Saturday, December 6, 2014

“Sheikh Shack sarap!”
Sun.Star Davao, Dec. 6, 2014

Succulent beef brisket slowly braised in its secret house stock, meticulously diced into cubes and pan seared to perfection. Then, the heavenly beef is generously wrapped in tortilla bread with fresh and crisp vegetables and drizzled with a specially-concocted garlic sauce. Put them all together and what do you have? Sheikh Shack sarap!

The delicious idea of Sheikh Shack was born in early July this year. One of the partners, Engr. Jerome Go, broached the idea of opening a shawarma stall to his group of friends. So, they enlisted the help of Chef Caitlin Yao to make the menu.

Chef Caitlin has worked for Café Firenzo and Dimsum Diner prior to opening the Shack. She also runs her own small food business, Not an Ordinary Meal (NOM).

When the partners were throwing names around, partner Eng. Paeng Rodriguez suggested the name Sheikh Shack. The play on words was inspired partly by the popular burger franchise Shake Shack and the word sheikh, an Arabic honorific used for royalty.

A month later, Sheikh Shack successfully debuted at the DAVCON Kadayawan Bazaar where they were sold out every single night. Seeing the potential the Shack had to offer, these friends, 12 guys and a girl, decided to open its first branch.

“We can best describe the food at the Shack as an elevated food stall. We were inspired by the concept of food trucks and awesome quality of food for affordable prices”, shares Chef Caitlin.

“Our bestseller is our beef shawarma wrap and rice. Our one-of-a-kind garlic sauce is what we believe to be our specialty. We can’t tell you what’s in it, but we can promise you that once you try it you’ll never be satisfied with any other garlic sauce out there”, the young chef guarantees.

Sheikh Shack is a favorite hang-out of a lot of families and kids who come in after school for snacks. “They usually order the beef shawarma rice with egg”, says Chef Caitlin.

“We think that the Shack offers something familiar but better. It is comfort food that we’ve managed to do really well and we at the Shack feel that our products won’t be a fad but rather a staple. It’s something that you look for when you’re on the go or in the mood to give yourself a treat”, enthuses Chef Caitlin.

Sheikh Shack’s first branch just celebrated its one-month anniversary recently. And, when asked what is the experience like doing business with friends, Earl Ang and Chef Caitlin Yao who are both managing partners and cousins, have this to say, “Running a business with friends is not easy but it is most definitely fun. The multitude of ideas and personalities are what make Sheikh Shack. The most important thing is that we all respect each other’s ideas and decisions. This common feeling of respect makes the Shack run smoothly”.

For budding young entrepreneurs, Earl and Chef Caitlin have this sound advice, “Go out there and take the risk, it’s scary and tiring at first but nothing beats the feeling of owning something that’s your own.”

Sheikh Shack is located at Corner Palma Gil St., Bo. Obrero, Davao City (along Starr, Bricklane Compound and the Brewery). They are open from 10am to 10pm, Mondays through Saturdays. Call telephone number 3004692 for pick-up orders. Sheikh Shack’s second branch will be opening soon at the basement of Gaisano Mall of Davao (near Handyman), from 10am-9pm Mondays through Sundays.

Follow them on Facebook via Sheikh Shack Shawarma and at Instagram@SheikhShackShawarma.

E-mail the author at Visit

Saturday, November 22, 2014

“Skinfatuated with VMV”
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 22, 2014

Growing up with sensitive skin, there was only one local brand that helped me survive my teenage years—VMV Hypoallergenics. Now, as a mom, I still continue to use various VMV products to look my best.

From a brand that one would find only in the Philippines’ department stores, VMV has emerged to be a successful world-class brand in the US, with its flagship VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique in SOHO, New York; Italy, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, Singapore and Costa Rica (soon), both through e-commerce sites and brick-and-mortar stores.

VMV is also close to my heart because a dear childhood friend/former neighbor of mine, Anna Marie Tancongco-Anastacio, is VMV’s awe-inspiring Chief Business Development Officer. Yes, we have a Davao connection at VMV!

