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April’s full: Summer treats to beat the heat at home |

Food and Leisure

April’s full: Summer treats to beat the heat at home

Kathleen A. Llemit -
Aprilâs full: Summer treats to beat the heat at home
Even if this pandemic has put a damper on our travel plans, we can reimagine summer in the safety of our homes – with help from these new flavors and treats.
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — The heat is on and the temperature rises ever higher as we welcome the onset of summer. 

Even if this pandemic has put a damper on our travel plans, we can reimagine summer in the safety of our homes – with help from these new flavors and treats.

Cool down with collagen

Collagen peptides are amino acids that provide structure to the body’s bones, skin, tendons and ligaments that are naturally produced by the body to connect our joints. These also contribute to improving skin elasticity and joint health, including development of muscle mass and growth.
Dyna Drug Corp./Released


If there’s one good thing that resulted from the year-long lockdowns or community quarantines that came at various levels, it was to prevent further COVID-19 spread.

Though it may have helped achieve some success in controlling the virus’ spread, it somehow contributed to having a sedentary lifestyle in many. This is because many were forced to stay home to work and learn, hence the work-from-home or learn-from-home environments. Many were not allowed to out of their homes except on emergency or essential situations.

By staying at home, working and learning while spending long hours in front of computers and digital devices, many suffered from lack of mobility or exercise that created serious impact on joints. Many were too focused on working and learning that they tend to overlook the physical aspect of their being. If mechanical stress can take its toll on the joints or specific body part of athletes and active individuals, what more on those who don’t move too much, or don’t move at all?

Even the elders were affected. Because of the lockdowns, they can’t go out for their usual morning exercises, thus contributing as well to lack of mobility of their already weakening joints.

By leading an inactive lifestyle, fewer calories are burned that may lead to obesity. It may also lead to losing muscle strength and endurance because the muscles are not used too frequently as it should, making the bones go weak and even lose mineral content that can contribute to weaker joints. Imagine not being able to, or have difficulty, climbing the stairs as you normally should, or walk along the street and experience pain that is not experienced before. 

Despite the lockdown, which still continues to this day, try to allot some time to move around even if space is a bit limited. Stationary jogging, stretching of arms and legs, simple sit-ups, brisk walking around the house (or even around the dining table if there’s no lawn or backyard) can help. Just make sure to do it safely.

To help restore and maintain healthy joints while doing mobility exercises, regenerate cartilage and collagen in the joints by taking food supplements like Recogen, which both the young and the elderly who want to maintain healthy joints, or if suffering from joint pains, can take daily to help regenerate cartilage and collagen in their body tissues. Daily consumption shows that Recogen can promote joint cartilage regrowth and improves cartilage tissue within 48 weeks.

It contains 100% pure and Short Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP) from Germany. Collagen peptides are amino acids that provide structure to the body’s bones, skin, tendons and ligaments that are naturally produced by the body to connect our joints. These also contribute to improving skin elasticity and joint health, including development of muscle mass and growth.

The BCP found in the brand contains low molecular weight to make it easily digestible and absorbed quickly into the small intestine and the bloodstream, thereby providing more benefits quickly, especially for the elderly, whose nutrition absorption is not as efficient as younger adults. It also dissolves easily, odorless and tasteless, no sugar, contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. It is perfectly safe, with no known adverse effects and is allergen-free.

The brand is recommended for those suffering from osteoarthritis, skeletal deformity and abnormal joint position, inflammatory joint diseases, crystal-induced arthritis, for individuals with traumatic injuries or those who are overweight. Just mix with water or any favorite drink (except coffee or tea because of its caffeine content) and you’re good to go and enjoy it. The brand is distributed in the Philippines by Dyna Drug Corporation. More information can be found in 

Food delivery delights

Foodpanda's new color enhancements serve to emphasize the brand’s culture, which is friendly, caring, smart and a little bit rebellious, not afraid to change the status quo or take risks.
Photo release


You can also order meals and snacks from on-demand food delivery services such as Foodpanda Philippines, which now sports a brand-new look as it continues to expand its business verticals beyond food delivery and into quick commerce (q-commerce). The iconic pink panda will still be highly visible, but it gets a fun new treatment that will soon be seen on customers’ everyday touchpoints, including the app, website, rider bags and jackets, packaging, and the brand’s marketing campaigns and social media pages. 

The new color enhancements serve to emphasize the brand’s culture, which is friendly, caring, smart and a little bit rebellious, not afraid to change the status quo or take risks. This refreshed identity is part of the brand’s commitment to continue offering q-commerce based solutions that will bring excitement, ease, and convenience to more customers. 

