3 Crucial Differences Between Healthy and Toxic Marriage

We all know that finding the person who complements you and finds your little quirky habits appealing is definitely one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. But sometimes, when you’re so drunk in love, you also tend to settle. You end up compromising your standards to fit your partner’s capabilities, and you unknowingly turn a blind eye on the red flags of an unhealthy relationship — yes, even if you’re already married.

Manhattan-based clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D says that toxic relationships usually start with intense passion and attraction until it becomes controlling in the long run. “That makes it much more difficult for the person to push back or leave the relationship until it really starts to escalate,” he adds. If your marriage is showing signs decay, recognize the signs early so you can overturn your relationships for the better.

Healthy relationships understand the importance of apologizing; toxic relationships play the blame game.
Anne Brennan Malec, Psy.D., a Chicago-based clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why it Works, When it Works explains that the reason some people don’t want to say sorry is because it makes them feel vulnerable or flawed.

Couples who are in a healthy and mature union wouldn’t mind swallowing their pride when there’s trouble in paradise; both parties will strive to be the bigger and better person by acknowledging their mistakes instead of passing the blame on to their partners.


Healthy relationships bring out the best in you; toxic relationships pull you down and drain you out.
Whether it’s good or bad, they say that the only thing constant in this world is change. You won’t be the same person you both were when you started dating so it’s important to accept the good things that come your way.

It may be in your career or life in general, if he can’t handle the way you’re growing into the woman you’re supposed to be, it will only lead to fights – and before you know it, you start to bend your ways just to satisfy his ego.


A healthy relationship is a two-way street; a toxic relationship is only focused on the benefit of one person.
Remember that there are two people in the relationship – not just one; so if he shuts you down when you try to speak you mind, you’ll only end up bottling all your emotions inside which can be dangerous to your health.

A study conducted by psychologists from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester found that “suppressing emotions may increase the risk of dying from heart disease and certain forms of cancer.” Aside from that, it can also take a toll on your mental health. “Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment,” says Tori Rodriguez, a psychotherapist and writer based in Atlanta.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Christmas is just a few weeks away and we couldn’t be more excited. It is, without a doubt, the best time of the year and everyone else is either getting a headstart on shopping for presents or decking their home out in glorious decor. No need to worry if you can’t feel the holiday spirit yet, we’ve listed down a few simple tasks that can help you get your home into the groove:

1. Deep clean your kitchen appliances.
The Christmas season is a string of long cooking sessions and prepping hearty meals for the family, hence, kitchen appliances can take a beating during this holiday. Don’t forget to make a few adjustments before the merriments kick in by washing the microwave tray, rinsing the dishwasher, and degreasing the stovetop.

2. Make your home slip and fall-proof for the kids.
From sweet treats to exciting presents, the holiday season has kids jumping and running around the house all the time. To avoid unfortunate accidents and painful boo-boos, it’s best to fix loose treads on the stairs, hammer lifted deck boards, using double-sided tape to stick down slippery rugs and softening sharp furniture corners with store-bought padding.

3. Double check your electrical outlets, fuse box, and extension cords.
The festive season is all about putting up blinking lights and glowing Christmas décor pieces!
Avoid possible fire hazards by inspecting your home for grounded outlets, faulty smoke detectors, and dangerous wiring. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher on-hand just in case.

4. Stock up on cheap (but affordable) dinnerware.
We’ll let you in on a secret — disposable dishes are a host’s best friend. Aside from cutting down your cleaning time, it wouldn’t be as heartbreaking if a piece shatters from an accident over dinner. Keeping your kitchen cabinets filled with one-time-use goods is also a great way to preserve your fancy China.

5. Divide cooking and cleaning duties among the family members.
Here’s a golden rule to follow: those who eat but don’t cook must clean. This gives everyone room to take a break and socialize with guests without having to think about doing other chores.

This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Blood to be given to pregnant women will be tested for Zika virus – DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) issued new guidelines recommending that blood to be given to pregnant women be screened for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to severe fetal brain defects. Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said that while the main mode of transmission of the virus has been through the bite of an infected mosquito, confirmed cases abroad showed that the disease could be
transferred through sexual contact and blood transfusion. An infected pregnant mother can also transmit the virus to her unborn baby.

The post Blood to be given to pregnant women will be tested for Zika virus – DOH appeared first on Inquirer News.

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Look! Cool Doll Versions of Heart, Marian and More

Heart Evangelista was “ecstatic” when she saw her doll version on Instagram two days ago. She reposted, “…It’s meeee! Well, Barbie me!”

Alvin Dave Ocampo created the doll using, as inspiration, Heart’s look at the wedding of her sister Camille Ongpauco two weeks ago. Heart wore a Mark Bumgarner gown.

In an interview with Ocampo via Instagram Direct, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) learned that the 23-year-old designer started making doll dresses in 2011, and he can finish one simple mini-gown in a day.

Ocampo is a big fan of fashion designers Francis Libiran, Michael Cinco, Rajo Laurel, Albert Andrada, and Mark Bumgarner. “I’m hoping to meet them soon, and be one of them,” he told PEP.

Here are his other mini-creations:

Marian Rivera

The Far Eastern University alumnus also had his own version of the Kapuso Primetime Queen’s wedding gown. It took him two months to finish “Marian, the bride doll.”

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla

It took Ocampo three months to finish recreating Kathryn’s intricate Michael Cinco gown, which she wore in Star Magic Ball 2015.

Anne Curtis

The Kapamilya star wore this dress for her movie The Gifted in 2014. She described it as her “‘ready for WAR-LA dress.”

Pia Wurtzbach

For the national costume portion of Miss Universe, our representative wore a detailed Capiz terno designed by Albert Andrada. It also comes with an equally detailed headpiece and a fan. Ocampo worked on his version for two weeks.

At the coronation night of Miss Universe 2015, Pia wore a royal blue gown. In an interview with Inquirer, the gown’s designer Albert Andrada related, “My inspiration for Pia’s costume and evening gown is all about ‘The Pearl of the Orient.’

“The mermaid gown has a very simple front because I want Pia’s beautiful face to shine. The back reveals opulent details of sun rays made of beads, sequins and crystals, which represent the sun rising in the middle of a serene blue sea.”

It only took a day for Ocampo to recreate Pia’s winning look.

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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New Workout Trend! Get Fit by Crawling Like Your Baby

When we were young (and didn’t know any better), we hated nap time; and now, we’re not even sure how we’re getting by without it — especially after having kids (which is also the reason why we can’t seem to find the time to exercise!). Worry not. This new fitness trend echoes the same nostalgic sentiment, and it’s called Crawling.


Yup, you read that right: crawling just like what a baby does, only more challenging. According to Original Strength — a fitness system “that encourages people to practice the movement patterns found in young children” — adults should practice “pressing reset” when it comes to the body.



The rationale behind the fitness regime is that crawling reminds your body (and mind) of how it was like to learn how to walk as a child, which isn’t just beneficial to “developing a healthy gait pattern,” but also to channel your sillier, more adventurous side. Plus, it’s something we’ve all done before, so the exercise is accessible to people of all ages, fitness levels, and body sizes.


This doesn’t mean that crawling is easy though. Like other forms of exercise, crawling has several variations you can try out if you want to make it more challenging. The cross-crawl is when you walk in place while you touch opposing sides of your elbows and knees. The baby-style crawl is when you’re crawling around on just your hands and toes. And of course, you can drag weights around to push yourself harder.


This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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Lead-tainted products to be phased out Dec. 31

To mark the 10-week countdown to the Dec. 31 phase-out of lead-containing products like paint, toxics watchdog EcoWaste Coalition led a “Zombie Run” at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on Sunday and called on sellers and distributors to rally behind removing lead as a material for some of their products. Kids and teens covered in lead-safe paints were the highlights of Sunday’s activity, which was inspired by the hit US television series “The Walking Dead.” Dubbed the “toxic zombies,” some of participants performed a “Walking Lead” number while the rest ran for “health and safety.”

