Our baby is one-year old today. Although each day, particularly the more trying ones, seems long, the year was indeed short. I can’t believe that it’s been a year already…from that period of so much impatience…emotions were high not only because of what we’ve been through in our ventures but also because of two false alarms that just made our anticipation for her more intense. God must’ve really been testing our patience by putting us in a situation that we just had to learn to accept the things that we have no control over.

One of the reasons for traveling to Luzon is to have Nadine baptized and to present her to relatives and friends in Laguna. This happened on Palm Sunday, March 28 at Immaculate Conception Parish, Los Banos, Laguna.

The reception was held at Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan in Bay, Laguna to celebrate both her christening and first birthday.  Everyone enjoyed her chocolate cake from Mer-nel's, the most popular bakeshop in the Los Banos area.  More photos are in our travel blog.

It was an opportunity to reestablished ties and friendships. In choosing godparents for our kids, we have at least one pair who are relatives (brother, sister or cousin) and two to three pairs who are close friends. For Nadine, we vouched for friends from our college years.

Our first two kids had nice invitations as memorabilia, while Zeki had seedlings of fruit trees as giveaways. Nadine has these lovely key chains as souvenirs custom-made by one of her ninangs, Christine Joy.

Note: You may email us at phen009[at]gmail[dot]com if you’re interested in these custom-made key chains that you can use as giveaways for any occasions.

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After a couple of hours of play at the UPLB Freedom Park, College, Laguna, the family headed to Bonito's where the kids had pizza and the adults enjoyed the house specialty, caldereta.  Because of the before dinner bread, chips and slurpee at the park, the kids' attention was not really into food.  They found a hangout in front of the television in the middle of the restaurant.  What's supposed to be a cool place to relax intended for college dudes and dudettes became a play area for the kids.

I was only reminded about earth hour a few minutes into 8:30 when we started to settle down in Ami's apartment.  While preparing for an hour without electricity, I was checking out the neighborhood (at least those that are visible from the apartment) and was quietly hoping that majority of the houses would participate in this simple gesture of sacrificing an hour of comfort.  But boy was I disappointed.  Ours was the only unit in the six-door apartment building that had our lights out for the duration of the event.  When I pointed it out, our eldest said that the others might not know about earth hour or perhaps they did know but didn't care.

The skies were clear and we can see the moon and the stars from the front yard/garage.  A pretty good ambiance to talk to the kids about why we're supporting this event and the impact it might have on climate change.  We played the game "weave a story" after so many months of not doing it.

It's basically starting with "Once upon a time..." and the next person has to continue the story to any direction he or she fancies.  Our kids are getting really good at it.  We were still using the familiar prince or princess theme but the plot gets more complicated and amusing at the same time.  They're also quite creative about the names of the characters.  The story ended with "Atlas" getting banished for asking for money for the big rock he gave as a gift to the king and annoying the princess by not offering her a gift.  The part about the scroll with the secret to staying forever young taken from inside the rock when it was split into two remained undeveloped...perhaps a starting point for a later game.

Our toddler only listened to us while we weave the story.  I am confident that he'll soon join in the fun as he more recently have always wanted to do whatever it is his older siblings does.

I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with the kids and talk to them about energy conservation, the environment and climate change, as well as play a game we've always enjoyed playing when they were younger.

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We Support Earth Hour

Posted by Papa Sez | Monday, March 22, 2010

Earth Hour - LogoJust like last year when the Philippines topped Earth Hour participation among 88 nations with more than 15 million Filipinos in 647 cities/towns joining, our family will again support the 2010 Earth Hour scheduled on March 27 starting at 8:30PM.

I remembered that one hour last year where my wife and I got a chance to talk to our kids in our balcony about the need to save energy.  They were all for it and of course loved the fact that we were together watching the dark skies.  It was disappointing though that majority of our neighbors were not aware or didn't care much about the campaign.

With the electricity supply problems currently experienced in many parts of the country, it is with urgency that actions, as small as turning off the lights and not using electricity for an hour, are undertaken to not only make an impact on the short-term problem of power supply, but more importantly on the long-term problem of climate change.

This year's target is 811 megawatt-hour or 5-6 million pesos worth of savings up from last year's roughly 611 megawatt-hour or 3 million pesos savings.  A lot of money and energy savings in the short-term, but also a huge impact on the awareness of the next generation about the current issues of climate change...a reality that they have to face in their lifetime.

