Of Changes, Achievements and Destinations

I haven’t blogged for quite sometime now. In fact, I still owe a PR company two blog posts from the previous events I attended (sorry Ferdie!). The past few weeks were filled with new, out-of-this-world ideas, uncertainties, heaps of spreadsheets and presentations, cake ordersMAPEh classes and out-of-town trips. In short, I was busy as a bee.

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Earlier this month, a cousin of mine from Cebu gave me a wonderful idea of bringing our humble cake shop to Cebu. It was an eye-opener for me. Competition here in Cavite has become very, very stiff and unhealthy that we can no longer breathe. I feel sad seeing broken friendships because of competition. Suddenly, everyone wanted to bake and make a cake!  Back stabbing here and there, all because of cake competition, which, I think, is so absurd! We can all bake and keep the friendship! Armed with the decision to give the idea a try, I booked a flight to Cebu mid this month so at least my cousin and I can talk about it.

I stayed in Cebu for less than 24 hours but it was fun! I commuted all the time (jeep and bus!) and have learned so much during the trip! The whole trip was already an achievement for someone like me who’s not used to travelling alone.

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Me, leeching in Starbucks while waiting for my cousin, Shine.

Then came the next question. Are we willing to relocate to Cebu? I realized that it was possible. It’s not going to be easy but it was possible. So the decision to move was finalized and yes, we are moving to Cebu on the 15th of September.

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What about our kids? I am still not sure if we could leave them. They’d be okay in Cavite for the meantime but I’d go crazy if they’re not around for so long. I know that they will thrive either in Cebu or Cavite, BUT mommy could function better if they are with me!1044693_10152362457039495_352163447557850038_n

 

Yona recently received a Silver medal for her achievement in Kumon. Proud mommy here!10543603_10152365835979495_1637069483902154790_nSo there. I am still facing a lot of questions these days. So many questions yet the answers are so few. God knows that I am so used with uncertainties so He blessed me with choices, tons of choices that I an ever imagine.

Reasons Why We Homeschool

Yes, our kids are not in school but that doesn’t mean they are not learning. 

Homeschool philippinesI have blogged about homeschooling so many times already, see here, and we have a dedicated blog for our homeschooling journey as well.

Just as I have blogged about it several times, I’ve been asked “Why did you homeschool them?” so many times over. So really, why? I mean, why are you even questioning our reasons? At first, answering them was okay but it can get annoying over time. There are times that I am tempted to answer “GMG” to give them enough knowledge on why families choose the harder path called homeschooling. It’s so sickening that no matter how much I try to let it not get into my nerves, it still does.

Initially, I wanted to cite examples of successful homeschoolers, how they thrive in college and graduate, get into businesses, succeed in their jobs, etcetera, etcetera, but that’s going to be pointless when these people do not know the very reason why we homeschool. Every time they ask me that, it’s like they’re looking for a canned answer on why homeschooling can be beneficial to everyone.

Again,

  • Homeschooling is LEGAL
  • Homeschoolg is not for everyone but it is what we think is best for OUR famliy
  • Homeschooling is a choice

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REASONS WHY WE HOMESCHOOL

I no longer believe in the whole educational system

Now, can you really blame me? I’ve seen the worst and gave it 4 whole years of understanding but thank you sire, I’ve had enough. My husband and I were paying 5 figures on tuition fees, books, uniforms and whatnot. Add that Genyo on our fees, which I believe is a total rip-off. I mean, come on, why would I pay P4,000 for an online diary with lessons coming from YOUTUBE? Di bumenta sa amin ang Genyo, sorry. Homeschool vs. Traditional school? I can go on and on, I might bore you.

Yona and Lana love being homeschooled

I could speak for Yona because Lana is still too young to understand things. Homeschooling is not easy, my kids have specific individual tasks to finish every single day and my kids know this, so before I pulled her out of traditional school, I asked her first if she would like to learn at home and she said yes. Looking at her now, I don’t see any remorse at all. Should I have seen a hint of hesitation from her, I might have reconsidered school, but fortunately no. She was okay with the idea and she is doing fine now.

We have plans to travel, go backpacking perhaps?

Now this is a nicer way of saying that I hate her missing “lessons”, being graded unfairly because of “absences”. With our current set-up, we can pack up and go whenever and wherever we want without thinking about excuse letters, missed lessons and all.

They learn at their own pace, something impossible in the traditional school setting

“Mom, I am doing better because my questions get answered di gaya sa school.” Really, do we expect the teacher to answer every possible question of the students? In my years in school, I’ve been accustomed to the “Makinig para walang tanong” rule of the teacher. In reality, there would always be questions after a discussion and what happens in school suppresses the curiosity of the kids. Sad reality. At home, it took me a while to encourage her to ask questions if she couldn’t understand something. I always tell her to ask questions instead of pretending that you already understand everything.

We want them to learn on their own

If you think that I sit down with Yona everyday, teach her like how a teacher does, you’re wrong. You will usually see Yona reading on her own, answering her own questions and I am just there, listening and validating what she’s reading and helping her get through difficult lessons. This is how they do it in college, right? And for that, we are training her. College is survival and so is life. Homeschooling is her training ground.

Socialization? They socialize better.

When homeschooling is mentioned, expect the “S” word right after. Silly! We do not keep our kids inside our home every day! We go out often, be with kids and interact socially with people older or younger than them. They are not missing out on anything, IMHO.

“Oh,  Yona is still shy!” Do not ever blame homeschooling for Yona’s shyness. She was shy even before she was sent to school and after 4 years of being “socialized” in traditional brick and mortar school, she still came out shy. She is SHY and homeschooling has nothing to do with that.

By the way, Lana is very sociable and she has not been sent to school yet. Get it?

…And many other reasons

Don’t you just love malling when there are few people, say Tuesday and Thursday mornings? Museum visits when everyone is in school and office? Waking up at 8am or 10am? Having the whole zoo or playground to yourself?

There are just so many reasons. And while I admit that not everyone will agree to these reasons, I expect respect.

I posted this status last night, along with the photo above:

We understand that “homeschooling” maybe the craziest thing for you, but really, we were in our healthiest when we decided to do it for our kids.

We have reasons, valid reasons that you may not understand. But just because you don’t understand homeschooling, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Families homeschool for different reasons, just as you have your own reasons to send your kids to school. It is not for everyone, just as school – which is certainly not for us. So please respect us, like how we have respected your decision to put your kids in school.

#learningrevolution #homeschooling #respect #liveandletlive

Homeschooling is hardwork. It is the choice we made for our famliy so please don’t look down on us like we did something really, really wrong for our kids. Like you, we only want what’s best for them and we see that homeschooling IS the best.

 

 

Press Release: Gifted Experiments

What happens when exceptionally talented children give surprise public performances?

For the past two years, the Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp has been giving talented children around the country the chance to show their talents on the big stage. These children proved to be even more talented when some of them performed outside the so-called big stage. Nathan, Fitri, and Karl awed passersby with their talents as they performed in BGC and Eastwood.

The audience didn’t know they were in for a show until these three kids captured their attention with their performances. Children can only truly reach their potential if their talents are nurtured properly.

Witness more talents develop on Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp Season 3, as they showcase the journey of exceptionally talented preschoolers with the help of their parents, proper environment, and proper nutrition with Promil Pre-school.

Exceptional talent always shines best when shared! Watch the bigger and brighter Promil i-Shine Talent Camp 3 on ABS-CBN starting June 28!

Blabbing on a Friday

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Yesterday, we celebrated the 116th Philippine Independence Day and much as we have wanted to celebrate it Kabitenyo style, the weather made it impossible. Hello, bedweather! I woke up late, like really, really late and didn’t realize until later that I was soaking with Lana’s pee.

Biking in UP

Biking in UP? Scratch that off my #bucketlist. I really needed a bike. Folding? Mountain? It doesn’t really matter. I just need to burn these fats, in a bike, around UP. Is that too much to ask? Oh, and include biking shoes too. It’s not fashionable to bike in gold doll shoes, honey!

I am back to my cranky self. Because as they say, a wife with no *** life is a cranky wife. Now what has happened to us? :D

Maleficent? NADA, Waley and I super hate the fact the monetary issues kept me from watching it on the big screen. Yona said it was wonderful, enough reason for me salivate. Angelina Jolie, like, hello! I watched her every movie more than 15x each. Tomb Raider? Mr. & Mrs. Smith? Salt? SHE IS LOVE.

I am extremely happy with the new leads I got from where else? oDesk. #balikloob
God has found a way to reunite me with my former boss. Part-time worker right now but who knows? I might work full time soon.

Found some means to read again. I really must read again.
Water for Elephants
Night Whispers
Happy Ever After
The Almost Moon

Deym, I need more books.

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I live a boring life but it doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. My every day revolves around my family and that “some time off” most SAHMs and WAHMs are looking for? I dread it. I can’t stand being away from them (yes, including my husband!) for so long.

I had an eventful week. Now looking forward to some time off with friends (families included, haha!). We’re going biking later tonight in Cainta.

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2 years later…

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Have a great weekend!

Lemon Baby: A New Kind of Tea in SM Bacoor

Isn’t it about time for us Bacoor residents to taste something new? I hate the fact that we only have the usual fast food chains nearby for, like, gazillion years.

SM, on it’s aim to introduce new businesses to the masses has FINALLY opened their doors to businesses not-so-commonly heard – new ones but with lots of potential. It’s a win-win situation indeed.

Last Monday, my kids and I were able to try a new milk tea house, Lemon Baby:

Lemon Baby Milk  Tea

Located on the 2nd floor, just in front of Kamiseta, Lemon Baby is in the perfect go to place whenever one needs a drink to cool her down after a few hours of shopping or if one wants to watch a movie on the next floor.

Lemon Baby Milk Tea Bacoor

My kids and I tried the Cake Milk Tea with Pearl (P100 R, P185 L) and the Chocolate Cake Milk Tea  (P100 R, P185 L), these two are the most expensive ones in their menu but yes, they are so worth it! I am such a huge (literally and figuratively haha) tea lover so both pleased my palate! I know a good tea in just one sip!

Lemon Baby Chocolate Cake Milk Tea | Lemon Baby Cake Milk Tea

 

Lemon Baby Milk Tea | Lemon Baby Chocolate Cake Milk

Yona enjoying her Chocolate Cake Milk Tea

Lemon Baby Cake Milk Tea with Pearl

Lana looooves her Cake Milk Tea with Pearl

If you live nearby, you might want to try Lemon Baby’s milk teas.

LEMON BABY
2nd Floor
SM City Bacoor
Bacoor City
Cavite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lemonbabyph
For franchising inquiries, call us at 553-9888 or email info@lemonbaby.com.ph

 

SM City Bicutan’s Loom Summer Craft-Craze

Okay fine, the Rainbow Loom craze has really got us! My sister and 8-year old daughter loom in every occasion that they could find. I loom, too, but not as frequent as the two girls at home.

In my previous post, I discussed the benefits of looming and the comparison of the original Rainbow Loom vs. the cheaper Divisoria find.

I am so happy that SM City Bicutan will conduct a loom workshop for its loyal followers.

My loom friends and I will be there, so hope to see you there on Friday!

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These are the only bands that we have now. Hope to find buy during the workshop!

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To see more of our looming photos and output: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152208739899495.1073741883.728494494&type=1&l=8948be8a2a

HAPPY LOOMING!

Rainbow Loom vs. Generic Looming Kits + Benefits of Looming

The looming craze has finally hit RP!

At first I was adamant with the whole looming thing because I know that the looming kit is VERY expensive. Being the frugal mom that I am, I refused to be persuaded by any fads, so NO! and NO!

Then on May 9, I finally gave in and  bought a starter kit (P35) and a few packs of looming bands, just to ‘test the waters’:

Rainbow Loom Starter Kit

Generic Starter Kit (P35)
- mini loom
- hook
- S clips
- looming bands

Pros:
- cheaper
- thick bands, best for single chain and fishtail

Cons:
- designs are limited to single and fishtail only

Then on May 10, my brother gave us a cheaper version of the complete looming kit (P100), lower right:

Rainbow loom kit

DIY Looming Kit (P100)
- looming board
- mini loom
- hook
- S Clips
- 600 looming bands

Pros:
- Cheaper option

Cons:
- Looming board has sharp edges, unsafe for little hands and has the tendency to cut the bands
- Looming board loosens a bit over time, not good for complicated designs.

Then finally on May 11, Mother’s Day, my sister bought the original Rainbow Loom Kit for a whopping P979!

Rainbow Loom Kit

Rainbow Loom Kit (P979)
-
Looming board
- mini loom
- 600+ Latex Free Rubber bands
- Rainbow Loom Hook
- 25 C Clips

Pros:
- Every element in the pack is sturdy, you will see and feel QUALITY!
- The edges of the board are smooth
- Bands are latex-free

Cons:
- They’re expensive! Kit starts at P979 and bands at P179 for each pack of 600 bands.

So what are the benefits of looming?

If there’s one tangible benefit I see on my kid, it’s the time away from her tablet. For that alone, I am thankful already :) But there are more, much more important benefits that our kids will develop during looming time:

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Patience and Persistence
  • Visualization
  • Following Directions
  • Creativity
  • Self-esteem

Fine Motor Skills – When kids put those bands together on a loom or on a hook, it fine tunes their fine-motor skills as it requires good fine-motor skills.

Patience and Persistence – These two go together. In order to come up with really good final products, the kid has to have patience and perseverance. Patience to put all those bands in the loom board, loom them, put colors together and perseverance to try again once they fail.

Visualization – The outcome, the pattern they see, the combination of colors – all of these teach the kids visualization, something useful when it comes to Math and art related subjects.

Following Directions - In making these loom bracelets, necklaces and what have yous, one has to learn to follow directions in Youtube videos to come up with designs, intricate or not. This skill is important especially in school-aged kids.

Creativity – Choosing the colors, patterns and elements to come up with a work of art develop your child’s creativity.

Self-esteem – Finishing a loom project boosts your child’s self-esteem. Do not forget to congratulate him or her after each project!

If you’re not into looming yet, I suggest you try this activity with your kids. It doesn’t have to be expensive because we do have cheaper options available in the market today.

The original Rainbow Loom is still the BEST so if you have the means, go for it!

Happy Looming!

To see more of our looming photos and output: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152208739899495.1073741883.728494494&type=1&l=8948be8a2a

Sources:
Generic Starter Kits and DIY Looming Kit – Divisoria
Rainbow Loom Kit – Toy Kingdom

Press Release: Be the next Michael Christian Martinez!

As the first ever South East Asian figure skater to enter the 2013 World Junior Championship and giving an impressive performance at the recently held Soichi Winter Olympics, there’s no stopping Michael Christian Martinez in reaping honors for the Philippines as he recently bagged the much coveted gold medal from the Triglav Trophy International Figure Skating Competition in Jesenice, Slovenia.

Michael

Inspired by skaters spinning and jumping at the SM Skating Rink in SM Southmall, Martinez took up figure skating when he was eight and began training in 2010 in the United States.  Since then, he has been transformed into a world-class athlete and has garnered over 190 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.

Martinez’s success is not an overnight thing but the simple decision of his mother and himself to get into the sports changed his life.  His achievement is indeed phenomenal but the good news is if you’re open-minded and committed to learn the skill, you too can be like him!

SM Skating Rink operated by SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. makes this possible as it provides the facilities and programs for the young people who want to develop and hone their skating talents, and who aspire to be the next Philippine Olympian like Michael Christian Martinez.  SM Skating Rink offers various skating lessons in its premier branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall and SM Megamall.

Michael Martinez SM

For only P 300 on weekdays and P 390 during weekends and holidays, you can learn different skating moves by availing open or unlimited skating service offered in both SM Mall of Asia and SM Megamall.  You can learn and have fun in the SM Skating Rink with your friends by enrolling to one of the Freestyle skating courses available in the three SM branches that come in both four and six sessions

You can also skate your way to being a professional skater by enrolling to Speed Skating, the newest course offering in SM Mall of Asia. Top local coaches who were also trained by international skating coaches like Kelvin Nicolle, an international referee from New Zealand who teaches short track speed skating in Singapore,will provide the lesson and training to the enrolees.

SM Skating Rink

SM Skating Rink which once served as a training ground for Michael Christian Martinez still provides a house for discovering new young talents. Be part of this and fulfill your dreams in the country’s world-class and only skating rink. For more information, visit http://www.smiceskating.com or call 556-0471.

Dreaded Communicable Diseases in the Philippines and How Us Moms Can Prevent It

The transfer of diseases is quite common and it happens every day, anywhere, without you knowing. These diseases are called communicable diseases. The illnesses are passed from one person to another either directly or indirectly.

A communicable disease is an infectious disease that spreads from one person to another through virus or bacteria, the agents of diseases. Here are some of the common communicable diseases, highly contagious but treatable through simple hand washing.

• Common cold
• Influenza
• Gastroenteritis
• Measles and Mumps
• Chicken Pox and Shingles
• Hepatitis
• Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

As a parent, I am very wary about these diseases so I seldom bring my kids in crowded places and when I do, I ensure that they wash their hands frequently or at least I sanitize them using handy hand sanitizers. I applaud companies who value cleanliness. There are very few, I know. If only most establishments put high value on cleanliness, then these diseases can be prevented well.

Facts About Germs and Handwashing

High-touch areas of public restrooms can contain more than 1,000 colony-forming units per milliliter of infection-causing bacteria.

Lennox Archibald, MD, PhD, (November 2011). Public restrooms contained too many bacteria to count. Healio Infectious Disease News. Retrieved from http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/news/print/infectious-disease-news/%7Baf5f11af-25dc-49a9-8d85-4d3a83b8a86e%7D/public-restrooms-contained-too-many-bacteria-to-count

A new study by Michigan State University researchers found that only 5 percent of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections. Also, 33 percent didn’t use soap and 10 percent didn’t wash their hands at all.

Carl Borchgrevink Andy Henion(June 10, 2013). Ewww! Only 5 Percent Wash  Hands Correclty. Michigan State University Today). Retrieved from http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/eww-only-5-percent-wash-hands-correctly/#sthash.dVw0Zw5P.dpuf

It is recommended that everyone should wash his/her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds in order to kill most of the germs.

(Dec 11, 2013) Wash Your Hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/

It is important to instill the habit of hand-washing among kids so that they can learn proper hygiene from an early age. This will also ensure parents that their children are capable of protecting themselves from germs when in school, or in other places where they may not have their parents around to guide them.

This is why I appreciate Safeguard’s initiative in keeping this country clean and free from diseases which proves their dedication on this advocacy. Fourth Quarter of 2013, Safeguard launched the Safeguard Germ Alarm during the Global Handwashing Day.

Safeguard Safe Alarm

The Safeguard Germ Alarm is a loud, attention-grabbing alarm and soap dispenser made especially by Safeguard to address the issue of germs in public restrooms. It’s alarm goes off once a person leaves a toilet cubicle and turns off only when the soap dispenser is pressed.

