Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool Open House (Orientation + Free Preview + Tuition Fee Discount!)

Early this afternoon, Teacher Clarice related to me the drama that happened in her Pre-K class yesterday. Apparently, she started teaching her boys (all of our Pre-K students were boys!) their song and dance presentation to their Moving Up (“Graduation”) this March. Teacher Clarice told them that in about a month, they’ll be saying goodbye to one another as the boys will be entering different schools for kindergarten.

Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s “big boys”!

All of them reacted with disbelief, bewilderment, and grief. They took turns in expressing how much they wanted to stay at Gymboree, and looking for ways and excuses to stay. Not long after, several of the boys started to cry. As in one of the boys started really sobbing, while the rest were crying silently, tears just rolling down on their cheeks. Teacher Clarice reported that my son Raviv was bravely fighting back tears. His eyes were red because he kept on dabbing on his eyes so no tear would fall. All Teacher Cla could do was tell the boys not to cry, because she herself was choking back tears. In fact, as she was narrating the events, I saw how misty-eyed she was.


I could understand why our Pre-K boys were sad like that. Almost all of them were transferred to Gymboree because they were not compatible with their previous schools. Many of them had a phobia of going to school, as in they did not want to go to school at all. Their parents reported that the children would cry everytime they were brought to school. So their parents pulled them out of their schools and discovered Gymboree.

I am glad to say that all of them stayed. Oh, their parents reported that they still cried—but this time, they would cry during typhoons when classes are suspended. In fact, some of them would go to Gymboree even during class suspensions and play on the Gymboree playfloor!

The Pre-K Class’s Science Experiment this morning


Despite this being our first year of operations, the teachers and staff of Gymboree Sta. Rosa are very happy that we are doing well. Of course, there are both hits and misses, but we sure are doing our best to bring out the best in our every student by making learning fun.


Actually, not just for our students but even the parents of our students!

Mommy Talk with the Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool Parents with Mommy Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan

As early as the last quarter of 2015, some parents have started inquiring about our preschool for SY 2016-17. There are a lot of different questions, such as how each class is conducted, who are the teachers, what do the students learn, etc. We do our best to describe our program, but we deem it better to present everything in a coherent and concise Parent Orientation. Moreover, it would be best if the children themselves experience Gymboree Preschool, even for just an hour or so.

And that is why Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa is going to conduct its first ever GYMBOREE STA. ROSA PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE!

We invite all parents who are considering enrolling their children (must be 1.10-4.11 years old by June) to Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool to attend our Open House on February 27 (that’s a Saturday). This is your chance to get to know why children love going to Gymboree Preschool, who are the people behind Gymboree Sta. Rosa, check our award-winning and therapist-recommended playfloor, and many more.

And here’s another bonus: If you and your child attend our Open House and you reserve a slot for your child on the same day right after the Orientation, you automatically get up to 10% discount on your child’s annual tuition fee!


Slots are limited, so do drop by our center ASAP to reserve a slot for you and your child. More details will be given when you reserve.

Wardrobe Diary #72: Second Rate, Trying Hard Copycat (Feb. 9, 2016)

As I’ve mentioned on my previous post, Randy and I have been going to the chiropractor for weeks now. Bakit kamo? Remember when Raviv fell into the Lake at Nuvali and Randy swooped in to the rescue? After that, Randy’s arm and back have been aching like crazy. To the point that one time, he slept on the recliner. He hasn’t been able to bike, run, or even walk our dog. He has seen several doctors/healers: cardiologists (with an “s”; he got scared the pain might be related to his heart), orthopaedic, physical therapist, and even manghihilot (not the type who does bulung-bulong, though). Then his friend, Dr. Raffy Barrozo (who studied Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Ayurveda in India and Sri Lanka, and Oriental Medicine in Japan and Korea) recommended that Randy see a chiropractor.

After Randy’s first session, he seemed satisfied. And because he knows that I’ve been suffering from chronic upper back and neck pain of almost a decade, he suggested I go with him on his second session.

Randy got a 12-session package; I got a 6-session package. Randy goes to the chiropractor 3x/week; I go 2x/week.

We went there for my 4th session yesterday, and here’s what I wore.

  • red long-sleeved collared blouse: Old Navy Stretch
  • boyfriend jeans: Uniqlo
  • handbag: LV Mulicolore Alma
  • wedge sandals: Grendha
  • freshwater pearl long-strand necklace: Greenhills tiangge

So sa tinagal-tagal ng huli kong OOTD post, sobrang simple pa ng comeback ko. At ang taba ko pa rin. Rather, antaba ko pa lalo. LOL. Actually, I didn’t at all plan to post this OOTD. After all, I just grabbed this blouse at the last minute this morning when I realized it was my chance to wear my long sleeves because of the weather. Then when Randy saw me, he said, “Wow!”

That was a big deal to me because these days, he rarely tells me I look great (sniff, sniff). In fact, when he was taking my picture earlier and I told him not to get low angle shots because they make me look “malaki”, he told me: “Eh malaki ka naman na talaga.” (‘Wag na ‘wag kang mangalabit! Gigisingin ko si Raviv! Hehe)

Anyway, the next question in your mind is probably: “At ano naman ‘yang pearl strand drama mo?”

Well. That was inspired by a mom I saw at Poveda last Sunday. Brain Train sponsored its musical entitled “Level It Up”. Since we had a new marketing personnel, I came with them to man our booth to supervise. And I entertained myself by looking at the moms’s outfits. There were plenty of well-dressed mommies, but two outfits stood out for me.

First runner up:

Laidback yet elegant. The jumpsuit and ballet flats looked very comfy. The “ribbon”back detail added a certain flair. The short hair made it all very chic. The gold-studded belt added a hint of elegance. And of course, the well-shaped and flawless legs finished the look.