The refreshed home screen on the app, dubbed the “bento,” now allows users to seamlessly choose the service they need – food delivery, self-pickup, shops, or pandamart – while making it easier to explore top restaurants and promotions available in their location.

Daniel Marogy, Foodpanda’s Managing Director, said that this refreshed look characterizes the app’s enhanced experiences. “We want to communicate through design how seamless our services are, where we incorporate many of the delivery needs of our Filipino customers in our convenient app, especially as we are all trying to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. The design direction is meant to bridge the gap between our tech and the real-life experience of millions of customers by offering a more user-friendly look.”   

The brand’s new look can now be accessed via or on the app in Google Play and the app store.

From pasta and wings to sushi and paella, the app allows customers to order their favorite food safely and conveniently from any of Bistro Group’s international and homegrown brands.
Photo release


Likewise, the Bistro Delivers app, which houses all 17 Bistro Group restaurant brands, aims to make life for urban dwellers easier by offering on-demand delivery and take-out options. 

From pasta and wings to sushi and paella, the app allows customers to order their favorite food safely and conveniently from any of the restaurant group’s international and homegrown brands.

To give customers even more options, customers can order from multiple brands in the same vicinity, so they no longer have to choose between two good things. With a delivery radius of eight kilometers, customers can also enjoy access to restaurants that have typically been out of reach. 

For those craving savings, discounts and offers will be exclusively available for redemption within the app. “BFFs," members of the group’s loyalty program, can also expect to enjoy special privileges and perks. The app can be downloaded from the Play Store or Google Play and App Store.

GrabFood Signatures offers a selection of food and beverages on special discounts. If you're looking for a full spread that's good for sharing, choose from Angel’s Pizza, Frankie’s, New York Buffalo Wings, North Park, Andok’s, Kimono Ken, Mann Hann, Turks, Cibo, Sinangag Express, Wildflour Burger or Popeyes.


Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading superapp, announces its GrabFood Signatures program featuring popular restaurants offering amazing deals on a wide selection of best-selling food and beverage, exclusively to Grab consumers. 

“In our quest to deliver only the very best to our users, we have partnered with several of our most beloved and loyal merchants to create special, only-on-GrabFood offers for everyone to enjoy. We hope that our consumers appreciate the meticulous care and attention that both Grab and our partners have put into crafting this program - which is really meant to delight. In this challenging lockdown period, we hope to bring some joy to our consumers, and  drive more sales to our merchant-partners,” said Grab Philippines Country Head Grace Vera Cruz.

Craving for a drink, snack, or sweet treat? Grab your favorites now from restaurants like Starbucks, Koomi, Big Al’s Cookie Jar, J.Co Donuts & Coffee, Banapple, Cake2Go and Cafe Mary Grace. 

As part of GrabFood Signatures, all these restaurants offer exclusive deals such as a P100 OFF whenever you order a minimum order of P550.

New-generation nutrition

“A well-balanced plate has a lot of colors – lots of fruits and vegetables," said Leni Olmedo, Amway Philippines Country Manager.
Photo release


Despite the Philippines being rich in lands and farms full of fruit and vegetable crops, a colorful plate just isn’t a common sight in Filipino dining tables. As such, Amway’s plant-based health supplement brand Nutrilite is launching its new flagship product, the Next Generation of Nutrilite Double X (NGDX), which can help color in these gaps in Filipino diets.

“You achieve good health by taking care of yourself and keeping a balanced diet, giving your body the nutrients it needs and the love it deserves,” said Leni Olmedo, Amway Philippines Country Manager. “A well-balanced plate has a lot of colors – lots of fruits and vegetables.”

Available in Amway Exclusive Shopper, NGDX is a food supplement containing sophora japonica, turmeric, rosemary and a blend of berries, among other carefully selected fruits and vegetables. Packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, the supplement is a level up of the company’s previous flagship product of the same name. The original mutivitamin had phytonutrients that took reactive defenses against excess free radicals in the body, which are known to accelerate aging. In the upgrade, the phytonutrients take proactive defenses by eliminating excess free radicals in the cells themselves.

The brand boasts of having its own certified organic farms where they plant and source majority of their ingredients. This has allowed the company to make supplements that are traceable down to the very seed of its ingredients so consumers can be confident that their vitamins are pure, safe and effective. 

“Our hearts have always been centered on helping our consumers lead healthier and more empowered lives,” Olmedo shared. “So we are constantly finding ways to innovate and improve.”

