Thursday, June 28

When Helpers Come and Go

Today, I woke up early (5:00 a.m.) for I have to attend to Nicole who goes to school at 7 a.m.. Our oldie helper (as I have described in my previous post) has told me last night that she is leaving. Prior to that, she's been watching tv from wowowee til deal or no deal. This is her daily ritual. Can you just imagine how many hours she's been wasting when she has lots of work to do at home. Hubby was the one who cooked for dinner. Asked her to iron the clothes in the hamper. She didn't moved from her seat. She even has the habit of putting her feet on the sofa (naka-de quatro pa), wearing only her duster. I reprimanded her so many times not to do that. She's so stubborn. When Pio saw me being mad again, he went down, switch off the tv and brought the remote control in our room. That's when Manang got up and called us for dinner. While eating, she's frowning and told me she's leaving. I told her it's ok with me. At last, I don't need to tell her that. I've been thinking of asking her to leave, but I pity her, baka wala ng malipatan because of her age (hubby still thinks she's 60+). Anyway, paid her remaining salary, checked her bag which I don' t usually do, but hubby's .45 caliber gun is missing. It's not in there. Maybe it was just misplaced in the car. Finally, I let her go.
I have so many helpers who come, work and go.... Some I even helped transfer to a better job like in restaurants, canteen, fastfood chains or in shopping malls where they can earn more especially the ones who are high school graduates (few are even college graduates). I even suggested for them to enroll in TESDA for short vocational courses. Some of my kids' nannies have left to get married, others to attend to their own family or went back home to finish school.
I've lost count of the helpers/maids who have worked for me since year 2000. The year I moved in my husband's family home.
My first staff (3 of them are siblings) are from Lanao del Norte. They are so "masipag". They helped each other, walang inggitan sa trabaho. One has become so attached to my child, Gabbie, when she's still a baby, she doesn't want to eat unless the baby is truly asleep. Aileen is really reliable. When the other helper (Jing) became sick, I let her rest and employed another one. Nene (Jing's sis) is an all around help, she has a boyfriend who asked her to live with him. So Nene became a stay-out maid. But this guy would often appear at home and fetch her even when the work's not done yet especially during payday. Aileen, Jing and Naneth (their cousin) are the ones left with me. Eventually, have to let go of Nene (who changes boyfriends as often as she changes her nail polish). But she would come back and work again for me. The siblings left when hubby discovered that the new one cannot be trusted with money. Gabbie's nanny left also because she has to go with her cousin. She came back after a month. She said she missed Gabbie. When Gabbie turned 2, she got sick and has to rest, she left for the province. She would come and visit us when she's on a day off. Heard she's now working in a computer shop in Manila.
Manang Josie was referred by a neighbor. She's around 40, been married, have kids and separated from husband (who cheated on her). During our chats (I make it a habit to know all their background including sad stories), she confided that when she her child died (of meningitis)and husband cheated on her (she even make a big scandal in her hubby's workplace at Burgundy condo), she attempted to kill herself. Before she can plunge the knife in her stomach, her 6 month old- baby cries. That cry saved her from killing herself. My golly, when I heard her story, asked all my kids to sleep in our room. Our helpers sometimes sleep in my kids' room (with their own bed). Told my hubby about it and instructed me to let her go. Ako naman naawa, di ko masabi. When she had her day off, she's supposed to visit her kids (who lives with a relative). She never came back, her daughter called that she was hit by a jeepney just outside our village. Called the nearest hospital, she was sent to East Avenue Hospital. I checked the operator of the vehicle at LTFRB but the plate number that the guard has, doesn't belong to a puv. Her children came to the house, took her things, I gave them money for her meds. I heard she's ok after the accident. She opted to just stay with her kids. There goes her sad story...
Gigi is from Butuan. She's been working as a maid in the province to support her high school studies. She walks 2 hours a day to go to school and fetch water on her way back home, their place has no running water yet. Her sister, Lourdes works for me as stay-out maid. When Gigi arrived in Manila, she was employed (also in QC) as store helper and an all around help in the house at the same time. She sleeps near the bathroom, on the cold floor without a mat, beside the family's dog. Her employer gave her minimal food to eat. Lourdes pleaded that I hire her sister and pay the employer the transportation fare that they have paid for her. So I did. She became Bea's nanny. Lourdes stopped working when I found out she's been getting canned goods from the kitchen everytime she would go home at night. She also took home some bedsheets and hubby's jacket. Nicole once told me that all our stay-out helpers brought some goods & rice when they go back home. I didn't notice it, never checked the cabinet, much less count them. We have so many staff then aside from the maids, we also have the drivers and some bodyguards (hubby needs them before) plus the occasional visits of hubby's former classmates. I presume the canned goods have been consumed by them aside from the food we eat daily. Gigi eventually left and transferred to a car shop in Banawe. Told her there's no problem with me as long as the job can uplift more her family's condition in the province. She's also supporting Lourdes and her family. A very good sister indeed...
So many helpers (from Cagayan, Cebu, Leyte, Bicol, Cotabato, Kalinga, Ilocos, Iloilo, Pampanga, Batangas, Baguio, Iligan) come and go. I lost contact with the others. Hope they have much better lives now.
I often wonder when can I have a helper who would stay with me for years. I'm not a bad employer I believe. I even bought them new shoes, clothes, vitamins, plus cellphone loads. Even gave them my kids' toys & clothes to send for their siblings or children in the province. Allow them weekly day offs. Plus bonuses every year. They even sleep in an airconditioned room and have time for siesta. My mom would tell me, "ang bait mo kasi kaya minsan inaabuso ka na". What can I do, eh ganun talaga ako sa kapwa ko...Hay sana lang me mabait din at masipag na helper magtagal samen....