Show your support by learning more about this issue (click on the banner above), telling everyone else about it through blogs, text messages and in conversations; and on March 27 at 8:30PM, refrain from using all electrical gadgets and spend time discussing to your kids the significance of reducing power consumption.

Let's act together for our short-term and long-term survival. It's a small sacrifice to pay. Who knows, you and your kids might enjoy it as much as my family did.  In that case, we can also start a campaign to turn off electrical gadgets more often than just once a year.

Related topic: Concrete Actions Parents Can Do to Help Mitigate Climate Change

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Discipline Methods: Spanking

Posted by Papa Sez | Thursday, March 18, 2010

Note: This is the fifth and final article in the series on Discipline Methods posted every Friday and introduced in Discipline and Parenting Style.  If you missed the previous articles, please read them first- Discipline Methods: Communication and Role Modeling, Discipline Methods: Merits and Demerits,Discipline Methods: Time-Out and Reverse Time-Out, and Discipline Methods: Prevention and Tolerance

Spanking used to be the norm in child discipline but these days, to spank or not to spank the child for misbehavior, has become debatable. It is a sensitive issue because an increasing number of parents and child psychologists do not approve of spanking as an acceptable discipline method, while others still argue that removing the fear of physical punishment results to uncontrollable youths.

It is true that there are lots of other non-violent discipline methods that parents can use but there are parents and child psychologists that still believe that spanking when given with fairness, love and care is an effective discipline technique.

It is dreadfully unfortunate that many children are abused under the guise of spanking to discipline them.

Recognizing this fact and acknowledging that spanking, when used in a non abusive manner, is still an effective method, this article discusses ways to effectively implement and prevent abuse when parents had to resort to spanking as method of child discipline.

Save in Your Child’s Love Bank. Imagine saving love and positive emotions in your child's virtual love bank. The more you show you care, give positive emotions or make the child feel loved and important, the more love savings you deposit and accumulate in that virtual bank. But every time you spank him or her, no matter how well-meaning, love is withdrawn.

Be sure to always show your love and affection so you have enough reserves or savings when you have to withdraw such as when you need to discipline the child. When you spank a child, always follow up with explanations and make it clear that the spanking was done for his benefits and for the love of him such that the hurt will be lessened and may even be transformed to love to refill the love bank.

Decide which behaviors deserve a spanking. Parents should set reasonable behavioral standards for their children.  They should know age-appropriate behaviors such that true misbehaviors can be identified and gross misbehavior that deserve spanking can be singled out. Most parents would agree that lying, disrespect and open defiance are grave misconducts that should be dealt with seriously.

Be fair to your child and do not accuse him or her of misbehaving when what he or she did is a normal childhood behavior and do not spank for minor offenses. Bed-wetting, messy-eating, toy-breaking, wall-writing are examples of child behavior that require action but not spanking. Don’t let them stray too far from the behavioral standard you have set for them, but allow them to act their age as well...be it as toddlers, preschool, school-age, tweens or teens.

Be in control. Never ever spank a child when you are angry. Deal with the situation by letting yourself cool off first, think about the situation then decide what to do next. This is like implementing the reverse time-out such that if you still think that spanking is necessary, your emotions are already in control.

If you spank with heated anger, chances are you will hurt your child more than you intended to. Spank the child in his clothed bottom using your bare hands and not with other implements or objects. This will ensure you don’t hurt the child more than the pain your open palm can tolerate.

Give One Warning. Giving your child one warning for an offense that deserves spanking gives him a chance to realize that he has done or is doing something wrong.  If it was not clear at the beginning, this is an opportunity to correct the grave mistake and redeem himself from the shaky situation.

The child must believe that you only give one warning and not three or four, such that he only has one chance and will therefore take it seriously. This strategy will lessen the frequency of spanking. Remember that when spanking is done too often, it becomes less effective and is just plain mean. By being consistent with one warning policy, you give your child a fair chance, gain his respect and set clear boundaries that your child will seek not to cross.

Keep the Child Focused. When spanking has to be done, bring the child to a neutral place where nobody can see him. You must not embarrass the child in front of his siblings and other people. Aside from giving him respect, you avoid distractions that will hinder your child’s complete understanding of the situation. His or her full attention is necessary when you discuss what happened and explain again why the punishment has to be done.  Otherwise, he might focus on the embarrassment, feel bitter and angry at your careless intrusion rather than focus on his offense that needs to be corrected. 

