This 25-Year-Old Went From Housemaid to PMA Graduate

Meriam Libongcogon is part of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Class Salaknib (Sanggalang ay Lakas at Bukay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan). They graduate today, Sunday, March 12.

The Salaknib batch, which has eight women in the top 10, including the valedictorian, boasts the most number of female cadets (63) since women were accepted into the PMA 24 years ago.

Meriam’s story, though, deserves to be highlighted.

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“The 25-year-old Meriam is the second child (among six kids) of Mario (a carpenter) and Florida (a housewife) Libongcogon of Bambalan, Cebu,” reports Micaella Ilao on ABS-CBN News.

Meriam’s father’s income was not enough to support their family’s needs, so she learned to be industrious. After Meriam graduated from high school at age 15, she started working as a housemaid in order to fund her college studies in computer engineering.

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The report notes: “After being a housemaid in Cebu for three years, she transferred to Baguio City, where she met ‘Nanay Rose,’ the woman whom she considers her ‘foster parent.’ It was Nanay Rose who encouraged Meriam to join the PMA, and helped her enroll in the academy.”

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Meriam is set to join the Philippine Navy. She revealed that she plans to build a house for her parents in the future.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

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

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You’ve Never Seen a Thermometer Like This Before, Mom

Technology is advancing fast, and one of the many benefits it gives us is the added safety net in many areas of our lives. Pertaining to kids’ health in particular, these two news apps will alert you of an emergency and guide you on what you have to do next:

1. TempTraq

We know the anxiety that comes with having a little one sick at home. The nights when a child has a fever are sleepless ones for parents. The wee hours of the morning are spent soothing a flustered child and being constantly woken up by worry to check up on your child’s temperature. This is where TempTraq can help. A wearable thermometer and its accompanying app, TempTraq is a soft patch that you place under your child’s arm, near the armpit. For 24 hours, it will monitor and track your child’s temperature and send the information it collects to your phone via bluetooth.

Aside from giving you scheduled updates on your child’s temperature, it will also alert you if it’s getting fever spikes and high fever temperatures. If you’re giving your child fever medicine, you can also set it to remind you when it’s time to give your child a dose. TempTraq is definitely smarter than your average digital thermometer. It is single-use though, so the patch can only be used once. And for those wondering, big kids and adults can use it too. Check out the TempTraq website here.

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2. Sali (save-a-life)


Would you know what to do in the face of an emergency that requires CPR? A lot of Filipinos don’t, and with prompt emergency rescue still lacking in the Philippines, knowledge of basic first aid technique is crucial. This is how 2nd year college student Joel Alejandro, from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, thought to create Sali, a CPR app, reported Rappler.

An estimated 60,000 deaths are due to sudden cardiac arrest, says Joel, a third of which can be prevented with CPR. “Having universally accessible knowledge about CPR, users will be more capable and motivated in cases of emergency,” he explained on the Sali website.

Sali is one of the top 6 finalists of the Sandoz HACk Healthcare Access Challenge, “a global competition that seeks young people who have innovative ideas and solutions for healthcare access challenges,” reported Rappler. Wishing you all the luck, Joel!

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Having Dreams of Your Hubby Cheating Can Be a Sign Of Insecurity

What would you do if you had a bad dream about your significant other cheating on you? Before you panic and go on accusing him of something that hasn’t happened yet (or probably won’t anyway), know that having this kind of dream might only be masking something deeper.

According to Delphi Ellis, a qualified therapist and specialist in dream analysis, having dreams of a cheating partner may indicate your insecurities and your fear of being abandoned. While it’s fair to say we receive messages from our subconscious on many levels, this dream usually suggests a fear a partner will cheat, rather than evidence they’re actually doing that.

Another reason you’re having bad dreams about your partner is because he doesn’t notice you that much; and the lack of attention makes you overthink. Those thoughts manifest into your subconscious and later on, you start to dream about it.

She also adds, “This is particularly the case where someone has been unfaithful in the past in real life, reflecting an insecurity it could happen again. The dream is most common, ironically, when the relationship is going well.”

But what if it was the other way around? What if you were the one dreaming of another man? Deirdre Barrett, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Committee of Sleep, says it may be because you feel dissatisfied with your relationship, and you desire the kind of man you’re with in your dream. When you wake up, ask yourself what characteristics the stranger had, and whether or not those are traits you wish your husband possessed.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

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

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Kids Excited for Beauty and the Beast? They’ll Love This Magazine!

Prepare to once again be charmed by this tale as old as time with a magazine that reveals how the magic of the 1991 Disney animation was brought to life 26 years later!

Out now from Summit Media, the Philippine publisher of Disney publications such as Disney Princess, Sofia the First, and Frozen, is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Official Movie Magazine. It is the viewer’s guide to getting to know Belle, the Beast, and the movie’s many enchanting personalities; discovering how the lovable animated film was transformed into a live-action spectacle; and learning the important values this timeless tale continues to carry throughout the decades.

The Beauty and the Beast magazine opens with director Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (the Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), and Josh Gad (Le Fou) revealing the impact that the original Disney animation has had on them as viewers, fans, and actors.

Inside, readers are further acquainted with the classic characters and the talented thespians who breathe life into them — from Belle and the Beast, to the castle’s staffers-turned-objects, to the dynamic duo of Gaston and Le Fou.

Set photos, concept art, and behind-the-scenes revelations covering costume design, CGI technology, makeup and hair, and prop-making demystify the delightful magic that surrounds the new live-action adaptation.

Treats just for kids round out this Disney offering: learn to make your own enchanted mirror; find out how similar you are to the movie’s strong, smart, and compassionate heroine; and score two free Beauty and the Beast movie posters to hang up on your walls.

Grab a copy of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Official Movie Magazine (P150) before the film hits Philippine theaters on March 16, 2017. It’s out now in bookstores, newsstands, convenience stores, and supermarkets nationwide.

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Lack of Sex Isn’t the Number One Reason Why Men Cheat

Some women think that their significant others cheat on them because they lack physical intimacy, but in reality, the reason is a little different from what you’d expect that still doesn’t make it justifiable, of course.

According to M. Gary Neuman, counselor and author of the book The Truth About Cheating, the number one reason most men stray is because of the emotional disconnection they feel from their wives or partners. The majority said it was an emotional disconnection, specifically a sense of feeling underappreciated, a lack of thoughtful gestures, he explained

Enter the other woman, the one who then makes them feel a lot better about themselves. “[She] he makes them feel different. Makes them feel appreciated, admired,” he says. Men look strong, look powerful and capable. But on the inside, they’re insecure like everybody else. They’re searching and looking for somebody to build them up to make them feel valued.

And believe it or not, it turns out that men could be more emotionally sensitive compared to women — they’re just not that good at showing that side of them.

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MindLab founder and chairman Dr. David Lewis says that society stereotypes men to be stoic and women to be more of the sensitive type, but that their findings are debunking that belief. This study suggests that men feel emotion just as much as women, sometimes more strongly, but are less willing to express these emotions openly due to expectations put on them by society, he explained.

That’s why when you’re in a relationship, no matter how long you two have been together, don’t take each other for granted. Your partner may not be as vocal, so it helps to find other ways to let him express himself. That way, you’ll both learn to appreciate and acknowledge the effort and love you put to make things work.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

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

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Check Out This Bike Helmet That Will Give Your Child a Toy Figure’s Hair!

Getting tired of having to remind the kids to wear their bike helmets? Well, you’ll soon have no trouble with this! It’s a bike helmet made to look like a plastic toy figure’s hair!

Created with a collaboration between marketing agency DDB and design firm MOEF, the helmet was created in the hopes of making safety more appealing to kids. They were modeled after the hair pieces of Playmobil toy figures that the designers put through a 3D scanner, scaled up and painted brown. Afterwards, a chin strap was added.

Unfortunately, only prototypes were made and it’s still unclear if more will be made to sell to the public. For now, we’ll have to stick to the relentless reminders.

[h/t: Metro]

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Here’s Why People Keep Sharing the New PAL Safety Video

If you’re a frequent flyer, you may have memorized the flight attendant’s spiel on the plane’s safety procedures: where to find emergency exits, how to wear the life vests, and what to do in case of an emergency landing. It’s all so routine that passengers just start dozing off or putting on their headphones when these things are announced before take-off.

But Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, has produced a new video that’s a little more likely to keep you awake. “We wanted to put a spin to our new in-flight safety video, while still being educational and entertaining,” says Ria Domingo, VP of marketing, adding that most passengers are distracted by their books and gadgets when the usual video is shown.


The video starts with shots of several beautiful, must-see destinations found in the Philippines, including Luneta Park in Manila, Mt. Mayon in Legazpi, Coron in Busuanga, Dahilayan Adventure Park in Cagayan de Oro, Bangui Windmills in Laoag, Boracay in Aklan, Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Pearl Farm in Davao, and Chocolate Hills in Tagbilaran. Each safety reminder is explained by Filipinos from the country’s different provinces, driving home the idea that this is made “from the Heart of the Filipino for the Filipino, and the world.” Towards the end of the clip, we see the names of the people involved in making this crowd-sourced content.


It was rolled out on February 17, 6 p.m. through Facebook and YouTube and has since earned more than a million views. The next time you’re aboard a PAL flight, check off some of the must-see destinations from your bucket list!

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

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

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Pucker Up! These Masks and Scrubs Can Do Wonders for Your Lips

There’s nothing more intimate and romantic than giving your partner a nice, sweet “I love you” kiss. But to be honest, you really should be caring for your kissers even if you and your spouse don’t get to have sexy time often. Giving your lips some TLC also makes your lippie shades more gorgeous than ever! Try these essentials:

Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch


Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch, P148, SM Megamall

You’re already masking your face, so why not work on your lips, too? This hydrogel patch repairs and hydrates puckers to leave them supple and smooth.

Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3-Step Kit


Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3-Step Kit, P100, Althea Philippines

We’re all about this handy multi-step product, which contains a peeling patch, a moisturizing and anti-aging pack, and thick, gooey honey treatment.

Banila Co. Kiss Therapy Lip Scrub


Banila Co. Kiss Therapy Lip Scrub, P675, Trinoma

The name says it all! Bonus points for the super hygienic packaging, which delivers the grainy sugar formula straight to your lips.

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Sephora Rose Lip Mask


Sephora Rose Lip Mask, P154, Sephora Philippines

Leave this lightweight sheet on your pout for 15 minutes, then remove for instantly nourished and moisturized lips.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, P950, SM Megamall

One of the most popular Korean beauty products of all time! Apply before hitting the sheets and wake up to moist, plump lips. Now, where’s your Song Joong Ki? 😉

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub


Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub, P298, Trinoma

Don’t scare him off with your dry, flaky lips! Slough off dead skin cells with this scrub—your lippie will also apply better when the base is on point.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

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

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‘I Was Unfaithful To My Wife For Years — But Now I’ve Changed’

In his younger years, businessman Samuel Liuson lived life on the fast lane. He was at the top of his game, and, thinking he had it all, took for granted the beautiful relationship he had with his wife. In his own words, the 49-year-old tells us how he went from being a womanizer to a one-woman man:

“When I got married in 1993, life was good,” Sam declares. “I had a beautiful wife, a budding career, and I was young, charismatic and proud. I got into the typical cycle of wining and dining customers, living life in the fast lane, and having a chauvinistic lifestyle.”

Eight years went by and while Sam and his wife were financially blessed, they were unable to have children. Sam’s wife became sad and depressed, and sex became few and infrequent. She started talking to Sam about adoption, but Sam did not feel like raising a child who was not his.

“To cut the long and embarrassing story short, I got involved with an old friend who was in dire straits, and I took advantage of the situation and had a child with her,” Sam admits. “We agreed that she would give me the child because she simply couldn’t raise her with her resources.

“I brought the baby home and lied to my wife, my family, and friends, saying that I happened to have stumbled upon a couple who was putting up their beautiful child for adoption and that I was conveniently at the right place, at the right time. The day I brought my baby home was probably the happiest day for my wife. I thought to myself, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

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The next few years went by peacefully, but Sam’s wife kept following-up on the child’s adoption papers. Finally, because of a guilty conscience and upon the advice of a lawyer-friend, Sam admitted the truth. The marriage went downhill from there. “My wife started talking about separating from me, but because she came from a broken home herself and didn’t want our child to go through what she did, we just continued to live with our situation and pretended to everyone that we were a happy family,” Sam shares.

