Who Else Wrote About My Page : Makingworkingmomswork

rsz_1mbp_pinkOvertime, my page has been out and about, and I thought I’ll do something different today. Read up and discover where else you can find and read about my page : makingworkingmomswork. But first, let me tell you how it first came out. I was always on the lookout for helpful resources for Christian working moms like myself, and I thought why don’t I write my own thoughts and start the good news going? As you know my page is a page where ‘working moms’(moms who work outside the homes) work well with parenting, marriage, family, extended family, dealing with bosses, colleagues, working at promotion. All while balancing life with the right priorities, serving God, moving according to God’s gifting and thanking Him for both blessings and life diversions.

I thank God to see similar pages who share the same passion I do about being the best moms we can be no matter what roles we play at home, at work, in our communities, in church. So read up and feel free to click any of the links below that make up my online thumbprints.

Working Motherhood Podcast

Just imagine my excitement when I got invited by Dr. Portia to do a podcast interview on Clarifying Your Values.

After listening to the podcast interview, you will learn how to:

  • Take time to sit in peace
  • Add beauty to all situations (a.k.a. a butterfly working mom)
  • Delegate
  • Have time for all areas of life
  • Clarify your values
  • Enjoy daily wow moments

Also, on Working Motherhood page, the week’s challenge is aligned with the podcast, to clarify your values in all areas of your life – family, career, finances, spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual.

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Also available on Android player Stitcher

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Podcast also available on iTunes

Mommy Bloggers Philippines

Yummy Magazine, the country’s number 1 food magazine, gave everyone a delightful whole-day food affair with Yummy-approved concessionaires at the Trinoma Activity Center in Q.C.

“Had a blast of fun filling my plate that towards the end of it, I had a long list of baon options to take home to my kids.”
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Victory’s Running Pastor : Run50 – FerdieCabiling.com.ph

My husband and I have always been encouraged by this man’s strength in evangelism and leadership. As a family, we stand with him in supporting Real Life Foundation scholars through Run50.

Shop ‘Til You Blog – A Lifestyle Blogger Mixer

Blogger Mommy Rackell writes: As soon as I arrived in the place, the staff of Lazada Philippines gave me freebies from the generous sponsors and ushered me to the function room. The room was filled with sponsors, nice table set-up and scrumptious food. I was so happy that through this event I was able to meet new found friends – Mommy Maricel (The Dreamer Mom) and Mommy Lorly (Making Working Mom Works).

Art of Being a Mom – Diva High Heeled Warriors’ Talk

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PHILCARE LAUNCHES ONLINE SHOPPING WEBSITE OF HEALTHCARE SERVICE

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Blogger Lhyzzie Bongon writes: The launch was held at Chateau 1771, Greenbelt 5 together with other mommy bloggers in a Tea Party set up in celebration of health and wellness.  I’m honored to met the Philcare Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Patty Henson. She very accommodating to everyone and make sure were okay.

PHILCARE Official Facebook Page

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Lazada’s Official Facebook Page

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Blogapalooza Bloggers Badge

To all Moms Who Work Nights and Used to Work Nights, This is For You!

hellokityWith more and more industries demanding 24/7 operational hours, and with more and more women being added to the workforce year on year, it makes sense to take the time to honor all the moms who get to work at night. Just as when the world is gearing up for bed to sleep, moms who work at night get to prep for transit and for an 8 or 9-hour work shift. I used to work nights myself for a collective number of 6 years and working now during the day for close to five years, I will have to say that I have enough years of experience to write about the joys and dips of working nights. Most moms who work  nights would bend over backwards just to make sure the kids will never have to notice that mom went to work while I was sleeping.  And so the vicious cycle of staying up to as much as 18 to 20 hours a day is sometimes required. Moms who work nights would get home and join breakfast, function auto pilot as if she also had 8-hour-sleep. Engage in conversation around news, how everyone will spend their days and plan for the weekends (where moms don’t get to sleep until Saturday night coming off work Saturday mornings).

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Back when I used to work nights, my day hours would stretch to noon, just in time to ensure all kids have taken a bath and your ever reliable household help angel has prepped everything for lunch. Then it is finally time to sleep. Yes, just as the afternoon sun has kicked in, in all its hotness glory, it is time to sleep. Imagine following this rigor every summer. Thank God for air-conditioning units. Unless you leave your bedroom door open, one or two hours into sleep, you hear little knocks on the door, your toddler or any of your kids wanting to cuddle. This is where you can make things work by encouraging kids to have afternoon naps with you. I just hope that what they want is cuddle and not play time because if so, you can say goodbye to your planned 6 hours sleep and ease your way off bed for a 4-hour sleep instead.

Of course, the same cycle repeats itself because before you know it, evening news is on which signals you to get going and prep for work. So how did I make it work while working nights?

  1. God is my 24/7 God – bigger than any of the things I encounter – Working at nights did not have to change the way I see my season with God. Whether you wake up at 5pm or at 5am, you can go get your Bible, read up on God’s promises and believe Him for His perfect timeline and perfect control over things that may seem overwhelming for you. Learned how not to focus on anything that can be a source of worry, doubt, discouragement or tension just by believing who God is and what He can do over my season. Doing this overtime and you certainly realize that you wake up with a fresh supply of faith, strength and joy day on day (or night on night J). Because there are a lot of things I don’t get to do myself or be on top of while I work at night,  all the more reasons that I clung on to God and have Him take care of the things I cannot control and take care of. I may not be able to keep an eye on my family at night but God can. I may not be present on everything during the day but God is present. This is the biggest assurance I had that allowed me to trust, depend and rely on God heavily.
  2.  Communication Is Also Open at Night – ways to communicate may be different, thus, most moms would find communicating challenging. You can maintain normalcy by making ‘how are you doing’ phone calls to husband anytime. If your husband is like mine, he would also be up on my 4am break just so he can ask if I already had lunch. Otherwise, you can always wait until you get home in time for breakfast. It can get challenging only if husband would have a totally opposite schedule than you do. There was a season when I would work nights and husband would be on mid-shift, making it impossible for us to share a meal for 5 straight days. Other than using the phone real-time, this was when a Logbook came in handy. Husband and I agreed to write down our thoughts when we get home and before we leave home. This sustained us for half a year. We still sometimes get back to reading the logbook whenever we thank God for sustaining us through different seasons of our marriage and family life. Where other couples would take aligned work hours for granted, this season ultimately changed the way we view our time with each other count. We would never have discovered that we can arrange a child’s birthday party via a logbook update (that’s for another writing J).
  3.  Do not be such a Darna – this is where you agree to have all the help you can get from your family and friends. Make your schedule work around what is important, knowing when to prioritize taking time off some nights to be there for kids’ milestones. It is an advantage that most school events are during the day, although the downside to it is having less hours of sleep before another worknight. Never commit the mistake of wearing the grouchy hat when you are home. Better ask help from family and friends when things get too taxing for you (e.g. after recreation activities for kids with extended family, afternoon playdate with friends, or even catch up afternoons with your kids’ ninongs and ninangs). Imagine it from your kids’ limited perspective. You never want to be the mom who is always asleep or the mom who is grouchy when awake.

momCritical to making this work is being honest with your spouse. Develop a transparent relationship with your spouse, do not be afraid to seek help or discuss your options when needed.

I am taking my hats off to ALL moms who work nights, moms whose heart for family is just as big as those who work during the day. To all the moms who stay home, work from home or step out of the house to work, thanking you for all your labor and love for all the kids who make up today’s world. For the stay at home moms whose work is equal to those who work full time, thanks for being the kind of mom you are and for showing us all that mommyhood is both fun and fulfilling. Happy Mothers’ Day to all!momsaffiliate

God’s promises whether you sleep at night or during the day:

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Viber joins Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015 #AdMe

Kristian Melquiades, the General Manager of Viber will be one of the panelist/speakers to the upcoming Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015 #AdMe on July 26, 2015 at SMX Convention Center at BGC Taguig, Philippines.

Kristian will be sharing latest insights as to how Viber transformed the call and messaging landscape in the Philippines. He will also discuss how fun and creative stickers have become the new form of messaging.

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At Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015, different top executives will join together to share the future of Online Marketing in the Philippines and in Asia Pacific region with the following points:

  • The digital economy of the Philippines
  • Positioning the Philippines as a gateway from East to West and West to East
  • Is the Philippines ready to be a cashless society?
  • Disrupting tradition and embracing innovation
  • Technology and Entrepreneurship driving inclusive growth
  • Micro – multinationals E-commerce connecting SMEs to ASEAN and beyond

Partial list of speakers are as follows;

Constantin Roberts – Managing Director, Zalora Philippines

Kristian Melquiades- General Manager, Viber Philippines

Richard Upton- President, John Robert Powers Asia

Donald Lim- Chief Digital Officer, ABS CBN

Janette Toral- E Commerce Advocate, Digital Club Filipino

Robert Yupangco- President, Yupangco Group of Companies

Chinkee Tan- Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker, Radio Host and Wealth & Wellness Coach

Rebecca Bustamante Mills- CEO, Chalre Associates & President, Asia CEO Awards

Mikel Yaw- CEO, Elabram Systems Group

Carlos Celdran- Brand Ambassador, Tour Guide

Maria Camille Montejo- CEO, NWSteel Technologies & Tree Top Adventure Inc.

Pocholo Gonzales- CEO, Creative Voices Productions

Tanya Llana- Marketing & Sales Director, Victoria Court & General Manager, Hotel La Corona De Lipa

James Jimenez- Director, Commission On Elections

Lloyd Luna- CEO, Lloyd Luna Corporation

For more information, you may visit http://www.asiadigitalmarketing.ph. For partnership and sponsorship, you may contact TAG Media & PR at 09166299381 or at grace@asiadigitalmarketing.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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“To Work or Not to Work?”, Is there One Mom Type Better? SAHM-WAHM-WFTM

All media and social network channels are flooded with advertisements catering to moms. The “mommy network” is such a big commercial industry that most of the advertisers and product owners would do everything to get moms’ buy-ins. Let us admit the fact that all of these try to have a say on what type of mom one should be. However, considering that there are just too many mom types now, you have your stay-at-home moms (SAHM), your work-from-home moms (WAHM) and your working-full-time-moms (WFTM), it is so easy to get lost in the myth that one type is better than the other. And too many moms are also prone to committing the easy mistake of asserting (whether through conscious or non-conscious language) that she is playing the best mom-type. Case in point: see two myth busters below.

Truth#1: There is nothing wrong about being a working mom. This is particularly true especially if you know your correct list of priorities: God, marriage, kids, extended family, work, ministry and all the rest. Allow me to acknowledge as well that there is nothing wrong about being a SAHM or a WAHM, not discounting the fact that I was raised by my mom who has played all roles in her lifetime, worked fulltime, worked from home, now a stay at home mom. It is probably society or present culture that dictates and expects moms to be perfect, raising disciplined children who are models of well-behaved kids, be the number 1 cheerleader of their husbands and most fervent prayer advocate and show up pretty on all events with the most delicious kitchen concoction on hand. For most, it is just ain’t perfect if the moms who have got it all together happen to be working. I do not know about you but I know of countless working moms or mom entrepreneurs who are able to raise responsible, God-loving and successful kids. So if you are a working mom, clarify your reason, your view and your real heart for work. It is possible to regard work as a blessing (and not a burden). It will not make you weird if you find joy from working while finding joy in balancing it with mom-tasks of managing the house and parenting. And ultimately, it doesn’t make your husband less of a leader at home when you work. Decide to work or not to work because you know that your choice around it will never add or remove your right standing with God. Personally, I work because I know it is a season for me to do so. I am not in it to feed a lavish lifestyle or because I love money more than my family or because I do not have faith to believe God for more. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. But it is a choice I make because God has given me limitless grace to do so with ultimate joy. Like all working moms or mom entrepreneurs, one day, God may call me or may never call me to be a stay-at-home mom, but I do not need to fret or sulk because I know what God can do over my marriage, my kids and my future.

Truth#2: SAHMs, WAHMs and WFTMs are not different from each other.  The same set of questions run around their heads and the measure of love they feel towards their family is one and the same. A mom who is not happy being a Working full time Mom (WFTM) will most likely, not be a happy stay at home mom (SAHM) or an unhappy Work from home mom (WAHM). It is my prayer that your happiness or fulfilment as a mom does not come from what you do but from knowing who God is and from trusting what He can do over whatever role you play. How to do a correct mindset check? Answer the question: Considering the status of your marriage, parenting, house management and family relationships, do you see that your role to ______ (work, stay at home, work from home) is certainly what God is telling you to do? If you easily answered yes to this question, then you may be on the right track. If you are being led by God to do things differently, pray and God will grant wisdom and clarity around how to transition. Discuss it with your husband with the perspective that it is God who provides and who does not add any trouble to blessings. Do not make decisions or maintain decisions out of fear. Never discuss it around how other people are expecting you to function or how my husband’s boss would want us to do it. Remember that your calling is ‘personal’ and never patterned from anyone else’s. If you find it similar with most people you are surrounded with, it doesn’t mean that your type is better than the other. Never make the mistake of looking at other mom types differently or less effective. Your goal in life does not include convincing everyone to be the same mom-type you are but to be a blessing to any mom-type without setting yourself apart with biased languages, actions or preferences. Pretty much as how Jesus has done it, He has never regarded Himself better than the others but found to be interacting, healing and blessing people of all sizes and shapes.

rsz_1mbp_pinkAt the end of the day, whatever mom type you are now, your provision will never come from your single-income or your double-income. Most of our big blessings did not really come from my pay envelope but from other channels of blessings that God has used in the past. Your decision about what lifestyle to keep for your children is a decision you have to make with your spouse and will come with different set of responsibilities. As long as your mom role does not take you away from your real priorities, do not entertain any form of guilt about not delivering enough. After all, the key is trusting God for your ability to mother. Count on His infinite grace to make your God-given mom-role work for you.

Read Up : Quick Help Here

Have you ever had instances when you needed to tell any of your kids: “Just a minute, I’ll just finish this off.” Or another version that tries to buy more time such as “Hang on, sweetie, I will be right there”. I am guilty of the same error when I choose to focus on trivial things such as checking mail, removing your shoes, taking a bath over looking over what your kids have created from school, watching the kiddos sing the latest song they have learned, helping your child get that toy on the upper shelf he can’t reach, or answering your child asking what the acronym OFW means. It is during these instances when daily helpers come in handy. It leaves you with fewer items on your head and gives you more bandwidth to focus on things that need your attention real time.

QuickHelp#1 – Internet on your Mobile Phone  Now that summer is here, kids have more time on their hands, this can only mean, more questions to answer, more activities to prepare to keep them from staring at the TV or video games at home, or more attention from them as soon as you get home from work. With internet at home, I no longer need to step out of the house just to check office hours of the nearest payment center.  Checking what movie is playing this weekend no longer means physically going to the cinema to check it out. Of course, while you decide to take a 15-minute breather before you join kids for dinner, hand them your phone and have them play Four Pics and One Word game.

QuickHelp#2 – Booking a Cab Online   There are working moms who prefer to drive themselves to and from work, it is easier for them to run errands right after work or head quickly to drop off or pick up the kids. And then there are working moms who prefer to commute because they get to squeeze in more sleep time when they do. And then there are working moms like myself who would prefer to book cabs with a mobile app. It takes away cost you will have to shoulder for daily parking fees, takes care of waiting time you will have to spend in queue at the cab lane. Other than the additional minimal amount for using the service, you just pay for whatever shows up on the meter, and even ask for receipt if you need to reimburse transpo expenses.

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QuickHelp#3 – Bookstore Trips with Kids   If you would ever need to run on quick errands while with the kids, a quick dash to the bookstores will give you your relief. I am so thankful that my kids always have to ask when the next bookstore trip would be. They have evolved from knowing when the movie trip is (which can be expensive) or when the next toy store trip is (which is even more expensive). Activity books and story books range cheaper than any decent educational toy or a movie ticket but then you get more value out of developing your kids’ habit to read. Before I queue up to pay the bills or before I go buy that additional ingredient for tomorrow’s meals, I put my eldest son in charge as my kids (and ever reliable ‘ate’) troop to the bookstore, browse endlessly in time for you to return and pay for the books they are getting. Just make sure your kids have fully mastered the basics of not talking to strangers and ‘ate’ has developed mastery over ensuring small kids do not stray away.

QuickHelp#4 – Public Holidays   Work can be real challenging and energy-draining if done without rest. So add if you must, other than your scheduled weekly two days off work, decide to take the holidays once in a while. Never neglect to arrange coverage when you do and keep the sensitivity to know if it is time to take the holiday or if it is time to stay for coverage. After all, you wouldn’t want to become the one whom everyone has to cover for.

Feel free to add to my list. Leave your quick help tips that work for you whether you are a working mom, stay at home mom or a work from home mom.  Enjoy your summer!

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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Mom-Friendly Hobbies You Can Try Anytime

I have always wondered how working moms are perceived from the eyes of strong women.  So took the time to look up how strong women like Princess Diana, Maya Angelou, Anita Roddick, JK Rowling and Joyce Meyer regard playing the role of a working mom. But you know how web surfing has a way of leading you to pages that interest you? The past weekdays and weekends have been a crazy ride for me, with coffee dates on catch up plans left and right, movie dates, haircut and bookstore trips with kids, working lunches and social dinners, plus Sofia’s graduation to attend (super happy about being able to squeeze in lash extensions and nails buffed and painted). My non-thinking surfing habit kicked in after my Sunday watch work-from-home mode, and the pages reminded me that summer is just around the corner. This should give moms like me, respite from busy mornings and takes away several things off our to-do-list (e.g. PTC meetings, test reviews, contest preps with kids, join book fairs in school).

This got me started with finding out a list of options about how I will spend my spare time for summer. Alternately doing it with the scheduled swimming trips with fambam, the list below will surely give you more than enough reasons to look forward to summer.

  1. Train for a Marathon – This brings me back to times when my husband and I have taken lots of active adventures together and 12 years of marriage is not time to stop. It was a milestone to have climbed up Mount Mayon with my husband with a guide and slept at Camp 2 overnight (with our guide leaving us for the night!). I remember preparing with tons of jogging and running around to get my feet and legs ready for the 5-hour climb. Training for a hobby1picmarathon is something you can squeeze in, in the morning now that school is out, you won’t have to get up so early and spend this free time with an early run with hubby. Quality time with hubby and physical benefits in one.
  2. Create Terrariums – I’m not sure about you, but there is something that sight of hobbypic2terrarium does to me, it reminds me how beautiful any indoor or outdoor space can get as soon as you place bottled/glass-jar-plants together. Not to mention that creating one lets you express your creativity, quiets you and allows you to get the recharging you need for the week. Get soil/sand/rock of different texture and sizes, plants and you are ready to create.
  3. Furniture Makeover – Instant makeover idea I have been mulling over to have is to have uniformed black and white lace theme across the rooms in the house. It can be as simple as using a black and white lace dining tablecloth, couch upholstery with the black and white lace fabric or dressing up an accent wall. If black and white lace is not your cup of tea, you can use your preferred fabric colour and design all you like.hoppybic3hobbypic4hobbypic5
  4. Update Pictures around the House – You know when you would have all the time in your hands right after you give birth and so almost always, would update all the frames with baby pictures but then never get around to updating the pictures as kids grow up. That is the case with me. Would love to look into family gallery and get creative with how you will hang them or display them around the house. You can veer away from just putting all frames on tabletops, like I do. I am looking forward to creating a gallery wall with tiered planks, along the walls at the staircase or even print them out as a blind for the biggest window in the house.hobbypic6hobbypic7hobbypic8
  5. Recycling Projects – I actually have a long list I will work on: logs from cut and trimmed trees to be used as planters or backyard chairs. Husband’s old car tires I can turn into outdoor chairs or a mini sandbox for my David! And of course, ending a school year, there are the old workbooks that the younger kids will never be able to use. The plan is to paint all the workbooks solid white, and upcycle them as a nightstand. I can also cover and snack boxes with book pages and automatically create shabby chic accessory. hobbypic9

Hobbies do not need to be expensive, just remind yourselves that a hobby is not as fun or not as meaningful when done alone. Have your spouse and the kids join in. Take pictures and add them to your growing list of daily joy. Summer officially starts now! hobbypic10hobbypic11hobbypic13hobbypic12

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Working Mom’s Angels : Helpers and Yayas

First off, look at the faces of my kids and tell me if you think they can survive the house alone.

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Have you ever returned home from work and see the house in a big mess and felt more tired than you were at the office? It is part of our blessings to find ‘angels’ who help us keep an eye on the kids and keep the house in order while I am at work. On this blog, we will refer to our ever reliable yaya’s and helpers as ‘angels’. Part of our blessings from this day and age are countless ideas for short-prep-time-meals, doing the groceries accurately, setting house rules with the kids and with the angels, and of course, ensuring that you stay on top of everything that concerns the house before you head to work, while you are at work and as soon as you get home from work. Today’s read will not just focus on how we can ensure productivity for our angels while we are not physically present at home but can also help the moms who have just taken their maternity leave and are preparing to go back to work. How do we really ensure that chores are completed and house is spic and span, even while we are at work?

When agreeing with your helpers, it will surely make things easy if you are able to establish what you can tolerate and what you cannot. The sooner that your angels learn what you value in the house, then the sooner it will also be for them to know which ones are acceptable and which ones aren’t. If they know that you want all trash cans from your bathrooms cleaned up every night, then they can make a mental note about it and add it to their daily tasks. Yep, we all should start with an agreement which ones need to be completed daily, weekly and monthly. Below’s list is a suggested list you can also follow. The list is based on mine but feel free to tweak parts of it so it can work according to your preference, house demands, or number of angels at home.

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There are tasks that I need to be personally on top of which include but not limited to:  cleaning up closets, keeping out of season items, arranging to schedule repairmen/maintenance home services, taking out items for donating/recycling/throwing away. Also, work your angels rest day around these chores. If you have more than one, juggle to maintain fair division or alternate assignments so each of them can experience to have all tasks regularly.

Holidays from work, like today (Australian Labor Day) gives you an extra day for chores or an extra day for spending time with kids. Plan your holidays around kids more than you would around chores.

Please remember that how we treat our helpers determine how our kids will treat theirs in the future. They are part of our family, as much as they are blessings to us so keep a constant goal of being a blessing to them, too.

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Does Life Come with a ‘Pause’ Button? Project: Moms Keeping Still

Looking up the dictionary for the word ‘still’, it is defined by Merriam Webster as an adjective that means, not moving, lacking motion or activity. The idiom ‘keep still’ is defined as “restrain or to control someone or something so that a person or thing cannot move”.  What I don’t get about the word still is it does not come with a specific timeline. Whether it has been defined as an adjective or as an idiom, it doesn’t come with a contextual timeline. It is normal for working moms to start busy days pressed for time in prepping for breakfast, while your son asks that you help him find his left sock, while daughter tells you she has forgotten to do her homework last night, plus husband needs you to iron his favourite shirt, plus the dog is sick. But mom readers, how do we really keep still or is it ever possible to keep still? I guess it makes sense to define first, what we need stillness from?

Keeping Still for Quiet Heart “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  (Psalm 46:10) This verse tells me that being still can mean maintaining a quiet heart. The world offers a long list of options to achieve stillness or to keep hearts quiet. There is yoga, a massage fix, me-time, a new relationship or getting out of a relationship, therapy, horoscope and even wearing charms. The list is endless. There is no rocket science formula we can follow, stop exhausting yourself in the process, and just take God’s challenge to be still and know that He is God. He is God over your pain, your hurt, your disappointment, your frustration. God is big enough to handle your emotions. We are always just one prayer away from telling God that we need Him to work on our emotions and grant us a quiet heart. We often hear doctors say: “I have done all I could, the only thing left to do is to pray”. You know why this is so? Because we never allowed God to be our first option. The solution is a give-away. The option to pray should be the first option and not the last.

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Keeping Still for Peace Exodus 14:14 promised that the Lord will fight for us, and we have only to be silent. This is not something I made up, the Bible was clear about keeping distractions at bay by keeping silent. It may seem ironic but the only way we can allow God to work through our need for peace is by not adding to our own noise. Just as we are sure that a person who has the most number of hours of sleep or someone who has nothing to do day after day is not the most peaceful one can become, ‘peace’ now has been defined as keeping a heart full of faith over what God can do over a very chaotic season. Prayers of peace pointing to admission of the fact that as long as we are alive, we cannot escape problems but we can get better at coping with it. Accurate picture of peace is God equipping us to walk on water, while admitting that the water will not always be as calm as we want it to be.

Keeping Still for Rest Asked an American friend about the appropriate use of ‘keep still’ and according to him, he would use ‘keep still’ as an ask to keep someone from moving, but not necessarily to keep someone from talking. It is interesting to know that ‘keep still’ when used as an expression, then, would lose the definition of ‘still’ as ‘silent’ when used separately as a word. Isaiah 30:15 has expressly told Israel that repentance and rest is their salvation and quietness and trust is their strength. Mom readers, wanting and praying for rest from distractions? Trust God and you never have to put on your plate more things than you can handle. You will rest in having confidence from God and focus on things that God wants you to do.

Keeping Still to Hear God Psalms 4:4 …Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. How do I hear the voice of God amidst multi-tasking all throughout the day? Do we wait to hear Him audibly? Do we miss to recognize God speaking through the beautiful surroundings, the surprise blessings, the gift of good health or the gift of marriage? Do we miss to get it when God points us to a new direction, or when he wants us to stop or to pause? Have we grown immune to believing God for more and depended on what our salaries can provide? Have we stopped listing our faith goal based on what God can do versus what we can afford with our family’s double-income?

So no matter what life may bring tomorrow or in the coming years ahead, working moms, stay at home moms and work from home moms have a lifeline we can take anytime…prayer. God’s Word is full of promises around blessings of a quiet heart, peace, rest and hearing from God. After all, keeping still is also having the patience to wait on God and on His perfect timing.

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