Friday, October 30, 2009

Let's talk about sex!

I was browsing through a college textbook on Ethics. As I read the Marriage section, I chanced upon this line: "Although much focus is being put on sex, sex is not that important in a happy marriage."

My initial reaction was the same as my beau Alvin's when he read it, a resounding WTF!?! Whoever wrote this book was probably a virgin, or wasn't getting any. Hence the need to justify the lack of sex in that author's life.

How can you even think that the act of lovemaking is not an important aspect in a relationship? Sex IS important. I read somewhere that it helps strengthen the bond between partners. When a man reaches an orgasm, his body produces a hormone of some sort that makes him feel more bonded to his partner. Isn't that a good thing?

In order to prove this incredulous textbook author wrong, I did some research and gathered a few facts that will show that sex is important. We're not just talking about marriage here, but also the overall health of an individual.


"A good sex life is an important part of an individual's overall health," says Mark Schoen, Ph.D., director of sex education for the Sinclair Intimacy Institute. "People who have a good sex life feel better [mentally and physically]."

Sexual activity is 25 percent to 300 percent greater for married couples versus the non-married, depending on age. The 1998 University of Chicago report that compiled available sex research also concluded that intercourse is more frequent among couples in happier marriages.

Strategies for Keeping the Spark Alive

* Treat your partner as if you're dating
* Romance your spouse outside the bedroom
* Plan a date night
* Talk with your partner
* Listen to your partner
* Understand your partner's sexual needs and desires
* Keep physically fit and attractive for your partner
* Maintain perspective on sex as life ebbs and flows
* Resolve any underlying conflicts as they will spillover to the bedroom
* Have fun and engage in foreplay, whether that's kissing, sexual banter or anything else
* Be adventurous and creative in and outside the bedroom
* Exercise, preferably together
* Stop smoking and get your partner to quit
* Watch your weight and cholesterol
* Consider seeking specialized treatment from a specialist if behavioral changes don't work

My thoughts on this: If sex weren't important in a relationship, why would researchers and doctors come up with strategies to keep the spark alive? They wouldn't even bother, nor care if your sex life died.


The Importance of Sex in a Happy Marriage

Within a marriage no other aspect of your lives together is as sacred as your sexual expression. If sexual relations diminish or disappear in a marriage, without an understanding and mutual agreement among the spouses, this is a major danger sign for the marriage.

Within your sexual relationship there is emotional healing to be found for both of you. Healthy sexual expression heals, restores, and energizes. The healing comes when the two of you permit each other to become the most vulnerable and emotionally expressive that each can be. Loving sexual expression is the place where you come together in joy, pleasure, gratitude, humor, and dancing bodies. The smart couple does not allow this sacred space to be assaulted. The partners in a healthy marriage protect this place above all because of its power and healing quality. Sexuality is the glue that holds the couple together when you would prefer to just walk away. Once sexuality is disturbed, emotional healing must occur if the marriage is to continue in an intimate manner.

From, Michelle Weiner-Davis, MSW:

Sex is very important to a marriage. Just ask the one out of every three spouses who's in a marriage where there's a sexual desire gap. That is, one spouse is desperately unhappy because this person isn't having sex nearly as often as he or she would like, and the other wonders, "What's the big deal? It's just sex." But for the spouse yearning for more touch, it is a big deal. Sex isn't just a physical release, it's about feeling wanted, connected and loved.

When this sort of misunderstanding occurs, intimacy on all levels fades. Couples stop spending time together, snuggling on the couch, engaging in meaningful conversation, laughing at each other's jokes. Friendship is replaced by resentment, hostility and a painful distancing. This puts marriages at risk of infidelity and/or divorce. But the good news is that regardless of the reasons for a sexual meltdown ‑- whether it's due to biological, personal or relationship issues ‑- excellent help is available. Anyone wanting a more robust and passionate love life can have it.

From, Dr. Ruth:

I think sex is the glue that holds a relationship together. If one or both partners is sexually frustrated, that's likely to wreak havoc on the relationship, often in ways that the couple doesn't even realize. They may be snapping at each other over other matters when the real conflict stems from problems in the sexual arena. The more discord there is in a relationship, the less likely it is that the couple is going to want to have sex. This in turn establishes a vicious cycle that causes not only the couple's sex life, but also the relationship, to spiral downward.

Another pitfall of an asexual relationship is that all physical contact can eventually cease. Hugs and kisses aren't a substitute for sex, but such physical contact is also a necessary component of a healthy relationship. If two people are acting like roommates, then after a while their reasons for staying together become increasingly questionable. For these reasons, it's vital for couples of any age to be proactive and to keep the fires of passion burning. If their sexual fires become completely extinguished, slowly but surely their relationship will die out too.

Don't get me wrong. Sex isn't the only important thing to consider for a marriage or relationship to work. There are other things like love, understanding, acceptance, support, faith in each other, compromise, etc. But for you to take out sex from the list of important factors that contribute to a happy and satisfying bond is absolutely absurd. To teach this to college students makes it even worse. There are wonders brought about by sex and intimacy. I think it's sad for a person (especially one in a relationship) not to realize this universal truth. Sex that is willingly shared by two people who love each other is magical, it strengthens the bond, it makes your smiles for each other sweeter, your hugs tighter, your laughter more frequent, your outlook more positive, your patience and understanding longer, and generally, your marriage life (or relationship, for those who are not married) better.

Now for those who are still dwelling in caves and think sex is taboo, here's something that might change your mind about it.


10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

When you're in the mood, it's a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system or maintaining a healthy weight. Yet good sex offers those health benefits and more.

That's a surprise to many people, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist. "Of course, sex is everywhere in the media," she says. "But the idea that we are vital, sexual creatures is still looked at in some cases with disgust or in other cases a bit of embarrassment. So to really take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological, is eye-opening for many people."

Sex does a body good in a number of ways, according to Davidson and other experts. The benefits aren't just anecdotal or hearsay -- each of these 10 health benefits of sex is backed by scientific scrutiny.

Among the benefits of healthy loving in a relationship:

1. Sex Relieves Stress

A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations -- such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic -- and noted their blood pressure response to stress.

Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity

Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.

Those in the "frequent" group -- once or twice a week -- had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups -- who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.

3. Sex Burns Calories

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.

"Sex is a great mode of exercise," says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health

While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that's not so, according to researchers from England. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.

And the heart health benefits of sex don't end there. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem

Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better. "One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves," she tells WebMD. "Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it."

6. Sex Improves Intimacy

Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

"Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond," Britton says.

Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you're feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

7. Sex Reduces Pain

As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.

In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.

Another study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly.

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you'll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.

To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better

The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.

And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you've been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

See where I'm getting at? Sex is an amazing thing. And a good, healthy sex life definitely makes a difference among couples in a relationship or marriage. So lights off, drapes down, lock the doors and unplug the phone. Let the lovemaking begin! Here's to a great sex life and a happier, healthier you! Cheers!



My doctor-friend, Doc Harry, advises not to go beyond 3x a week though. Too much sex can take its toll on your health. The immune system weakens is one thing I remember about this topic. You can catch Doc H on Wave 891's The Breakfast Duo with Anne and Jada, Mondays and Wednesdays at 8AM.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quoting Jay-Z:

The motivation for me is them telling me what I could not be.

- So Ambitious, The Blueprint 3

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank You!

October 20 is officially National Thank You Day here in the Philippines. This morning, people from Toblerone-Kraft visited our station to let us know about this very special yet still not so popular holiday. They brought Jada and I bars and bars of Toblerone and a Goldilocks Toblerone Cake. In return, we thanked them on air!

And before this National Thank You Day ends, let me just express my sincerest gratitude to my family, my hubby, my friends, and all those who are or have been a part of my life. Life is wonderful when you're surrounded with people who love and care for you, sincerely.

Here I sing a line from Dido: And I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life.

Your turn to say "thank you!" Go ahead, spread the love!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Miggy's is Love!

We were in Parañaque the other day to attend the burial of my beau's lola. RIP, Lola Letty.

On the lighter side of things, we discovered that there was a Miggy's Taco Bar way over that side of the south! Syempre na-excite ako. There used to be a Miggy's branch in BFQC. Doon kami unang nag-date ni Vin! Nagkakahiyaan pa kami kumain noon kasi bago pa lang kami. Every time we took a bite of food, we looked away. Harhar! Anyway, for some reason, all the Miggy's branches we knew of closed shop. We thought wala na sa buong Philippines but lo and behold! There's one lone (and probably the original) Miggy's in BF Parañaque. Winner! So we all had dinner there - me and my man, mom-in-law Tita Vee, and Tito Rey. Imagine the utmost delight that coursed through me soon as my teeth sank into the uberly delicious tacos, cheese flautas and chicken quesadillas! There is absolutely nothing like Miggy's.

Too bad I didn't bring my camera that day so I wasn't able to take photos. Sayang! But my beau and I will definitely go on a road trip just for that. Now we have two places on our dayuhin-para-lang-kumain list: Miggy's in Parañaque and that awesome resto in Pampanga! Wheee!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

M-150 Unleashed!

