Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It Pays to Keep Your Mouth Shut


That six letter word that comes alive especially by word of mouth. I wonder why people love to babble at work, at the mall, at the restaurant,even in social media. It maybe hard to believe that some people, women and men included, do not get tired of talking about other people's lives. At times I ask myself if they really get a kick of shredding a person's life to make it more appetizing while they were having dinner or worst, breakfast, like gossip is some sort of grace before & after meal kind of thing. 

I have asked my 80 year old Mom if Dad at one time engaged in gossip among his peers when he was young. My Dad was 12 years older than my Mom and had worked a lot of odd jobs just so he could finish his schooling.She said that he might have. The reason why I asked was because my siblings and I were among the very few kids in our place who were not allowed to watch gossip shows on local TV nor peep through our windows when there were fights on our streets especially if it involved a family washing their dirty linen in public. My Dad discouraged us not to engage in gossip and that included our Mom. In fact it was one of the things he asked from her to avoid before they got married. The other thing was gambling. He said that gambling and gossip comes hand in hand most of the time and that a simple story can become too colorful once it has been transferred and spread from one mouth to another.

Just like a virus. It can become epidemic before you even know it.

But no matter how viral or contagious gossip can be, a lot of people still find their day incomplete without it. To them, life is boring without a little bit of back stabbing. It adds spice to the conversation especially  if relished with sarcasm and envy. Top it with laughter then every thing about you is free lunch. From your unpainted toe nails to your favorite unscented perfume. Mind you whether you keep it low or dress loudly, you are not excused.  


Worst, even if you keep your mouth shut and chose not to engage in gossip, you find yourself the menu for the next day.

Yes. You and everything about you.


Because people do not like it if you do not engage in gossip. They find you off, weird and worst intimidating.

Yes. Silence can be intimidating. Probably because such gossip mongers feel that you will not engage in a conversation unless it is sensible and worth it. 

But is that too much of a good thing?

On the contrary, it can be a bad thing because being silent means keeping your distance from loud mouths especially if they are interested to know more about you. You know, just basic information like what did you have for dinner, what type of movies you and your husband enjoy watching, what sexual positions you prefer to the point of asking when was the last time you had sex.

Yup that sort of thing.

At times I do not know anymore.

Nowadays, uncensored conversation is very much the fad. Sadly some yuppies and mature adults even blame old age for people who do not join the wagon of gossip mongers. Privacy has become costly and at times evasive even in social media. And when you have nothing to contribute in the conversation, you become the target for the next session just because you chose to keep your mouth shut.

I hope I am wrong but what if I am not?

So what do you think. Does it really pay to keep your mouth shut?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dear Pope Francis

I never thought that one day I would have the courage to write a letter to the Holy Father, not even in my wildest dreams. I maybe nearing 47 years old but life has a strange way of touching one's dormant practice of faith, making you believe that there is still hope in this ever changing and crazy world.

You see the reason why I took the chance of writing you is because my 17 year old son chose to become a volunteer as a crowd control on your last mass at Quirino Grandstand here in Manila.I was kind of hesitant because I know that the university where he goes to will not be liable for any unexpected negative incident that may happen during the event. Being young and carefree, my son may not be fully aware of this so I fully explained to him of the consequences of his decision. We live roughly 15 kilometers away from Quirino Grandstand and with the millions of people who want to see you and hear your Mass for the last time in the country, the means to get there will definitely not be walk in the park. However you do not get the chance of serving the country as a crowd control together with other volunteers just to make sure the Papal visit remain as peaceful as it has always been each and every time the Holy Father visits the country.

I am a Mom of seven, all of them teens and three having special needs. They used to be kids but now most of them are kids at heart which is a good thing. Positivism sure is a great help in raising kids nowadays. With all this rise in technology, everything happens so fast and a lot of people seem to have forgotten to appreciate the little things. Before it was enough that you eat three times a day, have a home or a place to stay yet still  find the time to connect and smell the flowers and take care of the environment.Nowadays almost everybody is in a hurry and you have no choice but to adapt. I am saying this because time flew so fast. The last time we had a Papal visit was in 1995, the year when my third daughter was born. I did not know that after 19 years the Holy Father would visit the country again where my son,now in college was asked to volunteer on his last day of stay. And through the years a lot of things had happened that changed how I see religion and practiced my faith.

I used to be a devout and practicing Catholic.I heard Mass, prayed the Novena, attended pilgrimages, processions and sung in the choir. I come from a family of gifted musicians and singers who served and sang during Masses.However when I started having kids, I rarely had the time to hear Mass especially when I decided to work in the evenings in the call center industry. I tried. However I ended up snoring or falling asleep which I find insulting each time I was in church. And so I did the next best thing which was to pray. Everywhere. At any given point or day. Wherever or whatever I am doing. Before going to work and on my way home, when I am in doubt, worried and helpless and sometimes before I start my day. All my kids are aware that I am no longer a practicing Catholic but I always remind them to always pray. When they go to school and while on their way home especially during bad weather, to pray for one another and hope that things will become better.

A colleague of mine asked the other day if I am religious. I told her that I used to but a lot of things have changed through the years. Information has a way of opening our eyes making us aware that nothing is perfect even the Catholic Church. I added that personal pain and loss has a way of teaching you that there are some people who will never change despite how many Masses they have heard  or prayers they have uttered in this lifetime. My kids know all this too well because there was a tragic point in our lives when we lost our home which was followed by the unexpected death of my brother. They maybe connected or not but what hurts the most was the pain was caused by a blood relative and his children who had been backstabbing us from the time my parents got married yet these people go to church, hear Masses, prayed the Novenas and proclaimed their faith without any tinge of regret of what they have caused. It would have been easier to wallow in anger and hate but my Mom told me that I was not raised to have a cold blooded heart. It maybe hard at first but the fact remains that time will heal all wounds. I am not going to admit that it did. It is a long process and deciding to veer away from this pretentious relatives of mine helped a lot. Prayers and realizing that people do not change in the course of one lifetime also helped a lot in that very evasive thing called forgiveness.
It is almost half past midnight, Manila time. Thirty minutes from now, my son will be leaving. He and his schoolmates are expected to be at the University at 2am to prepare for the big day. Before today, I told my son stories of how I used to be a devout Catholic and what made that change through the years. I told him that religion and faith are very personal things and it is not right to judge others because they do it differently. I also asked him to pass this letter if possible to any Swiss Guard if in case you get to roam the Grandstand as he told me they will be stationed near where the Mass will be heard together with other students of different Universities, Colleges and volunteers who wanted to share their time and service for the Papal visit.

See you later Son.

Bless all of my children. Their names are Sam,Kyle,Kookie, Selena, Scott, Sidney and Red. They signify the seven colors of the rainbow which everybody long to look for after the  storm. They are the ones who keep me going and helped me realize that this world can be a better place if seen in the eyes of a child. Bless my 80 year old Mom who has always been a strong source of inspiration and foundation of faith and my reclusive husband who sees faith differently but still believes in the common good of mankind. Do include the other members of my family and relatives especially those who have cause me so much pain. As for the many people that I have met whose lives and stories had touched me in so may ways especially those that I have never seen for many years.

Continue to bless our country,its leaders especially the common people.Just like the Catholic Church, our government system is filled with corruption and treachery rooted from the early days where the victims have always been its people who are less fortunate. Not every one of us are aware of our rights and at times we just let things be and raise our hearts to the Heavens because being pro active on certain things often times take years to get heard of and justified.

 I hope that you get to read my letter. I know you receive tons of letters everyday and sometimes I wonder how you get to unselfishly pray for all of us. I also realized that writing this letter and letting my son become a volunteer and serve for more than 12 hours despite warnings of rains during the event that faith, just like the Catholic Church is like having  an imperfect father or mother  yet who will always be there to accept you each and every time you chose to return back home.

Thank you for visiting us and for everything that you do.


Sarah Mallari Bucu

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Joys and Benefits of Breastfeeding

Before anyone assume that I maybe pregnant or plans on breastfeeding very soon, allow me to correct those wrong assumptions (if any) that first, I am not pregnant and second, have no plans of breastfeeding again. Heavens, after seven kids who have an endless appetite for food,laughter, feel good movies and with attitude that give me all sorts of headaches, I believe I have done my contribution well enough to say "NO."

So why did I choose to write about the joys of breastfeeding and its benefits then? Simply because out of my seven kids, five have been breastfed and such experience brought a lot of good memories for me and my children. Why only five and not all of them ? Because I did not know how to do it right with my eldest daughter. As for my fifth child who happened to be a boy, I often wondered if he was a lost descendant of Count Dracula. I would rather not write about the graphic details on how he breastfed but I was afraid that time that I will not be able endure the pain so I chose to bottle fed him early. As for the other five, it was like a walk in the park when I breastfed them  especially with my youngest son who did not give me any problems at all,until he started walking that is.


 So why did I choose to breastfeed?

At the time I had my children, I was unemployed. Thus it was very practical to breastfed not only to save on money but because it was very convenient especially during the baby's nap time and in the evenings when you put him to sleep. The mere fact that yo do not have to get up and mix the formula was a great help especially if you do not have any hired help. Also, breastfeeding was such a great way to bond with your child. You do not only get to look at your baby's beautiful face but you could comb his hair, clean his ear, cut his fingernails all in ease while breastfeeding at the same time. You could even talk or sing to him as well. But the most important thing is to you get to catch up on some sleep especially during the evenings when you needed rest most of all.

There might be first time Moms who have difficulty on breastfeeding their babies which was to be expected. Before any mother can breastfed, preparations need to be made so that her milk will flow naturally. Allow me to share some tips handed  down by my own Mom who also had breastfed my siblings and I for two years at least.

First, have time to massage your breasts especially on the last trimester of your pregnancy. Though some women already lactate while they were still pregnant, others need time for their milk to flow. Massaging your breasts and cleaning your nipples with warm water will help a lot to open the ducts so milk can flow easily.

Second, eat lots of food rich in iron. Malungay or Moringa leaves  and "dahon ng sili"  are a great source of iron. You can put Malungay leaves especially in " chicken or fish tinola." Food like "sinigang"  "nilaga," "tulya," or any variety of soup  will surely increase the flow of breast milk. And if you find such food choices a bit fancy for the budget, you can be creative. You can try "sinigang na salmon,"(if you have canned salmon) or "mongo." Even drinking milk or hot chocolate will help increase your supply of breast milk. Now if you are one person who do not eat those kind of food then it is about time you learn how, that is if you really want to breastfeed and save a lot of money.



Third, breastfeed your baby from day one. If you feel that your milk is not enough to satisfy your baby, then do not loose hope easily and be tempted to bottle feed him. Be patient not just to your newborn but to yourself as well. The more you breastfeed your baby, the easier for the milk to flow easily.

Fourth, if you do not have a maid or a baby sitter and your baby is wailing to be breastfed, take a few minutes to rest if you were in the middle of finishing a chore or you just arrived from work. This is to prevent your baby from "digesting the milk coupled with stress,' which is not good because it will just be wasted. You might be surprised that your baby will not be able to digest it properly and will just poo the breast milk that he got from feeding while you were tired or stressed out. The same thing if you were emotional and were thinking unhappy thoughts while breast feeding. Thus it is advisable to breastfeed while you are relax and full of positivity which not only helps the flow of milk easier but your baby's physical and his emotional well being as well.

Fifth, if you have been breastfeeding exclusively and decides to mix feed your baby, do it gradually so your baby can adjust as well. You can even talk to him and explain the reason why. That's what I did to my children and even if they were already mix fed, I made sure that breastfeeding was still enjoyable for both of us.

These are just some of the tips that one may find helpful especially if they were having second thoughts about breastfeeding. Personally, I really do not agree when some mothers say that their babies do not like their milk. Either they gave in easily or just decided to bottle fed their babies early. Generally, all mothers have the capacity to produce milk and breastfeed. Though breastfeeding is a choice, it really does not matter if you decide to do it exclusively for as long as you want to, mix feed early or bottle feed your baby from day one. As long as every Mom is fully aware of every choice that one makes and accepts the consequences after that, then that will just be okay.

So for all the Moms who have chosen to breastfeed your children, let them know your stories once they are old enough to understand. It will may just be one of the most treasured memories that you will look back and hopefully learn from it all.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Win Php25,000 Worth of Appliances and more for Mom

When was the last time we have thanked our own mothers ? Do we do it often by simply saying the words or do we let our actions speak instead ? Do we buy her gifts, treat her out for dinner, for an out of town trip or just give her the money so she can decide on what to spend with it ?

When I was a kid, I was closer to my Dad than with my Mom perhaps because she easily gets irritated on small things especially when she was about to go to work. There were even years that a gap developed between the two of us and I would prefer not to be around her because it seemed nothing that I did was right. I started to build walls and this continued until I had kids and chose to stay at home to take care of them. Having relatives who were good in creating stories and fights among families including ours made me decide to leave my Mom and our home.The petty arguments and senseless fights became a cycle of pain that started to eat me and affect my kids so I decided to live with my in laws for the mean time. Besides, since my mother in law stayed at home and was not employed, I felt that she would understand me better because she knew what I was going thru.Other than that, she loved telling stories and laughed easily including the simplest things which helped lighten even the most boring days. 

It was when my mother in law started to open up  that we became close. Her honesty, humility and wisdom about her marriage and life made me admire her strength and helped me understand her more. Sadly, it was when I started to accept my mother in law that made me question my relationship with my own mother. Since I did not want to bring up my kids with a heavy heart and let them see that I could not even get along with their own grandmother, I decided to go back home. 

It took years for me to understand and accept my Mom for what she is. Coupled with prayers, the arguments and fights had lessened and in turned had been replaced by an open and warm mother and daughter relationship that became stronger through the years.

It had been months since I have been home and I miss my Mom terribly. Every week, we burn the lines each time we talk over the phone. We never run out of stories and both laugh in between even at the most mundane things. Sometimes I let my kids call her and update her about their studies. I often tell them that we are  blessed and lucky that we still have our Nanay in our lives. 

When I read Vince Golangco's post  at about a contest for Moms sponsored by, I did not think twice of writing about it so I can share it to others. Here are the mechanics :

*   All you have to do is  join here and refer two friends to this Moms Awesome Contest.

*  There will be 12 weekly Entry Level and three monthly Grand Prize winners! All prizes are right up Mom's alley with Entry-Level prizes of Php5,000 worth of groceries and Grand Prizes of Php25,000  worth of kitchen appliances.

*  You also have the chance of winning $100 US Dollars in cash if you share this info and           links  by writing a post on your blog which double your chances of winning. Now here is the link where you can register and be one of the ten lucky bloggers who can win $100 US Dollars in cash .

Don't you think that's grand ?

Of course it is. 

It is never too late to say,"Thank You" to our Moms. So what are you waiting for ? Come and join this awesome contest which ends on October 4, 2014. Hurry ! 

For more information,please visit You can also check their facebook and twitter pages for updates.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How To Celebrate Your Birthday in 30 days at the Vikings : Luxury-Buffet Restaurant

Want to celebrate your birthdays not just once on your birthday month for free ? 

I am not kidding though it may be hard to believe but you can now enjoy a free lunch and dinner on your birthday or any day of your birthday month at Vikings : Luxury-Buffet Restaurant.

Wanna know how it works ? 

Of course you do. So brace yourself and here are the guidelines for this sumptuous promo.

* Birthday celebrants of all ages can avail this promo on their birthday itself or any days of their birthday months.

* Celebrants can eat for free ON THE DAY of their birthday on both lunch and dinner as long as accompanied by ONE FULL PAYING ADULT. By definition a FULL PAYING ADULT(s) are adult guests who will be paying full rate without any discount. 

*Celebrants can eat for free for ONE MONTH on both lunch and dinner per day as long as it is the month within his or her birthday accompanied by FOUR FULL PAYING ADULTS.

* The celebrants must bring ORIGINAL and VALID government issued picture ID with the birthdate imprinted on it. Acceptable IDs include SSS, NBI, Driver's License, Pag IBIG, PRC, Barangay ID,Unified IDs, Police Clearance and Passport. Foreign IDs are also acceptable. In the case that the celebrant has no government issued picture ID, a birth certificate copy supported by any valid government picture ID of the paying adult will be accepted.

*This promo can't be used with other current and ongoing promotions and discounts of the participating Vikings: Luxury Buffet Restaurant.

* Gift certificates to avail of this promo is not honored.

* This promo is available across all branches. Vikings: Luxury-Buffet Restaurant, Vikings SM Megamall, Vikings SM Lanang Davao, Vikings (SM Marikina): A Feast from the Sea, Vikings SM North Edsa.

* This promo is valid until December 31, 2014.

There you have it guys. So you have until the rest of the year to plan ahead for your birthdays. Enjoy and celebrate not just one but 30 days of free lunch and dinner only at Vikings: Luxury Buffet Restaurant .

For more updates please head on to their website at or visit their facebook or twitter pages for upcoming giveaways and promos.