I hate that I wasn’t able to take a front view photo. None of the two photos did her any justice. This mommy was wearing a simple, nicely-tailored top; slim black pants, Tory Burch wedge sandals…and the perfect accessories! She layered her pearl strands perfectly, wore simple yet elegant hand burloloy… and I now realize: iba talaga ang dating ng classic Chanel flap bag.

And so the following day, I was inspired to wear the medyo pangmahirap version of this mom’s outfit. My answer to her Chanel was LV; Grendha to her Tory; and a freshwater pearl strand to her strands and strands of South Sea. 😉 Parang “The Look for Less” lang ng magazines.


I actually saw several women wearing avant-garde tops and flamboyant dresses. And they looked terrific. But for some reason, these two women really stood out for me. I don’t know why. Maybe because they looked so comfortably elegant in their clothes. They moved around comfortably, unlike others who obviously looked either too conscious or uncomfortable. Like there was a woman who had a very pretty face, but a bit on the heavy side. Perhaps to make her look slimmer, she wore really high wedges, mga tipong 5 inches. But it was obvious she wasn’t comfortable. You can see it by the way she walked. She looked pained. Sayang.

Another thing about the two women who stood out in my eyes is that they were both slim. There. Kelangan talagang pumayat.

Maid Musings

One morning last week, the mom of Raviv’s classmate called me up. She asked whether I had a lakad in the afternoon. She was inviting me and Raviv to join her and a couple of other moms with their children to go to Alabang so the kids could go to Pixie Forest at Festival Mall. Raviv wanted to go because his current bestfriend was going. However, Randy and I had a chiropractor appointment that afternoon. So I had to beg off.

The following morning, that mom came up to me and reported anothe helper horror story. She said that while they were at Pixie Forest, the two nannies of her children asked to be excused to buy bottled water. Of course pumayag siya, and then they rode the Ferris Wheel. After the Ferris Wheel ride, the two nannies haven’t returned back yet. They waited. And waited. And waited. And waited and waited and waited, to no avail.

Gravity—tumakas ‘yung two helpers!!!

The two were from Mindanao, and Raviv’s classmate’s mom spent much for the travel expenses of the two. Worse, hindi man lang sila nakabawi sa gastos—the helpers have been with the family for just barely two weeks!

I felt sorry for Raviv’s classmate’s mom. While she was narrating her horror story, I could see the shock, disappointment, confusion, and bottled anger in her. And I understand every emotion, alam n’yo naman ang buena manong salubong ng New Year sa akin.


While some people probably think that my and the other “privileged” moms/wives’s helper problems are so “first world” and that ranting about them just makes us look spoiled, hear us out first. We are upset not just because our manicures are going to be ruined because we have to wash the dishes on our own. We are upset mainly because:

  1. Most of us are working moms. When a yaya/helper makes a commitment that she is going to take charge of our children/household for a certain period of time, we also made commitments at work. Like we promised our boss/staff that we will do this or that. Or even spearhead something. So when our helper/yaya leaves without proper notice, there will be domino effect. Suddenly, we can no longer go to work. Or we go to work and our minds cannot function properly, or we arrive late and rush back home. And then ‘yung galit na hindi namin naibuhos sa maid na nag-disappearing act, ibubuhos sa amin ng boss/client namin because we were underperforming.
  2. As Filipinos, we treat the help as family, or at least a friend. I’ve never been able to treat any of our helpers with indifference. When they make parinig or drop hints about the plight of their children or parents, we feel for them and even do something. When Randy and I bring them to a tourist destination, we make sure they have fun, too. Even if that means we have to bring two nannies for Raviv. And even so, Randy and I also take turns in taking care of Raviv (despite the 2 nannies) so the two of them can have fun on their own. And they eat what we eat, and stay in a hotel where we stay. So imagine how hurt we are when they leave without a proper goodbye. Hindi ko nga nililibre nang ganun ang friends ko, pero ‘pag nang-indian sa lakad nakakaasar. How much more ‘yung tinrato mo nang ganyan at nawala na lang, ‘di ba?

I get that we are still a lot more fortunate than our helpers. They’re probably thinking that the problem they will cause in leaving us clueless is nothing compared to their current plight. From, “Kasi mas malaki ang sweldo doon” to “Kasi may sakit si ganito-ganyan” and even to “Nagmamahalan kasi kami nung driver o boy ng kapitbahay at uuwi na siya sa probinsya at gusto kong sumama.”

Anna Bates from Downton Abbey. If only she were a real person!

Mga ganern. Hay buhay.

Speaking of helpers and “buhay”, naku. Yesterday our part-time, stay-out helper in Los Banos was not able to come. It was surprising because she’s always been reliable. I’ve also come to like her because she’s soft-spoken, diligent, sensible and punctual. She’s also nice to Raviv.

My mother-in-law—who lives a bit near the maid’s place—talked to Randy and explained that the reason why that maid cannot come was because she could not even get up. Since summer, may bukol na raw sa breast, at sobrang sakit na.

Sigh. I feel so bad, and I pray it’s not what we all dread.

Wine, Pancit Canton, & Ice Cream

On Wednesday evening, one of my closest friends called.  Was I at home daw ba and was I free.  I said yes, I was just at home and no, I was not busy. She said our other friend was also free, so they’re both dropping by our house for a super impromptu meet-up.  It was perfect because it was Game 7 between San Miguel and Alaska, and Randy was looking forward to it (a first for him to get excited over PBA, as he was almost exclusively watching only NBA).  Which means I will be invisible to him for 2-3 hours.

My friend said she was craving for instant pancit canton, and that’s what she wants for dinner.

Not long after, they both arrived and we cooked pancit canton with boiled eggs while chatting about anything and everything.  I brought out a wine bottle that I chilled, and so we were sipping wine in between forkfuls of instant pancit canton.  After wolfing down the 4 packs of instant pancit canton we cooked, I asked them whether they wanted ice cream, and they said yes. 

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Wine, instant pancit canton and ice cream.  It was a weird combination, but no one complained.  I realized that was just like the three of us.  We three have very different personalities.  As in.  But put us all together in one sitting and you won’t crave for anything else.  We’ve been friends for so long, and we kept that friendship despite leading very different lives and having no “friendship rules”.  Ever since we got together, we have never had any stupid dress codes, juvenile friendship mantras, pabebe sisterhood pacts or any rule for that matter.  Although honestly, I wanted these pa-cute “friendship rules” sana, mala-Mean Girls or Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

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But now I’m glad we just allowed each other to blossom into what we are now.  No one was scared that since she did this, wore this or liked this person, she will be condemned and judged.  So when it doesn’t work out, no one is shy to pour her heart out to the group, to admit that she screwed up.

That’s what I love about our friendship.  No pretensions.  Either together or one-by-one, we can be as masa and jologs as pancit canton; mainstream and “pop” like ice cream; and philosophical/intellectual/pa-deep like wine.

Anyway, the reason I withheld the names of my friends is because I want to chika with you the conundrum of one of them and perhaps, seek your advice. See, my friend is dating a decent man who I think is a good catch: sweet, good-looking, a gentleman, family-oriented, diligent and loves kids.  What’s the caveat? My friend is more well-off than the guy.  We are not being matapobre here, by the way.  Read further.  The guy is too much of a gentleman to let my friend foot the bill on their dates.  So what’s the problem, right?  Exactly what I told her.  She said, “Eh teh, sa pride n’yang ‘yan, parang wala kaming patutunguhan.  Nagkikita lang kami tuwing kinsenas, ‘pag kakasweldo lang!”  That’s also because the guy is the breadwinner, so his salary isn’t entirely his.  Yiz, that’s the problem.  My friend isn’t exactly getting younger, and she wants to settle down.  Pero kung tuwing kinsenas at free lunch courtesy of networking seminar lang sila magkikita, baka mauna pang ikasal si Raviv kesa kanila (knock on wood).  

My friend said that their tuwing-kinsenas-lang dates is probably the reason why she isn’t into the guy that much.  To my young readers, women my age get into serious relationships with a guy not just for a free dinner or movie or to get giddy or boost their self-esteem.  At this point, my single friends crave for a best friend—a constant companion whom they share their innermost thoughts and feelings.  And yes, eventually settling down is always within the horizon. 

Hay.  I know it’s difficult.  Real grown-up lovelife problems.  Do you think my friend must wait?

The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 2: The Superhero Party Food, Cake, and Lootbag

continued from The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 1: The Superhero Party Program and DIY Event Styling

Superhero Fuel: Food

Last year, we served Raviv’s guests sliders/mini-hamburgers, cookies, spaghetti, fried chicken and fruit and vegetables salad.  Our cook forgot to cook the hotdogs.  At first I thought it was enough.  After all, that’s the same food served at a Jollibee or McDonald’s party, right?  But after the party, both Randy and I thought we should have served more.  Visual feast will always be trumped over by a gastronomic feast, as it’s the hallmark of any party.  So this year, I made sure we add more food.  But my goodness, this was December 26 and we had no catering.  So what happened and what did we serve?!?  Here:


Food superhero birthday party diy


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Teacher Joanna said that some of the guests asked her who our caterer was, because the food we served were delicious.  Why, what an honor!  Because actually, we cooked most of the main dishes, and outsourced the others.  Ate Evelyn, my Mom, Yaya Isay and I prepared the following dishes: hotdogs wrapped in bacon, chicken lollipop, baked macaroni, chocolate chip cookies, nachos, and fruit and vegetable salad.  We ordered the lechon (with free dinuguan) and pancit sotanghon from different suppliers.  

Randy said that a lechon in a party makes any travel worth it; it automatically gives the buffet table “WOW” factor. At first I didn’t want to order, but when I learned that Raviv’s cake will cost just as much as a medium-sized lechon, I gave it a go.  

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We also placed nachos with dips and veggies on every table


And before I forget, S&R helped me a lot, too!  Hehe.  Raviv’s cupcakes and corndogs were from there!  

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Aaaand, I was particularly happy about the instant mini pastries I scored from S&R.  I know how expensive mini pastries are, but they are a must in prettifying any dessert table.  So when I saw these in S&R:


S R mini sweet treats dessert


…I knew my dessert table has a chance.  I got 2 boxes of each. :)

Superheroes Party Dessert Table


Superheroes Birthday Party Sweets Table


On top of a fondant cake, I also ordered superhero-themed cake pops and sugar cookies from the same supplier.

Superheroes Birthday Party Dessert Buffet Table


 Here’s a closer look at Raviv’s birthday cake:

Superhero Birthday Cake

Superhero party birthday cake

I’ve ordered cakes, sugar cookies and cake pops from this same supplier a few times in the past.  In all those past occasions, I was all praises.  But not now.  Unfortunately, the cake artist was not able to finish all my orders on time.  And I think the Spider-man logo on the cake bungled.  See the black part in the middle?  Moreover, the cake itself was not delicious this time.  As in none in our family—including the kids—wanted to eat it.  I will no longer mention the supplier  (it’s not Bakeville, FYI.  Nek of Bakeville has just given birth via C-section so she is not taking orders this time) because this is the first time she bungled.  Moreover, I’m still grateful she accepted my orders.


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Raviv’s after-party “candle-blowing” at home.

Superhero Lootbag

Aside from the capes that the children designed, we gave two more loot bag items: 

Superhero party lootbag

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This red plastic contains superhero puzzles and action figures


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Whereas these Gymboree tumblers were filled not with juice, water or any liquid but with more sweet treats!


Gymboree birthday party lootbag giveaway tumbler

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Gymboree birthday party tumbler giveaway lootbag



On my third instalment, I’m gonna show you our familia get-up, the guests’get-ups and the hard copy of Raviv’s invitation. :)




Tiffany’s “Drop a Hint”

Hello February!

One of my Facebook friends’s status today that made me smile was: “February na pala. Kaya pala malamig.”  Boom! 😀

So yes, it’s already February!  I’m glad January is over because honestly, January wasn’t so good to me.  I was full of angst in January.  And because February is the month of love, I want to feel and relish love this February.

Yesterday I was in the beauty parlor.  Sa wakas!  If you must know, going to beauty parlors is huge deal to me because I rarely do it.  Before yesterday, last I went there was about eight months ago.  I left Raviv with Randy at home, sans any helper.  Randy urged me to push through despite that because he wants me to be happy.  Seryoso.  I was a total grinch almost the whole month of January.  Actually, more like a ticking bomb that even the gentlest nudge would detonate me.  Thus, Randy and I kept on having arguments.  To the point that he called Mom pa pala to rant about my crankiness.  One of my rants was that I seem not to have time for myself already, so I’ve become this frumpy, wala-nang-glow, overweight woman.  Which made me all the more nega.

So when I mentioned to Randy that I wanted to go to the parlor, he almost pushed me out of the house.  I went to a different beauty parlor this time, not my suking Metro Hair.  That’s because I wanted to have my hair rebonded, and rebonding is this beauty parlor’s strength.

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Hello from the beauty parlor!

I was in the parlor from noon up to past 6 p.m.  I ate my take out from McDonald’s, brought my laptop and worked a little bit, watched several videos on Youtube until I almost reached my mobile date limit (my new favourite channel:  ASAPScience.  Yes, I am a closet nerd.)  but still, there was plenty of time.  Grabe antagal! Out of sheer boredom, I was forced to do some soul searching.  Maganda rin pala ‘yun ‘pag wala kang magawa, mapipilitan kang mag-soul searching.  It’s something that Randy has been begging me to do the past month kasi nga I was his Negastar.  But I couldn’t do it when I’m stressed out.  Pagpapa-rebond lang pala ang solution.  LOL.

One of the things that finally hit me was that naawa ako sa asawa ko.  On my bitchy days, I would think of him as this annoying, bossy, uncaring man who just wants me to work 24/7.  Yesterday at the parlor, I saw him in a different light.  I don’t want to elaborate, basta I felt that I wanted us to be lovey-dovey again like we were when we first got together.   Sickeningly sweet.  It may be the harsh chemical fumes or epekto nung napaso ang anit ko sa plantsa, but I made a pact with my lucid self to be calmer, more positive, and more malambing to my mag-ama.  It will be difficult, but I’ll really try.

But when they shampooed my hair again for the hot oil treatment, and I was distracted because some strands of my hair were sticking out!

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Gaaaah!  Para akong eagle!


Rebonded hair sticking out from the head

And so my epiphany and zen moment were broken (but don’t worry—I was resolved to keep my promise to myself).  I went back to my cellphone.  I bloghopped, and for some reason someone’s blogpost made me want to have a Cartier Love Bracelet.

(If you’re no longer new to my blog, then you know I’m not maalahas.  The only jewellery I have “of value” (relatively) are my 3 engagement rings, my wedding ring, and my pearl earrings.  So no, I’m not a connoisseur when it comes to jewelry).

Look at Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie wearing their Cartier Love Bracelets:

Cartier love bracelet Jennifer aniston and Angelina Jolie

And this is what I want:

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Nice, ‘no?  Very simple yet elegant.  Very Cartier.

Pero kumapit kayo—according to the Cartier website, that simple bracelet I like costs…US$5,300!!!  Excluding sales tax pa!  That’s about Php250,000 just for a “simple bracelet”.  Although there are less expensive models, those without any gems.  This one has a solitaire diamond naman kasi.  I thought of having it custom-made by an alahera.  That is, ipagaya na lang as what many girls on the internet are doing for practical reasons.  But then, I realized I wouldn’t enjoy a bracelet that I know is an imitation.  Just like how I feel about knockoff bags.

My cousin in London, Ate Marivic, suggested Tiffany sterling silvers instead.  According to her, “Every girl should own a Tiffany.” (At nai-imagine ko na ang simangot ni Randy when he hears this statement.  Hehe).  She said that a Tiffany bracelet costs around P20,000.  Pwede na ‘di ba?  However, I didn’t really like the typical Tiffany bracelets.

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I don’t know why, but it does not catch my fancy (or maybe it will in person?)  Just like omnipresent Pandora bracelets.

However, I fancied something on the Tiffany website.  Necklace naman.  Look:

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Here’s a closer look:

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Just like the Cartier Love Bracelet, it’s simple and elegant.  Perfect for everyday use.  As I was checking out the price, something caught my eye, at natawa talaga ako.

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May DROP A HINT talaga?!?  I wondered how you could DROP A HINT, and clicked it.  Eto pala:

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I admit that for a split second I was tempted to type Randy’s email address.  But nah, it will still be obvious. (More obvious than this?!? Hehe)

Anyway, I just thought of sharing this with you, in case it would work on your boyfriends or husbands. After all, Valentine’s Day is near.  Tiffany’s made it easier na, hehe. 😉

As for me, maybe in time I’ll get that Cartier Love Bracelet if I reach my target at work/business.  Mahirap-hirap, but I swear to myself I won’t get that Love Bracelet until I reach my goal.

(OMG.  I just realized—parang ga-graduate na ako sa bags!!!  Mature na ‘ata talaga ako!  Hahaha.)

Speaking of hints…you know why I had my hair rebonded instead of just a Brazilian blowout?  Here’s the hint: because the Brazilian blowout will last only for a few months.  If God gives what I think I’m now ready for this February, all I could do to my hair in a beauty parlor is just a haircut for at least two years. :) 


Love, love, love everyone!

The Amazing Raviv Turns 5 Part 1: The Superhero Party Program and DIY Event Styling

The decision to throw Raviv a full-blown birthday party for his 5th was a no-brainer.  First, the 5th birthday party is the last birthday party a child could celebrate at Gymboree, and we still fully remember how much he and his guests loved his 4th birthday party at Gymboree.  Second, he now has sure guests even if his birthday falls on the 26th of December.  Third, his abuelito, abuelita and cousins are coming over for the Holidays.  And fourth, he requested for it.  Anyway, he didn’t have full-blown parties on his 2nd and 3rd birthdays.

It seemed everything was all set, until I learned that:

  1. The caterer I want to get (Jen-Dre’s Catering—it was our food caterer during our Grand Opening) is not available on Dec. 26.  I also called Center Table (it was our food caterer during Raviv’s baby dedication aka binyag and I love the food!!!) I and asked whether we could pick-up “paluto” from them.  They don’t accept daw, because it’s a busy season.
  2. Teacher Roxanne and Teacher Clarice—the Gymboree Sta. Rosa teachers who handle Play & Learn classes and host birthday parties—will both be out of town on Dec. 26.

That means:  I will have to DIY everything (food and decor), and I have to learn how to host a Gymboree birthday party.

Ako na.  Ako na si Superwoman.

And true enough, I was Superwoman on Raviv’s party.

Adult Superwoman Costume

Thank you so much Lindsay Abcede See for buying me this Superwoman costume!

I told you, Superwoman.  Literally and figuratively.  Anyway, let me share with you the photos of Raviv’s birthday.

It’s a Gymboree Party…hosted by the Superwoman/Supernanay

Instead of listening to Christmas songs on Christmas Day, I was actually listening to a loop of Gymboree songs and practicing the actions.  Yes guys.  You know how musically-uninclined I am, right?  Exactly.  Add to that the fact that I have never ever hosted a Gymboree party before.  Kahit nga Play class man lang, never pa eh!  So I had to practice; I didn’t want to just wing it.  I was determined to make it very fun for my son.  Kaya nga nag-costume pa ako.  Ika nga ni Lindsay, “Ganun talaga para sa anak!”  Add to that the fact that my balahura friends were attending!!!  My gosh!!! Actually, I didn’t want to invite them at first because I knew they’d make fun of me (Chrysanthemum Collado, I’m referring to you).

So yeah, on top of the other preparations and entertaining the guests, I was also the main host.  Based on these pictures, mukhang hindi naman ako nagkalat. 😀

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This is it!  I formally began!

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Marvel Justice League Superhero Birthday Party

Here I was, making all the children feel like real superheroes!

Superhero Party Gymboree Sta Rosa

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Best superhero birthday party Fotor Collage

What I am most proud about Gymboree birthday parties is that all guests—the children and their parents—are always happy and are never bored while keeping everything wholesome.  Look at those smiles!  The superhero-themed activities that made the children believe they were superheroes saving the city were all patok!

After the junior superheroes saved the day, Teacher Joanna invited them to the Arts & Crafts room to design their own superhero capes.  It was my time to rest and drink water.  Hehe.

Gymboree Activity Superheroes Birthday Party

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Superhero Capes Arts Crafts Party Gymboree

Raviv and his guests all had a blast decorating their capes (which they took home as souvenirs)!  They proudly wore their capes back to the Gymboree playfloor for the bubbles and parachute time!

Justice League Marvel Superheroes Birthday Party

Superhero THemed Birthday Party at Gymboree

Most fun Superhero Party

And to add more fun, we invited a special guest.

Everybody, chant with me:  We want, we want GYMBO!  GYMBO!



Gymbo is the blue clown, red clown, yellow clown, Gymbo is the a clown who never let you down He’s got smile on his face He rocks this place Giving you kisses all over your face We want, we want Gymbo… Gymbo!!!

Gymbo is the blue clown, red clown, yellow clown,
Gymbo is the a clown who never let you down
He’s got smile on his face
He rocks this place
Giving you kisses all over your face
We want, we want Gymbo… Gymbo!!!

Everybody loves Gymbo!

Everybody loves Gymbo!  Even my niece who’s afraid of mascots hugged the cutest clown of all! 

After the fun party, the guests headed to the reception hall that’s just adjacent to the Gymboree playfloor.  Wanna see how it looks like?  Here!


Venue & Event Styling

Just like Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Party last year, the event styling is DIYed by yours truly and the talented Gymboree Sta. Rosa teachers again.

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Teachers Joanna and Clarice finished this before they had their Christmas vacation.  Ito ang dinatnan ko when I arrived at the venue on December 26 at 9 a.m.  Yes, 9 a.m. na because the cake and sugar cookies I ordered in Los Banos were delayed!  Gaaaaahhh eh andami pang gagawin!!!  As soon as we arrived, I became a drill sergeant ordering people around, telling them to, “Double time!!!!”  But mind you, I wasn’t just ordering people around.  Barefoot and hungry, I was also working my tushy off.

And then we transformed the room into an eclectic cacophony of anything and everything related to superheroes:

Superheroes Birthday Party

Marvel Justice League Superheroes Theme Birthday Party Event Styling DIY Setup

Superheroes Name

The R-A-V-I-V letter designs were lovingly made by Teacher Joanna.  Teacher Clarice helped Teacher Joanna make my Superhero City “stage backdrop” vision come true.  Same goes with the Superhero-themed paintings on the windows.

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Event Styling Superhero Party Balloons

Superheroes Birthday Party Setup

Superhero party mylar balloons

Yep, these were all DIYed.  Labor of love.  I bought lots of mylar balloons because they’re always a hit with the children.  The action figures and toys are all Raviv’s, so I didn’t have to buy them.  The vintage comics, on the other hand, were from our library.  They were given to us by Randy’s mom, and we’re saving it for when Raviv would actually read them.

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It was a “Waaaaaaah!!!”day.  Every single minute was precious to me to make sure I don’t disappoint my amorcito, whether in event styling or hosting.  I spent any “free time” either checking the other details or remembering the lyrics of the songs and their corresponding actions.  Ganern.  It was so crazy—made even crazier because in the middle of the day I learned I already got my period thus my headaches.  And partida, I hadn’t even eaten a morsel until after the party!  It’s a miracle I survived it all.  Although on our way back home, my “adrenaline” waned.  My headache went fullblast and on the road, I threw up.  Ugh.  The last time it happened to me was when Randy and I were on the road after our wedding. Well, that was definitely more stressful, but my hunger strike plus my Day 1 Period spiked my stress level so there.  Hehe.

Pero sulit naman, especially when I see this picture…

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…then I become Superwoman. 😉

PS: Thank you so much Luther Abcede for the wonderful photos!

You too, Kuya CJ!  Thank you!

(Up next is Part 2, featuring the food, the outfit-eys and the giveaways. :))

My Favorite Golden Globe 2016 Gowns & Styles

I told you I’ll be back! :)

Prom time is near, and how I wish that Wifi were omnipresent when I was in high school as it is now.  Getting gown inspirations would have been easier.  During my senior prom, my peg was Julia Roberts’s gown in My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I just loved that gown, especially the bodice.

Julia roberts gown my best friend s wedding

You know what I did?  I sent for the mananahi to my Tita’s house, because my Tita had a VHS tape (wahahaha!) of that movie.  Rewind-forward kami, until we got to the scene where Julia Roberts was wearing the gown.  Then pause during this scene while the mananahi was sketching the gown:


During our prom, one of my classmates actually called out my gown, saying it looks so much like Julia Roberts’s.  I acted nonchalantly, hehe.  Well that means my mananahi got it right.  Haaaayy high school.

Anyway, if you or your daughter or niece or sister doesn’t have a gown yet, well, you still have about a month.  If you’re going to a designer (because “mananahi” sounds so last decade ago), you can get inspirations from the gowns of the belles that graced the red carpet in the recently concluded Golden Globes.

Though honestly, most of the gowns seemed boring to me.  Many played too safe and didn’t take risks.  Many also wore the same styles that have worked in the last years.  An example of that would be the goddess gown.  I normally rave about such a feminine design.  But this year, I didn’t see any head turning variation.  The only two I liked a tad are these two:

Lily James

Lily James surely didn’t look like a cinder girl in this pastel chiffon Marchesa gown!

Saorise ronan drupal 0

Saiorse Ronan looked like a modern-day Greek goddess in this Yves Saint Laurent Couture gown.  The white color and Saiorse’s slick hair made the overall look clean, but also removed any whimsical and romantic appeal.

The others that (actually) stood out, in my humble opinion, are the following:

Heidi Klum

So you think she looks like she’s wearing a giant feather duster, eh?  But she’s Heidi Klum, and she’s not a supermodel for nothing.  Make her wear a rag and she’d still sizzle! Now admit it, you’re now maliciously eyeing your father’s pansabong because you realised its potential.  Too bad, because that’s Marchesa’s expertise.  Seriously, Marchesa gowns amaze me.   They’re always so whimsical and romantic aaaand they make your usual nakakataba gown slimming.

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Don’t believe my last statement about Marchesa?  Here’s another proof:  Zendaya.  I don’t know who she is, but her gown blew me away!  If she were a bit bulkier and a bit shorter, this gown would be wrecked.  But her lithe frame made her the perfect model for this tiered Marchesa gown.  The color and the details were screaming, “Notice Me!”

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett-Smith’s emerald gown by Versace showed just the right amount of flesh at the right places and accentuated her hourglass figure.  Now who wouldn’t be green with envy with that?

Jennifer lopez drupal 0

Ah J. Lo. J. Lo is another caped crusader in the red carpet.  I’m not too crazy about the drapes at the hips (as if J. Lo needs an illusion of a bigger booty or hips, duh!).  Despite being covered, the wreath necklace teamed with the cascading drop necklace from no less than Harry Winston plus her fierce stance made her look really hot in that mustard Giambattista Valli gown.  So hot that she had baskil (yes, that’s not a shadow, sadly). =D


Lady gaga drupal

If quite a few were surprised with J. Lo’s balot na balot look, I’m sure every jaw dropped when they saw a normal-looking Lady Gaga (yes, that’s Lady Gaga!!!) in an elegant Atelier Versace gown.  Her platinum blonde hair and peaches and cream complexion stood in stark contrast with the elegant (I am overusing this adjective, I know!) gown.  Gawd I love everything about the gown:  its seamlessness, the way it exaggerated Gaga’s butt, how it fell on the floor, how it subtly fell off Gaga’s shoulders.  And don’t get me started on how Gaga wore the perfect jewellery!  Love love love!


Jennifer lawrence

Speaking of the perfect accessory, J. Law also donned the perfect neckpiece!  What would have been an otherwise pa-Gwyneth Paltrow boring minimalist fashion ek-ek (I love Gwyneth, OK?  But not her gowns.  Because I could never pull off her gowns.  There!) was brought to life by the perfect accessory.  Well, forgive me.  Even without the necklace, this Dior Haute Couture is a work of art.  It used the peek-a-boo technique buuuuut not in the usual places.  No cleavage, no thigh.  Just the ribcage.  And yes, it’s as flaming hot as the color of her dress (whoever thought rib cages are sexy?  Dior!)

But ever being the “weird is wonderful” believer that I am, my favourite look of the night is…

300191DD00000578 0 Fringe from tip to tail Cate Blanchette 46 was all lace fringe a a 91 1452478219819

3001926A00000578 0 Fringe from tip to tail Cate Blanchette 46 was all lace fringe a a 92 1452478219822

…Cate Blanchett in Givenchy.  Now some of you are probably clucking your tongues.  I won’t take that against you.  I know that this gown is either a “love me” or “hate me” dress, no in-between.  Yes I know, it kinda looks like tassels or even a vintage lampshade.  But still, I freaking love it.  If reincarnation were true, I’d have been in the 1900’s and went to jazz clubs wearing something akin to this in the 20’s.  That’s why.

What about you?  Who’s your favourite girl on the red carpet during this year’s Golden Globes?  :)

Note:  All of the images courtesy of Google.  None of them were mine.  No copyright infringement intended.

A Domesticated Day

I’ve received several private messages—both from my readers and friends—regarding my last from-my-bitter-and-angry-heart post.  Kumusta na raw ba ako.  Well, I’m glad to say that I am surviving.  I went to work last Monday to welcome the students and teachers after the long Christmas break, then we went back to Los Banos because I wasn’t able to prepare our stuff for one whole week dahil nga haggardous ako since New Year.  We were supposed to return to Sta. Rosa the following day, but when I saw the state of our house in the morning, I blew my top.  I started hyperventilating because I somehow expected that either Randy or Dodong would have prepared breakfast or cleaned-up while I was taking care of Raviv that morning.  Pero bilang mga lalaki, deadmabelles sila.  Kotse muna bago bahay ang dapat linisin ang motto nila.  So even though I was already all dressed up, I decided to stay home to do the chores.  Dodong drove Raviv to Gymboree, and Randy called my mother-in-law to borrow her helper.

Domesticated Dew’s Woes

I started with the laundry.  I brought the washing machine and dryer to our bathroom so I can wash clothes and clean our bathroom at the same time.

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Towards the end of my laundry and bathroom cleaning task, Mama arrived with her helper.  Ayan, I finally had some help, and Mama’s helper seemed to have a good head on her shoulders.  Next task was to clean up the kitchen and fold the clothes that we have washed, along with the other clothes that have been washed since months ago but somehow were never ironed or folded properly.

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It was quite difficult because I had to teach Mama’s helper how I wanted my clothes to be folded.  I also taught her my system of arranging clothes, which is quite complicated, hehe.

But finally at 5 p.m., natapos din.  Pagoda cold wave lotion ang MomsterTeacher n’yo.  There were still plenty to do but at least we’ve accomplished a lot.  My hands were really painful and dry (kuskos kung casks mako sa toilet bowl, with Zonrox pa!), but it felt soo good to see that our laundry basket was empty, our cabinets were full of clothes again, and our bathroom and kitchen were clean and sparkly.

Domesticated Tatay Epic Fail

When Raviv returned from Sta. Rosa with Dodong on this same day, he was sleeping fitfully.  Dodong told us that something happened.  When Raviv was peeing, the little boy suddenly panicked and started to whimper.  Ravi wouldn’t say anything because he was shy, so Dodong peeked.  ‘Yun pala, a bit of Raviv’s pitoytoy skin got stuck in his zipper, and Raviv was trying to pry it away to no avail.  Imagine how it must have hurt ‘di ba?  Dodong said he really felt sorry for Raviv, and asked us, “Bakit po wala siyang brief?”  I looked at a guilty Randy, because Randy was the one who dressed up Raviv!  You know what Randy said?  He said, “E kasi ‘yung ni-ready mo pants and polo lang, walang brief.” Waaaaah!  Hahahaha!  I told him that I prepared the polo and pants only because I wanted to make sure they would match, and that the briefs were a given.  Especially for him, because he also wears brief all.  the. time! Hahaha.  Mga tatay talaga!

Speaking of fathers, naalala ko.  It was obvious that one of Raviv’s female schoolmates lost her nanny.  Bakit kamo?  Because the little girl used to go to school wearing super cute outfits and her hair would always be tidily tied up…’yung ang ku-cute ng hairstyle.  That’s despite the fact that this girl’s mom works in the Metro and leaves home very early (the girl is in the afternoon class).  Now when I saw her again last week, ang gulo ng buhok.  Tapos wala pang dalang baon.  Hehe.  It reminded me of Randy and how he made Raviv go commando.  And that TV commercial where the dad was taking care of his daughter and the daughter always complains because that’s not how her mommy did things.  Can you remember that TV commercial?


If you follow me on Instagram, I know you’re waiting for me to tell you something big in detail.  But even though I’m also affected by that thing, it’s not my story to tell.  It’s Randy’s.  And I think the wound is still fresh that he still can’t talk about it without getting teary-eyed.  So I’ll have to wait.  For the meantime, eto na lang muna.  Taken almost a year ago:

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Sigh.  We were both lovely, weren’t we? 😀  I just had my keratin treatment here.  That reminds me, I really hope I could spend time in the parlor again!  Randy and I have big plans this February, so I have to get a keratin treatment na before January ends.


Christmas Helper Horror Stories

It seems I’m not the only one with helper-related Christmas horror stories.  Other children at Raviv’s school also lost their nannies over the holidays.  Apparently, many helpers do this: they take advantage of the Christmas spirit and graciously receive their Christmas bonuses, gifts for them (and even their whole families) and savor all the delicious foods.  Afterwards, they’d do a Houdini and disappear without trace.  Wala man lang ni, “K, tnx, bye!”  Aside from the families at Raviv’s school, check out the comments section of my from-my-bitter-and-angry-heart post.  Andami pa palang iba!  I got even more comments and private messages about this on Facebook, most of them saying how much they can relate and that the same thing happened to them.  Honestly, it made me feel good.  I mean I felt bad for the commenters’ plights because, hello, relate na relate!  But it felt good to know we are not alone.  Christmas tradition pala ito, hehe.  Ngayon lang ako na-inform.

So in the next Christmas, I plan to give Christmas gifts after our helpers return after their New Year’s vacation.  And maybe I’ll tell them that I will give separation pays (that would depend on the length of their service) IF they tell me in advance (at least 1 month) when they’re leaving.  That way, I won’t be caught off-guard.  And they could train pa their replacement.  If they leave without permission, manghinayang na  lang sila.

Do you have other tips on how to ensure our helper/workers would at least ask permission when they leave?  Or do you have more horror stories?  Dali, I’d love to hear it! 

K, tnx. Bye!

But I swear, I’ll be back!  Have a great day!

Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa’s Anniversary Promo

Hip, hip, hooray!  Gymboree Play & Music Sta. Rosa is turning 1 this January!

As its anniversary blowout, Gymbo is  giving away these awesome treats:

Gymboree Sta. Rosa Anniversary Promo

4+2 Promo

  • Enrol in 4 classes and get 2 FREE additional classes!
  • Enrol in 8 classes and get 4 FREE additional classes!

(All classes must be consumed until March 30, 2016) 

We’re the Global Leader in Classes for Kids

At Gymboree Play & Music, you and your child will build creativity, confidence and lifelong friendships. Gymboree programs are specially designed to help young children learn and develop as they play. Our classes also help you learn about your child — how to participate in and encourage his or her development — while enjoying the simple pleasure of playing together.


10% off on Preschool Tuition Fee!

Get up to 10% off on Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool’s (for SY 2016-17) tuition!

Build the key social, emotional and intellectual skills needed for school and life with specially designed classes for ages 2 to 4. Activities help develop confidence, curiosity, communication, perseverance and cooperation through art, science exploration, play and more, giving your child a solid foundation for future learning environments.

11098191_858614274215163_3517093430773166371_n Pre-K students during their Science Fun time

Gymboree PreSchool curriculum includes both independent and group learning activities to promote the important personal, social and beginning academic skills of reading, writing, math and science. 

1934580_931364630273460_3377365758896577171_nNursery 2 students learning about road signs

Gymboree’s holistic and nurturing approach inspires learning with its small teacher-to-student ratio. Teachers also read children’s books that explore and nurture key social and emotional skills, engage in activities that require cooperation and self-awareness, and encourage communication with peers. Includes both independent and group learning activities to promote the important personal and social skills needed for a successful transition into school.

Experiencing how it is to be a fireman

All Gymboree PreSchool students enjoy the benefit of unlimited GymPlay at any Gymboree center in the Philippines. Please call ahead to find out the GymPlay schedule at the center you plan to visit. It’s truly a pre-school like no other.

mommy talk with mommy maricel laxa-pangilinan at gymboree sta. rosa preschool
Gymboree Sta. Rosa Preschool Teachers pose with Mommy Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan after Mommy Maricel’s Parenting Talk/Seminar with the parents of Gymboree Sta. Rosa preschoolers


10% off on Birthday Parties

Book your child’s birthday party between Jan. 4-30 and get 10% off!

What’s the best birthday party?  It’s when the celebrants themselves have fun!  Gymboree birthday parties are specifically designed for the enjoyment of babies and toddlers.  Gymboree guarantees the fun for the celebrant and his guests as they roam around the Gymboree playscape,  singing and dancing, and imaginative play!

zion lahbati gutierrez birthday party gymboree sta. rosa

gymboree sta. rosa birthday party

solana pangilinan gymboree sta. rosa birthday party

Fun Children’s Activities and Zero Cleanup

Choose your child’s favorite theme and we’ll create a private, personalized party experience filled with kid friendly activities guaranteed to be 100% fun with zero clean up! We specialize in 1st birthday parties all the way through to 5th birthday parties. Gymboree Play & Music Parties are available to members and non-members.

Themes vary by location and may include:

  • First Birthday Party
  • Farmyard Fun
  • Ocean Adventure
  • Construction Zone
  • All Aboard Trains
  • Princess Playhouse
  • Little Super Heroes
  • Dinosaur Adventures
  • Jungle Safari
  • Sports Galore
  • Arts party
  • Music party
  • And more!


For more details, please call (049)576-0595.


We’re the Global Leader in Classes for Kids

Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0-5 for over 30 years. Today there are over 550 locations in 30 countries, making us the global leader in early childhood development programs. Designed by experts, our age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Our programs are also recognized for their unique approach to parent involvement—which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development.

We Are The Experts in Early Childhood Development

Our class curriculum is developed by our experienced child development program directors and incorporate a balanced whole-child approach with activities to support what your child is mastering right now and what he or she will aspire to later. Classes are designed in 6-month increments to meet a child’s unique interests and abilities. From birth to age 5, there’s always something special awaiting you and your child at Gymboree Play & Music.