Meal Time Talk

28 September 2012

Whenever it's time to eat, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, all household entertainment appliances and gadgets in our house must be turned off. Even before Sharon Cuneta appeared on a Lucky Me television commercial, promoting the importance of healthy family conversation during mealtimes, we were already practicing that in the house.
Because questions like "How's school today?" only gives me a you-won't-get-anything-from-me-today answer like "Nothing much happened" or"Boring!" from my son, I've learned to ask "specific" questions like "Any funny story from D today?" or "Did P showed his picture wearing chef uniforms again?" Through these talks, I get to know how his day at school had been.

We also talk while playing our before-bedtime games and before sleeping while lights are turned off already.

My son is now 11. Through these conversations, I also learn about his friends and much more other things that happened when he's not under my watchful eye without meddling in his life too much, or at least not being too obvious about it.

What’s your Ideal Weight?

27 September 2012

I rarely check my weight. But when I do, it's always in the normal range in proportion with my height. Well that's according to health experts, based on what I've read online and offline. But with my petite frame and my high cheekbones, I don't feel happy every time I look at myself in the mirror.

A healthy diet combined with rigorous exercise works well for me. That's what I did after giving birth to my son. My exercise routine was 90 minutes, divided in 3 workouts, of cardio and strength training everyday. I followed a no-rice, plenty of leafy greens diet. At 25, my waistline shrunk back to 24 inches. Last time I had that waistline was when I was 12 years old!

white rice bowl Then one day, I decided to taste a few spoonful of rice. The few spoonfuls slowly became 1 or 2 cups. My waistline jumped to 27 in no time, sometimes it’s 28, when gluttony kicks in it's 29, but never again did it go back to 24 inches.

I did shrink it back to an acceptable 26 inches, but I had to do a daily belly dance workout. I want to maintain it to 25.5-26 inches but it's just so hard!

I've seen a number of weight loss supplement advertisements on the health magazines that I buy from time to time. I'm so tempted to try it and see if it can speed up the process of weight loss for me without doing tiring exercises and dieting.

There's this appetite suppressant called Appesat,, which looks very promising. When I'm trying to stick on a diet plan, my brain always tease me by making me think that I'm hungry. Appesat use a type of seaweed that apparently expands when it reaches the stomach, thus making one feel full. And what makes it different from other weight loss supplement is it's not absorbed in the blood stream. One downside though is it doesn't work on suppressing food cravings. Some reviews on this appetite suppressant are available at

But I won’t be trying any weight loss supplements at this time. So I’m sticking with my current diet of whole wheat food, fruits and vegetables. I also use my stationary bike a few times a week. I have been at it for a weeks and I think I’ve lost a bit of weight already.

Do you have any tips on what I can still do to speed up the process of achieving my ideal weight?

Hard Work Pays Off

18 September 2012

My son told me Wednesday last week that he's going to perform with 5 of his classmates for Monday's (that was yesterday) Service Interaction day. He's going to play the guitar and his classmates will sing. They will perform Bruno Mars's Count on Me.

He learned to play two songs last summer break by just watching tutorial videos on YouTube. So he just searched YouTube for an easy enough tutorial for him to follow, by himself without my help. He learned "Count on Me" in just a few minutes, here's the tutorial video in case you're interested to learn it. 

So everyday, as soon as we arrive home from his Chinese tutor, he practice for an hour or so without me reminding him.

Yesterday, armed with his one-month-old RJ Guitar, yep guitar brand is same name as him, he went to school nervous but confident.

I called his class adviser and asked if it’s possible for someone can take a video of the group’s performance since it’s RJ’s first ever performance in front of a crowd. And he worked hard, studying the song by himself, to make his performance perfect. She said she’ll ask someone.

When I picked RJ up in school, he said their performance was great. Except for the last part, one of the singers stopped so he stopped playing the guitar. The audience clapped thinking that their performance was done already. So except for that part, their performance was very good.

Today, he told me that he’s again asked to perform for next Friday’s Appreciation Day. I am so proud of him.

Am I a Super Woman?

13 September 2012

I can't count on my fingers the number of times I heard some mom friends say they're very tired. One of them has one child and she has a maid and she can call a relative to drive her anywhere she needs to go. Another has three grown up kids, who doesn't need to get taken care of, a maid, a nanny, tutor for her kids and a full-time driver.

And they're tired?

I feel like a super woman every time I compare what I have to do everyday with what my friends do.

wonder-woman  This is how my day looks like. I wake up around 5:10 am to prepare breakfast and the lunch meal that my son needs to bring to school. School service picks up my son before 6:30am. Then I clean the house, wash the dishes and do some online work. I also research new topics for my blogs and new things to do on my spare time. I also squeeze in some exercise, shower and I then rest for an hour or two before 1pm because I usually sleep at 12-1:30am the previous night. At 1pm, I eat lunch and prepare the laundry that the laundromat will pick up or those that I need to wash in the afternoon. I also prepare the fruits and sandwich for my son's merienda.