Let’s get to know the dynamic Anna--business executive; president of the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Phils., Inc.; wife to Warren and doting mom extraordinaire to Gian and Diego in this interview:

*How did the Tancongco family end up in Davao?

Our family is really from Cagayan de Oro. However, my dad worked for Del Monte, the manufacturer and marketer of processed food, as an operations head for the Mindanao plantations. Del Monte’s Mindanao office was based in Davao City. So, our family had to move to Davao City.

*How many years did you live in Davao? What was your childhood like?

I lived in Davao from 1982 until 1990, from 3rd grade until 4th year high school. About 8 years of my formative growth was spent in Davao. I had great memories growing up in Davao, among the best years of my life! At first, I didn’t know anyone at all, but I quickly gained awesome friends in our village such as you, the children of my dad’s colleagues in Del Monte who were Americans, Puerto Ricans, Spanish and Costa Ricans, and my schoolmates. I attended grade school in Stella Maris Academy, then went to high school in Ateneo de Davao. I was very blessed with a lot of friends, many of whom I still keep in touch through Facebook. 

*What do you miss about life in Davao? 

The food! I love durian, mangosteen and pomelo... So every time I go to Davao, I gorge on these fruits and bring crates back to Manila. And even when I buy fruits in Manila, I try to look for Del Monte or Dizon Farms produce... And, of course, my friends. Although some of them are already based in different places around the globe, some are still based in Davao.

*How did you end up working for the beauty industry?

Since companies usually start looking for prospects in colleges even before the students graduate, I immediately had three offers for work even before I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University. Two were banks and one was a cosmetic distribution company.

Among these three, it was actually the cosmetic distribution company that had the lowest offer - even lower than the monthly allowance my father would provide me when I was in school! However, I realized early on that I would rather work for an industry I know I will enjoy working in because then it wouldn’t feel like work, and the company had a portfolio that would be great on my resume. The company was part of a group of companies that distributed Estee Lauder, Clinique, Yves Rocher, Orlane, Burberry and other fragrances; Max Factor, Neutrogena and more.

Later on, I would get a call from VMV Hypoallergenics, inviting me to join them. Then I became a managing partner... And, the rest, as they say, is history. 

*Can you give us a short background of VMV?

VMV was founded in 1979 by a research-oriented, well-published dermatologist-dermatopathologist.  With all 76 allergens omitted from our formulations — and with the first and still the only validated hypoallergenic rating system — there's no safer brand out there.

We’re thoroughly skinfatuated: besides loving every minute of what we do, our products are unabashedly skin love: validated hypoallergenic (sans all known cosmetic allergens); 100% all-types-of-fragrance-free; 100% phthalate, dye, paraben + preservative-free; and non-comedogenic.

We’re proud skintellectuals: we really know what we’re doing; so hypoallergenic, we’re part of the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s reference database; so medically
impressive, our studies appear in (and are even awarded by) peer-reviewed medical journals and conventions.

*What makes VMV different from other cosmetic brands?

Its key proposition is really being the safest, most proven effective care on the planet.

The safety comes from its proven hypoallergenicity. I know “hypoallergenic” as a claim has been thrown around a lot lately, but our definition is quite unique in that it is objective and has been validated.

What we did is to use the allergen lists published by two most respected dermatological groups, American Contact Dermatitis Society and the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies - and we exclude these allergens from our formulations.

The proven efficacy comes from our obsession with testing — at the highest standard. We patch test every ingredient, finished product and accessories such as brushes and puffs to ensure their hypoallergenicity.

Lastly, we’d like to say that we care for you, from our diapers to our dermabrasion. We’re skinvolved; we’re in this with our customers for the long haul. We have products for babies, for sun and light protection, shaving, body and bath, for different skin concerns such as acne, anti-aging, lightening, and even a laundry shampoo for those who are allergic to regular laundry detergents!

*In recent years, VMV has expanded its market globally, what was your personal experience like pushing a Filipino brand to other countries?

At first, it was quite tough. The Philippines is not really known for skin care or cosmetics. It is more known for things like furniture, or for its skilled workers. We didn’t let that deter us. We were clear on our positioning as a brand: that we are a validated hypoallergenic brand and its science is evidence-based.

