COVIDiaries-19: Love in the time of Coronavirus

And the people stayed home. They rediscovered, among others, the joy of eating meals together and waking up leisurely to the sound of loved ones moving about in the house. They made time for work at home but also for taking the weeds out in the garden, cooking, and cleaning the house.

Parents engage their kids in unhurried conversation about anything under the sun while married couples, well, squabble because  they cannot stand each other anymore for long periods of time. Work has sadly made them drift apart. But during unguarded moments, when they think the other one isn’t looking, they say a silent prayer of thanks to heaven for their spouse. For clearly, they still love each other dearly despite always being at odds. All the while the children, in between reading, playing, and art, they look around them, and marvel in joy and wonder at the contentment and peace this situation has brought their hearts.

Those without spouses and children to think of, for the first time in their lives, don’t regret not having any. As it is, they have their hands full taking care of their aging parents.  When they are not in front of the computer doing work or binging on their favorite netflix series, they play with doughs, read a book, and dream of great possibilities.  In their solitude, they promise themselves that when this blows over and the dust has finally settled, they will bravely go after what they want.

And the people who cannot afford to stay home because they need to work and care for others, they wake up everyday with heavy hearts. Where they find the strength to get up in the morning to continue the daily grind, no one knows. It is especially difficult for someone who lives in a bubble to understand. And so, they quietly go about their daily tasks, driven by love and moved by a noble mission to serve others at all costs. Bone tired and weary, they fiercely pray that this soon shall pass so they may also have an equal chance to go home to kiss their loved ones a little longer and hug them really tight.

And most people stayed at home, and in their quiet moments, when fear and uncertainty boldly stare them in the face, they strip themselves off of pride and arrogance. They climb off from the high pedestal that they uncharacteristically and unknowingly placed themselves in.  They get down on their knees before the Lord in deep surrender to humbly pray for His grace and for His comforting presence during this difficult time. And finally, in all their human weaknesses, they acknowledge fully His authority, power, and dominion over and above all things.

And only then did earth and humanity begin to heal…

Inspired by a post shared by Fr. Declan McInerneys parish of Clonfert FB page

COVIDiaries-19: Manila, Philippines placed in Community Quarantine

I saw a random post that says, in times like this, you better start a journal to document everything. I am a Social Studies teacher and I know for a fact how important written accounts are when studying History and so, I decided to resurrect this space.

For the past two years, I have gone micro-blogging in my facebook and instagram accounts. This global crisis known as COVID-19 has forced me back to this bigger platform in the hope that ten years from now, when I want to remember how this decade started and how this fearsome coronavirus took the world by storm, I have this to refer to.

Today is Day 1 of the community quarantine in Metro Manila, Philippines. In a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Philippine government decided to put the entire National Capital Region on a lockdown or community quarantine as how they would like to call it.  Other major cities and provinces outside NCR have decided to follow suit as well. While some were quick to point out that this should have been done sooner, most were just simply glad that it was finally done. In times like this, I guess, it is rather pointless to play the blame game.

Things are not looking good right now. There are about 140 positive cases of COVID-19 with only 2 confirmed recoveries as of 6 pm tonight. Hospitals are scrambling to get their hands on PPE kits for their health care workers and front liners since these valuable medical equipments are not easily available anymore due hoarding. A blanket of fear has enveloped the entire region and its surrounding provinces, if not the whole nation, as people start to become anxious thinking about what will happen next in the coming days.

Offices are being forced to adapt flexible work arrangements, some businesses are starting to close, and most schools abruptly shut down leaving students no chance to say goodbye to their classmates and teachers. Everyone is being forced to stay at home and social distancing has become the new norm.

At this moment, as the figures continue to rise, they remain just simply numbers to me since I have no direct relation to these figures..yet. What would frighten me the most is when one of these figures suddenly become one of my friends, workmates, neighbours or worse, close relatives or family members.  It scares me to think that one day, I will wake up to the news that one of the people I know or close to my heart has suddenly contracted this virus.  I shudder at the thought that when that happens, they might not survive it.  I feel sad at the thought that I won’t know exactly what to do to help them except hope, pray, and trust that in Jesus’ name, they’ll get through this and we’ll get through this.

But then in my state of frantic panicking, I would also remember this thought that got me through the worst of times: God is the one who calls the shots and when you know who your boss is, come hell or high water, you will remain at peace. Major slap in my face, I tell you.

In times like this really, we just have to seek God’s grace as we endure the wait and the not-knowingness of things.  We just have to simply trust that God is at work even if we can’t see or feel it clearly yet. Hang in there, people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards Winner (Family Category)

Last August, I received the good news that my book, Grace Up Grace: A widow’s journey, was chosen as the lone finalist in the Family Category of the 13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards.

I dreamed of great things for this book.  When I was writing this, I dreamed for it to reach the far corners of the world and even the farthest ends of the earth.  This is why when friends and family started bringing my book to the different parts of the globe to share to friends and even strangers, I was ecstatic! But then it urned out that the Lord has something far better for me. It is this:

 

Who would have thought that in an amazing twist of fate or rather faith, a rookie author like me would stand alongside legendary authors in the Catholic publishing world, as one of the winners of 13th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards.  Truly the Lord annointed my head with oil and my cup overflows.

It is true what they say, as long as you trust and believe in Him, the Lord will take you farther than your dreams, for what He has for you is always way better than what you imagined.

To everyone who bought, read, and gave the book to others as a gift, I share this wonderful blessing with you. My mission to spread God’s beautiful message of joy amidst grief, and triumph over pain and sorrow, wouldn’t have been complete if you didn’t give the book a chance to heal/inspire you (and others). Thank you! Claim this win as yours too for I gladly share this with all of you.

To God be the glory and my dear Mama Mary, this is for you.☺️

P.S. If you wish to purchase Grace Upon Grace, kindle version is available for pruchase at amazon.com. For printed copy, message me at blancnotes@gmail.com

PROACTIV+ FAQs

For those of you who are curious as to how PROACTIV+ actually works to eliminate pimples that would often lead to horrendous breakouts, here’s a quick rundown of some frequently asked questions about these amazing product:

1. What is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is a 3-Step skin care system that clears blemishes and prevent future breakouts. It helps to:

  •  clear Blemishes and prevent future breakouts
  • hydrate and soften skin
  • improve visible texture and clarity
  • reduce visible pore size
  • control and balance oily skin
  • helps reduce the appearance of redness
  • brighten and smooth skin
  • enhance overall skin radiance
  • diminish look of dark marks and wrinkles

2. Who can use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is for any teen or adult who struggles with blemish-prone skin and suffers from breakouts. It works for men and women of all ages, skin types, and ethnicities. It appeals most especially to women in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties who desire high quality skincare products.

The recommended age to begin using Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is 12 years and older, however the products are safe and effective for all age groups with adolescent and adult acne. For preteens, we recommend that you start slowly by using the products every other day. However, if you are unsure, we suggest that you consult your GP or pediatrician before applying the products.

3. Can I use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System on my body as well as my face?

Yes, you can use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System on any blemish-prone area.

4.  Will Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System work if I use the products individually rather than as a system?

The products within the Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System have been carefully designed to work together to achieve maximum results. Each product has been formulated to complement the other two. To keep your skin looking and feeling its best, use the products together as a system. You will also receive optimum results by using them twice a day as directed.

5. Will Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System clog my pores?

No. Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System was formulated to be non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging).

6. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System an anti-ageing regime?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is better described as an anti-blemish regime designed with skin care benefits in mind – notably smaller looking pores, improved texture and tone, visibly faded unwanted pigmentation, demised appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhanced hydration and suppleness, and a brighter, more luminous complexion.

7. Can I wear make-up over Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Yes, you can still wear make-up, but always look for products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. And always remove make-up before working out.

8. I am outside in direct sunlight for most of the day. Is it safe to use Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System?

Yes. However, you should always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Apply Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System first, then the sunscreen.

9. Does Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System have any side effects?

Side effects are usually mild, and include drying or irritation in some users who are sensitive to Salicylic Acid. If you are concerned or desire more information, we recommend you discuss with your GP.

10. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System hypoallergenic?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is not for people who are allergic to Salicylic Acid. However, many of our ingredients were selected due to their hypoallergenic properties. The products founds within the Proactiv+ 3-Step System are also paraben-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) and suitable for all skin types.

11. Is Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System sold as pack or can components be bought individually?

Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is sold as a kit. It includes Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Pore Targeting Treatment and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator. The Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System is available at Watsons and SM Department stores nationwide. Proactiv+ 30-day kit is sold at Php3,250 and includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 60 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 30ml and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 30 ml while the Proactiv+ 60-day kit is sold at Php4,680 and includes Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 120 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 60ml, and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 60 ml.

There you have it folks, hope this helps especially for those who wants to try the Proactiv+ 3_Step Clear Skin System.:)

Skincare Tips from Proactiv+ 3-Step Clear Skin System

If you have acne prone skin like me and you value every bit of tip you can get your hands to on how to stay pimple free and blemish free, here are some advice from Proactiv dermatologist Dr. Laura Savage on how to take care of your skin. Hopefully, these will help you on your acne journey as well.

Tip #1 – Cleanse gently and wisely
While deep cleansing sounds desirable to purify oily blemish-prone skin, over-washing and harsh cleansers can do more damage than good – by stripping away the protective barrier, skin is left dry and vulnerable to bacteria. Avoid using soap too – the high pH of soap will dry the skin and cause a compensatory surge in oil production, leaving skin in a confused state with an undesirable combination of dry and greasy patches. Choose a cleanser containing helpful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid to help soothe inflamed pimples, and gently massage over the entire face and neck for at least 60 seconds (to allow any active ingredients to take effect).

Avoid cleaners and toners containing harsh alcohol-based astringents and ingredients such as witch hazel, which typically cause a sting on application and make the skin appear red. Small flaking patches might indicate you’re over cleansing, so ease back and then gradually increase the frequency of use as your skin adjusts and gets used to the product.

I was guilty of over washing at some point. I have this mistaken notion that I can wipe off all my pimples if I wash my face more than usual and use astringents that sting. I could not have been more wrong.  To this day, I still regret that decision because it has left permanent scarring on my face. 

Tip #2 – Make salicylic acid your star ingredient
Salicylic acid is one of the most effective non-prescription ingredients that prevents breakout. It  is a great choice of exfoliant for those with spot-prone and oily skin too since it targets pimples by sloughing away dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts. Onen of its secret magic too is, it minimizes pore visibility.

I am a great fan of salicylic acid. You can never go wrong with acne medications that have salicylic in them like Proactiv!

Tip #3 – Moisturize!
A common misconception is that moisturizing is bad for oily skin prone to breakouts. It’s true that many creams and lotions contain ingredients that can block pores and make breakouts worse, so never put a product designed for your body near your face. Look for products labelled ‘non-comedogenic’, which is a fancy way of saying they don’t contain ingredients that block pores and lead to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads.

Hydrating the skin with an oil-free moisturizer will not only counteract the drying effect of many spot treatments, but also loosen the pore-blocking sebum (skin debris and grease) leading to clearer and healthier skin.

I used to avoid putting moisturizer on my face because I have oily skin. I feel like I am adding more grease on my face every time I put them on. Turns out, I was using the wrong kind of face moisturizer. In acne prone skin, mositurizers can actually help the healing process. 

Tip #4 – Give it time and be optimistic
Sometimes your skin can take a while to adjust to new products or active ingredients. Direct your attention away from the guide on the bottle and focus only on your skin. If you experience signs of irritation or over-drying, try reducing the application to every other day (or even less often) for a couple of weeks before gradually increasing back to daily.

Remember that it can take 4-6 weeks for breakouts to diminish, so you need to persevere with a new product for at least this long (and ideally a bit longer) before really deciding whether it is doing the trick and clearing your skin.

I am the queen of impatience! The reason why my acne took time to cure was because I kept changing products every two weeks especially when I don’t see immediate improvements. After a long serious talk with a dermatologist, I decided to stick it out and exhibit the patient of a saint. Treating acne can be a good training in virtue as well.:)

Tip #5 – Keep your hands off!
As tempting and satisfying as it is, squeezing a pimple really is the worst thing you can do so keep your hands off! Pressure on an inflamed pimple will push the contents of the grease gland (oil, bacteria and dead skin cells) into the surrounding healthy skin which causes damage and more inflammation. Squeezing can lead to a temporary darkening of the skin (so called ‘post-inflammatory pigmentation’) that can take weeks, even months to settle, and scarring, which can be permanent and difficult to treat – not cool. If you really find it difficult to resist squeezing, try applying a warm compress instead to the pimple for 5 minutes to reduce any swelling and then apply a small amount of salicylic acid-based product.

Who couldn’t resist popping a zit on her face? Me! And I have always bore the brunt of that silly decision. Believe me when I say that it takes every bit of self control for me not to do that especially when I see and feel a throbbing pimple on my face. Over the years though, I have come to appreciate the wisdom behind this advise. I sure would not want to end up with a face full of “tiny craters.”

Tip #6 – Review your make up choices and clean your brushes
It’s a fact that as breakouts worsen, the more we try to conceal them by putting on more make-up than usual. For pimple-prone skin, it is essential that we choose the right cosmetic and clean the applicators we use regularly to prevent future breakouts. Mineral-based make up products are a good option as they contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and silica that mop up excess oil without blocking pores. Also, switch to a concealer that contains a blemish-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid to not only reduce the visibility of blemishes but also help reduce the size.

