Monday, March 13, 2023

Dr. Nielsen Donato and His True Heart for Animals | PR Post | MarkMyName

“What makes you wake up early in the morning?” asks veterinarian Dr. Nielsen Donato while strolling through his animal sanctuary. “It’s not work. It’s something that you’re excited about.”

Dr. Nielsen Donato in his wildlife sanctuary in Laguna: “I’m lucky because I get to treat more exotic animals, as well as farm animals, in my clinic and the park.”

When people think of veterinarians, they usually think of them tending to household pets, like cats and dogs. But Doc Nielsen isn’t a regular vet. He’s the managing partner and chief surgeon at Vets In Practice (VIP), which caters to not-your-usual pets, and he also has a background in Avian and Exotic Medicine.

But what makes him so special is his unbridled care for virtually any kind of animal, be it crawling, flying, galloping, or slithering.

Doc Nielsen’s passion started when he was around three years old. One of his favorite childhood memories was being excited about going to church just so he could see the yellow chicks and ducklings being sold by vendors outside.

Doc Nielsen demonstrates how to bathe a Bayawak, with his resident monitor lizard, Bruce.

Today, Doc Nielsen helps run the Laguna Wildlife Park & Rescue Center, which sits within his family’s property in Pansol. This non-profit organization houses around 100 species of farm animals and wildlife, including domestic and neglected pets, as well as exotic animals that were rescued from illegal sellers and dangerous living conditions. The wildlife park has everything from chickens and goats to monkeys and a serval cat, which he tends to with the help of his staff. It’s also backed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which assists in acquiring and transporting animals to the park.

The veterinarian calls the park his “happy place,” which he visits as early as 5 am to see all of the animals and listen to the different sounds that envelope the whole park. “When I’m walking here in the morning or afternoon, it relaxes me. Nalilimutan ko yung mga stress, that’s why I call it my ‘haven,’” says Doc Nielsen.

Feeding time: Violet, a rescued tortoise, snacks on papaya.

Compassion project

“We support the animals with our own resources,” Doc Nielsen says as he shows the many enclosures in the park that the animals call home. He also provides them with nutritious food and medicine to keep them healthy while they’re living in the park.

He doesn’t do this alone. Apart from the staff he works with, Doc Nielsen’s family also helps. His kids, Cedric and Nina, are studying veterinary medicine, so they’re well on their way to following in their dad’s footsteps.

Zuma the Albino Burmese python and Doc Nielsen pose for the camera.

Giving animals a second chance.

While giving a tour of the park, Doc Nielsen stops to feed and pet the animals he passes by. One of them is a bearcat (binturong), a nocturnal mammal with cat-like features that’s endemic to Palawan. Doc Nielsen explains that the bearcats were transported to the park with the help of DENR, and they are raised until they’re ready to be released back into the wild.

“I promised that if I ever breed any endemic wildlife animal in the park, my goal is to help repopulate their species and bring them back to their natural habitat,” he says. He also takes time to assess animals who might need medical attention and treat them right away to prevent infections.

It’s not always easy for Doc Nielsen to let go of animals, especially those that have been used to being around humans. Many of the monkeys, for example, lived in crowded areas and were treated as pets in their past lives. Releasing them back into the wild would be a safety risk for them because a troop of wild monkeys might hurt them.

This is why he and his staff ensure that animals like these get the care they need so they can live a long and healthy life. The wildlife sanctuary is their safe haven until they are ready to be released in a protected space.

Whether it’s at his clinic in the city or the wildlife park in Laguna, Doc Nielsen is always ready to offer his expertise and care to all types of species, no matter how scary they may seem.

“I always dreamed of being someone like [British veterinary surgeon] James Harriot. I’ve always wanted to treat dogs and cats, and farm animals as big as horses, goats, and sheep,” he said. “There weren’t exotic animals to treat yet [when I was just starting out.] Now, I’m lucky because I get to treat more exotic animals, as well as farm animals, in my clinic and the park.”

On full display: Drake the Peacock struts around his pen.

