Migs and Alaine

Chronicles of a Happy Married Life

How Blogging Helped Us Grow

All our readers know that we started blogging when we were just preparing for our big day. It was just an online diary and we were surprised that there were a number of people who actually read and even responded to our posts. Some posts were created out of frustrations from suppliers and some were simply recommendations for suppliers that were extremely nice and exceeded our expectations.

We were just like typical millennials who browse the internet for product reviews and such but it’s really different if you are the one reviewing or sharing your thoughts for things that happened to you first hand. From there we learned that product or service reviews can actually have different impacts on readers – these can also define who you are as a person because it will show how you react in ugly situations.

Documenting our lives from our wedding preparations through parenthood has been exciting and fulfilling especially when we hear people say that they have learned something from us. Sometimes, it’s also a bit challenging because others think that we are sharing too much information about our family.

There were times when we wanted to stop sharing especially when we’re too busy with work and business or whenever we don’t feel creative. But we just keep on documenting and sharing our lives in order for life to not escape us. It also felt like we now have the responsibility to give our readers our insights on things so they can pick up a thing or two from our experience.

Blogging since 2012 not only opened doors for different opportunities but also lead us to meet beautiful people that have become our close friends and event clients. It has also helped us with how we communicate with different types of people. It gave us the opportunity to get an inside feel of how things are done in everything that we review or document, like restaurant operations, production, etc. More so, our blog had been one of our tools in keeping sound mental health.

We also remember documenting our first attempt to buy a property from a developer that turned out to be a fraud. We published the article last 2016 and until now, we are still receiving emails and direct messages thanking us for our blog because it saved them from losing money. Others, unfortunately, share the same sentiments with us. That experience taught us a lesson on how to make life-changing decisions. We learned to be very vigilant when it comes to big purchases. Research, research, research, and never rush whenever we are faced with this type of scenario. It also taught us how to be more responsible in giving reviews and expressing ourselves but still being honest.

Although writing PRs for commercial brands makes money, we stand by our principles and review the products or brands fairly and honestly. We always have to remind ourselves that we started this blog not to make money but to write fair and honest reviews. Our blog’s integrity is what we’re most proud of.

A Survivor’s Bittersweet Life

Dear survivor,

Remember when you thought that you already figured everything out? You were so sure that your plans were really working out for you and your wife. Then life sends a tsunami towards your way. Do you know what amazed me? You didn’t flinch and attacked that tsunami head-on.

“2012 was my year” that’s what you said. After experiencing a really tough childhood where you have to work as a minor so you can feed your siblings and your sick mother. Send your youngest brother to school while you were studying. It’s not hard to claim that you’ve made it after all you’ve been through. It felt really good. You married a beautiful, loving, smart, and funny woman. You have a decent job that you really love doing. You drive a very reliable car and have saved money for your dream home.

After 2 years of enjoying the fruits of your labor, your life came to a halt, you and your wife dealt with, death, unemployment, fraud, sickness, and bankruptcy.

Chapter 1: Death

It all started when your mom died, and followed by your wife’s mother’s passing after only a few months. The pain was unbearable, but you have each other. Also practicing “Leaving and Cleaving” made it easier for you to cope with your losses. Aside from the emotional stress that these deaths caused you and your wife, they also left a big hole in your bank account. The money that you saved for your dream home is no longer yours to keep.

You kept your positive spirit and said “we can always finance our house” and so you did. You started paying the equity every month with ease. Finally, you’re just a few months away from owning your dream home only to find out that your house developer is a fraud.

Chapter 2: Fraud

After months of paying for your home equity, you realized that your developer was lying to you about having acquired a license to sell and a certificate of registration. You asked for a refund but you got nowhere. You even seek help from your government, but your current laws were designed to protect development fraudsters. So there goes your hard-earned money.

“Well renting for a few more years doesn’t sound bad”. There you go again facing another loss with a positive mindset.

Hang on to that smile Miguel, because what comes next will question your faith.

Chapter 3: Unemployment, Sickness, and Bankruptcy

You read it right, that’s a 3 hit combo.

Just 1 month after the ordeal with your home developer, your company suddenly realized that they have too many trainers and decided to let half of your department go. Yes, you’re part of it. After serving the company and producing the best and the brightest in the field, all you are to them is just a number. But you’re a fighter. Unemployment is just a walk in the park. But wait, there’s more.

I heard the news that one of the last trainees whom you had a feedback session with just died of Tuberculosis as a complication of his HIV. Your wife has been telling you to get yourself checked because you’ve been coughing nonstop for the past weeks. Sometimes you are really stubborn and just don’t listen until one day, you noticed that your athletic build has succumbed to the sickness. Your right lung already collapsed and could barely walk. You are officially sick, tough guy! You started facing this situation with a positive outlook again. You still tried to make money by selling random stuff to make yourself useful. TB is highly curable. Just take your meds for 6 months and you’re done. But you were wrong. After your lung operation, your doctor told you that TB has reached your liver.

April 2016. What used to be a happy spirit who takes good care of his health and small family was reduced to skin and bones. Couldn’t stand on his own. Couldn’t lie on his bed either. Cries every night while his wife is at work, begging God to take him so he wouldn’t be a burden anymore. This situation has forbidden you to fulfil your purpose and just wanted the pain to go away.

But you know that your old self still lives somewhere in that very frail body. You know that you wouldn’t allow a survivable challenge to beat you without giving it a fight. Most of all you love your wife so much and you want to continue annoying her every day for the rest of your lives. LOL! You’ll also leave her with a lot to think about because you now have a bigger hole in your bank account. So you decided to get better and live for her.

It took you a year to be better despite the bankruptcy. You even reached a point where you only have 200php in your wallet.

This is the part where you realized that you can lose everything, but being with the love of your life makes it ok.

Chapter 4: Recovery

(For the Reader) You might be wondering about one thing. Of course, I sued my company. Hahaha!

Yes, you did Miguel, you monster killing machine! While suffering from a deadly ordeal, you spent your time waiting for your counterattack to bear fruit.

Life gave you lemons and you made lemonade out of it. You regained your good health and got back up.

The good news doesn’t end there, you and your wife even got a big bonus. After being together for 9 years, you guys were blessed with Chuck, your pride, and joy. 

You enjoyed your recovery very well, so well that you forgot to maintain your weight. Yes, you have gained so much weight after recovering from TB. Since you can’t lift weights anymore due to your previous back surgery, you have to look for an exercise regimen that will not strain you. 

Another challenge is about to hit not only you but the entire planet. I’ll tell you what you did and still doing to overcome ‘The Pandemic’.

Chapter 5: Pandemic

Start of 2020. The world shuts down due to this new crisis. People died, businesses closed including yours. The businesses that you started with your wife did not escape the wrath of COVID 19. You had to think quickly as your depleting savings won’t last very long with a baby and other bills.  Thanks to your wife’s work income, you guys are still able to barely survive.

Thanks to your never-ending desire to overcome every challenge, you turned this roadblock into a business opportunity while worrying about maintaining your health.

You quickly started a business that helps other entrepreneurs go through this pandemic without closing shop, like what happened to you. Another silver lining is you found a way to stay fit and healthy. Cycling blew up because people ran out of activities that won’t give them the virus.

We’re still in it. I know that you’re still facing this new tsunami head-on with a smirk on your face.

Keep on surviving champ! You got this!

-Migs

This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.

Top 4 Places to Visit in Banff

Banff is one of Canada’s most incredible national parks, offering nonstop natural beauty, notable locals, and endless entertainment and activities to attempt.  Regardless of whether you’re more of a resort or summer sport kind of person, you’ll find something that suits you perfectly.  These are the top places to visit when you’re at the very southern border of Alberta and why this park is paradise on Earth.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise could be a resort town of its own if it weren’t part of Banff.  In the summer you have the chance to boat and swim in the lake’s beautiful blue waters.  Trails are open surrounding the lake itself, and you can even take a ride to the top of the mountain to absorb the best views possible.  This area is incredibly gorgeous.