Like in the case of not washing your face daily, make-up brushes can also accumulate a  layer of pore-clogging product, dirt and bacteria – your skin’s worst enemies. So, aim to cleanse your brushes at least once a week using baby shampoo or a professional brush cleaner to keep them in tip top condition.

I am not a heavy make-up user.  In fact, I can do way with it everyday, But, when it is necessary for me to wear one, I make sure that the brushes and sponges I’ll use are clean and the make-up products I’ll apply are acne friendly, since my face is sensitive to make-up.

Tip #7 – Review your diet
For many years, the jury was out as to whether there was a link between diet and breakouts – the hard evidence was simply lacking. But then over the years, dermatologists have seen a correlation between the hormones in cow’s milk and oil production that promote and cause breakouts. Similarly, foods with a high glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugars, causing a rise in hormone levels and sending grease glands into an oily overdrive. Try reducing cow’s milk intake to just 1-2 servings per day (or choose an unsweetened alternative like almond milk), and cut out fatty foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and refined sugars (generally found in all the foods you know are bad for you!) Even if your skin doesn’t dramatically improve, your waistline will!

I am diabetic and my usual gauge if I have too much sugar in my body is the presence and abscence of a skin breakout. My diabetologist says, too much sugar can cause inflammation and formation of cystic pimples is one example. Trust me when I say that it is better to lay off from the sugar than to cure a cystic breakout.

Tip #8 – Use a good skincare routine like Proactiv+
Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System has Smart Target technology that delivers acne-fighting formulation directly into the pores. It is formulated to address blemishes PLUS it helps deliver benefits such as improved skin texture and clarity, and brighter, radiant, and smoother skin.

The 3-step system starts with a Smoothing Exfoliator which removes excess dirt and other impurities. The exfoliator is applied on damp skin and rinsed with warm water after two minutes. The second step is called the Pore Targeting treatment where the lotion is applied all over the face for full absorption. This stops the acne at the source because it delivers blemish-fighting ingredient directly into the pore. The final process of the Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System is the application of the Complexion Perfect Hydrator. This moisturizer will reduce redness and will help brighten the skin as it works to lighten acne marks.

I have tried Proactiv+ and it really works. If you have been searching all this time for an effective acne medication treatment, I recommend you try Proactiv+ today and discover for yourself the wonders it can to for your skin. 

About Dr. Laura Savage:


Dr. Savage studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where she also obtained an honours degree in pathology. She trained as a Dermatologist within the Yorkshire Deanery. This included three-and-a-half years of research investigating the use of biological therapy in psoriatic disease culminating in the award of a PhD degree.

Here’s Dr. Savage taking about the importance of sticking with a skin routine to get rid of blemishes.

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Proactiv Plus 3-Step Clear Skin System Product Information

I struggle with acne and I have been in constant search for the right treatment that would control my breakouts. Believe me, I have tried them all, over-the-counter medicines, even the popular ones plugged in social media, and countless treatment combinations from different dermatologists. But then, nothing works better than Proactiv+.

What is the Proactiv+ 3-Step System?

Proactiv believes that everyone deserves the confidence that comes with clear skin. Whatever your skin condition, age or lifestyle, the Proactiv+ skincare solution can work for you.

Proactiv+ which has been developed by dermatologists contains blemish-fighting ingredients including an exclusive Smart Target technology. The following contents make it one of the leading acne solution in the market:

+ Salicylic Acid: this ingredient helps remove dead skin cells which often lead to clogged pores.

+ Glycolic Acid: like salicylic acid, this ingredient is renowned for its exfoliating properties. It helps loosen dead skins cells and make face appear more radiant.

Proactiv+ is for those who struggle with blemish-prone skin and suffers from breakouts.  It works for men and women of all ages. But then, it would appeal especially to women in their twenties to fifties who desire high quality skincare products.

Here are just some of the benefits one can get from using Proactiv Plus:

  • Helps to clear blemishes and prevent future breakouts
  • Hydrate and soften skin
  • Improve visible texture and clarity
  • Helps reduce visible pore size
  • Control and balance oily skin
  • Helps reduce the appearance of redness
  • Brighten and smoothen skin
  • Helps enhance overall skin radiance
  • Helps diminish look of dark marks and wrinkles

Proactiv Plus Kit Includes:

Step 1: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator

Step 2: Pore Targeting Treatment

Step 3: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator

For best results it is recommended that  Proactiv+ be used consistently. Using Proactiv+ regularly and following the 3 steps of the Core System both in the morning and at night before going to bed will instantly result to improved skin.  This is because the blemish-fighting ingredients in Proactiv+ works to keep your skin clear and your pores targeted. The 3 Core System includes the following:

Step 1: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
The Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator contains blemish-fighting salicylic acid and gentle exfoliating beads which helps to gently remove dead skin cells, dirt, oil and other pore clogging impurities while caring for your skin.


