Yakap: A Film of The Courageous Faces of People With Special Needs!

One of the most moving short films on Down Syndrome i have ever seen!


The film “Yakap” shows a day in the lives of three people with Special Needs. The stories are told from the points of view of their parents. There was no script for the film, everything is spontaneous and unplanned.

“More than a film, it is profiles of true courage. First, courage of the children whose disabilities are the only reality they have ever known and who live their lives the only way they know how, in spite of curious stares, pointing fingers, and hidden smiles. Second, the courage of parents and family members who may have grown up thinking normal was everything but ended up learning that different can be the new normal.”

Ten years ago, Dolores Cheng formed The Center for Possibilities Foundation (CFP).  “It was my own coming to terms with the condition of my son,” she shares. Andreas, now 22, was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay when he was 3 years old.  “There were no support groups for his particular type of disability, I didn’t know where to go, who to see, where to find what I needed to know. I wanted to understand what it meant to raise a child with special needs. So I thought that maybe if I formed a group of my own, I would be able to ring a call to other people who might be in the same boat and need some help,” Dolores continues.

The vision and mission of CFP revolves around inclusion, having a compassionate society that includes persons with special needs into the mainstream population. Even the way CFP is set up reflects this vision of inclusion. “We come from different backgrounds, different types of families and family lives, it represents how the world is,” Dolores points out.

The CFP board is composed of finance expert Renato Reyes, educators Cynthia and Lito Gonzalez; restaurateurs, car enthusiasts, and civic leaders, Vangie and Dieter Jaehn; mommy blogger Michelle Ressa Aventajado, jeweller Geeta Chulani,  producer Yvonne de Paula, co-parent of a special child Totoy Garcia, publisher Maricris Lim Pineda, accomplished netizen Mark Ignacio, and spiritual adviser Fr. Gerard Deveza.

For the past decade, CFP has engaged in teaching skills and promoting inclusion in underserved sectors through support groups, literature, film showing, and orientation. They’ve published books regarding persons with special needs and organized events such as special football tournaments that allow the athletic inclinations of the kids to shine.

Their biggest project to date is “Yakap”.  Produced by Dolores and directed by Danny Añonuevo, the film provides a glimpse into a day in the lives of three people: Evangeline “Gelli” Aventajado, a 4-year-old with Down Syndrome; Aaron Joshua “AJ” De Quiroz, an 8-year-old with epilepsy, Autism, and Global Developmental Delay; and Kevin Avelino, a 45-year-old with Global Developmental Delay. “The stories are told from the points of view of their parents. Nothing was scripted, everything that you will see is natural and unplanned,” describes Dolores.

Aaron Joshua “AJ” De Quiroz, an 8-year-old with epilepsy, Autism, and Global Developmental Delay

Evangeline “Gelli” Aventajado, a 4-year-old with Down Syndrome

Kevin Avelino, a 45-year-old with Global Developmental Delay

Music for “Yakap” was composed by Jessie Lasaten  and the post production color grading was done by Issa Gonzalez. The 54-minute film is capped off by a music video with lyrics that Dolores wrote with music by Charo Unite.

Yakap means to embrace.  In line with CFP’s  vision, we wish for all children with disability to be embraced into the mainstream of our lives and to be treated the way we treat each other — with compassion, respect, dignity and acceptance,” says Dolores.

CFP hopes to bring the film to different places and generate more awareness for the need to respect the potential and promise of persons with special needs. “We would be very happy to do special screenings. We can visit schools and would be more than willing to tie up with community organizations,” she volunteers.

The group is also on a quest to build and operate Special Education (SPED) Centers for indigent communities, for children with special needs who are undiagnosed and untreated. Their Sagada SPED Center is now open. The  Norzagaray, Bulacan SPED Center is expected to start running later this year. And the Tacloban and Sorsogon SPED Centers are scheduled to operate sometime in 2017.

The Centers are brick and mortar structures with tables, surrounded with stimulating materials, equipment, and learning tools that can be used to teach children the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Each SPED Center will be operated by a teacher trained in the SPED division of Reach International School.

“In many parts of the country, especially in remote areas, there is no government center dedicated to the identification, recognition, much less support and treatment for persons with special needs. Many special children are physically mature but have cognitive and behavioral challenges so it is imperative that we create centers of learning that can teach them some skills with which they can live with some form of independence and dignity,” elaborates Dolores. Enrolment in the SPED Center is free so it helps alleviate the cost of taking care of special children from the families. These centers will also include parent support groups.

Special screenings of “Yakap” may be arranged through CFP at centerforpossibilities.asia or (02) 723-1242 / (0918) 888-1759.

“Yakap” is supported by Rustan’s  Commercial  Corporation, Gruppo Mobili Philippines, Inc., AY Foundation, Inc., Royal Duty Free Subic, Marks & Spencer, Mamou Restaurant, Ralph’s Wines & Spirits, Rustan Marketing Corporation, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines  Inc., Leslie Corporation – Clover Chips, Miladay, Orogem, The Phinma Foundation, Inner Peace Foundation Inc. Manila, Music Master (Music School & Recording Arts), nananadal Public Relations & Events Management,  Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Crossover 105.1 FM, and Retro DCG –FM – 105.9.




Gear Review: AMIHAN Crosswind Hydration Vest


Crosswind Hydration Vest/Backpack:

  • Lightweight, minimalist vest-style backpack
  • Two large pockets at the left and right front strap, capable of carrying 500ml bottles
  • Can carry a 1.5 Liter hydration bladder at the back
  • Made of light materials for a comfortable stable ride
  • A slight upgrade from its best-selling 1st hydration vest, the Fast-Track
  • Weight: 274 Grams
  • Local brand, Made in the Philippines

The AMIHAN Crosswind

Finally, i’ll be able to give my old, tried and tested Ultraspire Surge Hydration Vest a well-deserved rest after serving me almost 4 years of trail running that survived all kinds of abuse including submersion in river crossings, heat, rain, mud and other harsh trail conditions.

Ever since, i’ve been on a look-out for another hydration vest that would complement my Ultraspire and i’ve been seeing a lot of this local AMIHAN vest which looked good, lightweight and durable. Since early this year, the AMIHAN vest, particularly the “Fast Track” model has been a constant fixture to all trail races i’ve attended, indistinguishable with the other vests trail runners were wearing like the Salomon S-Lab, Ultimate Direction, Nathan and Ultraspire.

Since the Fast Track, a new and slightly improved AMIHAN vest has now been released in the market and is called the “Crosswind”. The pack is again minimalist, which is designed to carry two, 20 oz water bottles up front. It can also be set up to place a 1.5 water bladder at the back although the bladder doesn’t come free with the unit itself.



  • Stretch bottle holsters to carry two 20 oz bottles with tightening cords. (I use the other holster to place my pocket camera).
  • At the back of the holsters are zipped pouches to carry one 5.5 smartphone and the other you can use for stacking a 4.7 iphone. If you just carry one phone, the other pouch could be used to stack candy bars, keys, gels and other small essentials.
  • Two reflectorized loops on both sides of the vest to loop and secure your water hose outside or use it to tie-up a bandana, running cap or whistle.
  • Two adjustable fastening clips to secure the vest to the contours of your chest.


  • The main compartment has a zippered opening at the upper right side to insert your 1.5 hydration bladder (reservoir) if you intend to use one. If a bladder won’t be used, it can contain an extra shirt or a light wind-proof jacket, additional trail foods, etc.
  • A bungee cord you can use to tie up your light-weight jacket, to loosen up to maximize capacity on the main compartment.
  • Another zippered opening located on the lower left of the main compartment to easily access small valuables at the bottom most part of the compartment.
  • The lower half-part of the compartment is stretchable for that extra capacity and compression.


Just one 14k trail run and i am totally convinced!

I was able to test run this gear yesterday during a 3-hour familiarization run of the Sierra Trails Adventure Race 12k route which is going to be held on October 16, 2016 to start and end at the Ten Cents to Heaven in Tanay. (Registration details here:  http://www.pinoytrails.com/pinoy-trails-sierra-trail-adventure-challenge/)

Before using it, i recommended that you loosen-up the lower side straps first, adjust and secure the thin straps on the upper chest side then adjust anew the lower side straps to tighten or loosen. This way, you will able to gauge its feel and adjust accordingly for the right fit.

Starting my run, i immediately felt the snugness of its fit, very stable and no wiggles nor bouncing whatsoever. Putting a 16 oz Salomon water bottle in the right pocket and my camera on the left holster with my iphone on the back of the right holster, the run went smoothly as if nothing was strap on my body. Even without a bladder at the back compartment, it was quite light, not hindering my movements.

