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  • Top Philippine Destinations in One Island
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    When you Google the top Philippine destinations, the search engine is going to give you results like Cebu, Baguio, Vigan, and Manila, to name a few. Planning a vacation to one of the mentioned cities would be great, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I can have a similar experience in my very own Negros Island.

    All Rolled Into One Adventure In Negros Occidental

    You might be asking how in the world can you have all of these adventures in the island of Negros Occidental? If you love my province and have spent a good amount of time here, you’ll know that this is possible. You’d have to take a lot of roadtrips, but this is just part of the fun.

    Cebu Beaches at Sipalay

    Some of the best beaches in Negros Occidental can be found at Sipalay. It’s about four to six hours from the capital which is Bacolod. When you go to any one of the beaches in this city, you’ll have nothing to do but soak in the warmth of the air and the sounds of the waves.  

    Baguio in Don Salvador Benedicto

    I could never forget our trip to the infamous Jomax Peak. It was my sister’s birthday and I had my whole family with me. Just like Baguio, we were treated to the most beautiful flowers on the sides of the road. Despite the air being cool and crisp, we still had the courage to go swimming at Jomax Peak’s pool. It was one of my best days with my family.

    Vigan in Silay

    Let me clarify, I’m not saying that Silay is exactly like Vigan, but it does remind me of the old charm that Vigan has. It has plenty of history to discover. One of my favorite houses was the Ledesma House also known as “The Mansion”. It has a beautiful red door which, first, greets the visitors as well as a dad yet romantic back story.

    Manila in Bacolod

    Let’s not forget about the capital! This year, Bacolod has had so many developments in terms of business in infrastructure. The most exciting of which, for me, would be the Upper East, a New-York-inspired district which is Bacolod’s own version of an upscale lifestyle area.

    The next time you plan your vacation, make sure you check flights to Bacolod City. From the capital, you can jump off to different points in the Negros Island to see what it has to offer you.

  • Merzci: More Than Just A Pasalubong Center
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    If you’re from Bacolod City, you don’t have to ask who or what Merzci is. Everyone from the City of Smiles has enjoyed Merzci’s treats since it started in 1995. Many have even appreciated the affordable snacks and short-order meals they’ve designed for travelers and people on the go. But, aside from being the best Bacolod pasalubong center, there are a few things that makes Merzci special.

    What You Did Not Know About Merzci – The Best Bacolod Pasalubong

    Merzci has served the people of Bacolod, as well as its guests and visitors, for 23 years. From its brand name which means “Thank You” in French, it looks like Merzci will have more years to celebrate , and here are the reasons why:

    A Business With A Heart

    There are plenty of employees who don’t last very long in one company because they do not feel appreciated. Those who work in Merzci, however, can say the opposite. Recently, the company highlighted some of its pioneer employees through posts on their website. Ms. Vivian J. Derpa, for example, has been with Merzci for 23 years. You can read her feel story here.

    Ms. Vivian J. Derpa has been with Merzci for 23 years.

    Surprise Appearances

    You’ll know that you’re a business that does well when you unexpectedly see your products in videos, images, or social media without you deliberately having to pay for product placement. A sighting of a Merzci box was made on an infamous Jollibee commercial. Definitely, you will not read any spoilers here. It would be better if you see the commercial yourself. Just a hint though, the hidden Merzci is somewhere at the end. 


    If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I am crazy about Merzci’s Napoleones. Each square is a delicate combination of puff pastry, enveloping a generous helping of custard cream, brushed with a thin layer of sweet sugar glaze on top. If this is your favorite too, then you already know that you will have the same experience over and over again, without getting disappointed because something’s “not right” with your Merzci Napoleones.

    Impact on Tourism

    The tourism industry is slowly picking up in Negros Occidental. With its slow yet steady rise, Merzci is aiming to build the first-ever theme park in the City of Smiles. To be more specific, it is going to build its pasalubong factory (with a theme park) at a 5-hectare lot at Vista Alegre, Mansilingan. I, for one, am excited about possibly riding a piaya  (if that’s in their plans, that is). The factory will be the next big attraction in Bacolod, which can bring in more tourists.

    As I said, Merzci will see and celebrate more years in Bacolod. It’s expanding to other cities in the Philippines, and I am confident to say that it is going to win the hearts of the locals as it did mine.

  • Globe: Redefining the Digital Experience at Home
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    Globe At Home new prepaid and postpaid offers change the game for

    home broadband

    The home broadband landscape in the Philippines shows that 87% of households still has no access to an Internet connection.  Coupled with the increasing line of streaming content, which is now more accessible and affordable, Globe At Home knows there is tremendous opportunity to disrupt the home broadband business.

    Putting fresh investments into fixed wireline connectivity, Globe aims to capture the home by giving Filipinos more affordable data, exclusive content, as well as innovative services – all for a seamless experience for the whole family.

    “The time is ripe to disrupt the market and break the barriers of getting a broadband plan through accessibility and ease of application. We are committed to provide fast and reliable home connectivity to more Filipinos, nationwide,” says Globe At Home Senior Vice President, Martha Sazon.

    Globe At Home introduces its latest innovative offers for its prepaid and postpaid customers that will change the way families watch, listen, play, share, and learn!


    Today, customers no longer need to worry about committing to a lock-up period to get a postpaid broadband plan. Globe At Home introduces no lock up-plans that can be availed without the usual 24-month contract.

    Customers can avail of any Fiber or DSL lines with speeds of up to 50 Mbps for only P499 for the first 3 months. Customers can try their chosen plans in their homes without lock up or commitment. It comes with free installation and requires no documents other than one (1) valid ID for processing. Customers just need to pay a one-time modem fee.

    After the three-month trial, customers can choose to maintain their initially selected plan or choose another. Available plans are Plan 1299 for 5 Mbps and 400GB of data; Plan 1599 for 10 Mbps and 500 GB of data and Plan 1899 for 50 Mbps and 600 GB of data.

    Those who prefer to discontinue their subscription within the first 15 days will get a 100% refund of their modem fee upon the return of all devices installed in their home.

    Complementing this is the introduction of the Globe At Home Tech Squad. They are a team of experts best equipped to assist customers in setting up a connected home. They will provide end-to-end support from installation to troubleshooting to enhancing the broadband experience to maximize one’s Globe At Home connection.



    Leveraging on the strength of our mobile expertise, back in February we launched the Globe At Home Prepaid WIFI to connect more Filipino families. It is easy to install and has 50% stronger WIFI coverage versus myfi. Best of all there is no need to commit to a fixed monthly rate so one can better control their budget.

    Aside from it being extremely convenient, it is also easy on your pocket. Globe At Home introduces the most affordable 1GB data promo ever at just P15 with HomeSURF. Users can enjoy this offer on top of their existing GoSURF50 subscription. Heavier data users can also enjoy bigger data allocations, like 10GB of data for P349 valid for 10 days, and an extra 15GB of data for P599 valid for 30 days. It is exclusively available through the Globe At Home App.

    This app will help users load credits charged to any Globe mobile number, track total data usage consumed by those who connected to the device, as well as boost data allocation through easy registration to promos. The app notifies users once their data allocation has been consumed. It is easy to set-up just by entering the Prepaid Home WIFI number and preferred PIN.


    It will be available for download on the Google Playstore and the App Store by October 15.


    Since the expansion of its footprint and the deployment of leading edge network technology, the Akamai State of the Internet Connectivity Report revealed that the first quarter of 2017 showed that the Philippines experienced significant improvements in broadband speed and adoption. The country’s average fixed broadband speed increased by 5Mbps or 57% year on year, while the country registered the strongest growth in terms of adoption in Asia Pacific with a 111% growth year on year.

    With all these innovations in place, the vision of Globe at Home to connect two million homes by 2020 through high-speed internet and provide affordable world-class entertainment, is well on its way to become a reality.

