The Gift

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights.

~James 1:17

While some may be trying their best to stop bearing a child as they are very prolific when it comes to reproduction, two of my sisters have been married for more than 5 years and yet, never had babies. Many of my friends remain childless too despite being very religious in trying out to making babies and making a family.

Parenthood, more so motherhood is a gift, that when given a chance, you need to embrace it and make the best to rear the children and take care of them so they grow to be wonderful people of the world. Parenting is a gift that not every couple is gifted with. And if you are a parent who has the gift of children, this is the time that you embrace the gift, make sure that this gift is being taken cared of, and be made sure that you ensure the family with HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT that will empower the children to be responsible people when they grow up.

Discover the joy of motherhood, it is a gift that when you learn to unwrap it and make use of it, it is the best thing that will shape you as a person.

Happy New Year to all the mothers out there!

For the Whole Family – We Bring You Paskuhan sa Gensan 2013

After all the many tragedies that have come warping our economy and the country in general, from earthquakes to super typhoons and the issues on PDAF and DAP which have been held hostage by politicians and their deplorable friends, there is this approaching Christmas that we also must face. And it is only once in a year that Christmas comes as compared to typhoons which make it until letter Z of the alphabet until the end of each year.

 It is my opinion that we should not refrain ourselves from some merrymaking for as long as we have in our conscience, already given something to help the needy. Yes, the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake in Bohol may have stricken off their calendars the name of Christmas but that should not be the case. It is in my belief that not only do we celebrate Christmas because of the eating and the luncheon, but we must celebrate it in the name of the one whose birthday is believed to be December 25. Come on, it is celebrated but once a year.

In this light, Paskuhan sa Gensan as a yearly celebration is to be celebrated this year as the Generals deserve a break from all the bad vibes that Year 2013 has brought about.

Also, this year’s theme, Pasko ng Pagkakaisa, Hudyat ng Pag-asa, is the city’s united shoutout of inspiration for victims of recent calamities brought about by Typhoon Yolanda and earthquake in Visayas.  It is also for renewed hope in the new year to come.

Paskuhan sa Gensan

Paskuhan sa Gensan is organized by General Santos City Tourism Council, headed by the city’s First Lady and the Council’s Chairperson, Ms. Jane Gollon-Rivera, in cooperation with DepEd Gensan and with the support of Department of Tourism Region 12 and Philbest Canning Corporation.

The celebration kicks off with the opening of the Pamilihan sa Paskuhan (Christmas Bazaar) at the Oval Plaza on December 6, today, and will be officially opened on December 17 with a spectacular Grand Opening Christmas Show at the Oval Plaza.

The whole month of December features events from various private and government sectors ranging from Variety Shows to band competitions to special parties for indigent citizens of the city.

Christmas is specially featured in first-time events Lantern Parade, Paskuhan sa Barangay, Mayor’s Night, Christmas Carols and Movie at the Park on December 15, 24, 25 and 26.

Pamilihan sa Paskuhan

Pamilihan sa Paskuhan is a Christmas Bazaar where there is a line of businesses displaying their produce, aka trade fair. Also, there will be booths for pre-loved items, food, indigenous products from anywhere SOCCSKSARGEN. This is one great place for promotion in as much as tourists and balikbayans can visit this place to check out what’s products are new in the area, what are affordable and what makes them interesting or exciting.

Here’s the layout of the Pamilihan sa Paskuhan which starts off today.

Movie(s) at the Park

While those of you can afford to watch movies in the best theaters, it is a fact that there are still many of our fellow constituents who may not have been to a moviehouse yet.

So instead of having to pay for a steep cost in the malls to watch a good movie, here’s something that will be a good way to unwind during the Christmas night times. Family movies will be played and they will be children-friendly in order for the masses to enjoy without having to deal with rated PG or GP hullabaloo.

There are still more events/activities to visit, here’s the Calendar of Activities that Paskuhan sa Gensan peeps has prepared for us.

What’s more, major streets together with the Oval Plaza and Plaza Heneral Santos will be transformed in keeping with the Holidays with the significant help from the diligent businessmen and women of the city. The Oval Plaza will be open daily from December 6 to January 5, 2014 for the Flea Market, Carnival and almost nightly events and parties.

 Paskuhan Sa Gensan culminates on December 31, 2013 with a Countdown to 2014 at the Oval Plaza to be led by the City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and his family.

The Daughter Can Draw

My architect/artist/engineer in the making

I am not sure what she wants to become by the time she grows mature enough to think about what she really wanted to do. As of the moment, every time I ask her, she does not give me straight answers. She’s 7 anyway, that’s why. But things are beginning to be clearer to me, she can really draw, and she is an artist by heart.

I have often wondered where my kids got their talent in drawing or painting; the husband does not paint nor can I. But the kids’ uncles and my own Dad has a way with pencils, maybe that can be reason enough.

I am just so proud of my daughter and son for they have the knack for putting into art what they want to express. And because I  can’t, I satisfy myself by just looking at their creations and I swell with pride.

This is my daughter’s version of a playground cum resort. I know her brain’s been capturing places where we have been to, but I was surprised she can do it in the aerial view.

What can moms do to encourage their children to do what they want? Well, for one, I would love that she practices more drawings and sketching and painting, that’s why I make it a point to buy all that she needs from colors to paint brushes and sketch pads. That’s all I can do to inspire her more. I also praise her for the nice drawings that she creates, and I make sure that I hug them for doing a great job.

As a working mother, my time is very limited because I can only personally care for them before they go to school and when I arrive home from the office. On weekends, most of my time is shared to going to class, doing the laundry and a few more chores. While doing all these chores may be a sign of your love for the kids, it can be very incomplete and lacking quality. I hate it when I lose my time for the kids, especially when review periods for tests arrive. Periodical tests may be a love-hate relationship for us because I can also be drastic in reviewing with them, but I get the chance to get to know them more thru the lessons they share to me.

I just wish that my kids will understand that everything that I do, I do it for them. All the things that we as parents do, we dedicate to them. Sometimes it may be hard for them to understand this, but giving them constant love thru communication even if you lack time with them, can be a consolation.

Best Money-saving Tips One Can Use

I am glad that I don’t really splurge on something really luxurious. In fact, I am a very simple wife, a mother who would only love to pamper children more because I love them and it can be through giving them the right amount of love, from food to clothes to a few wants. While this year seems to be an austerity year for me and my family because of the husband’s displacement from work, all the more that I feel the need to save money because I have to feed the kids alone, until hopefully the husband finds a job.

Here are a few tips I have been using even way before.

1. While I may love coffee very much, my love for coffee only stays at home. I drink coffee at home because I don’t like to spend on branded coffee as it is really expensive. Besides, the home coffee you would take would still perk you up however cheap it is.

2. I recycle my clothes. It’s been a long while that I have not bought any clothes or shirts for that matter. As much as I would love to have them new clothes, I still love to use some of my old clothes that’s why I really do not buy new ones.

3. Invest in quality items. I got this idea from the husband who deals with no-cheap matters when buying some stuffs. When he buys stuffs, it should be of quality make, otherwise, you will continue buying again and again because the first one has failed you because it broke immediately or wasn’t put to good use because of its lack for quality.

4. Bring lunch to work. I do that, aside from not being able to go out under the heat of the sun, there’s the savings because you will no longer have to spend for your lunch.

5. Avoid going to the mall when you can. This way, you can avoid spending for anything unless it is urgent.

This may be the challenges because one would feel the “CHANGE” in spending, but you should also learn to live with it, that way, you can save a few for your emergency needs.

Saving eh? Try these tips. It works.

 

 

Happy Eating Time with Your Kids

I envy those kids who, when called for meals, would automatically drop whatever they are doing for food. Because my kids never had that kind of enthusiasm when dealing with any meal except maybe when we go out and the east we can afford is a Jollibee meal. Oh well, kids! They always need appetite-boosting! So here’s what you also would want to learn – appetite-boosting tips for the kids’ mealtimes.

I have been having this problem since I had them, the two of them to be exact. Like brother like sister, I can honestly say that whatever I have experienced with the son, so have I with the daughter. They do not eat much, they are so picky with their food! I have been trying my best to really reach out, ask them, create foods that can entice them to eat many, and eat on time, but to no avail. Until, some magic told me to make a few innovations on their plates and so I have been creative with their meals since.

1. Play a game during mealtime. Trying to ask them what are the ingredients I have included in their meals would somehow boost their interest on what they are eating. From a simple answer of a chickpea, to an herb, they are now more at ease in knowing what is with their food.

2. Decorate the plate. Ahhh, this I have been doing, but it’s not only the plate that you should decorate. Maybe you should include the food that is to be set on their plates. I am sure that they will love a cute smiley banana on a saucer, topped with some chocolate melts. That would be lovely!

3. Try to eat somewhere else, outside the house, for example. You may eat in the backyard with Dad doing the barbecue, or in the veranda trying to breathe in some lovely clean air. And maybe you can all do the cooking too, just to make it more fun.

4. Teach your kids to enjoy eating while being conscious of their table manners. It goes  to show that while at at, being messy and all, there should be room for manners especially in the table.One good example is by how the utensils should end up after meal.

5. Treat them with what they want after the meal. A good ice cream, a strawberry meringue or anything that will keep them eating until they get to the best part of the meal – dessert! Remember! It should be nutritious too!

With all of these 5 tips, why don’t you try having a happy mealtime with the kids starting now. It ain’t too late to change their eating moods!

 

 

 

 

Mind your Diet this Rainy Season!

I have no idea there is a diet to be followed when it is a rainy season on your side of the world. Seriously. But when I found out, I was checking all over the net on what other facts are there to support their theories about having to follow a certain diet come the rainy days. So here’s what I got me poring over the past days…

  1. One has to avoid heavy, salty food as it promotes water retention and tummy bloating. This sometimes causes upset tummies especially for the kids.
  2. Eat light foods like fruits and vegetables, cereals. These are what the body needs, always!
  3. Foods cooked in oil are likely to decrease digestive efficiency, avoid them.
  4. Oats, chickpea, corn, nuts are foods which are drying in nature. They are certainly effective grow foods that may help you for easy digestion.
  5. Foods rich in Vitamin C are what you need the most. Okra, banana, citrus, even bell pepper and chili contain Vitamin C that may boost your immunity from getting sick.
  6. Try to avoid buying from roadside vendors as you may not be very sure how the food they are selling have been prepared. For your sake, it is always better to foods cooked from home, and enjoy one that’s sure to be free from any contamination.
  7. Vegetable soups combat infection because they are filled with micro-nutrients. And when you have soups, the cold feeling of tha rainy season will not get to your skin. You will feel relieved of the cold.
  8. To add immunity, you may add turmeric, garlic and ginger. They are good and potential immunity boosters.
  9. Also, bitter herbs and vegetables like the bitter gourd (ampalaya) make for good immunity boosters too and help prevent infection.
  10. To get you warmed up, a cup of tea or hot chocolate will keep you relaxed. Coffee may also do you good as it contains antioxidants. But remember, too much of everything is not good! So take everything in moderation.

 

 

Coffee Grounds for the Garden

To make your garden feel a tad happier, I learned that it happens if you put coffee grounds on it. Well, thank you for that information. When I went to Starbucks late this week, there’s this corner where a basket filled with coffee grounds are on display. And Starbucks coffee grounds are for free!

Starbucks coffee grounds for your garden

And since I love coffee, and I have advocated on what better ways one can use coffee for, here’s another great news for coffee lovers! Coffee grounds when added with the soil can make your plants a little happier. Here’s the reason why:

1. Your coffee grounds, when mixed in the soils can neutralize the acidic state that some plants give off to the soil where it is planted. In this way, the coffee grounds can help in neutralizing the health of the soil, replacing the acidic one with a more fertile soil as the coffee grounds also add compost to it.

2. Mixing fresh coffee grounds with your carrot seeds on the garden plot will repel weeds and root maggots on your root crops like carrots and potatoes. Also, it helps for easier sowing. Coffee grounds contain calcium, nitrogen, magnesium and phospohorus, also potassium which adds to a healthy ground for your plants.

3. Digging garden soil and mixing the coffee grounds with it will encourage earthworms that can be source of good compost soil for your garden. The soil get heated up, and in a short while adds nutrient to the soil.

4. A half pound of coffee grounds, when mixed with water and let sit on air temperature, will eventually make liquid fertilizer you can spray on your plants!

5. When your soil is mixed with coffee grounds, it is said to repel insect infestation. Also, it can help in the production of healthier melons and tomatoes!

Personal Priorities: Children First

A colleague once asked me how my priorities changed from being single to being a wife and a mother. A lot, I told her. One year after graduation in college, I was already working then, I had to make a decision to become a wife. So you see, I never had opportunities of going to bars, dating till the break of dawn, partying till your feet hurt.

I had a child when I was 23, and that changed my priorities fast. I stopped working, had to take care of the child until I went back to work on the son’s 2nd year.  I made myself busy, for the kid and the husband. I went to working till night, doing overtime work because we do not ask from the husband’s parents nor from mine. We lived basically not dependent on what the parents would give us, but managed to slowly build up the family on our own. From milk to diapers, vitamins and doctor visits, we raised the kid on our own. The MIL may have had contributed cans of milk on her grocery days, but that’s just about it, and we are thankful.

The kid was in school at 4 years old and by then, I decided I’d go to law school while doing work in the daytime, reached my second year until I got pregnant with a daughter. I stopped studying on my third trimester as I was on the second semester of my second year in law school and never had a chance to go back until now, because I just started with my career.

Priorities change when you experience things that need realizations and a motion. Some people tend to carry out their priorities wrongly, that is the reason why they fail. But priorities, aside from me and the husband rearing the kids well and good, we have also carried out our own relationship. we have noticed that we sometimes need to go out alone together, with no kids tagging along, to bond with each other.

Our priorities dance with what life brings us. We may dance with life’s temptations and change the priorities we have set. Or we may choose to dance with what we really want, and rise up each time we fall.

Parenting is a priority, so much so with being a wife. But my foremost priority is the children’s welfare, more than all the riches this world can offer. My children is the source of my JOY and STRENGTH, a feeling just like all the mothers in the world feel.

Be Your Own Santa Claus

Mothers, take heed of this! You deserve something for yourself!

Yes, you heard me right! After stressful bouts with workweeks in the office, at work or even in the comfort of your household, you need something to cheer you up and something to remind you that you have been a good MOM. Kids are not the only ones who need cheering up, and they are not only the ones who need a Santa Claus to make them feel good because they have been good the whole year round. You too!

As parents, we may have fulfilled the needs of our children, and they may have enjoyed the fruits of your labor since they got delivered to this earth, but we also must give something to ourselves to remind us of our self-worth. Do not forget that you also have needs and wants, therefore, at this very timely season, you can be your own Santa Claus.

You do have that Christmas bonus, right? Don’t count it before it is hatched. Some parents feel pressed to spend what they still do not have, in the end, crying over what decisions they may have done wrong because something did not end up right. When you are already sure that your Christmas bonuses are already in your ATM accounts, have a plan on how you can use it. It is a bonus and may not be included in the monthly budget list.

Give yourself a reward! For being a good mom, you may have neglected yourself, buy clothes, new pair of shades, a brand new bag, or something that will make you really happy. A new casserole maybe, a new gadget to go with your work and lifestyle, or something that you can use as a hobby. You deserve it. Nothing compensates to being a fulfilled and happy mom, so give that bonus a little shake, it may be part of your Christmas cash gift or the whole of it. I really do not care but be your own Santa Claus for yourself, you deserve a handshake and a pat on the back.

For me though, a couple of new blouses will make me happy!

Or this?

 

I Walked in the Sky!

 When I went to Cebu last month, I was particularly excited for the adventure that i know I will be having. I had already made up plans in my head. I thought it would be interesting to travel alone for the first time, without the husband, the kids and mostly because in that seminar I have attended, I knew I will be making new friends. And since I was on my own during that trip, I found it very relaxing that I don’t have to think of someone else’s situation. I am a worrier, in fact I worry a lot that I am concerned about what others will feel, what others are thinking about and what others are doing.

So when that alone-time came and it was Cebu, my adventurous self came into existence once more. I met with a friend in Cebu, he and his wife toured me to one of the highest points in Cebu. Mr. A. We had coffee there after a good meal in Ayala Terraces.  I also had a chance to be toured in Cebu IT Park and other nice jampacked places of the city.

After the seminar of two nights in a secluded island, I had the chance of being with these three kindred spirits who accompanied me, and are willing to try the Skywalk at Crown Regency Hotel. Club Ultima is just a few blocks away from where we are staying in Cebu City after the seminar thus our trip downtown was fun and adventurous, walking around Cebu all by ourselves and deciding we could try walking in the sky!

With knees trembling and turning jelly, it was when we paid off the ticket that we could not get it back again that made us to push through with the plan. Walking on a platform just a meter with transparent glass at some point was all there is to make us appreciate what Cebu is actually made of. The tour guide up the 39th floor was cool and we had a good laugh while we were suspended by a safety harness looking down a good 38 stories below us.

But it was really fun. And adventurous. I’d love to try more of this kinds of adventure in my life, maybe with the kids soon. But I have to try it out myself because having to pose a similar emotion when in front of the kids is a different thing. I might puke when kids are involved. I’m the one more afraid for them. That’s why I have to find the courage to do it myself.

Motherhood is not always about parenting. It is also discovering yourself and enjoying life by yourself, never minding other things. As a working mom, I felt that I actually needed that alone-time. It is a must that we can be ourselves no matter what, and give ourselves some time to be alone, to just think things without somebody to talk to but just our thoughts. We need some time to argue with ourselves. And in that moment, you discover more of yourself.