Mom:The Best Title in the World

Won the title,not once but twice:)

My butterfly is starting to fly

Today is her first school field trip to be on her own.

I was supposed to go with her. Though parents were not exactly invited, i had planned on tagging along in my car. Keeping a safe distance so as not to make my presence felt, but watching with an eagle eye to make sure she is safe. I realize no matter how i try to teach her independence, i will always be the first one to break it. I can’t seem to let go. Maybe i will never learn how.

As i watch her get off the car, i saw the excited smile on her face. I knew she was happy Mommy was not going with her. I tried till the last minute, but the forces beyond my control would not let me have my way this time. I knew deep down she was secretly thanking her little brother, but not really being glad that he got sick so i had to stay home with him.

“Mommy, kaya ko ( i can manage). Don’t worry”. I tried a last ditch effort. “If your brother is not sick, would you have really wanted me to go with you? Be honest, i won’t get hurt”. To which she replied , “No, i really want to try and experience being on my own”. And then my son added quite maturely and with an air of wisdom, “Take care of yourself”.

Listening to them, i had this thought: Did i overdo it? Training them to be responsible individuals quite early? For a moment i felt a pang of regret. I want my babies back. The small, cuddly ones who depended on me for everything. But i know i could never have them back. They’ve grown. They are growing. They will grow.

If there is one consolation i get from this heart breaking realization, it’s that i get to see this swift transformation everyday. I have to console myself that at least i get to be there to witness every milestone. At least i get to record everything, like this picture i took of her this morning. The picture that will signify the first of the many school tours that i will no longer be a part of.

IMG_20150205_062654[1]Now i am home writing this blog post and i am very sad. I find myself counting the hours till i can fetch her and treat her for after-school snacks. Anything that would erase this heaviness and make me forget that she’s eleven and that i really can’t do anything about it but to embrace motherhood even more and enjoy her childhood like there is no tomorrow.


A “Fair” to remember

This February, our family was treated to two creative and innovative school fairs. What a super cool way to celebrate the month of love.

Our first treat came as we celebrated the 12th birthday of our our son’s school. And boy, they do know how to throw a really awesome fair! Even old students are welcome and every year i see kids from previous batches including our daughter who always looks forward to visiting her beloved preschool.

This year, the theme was ” I love HUE”. From the gate, guests were already treated to cheerful bursts of color. Truly, the color of love is not just red:)


The passionate and dedicated Teacher Giselle Elgincolin.




Each child is given a ticket with photos of the different booths. All photos should be stamped after visiting each booth to get a special token:)

Our family has been attending this annual fair for the past 8 years but each event is always a new experience for us.  As my daughter would say each year, “That was an awesome fair”. Which she would say again the following year. It just gets better and better!

What i personally love about it is the passionate involvement of everyone into making each fair memorable not just for the students and teachers but for the whole family as well.

  The decoration, posters and artworks were made by the students and teachers. Each family was also given a schedule to man the booths. Truly, there is no excuse not to have an amazing time on this awesome day!


The rainbow fishing game


Aside from having fun,children learn the value of recycling plastic bottles at the Heartastic Bowling game booth:)


Why buy a sun catcher when you can make one?


Then there is the Talent Show. Current and old students are welcome to sign up for. Even family members are welcome to join. Though this is not a contest, performers are so inspired and eager to show their very best. As the children cheer for their own classmates, you would really feel the strong bond among the students.


That’s our son singing and dancing to the chart topping hit, Beat it.

That's our son singing and dancing to the chart-topping hit Beat It.


The host and over-all talent show coordinator, Teacher Gilette Santos.


And what is a fair without the goodies? For the “hungry HUE”, families were treated to a delicious selection of comfort food. There were hotdogs,corn, baked macaroni, donuts, siomai and healthy refreshments. Yum!IMG_20150214_083423IMG_20150214_084005


It was definitely a blast! We were one of the last families to leave but we left happy and with an armful of goodies. Truly, it was was time well spent.


