A Day with Kids: Peppa Pig Live Treasure Hunt

Summer has a way of making each day a Saturday for kids. So earlier today, we all woke up with excitement as all kids prepped up for a day to spend with Peppa Pig on a Live Treasure Hunt Puppet Musical Show. Trooped to Meralco Theater Pasig and surprisingly, Saturday traffic was not that bad so we had a good hour and a half to wait before show started. Dad suggested we stop at McDo right across Meralco Theater for Happy Meal. So off we ate, seated with other kids who have Peppa Pig toys on hand or kids who are singing Peppa Pig sing-along songs. rsz_1mbp_pink

It was our first time to go to Meralco Theater and was surprised to see how kid-friendly the place was.

Meralco advocacy programs for families, sports and communities with banners and wall murals are all over the grand lobby.
Meralco advocacy programs for families, sports and communities with banners and wall murals are all over the grand lobby.
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Electric bicycles were parked past the parking entrance, life-teach opportunity with the kids, switching Science-topics-mode on. Pretty soon, got a long list of questions around electricity and what we use it for.
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Just behind the electric bikes, we see Lightbringer, Meralco’s very own Transformer. It is one and the same Meralco robot seen since 2010.

We were greeted by booths past the lobby. It looked like it was a kids’ paradise.

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Nickelodeon booth gave away loot bags to raffle winners and postcards for kids. A Peppa Pig classroom play set was also up for grabs to all moms who agree to be part of Nickelodeon’s mailing list.

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Baskin Robbins was also there, tried their cookies and cream and cherry flavoured ice creams.

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Peppa Pig toys from Toy Kingdom also set up shop, got all kids jumping around in frenzy and excitement.
Peppa Pig toys from Toy Kingdom also set up shop, got all kids jumping around in frenzy and excitement.

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Show starts and moms, dads and kids alike shout in excitement as the curtains open. The show had everyone singing along, dancing, shouting names of George, Peppa, Mr. Crab, Daisy and the rest. Ushers and usherettes helpfully led everyone to seats. Just one pain point, though. It was a whole lot distracting to have some moms with turned on, glaring phones as they video the entire show. This was despite the voice over warning onset of the show. Also, make sure you get your kids visit the washroom before show starts. Washroom is past the entrance doors and an usherette asked to see the tickets on your way back instead of referring to hand stamps, this could have quickly set apart latecomers which are allowed to come in all throughout the show. It can take a while before you can ease back into your seats.

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Pura d'or Shampoo Giveaway

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Auditions are officially open for SM Little Stars 2015. Is your child the next big star?

SM Little Stars is a nationwide kiddie talent competition and performance platform spearheaded by SM Supermalls to find the brightest, shining and aspiring little kids that we may dubbed as our “Little Stars”. Winners receive a one year TV contract, a trip to China, college scholarship and 200,000 worth of cash and GC.

24SMLS-Generic-Poster-flat-lowres1rsz_1mbp_pinkOpen to all talented kids ages 4 to 7 years old during the Preliminary Screening schedule

Requirements:

  • Application Form
  • Contestant’s Birth Certificate (original & photocopy)
  • Two (2) copies of 4R size photo taken with light make-up only: one (1) close up shot and one (1) whole body shot

Application Forms:
Available at the Mall Admin Office (Marketing Department) at any SM mall branches
Download from www.smlittlestars.com.ph

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Summer with Diksyonaryo Atbp’s 2015 Summer Reading Camp

My childhood has always been full of memories of teacher-teacher-an, book & comic reading and memorizing songs. Reading has been part of anything enjoyable I had to do every summer. It is not surprising that I developed into going for reading dates with hubby (where both of you show up wherever quiet, read up and then take the time to share) and into considering curling up with a book as me-time.

This May 2015, Ms. Lia Mañalac del Castillo’s Diksyonaryo Atbp. will stage a reading and literacy activity called Summer Reading Camp.

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Ready for another camping kind of day in the city, reading and listening to stories?

On its second year this summer, DIKSYONARYOATBP, a non-profit non-stock non-government organization will stage  SUMMER READING CAMP in Manila (May 23) and Quezon City (May 30)!

There will be teepees set-up for the reading camp where kids can participate in any or all of the following:

  • READING CORNER–read all the books they want from DiksyonaryoAtbp’s mobile library
  • ART CORNER – unleash their inner artist by engaging in art activities related to stories read to them
  • STORYTELLING CORNER – listen as children’s stories come alive via The Storytelling Project team

Aside from participating in these events, parents/ children can also avail of books from National Bookstore on site, which they can donate for DiksyonaryoAtbp’s future projects or take home for themselves.

This event aims to rekindle and encourage a genuine love for reading in Filipino children, by spending one whole day doing reading related activities, ALL FOR FREE.

To register your child, please click HERE or click http://projectdiksyonaryo.com/camp-registration/.

The event is in partnership with The Storytelling Project, Pottly and Tubby, CanvasPH, National Bookstore and Mcdonalds.

For more inquiries, text us at 0917-5361783 or tweet us @diksyonaryoatbp.

Let’s meet and greet on May 30 (Saturday) at Fern Garden, Q.C.  I am one of the volunteer readers there.  See you!!!

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Summer is On! Beat the Heat Swimming Ideas!

Of course you have read about our Ilocos-La Union-Pagudpod adventure, the Philippines has a long list of other options you can choose from for summer. Giving you a quick rundown of where you can spend your free summer days with kids, with extended families, with friends, or with just about anyone who shares the same love for water, sun and fun! Stories in pictures below.

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Do not think you have already been to all parts of Pansol because there is an area in Pansol, which none of the resort guides along the street will be able to point you to. There is certainly more than one that gives you a mountaintop view of Laguna Bay while allowing you to have privacy from other nearby resorts.
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Just make sure you have sturdy car tires to endure all of the steep roads and sharp turns. And since it is in Laguna, fun starts on the road when you agree to convoy with others.
Travel at night, enjoy the overlooking lights of Laguna and stop at the highway gas station for dinner to give you enough strength for night swimming and videoke night.
Travel at night, enjoy the overlooking lights of Laguna and stop at the highway gas station for dinner to give you enough strength for night swimming and videoke night.
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Old church ruins Camiguin will show you what remained from old churches made out of shells. It is seated right next to the shoreline so you can enjoy both the breeze from the sea, the view, the shades of big, old trees and the historical beauty of the island
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Katibawasan Falls in Camiguin is the iconic film setting of countless local and international movies. It boasts of clean water and a mini-hike trail to and from the falls
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Bura Soda Water park is where you can see pools numbered not with depth but with temperature. It is a cold spring pool that will make your body shiver even when right under the sun. It is weird and fun to realize how cold the water is despite the glaring afternoon sun
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A visit to Puerto Princesa Palawan is never complete without taking the Underground river boat ride. It is an almost-an-hour underground adventure you take on the boat, with a “bangkero” giving you a complete low-down of each minute part of the cave, including cave structures formed hundreds of years ago. You will have to ensure perfect weather before your boat leaves the port of Palawan as waves can get really strong along the way.
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Mt. Famy, a string of three mountain slopes, base is off Siniloan where after climbing, you can get the water surprise of your life with three falls waiting, Buruwisan Falls, Batya Batya Falls and Sampaloc Falls. Trail is mostly steep and can be leg-breaking so train and walk around first if you decide to go
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Buruwisan Falls
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Hundred Islands, where you can spend days and days of exploring each island for swimming, hiking, jumping off to water and island hopping. Tried counting all the big islands, came up to 30+ but never got to finish all hundred that gave the name its place
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10 meter jump from the side ridges. Must try adventure and leap of faith (literally!) Trick is do not take too long waiting for your turn, it will give you too much time to start worrying about the jump, you will never get to jump. So take the spot, have everyone count 1 to 3 then jump. Make sure you fold your hands to your body and ensure you land feet first.

