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GlaxoSmithKline announces the new winners in its Search for the Winners Against Asthma (SWAA)

Back in February 2015, I attended a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) event where they announced that they were launching a Search for the Winners Against Asthma (SWAA). This nationwide search meant to find young achievers 30 years old and below who were outstanding in their respective fields despite suffering from asthma. The search was meant to portray hope that asthma, although a chronic disease, could be overcome in different ways.

Here is my February post covering the search’s launch.

Meet the winners!

Continue reading “GlaxoSmithKline announces the new winners in its Search for the Winners Against Asthma (SWAA)”

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An empowering moment — being free in one’s skin — with Physiogel

I was luckier than most growing up. I had oily skin. But at my age now, reality is setting in. I’m losing my oily skin and finding that many parts of my body are more dry. Once, I went to church without putting lotion on my upper arms and to my horror, I found my skin was dry in some places. Ewwww!

The first thing that people notice when they meet you is usually your eyes and your skin. The skin is an organ and… the largest one in our body!!! Your state of health and well-being is shown not only in your eyes but also in the skin. Smooth and supple skin is a sign of health and youth.

While there is nothing we can do about aging, there are a lot of things we can do to keep our skin from premature aging and even postpone the symptoms of aging like dry skin, brown spots, wrinkles and the like. With dry skin comes not only ugly scales but oftentimes, the discomfort of itchy and sensitive skin.

Lotions and moisturizers are a-plenty in the market. There are all kinds of brands and types to choose from. Many lotions moisturize skin on the surface but only for short while. They also do not really address what is going on UNDER the skin.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), makers of Physiogel, recently launched the Free In My Skin Movement that aims to free women like me who are now starting to experience the onset of dry, sensitive skin. Physiogel variants all have the patented advanced BioMimic Technology which mimics our skin’s matrix-like natural lipid layers of skin that help lock in moisture. This allows Physiogel to repair dehydrated skin, rehydrate the essential barriers and revitalize the skin.

Physiogel incorporates lipids from plant sources that are similar to those found in our skin

Present at the launch of the Free In My Skin Movement was model, TV host and entrepreneur Patti Grandidge, who was just the right person to lead this movement, having been a woman who also experienced sensitive, itchy, red and dry skin.

Patti Grandidge

Have you ever experienced applying moisturizing cream or lotion on your skin only for the effect to wear off before your day is over?

Just check these shots I took of my hand when a Physiogel lady gave me the Moisture Check.

Before doing anything, she told me that I had to score above 40 if I had well-moisturized skin. I thought I’d be okay. After all, before coming to the event, I had applied lotion on my skin after my bath. Well, well, well, this was my initial score after she tested me with the Moisture Checker…

…and the verdict is…
…an embarrassing 26!!! Aarrgh!

So from the time I applied the lotion, to the time I got to the event, given the strong airconditioning inside the hotel’s function room, my skin dried up again!

Next, the lady applied Physiogel cleanser on my hand. What’s fascinating about this cleanser is that it can be washed off with water or simply wiped off with cotton so it acts as a leave-on skin moisturizer! I didn’t know THAT!

Immediately after applying the cream, I was checked again. My Moisture Check score jumped.

10-pt improvement right away!

Next, she applied the Physiogel cream over the area just cleaned. The cream is good for overnight applications or on days when you have nowhere to go and you just want your skin to bask in moisturizing goodness. It feels a bit oily because it is meant to keep your skin bathed.

Not as big a leap but still, an improvement!

Lastly, she applied Physiogel lotion on my forearm. The lotion variant is greaseless so it is best when you need to go out and do not want to feel gooey or oily. But the effect on the skin is powerful.

43.1 — fully moisturized!!!

This is what GSK has to say about the Free in My Skin Movement:

The Free in My Skin Movement aims to empower women to fully embrace and participate in life by freeing them from dry and sensitive skin, because having dry and sensitive skin can serve as a hindrance for women to fully function to their best abilities. This movement also aims to honor smart, strong, sensitive women who have faced their insecurities (physically and emotionally) and are now embracing and living life to the fullest.

I cannot name all the smart, strong and sensitive women who have been, and still are, a part of my life. But I honor them. Their circumstances are all different but what binds them together is the determination to rise above their circumstances.

I join all the women who have experienced dry and sensitive skin at one time or another. Feel ko kayo! But now that I am using Physiogel daily, on my face, neck, and arms, I really feel the difference. You should try it also and see how it empowers you and raises your confidence level knowing that your skin is constantly nourished, repaired and kept from premature aging.

Visit Physiogel’s website and social media accounts
Website: www.physiogel.ph
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PhysiogelPH
Twitter: @PhysiogelPH

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GSK takes up the fight against dengue with Calpol’s fever management

I’ve had dengue. Two of my kids have had dengue. And one of them (and me) had to have blood plasma transfusions. I can still remember the feeling of having absolutely no energy and no appetite. And when my kids had it, it was doubly difficult for me to watch them, praying that the virus would just run its course without anything worse happening to them. I actually had friends who lost their child to dengue.

Although known to be a tropical country disease, dengue is surprisingly making its way into colder countries. Japan, just recently, was reported to have found cases of dengue among their citizens. Climate change is now spreading the risk of this mosquito-borne disease far and wide, beyond tropical boundaries. At the moment there is no dengue vaccine that is commercially available although recent news talk about one that is being developed.

Dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in the world and is more rampant in tropical countries such as the Philippines. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, usually seen in the early hours of the morning and early evening, and has white stripes on its legs, affects more children than adults. Those at higher risk are children aged one to nine years old.


Dengue can present itself with symptoms similar to other diseases — high fever that comes and goes, headaches, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, abdominal pain, muscle and joint aches, rashes, and even bleeding so oftentimes it can be difficult to diagnose at the onset because sometimes it can even look like flu at first.

The alarming number of cases diagnosed in the Philippines, as well as the number of deaths, is really of concern to parents like me. I was shocked to learn that in 2013, a total of 204,906 dengue cases were diagnosed, with 660 deaths while in 2014, 24,800 dengue cases have already been reported with 100 deaths. (Source: ToDOH Laban sa Dengue brochure)

(L-R): Jeofrey Yulo (GM of GSK), DOH rep, and Dr. Sally Gatchalian

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has partnered with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Pediatric Society in spearheading a campaign, “Aksyon Laban sa Dengue: A Dengue Fever Awareness and Education Program”. They’ve also set up a Barangay Caravan which will bring these efforts down to the grassroots level. I think this campaign is laudable because it is those in the grassroots level most exposed to breeding grounds of the dengue mosquito. They are also the ones least likely to immediately bring their kids to the hospital because of cost considerations.

Dr. Sally Gatchalian

Dr. Sally Gatchalian, secretary of the Philippine Pediatric Society, gave tips on how to take care of a patient who is already diagnosed with dengue:

1. Professional help is required for severe cases of dengue.
2. Supportive care should be given to patients to complement hospital treatment – While the patient is letting dengue run its course, the only thing that can help, aside from proper hydration, is managing the fever.
3. Do not give steroids – The WHO has recommended paracetamol as the recommended analgesic treatment for dengue fever. Aspirin and ibuprofen are NOT recommended since they may aggravate bleeding.
4. Regularly monitor platelets.
5. Keep detailed records of fluid intake and outputs.

Dr. Sally also enumerated the 4S of Dengue Prevention, according to the DOH:

1. Search and destroy source of stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed – Mosquitoes breed in clear water. Some things you can do – change water in vases once a week, clean your roof’s drain pipes,  clean the inside and outside of pails and other receptacles, ensure that no water is left in dish holders of refrigerators, cover all water reservoirs, and overturn all receptacles used for storing water.
2. Seek immediate consultation if child has fever lasting more than 2 days. – Remember…give paracetamol, not aspirin or ibuprofen!
3. Say yes to discriminate fogging only when there is an epidemic. – If done properly, fogging can also kill mosquitoes aside from driving them away. But they are only recommended in cases of outbreak and during peak biting time.
4. Self protection measures. – Use mosquito nets, apply insect repellant, and where possible, wear long-sleeved shirts.

Calpol, GSK’s paracetamol product, is specially designed to provide relief from the discomfort of high fever, chills and pain that plagues mostly children. Since paracetamol is widely suited to most people, it is considered safe even for children, if used as directed.
Calpol is available in three different formulations:
* 100mg/mL infant drops 10mL (for 0-2 yrs old, PhP 49.25)
* 120mg/5mL suspension for 2-6 yrs old, 60ml (PhP 80.50) & 120mL (PhP 133.75)
* 250mg/mL suspension 60mL (for 6-12 yrs old, PhP 123.75).
It is also available in two (2) flavors: orange and strawberry.

Watch out for the “Aksyon Laban sa Dengue” caravan which is set to visit barangays within Metro Manila identified with high cases of dengue incidence. The DOH will initially facilitate the training of health practitioners to discuss new incidences and trends as well as prevention and treatment of dengue. The Philippine Pediatric Society health committee will then cascade the dengue modules to the selected barangays. GSK, on the other hand, will be bringing doctors to the areas to lead the dengue information campaign so that Filipinos can protect their loved ones from this deadly disease.

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Lead a great life in spite of asthma

I come from a family with a history of asthma. I myself had childhood asthma though not too severe and during a couple of pregnancies, it came back even if I had already outgrown it. I also had to deal with asthma during the growing years of all my kids and I have to tell you that it is no joke.

Asthma is what I call “traydor na sakit” (traitor disease). It doesn’t look too alarming but in reality, it has been the cause of many deaths even among young people. The triggers can happen any time and anywhere — something you eat, something in the air — and suddenly your airways start to constrict. You start having difficulty breathing and it creates panic and pressure on the heart as well. Several celebrities in the past died young just because of an asthma episode, including a young model.

At a recent GSK event, I listened to one of the GSK doctors, Dr. Bernadette Arcilla, talk about asthma. It affects about 10.7M people in the Philippines now. 250,000 annual deaths worldwide are attributed to asthma. Of those deaths, majority are 45 years old and older. With children, asthma is the most frequent cause of absenteeism from school, emergency visits and hospitalization. Scary stats. I can remember so many instances when we’d rush to the emergency room of the hospital because one of our kids could not breathe well and would be wheezing. We always had a nebulizer with us at home and on trips. When they were older, they had to be taught to use an inhaler and carry this with them all the time.

But asthmatics are fighting back. And, hopefully, winning the war against asthma. That is a very important inspirational message for so many Pinoys who are similarly affected by asthma. Your life is not curtailed by it. You can still live a meaningful life and engage even in sports in spite of your condition.

At the event, two local celebrities, who were asthmatics, shared about their own battles against asthma  — Kim Chiu and Arnel Pineda of Journey.

Here are videoclips showing just how they are trying to battle asthma, and win over it:

Hopefully, this Win Against Asthma campaign spearheaded by GSK will bring to the forefront a greater awareness and understanding of asthma — that it is not a debilitating condition, and that people who are asthmatic, with proper treatment and cooperation with doctors and their own personal knowledge on how and when to use the different medicines, can lead the lives they dream of. Just like Kim Chiu and Arnel Pineda.