We let the brand’s strengths speak for itself instead of focusing on the origin. Many Filipinos were telling us “why don’t you target the Filipino communities abroad first?”. We knew we had a great brand story to tell and solid science-based products to showcase. So we decided not to limit ourselves to a specific community only. We went in the mainstream, accessible premium category in every market we entered. And when the consumers find out that we are actually from the Philippines (the packaging also says that we are “Made in the Philippines”), it becomes a pleasant surprise!

What also worked for us is the trend on organics and naturals. The driving force behind the organics and naturals trend is really the consumers’ desire to have ‘safe’ products for them to use.

Truth is, not all organic and natural are actually safe - peanuts and lanolin can be organic and natural but highly allergenic. Strawberries can be organic and natural, but some people are very allergic to it. So, VMV’s hypoallergenic angle fits very well into that market need, not only delivering safe but also effective products.

*If I were a busy mom and could only have time to do my make-up for 5 minutes, what VMV products do you recommend?

For on-the-go make-up, I suggest our Skintelligent BBBB (BB But Better) Skintangible SPF 30 as a starter. It evens out skin tone, gives you that fresh, dewy, natural look. At the same time, it gives you SPF 30 to protect your skin against damaging effects from sun and light exposure.

Then, apply a dash of Skintelligent Beauty Skin Bloom Blush to give cheeks definition and radiance. We also have dye-free options for those with extra-sensitive skin.

A mascara is a must! It enhances your eyes and it can make a difference to your whole face. VMV’s Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara forms tubes around each lash. It is non-smearing so it won’t give you the “racoon eyes” at the end of the day. It is also easy to wipe off with VMV’s make-up remover or with warm water, with just few splashes, the tubes slip right off.

Then of course, a lip color. VMV’s Skintelligent Lipstick range offers different textures of lipsticks - from Subtle Shine for that elegant basic look, to Velvet Matte for that full coverage, full bodied, dramatic velvet finish, to Glitz for that glimmer glam look - and in colors available both in dye and dye-free shades. 

*I’ve heard so many good things about your Grandma Minnie line. What makes it such a hit with moms and kids?

Our Grandma Minnie would be our gentlest skin care line. All of the Grandma Minnie products contain an effective coconut-derived, anti-bacterial ingredient called monolaurin. Monolaurin is also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-protozoal. Together with monolaurin, all our Grandma Minnie products also contain USDA certified, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. So, you get all the goodness of VCO as well.

The most popular product in that line is ‘The Big, Brave, Boo-Boo Balm’. I always carry around and travel with one. It is the best ‘emergency’ buddy you can have. Got insect bites? Boo-Boo Balm soothes away itchiness while monoloaurin will also subside the inflammation. Got scrapes and shallow cuts? Boo-Boo Balm’s anti-bacterial properties will stop it from getting infected and facilitate faster healing. Got chapped lips? Apply Boo-Boo Balm’s moisturizing properties can help. Got joggers’ nipple chafing and bleeding? A common injury suffered by runners which has soreness and, in extreme cases, even cracked and bleeding nipples. We recommend the use of Boo-Boo Balm before and after a run. I have heard so many other cases where Boo-Boo Balm was so useful for our customers, even in loosening skin when stuck during use of superglue!

*Lastly, what are the must-have products of VMV for the family?

It’s difficult to only choose a few products to recommend as our products tend to have different purposes for each of the member of the family. But for basics, I would recommend the following at the very least:

ARMADA FACE COVER 30, 45 OR 60: A daily use of sunscreen by everyone in the family is a must. Skin cancer, even among Filipinos, is on the rise. Most people think that they only need protection from the sun. Recent studies have shown that immunosuppression and skin cancer can also be triggered by constant exposure to indoor lights that emit UVA, infrared and visible light.

ARMADA SPORT 70: For outdoor activities such as sports or family vacations. American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) strongly recommends that sunscreen be reapplied every two hours at least.

BOO-BOO BALM: A basic emergency buddy for any “boo-boos”.

