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Love through rose-colored glasses

One of my favorite romantic movies is Moulin Rouge. Satine, a beautiful Parisian geisha of the underworld (played wonderfully by Nicole Kidman) is the object of desire of many Machiavellian club patrons. Christian (Ewan McGregor), a penniless writer, falls heavily for the notorious star. She will do anything to be a “real” actress. He will do anything to mount a show, Spectacular! Spectaclar!, about “truth, beauty, freedom, and love.” They get embroiled in the complexities of fantasy, reality, doubt, secrets, sacrifice, duplicity, forgiveness, and, ultimately, love. As young girls, we were introduced to the notion of true love via fairy tales starring cartoon princesses conveniently served by Disney. Eyes wide and with bated breath, we watched Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. So that’s how a girl meets a prince! One must be a damsel in distress and with 100 percent certainty she will be rescued by a dashing royal! Choose your poison. Die and miraculously be saved by a passing prince’s kiss. Leave a glass slipper behind and make sure you are the only girl in the …

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It takes two

#RelationshipGoals Exercising together brings a couple much closer and makes them fitter! It’s the ubiquitous, globally-recognized day of love tomorrow and if you feed into the sentiments and marketing hype behind Valentine’s Day, then you probably already have a reservation at a restaurant all lined up. But how about approaching it in a different way this year? It’s the perfect day to bond with your partner over health and fitness. Did you know that exercising together does make your relationship stronger? Why not celebrate your love by taking steps to strengthen your bond rather than just a one-off meal once a year? You’re probably asking now how exactly exercising can help your marriage. Here’s the thing: If you are healthy, you feel better about yourself and this fosters confidence, which in turn, …

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Baby boom expected in Year of the Monkey

By Xinhua/China Daily News HANGZHOU - Chinese traditionally believed babies born in the Year of Monkey to be smart and confident, due to their love of the animal because it is cute and resembles humans in many ways. "In China, people are inclined to have children in auspicious years, such as the year of dragon, horse, and monkey of course. The phenomenon is even more obvious in north China," said Zhai Zhenwu, president of the School of Sociology and Population Studies under the Renmin University of China in Beijing. Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 8 this year, marks the beginning of the Year of Monkey, according to the Chinese zodiac that assigns one of the 12 animals to each year. The monkey ranks the ninth in the cycle, proceeded by the sheep …

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Luck and love

Happy February! This month is extra special as it contains two big celebrations—Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Both are red-letter days for everyone. Families, friends, and couples, both young and old, are now making plans on how to best spend these memorable dates. Celebrate the Year of the Fire Monkey Do you believe in predictions? Well, there’s no harm in knowing what the year has in store. According to the forecast, 2016 will turn out to be a lucky year for those born under the Monkey sign—especially those whose births fall under the element of fire. On Feb. 7, the eve of the New Year, Chinese lanterns and red flowers will adorn the halls of the Manila Hotel, the Grande Dame. Guests are invited to take part in the revelry of the Dragon’s Eye-Dotting Ceremony, replete with a special lion and dragon dance. In addition, world-renowned feng shui expert Master Joseph Kam Shing, together with his son Master Vittorio Chau, will share their forecast for the year. Of course, the event will not be …

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Designing diapers

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of greening your life. I talk about it quite a lot. One of the easiest ways you can be a “greener mom” is making the switch and committing to cloth diapers. Recently, a study came out that named the Philippines as one of the top five plastic polluters of oceans. How shameful. Now think about these frightening numbers: On average a child will probably need around 5,500 diapers in a two-year period prior to potty training. The estimate is based on an average of six to eight diapers per day. This is a very conservative estimate since some children are still in diapers until they are almost three years old. Now that you’re thinking about all those diapers (plastic!) your child will need, consider …

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Family trip of a lifetime

From Feb. 12 to March 13, SM will be giving 30 lucky SM patrons a unique and memorable Disney experience: To join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and their Disney friends as they celebrate Hong Kong Disneyland's 10th anniversary! Shoppers are invited to visit SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Seaside City Cebu beginning Feb. 4 to get a glimpse of the resort’s magical 10th anniversary celebration. Patrons are welcome to shop at any SM mall to get the chance to win a holiday trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, creating magical and memorable moments for their family. Winners will receive round-trip airfare (economy class), three-day-two-night hotel accommodation at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and two-day Hong Kong Disneyland park tickets—all for an entire family of four. Hong Kong …

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Modern Mama

Cat Arambulo-Antonio is Mustela’s modern mama of two, going on three, who wears many hats. Beyond being a known blogger and digital influencer, she is also a fashion icon and interior designer. She is known to keep a busy schedule, shuttling to and from meetings for brand collaborations, creating content for her social media channels, spending time with her family, and running her growing household. All this on her plate and yet she manages to resonate a relaxed and positive spirit. One may wonder, how does she manage to do all that and remain all smiles? “In work and in life, I believe in time management,” she shares. “As a wife and a mom, I try to get my work done when my husband is at the office or when my …

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Baby-ready

With her busy schedule, Iya Villania tries to keep her life organized. After all, there is just no time to worry over small things like the time of an appointment or a grocery list. But Iya, who recently surprised lucky shoppers who bought Switch and Save products at Watsons, Mall of Asia, has even the bigger things all planned out. Having been married for two years now, she and husband Drew Arellano are now prepping for pregnancy. “We’ve decided to have kids na this year. So last year pa lang, I have already been taking folic acid and vitamins. I would like to think that the past couple of years that I had gotten into fitness was also me preparing for motherhood. I was already conditioning my body for what’s to come,” …

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Your child’s luck

Monkey 2004, 2016) General Forecast: Monkeys are not too lucky this year so they need to be more focused and to work harder. There will be challenges but because of the “academic star” on their charts, Monkeys will be able to rise above the challenges and turn them into a learning experience. Health and Safety: Be careful. It will be easier this year to hurt yourself because of the lack of focus. Reminder: Don’t stress too much and always be aware of your surroundings. Rat (1996, 2008) General Forecast: Luck this year is average, which means more effort should be put into their academic work. Health and Safety: Be careful when engaging in water activities like swimming. Reminder: Do everything in moderation. Not too much play. Not too much study. Not too much work. Rabbit (1999,2011) General Forecast: Rabbits are the luckiest this year and they should take …

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Out of the Box

Being “constantly irritated” may not seem to be the kind of attitude you’d encourage your children to develop but according to Singapore-based educator Marcelo H. Ang, Jr., one of the esteemed speakers at the Philippine Center for Gifted Education’s Annual Conference on Giftedness held recently at The Heritage Hotel in Pasay City, it has its use—one that could help unleash and enhance creativity. Ang, who works at the National University of Singapore as associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering department and acting director of the Advanced Robotics Center, clarified, however, that “being constantly irritated” in this case means: Not accepting things so easily Not being complacent and not having a defeatist attitude (“Why change it? We have been doing this for a long time.” “It has never been done before. If it was possible, someone would have done it.” “It’s too simple to be effective.”) Constantly questioning things Thinking of ways to improve He said defining a problem is important and …

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