Archives for June 2012

The BRAIN TRAIN Family Anva-yeah Getaway Part 2 (Baby Perks)

continued from The BRAIN TRAIN Family Anva-yeah Getaway Part 1

Though I was lethargic, I was restless and can’t really sleep on the beachfront lounge chair, comfy as it may be.  So I dragged myself to change into my swimwear and swam in the pool.  While walking to and from the pool, I saw a disparate pool for babies and toddlers tucked near the main pools.  I got excited for Raviv and called him and his Tatay to go swimming there.

Nanay Dew and Krabito

Raviv really loved the balls, plus the pool was really shallow.

with Yaya Isay

[Read more…]

The BRAIN TRAIN Family Anva-yeah Getaway Part 1

On the 5th of June 2012, our BRAIN TRAIN family went to Anvaya Cove, an exclusive, members-and-guests only resort located in Morong, Bataan, all thanks to the sponsorship of my friend Light Manuel’s dad, Engr. Bienvenido Manuel.

Our three vehicles (an L300 FB, a pick-up, and an SUV)  left Los Banos at 4:45 a.m. and carried 26 BRAIN TRAIN teachers, office assistants, drivers, house help, and of course Raviv.  I was with Randy (driver), Raviv (of course on his car seat), Yaya Isay, and Raviv’s Ninong Irvin.

Because we were much faster, we arrived in Morong way ahead of the others.  Instead of proceeding to Anvaya Cove right away, we decided to look for nearby beach houses that will be cheaper (there were almost 30 of us, and renting a beach house within Anvaya for all of us will be soooo expensive).  We visited about 3-4 houses until we settled on this:

The beach house where we spent the night in; sorry for the blurry photo–it was raining when I took it.

[Read more…]

Wardrobe Diary #15: Truly Lovely! (Guest Fashionista)

To make me feel even older (and better, because I KNOW I still look fab after all these years!), I am featuring Lovely Angelica Nagpala, another fashionable lass who has been my BRAIN TRAIN student twice (both in high school entrance and college entrance reviews) like Christmas Astronomo.  Both reviews seemed to have worked really well, as she got into the Philippine Science High School and UP Manila.  And take note, she did not just pass the UPCAT–she was an Oblation Scholar (Top 50 out of about 70,000 examinees) and an INTARMED Qualifier.

As if her reviewing at BRAIN TRAIN twice (plus summer enrichment workshops) was not enough, she furthered her loyalty by becoming a BRAIN TRAIN UPCAT Review teacher herself!  And because she learned from the best (ehem, ehem), she was an A-1 teacher!  Despite teaching for the first time this summer, she taught excellently.  Well, I kinda expected that from her.  With  her sheer, natural intelligence; amiable personality (nope, she’s not nerdy); and excellent work ethics, she is really a BRAIN TRAIN teacher material.  But what surprised me is her flair for fashion!  When we taught together, I always praise her choice of clothes (which she said is a real compliment coming from me)! [Read more…]

My Ever After Promise (10th Anniversary Week-long Series of Posts)

This is the second installment to my 10th Anniversary Week-long Series of Posts.  This time, I’ll be posting the words I promised to Randy when we got married almost four years ago.  It took me a long time to say the right words.  And when inspiration hit me, I knew this was it.  I saw several people dabbing their eyes with their hankies when I uttered these words*:

Reading my wedding vow

Once upon a time, I was a little girl obsessed with fairy tales.  I used to dream of a handsome and intelligent prince whose mere sight would make my heart melt, and with whom I will share my feelings, hopes, and dreams.  [Read more…]

Our Ever After (10th Anniversary Week-long Series of Posts)

This year, Randy and I have been together for a decade.  A decade, imagine that!  That’s six years of being boyfriend-girlfriend and four years of being Mr. and Mrs. Ramon Randy Ladaga.  This June 28, we are going to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary and tenth year of being together… and guess where!  Sirit?  At a pre-trial mediation “hearing” at the Intellectual Property Office in Taguig.  See, we filed a case against another review center (whose name I won’t mention YET) that infringed BRAIN TRAIN review materials.  I am supposed to be pissed off that we are to be at this hearing on our anniversary, right?  But I honestly am not.  I even feel that it’s a really good gift for us–I feel that we are about to get the justice that we have been waiting for for so long.

Anyway, I’ve been receiving so many requests for me to blog our love story when I started blogging.  I honestly want to, because our love story is very “worth-blogging-about”.  Had you seen my husband when he was courting me and in our early months, naku, talo pa ang mga leading man sa mga teeny-bopper TV shows na ubod ng ka-cheesy-han!  You would not believe he was able to do all those things for my matamis na oo. 🙂

However, I still feel lazy to do it.  Moreover, my blogging it might also ruffle some feathers.  Actually, I could edit them out, but still, I really feel lazy to do it.  I can’t tell our love story briefly–that would be an injustice to it.  But because our anniversary is fast impending, I feel compelled to write/share something about us in the next seven days–parang countdown to our 10th year celebration.  So in lieu of our detailed, I-swear-to-you-nakakakilig-love-story-novel, let me share instead our love story in a gist through this video. [Read more…]

Things That Hit Me When I Hit Raviv

To hit or not to hit.

…that is my question.  See, I am all for disciplining kids.  As I have mentioned a couple of times here  on my blog, I hate parents who just utter a meek, “Oh bad yan baby…” when their children run amok, wreaking havoc in public places and interrupting adult business.  When these things happen, I feel both glad and frustrated it’s not my kid.  Glad, because I am not obliged to deal with it.  Frustrated, because I CAN’T deal with the rowdy child (oh how I want to!!!)! I consciously remind myself to make sure I raise a disciplined child who won’t be a sociopath or would cause our family to be a pariah in social circles (Come on, admit it!  You have blackballed a dear friend for fear that he/she might bring his/her child whose mere presence is synonymous to disaster!)  Thus I am all for disciplining.  And if it means I have to spank my child, then so be it.

My husband, who, like Raviv’s Yaya Isay, believes that Raviv is the epitome of a perfect child, is against it.  Raviv’s pedia also frowns upon it.  Ditto with other blogger moms:  they don’t believe in hitting/spanking.  Honestly, I used to think they were just softies who do not value the term “tough love”.  Because I do.  I really do.

And so these past few months, I had been softly hitting Raviv’s hand with my hand whenever he tinkered with electric plugs and trash cans.  When he rummaged through the garbage can, I got his hand, spanked it and with an annoyed and loud voice I used to say, “Dirty!”  I thought I was really doing the right thing, until these incidents.

One day, I sensed that Raviv was about to rummage through the trash can in our bedroom.  I got the trash can and put it away, and then Raviv came to me, got my hand, spanked it and said, “Duh-tee!”  And then moved away.  I couldn’t move or speak for some seconds.  Then I started having second thought about spanking.

Then about a week ago, Raviv kept on refusing from wearing his slippers.  I was very tenacious on making him wear it.  When I show him I’m mad that he does not wear his slippers, he would just laugh and kiss me.  I told myself not to give in to his carinyos.  And then when my patience wore off, I got my slipper and whacked it into his thigh.  He rubbed it and continued to be cheerful, and then I whacked it again, this time a lot harder.  Then he cried while rubbing his thigh, and hugged me, burying his head on my shoulder while sobbing.  Thinking about it now, I still get teary-eyed.  He knew it was I who hurt him yet he still came to me for comfort.  My heart crumbled–again, another Now That I’m Already A Mom, Gets Ko Na! moment.  Raviv, I am sorry anak!

Now I am in a pickle:  how do I discipline my child?  Raviv has shown me that if I spank him when he does something “bad”, he will also do it to others!  And, you may call me biased but I really think my baby boy is a very good, good-natured boy.  I don’t want to ruin that by hurting him.  However, I know he’s bound to do things that will be detrimental to him, or things that won’t sit well with us his parents, the laws of the society, and the laws of God.  I seriously doubt that “just talking to him” is the panacea.

Then I remembered my exchange of thoughts with Pastor Ernie Aragon of Victory Christian Fellowship Calamba on this blog entry.  In a gist, what I got is that children who love, respect, and believe their parents will follow their parents not out of fear of any punishment but out of love and out of fear of hurting their beloved parents.

With that in mind, I tried something:  when Raviv does something bad and my voice just gets hoarse from telling him to stop, I cry.  And when he sees me cry, he stops whatever he’s doing!  He would run to me, and then hug and kiss me.  He won’t stop until he knows I am already OK.  He hates it when I get hurt.

To illustrate what I’m saying, take a look at these photos:

STORYLINE:  I pretended that my finger accidentally got caught between a clothespin, and that I can’t stand the pain (he knows it’s painful because his palm got caught between a clothespin as well), so I was crying.


[Read more…]

Why Raviv is Blessed to Have Randy as His Tatay

Dear Raviv,

Here is a countdown of the top reasons why I (and you should too!) praise and thank God that your Tatay Randy is your father:

5. Your Tatay wants to spoil you rotten!
This is something we often disagree on.  You know I’m all for disciplining you, but your Tatay wants to spoil you.  He even thinks you DESERVE to be spoiled because  “Raviv is such a good boy!” as he often says, and we have the means to do so.  You see, your Tatay had very, very humble beginnings and he wants to make sure yo will never be in want.  I, however, want you to experience to be in want, for you to appreciate the things you have more.  So I guess, if your Tatay were a different Tatay, you’ll get new toys only every Christmas (which is also almost your birthday, hehe).

You got to eat chocolates because your Tatay deliberately let you “steal” the chocolates from the ref!  And then when he called me he told me it was too late, so pabayaan na lang!  And then he looked so proud of himself!

4. Your Tatay teaches general science passionately.

Last summer, one f our review students wrote this about your Tatay, “Raviv is so lucky to have Sir Randy as his father because he will know the real reasons behind each phenomenon.  Raviv will know that thunder is caused by air expansion and not because nagbo-bowling si San Pedro” or something to that effect.  I realized, yeah how true!  Isn’t it that kids often ask why something is such?  “Why is the sea blue” or “Why do glasses with ice inside ‘perspire’?” and so many other things.  While other parents will make up stories behind each occurrence or will berate their children for being so inquisitive, I’m pretty sure your Tatay will only be too eager to answer your questions correctly.

Explaining how a toy xylophone works?

[Read more…]

Raviv’s “Bosom Buddies” (Help! Is My Son Going to be a Perv?!?)

These last few weeks, I noticed something about my son:  He is obsessed with, as he says it, “Dede!!!”  I guess I shouldn’t be concerned if it’s “dede” as in milk, but nooooooo!  He’s referring to mammary glands.  To breasts.  To boobs.  To chesticles.  Dede nga!

I really don’t know how it happened, all I know is that one day, he kept on saying, “Dede, dede, dede!  Dede! Dede!”  As I was about to call his nannies to give him milk, he suddenly pulled down the neckline of my dress and then smiled, and said, “Dede!  Dede!  Dede!!!”  I asked his nannies where he learned it, they said they do not know, and that he does it to them as well.  And that when they dress in front of him, “Kinikilig siya Ma’am, tuwang-tuwa!”  Actually, I’ve also experienced it myself.  When I was “dress rehearsal-ing” the new maillot I bought, he was giggling all the time!  Happened again when one of our teachers joined me in trying on swimsuits in our bathroom and Raviv was there…kilig na kilig ang loko!  He was even hugging our legs and jumping up and down!

I told Randy about it but he just shrugged it off.  Until the other night, when Randy and I were chatting with our teachers Regina Martinez, Pong Garcia, and Raviv’s Ninong Irvin.  Raviv was playing nearby, and then he went up to his Ninong Irvin blurting, “Dede, dede, dede!”  He pulled Irvin’s shirt up and happily pressed Irvin’s nipples!  Everyone was flabbergasted yet laughed.   When I got my camera to document it, Raviv even posed and smiled, seemingly proud of himself!

Look at that grin!!!

[Read more…]

Wardrobe Diary #14: Summer-y Christmas by the Beach (Guest Fashionista)

Nope, not the actual “Christmas” as in December 25!  I’m talking about my gorgeous former student (not just once, but twice!) Christmas Astronomo!

I first met Christmas when she was just a petite, quiet sixth grader with puppy dog eyes, reviewing at BRAIN TRAIN to get into the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) and/or UP Rural High School (UPRHS), and had written her name as “Christmas Astromo”. I remember my husband telling me, “Ano kayang nangyari dito kay Tuesday (she used to go by the name Tuesday then, haha!), ang tali-talinong bata nagkamali pa ng spelling sa pangalan!”  Harhar.

I also remember being fond of how she sweet and innocent she looked…little did I know that fast forward to just a few years, I’ll be asking her about her clothes and hair.  Why?  Take a look at her now:

Ano’ng say ni Julia Montes kay Christmas?

[Read more…]

A “Yey!” (for Miami) and a “Yay!!!” (for Manny) in the Ladaga Household

Today is a big day for my husband.  Nope, it’s not our anniversary!  It’s also not his birthday.  It’s because today was Game 7 for the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics.  And oh yeah, laban din nga pala ni Pacquiao.  Haha.  Yep, P.S. lang ‘yung Pacquiao-Bradley for him.  In fact, I asked him last night:

Me:  Babe, which will you watch if you have to choose: Miami vs kung-ano-man-ang-kalaban o Pacquiao vs kung-sino-man-yung-kalaban?
Randy: By far, ung Miami.

We had classes this morning (good for Randy because he had no class this morning–he was able to fully watch the Miami-Boston Game 7) and we were sweet talked by the students’ parents to bring a television to the canteen, and we did.  Our class ended at 12 p.m., just in time for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.  As Randy and I were watching the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, I asked him whether he won.  He said he did, and it was such an exciting game.  He said he was alone, standing up all throughout the game, and even shouted, “I love you Bosh (sp?)!!!” to himself!

And then came THE decision that Pacquiao lost.  I was very affected (I feel bad for Manny–I pray that he won’t think his being closer to God, his doing away with superstitious beliefs, etc. were the reasons why he lost), but Randy does not seem to be!  I know why:  coz Miami won, that’s why.  Hrmpft!

Anyway, after the interviews and all, I immediately checked my Facebook and braced myself to what the Filipino populace had to say.  And I had a good laugh for most of the time.  Lemme share them with you:

This is one of the first ones I saw, and I really laughed.  Actually, this is the only one I “Shared”:

How true!

[Read more…]