Eat Your Peas, Love Your Lentils

For some people, the most interesting thing that they remember about peas is in one scene of

Cartoon Network’s animated series, The Powerpuff Girls. In this early episode, Supper Villain shown in

1999, the new next-door neighbors are invited to the girls’ for dinner. The neighbor, Harold, then

orders, “Eat your pea, Professor!” in what now is one of the most famous – and funniest – scenes of The

Powerpuff Girls. It is a memorable scene because The Professor, a grown man, tried in an excruciating

way to eat and swallow one small pea.

A lack of information makes peas much maligned and there is much to clear about them. Like

The Professor, there are people who find it difficult to eat their vegetables. But unknown to many, peas

(and lentils) are two of the healthiest foods on the planet. They may be small in size, but they are a

powerhouse when it comes to diet and nutrition.

Dried peas, lentils, and chickpeas are called ‘pulses’. These are their seeds and members of the

legume family that are packed with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants, calcium, and iron. According to the US

Dry Pea and Lentil Council of the USDA, pulses are everything on one plate: they deliver great flavor

that’s not only nutrient-dense, but also gluten-free with low allergen and low glycemic responses. They

are one of the greatest additions to any diet, but especially for those who are diabetic, those who have

heart problems, and those who are trying to lose weight.


Legumes use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein. They are a valuable equivalent to

animal protein but have the added benefit of being low in fat and less in calories. In comparison, a 6 oz.

cut of steak provides 40 g of protein, but also 38 g of fat (14 g saturated fat) while a cup of cooked lentils

gives 18 g of protein and only 1 g of fat. This is not surprising, considering lentils are the third-highest

sources of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut (next only to soybeans and hemp).

Protein is an important cell builder of the body. It is crucial in building muscle and tissue, the

parts of your body you need to move and lead an active lifestyle. When choosing sources of protein, it is

essential to select lean, nutrient-dense food like beans, nuts, and whole grains. Dried peas and lentils

are available everywhere, any time of the year, and so offer one of the most inexpensive sources of



Fiber is important because it helps clean out one’s digestive system. Along with an adequate

intake of liquids, fiber flushes out unwanted toxins from the body. Soluble or dietary fiber reduces the

risk of developing many diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and constipation. And

because fiber-rich foods fill one up quickly, there are less calories consumed.

Fiber is found mainly in legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The more you eat, and the

more active you are, the more you need fiber. Here are the recommendations for adults of the Institute

of Medicine regarding daily fiber intake:

Age 50 or younger: 

Men 38 grams

Women 25 grams

Age 51 or older:

Men: 30 grams

Women: 21 grams

*Institute of Medicine, 2012 

Peas and lentils provide one of the highest amounts of fiber. A cup of cooked split peas gives

16.3 g of fiber, while a cup of cooked lentils has 15.6 g of fiber. To compare, the traditional source of

fiber, cooked oatmeal, contains 4 g of fiber.


Peas and lentils like beans and other legumes are rich in phytochemicals. These antioxidants

help in defending the body against the effects of free radicals, and slow down aging and breakdown of

body processes. Studies show that a diet high in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is linked to a

reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.


These are just a few of the health benefits from consuming peas and lentils. Considering how

small they are, it is easy to dismiss them as a good source of nutrients but studies from all over the

world show that peas and lentils are two of the healthiest foods one can eat.

In the Philippines, Easycook brand of US No. 1 grade peas, lentils, and beans are the highest

grade. These are best in quality – they have bright uniform color, uniform size (for even cooking), and

have no visible defects like cracked seed coats and foreign materials. In other words, the more uniform

the color and size, the higher their grade will be. They meet specifications and standards set by the

USDA for both growers and consumers, and for local and international consumption, and these US No. 1

grade peas and lentils are the only ones provided by Easycook.

Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are what Filipinos need for a fit and healthy lifestyle as they

are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, folate (iron), and calcium. Easycook variants include yellow and

green split peas, lentils, great Northern beans, pinto beans, and light red kidney beans and are available

in leading supermarkets like SM, Shopwise, Rustan’s, Landmark and Cash & Carry.

On December 21, 2013, recipes creatively using peas and lentils were demonstrated by Filipino

master chef Ojie Reloj at a media event. Chef Ojie is an architect by trade so he knows to meld function

and beauty while emphasizing the importance of using local resources, which he also does in his

cooking. Some of the recipes he loves include Lentils a la Mongo (prepared the same way as mongo,

using lentils as a healthy mongo replacement), Lentils or yellow split peas empanaditas, and Lentils and

Pesto Macaroni Soup.

Because of their high nutrient content, peas and lentils are recommended for everyone. They

are the smart alternatives for a healthy and robust lifestyle. This is one of the best health advices: eat

your peas, love your lentils!

Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are distributed in the Philippines by Ideal Macaroni and

Spaghetti Factory Inc. For more information, please go to their website

A belly-ful of sense


Published in the Daily Tribune Life
08 September 2012

From the womb, a tiny miracle of life emerges. While it’s worth every challenging phase, the phase itself, as every pregnant woman knows, is undeniably a crazy maze.
Pregnant women go through nine months of changes, and it’s not easy. The baby growing inside changes almost all the positions of the organs, making space for itself. From there, the soon-to-be mother starts feeling weird, nauseous and a little more uncomfortable everyday; then the morning sickness and constant cravings, among many other symptoms.

The hardest of challenges is when pregnant women step out into the real world. Not even a fourth of the whole world lives in Japan, yet this country takes mother care very seriously. Pregnant women in Japan are provided with badges by railways, airlines, hospitals and other service and retail companies so they can be identified and treated well while they are in public places. The badge alerts people especially during rush hour, to make room and give special care to pregnant moms.

From the same concept, Pigeon, a provider of baby and child care products and services in Japan, a the market leader in that category, is beginning a campaign to generate the same level of awareness called Baby in My Belly. This campaign aims to inform, educate and raise the level of public awareness on how to properly look after mothers-to-be; and for first-time mothers out there, this campaign can also yield valuable information.

Baby in My Belly was launched to the general public last August 26 at the Grand Atrium of the Shangri-La Plaza and had its next launch last September 1 at The Block, SM City North Edsa.

During each launch, Baby in My Belly put up a Wall of Mom’s Well Wishes, which is a collage of encouraging messages like wishes for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, wishes for the welfare of the baby and, of course, wishes for also the family members as they enter a new chapter of life altogether. Baby in My Belly also includes activities and special workshop sessions that tackle relevant issues for expectant mothers, several of which are in partnership with some of the country’s most reputable health institutions.

“Baby in my Belly highlights the importance of ensuring not just the baby’s well-being throughout pregnancy, but also the mother’s,” says Maye Yao Co Say, chief operating officer of the exclusive distributor of Pigeon products in the country, Richwell Philippines Inc.

“As the premier brand that looks after the needs of mothers and mothers-to-be, Pigeon goes beyond providing durable, high-quality and user-friendly products to underscore its commitment to these women with this initiative,” she enthused.

Proud mother of three and Pigeon brand ambassador Amina Aranaz-Alunan, expressed her enthusiasm for the campaign, saying, “It’s high time that Filipinos are made aware of the value of looking after pregnant women, and I can’t think of a better brand than Pigeon to be spearhead such an advocacy here in the country. As a mom, I have personally experienced the frustrations of an expectant mother. It’s important that her family, friends and even others know how to best support her during pregnancy.”

Etiquette guide

During the media event of Baby in My Belly, the issue on how pregnant women get upset in pregnancy was tackled. Though we were conversing on the frustrations of mothers during and after the nine months, the event itself was nothing but light and easy. We were all seated around the long, rectangular soft pink covered table enjoying a signature Margarita Fores lunch with Amina and Lexi Schulze.

The two kept exchanging stories of their ups and downs on their previous pregnancies. They also embarked on the practical applications of The Pigeon Mom Pregnancy Etiquette Guide, a guide that provides pointers on how people should treat women during and after the pregnancy.

For example Pointer #8 states: “No matter how tempting, refrain from touching our tummies unless given permission.” Any person really doesn’t like being touched especially by strangers, but somehow people forget this when it comes to pregnant mothers. People often think it is suwerte (lucky) to touch pregnant women so when one passes by they have the urge to grab a touch so luck can come their way.

Lexi reminisced when people asked if they could touch her belly while she was pregnant, but before she could answer their hands were already on her belly. Actions like these can really tick off a woman, making them want to stay home instead.

Another thing to remember is Pointer #10, which states: “Do not point out how much weight we’ve gained. That, my friends, is a valuable lesson that applies even after we gave birth.” Do not even guess, “You’re in your sixth month, aren’t you?” when you’re not sure because what if she was only on her third month; that just means you’re pointing out the person has grown bigger than usual and that will not make any woman feel great with herself.

The Pigeon Mom Pregnancy Etiquette Guide is located inside a newly released pocketbook of Pigeon called Mom’s Pocketbook, a perfect resource to help women journey through pregnancy.
Mom’s Pocketbook contains “important charts to be filled up during regular visits to the doctor; as well as detailed, step-by-step suggestions on how to care for oneself during and after pregnancy-for instance, what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding, accompanied by a selection of relevant Pigeon products that will prove useful for this,” Yao Co Say reveals.

“With Baby in my Belly, we are able to show our full support for expectant mothers, going beyond providing them child and mother care products that aid them throughout their pregnancy. After all, a baby’s well-being is not just dependent on how great your child care products are, it is also something that results from how well mom looks after herself and how others care for her,” she explained.

So what is there to expect when expecting? Pigeon teaches pregnant moms to expect the beauty of life and the surprises that comes along with it!

For more information on Pigeon and the Baby in My Belly campaign, call 441-1717; visit or the Pigeon Facebook page at

Debunking breastfeeding myths

Published in Daily Tribune Life
July 6, 2012


Having breastfed four children, the first three for over a year each and the youngest for three years, advocating breastfeeding is an effortless task that comes straight from the heart.

I was not a stay at home mom, who had all the time in the world to sit and feed for hours on end. When I breastfed my first child, I was a full-time lecturer at the UP College in Baguio, teaching Journalism. I remember leaking milk while lecturing as I taught four straight hours. I kept on lecturing with a straight face even as I knew my students were wondering why there was a growing wet patch around my chest.

When I had my next child, I was working for a multimedia production house that required me to even work evenings after a full day at work. On my third child, I was reviewing for the bar exams, while I breastfed him and his elder brother all at the same time. And by the fourth child I was practicing law while I breastfed non-stop for three years.

It was not easy, but I made it through. I am grateful to have had that opportunity to nourish my child and have a special bond with them all throughout. Many times I had to rearrange my work schedule to ensure that I could breastfeed my children. And, yes, pumping milk was important for the time I would be gone most of the day.

In a recent conference on breastfeeding with the Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding Inc. (BBB), it was heartbreaking to hear that only 34 percent of mothers in the Philippines breastfeed. When the misconceptions in breastfeeding were presented, I could wholeheartedly agree from experience that, indeed, they are myths.

Five truths

First, exclusive breastfeeding is not a hindrance to a woman’s professional success. Throughout my breastfeeding years, I was a fulltime lecturer in Journalism; a full time-law student; lawyer and multimedia manager. None of my bosses felt my breastfeeding interfered with the quality and timely delivery of my work output.

Second, breastfeeding is not inconvenient. In fact, feeding at night is easier when breastfeeding a child. The breast milk is always at the right temperature, it’s pre-mixed and always fresh. There are no bottles and teats to sterilize, no water to warm up and no powder that gets contaminated.

Third, breastfeeding is not an alternative to formula, and it is not only for the poor as the nutrition it delivers is just as potent for babies born to parents with means. The nutrients and immune-building properties of breast milk are unparalleled. Proper breastfeeding techniques will also help the baby latch properly and gets the milk flowing.

Fourth, breastfeeding does not deform a woman’s breasts. Proper breastfeeding techniques and exercise can ensure that a woman’s breasts do not sag. Using pillows (boppy pillows shaped like a horseshoe) on one’s lap also helps a mother breastfeed comfortably and with ease, preventing the unnecessary downward pull of the breasts. Plus, breastfeeding does not make one fat. It is the quality and quantity of food and the amount of exercise one engages in that determines the ratio of fat to muscle. When breastfeeding, the stomach muscles contract as one breastfeeds and help the breastfeeding mother get back in shape.

Fifth, breastfeeding on demand and in public is not shameful. In fact, many clothing devises afford some privacy to breastfeeding moms in public. Some malls like SM also have breastfeeding centers for moms and babies to bond while the rest of the family is gallivanting in the mall.

