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. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The WAHM 101: How To Be A Work-At-Home Mom

Remember that time when you felt guilty leaving your kids at home while you were at work ? I believe all mothers have gone through that stage especially the new ones when they were torn between working or just staying at home with her children. Some mothers were lucky to have husbands whose income can support their family's needs while others were not. Some even did not have a choice and that included yours truly. Being unemployed for more than a decade with seven kids to feed, I had braved to enter the call center industry which was very challenging not only because of the graveyard shifts but the fast paced working environment filled with toxic customers and ever changing metrics. I even thought that I will not be able to make it on my first month. But when I thought about my kids and their future which was at stake, all doubts and insecurities disappear giving me confidence to look for other means on how I could earn more.

After more than seven years working for the same call center company and two of my kids already finished college, I have learned that nothing is difficult if you put your mind and heart to it. Through the years I only not learned to communicate effortlessly and spontaneously in English but realized that I could also express myself in the written word. When I started blogging two years ago as a creative outlet due to the growing stress at work, I learned the possibility of earning from it as well. Though hard work, discipline and determination will always be a given, there is really nothing to loose if one takes advantage of seminars and workshops offering how to do the work right.

Brought to you by Manila Workshops & together with, Unilab  & Insular Life, the workshop will be held on June 28,2014 at the 12th Floor , Multi-Purpose Hall, Insular Life, Ayala Ave corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. 

So if you want to learn from successful work at home moms from the WAHMderful Life Community, head on to the Manila Workshops website and register so you can save a seat. You can also follow them at facebook & twitter for more updates. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Earthday Jam Foundation Presents CC Tunes in Tunes For Climate Change

It has been years that I had watched a live concert. As much as I want to, I really do not have the time nor the means to set aside money for it that is why when there are free concerts , I usually take advantage and make a note of it. I should be thankful  however more often than not , these free concerts usually coincide with my work schedule so I just tell my kids about it so they could at least get to enjoy watching and listening to them to their hearts' content.

How lucky can they get indeed.

I have always believed that one day, I will get to watch a free concert and if possible together with the kids with no conflict with my work schedule. My prayers have been answered when I have learned that Earthday Jam Foundation will have another free concert this Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Market , Market Activity Center at Bonifacio Global City. 

When I saw the lists of artist who will perform , I immediately told my kids about it because most of them are their favorites. And since it will not be held in open space, I just might tag my youngest son , Red who has autism who loves listening to music. Except for the musical band that he and his sisters listen to during barrio fiestas,  my son has never watched a live concert of different local bands and artists. It would be such a great treat for all of us since it has been awhile that my kids have watched a free concert as well. What more, there will also be a film showing at 4pm before the program starts at 5:30 pm. 

So if you have nothing to do after school or after work, head on to Market, Market Activity Center this coming Tuesday. Bring your kids, friends and the rest of your family with you. Seats will be given on a first come, first serve basis so come in early. See you there !

You can visit  Earthday Jam Foundation's wall  for more information and also like their page to get updated on upcoming shows and concerts .

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Join Be Fit N Fly with Gardenia Health Breads and Tigerair Promo

My kids and I love Gardenia Breads that I make sure I buy a couple of loaves each time I do the groceries. The reason behind is obvious. You can eat it plain or you could add your favorite "palaman" or filling to make it more sumptuous. But knowing my kids' appetite, they will not hesitate to eat in plain form. In fact I make sure I buy a separate loaf of my own that I could bring at work which I could devour sans the guilt without my hungry minions asking for more. 

One of the reasons why we love Gardenia Breads is their nutritious content. It is rich in fibre which is very helpful especially if you are always on the go and have a sedentary lifestyle. We all need fibre to help maintain a regular metabolism, making sure we get rid of our bodies' toxins. I could attest to that personally because before I started my journey to fitness, there were days that I have experienced constipation especially during summer. I knew that it was not a good thing and started to get a bit worried because my lifestyle was sedentary then. Since I  started having three slices of bread of Gardenia Raisins during my break instead of the usual junk food, my constipation had lessened and going to the bathroom was no longer such a hassle. Add that with having an active lifestyle really improved my metabolism indeed.

And since I love Gardenia Breads it is only but natural to take advantage of their upcoming promos . And who does not want to have a chance of winning free airfare for  two  to any of your dream summer destinations? 

Below are the mechanics :

*  Like Gardenia Nutrition & Wellness and Tigerair Facebook page. 

* Simply upload a photo of you with your friends or family enjoying the summer with Gardenia Slim N Fit Wheaten Bread. 

* Along with the photo must be a caption explaining how your summer becomes extra special with Gardenia Slim N’ Fit.

* Must tag the Gardenia Nutrition & Wellness Facebook page and the Tigerair Facebook page with hashtags:#FitNFlySummer #Gardeniaph #Tigerair.

* Finally submit your entry by sending your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, COMPLETE ADDRESS, CONTACT #, AGE, BIRTHDAY and LINK OF YOUR ENTRY at

So what are you waiting for ? Visit  the Gardenia's website for more updates because this promo is valid only until May 31,2014. You could also check their ongoing promos as well. Hurry ! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

X-Men : Days of Future Past

If you will be given the chance  to correct your past so you can save the future, what will it be ?  Such question will make one stop and ponder a bit on the things and decisions hurriedly done only to regret them years later . 

I am not an exception . 

There had been a lot of things that I wished I could have taken back. Pursuing my love for writing and making a career out of it, engaging in outdoor sports, learning how to handle my finances and making wise decisions in investing for a house, life insurance and my kids' future, finding time to do the things I love like traveling, watching concerts, being active in noteworthy causes  and spending more time with the people I care about. The lists seem to go on and on. 

Sadly we can never really go back to our past and correct it so we can have a future free of remorse and guilt no matter how we try. The only way we could make peace with our past is to accept and learn from it, hoping that it will not continue to haunt us and believe that it is never too late to achieve the dreams we thought we have missed. Life has a strange way of rounding things that is why I had learned the hard way not to cry over spilled milk many times and appreciate what life has to offer, looking it like a half filled glass instead of it half empty. Besides, there is so much to gain if you chose to focus on the brighter side of things and hope that a better future is in store ahead of us. 

On a lighter note, if only I am a mutant who has the power to control time and revisit my past, change it so I could save the future then regrets and remorse will not be in my vocabulary. And though at times I feel like I belong to a different world getting lost in a make believe one, I wonder if there were humans who also feel they came from a different genetics. Such thought makes me get carried away and believe they are for real especially if I am watching their stories in the wide screen.

I am referring to none other than one of the most awaited movies of the year. 

Produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Bryan Singer with a powerhouse cast starting with Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellen, Nicholas Holt, Ellen Page, James McAvoy  &   Michael Fassbender. 

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past - to save our future.

Watch how the X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Coming this May 21, 2014 to theaters near you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Makes Me Proud As A Mom

There had been a time that I cannot help but feel uncomfortable when some people learn that I have seven kids and three of them have special needs. The questions and reactions at times were unnerving which made me decide to become aloof after that or pretend to ignore their existence which may include strangers and sadly other family relatives. There was even a time a snoopy kid from our neighborhood told my kids that how come their mom was again pregnant when they were already too many to handle. Since my kids had always been spitfires, one of my daughters told this kid that it was none of her business and that since they were many, they do not need an extra playmate who was such a gossiper at a very young age. 

Hmm. I wonder where they got that from.

Sadly it was too late for me to contemplate how unprepared I was when I had gotten married and how the kids came to my world one by one.Though it was tempting to resort to abortion due to hopelessness and depression, my deep rooted values won and so all of them were born, miraculously with no birth complications but sadly three were not spared with special disabilities. Still I carried on. From a stay at home mom of thirteen years I took the risk and decided to work even if it would mean the kids being separated for the first time. We all adjusted to that great change in our lives and some were initially affected, myself included. There were days that I felt like giving up and at times question fate on how long the ordeal will go on. 

Looking back now I have realized that accepting motherhood have never been easy at first especially if one became a Mom unprepared and the learning turned more challenging as the years went on. Now after twenty-one years of being a Mom, I have learned that the simple things and achievements are what made me most proud of.Two of my girls already had finished their studies. Two are still in college and the other three who have special needs are also in school. Though financially we are not well off, with lots of bills and debts to pay and with no place of our own yet, my kids turned out to be healthy,independent and hardworking who value their studies and the people who have helped us along the way. What more  they have been gifted with this innate ability to see the brighter things in life by choosing to laugh more and accept to live within our means. Such core values that would make any mother proud. And since May is that time of the year when we recognize and appreciate not just our own mothers but any mother, whether biological or not for that matter, I am inviting everybody to join Mommy Mundo's "You The Mom!" Campaign  this coming EXPOMOM 2014.

"You ! The Mom " campaign affirms  all the awesome things that Moms do every single day, whether they' re taking care of their children at home, working on a business, doing volunteer work for a cause they believe in or helping out a friend in need. It will celebrate you and all fellow moms who inspire others at this year's biggest mom gathering , EXPO MOM 2014.

EXPO MOM puts the spotlight on the inspiring things Moms do for their families and communities through this event, where it will feature all day talks on May 16 and 18, interactive activities and the signature mompreneur market EXPO MOM had been known for. Check out the schedule of activities, list pf exhibitors and vendors at It will also feature 8 inspiring moms through the You the Mom ! online gallery, with photography by Cres Yulo.

Happening this weekend, May 16-18, 2014 from Friday to Sunday at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center, Palm Drive, Makati City, EXPO MOM 2014 will feature more than 60 booths showcasing your fave brands, mompreneur businesses and the latest services and resource for moms.

Get a chance to win P5,000 shopping spree at EXPO MOM ! Post your own "You the Mom !" Statement on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share what you are most proud of as a mom using the hashtags #youthemom and #expomommanila. Deadline of posts is on May 15,2014.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Free Art Workshop from FABER CASTELL and Memory Crafters

Whenever I see crayons and coloring pens, the first thing that comes to mind is my youngest son, Red. Though his speech was delayed because of his autism, he was able to express himself thru music and art. And because that was the only way where he can communicate, he gets overwhelmed each time he sings, draws and colors. He would hum Ryan Cayabyab's composition " Sineskwela "  while he is in the jeepney where we receive all kinds of looks simply because of his high voice and never off key notes, while being stitched on his head when he once had a playing accident and where the doctor and two nurses who assisted all sang " Old Mcdonald " with him and even his all heart version of " Lupang Hinirang " whenever he feels like it. 

Now you could just imagine how he gets overwhelmed once he sees crayons and coloring pens. He would draw and color almost everywhere. Not just on paper but on books, our walls, cabinets, even on everybody's clothes as well.Though at times his sisters are tempted to just grab him by the neck,it is one effective way to keep him quiet and behave, as attested by his Sped teacher when she had no choice but to tag him along while she had an emergency meeting. He really did behave until she announced that it was time for him to go home. That was when Red threw all his crayons and coloring materials where he earned a disciplinary action and was told to pick up all he had thrown and have him return to their proper places.

Such attitude, this autistic son of mine.

Recently I received an email from Manila Workshops about a A Free Art Workshop from Faber Castell and Memory Crafters. Intended for kids ages 7-13 years old, it will be held on Valle Verde Social Hall tomorrow, April 23 from 9AM to 11:30 AM.

I just wished my son was here. It would be great to see him sit still and behave even for two and a half hours. He may not even want to be disturbed once he gets started. I suddenly missed his doodles on the different TV networks, NICK JR logos and of his all time favorite word which is "AMEN."

For those living near Valle Verde, take advantage of this free workshop and have your kids experience a morning filled with arts and crafts. It is one great way to express not just their creativity but their selves as well, just like my autistic son, Red. 

To register, visit the Manila Workshops website where you could also check on their upcoming workshops. You could also follow them at and for more updates.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

EarthDay Jam 2014

My daughter Kyle who just graduated from college told me that she wanted to watch a free concert at BGC next Friday, the 25th. She added she had planned on going the minute the event has been posted on facebook and that there will be lots of bands playing from 6pm till early morning. I have to admit that I cannot help but feel a little bit envious because I have work on the said date plus the fact that I cannot recall the last time that I had watched a live concert. Since it was already too late for me to file for a leave I just decided to write about this awesome event , hoping that next time I will be there with my kids to witness it.

I am referring to the EarthDay Jam 2014 concert this coming April 25, 2014 at Bonifacio Global City. See the line up of artists performing on that day ?

Le sigh.

Anyway, for those of you who are lucky to watch this concert on Friday, (that includes my kids ), make sure to follow and like EarthDay Jam Foundation's  facebook page at for updates. I will try my best not to let my mind drift while at work, pretending I am there with my kids, joining the crowd singing and having a great time. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How Your Foodless Plate Can Help Someone In Need

Food. One of man's basic needs. Along with shelter, clothing and water these are also the things that need urgent attention especially during times of catastrophes. But whether it is a case of emergency or not, the stress of urgency cannot be under estimated when it comes to food because hunger and its consequence is one universal call that touches everyone, whether well fed or not. Such issue is very close to my heart because my children and I had personally came to a point in our lives when we almost had nothing on our table except " lugaw, " which is boiled rice with a pinch of salt to add more taste in it. It may have happened ages ago and now part of a memory better left behind but that sensitive chord still gets triggered each and every time I see people with  leftovers on their plates or worst food being thrown in the garbage due to spoilage. And though it is true that spoiled food should better be left untouched due to health reasons, the fact that a lot of people die because of hunger cannot be easily ignored.

