Touchdown!

Guess where we are for Easter?!

It’s so nice to be back. This was my home for almost 7 years! 🙂

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What to do if you found your yaya on Facebook

Congrats, you found your first yaya on Facebook!

Not only do you save money from paying hefty agency fees, you most likely found the yaya of your dreams who will be loyal to your family, take good care of your child, and is literally a Godsend.

But wait, you’re afraid to take the jump.

You’re worried that there’s no employer referrals for you to base your trust on. You’re worried she might endanger your baby. You’re worried that she’ll wear your clothes and post them on Facebook. And you’re worried that she’ll steal from your family.

All of these are very valid concerns.

There are so many bad yayas stories out there that there’s a closed Facebook group called Bad Maids PH for all the bad yayas stories happening in the Philippines.

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I have found yayas on Facebook. 

When my old yaya suddenly left last December 2018, I scoured online for her replacement. The first yaya Arlene stayed for 6 days. Here’s my post on how elated I was when I first got her.

I continued my search after she told me after 6 days of work that her husband had an emergency and she had to cater to his needs for 24 hours before returning to work. Despite initially agreeing that her first day off would be after a month of service, she asked me for an immediate day off before the week was done.

I asked her to pack her belongings, paid her for 6 days of work and asked her to sign a quitclaim. Attached is my quitclaim here.

The second yaya I found within 2 days.

Sharon was happy and optimistic, but couldn’t stand the hours. She said she had a headache and needed to cater to her daughter’s pageant. I think it was more of family reasons that she left. She called it quits in 11 days time.

The third yaya I found after Sharon told me that she wanted to leave, but would respect the 30 day notice period, which we had under contract. I once again looked online, and found Zeny on Facebook.

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Here are my Top 10 Tips in Finding a Yaya Online.

Yaya Zeny is still with us and our daughter is happy with her. Her daughter took care of the pamasahe from Mindoro to Manila, and so far, despite being older, she’s a pretty decent yaya whom we entrust to take our child to school and back, feed her, and make sure she doesn’t die.

My instructions to a prospect yaya is very simple, “Huwag gutumin. Huwag walain. And huwag patayin.”

After three yayas found on Facebook, all I can tell you is,

1. Have them sign an employment contract as soon as they start.

Make sure that you discuss with them all the details of their employment and rules of your household BEFORE they start working for you.contract.png

Attached is the Contract for New Yayas for your reference: New Maid Contract – Generic.

Personally, my rules are very clear as follows:

  • No cash advance, bale or padala pamasahe. Crying about a family tragedy won’t work in me giving them pautang. If there’s a family tragedy, we will help out of the goodness of our heart,  but not because they asked for it.
  • No cellphones while on duty.
  • No emergency day offs. Sundays as preferred rest days. They have to inform me a few days before when they will day off so we can arrange our schedules accordingly.
  • Doing the laundry via washing machine are part of their job descriptions. There’s just three of us in the family and no ironing is needed. But I don’t like yayas who tell me that they should only be responsible in childcare and that’s it.

2. Observe them closely on the first few days. 

I always keep an eye on the new yaya when they first start. I look at their working attitude, eating preferences, etc. and determine if I like them or not.

We like going to the malls and the yaya chooses to chase after my daughter when this happens. I do NOT stupidly let the yaya take care of my child alone when she’s new.

I would accompany them, keep an eye on the yaya, and see if there’s any red flags I should watch out for.

I look at yaya’s body language and attitude to see whether she likes her job and my child. Some yayas only accept this job due to the high pay but care nothing of my child.

The best yaya is someone who will eventually hug and show true concern for my child. You can see it if you open your eyes.

Be wary of the yaya who keeps her distance from your child.

Only leave the yaya alone with the child without any supervision after you feel comfortable, and not before. If your mommy gut feel shows serious reservations — like there’s something wrong with the yaya — follow your gut feel and observe yaya even more.

3. Do NOT believe what the yaya tells you all the time. Trust only after it’s earned, NOT before.

Yayas will lie.

For example, when I was looking for yayas, I’ve had 3 applicants who told me that they would show up but didn’t.

Literally, you’ve already set the day and place and time of arrival, and for some reason or another, they do NOT show up. One yaya even showed me the photo of her packed belongings to show that she’s ready to start, but couldn’t because her child got sick.

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It is useless to concern yourself about their excuses. Watch what they do, NOT what they say.

It is useless to argue with a yaya. If you see a yaya who do not do what they say, get rid of her and move on to the next applicant. If she can’t keep her word in the beginning, she will be like that in the future.

Stop worrying about useless things and just move on.

4. Terminate with pay if you don’t like them.

While it’s hard to find a yaya nowadays, you should not tolerate a yaya’s bad attitude and misbehavior just because you’re desperate.

Like for example, Yaya# 1, it was annoying for me that she asked for a rest day within 6 days of employment when it was clear from the get go when she should have her first rest day. I thought that she’s already taken care of the husband and her household before starting to work, but I guess I was wrong.

I was also okay with Yaya# 2’s leaving after she brought up her concern. She liked me, but she was not fit to be a yaya anyway. So as long as she carried out her 30-day notice period, I was fine with her leaving. In the end, I allowed her to leave at 11 days with pay, after I found my next yaya Zeny.

Make sure that you have them sign the voucher proving that they’ve received their last pay and a quitclaim. Here’s my quitclaim for your records. This is the QuitClaim – Generic word document.

Once they sign the quitclaim and get their last pay, exit them from your house swiftly.

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IMPORTANT: Make sure you investigate their bags thoroughly and escort them out of your gate before letting them go. Accompany them when they leave your house.

Many yayas pack a separate bag and leave it by the gate. Once you check their bags, they then get this separate bag before leaving your house.

5. Repeat the process if necessary.

I have probably reviewed 30+ bio-data, interviewed more than 10 yayas and suffered many disappointments in a day before I found our Yaya Zeny.

Here were my notes on the initial few days — as you can see, finding a yaya takes a lot of time and effort:

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These were the yayas I said no to after I interviewed them:

Like any endeavor, finding a yaya takes a lot of time and effort.

The biggest mistake any mother makes is to assume that you do NOT need to give a lot of effort, and a good yaya will come on its own.

I will just wait for a referral para sigurado,” that mommy would say. They would pester you for referral and justify their lack of yayas by saying that all yayas are bad, and it’s better that she take care of her child na lang than to have a bad yaya.

Actually, there are many good yayas out there. You just have to go and look for them. If you do not make an effort, how can you find a yaya?

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Years has passed and she alone is taking care of her child(ren) with no help in tow. Then she will just sigh and pat herself in the back for stepping up because no other yaya can take care of her daughter as well as she did.

I work. I don’t have that luxury. I need a yaya for my daughter. So I look and look. I make a career out of looking for a yaya.

As you can see from my notes, I put in the effort in looking for a yaya, scouring the Internet and agencies for them, interviewing them, and being disappointed when I don’t work out. I have good relationships with agencies since they also provide me with a good pool of yayas when I need them.

At the end of the day, I am almost always rewarded for my hard efforts. Thanks to God, barring Christmas season, I can usually find a yaya within a week of looking.

But that’s because I put in the effort.

Are you putting in the effort?

BONUS TIP: When you find a good yaya, take good care of them. The best way to find a good yaya is to not lose a good yaya.

I know in my heart that any yaya would be so lucky to start in my household.

We pay our yayas well. Treat them with respect. And are considerate of their needs without letting them be abusive of your kindness.

With us, they can really save money. Every yaya that came out from our employ always brought a lot more bags than they first arrived. Which is why our old yayas do ask to be taken back after they’ve left as follows:

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Even though I was so desperate for a yaya, I didn’t ask her back. I tried to ask help from the agencies and scoured online to look for a new one.

And after many days of trying, we found our yaya.

I hope that this helps you in finding a good yaya for your child(ren). Good yayas are out there. All you do is have hope, make an effort, and try and try until you succeed.

Good luck Mommies!

Posted in Advice, children, Family, Filipino Men/Women, Interview Chronicles, Kid Problems, Mom's advice, Parenthood, Work, Yaya Problems | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wife Advice: Support the Husband in all his Endeavors

We are all at the Manila Autosalon to support the husband.

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He has a booth at the show, and we have come to give our full support on a Sunday afternoon.

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I’ve asked my three year old to pass out pamphlets, and even yaya is there to help. There she is, passing out stickers and marketing collaterals:

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Even my mother is part of the festivities. She’s in her 70s but so far, she’s still a trooper:

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To be honest, I’m a bit tired.

I’ve been working 6 days this week and had experienced many discouragements at work. Today was a day I could zone out and let my mind breathe a little to try to forget all my problems.

But the Manila Autosalon is merely once a year. It’s the largest car show in the country right now and husband invested quite a bit of money on this marketing effort to promote his company’s new product, ECU reflash.

How can I selfishly insist that my wants and needs be met, instead of supporting him especially at this critical time? 

So we are all here to support.

We gather our strength, take a deep breath, and show up. Not only do we show up, but we really show up. We give pamphlets, buy the workers food and drinks and talk to customers.

Because my husband needs us, and with us there, work becomes an enjoyable family effort.

Who says that work and family should be separate?

Husband appreciates this.

He gives me a hug and tell me that he’s glad that we are here for him.

Sure, he’s tired too from four days of talking and entertaining customers. His feet hurt and his voice sore.

But at least we are all here, and he doesn’t need to worry about us anymore.

He doesn’t have to worry about our kid cause she’s here with us, nor does he have to worry about me because I obviously support what he’s doing. I know it’s for our sakes and his family.

What’s more, I don’t have to worry about him and his eyes wandering. Hahaha! There’s a lot of beautiful models at any car show… not that I’m ever threatened. 🙂

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A beautiful car show model.

Later on, we will eat a late dinner as a family.

We will talk about our day, he will tell me about his achievements and I will listen to him and give him advice on how he can even do better next time.

Supporting him brings us closer.

We create more shared memories, and on the plus side, husband feels that we are more of a team.

And at the end, that’s what makes marriages stronger and deeper — the fact that you’re a team, working for a common good, building each other up and encouraging each other.

Rest can come next week. I can always find time to rest and recharge.

But my husband needs us. Given that we have a small business, he needs all the help he can get.

So we are all here.

I’m glad I married you,” he said. “You make me a better man.”

And all of us are happier as a result.

Posted in Advice, Business, entrepreneurship, Family, Husband, Mom's advice, Parenting, Personal opinion, Philippines, Relationships, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Stories: Candy

Candy is 21 years old with a 4-month old son.

Her boyfriend left her after he found out that Candy was pregnant.

She was finishing up her studies at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines when she conceived, and stopped her studies because of her growing belly and worrying financial future after she found out that she was pregnant.

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Her mother was a housewife, and her dad, a construction worker, earning below minimum wages. She had 6 other siblings.

Candy lived in the outskirts of Manila but forced herself to venture out and find a job here in Metro Manila, as it meant a higher salary, despite a longer commute.

The baby was 4 months old when she applied, left at the care of her mother, who still had to care for her siblings, the oldest of which was 18 years old, and the youngest was 7.

It was not easy to be Candy.

I hired her on a probationary basis despite not being a college graduate because I liked her spunk and the fact that she was serious about finding a job to feed her baby.

At four months old, there was the problem of buying disposable diapers and milk formula. A newborn can use up to 8 diapers in a day. Formula milk does not come cheap, so it’s unimaginable what type of financial burden Candy carries at such a young age.

Everyone liked Candy because she was young and had spunk. It takes a lot of guts and desperation to force yourself to work because you have mouths to feed.

Imagine going to work early in the morning, readying yourself for the harrowing Manila commute. Then after work, commuting back.

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When you are home, you’re too exhausted and tired to even take care of your own child. Your mom cries she doesn’t have enough money to take care of 6 children plus your baby. Your father’s income isn’t enough to spread around.

Her story of being a single mother is common in the Philippines. Many of our staff assigned to us are single mothers.

Old data dated 2008 from the Philippine Statistics Authority cite that about 38 percent of 1.8 million babies born in the country—or at least 666,000—had unmarried mothers. Based on the number of single mothers coming in interviewing at our office, this ratio is very true. It may even be worse today as most of our women are single parents.

You want to sympathise with them and help them.

But there are just too many of them to help. Their cases too dire to take on.

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How can you work and reach your highest potential if you have so many financial burdens to carry around?

When I was 21 years old, I was graduating from university.

At 22 years old, I was in Taipei living my best life. I was working part-time and playing the rest. Sure, I fell in love the first time at 22 years old, but children were the furthest thing on my mind.

I found a stable job in my early 20s.

Went overseas. Had tons of fun. Traveled.

No worries or problems.

I was paid the highest I’ve ever been paid in my life at 28 years old. The salary I made was more than 20x than what Candy earned.

Kids are a blessing.

But they are burdens too.

And it’s tragic when women have to carry the burden alone.

I am happy I hired Candy. It’s one single mother off the streets. Hopefully if she worked hard, she can provide a better future for her son.

But today, Candy didn’t show up to work.

No inform, no nothing.

Just didn’t show up.

When we called her, her phone was unattended.

Tragically, Candy has become another statistic. Unfairly burdened by life, another cycle that never ends.

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And yet, I hope.

I continue to hire single mothers in the hope that one would rise up and actually find a stable job. I cannot control the way they think or do things. All I can do is hope.

Hope is all I have.

This is the story of Candy.

And this is my story too — My frustration of hiring so many Candys, only to find myself frustrated because all the Candies can’t manage to get their life together.

This is how managing people in the Philippines can be like.

Sometimes, life is good.

Sometimes, life can be challenging like today.

Have a great week everyone!

Posted in Business, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Parenthood, Philippines, Reflections, Relationships, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Usyoso

I’ve recently hired an office staff. One of his tasks is to do bank runs, which means, to update our company passbooks in the different banks in the area.

We had our office staff accompany and train newbie to do this task.

Upon their return, she reported that after updating the passbooks, Newbie opened the passbooks one by one to see how much money was inside each account.

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Do you know the saying, Curiosity Killed the Cat?

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That seems to be an apt description on Newbie, who is an entry level staff.

I called in Newbie about this issue. Upon hearing it, he turned red and apologized profusely.

Why did you open the company passbooks?” I asked.

Because I wanted to hold and feel the company passbook, since I’ve never held one in my life,” he said.

So why did you open it then?” I asked. It’s very frustrating for me when a staff cannot answer the question direct.

Because I wanted to see how the amounts are added in and subtracted out,” he answered.

I stared at him.

Okay, so why do you have to open all the passbooks and see all the amounts inside it?” I asked him again. “If you’re curious of one, you open one. Why did you open all?”

He looked at me and didn’t answer anymore.

Well?” I asked.

I opened it because I was curious about how much money was inside,” he then answered.

As an employee, what’s in it for you to open the passbook? Why is it your business to find out something that’s confidential?” I then asked.

It’s like a package or bag that’s given to you to hand to another person,” I said. “If someone entrusted the bag to you, and asks you to hand over the bag to someone else, would you for any reason open the bag, look through its contents and then after your curiosity is satisfied, close the bag and then return the bag to that second person?”

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No, opening the bag is wrong,” he said.

Well, so why open the company passbooks?” I asked again.

He said nothing.

I think it’s troubling to have someone so new poke his hole in business that’s not his own. I didn’t like how he answered me where he didn’t take responsibility for his actions at first, nor did I like the fact that he is okay with doing something without worrying about getting caught.

Okay, now that you got caught,” I asked, “How do you feel?”

Embarrassed and ashamed,” he said.

Well, if you are embarrassed and ashamed, why can’t you stop yourself from doing it?”

He said nothing again.

The staff is only in its first week but is now in troubled waters. It’s just his issue, not anyone else. Let’s see how he fares and if he survives the second week. We’ll just check and see.

How about you? How would you react if you were in my situation? Really annoying, right? But is such issue troubling enough to fire a staff?

Have a good Saturday everyone.

Posted in entrepreneurship, Ethics, Updates, Work | Leave a comment

A Semi-Comprehensive List to Manila’s Summer Classes (Sports, Staff Crew, Sensory Play)

Summer is once again here and everyone wants to enroll their child to an interesting activity that can further their child’s holistic development and well being. But where do you start?

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Personally, I want my child to develop more academically, so I’ve enrolled my child to CMA (Math), The Reading Station (Reading and Comprehension), Bless Learning Center (Conversational Mandarin) and Aqualogic (Swimming), but other mothers may want something else.

Hence, I have compiled a list of Manila’s available summer classes for 2019. Who knows? You may find the right class for you and your child!

If you want your child to experience being a Kiddie Crew:

McDonalds Kiddie Crew 2019

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WHEN/Schedule: Weekday workshop runs for 5 days and each day will last for 2 hours each. While the new weekend workshop option is a 2-day workshop made of 3 hours each.  Time schedule: 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM.  Workshop will run from April 8 to July 7, 2019
WHERE: Participating McDonald’s branch nationwide, see links below for reference.
RATES: P695 (for 5-day workshop) and P595 (for 2-day workshop) inclusive of the workshop uniform (t-shirt, cap, bag, ID with lace), daily workshop materials, and daily meals!
LINKS: For more information, visit the McDonald’s branch nearest you or check their website: https://mcdonalds.com.ph/content/page/kiddie_crew_2019 and Facebook Page for updates.
SOURCE: Credit goes to Mommy Practicality Summer Workshops 2019 to where I copied and pasted this information.

Jollibee Mini Managers Camp (April 1-May 31, 2019, Nationwide)

The Jollibee Mini Managers Camp is a 6-day workshop for 4 to 12 years old kids. To inquire, please proceed to the participating stores yourselves.

Posted by Jollibee on Monday, February 25, 2019

According to the site, the camp “aims to impart to kid participants the importance of hard work and good values like leadership and responsibility through various fun learning activities. As a bonus, they get to interact with other kids and meet new friends. Example of camp activities include exposure to Jollibee values, store practices, arts and crafts, Yumburger making, ice cream making, dancing and more.

Rates: Php 650 gets you the following:

  • 1 set of Mini Managers Uniform (w/ Name Plate)
  • Camp Bag
  • Snacks for 6 days
  • Other activity materials

Attire: Their Jollibee Mini Managers uniform, black belt, white socks, black shoes, and hair net (for girls) during the entire workshop duration.

Here are a semi-list of participating outlets. You can get the full list at their site here.

Sources: Manila for Kids Summer 2019

If you want your child to be active in Sports:

Milo Sports Clinic (Nationwide)

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WHAT: “MILO® Summer Sports Clinics teaches participants the fundamentals of popular sports and values such as discipline, confidence, and teamwork to help them become more well-rounded individuals.
PROGRAMS: 19 different sports programs
SCHEDULE: Each sports has its own schedule where you can check out here.
How to Register: Pick a sport and region where you’re located to register. Contact the organizers closest to you for registration details.

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Ready Steady Go Kids (Valle Verde, Pasig City)

Ready Steady Go Kids is a well-known Australian sports and exercise program for kids, offers fun classes that improve your child’s gross motor skills, and learn skills like how to listen, follow directions, and work with other children.

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Duration of classes: Classes in Valle Verde 5 run from April 6, 13, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (every Saturday).

Venue: Valle Verde 5, Pasig
How to enroll: Call +632 211-8344
Price: Php7,800 for 12 classes and Php10,000 for 20 classes
Facebook: Ready Steady Go Kids
Source and Credit to for Information: Smart Parenting

Futbol Funatics (All over Metro Manila)

Want your child to learn soccer? This summer class ends with a blast with a tournament to rev up your child’s competitive spirit.

Program Information: Futbol Funatics offers year-round camps in various locations around Metro Manila, specifically Cavite, Paranaque, Alabang, Makati, Taguig and Pasig.

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Schedule: April 1-May 15, 2019. Each module has 10 sessions, with 5-6 modules offered per camp venue per year. Enrollees are accepted any time throughout a module.
Training Frequency: 2x per week.
Class Duration: The Beckham Buddies sessions (ages 3 to beginner 6’s and 7’s) run for 1 hour, while sessions for all other older age groups run for 1.5 hours.
Ages: At least 3 years old
Contact: 0917-329-0011
Schedules: Full schedule here.
Venues:

  • Cuenca Park, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa (April 3 to May 15, Wed & Fri, 8:30 a.m.)
  • Tahanan Village Park, BF Homes, Parañaque (April 3 to May 15, Wed & Fri, 4:30 p.m.)
  • Urdaneta Park, Urdaneta Village, Makati (April 2 to May 16, Tue & Thu, 4:30 p.m.)
  • BGC-Turf, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (April 1 to May 15, Mon & Wed, 4:30 p.m.)
  • Meralco Fitness Center Oval, Ortigas Ave., Pasig (April to May 19, Sat & Sun, 4 p.m.)
  • Elizabeth Seton Field, Imus, Cavite (Schedule TBA)
  • Goodstart School – Philamhomes, Quezon City (Schedule TBA)

How to enroll: Make your reservations via text message to +63 917 329-0011 (for all venues except Philamhomes, QC). Messages should follow this format: Full Name of the child + Age + Camp Venue + Module Period. Within 24 hours, Futbol Funatics will send you a response regarding the availability of slots.

Price: Ranges from Php550 (1 session) to Php4,000+ (all sessions)
Website: http://www.futbolfunatics.com/
Facebook: Futbol Funatics
Source and Credit to for Information: Smart Parenting

Bohemian Football School (Paranaque City)

Summer is just around the corner and Bohemian Football School is doing its first Summer Camp for kids who want to learn or develop their skills in Football!

A tribute to Filipino Football legend Paulino Alcántara, The Bohemian Football School is a training program that strategically focuses on strengthening the player’s fundamental skills. It is a program that you can choose to opt as your child’s primary football training, or an appending football mastery class on top of your child’s ongoing club or varsity football training.

Ages: Age 4 to 15 years old
Child to Coach Ratio: 1 coach to 10 students max
Venue:
Sessions will be conducted at The Village Sports Club, Paranaque City
Contact: 
footballschool@bohemiansc.com.ph or 09177744696
Website: www.bohemiansc.com.ph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bohemianfootballschool/

Taekwondo Lessons at The Upper Deck Sports Center (Pasig City)

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FitKids’

FitKids’ Summer Programs offer a variety of fitness programs aimed to increase collaboration, active fun and learning. They offer the following classes in different venues in and around the city:

  • Ballet: Makati, Taguig, Alabang, QC and Manila
  • Hip-hop: Makati, SM Aura, QC
  • Football: ⚽️ Blue Bay Pasay, Binondo, SM Aura, Salcedo Makati, Rockwell, San Antonio Village Makati, and Marikina!
  • Judo programs: SM Aura, Makati

Here are the classes available in Makati, powered by Cambridge Salcedo and Groundworks by Playworks:

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Classes in Taguig and BGC Areas:

Classes in Quezon City and Manila:

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Please check out their Facebook account for more details:

Contact: 0917 513 8377
For Ages: 1.5 years old to 12 years old
How to enroll: Send a message to FitKids official Facebook page to reserve a slot.
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/fitkidsph/

Swimming classes at Aqualogic Swim Co. (Various Locations)

It’s never too early to start fostering swimming skills in your little one! Aqualogic Swim Co. offers year-round swim classes for kids of all ages: AquaBabes for children ages 6 to 35 months, AquaKids for children ages 3 to 14, and AquaTech for children ages 15 and above.

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Rates are also reasonable given how important swimming is as a skill to learn:

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To reserve or enroll, simply text their numbers and they’re quite responsive.

To contact them:

Aqualogic Swim Co.
Tel: 0917-858 2782, 0917-703-6386, 02-703-6386
Website: www.aqualogicswimco.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aqualogicswim/

Swimming classes at Bert Lozada Swim School (All over Metro Manila)

Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS) is the biggest and well-managed swim school in the country, employing an average of 150 teachers, coaches and staff. From a single venue in 1956 (YMCA Manila), it now has 56 venues all over the country. The school has produced 7 Olympians, several national swimmers and record holders.

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Programs: http://www.bertlozadaswimschool.com/programs

bert2.pngHow to register? Check out their list of accredited Bert Lozada Swim School locations via:

  1. Visit their website: www.bertlozadaswimschool.com
  2. Call them at Tel: (632) ‎563-5532, or
  3. Send them a message at their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bertlozadaswimschool

If you want your child to enroll in a variety of other activities:

Photography: 1 Day Young Photography Workshop for Kids

Young Photographers: Photography Workshop for Kids 2019

Is your child aged 8-17 years old and is showing interest in taking pictures with remarkably great photos? Would you like them to enhance their talent in photography?

Manila Workshops and Cath Kidston would like to invite you to this year’s Photography Workshop for Kids!

What Kids Will Learn:

1. The Camera and How It Works
• Bodies and lenses.
• Capabilities and limitations

2. Why Are We Getting Blurred Photos?
• Exposure triangle lecture and hands-on
• Aperture and depth of field
• Shutter speed and motion
• ISO

3. Camera Handling and Care

4. Why you need to shoot in the best lighting conditions and finding what works.
• Light and exposure (further demo on the exposure triangle)
• Understanding light and how to use it to your advantage.
• Artificial lighting and Natural light
• Hard and soft lighting.
• Modifying light

5. Quick formulas to ensure good photos.
• Elements of composition.
• Subject, foreground, and background relationship.
• Emphasis.
• Rule of thirds.

6. Visual exercises and the IG game.
• Photo challenge
• Portraits
• Still life
• Abstract/IG game

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: April 13, 2019
Time: 11AM – 6PM
Venue: Cath Kidston, BGC, Taguig City

LEARNING RATES:

Early Bird Rate: Php 2,499.00
Regular Rate: Php 3,499.00

**Workshop Fee is inclusive of handouts, certificates, giveaways and snacks!**

For more details contact:
VENI – veni.anabo@manilaworkshops.com | 09272816651

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Quezon City Activities:

Bless Learning Resources (Banawe, Quezon City)

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Address: 219-6 Biak na Bato, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact:
0943 858 3211
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blesslearningresources/

Hello Munchkins Play Cafe (Banawe, Quezon City):

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Address: 219 Biak na Bato, Barangay Manresa, Quezon City
Tel: 961-4634 or 0917-528-9163
Ages: 2 to 10 years old
Emailhellomunchkinsplaycafe@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hellomunchkins/

Smallville Montessori: Arts & Crafts, Yoga, Cooking, Reading, Music @ (Katipunan, QC)

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Smallville Montessori Katipunan
Location: 21 Esteban Abada St. Loyola Heights QC
Contact: 0917-898=8374 or 932-6322
Class Times: From 10am-12nn, 2x to 3x per week
Rates: 
P15,000 for the whole month

Pasig City Activities:

Messy Baby Play (UA&P, Pasig City)

Why messy? Because is fun!  Especially when each session has thematic, sensory play stations that allow your little ones to explore colors, shapes and textures, with you guiding them.