When going to the gym becomes an absolute chore (and believe me, it does), it helps to boost your energy with a bottle of M-150. This morning I did just that. I had a resolve to exercise 5 days straight this week, after loading up on carbs during the weekend. So when I woke up this morning without the usual stamina, I gave myself a push with M-150. Thanks to their product manager, Anne Bernardo, for the stash of these great-tasting energy drinks in my office. My radio show partner, Jada, and I guested her on our show last month to promote the event they were launching.

This event was the M-150 Unleashed Northern Adventure Race that I wanted to join myself. I talked about this on a previous blog entry. Incidentally, Wave 891 was the official radio partner of this race. I wasn't able to register, but my co-djs and Turbo Time hosts Lindy Magnaye and Mike Potenciano were able to join. Luck them! Long drives excite me, and I found the idea of driving from Manila to Baguio to Subic absolutely thrilling! But I couldn't go so I had to settle for live updates over Wave 891 and race results posted on

For those not in the know, the M-150 Unleashed Northern Adventure Race was perhaps the most exciting motoring event of 2009. It was a strategic race with checkpoints, which you needed to finish in the least time and within the limits of the law. The pit stops were situated in Manila, Baguio, San Fernando, La Union, Dagupan and Subic.

The race happened last September 19. Around 50 teams participated in the event. I remember that particular Saturday started with bright sunshine until early afternoon then it started pouring like crazy until evening. I was following the race updates on the M-150 website. The rain was beating down so hard that afternoon that the teams could hardly see the roads. But the weather did not stop them from getting to their destination. A team or two ran out of gas during the race. And an empty gas tank wasn't the only obstacle. Some teams were already running on empty stomachs later in the day and couldn't wait to get to the finish line. It was an awfully long drive but M-150 kept their energies running steady.

The big race was capped with an equally grand party in Subic. I'm sure the happiest faces that night belonged to the winners. Team Dorifto and Team Gateau de Manille placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The team that bagged the 50K grand prize and bragging rights as the Champs was Team DKC, made up of Arnel Carlos and Nino Sarte. I don't know them but congratulations to you, guys. You can guest on my show anytime. :)

It was one helluva road trip! I bet it was tiring but super fun! Too bad I missed it. But I remember their product manager telling me that M-150 might plan another race after this. Now I have got to join that! Also, since Jada and I are such running fanatics, we suggested a marathon for the next M-150 event. It would be perfect because M-150 is a fantastic energy drink that helps fuel up runners and people who are constantly active. (Speaking from experience.) I'd definitely sign up for that!

You can check out the M-150 website for more updates and photos. I took the liberty of borrowing a few snapshots from the site to post here.

Congratulations to M-150 for a very successful event. We'll be geared up for the next race!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thinking out loud...

In a newspaper article the other day, I read about a young girl who asked her teacher, "Nasaan si Bro?" Her family was one of the many victims of the Ondoy calamity. Where was "Bro" during the time heavy rains tore through the skies and floodwaters rose to heaven in a matter of minutes?

My buddy and radio show partner, Jada, and I discussed this over breakfast. This was one of the reasons why she does not let her daughter watch certain television shows. I personally think it's quite misleading. It's not right to show God in such fashion where he responds to every beck and call of a child. Adults know that not all prayers are answered. But this is not to put God in a negative light. Not all requests are granted because God has something better planned for you. Or at least that's what our faith / religion teaches. So when a child is so used to seeing a Higher Being constantly answering a tv character's prayers no matter how trivial, he's convinced that Heaven works exactly that way. When Ondoy came beating on their rooftops, the little girl called on "Bro" to save them, or their house probably. But apparently, He was nowhere to be found. Hence the query.

In so many ways, God was present during this ordeal. Many families were saved from the wrath of the typhoon. Villages may have submerged completely in floodwater, but many were able to climb up or swim to safety. This is already a miraculous manifestation of His love. However, many also drowned and died. And although it may seem that He did not answer the prayers and pleas of help that came from those who died, we know that God has His reasons. We know that the Lord is in full control.

I believe that when God says no to a certain request (and believe me, little girl, "Bro" does say no to prayers once in a while), He is trying to teach you something. He wants you to understand something. Or He has a grand plan, something better than what you are asking for. It doesn't mean that He has forsaken you. God will never forsake us. He just has something different in mind for you. And like the saying "Mom knows best," God knows what is ultimately good for you.

This is what we should teach our children. First, always pray to God. But He doesn't always answer your prayers. Why not? Because sometimes what you ask for is not as magnificent as what He has in store for you. If only He could reveal in an instant all the wonderful things, all the beautiful plans he has for each of His children. But where's the fun in that? And how will you learn? Everything is given, revealed, and will unfold in His most perfect timing. That's His promise.


Now that we're already talking about God, let me just share my thoughts on Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol. I personally love Dan Brown. I have read all his books, from Da Vinci Code to Deception Point. I guess I'm more of a mystery-conspiracy theories-scientific discoveries kind of girl rather that a chick-lit-chick.

The plot revolves around the search for a symbol, a hidden word, that will open the portals to an Ancient Secret or some Great Truth that, if revealed, will change the whole world as we know it. It's unwise to believe things that occur in fictional works, but one Noetic Science discovery is something I do believe in. Our thoughts have mass. And our thoughts are able to will something to happen. This has been told to us in many self-help books. The power of positive thinking. Setting your mind on something you want, and the universe will conspire. Mind over matter. The Secret. It's fascinating, and believable. The mind truly is powerful.

Our faith teaches us that if two or more are gathered together in prayer, then God hears them and heeds their call. Their prayers are answered. I truly believe that this is because the strength of many thoughts united in one goal, many minds working together in one direction, produce a force so strong that it wills what we are asking for to happen. I can't really describe it in a very good way. But if you read the book, you'll get what I mean. This may also explain why typhoon Pepeng changed its original course and skipped the places that were already badly hit by Ondoy. Yes, God worked a miracle. And also because so many Filipino people were united in prayer. We willed the typhoon not to hit us. We created our own reality. It's amazing what the mind can do.

Well, basically, that's just a small part of the whole story. It just got the wheels in my head turning. I recommend The Lost Symbol if you're hunting for an exciting read.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

On change...

The month of September brought about a lot of changes. Some fast and abrupt. Some slowly brewing. Sometimes change brings about fear, disturbing the peace. At one point, I found myself troubled by all the changes. I wanted things to stay the same. My safety zone was a good world to be in.

But after a lot of thinking, I said to myself that maybe the best thing to do is embrace the changes that life throws at me. Instead of going against the tide, maybe one should follow where the new current leads. Change is inevitable. New shouldn't be feared. Like a typhoon that rampages, then leaves the plain with cleaner air.

A lot of things have changed. Even until now, I'm watching some things slowly transforming, or disappearing. Things we've gotten used to. Old things I thought were permanent. Truth is, nothing is permanent but change.

And I say to life, bring it on! I shall embrace these changes and hope that all these would bring about new learnings and better experiences. It's time to step out of my comfort zone. Welcome all that's new. New thoughts. New ways. New roads. Shake hands with new people and look at new faces. Build new ties. Hop on a new bus.

Time asks no questions, it goes on without you,
leaving you behind if you can't stand the pace.
The world keeps on spinning,
you can't stop it, if you try to...

- You Gotta Be, Des'ree.

In the midst of these changes, I am thankful for the few precious things that remain steady, steadfast and permanent. To this I sing a line from the famous Beach Boys song: God only knows what I'd be without you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sending out an SOS!

If you wanna help by donating or volunteering or both, here are the places you can go to. I'm reposting helpful info from RJ Ledesma's FB page. Media people, let's do our jobs and spread the word!

- MEGATENT along Meralco Ave. beside Renaissance Towers in front of Alexandria. They need goods and volunteers to help in packing and distributing. If you can lend them pushcarts / trolleys, that would be very much appreciated.

- ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya
* 13 Examiner, West Triangle QC
* Scout Bayoran, near Rembrandt Hotel and in front of Alex III

- Wave 891 / Jam 88.3
2nd Floor, Strata 2000 Bldg, Emerald Ave. Ortigas Center, Pasig

- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY will be holding a mini soup kitchen in two Pasig evacuation centers. They are in need of volunteers to help distribute the arroz caldo they'll be preparing. Sched is Oct. 2-4, 6am to 2pm. For info, call or text 8973069 or 09178260881.

- All 7-Eleven stores

- All Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branches

- Fitness First Clubs (except Eastwood and Metro East)

- WHITE SPACE, 2314 Chino Roces Ave., Pasong Tamo Ext.Makati

- UP MOUNTAINEERS targeting areas that haven't been reached yet by the government and media. Send donations to Power Up Tandang Sora or call 0926-7234914

- ANGEL BRIGADE CENTER at The Fort, across Pacific Plaza Towers. In need of donations and volunteers.

- Donate BLOOD to the Red Cross and help save lives of Ondoy victims in need. Call 143 for details.

- Send donations to the Red Cross through SMS. Text RED (amount) to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart). You can donate 25, 50, 100 or 300 pesos.

Tune in to my show, The Breakfast Duo with Anne and Jada on Wave 891, 6-9AM, for more updates and helpful info.

Happy to help!