Best Friends Forever: Doc Nielsen and Kulit.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Vegetarian Meal For Today | Ginisang Togue with Meat Alternatives | MarkMyName

A delectable and nutritious meal that can be served anytime is Ginisang toge paired with veega meat.  This is also perfect if you are trying to cut down on meats and doing abstinence for the Lent season. You can do many things with stir-frying but this is my simple way. I didn’t even measure the exact ingredients. I’m just eyeballing everything. Familiarity with the flavors of each ingredient is really a good way to learn how to cook.

Ginisang toge is a traditional Filipino dish made from sautéed bean sprouts, carrots, and other vegetables, while Veega meat is a plant-based meat substitute made from a variety of vegetables and grains.

To start, you will need to gather your ingredients.


Bean sprout

Carrots, julienne

Bell pepper

Veega tapa



Salt and pepper to taste

Once you have your ingredients, it's time to start cooking. 


Begin by heating a pan over medium-high heat and adding vegetable oil. 

Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and sliced onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.

Add the Veega Meat Tapa and stir fry

Next, add the sliced carrots and bell pepper then sauté for another minute or two.

Then, add the fresh bean sprouts and stir everything together. 

Your Ginisang toge with Veega meat is now ready to serve!

Noticed that we didn’t add any other sauce because the Veega Meat Tapa has already a good amount of flavor. The sauce of the tapa will flavor out all our vegetables.

This recipe can be served as a viand, it is best paired with rice. If you happen to have leftovers, you can wrap them in a lumpia wrapper and fry them. You will turn it into a delicious snack.

Apart from its delicious, it is also very healthy. Low calorie, high in fiber, a good source of protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s also a very delicious excuse to skip meat for a meal.

Whether you're looking for a new vegetarian or vegan dish to try or simply want to enjoy a traditional Filipino dish with a healthy twist, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings. Give it a try and enjoy the delicious flavors and health benefits of this tasty dish! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Jollibee Group, Manila LGU Partner Anew To Offer Jobs For Senior Citizens, PWDs | PR Post | MarkMyName

Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity at Work. Jollibee Group and Manila LGU officials convened anew for the signing of a new memorandum of agreement that will create employment opportunities for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Jollibee-owned stores across Manila City.

MANILA, Philippines. The Jollibee Group recently announced the resumption of its inclusive employment program to hire senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) in Manila after renewing its partnership with the city government of Manila.

The partnership is consistent with Jollibee Group’s commitment to provide equal employment opportunities to different sectors, while promoting and practicing inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

Jollibee Group will hire 28 senior citizens and 17 PWDs as customer relations staff across the Manila branches of Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, and Burger King through the city’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO). Manila PESO will screen and determine qualified candidates before endorsing them to the company. Applicants must also secure a medical clearance from the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, the accredited hospital for this program.

“We started this program in 2019 with the Manila LGU. Working on this program in the past few years have allowed us to see how our elderly and differently abled individuals have appreciated the opportunity find gainful employment. The Jollibee Group continues to support this initiative of the Manila LGU, and we have been very fortunate to have a partner that shares the same desire and passion as the company in looking after the interest of our elderly and PWDs,” said Ruth Angeles, Jollibee Group Vice President and Head for Human Resources-Philippines and Global Organization, Leadership & Culture.

“We look forward to forging more partnerships with other LGUs so we can improve more lives and find reliable staff who can join us in our mission to share the joy of eating with everyone,” Angeles added.

The signing of the new memorandum of agreement held last January 31 was attended by Manila City Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto, and Secretary to the Mayor Atty. Marlon Lacson, as well as officials from Jollibee Group represented by Public Affairs AVP Atty. Raul Academia and Philippine Region Human Resources Director Anna Prado.

Interested applicants can get more information on this employment program from the Manila Department of Social Welfare and the Office of Senior Citizen’s Affairs.

Back in 2019, Jollibee Group was the first restaurant company in the Philippines to partner with the Manila LGU in providing jobs to over a hundred qualified senior citizens and PWDs in the combined 39 branches of Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, and Greenwich in Manila. Besides Manila, Jollibee Group also partnered with the LGUs of Antipolo and Pasay in 2019 to implement the same inclusive employment program.