ESSENCE ANTI-BACTERIAL HAND GEL: Viruses are easily passed around from the things we touch. Schools can be a great haven of viruses as children interact with sick teachers or classmates. So I always make sure that all (and I am not kidding) of my family members have their own Essence Hand Gel so they can easily sanitize anytime, anywhere.


In Davao, VMV products can be found at Ayala Abreeza Mall, Chimes and SM Department Stores.

The company will have a VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique in January 2015 in the soon-to-be-opened Centrale Mall, offering their products and facial services.

VMV can also be accessed through their online stores: for markets outsides the Philippines, and for the Philippines.

E-mail the author at Visit

Saturday, November 8, 2014

"A ‘boo’-tiful 8 years”
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 8, 2014
Superheroes, Disney characters, spooky creatures….I can still vividly remember my first ever article for “Mom-About-Town” in 2006 entitled “The Village” featuring kids in Halloween costumes doing their “trick or treat”.

Back then, the experience of capturing the happy and excited faces of the children was such a thrill. And, to finally see my hard work on print, was pure bliss!

I had no inkling then if I would be writing for Sun.Star Davao for a year; maybe two? Never did I imagine that 8 years after, I would still be here to celebrate yet another anniversary.

It has been a ‘boo’-tiful 8 years… let’s flash forward to Halloween 2014!


WREY ZACH, 10 years old
COSTUME’S INSPIRATION: Dr. Gru of “Despicable Me”
KEY ELEMENTS: shaved head; thick eyebrows; all-black getup; gray/black stripes scarf; and pointed shoes
“The jacket and pants were borrowed from a cousin and Zach’s mom, respectively. The scarf was made an hour before trick or treating. Zach’s sister, Alyssa, used a strip of an ordinary gray fabric then used a black marker to draw the stripes of the scarf. The pointed shoes were bought from Chinatown.”


SUMMER EVE, 7 years old
COSTUME’S INSPIRATION: Agnes Gru of “Despicable Me”
KEY ELEMENTS: hair tied and hair waxed upright; blue jumpers; striped shirt; white shoes; and unicorn toy
“Summer’s sister, Alyssa, used an old bed pillow to make the unicorn. She took out the foam from the pillow. Using the white pillow sheet, she drew a horse and cut it accordingly. She dyed the white pillow sheets into a lavender hue. From the unicorn’s horn, eyes, hair and tail, everything was lovingly handmade by Alyssa.”


JOEY, 53; JOY, 47; CHESKA, 25; ISABELLA, 22; MIGUEL, 19; ENRIQUE, 12; and MARIA, 9
COSTUMES’ INSPIRATION: Rainbow family (Check out their previous Halloween costume as the Addams Family!)
KEY ELEMENTS: Colors of the rainbow
“The Mempins were looking for family costumes on Pinterest and found this idea. The headwear is handmade while the socks and colored tops were bought. They didn’t know what shoes to wear until the very last minute. Mommy Joy found a bunch of free hotel slippers!”.


QUISHA NICOLE, 8 years old
KEY ELEMENTS: Black horns and wings
“Quisha’s Mommy Jules rented the costume for the whole duration of the Halloween celebration. With the owner’s approval, Jules personally sprayed black paint on the wings. Quisha’s Maleficent getup won as the “Most Original” costume at S&R’s Halloween event”.


DAPHNE MANUELLE, 3 years old
COSTUME’S INSPIRATION: Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff of Lalaloopsy Land
KEY ELEMENTS: jumpsuit with attached skirt; belt and fur vest; and blue wig with white bows
“Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff is Lalaloopsy Land’s biggest enthusiast of all things snowy. She was sewn December 21st from an Eskimo’s scarf and has a polar bear for a pet.” (Source: Wiki)


TIFFANY ALESSA, 8 years old
COSTUME’S INSPIRATION: Madeline Hatter (daughter of Mad Hatter)
KEY ELEMENTS: wig, gloves, tights, and headpiece (hat/teacup combo)
“Madeline Hatter is the daughter of Mad Hatter. She is part of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as the next Mad Hatter. Combined with a vast array of non-synchronized patterns, her average look is a busy one, befitting her energetic personality.” (Source: Wiki)
KEY ELEMENTS: Real Iron Man effects with LED chest and hand lights


RAINE KENDRICK, 5 years old
KEY ELEMENTS: helmet, shield and suit
“The costumes, helmet and shield were handmade by their Daddy Raffy’s friend in Manila. They were made with rubber foam, glued and painted.”


JORGY and MISSY, 6 years old; MEGGY, 4 years old
COSTUME’S INSPIRATION: Elsa, Anna and Olaf of Frozen
KEY ELEMENTS: Elsa and Anna gowns plus the 3D headdress of Olaf
“The kids’ costumes were actually used last April during their Frozen birthday party. Mommy Maricel let a dressmaker make the costumes as there were no readymade ones available in Davao then. The cute headdress of Olaf was handmade by Shynne of Grafix 101.”

E-mail the author at Visit

Saturday, October 25, 2014

“Qaleesi’s feast with a twist”
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 25, 2014

          Mark and Natalie Wee have a fun and unique tradition when it comes to naming their adorable kids.

“We alphabetized our names according to the eldest, which is the dad of course, M (Mark); followed by the mom, N (Natalie). Our firstborn is automatically O (Ogin), then the second P (Pepito), and finally, our youngest...Q!”, Natalie smiles. However, their penchant for finding one-of-a-kind names was put to the test with the letter Q.

“At the time we were following the TV series, Game of Thrones (GOT), and found the character of Daenerys Targaryen who holds the title of a Khaleesi, which means Queen in Dothraki, fascinating. This character then develops into a courageous ruler who is strong-willed with a scholarly mind yet compassionate and honored and loved by her people. All of these characteristics were what we sought in our baby girl”, Natalie reveals.

Finally, they had a name for their darling bundle of joy, Qaleesi Noelle!

Feast with a twist

When they started conceptualizing the first birthday theme of their dearest Qaleesi, the doting parents did not think twice in choosing the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme.

“Instead of GOT’s gory medieval theme though, we gave Qaleesi’s birthday celebration a festive and feminine twist by utilizing gold and pinkish hues”, says Natalie.

Hands-on mom Natalie organized the GOT-themed party at The Apo View grand ballroom in only 6 weeks. “I already knew and trusted my suppliers for this party and thus, the preparations were a breeze!“, she shares.

Natalie and Mark, who own and operate “Hobby with My Hubby” on the side, have always been the DIY kind of parents since their eldest child’s party. For Qaleesi’s party, they designed and printed their own invites using the customized emblem for Q and addressed it in a GOT context.

The main reason why the Wees painstakingly bake and decorate their scrumptious dessert buffet is for their kids' parties and Qaleesi’s party was no exception!

Hobby with My Hubby made a voracious and impressive spread of GOT-themed sweets such as cookies with the design of the emblem and labeled it “Dragonstone Crest”. There were also labels like “Riverrun Boats” for Alor's boat-shaped fruit tarts; “Casterly Rock Tower” for Emily Herrera's French macaron tower; and, “Hodor's Matcha Cheese” and “King's Landing Cake” for Lachi's bite-sized cheesecakes.

To keep in line with the theme, these delectable confectioneries were carefully laid on Natalie’s mother's antique vanity table and bedside tables along with a quaint cupboard refurbished by Casa Soriano.

‘Game of Thrones’ theme

Natalie has always believed in her friend, Khim Cruz of Party Deco, for her ability to put to realization what the Wees have envisioned for their kids’ parties.

For the ‘Game of Thrones’ stage décor, Party Deco built a castle with a utilitarian design in soft pink shades and a smoke-breathing dragon perched on top. “Very much GOT for a baby girl!”, enthuses Natalie.

The sigil of every house of ‘Game of Thrones’ was also creatively incorporated in the party stations like the “House of Stark” for Aling Foping’s Halo-Halo Station; “House of Tyrell” for Pizza Pedrico; and “House of Baratheon” for Waffle Time.

Banners in the ceiling works and acrylic cut-outs for the table centerpieces also had the same design as the sigil and their catchphrases.

         Emily Lim-Cimafranca did an exquisite 5-tiered birthday cake decorated with the elements of GOT. The first layer was artistically wrapped in golden dragon scale; a 3D dragon representing Khaleesi's dragons in another layer; the emblem in the top layer; and the iron throne for the topper.

Entertaining the guests through songs and dances were Qaleesi’s older siblings, Ogin and Pepito, with their cousins Chloe, Chelsea and David. On the other hand, the kids' dance instructor, Mervin Roble, and his group Rhythmic Illusions choreographed an action-packed sword fight/dance to the GOT theme song.

Party giveaways included personalized pillows for the infants as well as personalized boxes with treats, crafted by Gruppo Grafica, for the toddlers and teens.

           We share Qaleesi’s amazing party photos courtesy of Richard Padillo.

 E-mail the author at Visit

Saturday, October 11, 2014

“Mission: Makeover ‘Ma’am’ “
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 11, 2014

Day in and day out, our kids spend most of their waking hours in school. Acting as our trusted partners in molding our dearest children to be the best that they can be are their kind-hearted and selfless teachers.

In celebration of Teachers’ Day, the Davao Christian High School Parents-Teachers Fellowship (DCHS PTF), of which I am the president for this school-year, treated the school’s well-loved teachers to a much-deserved night of makeup and fashion through a special workshop.

Conducting the exciting workshop was one of Davao’s leading professional makeup artists, Carine Bacani, and the lovely fashion stylist and fellow DCHS mom Erika Soriano-Mata.

Mission : Makeover Ma’am

Carine, originally from Manila, moved to Davao three years ago with her husband and two kids. She is a makeup artist and beauty workshop trainer for private and corporate clients.

She studied makeup artistry at the Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and has worked with close to one hundred clients for activities ranging from debuts, formals, weddings, and corporate seminars.

On the other hand, Erika is a mom of three brilliant kids and the ever supportive and loving wife of Dr. Richard Mata. A graduate of Medical Technology from the San Pedro College, Erika has always turned heads not only for her beauty but for her tasteful fashion style. Recently, she has found a newfound career as a much sought-after speaker for talks on fashion.

Ten-minute Makeup for Busy Teachers

During the workshop, Carine taught and demonstrated the “Ten-Minute Makeup for Busy Teachers” and for a fun night out, the more dramatic smokey eyes using Human Nature and VMV Hypoallergenics’ makeup, our generous sponsors for the event.

Last summer, my sisters-in-law and I along with our friends first met Carine during an intimate makeup workshop session at home. It was a great bonding time with girlfriends as we were taught the basics of makeup using our existing stash and tools.

It was the same jovial atmosphere last pre-Teachers’ Day celebration as the teachers listened eagerly to Carine who shared her practical makeup tips. For instance, Carine shared that according to her pediatrician, did you know that when the speaker wears red lipstick, the listeners tend to be more attentive? Wow, that’s such useful information for teachers yearning for their students’ undivided attention!

Beautiful inside and out

Erika is a dear mommy friend whom I adore to bits! She is beauty and brains personified. I’ve always admired her for her tried and tested taste in fashion. Sometimes, she may be dressed simply in just a plain white shirt and jeans but when she puts her personal take on it through well-chosen accessories, she “levels up” the look.

In the workshop, Erika, who is a former Penshoppe billboard model, imparted sensible ways on how to dress appropriately for different occasions as well as according to one’s body type. She also emphasized the importance of finding your fashion style.

At the end of the workshop, teachers Mary Jane Manseguiao and Cristina Sasube, experienced a total makeover courtesy of Carine and Erika.

Each wearing the day (“no makeup/flawless”) and smokey makeup look by Carine, the two teachers were stunning donned in Erika’s pre-selected ‘surprise’ outfits.

Erika wowed us all as she was only given a budget of P1,250 each for the teachers’ new look which included their semi-formal dresses, accessories and shoes.

We capped the unforgettable night by giving away fantastic raffle prizes from Human Nature, VMV Hypoallergenics and Bloom Facial Spa.

Christian High’s next top model

Two weeks after, the PTF’s pre-Teachers’ Day treat came in handy as the DCHS Student Council organized the school’s annual Teachers’ Day celebration with the theme, “Christian High’s Next Top Model : Setting the Best Example”.

