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Hunger’s endgame

TDT

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Don’t face the endgame on an empty stomach. Assemble with families and friends at select restaurants from Max’s Group Inc. (MGI), and stand a chance to win exclusive premiums from the movie event of the year, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame.

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to 22 films, Avengers: Endgame.

Just like the Avengers, Max’s Restaurant, Yellow Cab Pizza Co., Pancake House, Teriyaki Boy, and Jamba Juice are assembling for one united front with a promotion to assemble their favorites, and give their fans an opportunity to own official Avengers premiums in time for one of the most anticipated films in memory.

“Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame has been the talk of the town since the start of the year, and what could be more delightful than surprising our customers with our special offerings as we all celebrate the latest installment of this landmark cinematic series,” says MGI Group chief operating officer Ariel Fermin. “This partnership with Disney Philippines is our way for families and friends to gather over well-loved dishes and make movie night more exciting.”

Available for dine-in customers in select branches of participating brands, this partnership has both movie junkies and foodies thrilled because the purchase of select offerings from each participating brand gives you a chance to win limited-edition Lego sets, official Funko Pop merchandise, and various other collectible gear in both a grand raffle and instant-win draws.

Gain maximum force at Max’s with its P1,399 Summer Bundle which can suit you up with a Marvel Avengers: Endgame metal badge, hoodie, USB drive, or drawstring bag. Before you face off with Thanos, win and load up with a shaker, metal badge, or collectible coin by ordering the P299 BBQ Chicken from Yellow Cab. Finding the perfect allies? Pancake House has you covered with its metal badge or baseball cap by ordering Two-Piece Classic Pancakes for P152. Foreseeing a win-win situation? Fret no more because you have a chance to get a metal badge or backpack with Teriyaki Boy’s P285 Teishoku Set Meal.

Whatever it takes, end the rollercoaster of emotions with Jamba Juice’s specially-curated Ultimate Smoothie. Avenge the fallen with the Avengers bag charm by simply presenting three store receipts with at least one purchase of this exclusive Smoothie and at least two 16 oz. Jamba Juice smoothies of any flavor.

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/MaxsGroupInc/.

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Google unveils new Pixel handsets with 5G wireless

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The new Pixel 5 will start at $699 for US customers and its reduced-price Pixel 4a with 5G at $499. (AM image)
WASHINGTONUnited States — Google on Wednesday unveiled two new smartphones with 5G wireless capability under its Pixel brand, which showcases the Android mobile system but has limited market share.

The new Pixel 5 will start at $699 for US customers and its reduced-price Pixel 4a with 5G at $499, the California tech giant announced at a streamed event.

The phones will be available from 15 October in the US and other markets.

The new handsets are “packing more helpful Google features into phones backed by the power and speeds of 5G,” said Google vice president Brian Rakowski.

The announcement puts Google, for the moment, ahead of Apple in the 5G smartphone race, with a 5G iPhone widely expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. It also positions Google with a competitively priced 5G device as consumers begin looking for upgrades.

Google’s Pixel handsets have won positive reviews for their powerful cameras and integrated artificial intelligence, but have failed to crack the top ranks of the smartphone market dominated by the likes of South Korea’s Samsung, Apple and China’s Huawei.

The Pixel devices nonetheless serve as a showcase for Google and Android, integrating hardware and software and the newest Google applications.

“Google has pivoted its Pixel line from competing at the highest price points to offering more value, but the competition has intensified in the mid-tier market as well,” said Avi Greengart of the consultancy Techsponential.

“That leaves the Pixel 5 again trying to differentiate itself on its camera and software.”

The launch comes with the global smartphone market struggling from the pandemic-induced economic crisis and with many consumers waiting for 5G devices.

Total smartphone sales were down 16 percent in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC, whose survey showed Huawei leading the market ahead of Samsung, Apple and Chinese firms Xiaomi and Oppo.

At Wednesday’s event, the company also announced a ramped up version of its Google TV platform which competes against Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.