The post Lead-tainted products to be phased out Dec. 31 appeared first on Inquirer News.

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Mt. Bulusan’s ashfalls threaten crops, people’s health in 3 Sorsogon towns

Four times during the past week, Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon belched out gray ash plumes in a series of minor phreatic (steam-driven) eruptions that sent ashfalls over villages in the
towns of Bulusan, Casiguran and Irosin, threatening crops and endangering the health of some residents. Antonio Bañares, 64, a resident of Barangay (village) Central in Bulusan town near the slope of the volcano said he had thought the ash falling from the sky last week was just drizzle.

The post Mt. Bulusan’s ashfalls threaten crops, people’s health in 3 Sorsogon towns appeared first on Inquirer News.

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7 Local Innovations that will Make You Proud to be Pinoy

Filipinos are great innovators, adept at coming up with practical and ingenious solutions to everyday problems. However, due to limited funding and support, these local innovators rarely see their products go to market.

This is why Newton Agham, the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are all working together to develop the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF). The LIF Programme in the Philippines is a partnership between the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering and DOST. AIM delivers the training locally. The program is also offered in other Newton Fund countries.

LIF aims to equip scientists and engineers with knowledge about entrepreneurship, so that they can turn their innovations into products that can be sold in the market.

Check out the innovations developed by some of this year’s LIF fellows—and yes, some of these innovations can give Google Maps, Microsoft, and Tesla a run for their money.


Say goodbye to bulky monitors and flat-screens. With SmartSurface, one can turn any surface, such as a wall or a table surface, into an interactive screen for learning, presentation, and even play purposes. SmartSurface primarily wants to “change the world one tap at a time” by creating a classroom environment that is feasible for interaction, says its innovator Dr. Nestor Michael Tiglao. He and his team already have an existing prototype and patent for this innovation, and are now on to product development and market validation.

Ginhawa by ReliefVent

Unknown to most, there is a lack of ventilators in the intensive care units of public hospitals in the Philippines. These life-saving devices are bulky and often come at a cost, which is why most public hospitals can’t afford to have one. This prompted critical care specialist Dr. Abundio Balgos and his team to develop a lightweight and easy-to-use ventilator called Ginhawa. Ginhawa also has a back-up battery, which makes it ideal as a transport and home ventilator. Currently, Balgos’ startup called ReliefVent is in need of an additional Php 20 million funding. “We want to be a self-sustaining startup and not depend on government funding,” adds Balgos.

PinPoint by Tech2Go

Having a basic GPS (global positioning system) tracking device in vehicles is not something to be proud of anymore. “Why do we limit ourselves to this technology?” says Dr. Proceso Fernandez Jr., the innovator of PinPoint, which boasts of an accurate multi-sensor tracking system, with initial use to prevent vehicle theft and other forms of vehicle-related theft. Then, it is improved to have an integrative geo-tracking system, which can now sync camera and microphone functions. This feature, says Fernandez, can help in both traffic management and vehicular accident reporting. Fernandez built a startup company called Tech2Go so that they can further develop related technologies around PinPoint.


Heart and vascular diseases remain the top killer diseases in the world, even in the Philippines. Who among us doesn’t have a relative who has had a heart attack? What’s worse, one in five survivors will die within one year after their first heart attack without proper cardiac rehabilitation, says Engr. Gianinna Santos. This prompted Santos and her team to develop HeartSmart, a stand-alone and adaptive exercise training system for cardiac rehabilitation. Since HeartSmart fully automates the cardiac rehabilitation process, doctors and therapists can now take on more patients at a time, making them productive and efficient.

