Bea's First School Presentation

December 18, 2009 was a date to remember. It was our daughter’s first school presentation! A few weeks before, Bea’s teacher called for a meeting. They discussed that there will be a gift giving celebration. It’s an event where parents are asked to give gifts (anything from clothes, toys or food) and the teachers will be inviting less-fortunate children and our children will be the ones to give the collected gifts to the unfortunate kids. Hubby and I decided to give away spongebob toothbrushes and towelettes, plus tooth paste. I know, I know, we got a little carried away. It was a bit expensive, but we thought the kids would truly love this… a treat for most of them since I knew most of them don’t even a simple toothbrush, let alone a cutie one. Hehehe. Besides, I was sure the other parents will have the usual noodles and canned goods covered.

Apparently it was an annual activity of the school and they have it near Christmas time, and as part of the celebration, the kids will be preparing a presentation, per level. The nursery class where Bea belonged was tasked to dance. They even had red and green pompoms as props. Being the eager first-time stage parents that we were, we stayed up late into the night cutting up red and green strips of plastic that we fashioned into pompoms. (I couldn’t find ready made ones with the correct color).

Webshots vs Flickr

I've been maintaining a webshots account for years now, and i have uploaded almost all pictures i've ever taken... which is a good thing since i lost my copies when my HDD got busted. i've been thinking of a pro account with webshots, the only problem is that they don't accept payment thru paypal. they only accept credit card payments. this makes me apprehensive. i trust paypal more, after having many transactions with them....

i am also considering a pro account in flickr, but i am just more used to using webshots. hmmm...

i'm thinking, i'm thinking...

Terrific Toddler Tips: Understanding Your Toddler

Every person is unique. We have heard this time and again.  We all have our own peculiarities. We react to situations differently. We all exhibit our individuality. Our dear toddlers are no exception. In fact, it is around this age when they start to develop and show their own personality. We see a particularly jovial child and compare him to a somber, serious looking one… and we have the tendency to judge him as a cheerful child, while the other one is called moody.

This is important advice: parents, don’t label your child. Being called a “difficult child” or a “shy child” is very limiting. We should aim to be encouraging rather than restraining. Being labeled is like being judged for life. It is like your future is laid out already. A difficult child’s” actions may be dismissed as acting up or just misbehaving as usual, instead of being addressed. A “shy child’s” parents may go around saying that their child is an introvert since childhood…always has been, always will be. So instead of encouraging the child to get out of her shell, reaching out to others, and making new friends, they are conveying a message that she has always been like that… and will most probably be the same for the rest of her life. This leaves very little room for her personality improvement.

Don’t confuse understanding and getting to know your child with excusing and accepting problem behavior. Understanding her doesn’t mean that you will side with her no matter what. It doesn’t mean spoiling her rotten and expecting the world to adjust to her quirks and impulses. Yes, you love her, and you will stand by her no matter what, but she will still have to find a way to fit into the world, no matter how unique and wonderful she is. An example: if by chance, your child has a tendency towards aggressive behavior towards others, her parents should find ways to modify her conduct rather than making excuses for her. It part of our obligation as parents to make sure that our children can happily and successfully thrive on their own and peacefully co-exist with others.  

Also, don’t compare children. Comments like “I wish you were more like your sister” or “you’re brother is …, why can’t you be more like him?” may only be words to us. After a while we’ll forget about it, but the damage it can do to our toddler’s self esteem is inestimable. Let us not assume that she’s too young to even understand. Words are powerful, and they can get into one’s subconscious and contribute to that someone’s life programming.

Our toddler is a little person. She has the ability to think and feel. It is only right to make an effort and try to understand our toddler. Rearing a child doesn’t only involve feeding, and bathing a child but also getting to know her, and encouraging her to be the best that she can be. =)



Give Children Love

Give the choice of love. Commit to love because it is right, not because it feels good.

Give the words of love. We all need regular verbal assurance, children need it the most.

Give the touch of love. Research has confirmed the human need for physical touch. The need to be held and cuddled is especially critical for babies.

Give the encouragement of love. Put courage into those little people but letting them know you are their best fan and cheerleader.

Give the comfort of love. In times of pain or sadness, provide love's healing comfort.

Give the laughter of love. Laughter sets a pleasant mood, a bright tone. Make merriment a daily dose of love in your home.

Give the discipline of love. Discipline establishes boundaries for children, making them feel safe and secure.

Donna Otto
from "finding a mentor, being a mentor"

Telling our children is not enough. There are so many ways to love them and making them feel loved...