“The new Google TV experience brings together movies, shows, live TV and more from across your apps and subscriptions and organizes them just for you,” said Google TV senior director Shalini Govilpai.

Also unveiled was a new Nest Audio smart speaker which  is 75 percent louder and has 50 percent stronger bass than its original smart speaker with the Google Home brand, according to the company.

p: wjg

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Binondo, business unusual

But the usually bustling Manila district is palpably less festive than usual.

Kathleen A. Llemit

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DESPITE the slow business, Eng Bee Tin still introduced its ube-flavored mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Colorful lanterns of different shapes and sizes are hoisted, like buntings displayed during town fiestas. Stores are hoping to make a sale, maybe a box or two of their own recipe of that sweet bean or lotus-paste filled pastry.

In one corner of the world’s oldest Chinatown, there are still religious people who stand, eyes closed, praying fervently for their heart’s desires to come true in front of an altar built on the side of a narrow alley
It looks business as usual in Binondo — but not quite.

This normally bustling Manila district, especially on the eve of the festival that celebrates the moon goddess, is palpably less festive than usual. Much as residents would want to celebrate the moon’s graces of bounty, peace and prosperity, festival goers are called to stay put in their houses due to COVID-19.

For the past 3,000 years in China, people go all out with their bountiful spread of food believed to bring prosperity and luck to the families who come from different provinces to share and indulge in.

They would then watch the lantern parade and dragon dance making its way around the community, much like the chuseok festivities of South Korea or tsukimi or moon-viewing festival in Japan.
This is when the moon is at her brightest and fullest, beaming upon her loyal subjects who turn to her for favor at this time of the year.

Alas, the feast is more subdued and introspective this year as celebrations are masked in uncertainties. The pandemic has hurt a lot of businesses and paralyzed many human activities. It’s only been lately that a sense of normalcy has been felt.

Malls are running on barely half of their capacity — even the high-end mall in Chinatown with only a few select shops and retail stores open.

The small stores are open, and the popular Eng Bee Tin even introduced its ube-flavored mooncakes in time for the season.

But buying food is now mostly done online, through Viber communities or Facebook pages.

With public transport plying limited routes and only within the capital, visiting Binondo is a luxury today.

But one can be optimistic these days as prayers and wishes will hopefully not fall on deaf ears. Especially now when the moon goddess is at her glorious state, shining brightly on her legions of believers, all desperately longing for better days.

CHINATOWN in time of the coronavirus pandemic is void of its usual hustle and bustle. / PHOTOGRAPHS BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_yumi

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Full moon therapy

Its mystical presence, especially during a full moon, is said to hold a deeper connection to human behavior, as far as the myths, legends and even the stars tell. In astrology, the moon itself represents one’s emotional and intuitive nature. In more popular myths, the moon in its fullest can make a person go crazy.

Louise Lizan

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Photograph by David John Cubangbang for the daily tribune @tribunephl_dvd

Even from a distance, the moon reflects its true beauty. In contrast to the sun, the moon is not only pleasing to the eyes, but also envelops a sleeping city with comfort and light during cold, dark nights.

Figuratively, it can mean and become many things to different people; a friend to the ones who need it most, a beacon of light to those who are lost, or, for the Chinese people, a symbol of family reunification that is celebrated during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Its mystical presence, especially during a full moon, is said to hold a deeper connection to human behavior, as far as the myths, legends and even the stars tell. In astrology, the moon itself represents one’s emotional and intuitive nature. In more popular myths, the moon in its fullest can make a person go crazy, and provokes one to be odd or violent — even murders on a full moon can be ground for lunacy. Thus, in 18th century England, manslaughter committed during such time got the culprit a lighter sentence. It is also believed that women who commit a violent offense have done so because of a fatal mix of their menstrual cycle and the full moon.

A beautiful thing about gazing at a full moon is the shroud of mystery that surrounds it, providing no single answer that actually explains it all. Making it a lot more enthralling to bask in, especially on lonely nights.

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Celebrating harmony and light

TDT

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Being together as family is the point of the Mid-Autumn festival. Mooncakes are just its proverbial icing. As part of their tradition, the Chinese cut the sweet delicacy into equal parts according to the number of members and distributed amongst them to be consumed together.