Wednesday, June 27


kalachuchi tree



Pio & Gabbie posing for the cam


Hirap pala mama....

Last summer, my kids wanted to help in cleaning the veranda. So I let them. Decided to take pics and included the flowers in the garden. Minutes after, they were all tired. They rushed to watch Disney shows on tv. I took over. At least they have experienced helping in household chores. My eldest daughter Nicole (10 yrs. old) knows how to wash the dishes, do the laundry(small things such as socks, hankies, underwear) and iron her clothes. She also helped me changed diaper and fix milk for her siblings before. She's really a responsible kid. Am so lucky. I didn't ask or force her to do these things. She wanted to help even when they have nannies to do such work. Very unlike me when I was young. My mother didn't allow or even show us how to do these things. There are always helpers (reliable ones) around us. Good thing there's Home Economics class where I learned how to do these chores. My hubby is also lucky, I do the stuff now which I hardly do when I was still single.

Friday, June 22


My daughter Nicole gave this "memo" (given by her teacher) during her early Montessori days...

1. Don't spoil me.
I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for.

2. Don't be afraid to be firm with me.
I prefer it, it makes me feel secure.

3. Don't let me form bad habits.
I have to rely on you to detect them at the early stages.

4. Don't make me feel smaller than I am.
It only makes me feel stupidly "big".

5. Don't correct me in front of people, if you can help it.
It will take much more notice, if you talk more quietly with me in private.

6. Don't make me feel that my mistakes are sins.
It upsets my sense of values.

7. Don't protect me from my consequences.
I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

8. Don't be too upset if I say "I hate you".
It isn't you I hate but your power to thwart me.

9. Don't take too much notice of my small ailments.
Sometimes they get me the attention I need.

10. Don't nag.
If you do, I shall protect myself by appearing deaf.

11. Don't forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like.
This is why I'm not always very accurate.

12. Don't tax my honesty too much.
I am easily frightened into telling lies.

13. Don't make rash promises.
Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.

14. Don't be inconsistent.
That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.

15. Don't take my fear as silly.
They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.

16. Don't put me off when I ask questions.
If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek information elsewhere.

17. Don't ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible.
It gives me too great a shock when i discover you are neither.

18. Don't ever think it's beneath your dignity to apologize to me.
An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.

19. Don't forget how quickly I am growing up.
It must be very difficult to keep pace with me, but please do try.

20. Don't forget I am experimenting.
I couldn't get on without it so please put up with me.

21. Don't forget that I can't thrive without lots of understanding love, but I don't need to tell you, do I?

Busy, Busy Day

At last, I can sit down and bloghop and do this post. I am so tired the past few days. I was able to get our friend's docs at NSO last Monday. Attended some meetings re: the seafood business. And the daily chores of fixing my kids things (school books, toys, clothes, shoes), preparing the menu for the day, cleaning our rooms (vacuuming the beds, sofas, pillows), bathing the kids, teaching Pio his daily lessons (he's homeschooling), going after Bea's mess around the house, going to the market/buying groceries...this schedule is so exhausting. I have a helper, but she's old (46), hubby said she looks like in her 60's already. She walks so slow and do things just as slow. She could finish doing the laundry in 4 hours (using the washing machine) and do the dishes in one hour. That's why I'm doing the things she's supposed to do...Tsk. Tsk.. I'm still searching for another helper or her replacement...Miracle na yata to find a good, reliable one these days....Good thing my hubby loves to cook. He usually cooks adobong baboy, munggo, pata with beans, pochero, dinuguan, sisig and pancit. That's our weekly menu if he's in the kitchen. I buy the groceries, he cooks. If hubby is not around, I tell the helper what to cook and how to do so. And if I'm in the mood, I cook. I usually dish out pasta (my specialty, a carbonara) and prepare some salads. Di ba heavy na yun...My kids love it. Then me bottomless iced tea, para ma-digest kagad, he he. Pero pag day off ang helper, and I'm busy, we have the foods delivered by Jollibee or KFC or Ninang's.
Today, I did the same chores and then I cooked (it's a miracle, my kid said). I have pinakbet (mixed veggies) and fried rice (eggs, hotdogs and shrimps with the cooked rice). Hubby is in a hurry, nag multi-tasking na naman tuloy ako. While I'm cooking, I'm also feeding (as in sinusubuan) Gabbie her lunch (school bus will fetch her at 12 noon), checking her answers to the tests that I gave her (she has math & spelling quiz in school today), going after Bea (she can't go to the bathroom alone, she has the habit of playing with water), and running after Pio's endless mess, checking our newly-washed clothes outside (baka mabasa ng ulan). As we eat our lunch, am waiting for hubby's complaints (buti wala naman). When Nicole arrives from school, we have to review for her lessons and do some homework (Friday pala is homework-free day). Hay hirap talaga maging nanay....
In a little while, I'll be checking out my contacts for the crab supplies. Our client (an exporter) has just given me their requirement for shipment to Singapore. They need 100 kilos a day of live mud crabs. Hope I can pull this off. Have to work double-time (will do consultancy work again in the Senate & possibly at Manila City Hall). Wish me luck.
Another busy day tomorrow...