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Three hours white water rafting in Cagayan De Oro. With the Bugsay main man giving you instructions how to row appropriate for each rapid. It boasts of 14 big rapids with the last one you take without the raft. Instructions to just lay still on the white foamy water, until rapid subsides was nerve-wracking and heart-thumping.  It was the longest 3 minutes of my life to be bobbing on and under white water. After the rapid, all had a laugh and we had to sing: Still (Hillsong)
Three hours white water rafting in Cagayan De Oro. With the Bugsay main man giving you instructions how to row appropriate for each rapid. It boasts of 14 big rapids with the last one you take without the raft. Instructions to just lay still on the white foamy water, until rapid subsides was nerve-wracking and heart-thumping. It was the longest 3 minutes of my life to be bobbing on and under white water. After the rapid, all had a laugh and we had to sing: Still (Hillsong)
Anicycle at Kampo Juan in Bukidnon. After swimming in CDO, head to Bukidnon and never miss the side trip to complete this. Two suspended bicycles while you ride them on harness. No matter how scary it gets to cross the 120 meter distance, do not stop pedalling, otherwise, you will find yourself in the middle of an 80meter-high (altitude) bike ride.
Anicycle at Kampo Juan in Bukidnon. After swimming in CDO, head to Bukidnon and never miss the side trip to complete this. Two suspended bicycles while you ride them on harness. No matter how scary it gets to cross the 120 meter distance, do not stop pedalling, otherwise, you will find yourself in the middle of an 80meter-high (altitude) bike ride.
Caramoan Islands Highlights: see where they film Survivor (your time of visit will determine which Survivor show is filming, Back when we did, it was Survivor Sweden filming). However, since the Survivor islands are off limits to tourists, there are a lot more islands you can choose from. In fact, we had 5 islands to visit including Gota beach with small caves to explore and Sabitang Laya
Caramoan Islands Highlights: see where they film Survivor (your time of visit will determine which Survivor show is filming, Back when we did, it was Survivor Sweden filming). However, since the Survivor islands are off limits to tourists, there are a lot more islands you can choose from. In fact, we had 5 islands to visit including Gota beach with small caves to explore and Sabitang Laya
Polillo Island, there are two ways to get there, off Real Quezon port or through Infanta Quezon. The two hour roro ride from Quezon island will take you to Polillo. Take another 45 minute boat ride to the ocean and you will be able to see pockets of islands right in the middle of the ocean, which only appear during low tide. They seem like pools with algae floor and countless coral hills everywhere
Polillo Island, there are two ways to get there, off Real Quezon port or through Infanta Quezon. The two hour roro ride from Quezon island will take you to Polillo. Take another 45 minute boat ride to the ocean and you will be able to see pockets of islands right in the middle of the ocean, which only appear during low tide. They seem like pools with algae floor and countless coral hills everywhere

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What “Not to Say When Speaking to a Working Mom”

Clock strikes midnight and just as half of the world is ZZZzzzing their way to sleep, the working moms may still be awake on their beds, completing a mental ‘to-do-list’ for the following morning. If you are a working mom, I am sure you work at getting everything move like clockwork. When in a room with working moms, you definitely do not want to get dagger looks from them should you find yourself mistakenly saying these things. Read up.

“You’re Working, Why?”I am not so sure if this question was meant to be answered when asked. I mean, what can be an appropriate answer for it, anyway? The truth that you have to work because you gotta work. From Sarah Jessica Parker’s movie: I Don’t Know How she Does it, she was caught saying: “Without work, I am not me but without you (talking to the husband) and the kids, I am nothing.” So believe us when we say, we know our priorities, we definitely do not work to feed an ego that needs to be promoted every year, we also do not keep lavish lifestyles to maintain with our double-income pays, but we do it with family and kids in mind. Just as the rest of the stay-at-home moms do when they plan the menu. The work we do should also be no different from the same value you get as a work-at-home mom. No mom type is better than the other, we all get better at making any season work for us, for our marriage and for our kids. So next time you meet a working mom who juggles work, parenting, family, house care, travel, ministry, me-time, don’t ask why because with God’s grace, it can be done.

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“Don’t take Shortcuts” – there’s 24 hours for everyone but working moms tend to take multi-tasking to the highest level. In cases when there’s just cooking, homework and doing the groceries to juggle, we need to add show up to work on time, do that report, arrange kids’ dental appointment while at work, call up the husband while in transit from work, wash up and get ready for couple time at night. Shortcuts are among working moms’ best buddies. Allow us to use instant kitchen mixes, mincer, automatic juicers, buy ready-to-wear kids’ costumes, speed-read and write and watch while attempting to have weekend afternoon naps (if that’s ever possible).

“You are not coming? But you have to be there!” – If all working moms will say ‘yes’ to everything on the calendar, we will have to be at least three places in one time. If you find a working mom declining a party or two, or missing to go and celebrate your baby’s first haircut, or skipping the late night meet up, there must be a very good reason for her to do that. You have to remember that weekends are not the best time to socialize and keep in touch for the working moms because these are the only days we get to stay with the kids for a full day. We look forward to staying home or stepping out with the kids on weekends when the rest of the neighbourhood moms plan who to meet this Saturday or what event to attend on Sunday.

I get guided with how God has wired me to move. There is nothing you need to do that you cannot tag your kids along. Life is not paused when you work and have kids. There is no better version of my life than enjoying to witness my kids’ milestones while enjoying the blessing of work. I do not miss anything even in this season. By all means, teach Sunday school with kids in tow. Attend that book club luncheon while kids go to playdate. Date and encourage a friend while kids date ‘Dad’, or while in between bookstore/library visits. Enjoy that newly-opened restaurant with kids, just make sure you have something else to offer on the table (e.g. quick activity book or David’s favourite dino toys). In the same way, my kids also do not regard work as something burdensome. It is not just another means to buy milk. Me having to work teaches them to be independent, to be caring towards mom when I get home, to be conscious about spending, to be aware that Mom’s time at home can always be turned to another ‘fun and quality weekend moment together’.

Feel free to read up Proverbs 31 – Wife of a Noble Character or Chasing Superwoman by Susan DiMickile.

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Kids Say What?

According to study, if your kid is 7 years old and above, they should be able to use at least 5000 words from their conversational vocabulary. Keeping this in mind, I’m sure as a mom, you were at one point surprised with what kids say! Read on, these are the ones that came from mine.

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Kyle, 10 years old

  • On the dinner table, was found telling his younger brother Gab, “Life is not all hotdogs and meatloaf”. The funny thing about it is the fact that Kyle regards hotdogs and meatloaf as the best things that have ever landed our dining table. This was right after serving kids with “nilagang baka” (beef stew). If adults will always say the same thing as a blessing, Kyle will always say it with a voice that misses hotdogs and meatloaf terribly. Thanking God that life is not all hotdogs and meatloaf.
  • While working on homework, Kyle to Sofia: “Everybody likes happiness. No one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.” Then Kyle went delivering his version of encouraging Sofia that beginners’ math in preschool can be challenging but becomes enjoyable in grade school. Found out later that Kyle quoted it from his teacher, too.

Gab, 8 years old

  • Gab when he was 4 years old started wearing what used to be Kuya Kyle’s shirts. On one of these days, I congratulated Gab: “Wow Gab, you can now wear kuya Kyle’s clothes!” Happy that Gab has grown bigger. Gab welcomed it with quite a long silence and I saw from his eyes that he was thinking really, really hard. Then Gab blurted out with a worried voice “Mom, kuya Kyle’s shirts are shrinking?”

Sofia, 6 years old

  • When Sofia the First TV show first came out on Disney channel, Sofia to self: “I really feel like I’m Sofia the First, she is a small princess, loves pink and has curly hair.” Thanking Disney for the Asian-looking, young Disney princess.

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David, 4 years old

  • On one of our weekend afternoon moments, David started asking, “Mom, all of us came from your tummy, right?” To which I said ‘yes’ to. Then out came the quick question: “Then when is the baby from daddy’s tummy going to come out”? (while pointing to Dad’s tummy)

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Four Kids and Having a Blast! Zero-Spend Fun Times Listed!

I often get the ‘surprised look’ every time I answer the question: “So how many kids do you have?” As you see, I have four, all under eleven years old. I got started late. Got married at 25 and started having babies at 27 (don’t start computing my age, please). But in this day and age, family, friends, communities, church and the world around us offer us more than enough options to make parenting four kids a blast!  Of course, it will always be economically efficient if you have less kids but over the years, working moms now have developed a way of making things work. After all, this is all about making ‘working moms’ work well in everything. Our generation of technology sometimes do not leave an option for our kids but to become another non-moving, electronic gadget-dependent kid. Keep your eyes open because I am going to list down some from the tons of ideas you can have in getting maximum quality fun time with your kids without breaking the bank.

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Pinoy Kids Fun Time#1 – Street Games If you are old enough to create your own social network page (FB, Twitter, Disqus and IG), most likely, you are from a generation who has seen and played more than enough street games in your childhood. Have a spare tire no longer in use from your garage? Hang it up a tree and you have instant swing. Have your kids run around the clubhouse in the afternoon instead of giving your dog the usual afternoon walk. Piko, siato, tumbang preso, chinese garter, block 123, agawang panyo and taguan are hits to 2015 kids which are all priceless and ALL of these are not on Google Play or Apple Store.

Shoot away with kids’ endless jumpshots. Photo taken at my mommy friend Brenda’s Jesus Party last December.
Shoot away with kids’ endless jumpshots. Photo taken at my mommy friend Brenda’s Jesus Party last December.

Pinoy Kids Fund Time#2 – Backyard Play Larong pinoy (Philippine games) at the comfort of your own backyard. I know of a family who has set up a mini Enchanted Kingdom at the back of the house and offers Pinoy-games-rides and attractions. Set them up and you never have to go far or pay anything on your next afternoon game time with kids.

David endlessly and tirelessly would ride the mini-DIY zipline
David endlessly and tirelessly would ride the mini-DIY zipline
Hammocks and swings are not just for reading. They are also for engaging with kids about their dreams, their friendships, their interests and for answering their countless “Why” questions.
Hammocks and swings are not just for reading. They are also for engaging with kids about their dreams, their friendships, their interests and for answering their countless “Why” questions.
Never throw away old big cooking pans. You will never know when you will need them. A little rainwater (or even tapwater from a garden hose) and you are ready with a play tub. Under Php50.00 plastic toys are perfect as tub buddies.
Never throw away old big cooking pans. You will never know when you will need them. A little rainwater (or even tapwater from a garden hose) and you are ready with a play tub. Under Php50.00 plastic toys are perfect as tub buddies.
David jumping off from the zipline while clinging to the scooter. David just can’t make up his mind which one to play with first. It’s THAT big a hit!
David jumping off from the zipline while clinging to the scooter. David just can’t make up his mind which one to play with first. It’s THAT big a hit!
Climb up a tree. Teach them how. Pick fruits up in the tree. Talk about the insects you find, have a life-teach moment.
Climb up a tree. Teach them how. Pick fruits up in the tree. Talk about the insects you find, have a life-teach moment.

Pinoy Kids Fun Time#3 – Join a Family Run Fitness has grown so big in the past five years that you can find family run to join anytime. You can even create opportunities for the kids to understand and share the cause for the run. It beats another trip to the mall or to the cinema, unlike the mall and cinema, your kids can get the benefits of exercising while helping support a cause.

Joined Race for Life, supporting Real Life ministry that helps provide scholarship and life coaching to deserving but underprivileged students.
Joined Race for Life, supporting Real Life ministry that helps provide scholarship and life coaching to deserving but underprivileged students.

Pinoy Kids Fun Time#4 – Kids’ Date Days Other than your scheduled date days with your kids, our kids also date several other people who help us train our kids in the way they should go. It is just impossible to go solo or exclusive with parenting four kids and this is what family, friends and ninongs/ninangs (godparents) are for. We have a long list of single men and women who have loving relationships with our kids: aunts, church teachers, wedding godchildren, and other single and fabulous friends. This will also help prepare them for their own kids in the future! Considering the cost of dating kids, make sure that your kids are invited/asked. Don’t force people to date and spend on them! It takes away the fun and love out of it.

Tita spending time with my kids. Took them to a kids’ spa, to the arcade, to the movies, to food trips, to karaoke, to Mind Museum….etc…etc…
Tita spending time with my kids. Took them to a kids’ spa, to the arcade, to the movies, to food trips, to karaoke, to Mind Museum….etc…etc…
Why not teach sportsmanship while in play? Make the bowling alley your next kids’ destination.
Why not teach sportsmanship while in play? Make the bowling alley your next kids’ destination.

Pinoy Kids Fun Time#5 – Sunday Class / Kids’ Church Our Sunday Kids’ Church has done a great deal in helping me parent my kids. There is no shortcut to instilling values but to do it consistently with them. It helps them to be social, while allowing them to have their own relationship with God. Age-appropriate Sunday classes they can attend allows them to find Sunday teachers who use their own language, through play at the Toddlers’ room, crafts/stories and illustrations at the Preschool, Bible and life lessons/memory verse for Junior kids and interaction/guided conversation with the PreTeens. Maintain relationship and check with the teachers and you will never have to pry about what goes on in their hearts and minds when you are not with your kids.

Superhero costume Sunday at Kids Church
Superhero costume Sunday at Kids Church

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