Make room for mushroom 

Several centuries have passed and the mushroom, even up to this day, has become a staple ingredient not just in food but also for treatment due to its renowned medicinal benefits, especially in traditional Chinese medicine.
Dyna Drug Corp./Released


There were many mushroom varieties that have sprouted, and claims about its wondrous benefits have become legendary. But it was only probably in the 1970s that mushrooms’ properties were studied up close. Animal testing saw success in slowing down cancer cell growth and improve mortality, but the real test was when it involved humans. During clinical trials, mushroom compounds proved effective in reducing cancer mortality while improving response to cancer treatments. Since its introduction decades ago, mushroom extracts have been used as medicine in Japan and as an adjunct to cancer treatment. 

One such type of mushroom is the Yun-zhi (Coriolus versicolor), commonly known as “Turkey Tail” or “Cloud Mushroom.” Its anti-cancer properties definitely attracted attention even if many plant extracts and herbs also claimed effectiveness in curing cancer. It contains compounds such as Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharopeptide (PSP), believed to improve immune qualities, destroy some cancer cells and when used together with chemotherapy, even reducing its side effects. 

Even antibiotic, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-fungal were also discovered. It is also said to be rich in active compounds like sterols, triterpenes, and alkaloids, and is widely recommended in TCM for alleviating physical distress like tiredness/fatigue, lack of appetite and even respiratory conditions like coughing and shortness of breath, and even preventing infections.

But despite all these glowing benefits, the use of mushrooms did not get much traction and awareness outside of the East Asian territories. Probably because not much research and extensive clinical trials were conducted about Yun-zhi so people don’t have that much idea yet to fully understand its powers and benefits, especially when it comes to its cancer-fighting capabilities.

But it would be heartening to note that the power of the Yun-zhi is now available in many health supplements to improve bodily functions like improving blood flow, protection of the liver, digestive tract, overcome fatigue and even promote anti-aging and other phenomenal invigorating and rejuvenating properties. Available at, Neucell’s Essence of Mushroom, a single plant extract formulation of 250 mg of Yun-Zhi mushroom and distributed by Dyna Drug Corp. in the Philippines, was able to harness these properties to become a natural food supplement to support man’s health, coupled with balanced diet and healthy exercise.

Clinical trials done have shown that the brand has the ability to stabilize the body’s white blood cell count that makes it perfect in boosting the immune system, a great need among people  today, especially with this raging pandemic. It can also help reduce known side effects of chemo and radiotherapies like fatigue, poor appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting and sweating.

With regard to the body’s respiratory system, the Yun-zhi mushroom of Neucell’s Essence of Mushroom can help improve the lungs’ functions which, according to TCM records, Yun-Zhi mushroom was effective against lung diseases and the promotion of a healthy upper respiratory system. It was also found to be effective in promoting overall health of the liver by improving and strengthening its functions.

Finally, in a clinical study published by the International Journal of Medical Sciences, Yun-Zhi mushroom was known to reduce fatigue and improve athletic performance, where the effects of the Yun-Zhi mushroom are known to provide invigoration, increase vital body energy, even promoting and stimulating longevity.

The brand, however, can also be taken by people with existing medical conditions and undergoing chemotherapy. Recommended dosage for taking Neucell as a food supplement if two to four capsule daily, while for those who are on chemotherapy, recommended dosage is four to five capsules after meals. In the Philippines, Neucell’s Essence of Mushroom is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available through Dyna Drug Corp. 

Eco-friendly teas

These different infusions serve different functions, helping with health concerns from stomach discomfort, sleep quality, to mental alertness.


Sekaya Botanic Infusion is making it easier for everyone to enjoy a cup of its botanical blends anytime of the day. The curated range of infusions, originally introduced in loose-leaf format, now comes in eco-friendly teabags, so you can conveniently steep and sip to enhance your health and assist the body’s self-healing functions. 

These different infusions serve different functions, helping with health concerns from stomach discomfort, sleep quality, to mental alertness. Each blend is put together based on the therapeutic properties of its ingredients (sourced from certified USDA organic farms), and are largely a combination of leaves, barks, roots, seeds and fruits of different plants known for their traditional medicinal value. 

The current eight variants available in both loose-leaf and the new teabags include Aftermeal Treat that helps alleviate stomach discomfort after a meal, Cozy Calm that’s perfect to drink after a stressful day, and Easy Nightcap that can help relieve stress and tension for better quality sleep. 

There’s Energy Mix to assist in keeping your mental focus, and Gentle Detox to strengthen the body’s daily detoxification actions. Liver Vitality helps keep your liver healthy so it can do its job of flushing out toxins, while Skin Cleanse helps with clearing the skin of impurities in a natural way. Pu-erh Trim can help in managing cholesterol and weight.

Specifically created to strengthen the body’s immunity, Immune Brew, exclusively available in teabags, contains organic echinacea purpurea herb, lemon balm leaves, olive leaf, elderflower, lemon peel, elderberries, goldenseal herb and ginger root to help up defenses and keep the common flu and simple infections at bay.  

The new teabags are made of plant-derived materials that are biodegradable and non-toxic. This is especially important as other materials may leach chemicals and microplastics into the drink. The brand is also using pyramid teabags to give the botanicals more room to freely float around and release each infusion’s flavor, aroma and phytoactives and nutrients, so you can fully enjoy all its benefits. 

Now available via Facebook (@sekayaph), Instagram (@sekayaph), the Synnovate Flagship Store in Lazada, and S Sentials Online Store in Lazada, Shopee and Zalora, the variants are made with 100% organic plant ingredients that are non-GMO and non-irradiated, and have been certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Quality Assurance International.

Cheers to a new 'e-numan' concoction

From left: Adrian Tecson, Highland Park Philippine Brand Advocate; Master Whisky Makers (L-R) Gordon Motion, John Ramsay, Max McFarlane; HP casks warehouse
Photo release


A whisky created by three master whisky makers with over 100 years of whisky making experience, Highland Park Triskelion is a new "e-numan" (virtual drinking spree) option. It celebrates the combined wisdom and inspiration of three legendary Highland Park Master Whisky Makers – Gordon Motion, Max McFarlane and John Ramsay.  For the first and only time, their 100 plus years of shared whisky making expertise has come together to create this very special edition. 

Highland Park Triskelion was created using a combination of first-fill sherry seasoned Spansh oak butts, sherry seasoned American oak casks and bourbon barrels and hogsheads. These three principal cask types were balanced with a small quantity of refill casks to add a degree of softness to the whisky’s final flavor.  

Gordon Motion, the distillery’s current Master Whisky Maker, said: “It was fun and a real honour to work again with John and Max. We decided to create an unaged single malt as this gave us complete flexibility to consider a whole range of different cask types, flavour profiles as well as ages. To quote John Ramsay ‘You don’t need an age statement to deliver real quality’. It took us a while to agree on the final flavor profile, but we are very proud of the result – it tested our skill set, our craftsmanship but not our friendship!”  

The Triskelion symbol used in this project represents wisdom and inspiration. In Norse mythology, the Horn Triskelion shows three interlocking horns which is associated with the Mead of Poetry. This magic mead symbolised wisdom and poetic inspiration and was contained in three precious horns guarded by the giantess Gunnloo. All three horns were drunk by the Norse god, Odin, but a few drops spilled into the mortal world and were believed to inspire scholars.

Motion is Highland Park's current Master Whisky Maker. Innovative and highly skilled, Gordon’s bold and exciting approach to new cask combinations helps to drive the brand's award-winning portfolio of single malt Scotch whisky. He has 21 years’ service to date.

Meanwhile, McFarlane is the brand's Master Whisky Maker and has just retired from Edrington. A skilled sensory analyst with a superb nose – he has over the course of 44 years – nosed thousands of casks of Highland Park whisky ensuring each bottle we release delivered our whisky’s trademark character. 

As Master Whisky Maker Emeritus, Ramsay fulfilled his role with passion and distinction until his retirement in 2009 and he remains one of most highly respected figures in the whisky world today. John’s skills as a whisky maker contributed significantly to the early development of the brand and to making it the world-renowned whisky it is today. John has worked in the industry for 43 years. 

Whisky has been distilled at Highland Park in Kirkwall, Orkney since 1798. Founder Magnus Eunson, was a direct descendant of Vikings who settled in Orkney over 1,000 years ago. A butcher and church officer by day and a bootlegger and smuggler by night, he set up an illegal whisky-making operation at a little bothy (a stone hut) at High Park, overlooking Kirkwall. It is still the site of the distillery today and although we say Highland Park was founded in 1798, that’s actually the year the authorities finally caught up with Magnus. Few trees survive the gale-force winds in Orkney. This makes the island peat woodless and rich in heather. This then helps create the trademark flavor profile of aromatic smoky peat and sweet heather honey.

