Monday, November 19, 2012

A Visit To Amherst Laboratories

Ever wonder how your medicines and vitamins are made? Sometimes, when I buy a product and look at its packaging I wonder that to myself: the process of making it, how they mix the ingredients, how they form it in its shape, how they pack each one and how much time the whole process takes. I am a natural born curious cat and its innate in me to find out things that stimulates my curiosity, but ofcourse not everything is found over the net. So when I was given a chance to visit Unilab's Plant in Laguna, I immediately grabbed the chance.

With the Mommy Bloggers!

Amherst Laboratories, subsidiary of United Laboraties, Inc. is situated somewhere in Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna. It's 2.4 hectares Pharmaceutical Plant boast it's state of the art, advanced technology manufacturing facilities designed to produce a variety of ethical or prescription drugs most common in the market in solid, semi-solid and liquid dosage forms.

All those in the shelves are Unilab Medicines and Vitamins. Cool huh!

Just more than an hour trip to and we've reached the place. It was definitely huge. Before we proceed with the plant tour we had our orientation first.

After that, the tour begins! To start off, we were told that the Laboratory is a highly sensitive facility with regards to sanitation. After crossing the beam, they are making sure that no bare footwear will step on their flooring. They provided shoe covers for us to wear before we go to the other side of the room. There were also lab gowns in different sizes that we should wear before entering the facilities.

They take sanitation seriously that's why I am serious. LOL! :P

When we got in, the sanitation measure continuous. We need to soap up our hands and dry it on a special blower machine to make sure we won't contaminate the place. When we're done and hands are all clean, the tour began!

Washing hands!

Look Mom! It's queaky clean!

We went to various places where medicines are made from solid to liquid forms, from big machines that process the ingredients, to packaging, everything is very meticulously done. They are very strict with product testings and handling to make sure of its efficacy and purity.

Manager of different departments joined us and explained the process of how they make the medicines we use in a simple way that we can understand. They were also very accommodating if we have questions or clarifications on the information that they share with us.

Medicines are checked individually for consistency.

Everything is well monitored, even the temperature to secure potency of the drugs.

Even the packaging takes careful handling to ensure everything is perfect.

After the tour, we had a chance to get together over a scrumptious lunch at Crisostomo's and a relaxing massage over at Indulgence Spa at Nuvali, Laguna.

Had a one hour relaxing massage. Great!

My curiosity on how medicines are made finally came to an end. After seeing the process and how meticulous and sanitized it was made, not to mention the assurance of efficacy for each and every one, I am more confident about the Unilab products I use at home. From facial care products to lotions to topical and oral medications, I am sure that what we use is clean and effective. Moreover, it's affordable and easy on the budget!

I would like to thank Ms. Rochelle Leonor Del Callar for the wonderful opportunity to visit Amherst Plant in Laguna and be in the company of great Mommy Bloggers as well. Most especially to Unilab for making quality, effective and affordable medicines and vitamins for every Filipino families!

Now, I'm thinking of pursuing a career in Medicine because I love how the laboratory gown feels and looks on me. LOL! :P

Next time you buy products from the Pharmacy, ask for a Unilab product and I'm sure you won't regret buying, kasi "UNILAB YAN!"

Good Vibes Everyone and Sweet Running!

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Run United Philippine Marathon 2012 Experience

Being a part of the firsts is very memorable and indeed, it has been proven once again as we became a part of the first ever Run United Philippine Marathon.

I did a very minimal preparation for this race. I am just too busy with work and some obligations that I need to comply. I never missed a swim training though, and I have been improving. Well, I think I am.

I am not surprised that the 21K slots were filled up so fast and I'm glad I'm one of those who got it before the last batch, or else I'll be forced to do 42K, which I am surely not ready yet for. Also, Ethan is very excited as well since this will be his revenge from not being able to run at Run United 3 because of the heavy rains.

The last day before the race, I was not even feeling that it's coming. I don't know. Maybe I'm just so pre occupied. I just felt the chills at the night when I realized I failed to buy power gels. I scouted for some on my things and found samplers. I know this is not the right thing to do but I'll still bring them just in case they might come in handy.

I still managed to get a good six hour sleep, which is just enough for me to get my body ready. I just ate a cup of yogurt before I prepped up and I'm off.

When I got to BGC, the 42K gun was already fired. While walking to the venue, I saw the Kenyans all powered up, running like a horse in the lead pack. They are indeed so strong and they show no sign of slowing down or even tiring themselves out.

When we got to the starting line, me and Che-Anne talked out what time is our target. I told her I'm happy just to make it before three hours. But when we started to run, I felt a certain strength rushing in me. Surprisingly, I am having an easy time starting out, which is very rare. After the 5th Kilometer I told her we can make it to 2:50, and we just went on the race.

After a few minutes, Tessa came rushing in. She was again late from the gunstart and was rushing to catch us, and she never fails to do so. Since then it was the three of us, and our pack became stronger.

The only photo I got taken from the route (Photo courtesy of

We reached our first hour while we are at the 8th Kilometer. This is fast than my usual so we tried our best to maintain it that way. The weather was so forgiving to me that no single droplet of rain came in, and it was not too hot as well. The new power gel also was very kind that it did not gave me an upset stomach. I did not grab any banana this time. I don't wanna stuff myself too much. I don't want to get heavy as it might drag me to slow down. The only place we stop is at the hydration stations. I will never take hydration for granted ever!

Second hour, we are at 15th Kilometer. Usually this is the time I feel so tired but I was not. I am still so strong and running. This is insane! I am so fueled up that I don't want to stop as I might halt completely. i don't want to lose the momentum I had. Only six kilometers to go and were done. So I told the girls we'll try and hit 2:45 and if we do, this will be my new personal best at a 21K distance race.

I'm so hyped up. I am trying to pick up my pace so to get to the time I set or before it. But after 19th kilometer, that's where I felt drained. I tried loading up on raisins but it did not work. I now felt the tiredness from all that running with less stops but still I'm trying my best to finish at the time I set.

The last kilometer was a series of stops and go for us. I am trying to distract myself so I can keep on running. I don't even care about the cameras at the finishline anymore. A few minutes away before the clock strikes. Unfortunately, I was still at the route when 2:45 came in. I was a bit disheartened but still I pushed through, and I finished strong! 

Happy to finish injury free! (Photo credits to Phillip BF Photography)

What I like most about finishing early is I was able to get my finishers shirt and loot bag easily, and I was able to see my son race!

Posing with our hard earned medals! ^_^

With Tessa who came in just minutes away after I finished. (Photo courtesy of Ma. Theresa Almendrala)

Running to inspire fellow diabetics and to prove that it can be done!

After a few days the race result came out, and I was surprised and shocked! I clocked in at officially 2:46:50, still a new personal best since my previous was 2:48!

I am finally out of the last runner's list!

Confirmed! I am now an AVERAGE RUNNER! ^_^

Insane as it is, the result I got is still unbelievable given that I am not that prepared for this race. I am so happy!

The results can be seen here:

The three piece medal fused with the huge 21K medal and these is what I got.

Right after I made myself comfortable at home, I worked on putting these altogether. While putting one to connect with another, I took time to look at it first. Every piece has its own story to tell: those pains, heartaches, disappointments, tears, laughter, chats, first experiences, random surprises, love and friendships.

More than completing the series and getting these medals, I am happier about the experiences each of them represents.

I would like to sincerely thank Runrio Inc. and Unilab Active Health for all the assistance provided to me. My TIP Running Club, Team Kamote Runners and Team Triabetics family for the never ending support. Some significant people whom I owe so much, Ms. Rochelle Del Callar, Ms. Claire De Leon - Papa, Ms. Janice Ianne Miguel and Sir Poch Bermudez, thank you so much for the generosity and for believing in me. Also, to my ever dedicate pacer, Cheryl Anne Lumanog and Ma Theresa Almendrala for making the road a friendlier path to pass by. Most especially, to God for giving me the strength, courage and for showing me the right way to go.

Congratulations to all the finishers and I know you also got great stories and memories behind your medals. Let's use it to get motivated on our future race towards a healthy, active and quality life! ^_^

Looking forward for Run United for this coming 2013!

Good Vibes everyone and Sweet Running! ^_^