Installed Safeguard Germ Alarm

Alarms were initially installed in McDonald’s branches around Metro Manila, schools and offices. It alerted more than 10,000 people to wash their hands after using public toilets.

The Safeguard Germ Alarm will soon be installed in more public restrooms around the country so that more Filipinos could make proper hand-washing a habit.

Now if only we can install the Safeguard Germ Alarm at home, that will surely give me an assurance that everyone in the family is 100% clean 24/7.

About Safeguard

SAFEGUARD IS AN ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP. It is P&G’s largest Global Personal Care brand. First launched as a bar soap in the USA in 1963, it is currently sold in more than 15 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America with leadership market share in China and the Philippines. P&G, through its brand Safeguard, co-founded the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) in collaboration with the Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing.

Safeguard is proven to kill 99.9% of germs IN THE BODY that cause illnesses such as diarrhea, cough, colds, and pneumonia.

Safeguard is committed to protecting every family from germs that cause illness. Through innovative education programs, partnerships with respected local health organizations, and support for Global Handwashing Day, we’re fulfilling our mission to promote life-saving hygiene habits around the world.

About Procter & Gamble

Driven by passionate people and a common purpose, P&G brings beloved brands to consumers around the world—including our 50 Leadership Brands that are among the world’s most well known household names. Its purpose is to provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.

FROM GRASS TO GLASS: THE JOURNEY OF MAKING THE BEST QUALITY MILK

Not all milk is created equal.

Alaska

Not all milk is produced the same way, and not all milk companies go
through the same meticulous processes and thorough methods to produce
the best quality milk.

For instance, the Royal FrieslandCampina’s (RFC) group of companies
upholds all the wonderful goodness of gifts of nature and combines these
with the most modern of technologies to produce nutritious milk.

image

RFC is a global top 5 dairy company with over 130 years of experience in producing milk. The 11.1 billion Euro company is composed of dairy cooperatives with about 19,224 member-farmers from The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. The farmers are rewarded based on their system and on the quality and safety of their milk. Every milk delivery is tested and farmers are paid according to composition, safety and quality, and system, leading to improvement of quality and safety metrics over time.

Believing that there are no shortcuts to producing good milk, RFC’s Grass to
Glass process carries with it the gold standard in milk production – from farming, milking, collecting, processing, packaging and all the way to distributing – putting special emphasis on food safety, quality, labor safety, and the environment.

Cows Treated Like Royalty

Known for its green meadows, blue skies, and pristine lakes, the RFC farms located across Europe are havens for cows that are practically treated like royalty. They graze on nothing but the freshest, cleanest grass across farmlands six hours a day, 120 days a year. In some farms, the water is analyzed more frequently but the minimum requirement is, at least, once a year to ensure that there are no contaminants or water-borne diseases the animals could catch.

Because healthy cows mean premium, quality milk, each cow has a code attached to the collar to help veterinarians track the animal’s health regularly.

While traditional farming is still practiced, RFC transits farmers in the best technologies to ensure that benefits generated from modern dairy farming are optimized. The milking equipment are also checked regularly to ensure they are in tip-top shape.

Complete Confidence

After milking, eight quality parameters must be fulfilled to ensure adherence
to RFC’s standards of quality. Among these parameters are temperature and color, bacterial count, antibiotics, etc.

Once they pass these parameters, the milk is assigned a code for easier monitoring during the entire process before it is transported to high-tech factories across Europe and Asia and exported to over 100 countries all over the world to more than a billion consumers.

Before leaving the factories, the milk is tested to ensure its safety and quality and is, then, assigned a final code before being used for its products that are exported to over 100 countries all over the world and used by over a billion consumers.

Rich analyses, protocols – all these careful processes are carried out to ensure that RFC produces impeccable products. Thus, mothers all over the world who prepare milk for their children can be confident that they are providing the best for their families.

In the Philippines, RFC has entered into a solid partnership with Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC), whose 40 years in the Philippine market has made it a leading milk brand in the country.

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