Jolt by JouleBank

Power banks and other energy storage technologies are now as ubiquitous as smartphones. But the Jolt energy storage system by startup company JouleBank is more than just a power bank—it’s a power hub with dual-mode chargers and solar panels which can then be integrated into a home energy storage, communications and security system. “There’s a growing market for energy storage technologies, and Jolt has retail, commercial and emergency power purposes,” says its innovator Dr. Joey Ocon. He adds that his startup company JouleBank is on its way to develop more energy storage technologies, as it “wants to be the Tesla of energy storage in the Philippines.”


It can be quite expensive to set up a science lab, especially in public schools. This lack of science and research equipment in public schools is doing young, inquisitive Filipino minds a disservice. VISSER, which stands for Versatile Instrumentation System for Science Education and Research, aims to “put modern science laboratories in every high school and college,” says its innovator Dr. Giovanni Tapang. VISSER is a complete hardware and software solution which enables over 60 experiments in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. Tapang and his team are currently looking for licensees to help them manufacture the technology for distribution in public and private schools.


Bacterial skin infections are common in the Philippines. Traditional healers have used guava as a natural antibacterial solution, but it has yet to be fully utilized in medicine. Dr. Cecilia Maramba-Lazarte and her team at the Institute of Herbal Medicine, the same team that brought lagundi and sambong to the over-the-counter medicine market, developed a topical ointment made from guava called Guaviderm. Guaviderm, unlike antibiotics, has less chance of resistance to advanced skin infections due to its multiple antibacterial compounds. Currently, Maramba-Lazarte and her team are looking for licensees to help them mass-produce Guaviderm.

The Leaders in Innovation Fellowship of the AIM and DOST is open to any Filipino scientist, researcher or innovator who wants to develop a business proposition or a startup business for an existing technology or innovation. To know more about the program, visit its official website at excell.aim.edu/lif.

Toni Antiporda is a freelance business journalist and former deputy associate editor of Entrepreneur Philippines. You may reach her at toni.antiporda@gmail.com.

This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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There’s Finally an Amazing Swimsuit Line For Plus-Size Pinays

One of the best things about being in the tropics, and pretty much only having one season (hot) is the fact that we can wear swimsuits all year round! But until this year, plus-size Pinays didn’t have a lot of options when it comes to beachwear. And the few we did have were too tacky! Thank goodness for wonder twins Danah and Stacy Gutierrez! In collaboration with SXY, they recently came out with a new swimsuit line for plus-size women, and they are to die for!


Cosmo.ph spoke to the Gutierrez sisters to find out more about their collaboration: We met the girls behind SXY and it just happened! They made an offer and we couldn’t let such a wonderful opportunity pass. We’ve been eyeing their designs waaay before we even met up, so we knew we’d produce a very fierce and sexy collection with them.


On their favorites: “Gotta be The Madame and the Sultry Sugar! We think all shapes look great in them.”


On how they designed this collection: It’s very mature and far from our first collection. Our pieces are so versatile! We really designed this line in a way that lets women wear our pieces at the beach, but also on a night out in the city! Our clients can get creative, and style the pieces however they please.”


On the message they’re trying to send with this collection: “We want people to realize that not all bodies are meant to look the same. We also want Pinays to know that it’s important to respect your body enough to give it genuine TLC. If hitting the beach and soaking up the sun is one of the many activities you enjoy, go for it. Don’t let something as superficial as how your body looks in a bikini keep you from doing it.”


You can find and shop the entire collection here.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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Latest Metro Manila Traffic Schemes You Need to Know

Traffic in Metro Manila has gotten so bad it has become the status quo. EDSA is now the butt of jokes (just add water, i.e. heavy downpour, and you have instant traffic much like a cup of 3-in-1 coffee), memes (Buti pa sa EDSA, may forever), and even an excuse for when you’re running late. With this perennial problem, traffic management units in the Metro have come up with possible solutions to ease congestion in our streets. Sort of.

We round up recent impositions that you should take note of unless you want to be fined for not following the rules.

