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Solutions vs. Resolutions:
Simplifying Health & Wellness

Dr. Benedict Christopher A. Austria

As human beings, we all want healthy bodies. And as the year ends, we revisit the eternity of health-related resolutions that we all manage to kick off at the onset of every year. "I want to lose weight", "Exercise more often"; "Get radiant skin"; "Reduce stress." These are just some of the typical items in the long list of our yearly resolutions. But in a world where busy is the norm, the burning question is, "How do I keep my resolution?"


Naughty Nibblers' Food Guide To Santa's Nice List

Dr. Jason Peñaranda

It's that time of the year again—when we use the holidays as an excuse to throw our diet out the window and feast at party after party with our social and business circles. While it's not my intention to limit your fun this happy holiday season, I would like for you to be more conscious of where you might normally over-indulge with the rationale that Christmas only comes once a year. Being more aware of what food you put on your plate and its effects on your health can help you regulate your food intake but still enjoy the feast!

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How to Make Your Holiday Indulging Guilt-free

Jonalyn Mae Besande

In the days leading up to the holidays—whether you choose to stay at home or attend Christmas gatherings with your loved ones—one of the highlights of this merry season is centered around indulging in food, especially in dishes and sweets you don’t usually eat. The idea of "overeating" is oftentimes forgotten during the holidays as everyone enjoys sharing conversation and making memories over delicious food. But to some people, saying "yes" to every type of food passed around the table isn’t easy without feeling guilty, especially when they follow a strict diet on a regular basis.


Colon Care

Dr. Luis Valencia

The colon, or the large intestine, is more than a repository of undigested material prior to elimination. At around 5 feet long, it houses billions of bacteria known as our normal gut flora. These "healthy bacteria" enable the body to absorb micronutrients such as vitamins (vitamin K and vitamin D, for example), and defend the body against potential toxins and infectious bacteria.


What Is Physical Therapy?

Rheysonn Cornilla

Physical therapy is a collaborative process, a healing relationship, a means to an end—and that end is achieving your fullest potential. Physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who literally get you back on your feet to pursue your passions and live life meaningfully.


The No-Fad Diet

Mergynette G. Mercado, RND

When years of poor diet and lifestyle suddenly take their toll on our weight, physical appearance, and overall health, the irony of our human nature is to opt for the “quick fix.” Well, who wouldn’t want fast results in the easiest way possible?


Much Ado About N...utrition

Benedict Francis D. Valdecañas, MD, MSc, FPOA, FPCS

Although the passage from the immortal play was meant to describe men's behavior towards women, let's instead apply this to how we mortals view dieting in this day and age. Most of us turn to dieting for two reasons and two reasons alone. 


The Age of Predictive Medicine

Benedict Francis D. Valdecañas, MD, MSc, FPOA, FPCS

There has been no other era in the evolution of medical science that has gone way back to basics than the one we all are in now. Medical nutrition is taking a look back at specific molecules in food.


Tips and Tweaks for Radiant Skin

Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay

Did you know that just 15 minutes of sun exposure can cause DNA damage? Exposure to UV rays is a major risk factor for most skin cancers. Be smarter than the sun; don’t forget to wear sunscreen.


The Truth About Skincare

Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and acts as your protective barrier. A square inch of skin contains approximately 71 feet of blood vessels, and 300 feet of nerves.

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Your Life is in Your Hands

Benedict Francis D. Valdecañas, MD, MSc, FPOA, FPCS

Did you know that the human body is meant to last for a hundred and fifty years? Yes, that’s right, that perfectly designed piece of biologic machinery can withstand more than a century of wear and tear provided it’s maintained to repair itself the way it was designed to. 

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Chances are you’ve probably heard that the human body is 75% water. Just as the planet we call Earth is. Truth is, the human body is 65% water for males, and 60% for females.  Yes, there really is a gender difference. This is because males are more muscular and muscles hold water.  Women, on the other hand, have more fat tissue that displaces water.  Water is a vital part of the basic functions of the human system. 

Staying Healthy in the Time of COVID-19

As I send messages to my colleagues and family on how to keep themselves healthy during these seemingly dismal times, I’d be gravely remiss if I did not direct these timely pieces of advice to those I have considered my family since I started taking care of Alphaland medically, our members and Aegle clientele.  Here are some tips to remain fit and healthy amidst this current global health threat from COVID-19.

A Bespoke Diet You Can Stick To

Faced with a multitude of available dietary options to follow, people usually just pick the easiest and fastest one and hope it delivers results. However, standardized diets do not work optimally for everyone due to differences in people’s current state of health..

The Best Diet For You

Mergynette G. Mercado, RND

There’s been a long-standing debate on what should be considered the perfect diet. Is there really such a thing as a perfect diet? There are numerous diet programs available worldwide—from therapeutic diets like ketogenic and diabetic, to intermittent fasting, vegetarian, Paleo, and more. Almost all of the diets that exist claim to be superior to the rest, and it can be overwhelming to decide which one is worth trying. But in reality, there is no superior diet...

How Do You Treat Your Skin?

Dr. Jason A. Peñaranda | May 9, 2019

Your skin is your first line of defense against harmful substances in the environment. It is your largest organ. An average adult’s skin has a total area of approximately 20 square feet—that’s almost big enough to cover a single-size bed! Because of its function, it’s exposed to a lot of noxious substances and is susceptible to injury. Studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies contribute to many skin disorders, which makes certain nutrients essential to the proper maintenance and function of skin cells and tissues.

Why is Your Body Refusing to Lose Weight?

Dr. Ruby Ann B. Magpantay | March 22, 2019

Have you ever felt like losing weight is impossible? You may have tried everything from reducing calories and sugar to increasing protein intake. You’ve cut down on processed foods, tried all sorts of diets, and hit the gym three to four times a week. If you’ve been tirelessly trying to lose weight and have not been successful, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Almost everyone hits a roadblock at some point during their weight-loss journey, but eventually, they overcome that plateau and continue losing weight.

Taking on Cancer from a Different Perspective

Dr. Luis C. Valencia | February 19, 2019

Cancer was the unmentionable disease. I can still remember my mentors sternly warning us to refrain from saying it in front of our patients during teaching rounds because of the huge psychological impact this disease had both on the patients and their respective families. Back then, it seemed like an unpardonable death sentence. Today, however, cancer is being addressed by cell biologists, geneticists, and even clinical nutritionists in the hope of finding a cure to this dreaded disease. Science and medicine are making some headway in this battle.

Solutions vs. Resolutions: Simplifying Health & Wellness

Dr. Benedict Christopher A. Austria | December 31, 2018

As human beings, we all want healthy bodies. And as the year ends, we revisit the eternity of health-related resolutions that we all manage to kick off at the onset of every year. But in a world where busy is the norm, the burning question is, “How do I keep my resolution?” Getting the right solutions requires knowledge and its application, so pay close attention to the following tips. It can be as easy as ABC.

You Are Your Own Doctor

Dr. Benedict Francis D. Valdecañas | August 10, 2018

Whoa, before my colleagues react all at once, I’m not encouraging our patients to consult Dr. Google instead and self-diagnose and self-medicate! There’s a subtle difference—I’m actually encouraging everyone to take their health in their own hands. Yes, you can all do that by knowing what is making you ill and doing something about it in terms of modifying your lifestyle. Information is much more of a premium in health care than it is in the business world.

The Science of Addiction

Dr. Jason Peñaranda | July 2, 2018

The understanding of addiction has come a long way since the beginning of the 20th century. What was previously thought to be an effect of flawed morals or demonic possession is now shown to be the result of various factors, from biological to environmental, from individual to communal, from chemical to behavioral. 

Boosting the Brain With a Healthy Lifestyle

Dr. Benedict Christopher Austria | June 18, 2018

Even without considering the advances of medicine and geroscience, the number of elderly persons (65 years old and older) will increase all around the world. With “normal ageing,” we do expect some decline in our physiological health and vigor, but a more critical change would be the deterioration of one’s mind.  What can we do now to maintain our cognitive functioning?

Now Open to Serve You: AEGLE DRUGSTORE

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | April 1, 2018

When was the last time you had severe rashes from something you ate and wondered where the nearest drugstore was for the fastest-acting anti-allergy medication?

Adrenal Fatigue

Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay | February 1, 2018

Have you ever come across the terms “adrenal fatigue” or “burnout”? These terms are quite common phrases nowadays.  But do you know exactly what adrenal fatigue is?

Sports Nutrition: The Compromised Athlete

Ms. Mergynette Mercado | January 10, 2018

Muhammad Ali. Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Scott Hamilton. Martina Navratilova. Hank Gathers. Different individuals, world-renowned in different sports. Together, they have something in common that is beyond fame and fortune: all of them have battled a disease throughout their athletic career. They were compromised athletes.

The Science of Sleep

Dr. Jason Peñaranda | September 23, 2017

Sleep is an essential part of the maintenance of our health. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Science has come a long way from the view that sleep is just a matter of energy conservation and recharging, much like a battery. 

What's the Deal with Smoking?

Dr. Benedict Christopher Austria | August 31, 2017

Smoking is one of the most avoidable primary risk factors that cause non-communicable diseases. According to the World Health Organization 2016 Tobacco Fact Sheet, around seven million people die due to smoking every year, six million of whose deaths are caused by smoking, and 890,000 of whose deaths are due to secondhand smoke exposure. There is no safe level of inhalation of secondhand smoke.

Planning a Healthy Meal 101

Mergynette Mercado | July 26, 2017

Imagine enjoying a home-cooked healthy meal, eating on time despite a hectic schedule, skipping the drive-thru and never having to worry about where and what to eat. For some, these scenarios may be too good to be true, but actually, it’s possible with meal planning.

Diabetes Is Not a Life Sentence

Dr. Luis Valencia | July 12, 2017

Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), is one of the biggest health problems in the world with an estimated incidence of 40 million in Southeast Asia in 2010. If trends continue, this number could double to 80 million people by 2030.

Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy

Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay | July 5, 2017

Kidneys are vital to our overall health. Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through the urine, which it produces through a very complex process of excretion and re-absorption.  Since our kidneys play a crucial role in excreting toxins from our body, we need to take good care of them.

Medical Associate Newsletter: The Liver, Master Detoxifier

Dr. Jason Peñaranda | June 22, 2017

Like any organized operation, the human body maintains an efficient system of waste management. Every day, harmful substances circulate in our bloodstream and tissues. They may be by-products of our bodies’ natural processes or toxins from the environment.

Small, Frequent Meals - What's the Real Score

Ms. Mergynette Mercado, Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian | May 11, 2017

Nowadays, people are becoming more health-conscious — from what food they eat to when they eat it. Over time, some have speculated that healthy eating should not only focus on the quality of one's food but on one’s meal timings as well. More than ever, meal frequency has gained increased focus and attention.

Relaxing for Better Health

Dr. Benedict Christopher Austria | April 26, 2017

Stress is an unavoidable facet of our daily lives. It can result from waiting for hours in traffic, trying to meet deadlines, or the burden of disease.  Problems and difficulties continue to challenge the comfort we seek.  Undue worries and fear obscure a clear future.


Jason Peñaranda, MD | March 17, 2017

Andropause is the condition experienced by men when testosterone, the dominant sex hormone in males, starts to decline.


Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay, MD | March 2, 2017

If I have just described your usual day, then chances are your lack of results is not due to lack of effort…it’s likely your hormones.

You are not alone: about 85% of women have hormone imbalances.

The ABCs of Heart Care

Luis C. Valencia, Jr, MD, FPCP | February 9, 2017

February is considered the Heart Month under the calendar of events of the Department of Health, hence the Aegle Wellness Center features letter for this month.

Stress Management 101

Jason A. Peñaranda, MD | January 25, 2017

Stressors are neutral—your reaction determines whether stress will be good or bad.

If you see stress as a challenge or an opportunity to be better, your patience and understanding will grow and you will be less stressed.

Demystifying Detoxification

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | December 28, 2016

Have you ever wondered how the human body can last even a day in this toxin-laden world we now live in?  Or how it can selectively assimilate useful nutrients from the harmful substances in the part of the environment that we consciously put inside our bodies, food?  We are now approaching the end of another year; our bodies have again survived another 365 days of exposure to toxins, both inside and out!  How? The answer lies in a natural process that your body undertakes each and every one of those 365 days of the past year: Detoxification!

Secrets of Snacking, Part 2: Eat More to Lose Weight?

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | December 2, 2016

It’s been more than a couple of months since the first installment of this two-part article on snacking, a period during which Aegle had a number of activities on continuing wellness education, the announcements for which occupied our newsletters in between.  Well, I ended that last article by stating that snacking is not a habit to be condemned, but should be viewed as an integral part of the dietitian’s advice for individuals to lose weight, not energy.  And guess what?  Snacking is actually one dietary strategy to lose weight!  “Say what? You mean I can actually eat more and lose weight??”  Yes.  And no.  Let me explain.

Couples' Detoxification Program

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | December 2, 2016

Disease is always brought about by both genetic and environmental factors. But that doesn't mean that if we have the genes for a certain disease, such as cancer, we will develop it in our lifetime; we can modify our environment in such a way that we minimize the chances of developing the disease. Although we get exposed to toxic elements in the environment without our knowing it, much worse for us is that part of the environment that we deliberately put inside our bodies... food.

Secrets Of Snacking, Part 1: Going Nuts?

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | September 13, 2016

A wise man once said, “True wisdom comes from the ability to learn from every opportunity in life.”  One day the Chairman asked me about pine nuts.  He has this newfound love for these small seeds, feeling energized whenever he snacks on them.  So I did some research on what makes a snack and what would represent the best foods for snacking, based on the purpose of these meal in-betweeners.  In particular, what is it about pine nuts, or many other kinds of nuts, that makes them one of the best snack foods for health?

Don't Call It A Spa

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | June 9, 2016

The term ‘wellness’ is heavily associated with spas and aesthetic clinics, not only in the Philippines but in the international scene as well. By definition, wellness pertains to the absence of disease and encompasses the superficial concerns of the senses-pampering treatments of most wellness centers around the globe.

From Shells to Shelves:  Pharmacology From the Sea

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | March 9, 2016

The sea.  The final frontier.  The last bastion of hope for humanity.  The sea holds much more in its bosom than we can even imagine.  While it is the constant quest of humankind to cure all imaginable ailments that afflict us, we have so far overlooked the bounty of the sea in terms of pharmacologic derivatives.

To DIET- To DIE with a T?

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | February 29, 2016

People have learned to be averse to the term “diet.”  Whenever we step out of the doctor's office with advice to diet, it is almost always associated with a disease, such that if we decide to chuck that advice out the nearest window, that disease will certainly progress.  Well, who wouldn't be averse to it?  For many, to diet is the end of the world as we know it.  In fact it is, for all intents and purposes, to DIE(t)!

To Supplement or Not to Supplement: Is That Even the Question?

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | February 21, 2016

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”  But like any other quote from history, its interpretation has evolved over more than two millennia.  My favorite interpretation, however—and basing it on the oath of medical practice that was penned onto papyrus scrolls by the same philosopher—is that the human body heals itself, if just provided with everything it needs to complete such a task.  And that it is this same nourishment that should be maintained if the same human body is to remain healthy.

Ageing and Exercise

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | February 15, 2016

As promised, I will begin a series of discussions about pertinent health subjects here in my regular newsletter; this week, let’s talk about ageing and exercise​. After the recent mishap in this year’s Condura Skyway Marathon where two runners died of a heart attack, one frequent question I get in the clinic is: “At my age, can I still indulge in my favorite sport?” The thing is, exercising and being athletic are not really a function of age; in fact, those two marathon casualties were in their 30s and 40s.

Medical Director's Newsletter

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | November 24, 2015

As the opening of Aegle Wellness Center at The City Club on December 2 fast approaches, let me introduce you to the rest of our medical staff, including yours truly of course.  Finding dedicated physicians passionately committed to making the world a healthier place one patient at a time so to speak was not easy.  

Medical Director's Newsletter

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | November 17, 2015

As part of our open house event, starting at 6:00 PM, our knowledgeable medical staff will give you a tour of the facility at The City Club.  Not only will we show you the cutting-edge machines and services we have prepared to facilitate your life journey towards optimum wellness, we will provide proper context for each piece of equipment, from our diagnostic machines to the detoxification rooms and regenerative treatments, in light of the many programs you can benefit from.

Medical Director's Newsletter Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | November 9, 2015

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | November 9, 2015

Following the introductory email of Alphaland Chairman Mr. Bobby Ongpin, allow me to introduce you to the different offerings featured at Alphaland's Aegle Wellness Center, both in The City Club and Balesin; beginning with what I would consider the Greeks' greatest gift to longevity, thalassotherapy. The ancient Greeks believed that all life on the planet sprang from the sea, looking at the basis of life at the molecular level... and they hit the proverbial nail right on the head.

Aegle Wellness Center Newsletter

Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD | January 26, 2016

The Aegle Wellness Center at The City Club opened its doors last month to cap off 2015 and usher in a healthier, more proactive 2016.  Although we have been on soft operations with our One-Day Wellness experience, we greatly appreciate all your positive feedback; and we set out to do even better.

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