BBB moms Daphne Oseña-Paez, Unicef Special Advocate for Children and celebrity host; Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, sportscaster and wife of PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) player Vince Hizon; and Iza Abeja, BBC executive director, exclusive breast feeders and advocates for BBC attest to these truths as they emulate Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding. With their careers, they were all still able to breastfeed their children and stay beautiful throughout the process as can be seen in their billboards along MIA Road in Pasay, Philcoa, Quezon City and Cubao near the DILG Building also in Quezon City. Breastfeeding education is key in opening the eyes of Filipina mothers that exclusive breastfeeding is best for their babies and even for their own bodies.

For more information on breastfeeding, visit http:// beautybrainsandbreastfeeding., children/breastfeeding_1.html or reallives_17981.html.

Tales From the Other Side Series 4: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, PhilippinesIntention. The word conjures up extreme opposite associations like good intentions versus evil intent and honorable intentions versus lustful intent. When Sifu Vince told me to practice my horse stance with intent, I thought, “this guy is just over the top with his kung fu.”

Thinking while executing a movement has always proved too much for my mental capacity since it meant pairing the movement with intent. At the end of the day after handling complex commercial transactions for my clients, all I want to do is space out. If I had to move a muscle I wanted it to be a thoughtless movement.

That is why I am more attracted to aerobic exercises where I could stay at the back and just use my eyes to cue my body how to move. No one in any aerobic exercise class ever asked me to put more thought in the movement. All I had to do was reach a heart rate that would burn calories and make me sweat and that is about as much intent I could muster.

When Sifu Vince and I were first married he was constantly recruiting me to practice the basics of his martial art. Every time I watched him execute a form, the minute details of every hand, trunk, neck, head, waist, hip, leg and foot movement daunted me. The drill looked like a million thoughts must have been zinging through the Sifu’s head just to coordinate his mind with his body.

I had always thought of myself as awkward in the physical realm, clumsy most of the time as my family would attest. If something could spill, I would be the one to spill it. If something would drop and break into pieces, I would have to own up to it or live with the guilt. Performing a martial arts dance was definitely way beyond me and I would be better off reading or writing, my nose immersed in piles of paperwork. Tackling words is as easy as pie since all I needed to coordinate were my mind, my eyes and my fingers that would translate my thoughts.

Equating movement with intention then sounded a bit too weird for one like me until I got afflicted with a really bad case of flu. Needless to say, I stopped doing the horse stance while brushing my teeth, bathing, washing my face, etc. I was asleep most of three days and my recovery was slow as I shunned antibiotics and let my body heal with rest and plenty of liquids.

As I began moving about I started getting back on my routine and I mindlessly went on the horse stance as I was about to wash my hair. I felt my knees buckle as I bent it and I did not feel the stability I usually got. Then it hit me. I was just going through the motions of a horse stance with no intention of gaining the stability I needed.

The force of habit of bending my knee, tucking my tailbone in, leaning forward and keeping my head straight had no effect whatsoever. I was just plain tired so I let it go and got a chair to sit to finish washing my hair – an elaborate process of shampooing and conditioning to get soft, shiny cliché hair.

The next day I felt better and I realized that my horse stance gave me the stability that I needed while I went about my mundane routine of facial cleansing, moisturizing and applying make-up. I could feel my thighs strong, my tailbone tucked in, my core tight and my knees stable. It was such an amazing realization that I realized my intention or lack of it pre-determined the quality of just about anything I do.

I realize that when I take on a project with intent, the results clearly show the dedication and commitment I put into it. When I write with intent, it shows in the flow of words and ideas that shape into an engaging story. When I move with intent, the full benefit of the movement is reaped by my body in the same way.

Intention – it could spell the difference between ok and great; mediocre and stellar. Which way than shall we all take – the narrow way of Sifu Vince -to act with intent or the wider path – to act with passive lethargy?

Tales From the Other Side Series 3: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

I broke my right kneecap while walking out the door of a mall. I did not twist my ankle or step on anything that could have caused my injury. My right kneecap just suddenly gave way and if it were not for the lady guard who was right at the door as I fell, I would fallen headlong unto the pavement.

As I tried to walk towards the nearest chair with the guard supporting me on my right side, my kneecap was excruciatingly painful with every step I took. I called my husband, Sifu Vince, and he brought me straight to the National Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

After an x-ray and a diagnostics procedure by the attending orthopedic doctor, my right leg was wrapped in a removable steel cast. I was ordered to stay home for two months in that cast, with permission to remove it only during bath time while sitting on a chair.

The tendons that cushioned my kneecap had given way and I needed to rest it from any pressure whatsoever if recovery was to begin. Two months later, I was given permission to remove the cast and begin rehabilitation.

I went through several knee exercises on my back at first then as I progressed a few weeks later, I could sit while doing the exercises. Finally, I could exercise my knees while standing up until I was declared free of the rehabilitation center. At that point, I was just ordered to continue the exercises at home.

While the rehabilitation process literally got me back on my knees, standing still for more than a few minutes at a time proved difficult for me. I would complain to my husband, Sifu Vince, that I needed a chair in the bathroom when I would shampoo and condition my hair as I could not stand for too long. Even while washing my face and brushing my teeth, standing in place was a challenge for my knees that would throb with the all so familiar ache.

Sifu Vince had an instant answer to my complaints and he got me standing up right away to teach me the horse stance. The name of the stance did not appeal to me as it conjured up images of a sore leg and buttocks after a horse ride.

Sifu Vince had me stand with my legs apart with my feet flat on the ground and aligned with each other. At first he let me stand with legs just shoulder width apart; then he told me to bend my knees at a slight angle; tuck in my tailbone; and move my upper body slightly forward as if I was leaning. All along I was told to maintain my head in an upright position as if it were a marionette being pulled by a string from the ceiling.

Sifu Vince told me to stay in that position for as long as I can, then rest for a while and get back on the horse stance longer each time. I was very reluctant, yet I was also very desperate so I followed the routine until he approved my stance.

For the past five years I have used this stance whenever I put on make-up, brush my teeth, shampoo and condition, wash my face, wash the dishes, prep ingredients for cooking, line-up in the bank and just about any activity that requires standing still for more than a few minutes.

My knees don’t ache anymore when I stand for a long time for as long as I am on the horse stance. I no longer feel weakness in my knees as I no longer stress it with prolonged pressure while standing.

The wonders of kung fu has helped me cope with my knee injury and no wonder it has. Sifu Vince explains that the horse stance is known for stability during a fight as it provides balance even if the body is in motion.

Bending the knees is an automatic reflex when the body’s balance is threatened. Thus, the horse stance, in kung-fu, in the kitchen and the vanity room has proved a lifeline for me after a knee injury.

In addition, my thigh muscles have strengthened from the countless horse stances daily; the core muscles in my tummy automatically clenche when I am on the horse stance, trimming my belly; and, my buttocks have firmed from endlessly tucking my tailbone.

Today, the horse stance is part of my everyday life. Even when I am on the train waiting to get to my stop,or waiting for a cashier to tally my tab, I am on the horse stance, with legs only slightly apart and tailbone tucked only so slightly, conspicuously doing kung-fu undercover.

Tales From the Other Side Series 2: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

Watching my husband, Vince, practice Choy Li Fut kung fu daily impacted my life little except for the time it took him away from chores I would ask him to do from time to time. I would literally have to wait two hours until he finishes his practice before I could ask him to repair this or that.

While taking a walk with him one late afternoon right before dusk, I witnessed how his kung fu was practically applied in one of the most common situations one can get into in the residential streets of Metro Manila, Philippines.

We were taking a nice walk and the air was chillier than usual as it was nearing the Christmas season. As we made a turn, we passed by a rundown house with a dilapidated gate. Just as we passed the gate, a swarm of wild dogs came at me and fear immediately seized me. I froze in place. Vince was beside me, in front of me, and at my back in a flash in a never ending cycle of movement.

Every time a dog came nearer me there was Vince fending one dog after another and I couldn’t clearly make out his movements. What I saw was a flurry of arms, feet, and knees flung at every side and Vince striking the heads of the dogs as they came at me.

The dogs would not tire though and for what seemed like forever, I was in the middle of a skirmish between growling fierce street dogs and my husband who so valiantly defended me every moment.

Finally, the owner of the pack of dogs approached us and started commanding them away. What was startling was that I saw him in the corner of the street watching the spectacle the whole time without lending a hand.

He was probably fascinated with how Vince fended of all his dogs and that none of them got near enough to hurt me. Moreover, he was probably got scared that his dogs were getting hurt in the process so he finally decided to stop the skirmish.

As we were walking away I had a new respect for the martial arts. Having seen it applied in a practical situation that literally saved me from a pack of dogs gave me a new appreciation for the hours Vince put into his kung fu.