Thursday, June 21

Are You a Victim of Abuse?

Take this quiz by Laura Wilkinson (as posted in the July issue of Kerygma).

Does your spouse or significant other:

1. Hit, punch, slap, shove or bite you?

2. Threaten to hurt you or your children?

3. Threaten to hurt friends or family members?

4. Have sudden outbursts of anger or rage?

5. Behave in an overprotective manner?

6. Become jealous without reason?

7. Prevent you from seeing family or friends?

8. Prevent you from going where you want, when you want?

9. Prevent you from working or attending school?

10. Destroy personal property or sentimental items?

11. Deny you access to family assets, such as bank accounts, credit cards or even the car?

12. Control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?

13. Force you to have sex against your will?

14. Force you to engage in sexual acts you do not enjoy?

15. Insult you or call you derogatory names?

16. Use intimidation or manipulation to control you or your children?

17. Humiliate you infront of your children?

18. Turn minor incidents into major arguments?

19. Abuse or threaten to abuse pets?

20. Withhold affection from you?

If you answered yes to even one of those questions, you are being abused, according to Ms. Wilkinson.

My piece of thought and advice- hurting one another among parents can be quite traumatic for the kids especially if this is a daily occurence in the family. It destroys relationships and eventually the whole family. If someone you know is being hurt physically/abused, encourage her to file a complaint in their barangay office or nearest police station (there's a women & child desk officer in every station), have his/her injuries/wounds checked or treated to a government hospital, request for a medico-legal certificate. Show the certificate to the barangay captain, who will in turn, issue a Barangay Protectipn Order (BPO). This order states that the husband cannot go near the wife again anywhere for 30 days (just enough time to transfer to a new place, change all the door locks, or learn taekwondo he he) just like a court restraining order. Lastly, let her consult counselors. The kids need to undergo counselling also. They can seek counselling (for free) at the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) in Ateneo or other NGO's dealing with women victims of domestic violence.

A Better Parent

This prayer was forwarded to me by Michael, my cousin, who has been working abroad. I'm surprised, this is his first email for me. I guess, he is so busy working for his new family. The prayer came just as I am so stressed with my kids lately. This must be Heaven-sent...
Oh, God, make me a better parent.
Help me to understand my children,to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.
Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and to ask of them forgiveness, when I know that I have done them wrong. May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children.
Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment.
Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal.
So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honestly produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag: and when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.
Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things that they do.
Give me a ready word for honest praise.
Help to treat my children as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgments and conventions of adults.
Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to choose, and to make decisions.
Forbid that I should ever punish them for my self satisfaction.
May I grant them all of their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage always to withhold a privilege that I know will do them harm.

Tuesday, June 19

3 tips to get your kid to sleep

This post is for my friends who have babies and toddlers who all refuse/ wont go to sleep even when the mommies are all ready to go to bed...

In their new book, ‘Sleepeasy Solution,’ sleep experts share their solutions;

As any new parent will tell you, sleep deprivation comes with the territory. But when it lasts for weeks and even months, parents can turn to pros for some help. The newest generation of baby sleep experts are getting fast results. But you don’t need to hire an expert. Sleepy Planet co-founders Jill Spivack and Jennifer Waldburger have written a new book, “The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parents’ Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep.” Here’s an excerpt:

There are seven main “sleep stealers,” or reasons your child isn’t sleeping well; she may be affected by one of them, by a combination of several, or — if you’ve hit the jackpot — by all seven. Here are three of the most common.

Sleep Stealer #1: No Consistent Bedtime Routine
Though most parents know that a bedtime routine is a good idea, it can be hard to be consistent about doing it, either because there’s too much to do before bed or because your child has so much energy that it’s hard to slow her down. Nonetheless, a predictable wind-down routine is one of the most important tools your child needs to sleep well.

Sleepeasy Solution: Use a predictable bedtime routine each night and for naps
Do approximately the same activities each night or at nap time, in the same order. This is what will help your child develop sleep cues, so that over time just doing the routine makes your child sleepy. Wind-down activities can include:

A bath
A massage
Dimming the lights
Playing soft music
Diaper change and putting on pj’s
Nursing, a bottle, or a cup of milk
A book or song (or several of each)
Playing quietly on the floor (no toys that beep or blink)
With an older child, talking about your day together
You get the idea. Have fun and be creative; just remember to keep it low-key.

Sleep Stealer #2: Your Child Needs You to Fall Asleep
It’s the most natural thing in the world to rock, feed, or hold your child while he falls asleep. So why doesn’t doing this help him stay asleep throughout the night? Some children actually can fall asleep on the breast or bottle — or with motion — and then transfer to their crib easily and sleep all night long. Some older children can also fall asleep with Mom or Dad lying next to them in bed without waking in the night. In these cases, there is no sleep problem — and if this describes your situation, by all means continue doing what you’re doing, and don’t worry about making changes. But many other children who fall asleep with this kind of assistance awaken repeatedly throughout the night, and these disruptions are often caused at least partially by their dependence on certain conditions or activities, or what are called sleep associations.

