Monday, July 21, 2014

How we (husband and I) control our spending

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We all love shopping, don't we? We can't avoid drooling over mall displays which sometimes lead us to unplanned purchase - branded clothes, gadgets, bags, a new pair of shoes, furniture, or anything that catches our eyes. If I were a heir of Uncle Bill Gates (lol), maybe I could shop things as much as I want. But we all know, that is not the real situation.

Since I've been promoted as a mom (which is my new blog's tagline), I have already become kuripot (stingy), which I'm only second to my husband who is the ultimate-kuripot. Yes, we were blessed for having substantial-earning jobs, but we make sure we don't spend more than our income. We are not "ubos biyaya, bukas nakatunganga" type of people, not even one-day-millionaires, because as we know (you and me) money would easily disappear in our pocket when we're not conscious of our spending.

So here, I will share with you our agreed-upon method in handling money.

1. Set up a budget.

Honestly, Ronan is much more financial literate than me, so his influence about handling money has infected me so much. (hehe) During in the early stage of our marriage, Ronan and I first talked on how we should handle our finances. We both agreed to keep track of our expenses no matter how small or big so we can figure out where our money is going.

How? We make a list by categorizing our necessary expenses including foods, emergency funds, house amortization, insurance, bills, gasoline, recreation, and the like. We agreed how much money or how many percent of our salary will go to each category.

This is how we classify the items under each category: Expenses and Savings:

2. We put right away our savings in the bank.

To avoid the bad money habit like overspending, we right away put our savings in the bank. This fund is reserved for emergencies and future use like Chesska's education and for our retirement as well.

Luckily, since Ronan and I are both income-generating, a certain rate of our income will go directly to our bank account. We have faithfully practiced this financial principle: SALARY - SAVINGS = EXPENSES. 

What does that principle imply? Well it's very simple. As soon as we received our salary during pay day (take note pay day...well unless pay day falls during holidays), we put right away our savings in the bank and never touch them unless, of course, when emergencies happen.  Then the money-left will go to whatever our expenses.

Though at the beginning, we find this practice tough to achieve, but as time passed, we already get into the habit of saving.

If we'll reverse the financial equation to SALARY - EXPENSES = SAVINGS, for example,  what will happen then?  If you can't control your impulse by buying anything useless, you might have turned your savings into negative, as a result , you might have left indebted.

3. We avoid credits. 

As much as we want to avail credit card for easy purchase online such as booking a plane ticket, or for the sake of convenience by swiping the card when grocery-shopping,  but the idea that it is still "utang (debt)", then we decided not to avail it.

Instead, the only card we have is a debit card. Yes we can still swipe and purchase online, well unless there are sufficient funds on it. As long as we know it is not "utang", then we can sleep well at night by not worrying about paying interest and credit card dues.

4. We invest into financial education.

Does it sound expensive? Actually it's not. Financial education is just around the corner. We can read financial books on how to increase our financial literacy. Or we can ask advice from a financial mentor who can guide us how to handle our finances. Or meaningfully surf the net on how to manage our money wisely.

5. Lastly and most importantly, we practice delayed gratification.

While strolling around the mall, a nice dress in the boutique catches your attention. Would you stop and buy it? Or wait for a few days and think many times before you buy it?

How you answer the question would have great impact in your finances in the future.

Delayed gratification is an important skill for one to develop in order to attain financial success. It means to delay your pleasure and to fight temptations over instant buying just to satisfy your present-self or just to impress others.

Presently, I am proud to have a better half who managed setting aside his "wants" for the sake of our most important goal. I know he has long wanted to buy a new bike so he can exercise every morning; and a latest windows phone to upgrade his programming skills, but he rather opted to save so we can fully-pay our house, hopefully this year.

The same is true with myself. I want to replace my 8-year-old and cranky laptop into a new one, but then I have to control my urge until we'll hit our goal this year.

On the other hand, here are three ways how to reduce instant gratification.