No more window hours along EDSA
Metro Manila Development Authority General Manager Tim Orbos announced on October 6 that the so-called “window hours” along EDSA and C5 Road are no longer in effect. This refers to the five-hour period, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (a.k.a. number-coding scheme) is temporarily lifted. The traffic management group is hoping that this will drop the volume of traffic along the two major roads by 20%.

Closed U-turn slots and counterflow along EDSA
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic tested a new traffic scheme along EDSA on September 5 and motorists were not too happy about it. The following changes were implemented:

  • Closure of U-Turn Slots Southbound near Trinoma after West Avenue to SM City Northbound
  • Closure/Removal of counterflow at Rockwell Flyover from Rockwell to EDSA
  • North Road is now one-way only from EDSA

UV Express is back on EDSA…with conditions

On July 28, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board prohibited UV Express vehicles from traversingÂEDSA. Commuters were relieved when theÂvansÂwere allowed back on the road on September 9 but with designated routes. Vehicles goingÂfrom Makati to south of the Metro are supposed to take the Skyway or South Luzon Expressway; those going to and from the east, south, and northeast of Metro Manila to the Cubao area are advised to take C5 Road and Aurora Boulevard; those going to and from the east of the Metro to Makati should take Kalayaan; and vans traversing the road beyond the North Triangle Area should take the Balintawak Interchange.

Number-coding in Parañaque
Parañaque City, which has been experiencing an “unacceptable” volume of traffic for the past five years, reimplemented the number-coding scheme on October 1. It bans private and public utility vehicles on selected weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the last digit of their plate numbers. The window period is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, trucks are banned on city streets from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Marikina and Muntinlupa are the only cities left that havenât imposed the number-coding traffic system.

Experimental odd/even traffic scheme in Pasig

The Pasig Command Center implemented an experimental odd/even traffic scheme in the city on September 1. Under the new rule, vehicles with even plate numbers are not allowed to enter the westbound side of Elisco Road on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; while vehicles with odd plate numbers are prohibited in the area every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Re-routing scheme along Marcos Highway
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on August 26 that more personnel were deployed alongÂMarcos Highway to address the traffic situation in the major thoroughfare traversing Marikina, Pasig, and Antipolo. In addition, the following re-routing schemes were implemented:

  • Vehicles coming from Cubao/Katipunan to Antipolo shall either take Aurora Boulevard, turn right to C.P. Garcia Avenue (C5), left at Ortigas Avenue extension to destination and vice versa; or A. Bonifacio Avenue (to Marikina City proper), straight to Sumulong Highway to destination and vice versa.
  • Vehicles coming from Antipolo to Quezon City shall take Ortigas Avenue extension, left at Kaytikling towards Taytay Palengke, East Bank Service Road, left at Legaspi Bridge, left at C. Raymundo to destination to vice versa.
  • Vehicles from Cainta, Rizal to C-5, Quezon City from Felix Avenue left at Kaginhawaan Street/Magsaysay Street, right at Amang Rodriguez Avenue, left at Calle Industria to C.P. Garcia (C5), to destination and vice versa.
  • Vehicles from Cainta, Rizal via Valley Golf to Cubao, Quezon City from Ortigas Avenue extension left Don Celso Tuazon Avenue, take Sumulong Highway to destination and vice versa.

One-way roads in Quezon City

The Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety announced on September 14 a new traffic management scheme and re-routing plan for Barangay South Triangle to ease traffic from Quezon Avenue to Welcome Rotonda. However, the new system is postponed indefinitelyÂdue to ongoing road works in the area.

Anti-littering and anti-jaywalking drive is stricter than ever
More than 100 MMDA personnel were deployed on October 3 to reinforce the anti-littering and anti-jaywalking drive in the Metro, specifically in crowded areas like Monumento, SM North, Cubao, Ortigas, EDSA-Taft, Guadalupe, and Coastal Road. Apprehended violators can either pay the P500 fine or render three to eight hours of community service. Payment can be done through bank deposit or atÂthe MMDA office at EDSA corner Orense Street in Guadalupe.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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