Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Right Way

He will make a way, when there seems to be no way

He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.

With love and strength with each new day

He will make a way

He will make a way

Friday, November 13, 2009

Asthma Attacks!

My son, Gavin, has been labelled asthmatic by his paediatrician when we came back for follow-up a week after he was out of the hospital for Bronchopneumonia. We have been a regular on his clinic from then on.

He put him on every regimen his medical nutty brain could ever think of. He prescribed Clenbuterol and Citirizine (an anti-asthma and antihistamine respectively) as a starter. It did not work, so we have to visit him, yet again. He placed him on anti-asthma therapy after another but to no avail. He is, as always, recurrently ill. It came to a point when he has to be on Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI’s) and higher generation of antihistamines. Unfortunately, the asthma attacks were back after four frigging days of being well.

I was sick of it, all those barmy medical experiments to treat my son’s illness. However, I don’t know what else to do. I, as a disciple of medicine, forced myself to believe that he will restore to health sooner or later. I waited in vain. Nothing.

In desperation, I welcomed every non-medical practice there is to treat asthma. One morning, mom suggested we give him Malunggay (Moringa in English). So we extracted the juice of the leaf put some honey and citrus and gave it orally to Gavin, drop by drop, about 10 to 15 cc twice that day. After 24 hours, I noticed the improvement. Coughs weren’t as frequent anymore. We gave him another 20 to 30 cc in two divided doses and voila! After the third day, coughs are gone and he is gaining weight more rapidly than he ever gained the past months. This miraculous veggie is, beyond doubt, God given.

I was curious how this tiny leaves healed my son’s asthma. I searched about it in the net and Google gave me these answers:

Leaves and pods of Moringa oleifera can be an extremely valuable source of nutrition for people of all ages. For a child aged 1-3, a 100 gram serving of fresh leaves would provide all his daily requirements of calcium, about 75% of his iron and half his protein needs, as well as important supplies of potassium, B complex vitamins, copper and all the essential amino acids. As little as 20 grams of fresh leaves would provide a child with all the vitamins A and C he needs.

For pregnant and breast-feeding women, Moringa leaves and pods can do much to preserve the mother's health and pass on strength to the fetus or nursing child. One portion of leaves could provide a woman with over a third of her daily need of calcium and give her important quantities of iron, protein, copper, sulfur and B vitamins. Just 20 grams of fresh leaves will satisfy all her daily requirement of vitamin C. For both infants and mothers, pods can be an important source of fiber, potassium, copper, iron, choline, vitamin C and all the essential amino acids.

Malnourished children can benefit from addition of Moringa leaves to their diet. The high concentrations of iron, protein, copper, various vitamins and essential amino acids present in Moringa leaves make them a virtually ideal nutritional supplement.

Moringa leaves can be dried and made into a powder by rubbing them over a sieve. Drying should be done indoors and the leaf powder stored in an opaque, well-sealed plastic container since sunlight will destroy vitamin A. It is estimated that only 20-40% of vitamin A content will be retained if leaves are dried under direct sunlight, but that 50-70% will be retained if leaves are dried in the shade. 9 This powder can be used in place of fresh leaves to make leaf sauces, or a few spoonfuls of the powder can be added to other sauces just before serving. Addition of small amounts of leaf powder will have no discernible effect on the taste of a sauce. In this way, Moringa leaves will be readily available to improve nutritional intake on a daily basis. One rounded soup (table) spoon of leaf powder will satisfy about 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and nearly all the vitamin A needs for a child aged one to three. Six rounded spoonfuls of leaf powder will satisfy nearly all of a woman's daily iron and calcium needs during times of pregnancy and breast-feeding.

If one rounded tablespoon of powder is added to an infant's food, three times daily, the 25g of leaf powder will give him roughly the following in terms of RDA:

• Protein: 42%

• Calcium: 125%

• Magnesium: 61%

• Potassium: 41%

• Iron: 71%

• Vitamin A: 272%

• Vitamin C: 22%

During periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding, women are most at risk of suffering from nutritional deficiences. If a woman consumed six rounded tablespoons of leaf powder per day during these times, she would receive roughly the following in terms of RDA:

• Protein: 21%

• Calcium: 84%

• Magnesium: 54%

• Potassium: 22%

• Iron: 94%

• Vitamin A: 143%

• Vitamin C: 9%


One hundred grams or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g. protein, 0.6 g. fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg ß-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C. The antioxidant activity of malunggay is about 71%, with µ-tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalent of 45.

Malunggay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron. It is even an excellent source of protein, being higher than the amino acid pattern of Food and Agriculture Organization-reference protein, yet contains very low fat and carbohydrates. The leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, often the natural minerals human lack.

Due to its high vitamins A, C, and E, which are very potent antioxidants, malunggay is a very good quencher of unstable free radicals that can react with and damage molecules that cause aging. Antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. They also prevent the onset of various chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, and heart and kidney diseases.

Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminin, which is found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells (Faizi et al., 1992) and correlated with inhibitory ability against superoxide generation. The first naturally-occuring thiocarbamates, novel hypotensive agent niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B were isolated from malunggay.

Malunggay is called “miracle vegetable” because it is not just a food, it is also a medicine. It may therefore be a “functional food”. Malunggay promotes good eyesight, digestion, facilitates bowel movement, and is a cure for stomach ache.

It is also used to cleanse wounds and ulcers. It helps alleviate scurvy, asthma, earache, and headaches. For its high calcium content, lactating mothers are advised to eat malunggay leaves to produce more milk.

The leaves taste like spinach (Contains three times the iron of spinach. Also, a Moringa dried leaf has over ten times more nutrients than a fresh Moringa leaf, confirmed by universities and independent research laboratory analyses.), and its fruit produces a vegetable, like asparagus. Both contain Vitamin C (seven times more than found in oranges) and other minerals. Sajina contains seven times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges, four times as much calcium as milk (A substitute for whole milk powder.) and three times the potassium of bananas. Moringa has quadruple amount of beta Carotene found in carrots, which is good for eyesight, and effective against treating cancer

Also, University laboratories around the world have shown Moringa ability to purify water. The process by which, it attaches itself to harmful material and bacteria. Afterwards, waste is expelled. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. Other known health benefits include: Strengthening immune system, blood pressure controlled, reducing arthritis pains and inflammations, restricting the growth of tumors, managing diabetes sugar level, and treating headaches and migraines. Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminn, found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells. The edible parts of Malunggay (leaves, pods, and flowers) are served with meals or converted to a powder, used as a food supplement.

You see, it heals. And I’m a believer!

Friday, October 16, 2009

In His Time

I finished my College degree October of 2006 and passed the local boards few months after. The following year, I completed all the exams required for me to legally practice my profession in the States. But look at me now; I am at home in front of the computer, jobless! But then again, does whining about it helped a bit? Yes, it did. Until I’ve read this inspiring story:

Trees That Wood
Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" ... and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

Do I have to conclude? God is great, no questions about it.

I love You so much

Thursday, October 15, 2009

God always finds a way to cheer me up when all hopes seem to be drained. Read this story and may it enlighten you the same way that it did me:

 Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

There was a time in my life when hardships made me like an egg, bitter and insensitive. As time goes and adversities seem to keep coming, it made me a carrot. I became sensitive and faithless. When my little Gavin came, everything’s changed. He brought me closer to God and my faith has been revived. Hence, I enjoyed life a little bit more and it made me realize my worth. I am a mom; I have my son who needs me to be strong more than anything else. Thank you my precious one for making me a coffee bean.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gavin Turns 8

Kids, these days, grow up so fast. From a puny 2.9-kilogram baby boy, my little Gavin now weigh more than thrice his birth weight and measures more than twice his length at birth. It is very fulfilling to see him grow into a young man. I, as a proud mom, am on-track of his development. From a loud, nerve-racking cry when he was a neonate, he can now convey several clearly-differentiated emotions –shows dismay over a loss of a toy, laughs out loud when delighted, hugs if he needs to be lulled to sleep. I know there is going to be a lot more to come as he officially turns 8. I cannot wait! He’s grown a lot. Here are the things he managed to do during his 7th month. Our Baby Gavin:

• grasps small objects by using his thumb and index or forefinger

• uses his first finger to poke or point

• tries to accomplish simple goals (seeing and then crawling to a toy)

• looks for an object he watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that falls under the table)

• babbles, but it sometimes "sounds like" talking
• said his first word (dadadadada)

• Understands object permanence

• recognizes family members' names

• tries to "talk" to me

• shows affection to familiar adults

• raises his arms when he wants to be picked up

• Waves goodbye

• Passes objects from hand to hand

• Says "mama" and "dada" to both parents (isn't specific)

• Indicates wants with gestures

• Stood on “four feet”

• And, just a couple of days before he turns 8, he lunged forward and started crawling =)

• Cut his third tooth (right upper central incisor)

Just grow, son. We're here for you all the way.  We love you, anak!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


All these Lord, nothing else.

I pray you'll be our eyes, and watch us where we go.
And help us to be wise in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe
I pray we'll find your light and hold it in our hearts.
to remember us that when stars go out each night, you are eternal star
Let this be our prayer when shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

We dream a world without violence a world of justice and faith.
Everyone gives the hand to his neighbours
Symbol of peace, of fraternity
We ask that life be kind and watch us from above
We hope each soul will find another soul to love

Let this be our prayer just like every child
Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
It's the faith you light in us
I feel it will save us

Excerpt from The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)

I planned on breastfeeding my son until he reaches 2 years of age. But when I attended a Dialysis Training program in Manila, I just have to wean him to bottle. Naturally, a mother only wants what’s best for her baby. So I run into the computer and did my research on the best feeding bottle available in the market. That’s when I learned about Avent feeding bottles and teats. It has a hundred percent positive consumer feedback and great reviews from buyers. Furthermore, I came to know that more moms pay for this product than Playtex, Dr. Brown, Breastflow, and any other leading brands.

Therefore, I headed into the nearest SM Department Store, set in my mind, to purchase this product. I was stunned to find out that it costs Php 600 each. Well, Of course, quality comes with a price. How haven’t I thought of it? I intended to buy half a dozen but since my money couldn’t afford it, I went home with nothing. It really disappointed me, since then. Until I remembered about EBay, many things are offered cheap in the site so I might as well take a shot. I was right; I found the same brand in a lot-of-three pack for only Php 900, that’s 50% cheaper than the department-store tag.

Reviews are accurate. The product is really excellent. My little Gavin became less colicky because of its built-in anti-colic valve and, its wide neck made filling and cleaning a lot simple. Its few parts made it easy to sanitize, sterilize, and travel with. And, no matter how many times it is dropped, it never seems to break. The wide teat is comfortable in the baby's mouth and helps the infant control the speed of the feed. They are plain with uninventive design but that is where the criticism ends. It is really fantastic, fabulous, and all the good adjectives in the dictionary. Definitely worth every penny.

For orders go to this site: