Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good News for coffee lovers like me and for tea drinkers like Veronica

Photo taken from

I was checking my e-mail when I found this in my inbox. Being a coffee lover myself, I had enough reason to smile the entire day after reading it. This article, which is published in the December 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, actually made my day at mid-morning.

In a gist, the article tells us that:

1. High intakes of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea are associated with a reduced risk for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. This finding is a result of a meta-analysis of 18 studies with a total of 457, 922 participants.

2. There was an inverse log-linear relationship between coffee intake and the subsequent risk for diabetes. In english, every additional cup of coffee consumed in one day was associated with a 7% decrease in the excess risk for diabetes.

3. The meta-analytic study is not without limitations like any other research but, quoting directly from the article and from the study authors, "if the beneficial effects were observed in interventional trials to be real, the implications for the millions of individuals who have diabetes mellitus, or who are at future risk of developing it, would be substantial."

4. 20% of the cohorts come from non-white population which limits the generalizability of the study to Western populations. But that limitation actually works for us.

5. The study authors add, "It could also be envisaged that we will advise our patients most at risk for diabetes mellitus to increase their consumption of tea and coffee in addition to increasing their levels of physical activity and weight loss."

So, need I say more? Let's raise our coffee and tea cups together and drink to that! :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Let me take you there

"I know a place where we can go to
A place where no one knows you
They won't know who we are

I know a place where we can run to
And do those things we want to
They won't know who we are

Let me take you there, I wanna take you there"

- Let Me Take You There, Plain White T's

Leticia ought to pay me for this.

My friends and I were simply dying to take a break from our fast-paced city lives. We all agreed on that fact that night while we were having dinner. The need to have a break seemed to be really urgent since we were planning our getaway right after we saw a concert which showcased a group of talents from Manila.

Sumilon Island was the first venue that popped out from inside our heads.There was not much debate about it. Another testament to the urgency of the need to take a break. We immediately came up with plans to spend one whole day there then just travel back to the city after sundown. Arrangements were waiting to be made. Then we all called it a night.

It was in the week that followed when our plans would take on a very twisted turn. One of our friends said there was a promo for a getaway in Boracay. Frances and I immediately took refuge in the internet and searched for the cheapest way to get there. Who could ever say no to Boracay, anyway? Perhaps no one could. But we did exactly that.

We realized we needed to go somewhere not really far away from the city. More importantly, we needed to take a break without really burning our pockets to ashes. Boracay and Sumilon can wait anyway. Then Frances came up with the idea of going to Costa de Leticia. It was then that she told me she has researched about the place before and even got a reservation last month but had to cancel it for some other reasons. The cost of acommodations seemed really attractive (read: very affordable) and the fact that we did not have to cross another body of sea or fly to another island made it an even better option. (A big plus point that it almost lights up a bulb inside the head of a doctor like me who almost always only has limited time to chill out and relax.) She told me all these while we were online and right after she brought it up, sparks flew. Not that the computer cables sparked or the connection went berserk (again). It's just that we knew we just hit the jackpot.

Costa de Leticia is located in Alegria Cebu, a town nestled on the southwestern part of the Island. Approximately a good two and a half hours ride away from the city, this resort boasts of an infinity pool with jacuzzi, and most of all it offers a perfect haven for relaxation where one is reoriented with the true meaning of serenity - something for which we city dwellers would be more willing to pack our bags for and to run and catch the next bus - immediately.

Now let me take you there. Of course, after you have arranged and confirmed your reservations.

First, take the Ceres Bus with the route Oslob via Barili, at the South Express Terminal. The crew at the Bus Terminal will guide you through the process of getting a ticket and boarding on the bus. You just have to tell them you're going to Alegria.

When on board your bus, just tell the conductor, the guy who issues tickets, that you are going to Alegria, particularly, the Costa de Leticia Resort and Spa. The place is easy to find because it is situated on the road where the Ceres buses pass everyday and aside from that, it is right across a public elementary school. Now how can the bus driver ever miss that?

Click here for bookings and reservations and for other ways to get there, especially for those who will be coming from the nearby Negros Island. You can either call and book the reservation on the phone or simply text the cellphone number they have on their website and the staff will promptly reply. As for us, we did call to reserve for our accomodations and paid half of the total amount at their office in Mandaue City. It was a good thing we paid half of what is due us because on the day when we arrived, there were guests who just walked in and they could have possibly taken our rooms. Although at the back of my mind, I wonder if the staff would allow that. But at least paying gave us leverage over the walk-in guests.

As soon as you step out of the bus, and get inside the gates of the resort, you will keep on reaffirming to yourself, now this is what relaxation ought to be.

Rocks rocking the beach. Taken by Shing Camps on the way to Alegria.

Breathtaking, as always. Taken by Shing Camps.

At last, we have arrived. Reception Area, Costa de Leticia Bech Resort and Spa, Alegria, Cebu.

8 Ways to take care of our mental health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

          During this era of the COVID Pandemic, it would be easy to overlook our mental health which is essential in order for us to h...