Our next stop was our daughter’s  “MASCIYA fair”. It is an annual school fair to celebrate Math and Science as the really cool and fun subjects that they are. If truth be told, i have never enjoyed learning about Math and Science as a student until i was introduced to this really awesome concept:)IMG_20150220_102736

What made this years’s event more special was that the students were given the opportunity to conceptualize their own games, as well as to make and decorate their own booths. How cool is that? :)




My daughter with her team mates manning the “Mixers Game”. A very easy but tricky game to test the memory. You simply memorize the location of all the cards with the different water forms, then put them face down, mix it and make sure you get 3 matching water forms. For example, Ocean-salt water. Awesome!

Just like in our son’s school, this fair is a community effort. It had an atmosphere that of a really jolly county fair complete with stuffed toys and candies as prizes:)

All the booths were carefully thought of. With each one highlighting Math and Science lessons. There was this one booth called Hit the Target where you first have to answer a set of  Science related questions from 3 categories. I chose the “Easy” category. What can i do, Science is not my best subject. The really embarrassing thing was, i even failed to answer the last question that would qualify me for the next round. Darn! But hey, i got to try again (choosing the easy category again) and finally made it to the final round, which was hitting the target and getting a prize:)



Of course, my favorite booth was my daughter’s booth. It was one of the easiest and the cheapest game ( at 2 pesos per try). She told me that it was really the intention so they would get more customers and more votes. You see, there is a prize for the “most loved booth”, which she and her team mates won:)



For the first time in an “x” number of years, i actually enjoyed doing Math! Thanks to the innovative and super cool grade 6 students who thought of the game “Bowl-A-Math-A”. I played the game thrice and had to stop so i can give chance to others :)

Reusing clean and empty Yakult bottles, the objective is to bowl over the bottles  and answer a mathematical question correctly. I was so happy that i got the correct answer i literally jumped for joy. That was a first for me where Math is concerned. English and Social Studies are my strongest subjects :)


I had so much fun that i even ended up buying a tub of soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that were meant as a prize ( one piece for every correct answer!) just because time was up and i couldn’t play anymore because they had to close the booths already.

At the close of the fair, earnings were divided equally among the team members. What a cool way to learn entrepreneurial skills!


Awards and recognitions were also given to the most creative booth, most loved booth as well as the winners of the Math and Science quiz bee.

It was scorching hot that day, but i don’t think anyone minded. Everyone was just busy having fun, being kids and being in the company of those whose passion is to give a different kind of learning experience to these amazing children. I had loads of fun. More fun than i ever had in my own school fairs. Definitely looking forward to next year.

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Are the students in progressive schools having too much fun?

Originally posted on What is a Progressive School?:

It is a common misconception that a progressive school is one big playground where kids are just playing all day, not memorizing enough info and are just too free… like wild animals in the jungle. Though it is tempting to make a huge playground for them to play in all day (because what’s wrong with that??), progressive schools defy the old adage that learning is not supposed to be fun.

1. There’s no structure. Every school curriculum has structure. There are class schedules and routines,  scope and sequence charts and developmental checklists. Without these structures, we cannot reach our goals. Why doesn’t it look structured? Because the teachers make sure that the schedules, plans and activities are holistic. There are downtimes, creative times,  and play time… things needed in a child’s school day.

2. The students are too rowdy and noisyI’m all for obedience but Im also all for being…

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Aginaldong Adarna: Nov.15-Dec.18


Another book shopping spree for my bookworms and me :)

Originally posted on The Adarna House Blog:


Ramdam na ba ninyo ang paparating na Pasko? Kami rin, ramdam na namin! Kaya bilang maagang pagbati sa inyo, aanyayahan namin kayong dumalaw sa aming showroom mula Nobyembre 15 hanggang Disyembre 18 para sa Aginaldong Adarna, ang aming taunang Christmas Sale!

Dahil magtataas na ang presyo ng aming storybooks sa sunod na taon (Php 79.00 na bawat isa), ito na ang huling pagkakataong mabili sila sa halagang Php55.00. Magtataas rin ang presyo ng board books (mula Php 95.00, magiging Php 99.00), kaya ito na ang panahong mamakyaw ng Unang Aklat boxes! Tulad ng iba pang Christmas packages, limitado ang bilang ng mga ito, kaya’t pumunta nang maaga para hindi maubusan.

Maganda rin itong pagkakataong magbahagi ng mga biyaya. Bahagi ng kinikita ng aming showroom ay napupunta sa Adarna Group Foundation. Taon-taon din kaming nakikipagkatuwang sa Jollibee Foundation, kaya maaari kayong magdala ng mga hindi na ginagamit na laruan, libro, o damit para…

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Celebrating my children’s birthdays will always be bittersweet days for me. While i busy myself with the preparations, deep inside my heart is crying.

Tomorrow my son turns five.. Last night, his prayer before dinner went like this: “Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for my birthday. Please let it be my birthday already. I’m still waiting for it. I’m excited to be five years old already. Thank you for my party and my parents. In Jesus, mighty name, i pray. Amen.”

I was smiling while my eyes were closed. I didn’t open them right away, for i was afraid the tears that welled up inside might fall. i didn’t want to dampen that very cute and light moment.

But now, i let the tears flow.

Five? How can my baby boy be five already? Why did he have to grow so fast?

Those sleepless nights seem so far away now, but to me it feels like it was just yesterday when i first held him in my arms.


My sunbeam. Yes, that’s how i call him. For he is the sun in my darkest days. The ray of sunshine in the midst of cloudy days. He is that one bright light shining just for me during a downpour.

Darling, tomorrow you will be a year older. Growing bigger. Shining brighter.

Though my heart aches, it swells with pride too and bursts with so much love for how wonderfully you have grown. I know God has you in the palm of His hands and He has great things in store for you.

But for now, let me hold on to the baby you once were. Let me cuddle and sing you lullabyes. For i can’t say goodbye to those days yet.

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There will always be a child in you (there has to be)


These are Yellow and Keisha. My childhood dolls. Yes, even at my age of 36 with two children and a husband, they are still with me. They are my saving grace, apart from the many graces that God sends my way each day that i am almost tempted to sink into my shell and to never come out again.

Yes again. Even moms and wives need to hold on to that precious chapter of our lives called childhood. It is very important that we take a moment to stop and try hard to remember those carefree days when all our cares were easily taken cared of for us, by our own mommies and daddies. 

Yes again and again. Even moms had moms and dads who doted on them. No matter how strong we may seem now, there was a time when we just needed to cry a little and then big strong arms would be wrapped around us. There was a time when all our heartaches were mended by those soft, warm hands and soothing voice.

Yes. There are days ( so many of these days) when i long to be back in the safety of my childhood home. There are nights ( oh so many of these nights) when i desperately want to retreat to my own bedroom. 

Oh what i would give to just be able to have one day of my childhood back. Just one day.

Waking up to the gentle sound of my Mom’s voice. Breakfast waiting on the table. Music filling the house. No cares. No worries. No heartaches. 

Now, all i have are memories. But i am thankful i have them. And a few treasures to remind me that once i was a child who was loved and treasured.

Yes. We have to remember this every single day, in the midst of the life we have now. 

I was once a child who was adored and thought the world of, despite my flaws.To two proud individuals, i was perfect. No matter what.

Now there are tears in my eyes as i write. Suddenly i feel tired. And scared.

And now i snuggle close to my childhood treasures and try hard to remember that once i was a child, and everything was alright.

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Why i bought tickets to the One Direction concert

As a young girl i knew how it felt to be an adoring fan. I knew how it felt to have the urge to scream, giggle, laugh and cry at the same. But i also know that not all girls go through the same phase. It just so happened that i was born with that extra female chromosome in me that makes my eyes twinkle, my heart beat faster and my body move to the beat of my favorite music.

Even if i was all these things, i turned out alright. Yes. I grew up very well. I finished school. Got my degree with a few awards and recognitions in between. I had a bright career. Married well and now have two amazing children.

And one of my darling angels, turned out just like me. Yes, she is the same giggling, starry-eyed, fan-girl her Mommy was. And still am, by the way.

Just like me, my princess had her heart smitten too. Thrice actually. Troy of High School Musical had it first. It was short lived though. Then Justin Bieber claimed the spot for a couple of months until my daughter realized that his music is getting too mature for her taste. And now five handsome and talented lads have claimed it and i must say this has been the longest by far.


Through it all, Mommy was with her. Smitten too. Singing and dancing with her. Oh we had lots of happy times and all these are kept in our memory chest.

Now, is this the only thing my daughter is about? Nah, of course not.

Yes she is all these, but so much more. My daughter is a straight A student, very creative for her age, an annointed writer, an artist by heart. Best of all, she has the purest of hearts. While she screams and giggles over her favorite boy band, in her heart she knows that Jesus is her real superstar.

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She is not misguided. She is NOT cheap. She is a perfectly normal young girl with a passion so deep for the things that she loves. She IS normal. Her youthful energy is directed to where it is supposed to be. Enjoying her childhood and adolescence. Something that many of us have missed. Either by force or by choice. And i am not going to rob her of the once in a lifetime  opportunity to enjoy hers.

What’s not normal is people finding the bad in everything. Criticizing others for the things that make them happy. Wallowing in negativity because they can’t find it in their hearts to let go and be happy for others. Judging. Never having the urge to let their hair down, dance, sing and to shout for joy. This to me is SAD. And in my book, this is NOT normal.

As with my past idols who went astray, got into trouble and pretty much messed up, i didn’t turn out to be like them. What they did with their lives beyond the beautiful music that they make, i didn’t delve into. My fascination with them didn’t define what i will  be. And my daughter’s passion towards her current favorite band will not define who she is. So if in the future, or maybe  already at present, the stars that she love will lose their way, it will not destroy the solid character that she already has.

I remember screaming my heart out while i watched the old, black and white videos of the Beatles when i was in High School. By the way, much as i love and will always love the greatest band in history, they were not the first boy band in my life. Menudo occupied that space. I fondly remember too how my parents indulged the fan girl in me by buying me long playing albums and posters of them. I was eight years old. And i turned out to perfectly normal and decent.

From Menudo to the Beatles, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, i was a consistent fan. And when i look back on all those years, there is always a smile on my face and a tug in my heart for i know i can never bring them back.  For a few hours maybe. You see, when the New Kids and the Backstreet boys went here for a concert, i didn’t miss it.  How could i?  Ahh.. to be young and free…..


So to all my fellow Moms and Daddies too who would do anything for their children’s happiness, i salute you. No one has the right to judge our children for what makes them happy. And no one has the right to judge us  for the way we love our children.   To those who judge, i have five words for you, “live, laugh, love, DANCE and SING!” It’s a beautiful world :)

toay i will chose joy

Oh and before i forget, the reason why i bought tickets to the One Direction concert is this: My daughter loves them, i love her, and so i love them too. It’s something that is waiting to be kept in our treasure trove  of memories.  And by the way, they are super duper cute too!

Still a fan girl and always will be:)


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Enjoying Batangas and Tagaytay


My family and i went to our first wedding event last Saturday at Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas. It was our second time to go there. The first time we were there was for a wedding that i hosted for one of my clients. The kids enjoyed the pool while Mommy did some work. This time, we were guests to a good friend’s wedding and this was why hosting their reception program was even more special. And again, the kids enjoyed the pool while Mommy entertained the guests by making them forget about the extreme heat and focus on the reason for the occasion: To rejoice in  love and celebrate new beginnings.


As expected, our water babies stayed in the pool till almost dinner time. While i did not go for  a swim myself, it was enough to watch their bliss while also getting a majestic view of Taal Volcano.


If not for their grumbling tummies, they would have stayed in the pool till closing time. Good thing we were able to get a room at Balai Sofia, which is right beside Balai Isabel. It’s a new bed and breakfast addition to Balai Isabel’s facilities.  A much cheaper alternative to the quite pricey rooms and villas but a perfect choice for those attending a wedding and who have kids who will spend most of their time at the pool and less time at the hotel room.


We loved the simple coziness of our room. It has everything you need for a comfortable rest. I especially loved the stained glass windows and sliding door to the bathroom. And because it’s new, they haven’t installed the televisions yet which is a most welcome absence for me. Truly, a good night’s rest means no TV:)

But before retiring for the night, we headed for Cafe Terazza for a buffet dinner. We were not disappointed.  While we delighted our tummies with the fresh tilapia, juicy pork liempo, saucy beef kaldereta and mouth-watering leche flan, the little one chose to doze off just after a few bites of his pasta:)


We didn’t make any plans for the following day. Spontaneity has always been a trademark of our family. So we played it by ear and decided as a team the next morning.