I then have to wait for a taxi and go to my son's school at 2:30pm to pick him up. School bus leaves at around 3:30pm-4:30pm to bring us home. I do some blog updates while waiting for the school bus to leave. The school bus drops us off at my son's Chinese tutor and I walked to our house which is three buildings away from his tutors.

Upon arriving home, I cook, do the laundry, do some work and finish other household chores that I wasn't able to do in the morning. When my son calls, I then pick him up and continue the tasks that I left off as soon as we arrive in the house. I help him review his other subjects also.

We then eat dinner and catch up on the interesting things that happened to him in school. Then I wash the dishes, squeeze in some exercise (if it's not too late), I take a bath, we play chess or monopoly, then we pray, talk some more and RJ falls asleep.

My day doesn't end there. I finish off some work, do more research, dry the dishes.

And then I get to sleep, as I've said usually between 12midnight - 1:30am.

So? Am I a super woman compared with some of my mom friends? I'd like to think so!

MTRCB for Books?

12 September 2012


My friend T shared a facebook note on her wall yesterday. It's an open letter from a parent to bookstores in the Philippines (particularly to National bookstore and Powerbooks). The parent is asking bookstores in the country, as well as the Philippine government, to regulate the selling of books appropriately. He is asking for a regulating body for books just like what MTRCB is for films/movies.


He was concerned with the books that his teenage daughter bought recently, 50 Shades of Grey and The Perks of a Wallflower. I haven't had the time to read the said books yet but the former is actually in my iBooks already because a lot of people I know liked it. The parent was saying that the books are pornographic in nature and should not be read by teenagers.




I'm a regular at bookstores. I and my son, my sisters as well, are bookworms. Books for kids are separated from adult books. So my son, without me telling him at all, goes straight to the kids section of the bookstore. The other parent's problem though is his teenage daughter is neither a kid nor an adult. This is where parenting should come in.


The daughter is a teenager already. In my opinion, the parent should allow the daughter to read the books. Unless he wants her to read it behind his back. Unless he’d rather she know of "the ways of the world" from other mediums without his knowledge.


We are not in the medieval period anymore. The dad might be able to take those books away from her but she'll hear and see from other people like her peers, from the media and from the online world as well, those terms that they want to shield her teenage-mind from.

The best thing that the girl’s parents should do, in my opinion, is to also read the books their kids read. Discuss and explain the contents of the books with their kids. However awkward it may seem, they should do it. This way, lying and doing things behind their back, without their knowledge would be avoided.


Parenting in the past is not applicable anymore to the present time, even my mom said so. Everything in this world is fast-paced now. We should leave in the past what should be in the past, including the past’s way in parenting. We should go with the flow, so to speak. By being very protective with our kids, we’re actually doing them (and us) more harm than good.

Happy Birthday Mama Mary

09 September 2012

September 8 is the feast day of Our Virgin Mother. Mama Mary’s feast day was yesterday here in the Philippines. My son RJ attends a Chinese-Catholic school run by Jesuits and they’ll be celebrating the birthday of Mama Mary tomorrow. They are required to bring flowers.

The whole of Bicol Region also celebrates the feast day of the Ina (mother) of the Bicolanos, Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia), every third Saturday and Sunday of September. Bicolanos from all walks of life pay honor to the miraculous Virgin Mother for a nine-day festivities at the Virgin of Peñafrancia’s shrine in Naga Cathedral.


I remember going to Naga and attending the feast day mass a few times with my grandmother when I was still a little girl. Because of heavy traffic, from vehicles and throngs of people alike, we always have to walk for a few minutes, it felt like hours to me when I was a little girl, to eat Pansit at her favorite restaurant. Pansit is a noodle dish introduced by the Chinese to Filipinos. I’m glad I have that memory with my Inay (mother), that’s what we call our grandma, to cherish. Although I know it will be a tiring day, I always look forward to attending the mass and eating Inay’s favorite pansit during the Naga fiesta.

Happy Birthday, Mama Mary!

And Happy Fiesta to all Nagaeños!

savings and withdrawal

08 September 2012

My son has his own bank accounts. Two savings accounts at Banco de Oro and BPI Family Bank respectively. I started giving him an allowance of 20 pesos per school day a few years back with the purpose of teaching him early on about savings and investment.

He’s doing good. For the past few years, most of his allowance goes straight to the bank. But growing up means having more needs and wants. I have seen him a few times buying ice cream, candies or cotton candy at dismissal time. He does manage to still save most of his allowance even with those purchases.

Today, I was able to point out to him, for the nth time, the value of having his own savings. He wanted to buy a new book from The Heroes of Olympus series. It was hardbound and of course more expensive than a softbound book. I said, “If you can’t wait for the softbound book, then you have to use your own money to buy it.”


So he withdrew 450 pesos from his bank account to pay for the book. I then told him afterwards, “Because of your savings, you were able to buy the next book in the book series. See how important savings (and investment) is? If you save your allowance and do not use it up for unimportant things, you’ll have money once there’s a need for you to buy something very important.”

He agreed wholeheartedly.

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