    For more information on the new Globe at Home plans, visit the website at https://shop.globe.com.ph/broadband, call the Globe hotline at 730-1010, or visit any Globe Store.

  • Cheap Flights to Manila? No, FLY TO MANILA For FREE | Mea in Bacolod
    Cheap Flights to Manila? No, Fly to Manila for FREE
    Posted in: Services, Uncategorized

    Looking for cheap flights to Manila? I got you fam. I’m giving a ticket away, for FREE. As I write this, I think about the exact moment when I decided to start my blog, Mea in Bacolod. This moment happened two years ago. What started out as a small passion project, turned out to be a BIG passion project.

    I invested my own money, put in numerous hours, and poured in a dam-full of my creative juices into my blog site. Fast forward to today, the bleep my blog makes on the radar of the interweb is but a small one. However, a bleep is still a bleep, and I am truly thankful.

    Air Asia Partners with Mea in Bacolod

    Mea in Bacolod, in partnership with Air Asia, is giving away a round trip ticket from ILOILO to MANILA. Anyone can join as long as they are willing to fly FROM ILOILO to MANILA.

    FLY TO MANILA FOR FREE | Mea in Bacolod

    Giveaway Mechanics

    1. Like AirAsia and Mea in Bacolod official Facebook accounts. Plus subscribe to Mea in Bacolod on Youtube.

    A. LIKE Air Asia on Facebook



    B. LIKE Mea in Bacolod on Facebook


    C. SUBSCRIBE to Mea in Bacolod on YouTube


    2. Like and share the post below on your Facebook using the hashtags #AirAsiainIloilo & #AirAsiaXMeainBacolod. Make sure your account is public.

    3. Comment on the Facebook post above once you have done #2 and tag 2 friends.
    Contest will run from September 08 to 28, 2017.
    One (1) winner of Iloilo-Manila roundtrip ticket will be chosen randomly and will be announced on October 1. Join now!

  • The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Globe partners with Kiva for a Globe of Good
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    Unemployment continues to be one of the Philippines’ biggest challenges to date. Millions of Filipinos either remain on the loose for a job opportunity to earn their keep or are employed but are dissatisfied with their current pay, role or job fit, categorizing them in the “underemployed” segment.

    In the year 2000, unemployment rate was at a record high of 13.9. While unemployment rate steadily decreased over the years at a record low of 5.4 in the third quarter of 2016, it remains a major roadblock in seeing the country’s full potential.

    Micro-, small- and medium- enterprises (MSMEs) have contributed largely to this increase in employment. In ASEAN countries, majority of enterprises are MSMEs, reaching up to 99% in some. In the Philippines, there are currently close to a million MSMEs. From 1995 to 2011, the number of people employed by MSMEs has increased from 2.7 million to 3.9 million, and the number only continues to grow, allowing people to slowly rise over the poverty line.

    MSMEs encounter difficulty when it comes to funding due to having mostly personal assets. Without acceptable collateral such as real property and with a limited track record, MSMEs, especially the smallest ones, are put at a disadvantage in loaning capital as they cannot meet bank requirements.

    With its renewed purpose of seeing a country where businesses flourish, Globe Telecom constantly looks at forging partnerships to grow employment opportunities. In partnership with global crowd-funding source Kiva, the company has revolutionized an avenue to help Filipinos, empower local businesses, and promote economic growth. Globe customers can now help Filipino start-up entrepreneurs realize their dreams by donating or lending funds.

    Leveraging on its online facility and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva provides loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. The micro-finance institutions, which are called Field Partners, administer the loans in the field, giving people in need a safe and affordable access to fresh capital to further their lives and that of their families. Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative, Gata Daku Multi-purpose Cooperative, Paglaum Multi-purpose Cooperative, Community Economic Ventures, Inc., MILAMDEC Foundation, SEED Center Philippines, Inc. and Bagosphere Ph. Inc. are Kiva’s partner Microfinance Institutions (MFI) in the Philippines. To-date, Kiva has over 1.5 million individual lenders from every country in the world. These lenders have funded loans amounting to over US$890 million to 2.1 million beneficiaries.

