USAID and DepEd Celebrate Joint Successes in Improving Early Grade Learning in the Philippines

Manila, August 13, 2021 – Education stakeholders gathered on August 13 for a virtual event to celebrate the collective accomplishments of the Department of Education (DepEd) and USAID Philippines in improving early grade reading and literacy in the country this past year, amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Companies are Choosing Gifts that give Back

With the COVID pandemic forcing over a year of lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements, companies have had to become more creative in making sure clients and customers keep them in mind.  But more than just buying items to slap their logo on, companies are increasingly leaning towards products that are mindful of the environment or those that help uplift marginalized communities for their corporate gifting needs. This is a good initiative from Corporations now, since it’s not only eco-friendly and sustainable but it also comes with a bigger purpose which is to involve the marginalized sectors of our society and give them additional income especially during these trying times.

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Another lockdown was implemented again just a few days ago, and just when we thought we were already making progress with the onset of the vaccination efforts being executed throughout the country, it seems like we are again back to Square 1 due to the rising number of cases everyday.
With the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant, many opt to do their shopping and purchasing of their essentials online instead of the usual heading out to your nearest grocery outlet to avoid risking your family’s safety.
Since I do the budgeting for our groceries in our household, some of the staples that I usually buy every week are the basics like chicken, beef and pork since these are key ingredients which can be made into any dish/ viand with just the right condiments in place, we already have our set menu for the week.
However, one of my worries now since I don’t get to do the grocery shopping by myself that often anymore, is the freshness of the raw ingredients when it is being transported via courier. What is my guarantee that the staples that I purchase online will arrive to me fresh, sterilized and free from contamination?
I guess, if there’s one good things which came about from this pandemic, is that people were forced to pivot and be creative in terms of coping with this situation that we are all in now. Some resorted to online selling or to joining the gig economy and taking on more jobs online to append their income while others solved the various customers pain points which were experienced in this unprecedented times.
One of those is, an e-commerce grocery platform which reassures us that the chilled goods delivered right at your doorstep are as frozen, cold, and fresh as they were first frozen. Only delivers your favorite foods in −20°C from their freezer to the confines of your home! This quality assurance also comes with a guarantee that deliveries have been sterilized and thus far from the dangers of a Covid-19 infection.
Dispelling the Fear of Frozen Foods
“People didn’t believe in frozen food,” started Gerald Egrasse, a French food industry veteran whose experience in France and French Africa led him to the Philippines, “but frozen is mostly defrosted food, thawed in transit, then frozen again at home.”
Quality is lost from the time of purchase until the product reaches the home kitchen. “Undergoing multiple temperature changes from the market and multiple defrosting robs food of quality,” he explained, “worse, when they’re stored in less than −20°C.” Frozen food begins to deteriorate when temperatures go up, so freezing is key to fresh foods: flash freezing at the source and keeping in negative temperature from storage to delivery. Only can do that in the Philippines!
Gerald’s Most Recommended Bestsellers
From the Butcher Shop, Monsieur Egrasse recommends lamb leg (bone in) for all of those occasions and holidays where an extraordinary treat is called for. Available in 2.4-3.2 kilograms, you can get your leg for P1,7950 frozen and vacuum-packed from Australia or New Zealand.
Whole salmon fillet (skin on) from the Seafood section is best for grilling with lettuce and roasting with butter and herbs. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and very good for the heart, each 1.8-2.0 kilograms pack from Chile or Norway costs P1,880. Scallops are so versatile that the Galicians bake it with bread crumbs, ham, and onions; the Japanese serve it in soup or topped on rice; and, the French cook it à la nage in broth flavored with herbs and wine or sautéed, grilled, or broiled in skewers or en brochette.
From the Bakery comes ready-to-bake butter croissant dough in packs of six. For P320, you can enjoy authentic French croissant baked right in the comfort of your home. Watch Egrasse bake one on their YouTube channel. prides itself in locally sourcing export-quality Philippine mangoes for their P250 per 908 grams pack mango halves – skinless. Seedless, flash frozen, and ready for your smoothies and shakes, mangoes are rich in vitamins C and A.
Also Proudly Pinoy, is mango jam for P149 per 270 grams jar. All natural and home-made, this honeylicious jam is perfect with multigrain bread, yogurt, crossants, bananas, pancakes, milkshakes, and juices!
