The result? 200.7 kilograms worth of soft and hard plastic materials were collected from the many people (including myself) who passed by their school. To put things mathematically, 200.7 kilograms is a 128% increase over what was collected last time.
You must be wondering…how did such a very big increase happen?
According to Mindbuilders Preschool directress Marah V. Estuesta, a lot of families of their students, including alumni, picked up the habit (cleaning used plastics instead of throwing it to the trash can and collecting it until the next drop-off drive.) She also said that CTSI Logistics, a company who saw their FB post sent over five boxes of plastic materials as well.
Already this the third plastic collection drive of Mindbuilders Preschool that I wrote about and, of course, I donated for the third time as well.
For the newcomers reading this, the materials at the preschool were picked up by Pure Ocean Philippines which forwarded them to Envirotech Waste Recycling. After that, Envirotech Waste Recycling upcycles all the collected plastic and produce brand new furniture and items out of them.
Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City. It was established in 2002 and is accredited by the Department of Education. The preschool is also an active member of the Association of Las Piñas Private Schools. To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects. The schools prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration. The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.
For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsandNO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.
Spotlight on BF HomeSarap, The Village Home-Cooked Food Directory
Do you love home-cooked food? Do you love BF Homes, the very large residential-commercial community that occupies portions of Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Las Piñas? Do you love grouping together on Facebook forming a very lively online community?
If you love all three, then you cannot go wrong with the BF HomeSarap Facebook group!
BF HomeSarap is not just any food-oriented, regional group on the social network. It is one of the fastest growing FB groups that highlights home cooking, good tastes, small enterprise and the BF Homes community members (plus friends).
BF HomeSarap’s growth in terms of membership is truly amazing. The FB group only started on April 2019 and from zero members it attracted to more than eight thousand (8,000+) members as of this writing! By comparison, there are other BF Homes-related (plus Barangay BF Homes-related) FB groups that lasted for years and still their respective memberships were exceeded by BF HomeSarap.
The FB group has described itself to be the resource for delicious home-cooked food (and drinks) right inside the village. As big businesses are prohibited, BF HomeSarap allows foodie sellers to post their specialties by showing pictures of the products, the name of the food or drink, prices and how they are being sold. What is notable about the group is that the people who make food at home are granted valuable opportunities to reach out to other members who might be interested to buy from them. In a business sense, the small food enterprises are able to make themselves known and gain chances to grow not only with selling products but also attracting new customers and establishing new business relationships.
And then something significant happened on December 7 and 8, 2019 – selected BF HomeSarap members came out in full force as sellers in the first-ever BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held at the open-air basketball court and at the nearby covered stretch inside BF NorthWest, Parañaque City. That community event, which was organized by village governor-at-large Lorea Miren in cooperation with the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association and supported by PARA APP, was a big success as it attracted between 250 to 300 visitors (including Parañaque City Councilors Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza and Wahoo Sotto) and almost all the vendors sold out! Apart from that, a strong spirit of community interaction, business and socializing took place.
With all of these mentioned, you must be wondering: Who started BF HomeSarap in the first place? Why was it established? How did it happen? Where will BF HomeSarap head to now that its presence online and within the real environment inside BF Homes has been felt?
For all of you, my readers and food enthusiasts, I am happy to present to you my interview with BF HomeSarap founder and food stylist Ditas Antenor.
To begin with, Ditas Antenor worked in the corporate world as an advertising executive and worked with her employer’s big-time clients. After more than a decade managing multinational accounts in various multinational ad agencies, she moved on to the production side and there she became a food stylist. She even spent time in the United States to learn about food styling (for print and broadcast).
“I decided back then to take up food styling because I made plans regarding my career ahead of time,” Antenor recalled. “I really planned ahead. I could quit my nine-to-five job and engage in freelancing. So what would be a good, lucrative freelance job that I know I could be good at? That was food styling which is rare (in the Philippines.)”
Back then, food stylists in the Philippines were rare. Antenor became the fifth among the already established food stylists at the time. She eventually got hired by some clients and established herself nicely. Raised as an Alabang Girl, she and her children currently live in the Las Pinas City part of BF Homes subdivision.
BF HomeSarap’s origin and tremendous growth within Facebook
So how did BF HomeSarap started as a group within Facebook? It all started with a trigger on the part of its founder Ditas Antenor.
