Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekly Savings Challenge

In my mommy group, we have been discussing and challenging each other to start a weekly savings goal. I love this challenge and am hoping I'd be able to make it to the finish line.

Sharing here the chart that they sent the group as a guide.

Welcome 2015!

After much prayer and waiting on the Lord, I have finally come up with my theme/words for 2015. And my theme is FOCUS and SECURITY. Focus on God and on the priorities He has set for me, focus on what He wants me to do, focus on attaining my God-inspired goals; Security in all aspects of my life, in family life and career. While the Scripture verses that the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me and will serve as my guiding verses for the new year are Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Excited for 2015, excited for God's blessings.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Freedom Bazaar at Club Manila East

Okay, for those who have been visiting my blog on a regular basis, you can say that I am such a bazaar addict. I love going to thrift shops and I get a nice high whenever I am in tiangge. I don't have to buy anything to be happy, just being there makes me feel so elated.

So for the last quarter of this year, I have gone to Club Manila East's Freedom Bazaar in Taytay, Rizal for not less than 10 times already. My favorite purchases there are sando for men which is for P50 only. My husband practically has ALL the colors and designs as he loves the cloth from which the sandos are made of. Plain blouses are at P100, while the printed ones range from P35 to P150. Long sleeved corporate looking tops for women range from P100 to P350 while kimonos and cover-ups are usually at P70-P150 only. Characters shirts and dresses for little girls are at P100 only, and may I just mention that I found these exact dresses at the malls and they are selling at P350!

During my most recent trip, I bought 6 pieces of pambahay tops for my daughter for P25 each! Now do the math and you'd be thrilled you'd want to hoard all designs!

I also found a stall customizing and selling paracord bracelets for P50 each, and sleeping eye masks for P35 only. Mind you, these eye masks are for sale at the malls for P39.75-P70 each!

I could go on and on about my wonderful buys but nothing beats the high of being there yourself.

For directions on going there by commuting:

From Ortigas, take the G-Liner of RRCG bus with the signage SM Taytay. These buses should reach CME or Club Manila East. From SM Taytay, it wont take more than 7 minutes before you can spot a Jollibee, then a McDonalds at the right side. Few meters from McDo is the Freedom Bazaar. The colorful and numerous makeshift tents are just so hard to miss.

For the holidays, most shops are open everyday. But the usual schedule of the bazaar is only on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I was told, but have not verified yet, that they are open as early at before 6am. They usually close at 5pm. But I would suggest going in the morning as most stalls close up once they're reached the sales quota for the day.

Bring an umbrella to fight off the heat, and the rain since the stalls are not tightly built together. Wear comfortable footwear, sneakers preferably as the floor can get muddy when it rains. Bring an ecobag as their plastic bags are not as sturdy as they should be and can easily tear up. I have never brought my 7 yr old daughter here, too as I know the crowd, the heat and the mud are not for fussy kids.

For snacks, there are a lot of street food for the not so-sensitive tummies, but if you want to cool off in an airconditioned establishment, there's a McDo, a Chowking (and I think a KFC) across the street.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Another Scholastic Warehouse Sale, woot woot!

Yay booklovers! Scholastic has opened it warehouse again for another sale this year! Selected books as low as P20 and P40! Hardbound Harry Potter books at P49.00 Yup, and that's not a typo error! Regular priced books are at 20% discount.

Once again, the warehouse is along C. Raymundo, Pasig City.

Happy shopping and reading!

PS: For those who've been regular Scholastic Sale goers, you might be asking if they again have the box all you can promo... unfortunately, they don't have one this time. But still! :)

The Off Price Show Sale in Metrowalk

Okay, mainly because of the proximity, I decided to check out The Off Price Show sale in Metrotent in Metrowalk last week instead of the Kids Craze Toy Sale in Scout Rallos. I was, however, turned off to know that there is a P50 entrance fee. I really don't mind having to pay for this, as some other bazaars charge the same (or even lower), but I was expecting to find interesting stuff inside. Oh well, there wasn't much. You can scan the place in 10 minutes and that's it.

There were clothes, a few shoes. Some Melissa and Doug products which are not really at a lower price, and shoes by Barbie, Elle and I think Chico's (not sure with this last one).

Just so I wont feel my trip don't get wasted, I bought my daughter a pair of Barbie boots. Not bad for P900, but there wasn't much choice anyway.

So there, in case you're near the area and still want to check this out, it's ongoing at the Metrotent in Metrowalk, Pasig City.

The 2014 Richwell Toys Warehouse Sale

It's that time of the year again when warehouse sales are everywhere. In my facebook feed alone, I get an average of 3-4 sale alerts every week!

A few weeks ago, I blogged about our trip to the Blims Warehouse sale. A street away from that is the Automatic Center Appliance Sale, also in Pioneer, Mandaluyong. Might drop by this weekend, as I learned their sale has been extended.

For now, let me just mention that the Richwell Toy Warehouse Sale is ongoing. I haven't visited though but I was told both toys, kiddie apparel as well as school supplies are on sale there. Brands as Barbie, Elle and Crayola have stocks you can purchase at discounted price.

The warehouse can be found at #102 Timog Ave., Quezon City. They are open on Nov 27-28, Dec 4-6 and Dec 11-13 from 10am-6pm.
Make sure you come early as it can get crowded by noon onwards. Parking is a challenge, too and as what I always say whenever I go to warehouse sales, always wear comfy clothes, don't wear jewelries, bring a bottle of water, fan, hand sanitizer and face towel.

Additional tip: I don't bring my daughter along as she can get really irritated with the dust and the crowd. You wouldn't want to get distracted from the high of shopping because you have to attend to your child's whining, don't you? Besides, I don't think it's a good idea to bring small kids especially in toy sales as you might end up having to buy more that what you really intended to.

Happy shopping!

Oh and by the way, a gentle reminded that the Christmas Season isn't about toys and sales and shopping. Remember what we're really celebrating this season, okay? Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blims Warehouse Sale 2014

Once again, the Blims Warehouse Sale is ongoing starting Nov 14. The warehouse can be found along Williams Street in Mandaluyong. Coming from Shaw Blvd, take Pioneer Street. You wont miss the huge tarpaulins they've set up at the corner of Williams and Pioneer.

Drive a little bit more and you'll find the Automatic Center Holiday Sale. On my way to Reliance Street the other day, I also saw the Ethan Allen is also on sale.

But last weekend, we decided to drop by Blims and here are some photos.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sta Elena Fun Farm

The first time we went to Sta Elena Fun Farm in Laguna was on Mothers Day this year. We had fun because we were really craving for something to do and somewhere to spend this day aside from the mall. My daughter's favorite was the play area set up by Waldorf School, since she loves pretend play. She liked the cooking toys so much and the rag dolls, too.

Her second favorite was the fishing area and animal feeding area. Feeding the bunnies with carrots was an experience for her. She did enjoy the carabao ride, though it took us more time to wait for our ride than the actual "tour." Foodies like us enjoyed the wide variety of food stalls and choices. But since they're mostly organic, most of the food options area of course, more expensive than usual.

For this year's school excursion, Sta Elena was our first stop. My girl, being the only second timer there in her class, was feeling "tour guide" haha! She also tried a lot of other stuff that she didn't dare try during the first visit. She rode the horse alone, and took the carabao ride with only her classmates. I was thrilled that she was facing her fears and trying to conquer them.
The boat ride was fun, too, though I was the one who was itching for the boat ride to be over. Just looking at how icky the water looked makes me cringe!

But the highlight of this second visit was when she rode the ZIPLINE! Oh how nervous I was! She didn't want to try it at first but I knew she was just giving herself time to calculate the risk, haha! I was praying silently while waiting for her turn, I was half-expecting she'd back out the last minute. But when she wore the helmet and the harness was being attached to her and she wasn't showing any signs of backing out, I knew she's ready for another milestone. And so she did... she took the zipline and she made it! I was prouder than her, actually! I was so enthralled that I texted my husband and my mom right away!

So there, to sum up our Sta Elena experience, I must say it was a good experience.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yexel's Toy Museum

For this year's school field trip, included in the itinerary of my daughter's excursion was a trip to Yexel's Toy Museum. Since it's a museum that involves toys, both me and my girl are so looking forward to it. We were thinking we might be able to buy hard-to-find toys there both for her, and as gifts for Christmas. But of course I did some research on the very day that I heard about this, and I must say it didn't excite me.

So on the third week of September, off we went with the entire school. This toy museum was the last stop for the day, and in my humble opinion, it wasn't wow enough as a field trip climax. 3 minutes inside and my daughter, as well as her close girl buddies were already bored. 10 minutes inside, with all those busts of Batman characters and my daughter was already begging to leave.

Some photos...

Fun at Kidzoona

When I first heard about the PISO per hour promo of Kidzoona, I knew we have to avail of it. My daughter, a sucker for play areas in malls, will definitely love it there. And me, the ever practical mom who just loooves promos knew I have to bring my darling to this Kidzoona place. Another greeeat thing about it is that it's just inside Robinson's Galleria. Our fave mall! So fave that we're there EVERY SINGLE Sunday! Well of course, our church is in Galleria, so we practically spend almost the entire day in Galleria most weekends, plus we love that it's never too crowded, even during sale days.

So as I was sayin' my kid loves Kidzoona so much we were there on a Sunday, then went back two days after, then went back, a day after! Yep, that's three days in just one week! And a total of 6 hours of play. And how much did I spend? Do ask me, dear because I'm just so so proud to say that I spent P6.00! Okay, P5, because there was a time when my daughter handed out a peso from her pocket, haha!

Enough of the words, now. Let me just share with you some our our snapshots while inside this new play area in the Metro. Oh, let me just point out, though, that the Piso per hour promo is over and it's now P200 per hour. For the Pretend Play area, kids up to 8 years old are allowed. But I think they allow up to 12 yr olds for the inflatables and giant slides.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Good Ol' United American Tiki-Tiki

Up to this very day, I can still remember and sing the tv commercial jingle of United American Tiki tiki. The tv ad always comes up in between my viewing of Sesame Street when I was a toddler, and I remember asking my mom for my daily doze of it because of all the vitamins she used to give me, this one tastes the best.

Now that I'm already a mom, I still give this to my daughter, and as expected, she loves it. I alternate it with Appebon and Cherifer Forte every other month or so.

Robinsons Galleria Weekend Workshop for Kids

My daughter had fun doing crafts at the Kiddie Workshops held at Jumpstreet, Level 3 of Robinson's Galleria yesterday. We had fun, too, plus the workshops are free!

Activitives include Vegetable Puppets Making, Potted Plants Making,

As well as Cupcake Decorating, Bracelet Making and Paper Flower Art.

The flier says they're having another one like this this coming weekend, October 18-19, 2014 as well.

By the way, looks like Robinsons Galleria has lots of things happening this month. There'll be a Giant Sale of up to 70% off on selections from participating stores from Oct 15-19, a Street Fair on Oct 23-25 at the Activity Area, a Stamp Making Contest by Philpost on the 24th, and a halloween event titled All Treats, No Tricks on the 26th. There'll be a Creepy Crazy Halloween happening, too at the Activity Area on the said date.

Enjoy, families!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

HMR Bargain Finds

It's been years since I last went to HMR. I recently remembered checking out the stuff there and so last Sunday, me and the hubby and daughter went to Reliance in Mandaluyong to see if there are interesting finds we could buy for the house.

Nothing much changed since my last visit, except that there's already a Tasty Tucker restaurant beside it.
Here are a few of the snapshots from my visit.

Anyway, since Halloween is just 'round the corner, you might want to check out their selection of halloween costumes for your kids' trick or treating!

For commuters and coming from Shaw Blvd, take a tricycle from Tropical Hut and the riders already know where HMR is. The jeepney with the "Crossing United" sign also passes in front of said warehouse. For private transport, just trek down Sheridan Street and when you see the Mcdo, it's already right across it. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Silka Stay

A few days ago, me and my family went on a vacay in Hong Kong. We stayed at the Silka Far East Hotel. I got to decide on this hotel after weeks of research and emailing back and forth various other hotels. Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I want everything smoothed out before I book anything. We used to always stay at Guang Dong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, the one in Prat. But because this year's trip is on a tighter budget, I went to for choices. On my short list were Regal Airport Hotel, Metropark Hotel, Aubergine and Dorsett Mongkok. Various factors made me decide on Silka. On top of the list was client reviews, proximity to public transportation, the price and the presence of shops around.

Silka Far East in Tsuen Wan offered a huge discount on the day I was browsing about it. Agoda, Expedia and all had good rates then, but had the best deal. Plus, they charge no booking fee, and the free cancellation due date was only a few days before our scheduled trip.

So fastforward to our actual stay in Silka Far East... it was conveniently located in Tsuen Wan. We had to take the Airbus A31 bus from the airport. The lobby was huge, but as expected, the rooms were tiny! This is the tiniest I've seen in all our travels. But the good thing was the cleanliness and the nice, sleek interiors. The staff was helpful, too, though they don't smile a lot.

There were shops around, a nice mall (Citistore) nearby, a couple of 7-11s and another convenience store called K Circle, a resto that serves yummy Chinese dishes called 89, bakeries like Taipan, A-1 Café and Bakeshop, and even a Daiso branch.

All in all, our stay was comfortable. I would recommend this hotel and will to stay here again the next time we visit Hong Kong.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yema Cake! Yema Cake!

Just two weeks ago, my husband went on an out of town trip and brought home a roll of yema cake. It was yummy, but not memorable. Just yesterday, an online group of moms of which I am a member brought up the topic of ordering yema cakes from Quezon Province. I wasn't into it at first because waiting for cake for almost a week (due to delivery schedule) doesn't appeal to me that much. But when one of my friends from the same group mentioned about this bakery near our place that makes super yummy and not too sweet yema cakes, I started to drool! I googled their bakeshop and intended to drop by yesterday. But it took me more time in the bank than I expected so I ended up going home after my errand. But while I was putting my daughter to sleep in the afternoon, I still couldn't stop thinking about the prospect of ordering. I texted them and was super glad to know they deliver to our place! Woohoo!

So today, my first delivery of Kuya Jun's Yummy Yema Cake came and I'm just waiting for my daughter to get home from school, and my husband to wake up from his nap and then we'd attack this mouth-watering piece of creation! Anyway, in case you're curious, the bakeshop has a branch in Cubao, and another one in Rublou Building, near Brookside Hills, Cainta. One whole roll costs P300 while the half roll is P150 (I think!). For deliveries, inform them via text or facebook a day in advance. Let me just mention, too that their rider was also very kind and accommodating.

Here's some photos of the yema cake:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Books For Less Warehouse Sale Loot!

At P10 per book, I'd say the trip is sooo worth it! Look at the books I purchased!

Since I only commuted that day, may I share the directions when taking public transportation from Cainta to the Books For Less Warehouse. From Robinson's Junction, take the Pasig Tramo jeepney (P15 per person). Get off at the corner of San Miguel Mercedes Avenue (where there's a Jollibee at the right side). Cross the street and take a tricycle. Tell the driver you're going to la Consolacion College (P20 per trip). The warehouse is right across La Consolacion.

Be ready for the heat and dust inside the warehouse. In my previous trips to these book warehouses (Anvil, Scholastic, Books for Less), I always bring a fan, towel, bottled water, wet wipes, ponytail, alcohol or hand sanitizer, eco bags). I also don't use fancy hand bags. I opt for sling bags so I have two hands free when handling books and boxes.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Successful trip to Books For Less Warehouse Sale

So yesterday I finally got to visit the Books For Less Warehouse Sale! Woohoo! Got 20 books at P10 each! Amazing! Will blog about the books I bought in the next few days. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quotes on Productivity and Organization

I love reading about Productivity and Organization. Eversince I was a kid, I want everything in order. I love lists… of things to do, of goals both long term and short term, of prayer requests, or people to write to, of movies to watch, or reading logs, of just about anything!

That’s why in my readings about being productive, I have gathered quite a number of productivity quotes. Here are some of them:

“Every time a person puts an idea across, he finds tem people who thought about it before he did – but they only thought about it. “ – Alfred Montapert

“If you want something out of your day, you must put something in it.” – John C. Maxwell

“Time is like oxygen – there’s a minimum amount that’s necessary for survival. And it takes quantity as well as quality to develop warm and caring relationships.” – Armand Nicholi

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” – William James

“Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can.” – D. L. Moody

“The only thrill worthwhile is the one that comes from making something out of yourself.” – William Feather

Monday, August 11, 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

Board Games for Five to Six Year Olds

⦁ Scrabble or Junior Scrabble – helps in her vocabulary and spelling. Don’t sweat too much on the rules, though. The important thing is for your child to have fun learning.

⦁ Kiddie Poly – a simpler and easier version of Monopoly. Great for introducing the value of money and starting an entrepreneurial spirit.

⦁ Pictionary – this wasn’t a buy, but a property of mine way back when I was still single. My daughter saw this in my stash and insisted I teach her. She ended up enjoying it. I like the fact that it improves her vocabulary and her drawing skills.

⦁ Snakes and Ladders – a classic indeed. This was one of her first board games and taught her about losing and winning.

⦁ The Game of Life – though this one’s not really a board game, but my girl loved the idea of “living” a posh life.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

And the Daughter's Got Boo-boos

So my daughter was walking the puppy the other week while my husband was washing the car, and while I was upstairs tidying up the bedroom. Something "told" me to look out the window and see if my husband is almost done so I can set the table. As soon as I looked, I saw an adult dog walking towards where my daughter is. Since my POV is limited because of the walls, I didn't see what happened. No, she didn't get bitten by the dog, thank God! But she tripped when she saw the dog approaching her and our puppy. Afraid of the stranger dog, she walked faster than she should, frightening our puppy as she did. So our pup ran quicker than her, the pup's lease getting in her way and there. Nasty scrapes on both legs, another one on the right shoulder, and a reddish bump on the right cheek. Not to mention that she was covered with mud on legs, feet, hands and arms because it just finished raining that day.

That was her worst boo-boo so far and I knew she was afraid. I was, too because she looked so gusgusin what with all the mud all over her body. I didn't know how to start cleaning her up. After much crying and begging for me not to use water, she eventually said yes. But her cries was echoing not only inside the bathroom, but in the whole house as well. Can't blame her, I used to scream my heart out when I was a kid with a little scratch. After washing her with soap and water, and giving her a quick bath, too (gotta shampoo her hair, there were mud, too!), we let her relax on the couch and started applying the Betadine. To whoever created Betadine, thank you! I remember when I was a kid, there was no Betadine yet and my dad would put Merthiolate... that red liquid that puts more pain on the wound. Betadine doesn't hurt a bit. It only feels cold and wet, but not painful at all. Kids now are lucky because they're spared from experiencing Merthiolate. And yes, barely 3 days after the accident, and learning experience, her wounds are dry and on the fourth day, the crust started falling off.

Now she knows better than to ignore our reminder not to walk further away from the house than she's allowed. Each time she disobeys, we bring her back to that time that she almost got bitten by a dog, and she got mud all over, and she got ugly booboos that she can't wear her skirts and dresses to church. :)

Here, as much as she wanted to wear a skirt for their Nutrition Day Celebration, had to wear leggings to hide her wounds.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

We were off as early as 630am yesterday to have our car's registration renewed. Per my friend Jacque's suggestion, we went to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) branch in Binangonan to avoid to the long cue. Indeed, we were second in line, but still it took us less than two hours to finish everything. Since we were done with Emission Testing before 730am, we went straight to LTO a few minutes after. The office is still closed and they started calling on the numbers not at 8am, but at 820am. Being the time stickler that I am, I feel this isn't a good thing. Eight o'clock is eight o'clock. Anyway, the guy doing the stencils was ok, and the girl at the gate assisting the customers was very polite and accommodating. She was very helpful and I hope she gets paid well for doing her job well. We paid P2,300++ for the renewal and P1,050 for a new Third Party Liability (TPL) insurance. The cost for emission was P400 and for the stencil, it is one's option to give something to the stencil aide.

All in all, our LTO experience was fine. Our stickers will be ready by mid-October to early November.

Books For Less Warehouse Sale 2014

Woohoo, another book sale is happening and it's only a few minutes from my place! Books for Less is having its Warehouse Sale this whole month of August from 8am to 5pm. What's tempting (?), okay nice about it, is that books can be as low as P10 each! Too bad they're closed Sundays, the only day that we have a driver and it won't be a burden for me to carry all my purchases and commute! Anyway, will have to find the time one of these weekdays and see what I can buy.

Books for Less Warehouse Sale: 643 Mercedez Ave., Baranggay San Miguel, Pasig City
Contact Numbers:633.8554 and 0917.630.9999

Home Remedy to Get Rid of Ants

The past couple of months, being the start of the rainy season saw us trying to get rid of ant trails in various spots inside the house. It irritates me so to find them long cues down the staircase, near the dish drier, along the banisters. But to see them on our beds is something I find super intolerable. It breaks my heart to see my daughter's arms and legs red with ant bites in the morning. In fact, today she woke up with a rash on one of the eyelids because an ant bit it.

Since I am aware of the harmful effects of chemical-based sprays, I asked around for natural remedies. I know I've read somewhere about coffee grounds being effective, but that would mean waiting for the weekend as that would be the day I'd go somewhere with a Starbucks branch.

So now I'm opting for suggestion number 2, which is baking powder and sugar. I wonder though if the sugar is safe to have lying around in strategic places, since, it's sweet and might spill and might attract more ants. But anyway, what I gathered was that mixing Baking Powder and sugar and putting them in cups or saucers in places where ants are are effective enough.

And while I'm still here at home and is yet to walk to the nearest supermarket for some baking soda, I might as well try another tip given to me... which is to mix some water and liquid dish soap, put the mixture in a spray bottle. This one sounds cheap and safe enough. Can't wait to try it!

Will update this blog for my review. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Financial Literacy the Fun Way

Financial literacy is something I learned the hard way. You see, it took me so long to actually know if the change I got from the canteen of my elementary school was correct. I remember when I was in Grade 2 and 3, I pretend to count the change, but really, I had no idea if I got the right amount or not.

Now that I'm a mom, this is something I want my daughter to learn and understand early on. Sadly, financial literacy is something most schools do not teach the students. That is why I am glad that Pru-Life came up with this project called Cha-Ching.

Developed by Prudential, CHA-CHING is a programme about six band members whose exciting adventures teach them about key money concepts: Earn, Save, Spend and Donate. Kids can learn how to make money-smart choices by watching the music videos on Cartoon Network or the Cha-Ching website - which also has games, apps and at home activities for the whole family.

My husband, who works for the Department of Education was the one who introduced us to this programme, as he is in close contact with the people behind this project. I am glad my daughter is enjoying the videos, though I have yet to go through the manual with her. But for a start, she is now familiar with the characters of the said programme.

Pepper is the shopaholic who constantly spends money. Zui is sensible and knows he needs to learn about saving to achieve his race car driver dream. Charity (my daughter's fave) is generous and is always looking for ways to help out hose in need. Justin is a natural entrepreneur and has lots of great ideas to make money. Bobby doesn't plan ahead financially and often spends all of his money while Prudence is a meticulous money-saver who learnt to save from her parents.

Prudential developed Cha-Ching inresponse to a growing need for financial literary education in Asia. Research showed that only 13% of parents in Asia think their children possess good money management skills but almost all consider thse skills important. Agree!

To know more about this genius project, go to

Doc McStuffins

So these past few months my daughter is so into Doc McStuffins, Disney Jr's new cartoon character. I myself am happy about this because she learns a lot from the show and has been consistently claiming that she wants to be a doctor. Being the supportive mom that I am (ahem!), I make sure she gets to get her doze of Doc McStuffins during the weekends and I allow her to play doctor with me. In fact, today I bought another Doc McStuffins toy without her asking me for it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lauat Shampoo vs Pantene Hair Fall Defense vs Ilog Maria Shampoo

So what do the three shampoos have in common? They all promise to minimize hair fall. And I've tried all of them, given all of them a chance, and now I'm writing about what I think.

I first tried the Ilog Maria Shampoo that my husband bought for me from one of his travels. The bottle's label is very promising as it lists all the benefits of said shampoo. My verdict: It only made my hair stiff. Hair fall remained the same.

Then I learned from my yahoogroup of mommies about Lauat Shampoo, and was able to find one at SM Hypermart. It costs a little less than P200, which is expensive for its size. My verdict: It dried out my hair, it made my hair feel like rubber, but yes, it helped minimize the amount of hair fall... but only for about 3 months. I also had to use conditioner right after washing my hair with Lauat because if I don't my hair'd look really rubbery.

Pantene Hair Fall Defense, which costs around P49 for the small bottle and around P100+ for the bigger one. My verdict: Smells really good but not as effective as Lauat.

Now, I am still on a search for the shampoo that'd help me with this problem of mine. Sigh.

The Power of Music

Once again, I am reminded about something I've read before to not underestimate what kids can remember. You see, when my daughter went home a few weeks back and I learned about their upcoming unit test, I felt daunted by the number of pages she has to study in preparation for the said test. One of the subjects that stood out was Social Science, because there were just so much to memorize! I was doubtful if we'd be able to study, much more make her remember all the National Symbols.

But lo and behold, two days after, she came home singing a song with a melody I haven't heard before. I knew it was just a made-up tune by the teacher, in an effort to make memorizing for the students easier. And yes, indeed, it was effective. My 6 year old was able to memorize all the national symbols as well as the contributions made by our heroes, such as Andres Bonifacio, Gabriela Silang, Emilio Aguinaldo, Sultan Kudarat, among others.

I am thankful for the way the teacher used music to help the kids recall and enjoy the process of memorization. I am also amazed at how fast my daughter remembers and understands her lessons, making me decide to come up with tunes to make her Bible memory verses easier, too.

The Noah's Ark Project

My husband had been recently invited to attend a full day seminar on Corporate Network For Disaster Response (CNDR) which was held at The Shangri-La Hotel in Makati. I myself am interested in this and I made sure he bring home brochures so I can read up on this project, especially about The Noah's Ark Project.

Let me share to you my take-aways from the brochure he gave me:

VISION - Business sector prepared to deal with disasters affecting their company and the community at large.

MISSION - Help build the capacities of the business sector and Filipino communities to effectively prepare for and deal with disasters.

So what is the CNDR in the first place? The CNDR started in 1990 as a group coordinating the responses of the business sector for the Luzon earthquake
(sidenote: I was a freshman student of UP Baguio during this earthquake and I know how daunting and traumatic it is to be at the center of this horrific event). Today, the network has evolved from an institution merely rendering community disaster response to delivering a more comprehensive disaster risk management approach to all its members and target communities.

One of their community-based disaster risk management projects is the Noah's Ark Project, a community-based flood preparedness project initiated by the Our Lighthouse Alliance. Noah's Ark aims to find a safe spot in a high risk area and develop it into an evacuation center where people will be safe and secure, and develop capacities of vulnerable communities to prepare for flooding.

In partnership with Ayala Foundation Inc and habitat for Humanity Philippines, the project was implemented on a pilot scale during a 4-month period in Barangay Malanday, Marikina City in 2010. As of 2012, the project has been implemented in 9 barangays and 1 city

Personally, I am thankful for projects like this and for the people behind these endeavors. Natural calamities are getting more frequent and scarier these past years and to have awareness and preparedness is something we can at least do, even before disasters hit.

But then, we all need to pray more not only for our families, but for our nation. God is the ultimate source of protection and the only antidote to fear.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time In Perspective

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was reading John C. Maxwell's book, "Today Matters." The first time I saw it in Bestsellers at The Podium, I knew I wanted to have a copy of it, for it is one of those books that I know I will read and go back to and refer to over and over again. And for my birthday last year, that was one of the things in my wishlist. Guess what, that was one of the things my husband got for me as a present. Teehee.

I've been reading it on a popcorn basis, as I have been simultaneously gorging on various books, too. Multitasking as usual, that's why.

Anyway, today I went to it again and I just want to share what I read this morning. Hope this helps us in our perspective about time.

"To know the value of one year... ask the student who failed the final exam.
To know the value of one month... ask the mother of a premature baby.
To know the value of one week... ask the editor of a weekly newsmagazine.
To know the value of one day... ask the wage earner who has six children.
To know the value of one minute... ask the person who missed the plane.
To know the value of one second... ask the person who survived the accident.
To know the value of one millisecond... ask the Olympic silver medalist."

"Your time is priceless. As Raplh Waldo Emerson advised, 'Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Flood Safety Tips

I have never been scared of flooding until Ondoy hit the country around 6 years ago. After Ondoy, I have not looked at the rainy season the same way again. I used to be cool and calm during typhoons but when our house got flooded up to the second step of our stairs, paranoia hits me each time Kuya Kim (Atienza of TV Patrol) announces the weather updates. If I'm not mistaken, a couple of years after Ondoy, a habagat caused so much flooding in the country again. Thank God we didn't get flooded inside the house, but the effect in other areas was just as much, or even worse than Ondoy's.

So because of this paranoia, I believe the Filipinos have become more vigilant. Terms like LPA or Low-Pressure Area and ITCZ or Inter Tropical Convergence Zone have become almost household phrases and enough to make most of us get up and start preparing our houses, our properties and our families.

As for our household, here are the standard steps we make in making sure, or at least trying to minimize the stress and damage in case a storm and flooding come our way.

1. Stock up on groceries especially canned goods, easy to prepare meals, snacks, drinks, milk for my daughter, toiletries, bread and rice.

2. Have extra gallons of drinking water delivered.

3. Make sure candles, matches, extra batteries come in handy.

4. Charge all gadgets such as cellphones, tablets, powerbanks, lamps and rechargeable fans, laptops, pocket wifi and transistor radios.

5. Check that roofing, fences, windows and doors are secure.

6. Place dogs and other pets in dry, safe areas.

7. Know when and where to park your vehicles. In our case, we bring the car to the nearest mall. A friend parks her car somewhere uphill.

8. Secure important documents in water-proof containers such as plastic bags or waterproof bags.

9. Bring all important stuff to the second floor, if one is available.

10. You may want to prepare an emergency bag in case evacuation is necessary. Let the family know where to go in such cases and how to get there as well.

11. Most importantly, pray, pray pray. Pray that the LOrd will spare not only our families, but our village, our town, our countrymen, and the Philippines as well.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Travel Scrapbook

For my daughter's Social Studies project, they were asked to come up with a Travel Scrapbook. Eventhough they were given 2 weeks to prepare it, we found ourselves cramming over the weekend due to the power interruption that happened last week and lasted for 5 days in our subdivision. Glad we were able to beat the deadline. Here are some of the pages...

Cover Page:

The Table of Contents:

Of course, some of her growing up pics:

We decided to start with our trip to Hongkong, my daughter's first trip out of the country:

Then off to Singapore...

A few pages for our Universal Studios visit...

A couple of pages for our Malaysia trip...

And a few of our Philippine rendezvous...

The whole task of sorting out the photos and choosing which ones to print, as well as the process of pasting, embellishing and laying out the whole thing was in itself a blessing. For this project reminded me how good, gracious, and faithful the Lord is. He has caused us to afford these vacations and He has blessed us with wonderful memories. For sure, the same sweet Jesus will allow us to prosper and travel more and live long, healthy and abundant lives. To God be the Glory!