When I read about Healthy Options  program on how you can help someone in need by simply not leaving any left overs on your plate, I immediately became interested and was even inspired to write a post about it. The idea that you can lessen hunger by simply not throwing away food had again touched that chord and I cannot help but be part of such noteworthy cause which does not really take that much to join .

A foodless plate. A photo. A chance to help diminish hunger and make a difference. That's all it take to feed a less fortunate kid or nourish even a starving community. In joining this cause I have come to realize that my kids and I are such fortunate souls, that despite the fact that we had experienced hunger and deprivation, we had learned that we can turn things around and give back by loving our food and not throwing it away.

My autistic son's plate is always spotless after every meal 

For more updates, visit the Healthy Options website at You can also find them at or follow them @

Monday, March 31, 2014

NatGeo2014 Runners Get A Chance For An Overnight Stay At F1 Hotel Manila

I had been joining fun runs for almost two years now and though I do not have the means to do it every month, still every experience is different and worth the time , money and effort that I have put on it. It does not only make me young, vibrant and alive each time I join but also make want to run again , this time for a farther distance. In fact, the minute I finished a run , a sense of accomplishment and pride is felt that only one would understand once they take the plunge and tried it.

Every one has their own reasons why they join fun runs. Some join to loose weight, others to test their endurance , break their records and ultimately win the prize money while others just want to bond with their families and friends, getting swayed by them even without the right preparation. Although injuries and learning are all part of the challenge, one must never underestimate the importance of a good night sleep before the run.

Coincidentally, F1 Hotel Manila has an ongoing giveaway intended for the participants of the NatGeoRun 2014 this coming April 27, 2014. 

The mechanics are simple :

*  Share this post with your singlet #.

*  The winner will be announced on April 21, 2014.

And that's how easy it is. 

For those who are not yet updated, F1 Hotel Manila  is the first hotel to open at the dynamic Bonifacio Global City, a distinction synonymous to upscale accommodation and the highest standard of services, facilities and amenities to its distinguished clientele. Located on 32nd Street Bonifacio Global City, Taguig and just behind St Luke's Medical Center, F1 Hotel Manila puts you at the center of where the action is whether for business or for pleasure. In fact there is always something to celebrate about life be it weddings, debuts, corporate function and even small, intimate gatherings. In short , F1 Hotel Manila is not just your perfect place to stay at BGC. It is your home of happy experiences .

Unfortunately, I was not able to register on time for the NatGeoRun2014 because all race categories are now closed except for the 3K slot.  I was planning to run my second 10K for this year but I guess that will not push thru plus the fact that I will not get the chance of winning this awesome giveaway specifically intended for the NatGeo runners for this year. But who knows? There might be other upcoming contests and giveaways especially F1 Hotel Manila just celebrated its birthday last March 21st. 

For more updates please visit their website at You can also follow them at or @

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Run Your Heart Away, Sidney

"Do you want to join a Fun Run ?" I asked my 14 year old daughter, Sidney. Being her Mom, I already knew the answer even before I asked though I have to admit I was not really prepared financially for it. When she immediately said yes and added  "running shoes Ma, running shoes" and "Ipod, Ma," that there was no turning back and it was imperative I keep my word or the outcome will not be very good. Words can make or break one's world especially to my free spirited, youngest daughter and that is because she has autism. She has this rebellious streak that when things are too much for her, she has the tendency to leave the house unnoticed despite locked doors and keys being hidden in the most unexpected places, passing thru windows no matter how bad the weather is, only to return once she had grown tired of the outdoors.

My free spirited daughter, Sidney who has autism

" My hair is fine, Ma ."

I really could not recall when or how it started. At two years old, we knew she was different based on how fast she had learned how to read and talk in English even before she went to school. She also had a way of leaving the house unnoticed even during rainy days while the whole family was having their afternoon nap. We will just learn that a kind neighbor had brought her back, all drenched in rain. I thought then she was just like other kids who loved playing outdoors, rain or shine. Until one day I decided to work in the city with two of her sisters, leaving the other four kids to my Mom. Perhaps she  had been greatly affected by the move and the separation, the knowledge that she needed to go to school and adjust with the city life. I had to admit that it was a stage that all of us had to adjust since I will be coming back to work after 13 years in a fast paced industry that had all been very alien to me. Or perhaps I had gotten busy being more of a career woman than as a mom to all of my kids. It was all but natural not to feel guilty especially if you have one kid who goes astray every now and then, who chose not to go to school because she found the lessons too ordinary and boring and chose to be outdoors where she was free, not just literally but figuratively as well.

Through the years, we had learn to accept the fact that Sidney will be leaving home every now and then. We all had learned to create masks and pretend that everything was normal yet it had never been easy especially to her older siblings when they share their stories, especially to the authorities, DSWD centers, internet cafe owners and kind hearted people who call her  Dad so we can pick her up. On my part it was twice painful that I have to continue working and set aside my personal issues when I am at work because of the other six kids who depend on me for everything, my Mom included. Some colleagues and bosses knew my story since day one who were sympathetic enough to understand why I needed to keep going and continue masking my pain because they knew that asking help from foundations or even sending letters of financial assistance had been futile and worthless.

I did not know what had gotten into me when I asked her to join the fun run. Since she practically grew up on the streets and walked more than she stayed at home, she might find the experience challenging and might even be the start of motivating her to go back to school. Not only that, since I had started my journey to fitness, enjoy running and plan to finish even a half marathon before I hit my golden years, it will be a great way to bond not just with her but with her other siblings as well. And so when I  received my salary last Valentine's Day, she knew that we were going to register for the UNILAB RUN UNITED on March 16, 2014. We went to Riovana  in BGC where we got our shirts and the prepaid cards so we can register online. We also bought our running shoes together where she got to choose the purple ones. She also tracked on the number of days remaining before the fun run and we even got to test run her shoes four days before the event in SM MOA where it will be held. When we got our race kits a day before the run, she fell in line with me together with the other runners. After that we went to buy new running socks, a pair of running shorts for her as well as a sports bra from BENCH which she has chosen herself. And even if we were so tired we still bought a loaf of bread so we can at least eat a light breakfast  the next day. We also slept early because we needed to be awake at 3 AM for my 10K run starts at 5AM whereas Sidney's 5K run will be thirty minutes later.

Excited for her first Fun Run

At exactly 3 AM last Sunday, Sidney woke up without difficulty. Together with her eldest sister who will be taking our pictures, we had a very light breakfast and she even ate the banana I gave her without any qualms. We also made sure the Ipod that I had won from a giveaway a year ago was fully charged and even if it was still dark we went ahead to start our day.

On our way to SM MOA

We arrived at BLOCK 16 in SM MOA's ACTIVE HEALTH VILLAGE at 4:30AM. We managed to do some warm ups and took some picture shots. A few minutes later, the 10K runners were told to assemble at the starting line and before I separated with my two daughters, I gave them my final instructions. I also reminded Sidney the things that needed to be followed since she decided to join. I told her to wait for the gun shot, to stay at the right side, not to cheat on her run and that I will see her later. I even kissed her on the cheek where a mark was left which made me smile. And since my race was about to start, I went ahead and joined the other 10K runners.

She complied with our mandatory warm ups to prevent possible injuries

To say that the crowd was enormous was an understatement. Marshals, photographers, runners from all walks of life including the media, sports enthusiasts and family members were all there to witness the first leg of RUN UNITED TRILOGY events for this year. Ambulances, portalets for male and female runners can be found in certain locations so as water stations where you could also find GATORADE in paper cups, bananas and sponges for the 10k and 21K runners on their way back to the finish line. There were also a lot of trash from paper cups, banana peels scattered and thrown carelessly that there was this sudden worry for my daughter who was also running her own race. But then again that was over powered by such trust that she was old enough to take care of herself and that she will be able to make it safe until the finish line.

She was little bit lost among the many 5K runners

I finished my 10K run  in 1 hour and 41 minutes. Not bad for my first run after almost a year when I joined my first 5K run at the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING FUN RUN . As I went to look for my girls, I heard a familiar laugh that came from my eldest daughter. She knew that I was kind of lost because of the huge crowd and that they will be the first to find me. She told me that Sidney finished her 5K run in 32 minutes and 40 seconds based on her Ipod which was captured in film .

Her sister, Sam found her , all flushed and hot after her run

I was so proud of her and tried my best not to be emotional so as not to create a scene.  It was her first time to join such a big event yet she run her heart away and finished what she started all because I kept my word. I knew it was such a risky thing letting her join a fun run among the many runners and walkers, all of them strangers but she was able to pull it through despite her autism.

No sweat !

She said she would run again for 10K the next time

Looking back at that historical event in my daughter's life, I realized that we all have our own races to run and to finish. Sadly we will not be always there to guide our kids and decide for themselves in every hurdle that they face. There will be days that they have to learn on their own and rely on themselves. Such a harsh reality but then again, trust is such a powerful thing, and so is love, patience and understanding. At the end of the day our trust that they know what they're doing, despite the many detours and obstacles along the way will be enough to pull them through. And that among the many races they will run in this life, they will eventually learn how to deal with them, run on their own until they make it to the finish line.

She wrote,  "Im  a 5K Runner, " omitting the apostrophe before the letter m 

Let's go home, Sidney.