Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sarah now OK after break-up with Rayver

MANILA, Philippines –Sarah Geronimohas moved on after her break-up with actor-dancer Rayver Cruz.

“Matagal na naman po, hindi ko akalain na aabot sa ganito [pero] matagal na po akong okay,” Geronimo told “The Buzz.”

Geronimo has gotten entangled in what seemed to be a love triangle that also involves Cruz and his current girlfriend, Cristine Reyes.

It was only recently that the pop star princess admitted her past relationship with Cruz, and how deeply she got hurt after their separation.

According to reports, their relationship did not last long after she found out that Cruz was courting Reyes despite their relationship.

In her interview with “The Buzz,” Geronimo said it was not easy to admit it publicly but it was something that she had to do.

“Nagsasalita na din sila. Para naman akong tanga kung hindi ako magsasalita ...may karapatan din naman akong ipagtanggol ang sarili ko, ang pamilya ko,” she said.

“Una po, ayoko na talagang pag-usapan mabulatlat pa kung anong nangyari, pagpiyestahan kami. Ayoko na pero masyado na kasing masakit para hayaan ng ibang tao na gantuhin ako, gantuhin ang pamilya ko lalong lalo na,” she added.

She said her experience made her a wiser and stronger person.

She said: “Hindi din maganda na masyado mong kinu-contain ang emotions mo, wala kang outlet. Wala kang mapagsabihan. Mas naging relax din ako, ‘yong mas okay ako ngayon. Nakapagsalita ako, hindi tulad noon, itatago ko talaga.”

Reyes, on the other hand, defended Cruz from his critics. “Hindi intensyon ng tao na pagsabayin talaga. And paano pagsasabayin, naging kami September 14. I think nag-break sila summer last year.”

She also said that they, too, get hurt by criticisms. Reyes, however, added that there’s nothing to feel guilty about since her conscience is clear.

“Ang wish ko lang matanggap ng iba na masaya na kami. Matanggap nila na wala kaming kasalanan sa kanila…. Pinaparating lang po namin na dapat [hindi kami] sinasabihan ng kung ano ano kasi wala naman kaming kasalanan,” she said.

The lead star of “Kristine” said she wants to see an end to the issue.

“Tama na gusto na naming matapos ang issue para tahimik na kaming lahat. Nasabi ko na ‘yong dapat kong sabihin. Naparating ko na ‘yong gusto kong maparating. Siguro time na mag-move on na tayong lahat,” she said.

ohn weds Priscilla in La Union

MANILA, Philippines – John Estrada and Priscilla Meirelles got married on Saturday in La Union in a private ceremony, “The Buzz” reported Sunday.

The 2 celebrities exchanged “I do’s” before more than 200 guests.

Celebrities including Richard Gomez (best man), Lucy Torres-Gomez (matron of honor), broadcaster Ginger Conejero, Anjo Yllana, Randy Santiago, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Ogie Alcasid, Gabby Concepcion, and Kris Aquino (bible reader) were part of their entourage.

Estrada’s children from his first marriage to actress Janice de Belen were also in attendance.

In a taped interview with “The Buzz” host Boy Abunda, Meirelles said her favorite part of the wedding was when she was walking down the aisle while her favorite song was being played in the background.

“I realized that I was getting really married. I would be somebody else’s Mrs. I’m going to be with my own family,” she said.

“I believe in destiny. I really believe there is a reason why I came from so far to end up as Mrs. Estrada. I don’t believe that anything is by chance in life. I really think that there is a plan for everything and there’s a reason why everything happens,” the Brazilian beauty added.

As for Estrada's favorite, he said: “The kiss was nice. ‘Yong paglakad niya papunta sa akin. In-enjoy ko ‘yong reception talaga. Masaya lahat.”

Meirelles and Estrada said they are temporarily postponing their honeymoon due to work commitments.

As for having babies, Meirelles said that can wait. She said she wants to enjoy their time as husband and wife first before having children.

Fostering a child

MANILA, Philippines - Every child has the right to grow up in a family.

It's a principle upheld by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Philippines is a signatory.

But while Filipinos are known to have a very strong sense of family, poverty and difficult living conditions have forced thousands of children to grow up without a home or a family of their own.

According to the Norfil Foundation Incorporated, today, an estimated 11,000 Filipino children live in institutions awaiting permanent adoptive homes.

A home of foster care

For 26 years now, the Norfil Foundation has been helping provide neglected, abandoned and abused children a temporary alternative nurturing environment through its foster care program.

It began through the efforts of a Norwegian whose family stayed in the country for 5 years. They helped children in orphanages and eventually adopted 2 Filipino children. Together with a Filipina social worker who worked with the Social Welfare Department, they decided to help communities and prevent kids from being separated from their families, and later to set up the Foundation.

Aside from offering a foster home care for neglected, abandoned and abused children, Norfil also helps single expectant women, runs a nursery, sponsors community-based rehabilitation for disabled children and youth, assists people's organizations including cooperatives, and trains social workers.

Speaking on Mornings@ANC on Tuesday, Norfil Foundation Executive Director Tere Nuqui said it's a challenge to meet that need considering there are only 80 families in Metro Manila, Rizal Province, Samar and Cebu licensed to care for foster children.

"Last year, we were able to serve these children through these foster homes. They stay between 6 to 8 months and eventually some of their families resolve their problems, reunite with their birth families, while some went into adoption," she said.

How to qualify

Anyone who is at least 25 years old, of good moral character, and passes the selection process can qualify for foster care.

"Our government sets policies. If a family is interested, we conduct a foster care forum. The social worker then visits the family, informs them about foster care, and checks the family background on how they discipline their own children to make sure the children are not abused or maltreated," Nuqui said.

Nuqui added that they look for families who are willing, interested and motivated to take kids into their homes and treat them as members of their families even on a temporary basis.

"Some foster families have cared for 20 children, driven by the thought that if they don't think of these children, what will happen to them? We give them a chance to see children in orphanages and they'll realize it makes a lot of difference.

"Quite a lot of foster families belong to the low income group but they have have the motivation, the love, the parenting capability but financially they're not in a position to help the child on a long-term basis," said Nuqui.

Matching children to foster families is a primary concern, she added.

"A child who has developmental delays including speech delays would need more stimulation, more one-to-one care."

The child-caring agency or orphanage decides who among the children is the priority, toward the aim of simulating a wholesome family environment.

Saying goodbye

Nuqui admitted that given the tentative arrangement that comes with foster care, it has its downside.

"The most difficult part of fostering is when the time comes that the child will be taken away from you, specially if it's a young child," Nuqui explained.

But she noted, they provide would-be foster families with special sessions that teach them about how to deal with a child who isn't their own, and how to handle the separation.

"When the child gets adopted, we give them pictures and [they're] happy to know the child is doing well."

Norfil recently launched The Blueprints of Family Love: A Collection of Foster Care Stories which features the joys and challenges of becoming foster families.

Easing the pain

But as Norphil's experience shows, the easiest way to ease the pain is to open their doors to another child or opt for a more permanent arrangement: adoption.

"We've had cases where the foster family eventually decided to adopt the child," Nuqui said, adding that if that's the case, they'd have to apply as an adoptive family.

Those interested to open their homes or hearts to these children, or support Norfil's advocacy can call Norfil Foundation, Inc. at (632) 372-3577 to 79, visit or or

Mobile etiquette seen getting worse, not better

NEW YORK - Whether is it texting during dinner, talking on a cellphone in a public restroom or using a laptop while driving, most people think mobile etiquette is getting worse, not better.

Ninety one percent of US adults questioned in a new poll by computer innovation company Intel said they have seen people misuse technology, and three quarters think mobile manners have decreased in the past year.

"New digital technologies are becoming a mainstay in consumers' lives, but we haven't worked out for ourselves, our families, communities and societies what all the right kinds of behaviors and expectations will be," said Genevieve Bell, the head of interaction and experience research at Intel.

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that most US adults wished people practiced better mobile etiquette and found the lack of cellphone manners extremely annoying, even though about 20% admitted to poor etiquette themselves.

Nearly 75% said the lack of mobile manners has created a new form of public rage and 65% admitted they became angry around people who misused mobile devices.

The most annoying behaviors were the use of mobile devices during driving, followed by talking on a cellphone loudly in a public place and walking in the street while texting or talking on the phone.

People reported seeing, on average five mobile offenses every day, according to the poll. Nearly a quarter said they had even seen someone using a laptop while driving, and one in five said they checked their mobile devices before getting out of bed in the morning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wish granted: Fil-Canadian kid to appear on Ellen show

Think 'miracle juice' can cure cancer? Think again, lawmaker warns

MANILA, Philippines - A party-list lawmaker is preparing a measure to increase the government's regulation of sales presentations of food supplements now flooding the market.

This as more and more people end up in hospitals after replacing their regular medicines with "miracle juice" drinks, herbal tablets and other dietary supplements, according to Carol Jayne Lopez of the You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP) party-list.

Lopez hopes to change the "No Approved Therapeutic Claim" tag in products and advertisements to avoid misleading the public, particularly the masses.

The tag, she said, should be made more "understandable to all by printing it in plain English to the effect that health supplements have no curative effect, (that they are) not for treating disease and that they should not be made a substitute to regular medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

The lawmaker also wants to amend the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997, which created the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), to give the agency more teeth in regulating food supplement companies.

The health supplement business in the country has grown into a P150-billion industry as poor Filipinos who can't afford medical care turn to these products in the hope of getting cured, Lopez said.

She cited a cancer-stricken carpenter who spent more than P10,000 for boxes of "miracle juice" instead of undergoing chemotherapy, which costs around P20,000.

"Not only did the carpenter lose his last money in questionable health products, the sweet-talking health supplement agents also convinced the carpenter that he no longer needed to undergo chemotherapy because their wonder juice would suffice," the lawmaker said.

Former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral earlier proposed to have health statements in labels on herbal supplements written in Tagalog. She said the tag should include the warning: "Ito ay hindi gamot, at hindi dapat gamitin sa panggagamot."

"Some [of the products] are not registered as drug products, but as food supplements. That's all it is: dagdag pagkain," Cabral explained.

She added, "Hindi namin sinasabing 'wag bumili ang tao ng health supplements. Ang gusto lang namin, alam mo kung ano ang binibili mo, na hindi mo ito dapat bilhin bilang gamot para sa sakit."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Piolo gets emotional during his V-Day show

MANILA, Philippines – Singer and actor Piolo Pascual was not able to contain his emotions during his concert, “Piolo meets the Maestro, Ryan Cayabyab,” at the PICC Plenary Hall on Monday.

During the special event, Pascual unexpectedly burst into tears when he went down the stage to perform a song for girlfriend KC Concepcion, who was watching the show.

The actress-television host was sitting beside the actor’s mother.

“Naiyak ako! Somebody who has been there who showed me the true meaning of love. Thank you Kristina,” he said.

When sought for an explanation after the concert, he said: "Hindi ko rin alam. Hindi ko naman inaasahan. I just wanted to say a few words just to thank her. Kung anuman ang sinabi [ko] it came from the heart kaya siguro medyo naging emotional ako.”

Pascual was also happy that his concert was a huge success. He said it was a dream come true for him to hold his own show at the PICC.

He also shared that for the first time he got a standing ovation from the audience. "Tapos first time na may nag-more so it's really momentous. Na-boost ang morale ko."

Yeng Constantino and Sitti Navarro were his special guests.

After his Valentine gig, Pascual will do shows abroad.

"Sa States muna tayo. I'm doing 6-city tour that's in Connecticut, Florida, Chicago, Toronto, Virginia and isa pa, mga ganoon. I will be in the States for shows naman, so doon ko dadalhin ‘yong concert naman," he said.

Why partners cheat -- and what to do about it

He initially found it cool, saying that it helped him get accepted into his group of cheating male friends. But now that he has a baby with one of his girlfriends, Mike said he's starting to regret his life of infidelity and deception.

"Sa barkada, 'pag marami ang babae mo, astig kang tignan. Pero sa ngayon pong may baby na ako, mali na po," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda last week.

He continued, "May plano namang mag-seryoso, lalo na kasama ko ang baby kong lumalaki."

Mike said he wants to start a new life, but he doesn't know where to start. For one, he admitted that he's not yet ready to come clean to his girlfriends and face the consequences of getting caught.

"Ngayong lumalaki na ang baby ko, natatakot na rin ako sa epekto sa kanya," he said.

Mike, indeed, has a reason to be afraid as children are likely to follow the cheating ways of their parents, according to relationship expert Maribel Dionisio.

Most children look up to their parents as their role models. If not properly guided, they may end up having an affair as well, she explained.

"May predisposition. 'Pag nagtaksil ang magulang mo, ang mga anak maaaring magtaksil. Parang modelo mo na kasi ang magulang mo. Kaya dapat masusing preparation 'yan para maiwasan," Dionisio said.

Causes of infidelity

Aside from peer pressure and cheating parents, there are many other reasons why people cheat.

Dionisio said infidelity -- whether in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship or in a marriage -- may be caused by insecurity, trust issues, lack of communication, and addiction to sex, among many others.

Sometimes, cheating may even be inevitable in a relationship if the "foundation is weak already to start with," she said.

"Minsan sa simula pa lang, mali na ang pagsasama ng boyfriend/girlfriend. At kapag pumapasok na agad ang pagtatalik sa simula ng relationship, minsan ang friendship hindi maganda," Dionisio explained.

She continued, "Tapos minsan kapag ang courtship less than 3 years, mga one year or 6 months, whirlwind ang courtship so wala talagang connection or compatibility ang couple. Dapat kasi kilala mo na talaga."

How can you tell if your partner is cheating? Here are some common signs, as shared by Dionisio:

  • When he or she no longer talks to you, or if he or she only talks about your obligations in the house, such as the children
  • When you no longer have the usual once-a-week dates
  • When you're no longer happy in the relationship
  • When he or she stops being caring and affectionate
  • When he or she shows no interest in your relationship's future
  • When his or her behavior changes to the point that your friends are starting to notice
  • When he or she starts to hide things from you

When things seem wrong, talk to your partner about it, Dionisio said. This applies even if the partner is not yet caught cheating.

"The first thing is to resume the weekly date. Mag-usap kayo about how you feel," she suggested.

It's all about knowing what the other person feels. When the erring partner or spouse has repented and has sincerely promised to stay true to you, Dionisio said there should be room for forgiveness.

If he or she does not have any plans of letting go of the affair, it's best to end the relationship to avoid further damage, she said.

"Dapat makapili siya. Magulo din ang buhay na 'yan eh," Dionisio ended.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 gift ideas for Valentine's Day

MANILA, Philippines - Ten days from now, people are going to celebrate what is considered the sweetest time of the year -- Valentine's Day.

Traditionally, lovers express affection toward each other by giving flowers, confectionery and greeting cards on February 14, causing the prices of these products to soar through the roof.

For those who are already tired of giving the ubiquitous roses and chocolates, there are plenty of alternative gifts available in the market today if you know where to look.

You can even create your own Valentine's Day present -- it's all about resourcefulness and creativity.

Here are some ideas that may help you get started:

Something personalized

Adding your personal touch to a gift will make the recipient feel more special.

It could be as simple as a hand-written note to something over-the-top, such as your partner's face drawn on a cake.

Personalization isn't limited to food, pens and jewelry, however. Apple, for one, is providing free laser-engraving on its iPods and iPads upon purchase of these gadgets.

It could be your partner's name or any personal message, from "I love you" to "Always and Forever."

Something melodious

Most of the time, love is best expressed through a song.

If you can't write a song to save your life, you can choose from a variety of romantic melodies for your significant other.

You can perform these songs for him or her, place them in a CD or have other people sing for you.

A good choice is the Philippine Madrigal Singers, who are set to perform new arrangements of timeless love songs from around the world in a concert titled All for Love, to be held on February 12 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater in Pasay City.

ABS-CBN's Star Records, meanwhile, is offering Valentine CD cards, which contain music from local artists such as Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Aiza Seguerra, among others. Each CD card is priced at P170.

Something cute

Puppies make great companions and can give you and your partner a crash course in parenting.

Each puppy has its own set of traits. But for those who have no experience in handling pets, shih tzus are ideal as they are sweet and friendly to anyone.

These little bundles of joy can serve as your "first baby," teaching you and your loved one how to be more caring and responsible.

Something useful

Knowing your partner's needs is also an expression of love.

Practical gifts such as kitchen utensils and office supplies can be romantic too, if given a unique twist.

Coffee addicts, for instance, will surely enjoy a color-changing "magic mug" that can make their drinking experience more interesting.

Something precious

For big-budget gift-givers, jewelry is one of the best ways to make a person feel extra special.

It could be anything from a set of pearls to gold necklaces and silver bracelets, depending on your significant other's taste.

One of the newest jewelers in town is Pandora, a Danish brand that specializes in customizable charm bracelets.

For Valentine's Day, Pandora is offering 3 bracelets in plain silver, 14-karat gold and 2-tone with charms that "epitomize everything romantic."

Also available are little heart pendants in silver and 14-karat gold adorned with pink zirconias and white diamonds, respectively.

How's your heart? DOH says take care

MANILA, Philippines - Matters of the heart take center stage this February. Not only will Filipinos celebrate Valentine's Day on the 14th, February is Heart Month as well.

Presidential Decree No. 1096, which was signed in 1973, coincides a national effort to increase awareness about the physical condition of the heart with all the romantic trappings during the season of the heart.

After all, the top 2 killer diseases among Filipinos are diseases of the heart and vascular system, according to Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona.

About 90% of Filipinos have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, he said.

Among these risk factors are physical inactivity, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. These triggers can be managed, unlike age and hereditary risks, which are a given.

The health chief, thus, reminded Filipinos to take care of their hearts, to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and avoid vices to lessen their risk of getting heart diseases.

Prevention is better than cure

Ona also said prevention is the most cost-effective way to reduce the rising trend of morbidities and mortalities arising from heart diseases and diseases of the vascular system.

And prevention should start early.

Eat more fruits and vegetables to have a healthy heart.

"While still young, our children should be encouraged to be more active and practice a healthy lifestyle in order for them to develop the habit and lead a more productive life when they grow old," Ona said.

A healthy lifestyle, he added, can help prevent increased blood pressure, blood glucose count, abnormal blood lipid, and obesity or being overweight.

Among the ways Filipinos can adopt to achieve a healthy lifestyle concern diet (eat fruits and vegetables, reduce intake of salty and fatty foods), exercise (do it regularly), shunning of vices (avoid smoking, drink alcohol moderately), and stress management through relaxation.

The Philippine Heart Association leads efforts in observing Heart Month yearly. The association partners with the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, non-government agencies, medical societies, and pharmaceutical companies in mapping out activities to increase awareness about the importance of caring for one's heart and overall health.

Transsexuals hired as flight attendants

MANILA, Philippines - Transsexuals are now welcome to be flight attendants in Thailand.

A new Thai airline has started recruiting transsexuals to be flight attendants for the sake of offering equal opportunities to them.

Three transsexuals were hired last month in Bangkok by P.C. Air, according to a news report published by The Nation.

One of them, Thanyarat "Film" Jiraphatpakorn, 23, is a beauty titlist, having won the Miss Tiffany 2007 tilt.

"At first I thought they would just take applications but not actually recruit us, as happened at other places before," she told The Nation.

The newspaper also said Peter Shan, a P.C. Air executive, revealed that P.C. Air saw the potential of transsexuals to work as flight attendants.

The new recruits, who were hired together with 17 women and 10 men, will undergo training together with female flight attendants.

They will also sport a "third sex" name tag on their uniforms to avoid immigration hassles.

Exhibit offers fresh look at Leonardo da Vinci

PHILADELPHIA - If it's hard to grasp the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, it may be because he left no working models of the drawings that showed his intimate grasp of fields ranging from engineering to botany and anatomy.

But Philadelphia's Franklin Institute is hosting an exhibition that explains his paintings and the construction and operation of his famous inventions using newly created models as well as dazzling touch-screen technology.

"Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop," which runs from Saturday until May 22, examines his flying machines, weapons of war, robots and other mechanical devices by using computer graphics to create three-dimensional pictures of the items that in their original form are represented only by drawings in the artist notebooks.

"The genius of Leonardo da Vinci, the greatest mind of the Renaissance, springs to life in this much heralded exhibit from Italy," the institute said on its website.

It added that for the first time new discoveries about "The Last Supper," one of his most famous paintings, will be unveiled.

A digital restoration of the work highlights elements that had been obscured by five centuries of deterioration, including plates of fish and slices of orange on the table where Jesus and his disciples are sitting. It also reveals a bell tower rising in the distance behind the figure of Jesus.

The lack of halos on the figures of Jesus and the disciples suggests that da Vinci was not a religious man and may even have had an antagonistic relationship with the monks who commissioned the painting, according to Mario Taddei, a co-curator of the exhibition.

"These are common people," Taddei said, referring to the figures in the painting.

The exhibit also includes a giant crossbow, one of 1,780 drawings in the Codex Atlanticus, da Vinci's largest collection of inventions, that can be selected from a touch screen.

The screen shows a replica of the drawing in the notebook, alongside the left-handed inventor's famous right-to-left handwriting. But the touch of a visitor's finger on the notebook draws out a much larger 3D representation of the device which can be rotated and examined from all angles.

Another touch illustrates its moving parts.

The touch screens allow visitors to flip the pages of the artist's notebooks as if they were paper copies, and to select any drawings of interest for closer inspection.

Another screen can deconstruct, reassemble and present a three-dimensional representation of the mechanical lion, a complex machine the artist made as a gift to the King of France in 1515.

The lion is also represented as a large wooden model that has been created by the exhibition's curators Leonardo3, a Milan, Italy-based company dedicated to research and media related to the artist and inventor.

Philippine bridal trends for 2011 revealed

MANILA, Philippines - There are bridal trends that will never go away, such as the classic white gown and the big balloon skirt.

Still, we should always be open to new wedding ideas and concepts so "brides don't look the same," said Georgia Schulze, contributing writer for Metro Weddings magazine.

"I hope that changes and brides can be a little more unique," she said in an interview at Mornings@ANC on Friday.

Schulze said this year is a good time for brides to try adding a splash of color to their wedding gowns.

She said nudes and grays, instead of the usual white, are expected to be a hit this 2011.

Accents, such as a black sash, will be in as well, she added.

Wedding planner Rita Neri agreed with Schulze, saying that Filipino brides are highly unlikely to wear gowns in bold colors such as red and black.

An exception may be singer Regine Velasquez, who matched a bright red dress with high-heeled leather boots as she tied the knot with Ogie Alcasid last year.

"More of accent colors, not really the whole thing. It's more like dusting of a color," said Neri, who runs her own events planning company.

Here are some of the bridal trends in the Philippines for 2011, as featured in Mornings@ANC:

A touch of nature. Add flowers to play up a classic strapless gown. Instead of the traditional roses and calla lilies, use beautiful wildflowers in shades of green, lime and white.

Stunning simple. Pair a tapered formal tux with a flowing chiffon gown for understated glamour. Use unconventional cuts, wrapped bodices and interesting patterns. Highlight a strapless neckline with a hint of embellishment and textured layers in soft silk chiffon.

Water goddess. Take your inspiration from water and choose a lightweight material which flatters your figure. Add texture and movement with a wrapped bodice and a shirred skirt.

Summer palette. Don't be ruled by whites and blacks. Opt for bright outdoor shades like light blue and pink.

Crazy for cream. Cream is fast becoming a color of choice for most bridal gowns. Look stunning in a beach celebration with a perfectly cut cream-colored dress with deconstructed layers.