Remember that in all discipline methods and especially in the case of spanking, communication with your child and being a good role model (credibility) are very important for these methods to be effective and are also necessary to preserve the love and respect in the relationship.

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photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/ / CC BY 2.0

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Early Morning Reflection

Posted by Papa Sez | Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When I woke up this morning, I realized that my school kids didn’t need to go very early. Instead of the usual 6:30am in a carpool, it was 7:30am with their Papa bringing them to school. That meant an additional hour for me. What did I do with it? I spent extra 30 minutes in bed waiting for our baby to crawl towards me (the first thing she does is look for me), and for our toddler to gleefully utter his Good Morning Nadine! He greets his dear baby sister first before me. Then it’s time for the bottle challenge.

After preparing breakfast and packed lunch for the school kids, I still have a few minutes to spare before the family assemble in the dinning room for breakfast.  They were still getting dressed. I remembered my coffee moments in the west terrace of the house, so I eagerly prepare to spend quiet time in my special spot with a mug of hot choco. It’s a good chance to reflect, I thought.

As I prepare my drink, here comes my two-year-old son and then the interview began…actually it was more of an interrogation. Though he is too familiar with the choco drink even the brand in particular, he asked “What is that Mommy?”

He kept following my every move probably sensing that I’m up to something. As I picked up the mug he popped another one “Who's that for?”

On my way to the terrace, he asked again, this time it’s a series and he is starting to panic. “Where are you going Mommy? Are you going to Dapdap? (It’s the street along the west terrace.) Where are my slippers? Can I come with you?”

Gotcha! Well, I knew it from the very first question. So you might have guessed the little boy got what he wanted. Picture the mommy and her little boy sharing a mug of hot choco in the terrace, watching the villagers doing their morning walk, calling the stray cats and dogs passing by and counting the birds flying high. You will hear the constant demand for a piece of bread that needs to be dunked in the choco drink before eating. Ever heard of that eating style?

I thought it was a good chance to reflect...and it remained so true even with my little boy beside me. It was not quiet, though. But then, it was a lot better than what I planned.

This morning’s reflection showed me how lucky I am to still have little children wanting to tag along like ducklings following mother duck. My little angels needed care like hatchlings in the nest waiting for mother bird to feed them. Good for my son, it was bread and not worms, lol.

Before I know it my little kids will all be grown ups, longing for a life on their own. Moments like this are indeed treasures to enjoy now and cherish forever.

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Bubble Walk in the Pool

Posted by Papa Sez | Monday, March 15, 2010

I have seen kids get engulfed by a huge bubble during my daughter’s Bubble Show birthday party.  But being able to walk while inside a bubble was new to me. It was our nephew's 4th birthday and we celebrated it at Garden Oasis in Obrero, Davao City.

The highlight was the Bubble Walk in the pool which was the first and only Bubble Walk in Davao City. There were two available units which can be used for a maximum of 15 minutes. The person should step inside as the clear plastic at the pool side is being filled with ambient air until it forms a huge ball. It is then sealed and pushed to float in the pool like a big bubble. The person inside must balance himself as he tries to walk or run, but more often crawl for lack of expertise, lol.

This is indeed a challenging act that our 10-year-old daughter, Rica, managed to learn before her turn was over. I must say I admired her perseverance to continue despite falling over and over during her first attempts, and for her sense of balance and concentration that helped her gain momentum. She said that talking inside felt like her ears were both covered but it was lots of fun as she tried to run after and bump her cousin’s bubble.

Our seven-year-old son tried it as well, but only managed to take 4 steps maximum and then falls. Nevertheless, he enjoyed it very much and would love to do it again...to fall over and over again. Well, who can blame him? He was after the fun and not the skill especially when he can manage to move by crawling. The 50 pesos per 15 minutes charge is sure worth it. We owe the opportunity and the fun to this wonderful family.

This is great for pool parties. If there is a big group of people interested to learn or practice bubble walk or simply to have fun inside, then it is better to rent it out for 1500 pesos for a whole day of fun.

I understand there is also a Bubble Walk activity inside the Manila Ocean Park, which we will visit a few weeks from now as part of our Island Travel Adventure.

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Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles on Discipline Methods introduced in Discipline and Parenting Style.  If you missed the previous articles, please read them first- Discipline Methods: Communication and Role Modeling, Discipline Methods: Merits and Demerits and Discipline Methods: Time-Out and Reverse Time-Out.  This series on discipline is published every Friday, except for this one whose publication we postponed for a day to give way to Papa Sez's post on unethical campaign ads.  Please check back regularly or subscribe via email or follow us at Twitter or Facebook (buttons are at the bottom right corner).


It is always easier to prevent misbehavior from happening rather than dealing with it afterwards following the adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”

In fact there are more preventive strategies that parents can use than corrective measures for misbehaviors.

Completely preventing misbehavior is impossible to expect but the following proactive strategies will significantly reduce its occurrence.

Know the Possible Reasons for Misbehavior. If you have an idea of why and how misbehavior happens, chances are you would know what actions to take to prevent it from occurring.

Here are some possible reasons for misbehavior:

  • They want to test the strength of rule enforcement.
  • They do not understand the rules, or are held to expectations that are beyond their current developmental phase.
  • They lack accurate information and prior experience.
  • They feel ill, tired, bored, hungry or sleepy.
  • They seek attention and have been previously "rewarded" with it for their misbehavior.
  • They want to assert themselves and their independence.
  • The get influenced by friends.
  • They copy the actions of their parents.
  • They either get too busy or excited and forget about the rules.
Know Your Child through Constant Communication and Bonding. Build and strengthen the connection between you and your child through constant communication and bonding moments. Engage in activities you both enjoy and talk about any topic of interest. Knowing your child minimizes conflicts because both parties would know each other’s expectations.

Create a Positive Home. When parents consistently laugh with their children, share lots of positive and appropriate physical interactions and talk to them in pleasant, supportive and nonjudgmental ways, positive behavior is promoted in children and inappropriate behavior is lessened. In a positive home, children are showered with attention securing their emotions such that attention-seeking behaviors are minimized.

Set Clear, Consistent and Reasonable Rules. The child should clearly understand the rule and the reason for its enforcement should sound logical to him. Moreover, when the rule is consistently impressed on the child, you become predictable, the consequence of disobedience becomes clear (not confusing) and the rule becomes rock solid for the child to challenge.

Be sure to get the child’s undivided attention when you spell out a rule so that the child hears or understands it for certain. You may need to call his name, pat his shoulder or make him face you. Tips on how to effectively communicate rules are given in Communication and Role Modeling segment of this series.

Keep the child busy, free and safe. There are many measures we can take to prevent misbehavior. For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, most strategies point to keeping the child busy and allowing for free but safe exploration.

Childproofing your home allows freedom and safety to your child who has a tremendous urge to explore. Remove breakables, valuables and dangerous objects from the child’s reach. This will free you from constant “no-no’s” and will thwart away miserable situations wherein the child is put to lots of temptations but is left frustrated.

Provide interesting play things that will catch his attention for longer periods. It could either be intellectually stimulating, skills enhancing or physically challenging but it is important for it to be entertaining as well. Successfully engaging a child in serious work or play destroys boredom and closes the avenue for misbehavior.

Be Aware and Considerate of the Child’s Current Physical, Emotional and Psychological Condition. A sick, hungry, tired, bored or sleepy child is more irritable than usual. Take actions before these conditions lead to misbehavior. Giving advanced warning and gradual transition also helps in preventing misbehavior especially in younger kids. If you need to cut their playing time, advice them 10 to 15 minutes ahead to give them chance to let go and shift to another activity.

Watch Out for Attention-Seeking Behaviors. As discussed in Merits and Demerits, attention-seeking behaviors should be ignored and not rewarded to keep the child from repeating them. Shower them with enough attention to make them feel secure. If you have to do something else that requires pulling your attention away from your child, think of engaging activities that the child can do to keep him occupied.

Be a Good Role Model. Be a good role model to your child as explained in Communications and Role Modeling segment of this Discipline Series. Strengthen their ethical standards such that they cannot be easily influenced to follow bad behaviors by friends and would know how to effectively handle peer pressure.

Be Gentle and Caring. Gentle reminders with a smile on your face work wonders in preventing misbehavior especially when dealing with a headstrong and rebellious personality. In your parenting journey, you may find situations wherein a good sense of humor will work better than a combative attitude. Children respond positively to a cheerful ‘law enforcer’ than to somebody angry or threatening. Probably because they don’t feel chained or locked like a prisoner but consider themselves independent persons who choose to cooperate.

Redirect or Distract the Child’s Attention. When a child is about to misbehave, redirecting his attention to something else prevents him from behaving inappropriately. This is another reason to be vigilant about what your child is doing.

Recognize True Misbehavior. By knowing your child and his needs and capabilities at every stage of his development, you will have a better idea of what should be a reasonable expectation. Conflict often arises when we expect them to think and behave like adults.


After all your efforts to prevent misbehavior, you may find yourself having to deal with one or two...or several instances of misbehavior. If the misbehavior is recognized as true, then the parent can decide what actions to take. Some parents may opt to spank depending on the extent of misbehavior and/or the child's age. Others will choose non-castigatory ways of dealing with misbehavior (for ideas, please read Merits and Demerits and Time-Out and Reverse Time-Out). There will be parents who may totally ignore the misbehavior.

They are the harmonious parents of young children (=democratic parents of adolescents) who are warm and loving but are more willing to tolerate a certain degree of defiance in favor of avoiding parent-child conflict, thereby maintaining harmonious family relationships. Based on a significant research finding, harmonious parents who know when to appropriately set limits and when it is not are said to be better parents than the warm, loving but controlling authoritative parents who always set firm limits. Moreover, the moderate degree of control of harmonious parents allows expression of feelings in children making them more socially competent.

To illustrate further: There are child behaviors you do not like and cannot live with such that it cannot be ignored. For most parents these are violent aggressive behavior and disrespect. On the other hand, there are many child behaviors you do not like but can live with such that certain degree of tolerance can be practiced though not to the point of becoming permissive. The challenge is for the parents to identify actual problem behavior whether there really is a problem or none at all.

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"Have you slept in the market, Papa?" our seven-year old son asked out of the blue yesterday.

Taken aback by the question, I blurted "what?"

So he repeated himself, "When you were young, have you slept in the market?"

"He's always like that, Papa. He imagines that it was better in the past," his elder sister interjected.

"Why are you asking Leon, is it because of Manny Villar's story?" I pretty much knew that it was because he's been talking about Manny Villar on and off in the past weeks.

In fact, both my older kids had been interested with Manny Villar when his campaign jingle about having taken a bath in a river of garbage and spent Christmas in the streets came out.  They say that their schoolmates also likes Manny Villar.

I have always been disgusted with politicians making a spin to gain political mileage, i.e. giving half-truths to improve image or mass appeal. This one is particularly hideous. Why?
  1. Tunay na mahirap. It uses children (and the disadvantaged ones at that) to carry the message that Manny Villar is poor himself. 
  2. Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura? It glorifies poverty, a subliminal message that effectively gets into the impressionable minds of children.  Effective because my kids got infected with the message (often singing the jingle), and they only get to watch television 1-2 hours per week!  How much more for those who are allowed to sit in front of the television a couple of hours or more every day.
  3. ...mapag-aaral...mapagtrabaho...magkabahay...Magtatapos ng ating kahirapan!  It appeals to parents' fear about their children's future and promises heaven on earth if Manny Villar gets to be president. Unfortunately, many parents will fall for this bull****.   It's again the easy way out of poverty-- find a savior, a magician or a billionaire.  And with the right propaganda, they're willing to latch on to anyone, even known (or suspected) scumbags who answers to no one.

I have no choice but to dig deeper into this matter and be vocal about it. The issue cannot be ignored anymore and the outcome cannot be left to chance.

As I research about it, I found mannyvillar.com.ph where they unabashedly praised this shameful campaign strategy. They think that it's okay to use children and to make "very directly and brave claim as to eradicate poverty."  Read for yourself through this link and let me know what you think.

Making outrageous claims as to end poverty (Tapusin ang kahirapan is seen in his orange campaign materials all over the place) is again giving Filipinos false hopes, that would further erode credibility of our political institutions, as expectations are set so high that it's short of claiming magical powers.  How can someone make such outrageous claims in the face of so much poverty in the country and get away with it.  Ooops I forgot that if you answer to no one, not to political institutions, not the courts, probably not even to God...then duping Filipinos is as easy as ABC-5 (or ZTE).

Fellow Filipino parents, we should remember the adage...if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

After learning that Manny Villar has spent billions on advertising, which started even before the campaign period, I just wondered if he really intends to serve the Filipino people...why didn't he just do public service directly as he says he doesn't need to get richer anymore.  I can think of at least two ways he could have done it with his own resources:
  1. Pay off our country's debt, as debt-servicing is sucking the budget dry, the highest portion of which is supposed to be allocated for education.
  2. Build houses, schools and create jobs with the money he's spending in his campaign.  He can even start small in strategic areas (including his own Las Pinas or Tondo) and find broad support when small gains are at hand.
You'd just wonder...instead of celebrity endorsers or the media getting his billions, those that truly need the jobs, housing and education would have benefited directly.  Then, he wouldn't need to make those traditional campaign practices anymore as people and organizations would be raving about his success in uplifting the lives of actual people in actual areas where poverty is widespread (or in the case of paying off the national debt, all Filipinos present and future would benefit!).

But now since he has invested so much in his campaign to be president, do you think he would not recoup his investment?  I am sure he'd be happy with his salary as President of the Philippines.

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Show and Tell

Posted by Mama Sez | Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It was Leon’s turn for “Show and Tell”, a school activity wherein a child brings a living or non-living object to school to show to their classmates and to tell something about it.

Some classmates brought their baby pictures to show how cute they were, sporting their lovely baby clothes and striking a ‘Hollywood’ pose. Others brought their pets and explained how they care for them. It’s like sharing a piece of their life story.

Leon doesn’t have a pet to bring and the idea of bringing a baby picture is all worn out. So, what will he bring for the show and tell? Well, this little guy who is only seven years old had the answer ready before he even told me that his turn is coming.

“I’m going to bring my treasure box. In this treasure box are recycled clam shells that I will later sell to people so I can be rich,” he said.

I wanted to laugh at his naïve money-making idea, but he continued.

“If I sell it at one peso each and then I have one million shells, then I will have one million pesos.”

He was beginning to make sense, but I needed to redirect him to our current predicament.

Yes, he can bring the shells to school. What a clever idea! These are shells he and his sister thoroughly washed and dried after one dinner we had about a month ago. They really believed that these kinds of materials can still be put into good use rather than dumped in the trash bin. Though they didn’t know exactly how the shells can be utilized, they kept them in their room.

When asked what to tell his classmates about the clam shells, he replied:

“Clam soup is very yummy and nutritious, and clam shells can be recycled…Mom what will I do with these clam shells if nobody buys from me?”

I suggested creating an artwork using clam shells and sell the artwork instead.

“Alright, then I will not call this (pointing to the box) as my treasure box, it will only be my clam box. The artwork will be the treasure,”  he declared.

His elder sister, Rica, got inspired and also made one. Alas, after one month, the clam shells finally met their purpose and reached another destination.

The night before the scheduled “show and tell,” he asked me to go to their school at exactly 10:45 in the morning to accompany him during his presentation, like what other parents do for his classmates.

“Are you nervous?” I inquired.

“No!”  he answered emphatically.

“Are you not confident that you can do this on your own?” I asked again.

“I know what to do and what to say Mom because we practiced. It’s just that I see other parents go there,” he reasoned.

“For other parents who would need to bring a big dog to school, I understand them coming over.  But for others who don’t need to bring anything, what do they do once they are there?” now driving home my point.


“So do you think I should really be coming? You would only have to bring a small piece of artwork and this small clam box, which I can easily pack in a plastic bag,” I explained.

“No need Mom, I can handle it.”


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Another Countdown Adjustment

Posted by Papa Sez | Friday, March 05, 2010

Hello friends, once again I am going to make an announcement about changes in our travel plans. It's actually a minor change but with some major impact on Mama Sez and me as we just decided to reduce our preparation time by one day, which is a lot of time considering that we're down to two weeks to make arrangements for our two months on the road!  Pressure, pressure and more pressure!

As explained in my post at Island Travel, our travel blog, the two reasons for moving the kick off date from March 23 to March 22 are (1) our kids' classes will end on March 19 and, (2) we wanna spend a day at Sohoton Cove in Surigao del Norte before jumping on a ferry to Leyte.

So, that countdown widget to the right will reflect only 15 days plus hours after I hit publish. It's gonna be tough with only two weeks left to prepare for a two-month road trip...but gotta do what we wanna do =D

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.