Thursday, December 24, 2015

Missing Your Family During Holidays

It is during holidays and special occasions that you begin to miss your closest dear friends and family and when you are worlds apart (in my case, air travel for Ethiopia and Philippines requires 12 hours).

Good thing though that there are social media including Skype, Line and Viber to appease the separation anxiety.

Christmas requires us a new family picture; too bad, I will be missing it.
The time difference does not help too; Ethiopian and Philippine time is 5 hours gap. So, for now, we can only contend on offline messages and occasional talks.

But, we can't feel sorry at all times; so, from the land of kind hearts, Ethiopia, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Firefighters for a Family

My husband and I decided to join the GenSan Volunteer Firefighters as another way of helping.  But, as a lady, I never really realized the hardship of training until I had to join the man - dominated arena and do what firefighters do regardless of gender.

holding the nozzle to put off the fire

So, from hose throwing, to connecting and to firefighting, I had to exert my hardest efforts to catch up with what the men do. I cant thank my husband enough as he helped me with the training.

with my teammates during final simulation

So, finally last November 8, I made it along with 37 other firefighters new volunteers. I just pretty hope that we shall be always safe and able to help at all times.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Parenting Tips: Must Know Before You Have a Baby

How I wish I have seen this video before I actually got pregnant and when there are days that you can go crazy and you think you failed as a parent, know that each parent has a unique experience in parenting and what applies to them may not apply at all to you, so, learn as you exercise parenthood.

But as for the rest of the tips, you have to watch this video by Extra Space Storage.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Separation Anxiety: When Parents Need To Work Abroad

There can be no greater sadness other than separation and death but since death isn't the case here, separation through distance can be quite tough especially for young kids.

photo source:

You may call it separation anxiety and this applies not young ones only but even to adults too.

 So, what do experts say about leaving? To ease separation, you may try the following:

  • Talk to your kid. If you have an older child who can understand your present situation,  discuss your plans with him/her. Solicit his / her feedback and learn how you can better improve your conditions with compromising your goal of leaving. You will be surprised how the kids these days can have open mindedness in spite of their age.
  • Practice separation. When kids are regularly left to their trusted babysitters or to their guardians, the departure may not be that  harder.
  • Leave the kid to a familiar environment. Even when you are gone, the presence of other loved ones can be comforting.
  • Keep in touch. In spite of the distance, the idea is to keep connected to your child; good thing we have social media including Skype or Facetime to ease homesickness or anxiety.
  • Keep your promises. If you say that you will come back at specific time or date, then, do that as kids look forward to your presence; you don't want them to get used to your absence.
  • Never stall. When you bid your goodbye, just go. 
But, if you see the following warnings from your children, then, it is time to seek professional help.

  • Age-inappropriate tantrums / clinginess
  • Constant complaints of physical sickness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, classmates
  • Refusal to go to school.
  • Excessive fear of leaving the house. 


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Coping With Miscarriage

Having been pregnant at age 25 with a healthy boy 14 years ago seemed to be easy since I started conceiving only after 6 months of being married.
photo source:

The pregnancy  then was high risk because of stress from new work and new place as I needed to relocate from my hometown because of my marriage.

I never really realized that pregnancy can be  indeed difficult for anyone, much more, for me.  And, while I feel for my friends who have harder time conceiving, I feel sorry for others who just like me have to lost a baby.
me (far left and unaware) at 5 weeks pregnant competing at an international marathon
Athletic  that I am, conceiving was least of my concerns that I had to compete for  a half – marathon when was 5 – weeks pregnant, unaware though. Prior to this, I was bleeding for two weeks before I had to see my doctor  and learned that I was indeed pregnant.  She gave me some meds to stop the bleeding and to keep the baby in place. However, after a few days, I had to writhe in pain and rushed to the hospital. It was found out that I had ectopic pregnancy tearing, however, my left fallopian tube. The doctor had to rush me to  operating room for internal bleeding.  
training is part of my daily tasks but put on hold after miscarriage
For only a week, I somehow enjoyed the knowledge of pregnancy but my state then was not at all easy, that I was also anticipating a miscarriage. Losing it though through a rupture and a blade was likely unexpected.
Two weeks since operation, I am home arrest from athletic training and work until 9 more weeks. Asked how one can go through  recuperation period, I fill my time with these:

  • Reading novel and online news
  • Helping my sister in her IELTS exam review
  • Catching up with TV series or movies
  • Taking as many as 8 sleep hours as possible (during training periods – average of 5-6 hours only)
  • Going back to blogging or writing
  • Organizing a running event (since I can't run and just to meet my running buddies)
  • Playing with my little nieces and nephews
  • Going out once in a while (for exercise too)
  • Taste testing my husband's baking of goodies
  • Seeing my ob-gyne as scheduled and taking meds as prescribed
  • Praying for my lost baby, good health and recovery, among others.
The idea is to fill your free time with something productive; losing a baby is never easy - the physical and emotional toll. But, when you know that you have done your best to keep it but still lost it,  you can't be guilty about it.  

With enough time for rest and recovery, you ( and I ) shall conceive  again and when that time comes, your body will be more ready. And, while this may not be true for some, I guess the idea of acceptance will make the loss lighter.


Friday, April 17, 2015

What Sports Can Teach Your Kids

In 1980's or later, kids simply enjoyed outdoor stuffs, including pinoy games like tumba lata, tubigan, siatong, patentero. I could hardly remember having friends who were overweight since when afternoon would come or weekends, we swarmed the streets with our own play thing.

But, technology redefined playtime among kids now. You would see even a two - year old kid moving his finger on a tablet, playing or worse, seeing all your kids at home with their respective gadget.

It is no wonder that health risks are even higher among young ones including diabetes. So, how can parents indeed address this concern? Sport can be an option.

When you encourage your kids to be physically active, they can learn to appreciate playtime outside the comforts of their electronic toy. Further, social skills are improved as they relate with other kids, learn to obey play rules and at the same time, experience to accept failure and winnings with humility.

champion in her triathlon age category of 8-10 years old
It is then important that as parents, we cultivate the culture of active playtime. We can encourage them to join clubs, like music or sports club, in their own schools. Limit their usage with gadgets and bond with them as we join them in their sports or at least, watch them when they play or compete.

mother and son competing for triathlon

Reality is there is no easy way to the top but hard work among others. And, when kids are into sports or in any club of their own choosing, they will appreciate end results as they put in extra time and effort to be on the top.

Further, networks can open up not just for parents or kids. Opportunities like schools scouts for scholarships or financial aid for talented kids can come unexpectedly. Young musicians are earning as they play and with that comes great appreciation and value for what they have invested in.

with my kid as biker buddy
More importantly, self - esteem is highly encourage among kids who are active. When they compete or play in the public, they boost their internal motivation and the appreciation of other people only intensify their confidence. This in turn, will help them as they interact with others and face life.

pacing my kid, boosting him as he ran towards his triathlon finish line

Kids mature early these days, perhaps due to technology exposure, and we can only guide them. While we can be busy with our respective jobs, let us not forget what is more valuable, our own kids.


Friday, March 20, 2015

GenSan's Rock Garden Resort Beckons Family and Friends

My family just lives around Lagao and I was quite surprised that a resort named "Rock Garden Resort" is just around the corner with delightful sumptuous meals and a cool venue to boost.

photo credit: Marz  Bendol

Just situated in the outskirt of Purok Masunurin, Brgy San Isidro, this resort is just 30 minutes away from the city proper. It  started in 2010 and had been known for their garden - inspired accommodation. The resort can actually cater 50 pax to as many as 200 pax in their largest function area.

with fellow SOX bloggers on a dinner with Manager Mervin
Should you like to enjoy the cool outdoor breeze, an open veranda of 30 - 50 pax can be accommodated too. What is more is appealing is that they have  a very inviting swimming pool of varying depth for kids and adults.

 The resort accepts walk - in clients and reservations for all types of occasions and can even have the venue for rentals.
foodie pic of their tempting and heavenly smell meals

The meals are deliciously prepared by their in - house chef and we personally loved their served best sellers chopsuey, garlic chicken, tinolang manok and sisig.  Credits to Cathy Bolodo for these cool pics!

pork sizzling sisig
 Open between 7am to 9pm, you can actually enjoy their serene venue, yummy food and good customer service at quality price. Their short order meals are available at any time of the day. Don't forget to try their specialties!
garlic chicken
Their future plans include setting up rooms for sleep in and and renovation of pool. Now, that something to look forward to.