When I asked Vince what he did exactly, he told me that he would raise his hands to get the dogs attention, attracting it to go nearer him instead of me. As the dog’s head approaches nearer, he comes within striking distance of Vince kick.

I was so grateful that Vince had these skill set but understanding how he fended off a pack of dogs that were all coming at me at once is beyond me. The speed at which he swung from all sides was so cinematic that had I not come out of the situation in one piece, I would not have believed it myself.

To this day, I feel safe when I walk anywhere with Vince. Vince humble and wise as he is, always tells me that taking safety precautions is being a step ahead and it is more reliable than just depending on kung fu alone in a dangerous situation.

Tales From the Other Side Series 1: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

When I first met Vince, his lean and muscular physique immediately impressed me. Before I found out that he was an avid practitioner of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and that he was at it since high school, I had thought it was weightlifting and push ups that gave him that physique.

As I got to know him, I realized how deep he was in the martial arts. I was fascinated when he told me how he used to be a thin weak boy before he began martial arts training. Looking at him then, I would have never thought that he could hardly fight his own battles in grade school.

It was a bit strange though as he would often practice kung fu moves wherever we were, no matter who was in sight. As we were lining up for movie tickets, once the lines would not move, he would begin moving his hands into some kung fu form.

At first, it made me conscious of the people who would stare at him (and me!). After a while I got used to it and understood that he did not like being idle and he was just putting good use to idle time.

When Vince did some kung fu hand movements while we were sitting in a hall waiting for a program to begin, my oldest brother, Gerry Rullan, was alarmed. I almost fell off my seat with the look on my Kuya Gerry’s face and his inevitable question: “What is he doing?”

This reminds me of another friend who is also deep into kung fu. When they were visiting his wife’s friend in the hospital, my friend was a few paces away from the sickbed doing kung fu moves as his wife conversed with the patient!

This just goes to show that kung fu practitioners truly have kung fu in mind at every waking moment. Kung fu is second nature to them that they take every opportunity to practice their moves at any given time.

It is noteworthy to add that due to this relentless and constant practice, 14 years later since we were married, Vince still has a muscular body sans weightlifting. The defined muscles are the product of kung fu moves that have obviously built the fibers to contour his physique.

As a wife, I am glad I have grown older with a well built husband. In fact, when my friends see me with Vince, they are likewise impressed with Vince’s physique. And when they ask me if he goes to the gym regularly, I always quote Vince.

“Kung fu is a gem of a martial art as I can practice its forms no matter where I am, in a gym, a garden or any open space I can find,” quips Vince.

Safari dreams

by Vince Borromeo
(Manila, Philippines)

Published in the Daily Tribune Life, May 25, 2011
A dream evoqued is a dream that lives on to animate an accomplishment. Do you remember when you went on your first camping trip? Do you remember the excitement, the grass that was greener and the air crisp like never before, with every part of your body tingling with excitement?


When I was promised my first camping trip, I dreamt that it would be a real safari. I could not sleep many nights before it. I made sure I had a flashlight in my knapsack. I remember the excitement of even just filling up my water jug (the camping soldier issue) with water. I also had the tin can and the tin army plate. I had prepared my rugged army like jeans that prevented me from getting pricked by the sharp blades of the wild grasses.

My first camping trip finally came, and I pitched my tent and finally got to wake up inside the tent to the cold air. Crossing a small brook with cool running water, seeing the wild plants and enjoying the camp fires was the greatest thing in the world to me at that time.

When I talked to the Range Rover man, Wellington Soong, Range Rover Philippines president, my safari dream was evoqued. In every safari scene I have seen growing up, a Land Rover jeep was part of the picture. Soong told me that the jeep in every safari scene, be it a movie or a magazine spread, is the Land Rover. It is the vehicle you see running with the lions, zebras, tigers, etc. It is the vehicle that is part of every safari dream.

The Range Rover Evoque is still the same Land Rover for the safari with the added feature that it is styled for the city with its lean, low look. City styling the Range Rover did not make it city soft. When you need to race with the lions, Range Rover Evoque will take you to your safari be it in Africa or now in the city of the Philippines.


Soong said, “Range Rover Evoque is a new generation of SUV that attracts customers who have not previously considered getting an SUV. However, it stands out from the crowd with its performance and design features that can only be experienced from a premium Land Rover vehicle. It is the most exciting Range Rover yet, with worldwide orders already passing the 4,000 mark and awards tallying to 53 from 15 different countries.”

The Range Rover Evoque has won the Car of the Year title in the United Kingdom and Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year. Soong proudly adds that a few hours before the Philippine launch, the North American Truck of the Year award was given to the Range Rover Evoque.

Evoque is a sports wagon that is Range Rover’s most compact and lightest model with the most fuel-efficiency and a low fuel emission. Its engine is an aluminum two-liter with turbo charging, direct injection, and variable valve timing. Power is 240 hp and torque is 340 Nm. The Evoque is an on-road vehicle built for mountain trails and slopes with a Terrain Response electronic differential control with settings for gravel, grass, snow, sand or mud.

With an engaging blend of dynamic handling and refined engineering, the Range Rover Evoque’s compact footprint and advanced technology deliver exciting performance together with the lowest fuel consumption of any Range Rover to date.

Models with the electronic damping system will also have a Dynamic setting. Land Rover quotes the ground clearance at 215 mm and wading depth at 500 mm. It is a crossover for luxury and comfort that delivers urban status with an option for a two- or four-wheel drive. The Range Rover is the first car to be displayed at the Louvre Museum as an exemplary work of industrial design.

It features easy ingress and egress, even with a sloping roof design that is matched with sporty leather and brushed aluminum trim; bucket seats; HID- and LED-equipped headlamps; and Meridian Audio sound systems. Wheelbase is 2660 mm for both models. Evoque uses darkened and hidden pillars for a floating-roof effect. Customers can customize with a contrasting white roof.

Evoque is available in two body styles: two door and four-door wagon. The “coupe” is 4355 mm in length, while the four-door measures slightly longer at 4365 mm. Evoque will also be available in three trim levels: Pure, featuring a cabin in neutral colors; Prestige, which adds 19-inch wheels and leather-and-wood interior, as well as metal trim; and Dynamic, with contrasting roof, unique bumpers and grille, and a darker interior with perforated leather seats.

Looking closer for first-hand information on this vehicle made me see and relive my camping days. The brochure says: “The increased window area of the five-door body style heightens the feeling of light and space in the cabin. And the full-sized glass panoramic roof, which enhances the sensation of space and comfort in both the coupe and five-door, provides a superb uninterrupted vista for all occupants and fills the interior with natural light.”

Reading this and seeing this panoramic view just literally brought me back to the time I went to Dalaguete in Cebu, known as the summer capital of Cebu, where as a kid I was at the back of an open-air vehicle, enjoying the panoramic view of the night sky even as the chilly air almost took my breath away. In the Evoque, one can have that panoramic view with controlled temperature and still enjoy the power and safely of a Range Rover.

Another thing that, to me, makes the Range Rover a Filipino-hearted vehicle is the claim of Land Rover that the “Range Rover Evoque has a wide, deep cargo area. The five-door offers a 60-40 folding rear seat, which allows for cargo capacity expansion, providing a substantial volume of 51 cubic ft. with the rear seats folded.” This made me see that it had this feature for Filipinos. Because no matter how hard we try to be light travelers, luggage just seems to accumulate.

The purpose and meaning of existence of the Land Rover cruiser showroom in the Fort is to show us that dreams come true. It is a reminder that the awesomeness and wonders of this universe never cease. That is what the Evoque has evoqued in me. It brought back my safari dreams.

Hydration – Importance and the Proper Way for an Athlete to Hydrate

Benefits of Hydration, Bene Rullan
A martial artist should be well aware of the the benefits of drinking water, and have the knowledge on how the amount of water affects the body’s ability to function properly. If you are well hydrated, then you will perform better and avoid the dangers when you get dehydrated. Always remember that proper hydration is top priority when it comes to maintaining a body that is to perform well in training and in competition as well.

Proper Way To Hydrate
Properly hydrated means a body that functions properly, fluids in the body have numerous functions and are essential to the physical well being and health of a person. Fluids form blood, aid in digestion, and also prevents the body from overheating through sweat. For a martial artist who trains hard, excessive sweating is a normal occurrence, and needs to be replenished. Sweat regulates the temperature of a person by evaporation. Failing to replenish fluids after excessive sweating, the danger of the body to overheat will lead to low performance and even dangerous consequences. Different levels of sweating differs from person to person and can be influenced by different external factors such as, temperature, clothing, altitude and humidity.

Avoiding Dehydration
Inadequate intake of water is the leading cause of dehydration. Dehydration causes lack of energy, which could further lead to headaches, dizziness and disorientation. It is important to replenish fluids while it is being lost. Replenishing fluids only after a training session is of no use, as it could result in dehydration and loss of performance.

Effects of Dehydration
1-2% – Thirst and weakness
3-4% – Low performance, dry mouth,
5-6% – Increased body temperature, headache, irritability
7-10% – Dizziness, disorientation, heat stroke and even death

The Right Way to Hydrate
Water intake before the training, during the training and after the training should be properly planned.

Before Training – Drink 14-18 ounces of water two hours before the training. The two hour gap is enough to fully hydrate the body and leave enough time for excess water to come out of the system. Plain water is the best source of hydration. Take 5-7 ounces of water just 15 minutes before the exercise to be fully hydrated before the physical activity.

During training – The athlete must constantly keep hydrating the body every 20-25 minutes with 5-10 ounces of water. Sports drinks are also a good idea during exercise as they help also to replenish the sodium lost through perspiration.

After the Training – The athlete should be encouraged to replace all the lost fluid by consuming approximately 20 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight lost.

Electrolyte Considerations for Athletes
Due to excessive perspiration, athletes should consume 1.5 g of sodium and 2.3 g of chloride each day (or 3.8 g of salt) to replace the amount lost through perspiration. The maximum amount should not exceed 5.8 g of salt each day (2.3 g of sodium). Older people and patients who have elevated blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease should avoid consuming salt at the upper level. Endurance athletes and other individuals who are involved in strenuous activities should consume more sodium to offset sweat losses. The carbonates in the sports drinks also help the muscles perform better. Athletes should also have an adequate intake of 4.7 g of potassium per day to blunt the effects of salt, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss. Athletes should also eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas.

Caffeinated Drink & Alcohol
Caffeinated drinks must be avoided because they act as a diuretic and works against hydration. A cup of coffee contains 1.5 micrograms of caffeine. Also keep in mind that drinking alcohol has the effect of heating up the body, and also has the opposite effect on hydration.

Food nourishes and food heals.

Geraldine Borromeo, Philippines

Eating for reckless pleasure overlooks the inherent nutritional value of food. Food fuels the body’s the energy needs and nurse’s one back to health. Taking food beyond the sensory experience, allows one to maximize its benefits. Making deliberate choices in what one eats not only provides momentary pleasure but also long term benefits. After all each one has only been given one body and sooner or later, one’s food history will determine one’s health.

For any athlete, foods that build the muscle; make one more energetic and move faster; develop endurance; heal injuries and help restore the over all efficiency of the body, ensure better performance and staying power in a particular sport. What then must an athlete eat? While protein is an important part of an athlete’s diet to build the muscles, excess protein combined with fat slows down one’s performance as the digestive system will use up one’s energy in processing it.

Eating the right protein is essential and the sources include lean cuts of meat taken in moderate portions. Red meats contain a higher fat content than white meat, thus, the former must be taken in smaller portions. Fish and poultry without the skin contain less fat and is a better source of one’s regular protein intake. Tofu and legumes are also alternative sources of protein which just like everything else must also be taken in moderation.

Energy building foods are complex carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits that are eaten in a state of optimum nutrition, this means eating them as close to their raw state as possible. Next time one gets a hunger rush, reaching for a banana or apple will fuel one’s energy better than processed wheat or starch based snacks. Even munching on a carrot, cucumber or celery stick will not only do wonders for one’s energy but also for one’s waistline.

Even an athlete needs some fat and the sources of fat must be carefully identified to minimize health risks. Olive and other vegetable oils and fish oils are recommended over animal fat, which includes dairy fat. But oil is still oil, thus moderation is not the key, rather minimization. Total eradication of fat from the diet is not recommended as the body still needs fat to provide insulation and to function properly. Fats not only help store energy, it also transports vitamins within the body and are vital components of the brain, skin, and organs of the body.

Making the right food choices will then allow one to not only enjoy the taste and texture of food, its sight and smell, it will also make food one’s building blocks and injury repair kit for better sports performance. As Hippocrates had famously said thousands of years ago: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

-Geraldine Borromeo