    As part of its month-long celebration for its loyal and tenured customers in September, Globe enabled its prepaid and postpaid customers to support 917 micro-enterprises through a Kiva gift card worth US$25. The beneficiaries in the agriculture, farming, retail and food industries can, in turn, use the amount to scale their businesses.

    To welcome the month-long Yuletide season, Globe customers can still continue making a difference in the lives of others by making a donation via Kiva. There are 3 ways: (1) converting Globe Reward Points into Kiva donations, (2) donating via GCash, or (3) by texting Kiva to 2158-Kiva to avail a Kiva Card, a gift card that can be used to choose a beneficiary.

    “The best gift that anyone can give this Christmas is a gift that keeps on giving, and we at Globe are encouraging our customers to create a Globe of good by harnessing our partnership with Kiva. Through their donations, they can empower and boost livelihood and employment opportunities which can have a positive impact to many today and in the future,” says Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability Officer at Globe.

    The company’s partnership with Kiva follows its commitment to 9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals—knowing that sustainability is possible only through collaboration with relevant organizations. Ultimately, this allows Globe to enable Filipino entrepreneurship and instigate job creation, contributing towards SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

  • Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class by Coffee Culture
    How Can you Tell GOOD Coffee from BAD Coffee?
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    Believe it or not, I drink an average of 3-4 cups of coffee per day. This has been consistent ever since I can remember. But, of all the coffees I have tasted, I never really thought if what I was drinking is a GOOD cup of Joe or not. I would thumbs-up most because of the taste. Everything changed, however, when I went to a Bacolod coffee cupping class by Coffee Culture.

    Coffee Culture’s Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class

    Coffee Cupping CLass Bacolod - Coffee Culture's Stage

    What is coffee cupping?

    According to Wiki, it “is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. It is a professional practice but can be done informally by anyone or by professionals”.

    Who is Coffee Culture?

    Coffee Cupping Class Bacolod - Coffee Bags from Coffee Culture

    Coffee Culture is a roastery. Roastery means that they roast coffee beans themselves. It’s not just the typical roasting we’re thinking about because it is done by Thomas Sproten who is a Q-grader (coffee cupping professional). Coffee Culture supplies coffee to some establishments in the City of Smiles. Two of which are Bar 21 and Sitting Duck.

    Coffee Cupping Class Bacolod MT APO Coffee

    They organized this Bacolod coffee cupping class for a minimal fee of P100. This fee includes free coffee and kakanins (native snacks) on top of the lesson. It’s also great to know that they’re advocates of Slow Food.

    Coffee Cupping Class Bacolod Speaker and Teacher: Thomas Sproten

    What I Learned During the Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class

    For just P100 I learned so much! If you appreciate coffee as much as I do, you’ll also appreciate the following tips and lessons.

    1. Not All Coffee Beans from the Local Market are of Good Quality

    Coffee Cupping CLass Bacolod - Coffee Culture Discusses Bad Coffee Beans and Good Coffee Beans

    Good coffee beans are of the same color (green) and size. Bad ones come in different colors and, can also have cracks or chips on them.

    2. Most of the Coffee We’re Drinking Comes from Vietnam (or Outside the Phils)

    The best way I could verify this is by double checking my favorite instant coffee, Kopiko Brown Coffee. My favorite is produced in Indonesia, but I guess that the other 3in1 brands do come from Vietnam. Whatever the case, the coffees are not made in the Philippines, which is interesting.

    3. Filipinos Judge Coffee Based on the Taste

    Totally accurate! My mother, who is also a coffee-lover, has been drinking a cup or two every day since I was little. She bases the goodness of her cups on taste. She probably already figured out the perfect ratio of milk and sugar in her coffee, but that doesn’t mean the coffee she drinks is good coffee.

    Coffee Cupping Class Bacolod

    Surprising Fact from the Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class: A good cup of coffee doesn’t need sugar or milk it in.

    4. You Evaluate Coffee According to 8 Categories

    When coffee cupping, the coffee is rated based on the following categories:

    1. Fragrance
    2. Aroma
    3. Flavor
    4. After Taste
    5. Acidity
    6. Natural Sweetness
    7. Uniformity
    8. Balance

    Coffee Cupping Class Table

    Different coffee cups were put on a table. We had to go around, evaluating each one according to the eight given categories. It’s a bit complicated to detail the process, so I’m going to let Coffee Culture do the teaching.

    Coffee Cupping Class Bacolod - Coffee Cups Filled

    Later, Sproten revealed that the coffee cups were a mix of Robusta that came from Negros Oriental, EB Magalona, Murcia, and Arabica from Luzon, Mt Kanlaon and Mt Apo.

    5. The Best Coffees

    Since we had an expert right in front of us, we (the audience) couldn’t help but ask what every coffee-lover has been dying to know. We got the answers we were looking for and I am sharing them to you now:

    • The Best Coffee in the World is East African Coffee.
    • Mindanao has some good coffee.
    • Locally, the best coffee could come from Murcia (this I have to verify).

    Missed this Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class?

    Don’t worry if you missed this class because Coffee Culture will open up their Roastery and Learning Center, hopefully, this September. They’re still setting up, so for you to know updates on the opening and probably the next Bacolod Coffee Cupping Class, follow the blog or @Meainbacolod on Facebook.

  • Schedule & About ReKindle
    Posted in: Uncategorized

    Next ReKindle Run

    Check the PAGE for event details

    ReKindle has been happening since late last year, I think. The team has already done 3 runs, but I feel like people still think that ReKindle is only for the artsy-fartsy crowd who wear all black, paired with dark rimmed glasses (pardon the stereotype).Nope. It’s not just for hipsters either who listen to underground bands and Frank Sinatara. ReKindle is for everyone! So, here’s a bit of light shed on basic questions you may have about ReKindle, answered by team head (although he doesn’t like labels), Jrik Villa:

    What is ReKindle and what does it aim to do?

    Rekindle is an art event that emphasizes more on what goes behind every art and their superficial values. The event revolves around artists or presenters showcasing their work/s and share the inspiration and techniques that molded their work or what they did. The idea is to bring everyone open and cultivate collaborations.

    Why was it started and how did it start?

    The plan prior to what’s happening now is to put HAPI Bacolod on radar while the group is idled from the normal activities like outreach programs and various movement based on the group’s advocacies. Also, the event is supposed to be a venue for HAPI Bacolod members to meet & greet and also meet other organizations for possible tie ups for future projects. The initial pplan was to just cater mostly to spoken art like poetry and spoken words and just grew from there.

    Who started it?

    The event is headed by HAPI Bacolod and the Rekindle team with collaborations from different organization, groups and establishments as well.

    Who’s part of the ReKindle team?

    The team is composed of a Bacolod collective ranging from visual artists, to musicians, to bloggers, etc. Although the team is under HAPI Bacolod’s umbrella, Team Rekindle is composed of HAPI members and volunteers outside of it.

    What can you tell me about HAPI?

    HAPI or Human Alliance of the Philippines, International is a secular group with its ideals revolving around humanism in general. We focus more on cultivating human interaction and relationship outside of any religious beliefs and congregations to prove that morality and kindness doesn’t only exist in a religious setting. But with that said, we still work hand-in-hand with some religious groups if it calls for it and if everyone benefits from it. Bacolod branch in general had been a big advocate of the LGBT, environmental and artistry cause. We have members residing around the globe and HAPI exists in the Philippines with various chapters nationally.

    What kind of ART does ReKindle focus on?

    Any artwork that the team can get their hands on. Visual arts, digital arts, original song compositions in various genres, poetry, spoken words, standup comedy, even tattoo, and we’re trying to get a hold of more as we go along.

    How does the event help artists?