How about you mommies? How did you and your husband manage your finances? I'll be glad to hear from you by leaving your comments below.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guyabano Fruit , Neighbors Claim, and Other Stories

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Since we moved to our new house in 2010, my husband was fond of planting any - flowers, vegetables, and even fruits including Guyabano (soursop in English) in our yard. I had frequently told him, "atong balay mura nag lasang (Our house already looks like a forest! Even then, I just let him plant as many as he wants, anyway, we could all benefit during the harvest. Oh see.

But since our troublesome-dog,Whitey, came to the family, the flowers and vegetables were slowly messed up. He would not stop stepping and biting the plants until they slowly withered and died. We were all pissed. Can you feel our frustrations? Planted in months, destroyed in days! Since then, we concentrated growing fruits such as Guyabano, Jack fruit, and  Dwarf Coconut.

Okay, I will focus telling a story about the Guyabano...

It has been two years since we planted two seedlings of Guyabanos. One was planted at the left side of our house, and the other one was planted in front of our house. Between the two, the Guyabano which was planted in front our house grows well and bears lots of fruits. This tree has completely caught attention from the neighbors who happened to pass by our house.

How many guyabanos did you see? 

Freshly-picked Guyabano

Guyabano Shake

Neighbors Claim

One lovely morning, an old man who came from a brisk walk, who also happened to pass by our house ,asked withered leaves of Guyabano. I curiously asked him.

Me: Unsaon nimo ang dahon sa Guyabano nong?  (What will you do with the Guyabano leaves? )

Old Man: Akong lagaon day, nya imnon murag tsa ba.  (I'm going to boil the leaves and drink like a tea)

Me: Oh ok. 

Old Man: Diaebetic man gud ko day, mao ning akong alternative. (I'm diabetic and this is my alternative treatment. )

The following day of the same week, another old woman from the neighborhood who could hardly walk, also asked leaves. Out of curiosity, again, I asked. Her answer was the same as the old man's whom I have just mentioned earlier. But this time, she was hypertensive and just got a mild stroke.

Because of this fruit, we became popular in our block. Many neighbors near us already asked and made reservation - as in reserve not buy. Anyway, they are not for

You see how in demand the fruit is? I just remembered when I was little, this fruit is the least favorite among other fruits like santol, mangga, and singkamas. How I love craving santol or singkamas after school. hehe

Back to my story....

They are not the only people I know who claimed that Guyabano can cure any kind of diseases. It is actually a common belief not only from our neighbors but also across the country that Guyabano, whether fruits, leaves, or roots could treat numerous diseases including cancer.

Yes, partly, this claim makes sense! Even myself, too, has begun to believe of this claim. Well, any fruit when freshly picked and eaten immediately will provide lots of nutrients including "enzyme". Many are not yet aware that enzymes are necessary for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells.

However, since I am a type of person who doesn't completely believe on "hearsay", but on evidence based on scientific research, then I find myself researching on the internet regarding this matter.

Here's what I got.

According to the scientific literatures gathered by Gigi, researches have been undertaken to uncover guyabano’s anticancer effects, starting in 1976 when the National Cancer Institute in the United States conducted the first study on the fruit’s supposed cancer fighting properties.
This was followed by 20 more laboratory tests conducted in various laboratories worldwide. They all came out with unanimous results: Guyabano tree extracts, indeed, proved to be effective against the growth of malignant cells in 12 cancer types. These include some of the deadliest cancer forms which have taken the lives of many around the globe: pancreatic, colon, lung, prostate and breast cancers.
According to the Catholic University of South Korea and Purdue University in Indiana, United States, guyabano tree extracts acted in a way that prevented it from harming normal cells, while successfully targeting the dangerous ones, unlike chemotherapy, which destroys all cells that multiply. The findings of the Catholic University of South Korea were published in the Journal of Natural Products. 
But, it has to be emphasized that all of these trials were conducted in the laboratory only using nonliving models, or what is called as in vitro experiments. Absolutely, no research in humans, so far.

On the other hand, here's another reliable article I've just found on the benefits of Guyabano.

Excerpt via:
Practitioners of herbal medicine recommend the fruit and leaves of the graviola tree to relieve stomach distress, fever, pain and respiratory problems such as cough and asthma, and for many other medical problems. Soursop contains a number of natural substances that have biological activity, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. These include fatty compounds called acetogenins, especially one called annonacin, along with other compounds called quinolones, annopentocins and two alkaloids, coreximine and reticuline. Soursop's acetogenins are the compounds that have been most studied, especially for their potential to prevent or slow the growth of cancer. The Cancer Center also says that some compounds in soursop may be naturally antiviral and antiparasitic, and may also suppress inflammation.

Additionally, my husband told me recently that he had read an article about Top-10 cancer fighting food in Yahoo, no. 1 is Guyabano. So I searched over the internet to get back the link so I can share it with you. Gladly, I found it.

Who says cancer prevention is expensive?
One may—or may not—take notice of this, but majority of the following can be found in his kitchen. By just simply incorporating these nature-given ingredients to his diet, one gets a clearer shot to living a healthier, longer life.

1. Guyabano - Otherwise known as the custard apple, Guyabano is deemed one of the miracle cures for cancer. In the study, “Journal of Medical Chemistry,” 14 structurally-diverse Annonaceous acetogenins, found in Guyabano extract were identified and tested for their ability to prevent the growth of adriamycian resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma cells.

According to a research in 1976, a chemical found in Guyabano is about 10,000 times more powerful and effective than Adriamycin, a drug used for chemotherapy.

Any idea about the Guyabano benefits? Can it really cure cancer and other diseases? Let me know your thoughts by leaving your comments below.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Finally... Got a new tag line for my Mommy Blog..

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Noticed anything new on my blog? If you are a regular visitor, you'll probably see it.  I have just rebranded my site by changing the design and tagline (the one you see beside the social icons, far left ) to sum up who I am as a blogger and what I write about.

Photo Credit:

Frankly, it has been two years before I finalize my tagline. Can you imagine how long it was? It is not because my brain was processing very slow (ha!). It is because most taglines that I wanted were already owned by fellow mommy blogs.(You see, how many mommy blogs worldwide. Hundreds? Thousands?)  Like for example, I first thought, "Diary of a First Time Mom", but then when I searched over the internet, this was already gotten.  Even my second idea, third idea, and so on, were already taken. You see, how we think exactly?

Photo Credit:

To make sure I won't be accused of "copycat", I should have come up with something unique based on who I am. Because of that, I get to combine my experiences in both areas of my life: as a previous Math teacher and a chess player.

Here's the list.

Taglines inspired from Teaching Idea:

  • Firstime Mom's Lessons and Plans (which is connected to Lesson Plan)
  • Firstime Mom's Corner (like Assignment Corner)
  • Even a Firstime-Mom can make a Difference! (Difference is related to Math)
  • Educational tips from a Firstime Mom
  • ABC of Motherhood

Taglines inspired from Chess:

  • Good Moves and Blunders of a Firstime Mom
  • A Novice Mother.. (Just like a beginner in Chess)
  • Challenges of Motherhood.. One “good move” at a time…
  • Promoted as a Mom..Taking the Challenge..One "good move" at a time.
  • Motherly Attacks (Like Chess Attack)

Among the taglines I have just mentioned, one tagline emerged as the "winner". 

Promoted as a Mom..Taking the Challenge..One "good move" at a time.

Upon contemplating for this tagline, I noticed that it's too long, so I separated the phrases to make them two lines. One is the main title and the other one is the tagline. Here it is...

Promoted as a Mom.. - (title tag)

Taking the Challenge..One "good move" at a time. (tagline)

I guess, you need to know why I chose this. Technically, the used-terms are from chess, however, even you are non-chess players, you would easily understand the terms. Still, here's the explanation.

a. First is Promotion- it is a Chess term that when a pawn (which has the lowest value among the pieces) reaches the 8th rank of the opponent's side, it can be promoted into any pieces. Queen, Rook, Knight, and Bishop (these have higher values than pawn).

Promotion is not only true with chess or even with career, but it is also true with individual status: from single to married. Right? The only promotion with no salary received, yet only received pure love.

b. Second is "Taking the Challenge". Like a brain-wracking chess game, motherhood is not an easy challenge.  Motherhood is the biggest challenge that every woman should prepare for - pregnancy stage, giving birth, child care, budgeting, and a lot more.. I am a type of gal who embraces challenges.

c. Lastly, "Good Moves". In chess, a player always aspires to win, hence, every move she makes should always be a good move for her advantage.

Does this have connection with mothering? Definitely! Mother not only knows best, but also does best for the welfare of her child.

Well, the original plan was only to make a tagline, but then, as I have mentioned earlier, the chosen-tagline was very long so I better include a title tag.

How do you like my new title and tagline?  I humbly ask your opinion by leaving your comments below.


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

How I encouraged my toddler to talk the second language (English)?

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Hello Mommies! This is part two of my post a couple of weeks ago. If you were not able to read the first part last time, I suggest you read it here.

Ok. Let's proceed.

Ronan and I have tried our best to incorporate English words every time we talked to our little one, Chesska. Like what I mentioned in my old post, Speaking English is an important skill for a child to develop.

We mainly focus teaching English, rather than our own dialect, Visayan,  because, I know, Chesska could easily learn the "latter" when she gets older through the influence of neighbors, playmates, or even her classmates soon. Remember, we live in a bilingual-country which uses two major languages, our native-tongue and English.

However, along the road, there are factors which may interrupt her learning the language. One example is, my mom is a fan of the so called "Teleserye", so Chesska couldn't avoid to watch it.  Another example is, during "adult-talk", we couldn't avoid her heard our conversation in Visayan. Well, I didn't say,  we all talked English at home (which sounds awkward since we were not used to ), but we only talked to our little girl in English.

The need of learning "English" as early as her age is quite important , especially that, Chesska will  start to school next year (hopefully). So she has been trained to get familiar with the things around her in English (which I elaborate below). Here's my step-by-step advice.

Disclaimer: I'm not an English-expert, nor an English teacher.  However, my prior knowledge on teaching approach and method helps me create this topic. 

1. At the age of 6 months,  I let her watch educational and interactive shows such as Barney, Dora the Explorer,  Alphabet Songs, Number Songs,  Animal Sounds, and Nursery Rhymes. 

Toddlers have lots to gain from listening to music, much more on watching educational and interactive shows. Apart from they're amusing, they also encourage toddlers to make movements by dancing with the tune, and help stimulate the process of "talking".

2. I teach to mastery,  using concrete examples and charts.

Child's learning is all about repetition, isn't it ? I say first the Alphabets and Numbers and let her follow after. I do it daily and consistently. Also, if a toddler has lots of opportunities to see pictures, chances are,  she will learn easily.

3. I often talk the routines she is doing daily such as bathe, sleep, brush, drink, comb, play, eat, watch tv, etc. 

This is Chesska's book about different actions.  I've always asked her what the characters(cat and mouse) are doing.  

During mother-child conversation, you may say:

a. Drink your milk.
b. Eat your food.
c. Let's sleep.
d. Brush your teeth.

4. A child can only speak English once she is familiar of the things around her. So I begin by:

a. Naming the foods she eats like biscuit, fruits, juice, candy, lollipop, rice, etc.

b. Naming the people, things, animals within her immediate surrounding, like mama, papa, friends, baby, dog, cat, tv, chair, table, door, window, curtain, etc.

c. Identifying the body parts  like eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Do it daily until she will remember, then have her identify body parts herself.

d. Identifying her personal belongings like shirt, short, skirt, panty, jogging pants, comb, toothbrush, etc.

e. Recognizing her toys such as bear, doll, car, xylophone, puzzle, etc.

f.  Distinguishing shapes and colors.

5. I would sometimes act out what she usually does like run, jump, smile, play, walk,  hop, close, open,  hide, seek, etc. 

It is sometimes necessary to stoop down to her level by jumping, running, walking, and playing together.
Act them out with her and say the words aloud.

6. More importantly, begin teaching good values by saying polite expressions like, "Thank you", "Sorry",  "Please", "Excuse me", "May I".

7. I teach her memorize her complete name, address, and age in a complete sentence. 

8. The time my toddler had already learned plenty of words,  I started incorporating the 5 w's (What, When, Where, Why, Who) in a sentence.   


What letter is this? Where is your toy? But don't expect a 2-year-old child to answer your question which starts with "Why and When"?

9. I integrate "please", in making a request like:

a. Please close the door.
b. Please arrange your toys.
c. Please put back your things inside the cabinet.
d. Please help mama.

10. I teach her how to greet .

a. Good morning!
b. Good afternoon
c. Good night!
d. Hi
e. Hello

11. I am generous with praises even the small effort my toddler does. I use "Very Good", "Good", "Nice", "Looks Good" with feelings.

When my little one sees a yummy food set on the table, she would say "wow", or when her dress is pretty, she would say "Nice". She has started appreciating little things.

12. I use "Yes" for approval  and "NO"for disapproval. 

13.. I buy plenty of picture-books for her to scan. 

Mind you - your little kiddo would pretend turning the books from one page to another. Also, she will enjoy naming things seen in the picture books.

14. I also orient my toddler with the words hot, dirty, slippery/slide, etc. for her safety. 

15. I teach her how to follow directions like right, left, up and down. 

Do you find my tips useful? Please do them slowly but consistently. It is not an easy process though, and it takes time before your toddler can absorb all of these. Even I,  myself,  still have troubles making her understand the concepts. Just be patient and do it with "LOVE"...Most importantly, you enjoy what you are doing!

Some more tips? Maybe you can add "yours" by leaving your comments below.  

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Birthday Wishes for Someone Special!

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Gee, today is your Birthday!  Seems just like yesterday when you were "22".  Time flies so fast indeed!

But who says you are 32? haha!

By the way, I have a revelation to make. Ronan, is a type of guy who never broadcasts his birthday to his friends. Nor he celebrates his birthday extravagantly. It's not because he is the thriftiest among the thrifty, it's because he simply likes to celebrate birthday simple and practical.

Actually,  my original plan was to make a birthday card for him. However, while at the middle of writing from a scratch of paper, lots of things suddenly popped up in my mind. If I would insist to write them all in a single card, surely, they wouldn't fit. So I finally decided to write here on my blog.

Well, happy 32nd birthday my luvs! Holy Crap, you're already 32 just like me! Seems like we want to forget our birthdays since it often reminds us that we're on our way to aging (huh!)..Don't worry, we belong to the majority.

By the way, here's my fake-birthday-cake just for you. I just grabbed it somewhere and I forgot a photo credit.(I hope the owner of this photo won't find me, otherwise...)  Anyway, being 32 just happened once in a lifetime. So claim it wholeheartedly..hehe

I believe God has given you another year, to savor life to the fullest and continue exploring life beyond 32.

I believe He has abundantly blessed you (both tangible and intangible), so you can also be a blessing to others.

I believe, you deserve to celebrate your 32nd birthday today.

Because of that, allow me to share my birthday wishes.

Wish no.1  My ultimate wish is that may our Almighty Father provide you more strength, long and prosperous life, and the best of health.

Wish no. 2.  Hopefully, you will gain more weights and fats. (haha)

Do you see a bulging muscle? Well, courtesy of

Wish no. 3 May you achieve your short-term and long-term goals in life.

Long-term Goals

Short-term Goals

Wish no. 4 As always, be the the best dad ever and faithful-husband.

Wish no.5 Stay cool and humble as what you are now.

Once again, happy happy 32nd Birthday. More cakes to eat and candles to blow.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

One sunny afternoon

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Hello everyone! This is part two of "My tot's funny stories". If you miss reading the first part last time, here it is. I can't say it will make you laugh until your belly hurts, but one thing I am sure of, it will make you smile.

So the part two story goes this way....

Everyone's eyes was busy watching TV, except, of course,  Chesska who was busy tinkering the cabinet where her toys are being kept. It was summer time so the day was extremely hot that made our little girl to be cranky. The electric fan did not help at all to settle her. The rotational power interruption also adds to that uncomfortable and annoying day.

Uncomfortable Chesska approached me. She tried communicating to me, but I could hardly understand (seems a mixture of different languages and didn't know where in the world she got that) Looked so annoyed,  she took my hand and pulled me over to our room.

She demanded.....

Chesska: Pointing to our door....

Me: Figuring out what she was trying to tell me. I assumed she wanted me to close the door, so I did!

Chesska:  Looks satisfied, but she again demanded and pointed to our window.

Me:  She might want me to close the window, I thought.  So here's again the poor mom, obeyed her little bug, so she closed the window.

Chesska:  For the third time around, she demanded,  "urtain". (Our curtains then were tied in the middle to allow extra light to the room.).

Ooops sorry for the messy background...

Me: My third guess was that,  she wanted me to untie the curtains so the room would be a little dimmer like at night when the light is off) , so I did again.

Chesska: "Ncune"

Me: What? What's ncune? (Yes you heard it right, I asked in English..)

Chesska:  Pointing straight to our aircon.  And she demanded, "ncune".

So that’s how my tot's funny story ends….

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Speak English Please!

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"Speak English" was one of our school policies several years ago when I was still a  Math teacher of a certain school, actually a private school.  Anyone who violates the rules will fine one peso. Because of that, students tried their best not to speak vernacular, otherwise, their "baon" would easily run out.

Those years of experiences have given me an idea previously, to do similar in our own home: "Speak English" to my little girl,  of course with exemption - No Fine Policy. (hehe).

I know it sounds awkward and baduy (uncool) for a typical Filipino Family like us to use the said language.

I guess,  most of you would react - "why bother,  in fact,  we have our own dialects where in we are already comfortable to use? Well, I did not say it's mandatory, what I was trying to say is to interact with your child while still young using "BASIC ENGLISH", is it difficult?

Moreover, you don't need to be like an American dude who can speak fluently in order to teach your child the "most basic and common English", right?

Unless, you grew up in a family who is speaking English well.  Unless you were raised in English-Speaking countries.  Unless  your parents sent you to a prestigious school and the medium of instruction is pure "English".

Frankly,  it has always been a daily struggle since it is not the usual thing we do (with my husband). Even though we had learned English concepts in school half of our life (from Kinder to College), but the fact that we did not practice the concepts to real-life conversation, then we can't say we can speak  English spontaneously!

That's why when Ronan and I  started talking English to our little girl for the first time, we both laughed when our tongues would sometimes twist, or mistakenly pronounce the words. However,  we refused to give up for the sake of our child's welfare.  "Practice makes perfect, dba? "

The bottom line is "it's all about our child who may benefit from it in the long run".

There are two main reasons why it made us to decide to do such thing:

First, English has been very important in academic success.  Learning the language is a vital skill to develop while your "kiddo" is still young. So when the time comes that Chesska is ready to school, she'll find it much easier to comprehend her lessons or subjects such as Math, English, Science in particular.

Second, it is a valuable asset for your "kiddo" to possess in order to succeed in job and or business as well in the near future.

I don't foresee yet the disadvantages of using the said language in our own home. All I know for now is that, it has lots of advantages over disadvantages. Why not start speaking "Basic English" (I reiterate "basic") at home with your child right now? Do not mind other's criticism. Just focus on your child's success.

Good Day and God Bless!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Discovered "W"

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Chesska's wit shown each day has continued to amaze us (including my husband). You and I both knew that toddlers including Chesska, are typically curious about anything seen, heard, and touched. But there was a special action which surprised me on a particular day that  almost no one could ever imagine.