Inspired by the reality hit TV series, “America’s Next Top Model”, excited cheers from students reverberated in the school auditorium as the teachers gamely sashayed on the red carpet with their best looks.

It is worthy to note, however, that the theme of the affair did not only highlight the teachers as ‘fashion models’ but most importantly, it also focused on the educators’ role in molding the students’ character and values and how they have made a significant impact in their students’ lives.

To all the amazing and wonderful teachers in the Philippines and around the world, Happy Teachers’ Day! Cheers to you!

The DCHS PTF’s “Mission : Makeover Ma’am” could not have been possible without the all-out support of the ‘glam team’ Ms. Carine Bacani (For bookings, check out; like her on Facebook: Makeup by Carine) and Ms. Erika Soriano-Mata; Human Nature’s Monique Villanueva, Joy Mempin and Sylvia Rieta; VMV Hypoallergenics’ Anna Anastacio, Marie Cortez and Jacklyn Remo; and Bloom Facial and Spa’s Golda Divinagracia. Our sincerest thanks to all of you for making the DCHS advanced Teachers’ Day treat such a memorable one!

Special thanks to Silvia Gomez-Gempesaw for Carine’s photo.       

E-mail the author at Visit

Saturday, September 27, 2014

“You the Mom!”
Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 27, 2014

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s ‘Super Mom’!

With their almost superhuman qualities, dynamic Mommy Mundo founder Janice Villanueva admires moms for their powers in time management and multitasking alongside their ability to do anything and everything for their loved ones.

“And, they accomplish all of these things wholeheartedly and passionately at that!”, Janice declares.

“Because most moms do their tasks with grace and usually with flair even, we may sometimes forget to show her some appreciation and affirmation. Even moms themselves don’t seem to recognize their own efforts because taking on numerous responsibilities and caring for those we love comes naturally to us. Still, we should take pride in who we are and the important roles we play not only in our own families, but also in our communities and country”, Janice enthuses.

At the recent Expo Mom 2014, Mommy Mundo recognized moms for their many big and small accomplishments through their campaign, “You the Mom!”. The said campaign puts “the spotlight on all the unbelievably good things that moms do by featuring women whose stories represent every mom who has made a difference in her community, her family and her child’s life”.

I was privileged to be one of the inspiring Davao moms of the “You the Mom!” campaign together with Marga Montemayor-Nograles, Lyn Buyco-Tan, Mimi Vergara-Tupas, Olive Puentespina, and Gel Ferrer. We may be involved in different fields and advocacies but all of us share one common thing – motherhood is by far the most challenging and fulfilling role we’ve ever had!

Now on its seventh year, “Expo Mom is the biggest of its kind, gathering progressive, active moms in an environment that’s both recreational and educational. It has become a venue for like-minded moms to establish lasting connections and has also become the catalyst for the mompreneur movement in Manila”, Janice shares.

In Davao, Expo Mom has been organized here only for the second time. Showcasing over 20 booths at the Abreeza Mall Activity Center, the event highlighted exciting all-day talks, demos and raffle draws.

The enlightening talks and activities included “Joomajam” by Vin Dancel of Ritmo; “Your Baby’s Cordblood-Why Bank it?” by Cord Life; “Delightful Electrolux-Price is Right?”; “Best Beginnings” by LATCH Davao; “Building Character in our Children in their Tender Years” by Boyet and Elaine Quinto of EDUCHILD; “Let’s Talk About Fashion” by Erika Soriano-Mata; “Mom and Me Fashion Show” by Stockbridge International School and Soul Lifestyle; “5-Minute Makeup for the Busy Mom” by Carine Bacani; “The Seed Sower” by Lyn Tan; and “Mimathology: Premier Child Photography” by Mima Tan.

Aside from Manila and Davao, Expo Mom has also expanded its campaign to Cebu and Bacolod.

For more information and event updates, visit To be part of the “You the Mom!” campaign, check out

Follow Mommy Mundo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on events and activities for moms throughout the year.

E-mail the author at Visit