Alopecia Advocate and Novuhair Ambassador Miss Abby Asistio Bloggers Meet

Runner’s Kitchen – Creekside Square Building ,74 Tomas Morato, Quezon City ,Philippines

Runner’s Kitchen

I  first met  Ms. Abby Asistio more than 2 year ago from a press conference in Quezon City. Then another follow-up last May 2014 when I was a last minute substitute from a blogger friend who could not attend the press briefing due to traffic.

Consumer awards- The brand NovuHair had won 4 consecutive years by Watson

The bloggers meet was intended as a follow-up for a dramatic recovery of Ms. Abby who started using NovuHair in 2013 and had now almost full recovery in such a short span of years.

Ms. Abby Asistio holding her new CD to be launch on september 26

Bullying

To cover up the bald spots on her head, Asistio grew up wearing a hat until second year high school. This, she said, attracted unwanted attention and negative comments from her classmates. She studied in an exclusive all girls school .

There was even a time when some students bullied her and removed her hat, and everyone saw her bald head.

Mr. Raymond Vincent Y. Domingo – Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager

Brand Ambassador

Nearly a year after her coming out of sorts in television shows like 700 CLUB and Mr. Boy Abunda’s talk show , Bottomline  aired every Saturday on ABS-CBN channel 2, Ms. Asistio was given another shot at growing back her hair by the homegrown company Nutramedica.

The singer-songwriter was tapped to endorse Novuhair, the company’s natural hair treatment products.

she was at first skeptical of Novuhair because she has tried several hair regrowth treatments that only ended up in failure. Now after several months of applying Novuhair shampoo and conditioner she noticed that small hairs had begun growing .  After about 2 years of continuous application, her hair is slowly growing and her confidence is getting back. She can now go to salon and enjoy other things she was not able to do.

NovuHair:http://www.novuhair.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NovuhairOfficial

The Boy Who Cried for Books: Loosing a University but Gaining a Universe

Matalino Street, Quezon City , Philippines

I have met Mr. Justin Adriel Donato de Castro via common friend and adding him on Facebook a couple of months ago . I was looking for cheap books and a person with advocacy to share. It took several weeks of chatting and sending sms before i got a chance to met this person.

Runaway

Justin is not an ordinary 19-year old teenager struggling to finish school and dreams to become a lawyer, but there are some factors like tangle of family problems.

He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder ( last year ), a manic depressive illness, after several attempts to kill himself, primarily because of the conflicts in his family.

On December 26, 2014 – a day after last Christmas, Justin ran away from home after a heated argument with his mother.

“I was forced to move out of my apartment in New Manila. I came back a few days later to get my clothes, but the lock on the door to the apartment had been changed,” he said. He started to apply at a call center,  The call center turned him down because he did not have an address. “Your English is good but you are unstable,” according to the interviewer.

L-R Ms. Nikki Kawaguchi , Mr. Justin Adriel Donato de Castro ( boy who cried for books) , Mr. Christian P.Laos ( Emilio Aguinaldo College  3rd year communication art student ) and Ms. Camillee Eloriaga (Emilio Aguinaldo College )

How did it Started?

He had P2,500 in his pocket and using Php 2,000 as start-up capital.  He decided to buy 23 bottles of pure honey, which he had been taking for quite sometime.

Wearing a loose shirt, a pair of shorts and flip-flops, surrounded by street kids from the area.

He started selling  bottled honey to passers-by along Tomas Morato street . He would budget whatever money he had by living on the street. “I started doing it out of sheer necessity. I need to survive. I have to feed myself,” he said.

Between December 27, 28, 29 , 30 and 31, 2014,  He was able to attract a number of people because of his ability to communicate , knowledge of the products and good looks!  “But it was not a hit so I had to think of something else”.

A book lover since childhood,  He thought of selling secondhand books, His first 14 books was bought last January 3, 2015 from thrift shops in Underground bookstores ( Manila Cityhall)  and Recto in Manila.

Favorite Book and Past Time

One of his favorite book is  – Paulo Coelho’s novel Veronika Decides to Die. The book tells the story of a woman who has a blissful life but decides to end it by overdosing with sleeping pills. Aside from reading books, He also loves to watch movies and hear music .

Viral and Internet Sensation

When he started peddling honey within Tomas Morato area, He already attracted a number of students and people which started to upload his photos and items in the internet and other social networking sites .

He started to re-sell the books and picked a spot under a tree in front of a coffee shop on Tomas Morato where he usually hung out. There, he spread out the books for passersby to see. But soon the guards at the coffee shop would not let him peddle his stuffs and eventually he had to moved somewhere.

He sits on one spot and calls on passersby to check his secondhand books, which are priced from P50 to P350. Since then , his story has drawn the admiration of some book lovers, who have offered to help him.

Soon, a creative consultant designed a logo for him for free, another book lover offered to set up his online bookstore and another people offered to donate their books.

Like an ambulant vendor, he hopped from one place to another where he was allowed to sell his books.  On weekends, the guards at a bank allowed him to display his books on the sidewalk. Despite being evicted everywhere, De Castro never felt belittled.

“I don’t like sympathy. I am proud that I am selling books. I’d rather sell knowledge in this country where prostitution is prevalent and where illegal drugs are everywhere,” he said.

At night, De Castro sleeps in apartelles ,open space behind his locked apartment . Now, he is staying with friends around Quezon City area.  He have moved to several places , eventually another Coffee shop along Maginhawa street hosted him for several weeks.

Why was it called ” The boy who cried books” ?

Justin explained why he came to be called “the boy who cried books.”

He said at one point after his attempts to kill himself, his father started not to take his acts seriously.

“You are like the boy who cried wolf,” his father told him, he said.

( photo : Facebook account )

Life Lesson:

He talks about 5 essential things about his new business

1.) Marketing and Advertising– How people will remember his business and branding.

A Facebook page, “theboywhocriedbooks,” has been set up for him so people will know what titles he is offering and where he can be found. There are several blogs , websites and QTV channel 11 had already featured him.

2.) Finance ( which he hates the most) Liquid cash- De Castro said he opened a bank account to save his earnings. He recounted how those 73 days in the streets changed him .  Right now, He had about  P35,000 worth of books .

3.) Accounting and Budgeting–  How to properly balance the money and recording his expenses on a notebook.

4.) Management Objectives ( how to transport the book from one place to another, not much money for renting a space )

5.) Life– He said he could never forget his father’s words. Now, he said, whenever buyers come, he asks them, “What is your wolf? What are your problems?”

“I have been selling books for 73 days now,” he said. “From 14 books, the titles have increased to almost 800 books.” He would like to return back to college and finish his degree.

Advocacies:

“Faith in Humanity”  , ” Sharing the Happiness” and ” Selflessness”   , These are among some of his advocacies that he always share with people around him.  There are a lot of simple people who helped him when he was  peddling his book and one of them is Letlet , a small guy who help stop the cars in order for him to cross the street. That simple gestures means a lot to him.

Jomel

He is currently helping another kid , Jomel ( street kid) – who used to lived around the Tomas Morato Avenue but since then, the family moved out to Pasig area. He would shell-out a couple of thousand of pesos every month to help the kid and his family .

He is also active promoting several advocates together with other cause -oriented groups .

Motivational and Inspirational Speaker:

There are a lot of schools and universities which invites him to be a motivational and inspirational speakers, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila . His only requirement is that he would be allowed to wear shorts , ordinary t-shirts and slippers.

His word of wisdom: Progress is the only Good, Forward and Creativity is the fuel , Forward is the only Direction.

group selfie

Future:

He envision a shop to be a depository of books, a space for people like him who do not have a store where they can sell and talk about books at night time there would be a space where homeless people can stay .  If the venture succeeds, He can share the space with other small booksellers.  He is planning together with some help from friends to set-up a space within Kamuning , Quezon City area.

He may temporarily loose studying in a university but what he gained is vast wealth of experience and a universal knowledge in life.

Note: For those who wanted to help this person, you can reach him via Twitter via the hashtag #TheBoyWhoCriedBooks, or visit his Facebook site. You can also contact him at 09357054087.

Bar-B-Skew Restaurant : Skewers All You Can & Buffet Meals!!!

Upper Ground Floor, CTTM Square (Below Center stage) at the Boy Scout Circle corner Timog Ave and Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Bar B Skew

Bar-B-Skew facade

Bar-B-Skew restaurant opened their door barely 1 month ago to the public. Wazzup Pilipinas through Mr. Ross Del Rosario and their PR invited a small group of media and bloggers to partake an early evening meal at their premises.

Bar-B-Skew interior

interior of the restaurant

The restaurant  owners take their concept base on street foods that are found on several Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Philippines!!!!! The interior is quite cozy and its Asian fusion style menu and interior is a delight to passers-by .

buffetbuffet meal

Buffet meal consists of rice, kamote tops , sisig , fried chicken and bagoong  ( shrimp paste) dip !

barbecue 1

grilling is easy and like playing

At Bar-B-Skew you can cook your very own skewers on a one of a kind table automatic rotating barbeque machine, or as the management like to call it, the “Bar-B-Skew” machine!  For parties and convention, the restaurant also accepts catering.

barbecue

different kinds of barbecues

The restaurant is an eat-all-you-can buffet ranging from Php299 to Php349. Lunch Buffet starts from 11:00 am until 5:00pm for P299. Dinner Buffet starts from 5:00pm until 12:00am for P349. Midnight Buffet starts from 12am for P299. Perfect for hang-outs!

Mr. Wero Doma Jr.

Mr. Wero Doma Jr.

The group met Mr. Wero Doma and his partner which shared their insights about their menu, concept and restaurant. The restaurant can accommodate between 65 to 70 people at any given time.

Restaurant 046

Mr. Wero Doma together with Mr. Kendrick Stock and the friendly staffs of the restaurant.

Ms. Cha Sy and Ivan

Ms. Cha Sy and Mr. Ivan Saldajeno enjoyed  grilling the barbecues

Bar-B -Skew

Skewer Packs start at Php 259.00

There is a lunch buffet meal and an evening buffet meal

Note: I would like to ” Thank” the managers and owners of the restaurant for the warm accommodation extended to our group.

Restaurant Operations:

Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Telephone: (02) 412-86-61

Website: http://www.bar-b-skew.ph/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BBSkew

Bazaar for Life – A book sale for a cause

Go na tayo dito! Book-shopping na, me autograph signing pa sa aking favorite writers, Beverly Wico Siy   aka Bebang Siy (It’s a Mens World) and Nikka Osorio   (Ang Nalalabi Rito). At sa mga gusto pang mag-donate, pakidala lang ang inyong mga libro sa Bookware Publishng Unit 301 3rd Flr. Rizalina 2 Annex Bldg. Quezon Ave. Quezon City (in between a condo construction site and HSBC).

 

Adarna House

A select group of Biyaheng Pinoy correspondence  had the opportunity last April 28, 2010 to visit one of the First and the largest publisher of Filipino children books. The company was named after a traditional Filipino novel character Adarna a mystical bird with strange powers. The publishing house office is located on 2nd floor of a modern building near Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City. There is a small showcase area where children books and coffee table books were on display.  While there was an ongoing story telling sessions, called Kuwentong Adarna. These are facilitated by a member of Adarna House’s pool of volunteer storytellers and thru their efforts the sessions are done to encourage children to take up the habit of reading. Apart from storytelling, Adarna House also facilitates numerous workshops for children and adults. Regularly held during summer vacation, Klasrum Adarna for kids offer a variety of reading, writing and illustration classes, while Klasrum offerings for adults include storytelling, teaching beginning reading, and library improvement among others. When the Nutrition Center of the Philippines (NCP) in the late 1970’s found themselves in need of a series of storybooks to supplement their mental feeding program. The company approached Mr. Virgilio S. Almario poet and literary critic to spearhead the production of this series. He then recruited authors, editors, illustrators, and creative staffs for the series, which he would call Aklat Adarna. The name was chosen to evoke the healing power of education and knowledge against the struggle of the Filipino against poverty and through NGO led drive to boost educational literacy. Among them is Mr. Rene O. Villanueva a prolific writer, cartoonist of a well-loved children television show “ Batibot” a popular children television show that run from 1984 to 1998. Marketing Manager – Ms. Vanessa Estares stress the Adarna House is an NGO group, which advocate, “ Business to Business advocacy group which give less fortunate children books”.

The company had numerous tie-ups with various NGO groups like Gawad Kalinga ‘s Sibol Day care center. Adarna House works with various organizations to carry out its primary goal “to educate and entertain the Filipino child.”  The publishing company had also partnership with  with DepEd and Ronald Mac Donald House of Charities ( RMHC) Bright Minds Read where big books and a collection of lesson plans were developed to help public school teachers use children’s literature as a springboard in building reading skills among beginning readers. The Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) and Development are major partners for the Early Childhood Development Project. DSWD also worked with Adarna House for Ang Buhay ni Bimboy, a guide for parents and day care workers in nurturing children. Filipinas Heritage Library has hosted many of the campaign’s activities under its roof. It is through this partnership that the Pilar Perez novellas for young adults were created.

The Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center (MMLDC) Foundation works closely with Adarna House for Lakbay Kalikasan, which promotes environmental awareness through storytelling, puppet shows and nature trips. Adarna House serves the Philippine Board on Books for Young People as its Secretariat. With the logistical assistance of Adarna House, PBBY is able to organize its activities such as the National Children’s Book Day celebration, PBBY-Salanga Prize, PBBY-Alcala Prize, and the Salaysayan National Storytelling Competition. Even with modern day technologies such as internet, e-books , audio- books , there is still no substitute for the traditional books.

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