I didn’t have to reach for anything at the back because everything i needed was conveniently secured on the front pockets (a gel, fitbar) and they were easily accessible even while running. And because of its airmesh it allowed plenty of air to move around your body, no feeling of stickiness on your back.


The AMIHAN Crosswind race vest has a lot going for it: light, versatile, snug and it has everything you need, from adequate hydration, lots of storage and a very nifty look.


  • Ultra light, very secured adjustments to your body.
  • No bouncing or wiggles whatever you put at the front or back.
  • Gives lots of storage! Have a 5.5-inch smartphone? No problem! You can put a small camera, light jacket and plenty of food in all its compartments.
  • The mesh seems to be built of high quality and its very breathable.


  • The elastic tightening cord on the holsters seems to break up when over-pulled to fasten the lid of a water bottle. This happened to the vest of one of our runners. I suggest not pulling the cord anymore to fasten the noose of your bottle. Just tightening the pocket with the tightening button will do.
  • The bungee cord at the back seems to inhibit the zippered opening of the compartments. You will have to pull up the bungee cord a bit in order to pull down the zipper unhampered. A small hassle, but not a major one.

Still, the AMIHAN Crosswind is one excellent companion for your ultras, trail runs and mountain hikes. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed!

At P1,600.00, it’s a great bargain!

And the greatest PLUS to this all? This race vest only costs P1,600.00*, just a third of the price when you buy those international branded labels which are also all made in the Philippines!

Grab one now while supply lasts!

*Bladder/Reservoir and water bottles not included


Sierra Trail Adventure Race- October 16, 2016: A Sneak Peek

In the mountains of Tanay, one place holds a special allure to those who have ran its trails and crossed its rivers…the rugged scenery of Sitio Maysawa and Laiban. If you have ran any of PIMCO’s Natures Trail Discovery Run (NTDR) trail series a few years ago, you just might have passed some of its rocky terrain, steep uphills and an abundance of streams and rivers that greets you endlessly along its course.

This October 16, 2016, the inaugural trail race of Pinoy Trails.com and Rundezvous will hold the 1st SIERRA TRAIL ADVENTURE RACE (STAR) 2016 in Tanay, Rizal which will have an 8k, 12k, an 18k- solo, and an 18k 2-man buddy run. The race will start and end at the Ten Cents To Heaven Resort, Sitio Mayagay, Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal.

Two weeks ago, The Pinoy Trails Team made an ocular visit on these trails as we last did during another familiarization run with trail buddies Jun and Franc. The Maysawa trails are beautiful but jagged, rocky on some parts, wooded on the inner portions  following shallow but crystal clear rivers plus a couple of different ridges through the woods. It throws in a couple of relentless uphills and descents. The terrain on the end part, after reaching Brgy Laiban is a mix of woodlands, creeks, open spaces and the occasional cultivated field.

The Maysawa-Laiban trails are a must place to run in Tanay with ascents and descents that your hearts will beat in excitement. It will be both hard and pleasant at this time of the year but with the onset of the wet season, don’t let the rains deter you!


  • Date: October 16, 2016
  • Venue: Tanay, Rizal (10 Cents?)
  • Distance: 8K, 12K, 16K

Gun Start:

  • 8K – 6:10 AM
  • 12K – 6:00 AM
  • 18K – 5:40 AM
  • 18K Buddy – 5:30 AM

Cut-off Times:

  • 18K – 5 Hours
  • 12K – 4 Hours
  • 8K – 3 hours


  • 8K – P700
  • 12K – P800
  • 18K – P900
  • 18K Buddy – P1,600


  • Pinoy Trails Race Shirt
  • Race Bib
  • Finisher’s Medal
  • Loot Bag
  • Early Bird Promo

Other registration details to follow…

It will be a roller coaster ride along the route with amazing views all around. ENJOY!

Heroes For Children Run 2016: September 4, 2016 at MOA

When actress and children’s welfare advocate Anne Curtis started to join UNICEF way back 2009, she saw the very vast scope and challenges that this organization were facing like widespread malnutrition, violence against children, access to school and
basic necessities like water and sanitation.

Since then, she has given a lot of her time and helped financially to help raise awareness and funds so that UNICEF can continue doing what it does best for children — long-term, sustainable solutions that tackle children’s issues at the root causes.

To enable her to reach out and touch people from all walks of life to help children through UNICEF, she organized the Heroes for Children run to raise money for UNICEF’s First 1,000 days program. All the proceeds from this event go to lifesaving programs for children.

Now on its 2nd year, Ms. Curtis says that this run is to empower these impoverished children to have hope, healing, and know that they are being thought of and helped through fund raising programs.

(L-R) Coach Rio Dela Cruz, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Lotta Sylwander and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis invite the public to join the Heroes for Children Run on September 4, 2016, Sunday, at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

Join the Heroes for Children Run 2016!

Run for the benefit of UNICEF with UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis, Coach Rio and other heroes for children on 4 September 2016, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds!

Runners can join the 5km, 10km and 21km race categories. Children ages 12 years old and below can join the 500m category. Registration fees are as follows:


Event Date: Sunday, 4 September 2016
Time: 3:00 am – 9:30 am
Race Organizer: RunRio Inc.
Start & End Point: Mall of Asia, PASAY CITY
Beneficiary: Unicef

  • 500m – Php 300.00 (Singlet, Race Bib, & Loot bags with sponsors freebies)
  • 5km – Php 700.00 (Singlet, Race Bib, TIMING CHIP, & Loot bags with sponsors freebies)
  • 10km – Php 800.00 (Singlet, Race Bib, TIMING CHIP, & Loot bags with sponsors freebies)
  • 21km – Php 1,100.00 (SINGLET, RACE BIB, TIMING CHIP, & Loot bags with sponsors freebies; MEDALS and SHIRT FOR 21KM FINISHERS)

ONLINE REGISTRATION: June 27 to August 19

IN STORE REGISTRATION: July 31 to August 28 at Chris Sports (10:00AM to 7:00PM):

SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Glorietta, Market! Market!, Robinsons Place Manila and UP Town Center.

21k Finisher’s Shirt and medal






Anne Curtis runs for children to mark UNICEF’s 70th Anniversary (PRESS RELEASE)

10 August 2016, Manila, Philippines – UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis calls on runners to join the second year of the Heroes for Children Run on September 4, 2016, Sunday, at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

“I was deeply inspired by the support we received during last year’s run. From children with disabilities to serious runners, the public came together for a great cause. This year, I’m inviting everyone once again to be a hero for children. All proceeds will benefit UNICEF’s First 1,000 Days campaign for children’s health and nutrition needs,” says Curtis

“For 70 years, UNICEF has worked to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and excluded children around the world. Despite the many gains, the lives and futures of millions of children are still in jeopardy. In the Philippines, one out of three children under the age of five suffers from chronic malnutrition—the effects of which can be permanent, irreversible and even fatal after two years of age. UNICEF believes every child should have a fair chance at life,” UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Lotta Sylwander says.

The First 1,000 Days programme focuses on prenatal and early childhood interventions to prevent undernutrition, including quality care for mothers, proper nutrition and complementary feeding, and life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. The effect of good health and nutrition lasts well into adulthood and is key ingredient in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Last year’s run saw more than 3,200 runners raise Php 3 million for the benefit of the First 1,000 Days programme. This year, the event aims to attract more runners to raise funds for the campaign.

“We are grateful for Anne’s dedication and significant contributions in raising awareness and funds for children in need. Anne’s power lies in her sincerity and genuine passion in everything she does. Through her support, we will continue to make a huge difference for children in need,” Sylwander adds.

Fans who want to support Anne but cannot physically run or be present on race day may donate on her personal SimplyGiving fundraising page at http://www.simplygiving.com/event/HeroesforChildrenRun2016.  Ms. Curtis was appointed as UNICEF Celebrity Advocate in November 2014.

Online registration is ongoing at www.runrio.com/HeroesforChildren until 19 August 2016. In-store registration is ongoing until 28 August 2016 at the following Chris Sports outlets: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, SM City BF Homes, Glorietta, Market! Market!, Robinsons Place Manila, and UP Town Center (from August 15 to 28). The run is one of many activities slated in 2016 as UNICEF commemorates its 70th year helping to build a better world for every child.


NIKE’s Unlimited Stadium Unveiled: Unlimited You!

If you work or been around the Bonifacio Global City area walking along busy 32nd street, you would have noticed the construction being done on this huge open park for the past two weeks. Finally, the project has been unveiled! It’s a running track called Unlimited Stadium created by NIKE, the world famous athletic footwear and sports apparel maker.

Unlimited Stadium is in the shape of a 100-foot sole print of the Nike Lunar Epic Low Flyknit. It is digitally enabled, featuring a 200-meter running track lined with LED screens. Upon registration on an i-pad, you’ll be asked to register an avatar name (not more than 6 letters) and a color combination to distinguish you from other runners. An RFID would then be attached to your shoe so sensors would read it and would be flashed on LED screens on the sidewalls of the track and appear behind or ahead of you, depending on the pace you’re in.

This is now where the challenge comes in as the digital avatars of themselves grows in size based on the speed and distance they run, motivating them to push more beyond their limits.

At the entrance of the stadium with runing bloggers, Dennis Ravanzo and Redg Candido

At the registration station

At the start area

Inside the registration area and dressing room

The Unlimited Stadium run challenge will go on until August 21, 2016 and will be open from 4:00pm until 10:00pm daily. Registration is free!

Inside the “sole” area

At the interiors where the digital lasers tracking the runners are connected

Runners warming up before the test run

Mr. Bulbul Khera, Senior Director for Marketing, Nike Southeast Asia said, “The Unlimited Stadium is designed to encourage people to push beyond their limits, and to celebrate the spirit of doing more than what you thought was ever possible. Especially in the next 17 days when the world watches the best athletes on the planet defy expectations, Nike enables Filipinos with the opportunity to do the same through the Unlimited Stadium, innovations and the Nike+ community.”

Up running on the track

With one of the organizers of the run

Group pic

You can join and discover your unlimited potential through Nike+ challenges, powered by the Nike+ Running and Training Club apps, available for download at the Apple and Android store. The Unlimited Stadium is located along 32nd Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

A view from 32nd street

For more information on the challenges and schedule of events at the Unlimited Stadium, go to www.nike.com/manila on 5 August, or call the hotline at 02- 463-4814.

Unlimited Colorway (Press Release)

Nike released its Unlimited Colorway collection, with selected styles available in the Philippines. The colors used in the collection represent not only the unlimited athletic abilities of each individual, but also the way in which Nike views the world: bursting with unlimited inspiration and design possibilities.

The Unlimited Colorway collection will be available in selected Nike stores and will be offered across the Running, Training, Basketball, and Nike Sportswear categories.

The following selection of styles from the Unlimited Colorway collection is available at the Nike Park BGC and Nike Stadium Glorietta 2:


  • Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit (P8,095)
  • Nike LunarGlide 8 (P6,295)
  • Nike Free RN (P5,295)
  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 (P6,295)
  • Nike Zoom Streak 6 (P5,795)


  • Nike Air Zoom KD9 (P7,645)
  • Nike Hyperdunk Flyknit 2016 (P9,895)

Women’s Training

  • Nike Metcon 2 (P6,745)

Nike Sportswear

  • Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit (P8,995)

To access Nike’s latest innovations, consumers are encouraged to sign up as a Nike+ member and receive the best of Nike’s services at www.nike.com/manila on 5 August. Share your experience with #JustDoIt and #UnlimitedManila.



ROX Bike For A Cause and Bike Fair 2016

R.O.X. is holding a month-long Bike Fair from July 15 to August 15, 2016. There will be special promos and discounts on partner brands, as well as bike outs in certain areas in the Philippines.

Aside from these activities, ROX is putting together a donation drive for old bicycle equipment like helmets, gloves, jerseys, and pads. These used gears will be given to the Concepcion Integrated School to further help the beneficiaries make the most out of their bicycling experience. The donation boxes will be set up in areas around your nearest R.O.X. stores. R.O.X. customers who don’t bike but want to help can buy bicycle equipment to donate specifically to the beneficiary school.

The culmination of the Bike Fair will be the Bike for A Cause which will be held on August 14, 2016 at the CDC Parade Grounds in Clark, Pampanga. Registration for this much anticipated charity cycling event is PHP 700 and PHP 800 for the 30 km and 50 km rides, respectively.

Participants will not only receive an event singlet, a race bib number, a cycling cap, snacks, and a raffle ticket for prizes, they will also be part in giving students of Concepcion Integrated School a better quality of life. The proceeds for this pedal with a purpose event will directly go to supplying bike racks to the school.

The Bike for a Cause registration period is up to August 7, 2016! Head on to R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street or R.O.X. MarQuee Mall this weekend to secure your slot for this big charity cycling event on August 14, 2016 in CDC Parade Grounds, Clark, Pampanga.

Proceeds will benefit the students from Concepcion Integrated School in San Simon, Pampanga with the aid of Bikes For The Philippines.

Register still ongoing at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street and R.O.X. MarQuee until August 7, 2016 only.
Registration Fees:
30KM – Php700
50KM – Php800

Registration fee includes Bike For a Cause jersey, cycling cap, free snacks and one raffle entry for a chance to win premium R.O.X. items!

Rolling Out The Good Vibes With R.O.X. Bike Fair 2016! (PRESS RELEASE)

They say you can’t buy happiness, but you CAN buy a bike and that’s pretty close. This year, R.O.X. (Recreational Outdoor eXchange) is bringing a whole lot of happiness to the people by bringing back the hugely successful R.O.X. Bike Fair this July 15 to August 15!

What started as a small bike out attended by 200 people in 2012, has grown to be a well attended event, with a crowd of about 1,500 this year. Large bike organizations and outdoor enthusiasts are excited to be part of a comprehensive, fun and truly memorable bike event that will be talked about long after the last pedal has been pushed.

While many people love taking their bikes out in Manila, there are more and more groups in different regions in the Philippines who appreciate a good bike out. Nuvali, Baguio, Cagayan De Oro and Davao are the destinations to go to during the Bike Fair. The scenic routes are absolutely stunning and worth the trip to get there.

To get people ready for the bike rides ahead, your favorite outdoor brands in R.O.X. are rolling out discounts and promos for two weeks. Good gear is a good investment and for serious cyclists who want to maximize their performance as well as stay safe on the road, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on essentials that they need for their hobby.

Of course when you get your new gear, you might not have room for your old ones. Aside from the ongoing bike sale, R.O.X. is also having a donation drive for used gear that you will not need.  Old helmets, gloves, pads, jerseys, and other equipment are collected for the beneficiaries of the R.O.X. Bike for a Cause 2016 which will be held on August 14, 2016 at the CDC Parade Grounds in Clark, Pampanga. For those who don’t have old bike gear but still want to help out, you can buy bicycle equipment in the store and donate them instead.

Since 2013, the R.O.X. Bike for a Cause has been a major event that the team has worked on. In cooperation with Bikes for the Philippines, they have been able to give out bike racks and hundreds of bicycles to well deserving schools. Sometimes, the students in these schools walk for hours regardless of the weather condition just to get to class and it takes its toll on their studies and quality of life.

The Concepcion Integrated School in Pampanga has been the recipient of this initiative, and it has changed the lives of the students more than we can ever imagine. The chosen students are trained how to maintain their bicycles and how to be safe on the road. It is a responsibility and an honor to be a beneficiary, something that they will carry for the rest of their lives.


Organique Acai: The Super Food Supplement

With all the new health drinks and exotic fruit blends being introduced in the market, you’d think you already know every single possible fruit that had been juiced… right? The tallest palm tree in the Amazon jungles called “Acai” (pronounced ah-sah-ee) bearing dark purple berries has been used for centuries to help cleanse and detoxify the whole body. This “superfood” prompted husband and wife, Elton and Cathy Salimbangon to introduce the Organique Acai Premium Blend way back in 2010.

Johnnny Litton hosting the Organique Acai Food Supplement yesterday at Makati-Shangrila

Yesterday at the Makati-Shangrila Hotel, Organique Inc. introduced to media and bloggers the “minted makeover” packaging of Organique’s Acai Food Supplement, as well as its newest celebrity endorser, supermodel and role model Tweetie De Leon Gonzalez.

Tweetie was more than happy to be the new advocate of Organique Acai Premium Blend. “Organique Acai Premium Blend keeps me feeling good, keeping my acid reflux at bay,” she said during the media launch yesterday. Even during out of town trips, she makes sure she takes a small bottle containing the liquid supplement for her daily dose.

Organique Acai’s new Celebrity Endorser, Ms. Tweetie De Leon

The Acai berries is small, dark purple in color that have been a staple in the diet of the indigenous people of Brazil for centuries. They consume it regularly and it is what they use to remedy aches and pains, from infection to stomach problems.

Touted by many as the king of superfoods, the acai berry is rich in antioxidants which combats cell damage.

“It’s basically a cellular approach, our cells are being attacked by free radicals from the pollutants around us, antioxidants help repair them,” Cathy simplifies.

“So your body is replenished and functions better overall. You have more energy, signs of aging are delayed, your immune system is strengthened,” she adds.

Organique Acai co-founder, Cathy Salimbangon during the media interview yesterday. (Photo credit: Mader Rikki Suarez)

Bloggers attending the Organique Acai’s New Look

Acai berries also contain omega oils which is necessary for the proper function of the brain and cardiovascular system. “It has all the basic vitamins and minerals that our body needs aside from being high in dietary fiber.”

I have been a user of this product ever since it was introduce here early last year and it has been a staple to my regular take on vitamins and a dietary supplement to my running.

The Acai Food Supplement with their old packaging

This antioxidant-rich fruit has been heralded for centuries as a healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting fruit. An exotic relative of the blueberry and cranberry, research has shown that this antioxidant-rich berry may be able to support in the prevention of diseases associated with oxidative damage, not to mention many other health benefits.

The Salimbangon’s company called Organique, Inc. is based in California as it manufactures and distributes the full line of pure Açaí berry products formulated to the ideal standards of native Brazilians. This main product is called the Organique Acai Premium Blend. It’s fully concentrated and made from the finest all natural ingredients, FULL of antioxidants blended to perfection without preservatives and artificial additives. Also being introduced is the Organique Acai Freeze-Dried Capsules 650mg, composed of pure acai freeze-dried powder. It contains no fillers and other chemicals.

Organique Acai’s new look!

As the company grew and evolved, the Salimbangons felt the need for their packaging to do the same. “In order to thrive in a global market, we enlisted the help of a top designer we met during the Organic and Natural Health Show in London last year,”says Cathy.

“This new label incorporates nature in a simple yet elegant manner. With this, we aim to reach consumers worldwide and showcase our premium-quality organic products.”

Organique Acai’s new packaging

With the new packaging comes the newest celebrity endorser, no less than supermodel and former actress Tweetie De Leon Gonzalez! Tweetie exemplifies the brand’s values. She has maintained a healthy lifestyle, and at the age of 52, is now reaping the benefits. She is a working mother of four who not only built herself a career as a supermodel, but as a businesswoman as well. She is the epitome of the saying, ‘Health is wealth.’

Acai Celebrity Endorser, Tweetie De Leon

Exercise and dance instructor celebrity Regine Tolentino is also a firm believer of its healing powers that aids recovery after her strenuous fitness classes.

Benefits of Drinking Organique Acai Premium Blend

  1. Helps build a strong body by providing protein – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend has more proteins than an average egg. Proteins are the primary components of some hormones and body tissues, including muscles and organs. Proteins also make up the outer layers of hair, nail and skin.
  2. Cleanses and detoxifies the body – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend has been used for centuries to cleanse the body of contaminants.
  3. Enhances muscle contractions and muscle regeneration – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend has mix of essential amino acids and trace minerals that are vital for strength and recovery after strenuous activities.
  4. Increases energy and enhances stamina – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s nutrients and large amount of natural lipids provide needed energy to engage in competitive sports and tackle daily chores.
  5. Stress relief – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend can help regulate stress levels and repair the body.
  6. Improves sexual health – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can counter infertility due to stress, pollution and factors related to free radicals.
  7. Aids body synergy – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s immune-system-strengthening qualities help protect the entire body.
  8. A potent anti-aging food – the regenerative nutrients and strong antioxidants in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend keep cells operating optimally and may slow aging.
  9. May help prevent prostate enlargement – the antioxidant punch of Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend may be a powerful weapon in the fight against benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate.
  10. Helps prevent osteoporosis in women – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend has a significant amount of Calcium, which helps strengthen the bones, prevent fractures and can help prevent osteoporosis.
  11. Ease menstrual cycles – Women who experience extreme menstrual pain can also benefit from Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend. Calcium-rich foods help coat the lining of the stomach and uterus and help reduce the pain from cramps and bloating.
  12. May help prevent causes of heart diseases – the berry contains the antioxidant, polyphenols, a principal source of heart protection. One anthocyanin, cyaniding-2-glucoside, may improve the production of nitric oxide (NO) in endothelial cells. It does not allow vessel walls to relax and expand, resulting in less stress on the heart, decreased risk of vessel blockage and an increased blood flow.
  13. Reduces bad cholesterol – in addition to its high antioxidant content, Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs). A large body of research indicates that EFAs help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol while supporting levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol, which can lead to better blood circulation.
  14. Sterols may lower blood pressure (BP) – sterols are components of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the human body. Sterols are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with BP.
  15. Protects blood vessels – the anthocyanins in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend protect small and large blood vessels, including veins, arteries and capillaries.
  16. Help thwart retinopathy – in diabetes, weak capillaries can lead to a condition called retinopathy, which often leads to blindness. Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend helps protect capillaries.
  17. Improves glucose and lipid levels – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s lower glycemic index improves glucose and lipid level in diabetics.
  18. Weight control –  Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s low glycemic index also helps control appetite and delay hunger, which can help individuals trying to lose weight.
  19. Improve resistance to diseases – by boosting the immune system, Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s rich nutrient profile helps boost the body’s natural defenses.
  20. Improved function of immune cells – recent findings published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine indicate that Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s beta-sitosterol prevents immune suppression and modulates the lymphocyte activity.
  21. Prevents free-radical damage to the immune system – free radical damage (or oxidation) is one of the primary causes of immune weakness or dysfunction.
  22. Can thwart viruses, bacterial infections and funguses –  Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend can reduce the frequency of infectious diseases.
  23. Acts as an antimutagenic – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s antioxidant properties help prevent damage to DNA, which lowers the risk posed by carcinogens and mutagens.
  24. Improved digestion – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s dietary fiber helps promote the health of the digestive tract, including colon.
  25. Overcomes acid-reflux diseases (GERD) – The broad array of antioxidants in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend may help protect and repair the lower esophagus damaged by GERD, and its acid-suppression effects reduce the acidity of stomach contents when reflux does occur.
  26. Heals ulcers – the antibacterial properties of Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s kills bad bacteria, fungi and parasites, including H. pylori, the ulcer-causing bacteria.
  27. Helps relieves symptoms of Crohn’s disease – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s anti-inflammatory abilities may prevent the mal-absorption of vital nutrients by preventing damage to the wall of the small intestine.
  28. Improves skin tone – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s phytosterols helps reduce the erosion of the skin’s protective coating.
  29. Defends against premature wrinkles – because it is so high in anthocyanins and phytosterols, Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend helps protect connective tissues, including collagen.
  30. May thwart cancer – the antioxidant protection of Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend may lower cancer risk for several types, including breast, lung, skin and stomach cancers, by neutralizing free radicals before they can damage cells.
  31. Reduces arthritis pain – anti-inflammatory properties of Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend may offer relief of arthritis suffers.
  32. Relieves symptoms of asthma – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties found to improve symptoms of asthma.
  33. May reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease – the 2004 study from the Archives of Neurology found a reduced risk or Alzheimer’s disease with increased amounts of vitamin C and E found in Açaí Berry.
  34. Aids vision – the beta carotene and C in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend promote eye health, including reducing the complications of macular degeneration in diabetics.
  35. Helps maintain healthy teeth and gums – the calcium in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend may mean a whiter smile and stronger teeth, as well as the prevention of gingivitis and other gum diseases.
  36. Improves mental clarity – Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend’s omega-3 fats are crucial for proper mental function and alertness.
  37. Better sleep – the vitamin B and other nutrients in Organíque Açaí Berry Premium Blend reduce stress and help brain cells communicate by assisting with the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
  38. Promotes overall wellness.

The recommended dose of Organique Acai Premium Blend is 30-60ml per day depending on the health conditions of the person. “If you’re down with something, you can double dose or triple dose it because you need more nutrients when you’re sick. It is best taken with an empty stomach — pure, with water, with ice or added to your smoothie,” suggests Cathy.

Organique Acai Premium Blend is also distributed in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and the Middle East. Each 946-ml bottle sells for P2,500 at Mercury Drug, Pure Pharmacy, Robinson’s Supermarket, South Star Drug, Watsons.

For more information, log on to www.organique.com.ph or call (02) 4703580/(0922) 888 7884. For social media updates, type “Organique Acai” on Facebook, “@organiqueacai” on Twitter and “organiqueacai” on Instagram.