Our unanimous decision took us to Tagaytay. We took the zigzag road just a couple of blocks from Balai Isabel. The first time we took that route was in the evening. It was so dark that we didn’t get to see the breathtaking view.  This time, we were treated to the best view that we ever had of Taal Lake. The entire 9 kilometer uphill trip towards Tagaytay was filled with “Ooohs and Aaahs” and one innocent remark that would sum up our weekend getaway from our four year old son.

” Wow, Mommy, this is a special place on earth”.

Indeed, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)


Before we knew it, we were at Tagaytay City already. Not wanting to be overwhelmed by the huge number of people eating in the usual popular restaurants, we headed to our “usual” simple but homey corner at Papa Prito and had our favorite nilagang bulalo and took out a couple of pork barbeques at Eli’s. Our simple yet very filling lunch:)


Next stop was Fun Time Arcade at the Summit Ridge where we all had a marvelous time being kids:)


And of course, a day in Tagaytay will never be complete without a horseback ride. Because it was a special day, the kids got to ride bicycles too and a fun time at the Residence Inn playground.


It was happy day for all of us. I thank God for his provision, for the gift of our children who are a constant reminder to us how beautiful life is. I thank Him for the gift of family because at the end of each day, no matter how bad things get, they will always be my silver lining. The one thing that will always be there.


The legacy i would want to leave to my children

Last night we were asked this question at our couples group meeting in church. I have never thought about it, but once the question was asked, i realized that more than earthly possessions, there are treasures that are far more worthy of giving to my children. These are treasures which will make them ready for life after we have passed. Treasures that will define their future and their children’s future. Now, more than ever, is the time to make sure that  they learn and understand these  by heart.

An attitude of gratitude.

Thank you God

I want my children to always be grateful for all their blessings. To acknowledge that everything they have and will ever have comes from God. I want them to thank God for everything that they have and don’t have. To learn to appreciate every kindness shown to them and to give them back a thousandfold.I want my children to be grateful for simple joys. To see the beauty in all circumstances and to rise above every difficulty because no matter how sad, lacking or painful a situation is, there is always hope. There is always, always something to thank for each day.

Humility at all times.

Humility photo

I want my children to never boast about what they have. To know when to speak up and fight but and do it without a shred of pride in their hearts, but always with the intention to inspire gently but effectively. I want them to know that being last is not the worst thing that can happen and being first should not be the be-all and end-all of life. To share their blessings without asking for anything in return. To never seek for revenge and to always choose to do good even when faced with the enemy’s attack.

Excel for the glory of God.

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I want my children to use the talents that God has given them. To maximize their potential in everything that they do. I want them to strive to please and honor God in all their endeavors and to never seek  and rely on the world’s opinion of them.


Obedience photo

I want my children to have an obedient heart always. To learn to trust and obey God in all situations. To listen and obey without questions and doubts knowing in their hearts that God’s way is always the right way.

Nobody gets left behind.

Family photo

I want my children to value the gift of family next to God. To know that a family is one of God’s greatest blessing and to have one that is complete is already  a gift no amount of money can buy. I want my children to fight for their family, to stand by each other no matter what. To stick together through thick and thin.

They are precious.

Sibling love

I want my children to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. That they have been saved by the blood of Jesus. I want them to know that nothing that they have done or will ever do will ever take them away from God’s favor. That they will always be forgiven, accepted and loved.

Precious children quote

I pray to God for the wisdom to live these everyday. For the grace to be a good testimony to my children. To know that they have these in their hearts is a reward no amount of earthly possession can equal.

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How to be yaya-less and not be totally helpless

It was the busiest month of the year. It was  the time when i get the most number of bookings for hosting gigs. It was a merry and exciting time. It was also at this time when my yaya of three years told us she is going home to spend the holidays with her family. My initial reaction was, “uh-oh”, not this time. Any other time, but now. But then somehow, there was this soothing voice who told me, “Dont worry, everything’s going to be alright”. My ever-reliable mother’s instinct told me to trust that voice. And the reassuring thing was, the voice sounded a lot like my own mother’s voice. I knew right away that things will work out just fine:)

I happily told yaya she can go home and take the time that she needed to enjoy her vacation. It was a sincere wish. No hard feelings and a reproachful, “How can you leave me at a time like this?”. Nope, weird as it may have sounded, i was secretly glad she was going. It would be an intimate time for me and my family.

