Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Extraordinary Women, One Extraordinary Moisturizer - Physiogel

One of the side effects of having cancer is the drying up of skin. I was told this during the time hubby was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo oral chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiation, in particular, was what tended to have an immediate drying effect on his skin. Our doctors told us that this would happen specifically in some areas of the body like the extremities and in the area that is irradiated.

But Physiogel, a leading dermatologist-prescribed moisturizer from GlaxoSmithKline, is what three extraordinary women turned to when they were going through their cancer journey. One of these beautiful survivors is a SoMoms friend of mine, Patty B. Balquiedra, 44 years of age, a mommy blogger, online entrepreneur and a loving mom of 2 beautiful girls. Two other cancer survivors also used Physiogel. One is Alya B. Honasan, a veteran editor and writer for newspapers, magazines and books, a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, avid scuba diver, occasional theater actress and doting mom to her dog Kikay. The other is Michee Cadhit, head of customer service and international relations department of The Medical City, a mother of three.

(L-R) Patty Balquiedra, Michee Cadhit, Alya Honasan

Each one had her own extraordinary story.

Patty Balquiedra

My friend Patty just discovered her cancer last year, went through chemotherapy, and 'graduated' just February of 2013. Asked how she felt after first being diagnosed, Patty says:

"Each day is a gift -  I don't remind myself about my breast cancer when I wake up each day. It's something that stays with you forever and it's like a thought that's always in the back of your head. Since that's the case, I now wake up each day, thankful for the chance to get out of bed and do what I need to do. Every day that I'm alive is a chance for me to do right, serve and please God, take care of my family, love myself, show people how much I appreciate them. I'm 10 times more thankful for every little thing that happens and I now want to make the most of every single day, as a way to show my thanks to God for this second chance at life."
If you see Patty these days, you won't even recognize her as a cancer survivor. She is always bubbly, positive and never fails to thank God for each day that she wakes up. Her shoe business is what's keeping her busy besides attending SoMoms events with us.

Alya Honasan

At the Makati Shangri-la function room, I spotted Alya and immediately sensed a 'naughty' streak in her. She was vibrant and cracked jokes with Patty and Michee. I struck up a conversation with her. Not long after, we drifted to discussions about yoga and while we were chatting, I could not help but think how amazingly brave she is to face her cancer while still doing everything she loves - yoga, sports, acting, etc. Alya, who still has another round of chemotherapy to face, jokes about dreading the loss of her eyebrows but ends by shrugging it off. Here is her brave testimony:

"I can already say, unequivocally, that cancer is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Really. It has taught me to take it easy and live again, in the true sense of the word. Although I ate healthy and exercised, my stress levels before I got diagnosed were bordering on the insane. There never seemed to be enough time to do the things that had to be done. Cancer gave me the gift of perspective, and realizing that some things are just more important than money and achievement It gave me the gift of humility to realize that I cannot always be in complete control of my life and my future, and that's fine. And it gave me the gift of gratitude, really, for all the love that has been shown me, for the good things I have, and for knowing with renewed certainty that God has been holding my hand throughout all this."
Michee Cadhit

Michee considers herself lucky that she works at The Medical City. Somehow, being in a hospital environment made it easier for her to handle the loss of her hair because she was not the only one who would be seen around her place of work with a bandana on her head.

"Cancer taught me the value of life in its simplest and most beautiful form. It taught me to appreciate the simplest blessings each day brings. That family, friends and relationships are the most important in one's life. Hence, we should treasure as many fond memories and fruitful relationships with them."
The 3 Physiogel brand ambassadors with GSK executives including my friend, Cathy Babao (2nd from left)

All three said that they use Physiogel for their dry skin. Patty has been a Physiogel user long before she started chemotherapy. Alya says it was endorsed by her personal surgeon and she attests to its efficiency. Michee said Physiogel eased her scars and rashes from radiation. Being the 3 beautiful and strong brand ambassadors for Physiogel during this month celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness is most fitting for these brave women warriors.

What, exactly, is inside Physiogel? It is made by Stiefel, a GSK company. Formulated with Derma Membrane Structure (DMS) Technology, Physiogel closely resembles the natural building blocks of the skin. Moisture on the skin easily evaporates with both heat and in airconditioned areas, leading to try, dehydrated skin. But because it has natural lipids similar to the skin's physiological lipids, Physiogel effectively helps repair the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss.

I never had very dry skin but as I grew older, I noticed that my skin would flake if I did not apply lotion right after taking a bath. Many skin care products simply apply a superficial, oily layer on top of skin without really working on it deep down to repair damaged skin. Physiogel is one of the few brands that actually make me feel like I can walk around the whole day, exposed to sun and airconditioning, without losing my skin's natural moisture.

At the Physiogel event celebrating the stories of these 3 breast cancer survivors, the SoMoms showed up in full force to support Patty and her friends. But of course!

Physiogel is available in leading drugstores and supermarkets nationwide. It also comes in handy 10ml sachets - perfect for short trips, handy to store in women's bags, and for traveling.

For more information about Physiogel, visit or

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