When Lake Louise is covered in a good coat of snow and ice in winter, skating opens up on the lake’s surface, and skiing opens up on the mountainsides.  You could spend a year in this area of the Banff National Park and never have two days be precisely the same.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort

This ski resort is the most recognizable part of Banff National Park.  From the endless snowy peaks and slopes to the cozy hot springs and spas, you’ll get to play and relax as much as you want.  This is a must-stay location because of the great mix of affordability and experiences, with the only way to get closer to being a local being to look at Banff homes for sale.  This ski resort has year-round attractions but shines the most in the winter.

Icefields Parkway

If you don’t love hiking but you want to take in some incredible views, a drive down the Icefields Parkway is the best way to ensure you get a great mixture of indoors and outdoors life.  There’s nothing quite like driving through this mountain range and getting to take in endless views of mountains, snow, sky, rivers, and lakes.

The only mistake some people make is getting out of their vehicles, which you shouldn’t do along this parkway unless you’re with a guide.  This park is packed to the brim with gorgeous wildlife, and it’s for the best if you don’t get too physically close to interacting with it.

Johnston Canyon

A canyon may not be what you expect to see in Banff, but the Johnston Canyon is a gorgeous trail that takes travelers down towards a river, deep into the ground itself.  Walking this trail in the summer gets you out of direct sunlight and allows you to feel the excitement of walking into the canyon itself.  Although it’s not as deep or wide as America’s Grand Canyon, there’s something so beautiful about the Johnston Canyon that it doesn’t feel like it falls short.  Visiting and walking this trail is calming, and you’ll leave feeling refreshed.

Banff is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.  Once you visit and see everything it has to offer, you won’t want to leave ever again!

Retro Gaming

Working from home during this time of the Pandemic can sometimes drain my energy. I have tried different things to divert my attention to like baking and sewing. But as a 90’s kid, playing my all-time favorite family computer games like Pac-Man, Tetris, etc. gives me a different feeling.  

I love playing these games as a kid because they’re not addictive and they’re super fun too! Whenever I miss playing these old titles, I download an emulator so I can play them.

It will be more awesome if you still have your old console.
I also came across the website Plays.org where I can play other games, but with similar gameplay from my browser. I don’t mind the difference in the characters since I don’t plan to spend too much time playing. It’s a good 15 to 20-minute distraction for busy people like myself.

Here are my Top 5 favorite titles and their equivalent in the browser-based gaming site

  1. Tank Wars = Battle City

If you miss shooting down brick walls using Tanks, you can go reckless with this game.

       Who would forget this hungry fella? Knock yourself out eating all the cheese while being chased by cats

  • Tetra Blocks = Tetris
    Miss the intensity of Tetris? Tetra Blocks will give you the same rush of not messing up the positions
  • Neon Invaders = Galaga
    Instead of bees, you’ll be shooting neon robots while trying not to get hit by their poopies(is what I call those)lol

Revisit the frustration of your 3rd grader self, trying to figure out how to beat this game.

Escape from the stress of being stuck at home trying to make ends meet, while balancing work and your sanity by doing things that bring you joy even for a little while. For me, it’s the old feeling of being a child again by playing my Retro Games whether through an emulator, via Plays.org, or the super rare old consoles.

Re-Create Your Salon Hair at Home in 4 Easy Steps

More than a year has passed since the shift to a new normal and the nostalgia of being able to go out as you please really hits the nail. Months of being unbothered about how we look have passed and now, the reflection we see in the mirror is just begging for the attention and maintenance that we’ve deprived ourselves of.

The unruly, overgrown, problematic hair that we now have to deal with needs the salon TLC that it deserves. By now, we all probably miss the experience of being in the salon — the smell, atmosphere, and fulfillment that a pampered and good looking head of hair makes us feel.

But, we can always take matters into our own hands. If you’re missing the confidence that salon-like results offer, here are four tips to achieve a Salontastic experience at home.

  1. Wash Your Scalp and Hair with Care

The first step for a Salontastic at home experience is to clean your hair and scalp. Since we’re used to washing hair with the same products every day, we might not notice the effect different shampoos have in how they cleanse and even protect hair from external factors. A shampoo with rice oil essence is just what your hair needs for a Salontastic experience.

Rice oil is an underrated beauty ingredient that comes from the Japanese tradition of using rice water to wash hair. The abundance of vitamin E in rice oil can help reduce inflammation and reverse damage to the hair follicles. It’s the perfect ingredient to maintain strong, long and shiny hair.

Wash your scalp and hair with care with the Pantene Long Hair Solutions: Total Damage Care Shampoo with Pro-Vitamin Formula & Japanese Rice Oil Essence Shampoo. With regular use, it ultimately helps repair damaged hair and keeps hair protected from external factors.

  • Use A Microfiber Towel

The items you use for drying your hair can also affect its look and texture just as much as the products you apply. Cotton towels have loose threads that can tangle and pull your hair, leading to breakage and frizz. Unlike textured towels, microfiber towels are made of a smoother material that create less friction on your strands. They’re gentler on different hair textures, prevent snags, and help to keep the hair cuticle smooth.

  • Use A Conditioner that Protects Your Strands

It’s important to maintain moisture in hair and provide protection from further damage by using a conditioner. Moisture keeps hair hydrated and supple, preventing it from being dry and brittle which can lead to damage.

Unlike conventional conditioners, Pantene Collagen Miracle Intensive Serum Conditioner targets damaged strands, making hair more resilient against breakage from external causes. It also has real Collagen that can bring back the natural strength of your hair. With a blend of Pro-Vitamin B5, miracle serum, and real Collagen — nutrients are sealed and moisture is locked in each strand, turning dry, frizzy hair into shiny, smoother hair every day.

If you have colored or permed hair, the Pantene Color & Perm Conditioner can also smoothen 3 months worth of hair damage in just 3 minutes.* This Pantene conditioner leaves each strand of hair with a protective layer of repair essence. Not to mention that it also helps hair color and perm last longer.

  • Cap it all off with a Miracle Treatment

Here’s the grand finale to achieve salon-like hair results. You can give your hair a boost of smoothness and shine without the grease with the Pantene Collagen Miracle Hair Treatment Shots. It has Pro-Vitamin Blends and Collagen, keeping each hair strand hydrated and replenished of lost nutrients.

After rinsing your conditioner, squeeze the excess water from your hair and apply the Collagen Treatment Shots. Leave it on for 10 minutes while wrapped in a warm towel then wash with room-temp water. You can air dry or blow dry your hair after, and style it as you please.

The salon experience will surely be missed, but now you can feel like every day is a salon day with Pantene. And it only takes as easy as four tips to pamper yourself with salon-quality treatment at home. For more tips, tricks, and DIY methods to maintain Salontastic hair, visit the Pantene’s guide to salon level hair.

Head over to the P&G Shopee Mall store and checkout all the Pantene products you need for a salon experience at home with Salontastic hair results.

*With continuous use.

Coffee That’s Really Good For You: Glorious, Isn’t It?

For decades, coffee had received a bad reputation. Besides allegedly triggering high blood pressure, insomnia, and hyperacidity, the Filipino habit of adding lots of sugar and cream to one’s cup has been said to aggravate diabetes.

While there’s no denying the Pinoy coffee fan his morning cup, there is concern over the amount of sugar present in commercial 3-in-1 coffee mixes. The leading brand has 14.6 grams of sugar in one 20-gram sachet alone. Imagine how much sugar you’re taking in if you drink an average of three cups of coffee a day.

What About Sugar-Free Coffee?

For health-conscious individuals, especially diabetics, turning to sugar-free coffee mixes seems to be the only option. This meant enduring tasteless cups of coffee just to satisfy their caffeine fix —until Stevia came along.

Stevia is the low calorie, zero sugar sweetener that tastes so much better than artificial sweeteners.

Stevia is an herb with a sweet-tasting extract that comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It has been enjoyed since pre-Columbian South America where indigenous people used the herb to sweeten their tea and other drinks.

The plant’s taste stems from steviol glycosides, molecules which are 250–300 times sweeter than regular sugar.

It became popular among health-conscious individuals because stevia has a very low caloric content. This makes it perfect for dieters and people who are trying to lose weight.

Moreover, Stevia makes coffee and tea taste so much better without adding any calories. Aside from beverages, Stevia is also used as an alternative sweetener when cooking or baking.

The Health Advantages of Stevia

Stevia is a safe, healthy sugar substitute that can sweeten up food without the negative health effects of refined sugar. It’s also associated with several impressive benefits such as reduced calorie intake, managed blood sugar levels, and minimized risk of cavities.

Additionally, while other sugar substitutes like Aspartame have been linked with cancer, there’s no evidence linking stevia to cancer since it is a natural ingredient.

This means you can add stevia to dishes and drinks without fear that you’re taking too much sugar, or that you’ll get sick a few years down the road.

For coffee lovers, it’s also good to note that locally-made Glorious Blend coffees and instant beverages have Stevia as its natural sweetener. The blend of natural and healthful ingredients make the drink not only refreshing and safe, but also good for one’s overall health.

The Glorious Blend boasts a full line of healthy drinks, including a 7-in-1 healthy coffee mix. This special blend is made with proven medicinal ingredients like Malunggay, Mangosteen, Calcium, Gotu Kola, and sweetened with Sweet & Fit Stevia. What’s even better is that the Glorious Blend 7in1 Coffee is non-acidic and promotes regular bowel movement.

The Glorious line-up also includes the 3-in-1 coffee mix with Stevia; 7-in-1 choco mix; 4-in-1 coffee with Malunggay; 5-in-1 coffee mix with Brown Rice; and the MaxiTrim coffee.

All Glorious Blend beverages use Stevia which has no calories, no carbohydrates, and zero glycemic index. All of their instant drinks will keep you alert and energized throughout the day.

Also, Glorious Blend products are locally sourced and manufactured. Their company supports local farmers, stevia growers, and other agricultural communities.

So if you’ve been cutting back on drinking coffee because of health problems like diabetes or hyper acidity, Glorious Blend coffee mixes are here to help. You can enjoy all the aroma and flavor of freshly made coffee all day —without the guilt!

Now, you can drink coffee for better health! Glorious, isn’t it?

For more information about Glorious Blend coffee mixes, check out https://www.facebook.com/gloriousblend.

Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol welcomes Richard Gutierrez, Sarah Lahbati, and kids as brand ambassadors

Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol continues its campaign to be Filipino families’ ally in germ protection in the new normal as they welcome newlyweds, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, together with their adorable kids Zion and Kai, as their brand ambassadors.

Adjusting to the New Normal with Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol

Richard and Sarah, who got married in a solemn ceremony earlier this year, celebrated their new life together in quarantine. While being stuck at home was an opportunity for them to spend more time together as a family—planting, painting and playing all sorts of games, they also needed to go through a lot of adjustments as a family. 

One adjustment that they had to do was to look for better ways to protect their family against germs, with the threat of the virus still continuing up until now. They found their newest ally in Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, which promises a higher level of protection against germs and viruses. 

“We believe in innovative products. Not only does Defensil come from a company we trust, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol is also recommended by experts,” said Sarah. 

“And since we use alcohol more frequently to sanitize, I also like how it not only kills germs and bacteria, but also has moisturizer to not dry our skin,” she added. 

One way to prevent the spread of germs is regular disinfection of hands and high touch surfaces using a rubbing alcohol. To provide a higher level of defense against germs in the new normal, the Philippine Society for Microbiology is recommending Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol.

Created by Beauty Elements Ventures Inc, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol kills 99.9% of germs to give Richard and Sarah’s family the peace of mind that they are well-defended. It starts to kill germs on contact and upon constant use, provides up to 12-hour protection.

New Normal Holidays

Celebrating the holidays is surely going to be different for the Gutierrez family this year. For Richard and Sarah, social distancing is something that they’re keeping in mind as they celebrate the holiday season, along with making sure that everyone sanitizes and disinfects using Defensil. 

The family wishes to go on a local holiday trip with family bringing their new ally, Defensil. With this, Sarah shares three simple tips to fellow parents on how to keep their family safe from germs during the holiday season. 

First, social distancing is a must. Second, always wear a mask. It is important for parents to teach their kids the importance of wearing masks, which help to prevent the transmission of the virus. And, lastly, always disinfect with an alcohol that makes sure you and the family are well-defended— like Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol. 

To know more about Richard and Sarah’s newest ally, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/defensil.philippines

***

*Defensil 70% Isopropyl Alcohol was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli or E. coli and Candida albicans

Treat your Fur Babies this Shopee 12.12 Sale!

The last big sale of the year is happening today!

It’s time to stock-up on some food for your fur babies!

The Pedigree store is on sale! Save up to 40% off + an extra Php 100 off for a minimum purchase of Php 1212. Share the joy of Christmas with pets by giving them good and balanced meals and treats that will make them HEALTHY and HAPPY too!

Whiskas has always been our go-to brand for cat food and it’s great that we can shop online so we can ensure that we’re feeding our fur babies with everything they need and love.

Don’t forget to download the Shopee app and check out these amazing products:

Whiskas Pouch Jr. Tuna
Sheba Can Chicken
Temptations Chicken 12g
Whiskas Jr 1.1 Kg

PED Simmered Beef 130g
IAMS 450g Puppy
IAMS 450g Small Breed
Tasty Bites Crunchy
Pedigree Simmered Beef & Veg
Pedigree Liver Loaf
Cesar (Chicken)
Rodeo

Enjoy shopping and Happy Holidays!

Mega Prime Pinasarap Holiday

Hey, moms!

Are you thinking about how you’re going to celebrate this coming Holiday season? Because of the current pandemic, our Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations will be simpler and more intimate. But if there’s something that we won’t change, it’s the delicious food that we will be serving.

Last Saturday, I attended an online workshop hosted by Mega Prime. I had some great takeaways from Mamacademy PH founder Kay Ang’s pep talk about Mompreneurship.

After listening and learning a lot from Kay comes the fun part of learning to mix different mocktails from Chef Rosebud Benitez and a cooking demo from Mega Prime Ambassador, Marian Rivera. I really can’t imagine the Holidays without good food. I love Mega Prime because it has a complete array of high-quality products that conveniently turns the simplest of recipes to exciting hearty meals for the entire family.

Aside from the yummy food and mocktails this Holiday season, you know what else can make a momma happy? Php100,000 in cash and 1 year supply of Mega Prime products!

Yes, you read it right! You have a chance to win Php 100,000 cash by joining the search for the next Mega Prime ambassador.

Check out the steps below:

Don’t forget to sign up for the Prime Mom Club at www.primemomclub.com to join the growing community of modern home-makers and receive exclusive information on future events and perks.

For more information, be sure to follow @megaprimequality on Facebook and Instagram.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Treat your skin to Pie Calayan products this Shopee 11.11 Sale!

Nothing is bigger than the Christmas Season here in the Philippines. With the current pandemic situation, a lot of us encountered and some are still suffering from different bad skin conditions. Wearings face masks, face shields, and stress can lead to break outs and let’s admit it – some of us are still uncomfortable to visit our Dermatologists for some treatments.

We all want our skin to look radiant this Christmas season especially during our traditional photo shoots. What better way to reward yourself and prepare for the Holiday than buying Derma-approved skincare?

Did you know that you can get up to 80% on Manny and Pie Calayan Clinic on the exclusive launch of their skincare products on Shopee?

Check out these amazing products.

Don’t miss out on these exciting deals from Manny and Pie Calayan Clinic this coming 11.11 Shopee Sale!

Don’t forget to download the Shopee app for free from the App Store or Google Play and enjoy shopping!

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