Twelve years into their marriage, Sam’s wife got pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy, and the baby was born prematurely. But their daughter survived and thrived.

“I wish I could tell you that I learned my lesson and remained faithful after that, but my foolishness didn’t stop. Because I felt I was not getting enough attention, I repeatedly gave in to temptation. I justified to myself that I do it because I wasn’t getting it at home. I knew I was wrong, but I was reckless and too full of myself,” Sam says.

Sam’s turning point came when his wife convinced him to join her church’s weekly service. “At that time, the theme was family life, and the preacher’s message was so good that I found myself going back week after week for more stories, just like a teleserye,” Sam shares. “When the church announced that it was holding a marriage retreat, we both signed up, and the experience was really life-changing.”

For the past nine years, Sam has been faithful to his wife. “I believe my marriage was saved since I became a true follower of Jesus. In the same way that God has forgiven me, my wife and I learned to forgive each other. Once I started obeying His rules and letting Him take control, my life has been joyful, serene, and peaceful. This is also why I am sharing my story — out of gratitude to God.”

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Forget the Lingerie, Moms! Wear These 6 Seductive Scents Instead

Have you ever caught a whiff of someone’s cologne and immediately felt a tingly sensation? It’s not uncommon! Certain smells trigger a strong response because scientists believe that the area of the brain that processes the sense of smell is also the part that helps process emotion.

Science has also proven the link between scent and seduction. And feisty females have been using this fact to their advantage for years. History has shown that many women have used sweet-smelling concoctions to drive men to their knees (Cleopatra, Helen of Troy anyone?).

Ladies, in honor of Valentine’s Day (and the movie Fifty Shades Darker), now is the time to experiment with the power of fragrance in the bedroom. Here is a rundown of the highly sensual scents that are sure to kick the romance up a notch any time.

Vanilla

A photo posted by Ο λ ε ω α (@ambruasina) on May 21, 2016 at 5:11am PDT

Jo Malone London Vanilla and Anise Cologne (P3,490)

Amber Lights Laguna Vanilla Heaven Scented Candle (P599), available at Alabang Town Center

Pop culture has led us to believe that vanilla is plain (Hello, Fifty Shades!), but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, the sweet scent of vanilla is a well-known natural aphrodisiac that induces euphoria and relaxation. So pop on the vanilla scented cologne or light up that vanilla candle for some happy, relaxed, and sexy euphoria on V-Day!

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Musk

Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose Perfume (P3,500), available at Rustan’s


The Body Shop White Musk Smooth Satin Body Lotion (P995)

A no-brainer, the link between sex and musk is as straightforward as it gets. According to science, musk is the most carnal of all fragrance ingredients and conveys strong sexuality and primal attraction. Ahem!

Sandalwood


Khadi Natural Sandalwood Massage Oil (P450)

When used as a massage oil, this light woody aroma is a staple in Tantric sexual rituals for hundreds of years. Sandalwood is said to trigger your second chakra and heighten your sexual response. Hey, the best way to test sandalwood’s potential is slathering it on your skin, and see what kind of reaction it triggers!

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Jasmine

L’Occitane en Provence Jasmin & Bergamote (P3,500)


Diptyque Jasmin Candle (P3,250), available at Rustan’s

This beautifully scented floral scent is an aphrodisiac in more ways than one! Sweet and tantalizing, this beautiful floral note contains indole, an aromatic compound also found in abundance around — wait for it — human genitals. It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

Lavender

Jo Malone London Amber & Lavender Body Creme (P2,800)


The Body Shop French Lavender Massage Oil (P1,195)

It is the scent that Cleopatra is rumored to have used to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony! And if it worked for her, it’s sure to work for you!

Lily of the valley

Linger Perfume Whiff x Love Marie (P1,650), available at Whiff Perfume

In the early 20th century in France, it was customary for men to show their love by giving bunches of lilies of the valley as tokens of affection. This floral scent is a delicate one that is said to be quite a turn on for men.

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