Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother and Child on Blugre Coffee

 When we were doing a bloggers hang - out at Blugree Coffee, SM City, we were informed of a Blugre contest dubbed as "My Photo, My Blugre.'

The mechanics was simple; we had to submit our best photo, get the most number of likes for a photo and for the Blugre Fan Page.
our winning Mother and Child photo; photo credits: Arnel Joshua Lim
We were anxious how we would get the right photo, if we need to use extra props, go outside the Blugre shop, and just hang out somewhere else with hydraulic blocks as contrast.
cover photo; photo source: Blugre Coffee Fan Page

Since it is a campaign contest, it was tougher for me, so, I resorted to inviting family members and friends to cast their votes. I was simply thankful that a good number responded making us lead the race.

So, for everyone who voted for us and for Blugre Coffee for holding the contest, our greatest thank you!


Mother's Day Run Special

May 12, 2013 was Mother's Day in the Philippines and this was one special day for a mother like me and to honor my mom, my being a mother and all the mothers out there, we chose to hold a run from Robinson's Mall to Provincial Capitol in Alabel covering 21km loop.

Runners for Mother's Day Run; photo credits: Arnel Joshua Lim
40 runners swarmed the streets of General  Santos City who ran different distances depending on the runner's choice.

Mother's Day Runners; photo credits: Arnel Joshua Lim
It was an easy run and fun as the pacing was relaxed. I had the chance as well to run a longer distance beyond 16km. Plus, I was able to run on slippers for the first 10km and on bare feet for the remaining 10km. I was joined by other barefoot advocates too.

with fellow barefoot runners and minimalist; photo credits: Arnel Joshua Lim
The run ended with a fellowship breakfast; we were joined by new runners and old friends we hadn't seen for awhile and that had made the more fun.

So, this may be late, but cheers to all moms all over the world.


Practical Tips on Buying Your Kids' School Things

June is just few weeks around the block and  that would mean attending to your kids' school belongings and enrollment among others.

photo source:

So, before you head to the shopping center and buy school things, it would be wiser to consider the following:
  1. Enroll your student observing the dates of enrollment;
  2. Get a checklist of what should be purchased;
  3. If budget is tight, classify the things like college books whether high priority or not. Buy the ones who are limited in supply   and the ones that are considered necessary;
  4. To avoid the crowd, gradually buy the school stuffs or buy them all when you are free and while the shopping center is not crowded.
  5. Scout for shopping centers that offer cheaper rates or have higher discounts on school stuffs. Be vigilant, however, as lower price would not oftentimes equate to quality.
  6. If you have promo or discount cards, you may want to use them when you purchase.
  7. Try to recycle old school things like unused notebook pages, so, you can compile and tie them for a new one.
  8. Reuse books or things for younger kids;
  9. When you shop, tick your checklist for what was purchased already;
  10. Don't bring your kid with you as you shop unless of course, you consider his / her preferences for color and style.


Why Circumcision Can Be Bad for a Mother

While other parts of the world would not consider circumcision necessary in other areas like in some areas  of Africa and as recommended by World Health Organization, circumcision is important for HIV preventive measures.

In the Philippines, circumcision is a social pressure for boys and highly necessary for hygiene among others. So, every summer, school kids would join government and private institutions’ circumcision programs.

But since, my kid had a traumatic profile of what circumcision should be as he first awaited for his turn we decided to bring him to a private medical center.

photo source:

Our real ordeal started when we had to put him on the table for the anesthetic shots. He quite wailed  and as a mother I could only be more anxious. He passed through that first stage, then, the circumcision procedure went through as expected.

But, our trouble didn’t end  with the procedure as we need to attend to his wound. Good thing, his dad could help him out.  With the anti – inflammatory and anti – pain medicines, we have to boil some fresh guava leaves as its cleanser and do it twice a day. With regular cleaning, the inflammation subsided.

My kid could barely walk and still wails every time his wound is cleansed. If only I can take his pain off but I guess the pain is expected.

So, if you are fainthearted but your need would have to go through that circumcision, better let your partner or someone else help your kid.  


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Does Prayer Help Before a Race

I had this story emailed to a running magazine and as I type it, I can't help but get mushy. So, forgive me if I have to relay this to you.

I am no conservative mother but coming from Catholic school, I see prayer as valuable support system in any race but it was more materialized when I ran  my first organized marathon. 

I was completing my 32km practice peak run for Davao Phoenix Marathon 2 weeks before the final race that I got my calf and ankle sprained making me unable to walk nor run. I was so devastated as weeks of training and help from friends would seem to be drained to waste.

I sought medical help, bought the needed support and had to skip days of training. My remaining days before the race made me so anxious that I shifted to Yoga. It allowed me to compartamentalize  my fear and isolate my pain, and simply focus on getting the routines done.

When my prayer prior to the injury was to aim for a better PR, the injury humbled me to ask simply for me to finish the race in spite of what could probably happen during the long hours of running. 

Not having memorized the rosary, I did my research for what must be the mystery on race day. I memorized it by heart and just relied on faith that everything will be ok.

On race time, I said my prayer silently, recalled my game plan which simply meant following a Galloway technique from kilometer 0.

I was doing great, maintaining my pace, however, at kilometer 4, I began to feel hot spots on my right foot. And, I blurted, "BLISTERS! Not Again!"   My long beaten shoes finally gave in and the blisters were consuming me. I started praying the rosary but having to run and mind other runners who seemed to be doing well, I kept forgetting the prayers that went with every bead. 

I ran through the remaining distance and not letting pain consumed my will to complete the race. I allowed myself to cheer for other runners who seemed to be more worse as they dragged their feet as we did our first U - turn completing 21km. My distraction off my blistered foot, got my rosary prayers all messed up, but, I simply said, "Lord, pasenxa na, I can't think straight, I cant say the prayers correctly but I trust that You shall carry me through."
with  my fellow marathoners along with our 21km - teammates and logistic support

I looked for my other teammates and my slow pacing began taking its toll as I became the last runner from our group. I tried to  increase my pacing but as I reached 27th km, by sprained ankle gave way, practically giving in. I shortened my Galloway time for run and increase my time for walking. I continued with my rosary, using only my fingers to count the "Hail Mary's." I attended to my ankle with some ice from a hydration center. I quickly wished for my husband to be around as he joined the rest for team logistics. He along with my trainor - friend gave me some pain cream and worked on some stretches.  

I continued my race and the blisters and sprain were becoming more pressing. With the ice bath I had on my head, the water began to fill my left shoe that the regular friction had formed to new blisters. I was running then on two blistered feet, and one ankle sprain. My back was already hurting and my rosary seemed forgotten too.
with my team mate as pacer for the last 8km
At 32nd km, my team mate who was part of the logistics began to run with me and became my pacer. He motivated me to move on with the run and with that act of kindness along with my husband's and my trainor's encouragement, I started doing negative splits with shorter rests in between.

I seemed to have repeated the mystery more than twice as I ignored the heat, 5 hours of running and pressing pain. 
in spite of injury, finally completed my first marathon at 5:40:46

As I was nearing finish line and I saw my husband with his wide grin, I could only thank the Lord for carrying me through. So, whenever I was asked what made my marathon successful, I only mentioned these - prayers, family and friends, training in that particular order. 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to Go To Bukidnon Faster From General Santos City

We recently traveled to Maramag, Bukidnon  for a school trip from STI College - General Santos City. Unlike our usual travel to Bukidnon via Davao, we traveled through Tacurong City.

On board on Toyata HiAce, we started cruising at 4 in the morning and had to stop only to pick up other teachers along the way.

courtesy: Google Map

With light baggage including solo briefcase  and snacks for in - between meals, we passed through National Highway of General Santos City then through Polomolok. We could pass drop by at Tupi on our way to Tacurong City for some fresh fruits or dried fruits. Good thing though that early morning made the highway  less traffic.

Reaching Tacurong City, we turned right to Mlang, then, straight to Kabacan where we stopped for our breakfast. The Kusina Kabacan is a renowned restaurant in Kabacan with sumptuous meals at way cheap rates.

From Kabacan, you can enjoy the sweet delicacies they have including their very sweet water melon at way budget prices! We headed next to Maramag, Bukidnon and dropped by at Central Mindano University for the renowned pasteurized buffalo milk and delicacies. However, a warning! If you are lactose intolerant, skip the milk as it would really make your tummy uneasy.

For our lunch, we headed straight to Valencia City. The freshly baked buko pie at their shopping mall is a delight.  We simply made use of Jollibee, Greenwich and Chowking for our option.

Heading to Malaybalay, the component city of Bukidnon is only an hour or less trip from Valencia City, another key city of Bukidnon.

We stayed over at RR Family Spring Resort  for a nice spring deep with their very amazing facilities at only 40.00 per person for daytime entrance.

So, the next time you wish to travel by private car, you can have a safe trip to Bukidnon but travel only daytime as other areas between Maramag and Tacurong City are of critical security. Further, you can travel too by bus using Rural Tours Transit of around 700.00 from Bulaong Terminal, General Santos City.

Enjoy Bukidnon of its cool weather, bounty fruits and eco - adventure escapades including their zipline and 2nd Philippine highest mountain, Mt Dulang - Dulang.


Should You Let Your Kid Be Circumcised

The debate with my son whether he should be circumcised has been going on for over a year and when summer is on, the need to be circumcised invites an open argument again.

circumcision program in Davao; photo source:
He was supposed to go through the operation last summer with his cousin and friend but the room filled with kids going through procedure had him retreated from circumcision and we simply went home. But, the need for circumcision bothers me knowing he would go through that sharp knife that I have to simply research its benefits and if we can simply forego it.

 Wikipedia defines circumcision as the surgical removal of foreskin from the human penis. We identify the benefits of circumcision as follows:

  •  It is said that babies who go through circumcision upon birth has 100% protection from risks like cancer. 
  • In 2009, studies prove that men who are sexually active in Africa have have lesser infection rate by 38%-66%  over 2 years that WHO recommends circumcision as part of the prevention program against HIV. Uncircumcised men are 50% more likely to be infected by HIV.
  • It reduces risks against penile cancer, UTI, HSV-2, oncogenic HPV prevalence.
  • In British Medical Journal of April 2002, it reports that 20% of cervical cancer occurrences could have been prevented if men are circumcised as Human Papilloma Virus thrives under and on the foreskin that is transmitted during sexual intercourse.
  • With Human Papilloma Virus, other sexually transmitted disease like genetical warts could be prevented.  
  • While circumcision can be not at all common in all parts of the world, statistics is however high in Asia, USA,  Middle East, Africa, social pressure then is high depending  on your location.
  • There is a strong link as well between circumcision and sexual performance. While circumcision removes sensitive parts of the penis delaying ejaculation, sex experts however claim that it is more of an advantage rather than a complication.
With anesthesia prior to circumcision, the health benefits outweigh the pain and discomfort. With the increasing incidence of HIV worldwide, circumcision is a cost - effective prevention that men should have. 

So, while I am anxious for my kid, I know that my son shall be better protected if he goes through circumcision. If you too desires this procedure for your kid, check out within your city or locality as summer circumcision program is oftentimes provided.

Should all males be circumcised? The Benefits of Male Circumcision
Adult Circumcision Affects Sexual  Performance