This practice of eating mooncake as a family embodies time-honored values like harmony, benevolence, respect, filial piety and prudence. As the pandemic has stirred families to stay safe from the coronavirus by staying home, the lessons gained from this Chinese ritual is a practice that could also be applied into other cultures.

In the midst of a pandemic, this year’s Mooncake Festival becomes especially meaningful as the world battles a health crisis and as home becomes a sanctuary for physical and spiritual fortification.

In line with this, Daily Tribune picked up some thoughts on being a family at this time, from three of the country’s movers and shakers:

Atty. Rowel S. Barba, director general, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines

“Filipinos are known for having close family ties. We do all we can to feed and provide for our family, as shown by the many OFW around the world. Sons and daughters remain in the household no matter the age. And they take care of elder parents. This was prominent in this pandemic as we were required to stay together in the house especially during the ECQ.”

On being God-fearing: “Though Filipinos belong to different religious groups, we all have God in the center of our lives. Being predominantly a Catholic country, most Filipino families go to church or pray together with their family. In these trying times and still with no vaccine in sight, we only have God as our hope and protector.”

Christian Eyde Moeller, founder, Lionheart Farms
“Eating together has always been important to me. It is a time when we feel each other, deal with issues, laugh and inspire, let creativity loose.

“The pandemic has enhanced this togetherness with more time and fewer distractions, Suddenly our family conversations focused more on compassion and the responsibility to help the most vulnerable. Hopefully we can all learn from this time and rise to the challenges our planet and civilization face.”

Cecille Chang-Moeller, vice president, Lionheart Farm
“Compassion, not just for family but also for others. We realized that the family that works together to achieve this is stronger than doing it solo.”

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Mid-Autumn munch-haves

Care Balleras

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MID-AUTUMN Festival’s representative pastry, mooncakes. / Photograph courtesy of unsplash/thoango

The Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival may hit differently this year — without the usual family get-togethers.

Your eyes may not see the happy faces of loved ones due to quarantine restrictions, but your tummy can still be at its most gratified state with platters of good food and drinks, while gazing at the moon at its brightest and fullest state.

What’s a celebration without a fine and auspicious cuisine? To guide you in observing this year’s Mooncake festivities, here’s a list of munch-haves that you can prepare at home.

Mooncakes (YUEBING)
To really appreciate the full moon (which in Chinese belief represents the eternal love of Chang E’, the goddess of Moon and the mythological archer Hou Yi), take a bite of the best mooncake you can get your hands on.

Some recipes are available online. But as we are given more access to online food delivery services, you can just order and have them delivered to your house.

Take a look at the menu of Shangri-La The Fort, Conrad Hotel, TWG Tea, Marco Polo and more which offer the best mooncakes you can find locally. And if you really want to feel the authentic atmosphere of the traditional Mooncake Festival, head on to Salazar Bakery in Binondo, Manila, the classic go-to place for Chinese sweets and pastries.

Duck(YAZI)
Spice up your quarantine-style celebration of the Mooncake Festival by serving duck. Smoked, baked, or braised, put this rich entrée at the center of your table to attract good health.
Preparing duck for the Mooncake Festival was derived from the ancient Chinese who wanted to topple an oppressive and corrupt leader who, when talking, sounded like a duck. Besides this folktale, feasting on duck is believed to bring good luck to those who eat it.

Crab(PANGXIE)
For a more mouthwatering meal, throw a seafood party and serve hairy crabs, commonly known as Chinese mitten crabs. This Shanghai delicacy has a sweet and spicy taste and is best consumed during the celebration with vinegar and ginger.

HAIRY crabs / Photograph courtesy of girlmeetscooking

River snails
To seal the deal with seafood, include a bowl of river snails in your menu. In Guangzhou, snails are traditionally cooked with medicinal herbs that are believed to brighten one’s eyes.