For your inquiry, reservation or feedback, you may look for The Resort Garden on Facebook.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Philippines Is All Set for Pope Francis

In any local or national news, I hear the preparations for the arrival of Pope Francis. The excitement is overwhelming as come January 15, our beloved Pope will warm every Filipino for his compassion and care for Filipinos. I could only wish that Mindanaons like me can at least see the Pope first hand but I guess the big tube will do.

Even entrepreneurs have taken the travel as opportunity for business as different memorabilias and souvenirs are sold with Pope Francis' images and statements.

Pope Francis with Filipino celebrities in Art by artist Dante Hipolito
The national government has done extreme measures to safeguard the pope and at least make his travel as convenient as possible that non  - working holidays are declared in areas that will be affected by his  4 - day stay. 

Pope Francis will convene with top officials, meet the Yolanda survivors and officiate the mass before a crowd of over 5 million.

His itinerary is as follows (excerpted from :

January 15, Thursday
5:45 pm - Arrival at Villamor Air Base in Manila. President Aquino and 12 cabinet members to welcome the pope
              - Motorcade to his official residence at the Apostolic Nunciature (Taft Avenue)
Best vantage point: The route of his motorcade (to be issued later in the day)

January 16, Friday
09:15 am - Welcome ceremony at the MalacaƱang Palace.
10:15 am - Meeting with authorities and diplomatic corps at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Presidential Palace
11:15 am - Holy Mass with the bishops, priests, and others from religious orders at the Manila Cathedral
5:30 pm  - Meeting with families (pre-selected by Philippine dioceses) at Mall of Asia Arena
Best vantage point: Intramuros to MOA Arena for his motorcade

January 17, Saturday
08:15 am - Departure from Manila for Tacloban
09:30 am - Arrival at the airport of Tacloban
10:00 am - Holy Mass near Tacloban International Airport
12:45 pm - Lunch with some of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte
3:00 pm  - Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor
3:30 pm  - Meeting with the priests, seminarians and families of the survivors at the Cathedral of Palo, Leyte
5:00 pm  - Departure from Tacloban to Manila
6:15 pm  - Arrival at Villamor Air Base in Manila

January 18, Sunday
09:45 am - Brief Meeting with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila
10:30 am - Meeting with the youth at the Sports Field of the UST
3:30 pm  - Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park in Manila
Best vantage points:
UST grounds (Gates 5 and 6 are designated for participants; The general public can stay at designated areas, please enter at Gates 10 and 11. Gates open at 4 AM.)
Periphery of Rizal Park, where Pope Francis will also reportedly hold a short motorcade before starting the mass.

January 19, Monday
09:45 am - Send-off ceremony at the Presidential Pavilion of Villamor Air Base in Manila
10:00 am - Departs for Rome
5:40 pm  - Pope arrives at the airport of Rome/Ciampino

The Pope along with the Catholic Church will continue to be a solid anchor for Filipino families and for the entire Philippines. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Loving and Hating Your Family

with my running family - Team Matutum, in a baptismal ceremony

I guess if an individual says that he or she loves her family at all times can be quite unbelievable as experience and life stories of friends will tell us a quite different story.

If I have to recall my younger days, I could vividly remember the bickering I oftentimes had with my younger siblings which our mother would put us into time-out mode  or punishments I would rather not mention. :D 

Economically, we were not doing well too, so, oftentimes, I wish I had rich parents, so, we could practically buy whatever we like. Envy was quite common among us, children, as we looked up to our affluent schoolmates or neighbors.

But, as we age, we take things in a different perspective. Our wants and needs become simpler, and when tough times are called for - like bad relationships, poor career choices, financial burdens, we only have our family to turn to, and that may not exactly mean having your own biological family. Having your true friends around will warrant a family. 

Knowing that some individuals don't have the luxury or the burden of a family or group of friends, I am grateful that in spite of my family's shortcomings, I am grateful that I have them.