20th anniversary flavors

Charlie Chan (left) and Hot Chix Pizzas
Yellow Cab Philippines/Released


Yellow Cab, one of the top players in the Philippine pizza scene, releases two limited-edition New York-Style Thin Crust pizza flavors in line with their 20th anniversary. 

The two new flavors are classic favorites, packed with the same Edge-to-Edge Toppings on a lighter crust, aiming to give tastebuds a unique experience, combining a light and chewy middle and a pleasant crisp on the edges.

Charlie Chan, the brand’s iconic pasta, is now on a pizza. Boneless chicken thigh fillets tossed in their original sweet and spicy sauce and mixed with shiitake, sweet onions, and crunchy peanuts on their NY-Style Thin Crust, this is an Edge-to-Edge pizza you wouldn’t want to miss out on. 

Meanwhile, Hot Chix Pizza is made of boneless chicken bites - fried then coated in the brand’s signature spicy sauce - on a bed of cool and tangy ranch base.

Both flavors will be available in 9”, 12”, and 15” sizes, with prices starting at P349, and will be offered for from April 17 to June 30, 2021 at all Yellow Cab stores. Both are valid for dine-in, take-out, curbside pick-up, drive-thru and delivery. 

Summer chillers

Every cup of SuperSangkap Halo-Halo is a symphony of assorted ingredients—sweetened bananas and jackfruit, macapuno, yellow and red beans, ube halaya, and nata and pandan jelly.


As we try to adjust to new summer activities in this new normal, what we know remains constant is our love for enjoying an ice-cold Halo-Halo on a hot day.

As such, Chinese fast food chain Chowking upgraded the traditional halo-halo with their best-selling SuperSangkap Halo-Halo. Every cup of SuperSangkap Halo-Halo is a symphony of assorted ingredients—sweetened bananas and jackfruit, macapuno, yellow and red beans, ube halaya, and nata and pandan jelly. These ingredients come with soft, freshly shaved ice, poured with creamy milk and finally topped off with leche flan, ube ice cream and a sprinkle of toasted pinipig.

Fans love it for the feel-good summer comfort it brings and the delicious twist it adds to bonding moments with friends and family.


New Fruitsicle flavors (left); Pastillas de Leche
Sebastian's via Instagram


Likewise, local ice cream brand Sebastian’s debuted new summer flavors for the month for its Fruitsicle line, available on the brand’s website

These sorbet bars are claimed to be made of real fruit, cane sugar and filtered water. They are dairy-free and vegan-friendly. The new flavors include:

  • Kamias: Known more as an ingredient for savory dishes, the Kamias fruit when mixed with sugar and water can be a delicious refresher with its own flavor notes that set it apart from calamansi juice and lemonade. The brand has turned it into a sweet and sour sorbet.
  • Buko Passionfruit: Since coconuts are among the country’s most abundant fruits, the brand turned buko juice turned into a sorbet swirled with passionfruit from Davao.
  • Mango Raspberry: Filipino “sorbetero’s” two most favorite fruits are combined into this swirl made from locally fresh mangoes.
  • Triple Melon: Summer is also melon season in the country, thus, watermelon, honeydew melon and Japanese melon are mixed into one popsicle – while keeping the melons apart.

Pastillas de Leche, the brand’s ice cream of the month, is the label’s take on Mexican Tres Leches. 

Smoothies for hot weather

Fruit shakes and smoothies are among the popular refreshments during this time of warm weather. 

Sumuji, which offers a healthy alternative in the growing food and beverage industry in the country, was was conceptualized and born to offer Japanese drinks. 

Established on 2019, Sumuji introduced Dorinku, a Japanese-inspired smoothie made of natural frozen fruit cubes (topped with Chia Seeds or Popping Bobba) without artificial flavorings for health-conscious people. 



Dezato, on the other hand, is a Japanese dessert made also of frozen fruit cubes -- suited for those who wants Milk and Chia Pudding mixed into it.

They come in different flavors to satisfy your cravings like Avocado, Mango, Melon, Strawberry Banana, Buko Lychee, Ube Cheese, Wintermelon and Lemon Yakult, among others. 

With its growing branches nationwide, Sumuji aims to uplift the fruit shake and drinks industry ensuring success up to the 21st century. 

Part of their menu is Sandoitchi, also a Japanese-inspired toasted cheese sandwich infused with some of the brand's signature frozen fruits. 

Aside from these, the brand is also coming with its Soya Series with many flavors to choose from. 

RELATED: LIST: Immunity-boosting recipes for kids on lockdown

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