A sleep association is anything your child associates with falling asleep — such as arms holding her; rocking or bouncing; sucking on a pacifier, breast, bottle, or sippy cup; or having a parent lying nearby. Periodically throughout the night, your child drifts up into lighter sleep phases to check out her environment. During these checks, called “partial arousals,” she’s not fully conscious — and as long as nothing has changed significantly since she fell asleep in the first place, she simply returns to deeper sleep. But for many children, if something is different, this raises a red flag. Your child’s brain signals “crisis,” and she cries, calls to you, or comes to your bedside for help. What she needs is for you to re-create the same conditions that were present when she fell asleep in the first place, so she can fall back asleep now. Which you very diligently do!

Typical sleep associations include:
Sucking on a breast, bottle, or pacifier
Drinking from a sippy cup
Bouncing, walking, or rocking
Someone lying down in bed with him
Music playing
Watching an aquarium or other stimulating toys with sounds or lights
Drinking bottles or breast-feeding throughout the night (for a child who’s old enough not to feed at night)

Sleepeasy Solution: Put your child down awake
Children older than four months have the ability to soothe themselves into sleep. There are a variety of things that children may do as they relax, and these skills are hidden inside your child, too, waiting to be discovered. They may include:
Sucking a thumb or hand
Gently moving her head from side to side
Rhythmic kicking or arm movements
Holding a lovey or stuffed animal
Finding a favorite comfy position
Singing or talking
Sliding his head to the top of the crib for comfort
Twirling her hair

Your child’s environment plays a very important role in her ability to sleep well. She needs to be protected from disruptions that can prevent her from settling to sleep, sleeping deeply, and sleeping for the right length of time at night and for naps during the day.

Sleepeasy Solution: Protect sleep environment to ensure healthy sleep
Remove whatever is in or around your child’s crib or bed that doesn’t contribute to sleep–or is a potential safety hazard. This includes aquariums, activity boards, and large blankets or pillows (for babies under 12 months).
To prevent early morning wakings and to help your child take good naps, make sure the room is darkened (8 to 9 on a scale of 10, 10 being dark), and use white noise (such as an appliance that makes a steady hum, or environmental sound machine) if you have a busy household (other children playing, dogs barking) or neighborhood (traffic sounds outside your child’s window).

Monday, June 18


This post is for my Dad.
My Dad is very loving, he spoils us to no end. He is a good provider. He is also strict, I remember he would use his belt on us, me and my sisters, everytime we would fight each other. He is also so protective of us, he would go to our school everytime my sisters encountered bullies. Even when teachers scolded us in class, he would talk to them. He is so generous, even brought a hospital bed for our school's clinic, water jugs and an aquarium (I wondered why we gave one to a music classroom...). Going to Hospicio de San Jose is a habit for him. My sister Chic celebrated her 1st birthday there with the orphaned kids. One time, he saw the kids perspiring terribly in their nursery room, he sends for an airconditioning unit there. Kulang na lang ampunin din nya mga kids dun...He is really has a soft heart for them.
He is also a down-to-earth dad. He brought me to my first adult movie (Saigon Off Limits), shopped with me (in Escolta, Good Earth Emporium, SM Carriedo, Rustan's San Marcelino, Plaza Fair), joined us in our first visit/clubbing at Faces Disco then at Euphoria. Have us experienced what it's like to play in a casino. And Dad is so involved in politics, I would remember going to rallies for Ninoy Aquino when I was young, discussing about the government, attending meetings with then First Lady Imelda Marcos (when Ninoy died) and the late Mayor Bagatsing, campaigning for his friends first entry in politics. I would see the likes of Joey Lina, Lito Atienza, Eva-Estrada Kalaw, Mel Lopez come and go in our home. Joey Lina is very young then (he would borrow our pillows when he wants to take a nap in our sofa). All his friends have won and occupied positions in government years ago.
Dad is also very religious. He would bring us to church almost everyday. I remembered going from one statue to another and wiping them with our hankies (which the church discourages people to do). When I developed migraine, we would go to Quiapo Church by midnight every Friday and pray there til the wee hours (oh, how my knees hurt then). I know he loves us so much...
To you, Daddy, Happy Father's Day. We love you.

Saturday, June 16


  • who cannot be bought;
  • whose word is their bond;
  • who put character above wealth;
  • who possess opinions and a will;
  • who are larger than their vocations;
  • who do not hesitate to take chances;
  • who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
  • who will make no compromise with wrong;
  • who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";
  • who are true to their friends in adversity as well as in prosperity;
  • who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
  • who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular, who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes"



How to Tell a Male Trial Lawyer From a Female Trial Lawyer

I have so many lawyer-friends, especially the ones who asked me to pray for them to pass the bar exams when I was still doing my novena in Baclaran Church way back. Thank God, they all passed. They've been practicing for years already. Oh, how I envy them.

Guys, read this. No violent reaction, please...

An anonymous but acute and mischievous observer from the Bench compiled this telling commentary:

A male lawyer is aggressive; a female lawyer is pushy.

He is courteous to the judge; she is fawning.

He is careful about details; she's picky.

He loses his temper because he's so involved in his case; she's bitchy.

He's a stern taskmaster in preparation for trial; she's difficult to work for.

He follows through on his cross-examination; she doesn't know when to quit.

He's firm; she's stubborn.

He makes wise judgement; she reveals her prejudices.

He isn't afraid to say what he thinks; she's opinionated.

He exercises authority over a witness; she's tyrannical.

He's discreet; she's secretive.

He's depressed (or hung over); she's moody, so it must be her time of the month.

He is a man of the world; she's been around.

Friday, June 15

Helping a Friend

This morning, I went to the National Statistics Office (NSO) at East Avenue, parked the car at KFC that was across the place, crossed the road, and hopped on the center island (thinking I should hurry or get caught jaywalking or someone I know might see me doing this). Upon entering the place, gosh, so many people are in queue. I couldn't breathe well because of the strong scent of sweats, the big exhaust fans are of no help. I waited for my turn (got the #1658), they're only serving #'s 1300-1400....I already have the application form filled up. Good thing there are huge television around the place but you can't hear any sound from it. You just have to read their lips (the show Sis is on air) he, he. I looked for something to use to fan myself, found my kids' fan in my bag, with Dora the Explorer smiling at me.... Finally, my number was called, paid for the docs (P125.00 each copy of bc or mc) and got the receipts. I was told my docs will be ready by Monday. On Monday, I will proceed to DFA to apply for a lost passport. By the way, did I mention that I'm doing this for a family friend?

Thursday, June 14


My daughter is asking me to help her do a research on the above-stated topic for her homework, she can't find any article on the magazine (our old cosmo, good housekeeping & working mom mags). We surfed the net and found this at Since I have so many friends who have the pms, I thought of posting this in my blog.

Millions of women experience symptoms such as bloating, fatigue and breast tenderness during the days before their period. If these symptoms sound familiar, you could be suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The following overview should help you better understand PMS.

Premenstrual syndrome is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms that might occur in the two weeks before a woman's menstrual period. These physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms usually stop when a woman's menstrual period begins, or shortly thereafter.
PMS can appear at any time between puberty and menopause. A woman's symptoms usually recur in a predictable pattern but may worsen with age or stress. It is also common for PMS to increase during times of hormonal instability, such as puberty, the time after childbirth and the period after a miscarriage or an abortion. Changes in contraception may worsen PMS as well.
Most women experience some of the symptoms associated with PMS at some point in their lives, but not all women have the syndrome. While the exact number of women who have the condition is debatable, the National Institutes of Health estimates that 75 percent of menstruating women experience some form of PMS.

Some women have pre menstrual symptoms that are so severe that it disrupts their daily lives. This more severe condition is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Patients with PMDD are diagnosed under strict guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). While the symptoms are similar, PMDD is considered a separate disorder from PMS.

Causes of premenstrual syndrome

Although PMS was first identified more than 70 years ago, not much is known about the condition. While its exact cause isn't known, experts have identified several factors that may cause or contribute to PMS. They are:

Hormonal changes. During the second half of your menstrual cycle (the last 14 days of a 28-day cycle), levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone increase until approximately day 21 and then begin to fall. Tissues throughout your body are sensitive to these changes.

Chemical changes. Fluctuations in the levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood states, may be a cause. Insufficient serotonin levels have been linked to depression, while excess levels have been linked to anxiety.

Diet. Some PMS symptoms have been linked to deficiencies in calcium and vitamins A, E and B (which helps to produce serotonin). Certain foods and drinks have also been identified as possible contributors to PMS, including:

Salt. Eating salty foods can cause you to retain fluid.
Alcohol or caffeine. Drinking beverages containing alcohol or caffeine may cause changes in your mood or energy level.

Although stress has been credited with aggravating some symptoms of PMS, it isn't considered a cause. Researchers have also been able to identify a number of factors that might put you at higher risk for PMS. They include:
Depression. Women with a history of depression or postpartum depression have a higher incidence of PMS.

Heredity. Women with a family history of PMS are more likely to have PMS.

Children. Women with more children are more likely to experience more severe symptoms than women with fewer children.

Physical activity. Inactive women are at a higher risk for PMS than those that exercise regularly.

Tuesday, June 12

The Signs of Hard Times

The daily news of bus hold-ups and bank robberies plus cellphone & bag snatching makes me paranoid. I've seen and experienced first hand what one guy or a gang of thieves desperate for money can do.

One time my husband, his former classmate and I ate at Aristocrat Restaurant in Roxas Blvd.(it happened years ago, am gonna write it just the same). While we were eating, I didn't notice a group of people sat on the table near my chair. Then, a waiter pointed to a 20 peso bill under our table, we bend down and got it. In a matter of seconds, my black Guess bag is gone. We alerted the guards but one guy (probably just a bum) told us that they went inside the nearby casino. My husband and I hurriedly went to the casino, looked for them (even though I didn't see their faces but my husband saw them) around the gaming tables even in the restrooms. But they're nowhere in sight. We just reported it to the nearest police sub-station. I frantically called all the banks to report my stolen credit cards and atm cards. Inside my bag is my pager, perfume, shades and a newly bought bracelet. Sayang, I should have just use it that time (but I don't want my husband to know that I bought a new one). Good thing my new Nokia 8810 is in my pocket.