From the Cheese & Dairy section, and also from the Philippines, is the 500 grams premium mozzarella log. You can melt it in your oven dishes, grate it for your pizza or pasta, pair with white wine, or serve on your cheese platter. At P450, this log is a steal. They also have traditional Italian mozzarella and traditional cherry mozzarella all from the Philippines at P290 per pack of 250 grams.
Carrying the Healthy Food stamp from the Seafood section are scallops (roe off) from the US at P799 per 454 grams pack. Excellent as appetizers or main dish, these low-fat and high-protein shellfish are also excellent sources of vitamin B12 and zinc. also carries two gourmet wild mushrooms considered as culinary delicacies: porcini mushrooms (Cèpes) and chanterelle mushrooms for P1,195 per pack of 500 grams and P750 per pack of 454 grams, respectively. These European mushrooms are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, they’re also great for sauteing in butter, grilling or oven-roasting as well as in casseroles, soups, and pasta.
Soon, will be partnering up with coco producers for its own line of ice creams in choco, cafe, mango, and coco flavors that are plant-based, vegan, and lactose-free.
Educational and Interactive Website has an interactive website that gives consumers a wide array of products categorized by section (like in a supermarket): Bakery, Butcher Shop, Seafood, Fruits & Vegetables, Cheese & Dairy, Wine Shop; and, by food type (like in a health food store): Gluten-Free, Healthy Food Swaps, Organic & Vegan, Keto & Diabetic Friendly, Supplements, and World Cuisines. The best thing about the website though is that every product page features an encyclopedic wealth of information, including product description, health benefits, cooking instructions, ingredients, place of origin, recipe suggestion, and nutrition facts!
To further increase consumer trust, has come up with two barometers of quality: product reviews and trust labels. Everyone who has registered an account with, whether they have purchased a product or have tasted some from friends or as gifts, can submit their product review and rating online. “We read these reviews and take them seriously,” he admits, “so we can remove from our inventory products that get bad reviews. All our products should consistently delight customers.” also makes it easier for consumers to immediately spot the best products through three quality seals. Health Food for the healthiest options with no additives, Proudly Pinoy for the highest-quality locally-sourced choices, and Authentic French for products imported from France or made with French ingredients.
Safe and Clean Online Shopping Alternative
“Unlike when shopping onsite in supermarkets where buyers tend to handle and smell products before buying,” Egrasse explains, “ assures you of quality products without these risks.” Moreover, buyers engaged in physical shopping in warehouse outlets like SNR “tend to overbuy food stuff, even the fresh ones, most of which just get thawed in transit, go straight into the freezer, and get stored for some time.”, thus, not only offers the freshest foods flash frozen at the source then transported and stored for consumers’ online convenience, but also delivers these prime goods in negative 20 degrees right to your doorstep.
“If you order before 2 p.m., you get your goods by refrigerated truck between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. the following day,” he advised. Minimum order is P2,000 plus P90 delivery fee within Metro Manila. “If you order P5,000 and above, delivery is free.”
“For same-day delivery, you have to order before 12 noon and pay P250 for a dedicated motorcycle rider to bring you your order in an insulated cooler at −20°C.” For the mean time, only entertains orders within Metro Manila. They discourage pick-ups and they also accept GCASH for our utmost convenience in paying for our purchases.
Future Plans
“We want a clean website, improved services, and greater product range. We want to carry Italian stuff like ravioli pasta, meatless products, no-fish products, mushroom-based products, and breaded scallop burgers,” Egrasse enthusiastically shared. The new website design should be able to identify customers if they’re shopping frozen, fresh, or dry. “We also plan to partner with restaurants and bakeries for our read-to-eat meals; but, instead of pushing the restaurants, we’re pushing for the brand.”
For Phase 1, plans to increase its cold storage to 50 feet wide by 5 feet high for a good size warehouse with ample space for picking and organizing without the need to rush as well as dispatching and trucking..
For Phase 2, the specialty grocery intends to have a chiller to store positive-temperature inventory like salads and fresh veggies. “Arugula, for instance, won’t do well in −20°C,” he said. Scheduled for phase 2 as well is the purchase of another truck to cover Metro Manila and two motorcycles for prime delivery, “We’re thinking of having the freezer truck go around the Metro the whole afternoon for deliveries.”
“We want to bring value to the brand without being out of range of peoples’ means,” he concluded.
About is a healthy food and gourmet grocery delivery, online deli, and gluten-free food delivery in Metro Manila and around the Philippines. The shop began as Icebox gourmet store at the Ecoplaza along Pasong Tamo in Makati in 2010; evolved as a French and European online specialty store in 2015; and, boomed in 2020. Business peaked when the pandemic struck, driving consumers to shop online, and when Geoff got onboard as Gerald’s business partner, finance manager, and lucky charm. is on Esquire’s lists of 11 best online specialty grocery stores in 2020 and alternative online grocery stores in the Philippines to try in 2019.