It’s a great way to bond with your little ones, and observe how they relate to different objects and experiences.

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For example, for water play:

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Beat the summer heat while engaging your little ones in water play! Water’s one of the best open-ended mediums to interact with—depending on presentation—we’ve had them sudsy, colored, frozen—whatever shape or form, kids loooove playing with it!

And it isn’t just all splashing, splooshing, and making a fun mess, water play is an exercise in gross and fine motor skills, and for our toddlers who are crazy about transfer work and pouring, their play can also

☀️ Begin an understanding of the concepts of less and more
☀️ Develop eye-hand coordination
☀️ Help develop problem solving skills
☀️ Engage their senses with varied presentations—warm, cold, solid, sudsy, colored

What’s even more awesome, is if you have a little patch of green grass available to you, you can set up right there, and not only keep your little one busy with play, you get to water the plants too! 😊 Multitasking, and conservation! Well, every little bit helps. We hope your access to water’s a-okay. To water play, you won’t need much. 😉

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Check out what we have in store for you this week, as we come to the last few sessions of Term 1! We have a few more slots left at CDE, we hope to see you there!

Just send us a DM, or head over to messybabyplay.com/register —it’s the link in our bio.

To Register: http://messybabyplay.com/register/
Locations: Makati and Ortigas Center
Price: Php 3,900.00 
Website
: www.messybabyplay.com

To be Continued if I have time….

 

Posted in Baby Stuff, Kid Problems, Lists, Philippines, repost | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer is Here! And so are Summer Classes!

Pre-school just ended this week, and summer has just begun. Apparently, my daughter has 3.5 months of summer break to enjoy before she resumes her regular classes.

Fortunately, so many people are offering a broad variety of summer classes. That’s why, I’m swamped with deciding which activity I am to enroll her. Yipee!!!

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While money is no object (since many of the classes are affordable anyway), I have to be more selective on which class to enroll her since I don’t want to tire her unnecessarily.

I still do want her to enjoy summer as she’s only 3 years old. 🙂

Just in case you’re wondering, my decisions are based on five important factors, as follows:

  1. Schedule for more convenient Logistics – The classes must fit each other.  I don’t want her classes to be all over the place.
  2. Location – It still has to be graphically desirable.
  3. Enrolling her must make sense on the type of person I want her to be – Sorry, but I don’t think I’d want her to be a ballerina, so ballet classes while cute, is a no go.
  4. Talent – She must have a natural affinity for it. My daughter cannot draw and doesn’t seem to be interested in coloring so no art classes for her.
  5. Reviews and Referrals – Which is why I picked two of her classes, CMA and The Reading Station. Both programs come highly recommended by my peers.

To be honest, her learning how to cook or to dance may be cute, but we don’t really think it’s that important at this time.

We can teach her how to cook and bake at home (or at least, wait until she’s a little bit older to appreciate it), and from what I heard, dancing classes at such a young age may not be optimal as other older kids may overshadow her.

In the end, I’ve enrolled her in the following classes, and I’m very happy with my choices. Here they are for your reference:

1. Swimming Classes: Aqualogic Swim Co.

My class of choice is from Aqualogic Swim Co.

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Swimming is a very important life skill, and I think it’s important for a child to get over their fear of water at a young age. Aqualogic has a lot of venues available, and their Richmonde Hotel Ortigas class is set in an indoor heated pool (I like!).

Rates are also reasonable given how important swimming is as a skill to learn:

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We are enrolling our daughter twice a week for the entire summer. It’s easy to enroll them. Simply text their numbers and they’re quite responsive.

To contact them:

Aqualogic Swim Co.
Tel: 0917-858 2782, 0917-703-6386, 02-703-6386

2. Math: CMA Mental Arithmetic

I wanted to enroll her at CMA ever since we conceived our child, but was forced to wait until she was 3 years old before we could enroll her.

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This is the class that excited us the most. Why?

Watch and be impressed:

Here’s her assignment for Class 1 — Pairing builds up familiarization to the Chinese Abacus. Even my husband wants to learn how.

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After seeing the kids compete in a CMA Competition in SMX, we were sold. We’ve been wanting to enroll her ever since. Can’t believe she’s starting now. 🙂

The rates are also reasonable for me:

Php 4,200 for 8 sessions + Php 2,500 for materials = Php 6,700.00 per month
Makeup classes: 2 classes

To inquire:

CMA Mental Arithmetic
East of Galleria Building, Topaz Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: +63 2 584 9670, +63 917 568 6875
https://www.cma.ph/

3. Reading: The Reading Station

Self explanatory. I believe that books open up a lot of world for kids and so far, I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about The Reading Station. There are a lot of branches available, and I booked the branch that is closest to my husband’s place of work:

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Taken from the website, here are the program details:

The Phono-Graphics Reading Program (COURSE LENGTH: 2 1/2 years to 3 years)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Phono-Graphics Reading Program also known as the PGRP is a course for Early Reading Literacy. With practice, training and discipline, goals are achieved.

The program is designed for non readers and emergent readers ages 3 1/2 to 7 years old.

Kids who are found to be more than 7 years old but with reading skills covered still in the program are accepted in the center.

Special emphasis is given to decoding, encoding, comprehension and early love for reading.

COURSE GOALS

  • Early Reading (Decoding)
  • Spelling (Encoding)
  • Comprehension Skills
  • Vocabulary Build up
  • Sentence Construction
  • Language Skills
  • Basic Paragraph Writing
  • Reading Discipline
  • Very Early Love for Reading

Rates are a little bit higher but let’s try before we complain — Php 18,000 for 36 hours or 3 months program, at one hour per class.

To inquire, book for an assessment at the branch closest to you:

The Reading Station – Philippines
MAIN BRANCH
Unit C, 109 Scout De Guia, Brgy.,
Sacred Heart, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 917 100 5252  •  +63 2 358 3337
Branches:  http://www.trs.ph/branches.html
Website: http://www.trs.ph/index.html#about

4. Conversational Mandarin: Bless Learning Resources

This is the first time for me to try Bless Learning Resources but their summer program looks very interesting.

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I talked to Teacher Eliza today, and was interested in their conversational Mandarin class. Ideally held 3x a week for the summer period for one hour per class, their conversational Mandarin focuses on words that are regularly used daily like:

How are you?”

What’s your name?”

How much is it?”

It’s a great complement to her now Chinese classes at her preschool.

To inquire:
Bless Learning Resources
Address:
219-6 Biak na Bato corner Makaturing St. Brgy Manresa Quezon City
Tel: 560-4519, 0943-858-3211
Look for Eliza

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I’ve stopped at enrolling my daughter at four since just these alone will give her a busy schedule with two varied classes per day. Here’s her schedule:

  • Swimming: 2x a week, 1 hour per class
  • CMA Math: 2x a week, 1 hour per class
  • The Reading Station: 3x a week, 1 hour per class
  • Conversational Mandarin: 3x a week, 1 hour per class

Overall, I’m happy with her choices. I know it looks like a lot, but it’s over a space of 6 days so it’s quite loose.

I will revisit this post after daughter finishes her programs to give you an unbiased review on how good these programs really are.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted in Advice, baby, Early Learning, Education, Family, Kid Problems, Mom's advice, Motherhood, Parenthood, Personal opinion, Philippines, School, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Advice: Do NOT make your kids your world

I am a first time mom. 

Being a first time mom, I can see how easy it is to trap ourselves in being our children’s everything.

Even as a newborn, our kids are treated as kings and queens in our households.

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We anxiously cater to our child’s every need.

I remember carrying my daughter and breastfeeding her while I’m at work because she simply refused to be bottle fed. My mom had to buy different brands of bottles to no avail, since my daughter stubbornly insisted that it was either my breast or nothing.

My Friend’s Story: Why She Felt Inadequate as a Mother

Why can’t anyone sympathize with me?” my friend wailed. “Can’t they see my frustration in trying to do everything for my child?”

At that time, my friend said she had post-partum depression, stemming from the fact that my friend felt that she was an inadequate mother. The core reason was, she couldn’t produce any milk after she gave birth. This was a disappointment for her since she hoped that her child would be breastfed after hearing from many fellow mothers that breast was best.

Unfortunately, the child was not cooperative and refused to eat. So, she felt bad that despite her best intentions, as a mother, she couldn’t even feed her own child.

A lot of her problems stems from the fact that she was putting a lot of pressure on herself. 

All children are different.

Everyone develops and acts differently, and most of the time, many are uncooperative to what we believe they should act, feel or do.

Our fault as a mother lies in the fact that we put too much pressure on ourselves to act a certain way for the good of our child.

The child should eat pureed vegetables once she hits 6 months old!

Well, what if she doesn’t want to eat veggies?

My child should be breastfed!

Well, what if you don’t have any milk? Your child is getting thinner and she needs her sustenance.

They should be walking once they hit 1 years old!

What if they still can’t walk by that time? Would you rush her to a development pedia just to see what’s wrong with her?

Why is my child biting other kids? What’s wrong with me?

Well what if they still can’t control their feelings and this is how they show their frustration when other kids take their toys?

Why is my child not excelling in school?

Many kids are raised differently. The one kid that excels may be tutored every day. It’s not your kid’s fault if he/she is not outstanding this year. There are other years to consider.

We have to stop being anxious and start going with the flow.

Mommies, aren’t our LOVE enough?

Why do we pin our hopes and dreams on our children, and punish ourselves unnecessarily when our kids do not live up to our expectations?

Why do we blame ourselves first when things don’t go our way?

Why do we get sour and get mad at our husband for things beyond his control? Can we please stop telling them to be a parent as if we are the expert in being parents?

We are our kids’ mothers.

We love our kids.

When we love our kids, we should trust ourselves in doing the correct things for them already. When love is present, how can we go wrong?

However, when we stress about our childrearing skills, we create an environment of anxiousness and hostility. We take this out on the people around us, even though they’re not really the core of the problem. Then we feel guilty when we become bitches as a mom, as if we do not control the matter.

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We were at Universal Studios Singapore the other day. I brought along our 3 year old with us, and we totally had a blast.

Sure, there were some rides that she couldn’t ride on. The Mummy had a height requirement so my daughter was forced to spend the hour with her grandmother.

When my brother and I took the ride and lined up for 70 minutes, we had a grand time bonding together, and I didn’t worry about my daughter, whom I knew was in good hands.

I was present with my brother when we were falling in line.

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I enjoyed the attraction even though my daughter was not with me.

And when I came out of the ride, I saw that my mom was feeding my daughter some coconut and my three year old was playing, not knowing that she was abandoned for an hour while her mom was riding the roller coaster.

Did I have a blast? YES.

Did I feel guilty? NOT REALLY.

Did my daughter pout because I abandoned her? NO, She was having a blast on her own with her grandmother.

Did anyone care because I was riding while I was leaving my kid with someone else? NOPE.

Was the kid alive when I got back. Yes, definitely.

So I think Mommies can take it a bit easy. Trust that you’re being the best mom there is and let yourself go a little bit.

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Sure, kids and motherhood can be very stressful.

It’s a new experience and nobody’s ever given us a handbook on how to raise good behaved kids.

We may feel abandoned and alone when we’re going through the process.

We may feel that nobody understands us and everything we do is merely for the sake of our kids.

But before we give our all to our kids, give ourselves some slack first.

Breathe, relax, and re-energize ourselves.

Especially as mother’s give everything to our families, it’s crucial that we also regulate ourselves that we do not deplete our sense of selves, because we’ve been so busy giving our everything to other people.

We should stop laying our expectations to our poor kids and husbands, and just focus on enjoying the process of motherhood, because it’s always so darn short.

We should stop thinking as other people as the enemy, and see them as our partners in taking care of our children. As I’ve said before, it takes a village to raise a child.

So here you go mommy. Here’s my kid to babysit and enjoy. Take her out, buy her toys, and spoil her to death.

I know that others love her and my child will be safe in their care.

I will not be swapang with my own child and keep her as my own.

Instead, while other people are taking care of her and ensuring that she is okay, I will enjoy my time, manage my business, enjoy my life, and still be a good mother to my child when I come home.

Motherhood is difficult as it is. So please, let us cut ourselves more slack.

As long as the baby don’t die, don’t worry. She’s in good hands so long as other people will take care of her.

We support you and love you.

Now leave the child with us and enjoy the ride. 🙂

Your child will thank you for it once you’re back and recharged.

Have a good week everyone!

Posted in Advice, baby, Kid Problems, Life lessons, Mom's advice, Motherhood, vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Soup?

What do you do if the restaurant neglected to charge you for one of your orders?

Hubby and I had lunch today and ordered a pumpkin soup and a chicken kebab.

The meal was delicious. And we enjoyed our lunch date time together.

When the bill came, we were charged for the kebab but not the soup. For a split second, I thought to myself, Free Soup!

But there’s nothing free in this world. That’s why lottery winners end up as paupers later on.

Anything you take will be given back to you.

Miss, I’m sorry. But your bill doesn’t include the soup we need ordered,” I said.

Oh, I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed as she rushed to change the bill.

This was our new bill — a difference of around php215.

Php215 is a small price to pay to keep your integrity intact.

If you ordered it, you should pay it. It’s not free unless you are told explicitly that it’s free.

Besides, as a mother, how can you teach your kid honesty if you don’t model it in every decision?

Even if it’s as mundane as a missed charge in a receipt.

There’s two kinds of people:

One, he thinks the waitress is a sucker for not charging him the soup. “Aha! Stupidity should not be rewarded,” he’d say as he will get his receipt and go his merry way.

Then he will tell everyone how he got the free soup.

The second will correct the waiter and pay the right amount.

Because it’s simply the right thing to do.

Happy Sunday!

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What’s the best relationship advice you can give someone?

Reposted from my answer in Quora:

This advice has saved me from years of heartache: Always Mirror, Never Chase.

When I meet a guy, I always mirror his interest.

I wait for him to make the first move.

If he texts me, I don’t play hard to get. If I get a message, I give a decent reply.

There’s no playing games.

No waiting for hours before texting him back to show him I’m not desperate. No hee or haw when he asks me out on a date. If I am free, I say yes. Otherwise, it’s a no with a legit reason for saying no.

When guys know you’re honest, they appreciate that.

I don’t chase after a guy.

If he ghosts me after a date, it’s fine. I just shrug it off. When he texts me weeks later, I still reply. Until the time he ghosts me again, and then I stop replying.

This allows me to filter guys who are genuinely interested in me.

Guys who are interested keep on calling. Since they know I don’t play any games, they try to “get” me and block off my free time whenever they can. Apparently, my way of flirting is very refreshing so they keep coming back for more.

After a breakup, I don’t chase.

I used to chase and it was embarrassing. Not anymore.

After the breakup convo, I cry. In private. I go out with friends and keep my social media status calm and normal. Nobody knows how broken I am inside.

With the last guy I dated, I cried for four months.

He didn’t know. Nobody knew.

I was the sane girlfriend who didn’t go crazy after a breakup. Guys appreciate that. And I got to keep my dignity especially after I found out he had a third party on the side.

Keep it classy!

The two advice allowed me to date graciously without too much fuss. I always kept my eyes open and never really refused any date. I never assumed and just focused on having a good time.

Happily married now so guess it worked! 

Regardless, I look at every single guy I dated as a happy experience, and I am so glad I can look back at my dating history and be proud that I never really did anything that I now regret.

Posted in Advice, Life lessons, lovelife, Personal opinion, Question & Answer, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment