Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freedom from want

This July is National Nutrition Month and the theme is “Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating wakasan.” Time to flag everyone's concern about hunger and malnutrition especially among the helpless young.

Government, NGOs, companies with a conscience, concerned individuals - - they meet regularly and implement community-support projects. We admire and respect them for acting.

But will this lead to ending global hunger, especially here where most Filipinos consider themselves 'mahirap'?

In a 2012 SWS poll, 54 percent of Pinoys (or some 10.9 million families) claim to be poor. In depressed communities, a poor family consists of six members. Six hungry mouths per family, even while this sounds too emo. 

A poverty statistics report said that a family of five needed P4,869 monthly income to meet the basic food needs and P7,017 to stay out of poverty. 
It's easy to say that an information campaign on nutrition education is key to helping everyone get into the right mindset when feeding one's family. But how will that help 'yung sobrang mahirap' who are more familiar with food insecurity than other day-to-day concerns?

Created in 1947 and having undergone restructuring and renaming through the years, the National Nutrition Council (bless them) - the highest policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition, has been carrying out priority livelihood and nutrition education programs.

Last July 2, the Philippines coalesced with the global SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) Movement that is founded on the principle that everyone has the right to food and good nutrition. Signing up with SUN - thus joining other 40 countries - was the main point of the NNC's nutrition month launch. NNC has lined up other priority actions for this month, that includes a hunger concert and hunger summit.

NNC has a weekly nutrition radio program on DZXL where their guests give expert info on food production, food fortification, breastfeeding and healthy lifestyle behavior. Listen to them every Saturday, 12.30 p.m.

In our personal capacities, what can we do to reduce hunger and malnutrition?

Here are practical steps anyone of us can do at any given day to help break the daily vicious cycle of hunger and malnutrition for those we know in need of relief.
  • Create your own homeyard vegetable garden (and give some of your  fresh produce to a poor family you know)
  •  Avoid food wastage. Cook and eat just enough food. But if cooking too much can't be avoided, bigyan mo din kapitbahay na mahirap. Somehow this way, you give the family a break by effecting a sense of food security or food satisfaction, especially for the children.
  • On Facebook, ask your friends to help you put into action a donate-food-to-the-disadvantaged neighborhood project and turn over, as a group, the collected goods  to your beneficiaries. You can do this sans fanfare or have photos taken with your friends during the handover, blog about it, instagram it, whatever. The payoff here is you fed.
  • Donate money you can afford to food security programs in your community or to government-led projects.

It’s nice to do a good deed. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PH Economy: Cruising at City Speed while in the Highway

Not only is it more fun in the Philippines, but it is actually doing very well economically. This positive assurance was shared by four business and trade leaders in the government and private-sector at a business forum held last February at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.

The economic pulse defined the framework of the conference, billed "Marketing Goods & Services in a Robust Philippine Economy,” and organized by 720cc (Seven Twenty Degrees Consumer Connect), a re-branded two-year old media agency Plus with a 40-year heritage in the local ad industry.

The keynote speaker, Dr Emilio Antonio from the University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P) apprised the audience on the economic landscape, past and forecast.  Charts presented at the forum showed the positive indicators stimulating the economy, from US$ shortages to surplus, interest rates down and focused efforts to stimulate the economy.

Dr Emilio Antonio says the Philippines
is now next to China in terms of savings rate.
Another speaker, Ms. Brenda Mendoza - NEDA Director of Trade, Industries and Utilities – revealed  that the GDP during the last three quarters of 2012 registered a growth of 67% equivalent to 2.6% points increase (6.5) over the same period in 2011 (3.9).  Growth rate in industries during the same period scored a 4.5% points rise in 2012 over the preceding year (from 1.8% to 6.3%), while the services sector chalked up a 2.7% gain over 2011. It was a consensus among the economic leaders that the Philippines is now next to China in terms of savings rate.

The economic impact on certain industries were discussed by Prof. Eric Soriano of the Ateneo Graduate School and Mr. Gabs Buluran, TNS Philippines general manager.

