Work Don’t Stop for the Weary

I pushed myself too hard.

The day after the D&C, I still showed up to my friend’s wedding where my daughter is the flower girl:

Sto. Domingo church was not airconned and hot, so I spent the last half hour in the car napping. The doctor said that to prevent spinal anesthesia, to lie down whenever I felt dizzy or had a headache.

Later that night, I donned a beautiful red dress for my husband’s grandmother’s 100th birthday — nobody knew I just had my D&C the day before.

Everyone was in their best. I had a solo in singing the Chinese song, Ming Tien Hui Geng Hao (明天會更好) and I didn’t want to let anyone down.

The next two days, I spent “resting” at home but I still managed to pay everyone’s salary and our rental since it was the 13th. On the times I had a headache, I lay in bed. Then when I felt better, I finished the work.

On Friday, I did rest. My mom was kind enough to buy me food from Angel’s Pizza and Miensan, which was super sweet.

Yesterday, my presence was needed in the office, and I spent the afternoon orienting our new hires:

I should be in bed, and I stubbornly did not do so as much as I should. There’s so much work to be done, and nobody to do it but me.

For example, it is my husband’s grandmother’s birthday and I am an active part of it. How can I not be there to show support especially if I do have a solo?

I have never consciously let anyone down, let alone my mother-in-law. To her defense, my MIL did not pressure me to go. She was concerned about me:

It was me who wanted to not let anyone down because to be fair, I can still do it. I was not physically incapacitated. I didn’t want to be maarte and not go when I could really go.

Everyone is concerned of course. My supervisor insists I rest as much as possible. Bestie gave me this sweet gift to give encouragement even though she’s experiencing personal challenges of her own.

 

What’s the Lesson Here?

My default mode has always been,

Be strong amidst challenges.” 

Unfortunately, in life, shit still has to be done. And often times, nobody but you can do it. And while it’s easy to be a victim and insist that somebody else can do it, make it a habit to be reliable and show up to do the work if you still can.

Now, I am sick with a cold. It’s my body telling me to slow down. I cannot smell the roses.

But life goes on.

Work goes on.

Time simply does not stop because you are sick.

And to be honest, so many other people are the ones who need help. These people still go on.

So I will rest and take it easy today and see where I go. However, when the next day comes, I will push myself again and work.

This is one of the cons of being a working mother with a full time business. It’s always a blessing to work, but having a lot of people depend on you does not allow you many days of breaks when you are sick. You force yourself to recover for them.

Happy Sunday everyone!!!

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Posted in Business, Family, health, Pregnancy, Updates, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Highly Recommended: Eight Educational Apps for Toddler (2.5 to 4 Year Olds)

We allow our 3-year old daughter to use the iPad several times a day.

And while I am not in favor of letting kids use Youtube to randomly view videos, I do credit a handful of apps for helping her improve her vocabulary, math skills, Chinese and general knowledge. Technology does help in educating our kids if used correctly.

Here are eight of the most useful apps we found for her age, aged 2.5 years old to 4 years old.

1. Homer Reading (₱389.00/month)

We love Homer Reading.

Think a lot of books on hand, with the app reading the books aloud, and sometimes with action and songs.

They have classics that we loved as kids read out and made even more interesting including:

  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Chikka Chikka Boom Boom
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon
  • Pete’s a Pizza

The app is so good, we decided to avail of a month-by-month subscription.

2. Dr. Seuss Library (₱159.00/month)

Contains an almost if not complete selection of Dr. Seuss books with the option of the app reading aloud to the words, and animating the story.

There are the classics like The Cat in the Hat, Oh the Places You’ll Go and Green Eggs and Ham.

I have tried to purchase various Dr. Seuss storybooks to no avail. Daughter finds the silly stoties boring when I read them to her.

However, downloading the books and having the app read them aloud brings the stories to life. She is now a big fan of the naughty Cat in the Hat, thanks to this app.

