Thursday, 14 November 2013

ENRICH (healthy lifestyle and living): Very enriching publication

October and November 2013
THIS IS MY FEW REVIEWS FOR MAGAZINES posted online, but it might be the first ever full review of Enrich in the Philippines. The magazine is distributed locally at Mercury Drug – a Filipino drugstore with almost a hundred 24-hour branches nationwide.   Enrich is published monthly by Mercury Media Corporation and produced by Skittles-Broke Media (Hong Kong). 

I came across with the magazine during my regular visits to Mercury to buy medicines and groceries last year. At first, I was surprised to find this at the check-out counter, just beside the cashier's machine. Not quite a common location, but I think this is something that customers could grab at the last minute of shopping, or to get the attention of customers and tempting them to browse its pages while waiting for their turn to pay. Who knows, one of them grabs a copy for only PhP65 (100 pages including cover) which is cheaper than that of other leading glossy publications available in the supermarkets and bookstores.

Lately, I decided to buy its October and November 2013 issues for personal reasons: (a) the mag featured Louvre Museum (were I spent 6 hours just to explore the entire building and meet Mona Lisa in person); (b) it featured places like Siargao (Surigao del Norte) - reminded me of my first surfing lesson in San Juan, La Union, and Dublin (Republic of Ireland) - part of my PhD thesis on urban regeneration; and (c) it offered 20% discounted rate for Mercury Suki cardholder - absolutely a big saving!

Well, because of these reasons, I was encouraged to post a comment on its Facebook account ( just to inform the publisher that I finally read the magazine! Eventually, it inspired me to write a detailed review (as you are reading now) and also to share my travel experiences for those places that have I visited in the past as featured in the magazine.  Honestly, I think this is the big factor that pushed me to buy it. But I'm sure that the magazine is different from those popular travel publications even though Enrich's front cover is showcasing travel destinations locally and abroad, its main features also focusing on health, sports and medicine which others do not cater.

My first surfing lesson at San Juan, La Union
These two issues, (Volume 6, Issues 63 and 64, October and November, respectively), contain interesting places that I had the opportunity to explore in the past.  In particular, October issue featured Siargao Island (Surigao del Norte), Dublin City (Republic of Ireland), and Louvre Museum (France), while November continued to carry-on with Louvre Museum's artwork. 

Siargao's article reminded me of my first attempt to surf in San Juan, La Union last year. What a surprise, I did well in my first ride on board and instantly, it made me think to consider it as a regular holiday sporting event! To find out more of my surfing adventure, CLICK HERE

One of the hostels at the Temple Bar area
"Georgian & Gorgeous Dublin" (written by Shalini Mitra) highlights city's tourism infrastructure – from historical buildings to downtown night life. I was a little bit disappointed of the article because of the limited attractions (with photos) covered in the article. I thought that, the author missed-out some of the most relevant attractions at the city center like the Irish colorful doors, statue of James Joyce, Stephen Green Park, monuments, and other prominent old buildings (aside from Trinity College). She did not mention the "special token" given to visitors upon arrival at the viewing deck of Guinness Storehouse, aside from a free sip of the Irish "black beer". Until now, this small gift is safely kept and one of my most priceless souvenirs.  If you are interested to find more about my Dublin escapades, please CLICK HERE and HERE.

I love reading pocket books, and Dan Brown's books are always in my top list, including Da Vinci Code which is featured in both issues. Interestingly, the article entitled, " Following the Da Vinci Code: Trail at the Louvre" highlights the factual truth why Dan Brown chose Louvre as one of the settings for his former book.  The two parts of the article somehow reminded me of my 6-hour stay in the museum 5 years ago. Indeed for 9Euro, my admiration to more than 35,000 pieces of decorative art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, and antiques is indescribable! I took hundreds of photographs but these images are enough to capture the richness of Louvre's collection. Indeed, another visit to the museum is something to look forward to in the future. Again, more stories of my tour to Paris, CLICK HERE and HERE. 
Other enriching and informative sections of the mag include "This Month in History" which showcase important historical events and personalities that shape our civilization;  "Physical Fitness Formulas"  that covers a simple techniques, exercises and workouts for various body parts; "Our Weird and Wonderful World  is a "quirky news" that highlights
some of the unusual and strangest things happening on Earth; and "" provides a quick review of useful Pinoy websites available on the worldwide web.
And most importantly, the sports, medical and health sections are very educational and helpful. I think Enrich is commendable on this regard! Why? These articles can help increase the level of awareness for healthy lifestyle and simple living among Filipinos. 

The glass dome -entrance to the museum
For example, October and November issues featured the following topics: indicators of stress, diabetes as so called lifestyle disease, thyroid disease, stem cell therapy, common health problems that affect call center agents, recognizing genius abilities among children, sweet addiction, and hormonal fluctuations and dominance.  It is also interesting to mention the article (November issue) that tells us the on-going health caravan project of the Philippine Department of Health which started in 2011. This "Journey to a Healthy Life" aims to increase the awareness on practices related to maternal and child health and nutrition. This is a very noble cause of the Philippine government in combating malnutrition and malpractices on family planning.

Not to be the least, Enrich has promotional offers that are available to Mercury Drug valued customers.  There are discounted coupons (detachable from the magazine) to be collected and redeemed anytime for specific products available in the drugstore in a limited promotional period.
I have only one comment for the cover story and front lay-out of Enrich. This is not really a downside of the publication, but rather to enhance the marketability of it. In order not to be mistaken as a "travel" magazine, I suggest that the cover photo/page should have bigger thumbnails of the regular health featured articles, having the same importance with the featured travel destination sections. But so far, the current lay-out of the pages (articles versus ads), quality of the images, font color/size are technically above the standards for a wide spectrum of readership, not only in the Philippines but also abroad.
FOR PROSPECTIVE READERS out there, there is a special promo for a one year subscription.  At Php624 (Metro Manila area) for 12 issues, you get a free Mercury Drug Suki card plus a copy of the 13th issue. A 20% discount (Php52) per issue is also extended to existing valued Suki card holders. The Suki card allows customers of the drugstore to accumulate points from purchases and these points will be converted into cash as payments for future purchases. Monthly newsletter is also available and it can be downloaded from its website at: