Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Community Service with Techni-ICE

I am outdoors a lot. I do not play a lot of sports, but working for an NGO requires me to do lot of legwork, mainly in poor communities.  We schedule a lot of talks with local community leaders, conduct workshops and feeding programs, and launch  discussions with the community or other groups interested in our advocacy. Most of the time, the hours we spend outside the office fall within the time frame that scientists advise people to spend indoors. And I tell you, it is hot out there!

Ate Arlene in one of our activities

From around 10 am, I can feel the sun slowly intensifying its heat, reaching its peak at around 2pm. By then, I’ve already shed a significant amount of sweat. 

Some days are more bearable than others. These are the times when clouds litter the sky and provide us a brief respite from the sun’s burning rays. Or those times when the breeze blows and cools us down. I even catch myself trying to whistle when the air is so still or  the soft wind isn’t enough to refresh us. Whistling, according to old wives’s tales, invites the wind to blow. :D

But there are those days when the sun is beating down so hard with nary a cloud in the sky, and all you want to do is lie naked in your bedroom , spreadeagled, to let the air from the creaky fan reach even your smallest crevices. Pardon me, but that’s how I feel and imagine I would do given the chance.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our DIY First Birthday Party plus Bubble Party Ideas!

My son just celebrated his first birthday. And we had ourselves a DIY party! Let me show you how to plan a DIY party.

I was initially planning on having his birthday in another private pool just like his christening but I opted to be more practical.  I read somewhere that it's easier to plan a party if you have a definite theme, so I browsed the net to get my creative juices flowing.

I wanted to stay away from the overrated Safari or Cartoon-related themes. I wanted something  original and simple too. I opted for the Bubble Party Theme. 

Spongebob, Patrick and Squidward

The cake doesn't exactly  match the theme but it was the nearest one from the local neighborhood baker's selection.

See the Balloons taped to the walls!

Active Fun

 Last weekend, my daughter's dream of playing in indoor playgrounds finally came true. Actually, this is a long overdue Christmas gift from us. I bought one Unlimited Pass to ActiveFun from MetroDeal for her. She has been badgering me for the longest time into letting her play in one of those pay playgrounds you find at the mall. At their very steep price of Php80 per hour, at the very least, of course I won't let her. But when I found this very enticing deal, I just knew I should grab it!

My MetroDeal Active Fun Voucher!

Active Fun has two sections, one for toddlers 5years old and below and the other for much larger kids. My daughter is already seven years old so she went running along with the bigger kids. We went on a weekend and it wasn't as packed as I was imagining it to be.

As we walked up the counter and handed our voucher, we were given a sheet of paper to fill-up, the one they use to monitor the kids inside the play area. In a while, the snack included in our voucher package was also given us. I was told that they have no ice cream and will be providing a biscuit instead. It wasn't a big deal at all, but I appreaciated their honesty. In addition to one Magic Biscuit and Soyami, a bottle of water was also given. :) And off my daughter went!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Greatness Starts at Home

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Greatness is such a big word. It is both a privilege and a responsibility. You cannot be great and be oblivious to your society. Think Tandang Sora, Teresa Magbanua and Gabriela Silang. As much as they are shaped by times they were born into, the foundation of their greatness was laid within the four walls of their home.

Knowing this, I try to be a good example for my kids. This is a far more efficient tool in teaching them the values that they need for life than just words. I want them to dream big and strive for it. But one thing I also impress in them is social responsibility. If they want to reach for the stars, they should do it with the people, and not at their cost.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

Eversince my daughter, the eldest, was small, I have trained her to sort her stuff, clothes and toys alike, into two groups, To Keep and To Giveaway.  Although I regularly ask her to do this, our biggest activity was after Typhoon Ondoy ravaged the metro. We were one of the families who fell victim to nature’s wrath but we were still better off than others. So after, cleaning up, our family – each carrying a pack of clothes or provisions- went to the nearest gasoline station that takes in donations.

And it seems my efforts has paid off. In one contest sponsored by Citizen’s Disaster Response Center in 2010, she sent an entry for the earthquake category. It wasn’t anything fancy but it rang with the honesty of a child and the wisdom of an adult.

Though she didn’t win the Grand prize and was only one of the finalists, at 6 years old, she was the contest’s youngest participant and finalist!

I was especially proud of her because the contest piece that we entered was entirely her own concept. She drew was a picture of earthquake-damaged houses. Below, you’ll see people with plastic bags containing donations, practice she is quite familiar with.

Here's her entry!

Yes, that's Zoren Legaspi in the picture!

You may strive to be like them, 
                                                                        but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Besides this, my daughter also shows compassion. It was more than I would expect from a 6 year old. When my grandmother died that same year, she drew a picture of my grandma and her house in the province. It had trees. The sun was shining high and there were birds in the air.

It was a simple goodbye to her great-grandma that beats any verbose letter.

She placed it on top of the casket and inspired others to do the same. The few days before the interment, another letter of farewell sits atop the casket beside my daughter’s own.

It’s just too bad that nobody thought of taking a picture of it. It offers a peek into how a child deals with death, or anything negative for that matter, and turns it into something that productive and positive.

At home with measles, doodling around.

You are the bows from which your children
                                                                         as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

But after everything has been said and done, I really cannot push my daughter to be someone else other than herself. Meaning, I do not and will not impose on my daughter my own vision of her. Kahlil Gibran was spot on when he wrote that our children are not our children. As much as I would like to take control of my daughter, I can only guide her into pursuing what she wants to be, exploring her passions and expanding her horizon, and hope that she turns out to be a strong woman aware of her personal rights and social responsibilities with a good head on her shoulders and a golden heart. 

And that would be greatness in every sense of the word. Indeed.

 Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

- Kahlil Gibran's
On Children

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Extra-Challenge: The >15K Party PART 2 (Invitations)

Throwing a party means you have to invest as much, if not more, effort in preparing for it. Moms like me want to be practical these days. So I challenged myself to have a party for less than Php15k, for everything including venue, invitations and food.

I didn't shell out much for the party invites for my daughter's 7th birthday and my son's christening. Here are some bright and practical ideas:

1. Put up a blog or website
You can customize this so it can include all the pertinent details, such as the time and place. You can also upload  beautiful photos you can use as a background or design. You can even put a Google Map so your guests can instantly see where the venue is located. If you have a theme, you can design your blog around it.

This is what I did. :DD

You can use Tumblr, Blogger, or Weebly. I find these platforms very user-friendly.

 2.Use the Facebook Create Event Function
 Nowadays, who doesn't use Facebook? Even my nephews have their own accounts and set of Facebook friends. Use this FB function to invite your guests. If you are not confident enough to try your hand at making a blog or a website, using the FB Create an Event is much simpler.

According to Facebook itself,

You can create an event directly from the "Events" box on the right-hand column of your home page. By typing your event into the "What are you planning?" field, a form will open. After you add a time and place, your event will be created.
You can also create events by going to your Events dashboard and then clicking "Create an Event" in the upper right corner of the page. From here, you can customize the event, edit its privacy settings and invite guests. Please note that you must include an event name and time. You can also create an event from the Publisher on your home page or profile (timeline).

3. Print Picture Invitations as Pictures

Ask a family member or a friend to do a simple layout for your party using Photoshop. If you're familiar with Photoshop, do it yourself. Have it printed as pictures, instead of using fancy paper. The cost is 2-4 pesos each depending on the size.

Do you have any more ideas? Feel free to share them, please!


La Verenna Resort Review

You may remember that a few months back, I posted a blog about having a party for less than 15K. We'll we did it! I'll post a more detailed post about it later, for now, I'd like to share my review on the venue that we found.

In my Extra-Challenge: The >15K Party PART 1 (Venue Hunting) post, I offered 4 budget private pool options that's good for 30-50 pax. In the end, we opted for another one, the La Verenna Resort.

La Verenna Resort is located at B. Mariano st., Sta.Ana, San Mateo, Rizal, owned and operated by Gil and Gilda Welan.  The location itself wasn't hard to find. They've provided a map in their Multiply site. All you need to have is a basic sense of direction and you won't find yourself getting lost. Although a non-issue, I think you should know that it is very near, approximately 10-20 meters away, the public cemetary. You might find this information useful in the future. 

It is an enclosed compound with a modest parking area that can fit up to 6 cars. It has a number of huts so your guests can relax and spend time with old friends, while the pools and the gazebo provide venues to mingle with the other guests.

They have two pools: one kidde pool and a much bigger pool.

My daughter enjoying the kiddie pool

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Photos


It has been a while since I've blogged here. Looks like my main problem has been resolved. I can now see the pic icons in my editor, therefore I can post pics! whereas before.... But I think my other blog in this same platform still has this issue. It was the reason why I was forced to abandon ship and head for the shore.

Anyhoo. Occupy Wall Street has been on my mind these past few days or weeks. I only found out about this two weeks ago, way before it got this media mileage locally. Well, after a month of successfully occupying wall street and with thousands of cities worldwide on the receiving end of similar protests, the media couldn't very well ignore now can they?

Here are some adorable pictures I found.

Babes do tell the truth.

For more details on Occupy Wall Street, Click Here.
For Pinoy Weekly articles regarding this movement, go here