RIVER snails are vitally important for the mid-autumn feast. / photograph courtesy of newsgd.com

 

Lotus Root (LIAN’OU) pumpkin and taro (YUNAI)
With a good dose of protein on the party table, keep a healthy balance with food rich in dietary fibers and nutrients like lotus root. The traditional way to eat it is to bite into its crispy stuffed version.

Lotus Root (LIAN’OU) pumpkin and taro (YUNAI)

Lotus root, which grows long under water, is associated with togetherness, new opportunities and inseparability.

Meanwhile, pumpkins are also a good option for your mooncake fest-food roster as it is also believed to bring good health. If you cannot have a mooncake, this is a great substitute.

And what’s a Chinese traditional celebration without food for good luck? That’s where taro comes in. Besides adding this starchy root in braised duck, it can also be eaten boiled and dipped in soy sauce to enhance its flavor.

Pomelo (YOUZI) and Pear (LI)
In terms of fruits, pomelo and pear are your best picks. Manifest the downpour of blessings for your children and the coming generation by having these fruits on your table during the festival. Sharing a pear with family members is forbidden as the fruit’s name means “to separate.”

DRIED pomelos / Photograph courtesy of DRIED pomelos / Photograph courtesy of unsplash/smakoladkaunsplash/smakoladka

Buffalo nut (LINGJIAO) and Edamame soybeans (MAODOUJIA)
Also known as water caltrop or bat nut, the buffalo nut has some bad reputation because of its appearance.It resembles a bat with horns. These are often harvested from muddy fields. According to thewoksoflife.com, buffalo nuts can be eaten raw or boiled in salted water. It can also be added in braised dishes such as Pork Belly with Arrowroot.

Buffalo nuts aka bat nut (above) and edamame. / Photographs courtesy of www.fooding.com.tw and unsplash/curtis thornton

On the other hand, Southern Chinese tradition involves eating edamame as a snack. Just like white rice dumplings and taro, edamame is also used as an offering to the moon goddess Ch’ang O.

Wine fermented with osmanthus flowers
To top the celebration, get a glass of wine fermented with osmanthus flowers. A homophone for “Gui,” osmanthus flowers, coincidentally, are in full bloom during the mid-autumn season.

Osmanthus flowers symbolizes wealth and luck and is widely used to make traditional tea and wine. As one of the most notable Chinese floral wines, this drink is sure to give your Mooncake Festival a toast to remember.

Wine in fermented osmanthus flowers. / Photograph courtesy of Hubei

Pauline Songco
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What the Mooncake Festival means

Louie Logarta

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MID-AUTUMN Festival is a popular occasion that brings families together to appreciate the moon at its fullest. / photographs courtesy of unsplash/elsie, michael, NASA

If there is one thing the world longs for in the darkest of times, it’s the light that comes with celebrating and reuniting with friends, family and loved ones.

And now, seven months into the world’s longest quarantine due to COVID-19, Filipinos are forced to distance themselves from each other — and unfortunately, in some situations, from one’s family, too.

Family is most important during this pandemic. Probably the best thing to do to be reminded of the joy and warmth of being with kin is to look at the bright light of the moon and share a good meal with relatives during the Mooncake Festival.

Happening on the first night of October this year, the Mooncake Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival, is a popular occasion that brings families together to appreciate the moon, which is at its brightest and fullest at this time.

The Mooncake Festival is celebrated not only in China, but also in its neighboring countries including the Philippines. It is mixed with varied local activities, but tied together by lighting lanterns, eating mooncakes and being with family.

Some 3,000 years ago, the ancient Chinese emperors thanked and worshipped the moon for their harvest, usually accompanied by sacrifices and offerings believed are for the moon goddess. These practices were first recorded during the Western Zhou Dynasty (1440 — 770 BC).

It was later in the Tang Dynasty that the fete became an official celebration in China, as more people began appreciating the moon, with the belief that doing so would bring them good luck and happiness.

Through the years, being with family became the essence of the festival.

Whether dining at home or eating out, the point was that everyone is present, eating the traditional pastry that is the mooncake, after which family members will step out to marvel at the moon while talking about their lives or making lanterns.

