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Beat the Heat, the Del Monte Way

The country’s heat index has hit an all-time high and it’s insanely unbearable on most days. People are becoming more and more creative in their ways to beat the summer heat. Some of us go to cool places. Some of us make an ice plant out of our homes through open aircon and closed windows. Some of us can’t afford an expensive electric bill and turn to cool treats like ice cream, gelato, halo halo, iced candy, fruit salad, and many others.

But what do we do on those days where an ice cream shop is not within easy reach? We turn to those things that we can easily stock in our fridge.

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Since I am in the lookout for new heat busters that I can easily keep on the refrigerator, I was really happy and excited when Del Monte delivered a summer treat for Helena: a love note with some of my favorite fruit juice products including two new interesting flavors– Pineapple Pomelo and Pineapple Lychee. I rarely write about brands on this blog. But when I do, I make sure that it’s about brands that I genuinely like and trust.

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They have just given me an aircon-free way to beat the summer heat. I indulged. And I am presenting a review to tell you guys why you should, too.

Among their old flavors, my favorites were the Sweetened Pineapple and Pineapple Orange. Del Monte has always been excellent in delivering healthier drinking options for Filipinos. And they did not rest on their laurels with their signature juice flavors. They ventured out and gave new mixtures a shot which produced this summer season’s hottest new flavors.

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Like many consumers, I am a creature of habit. As such, I am usually inclined to just keep buying the same things that I like in the grocery. But it’s hard to resist an interesting new flavor such as pomelo and lychee. I took a chance and shared it with my family for lunch. And I am glad that I did.

The Pineapple Pomelo was an instant hit for me because I personally liked the fruit. It blended really well with the taste of pineapple. I can see myself scouring the grocery juice aisle for this new product soon. I am not really a lychee fan in real life but the Pineapple Lychee juice turned out to be really good despite my lychee-averse nature. My family also quickly mixed the juice with ice in their respective glasses and the two new flavors were easily consumed within minutes.

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My mother recently blacked out during work hours and was sent to the ER by ambulance due to a case of heat stroke. Beating this alarming level of heat is not just a whim or fancy these days; it’s an absolute health necessity. Fortunately, Del Monte and other brands make it fun for us to beat the awful downsides of the summer heat in a literally refreshing way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UC San Diego’s LHTL Course

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I took a detour from the technical online courses I was planning to take for the year and embarked first on a mentally light but very useful course from UC San Diego via Coursera’s course offerings. The best part was that they offer financial aid for learners coming from developing countries so I got my certification from them after I finished it. I managed to finish the 4-week course despite my other commitments and it was really one of the best investments of my time that I have made this first quarter of the year. I now call this LHTL or Learning How to Learn course as the glue that holds all my other online course learnings together.

These days, it’s quite unimaginable for me to live my digital life without these online courses at my ready disposal. I am not aimlessly gallivanting my mind with the exercise; in fact, I sort of designed my own curriculum for learning the subjects that I am genuinely interested in. And to have the freedom and flexibility to do so is one of the perks of my present situation.

The LTHL course is currently taught by a pair of multi-awarded neuroscientists who are really awesome at understanding how the brain works especially when mastering tough subjects. I was really fascinated at how the course work was presented. It did not feel like a chore to watch through the videos week in and week out, plus I got a lot of insights on how I can improve my online studying habits. I already knew about some of the methods discussed such as the Pomodoro technique, but they provided the rigorous explanation that really nailed down the reason why Pomodoro technique is super effective.

Certainly, this is not going to be the last time that I will take an online course; this is the fourth I have successfully finished since I dabbled with online courses in 2012. It’s pretty slow compared to other people who manage to finish college-equivalent course work in a year or so; my mother is pretty addicted to these and I think she already has seven or eight finished courses from Coursera! Haha! 🙂 She was really happy when I introduced this platform to her and it really expanded her knowledge on culinary arts and gastronomy.

Right now, I am working on three course work series with Coursera: a photography course series, something about user experience, and the long-standing one on data science. It’s really interesting stuff that has taken up a lot of my time. I think that being a cavewoman or hermit of sorts is a huge advantage when you are trying to pursue non-traditional paths such as this. I genuinely believe that there is a lot of potential to online courses and it will continue to grow. I totally support it because it makes education accessible to everyone in the world, even if they don’t have enough money to spend on tuition fees.

 

Got Your Back, Bru

Yesterday, I was sitting at my home office setup feeling a sense of analysis paralysis. I had all those post its of things to do on my left, a pile of books on my right, and a laptop with a blank text document staring right back at me.

I did what any 21st century computer worker did. I chatted with my friend Leigh and she was apparently beset with the same dilemma in front of her office computer. We hated ourselves for it. And we decided to try something to solve it. Together, we set up a Trello board of things to do with our other friend Jodie.

We called it the “Got Your Back, Bru” board. It was a board of accountability for the year 2015 where we put our serious goals, wish lists, and urgent tasks. I actually hogged the space because I practically word vomited all the tasks floating in my poor head. No wonder I got paralyzed. There were just so many things!

With their help, I was able to trace the source of my analysis paralysis. It was a lack of proper distribution of tasks and deadlines. And I began plowing through the flotsam and jetsam of my Trello cards since yesterday, apart from an hour-long disturbance from a meaningless thing that I gave too much time to. I started to get things done although it’s slow. Literally laying out all the cards to my two friends helped me to be mindful of how I am using or misusing my time.

I still have my hard copy on my CBTL planner. But the synergy of having two other goal-oriented friends on a task board is some sort of source of additional strength.

I am really thankful. Even if I do my own lifehacks to optimize my life, a little help from a not-so-distant friend clearly goes a long way.