New Must-Try Products


UFC Color Crazee Catsup

Kids can be terribly picky when it comes to food, and making it taste good isn’t the only hurdle—it needs to look good too! Mommies all over the world know that a colorful, creative-looking meal is a meal more likely to be eaten, that’s why a lot of mom’s have started creating fun bento meals for their kids to enjoy.

UFC Tamis-Anghang Banana Catsup, the leading catsup brand in the country and a household staple for over 40 years now, has launched its newest product which will make mealtimes more fun and colorful! Introducing new UFC Color Crazee Catsup! Your favorite UFC Tamis-Anghang Banana Catsup now made available in four fun, exciting colors: Bubbly Blue, Goofy Green, Yummy Yellow and Radiant Red. It comes in a twist-cap and easy squeeze bottle making it easy for kids to use! Plus, you can even mix the colors to create new ones! Taste-wise the young and young-at-heart are sure to love the fact that this is the same UFC Tamis-Anghang Banana Catsup blend, just in different colors.

All ingredients are FDA approved and safe for consumption. UFC Color Crazee Catsup is available in leading supermarkets nationwide for a limited time only. 150g singles are priced at P15.00 and P58.00 for the cute box set that includes all four colors. UFC Color Crazee Catsup lets you add color to your food, and you’ll find creating edible art is a great bonding activity for the whole family. Don’t be surprised if kids start asking for second helpings of food come mealtime, just for the chance to add more catsup to their food before devouring it.

Can’t wait to try UFC Color Crazee Catsup? When you do, don’t forget to share your edible art! Take a pic before digging in, then post your color crazee food photo on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #UFCColorCrazeeCatsup. Make sure you tag UFCBananaCatsup on Facebook and @UFCBananaCatsup on Instagram when you share your Color Crazee creations. For more on UFC and UFC Color Crazee Catsup, visit You can also follow @UFCBananaCatsup on Instagram. Check out and share our TVC here.


Experience Natural Care “Down There”

Everyone’s going all-natural these days, whether we’re talking about organic food, health supplements from plant and animal extracts, and even personal care and beauty products. And, why not? Ever since, people have long used natural ingredients to effectively address their woes and concerns.

This is why pH Care bottled up nature’s wonders through two popularly used ingredients, papaya and guava leaves, to come up with their all-new pH Care Naturals line in pH Care Naturals Papaya and pH Care Naturals Guava. The folks behind best-selling feminine wash pH Care have an intimate understanding of the importance of caring for your feminine area, and they expertly combine the properties of these winning natural ingredients with their mild and effective intimate care products.
pH Care Naturals Papaya

There are a lot of factors that can influence a woman’s confidence when it comes to donning that swimsuit, including puson problems and cleavage consciousness. But one other common insecurity many women have is dark skin in and around the feminine area, and this is something they can feel self-conscious about even in the comfort and privacy of their own rooms and bathrooms. And, while there are many products for whitening dark skin in other parts of the body, most of these aren’t safe or suited for use in intimate areas. But now, pH Care has a new whitening feminine wash variant that uses natural ingredients, so you keep the sensitive area fresh and fair. The new pH Care Naturals Papaya is powered with papaya extract, so you get fairer skin in as early as 14 days! And since we know papaya is one of nature’s wonders when it comes to skin-whitening, you’re sure to get only the best results with the mildest ingredients.
pH Care Naturals Guava

Even if you’re not overly concerned with dark skin, you may still want a feminine wash made from natural ingredients that will still keep your intimate area fresh and clean. After all, in a hot country like ours, sweat can lead to discomfort, even body odor, and infection—and it’s worse when it involves the feminine area! But no need to worry; pH Care Naturals Guava has been specially infused with guava leaf extract, which is well-known for its cleansing and anti-bacterial properties. In fact, the use of guava leaves for intimate care is a traditionally renowned practice passed on from generation to generation. So if you’re among the 33% of Filipinas constantly seeking for natural solutions “down there,” then give pH Care Naturals Guava a try. It will naturally deodorize the area so you can feel confident regardless of outfit, activity, or even weather. It has quite a refreshing scent, too!
Now, you can be assured of natural care “down there”, para fresh and clean na, odor-free pa!
The NEW! pH Care Naturals Intimate Wash is available for P49.50 (50mL) and P104 (150mL) at leading supermarkets, drugstores, and beauty stores.

FB: pH Care: Fresh, Sexy Secrets

IG: @pHCarePhilippines

Twitter: @pHCarePhilippines

My Birthday Bawl

To all who greeted me on my birthday, thank you so much. You just don’t know how much each greeting meant to me.

Or do you know want to know how precious each one was?

Like what I said in one of my previous posts, I really wasn’t expecting much of my birthday. And that was true, especially because exactly a week from my birthday, the brother of one of my employees passed away. Of course, it was expected that she’d be absent for a week or so. As usual, ngarag uli. Last week—just like my weeks the past months—was bustling with activities especially because one of our main teachers was absent. Then may drama pa ‘yung new teacher aide ko. I was too stressed that I discontinued my diet and started binge-eating. I’m a stress eater kasi. I’m fat and bloated when I’m stressed. I eat my way to temporary happiness.

My birthday was a holiday, that meant we were be in Los Banos on that day. But my mind was too busy thinking of how we’d survive the week without the teacher on leave that I no longer thought about any birthday parties. Randy was asking me what we’ll do on my birthday. I told him I was too exhausted to plan my birthday, so we’ll just keep it simple: on the day before my birthday, I just wanted to eat crab at Claw Daddy Nuvali, and then buy shoes after.  And so we did that on Thursday.

Brief review about Claw Daddy, Nuvali (it’s the sister company of The Red Crab): In my opinion, this restaurant is so underrated. I wonder why it isn’t patronized that much. I love almost everything about Claw Daddy in Nuvali: courteous and accommodating staff, excellent ambiance (rustic and nostalgic), fantastic view (lakeside), and let’s not get started on the uber delicious crab dishes! It just smells a bit musky inside, but save for that, it’s perfect!

If you’re a crustacean lover, this is the best place to eat! It makes eating crabs worry free. Look:

From the apron that protects your clothes from the inevitable talsik to the gadgets and gizmos in crushing the crab shells and sundot-ing the meat from the narrowest point; to the bucket where you could easily dispose the shells without crowding your plate and the table; and to the hot towel that they would give you after your meal to remove the lansa from your hands and mouth. And again, let me reiterate that the crab dishes I’ve tasted are really yummy! So far, I’ve tasted Crab Maritess and Szechuan Crab (twice each). Both are incredibly delicous, but both Randy and I prefer Szechuan.

I can’t wait to try out the other crab dishes there!

After that, we proceeded to Res Toe Run. I’ve wanted to buy canvas shoes for the longest time. Those who know me probably can’t believe that I’ve been eyeing canvas shoes, because I’m a heels girl (especially now that I’ve gained weight). But because my work at Gymboree requires me to wear socks all the time (and because there was a time when I was too lazy to remove my socks that I just wore my wedge sandals on top of my socks outside Gymboree and the person I met outside was surreptitiously looking at such a baduy ensemble), I surrendered to the heed of comfy canvas shoes. Good thing Wakai shoes were on sale at Res Toe Run. They were on super sale that I bought two lovely and comfy pairs!

Each pair cost only Php920, more 50% slashed off the original price

After that, we went to Los Banos. The following morning, Randy woke me by kissing me and greeting me a happy birthday. Through a haze, I thought I saw balloons on the ceiling and for a brief moment I thought I was in for a treat that day.  But when I rubbed my eyes and was fully awake, I realized that the balloons were just a mirage. I turned to my phone. No “Happy Birthday” messages. I also checked my two Facebook accounts. No “Happy Birthday” posts on my timeline, either. I told myself it was nothing, because I chose not to share my birthday to the public. That it was my birthday was visible only to me. Though at the back of my mind, I was secretly wishing that my “friends” on Facebook still knew it’s my special day, somehow.

Then I went through the usual stuff I do on my rare days off: read some articles on my iPhone, prepared breakfast, fed Raviv. As I was feeding Raviv, I suddenly had the willies and asked myself, “Will I really feel this unspecial on the day that I’m supposed to feel special? Will I really spend it just running after Raviv, amidst people who don’t care a hoot about making me feel special today?”

Tears started to well, and I retreated to our bedroom. Randy followed after a while, and asked me what was wrong. Of course I replied with the perfunctory “Wala”, though I secretly hoped he’d probe further, which he did. And then the dam broke. I told him how unhappy I was that no one seemed to care for me anymore. I told him I even sank so low to the point of making my birthday visible in one of my Facebook accounts, just so some people would spend three seconds and type the generic “Happy birthday!” or even one second to type, “HBD” to make me feel special. I told him I was tired of planning everyone else’s despedida and birthday parties…puro surprise at last minute pa (you know how tiring and stressful surprise and last-minute parties are, right?)! And then on my special day, waley. He said he thought I just wanted crabs and shoes, just as I said. I said, “I thought so too!” And then I just cried more. He hugged me and apologized for not being more discerning. Although after the hug he told me I was like Sharon Cuneta—blessed but depressed. I said that yes, probably. Basta marami pang pangaral sa akin si Randy about counting my blessings and I honestly, I agreed with them all. I may be unreasonable, but all I could tell him was that I couldn’t control how I feel, and that’s how I felt. I said I’m just so freaking tired everyday, especially because I don’t have a day off (except when there’s a holiday). I blamed my weight gain to the fact that I have to wear the same boring clothes everyday that I honestly have forgotten how to porma thus I no longer had any motivation to watch my figure. He told me he’ll throw me a party since it was still early anyway, but I told him I never entertained the thought because let’s face it: the people who used to make my birthdays a lot of fun have moved on, just as we did. We lead very different lives now, and I think I’d feel more unspecial if all of them would just play the, “I’m sorry we can’t” or “Sorry busy kasi” card on me after I would slave the whole day cooking food. The excuses could be valid reasons, yes, but still I’d be hurt.

(In case you didn’t know, we are at a transition period right now. Our Los Banos home used to be so alive with people—we used to have parties almost every two weeks. Now, it is chillingly quiet and almost everyone is new. Moreover, since my business is new, my team and I are working extra hard to ensure we give our clients their money’s worth. Plus since we also live in Sta. Rosa City for most of the week, we are also adjusting to our new environment).

Looking back, I regret having that outburst because it stressed out Randy. I’m crying again right now because I am so touched remembering how my husband wanted me to be happy.  He would go from hugging me to scolding me, then asking me what I wanted (“Gusto mo ibili na kita ng pinakamahal talagang bag? Mag-shopping spree ka gusto mo?”), to blaming himself for not knowing me enough. Bottomline is, he just wants me to be happy and he seems he can’t live with himself to see me unhappy.

During my drama anthology, I told him that it seems I really needed affirmation from other people that I’m special. I need to be around friends and other people. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Discipline Your Kids After Summer Break

In Western countries, international schools and some schools in the Philippines, it’s the time of the year when kids and parents are both frantic and excited as the never ending torturous school days are about to start. In fact, when Raviv was still going to his old school, it is usually at this time that I start bugging Randy to shop for Raviv’s new school stuff. (since his school was unoficially the toddler school arm of Brent, it follows the Western schools’ schedules).


Yes, the party is over and the uphill battle of getting them back into the school business is about to begin. The task is surely not an easy one and can take more of your effort and time than you expected. Since kids are prone to spending a huge chunk of their time watching tv, browsing the internet, playing video games and watch more movies during the summer break, preparing them for the upcoming school days could be very frustrating and daunting for parents.

Here are five ways you can use to train your kids for school:

1. Reinstate School Routine

The best way to get your kids on the back-to-school routine is using the last weeks of summers training the kids to sleep early and get up at the same time every day. Altering the eating habits of your kid according to the times he/ she will eat during the school days also helps in getting you kid back on the track after a long break.

2. Kids’ Engagement In the School Prep

In order to motivate your kids to be all excited about going back to school, you need to do more than just fixing their daily routine. Kids’ engagement while preparing for school has always been helpful in reinforcing the importance of education. You need to involve your kids while shopping for the back-to-school equipment. As kids of today’s age enjoy spending more time on the internet than outside then online shopping of their favorite back-to-school essentials can be a fun activity you can do with your kids. A number of local and international online stores and marketplaces such as Kaymu, eShopping, Amazon and many others offer a wide range of back to school stuff for kids at the most competitive prices.

3. Create a time table with your kids

You need to take out a calendar and create a weekly schedule with your kids that includes chores, activities including sports, swimming, homework, watching TV, weekend plans, after school plans etc.

4. Rush to the library

If your kid hasn’t developed the habit of reading books yet than now is the right time to change that. Go for the books he might be interested in, set a time so that he reads a couple of pages regularly, and have detailed discussions with him about the books he has read. Look for libraries that offer fun learning activities for kids such as puppet shows, reading hours etc.

5. Be your kids’ motivation

Remember, whatever you do, kids follow. So your behavior and actions have an impact on your kid’s life. Children look up to their parents more than anyone, so parents have a huge responsibility of setting the right example for their kids to follow. Whether it’s limiting the use of cell phones, cutting down on the movies or going to bed early, kids catch up instantly. So if you want your kids to kickstart their schools with a healthier lifestyle, try leading by example.

For have a detailed insight into learning more about preparing your kids for school do visit commonsensemedia.

The Best Time to Get a MacBook Air Is NOW!!!


Remember when I bugged you with my soliloquy about getting a MacBook Air? Well, that’s one and a half years ago. A few months after that blogpost, Randy finally got me one. And I. Love. It. As in.

I love how sleek and portable it is, that I bring it with me practically everywhere I go. It’s ultra lightweight that carrying it is a breeze. I bring it with me to the parlor ‘pag nagpapa-digiperm or rebond ako (because I don’t want to waste my time—naks!), when we go on staycations, when I attend meetings…practically everywhere I go!

It’s not an overstatement. The MacBook Air is the most beautiful laptop you can own. From the outside, the aluminum unibody design looks modern and minimalist. The tapering edges also make the laptop genuinely attractive and impressive. Although it’s the same chassis design we’ve been seeing since 2010, there’s really nothing to complain about since it resonates with ’premiumness’ that you can only get from Apple.

Measuring 17mm in diameter and weighing at 1.4kg, the MacBook Air is gorgeously thin and surprisingly light. It’s light enough that it’s barely noticeable in your bag and robust enough that you don’t feel like it’s going to break when you use it. Overall, this laptop sends an unequivocal message: the MacBook Air is an engineering feat – one that cannot be copied.

And let’s not get started on its battery life. Actually, we could—its battery life is amazingly long that I could blog away the entire day even without a power outlet and still I’d have enough battery at night.

The only thing that burst my bubble about my MacBook Air is the loss of the ever reliable offline blogging app, my beloved Windows Livewriter. But that has all been solved when I met my new love, Desk (I’m using it right now! ;)). I’ll talk more about Desk on a separate post—it’s the best blogging Mac app!

And so with Desk, there’s nothing keeping me from loving my MacBook Air. Pair it with an iPhone and/or iPad and everything is just awesome—transferring pictures from my iPhone 6+ to my MacBook Air is virtually wireless and totally easy breezy!

Now that you know how sulit a MacBook Air is and now that I’ve convinced you to get one, be idle no more—start moving and get that MacBook Air, NOW!

Why now?

Because of this fantastic news: this September, the MacBook Air 11″ and 13” variants are available in super easy, zero-interest installments and will be offered with three distinct lifestyle bundles, FREE!

These lifestyle bundles are the TRVLR, EXCTV and SCHLR—three lifestyles of people who truly deserve the MacBook Air!

Free-spirited, always out and about. #iAMTRVLR
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Coloud Pop, ACME Made Skinny Sleeve, and Nude Audio Speakers.

There is no greater feeling than packing your bags and knowing you’re heading to another adventure. That is what the TRVLR Bundle is all about. This bundle is targeted at individuals who travel constantly whether it’s for leisure or work. If you’re a correspondent covering the latest stories, a carefree tourist, or just someone who is in a perpetual working holiday, this is the bundle to get.


Driven to succeed, a paragon of excellence #iAMEXCTV
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Soundfreaq Pocket Kick, ACME Made Sleeve

Nothing compares to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment executives get at the end of each day. The EXCTV Bundle is for high achievers who lead by example and don’t settle for second best – ideal for office professionals and entrepreneurs.


Inquisitive, thirsty for knowledge #iAMSCHLR
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Urbanears Plattan, Speck MacBook Air Case, JRC Keyboard Protector

The pursuit of knowledge never ends. The SCHLR Bundle seeks to cultivate inquiring minds, nurture curiosity, and aid academics in their quest to learn and educate. If you’re a student or an academic by profession, this bundle is the perfect option.

Promo Mechanics:

1. This promo is open to existing credit cardholders with good credit standing. Participating banks are: BDO, BPI, Citibank, Maybank, Metrobank, PNB, and Security Bank, Union Bank
2. Promo period is from September 1 to September 30, 2015 only.
3. This promo is not valid in conjunction with any ongoing Beyond the Box promotions.
4. The approved installment transaction is automatically deducted from the cardholder’s available credit limit.
5. To take advantage of the said promo, cardholder must personally present his or her Credit Card to the Beyond the Box branch with one valid Identification Card and sign the bank charge slip when the transaction is approved.
6. Applicable to MacBook Air 11″ and 13″ 128GB only.


PS: Beyond the Box has so many other amazing products for your Apple gadgets! Everyone knows I’m no gadget freak, but when my tactless friend Chrysanthemum Collado (hahaha!) blatantly pointed out that my MacBook Air needed a new case, I realized, “Oo nga naman. Ang ganda ng laptop ko, ang chaka na ng laptop case ko.”

Look how chaka it is:

Hehehe. In fairness, that case looked nice when it was new. But it also housed to house my hurly burly bulky Toshiba laptop that I used to carry around as well (to the dismay of my arms and shoulders), and it’s now almost 2 years old. I’ve been checking out cases in several stores, but none made me salivate the way the cases at Beyond the Box did. Lookie lookie:


Fit for the runway. That’s the best way to describe the Kate Spade Saffiano Sleeve – our Beyond the Box Exclusive for September. Dress up your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for the catwalk with Kate Spade’s chic and elegant Saffiano Sleeve. The sleeve is made of premium, scratch-resistant, and shock-absorbent Saffiano vegan leather with a touch of Kate Spade’s iconic fashion sensibility.
Fashion-forward Apple-holics can expect lots of admiring glances from fellow fashionistas once they clad their MacBook with a Kate Spade Saffiano Sleeve (Php 3,950). Get this at Beyond the Box this month and enjoy a 10% discount on your purchase.

‘Di baaaa?!?! Do check out Beyond the Box’s Instagram (@beyondtheboxph) and you’ll be even more excited to own Apple gadgets, promise!

Bring Home the Beacon

Happy Sunday! I am in Quezon City right now, waiting for my turn to teach. I hope there wont be much traffic later this afternoon as I look forward to going to church. Our move to Sta. Rosa made me “homeless” spiritually for few months, but now I can say I’ve found a new home in Victory Sta. Rosa (Nuvali). I love listening to Pastor Janssen’s deep and thought-provoking (but never boring!) preachings. I also love spending time with my new Victory group mates.

We meet every Thursday morning; I try to make time to get out of my busy schedule to attend because it gives me respite. I feel refreshed and I am inspired to be a better person (particularly wife, mom and Christian) after each session.

The word last Thursday was particularly striking, and I really want to share it with you, especially to the moms who are having trouble juggling everything and not knowing what and whom to prioritize.

Let’s begin with this story from Max Lucado’s book, “Just Like Jesus”:

A lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline received oil once a month to keep his light burning bright. Not being far from the village, he had frequent guests. One night a woman needed oil to keep her family warm. Another night a father needed oil for his lamp. Then another needed oil to lubricate a wheel. All the requests seemed legitimate, so the lighthouse keeper tried to meet them all. Toward the end of the month, however, he ran out of oil and his lighthouse went dark, causing several ships to crash on the coastline. The man was reproved by his superiors, ‘You were given the oil for one reason,’ they said, ‘to keep the light burning.

Remember how we moms are touted to be the “ilaw ng tahanan”? We are the lighthouse keeper, actually. We must serve as our family’s moral compass and “a beacon that displays the light to guide her children through an ocean of choices.”

But just like the lightkeeper, so many people and so many things seem to require our “oil reservoir” (aka our time, efforts and talent) as well: there’s our heavy workload in the office, a friend who needs a crying shoulder, a relative who needs our help, a house that seriously needs some TLC…and the list goes on. Including our want to use the oil for ourselves. All seem legit and we will feel uncaring, irresponsible and selfish if we just ignore these things and people that also scream for our “oil”. But just as with what happened with the lightkeeper, the damage is greater when we set aside the real purpose of the oil.

Suffice it to say, when we prioritize other things way above our family, the damage is greater. I know for a fact that I’d rather not get a raise or promotion if that means my son might become a drug addict or a petty criminal because he tried looking for love, affection and attention elsewhere. I’d rather not be a famous or top blogger if my love affair with my laptop might drive away my husband and have an affair of his own. I’d rather have a messy house if it means I will have a loving home.

The reason this word cut through me is because I feel like I’m the lightkeeper who’s so caught up with other “legit” things that he was either forgetting or setting aside his real role.

On top of being a wife and mom, I crave to be a Mary Barra who has Martha Stewart’s domestic skills; Ivanka Trump’s beauty and clout; and Oprah Winfrey’s gift of gab. It’s not that I will totally leave out being a family woman—it’s just that for the longest time, I was being Raviv’s mom and Randy’s wife…when my other activities permit me to.

Am I saying that I must cease from trying to have different facets? Not exactly. All I’m saying is that I realize that just like the lightkeeper, I must not veer away from my most important role to the most important people in my life, lest I run out of oil. ButI’m not saying that my goal is just to be a mom and wife 100%. No. My light is not just for inside the home—it would be too glaring. I am still willing to open our home’s windows so that my light from the inside could still help and guide other people. But the priority is always my son and my husband.

But even if I save my oil for my family, it is inevitable that it would run out. That’s why I need to turn to God, always. He is the supplier of my oil to help me burn brightly to guide my family first, and then me in my work, my friends, my relatives, and even strangers. If I know that I will not run out of oil because I am confident that my Lord has limitless supply and that He’ll always give me enough, I won’t scrimp on shining and burning brightly for the people who need my light.

Have a blessed week ahead!



I just want to share with you Raviv’s “fantasy” photos taken and edited by my friend, Tamami Kretzschmar of Dreamy-Garden Portraits. These shots were taken 2-3 weeks ago. Lookie lookie:

As usual, they looked dreamy! I’ve loved fairy tales since I was young so my imagination has always been fertile with images such as these. So seeing my son in a giant basket, newly hatched, in a “giant’s palm”, beside a giant story book, and looking inquisitive on a moon makes me feel as though he were the hero of the fairy tales I’ve read when I was young. Feeling ko siya si Jack sa “Jack and the Beanstalk”! Raviv was also happy (and confused, hehe) when he saw the photos. He said that these photos could have been taken in his dreams, because he can’t remember being actually in these places. I encourage you moms to have “fantasy” photo shoots of your kids. It stirs a wistfulness in you, and amazement on your child’s part. Take a look at Dreamy-Garden’s other photos on Facebook. You’ll be amazed!

During the photo shoot, Raviv also had a reunion with his first ever crush—Tamami’s lovely daughter, Yoona. When we arrived at Tamami’s place, Yoona greeted us and eagerly asked me to look at her dress. On this ordinary day at home, Yoona was wearing a ballerina dress. She’s so cute! She was also super game at posing with Raviv, but Raviv was shy at first. Hehe.


Speaking of fantasies, my fantasy of becoming thinner should be nine days away. That is, if I could continue my new diet. See, today marked the beginning of MomsterTeacher’s #BalikAlindogProject2015Edition. Haha! Finally, I’m doing something about my ever expanding gut.  And legs and arms.  Fart, even my wedding ring is becoming tight on my finger!!!

How fat have I really become? Huh. OK. Because I love you, I will post my super unflattering photos. Here: [Read more…]

Remember September

Hello birth month!

It may surprise you to know that up to now, the word “September” still stirs excitement in me. I guess I’m still like a kid in that aspect. This year though, I’m not looking forward to anything special. I feel like my birthday this year would be some sort of a blah birthday.

On my 30th birthday two years ago, Randy gave me my first personal car (I’m so embarrassed to admit it but up to now I still don’t have a freaking driver’s license!!! I already know how to drive but because of things that I’ll divulge later, i.e., when I already have my license) and several of my friends attended my 30th birthday “party”. It was really simple, but I was still happy with how that birthday turned out.

Hong Kong fun and thrill on my actual birthday

Then last year on my 31st, we were in Hong Kong. In “the happiest place on Earth” for a kid (and me), no less. Despite all the kamalasan I experienced a few days before my birthday, that trip was one for the books because I just loved being in Disneyland!

Tinker Bell was so cute and pretty!

Oh wait. May naalala akong kamalasan. My birthday was our second day in Disneyland and last day in Hong Kong. Our flight was in the evening, that’s why we still got several hours touring Disneyland. On our way to check-in, I was held by the airport security. It seemed that the baggage X-ray caught something in my bag. They checked my bag very thoroughly and found nothing. Then they X-rayed my bag again and checked again. They kalkal-ed my make-up kit and when I brough out my teensy-weensy eyebrow tweezer I sighed with relief that it could be the problem—after all, it’s metallic and slightly sharp.  I was ready to have it confiscated. But noooo—airport security said that wasn’t it. They X-rayed and kalkal-ed my bag again and again and I swear kinabahan na ako. Although I know I am no terrorist or smuggler or drug mule, what if nasalisihan ang bag ko ‘di ba? My gahd, Randy and I were so scared. Baka mamaya asa death row na ako sa Hong Kong!!! So guys remember to be careful of your belongings especially when travelling. It’s not impossible for bad men put their stuff in your bag ‘di ba? But after the nth time they went through my bag and found nothing, they let me go.  Finally. Wheeeeeeew!

Touching post-birthday celebration

When we arrived in the Philippines, everything went back to normal, except for the preparations made for Motherhood’s 2nd citizenship (you know, her becoming a Senior Citizen along with being a Filipino Citizen. Hehe) celebration.

After Motherhood’s party, I thought that was it. And then one lazy, fine evening, Randy told me to dungaw from our window.

[Read more…]


It’s the Grand Finals of The Voice Kids, and all the people in our house are glued on the boob tube. It’s not that I’m not interested to watch, but I’ve never really been super hooked on any singing contests. I would have watched, if not for the fact that I’m in a somber mood. There’s something I’ve been sooo looking forward to the past month that I feel won’t materialize anymore, and I honestly feel like crying. So idinadaan ko na lang sa blogging. Don’t worry guys this doesn’t affect my health or my family. It’s business-related.

Aside from that, I’ve been feeling down na rin talaga the past months. My mind is swimming with a lot of concerns, although I’m trying to kick and drown those that I think I will not be able to solve no matter how much I overthink. Concerns like, “What if I or Randy die early—what would happen to Raviv?” ‘Yung mga ganun. ‘Di ba wala naman akong magagawa dun? Although worrying about that made me do something wise this month: I finally got a PruLife life and/or health insurance and/or investment. Randy got from Sun Life last year, so ako PruLife naman. I finally decided to get one because of the depressing death and deadly diseases news I get on my Facebook News Feeds regularly. My PruLife plan is more hospitalization-centric; I’m preparing for when I get sick. Two of my aunts on my mother side have/had cancer, so cancer seems to be in our genes. Katakot. So if (God please ‘wag naman po!) I get cancer, I don’t want to scrimp on my hospitalisation. At least I won’t think twice about getting the best medical care because I’ll have an ample budget for my recovery, ‘di ba? And when I don’t get sick, the money I invested would be earning naman.

Another thing that really bugs me is the lack of reliable help. Na-rant ko na ito two blogposts ago. I couldn’t help but miss Alona and wish that Isay and Dodong were still childless. My domesticated diva mojo has gone already, simply because it’s so tiring to give instructions to new helpers every so often. And I also dread seeing our helpers’ kapalpakan because that would definitely get me more depressed. Or angry. So when I’m home, I no longer try to cook or decorate or make kalkal.

Then there’s my poor self-image these days. I’m seriously not fishing for any compliments, but I really feel that I’ve lost “it” already. Wala na, ang pangit ko na. Notice I haven’t been posting my own Wardrobe Diaries for so long. That’s because…’yun nga, adwang-adwa na ako sa ichura ko. When I see recent photos of me, I just want to delete them right away. I have gained so much weight already, as in my jeans are already very tight. I’ve also lost interest getting dressed up because no matter what I wear, I know I’d look fat in them. But what’s even more depressing is that I just feel so tired and jaded that I seem not to care. I am—or I WAS—very vain.

Way, way, wayback throwback. Dear Waistline: When will I see you again?

So the fact that I’m somehow just “accepting” my weight gain means there’s something very wrong with me. I haven’t even shopped for new clothes in months!!!

To add insult to the injury, my crow’s feet seem to be getting worse. It used to be that only my left eye had them. But now, I’m getting them in my right eye as well.  And the circumference is getting bigger.

Why I’m smiling less often now :(

I blame it on sleeping on my tummy and side. I should sleep on my back, but I love hugging my boys and pillow that’s why I can’t sleep on my back. Dermatologists tell me that the solution is Botox, but after seeing the pretty face of Renee Zellweger distorted partly because of Botox, wag na lang.

Image lifted from

Hahahay. This could be overfatigue on my part, or just plain period problems (second day today) talking. But I’m glad to say that after typing away these concerns, I feel a lot better now. Maybe I just really missed blogging and being with my longtime friends. Blogging and being with my longtime friends bring out the lighter side of me all the time. These days with work and the pressure of perfecting everything, “MissMinchin” ang peg ko eh—utos-utos, serious-serious. ‘Yung ganun. Hindi ako sanay. I’m more used to saying and doing silly things and just laughing frequently. I think Randy misses the irresponsible and petiks mode sides of me, too, kahit hindi niya aminin. I think it’s one of the main reasons why the thing I was talking about probably will not materialize. Because if it does, lalo akong magiging Ms. Minchin.

At dahil nag-lighten na ako nang konti (thanks blog!), I have another kaloka kwento nga pala: last week, we had a maid applicant named Josie. Josie worked for us for five days, but it didn’t work out. Pa’ano ba naman, on the first ever day that we were in Los Banos (after four days in Sta. Rosa), she arrived at our house at 11 a.m. Traffic daw (uhm, galing lang din naman siya sa Los Banos…) This was the day I ranted on my blog about our helpers. She just had lunch and then later she told Isay she wanted to leave before 3 p.m., kesho may a-attend-an na meeting daw.  In fairness she didn’t have the gall to ask my permission to do that.  Then at 5 p.m., she said she had to go because she didn’t bring clothes. What the?!? She knew she’s a stay-in maid, and yet she didn’t bring a change of clothing?!? I told her I’ll just lend her my clothes, and that she shouldn’t leave because Isay will be left alone again.  But nooooooo. She still left.  Sabi ba naman daw, “Wala silang magagawa kung gusto kong umalis.” #Pabebe?!? The following day, Josie returned, but I had Isay tell her that she’s no longer welcome. We just gave her wages, and we parted amicably.  Then Isay told me later that she’s glad I fired Josie because Josie was really lazy and was always complaining.  Our other maid, Joy, agreed with Isay that indeed Josie wasn’t a good addition.  Worse, Josie’s even a bad influence to our other maid Aira who befriended her.  She was “encouraging” Aira to be as lazy as she was, and to be hostile to  Isay and Joy who were very diligent. Fast track to today.  An unidentified number was calling my phone.  I answered. [Read more…]

Raviv’s Predicted Predicament

OMG OMG OMG!!! I am not supposed to blog tonight but I feel that I have to. Something nacacaloca has just happened a few hours ago. Picture clue:

Sirit na? 😉 But before that, let’s rewind way, way back.

This morning I woke up really early. Early, as in 4 a.m. Guess what made me wake-up. The stench of Drogo’s poop. Yes, Drogo is sleeping in our bedroom. Khaleesi is in heat again, and Randy thinks that Khaleesi’s alindog is torture for Drogo, as we don’t plan to breed them again this season. Khaleesi’s body needs to recover, especially because she gave birth via Caesarean section. That’s why we need to separate them. Randy wants Drogo to sleep in an airconditioned room, as well. So roommate na namin si Drogo.

Our houseboy forgot to let Drogo poop yesterday. I guess hindi nakatiis si Drogo so at 4 a.m. ayun nangamoy pupu ang kwarto. I tried sleeping again, but I couldn’t anymore. It was a good thing because I did a lot of paper work from 4 to 6 a.m. in our bedroom. I was productive—naaks!

Then at past 6 a.m., Raviv suddenly woke up in a panic. He saw me, and buried himself on my chest and sobbed quietly. I asked him what was wrong, and he just sobbed more. I pried, and he told me: “In my dream, I lost Tatay.” And then he cried even more. I told him it was just a dream. He begged me to call his Tatay (who went out of our room). When Randy answered the phone, a huge grin broke into his face. Then he more calmly told me more about his dream: In Raviv’s dream, Randy told him not to jump, but Raviv still did, thinking his Tatay would go after him. But his Tatay didn’t, and Raviv lost Randy and could no longer find his Tatay. Raviv was asking people to help him find his Tatay, but nobody would.

“In my dream, I lost Tatay.” And then he cried even more. I told him it was just a dream. He begged me to call his Tatay (who went out of our room). When Randy answered the phone, a huge grin broke into his face. Then he more calmly told me more about his dream: In Raviv’s dream, Randy told him not to jump, but Raviv still did, thinking his Tatay would go after him. But his Tatay didn’t, and Raviv lost Randy and could no longer find his Tatay. Raviv was asking people to help him find his Tatay, but nobody would.

Anyway, fast forward nang konti. One of my Gymboree teachers was on leave, and I was the only one left to (wo)man the reception desk. Since this week is all about Community Workers, I invited the Greenfield City firefighters and firetruck to come and visit our preschoolers.

The kids love it more when we have actual community workers come and visit. Their roles and tools are more ingrained in their minds. Plus, they have lotsa fun! Note: The parents of these kids gave explicit permission for the photos to be posted on social media.

Sorry for the plug. I’m just excited to share it with you as well. 😀 Fast forward na.

This afternoon, Randy enticed me to join him walking Drogo around Nuvali. I said I’ll go with him and Raviv, though honestly I wanted to stay back home and just catch up on my favorite novel or watch Grey’s Anatomy or The Good Wife. But you know, these days I’m making more effort to be a better wife and Nanay. Totoo ‘yan. That means I have to set aside some “me”-times for “we”-times. Which includes being with Randy and Raviv. And…Drogo. LOL!

In fact I joined my boys last Monday in walking Drogo at Paseo…and look how cute Drogo was:

So today I joined them, too. Randy was so obsessed in taking photos, as in we kept on stopping. Ang ganda raw kasi ng lake as background, which is true.

And then Raviv would also insist on taking some pictures by himself…

…and at times, he would like a view and ask to be photographed. Ang cute lang! These are some of the “backgrounds” he wanted to have a photo with:

So everything was really going well. It was a simple activity made special by the fact that we were together and we were just relishing each other’s company. And I was also looking forward to dinner after: we were going to Claw Daddy’s for some crab (yum yum!)

