Child’s Safety First: A Call for Car Seats!

This morning as we were about to have breakfast, I saw this on my newsfeed:


The link sharer is my kababata so I clicked on the link because people I know or grew up with might have been involved.

Turns out I knew no character in the article—heck, it was actually the first time I heard the “Navacilla” last name—but it’s as though Titus and Mary Navacilla were Randy and I.

A bitter irony

The Navacillas, Titus and Mary, are Filipino nurses in New Zealand.  They were travelling in a five-seater car last May, on their way to buy a seven-seater vehicle.  With the couple were their two children: three-year old Gabriel and twelve-week old Lexie.  A family friend was driving for them.  Their number was supposed to have been OK—the mom, the dad, the friend, and the two children in their car seats should be comfortable and safe in the five-seater car.  However, their friend’s partner decided to join them.  That posed a complication.  To accommodate everyone, Mary Navacilla decided to remove six-month old Lexie from her car seat (and stash the car seat in the trunk) and just hold Baby Lexie on her lap.  It was the first time that the family travelled that their child was not in a car seat; they knew the value of car seats when it comes to travel safety.

And I’m pretty certain it would be the last time they’ll ever do it.

Before they reached their destination, their car crashed.  Mary, who was wearing a seatbelt and carrying Baby Lexie, was knocked unconscious.  When she woke up, Baby Lexie was no longer in her arms.  When she saw Baby Lexie with her husband, her precious angel was having seizures.  Not long after, Baby Lexie died.

A mother’s intuition

The article mentioned that Mary was actually adamant about removing her baby from the car seat to accommodate another adult.  She knew there was a chance that an accident might occur, and that Baby Lexie would be unsafe.  But she shelved those thoughts aside and probably hoped for the best.  The article further added, “The couple blamed themselves for the tragedy but said they felt pressured to leave their baby unrestrained because there was no space in the car.”

happy toddler
Raviv happy AND SAFE in his carseat

Hospitality that could bring a child to the hospital

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Raviv’s Wardrobe Diary #27: Sun, Sand and Surf Swimwear (June 24, 2014)

[Oh my goolai, bumabagyo na at lahat hindi ko pa rin pala napo-post ito!!!  I made this draft weeks ago, but was only reminded about this tonight.  Anyway, here it is]

Up to the day before our outing, I was still scouring mall with Raviv’s swimwear.  See, his old swimwear was already too tight.

Raviv and his super sexy swimwear at Tagaytay Highlands last year

When I went to SM, Spandex swimwear for toddler boys his age (or size) was nil.  I was told that it has been a week since the swimwear were pulled out, because it was already way past summer.  I also checked out Robinson’s.  Although it carried swimwear that would fit him, I did not like the designs available.  Chaka.  Tapos mahal pa.  So thanks but no thanks.  I was really desperate, because I knew Raviv would be so disappointed if he will not be permitted to swim in Punta Fuego’s swimming pool if he won’t not be wearing the “proper swimming attire”.

Good thing I remembered that I bought him board shorts about a year ago.  At that time, his shorts were still too big for him (but they were on sale!  So I had to buy!) so I just shoved them in his cabinet, on the “still-too-big-for-Raviv” shelf.

I got the shorts, tried it on Raviv and it was just perfect!  I realized it was even better than the usual Spandex swimwear because Raviv can just wear it and when he want to get wet, we just remove his shirt and voila!—instant swimwear!

Now here’s Raviv when Team Brain Train went to Punta Fuego:





  • abaca hat: from Shopwise (less than P100 ‘yan sa Shopwise!  Saw something similar at Rustan’s, P1,000++ grabe!)
  • white shirt: Old Navy
  • board shorts: Carter’s
  • footwear:  from Novo (P60 lang!)

I forgot to tell you, pati pala sa footwear ni Raviv na-stress ako the night before.  See, I thought he would be wearing the green, military-print Gingersnaps slippers given to him by my pedia friend Sugar, or his blue dog-face rubber sandals (also from Novo—cheaper because the pair’s only P40, but it looks classier) buuuuut—both were chewed by our bull mastiffs!  Ayun, Raviv has no beach-appropriate footwear.  So the night before, I asked Yaya Gigi to buy Raviv the same blue dog-face sandal rubber sandals at Novo.  But Yaya Gigi said that design was no longer available, thus she settled on the yellow footwear.  So ayan, mejo sablay ang footwear ng bagets.

Here are more photos of Ravivo at Punta Fuego:

With his pretty Nanay (sino kayayun? Winking smile)

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Surviving Typhoon Glenda

Guys kumusta?  I hope you are safe and sound, what with that Grabeng Glenda!

Anyway, sorry to have been MIA for the past days–Glenda left us super devastated!  For several days, we had no electricity, no water, and no Globe and Smart signals!  We really bore the brunt of Glenda’s wrath!

On the day Typhoon Glenda whipped, I woke up Raviv at 6 a.m. so he’d be alert just in case we need to evacuate or something.  This was the sight he saw from behind our window:

Actually, at the time I took that video, our bedside window had been removed from its hinge.  Our houseboy, Yaya Gigi, and I were manning it; Randy was manning our living room.  At first we were hopelessly covering the gaping hole with our curtain, but then I remembered we had a spare plywood so I asked our boy to fetch it and we covered the hole with it.  We were taking turns holding the plywood.  I could really feel the wind pushing the wood—ang lakas talaga!  We also had a great vantage point of how the winds knocked down trees and our and our neighbor’s roofs!

As if that were not scary enough, I also noticed that our ceiling was moving!  I knew this because I saw our light changing positions!  I felt to scared for Raviv who was lying on the bed.  I told him to stay beside our bed frame—that way, if some debris would enter our bedroom, he’d have been covered by our bedframe.

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I also gave him several pillows to cover his head in case our roof fell down.

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Randy wanted to bring Raviv to our living room where the windows were still intact and the ceiling still stable.  However, halos baha na sa living room.  But since it was safer, we brought Raviv there.

And then as I was changing clothes, I realized that our walk-in closet was dry and probably safer, as its ceiling was stable and it was sandwiched by sturdy walls and doors.  I told Randy to bring Raviv there and Randy agreed it was the best place for Raviv.

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Raviv’s hiding hole during Typhoon Glenda’s pinnacle of destruction

It was such a relief to have brought Raviv to a safe shelter!  Randy joined Raviv there as it was very dark there.  They prayed numerous times and guessed the names of dinosaurs based on silhouette.  At least, that took out some fear from my little boy.

Our bedroom, meanwhile, was very unstable—look at how we were “managing” it:

2014-07-16 06.15.59Yaya Gigi and Joy pushing a plywood against the hole in our window

2014-07-16 08.59.152014-07-16 08.59.20
I was holding the curtain rod to support our ceiling that was on the verge of being removed

Randy was trying to comfort us by saying that, at worst, Typhoon Glenda would stay until 7 a.m.  But 7 a.m. has come and gone and still Glenda was getting stronger than ever!  I was praying and praying while preparing our food (most of us have been up since the wee hours, and we were all tired and hungry).

I was just thankful that at 9 a.m., the winds started to calm down.  A few minutes after, we knew the worst was over.  But we were bracing ourselves to see the damage that Glenda has caused.

The sight of our house in ruins was heartbreaking.  Here are some photos of how Glenda left our home in Los Banos.

Here are our garage and gate:

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Wardrobe Diary #60: Si Misis! (June 28, 2014)

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have finally accepted the term.  I realized that after six years of being married, OK na sa akin matawag na “Misis Ladaga”.  ‘Yan ang breakthrough ko on that day.

But still, I refuse to look like the quintessential “misis“.

For our super wholesome sixth anniversary celebration, I wore something super wholesome as well (but not misis-y, I hope).  Here I was on my and Randy’s anniversary:



At para medyo sensual kunwari:


Now here’s a closer look at the outfit details:

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ShakeysXMomsterTeacher Giveaway!!!

The Transformer

Who doesn’t love pizza?! Randy and Raviv both love pizza so much!  As for me, I WAS not really a fan.  I guess that’s because most pizzas have tasteless thick crusts, which are not really my thing.  And then there was that time when Randy met his schoolmate from Pisay to discuss a business deal.  At which restaurant did they decide to meet?  Can you guess?

Since, as I said, I was not a fan of pizza, I ordered chicken and pasta and other food items on the menu.  But when Raviv, Yaya Gigi and I were consuming the yummy foods at an alarming rate, whereas Randy and his ka-meetings have not eaten yet (they went downright to business), I ordered pizza for them.  I chose the Manager’s Choice pizza.  When the pizza arrived, it looked and smelled so good that I reached for a slice.


Image lifted /menus

Then, I forgot that I do not like pizzas.  It was really good!  From then on, I gave pizzas a chance and actually enjoyed eating at pizza parlors, especially at Shakey’s.


Prior to tasting the Manager’s Choice pizza, I had still loved eating at Shakey’s, because they’re specialty is not limited to just pizzas:  I love Shakey’s friend chicken (beats the hell out of other restaurants that boast of their fried chicken, right?) and of course, the mojos!!!

chicken and mojos blowout shakeys
Our family loves Shakey’s  so much that Randy even got us a Pizzanatic Supercard—he knew we would be visiting Shakey’s very often!

shakeys pizzanatic supercard
Now, I know I’ve whetted your appetite, and you now hate me for making you salivate.  But before you do, I have some exciting news for you: Shakey’s is giving a loyal MomsterTeacher reader P1,500 worth of gift certificate!!!

The Giveaway

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Shakey’s Tasty Throwback: Reminiscing Good Times, Great Memories with the New Shakey’s Pizza 1954


The best legacies come from the most passionate endeavors.

Shakey’s Philippines has been a strong brand in the pizza segment of the local food service since its inception. Their continuing success was somehow already evident with the opening of the very first Shakey’s in the Philippines.

Developed by four of the food industry’s giants, Shakey’s emerged as an avenue for marketing San Miguel’s newest draft beer.  The first Philippine branch opened in 1975 in the city of Makati, soon followed by stores all over the metro.

Almost four decades later, Shakey’s is now a successful nationwide franchise with over 100 restaurants. Their latest innovation exhibits a change in image and ambiance to feature the present family-oriented, wholesome, and clean atmosphere. Constantly in tune with their roots, the brand maintains the warmth and familiarity that have made their stores a sensation.

They continue to satisfy loyal Guests, while gathering a new following, through their world-famous thin crust pizza and hand-tossed versions as well as a wide spectrum of ala carte items including Shakey’s awesome twosome: Chicken ‘N Mojos, and pasta.

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How We Spent Our 6th Wedding Anniversary

Naku, kahit Rated PG, hindi!

Because our theme turned to be “Happy Raviv Day!”

But, I really had fun.  Promise.  Ewan lang kay Randy.  Hihi.

Days before our anniversary, I told Randy it was OK with me not to celebrate it.  After all, we have just returned from a fun post-summer outing with our loves, our Brain Train family.  But Randy is big on anniversaries and Valentine’s Days and other occasions (except for birthdays.  Baligtad kami).  He told me we have to do something.  He wanted to have a romantic getaway, but since we are barely recovering from the hectic summer, I had no time to book flights, hotels, etc.  In the end, I suggested that we just bring Raviv with us and watch “How To Train Your Dragon”.  Raviv has been addicted to it since a week before our anniversary.  In fact, he insists that he be called “Hiccup”.  As in nagagalitpag hindi Hiccup ang tawag sa kanya.  Kumusta naman ‘di ba?  And he had been watching “How To Train Your Dragon” (first part) for several nights.  And since our only vacant time was on June 28, plus the screening of “How To Train Your Dragon” was already pulled out of other cinemas, we needed to habol.  Kawawa naman si Raviv if not.  Thus, adios romantic getaway!

2014-06-28 14.15.45Raviv, este, “Hiccup” with the How To Train your Dragon 2 poster

The only cinema nearby where “How To Train Your Dragon 2” was at Festival Mall.  We arrived at Festival almost an hour before the screening.  We hurried to buy tickets and just ordered take-out—we no longer had time to have a proper lunch (like I said, ang mga ganap sa araw ni iyon ay anti-romantic).

We just ate at the cinema.  Randy got his favorite grilled cheeseburger at Kenny Roger’s; Raviv ate calzone from Sbarro; and I had hotdog burger from Jollibee.  Parang baligtad kami ni Raviv ‘noHaha!


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I immensely enjoyed watching “How To Train Your Dragon 2”.  Friends have already told me it was really good, and that it was a far cry from its already-entertaining prequel.  So I had high expectations.  But even then, it exceeded my expectations!  No scene was ever boring or dragging.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!  If I were to do a review of “How To Train Your Dragon 2”, I’d give it five stars and two thumbs up!  That part when Hiccup cha**eng** (so as to not spoil it to a reader who hasn’t watched) the Al**a gave me goosebumps!  I went out of the cinema feeling giddy!  I may have actually enjoyed it more than Raviv, although I could not help but fantasize how much more fun it would have been had we watched it on 4DX.

After the movie, we shopped on the third floor to buy Raviv toys from Toy Town.  I know that everyone says Raviv has already so many toys.  I think so too.  But don’t say that to Randy—he honestly believes Raviv deserves them all!  Sabi nga sa akin, “’Di ba andami mo na ring damit at bags?  O ba’t bili ka pa nang bili?”  O dabah?  So shaddap na lang tayo.

IMG_0012_2I no longer had the chance to take pictures of the action figures inside.  Car pa lang, bukas na!


Randy rationalized that he bought the Marvel Universe gift set because it was on super sale.  In fairness, the sale price was really cheap compared with the original price:


Ay I have kwento about Raviv’s generosity and love for his cousin: while Randy was lined up at the cashier counter, I was looking at these because I got curious: [Read more...]

Wardrobe Diary #59.1: Post-Summer Swimsuit!!! (June 24, 2014)

Guuuuuuuuys!!!  I have good news!  And bad news.

Good news:  Randy allowed me to put some Club Punta Fuego pictures wearing my white swimsuit here!!!

Bad news:  Ito lang ang in-approve niya:

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2014-06-24 14.42.14

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Wardrobe Diary #59: Post-Summer, Before-Hitting-The-Beach Wear (June 24, 2014)

No, this is not about my white maillot.

I won’t be posting a full body picture of me and my short limbs in that swimsuit.  Bawal daw sabi ni Randy.  #AlamNyoNamanYun.  Especially because there was recent news of a minor who posted her sexy selfie photo online that was nenok-ed and used by a beer house in advertising!  While watching the news, Randy was saying, “Ayan na nga ba ang mga post nang post ng sexy pictures!”  He felt sorry for the girl, but I know he was saying it so I would realize the “dangers” of posting “provocative” photos online.  But honestly, he need not worry because I don’t intend to post a full body “in a swimsuit” photo of me.  Not because feeling ko gagamitin din ng isang cheap beerhouse, but because despite my weight loss, I’m still not contented with my body. Especially with my lower half.  Anlaki talaga ng hita ko, I swear!  Given na na gusto ni Randy ang thunder thighs ko, but when I look at my photos and see my legs, kinikilabutan talaga akoHayst.

So anyway, let’s focus on what I wore before I swam.  At least it just showed the right amount of flesh, but hid the huge amount of flesh (and fats) na nagkumpul-kumpol sa isang lugar.

Pau-pau, my colleague, kept on telling me how bongga it looks daw.

So here’s my post-summer, before-hitting-the-beach wear at Punta Fuego (see previous post):


Pre-Swimming Beachwear at Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas


Punta Fuego2

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Familia Brain Train Goes to Punta Fuego!

Hallooo!  I am excited for this post, because this would rekindle the memories I have in this fun outing with people dear to me.  This is also some sort of a review of Club Punta Fuego.

Recently, our post-summer outing pushed through.  It was a very special outing, because we all thought it was never gonna happen, what with our internal problems.  But as I said on a previous post, thank God things were resolved.

At first, we were targeting Amansinaya Mountain Resort.  But because of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor, we hurriedly looked for a new destination a few days before the outing.

amansinaya negative review

amansinaya bad reviewThe fact that the toilets are untidy and that water is scarce is a big turn-off!

And wouldn’t you know it, Punta Fuego was available! The entrance fee (inclusive of welcome drinks, lunch, and use of swimming pools) to this exclusive resort was also affordable.

Before heading to Punta Fuego, we first had our annual/traditional photo ops in front of the latest Brain Train UPCAT Passers tarp:


Travel to Punta Fuego from Los Banos took more then two hours.  But we almost did not notice the time because with us in the van were the Clingy Friends: Pau, Patty, Sargei, Mark, Abe and their “amuyong”, Jhabs.  On the road we played Taboo (you can download an app on Android!  Ang fun!) and other mind games.

20140624_062406You just gotta love the Clingy Friends!

And finally after two hours, we have arrived!

2014-06-24 09.03.18

Of course, the first activity waspicture-taking!

Familia Brain Train 2014sayang may mga hindi nakapunta!

After registering, we got a cabana and each clique did their thing muna.

20140624_101258The Clingy Friends “shadow-bathing” at Punta Fuego Winking smile

For Randy and me, that meant family time…

Raviv was soooo excited about playing by the shorelines of Punta Fuego!  Of course, Randy was ever so supportive.

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After some time, we congregated by the shoreline and had more photo ops.  First, we had a group jumpshot:



Then, we had picture-taking by “department”.

Here’s the Science Department:

Demure-demure ang Science Department!

Now here’s the Math Department:

The Math Departmentat ang abs ni Engr. Marco Lao.  LOL!

Aaaaaaaaaanddd!!!  Of course, here’s the English Department.  Take a look at how bongga our department photos are:

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