Friday, March 22, 2013

Learning From Each Others' Stories

They all say that parenting is the most difficult job in the world. There are no degrees nor schools meant to prepare anybody especially one who took the plunge in parenting accidentally. I wonder how the world and our children would turn out if things would have been different. With the ever changing demands of parenting and childcare, parents especially mothers turn to books, media , their families and friends for support hoping that they are doing the right thing.

Through the years I have learned that motherhood is a continued learning process. As parenting issues grow and become complicated in proportion to my kids' age and development I have to admit there were days that I have to rely on my gut feel and firm sense of values handed down by my parents but have been modified through the course of time in handling each and one of them. From early symptoms of viral infections to the most heated argument with a daughter who insists on working her butt out to earn, I sometimes feel I need to learn more to cope up. Though I admit that at times I am tempted to give in still the instincts of motherhood helped me to hang on at the end of the day.

They all say that mothers know best.That perception maybe a little bit frightening because of the high expectations that people think mothers should know all the answers to the questions when in fact we honestly don't. The knowledge in handling our families come from the never  ending hits and misses that we learn from everyday experiences that oftentimes make us forget ourselves, thinking that we were born only to give. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why not only our families put us on invisible pedestals for every hurdle that we win and every accomplishment we achieve no matter how big or small it is.

So from drinking only safe distilled water to having their kids live life to the fullest, I salute all parents especially moms who only long to give what is best for their families. And since each mom has a story to tell and we learn from each other stories, you may want to share yours by joining Smart Parenting Magazines's Moms Know Best , "The Wilkins Distilled Water Writing Contest."

The mechanics are easy :

* In 400 words or less, write about how you give your family your utmost love and care. You may include the challenges you faced, the lengths you've gone to or the sacrifices and difficult choices you needed to make. You can choose to write your own story in English, Tagalog or even Tag-lish.Then submit your story here. *

* This contest is open only to mothers from  the Philippines aged 18 years old and above. *

The prizes :

* Writers of the five (5) selected stories for publication in magazine will each receive Php 5,000 pesos in cash and Php 5,000 pesos worth of gift certificates for Wilkins products. *

* One grand winner will have her story turned into a short film AND will receive Php 10,000 pesos in cash and Php 5,000 pesos worth of gift certificates for Wilkins products.*

So what mother would not want to win these great prizes ? I for sure would not think twice of joining  and that was exactly what I did. Besides, I might even learn a thing or two , even get inspired from my fellow moms too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Earning Creatively By Recycling

Summer has always been a great time for spending vacations especially for kids but for parents, that would also mean an endless creative way of having them busy and doing something worthwhile. In my family of seven minions, that does not only include spending time with their one and only grandma but pigging out on whatever their restless appetites can think of. Though my kids have never been picky eaters, at times I wonder if that was a good thing as there were days I am almost tempted to have them eat twigs and leaves to appease their never ending crave for food. Financially we are not well off and though my kids had learned the value of money early, I also have learned that recycling had taught me more than the financial aspect of it.

My mom had always kept things for sentimental reasons and since my kids were very aware of that I told them that there were a lot of these at home that have to be discarded and some can even be sold at a junk shop. They had been taught in school that old bottles, newspapers, magazines or scrap metal can be recycled and sold. They also learned that it was not easy to earn money. So I told them to do a scavenger hunt of the things their grandma kept but had become trash trough the years due to lack of use. They went to check on her very old pocketbooks that she no longer read, where the pages had been soiled and appliances that will cost a hefty amount if one chose to have them fixed still. Funny thing was they got to bond while looking for ways to have them sold at a junk shop without my mom knowing it. They waited for that day when their grandma visited my brother's family in the city so they could sell their stuff at the junk shop. And that was the just the start of their scavenging and learning activities.

From copper wires, bottles, cans, plastics from chairs, cabinets, basins and pails no longer of use, even their old test papers and bond papers, unused hand me down textbooks from their cousins, they all sold. What more the junk shop's owner told them to come back anytime so they could earn more.When they told me about this, I could not help but admire the wisdom they have learned. Though their earnings where not that much, what touched me more as a mother was the thought that they had fun doing it based on what they had shared. I may have suggested the idea but their initiative and interest to learn made me realize that any task given, no matter how boring and challenging at first could turn out to be enjoyable in the end. In a way they have creatively managed to spend their time and get to bond with each other as well.

There may still be more boring summers to come but I know my kids will always find ways in dealing them creatively. Besides it really would not hurt to recycle, earn and  learn from it all.

(This post first appeared at Bizcovering  via

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

McDonald's National Breakfast Day

I grew up in a family where breakfast was the most important meal of the day, where skipping meals were not allowed and leaving lots of left overs was a sin. My siblings and I were taught that every grain of rice that was left on one's plate, worst that went out of one's plate was a blessing put to waste. That was how much we value food and every meal that we took especially if there was not really much to share.

Through the years I have told this short story to my kids many times for them to realize that  millions of people around the world experience hunger not sparing anybody to the point of causing them their deaths. Thus I tell them that it is important that no food gets wasted and thrown out of the garbage. And when things cannot be avoided and some food gets rotten, I immediately ask the Heavens for forgiveness and the discernment that I should try harder  not to repeat that same mistake again. 

When I saw the current ad at Churp Churp Philippines , I immediately got interested, shared it on my facebook wall and tweeted it without having second thoughts. I also decided to write a post about it hoping that people would know the reason behind the said event. I am referring to McDonald's National Breakfast Day where 34 markets across 16 timezones in 5000 restaurants all over Middle East, South Africa, South Africa including the Philippines will have the first and biggest breakfast activation this coming March 18. 2013.

On the said event 1000 McMuffins will be given in all McDonald's stores open for breakfast from 5am to 9am only. These McMuffins will be given away for free on a first-come-first-served basis and can be claimed on all McDonald's stores wether dine in, take out or drive thru. This Egg McMuffin is made from a freshly cracked Grade A egg, lean Canadian bacon and melty 100% American cheese in between warm perfectly toasted English muffins.

So to start one's day with a positive note, always have time to eat your breakfast. In my case I might even drop by to the nearest McDonald's store in our place this coming Monday and get the chance to take out Mr. Egg McMuffin while walking  my home.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just A Few Steps Away

Hello Nuffnanger!

We are pleased to announce that you have won four (4) tickets to the special movie screening of OZ The Great & Powerful from our movie screening blogger contest brought to you by Nokia, Abenson and NuffnangPH. You had participated in the contest last February and you were one of winners of this blogger contest!


The first time I got an email from Nuffnang Philippines about the upcoming Disney movie "Oz The Great and Powerful " promo sponsored in cooperation with Nokia and Abenson, I immediately joined  not just because of the free movie tickets but the chance to win either a Nokia Lumia 620 or a Nokia Lumia 820. Despite my hectic schedule I asked the help of my daughter to visit the nearest Abenson store in Glorietta 1 which was part of the rules to join and get a chance for the raffle entry. And the rest was they all say was history. I was able to submit my post before the said deadline.When Nuffnang extended the submission dates I knew for a fact that I will be included among the winners. And I was right. Thus when I got the email saying that I will be one of those lucky bloggers to grace such occasion, I instantly told my two elder daughters who became exited saying that they will not let this great chance to pass.

It will not be long when I will hear the Nokia Lumia winner for this event, wishing and hoping it will be me .

Together with Nokia and Abenson, thank you Nuffnang Philippines for this great opportunity.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Housekeeping Family Fun Run 2013

The school year is about to end  less than two weeks from today. I could not wait for it to come because that would mean my pockets and sanity get to have some rest from the daily demands of school and its accompanied expenses. (or so I thought). So on March 1st I went to SM MoA and registered for the Good Housekeeping Family Fun Run.

Though I came a little bit early than the organizers at Toby's Sports, Ms. Dotie Bulan, who was a Senior Marketing Associate for Marketing Events for Summit Media was kind enough to call me back after she had learned I have talked to the assistant manager on which fun run I was interested to join. I also found out that I was the first to register at Toby's MoA on that day on the said fun run. Not bad for somebody who intentionally shortened her sleep just so she does not run out of singlets that would at least fit nicely during the run. Besides it only goes to show how my body and mind yearns to join another fun after putting it on hold for almost a year.

Since the fun run encourages to have all the family members to join, the organizers made sure that the activities were meant for the whole family as well. Some of these activities include a Zumba and warm up exercise from Fitness First , fun face routes with inflatable obstacles for kids and simple hurdles for doggies, appearances by your kids' favorite Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon characters and a Minute-To-Win-It events for kids powered by K-Zone. There will be lots of food stalls to choose from plus a program hosted by Chico and Delamar of RX93 for the whole family to enjoy.

So what are you waiting for ? Come register the whole family including your dog and get to spend a whole day of fitness and fun at the Good Housekeeping Fun Run. 

See you there !

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Food in a Jar

When I had my first kid I really did not know what to do. Learning was such a struggle and there were days that tears of frustration and helplessness almost ate my whole being. Looking it all back sometimes I could not help but smile and wonder how I was able to pull it through.

Now when I see young children in school uniforms, street kids laughing, playing  without a care in the word and even baby clothes and food, I remember my own children when they were young and how they are all grown up now. Time indeed flies so fast.

These past days one baby product always make me stop and smile as seeing it again made me look back how my eldest daughter got a taste of her first food. I am referring to Gerber First Food. Pureed in smooth texture and stored in cute little jars, Gerber First Food come in either fruit or vegetable variant making it suitable for your baby's first taste of eating experience. Made with fresh ingredients and without any preservatives, Gerber Food uses Airlock Technology to keep that freshness in taste and prevent contaminants.

How could one ever forget that signature "pop" each time a Gerber jar is opened proof that its contents were served with just pure freshness and safeness ? It was like music to my then baby Sam's ears announcing it was time for her to eat . Not only that sound remained but its history of serving safe and yummy first food any baby and parent would always remember through the years.

If your interested to get free Gerber samples for your babies first food please visit their virtual farm and take a tour at

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Heaven Sent Neighbor

I am not really a very accommodating neighbor. With the demands of my work and life as a single parent, I hardly have the time to have some chit chat with my neighbors. I could be polite but to a certain degree. Sad to say but lack of sleep and a stressful working environment can really drive  me off the wall when combined by my demanding kids and financial problems.

My kids and I had been renting a small room  where it was accessible to their school and to my work. We had been living there for more than three years and had not much friends due to the nature of my job. But that all had changed when we found a neighbor who was good  enough to be our friend.

Jim was a seafarer who just arrived from the country due to an accident. He broke his foot very badly and was told to return home to recover. It was his wife and sister in law who had been renting the place and they did not have any kids. And since I am loaded with children with six  in my wing, some do tend to stray away especially my youngest son Red who was speech delayed and has autism.

Without me knowing it Red had become a welcomed visitor in their place. There were days I would find my son comfortably sharing a meal with them where Jim have him seat on his lap. There were also instances that Red get to join him in his hammock. I do understand why my son look forward at being his side. Red misses his dad or the presence of having a father at his side. A sad fact that I had long learn to accept.

Because of the affection my son had for Jim, that somehow lowered my walls. I started talking to him telling him  about my struggles as a single parent. On the other hand Jim told me about his. I then found out he had a daughter who recently died of cancer and was still mourning for her early death. I also learned how humble the man was considering he had travelled around the world due to his work.

As the months went on, Red and Jim started to bond like father and son. At times he will buy him gifts like a teddy bear or a pair of slippers. When Red had a playing accident and his head needed to be stitched, Jim was there for us. There was even a time that he checked on the kids often especially when Red was sick and had to monitor if it was time to take his medicine. I had to admit we all felt safe having him around.

One day Jim broke the news that his wife was pregnant. All of us especially him could never been happier. Perhaps it was a way of giving him and his wife another chance after loosing their daughter from her untimely death. I on the other hand thought it as a blessing for being kind to my son and to my other kids as well.

Because of the unreasonable increase of our rental fee every year, Jim and his wife together with his sister in law decided to look for another place to stay. I have to admit I was a bit worried for my son due to the friendship that developed between them. Good thing Red was able to cope up when they  moved out. Still I could not help but feel a pang of sadness every time he knocked at Jim's door thinking he were still there. So I just told him that his friend already left and tried my best to make him understand he had left for good.

It had been years when Jim visited Red. He was  spending  his vacation in the country at that time and was kind enough to drop by at my place. Since he left me his mobile phone number, I try to get in touch with him during special days like Father's Day and the holidays. Sometimes he would text and ask about his best friend  Red, wondering if he would still remember him when he grows old.

It was very rare  meeting  a total stranger who  accepted my kid's  uniqueness and disabilities. Red may have been speech delayed but somehow Jim 's understanding of him went beyond words. His ability to share himself inspite of what he had lost had touched me and my kids in so many ways. Though our connection was short lived, the good memories he left us will always be treasured and remembered. A neighbor, who was truly heaven sent .