Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Leaving for Tomorrow

Never fear tomorrow,
For it holds a surprise.
The fear of the upcoming,
Trembles me into a burrow.
Who knows what is the price,
When you cannot see the forthcoming.

Leaving for tomorrow,
Immediately at sunrise.
Friends yet returning,
Carrying such sorrow.
Missing our ties,
When I await the homecoming.

Leaving for tomorrow,
Thinking 'til the rise.
So much worth saying,
In the midst of inner sorrow.
Wishing more than twice,
To meet in the upcoming.

Looking at tomorrow,
Visions of past enticed.
A farewell is worth bidding,
Here is tomorrow.
It is time to rise,
With wishful thinking.


Reuben Pio Martinez

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Food and Movies Equal Simple Family Fun Time

Do you believe that sometimes it's just us that make having family fun difficult? We have so many conditions and standards to be set and fulfilled. Then after a long preparation (and usually higher bill), we can still end up frustrated because of the expectations.

That is why in our family, we keep it very simple. Food and movies make us very happy. We have absolutely no quarrel about them. These two combined together usually serves as a quick fix to an uneventful day.

As my work schedule will not allow us to do any activity for this Easter that would require much time and effort, it is a good thing that I received a very welcome invitation from Jollibee to watch the latest Spongebob Movie "Sponge Out of Water" with my family at SM Muntinlupa. After eating a satisfying snack as provided by Jollibee , we went straight to the best seats reserved for media. We quickly settled into an enjoyable movie viewing armed with a bag full of chips, nuts, cookies, candies, and water.

My daughter went home as well with a bonus prize - the Jollibee Color Magic Tumbler, when she found one of the winning stickers spread out in the theater seats under hers. I'm sure this will be fun to use for her as it is supposed to change color when it has cold beverage in it.

My Say

That pretty sums up our family's simple fun this Easter Sunday. Most importantly though, we made it in time to hear mass and that effectively sealed the day for our family. Now, I better get some sleep.

That said, 

Thank you Stratworks for the invitation...
Thank you Jollibee for the food and the movie...
Thank you God for my family.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Every Family Member Should Do to Maintain an Orderly Home

My attention was caught one afternoon when my daughter complained about how difficult it is to clean her small dollhouse. After only a couple of days from previous cleaning, it was again dusty. I good-naturedly kidded her to imagine my own frustration at looking at how our own home seem to self-destruct with chaos days after a thorough general cleaning. 

To think that her dollhouse doesn't even have live people in it to make it dirty and yet it still needs regular cleaning. How much more a house that accommodates family members who will not always be willing to share in the responsibility of maintaining it? Family members should know that keeping a house in order is a shared responsibility. Not one member should solely bear it since everyone in the family gets to enjoy living in it. 

Here are some things which every family member should do to maintain an orderly home.

1. Pick Up After Yourself 

Very few people can claim to have a personal assistant who will always pick up and clean the mess they leave behind. Now, even if you do, I doubt that everything will always be smooth-sailing at the home-front if you will never learn to pick up after yourself. If every member of the family assumes that someone else will do the cleaning up after, imagine the amount of cleaning-up that needs to be done by the unlucky one.

2. A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

Life at home is really much simpler if family members know where to look for the things they need. The secret is having a place for everything and making sure that everything is in its place.  It only takes one family member to "forget" where he or she has placed a particular item to create a need to literally turn the house inside out once it is needed again. Such a waste of precious time.

3. Clean By Sections

I know how ideal it is to be able to clean the whole house in one gigantic sweep but let's be realistic. It will not always be possible. In fact, to some, it is impossible. Thus, cleaning by sections is the next best option. The sense of accomplishment increases at every finished section. Besides, maintaining a home is a continuous process so by the time you are finished with the last section, it is probably time to start again. One way to go about this more quickly is to assign specific areas to every member, appropriate to age and capability.

4. Clean the Small Mess

The obvious reason for a big mess is accumulated small messes. Family members should avoid the temptation of postponing cleaning up small messes by reasoning out that it is not yet needed precisely because they are still "small". You may find it hard to believe how fast these small clean-up issues pile up. 

5. Declutter Now

One of the hardest part in cleaning up is having so many clutter that it becomes difficult to move around. Resist the temptation to just move clutter around the house. Face clutter one at a time and decide which items need to go. The ones that need to be kept must have a final storing destination so that the tiring selection process need not be repeated. 

My Say

Looking at the picture of our own home above, the state of disarray may not be very obvious. Believe me when I say that it is in such a state that my son who has allergy to dust has been having persistent allergy attacks lately. Believe me when I say that we cannot seem to find the things we need. Believe me when I say that the tall weeds in our garden are making it look like it has not been attended to for months. 

That said, we love our home but we know we need to exert more effort to maintain a healthy atmosphere especially since my daughter is still recuperating from her recent sickness. I do not exactly know what my husband and I can do more since we are technically maxed out from physical work. That is why we need every help we can get from our children. I'm sure they will not let us down.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Supporting My Champs

My children have always been my personal champs. Just like any other parent, it is in my interest to see them attain their full potential at every aspect of their lives. This starts at every waking day of our lives.

The start of the day can be a real challenge especially for students like my own two children. This week is more stressful being an exams week for both. All the more reason to ensure that they start the day right with a satisfying breakfast. Easier said than done though with my youngest daughter who really find it hard to wake up, much more finish her food. But parents need to do what we need to do, right?

So I make sure that she finishes her breakfast. It's a good thing that drinking her Milo doesn't require much effort. From what I gathered, Milo contains the malt extract PROTOMALT, which is a mixture of different types of carbohydrates that provide energy and nutrients that the body needs. It is also known to be formulated with a combination of malted barley, milk powder, sugar and cocoa, coupled with the goodness of ACTIGEN-E, a combination of B vitamins and micronutrients. That is precisely the kind of energy needed by my children. 

Everyday, I have to think of something to wake her up with. This morning, I had something special for her to do. We just bought a 1-kilo Milo pack yesterday that came with a free Milo Champ Towel Ball. I asked her to put the ball in water and see what happens. The transformation from ball to towel surely woke her up, prompting her to ask me if she can get another design. She has already decided right there and then that the towel goes to her brother since it has a basketball design. There are actually 3 designs available.

My Say

As you can see in the picture below, both my children are all set to go for the morning. They are truly in high spirits as today is the last day of their exams, marking the end of hard work for the school year. It will soon be vacation time but my support for my champs continue as they now put their attention to enhancing another side of their development through recreation and other summer activities. There is one thing though that is not about to change whatever the season, and that is starting the day with a warm mug of Milo.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sweet Celebrations with Krispy Kreme

Celebrations are almost always sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but sweet never the less. In the Filipino setting, sweet food is a staple in every occasion. One of the most convenient to bring is a box of delicious doughnut. It is a hit among adults and children alike, with the choices so varied, especially with the entry of international names like Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme's 1000th Shop

Krispy Kreme had its own celebration recently with the opening of its 1000th shop located in Kansas City. The exciting thing about this event is that it shared the happiness all over the world by giving away at least 1,000 doughnuts at every participating outlet. Imagine how many people got to enjoy the taste of the Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnut.

It was very interesting to see how Krispy Kreme dougnuts were made and a special event at Krispy Kreme The Fort made it possible. There is obvious pride in letting customers see for themselves just how much care goes into making each and every piece. I even got the chance to try decorating doughnuts, tapping into whatever creativity I may have within me.

With the help of a a friendly Krispy Kreme personnel, I tried my hand on dipping doughnuts in chocolate frosting and decorating them with colorful icing. Mommies like me would be glad to know that this booth can be made available for children's parties. I'm sure children will have the time of their life not only decorating but eating their own creations.

My Say

I have always been a sweet tooth. No meal is complete without anything sweet after. The same goes with the rest of the family. Every single day offers a reason for sweet celebrations. Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing the joy in their eyes when I hand them my "pasalubong" of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. After all celebrations, need not always be big. They can be celebrations for each and every day spent with people who matter to us, made sweeter by delicious food shared together.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ordinary Day, Extraordinary Love

My husband and I have counted many Valentine's Days together but I honestly cannot think of one that I find memorable in the usual way most would define the word. Something always comes up to prevent a celebration filled with flowers, chocolates, and all the sweet things associated with it. Family concerns, work, and even financial limitations almost always manage to make Valentine's Day an ordinary day for us. This year was no different.

Image Source: Prawny

Going Commercial

Like most women, I had romantic ideas of what a perfect Valentine's Day celebration would be. You know, the stuff of which commercialized Valentine's day celebrations are made of - gifts, candlelit dinner, and some sort of "public display of affection" just enough to make onlookers sigh with a hint of envy and not disgust...ha ha ...those were the days. I admit there was a time I wished that my husband would have been more showy during our boyfriend-girlfriend days especially when my female office-mates would get their flowers and chocolates delivered to the office on V-Day. 

I would get my flowers and chocolates as well but he prefers to bring it to me at home. He would bring food as well so we won't have to go out and compete with all the other couples for the best dining or concert scene seats for the day which was the "in" thing to do during our time. Although I actually appreciated what he did and preferred the same set-up, there was still a part of me that wanted to be part of the crowd and go commercial. Fortunately in time, I wised up and realized the value of what we have.


Now that we are much older, Valentine's Day has even become more an ordinary day that comes and go, year in and out. However cliche it may seem though, we continue to discover and show how much we value each other not in a single day but in every single day that we spend together. This is not withstanding the disagreements that we still have after being together for so many years.

One day last week, both of us were feeling particularly exhausted, what with all the domestic and work responsibilities we had to deal with daily. Neither one of us felt like driving to Manila knowing the frustrating road traffic condition awaiting us there. Since we had to accomplish one important task that day and really had to be in Manila, we decided to take the bus instead, hoping that it would be a more relaxing option. It actually turned out to be a happy trip down memory lane.


We usually took the bus during our dating days and we had so much fun talking about anything under the sun. We were so focused on each other then. As our responsibilities grew through time, there was barely time to stay put, much less talk idly. Without meaning to, there was some kind of disconnect that occurred. Neither one of us talked  about it but we both knew and felt it.

The bus trip that we took finally paved the way to reconnect. We both missed talking with each other without time constraint. With only the time for fetching our children from school as a main consideration, we practically had the whole day to ourselves. We were in no way pressured even if we had to complete a very important task that day. After all, we were together.

My Say

I may not have a spectacular Valentine's Day celebration to boast of but I'm fine with that. I will not be a hypocrite and say that I would not love to be on some getaway trip with my husband but I am happy to say that I can live with it if the opportunity does not present itself. And knowing us, we would be happiest if we could have such a trip together with our children.

That said, even if Valentine's Day is seemingly an ordinary day for us, I am certainly grateful for the extraordinary love we share not only during the day but the rest of the year as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Easy-Palit Experience for Baby with Huggies Dry Pants

Taking care of babies has never been easy. Young mothers of today are much luckier when it comes to matters of convenience compared to mothers like me who went through the experience much earlier. One case in point is the availability of products like the Huggies Dry Pants which is not only convenient for mothers but to babies as well resulting to an Easy-Palit experience.

Huggies Dry Pants

Babies do not react very well when their playtime is interrupted. Huggies Dry Pants make it possible for mothers to change their babies' diaper without having to lay down their playful tots. A snug "saktong fit" is ensured together with up to 10-hour dryness. Mothers just need to add less than P1.00 to the price of the current taped diaper to have the feel of the Easy-Palit experience.

The all-around elastic waistband of Huggies Dry Pants  provides comfort and helps prevent red marks even during the child's most active play. The dual dryness system consisting of 100% breathable outer cover and the quick dry layer keeps fluid away from baby's skin. Removal of soiled pants is very easy courtesy of its tear-away side seams.

Step, Step, Up!

Changing diapers with Huggies Dry Pants is easy as 1, 2 , 3: left foot in, right foot in, and pull up so it is just STEP, STEP, UP. With these three simple steps, the dreaded diaper changing task becomes fun and playful. 

This commercial will show just how easy and fun it could be:

My Say

Having had taken care of three children of my own, I can attest to how challenging it could be to take really good care of them especially during their diaper days. It certainly helps to have products like Huggies Dry Pants to make the task easier so there will be more time for the other equally important things that need the mothers' attention as well. Of course, easy diaper changing results to happier babies and mothers too.

That said, no matter how difficult it was during my time especially when I was using mostly cloth diapers for my eldest child, I wouldn't forego the experience of motherhood. I can only look back at the most difficult diaper changing situations I were in with fondness and amusement. They will forever be etched in my heart, together with all the other memories I hold dear.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Waiting for Pope Francis

Like most Filipinos, our family eagerly awaited for the arrival of Pope Francis in the Philippines today. It did not matter that we were not able to go physically to the welcome route. The first glimpse of his face from the window of the plane that brought him to our land as seen on our TV screen was enough to fill our hearts with joy and hope.

The Pope Francis Charisma

What is so special about Pope Francis? So many things have been said about his simplicity and down-to-earth nature that have endeared him even to non-Catholics. His persona goes beyond the external manifestations like opting for simpler papal vestments, using public transportation whenever possible, and living in the guesthouse adjacent to St. Peter's Basilica rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors.

It is the evident humility of a leader who preaches service to others and actually starts with himself. Wherever he goes, he is quick to remind the faithful to focus on the message he brings in the name of Jesus rather than himself. Admittedly, that is somewhat hard to do, especially for a society that continually hungers for a clear symbolism of the good in these very turbulent times.

The Mission of Pope Francis

Pope Francis brings with him the message of Mercy and Compassion. This serves as a fitting reminder especially to the Catholic flock that our faith will have more significance when it instills in us the value of practicing it with mercy and compassion towards other people. Bestowing mercy and compassion is not simply limited to the materially poor but also to those who are suffering from any form of deprivation.

Seeing the big crowd patiently waiting even for the briefest glimpse of Pope Francis as shown in the live coverage of several networks, I just couldn't help but wonder how greatly impacting it would be to our society if each and everyone would decide to follow the pope's lead towards practicing mercy and compassion. The smile on the faces of the people who were able to see him up close is indeed a refreshing sight compared to the grief that has become very familiar on screen with the passing of several natural calamities. Even I who was just watching from afar felt a lightness within as he breezed through the crowd like a holy apparition. 

My Say

Many of us have been waiting for the Pope's arrival in our country. While I was able to join the crowd in Pope John Paul II's last visit here, that would probably be impossible for me to do now. I would have liked to do so with my family especially for his scheduled visit to my alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas but alas there are commitments to take care of. 

That said, my enthusiasm for his visit is not at all dampened. I know that the strength of our faith is not measured merely by our physical presence in such momentous events. My family and I share in Pope Francis' call to minimize focusing on ourselves to be of service to others especially to those who are in dire need of assistance. While Pope Francis may not be able to miraculously remove all the ills in our society, here's hoping that we can find that inspiration to create the miracle starting from ourselves.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Coca-Cola Signs of Happiness: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

Business signs didn't matter much to me then. Except when they are exceptionally unique or humorous, I probably wouldn't even notice them. That was before I saw this video from Coca-Cola. Today, whenever I see one, I wonder at the story behind it and think of the person and reason behind it.

Women Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

Women have always been at the very foundation of businesses whether be it in small-scale sari-sari stores or in big corporations. In the Philippine setting, this is very evident in small to medium-sized businesses where the women entrepreneurs are into the day-to-day operation. We usually see them performing all roles related to the business, seeing no need to make any distinction as long as it will help push the business forward.

It is no secret that most women face many barriers when they try to succeed in the marketplace. It was never easy to penetrate it and it still isn't. Recognizing that women all over the world form the pillars of the business system, Coca-Cola has taken the initiative to help women entrepreneurs through the 5by20 Program.

The 5by20 Program of Coca-Cola

The 5by20 program of Coca-Cola is the company's global commitment to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs throughout its value chain composed of producers, distributors, recyclers, suppliers, retailers, and artisans. It seeks to address the most common barriers encountered by women in their bid to succeed in business. This it hopes to do by providing women access to business skills training courses, financial services, and connection with peers and mentors. Through this initiative, these women are expected to gain the confidence that comes with building a successful business. The target year is 2020, thus the name of the program.

In the Philippines, it is quite common to see small businesses named after their owners. This has much to do with the sense of pride that goes with owning a business. Women entrepreneurs display such pride and they show it in their business signs. 

To understand this behavior a lot better, watch this special Coca-Cola Video entitled Signs of Happiness. The visible signs we see are signs of happiness since every business owned by a woman does not only benefit herself and her family but the community as well. That is the secret of happiness in operating a business - having a reason for being that goes beyond self.

My Say

Empowering women, such powerful words, often used nowadays but never really quite making the mark. This just goes to show that much has to be done to make it work on a sustainable level. It cannot be accomplished without several forces working together and established companies like Coca-Cola can do a lot to make it happen faster.

That said, we all have our respective responsibilities towards this goal. It goes both ways. Entities who have the funds and logistics to move this goal to fruition must make the move and we can do no less in our own capacity.

Sponsored Post

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Perfect Christmas - Is it the Absence of Lack?

It is very easy to get caught up with the whole idea of having the perfect Christmas. Most people, including myself have visions of what could make our holidays perfect - whole and functional family, a beautifully decorated home, warm delicious food, new clothes, gifts for everybody, and that secure feeling that everything is taken cared of, financially or otherwise. Perfect isn't it?  But who has such perfection in his or her hands? It depends on how we define a perfect Christmas.

The Perfect Family

In every family, there are bound to be conflicts that rips it apart. The so-called black sheep may be causing monumental embarrassment to the family. Unspoken agreement of trust may have been violated. There are even deep, dark secrets that no one wishes to go back to or speak about. Sometimes, the effect of these circumstances are too much that there is nothing left to do but stay away from each other just to keep an acceptable degree of peace going on and so family members find themselves going their separate ways.

Being in a less than ideal family set-up can be very painful especially during the holidays. We see so many picture-perfect scenes of families around us that our "lack" seem to be more pronounced than ever. Friends in a sense can be our family but during holidays, most will be with their biological families. It is lonely to have no family to speak of back home.

The Material Prerequisites

Nowadays, it seems happiness has a monetary tag attached to it. This is not necessarily a selfish behavior. Even the simplest meal or cheapest gift that can put a smile on the face on our precious loved ones' face comes at a price. 

Let us not even talk about grand and lavish dreams and concentrate on the most basic "requirements" to celebrate Christmas. There are people who can barely make it day-to-day, much more come up with modest holiday preparations. Again, the more abundance we see around us, the more obvious our "lack" becomes.

My Say

Age has taught me a valuable lesson. I cannot have everything I want and therefore I will always "lack" something or at least feel that way at varying points in my life. Through time, I have learned to remove my focus on what I don't have but rather give due attention to what I have. Whatever I have now - my family, my work, my small joys and big challenges are all precious.

That said, do I yearn for the common idea of perfect Christmas where there is absence of lack? Sometimes I do but most of the time I don't because doing so leaves me frustrated, stressed, and even angry. These are the very emotions that I least need during such a wonderful day as Christmas. I resolve therefore to change my definition of Perfect Christmas as a season or day where I have what I and my family needs. I wish to be happy and I will never be such if I insist on having everything I want and so will you.

Have a Blessed Christmas everyone!


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