And a time of  teamwork and learnings on patience, humility and simple joys, we would later on discover.

That first morning after she left, i woke up with this realization: What do i need to be scared of? I grew up being taught how to do household chores. I was no primadonna. I have no qualms getting sweaty and having calloused hands. I was able to take care of my daughter for four straight years without a nursemaid, while doing the household chores myself, and doing a couple of freelance work in between. This is doable. Even if there are now two children, instead of one, more clothes to wash, healthier appetites to feed a bigger space to clean, more stuff and clutter to organize and squeezing in some work that actually pays. By God’s grace, this is doable.

After i have resolved that, my second thought was: Good thing i was able to train my daughter to help with the chores as early as kindergarten. Being raised by a certified home maker myself, i was not going to be a Mom to children who depend on the house help for a simple task like getting a glass of water.

So there. We are going to have the best of the busiest season of the year. First agenda on our list was to tackle the laundry. And boy, what a marvelous time all three of us had. If you find this hard to believe, these photos will tell you so.

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But of course, for small, bright and active minds, no chore should be done without a bit of fun. So, in between the rinsing and spinning, we have managed to transform our backyard into a mini resort. I never knew doing laundry could be this much and wet :)

And if you would think the little one did not do his share of the chore, that’s where you are wrong. He took hold of the hose and proceeded to clean the laundry area for as long as he wanted. He did a pretty good job at it too. I happened to note that when our water bill arrived  a month after :)

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Next on our list was to prepare our meals. Now, this is mighty easy for my active kids who love playing chef and customer with their kitchen toys. I am also grateful to have a daughter who is always excited to lend me a helping hand in the kitchen. There was never a time when i had to drag her into learning how to cook. She was always right  beside me even before i ask her.2013-12-20 17.55.49 2013-12-20 17.55.59

This daughter of mine has come a long way from our scrambled egg  and pancake days back when she was in preschool. At ten, she is now able to prepare pasta sauce, slice and saute vegetables, mix ,wrap  and fry shanghai rolls and cook the rice.   Still she dislikes slicing onions :)


Not to be outdone, our other sous chef has his own share of cooking abilities too.


Well, this one’s really more for photo purposes. Still he demanded that i let him hold the ladle as he sautes our vegetable tofu dish for dinner.

But guess who chopped the nuts for our fruit salad last Christmas Eve dinner? :) It was a task not to be taken lightly for my little boy faced it with ardent focus. I tell you, the nuts were transformed into polvoron :)


To tell you the truth, it was the best fruit salad we ever had, with my two kitchen helpers pinching in and leaving me with almost nothing to do at all :)


When there is a lot of food, there will always be lots of dirty dishes. But this was not a problem for my “mini me” who loves getting her hands wet . Honestly, she would scrub the dishes to a spotless state that could  even outdo Martha Stewart :)


As for trying times like this, one would always need some cheering up. That’s where our little comedian comes in:)


At last our laundry has dried, folded and organized . Next step is to iron the ones that needed to be ironed. I was ready to do this alone, but no, my kind and industrious daughter will not let me. She asked if she could do it. What can i say?

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And if you would look closely at this photo, you would see a sad face at the back. He was not happy that he was not given a chance  at the ironing board. But “Baby boy”, i said, ” This chore is still to heavy for you”. :) But don’t you worry my darling someday, but not too soon, you’ll get to have the heaviest chore of all. Washing Mommy’s car :)

This was our life for over a month. It was very challenging. But i can truthfully say, it was one of the best times we shared as a family.  It was a time when we learned to rely on each other, to be sensitive of each other’s needs, to be a team. It became an opportunity for me to teach my children a valuable lesson in life: That no one should grow up not learning and being to do a single household chore.

So you see, it can be done. I almost told our helper not to come back. But my ever soft-hearted husband talked me out of it. He didn’t want to be the cause of one’s unemployment.  Still, with a helper now in the house once again, we have managed to stick to our routine and  the lifestyle we have acquired during our more than thirty days of being yaya-less.

And i’m proud to say that this family knows how to stick together  and will never be helpless through a mountain of laundry and piles of dirty dishes. :)

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