    We wanted a venue where everyone is at a state where they become a sponge to each and everyone. We want everyone to see other art in a perspective where inhibitions and stereotyping is virtually non-existent. Everthing revolves around exposure and collaborations to broaden every artists market. The good thing about having seasoned artists with the new guys is that the seasoned guys see how these new guys are hungry hopefuls trying to find their place in the market, just like how they used to be. For the new guys to see seasoned artists give them this whole idea of where they’re heading too. Everyone is at a level where it helps them stay grounded or atleast that’s what we want them to see.

    If I wanted to join ReKindle as a presenter, how do I do that?

    You can visit our Facebook page /rekindle6100. The page is monitored almost 24 hours or you can graze the event and just volunteer. Most of the artists supporting us now started as a volunteer on the event proper and now have been a regular goer.

    Read About the ReKindle Runs


    The Team

  • An Afternoon with the Chan Lim Family of Artists
    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Have you ever wondered how Chinese paintings are Made? I learned all about the art in one afternoon. it’s mesmerizing to watch a painting being done in 3 minutes. – Mea 🙂


    Alex Chan Lim Painting

    I was invited to the Chan Lim Exhibit Opening last September 5, 2015 at SM City Bacolod and good thing too because I have always wondered how Chinese paintings were made. I’ve always thought that maybe they were just printed out instead of hand-painted because it’s difficult to get the flicks, precise stripes and depth the paintings possess but, boy, was I wrong.


    Seeing Mr. Alex Chan Lim in action made me realize three things about Chinese Painting:

    1. It’s possible to achieve the specific Chinese painting characteristics with just watercolor and a paint brush.
    2.  It takes experience, practice and discipline to do Chinese painting.
    3. The process of doing the painting is an art in itself.

    This demonstration was done right after a presentation of the Chan Lim Family of Artists and believe it or not Mr. Alex Chan Lim was able to finish a beautiful painting of a flower in merely 5mins (probably even less if he wasn’t explaining what he was doing).

    A little Background

    The Chan Lim Family has been involved in the arts for more than four decades now.  They’ve already conducted several art classes, workshops, seminars, on-the-spot painting demonstrations and, not to mention, several exhibits both locally and internationally. The family is one of the few remaining notable Chinese brush painting artists in the country today. Current art classes are conducted at their family studio in Pasig City.

    Our Turn


    After the demonstration, it was our turn to give Chinese painting a try. I broguht my son along so he can try it out for himself. We were approached by Ms. Gina (one of the exhibit artists) and she taught my son how to paint a bamboo stem with leaves.DSCN5124

    It was not easy because you’d need a certain degree of discipline to do the strokes but he tried his best and his painting came out pretty good.DSCN5131

    visit sm city bacolod to view the exhibit


    We went downstairs right after the tutorials to officially open the exhibit to the public. We had the privilege to view the artworks first and let me just say that they’re beautiful – very beautiful.DSCN5137

    If you have the chance to visit SM City Bacolod today, don’t forget to drop by the Chan Lim Exhibit. Don’t miss the chance to see authentic Chinese paintings done by a family of artists (and their students) who have been practising and passing down the skill, keeping a piece of the Chinese tradition alive.DSCN5136 DSCN5134





    The SM Team


    Chan Lim Family and Students



  • An Invitation to Baby Love 2 – a Bacolod Fundraising Event
    Posted in: Uncategorized
    What are you doing this Saturday night? How does eat all you can pizza and pasta sound like with the added benefit of helping someone out? – Mea 🙂

    We usually spend hundreds of pesos in eating out and while that’s not a bad thing, it only really benefits the restaurant and your tummy. That’s also not such a bad thing but what if we dine while helping someone out in the process? Sounds good, right? But, how? Three words: Baby Love 2.

    The Back Story of the fundraising event

    “When baby Gio was born on October 21 last year, Ian and I were clueless on how to care for his special needs. We didn’t have much time to prepare since we only knew of his condition 3 days before he was born—we were not ready emotionally and even financially for the additional expenses needed for cleft treatment. I was with our 5 year old daughter when I had my last ultrasound and it was Gianna who held my hand and comforted me when I cried after the doctor said our baby is a cleft. When I told Ian that evening, he was equally dumbfounded as I was earlier that day, but we agreed not to waste any more time sulking over it. Since there is no local support group for clefts, we turned to the internet for answers to our questions.
    The biggest challenge we had when Gio came was his feeding. He can’t latch and he can’t suck. When he was 2 weeks old he had his palate obturator, but still he wouldn’t suck since it had been a frustrating experience for him from the start. He was dropper-fed for a month, and although he was given enough milk he would still cry endlessly after each feeding since he can’t satisfy his sucking reflex. Plus he was not gaining much weight which got us worried since he has to reach a certain weight to qualify for surgery. We tried different kinds of bottles and nipples available in local stores but to no avail. A college friend read a post I made on Facebook asking for advice on cleft feeders where another friend suggested the Pigeon Respironics bottle for cleft lip and palate from Amazon.com. After a few days, this college friend who is now based in UK messaged me that he has asked a friend in the US to order the said feeder from Amazon, and another friend will bring it back to Manila after 2 weeks and mail it to me. I was overwhelmed with their kindness, to think the only connection I have with them is that we all went to the same university some 20 years back.

    Indeed, God’s hand is at work here.

    Baby Gio started using the bottle on his second month, and it was a big help to all of us. No more dropper feeding, no more crying because milk flows out without much effort when he sucks, and most importantly, it sped up his weight gain. This led me and Ian to decide to share this to other newborn clefts as well. Thus, the Love in a Bottle Project was conceptualized.

    You may ask, why do we need to raise funds for Gio’s surgery when there are organizations that sponsor free operations for clefts? Unfortunately for us, we were told we won’t qualify as beneficiary of charity medical missions since Ian has work and that only indigent patients can be accommodated. My heart sank when the screening doctor said this since I know that no matter how much Ian would work overtime, we can’t raise the needed amount for Gio’s operations in three months’ time. But I know that with the collective support of our friends and family, we’ll be able to gather enough to defray baby Gio’s medical expenses. I am trusting God for another miracle through our network of friends and family.”

    ___ A letter from Gio’s Loving Mother, Daphne Villarosa – taken from her first invitation letter to Baby Love 1.

    A Happy Baby Nonetheless

    Now, Baby Love is happening again. This time, however, proceeds will go to the Love in a Bottle Project:

    LOVE IN A BOTTLE PROJECT—we will buy special bottles for cleft affected babies. These are not easily accessible to cleft families here in the Philippines so every bottle counts. Gio’s first bottle was given by friends of my college friend, by kind people we don’t personally know. I wrote about this in my invitation for the dinner last February. As a way of paying it forward, we allotted part of the dinner proceeds to buy bottles from Pigeon Philippines, their last remaining pieces, which we sent to newborn cleft babies with feeding issues. We knew of their condition through the online community Cleft Support Group PH we started, together with another cleft mom I met on Facebook. Through this group, we intend to reach out to as many cleft affected families and assist them in their cleft journey though sharing of information and other resources, and by encouraging and praying for those who are scheduled for surgery. To date, we only have 3 bottles remaining yet the cleft group has been growing gradually and we have more cleft babies who are having feeding issues.”

    ___An excerpt from Daphne’s second invitational letter.

    Happy After Surgery

    So why not try something different? attend the baby love 2 fund raising event and eat while supporting something important (for a change).

    If you believe in the cause, and it’s a good one in my opinion, come over and enjoy all the pizza and pasta you want from 6:00PM – 9:00PM, Saturday, Sept 12, 2015 at the Payag Pitstop, Hilado cor. Ipil Street, Shopping Bacolod City.

    Charity Event

    Helpful Links and Numbers

    • Event on Facebook
    • 0925 8742259 for tickets and other inquiries
    • Contact people: Daphne and Ian (very nice and welcoming couple)