Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ivan's Nursery Graduation

This is my son Ivan when he was just 45 days old.

And this is Ivan today, recently graduating from Nursery School.

We opted to give him an early education, thus he began his formal schooling at age 3.  Because we knew, in our current world (considered as the digital age), there are a lot of things that he already needs to learn apart from everything we are teaching him at home.

Almost all parents say this "education is the only gift we can give to our children", and we would like to adhere to this.  We would like our son to have the best education, to prepare him for his future.  So that someday, when he is already grown-up, he can decide for himself whatever he wants.

This is my first graduation ceremony as a mom myself, yeheyy!  Just like any other parents who were there today at the MonteVista Resort (venue of graduation),  I cannot contained my excitement.  Its just a bit sad that Ivan's dad cannot be with us on this very memorable day.  He is working overseas, earning a living for all of us.

The kids themselves were all so excited.

I kept on nagging at Ivan because he is always holding his graduation cap, afraid that it will fall off from his head. 

Primarily, I would like to thank his ever patient teacher/adviser for taking care of Ivan for the last ten months.  For the guidance she has provided and for instilling into our son, essential first steps of his formal education.

Likewise, for all the other teachers and staff at Smartkids Integrated School for providing a second home for Ivan.

Ang "kukulit nila". 

Wonderin' what's that green lump on his forehead? well he bumped into a wall 2 days ago. Talking about being an active and sometimes naughty kid.

But we are always proud of you Ivan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rice Baby Powder by Tiny Buds

My son Ivan has "asthma symptoms" according to his pediatrician.  Therefore he suggested not to use any strong scents on him like powder nor cologne because that will trigger his condition especially if he has coughs and colds.

 But just like any growing up kid he is very active. 

He always like running around with the other kids in the neighborhood, his playmates.  He is also "pawisin" and I always need several pieces of towels in a day to put on his back.  My mother told me to put baby powder on his back at least to minimize excessive sweating.  Accordingly the baby powder absorbs wetness (that's what also the TV ads says).  Of course I cannot do that because I am really avoiding the use of powder since I knew most baby powder available in the market today are made from "talc".  It is general knowledge nowadays that talc has not so good effects if inhaled.

I am just so glad that I found out "rice baby powder" from Tiny Buds when I attended Expo Mom last year.
 It is a premium quality baby powder made from 100% real rice grains.  This biodegradeable and hypoallergenic baby powder is completely free from harmful talc and other chemicals.
photo courtesy of IMF Wellness
It repels water which allows sweat to evaporate naturally.  This makes the Tiny Buds Rice Powder perfectly unique in keeping baby's skin healthy, fresh, moisturized and dry from perspiration.

The Tiny Buds Rice Powder is available in 90g bottle and costs P99.00.  It is available at Rustan’s Essenses and in leading Supermarkets and Department Stores nationwide.

For more details, check out their  website and like them on Facebook.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Personalized Picture Puzzle

I am not really surprised when this parcel arrived today. Because I am eagerly waiting for it. 

It is my prize gift from a giveaway hosted by Pinay Mommy Online, sponsored by Piczzle.

Our first ever family photo in a puzzle.

When I was informed that I was the winner of that giveaway,  I was super excited.  

I sent our family photo which was taken last December 2011.  It was a picture we had at the Brunei Empire Hotel.  The shot was memorable as well because it was taken on Christmas Day.

So they had our picture puzzled.  My son Ivan was super excited as well and helped me put the pieces together.  Actually, he was about to run away with it and put it among his toys.  I told him this is not meant as a toy, because he was thinking it was just one of those puzzles in his puzzle book.  He had a little cry of course, but mommygiay managed to comfort him.

As for now it is meant for safe keeping.  Not sure yet if I'll have it framed permanently or just in the box for some puzzle sessions with hubby when he's here for vacation.

Anyway, again thank you so much Pinay Mommy Online and Piczzle, a premier internet-based sale and manufacturing service of Jigsaw Puzzles. They offer two kinds of puzzles, one made of cardboard (the one sent to us) and wooden puzzles.  It comes in three sizes: rectangular, heart and circle. Price ranged from US$14.99 to US$399.99.  All major credit cards and Paypal are accepted.  Shipping is also available worldwide.

Picture puzzles are really ideal as gifts and giveaways.  You can order now your personalized picture puzzle.  Visit their website at www.piczzle.com or their  Facebook Page.

Celebrating Twenteen

Recently my eldest niece Nicole celebrated her 20th birthday.  Time really flies so fast.  Now we already have a not-so teen anymore young lady.  She is the first born of a younger brother who got married much earlier than me.  I sometimes feel envy about him because now he has grown-up kids while my only boy will only be graduating from nursery school.

Nicole is a real "Ate" to all her cousins, but not in name.  She is fondly called "Nene" by all of them and even us, which she prefer.

Maybe next year or two more years, she'll be leaving us and will miss her more.  Her family will soon be migrating to the US, where her dad (my brother) is already based.

It was a grand day for her because the party was a real surprise prepared by her friends and classmates.  For all she knew, there'll be just a simple celebration because her mom only cooked "pancit".
This is my entry for Yummy Sunday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Revisiting Jerudong Playground

This is a long overdue post of our recent travel in Brunei Darussalam.  Last December, Ivan had 2-week holiday from school and I think that was the best opportunity for us to visit his daddy. I requested as well a one-week absent from his teacher so as not to spoil the fun.  Also airfare is much lesser if we'll travel back second week of January.

We've been  to Brunei several times, were my husband is working for about 8 years now.  Yes! half of our married life, we're separated from each other.  To make it up for everything, other than his yearly home vacation to the Philippines, I used to go there alone.  When we had our son Ivan, those visits became family bonding time.

Other than wifey duties like cleaning the house, cooking and doing the laundry, we always visit Jerudong Playground which is just a stone throw away from the staff house.  

The magnificent "Crystal Arch" stands as a majestic sentry just across the Playground entrance.  It has become one of Brunei's most recognizable icons.  Weighing 7 tons, it is the largest known diamond replica in the world.

Jerudong Playground is an amusement park in Brunei Darussalam. It is the largest and most expensive amusement park in South East Asia, built and funded by the Bruneian government for $1 billion. In its early years of operation. it has no admission fees and rides are all free, you just need to queue up. But today, the management introduced a ticket card system.  Admission is free but guests need to purchase ticket to be able to enjoy the rides and its other attractions. Ticket costs B$8 (4 + 1 free rides) and B$10 (5 + 3 free rides). The ride operator will punch a hole to the ticket using a puncher just like those being used by bus conductors. Such to monitor, how many rides are already taken.

The playground only operates late afternoon onwards. Sunday,  Wednesday, Thursday, 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Friday & Saturday, 5:00pm - 11:00pm.  Mondays and Tuesdays, it is close.

Train Ride, Caterpillar Rice, Paddle Boat, Spin Zone
The big rides that they used to have were already sold.  What's left and available attractions now are mostly kiddie rides.

The last time we were here was in 2010 and Ivan was then more than 1 yr old.  Now that he is 3, he enjoys the Playground more.  Actually we're here almost everyday.  Most of the time, he'll go with his daddy off to work and I'll just pick him up later in the evening.

SupaKart, Shooting Gallery, Giant Carousel
December was school holiday in Brunei, therefore you can actually find the Playground full of guests. But other days except weekends, there will only be few visitors especially if its raining.

This is the Royal Buggy, for exclusive use of members of the Brunei Royal Family when they do visit the Playground.  The Royal princes are actually fond of visiting here, accordingly.  Daddy was lucky enough to meet them during those visits.

How I wish we can extend our vacation or just stay here permanently, but Ivan needs to go back to school.  I do promised him we'll come back and visit daddy again and go to Playground everyday (again!) if he'll do good in school.  He replied to me, "yes mommy, I am very good very good in school, I am the winner".

Ivan is the winner in our hearts and daddy and I do work very hard just to give him the best we can.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Grace Catcher First Blog Giveaway

I remember my first blog giveaway, it was August last year and I gave out a very nice Tupperware healthy set pack. Likewise I am an avid contest joiner myself, yeah! call me "contest fanatic". LOL.

This is now one of the blog contests that I am joining.

What will I win here? or possibly what will you gonna win?
Best in Beauty Book by Riku Campo
All Year Round Free Pass to Bazaars of Centris and NBC Tent @ The Fort
Etude House Pure Joy Nourishing Facial Lotion
Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub
Human Nature Balancing Facial Wash
Etude House Volume False Lash
Two Bobbie Nail Polish
Kabuki Brush
ELF Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder

and P500 worth of Gift Cheque from Funky Plum Vintage Shop
A special Shirt from the Funky Plum Vintage Shop

Wow! isn't that a very big loot?
Click here if you wanna join and get the chance to win these awesome prizes.

Open for Philippine residents only.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Health Guide Philippines 2012

Just like any ordinary mom I am becoming paranoid when my son gets sick or even not feeling well.  Just a slight fever or a day of coughing I will always rush him to his pediatrician or at the hospital ER even during unholy hours.  It was because he had history of hospitalization due to bronchitis when he was just 10 months old, and stayed at the hospital for 5 days.  After that I am always watchful about his health conditions.

Just some weeks ago I received a complementary copy of the Health Guide Philippines 2012 edition. Cheers to UBM Medica for coming up with this guide, its the 17th edition actually.  Also commended by the Philippine Department of Health for this publication which is really helpful for medical practitioners and households nationwide with an advanced and accurate guide to a wide range of medical information.

The guide content is divided into three sections.

I.  Golden Rules for Healthy Living - a discussion on certain healthy rules to live by.  Those that might enable us to live a long and disease-free life.

II. Common Health Topics and Product Guide - this section answer questions on common health problems, offers clear and simple advice on what you can do about them, and gives information on what your doctor may do to treat them.

Also included in this section are relevant over-the-counter medicines and healthcare products, featured at the end of each health topic discussion.

III. First Aid - provides readers with tips and pointers on how to go about emergency cases; how to act in these situations; how to treat injuries caused by accidents.
photo from web

Lastly, there is an index, which is an alphabetical listing of all common health topics and products found in the Health Guide.

I find the guide very useful.  Given its size of 17cm x 26.5cm x 1cm, it is very handy just like a small book that I can carry with me everywhere.  Actually I now like reading it once in a while, like a usual magazine or pocketbook.

The information contained herein are very useful, especially for a paranoid (again!) mom like me.  There are colorful illustrations as well.  My son Ivan, himself would like to browse through its pages because he kept on looking at those pictures of fruits and vegetables, kids and moms; and some products that we have around the house.  he'll tell me, "mommy, its the same as what we have!!!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EXPO Kid Year 4

Everyone's invited to come to the EXPO Kid Year 4 happening this Saturday, March 20, 2012 at the Rockwell Tent, Makati City.

Last year, me and my son Ivan attended Expo Kid 3 and the event was really a memorable experience for him.  He was only 2 1/2 years old then but he was so eager to participate in some of the booth activities.

This year's EXPO KID will feature 4 activity areas for kids of all ages, and for us mommies too. Our activity partners are:

CAMP ADOBO – a kids camp that stirs up and entices your child’s awareness and appreciation for the Filipino culture and it’s rich cultural values

MY MASTERPIECE MOVEMENT -  one of the most dynamic multi-arts schools in the country today 

HAPI HOMESCHOOLER  - the homeschool association of the philippine islands gives us a taste of a homeschoolers’ life. Tthey will also be accepting registration for the Philippine Homeschool Conference that set for May 19.

ENDERUN - gives us a taste and sneak peek into their unique course offerings for moms and children this summer

Entrance to Expo Kid year 4 is only 25 pesos per person. Kids below 12 years old get in free of charge. Mommy Mundo passport holders also get free entrance upon presentation of your card. 100% of registration fees go to MomShare outreach projects.

All attendees will be treated to
- yummy Lulubelle Frozen Yogurt samplers
- family photo from Fantasy Kiosk
- there will be Crystal Clear water stations situated around the venue for free drinking water

There is also a kids inflatable at the foyer area courtesy of FUN RANCH. For nursing moms, there will be a breastfeeding lounge.

You can also look forward to Mommy Mundo’s trademark expo area, where you can shop and learn about the latest products and services. Here’s our list of sponsors and exhibitors for Expo Kid Year 4:

Mommy Mundo
Shop Mommy Matters
Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

Cycles & Cradle
Crystal Clear
Tiny Buds
Lactacyd Baby Bath
Fantasy Kiosk

Media Sponsors:
Manila Bulletin
Sense & Style Magazine
Style Weekend
Working Mom Magazine
SmartParenting Magazine
Crossover 105.1 FM

Fun Ranch
Moringa 02
Aenyx Marketing
Hurom Juicer
Tiny Tots
Fancy Van
Cast & Frame
Tot Couture
Kids Juke Box
Hatch & Latch
Global Art
Little Red Shoe
Kiddie Tunes
Princess & Tutus
Silly Monkey Clothing
Mama & Me
The Yellow Mustard Seed
Bulilit Bookstore
Green 360
Charlie Banana
Stork Studio
Healthy Innovations
Tyler Marketing
Bug & Kelly
Indigo Baby
Brainfit Philippines
Organic Baby
Baby Shower Studio
Mad Science
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

Food Booths:
Classic Roast
Edible Option
Cake Avenue
Snowcone & Hotdogs

There’s also an onstage program starting noontime. 

Program Schedule:
12:00nn      Hapi Homeschoolers
2:00pm       Dance Performance by Ethan & Ivan
2:15pm       Mad Science
2:55pm       My Masterpiece Movement
3:30pm       Musik Garten
4:10pm      Excerpts from Coppelia by Danspace Ballet School
4:40pm      Mama & Me Fashion Show
5:10pm      Camp Adobo
5:55pm      KinderMusik with Teacher Jeannie

Please come to EXPO KID year 4 on March 10, 2012 at the Rockwell Tent. 
Let's all welcome Summer time.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ensaladang Katuray

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I'll be sharing some of  the vegetable recipes featured at the 2012 FNRI Menu Guide Calendar. Presenting "Ensaladang Katuray", an authentic ethnic appetizer featuring "katuray" flowers and ripe mango cubes blended with tomatoes, bagoong isda and vinegar that will surely stimulate your taste buds.
photo courtesy of Overseas Pinoy Cooking (original recipe source)
But first, are we all familiar with Katuray? Sesbania grandiflora (Linn) Pers. or West Indian Pea (English Name).  Katuray is a tree, 5 to 12 meters high, often planted for its edible flowers and pods.  Its flowers are an excellent source of calcium, fair source of iron, and a good source of vitamin B.  The large white or pink flowers are edible, eaten raw or steamed; makes for an excellent.  Young pods are eaten like string beans.

1 cup        Katuray flower
1/4 cup    Tomato, diced
1/4 cup    Onion, Bombay, chopped
2 cups     Mango, medium ripe, cubed (any variety)
1/4 cup   Bagoong na isda
1/4 cup   Vinegar


1.  Wash and drain flowers.  Trim stem and remove stamen/ pistil from the flowers.
2.  Place the trimmed flowers in a bowl.
3.  Blanch with boiling water for 1 minute then drain.  Let the flowers cool.
4.  In a separate bowl, gently toss flowers, tomato, onion and mango.  Chill in the refrigerator.
5.  Just before serving, pour the bagoong-vinegar mixture.

Estimated energy and nutrient content per serving (using FCT + Menu Evaluation Software, v.2002)

Energy, kcal                                 130
Protein, g                                     6.0
Calcium, mg                                181
Iron, mg                                       3
Vitamin A, microgram RE        177
Thiamin, mg                               0.17
Riboflavin, mg                            0.15
Niacin, mg                                  4.4
Vitamin C, mg                            69


Serving size                  1 cup
Weight per serving     200 g
Number of serving     3 servings

Chriselle Sy: Post Valentine's Giveaway!

Win Nivea products and some Make-up stuff.

The winner will be randomly chosen.  
Results will be announced on March 17, 2012
Click here to join.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Galileo Book Club Summer Workshop

The Galileo Book Club, World of Words, is an 8-week literary workshop for grade school students. Besides reading stories that relate to their everyday experiences, they will also learn how to express their creative side through writing and speech performances.

The Storytellers group is for grades 1 to 3 students. Students will learn to practice their listening comprehension skills through an interactive storytelling. They will also become storytellers by creating their own stories based on a featured text.

The Taletellers group is for grades 4 to 6 students. Students will learn to enhance their speaking skills by creatively presenting a story through Readers Theater and Speech Choir.

The workshop will also include group discussions to further develop their comprehension skills in noting details, making inferences, and predicting outcomes. At the end of program, all students will showcase their written work or speech performances at a culminating activity. They will also bring home a collection of the book titles read over the course of the workshop and a compilation of their output.

Learning rate:    Php 4,800 per 8 sessions    
Duration:           Twice a week, 1.5 hours per session

This program is offered in the following Galileo centers:
  Alabang         850.4064
  Batangas       (043)425.4253
  Caloocan      442.0783
  Dumaguete   (035) 422.7665
  Legaspi           810.8506 / 553.6193
  Malabon        447.3371 / 361.2339
  Maharlika       861.1347
  Salcedo          856.1917 / 816.3273 / 892.9143
  Sun Valley       846.6495 / 776.0312
  Valenzuela     355.4719

For more information please call the Galileo Center nearest you, or contact the Head Office at 845.1234. 
Phone:  +632 845 1234
Mobile:  +63 917 895 5756
              +63 918 884 3574
Email:    info@galileoenrichment.com
Visit our website at  www.galileoenrichment.com