Professor Soriano predicted that growing affluence and investment appetite will fuel property sales. He said government infrastructure is starting to move, consumer sentiment is getting better and areas outside of the National Capital Region are getting favorable.

Mr. Buluran reiterated that at 7.4% growth, the Philippines was best performer in Asia next to China. Service markets like BPOs provided employment thereby boosting lifestyle spend. The OFWs and the BPOs tap all available media. Consumption of media, he said, mirrors the economic trends with platforms not bound by time and space, gaining solid ground on the consumers' habits.

He also said that more than 12 million urban Filipinos from ABCD class, aged 16-65, are on social networks with 2,533,981 building relationships with brands. Internet penetration was highest among 34 years old and below, with the teens accessing the Internet more. Moreover, the Internet along with the mobile phone are the key channels used by OFW families, with Facebook reigning supreme. 11 hours is the average time spent online each week.

The Economic Briefing was a pulsing report provided for clients of 720cc ( and invited marketers of products and services.

Delia Saguil, 720cc president
Confident of the country’s economic uptrend, 720cc president Delia Saguil said their technology and communications expertise will not only ride this upbeat but will also open new avenues for growth through relevant, efficient and effective connections with defined target markets. She added that 720cc is the ideal technology partner because of their expertise in due diligence and their ability to analyze relevant issues and use learnings to pursue practical, relevant and measurable goals.


Monday, February 18, 2013

What’s inside Golden Herbs Coffee Supreme & why you'll love it

This coffee which comes in a convenient pre-mix drink in single serve sachets shows promise especially for those with a driving passion for coffee.


It has two powerful herbs that are good for human health – moringa oleifera and ashitaba –with a sweetener - stevia, a plant sugar which is a healthy sugar good for diabetics and those who want to reduce their weight.  Its taste is soothingly familiar, like a very light brew of barako. 

As you sip it, its mild calming aroma envelops your nostrils. Even when piping hot, there is no burning sensation. The coffee goes down easily.

Hence, the name Golden Herbs Coffee Supreme, which was launched very recently by PeakLife Inc, and its mother company, Empower Marketing Inc., a 100 percent Filipino-owned company that champions the buying of Filipino-made products. The coffee's wide-scale launch through the company's national sales network comes 10 years after the market introduction of Golden Herbs Tonic, a nutraceutical drink made from 12 premium herbs co-actively working to boost the body's immune system.

The coffee supreme formulation was made by a team of Filipino scientists and doctors, who did research for at least 25 years at the Department of Science and Technology.

The two herbs work in perfect synergy:  ashitaba removes toxins through the excretory glands while moringa (better known as Malunggay among Pinoys) replenishes the nutrients needed by the body.

Both are good tissue builders. Moringa is referred to as the 'tree of life' because it can combat malnutrition, helps in muscle recovery and prevents immune-system diseases. It's a plant that thrives in tropical climates and grows so quickly and easily in Filipino backyards. The plant's leaves are used the most.  Moringa leaf powder contains more than 90 nutrients, 8 essential amino acids and 46 anti-oxidants. Antioxidants are known for preventing cellular damage.  When the leaves are dried and turned into powder form, its efficacy increases and its shelf life increases. What makes it more appealing as an additive to any food or drink, the dried powder does not change the taste of the food, drink or beverage.

Ashitaba, researched and studied extensively in Japan, commonly called the “longevity herb”,  is a green leafy vegetable that has a rare flavonoid called chalcone that contributes to good metabolism and helps in the production of nerve growth. Older people will love one of its health benefits - -keeping degenerative diseases at bay. Ashitaba contains beta-carotene, has 28 times more vitamin B2 content equivalent than garlic, four times more vitamin C than lemons, and nine times the amount of iron found in spinach.

If you want your immune system and your metabolism working at full throttle first thing in the morning, give this healthy coffee a shot!

Contact PeakLife Inc. ( and Empower Marketing ( at 534-6843 and 477-4504. Or visit them at the 2nd floor, Roscar Bldg, 81 EDSA, Mandaluyong City.

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