Dr. Seuss charges php159.00 per month, which I think is well worth than buying the entire collection and dumping them on the bookshelf.

3. Elmo LOVES ABCs (Free)

There’s something about Elmo that kids love.

Using Elmo and his friends to teach kids the alphabet — how to read and write each and what words correspond to the letter — helps them boost their vocabulary.

What’s best is it’s free!

4. Netflix (₱550/month)

Unless you’re into sports or news, everyone should get rid of their cable and get into Netflix.

At only php 550 per month, you can have four uses pick and choose the right programs for themselves, to watch at their heart’s content.

The best thing about Netflix is that most programs are child friendly and controlled. I specifically appreciate that I can avail of old Disney movies like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Cinderella, so I can introduce these cartoons that I once loved to my daughter.

There are a lot of other child friendly movies available.

My daughter particularly loves Super Monsters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PJ Mask, Paw Patrol, True and the Wishing Tree, My Little Pony, and most recently She-Ra. What a real treat for only php550! Plus, you can separately watch your own shows in your own gadget.

5. Starfall Learn to Read (Free)

The graphics aren’t as nice as the previous apps but my daughter loves this app.

Here, she learns how to read short words, which are made into stories.

When she’s bored, she likes to go back to this reading app again and again so they must be doing something right.

6. Kiddopia – ABC Toddler Games (₱379.00/month)

This is actually a good paid app.

Daughter played this when she was 2 years old till she was 3.

Many of the games are problem solving games, which makes your child learn through repetition and observation. It’s cute when they figure things out on their own:

She especially loved the Puzzle games where she had to match the shadow to the item and learned so many words from it.

The only reason why this isn’t #1 is because she’s now been playing it for a year and is a bit tired of it. However, it’s still one of the best apps I have seen for toddlers.

7. Endless Reader (₱2,290/year)

I joined the hype and downloaded the Endless Reader and Endless series for my daughter:

The app uses cute monsters to form words that are used in a sentence.

A bit expensive for what you get but it’s better to have access to everything than to have sections frustratingly locked. Fortunately, daughter is starting to find it challenging and uses it more often.

Coupled with her summer reading classes, these apps help in teaching her how to form words and spell.

8. Pinkfong Kids Songs and Stories (Price varies depending on Series)

My daughter loves to sing and do some action so I’ve subscribed to a bunch of popular songs….

Alphabets and letters…

And songs that teach her about Telling Time, Weather, Days of the Week, and Days of the Month.

She now knows all of these so teaching with music helps!

In summary

The ipad can be your enemy or your friend. I personally don’t give her free rein in using the ipad. Actually, I have already deleted Youtube as watching Youtube clips are unhealthy for her.

Listening to Ryan and other Youtube stars, her pronunciation starts to become weird, she learns how to say, “Hey Guys!” to everyone, wants to buy toys all the time, and sometimes access mindless videos that don’t make no sense.

However, like money, technology can teach kids in a fun way. Used correctly, kids develop fast and become more intelligent.

These above mentioned apps are super helpful in her development. And while I don’t get paid for sharing the love, I do encourage you to try them and leave me a feedback to say whether they are as helpful for you and your child, as they were for us.

Have a good week ahead!

Posted in Advice, baby, Baby Stuff, children, Early Learning, Education, Highly Recommended, Kid Problems, Reference, School, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Circle of Life and a Bunch of Coincidences

My guy best friend had his second child, a daughter this week.

On the same week, we confirmed that my child passed away in my belly.

And we removed her once we were 1000% sure.

My girl best friend’s mother-in-law also passed away this week and will be buried at Heritage Park.

On the exact same day of the burial, my husband’s grandmother will be celebrating her 100th birthday and it will be a large event.

Despite just having my D&C, I will attend this celebration and sing a solo for her. It is not everyday someone celebrated their 100th birthday.

On the exact same day as well, one of my better friends will be married to the man of her dreams. My daughter will be the flower girl.

Coincidentally, her reception is the exact same restaurant as my husband’s grandmother’s birthday party so we can technically attend both celebrations together.

This week as well, our good friend is in the doghouse for being caught flirting with an ex on Messenger.

Sigh, men!

I checked out early today to make it to the 2:00pm wedding and the evening birthday party.

This is where I slept last night.

The Lord has a lovely sense of humor.

He reminds me of life’s great promise and its end; on how fragile life can be and how we should celebrate it when it’s lived well. He teaches us of new beginnings (in love and marriage), and its desolution when we are not careful.

This is the Circle of Life, and God’s reminder that He’s in control.

Congrats on the birth!

Our sincerest condolences.

I am sorry for your loss.

Congrats on the nuptials!

And happy 100th birthday Tai Ma!

What a wonderful life we live in. ❤️❤️❤️ And boy, can you imagine how tired I will be at the end of the day?

Have a good week everyone!

Posted in baby, Boyfriend, children, Family, Filipino Men/Women, First Days of Marriage, Husband, Life lessons, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting my Second D&C

I was admitted in FEU Hospital for my second D&C or raspa due to another missed abortion.

I chose FEU Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation instead of St. Luke’s QC because it was my OB’s main hospital. Also, I had my last D&C at St. Luke’s and so was curious how different would my D&C experience be in another hospital.

The hospital was clean and quiet at around midnight. Honestly, I like the place.

Their emergency room was orderly and new. There weren’t a lot of people for a Monday night. And while there were enough patients, I still got amazing care.

Obviously, prices are relatively cheaper than St. Luke’s. You can avail of a share-a-room option for only Php1,000 a night.

I took the Large Private room at Php 2,700 a night. Quite comfy!

The other side of the room:

The toilet:

There’s a water heater so yehey! Warning though, water pressure isn’t high, but it’s enough for you to bathe.

Something to remember if you choose FEU:

  • Beds are manually cranked or de ikot, so it’s better if you have a companion with you to make yourself comfortable.

  • Bring more pillows and a blanket: Only one thin pillow and one thin blanket allotted so best to bring extras!
  • Bring toiletries and towels. They have none except for a bar of Safeguard and a roll of tissue paper.
  • Also, no free Wi-Fi in the rooms, so best to have prepaid Internet on your phone.
  • Wear your comfiest pajamas: they will not change you to a hospital gown until the surgery. Bring extra PJs.
  • Bring your own water. There’s vending machines outside.
  • Parking is free but for one entrance and exit only.
  • Food is decent. Complete meal!

  • There are a few fastfoods available — Persian Avenue, Henlin, Starbucks, Jollibee, Mcdonalds, but most are not 24 hours.

————————–

Back to the D&C

Our baby passed away around the 7 week mark. I only found out by the 8th week that there was no heartbeat.

This is my third miscarriage. The first one in 2015, my daughter was born later in 2015, then followed by a second miscarriage last year 2018, and now once again in 2019.

The OB tells me that these things do happen, and most likely, our baby was not viable for life. This means the baby would most likely had been born with abnormalities and hence, the body merely did what was right and mercifully terminated the pregnancy before it progressed.

Given that this is my third miscarriage, losing a child is a blow. However, we do have our normal and healthy daughter in between so God is still good.

This is my second D&C though. My 2015 miscarriage happened naturally, without any help from the doctor.

The last missed abortion I had in 2018 was extremely traumatic, with me bleeding profusely for 5 hours straight. I wrote about this experience here. Please be warned: there are very troubling images on that post.

This time so far, it was more calm and peaceful. Apparently though, if it’s baby related, you still had to be admitted via the ER, but everyone there is nice and professional.

Honestly speaking, the emergency room of FEU was bright, clean, and impressive.

The doctors were kind and helpful. It was nice to experience a hospital that’s not St. Luke’s and still get good care.

They inserted two tablets vaginally at 12:30am that would open up the cervix and induce an abortion.

They then had me wear an adult diaper for the bleeding.

And then checked me in the room to rest.

At 9am, I was wheeled to the operating room for my D&C. The procedure only took half an hour at most. The anesthesiologist gave me a sedative and spinal anesthesia so when I woke up, it was over.

They monitored me at the holding room from 9:30am to 1:00pm until some od the anesthesia wore off and some feelings had returned to my legs. When I could somewhat raise both feet up, they wheeled me back to my room at 1:30pm.

Coincidentally, one of the nurses aide there looked like Piolo Pascual. But I digress.

I was in complete bedrest till 8:00pm. They wanted me to be flat on my back till this time to prevent spinal headache. Consequently, husband had to feed me chicken sinigang while I was lying in bed.

I was not allowed to sit up or stand till 8pm. As for peeing and pooping, the nurse said, “If you must, you can pee straight to your diaper.”

Oh.

So I controlled my water intake until the evening where I finally was allowed to go to the toilet.

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D&C After Care

After the D&C, the doctor recommends that I:

  1. Don’t overstress. If I feel dizzy, to lie down. Rest for 3 days at least.
  2. No sex until I see her next week.To allow the body to heal first. Usually it’s ok 2 weeks after operation.
  3. Wash affected area with Betadine wash 2x a day. Drink painkiller twice a day if needed for 6 days.
  4. See her next week for checkup.
  5. My meds:

————————–

You really get what you pay for.

The nurses checked my vital signs regularly throughout the day. They were somewhat less intrusive than St. Luke’s that many doctors and specialists will drop by and charge you an arm and a leg for a 2-minute consultation.

Metaphorically, St. Luke’s is like Philippine Airlines while FEU Hospital is a way better version of Cebu Pacific. There’s less frills like the welcome pack, towels and free wifi — but you still get decent medical care in FEU Hospital. You will still get what you come for done at less 25% of what you pay for in St. Luke’s.

The halls are less busy. The hospital less crowded. You have to bring many of your own things, and the nurses don’t bother you as much.

Husband couldn’t be bothered to wait for the elevator for long (the elevator stops almost on every floor and prioritizes the beds), and had to walk up and down the stairs multiple times a day, but it’s good exercise for the body.

But overall, FEU Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation is a great hospital. The nurses are helpful and kind. The facilities are relatively clean and new. My stay was pleasant.

I can’t really say if St. Luke’s is world class relative to, but if you try a private hospital, medical care is already of above standard, and you won’t be too disappointed especially if you come well prepared, bringing your own toiletries, towel, pillow and blankies.

To be perfectly honest, medical care is only marginally better at St. Luke’s. It’s really up to you if you feel if it’s worth the 25% premium price.

I think if I really wanted cheaper, I can cut corners by sharing a room with another patient (saves me php 1,700 a night). Or go for a public hospital.

However, I trust my OB and her judgment. I find her to be reasonable, professional and in control while being gentle and detail oriented. So I follow where she is.

Tomorrow, I have a wedding and a birthday to attend. She warns me to rest so I hope I have the energy. I am never the type to stress too much about my health so hopefully, I have made a good call.

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Reprint: The Parable of the Oranges

This is a reprint of a Forbes Article by Contributor, Amy Rees Anderson:

oranges.jpg

There was a young man who had ambitions to work for a company because it paid very well and was very prestigious.

He prepared his résumé and had several interviews.

Eventually, he was given an entry-level position.

Then he turned his ambition to his next goal—a supervisor position that would afford him even greater prestige and more pay.

So he completed the tasks he was given. He came in early some mornings and stayed late so the boss would see him putting in long hours.

After five years a supervisor position became available. But, to the young man’s great dismay, another employee, who had only worked for the company for six months, was given the promotion.

The young man was very angry, and he went to his boss and demanded an explanation.

The wise boss said, “Before I answer your questions, would you do a favor for me?”

“Yes, sure,” said the employee.

“Would you go to the store and buy some oranges? My wife needs them.”

The young man agreed and went to the store.

When he returned, the boss asked, “What kind of oranges did you buy?”

I don’t know,” the young man answered. “You just said to buy oranges, and these are oranges. Here they are.”

“How much did they cost?” the boss asked.

“Well, I’m not sure,” was the reply. “You gave me $30. Here is your receipt, and here is your change.”

“Thank you,” said the boss. “Now, please have a seat and pay careful attention.”

Then the boss called in the employee who had received the promotion and asked him to do the same job. He readily agreed and went to the store.

When he returned, the boss asked, “What kind of oranges did you buy?”

Well,” he replied, “The store had many varieties—there were navel oranges, Valencia oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, and many others, and I didn’t know which kind to buy. But I remembered you said your wife needed the oranges, so I called her. She said she was having a party and that she was going to make orange juice. So I asked the grocer which of all these oranges would make the best orange juice. He said the Valencia orange was full of very sweet juice, so that’s what I bought. I dropped them by your home on my way back to the office. Your wife was very pleased.”

“How much did they cost?” the boss asked.

“Well, that was another problem. I didn’t know how many to buy, so I once again called your wife and asked her how many guests she was expecting. She said 20. I asked the grocer how many oranges would be needed to make juice for 20 people, and it was a lot. So, I asked the grocer if he could give me a quantity discount, and he did! These oranges normally cost 75 cents each, but I paid only 50 cents. Here is your change and the receipt.”

The boss smiled and said, “Thank you; you may go.”

He looked over at the young man who had been watching. The young man stood up, slumped his shoulders and said, “I see what you mean,” as he walked dejectedly out of the office.

What was the difference between these two young men?

They were both asked to buy oranges, and they did.

You might say that one went the extra mile, or one was more efficient, or one paid more attention to detail.

But the most important difference had to do with real intent rather than just going through the motions.

The first young man was motivated by money, position, and prestige.

The second young man was driven by an intense desire to please his employer and an inner commitment to be the best employee he could possibly be—and the outcome was obvious. (Excerpt from: “Living with a Purpose: The Importance of ‘Real Intent.’”, Randall L. Ridd)

Anyone can be a great employee if that is their real intent.

But real intent must come from within.

It doesn’t come from external motivators such as money or titles. Real intent comes from a genuine desire to do the right thing for the right reason along with an inner commitment to always put forth a best effort in all that one does.

Great employees are willing to focus on helping others to become more successful and inevitably they themselves grow to become great leaders in the process.

They take accountability for their actions and they own their mistakes.

They gain reputations of being trustworthy and they earn the respect of their coworkers.

And they understand the value of a team.

I have always found that the best way to get what you want is to help others to get what they want.

By helping your Boss become more successful you will inevitably become more successful yourself.

And that is exactly what great employees do.

~Amy Rees Anderson (follow my daily blogs at www.amyreesanderson.com/blog )

Posted in Advice, Business, Education, entrepreneurship, Reprints, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask and Answer: Paternity Leaves in the Philippines

The question was:

1. Mother – Employed in company A; de facto separated from husband

2. Husband – works in Company B

3. 3rd Party (Boyfriend of Mother): Sired a child with #1. 3rd party cohabits with Mother and works in same Company B as husband.

4. Mother allocated 7 days leave to her boyfriend, #3, who is the third party.

5. Husband also filed for Paternity Leave.

As the HR of Company B, how do you settle this situation?

————————–

First, let me just say, this is truly a screwed up “Only in the Philippines” type of situation.

This situation is more common in the Philippines than you think. Wives cohabitating with people who they aren’t married to, and men getting women, who are married to someone else, pregnant.

But to answer this question:

The Philippines has a Paternity Leave Law:

The Paternity Leave Act of 1996 (RA 8187) allocates 7 days if these conditions are all met:

1. The claimant is the married husband at the time of the child’s birth

2. It is his legal spouse who has given birth or had a miscarriage

3. He and his wife was cohabitating during the birth/miscarriage

4. The claims can be made up to four (4) births of his legitimate children

5. He has given adequate notice to his employer

Somewhat a reward for being married and having legitimate kids.

The new Expanded Maternity Bill (Article II Section 6) does allow the woman to allocate her 7 days out of her 105 days to the father of her child or any alternate caregiver. Doesn’t matter if they are married or not.

So to answer this question, if the mother is covered by the EML:

She can allocate 7 out of her 105 days of leave to any alternate caregiver she wants, including her boyfriend. The official husband gets nothing since they are not cohabitating, and he’s not even the father of the child.

Sorry for the confusion, but I have tried to answer this to my best understanding. Do correct me if this is wrong.

Posted in Advice, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Husband, Kid Problems, Motherhood, Philippines, Question & Answer, Relationships, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staycation at the Marco Polo

I booked the Marco Polo for an overnight staycation given that we are celebrating our 5-year anniversary.

The Marco Polo Ortigas gave us a 5-star experience. The service was pleasant and accommodating.

The room was sufficiently big. We had TONS of pillows!

I booked the Marco Polo for the heated pool.

The jacuzzi was super hot and the pool was warm enough.

It was perfect for an early evening swim. The pool is nice because there aren’t a lot of people. Very exclusive.

The Marco Polo also has a play place for kids, which opens from 9am to 9pm:

It’s just a room in the ground floor but it’s free. Tons of books for you to read:

Breakfast on the 24th floor was included in our room.

The food was about average, the spread is diverse but the service is impeccable.

That’s the difference between a regular and a five-star hotel.

Overall, I paid php6,210 for our overnight staycation. Adding taxes, our stay amounted to php7,800.

No complaints about the Marco Polo, everything was lovely.

But I do think staycations are overrated.

Next time, we will book somewhere farther instead as our stay in a hotel feels very similar as staying in our comfortable home.

As my husband says, “It’s like home but with cable.”

At least we are together!

Happy holidays everyone!

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Another One Bites the Dust

I was pregnant.

And then I wasn’t.

As per my last, the heartbeat stopped last week. It was a healthy 115 beats last May 18, and now, it hasn’t grown.

The embryo is 7 weeks old.

The baby should have been this week today:

We are sad of course.

Why is it that other women can easily churn out kids, when in fact, it’s so hard for us to get our second?

Well, at least we still have this:

The Lord has plans for us.

My OB says, only the strongest survive.

Unfortunately, only our daughter came out without a hitch. The last three died during the first trimester.

We do want a second. I am not getting any younger and running out of time.

But when things like these happen, the only thing we can do is pray, hope and wish for the best.

Have a good week everyone!

Posted in baby, Family Drama, Pregnancy, Updates | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Kids are funny

My daughter took part of our church’s DVBS last week.

At the 3 year old age group, here’s her with her growing group of friends. As you can see, she’s a bit taller than her barkada but feels comfortable with them nevertheless.

Kids are some of the most non-judgmental people in earth. They make friends very easily. Here she is holding hands with a boy!

Sigh.

She wanted the Tiger doll, but the kid with the lion costume kept on hogging the tiger.

As you can see, although out, she kept a close eye on the doll.

The lion kid knows it too and keeps on guarding the tiger doll.

He offers her the lion doll as a consolation. But she only had her eyes on the tiger doll.

Finally, the child is picked up by his parents, and leaves both dolls behind.

Yehey!

Finally, she gets her tiger doll!

She plays with it for five minutes before losing interest.

Apparently, a toy is only precious when somebody else is playing with it.

Kids are funny: They make friends very easily; They are stubborn when it comes to things they want, and once they have it, they immediately lose interest.

A good lesson to not buy too many toys.

Have a good week ahead!

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Restaurant Review: Helm in Arya Plaza BGC

It’s our 5th year anniversary and I’ve taken the liberty of booking us a special restaurant for our celebratory night.

I’ve heard many good reviews about Helm and decided to make a booking via http://www.ticket2me.net, the only way you can make a booking at the restaurant.

Price was Php 4,500 per person.

Helm changes their menu every 4-5 months and this was our set for the evening.

Tonight’s Theme: Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales (March to July 2019)

First up were the snacks:

Snack # 1: Crab fat placed on paper thin wrap with shaved aged cheese on top

The combo is special: Crab fat is light but perfectly balanced with the aged cheese.

Snack # 2: Smoked salmon tarte with cream cheese and dill on top of some kind of pancake

Tastes like pancake with cream cheese on it. I can make this at home.

Snack # 3: Broth of Manila clams with cilantro and pandan oil

Heavy clam taste with a surprisingly strong spicy kick. I want more!

Dish 1: 3 Magic Beans from Jack and Jill

Goats cheese beans with arugula emulsion and black rice

The three beans are made up of goat cheese.

It’s a bit tangy. The black part is olive topping and it’s a good match to the different flavors of goat cheese. The black rice bits offer texture.

Dish 2: Grilled water eel with squid tapioca with texture from popcorn, chips and chicharon

The eel is warm, and doesn’t mix as well with the crunch. Husband thought it was fish.

Ingenious but a miss.

Dish 3: Here we go around the mulberry bush

Mulberry dish cooked in nitrogen with herbs and wild flowers

Very sour tasting salad, like vinegar but lots of texture. It works.

It’s good in small quantities though as it’s extremely sour.

It’s pretty cool that they change the cutlery often so it’s fresh. The chefs are all good looking, happy and polite.

Dish 4: Humpty Dumpty

Yolk puree with sticky pork, spring onions and shrimp salt, mixed together

This was everyone’s favorite. Everyone wanted more!!!

The sticky pork held together with the solid yolk puree underneath the egg custard. Lovely dish!

Dish 5: Bread

Freshly baked from their oven and whipped butter.

A bit madaya because bread will fill you up. Can’t deny that it’s delicious and signalled that the main dishes were to come next.

Dish 6: 5 Little Ducks

This ingenious dish is duck done five ways. Here’s the young chefs preparing the dish.

These was how they explained it. The five ways duck was prepared were as follows: 1) Roast duck that’s a bit tough, 2) Rolled cured duck that was delicious, 3) Duck skin on top of puree, 4) Confit duck leg and 5) Duck sauce sourced from the remaining duck.

Savory dish. Interesting concept. I liked it.

Dish 7: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Lamb with sweet potato dumplings with pig trotter emulsion

Lamb was soft. The sweet potato was chewy and a bit tasteless. The taste due to the sauce was a bit dark.

Honestly, I would have preferred having a different type of lamb dish.

The taste was too similar to the duck’s, and the flavors were too strong for my taste. The lamb was good but maybe change the sauce.

Dish 8: Old Macdonald had a Farm

As you’ve probably guessed, the next was a beef dish. Specifically, braised beef cheeks with puffy rice and five sauces.

Okay, this was super good. The beef cheeks were so tender and the different sauces gave us an explosion of taste.

Dessert time!!!

After the savory dishes, Helm served three different types of dessert.

Dessert 1: Blueberry Sorbet with Green Tea Jelly

The sorbet tastes as expected. The jelly was surprisingly tasteless and firm.

Dessert 2: Nuts and almond ice cream with pistachio mousse

The covering was special and delicious. The insides tastes as good as it looks. It wasn’t as cold as I expected ice cream to be.

Dessert 3: Oatmeal puree turned into porridge and served with granola, pumpkin seeds, brown butter cream and green tea shorts

My favorite dessert out of the three. It was super sweet but perfectly complemented the single origin Sagada coffee that they served.

Petit Fours: Meringue with passionfruit puree and some chocolates. I didn’t eat the candy anymore as I was too full.

It was our anniversary and the lovely team served us this cake which tasted like soft flourless brownie pie.

Overall, it was a satisfying meal that’s worth the price if you’re celebrating something special. The team is nice and efficient, and the drinks came at a wide price range.

To make reservations:

helm. 
G/F Arya plaza 
McKinly parkway 
BGC 
+639062341900
helm@bistro.com.ph

Disclaimer: Sincerest apologies to the Helm team if I didn’t capture the exact ingredients of each dish as accurately. They were talking a bit fast so I tried to list down as much as I could understand.

Posted in Filipino Men/Women, First Experiences, Food, Husband, Philippines, Restaurant reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Possible Reasons why a Filipino worker would resign locally despite a higher pay

1. Husband matters: Husband wants wife to take care of kids. Mahirap mag hanap ng maayos na magaalaga ngayon. Kaya resign.

2. Mas gusto mag emigrate abroad. Better quality of life. Kaya resign.

3. Bored sa trabahong paulit ulit. Hindi na kailangan ng pera ng pamilya so resign muna para magpahinga. Ilang taon na ding nagtatrabaho. Pagod na din. This happens if spouse can sustain everyone na. Kaya resign.

4. Away kay boss. Ma pride. Ayan, resign. Patay, tinangap. Kaya pinanindigan.

5. Pirated ng ibang company na mas mataas na sahod ang offer. Kaya resign.

6. Parent matters: Parent got sick. Gusto ang kid ang magalaga. Kaya resign to take care of parents, umuwi sa probinsya and asikasuhin ang kayamanan. Kaya resign.

7. Nagkasakit ng grabe, say cancer. Gusto magpahinga ng maayos at magpagamot. Kaya resign.

8. Depressed kasi. Walang nakakaintindi. Hindi maayos ang isip. Galit sa mundo, maraming problema sa buhay. Kaya resign.

9. Pressured sa trabaho. Inisip, “I don’t need this sh*t anymore. Theyre lucky they have me.” Kaya resign.

Tapos na realize mahirap maghanap pala ng trabaho kasi matanda ka na and mataas ang gusto mong sahod tulad ng dati.

10. May illegal ginagawa ang company. Na diyaryo na at na scandalo. Ayaw madamay. Kaya resign na lang, kaysa sabihing kasabwat. Kaya resign.

Posted in Business, Personal opinion, Philippines, Work | Leave a comment

Disappointments

A long lost friend of my husband during his tarantado days popped up in conversation yesterday.

My husband wanted his help to remove a virus from his company computer, and touched base with this long lost friend, AP. Apparently, they were to meet for after-dinner drinks as AP was in Trinoma and we were in Ortigas Center.

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Since it’s been years when they last saw each other, my husband couldn’t hide his excitement. He remembers AP fondly during his bachelor days, and AP despite not having the looks, managed to bag the prettiest ladies around with his crass ways.

Shall I also meet AP tonight?” I chided him. “I would really love to meet this guy who bagged two models in one evening.” 

My husband refused to have me meet his friend. It was a part of him that he wanted to keep private and I respected that.

8pm rolled up… then 9pm… then 10pm…. and still no call from AP.

At 11pm, my husband changed into his pajamas and went to bed early. As his wife, I could not help but feel bad for him.

I think we give our friends too much credit.

We remember too much of the good times of the past, so much so that we refuse to believe that they will disappoint us. We only remember the good times. And we need to constantly remind ourselves that over and over again, the friends we call friends, will eventually disappoint us.


Today is May 2, and the start of the new month.

An employee of ours once again went AWOL.

When I texted her, she said, “Nobody will take care of my kids.” as if that was not discussed when I interviewed and oriented her. I had made clear to her from the very beginning that reliability in attendance is critical in this job role.

This is one bad thing in managing businesses in the Philippines. Many in the labor pool are unprofessional, and don’t mind not coming to work because they felt like this.

It is in days like these that I am discouraged from managing a business in the Philippines. People seem ungrateful and don’t take their work seriously.

I hope that things will turn out well soon.

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

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, Interview Chronicles, Kid Problems, Mom's advice, Parenthood, Work, Yaya Problems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment