Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Milestone

Last Friday, my three kids who have special needs went out on a date at McDonalds together with their eldest sister Sam to watch over them. They just literally walked to get there which had helped in calming them down as Sam had noticed each time youngest brother Red bug her to go out for a walk. On their way to McDonalds, Sam had instructed seventeen year old Kookie, who is now a freshman to order their food. She made her remember what meal needs to be ordered which was not that much (Their budget was just P200 or approximately $5.00 US dollars). Kookie slipped once when she was trying to recall what needs to be said, still Sam was confident that her sister will be able to do it. Besides it was Kookie's persons with disability id that will be used and her signature needed so they could have their meal at a discounted rate. Sam also felt that it was about time Kookie learned to do this on her own.

(Kookie, Red and Sidney enjoying their meal at McDonalds)

Their short order consisted of 4 McFloats and a couple of French Fries which only cost approximately P150 all because of the discount. It was just a simple date with a very basic meal, perhaps not even enough for my kids ever growing appetite. But it was another milestone for my learning disabled Kookie and in our lives as well, a sign that trust coupled with patience and love bring out the best in our children, wether they have special disabilities or none at all. Another feat deserved to be shared, remembered and write about knowing that this will just be one of the many milestones my children are about to discover and achieve in their pursuit for acceptance and independence.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Zumba All The Way

I had written, not once how I now usually start my weekends early with brisk walking and joining the taebo/aerobics class at Bonifacio Global City. Coming from an industry where it takes too much to wake up early in the morning since we spend our evenings working, most of my colleagues not only noticed but had seen how serious I am on my journey through fitness. However the weather had not really been cooperative these past days so I just had to accept I will be missing 2 days worth of exercise. So last night, I decided not to set my alarm since I will just be spending indoors the whole day.

Surprisingly I woke up at 4:30 am. It seemed my body had gotten used to waking this early during Sundays. I looked outside the window, hoping to see some stars but there appeared to be gloomy skies instead. Still I took a light breakfast consisting of a cup of cereal and two slices of wheat bread. I longingly looked at my running shoes hoping I could wear them that day until I heard the gushing of wind accompanied by light rains, sign that I have no choice but really stay home this time.That was when I turn on the computer and directly searched the word "Zumba" at

The Zumba is a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez way back 1990's. Not known to many, Beto had created this widely renowned dance fitness by accident when he forgot the tapes for his traditional aerobics music on his way to teach a fitness class. Though what's inside his backpack were tapes of salsa and merengue, music that he grew up with as he was a native of Cali, Colombia, Beto spontaneously created his own dance-fitness routine where it focused on letting the music move you instead of counting repetitions just like in any aerobics class. Surprisingly, Beto's class became energized even smiling, proof that they loved what they were doing. And on that day a new fitness revolution was born - the Zumba Fitness Party.

The Zumba icon originally designed by Alberto "Beto" Perez

Zumba sessions typically lasts for an hour and the exercises include music with fast and slow tempos as well as resistance training. The music comes from cumbia, salsa,merengue, flamenco, chacha, samba, reggaeton, belly dancing, bhangra, hiphop music, axe music and tango. There are also types and classes for different ages and exertion.

1. Zumba Gold
   This targets the elderly generation (good thing I became interested early and not 14 years later) and it specifically designed to the needs of the elderly which also includes the same kind of music. That also gives one an idea how Zumba can encourage our mothers or fathers to join. One might even be surprised how quick they learn once they hear their favorite tango and chacha music.

2. Zumba Toning
    This are for people who do their workouts with toning sticks as this will target the abs,thighs,arms and other areas.

3. Aqua Zumba
    This is Zumba at its finest as it is done in a swimming pool.

4. Zumba in the circuit
    This is dancing combined with circuit training.

Since Zumba is low impact , it is safe for all ages and some of the classes are specifically aimed at elderly people, helping them build strength, improve motion and posture.

As I was doing my reading I also stumbled upon a video with no less than Beto  together with other fitness instructors doing the Zumba. While watching the first routine, it suddenly became familiar. I realized then that I had danced the same thing at a free Zumba class held last month at Convergys.

Instantly I grabbed my rubber shoes, put on the headset making sure not to bother those who were still asleep. And mind you I did not notice that almost two hours had passed as I followed, sweat, even cursed when I can't follow the steps immediately and the video lapsed. I even thought that I did not perspire much. Until I took off my shirt to shower and found that most of it was wet with sweat.

Typically a Zumba session burns between 500 to 1000 calories. Really? No sweat then. I think I just found another way to get fit even on a rainy day.

Below is the video where the first part of the routine was the exact dance I had done during a free Zumba class sponsored by our company. The man with the awesome abs is no other than Alberto "Beto" Perez. Feel free to join him  and you will realize it will be worth it. 

Zumba Fitness Live Workout

(Image credits to Zumba knowledge from and for references)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Be Fearless, Be Proud

I just created an account at Pinterest and I think I will be a constant visitor and follower from now on. There are a lot of awesome pictures, quotations either from famous people or anonymous ones. This early I already had some pins that are worth sharing and one of them is this.

I do not know who wrote this but it exactly describes what I have been through and the dreams I still want to achieve, may they be unrealistic or nearly impossible. The minute I read this I immediately chose and re pin it, inspiring me even to write a short post. It made me look back on that old movie "Hook" where Peter Pan played by Robin Williams, had grown old in the real world and whose  children were kidnapped by Captain Hook played by Dustin Hoffman. Good thing his friend Wendy, played by Maggie Smith now his mother in law helped him remember who he was and ever loyal  fairy, Tinkerbell played by Julia Roberts guided him back to Neverland so he can rescue his two kids. Thing was Peter Pan had long forgotten how to fly. The demands of the real world and the overwhelming responsibilities of parenting made it hard for him to remember. It was only when he started learning how to fly again and about to fall that he finally recalled everything especially when his  Neverland friends shouted "Do not forget that happy thought !"

I sometimes loose faith on things I still want to achieve because most of them are near impossible, even unrealistic. At times I feel time is my enemy, something that all of us do not have any control. Still, I keep hanging on to those dreams, those happy thoughts. I write about them, tell my kids and friends about it, never letting go. Time maybe running short but faith has a way of turning the impossible into a reality.

Besides I may find all of them coming true sooner than I expected.


(I would like to thank Rochelle who hosted this week's BC Bloggers Meme. Do have the time to visit her at My Not So Secret Diary here )

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Award Like No Other

When I was new to blogging, I came across some blogs that were awarded the Liebster Award. Though I have learned that one blogger should be nominated  to get one, I told myself then it would still be cool to be recognized and validated by other bloggers as well.

Since then a lot of things happened. I joined communities, contests, submitted articles, some  eventually getting published. I started to have friends and followers. Suddenly,the blogging world no longer appeared strange. It became a place where information was shared and ordinary people whose extraordinary stories became sources of inspiration, an abode where I can just be my true self. It had only been less than a year and I already had forgotten about that particular award with a foreign name until a blogger named Jane Ridgewood of nominated me for it. You can read Jane's post about my nomination here.I could not help but smile and be thankful to Jane who chose me among the many bloggers in this blogging world. She finally made my wish come true.

The Liebster Award recognizes new and upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (or friends) on their contribution to the blogging world. Liebster is a German word whose meanings include kindest, dearest,favorite,valued,welcome.There maybe a lot of wonderful things associated with the word Liebster and I could add just one more to it - appreciated,  as I will always remember this German word and the appreciation that went along with it.

In order to accept this award, one must abide the following rules. And they are as follows :

The Rules:
01)  Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
02)  Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.
03)  Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
04)  Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.
05)  Absolutely NO tags back. Remember to ONLY tag bloggers with less than 200 followers.

So, here are the eleven (and not so ordinary things) about me.

1.When I am infront of the computer, I use the mouse with my left hand. I am not a leftie but my brother and three of my kids are. Perhaps it runs in the family as I also have cousins and nephews who are lefties as well.

2. I am very quick to learn new tunes and dance steps. I come from a musically gifted family where my uncles, including my dad learned to play at least three musical instruments by self study. Most of them, including my aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces can sing as well.

3. My dad used to act in the Zarzuela, a Spanish term equivalent to a musical stage theater and three of the cast were historical figures in the Philippines. They were the Dela Rosa brothers, Rogelio and Jaime who became  icons of the  Philippine Movie Industry  and Diosdado Macapagal, the poor boy from Lubao, who eventually became one of the Presidents of the Philippines.

4. I have an uncle who was awarded the Purple Heart of Valor as he was killed in action during World War II. His name was Romeo Guerrero, husband to my aunt, Africa Mallari. Their marriage only lasted for a few years, cut short by uncle's passing. They had two kids but their love lasted many decades later as my aunt never remarried after that.

5. I love to laugh my heart out. It does not really bother me even though a lot of people noticed that. I also do not join the laughter when I don't  find a funny thing in what was just shared or said. Laughter should be free, not to be analyzed if it is done properly or not.

 6. I love stories about kids and kid stuff. I enjoy watching these kind of movies together with my kids. For me it is something that I will not get tired of doing.

7. I love looking pictures about food. Hmm, that thought suddenly made me hungry.

8. I am starting to get the habit of starting my weekends early with brisk walking and joining the aero class at the park. It is just a great way to start one's day.

9. I have been reading as early as I can remember. There was even a time that I read more than I studied my lessons during my freshman years.

10. I am a T.V. addict. I have to admit that I had learned a lot watching good and informative shows, lessons which I had not learned inside the classroom.

11. The coolest thing that I had recently was winning an  Apple ipad 2 from an online magazine.

And now here the answers to Jane's eleven questions 

01: What is your favorite scent? 
I am not really into perfume or fragrances. But I do love the scent of clean clothes, babies and after I just bathed my kids. I also love the smell of my mom's cooking. It reminds me of my childhood and all the happy memories spent at our old home. 

02: What is your favorite season?
Christmas will always be my most favorite part of the year. The Christmas spirit, the songs and Yuletide cheers which you just want to spread to every one, wether you know them or not.

03: Where is your favorite vacation spot?
If my budget permits, Tagaytay would be a practical vacation spot. Just near Manila and accessible to go to. Abroad I would choose CA or NY because I also have relatives there. 

04: Who is your favorite band/artist?
I love the songs of Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Michelle Legrand,Henry Mancini and Sergio Mendez. Songs of Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Patti Austin and James Ingram are also some of my favorite artists of all time.

05: What is your earliest memory?
This was a hard one. One of my earliest memories was when I would count the "Curly Tops" chocolate candies inside the box bought by my dad. Same thing with MnM's chocolate candies. Every time I opened one, it seems that my dad is still there watching me eat them, and that brings back a lot of good memories.

06: When did you start blogging?
I started blogging November of 2011. I was encouraged by a blogger friend who I met in a game show audition. That was also the last time I saw her.

07: What is your favorite T.V. show?
I love watching NCIS and the CSI Series. They are fast paced, filled with action with drama on the side.

08: What genre do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy reading  legal/action/suspense thriller. I am not into romance that much. I also enjoyed reading all Harry Potter Books.

09: Would you ever (or do you) run more than one blog?
If I have more time. I might run another blog about fitness and health. 

10: What is your favorite animal? Why?
I love cats and dogs. For me they are the safest pets and had grown accustomed to having them around most of my life.

11: What are you most thankful for in life?
I am thankful for a lot of things. My family, friends, work, writing, good health. I try to find time to be thankful very early in the morning  or even at the most unexpected places.

I hope you are still with me on this one because now comes the exiting part. (drumroll please )

I now give the list of my nominated bloggers who I chose to hand this prestigious award. 

1.                                        2.
3.                              4.
5.                      6. 
7.                                         8.
9.                        10 

Finally here are the eleven questions for the lucky bloggers I have chosen for this award.

1. What do you love most about blogging ?
2. What  was the first song or tune that you sang ?
3. What was the first gift  that you had ever received ?
4. What is one historical story in your family that you are most proud of?
5. When did you first learn to go home on your own?
6. When did you first learn to live on your own ?
7. Who is your favorite author and why?
8. What is (are) your favorite  movie(s) that touched on  history or based on real life events ?
9. What do you do when you experience writer's block?
10. What book or story that you will never get tired of reading?
11. What difficult decision had you done in your life that was worth it?

I will be looking forward to read all of  your posts. And by the way, let me end this by saying, "Congratulations to all of you! "