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Aging with attitude

The word "menopause" is like a dirty little secret that scares the life out of people. Now, it’s time to talk more openly about it


By Maggie F. Francisco

Here’s a random observation. Over the years, many of us women have heard or used some euphemisms to call menstruation. There’s “the friend” or “the visitor.” Some may say it’s that “time of the month.” For others, it’s easier to just call it “Red” or “Flo.” There are just way too many code names for our period.

Yet another observation—seems like there’s not much code words for menopause (cue: Twilight Zone music).  Actually, there’s not much talk about menopause in general. It’s been seen as a taboo topic that is embarrassing to discuss with anyone up to this day.

In a world where it’s all about trying to look younger, fitter, healthier these days, women barely talk about menopause because of the aging connotations. I know I haven’t even thought about it. I mean, why would I, right? That’s still too far into the future.

But that is all about to change.

  • Tessa Valdes

  • Keri Zamora

  • Chef Jac Laudico

  • Christine Jacob, AJ Research and Pharma business development and marketing director Christos Trikkas, and host Say Alonzo

  • International DJ Mark Thompson hosts the event

    Last February 6, integrated healthcare and life sciences company AJ Research and Pharma launched Meno Balance, its latest supplement for perimenopausal and menopausal women (under its health and wellness product line Vitraplus), held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City. The launch also saw Tessa Valdes, Keri Zamora, and chef Jac Laudico introduced as the “Women of Balance,” leading the way and talking about perimenopause and menopause.

    Hosted by international DJ Mark Thompson and former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Say Alonzo, the Women of Balance shared their experiences on the effects of perimenopause and menopause, and how Meno Balance has helped them in their day-to-day living.

    “We go through menopause in different ages and situations. Mine, I guess, manifested with hot flashes and mood swings,” said Tessa Valdes when asked how she remembered entering the menopausal stage. “I’m an interior designer, a columnist, a mother, a two-time full marathon runner—I really wear a lot of hats. I’m 54 years old. Although I’m a really hyper, happy, active person—I didn’t have the same energy as before.” She remembered seeing her doctor about it and she was told that she needed to slow down. Her reaction? “What?! I refuse to slow down!” For Tessa, it’s always important to keep herself as healthy as possible no matter what age, and she knew that she needed to do something to get back to 100% energy. “I’m so happy that there’s Meno Balance. It’s nice to know that I can control those hot flashes, those mood swings with something that I can take and something that’s accessible in the market.”

    For 43-year-old chef and restaurateur Jac Laudico, being a Woman of Balance is all about proper time management and prioritizing schedules. “The physical part of being a chef is lighter now because I have a bigger organization; I have people who help me. But also, I get tired easily, my temper is shorter, and it’s hard to recover if I don’t have enough sleep.” After talking to friends about supplements for menopause, she found Meno Balance. “It really works for me. It abbreviates the symptoms; it helps me recover faster. Meno Balance helped me become less tired and my temper is getting better.” Just like in cooking, chef Jac is all about choosing natural ingredients. Meno Balance contains herbal ingredients such as licorice root, which promotes estrogen production, and black cohosh extract, which helps alleviate premenstrual syndrome (PMS). “When it comes to supplements, I choose to go the natural way too. Since Meno Balance is made from natural herbs, I think it’s better and safer for me, and also milder.”

    Keri Zamora, who celebrated her 38th birthday at the event, was already aware of the symptoms of perimenopausal. “My days are packed—I have four kids, I try to work out every day, I help my husband in our businesses. But now, I get tired easily, I would wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about the stuff that need to be done. Then I realized that these symptoms are part of perimenopause.” Keri tried out Meno Balance for herself and was happy with the results. “Meno Balance is more like a vitamin for me. It’s a supplement that prepares me for menopausal stage.”

    These three Women of Balance definitely broke barriers as they openly discussed menopause. It is a perfectly natural transition that women’s bodies are supposed to go through, but it is not necessary to suffer with health concerns. Tessa, Keri, and chef Jac know that by being prepared for menopause, getting their bodies prepared for it by giving it what it needs, have made the transition so much easier.


    Meno Balance is available at Watsons. For more info, go to, like VitraplusPhilippines on Facebook, follow @vitraplusphilippines on Instagram

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