Then we moved along this are with a great vista of Seda Hotel Nuvali. FYI, Raviv is so addicted to hotels. Super. He has been bugging us to have a staycation again. When he enters hotel lobbies, he’d get really excited. So as consuelo, I just told him and Randy to pose on the boardwalk plank near the lake with a great view of Seda Hotel behind them. I took a photo of them using my mobile phone:

How scenic, right? Everything looks placid and all. Then I got Randy’s DSLR. The settings and size were totally different so I was adjusting stuff. As I was peering through the lens…

PLOK! [Read more…]

I Need You, Mr. Carson!

I’ve just gone ballistic.

We are in our “real” home in Los Banos today, and only Yaya Isay is on duty. The others are all in Sta. Rosa. I wanted to help Isay, so I volunteered to do the laundry. I was trying to postpone it because the laundry paraphernalia were all in our houseboys’ bedroom, which is adjacent to the laundry area. I was postponing it because I felt like I’d explode if I discover the mess that is our laundry area and our boys’ bedroom.

Turns out, tama ako.

First, I saw our bathroom mats. Wet and nakatambak lang sa kahon. OK, fine. Forgiveable. Sanay na ako.

Then I saw how messy our boys’ bedroom was. I got irked because our lone houseboy (who has been our “caretaker” in Los Banos for two weeks now) admitted he was doing almost nothing as all activities were happening in Sta. Rosa. But I was still calm. I even tried to fix his bedroom. Baka mahiya na ako ang naglinis at maglinis na lagi.
And then as I was fixing his pillows, lo & behold: I found out he’s been using our goosedown feather pillow. It’s OURS, as in it belonged to our bedroom. Uminit na ang ulo ko. What the fart was it doing in his bedroom?!? It was supposed to just be in OUR bedroom!

And then my eyes caught several things: our lapel microphones (used in our classes—just last week nag-aagawan na ang teachers ng lapel microphone kasi kulang—that he was using as his radio), two standfans that were so dirty (to think I had to keep on carrying standfans from one area to another in Sta. Rosa because again, kulang).

Then I exploded. I just suddenly wanted to throw the mug with day-old coffee that was near his bed. I almost did, had Randy not stopped me. I was so so so so angry. More than angry, I felt frustrated. Just two days ago in Sta. Rosa when I wanted to cook something, I saw that our non-stick pan was non-stick no more. The “black” part that makes it non-stick was scrubbed off! The handle was also removed. Iilan lang ang non-stick namin because non-stick pans are, for me, too expensive. And now I see how it looks like your ordinary kalan from the palengke.

A week or so ago, my blouse was ruined because our helper soaked it in chlorine. That was just a few days after I reminded all our helpers that we never ever use chlorine in washing our clothes. I’d rather have a patch of stain than a whole faded blouse that looks so worn away. Then a few days after that, another helper presented me Raviv’s blue denim pants that have become white. What happened? You guess is as good as mine.

All of these happened just recently. Several, as in more things happened in the past. Like, a helper who was stealing from our office, helpers who were disrespectful, a helper who made our other helpers fight by creating intrigues among them…andami.

Nakakaiyak. We have 4 maids and 4 houseboys/drivers plus a stay-in carpenter/handyman. One would expect that our houses would be sparklingly clean because of that. But no. Our houses are messy and I’ve long given up trying to decorate them. What for? I would buy matching bed sheets and they would put mismatched sheets on our bed, or see the comforters strewn on their bedroom floors. I would buy good china but I would see them broken and nobody would admit who broke them. I would buy quality utensils but they end up in the garage, under the helpers’ beds, and even in the dog kennel.

Randy told me that I should monitor them. But the heck?!? Do I watch them while they wash my clothes? Do I watch them when they wash the dishes? Do I inspect their bedrooms all the time? Or should I really?!?

Right now, all I want is someone to breathe down our helpers’ necks. I don’t want to do that, but it seems necessary. So I couldn’t help but feel envious of the Crawleys of Downton Abbey for having a Mr. Carson.

Image lifted from www.pbs.or

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, I’m sure you’re also a bigger fan of the Crawleys’s butler, Charles Carson.

Carson is a man who takes his job seriously. He is very strict about the standards at Downton, and gets really upset whenever they are disrupted or breached by his coworkers. However, he does have a deep respect and admiration for the Crawley family and others of the “upstairs” world. Mrs. Hughes accuses him of worshiping them. Despite his stern exterior, he shows almost fatherly concern for his coworkers. Thomas is surprised to see him teaching Alfred about spoons, as he had never done anything like this for Thomas. Carson replied that Thomas had never asked. Though he is determined that they ensure that the house is run efficiently, and they never seek to cause trouble. He is initially against the employment Mr. Bates because he believes that his lameness will cause dissension as others will have to do his work for him, but later admitted he could not imagine Downton without him. – lifted from Wikipedia

Sarap ‘di ba?  Emphasis on the “He is very strict about the standards at Downton, and gets really upset whenever they are disrupted or breached by his coworkers. However, he does have a deep respect and admiration for the Crawley family“.

Sigh. If only there’s a Mr. Carson here somewhere.  ‘Yung medyo pangmasang version, baka uniform pa lang hindi ko na afford.