Gain that Confidence Back with a reliable Shapewear from Adam and Eve

Whoever said getting pregnant doesn’t weigh you down? Well maybe for a lucky few who doesn’t really experience that much of a weight gain as they carry another human being in their wombs for the next 9 months. But for those regular mortals like me and you, losing that post-partum weight isn’t at all that easy as 1,2,3.

Giving birth to another human being can sometimes take a toll on your body especially if you aren’t sporting a healthy and active lifestyle from the get-go.
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Changes in our Lives and Sante Barley’s Nutripair Movement

As with every year that passes, we feel that aging sometimes gets the best of us and our skillsets. We are not that agile anymore, nor were our bodies as nimble as they used to be in our teens. Slowly, as we hit our 30’s wrinkles, age spots, fine lines and white hairs appear one by one. But aside from all those physical changes, comes other internal changes that we find hard to adapt to as we get older and older. Shortlisted in here are some of those things that might get harder for us as time passes us by.

Source: Pexels
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Disciplines to Learn in Life

Happiness does not depend on other people but on yourself and to achieve this you have to put the work in yourself. Here are some top of mind disciplines that we must practice everyday to have a better quality of life and be more productive at the end of everyday.

Personal Growth.
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Binibining Pilipinas 2021 candidates to showcase national costume, swimsuits

This year’s Binibining Pilipinas is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated in recent years. The excitement is palpable even in the virtual launch as the media and press alike were all giddy and excited to welcome the 34 beauties as they paraded their national costumes and swimsuits virtually.

Last Independence Day, the candidates of Binibining Pilipinas showcased their national costumes, on the Binibining Pilipinas’ official TikTok channel. Fans rallied and supported their favorite bets by liking the posts which featured their favorite candidates on TikTok or they can also showed their love by voting on the official website.

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The Secret Is Out!

Manila, May 27 – Kawaii Whitening Soap introduced via a virtual launch on Facebook was well received by the thousands of its followers. The newest soap in the market, Kawaii Whitening Soap is made by Global Care Cosmetics Corporation. The company is committed to delivering globally competitive products that focus on caring for the needs of millions of Filipinos. 

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How to Protect Your Baby from Diaper Rashes

We all have worries when it comes to raising our babies especially for us first time Mom’s , and with all that is going on now in today’s world. As much as we can, we try to read up, research and carefully consider our purchases especially when it comes to our kids daily essentials.

With that, I recently attended an online talk from The Medical City wherein they centered on baby care hacks and how to ensure your baby does not get the diaper rashes which can cause uneasiness and discomfort in their private areas.

Mom and baby enjoying some quality time before heading out to sleep
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How to Maintain that Youthful Glow in Your 30’s by taking in Collagen Supplements

I have been running around like a headless chicken and has been surviving on countless cups of coffee and the little stamina I have left. Since my work is done at the off hours which is around 2AM EST to align with the global teams, after my work finishes off at around 11-12nn, I then proceed with my other hustle which is my online business wherein I am a one man team with some help of our helper here at home especially in the packing of the parcels. This month alone we have already processed around 100+ parcels, and as much as it is good for the business, my physical and emotional health are getting drained as the days go by.

One of the products that I take upon waking up which I mix with my regular coffee or strawberry chia seed drink
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