I Still Love You But...

Recently, we’ve been having troubles with our nanny. When it comes to her work… there is nothing I can say. Well, it’s definitely far from perfect.. but acceptable. The most important thing is that it is evident that she genuinely cares for her ward. Lolo R used tells me that when he scolds Bea, he can see that the nanny is the one who is hurt =(  we’ve been having problems with her attitude in general. Well, she’s just nineteen and this is the longest she’s been away from home (Mindanao). She sometimes has the tendency to act up. At typical teenager, I guess. During candid times, she’d even tell me she is like my eldest, and that Bea was our bunso (youngest). They are both

I consciously try to talk/reprimand our nanny when the little one is not there to witness it. Of course I’d still want her to respect her nanny, and even now she’s starting to have an idea of who’s the boss. I guess she must have heard last night’s episode between her daddy and yaya R. this happened before going to Church. When we were in church, she kept on asking me “Di mo na love Ate R?” (Don’t you love Ate R anymore?) I answered “Love pa din” (Yes I still love Ate R). After a few minutes, “Daddy di na love Ate R?” (Daddy doesn’t love Ate R anymore?) I said “Love pa din” (yes he also loves Ate R). Then I tried to explain to her that the reason why daddy scolded Yaya R was because she did something daddy was not happy with, and so he had to scold her to correct her wrong doing. She just nodded and didn’t speak of it anymore.

Early this afternoon, I called home to check up on them…the nanny said that early this morning, when they were left alone in the house, my Bea told her, in all seriousness: “Ate R, love pa din kita…pero…wag ka na kukulit” (Ate R…I still love you… but stop being naughty) huh?!?

Kids are so like sponges, I swear!

Photohunt : Sports

Last year we attended a birthday party which had a sports theme. Little Bea came in a tennis outfit. Isn't she a cutie? As you can see, weapon of choice is not really a tennis racket.. but a little red balloon. hahaha!

There games and surprises, and even the then-2 year old Bea was able to win some prizes. Sure she was the youngest and smallest among the participants.. but that didn't sway her. She sure has some spunk in her!

We definitely had a great time that day! =)

Bea and Typhoon Ondoy

Last September 26, 2009 (Typhoon Ondoy) was Bea’s first experience with flooding. In her almost 4 years of existence, she has never encountered a flood. Actually, the same goes for me… I’ve lived in Marikina almost all my life…and in my 30 plus years of roaming this earth… no flood at all.

That fateful Saturday, we were supposed to go somewhere in Manila. When we were about to get in the car, we noticed the streets were already a bit flooded. My father had to device a way for us to get in the car without getting wet. The whole thing was such a production number! My sister first had to get her car out of the garage so that hubby can pull in the garage. Bea’s lolo took pieces of wood that we could step on just so our feet wouldn’t get wet. We were able to get in the car successfully dry. We were on our way soon enough. All this time, the rain continued to pour. As in! Steady, heavy downpour.

When we reached the Batasan Bridge in San Mateo Rizal, we realized it would be too dangerous to push through with our plan to leave for Manila. One side of the bride is closed off since it was flooded already. We decided to just go home, fearing we might get stranded if we continue.

Bea would’ve been terribly disappointed if we went home immediately… she already got all excited. Getting on the car and going out with mommy and daddy is such a major happening for her… I guess that’s usually the case of kids with working parents. Anyhoo…I decided to drop by Puregold before going home, just so Bea can roam around a bit and maybe even buy a toy of her choosing. Bea and daddy went in while I waited in the car with the nanny. When they got back, the little one was beaming, she charmed her way into daddy’s heart once again. Daddy bought a plastic cooking set for her. =) Then we went on our way home.

When we turned to the street leading to the entrance of our subdivision, we were surprised to see that the water has risen already! Hubby decided to park the car near the church since it was on higher grounds. We walked to our house. The flood waters reached up to our calves. Hubby carried little Bea, while I carried other stuff that we had in the car. (bags, books, laptop etc). We had to walk slowly since it was hard to wade through the waters… plus the rains continued to pour heavily.

Inside our home, water reached up to our ankles only. Ninang A and Lolo R were busy trying to stop the water from coming in… and trying to get everything to a higher surface.

When there was nothing left to do… they turned their attention to Bea, who was perched on the sofa. We didn’t allow her to go down and wade through the still clear rain water in the house for obvious reasons. Typical toddler, she also wanted to wade with us. She tried everything to be able to get down from her safe spot. She’d purposely drop stuff in the water and try to get them, “accidentally” getting wet in the process. =) At last, I decided to let her down and experience how it is to wade through flood waters. =) After all this is a first for us! We will surely talk about how our house got flooded in for years to come… why deprive her of the experience? She happily splashed around, walking to and fro, relishing the experience…good thing daddy was not in the room. He would definitely be against this! Hehehe…Only when Bea started to act like she was about to dive in did I stop her and ask yaya R to clean her up. Lolo kept on telling her that it was a swimming pool… that’s why she wanted to dive in… hay!

Anyway, never in my wildest imagination, thought that Typhoon Ondoy was the disaster it would turn out to be. I was just amazed that this happened to us for the very first time. And I was also concerned about its effect to Bea, I didn’t want her to be traumatized or something… so I tried to make it a fun thing for her. The atmosphere at home was relaxed and casual. No panic at all. I even made paper boats for her to play with and set adrift in our sala. =)

The waters continued to rise as the rain just wouldn’t let up. The Nangka River soon overflowed and what was once clear rain water in our home turned into murky, mud water.

Soon Bea was marooned on the sofa. She couldn’t go down, and it was pretty heavy to carry her around all the time. So I placed her there and gave her stuff to be busy with. I gave her art paper, glue, scissors and bond paper. She happily cut and glued the afternoon away, bursting into impromptu, made up songs…I think it’s safe to say she’s not traumatized at all. =)

As it grew dark, we gathered around in the sala and talked, as if it was the most natural thing in the world… talking while knee-deep in mud. =) Bea made us laugh when she shared with us her contingency plans. She said “lipat na tayo bahay mommy sa malaking malaking bahay para wala tubig” (let’s transfer to a bigger house mommy, to a big, big house so that the flood won’t reach us) then I asked her where she intended to go. She promptly replied “Maureen”. Maureen is our next door neighbor whose house had a second floor. I really found amusing that in her young mind she was able to assess our situation and come up with a plausible solution. What a bright baby!

Thankfully, we were able to survive unscathed. Some belongings got ruined, but generally, we’re now ok. Hopefully things go back to normal soon, especially for our fellow MarikeƱos badly hit by Typhoon Ondoy.

Bangon Marikina! Bangon Pilipinas!

Let me share with my fellow Marikeños and others who were affected by the floods brought by Typhoon Ondoy a part of a book that I’ve read recently:

“Good is underneath every single thing that appears to be negative. If we can know that good is all there is, including in a negative situation, then we will see a negative situation transform into all good. Most people keep the good away from themselves because they label something as bad, and then, of course, that becomes their reality. But there is no bad in the universe; it is just our inability to see things clearly from the bigger perspective.

Peace comes from knowing that good is all that exists.”

-The Secret - Daily Teachings

Let’s try to believe that there is a bigger plan for all of us. Typhoon Ondoy is a mere bump on the road. Don’t get derailed. Just look forward and continue moving forward. Don’t wallow in the sadness and loss, for you’ll attract more sadness and loss. Be grateful…be proactive…and attract only the good things. Bangon Marikina! Bangon Pilipinas!

Potty Training Basics

Parents typically experience different emotional states including happiness, anger and sometimes frustration during their child’s potty training process. However, it is good to know that for the child, the feelings can be even stronger! If you learn to understand it, your road to successful potty training will be shorter.

For the child, this learning experience is a nightmare! Right at the moment they are having fun and enjoying themselves with their favorite toy, they have to deal with a process which is anything but enjoyable!

What Does The Child Believe?

It’s hard to say for sure exactly what they may thing, but a guess would be that: Life is not fair! Whenever they try to eliminate a lot of waste products, mom or dad takes it, throws it into the toilet and it is flushed away. The child does not have a clear image about hygiene and doesn’t have a clue as to what’s happening. Patience is very important at this stage.

The little one does not understand why this is necessary. It scares the child and makes him or her wonder why this is so important to mom or dad. Why does my bottom slide into the potty? Will it swallow me? What is this toilet? What is hiding in there? Is there a monster in there? That water sounds terrible! Where does my waste go? The key here is to try to make it as fun as possible and reward the child for successful attempts. For our son, seeing peers going to the bathroom helped tremendously. There is something to be said about positive peer pressure.

Then, after a youngster starts to succeed, they must face other sources of stress like washing hands and zipping pants. Sometimes, the child cannot synchronize these post-potty activities and their underpants get stained or wet. Frustration grows and right then, mom seems displeased with them. That is too much! Mom does not love them anymore…Why? Therefore, at this point your maturity as parents and your capacity to understand must surface. You’re faced with turning this ritual into something pleasant without losing your patience!

When To Begin?

It is hard to say when it’s the right time to start potty training. There is no specific age for this training. In general, children between 18 and 30 months are ready for potty training, but some of them take a bit longer. However, don’t let this scare you! If the child is ready, it will be easier for him or her to do it. If you push the child, you risk both failure and a frustrated, unhappy son or daughter. Thus, you should show your child all the steps, but the child must decide when to start it and how.

When Do We Know That the Child is Ready?

There are some obvious signs like that moment when the little one is able to sit easily, when the child begins to imitate adults behavior in the bathroom and when the child starts to refuse the Pampers and wants ‘big boy’ underwear like Daddy has. When you think this time has arrived, offer the child this alternative to diapers.
Another sign is that moment when the youngster becomes concerned about being clean and neat. He or she puts things where they came from, picks up toys, etc. They show the first signs of becoming independent, such as wanting to climb down the stairs on their own, or simply starts to ask to use the potty.

You can start potty training when the potty becomes interesting to the child and when doing so becomes a fun game rather than an unpleasant experience. Another typical sign is when they are finally able to zip or unzip their pants without help and also when they finally seem to understand and appreciate the difference between being wet and being dry.

There are some children who need to be preoccupied with something else while using the potty like a book or a toy, to follow a certain ritual. Some of them may choose to use their potty when brings them to the potty and puts on a special child’s chair. Other kids need to talk with their mom or dad or have a need to be told a story. Anyway, with patience and creativity, even the most difficult child can be potty trained.

Taking it one step at a time

Potty training is something that your child can learn regardless of whether it takes a few days or a few months. Just remember that a child must be ready for it when they are, not when you are. After all, it is not your project, it is his or hers. You are only a wise and patient assistant! Good Luck!!


My Budding Artist

The little girl swears that she has drawn a car on a sunny day, with little droplets of rain. There's daddy, mommy and little bea in the car... i lovingly clapped and applauded her artistry.... all the while looking at what looked like an anteater. hehehe... good thing she has a great imagination unlike me!

Parenting and the Toddler Years - Tips for Surviving and Enjoying Them

Babies turn into toddlers very quickly. Many parents are completely surprised by how much spunk and orneriness a twenty-five pound toddler can pack. It is a widespread fact that the toddler years of children can easily be some of the most trying times for parents. This is when your childs personality starts to develope. However, the good news is that with a few tips and tricks under your belt, the toddler years can indeed be survived – and even be enjoyed most of the time by parent and child alike. The key to managing this sometimes challenging phase is to allow your child room to grow and explore while establishing boundaries and rules for him. The balance can be delicate and tricky, but is essential in developing a good relationship with your little one. The examples you set during this stage will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It is perhaps the most important time in your childs growth and development.

Providing a Safe Environment

First of all, besides child-proofing your home to make it safe for your youngster to play and explore, there are other ways to offer safety and security as well. Believe it or not, a toddler feels most secure when he knows what to expect in his day, and that you will be in charge of his life until he is big enough to manage it on his own. This type of security will come from a regular daily routine, so that your little one will be able to anticipate the next activity throughout his day. It is also important for you toddler to understand the behavior that you expect from him. You can communicate this to him through consistent boundaries and a clear enforcement of the rules of the house. Along with providing your child physical security, it is also important to provide emotional security. Don't be inconsistant in the rules that you set and when your child does something well, make sure you encourage them whenever possible.

It may seem that your toddler rebels against all of your efforts at routine and boundaries in the house. These years begin the time that your son or daughter will begin to establish independence from you, and part of this process is pushing the limits – and you – as far as possible. While this can make for a rocky relationship between you and your tot at times, rest assured that this is a necessary developmental phase for your child. It also helps to remember that the time spent in battle will usually diminish somewhat by the time your son or daughter enters grade school. If you have succeeded in holding fast to the boundaries of your home, your child will fare better during his school years as well.

Enjoying your Toddler

There is a reason that children are so cute between the ages of two and four. When the daily power-struggles begin to wear you down, those big blue eyes, crooked smile or infectious giggle that characterizes your child just might save your day. Despite the ongoing discipline issues that every parent of a toddler faces, your child is going to be fun to observe exploring his world or learning to relate to his family members. You will fare much better during this life phase if you allow time for you and your child to simply play and be together. Sometimes the world can see much more delightful when it is seen through a toddler’s eyes. By playing with your child at their level, you will be building a loving and trusting relationship. Enjoy the ride, and even though you may have other children, each one is unique and that experience will last for a lifetime, both yours and theirs. .


Bea's FB account hacked!

I just can't understand why people would do that. The little one's FB account was hacked a few days ago. A friend of mine sent me a message to look at Bea's FB account immediately because it appears to have been hacked. Of course I panicked! my wild imagination was already running wild. when i checked i was prepared for the worse, good thing the bad person who did it changed only her status. He wrote something very bad.


When i tried to log in, i cannot anymore! he changed the password. i tried to open Bea's email account, i can't also. He also changed that! argh! finally i was able to reset the email password, and the FB account password. When i logged in her FB, I immediately removed the offensive shoutout! i checked her photos and her profile, everything seems to be in order. who would do a thing like that? Only bad people with so much time in their hands and nothing to do i guess. idle minds are definitely the devil's playground!


It's Bea's Exam Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, the little one will have her first ever academic exam… she is quite excited about it! I know she has improved a lot since the start of school. She now knows the shapes and some colors. Although she still has difficulty is speaking straight, (bulol) it is clear that she is trying to convey legitimate answers to questions thrown her way. When asked about shapes, she know “tatangle” (triangle), “ircle” (circle), ayre (square), “ektangle” (rectangle) and her favorite oblong. She know the parts of the body. She know some colors like blue, since this is the color of her uniform. =)

Anyway, tomorrow, I’m sure she’ll do just fine!

Sharing A Piece of History With The Little One

Bea doesn’t know who Corazon Aquino is. She doesn’t know who Ninoy is… or what EDSA people power meant. She is too young to understand that the freedom and democracy she is now enjoying are fruits of the noble sacrifices of these gallant people. Children are very bright though. She knows that there is something wrong. That there is a serious atmosphere in our home and in the TV programs that she often watches. She sees Kris Aquino crying on TV and she somberly says “wawa naman Kris, wala na mommy nya”. When we ask where Kris’ mom has gone, she promptly replies “sleep na”.

But how do I tell a 3 year old? How do I tell her that we should look up to Ninoy and Cory with gratitude and respect. How do I tell her that this couple gave up their cherished private lives to fight for a people, most of whom, back then, seemed to have accepted their fate, doomed forever to be under the dictatorship, with their human rights trampled on by everyone who was in power. How do I tell my little girl that being a Filipino is special and something to be proud of?

For now, I think I may have to be content with the fact that she has learned to say Tita Cory’s name. She likes to jump around shouting in a sing-song voice “Cory, Cory ko..ko..ko..!” She has also mastered flashing the laban sign. The sign that has been the symbol of our struggle for freedom and democracy. She now knows that yellow means Tita Cory. Her lola Linda would’ve been so proud of our little Cory-ista!

In time, when she fully understands, I will tell her our history. I will tell her what we had to go through to get back the freedom that was taken from us by a dictatorship. Sure she may have questions by then, like how come nothing much has changed since then? Why are we still poor and struggling as a nation? Why is there still so much hate and segregation in our society? Hmmm…. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there…

I Am My Daddy's Daughter

Little girl has been making a fuss in the morning... she just hates it when we have to leave for work... leaving her...
so she thought of the next best thing. she donned her daddy's office uniform... probably asking to be taken along... daddy's officemates won't be able to tell the difference. She'll blend right in!

Just Can't Get Enough

Summer school is over for Bea, and she just can’t accept it! Yesterday was her first day without classes. She had breakfast fast, saying that she will be late for school. Then after her bath, her nanny dressed her up with her usual play clothes and she was devastated. She kept saying no! this was not her school clothes! She just can’t accept the fact that her 1-month summer school was over.  

Earlier, before we left for work, I talked to her. I told her that there will temporarily be no school for the next couple of days because her teacher and classmates need to rest, and after a few days (weeks actually) school will start again. She seemed to understand because she made to violent reaction. We’ll see…

Summer School Adventures

This Friday will be Bea’s last day in summer school. I am glad to share that she is loving school so much! Even though she has to wake up early for her class, (8:30-10:00am) she really looks forward to going to school. She is now so familiar with her routine. Since hubby and I leave early for work, she wakes up early too. Then she goes jogging (yes like lolo, she is a health buff hehehe) then it’s time to join Ninang as she leaves for work. Before, she used to accompany Ninang up to the FX terminal. Now she stops after a few steps from our house, bids Ninang goodbye and says that she has to get ready for school or else she’ll be late. (Dito lang Bea, late na ko school). After forcibly drinking her milk and getting ready for school, Lolo accompanies them to the pedicab terminal. Her yaya accompanies her on the pedicab ride to school and stays with her for the whole 1.5 hours.

So how is she doing in school? Surprisingly good! She is motivated by the promise of stars stamped on her hand. When teacher promises that stars will be given at the end of class if they are good and attentive, Bea will immediately sit down and listen quietly. She has learned to socialize and play with her classmates. She knows them all by name. She learned action songs and now appreciates story telling sessions. As far as coloring pictures go, she has definitely improved. She now colors inside the lines of the picture, whereas before, she colored the back side of the paper, then after a while outside of the picture. =)

She is also learning about shapes. She now knows circle and triangle. Sometimes she calls the triangle actum (lactum) for the sign that carmina and Claudine does over their hearts in the Lactum commercial. She still has a hard time with square and rectangle though. Every weekend, her teachers let them take home a folder bearing their name, where all their seat works in school are compiled for parents to see. Her progress is apparent. =)

Every morning Bea raids Lolo’s store for baon, which she eats at school. This is another progress for her. We told her teachers about her feeding problem, so Teacher Ren lets classmates with good appetites sit beside her during recess time to encourage her to eat her baon. She manages to eat a few pieces of biscuits and downs her juice. Woohoo!

Her teacher praised her and announced that she was VERY GOOD when she performed well in her oral recitation about parts of the body and shapes. This motivated her to go to school even more! This is exactly what I hoped for. For her to have a good first impression of school, so that she will enjoy going to school. Like me. My first teacher is lovingly etched in my memory forever. I loved her so much and I always attributed my being a “good” student to her. I felt that school was a warm, fun and loving environment. It was not to be feared. This experience is what I want for my baby. Sure, in the future she will encounter “terror” teachers, but at least the foundation of love for learning is already there.

By the way, she also stopped wearing diaper to school, and asks her yaya to accompany her to go to the CR (ee-ar). =)

By june we she will be attending Nursery class. We are still torn as to where we will enroll her. Her school now is a bit expensive and a bit far from our house, but she is already comfortable there and she loves her teachers and classmates already. We have another option, which is cheaper but has no aircon and has a different religious inclination (although they said they were non-sectarian). Oh well. We’ll see…

Cooking It Up With Daddy

Sunday is a special day for every family. for us especially since this is the only day we are together, since hubby has work even on a saturday. every sunday, as a treat to us, hubby handles the cooking for lunch. =) last sunday, i requested for chicken sinigang.

Bea is at that stage where she is interested in everything grown ups are doing. she just loves being assigned a task. her fave assignment nowadays is preparing our iced tea. "Pimpla Iced Tea Bea" (Timpla Iced Tea si Bea) she was thrilled when we propped her on a chair and allowed her to "prepare" daddy's ingredients.

Here she is "cooking"...and another one with daddy in the background doing the real cookiAdd Imageng:

By the way, the chicken sinigang turned out really yummy!

Palm Sunday 2009

On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as "Passion Sunday," marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.

The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches, and by covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross.

The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19.

Last Sunday, we heard mass at the St. Andrew Church in Makati, on our way to the car show in Manila. We told Bea what Palm Sunday was about. She had a grand time shaking the palm leaves. I don't think she understands fully though...

What is your favorite ice cream flavor or ice cream concoction?

Hmmm... What is my fave flavor? basically it's anything with chocolate in it. I am partial to Double Dutch and Rocky Road though, and anything with brownies. Argh! it is so hard to choose when it comes to ice cream!

Recently though i got to try the Tiramisu Magic from the Ice Cream House and it was mighty fine! check out my post about that experience.

Sunset Cove Beach Resort, Morong Bataan

It is summer time! Time to have fun and relax! Since we frequent the South and its hot springs , we decided to give the north a try. We heard a lot of praises for the SCTEX highway or the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and hubby has been itching to try it out. Although we did try it when we went to Clark, Pampanga for the Hot Air Balloon Festival last February 15, he wanted to try it going to Subic .

We used it to get to Subic , and boy, the travel WAS FAST! From the Mabalacat Exit, we got to Tipo Road in just 30 minutes! Well, that’s hubby’s driving, slowing down within the speed limit only when he sees an expressway patrol…sigh. It was awesome not having to go through the San Fernando exit and navigationg through the Pampanga and Olongapo streets.
We were supposed to go to our company outing in Waterfront Beach Resort, but since we were able to leave the house at around 9am already due to a series of booboos, we decided not to go there anymore since it was too late. (we were supposed to leave at 6am) sigh...
We decided instead to go to Sunset Cove, also in Morong Bataan. This is a resort recommended by my friend, apple. We wanted a beautiful, not-too-crowded beach resort for Bea’s first Beach experience, and we got just that.
When we reached the Tipo Gate, we went straight through Subic , until we reached the Morong Gate. (Take the same route as if you’re going to the JEST camp or Ocean Adventure.) When we reached the Morong Exit, we just followed the signs for Ayala’s Anvaya Cove. The road is narrow and winding, and covered with lush trees. About 500 meters from the Morong Gate, there is a sign for Sunset Cove, turn right. Pass through an even narrower and rocky road until you see a public school, turn right again until you reach the steel gate of the Sunset Cove Beach Resort.

The resort’s owner, Mrs. Cecille Jimenez is very warm and welcoming. She is so hands-on when it come to running the family resort.

She let us stay at the Master’s Bedroom of the 2-Storey Guest House. It is airconditioned, good for 4 people, with its own toilet and bath (with hot and cold shower). The bed is a double deck, with a pull out at the bottom. This room costs P2,500.00, this on top of the P100.00 entrance fee per person.

Guests are also required to pay for the Outdoor Kitchen and Utilities if you intend to cook your own food. This is an additional P500.00, plus you have to get a table or nipa hut near the beach where you can put your things while swimming or eating. We were assigned a nipa hut, good for four persons, costing P750.00.
When we arrived, they had no electricity. we were definitely bummed out. it was lunch time already and it was hot. i was hoping to rest in our airconditioned room. the owners were apologetic, assuring us that this is a rare occassion. they even lent us plastic beach beds and pillows so that we can rest outside, beside our nipa hut. hubby was disappointed, but was soon snoring off to dreamland since the bed was comfy and the ocean breeze was very relaxing. the thick trees also provided cool shade for us weary travelers.

They also had a playground for bored kiddies, and videoke machines for bored adults. Banana boat rides and other fun stuff are also available upon request.
they also had a big bird cage, in the middle of the picnic area, however i couldn't find any birds. i was also amused at their bulkan grille. it was a place where you can grill stuff, shaped like a volcano. it had an exhaust fan on top to direct the smoke out to the volcano's "crater". however when it was our turn to use the grille the exhaust was not working so instead we were engulfed with a cloud of smoke. the sacrifice was worth it though because we had a wonderful dinner that night...thanks to hubby!

anyway here are some more random shots of the resort:

The beach itself was ok. not white sand but it was ok. water was very clear. too bad though that at the time that we were there, there were a lot of jelly fishes. when we got out of the water, we felt itchy all over.

Anyway, all in all, we had a great time. Bea had fun playing on the shore, we even brought home some sand as a keepsake for Bea's first Beach Experience. It was definitely a family bonding time worth remembering!

How to get a Philippine Passport for a Minor

Kudos to the government for making it easier for people to secure a Philippine passport. No need to go through agencies or fixers. We were able to apply for a passport in under 3 hours. And that was for the three of us already.

I was pretty excited to get a passport for my daughter; this will be her first ever valid ID. First things first, I had to prepare the requirements. (I just called the NSO hotline: (( 02) 737-1111)


  • Personal Appearance is required.
  • Duly accomplished application form.
  • Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar duly authenticated by NSO.
  • Three (3) colored photos of the applicant taken against a royal blue background. Applicant should be in decent attire with collar. Photo must be of good quality, and must have been taken within the last six (6) months. Photo size: 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm. Facial image size: Not less than 3 cm. DFA has the right to reject photos that do not comply with specifications and international standards. **

    ** My advice, go ahead and invest in a good photo studio. We had our passport pics taken at Great Image. Sure, it is a bit pricey, but very reasonable. They know the DFA’s requirements and they are a stickler for details. Plus they even offered us a guarantee that they will retake our daughter’s picture if it does not pass the DFA’s standards, as long as we return all the prints. I remember a friend’s horror story of having her daughter’s picture taken a number of times because they did not pass the standards. (The background was not blue enough, she had earrings, and her face was too small in the pic.)Imagine the inconvenience caused, and in the end, she wasted a lot more money than she would’ve paid in a reputable photo studio.

Additional Requirements:

For Minors (below 18 years old)

Personal appearance of either parent (if minor is of legitimate status).
Personal appearance of mother (if minor is of illegitimate status)
** There is no need for a personal appearance of the minor

If minor is NOT traveling with either parent:

Original and photocopy of DSWD Clearance
Affidavit of Support and Consent

If both parents are abroad:

Affidavit of support and consent (must be authenticated by the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate General if not executed before a Consul).

Special Power of Attorney (must be authenticated by the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate General if not executed before a Consul designating the representative by name and authorizing him to apply for a passport on behalf of the minor).

Passport and photocopy of the passport of the traveling companion of the minor.

Identification Card and photocopy thereof of the duly authorized person.

When we had all the requirements, the next step was to go to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Site to get an appointment (click here to be directed to appointment page). This step is key, believe me! When hubby and I got to the DFA, we were shocked at the mass of people lined up at the basketball court. At first I thought we had to go and line up too, but then we were informed that if you didn’t get an appointment online, you’d HAVE to fall in line FOR AN APPOINTMENT, and then go back the next day to have your application processed. Since we already have an appointment, we skipped that loooong line. (whew!) I scheduled an appointment for the three of us on Saturday afternoon and was scheduled the following Tuesday afternoon. Just remember to print the DFA’s confirmation letter along with the application form (downloadable from their site) that way you’ll save time by accomplishing these forms beforehand.

My daughter being a minor, I had to sign my daughter’s application form on her behalf, I was also the one who placed my thumb marks.

Then we went directly to gate 2. From there we were directed to a room filled with people sitting on long benches. We also fell in line. The wait was not that long, plus we were comfortable since we were sitting down. When it was our turn, the girl behind window # 3 checked our documents and asked me to have my application form photocopied because it a duplicate was attached to Bea’s application.

After this, we were directed to the auditorium where payments are made.


Regular Processing
(14 working days)
44-Page = P 500.00

Expedited Processing

(7 working days)
Additional P 250.00

Replacement of Lost valid Passport
44-Page = P 700.00

Then we had to fall in line again for the encoding. Again we were made comfortable because we were provided with seats. The line moved fast since there were more than fifteen encoders arranged in a semi circle in the auditorium.

After this, we headed back to the basketball court where there were companies offering door to door deliveries. If you wanted to save a hundred pesos, you can opt to return to the DFA and claim your passport yourself, or you can choose to avail of their services and have your passport delivered to your door step. You can choose from LBC, 2Go, Air 21 and DHL. We chose 2Go not only because they were a peso cheaper (P99), they also exerted more effort in trying to lure us in. hahaha. I got the feeling of being in the MOA seaside area were guys/girls/gays beckoned at everyone passing by to come and try their food. =)

That was the last step, and then the waiting begins. I’m so excited!

LO Share : Just The Two of Us

I still haven't discovered scrapbooking when Bea was this small... i'm making up for lost time...=)

photo hunt :: four

i chanced upon these super cute wooden paper clips at our local bookstore. and guess what? they were sold per set of four! who ever said that the office should always be drab and boring? i always make it a point to try to add some life and color in my office workspace... makes corporate life less torturous. =)

Going Gaga Over Pet Society

Lately, my darling sister and I have been addicted to Facebook’s Pet Society. I have a dog named Spunkette while she has a dog (?) named Flipflap. Our cousin, Ella invited us to join. At first, I ignored the invitation, I mean I have so many pending invitations and this particular invitation didn’t arouse my interest. But then she kept on talking about her pet and how often she played Pet society, so I got curious, finally accepted the invite and created my own pet. Initially, spunkette was a boy dog named spunky. But when I started dressing him up, I realized that clothing options for male pets were quite limited. My inadequate number of coins earned didn’t help either. Plus, as we all know, it is always for fun to play dress up with little girls. So I went ahead and changed his gender. He became a she and spunky became spunkette.

My sister’s pet went through the same dilemma, and in the end she also chose for be a girl. Although the name flipflap remained the same.

We’ve been playing for some time now and we have been so addicted, that whenever our respective computers are on, we are logged on to Pet Society for sure, joining races, buying mystery boxes, feeding and bathing our pets and well as other’s. In other words, we are simply hooked! We even exchange emails just to talk about our pets and their latest adventures in their virtual world. Bea already recognizes our pets. She just loves to watch us play with our pets. She especially loves it when we feed them. (She makes the munching sound along with our pets.)

Bea knows them by name. She even invented her own pet. We didn’t teach her or anything. She just came up with it on her own.

“Who is mommy’s pet?” “Anket (Spunkette)”.

“Who is ninang’s pet?” “Plipplap (Flipflap)”.

“Who is Bea’s pet?” “Em-em” (!)

It doesn’t matter how many times we ask her, her answer is consistent. It’s always Em-em!

Yep, even Bea is going gaga over Facebook’s Pet Society!

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