How to use:

+ Apply a coin-size amount to dampened skin.

+ Using fingertips, gently massage in circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes, avoiding the eye area.

+ Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

+ Pat dry and follow with Step 2.

The Skin Smoothing Exfoliator contains gentle exfoliating beads (paraffin) and blemish fighting ingredients. As you apply the product, the exfoliant work to slough away dead skin cells, dirt, oil, grime and makeup – as well as any other pore-clogging impurities. The salicylic acid in this Proactiv+ product works to fight blemishes while Glycolic Acid helps to improve skin texture.

Step 2: Pore Targeting Treatment
Step two is the Pore Targeting Treatment. The secret to this amazing product is how it gets to work deep in your pores to break down dirt, dead skin cells, and sebum thus. It not only clears pore but also helps to tone and tighten them, thus, improving the texture of your skin. If your skin is irritated and sore, it  soothes the irritation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to use:

+ Apply to clean, dry skin.

+ Use a pearl sized amount and apply to entire face.

+ Do not rinse off. When fully absorbed, follow with Step 3.

Step 3: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
The Complexion Perfecting Hydrator starts by hydrating your skin, leaving it feeling smooth, supple, and even-textured. It helps reduce the appearance of redness, blemish marks, and any imbalance of dryness and excess oil. It also help reduce the appearance of breakouts and prevent blemishes from reappearing.


How to use:

+ Apply a minimum of a large coin-size amount to dry skin.

+ Gently smooth over entire face – do not rinse off.

+ Reapply throughout the day if needed. If going outside follow with an SPF 15 or higher.

I had a chance to try this and I must say it really works. I love how it prevents blemishes from appearing after a breakout which in my case can be nasty especially when I am nearing my period. I noticed too that ever since I started using this, my pimples don’t grow into painful, cystic ones.  They dry easily too. Since I have an oily face, I also love how it controls the oil without leaving my face totally dry. Now, I have just the right amount of shine on my face making it appear more like radiant.

Here’s a video on how to use Proactiv+:

The Proactiv+ 30 day kit which includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 60 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 30 ml, Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 30 ml, retails at Php3,250.

While Proactiv+ 60 day kit which includes the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator 120 ml, Pore Targeting Treatment 60 ml, Complexion Perfecting Hydrator 60 ml, retails at Php4,680.

The Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear System is available at Watsons stores nationwide.

Wish A Prize for this exciting Expo Mom South Giveaway

This is it, mamas! ✨ Time to check something off your wishlist because Mommy Mundo Expo Mom is making some wishes come true! An exciting giveaway for #ExpoMomSouth is coming our way !

Wish-A-Prize is an @expomom giveaway where you can wish for the prize YOU want!

Mechanics are easy, all you have to do is:

Post your entries from today until June 27, 6PM and they will announce 3 winners on June 28 (Friday)!  Please note that winners must claim their prize during Expo Mom South from June 29-30 at Alabang Town Center!

Three prizes a day will be posted at Mommy Mundo social media pages until this Friday. You can change your wish if your entry is chosen so mamas, start posting and start making those wishes!

DON’T FORGET TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR EXPO MOM SOUTH 2019!

Expo Mom South is happening on June 29 – 30, Saturday to Sunday at Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City, from 10AM to 9PM!

Expo Mom, now on its 12th year, is the longest running event of its kind.  It is Mommy Mundo’s banner event where moms-to-be, dads, kids, and whole families are gathered to witness a showcase of the latest top mom picks and services!

Expo Mom continues its promise of providing moms with everything and anything they could possibly need to make taking care of their families a happy experience!  Enjoy jam-packed activities for two days filling your shopping bags with amazing & trusted finds from local mompreneurs and exhibitors, lounge areas for mom, dad, and kids to enjoy, and all-day on-stage program for you! Learn from the workshops and talks from the experts tackling the latest on parenting and motherhood, pregnancy, parenting, self-care, and many more! 

Different ways you can #PassItOnMom at 

Expo Mom South 2019!

 

 

 

 

Pre-register for Expo Mom South 2019 at 

https://www.mommymundo.com/expomom

Expo Mom South is co-presented by Baby Dove, Sun Life FinancialCycles, Cradle Natural. W Express is their official courier while  Inquirer.net, InqPop! are their official media partners. Official venue for this year Expo Mom South is Alabang Town Center.