race for so long,  I’m starting to forget why I entered in the first place.   Carl Honore wrote In Praise of Slowness, advocating living a slower, more measured existence, giving more emphasis to the relationships we have with others and with ourselves.  I keep telling myself to slow down… to unplug… to savor the moment.  Instead,  I’m typing this during a stolen moment, while my family is sleeping.

Harried woman?  That’s me.


I really have to learn how to downshift from a life of hurry to a life of slow and easy.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Enjoy a pampering FREE Lancome makeover

Ever once in a while, all moms just have to take a break from the daily grind for a little ME time. Are you up for a break? Well now, calling all kikay moms! Come to Rustan’s and pamper yourself to a free makeover with Lancôme’s Color Experts this September!

Free consultation on proper skin care, base application, eye color advice and more! Try Lancôme’s newest Onyx Splendor 2008 Fall collection, and our new makeup products — Color Fever Dewy Shine lipsticks, Ombre Absolue eyeshadows and Virtuose Black Carat mascara!

Call 813-3739 (Rustan’s Makati) or 633-4636 (Rustan’s Shangri-la Plaza) and ask for the Lancôme counter to set up your free makeup session with one of Lancôme’s Colour Experts!

September 12 in Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza
September 19 in Rustan’s Makati

September 26 in Rustan’s Makati
September 27 in Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza

September 13, 20, 27 in Rustan’s Makati

September 12 in Rustan’s Makati
September 19 in Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza

September 13, 20, 26 in Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Love Mother Earth and save money too!

If there is anything positive that came out of the continuing debate on the rising cost of power, it is that the general populace is increasingly aware that our natural resources are finite. It took a major shock to the wallet to do it but at least now more and more people are actively taking money-saving steps to reduce, re-use and re-cycle.

There are many ways that little changes in our daily routines can impact the environment in a big way if only more of us can do them now. Here are just a few:

  • Turn that faucet off! So much water is wasted whenever we leave the faucet while brushing our teeth. Be aware of the amount of water you use.
  • Check your water and electricity meters today. Make sure that all leaks are plugged and that your electric meters are working properly.
  • Buy energy savers. Replace old bulbs with CFLs.
  • Skip the plastic bags. Stuff that newly bought blouse into your uberbag. Reuse the ubiquitous bags you get from the grocery stores.
  • Clean your filters. Have your airconditioners serviced on a regular basis to get rid of the city grime. An oil change will ensure your car runs more efficiently, emitting less pollution while saving you money.
  • Invest in power strips for your computer and other electronic devices. Don’t just leave them on standby, switch them off when you go out. You will not only save money on your utility bills, you’ll leave a smaller footprint on the environment.
  • Love coffee? If you must buy a cuppa (instead of brewing your own in the office) and intend on drinking it in the restau, ask for it to be brewed in a mug. P.S. Bring your own mug to Starbucks and get a small cash rebate. =)

Anyone with more ideas? Please share!

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Miele Guides: place your vote now for the best restaurant in the region

from Miele Guide’s website:

The Miele Guide will be Asia’s first truly independent regional restaurant guide when launched in October 2008, and also its most authoritative. Written by food lovers who know and love Asia, The Miele Guide will rank and profile restaurants across the region’s major cities, categorised by country, city and cuisine, in a slim, indispensable volume.

The 2008/2009 edition will evaluate restaurants in 16 Asian countries—Brunei, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

A shortlist has been drawn from the region’s top food critics and now it is up to you to finalize which restaurants you think are the best. And if your favourite restaurant is not on the shortlist, you’ll have the option to nominate and vote for it too. From these results, a list of Asia’s top restaurants will be drawn. The guide will rank and profile in detail the top 20 in Asia. The rest will be categorised by country, city and cuisine.

There is quite an eclectic choice for the Philippines: ranging from Lolo Dad’s to Antonio’s to Tsukiji to Kanin Club to Dos Mestizo’s.

Go to and vote now for the best restaurant in the Philippines. As an added incentive, you could win a fab dinner in one of Asia’s best restaurants and stay in one of the region’s most luxurious hotels.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Say It All in Six Words

I’ve seen numerous emails circulating about six-word biographies, especially after Wired Magazine held a contest inspired by Hemingway’s story:  “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” If you search the internet,  there are quite a few interesting 6-word financial stories, some of which could be the story of my own life.  =)

Here are some lives in money, in six words. 

*  Bought high, sold low, smacked forehead.
*  I save, he spends, we’re broke.
*  Must mend holes in my pockets.
*  Need to pay off credit card.
*  Spending my days hiding from responsibility.
*  ET phone home. Wire more money.
*  Born with a silver spoon: yum!
*  Do children really cost that much?
*  I came, I saw, I overspent 🙂
*  Doing my best to retire early.
*  Spurts of saving, blasts of decadence.
*  Got more sense than dollars, unfortunately.
*  Spent much, saved little. Oh well.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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