Freedom Walk For PWDs (Persons with Disabilities) In SM Megamall Led By AKAP Pinoy

Some one thousand Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and their families converged at the SM Megamall last June 18 to join this year’s Freedom Walk to push for greater inclusivity of PWDs in society, especially in the work force.

Dubbed “For Each Right-Full Step, Barriers We Break,” this year’s Freedom Walk led by AKAP Pinoy also marked the turnover of the event from Pasay City to Mandaluyong City with Mayor Benhur Abalos personally accepting this year’s task of being the host city of the PWDs event.

The participants, many in wheelchairs, traversed Julia Vargas and San Miguel Avenue in Mandaluyong carrying banners and streamers.

Also present were Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls, Steven Tan, Senior Vice President of SM Supermalls, a representative of Pasay City Mayor Calixto, and representatives from the different Metro Manila city governments and non-governmental organizations.

Retired Navy Captain Oscar Taleon, AKAP Pinoy President, said they are extremely delighted with the turnout as it reflects on the growing awareness of the public on their condition.

The Freedom Walk, which is on its 6th year, started in 2010 in Quezon City. Taleon said this is their way of pushing for full integration for them be productive members of society. “This is the participation of our group to the Philippine Independence Day celebration and it also an expression of our desire to have our freedom from our barriers. We would like to eliminate the barriers that hinder us from full participation in society that is on equal basis with others,” he said.

While the National Statistics Office places the number of PWDs in the Philippines at 1.5 million, Taleon said the number has now reached 9 million citing the World Health Organization. “That number of 1.5 million is too low because the WHO has given an estimate of 9 million PWDs in the Philippines,” he said.

Taleon also noted that while their group is happy with the legislations that have given them rights and privileges, implementation is still very much a concern.

Taleon lamented that not all PWDs are aware of the law giving rights and discounts to them which is the reason why many still have to avail of the full benefits of the law. “We have that discount legislation but not everybody is enjoying it mainly because of lack of awareness and the limitations to getting it because we have to get disability card first before we can have the discount so it is quite difficult for many of us,” he pointed out.

He added that while the last mandates the establishment of People with Disabilities Affairs Offices (PDAOs) in all local government units all over the country, many have to comply with the law.

“The problem really is the implementation and until we implement the law fully, a lot of things need to be done,” he said.

He then thanked SM and its corporate social responsibility arm, SM Cares, for hosting the event saying SM has always been their partner in upholding the rights of PWDs. “SM have shown the way for other establishments on how to treat people like us and we are very glad that it has always been there for us,” he said.

Taleon said they will continue to hold the Freedom Walk until their full inclusion is realized. “We will continue to do this until we would have achieved inclusion. And for as long as we have partners in government and in the private sector like SM, then I am confident that slowly we would get there,” Taleon concluded.

Father's Day Memo : Nestlé Health Science’s Nutrition Therapy To Keep Our Dads Healthy

Our dads will always hold a special place in our hearts. He is the superhero who fought the bad guys so we could sleep at night, the coach who patiently taught us how to fly a kite and ride a bike, and the best friend who always made us feel special even after a long day at work.

It’s wistful to think that our dads are slowly approaching their twilight years. As adults, we are often so immersed with our own lives that we overlook the fact that our once strong and active dads are ageing. It is now our turn to take care of our fathers and assess if their health and nutrients are still optimized.

Keeping up with grandkids

Every dad dreams of seeing his children have kids of their own. They long for the day when they could give their grandkids piggyback rides, take them to the park, and teach them the things they taught their sons and daughters when they were young.

Although enjoying quality time with their grandchildren is a welcomed activity, tasks like running around and picking up after the kids could be both challenging and physically exhausting.

“When we finished college, some fathers were already in their 60s,” said Dr. Jimmy Bautista, Medical & Scientific Affairs Lead at Nestlé Health Science. “And with today’s fast paced lifestyle, they could be accelerating their body’s decline.”

The mere idea of health problems is something most of us prefer not to entertain. In the Department of Health's list of leading causes for mortality in the Philippines, six of the 10 are non-communicable diseases, which includes cardio vascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

DOH defines non-communicable diseases as lifestyle-related diseases that are linked with smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and stress.

Are your dad’s nutrients optimized?

As we honor our dads this coming Father's Day, let us remember the importance that nutrition plays in the quality of his life.

Helping our dads commit to simple lifestyle changes like choosing healthier options and optimizing nutrient intake can be their body’s best defenses against ageing and lifestyle-related diseases.

“Ageing is an everyday occurrence. As early as now, we need to remind our parents to start thinking about their health and how it affects their loved ones,” said Dr. Bautista. “It is important to incorporate a nutritionally optimized oral supplement into their diets to help enhance immune defenses and regain strength.”

For oral nutritional supplements to be optimized, they should contain high quality whey protein, a heart-friendly fat blend, and moderate levels of carbohydrates, prebiotic fibers, probiotics and high amounts of key micronutrients.

By making proactive choices such as embracing an active lifestyle, keeping a positive outlook, and regularly taking a nutritionally optimized oral supplement, Filipino dads can fully enjoy fatherhood, be their family’s bedrock, and watch their children and grandchildren achieve their dreams.

To know more about Nestlé Health Science’s nutritional therapy and healthy ageing solutions, visit

Kids Become Electricians and House Painters at KidZania Manila Home Finishing Establishment

At KidZania Manila, empowering children to build a better and brighter world starts not only with helping them develop valuable life skills, but also enabling them to experience what it’s like to actually help finish a house.

The interactive kid-sized city recently welcomed the launch of the Home Finishing establishment courtesy of new industry partner, First Balfour, one of the country’s leading construction and engineering companies.

The official launch was graced by First Balfour President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Anthony Fernandez, who talked about how First Balfour and KidZania Manila share the same vision of helping shape a better nation by nurturing today’s younger generation.

"Over the past four decades, our purpose has been to contribute to building the nation and uplifting the quality of life of the Filipino. Like KidZania, First Balfour believes in fostering a better world, a brighter future – and a brighter future comes from dreams and aspirations nurtured during the early years. We believe KidZania provides these opportunities to young minds whose future lies in creativity and enriched imagination," Fernandez said.

“We’re proud to partner with one of the few companies that consistently maintain a triple-certification for ISO (International Order for Standardization) and safety occupational health (OHSAS),” said State Governor of KidZania Philippines Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas. “The First Balfour Home Finishing establishment was built to inspire kids to explore jobs in the construction industry. Filipinos are known for their artistry and craftsmanship, and are sought after all over the world. This is something that we can all be proud of.”

With the opening of the Home Finishing establishment in the metropolis, kids can experience working as electricians— fixing electrical wirings to power up appliances-- and house painters— painting the walls of a house. Each 15-minute activity can accommodate 4 kids and pays 8 kidZos.

The Home Finishing establishment is just one of KidZania Manila’s over 70 establishments with more than 100 role-playing activities that enable kids to explore, discover, and learn how the real world works.

Let your kids discover more ways to build a better world only at KidZania Manila’s newly opened Home Finishing establishment. The play city is open every day: Weekdays (9AM to 4PM); and Weekends (9AM to 2PM and 3 to 8PM). As a special treat, the play city is extending playtime hours every Friday until August 2016. For tickets and more information, visit

Practical Tips To Manage Mom's Back-To-School Days

With most Filipino students going back to school on June 13, millions of moms across the country are starting to brace themselves for the new school year ahead. Just like, or more so than the students themselves, moms are in need of time, budget and stress management strategies during school days, what with meals to cook, school uniforms to prepare, kids to wake up, and “baons” to pack. 

Being organized goes a long way in surmounting these challenges. But where to begin? Hanabishi, a leading brand of quality and affordable home products, proves to be quite a practical partner during these stressful times. Here, Hanabishi provides some helpful advice.  

Stick to a shopping list
Back-to-school sales in various stores are up. It’s time to take advantage of the discounts and promos on bulk purchases such as getting three pairs of socks for the price of two. There are pitfalls to this, though. Sometimes, undershirts might seem cheaper by the dozen but what if 5 pieces are enough? Or, maybe Junior’s bag from last school year can still be used this year.

To curb impulsive buying, the whole family can make a list of school items that can still be used to determine the items that really need to be bought. The key is to stick to the list. Also, before getting overly excited about a store sale, first  check the Department of Trade and Industry’s 2016 Price Guide for School Supplies or “Gabay sa Presyo ng School Supplies” to make sure the family is really getting a bargain.

Put the ‘fast’ in breakfast
Even though it is the most important meal of the day, breakfast doesn’t have to take an hour in the morning to prepare. Meals can be pre-cooked during the weekend or the night before, frozen, then reheated in the Hanabishi microwave oven, which features a non-ionizing radio frequency. This means it’s safe and won’t cause cancer. With the Hanabishi microwave oven, it will only take a minute or two to come up with a hot breakfast, plus moms can simply pop in the food and leave it so she can multitask and save more time.

On other days when a pre-cooked meal is not available for reheating and it’s too early to run to the  bakery for some hot pandesal, turn to the Hanabishi toaster oven. It has a timer, auto-shut off feature and an automatic temperature limit to prevent burning the bread.      

Another time-saving tool is the Hanabishi water kettle. It has a leak-proof body and heavy duty heating element that concentrates heat to the water container to accelerate the process of heating. Cleaning up is also easy-peasy thanks to its washable water tank and net filter. 

Time is of the essence
Plan things ahead to avoid early morning stress. Don’t wait for the last minute to book a school bus or service as those may get quickly fully booked. Lay out clothes, shoes, socks, bags and items that are easy to forget such as ID’s, projects and water bottles the night before. And as an extra measure, set the clock 5 to 10 minutes ahead so everybody gets to be out the door earlier. 

Outsmart the weather
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) announced on May 24 that the rainy season may last until October or November this year. With La Niña set to bring excessive rainfall starting August, it will be a rough battle drying up clothes, especially the school uniform that kids wear on a daily basis. Finding a suitable washer is therefore a must.

The Hanabishi top load washing machine has quick-wash, auto-sensing, and fully-automatic programs that do not need manual intervention during washing, rinsing and drying for a no-hassle washing routine.

Just breathe
When the alarm clock doesn’t go off, the traffic becomes exceptionally bad, or the kids just get extra slow, it is important not to panic. Stressing about it doesn’t help, and might even cause mistakes (such as putting on socks that don’t match) leading to more delays. And after the kids are already in school, what’s wrong with slowing down with a cup of freshly brewed coffee made using the Hanabishi coffee maker? All moms deserve a little indulgence before facing tasks the rest of the day.

With a little planning, and some help from Hanabishi, school days can be fun days for mom!