The Mid-Autumn Festival aims to keep the spirit of togetherness and family alive, even during this pandemic.

The event gives us time to pause and hope for better days, for the health crisis to end and to appreciate the value of having a family.

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Reach for the moon(cakes)

TDT

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No big family reunions for this year’s Mooncake Festival but still want to celebrate?

Fret not, because no moon-lover is left behind with these mooncakes to-go from the finest hotels and restaurants around the region. Check out the list of different versions apt for every taste.

Empress Dining Palace
Deeply committed to serving the most luscious Chinese dishes, Empress Dining Palace is at the top of the list with luscious mooncake classics.Order up White Lotus with Double Egg Yolk and Plain White Lotus mooncakes packaged inside a luxurious treasure box for only P2,088. Call 8292 0807 or 0915 543 1862 for pickup orders and delivery, also available via Foodpanda and GrabFood. Visit its Facebook page www.facebook.com/empressdiningpalace for more information.

The Peninsula Manila
If eating handcrafted mooncakes warms your heart, The Peninsula Manila might be the best place to get your treats from. Indulge in these mouthwatering dishes made with traditional lotus seed paste, yolk and egg custard for options priced at P3,888 and P2,388. And don’t forget to spread the word because you can get a 10 percent discount for every 10 boxes purchased. For inquiries and orders, contact +63 2 8887 5747 or email at [email protected]

Grand Hyatt Manila
Mooncake but make it modern is the way to go for Grand Hyatt Manila. Savor from classic lotus paste, taro, matcha, white chocolate, red bean and fruit and nut choices that you must try. To get a bite of every flavor, personalize your selections by getting a box (or more) of mooncake sets priced at P1,388 and P1,988. For inquiries, contact +632 838 1234 or email [email protected]

Sino Hotel
And as the Mooncake Festival is likewise celebrated in other parts of Asia, people from Hong Kong and Singapore can get their own mooncake sets from Sino Hotel. Check out their exquisite mooncake collections 2020 and hurry up until discounts up to almost 50 percent still lasts.

Eng Bee Tin
For all those who gave in to the Ube Cheese Pandesal craze, this may be a good Eng Bee’s ube cheese mooncake great suggestion to spice up your celebration. You cannot get this from a hotel yet, but you can order it from Eng Bee Tin’s Shopee and Ube Delivery for only P205 a piece. Order through www.ubedelivery.com for deliveries or at the Official Eng Bee Tin Store in Shopee and Lazada App.

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Whole lot of baking going on

Co-owners Paula Ferrer and Bianca Termulo tweaked, revamped and conducted a 180-degree overhaul of recipes from abroad and made sourdoughs fit for the Philippines.

Dolly Dy-Zulueta

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A good thing that came out of the coronavirus pandemic is that it gave birth to new business ventures that adapted to present needs and demands. In the food industry, new and innovative ideas emerged. Delivery became a must, as people stayed at home. Now, virtually all restaurants and bakeshops, as well as independent sellers, are online to offer food delivery.

One business that actually started during the quarantine was Otter Breads. Co-owned by Paula Ferrer and Bianca Termulo, Otter Breads was born in March, following the enforcement of the stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Running a tour operations program for various food, art and coffee crawls in Metro Manila before the lockdown forced them to stay home, Paula and Bianca were used to the availability of good bread any time they needed to buy some. But in the first two weeks of the ECQ, they had a difficult time because most of their sources were closed and they did not particularly enjoy eating commercial bread sold in grocery stores.

With a survival mindset and to pacify their own cravings for good artisan-style bread, the two ladies decided to craft their own breads. With lots of time at home, they dug deep into the science of making sourdoughs.

Sourdough Noir, Tablea X Davao Dark.

“It was extra challenging because most of the tutorials or demos we found online were done mostly in cold countries, and temperature affects the quality of yeast and the way it ferments. So, we played around with it and adjusted key elements. We tweaked, revamped and conducted a 180-degree overhaul of recipes and made sourdoughs fit for a tropical country like the Philippines,” explains Bianca.

When they were ready with their sourdough bread, the two women took photos and posted them on their personal Instagram accounts. Friends asked where they bought the bread, and when they said, “We actually made this,” someone suggested that they start selling it.

OTTER Breads’ 16-Hour Sourdough Loaf. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF OTTER BREADS

When they did, friends began ordering, and from their circle of friends, they moved on to sell to their community and nearby villages. Soon, the demand started to pick up, and the ladies decided to put up a social media page and have a reference name for it.

“We wanted our name to be something adorable, comforting and easy on the eyes. We thought of otters and named ourselves Otter Breads Sourdough,” says Bianca.

Why sourdough? It’s because the core of the online bakeshop’s menu consists of sourdough breads. Staples include 16-hour Sourdough Loaf (780 grams); a smaller version called 16-hour Small Sourdough Loaf (380 grams); a health buff’s choice in the 16-hour Whole Wheat Sourdough Loaf (780 grams); Sourdough Noir, Tablea x Davao Dark (380 grams), which is an incredibly soft and delicious chocolate sourdough bread with lots of chocolate bits; Sourdough Sienna, Sagada, Arabica (380 grams), the coffee infused version; and Sourdough pandesal infused with Benguet coffee and cheese in half-dozen packs.

Fluffy sourdough pancakes

I particularly like the Sourdough Noir because I thought it would be hard and dry, but turned out soft and moist. The chocolate bits added another dimension of taste and texture to the bread.
To enhance the sourdough bread experience, Otter Breads has come up with a number of dips and spreads. These include Homemade Compound Butter of the Month, Homemade Pure Honey Butter and Organic Sea Salt, Balsamic Dip with Olive Oil x Palawan Honey, Mango Wood-smoked Bacon and House Cream Cheese, Fresh Organic Avocado Mash (which is seasonal), Scone Cream, Pangasinan Garlic Confit in Olive Oil and Herb and Brown Butter, mostly in 85-gram servings.

What sets Otter Breads’ menu apart, however, is the interactive or DIY offerings on its menu. One is the Fluffy Sourdough Pancakes batter that comes in a 400-gram tub. It is already a batter, so when you get home, you can cook up some mean pancakes any time you want. Using one-fourth cup as measurement for the batter, one tub can make you five to six fluffy pancakes.

Sourdough pandesal infused with Benguet coffee and cheese.

There is no way you can mess it up because the batter comes with instructions to cook the pancakes over medium low heat with some butter for two minutes per side. When refrigerated, the batter can keep for three days.

The other one is Sourdough Pizza Blobs, which you can buy in pairs in a 360-gram tub. With these ready-to-bake blobs, you can make your own professional-looking pizzas.

For a business that was born out of the pandemic, Otter Breads is very organized. Two thumbs up to the two ladies behind the brand.

A whole lot of baking is going on, and no one’s complaining.

For inquiries and orders, visit Otter Breads’ social media pages: www.facebook.com/otterbreads/ and www.instagram.com/otter.breads. Email [email protected] or call +63998-5448140.

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Keeping the kids’ future alright

Francine M. Marquez

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(Photo: Nico Bolzico Instagram account)

I got hitched quite late and became a mother in my early 40s. Always the one who was chided by friends as “married to her job,” I didn’t even think that motherhood would become me one day.

But even if I’m boxed by most people — and even mistaken as a grandma (“Apo niyo po?” or “Your grandson?” Hmp) when strangers see premature gray-haired me carrying my infant — as a “mature” mom, one thing’s still true. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and no matter how old or young you’ve had your child, it’s still a series of hits and misses along the way. Till you get into that groove and get it a bit right.

Parenting styles are generational. My parents, who grew up during World War II, tended to be strict and authoritative. I would say that my generation of parents are, ehem, cooler, though faulted by both the older boomers and the younger generation, the Millennials, as “too compromising.” But, hey, I beg to disagree. One can’t box the way one loves and cares for kids and the way one should be acknowledging their individuality.

Now, six months into the pandemic, today’s set of first-time parents have their own struggles to face. The challenges are double my generation’s own, I believe, as we continue to reckon with a health crisis and as we hope that this, too, shall pass. But meanwhile, schools are still closed, and children are not allowed to leave their homes and enjoy public spaces like parks and playgrounds. What also gets me is when I encounter small kids and babies getting their check-ups in clinics and hospitals with the necessary masks and face shields to protect them from the dreaded coronavirus. This pandemic has pushed us to hide our kids and conceal their smiles, too.

COVID-19 has really taken a toll on families, endangered their health and finances as well. It’s too much to handle and, for sure, doubly so for first-time parents raising their children the new normal way.

 

Securing the future
Financial planning is an important part of raising a family especially during this uncertain time. Besides salaries and extra income from sidelines, putting our hard-earned money in banks, in business, or letting them grow through investment plans are the best bets for that sipag at tiyaga, and laban lang pandemic attitude.

Today, getting an insurance doesn’t mean shelling out an X amount of money for your insurance package and praying hard that you don’t get into an accident. Karla Capili, unit manager of MDRT Philamlife and (for disclosure) my agent, says, “As a risk management strategy, it is always good to have insurance in one’s portfolio especially because of the ‘what ifs’ in life. What if we die too soon and we people depending on us? There are dreams we want to realize for our loved ones. Or, what if we live too long and we need resources to sustain us in our retirement years? What if we get sick and we can no longer work and provide for our families? These are every day risks we face that we have to prepare ourselves for.

“During this time of pandemic, we have been witness on how risks can affect us especially if we do not prepare for it and COVID-19 is just one of those. The risks we face prior to the pandemic are still there that’s why it is best to prepare ahead against these life’s uncertainties with COVID or even without it.”

Karla explains that there are many kinds of insurance products that could help policy owners during emergency periods, not just during accidents. She adds, “There are different life Insurance products, and getting money or living benefits from these plans would depend on the kind of product or features the plan has.

“There are plans that provide cash upon diagnosis of a critical illness, provides reimbursement for hospitalization expenses upon confinement, and provides loans from a policy’s cash value for emergency needs. There are also plans that provide cash from redeeming one’s policy account values for plans with investment component. Through the years, life insurance products have evolved to cater to the changing needs of clients. It is just a matter of choosing the right product that suits your needs and requirements.”

 

THE Bolzicos, Solenn and Nico, enjoying time with daughter Thylane.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF IG/SOLENN, IG/NICOBOLZICO

Insurance for kids
For parents with young kids, in particular, I chanced upon AIA Philam Life’s recent virtual conference featuring celebrities as its brand ambassadors and promoting insurance packages for children.

AIA Med-Assist for children is a variable life insurance plan with a medical benefit rider designed to address medical expenses due to hospitalization of 0 to 17-year olds.

Tennyson Paras, AIA Philam Life head of Products, shares the reason behind the development of this product: “We wanted a product that can give parents peace of mind in case of hospitalization. As a parent myself, I understand the additional burden that these unexpected medical expenses have on families. With AIA Med-Assist, they can simply focus on taking care of their children and recovery.”

The product helps parents move one step ahead in protecting their children and finances against health-related risks. It covers 90 percent of in-patient hospitalization and other medical expenses. Aside from hospitalization, the product also has a life insurance benefit and an investment fund that can help parents build their own medical fund in the future.

At the virtual conference, Nico Bolzico and wife Solenn Heussaff were joined by Cebu-based influencers Kryz and Slater Young, in a live online talk show called “Tea Time with the Bolzicos.” Both couples are months-old parents who are now experiencing hands-on parenting during the pandemic. In the course of their discussion on the changes in their priorities and discovering the joys of parenthood, they talked about the importance of protecting their children against risks, especially during this time when health risks abound.

While tough times require prudence on every parent’s part, thinking two to three steps ahead for our family’s future is one way of protecting our children, too, from what other challenges the pandemic and its long-term effect will hurl upon us.

SLATER Young and wife Kryz Uy with their first-born son, Scotty Knoa.

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