After 2 weeks, I've read in the paper that this "salisi" gang were caught in the same resto, victimizing a returning ofw from Japan. She also lost her bag with all her "lapad". The policemen chased them and there's actually a shoot-out. But her bag was never recovered. They're all in jail at the Quirino police station. I asked my husband to go with me at the station. We went there, saw all the bags they have stolen. Looked among the bags, but mine wasn't there. Maybe they even sold it. My husband was trying to remember and ascertain that those guys were the ones who sat behind me at the resto. When we are about to file the formal complaint, there comes a group of big-bellied policemen from the WPD UN Avenue Station as I've heard them, introducing themselves. The robbers' (the gang, which actually includes a pregnant woman) faces all lit up. They were beaming with joy as if they saw their saviour. The policemen pretended to be taking their pictures but actually whispering something to them. They were glancing each other with their mischievous smile. When I told my hubby what I just saw, we went out of the station. He said there's no use filing a complaint then after all the complainants left, they will just release the gang. Because they're protected by the same people who are supposed to protect us...Tsk. tsk... I have posted my not so good experience in my college classmates' yahoo group but I still want other people to read this story.

Another story, my sis and her hubby stopped at a pancit malabon resto at Kalayaan Avenue near the Quezon City Hall to take out some pancit. There's no other customer inside. While they're waiting for their order, two armed men who alighted from a motorcycle, poked a .45 caliber gun on them, asked for her bag and my BIL's wallet. They gave it right away. All the staff have run away from the kitchen. The robbers just walked outside the resto and rode away on their motorbike. They didn't bother to file for a police report on the incident. Same reason as mine.

My other sister was inside a bus on her way home from school, when they reached the South Expressway, armed men announced a hold-up. My sister tried to remove her earrings and rings but one of the guys pointed a gun on her, asked for the jewelries. They collected all the wallets and jewelries (no cellphone yet that time) and put in inside a knapsack which they got from a male student (whom they also robbed of the shoes he's wearing). The poor guy had to walk with only his socks on upon alighting from the bus. The robbers jumped out of the bus when they reached Alabang. As simple as that...

A good friend was also robbed while she's having her teeth and braces fixed inside a dental clinic somewhere in Quezon City. The robbers pretended to be clients waiting for their turn. I couldn't imagine how she reacted when it happened with all the dental gadgets in her mouth. The policemen were of no help either when they reported the incident.

So when these things are happening everyday, I am not at ease when I'm out, either in the mall, bank, resto, riding a public utility vehicle or even inside beauty salons...I just pray harder for safety when we (my kids, hubby) are all out of the house. I believe He is our only recourse, the True Protector.

Monday, June 11




apat na maria with my kids

my parents, sisters, kids at the Westin lobby

with my BIL, John and Dad's kumare, Susan Roces

Nicole and Gabbie's favorite singer then, Regine

my kids and nannies with Juday at Cafe Plaza

Pio Miguel with my sis Budeck at the Treasure Island

Nicole at the poolside, by the bay

my sisters and moi in blue dress

The Suite Life

My kids Nicole and Gabbie are so fond of watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The twins who live in Tipton Hotel with their mom, who is also the resident singer at the lounge. I remembered my childhood days when for months, we would stay in a hotel to spend our school break/vacation. Since my mom and dad are both born and raised in Manila (grandparents don't have houses in the province either, only distant relatives have), we don't have any province to go to every summer. My ever-loving Dad would check in a hotel and there we would bum around, watch tv, swim, play our tea-set and shop with my Mom.

My favorite is the Westin Philippine Plaza, the lagoon-shaped pool and the breath-taking Manila Bay, the sumptuous meals and the very efficient staff. We were there during our elementary school breaks, high school vacations & college semestral breaks. In fact some of the staff have grown old and they still remember the apat na maria (have 3 sisters). Who would forget four girls who all wear the same style of clothes. And I would always wear the green one, my other siblings would wear red, yellow and pink respectively. We would run around the hotel and treat it as our park. My sisters and I would fight over the stationeries and pens available on every table. We took home all the shampoos, small towels, soaps, box of match, hotel slippers as our souvenirs.

We also stayed at the historic Manila Hotel, The Holiday Inn (the hotel stationeries are inside a thick-leather binder, this binder is actually chained to the night table), Silahis Hotel (remember the stargazer disco) now renamed The Grand Boulevard Hotel, the Century Park Sheraton Hotel (in front of Harrison Plaza, which meant more shopping for my mom), Copacabana Apartelle (we didn't like it there, furnitures are quite old)...

After my first communion, we celebrated it at the Bayview Park Hotel with my teachers. My eldest sister had her debut at the Westin while my other sis had hers at the Manila Hotel. I opted to have the money than celebrate it that way. My youngest sis had her wedding reception also at the Manila Hotel...I don't know why we really like to stay in these hotels during vacations and special occasions, maybe the ambience and the superb service it offers and doesn't require long travel. When my kids wanted to relax after school ends, I brought them back at the Westin. They should have given me a loyalty rebate after all these years we've been patronizing them.

We also tried the new Hyatt Regency Hotel (has a new casino), the Makati Shangri-la (which offer buffets in long tables same with the Westin's), Oakwood Premier Hotel (actually a condotel, has a gym facing the big pool, staff are so friendly), the Renaissance Hotel (formerly New World Hotel) and the Discovery Suites in Ortigas (which by the way, has a wonderful spa). I think these hotels have tie-ups with the RCI, Marriot or some time-share membership accounts abroad. So if foreigners or Pinoy balikbayans are looking for a good place to stay, they can use their timeshare exchange holiday system in these hotels here in Manila. I can assure them high standards of accommodation, facilities and services as I have actually experienced.

This is such a sweet "suite" life...

my parents, sisters and my kids celebrating Christmas at the Westin

Tuesday, June 5

Can Dreams Show Us Future Events?

All of us dream. I always tell my kids to pray at night, thank the Lord for the day and ask for a nice dream. So we say, sweet dreams...But there are times, our dreams are not that good. I often have dreams which actually would happen in the future (be it good or bad). The bad ones, I prayed harder so it won't happen especially when it involves my family or friends. Or I take precaution. Came across an article today from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, from the column of Jaime Licauco. I am again re-printing (posting) it here.
Can dreams show us future events?

By Jaime Licauco Inquirer Last updated 05:22am (Mla time) 06/05/2007
News of the arrest of four suspects in the killing of a senior police officer in the May 26 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer caught my interest and attention. The victim’s wife was quoted as saying their 12-year-old daughter dreamt of the tragedy the day it happened:
“In the dream, the Bocalbos family was inside the Nissan Urvan Escapade vehicle waiting for Maria Cristina to return from a fast food restaurant. Suddenly, someone opened the front passenger seat and attacked the police officer. Christie looked in the vehicle’s side mirror and saw her father pleading for help.”
The news item added that the victim’s wife wanted to tell her husband about their daughter’s dream and to warn him but she ignored the impulse thinking it was just a dream.
QuestionsThere are several questions that come to mind regarding this story. First, what are dreams, and why do they occur? Second, how can dreams tell us what is going to happen beforehand? And third, can the victim have been saved if the wife warned him?
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. And dreaming is one of the main activities during sleep. A dream has been defined as “the language of the subconscious mind.”Our subconscious is a vast store-house of information, not only of past, but also of present and future events.
There are many reasons why we dream. Sometimes, a dream is merely a carryover of waking activities and concerns. Other times, it conveys an important message about our health, relationship, job or other personal matter. But there are times when dreams warn us of future events, like what happened in the above case.
How is it possible for a dream to foretell a future event? Of course not all dreams are of this nature. But, according to the beliefs of Australian aborigines, “before an event actually happens in our waking state, we first dream of it.”That’s why they pay close attention to their dreams and do not ignore them, unlike us so-called more “civilized” ones. I think we have much to learn from the aborigines.

The third question is the most difficult to answer: Could Bocalbo’s death have been prevented if his wife told him of his daughter’s dream?
Of course, if his wife called him and he heeded the warning, then the killing would not have taken place that day. But would it not happen at all? Sometimes a foreseen or predicted event can be prevented; sometimes not.
Unpreventable. Let me cite two examples, one local, the other foreign.

During the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, a psychic reportedly warned him that the plane carrying his son Bongbong would crash. The plane had already taken off. The President asked the plane to return and his son got off.The plane resumed its journey. As we know, that plane did crash, killing almost everybody on board, including Bongbong’s best friend, the son of Judge Serafin Camilon (By the way, in a Playboy Magazine interview, Marcos said he had an intuitive insight the plane would crash and not because he was warned. I don’t know whom to believe, the psychic who told me about it or Marcos. Both are dead now).
Question: “Why didn’t Marcos ground that plane if he knew it would crash?” He couldn’t. If he did, he would have been the laughing stock of the world. He couldn’t prove it would crash, until it actually did. So he just asked his son to get off.
In the second case, Edgar Cayce, the late American psychic and prophet, was waiting for an elevator. When the doors opened, he saw four or five persons inside. He stepped back to indicate he was not getting in. The elevator doors closed and shortly afterwards the elevator crashed killing all passengers.
Question: “How did Edgar Cayce know that the elevator would crash?” He said when the elevator doors opened, he saw the people inside had no aura anymore (the aura is the life force that every living being has). For all practical purposes, therefore, those people were already dead.
Another question: “Why didn’t Cayce ask the people to get out?” Answer: Who would believe him? Those people were as good as dead and there was nothing he could do about it.Same thing with the plane crash. The people in the plane were already doomed. Marcos could not have prevented it.
Should we therefore just let things be and do nothing when we dream or see something bad is about to happen? No, we should always try to warn people of impending danger or accident when we foresee one, because there are times when foreseen events can be prevented.This is when their completion depends on the will of man and is not yet completed on the astral or spiritual plane.

Monday, June 4

I'm Sending My Only Son to the Best School- Our Home

Last June 1, I have enrolled my only son Pio Miguel to the Catholic Fipino Academy (DECS accredited) home schooling program, managed by Bro. Bo Sanchez. Instead of explaining to my relatives and friends why I did so, I'm posting this article taken from Bo's blog.
Why More And More Parents Are Sending Their Kids To TheBest School In The World:Their Own Home

10 Core Principles On How You CanTeach Your Children At Your Own Home With Great Success, While At The Same Time…Protect Your Kids From Harm, Save Your Money, Save Your Time, Reduce Stress, And Strengthen Your Family Life.

By Bo Sanchez

“But aren’t you depriving him of his socialization?”Believe me, I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard this line from well meaning friends when they learn that we don’t send our son to school, but instead teach him at home. (Now, with this article, I don’t have to answer. I can just give them this and say, “Read this please. Let’s talk again after you’ve read it.”)Here are other comments we’ve heard—some with sense, others just plain funny.“Won’t he become… uh, abnormal?”“You’re overprotecting him. Let go and let God!”“He needs to learn how to fight, become tough, and experience the world.”“Di ba yung homeschool pang artista lang yan?”I smile at everyone who gives me these comments and then explain these facts:Today, there are millions of kids being homeschooled in the world.And test after test (after test after test…) show that the average homeschooler academically beats the average of all students every time, at every year level, at every subject.Why? Here’s the truth that has been hidden from you and from the world at large: Homeschooling is the best educational system in this planet. It beats the most expensive, the most exclusive private schools money can afford. Unbelievable? Read on.
I Bet You Might Know Some Of These Homeschooled “Kids” …
Just in case you think that homeschooled kids may become social misfits and social idiots, let me show you a little list of a few homeschooled “kids” in the world:
Albert Einstein (Scientist)
Leonardo da Vinci (Painter/Sculptor/Inventor)
Claude Monet (Painter)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer)
Douglas MacArthur (U.S. General)
George Patton (U.S. General)
Thomas Jefferson (U.S. President)
Abraham Lincoln (U.S. President)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (U.S. President)
Theodore Roosevelt (U.S. President)
George Washington (U.S. President)
Woodrow Wilson (U.S. President)
John Wesley (Founder-Methodists)
Blaise Pascal (Scientist)
Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister)
Hans Christian Andersen (Writer)
Agatha Christie (Writer)
Charles Dickens (Writer)
Mark Twain (Writer)
Daniel Webster (Writer)
Andrew Carnegie (Industrialist)
Charles Chaplin (Actor)
Florence Nightingale (Nurse/Hero)
Sally Ride (Astronaut)
Albert Schweitzer (Physician)
Leo Tolstoy (Writer)
C.S. Lewis (Christian Apologist)
Alexander Graham Bell (Inventor of the Telephone)
Thomas Edison (Inventor of the Light Bulb)
Orville and Wilbur Wright
Joan of Arc (Saint-Martyr)
Why can homeschool produce world-class achievers? Because of the core principles imbedded in the system of teaching your own child. Here are the secrets of the best educational system in the world…
10 Core Principles That Will Dramatically Change Your Child’s Life—And Your Life As Well.
Friends, here are the ten core principles of homeschool:

Follow Your Child’s Passions

Follow Your Child’s Learning Style
Follow your Child’s Learning Pace Per Subject
Never Use Fear & Punishments As Motivation
Remove Tests And Grades As Tools For Teaching (Shocked? You Bet.)
Nurture A Great Love For Reading
Make Ordinary Life Events As Your Classroom
Make Work And Service Essential To Your Child’s Education
Build Your Family Relationship (The Greatest Reward!)
Personally Share Your Faith and Values With Your Child
Need I say more?

Sunday, June 3

"Back to School"

After I have enrolled my two girls to their new school (studied from a montesssori school before), we were given long lists of school supplies to buy aside from the books. The books we just bought in the school. Off we went to National Bookstore. To my surprise, so many people were there. I've never seen this place so crowded. You can smell all the sweats in the notebook area, where parents are sorting out which brand to buy or what's the cheapest one....This must be like in Divisoria, so I thought. I just use one basket so I can fit myself to the aisle. Bought bond papers, oslo papers, construction papers, art papers, brown envelopes, folders, fasteners, erasers, scissors, elmer's glue, tape, plastic envelopes, plasric cover, cartolina, crayons, pencils, pens, as the list goes on...When I couldn't carry the basket while am also carrying my Bea, decided to stop even when the supplies are not complete yet. Have to wait in a queue for the payment. My feet ached so much, have to kick my step in, and wait barefoot. After paying, looked for place to eat. Almost all fastfood resto are full. Have to settle at Wendys with macaroni side salad, chicken burgers and iced tea. Did I mention that my four kids are with me without a nanny (on a day off)? Oh well, I'm used to this situation. Our helpers/nannies have the habit of having their day off when I needed them.

On Monday, my kids will be back to "regular/traditional" school. My son Pio Miguel will be "home schooling" though. I've enrolled him to DECS accredited Catholic Filipino Academy, managed by Bo Sanchez. Will discuss about home schooling on my next post. Nicole will be in 5th grade. Her classes will start at 7:20 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m...Gabbie is now in 2nd grade (at age 6), she will be in the afternoon session (she doesn't like it). Her classes start at 12:40 noon til 6:20p.m.. That means she has to eat lunch at home while Nicole will just bring food for her lunch or she can just eat at the cafeteria. Whatever...My husband and I would just have to wake up early to prepare everything they need. Good thing, both of us are stay-at home parents (he's on call though). We would also be supervising Pio Miguel and Bea for their home schooling.

Another hectic schedule ahead...with the kids' schooling and some business to attend to. Will also be doing consultancy work again soon. My hubby is also on call (security business). I guess we just have to work double-time for the family...