“There was a trigger. It was related to me and my kids moving into BF Homes subdivision coming from Alabang. Our house here in BF has been around for a very long time,” Antenor said. “My kids grew up with my cooking. Although they enjoy commercial foods like pizza or burgers that can be ordered, they can only eat those sometimes and ultimately they still love home-cooked food.”
Being the highly focused planner she has always been, Antenor had prepared menus for their family up to a few months ahead. She does the home cooking and, from time to time, her children cook adding variety. The love for home cooking, good food and relationships all connected with the beginning of BF HomeSarap.
“Then one day, I said to myself ‘maybe I should form a group’. I’m not an original member of the BF Homes community but still this is our home, even if I still maintain and occasionally stay in our Alabang house” Antenor recalled. “After doing an initial search for food-related FB groups that were related to BF Homes, I formed an FB group for BF by BF focused on home-cooked food.”
Along the way, the founder recalled her efforts on forming a name for the FB group that is unique and would strongly resonate with food enthusiasts and BF Homes residents and stakeholders. The result, clearly, was BF HomeSarap which was a clever combination of the name of the subdivision as well as the Tagalog word “Sarap” (English: Delicious).
“The name BF HomeSarap was formed out of my intention to include the local community’s name while reflecting people’s enjoyment of good home-cooked food. It had to be catchy and relevant at the same time. After searching for possible combinations of words, I came up with ‘sarap’ to partner with BF Homes,” she stated.
BF HomeSarap was created on April 2019 by Antenor reflecting her interest of good, home-cooked food her children would enjoy while establishing ties with the many members of the BF Homes community who share her interest.
The result? The membership of BF HomeSarap on Facebook went from zero to over eight thousand as of this writing. The members were a big mix of food enthusiasts as well as home-based cooks who are quietly selling food or drinks through their respective small-sized businesses. Already several small-time food sellers posted food or beverages for sale complete with contact numbers, prices, ways on how to avail of ordered items and the like. BF HomeSarap excludes the bigger, commercial food sellers giving more space and priority to the small ones. Along the way, there were a lot of buyers who had been searching for tasty home-cooked food. The result is BF HomeSarap establishing itself as a very lively online community whose members are united by home-cooked food and delicacies.
Of course, not just anyone could join the BF HomeSarap FB group. With the help of a few friends (who lived in BF Homes for a long time) and her daughter, Antenor and her co-administrators carefully review the many pending applications of FB users who wanted to join in as well as the many private messages sent.
“The membership of BF HomeSarap just kept on growing fast. Along the way, we made sure it would not become just another buy-and-sell type of Facebook group. I really wanted it to be an online community about good, home-cooked food and BF Homes which will be engaged with good quality content from time to time. I really want community engagement,” she said.
To engage the BF HomeSarap group members, Antenor researched online about the latest food trends, what kind of food people like lately, cooking tips, recipes and the like. The result was her releasing unique content in the form of articles, short videos, special greetings and customized images that get posted in the group occasionally. This approach of hers helped keep BF HomeSarap interesting and engaging, and prevented it from becoming stale or getting too flooded with sales-related posts.
For the future, Antenor stated that she is still striving to come up with ideas to make life better for the sellers and buyers of the group. She is exploring how to establish a dedicated delivery system that will carry BF HomeSarap’s name and cater to the clients’ needs. She and her team are also looking for other enclaves around BF Homes that could possibly host the next edition of the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair this year.
With almost 9,000 members counted (and growing) and continued daily engagement, BF HomeSarap is undoubtedly the premier FB group focused on home-cooked food with the people of BF Homes in mind. Even FB users from the rest of South Metro Manila noticed the group.
“BF Homes is very unique,” Antenor said in relation to the group’s phenomenal growth and influence.
“When I cook, I continue to engage the community. There is, indeed, a wealth of home-cooked food in this community. You just need to look for it. You just need to know who cooked it. Also, level up your food in terms of nutrition and quality. If you want good food for your family, aim for home-cooked. It can be cheaper and yet it can be prepared with the same love and care for the family.”
For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.
Note: Article cover photo contains images from the book “SULÓ: Where Taste Was Style”, written by author/founder Erlinda Panlilio, published in 2015 by Anvil Publishing.
Recently the City of Las Piñas made waves in the national news. This was because Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar issued a warning to the leaders of twenty barangays of extreme consequence if they fail to clear the respective areas of obstructions and structures that are illegal.
During a meeting held on August 1, the mayor met with the barangay chairpersons from the city’s two districts and laid down the City Government’s plan action to rid all roads and sidewalks of illegal vendors, illegally parked vehicles and overlapping structures, including those unfinished excavations by various service utilities.
“You will be accountable to me if you fail to implement the rules that endanger the lives of our fellow Las Piñero,” Mayor Aguilar told the barangay leaders.
Along with the other Metro Manila city mayors, Mayor Aguilar committed to the 60-day period given by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to clear the metro roads of obstructions.
But prior to the DILG directive, the mayor already convened Task Force Kaayusan last month which immediately conducted clearing operations in the city to address concerns on traffic and road hazards. The task force is composed of the Estate Management and Development Office (EMDO), City Engineering Office, the local Philippine National Police, the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), and spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office.
“These obstructions must be permanently rid from our main road, which is the Alabang-Zapote Road, as well as the inner roads must likewise be cleared of any obstacles. Let us give back the sidewalks to the pedestrians and the roads to motorists,” the mayor said.
She also requested the City Council, through Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery (the mayor’s daughter), to review the existing ordinances on obstruction and public order and safety.
Las Piñas City Government signs deal with Perpetual Help Medical Center for Green Card program
Las Piñas City hospitalization through the Green Card Program could now be availed at the Perpetual Help Medical Center of Las Piñas according Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery.
The Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Piñas is the latest medical facility to accredit the Green Card Program of the City Government, in addition to Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital, San Juan de Dios Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, and Las Piñas City Medical Center.
“We are happy to announce that we have another partner in providing hospitalization benefits to our Las Piñeros, the Perpetual Help Medical Center, as we continue to explore ways to deliver enhanced service to our kababayans,” Mayor Aguilar said.
Green Card holders among the city residents could avail of the free hospitalization services worth P30,000 per patient who would be confined at any of the accredited hospitals.
The Green Card is the hospitalization support program managed by the Mayor’s Office, City Health Office, and City Social Welfare and Development Office. It has now around 200,000 Green Card holders.
The free hospitalization program was initiated by former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar in 2000 with about 10,000 Green Card holders, including city hall employees, which was accredited at Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital and San Juan De Dios Hospital. The number of household beneficiaries has been expanded and in nearly 20 years the program signed up with five accredited hospitals to cater to the medical needs of the Las Piñeros.
For details about the City Government’s Green Card program, click here.
Nikko Huelgas Tops TRI-Factor Standard Distance Triathlon In Indonesia!
Nikko Huelgas, the 2-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalist who resides in BF International, Las Piñas City, brought honor again to the Philippines by winning the championship in the Tri-Factor Indonesia Standard Distance triathlon event held this past Sunday (July 7) at the island of Belitung in Indonesia.
According to Huelgas, he completed the 1.5 Kilometer swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run event in an estimated time of 2 hours and 9 minutes. I state estimated because as of this writing, the complete and official results of the event have yet to be published.
For his victory, the BF International resident thanked his coaches and sponsors.
When I asked him through Viber about the experience of the race in Indonesia, Huelgas said that it was a relaxing one as it was held on the island (note: Belitung is located on the east coast of Sumatra) and he was mostly away from the competitors. This helped him lessen his social anxiety as well as the typical pre-race anxiety.
“It was a hot day but staying on the beach front made it manageable and stress-free. No problems happened whatsoever and no diet adjustments. It was able to do a great race that I’ve been longing for the past months,” Huelgas wrote.
When it comes to the quality of the competitors, he described them as not as big as the Asian Championships of triathlon and he was not there to actually win.
“I was there to deliver the best possible performance I can give, as a way for my comeback (in) triathlon,” he added.
With this latest triathlon victory now etched in history, I asked Huelgas what does he plan to achieve for the next six months. He stated that he has a lot of plans up until the end of December and that “things are looking very great” in relation to his most recent performance. He will be joining a race in Cebu very soon.
More notably, Huelgas hopes that his victory last Sunday will help him inch closer to qualify for a slot in the Philippine Team that will compete in the triathlon event of this year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). The said triathlon event will be held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone which itself is very established as the nation’s main destination for triathlon events.
For the newcomers reading this, Nikko Huelgas won for the nation the gold medals in the triathlon events of the SEA Games of 2015 and 2017. In September 2017, I was with him when he visited Las Piñas City Hall where he met Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar, the Vice Mayor and members of the City Council. I witnessed first hand how proud the City Government officials and personnel were to meet him knowing the fact that a fellow Las Piñero like him won great honors for the country.
With regards to the BF Homes community, Huelgas’ name was heard some people I encountered around. A few people living in the Parañaque City part of BF Homes – or specifically Barangay BF Homes – even wished that Huelgas was part of their barangay and city.
On the morning of July 8, the City Government of Las Piñas led by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar formally observed National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) with a special activity that emphasized how essential disaster preparedness is. The intention was to make the constituents aware of disaster preparedness and, at the same time, encourage them to participate in related activities organized by their respective barangays which number a total of twenty in the city.
Held at the Verdana covered court in Barangay Pamplona Tres was an exhibition of emergency equipment, kits and uniformed personnel who were present to answer inquiries. Some personnel demonstrated procedures on how to provide first aid. The exhibition served as the kick-off activity of the citywide observation of disaster preparedness.
Over at City Hall, City Government officials led by Mayor Aguilar, her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery expressed their full support to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (Las Piñas DRRMO).
The said department is sponsoring the inaugural Inter-School On-The-Spot Poster-Making Competition as well as the 2nd Inter-Barangay First Aid Competition. Both competitions are designed to make Las Piñas residents aware of disaster preparedness and interested parties are welcome to call landline 552-7694 for inquiries about the activities.
In accordance to Executive Order Number 29 (2017), the month of July was declared as National Disaster Resilience Month which calls for observation nationwide for the entire month. It is practiced annually each July and it involves various sectors to do their part. The theme for National Disaster Resilience Month this year is “Kahandaan sa Sakuna’t Peligro Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago.”
For more information about the City of Las Piñas, click here.
In recent times, I spotted a new business at the corner of Tropical Avenue and El Grande Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas City. It was Mang Pandesal and their store was easy to spot with its red and yellow colors.
To put things in perspective, especially for the foreign readers viewing this, pandesal is a common roll of bread in the Philippines composed of eggs, sugar, flour, salt and yeast. It is found in many places all over the country from the rural areas to the commercial joints along city roads.
On the small business joint Mang Pandesal, simplicity is the best way to describe what they offer. The first time I went inside, I saw the counter and behind it was the space where the pandesal was orderly stored and there was an oven. They bake and sell small-sized pandesal at a very affordable P2 each. That’s it! Simple as that! Take a look at what I had the first time I bought a pandesal there.
After receiving the pandesal I bought, I opened the paper bag and looked inside. These small pandesal pieces look really cute. Then I pulled out one and ate it for the first time ever. It tasted good!
Clearly, Mang Pandesal’s bread really lived up to the Tagalog sign outside that said, “Masarap at malaman kahit walang palaman.” That loosely translates to, “Delicious and satisfying even without filling.”
One pandesal gave a good taste. Consuming two or more pieces means more of the good taste plus the satisfaction. Don’t forget the low price of each pandesal for sale which makes it ideal for buying by the bulk for the family or friends.
And then there was a holy scripture at the counter – 1 Corinthians 10: 31.
According to the New King James Version (NKJV) Holy Bible I’m using, 1 Corinthians 10: 31 goes as follows:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
That scripture truly meant something. The next few times I passed by Mang Pandesal, I saw the store had a line of customers (some with their cars parked nearby) waiting to be served. There was a time when the customers were buying the available pandesal by the bulk.
And there was another time when there were customers ahead of mean just standing in line waiting for the next batch of pandesal to finish baking at the oven as the available supply of pandesal ran out!
From time to time, I failed to buy a single piece of pandesal there but I have no regret.
In fact, I can say out loud that Mang Pandesal in BF International is a blessed business by the Lord! They have the Word of God with them and it is truthful that the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly!
There is no poverty nor lack in the Kingdom of God. For as long as we are faithful to Him, we pray to Him, we follow and do His Word, and honor Him, the Lord will bless us and prosper us.
Going back to Mang Pandesal, I highly recommend buying pandesal from them whenever you pass by their store at Tropical Avenue corner El Grande Avenue. They are a blessed business and what they sell is unsurprisingly good.