Ask me why?

Ok, one weekend, my little girl, aged two years and five months, was too busy pressing her new dressed-chicken toy, since it made a sound when pressed. The sound was awful,  much like a slaughtered chicken - but has a bit raspy sound. (hehe)

Ok back to Chesska's story...

Chesska has already a prior knowledge on human body parts and alphabet. (In fairness to her, she can sing the alphabet with confidence.) So while Chesska was busy inspecting the chicken's body parts such as nose, eyes, etc, a moment later, she came to me and showed the inverted dressed-chicken and specifically pointed the chicken's  feet and said aloud, "Dabolyo" (in her language) or a letter in an alphabet "Double-U (W)".. haha! Well, she is absolutely correct. That is the concrete representation of letter "W" in real-life.

A round of applause for Chesska!

Have you ever had that imagination when you were her age? Ask your parents. Me?? Seriously, I have never been thought of that in my entire life.

How about you? What are your tot's funny stories? I'll be glad to hear from you by leaving your comments below.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dahilayan Forest and Adventure Park - A Bukidnon Escapade Part 2

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It has been already two weeks since I've last written our escapade at  Camp Phillips Bukidnon. And this new blog post should have been published sooner right after Camp Phillips article, but then again , I had a crazy schedule for the past couple of weeks - aside from work,  I had a lot of responsibilities to take care of - so I was unable to do a blog post . Anyways...

Now,  I'm going to share with you our next series of escapades, which is the Dahilayan Forest Park adventure.  Dahilayan is one of the barangays of Manolo Fortich, where Dahilayan Forest Park is situated. The park is a 30-minute drive from the heart of Camp Phillips, Brgy. Agusan Canyon – the place where the administration and control of pineapples took place.

Before going to Dahilayan, the whole family had already set schedules for each place except Good Friday of course.

Wednesday - arrived at Camp Phillips
Holy Thursday - toured around Camp Phillips and Agusan Market
Holy Friday - watched "The Bible" series
Black Saturday -went to Dahilayan Forest Park
Sunday - explored Del Monte Club House at Cawayanon
Monday - Home Sweet Home (went back to Davao)

How do we get to Dahilayan Forest Park from Camp Phillips?

Camp Phillips is a passing point going through Dahilayan. We rented a multicab for 1000 pesos, a capacity of 10 or more. But there's another option to take you to the park via habal 2x (motorcyle), with a charge of 400 pesos for a round trip. As we were heading to our destination, we’d noticed a partially cemented-road specifically the right portion, and all kinds of vehicles were not allowed to pass since the concrete was still fresh. I guess it will be totally finished in 2-3 months time. Unfortunately, we passed through a bumpy road - mind you - it didn't bother us because we were busy sightseeing. Along the way, we saw a very lush and wide field of Del Monte Plantation, with the beautiful blue skies above, and a nice view of mountains and pine trees from afar. The cold breeze that gently kissed our skin was completely refreshing. Well, we credit that from the pine trees that give off lots of oxygen, plus the place itself sits in a higher altitude. Even though I haven't gone to Baguio yet,  but as far as the coldness of Dahilayan is concerned, I considered this place as  the Bagiuo Capital of Mindanao.

Here’s the evidence of our escapade to Dahilayan Forest Park in a particular order.

 A quick glimpse of a wonderful creation of God while the cab's running.  

We stopped for awhile to take photos. Almost one-fourth trip to Forest Park.

Dahilayan Forest Park Main Entrance

Dahilayan Forest Park Entrance and Rides Fee

General Rules and Guidelines

Here we are! From the main entrance, one should go in left direction and take a few steps going down the forest park. The mesmerizing ambiance of the hill along with the pine trees wowed us.

Forest Park

Forest Park with animal statues 

Picture2x pag my time

At the right portion of the forest park, a spot for best viewing of the nearby-mountains.

Very clean and green landscape.    

In front of the hotel.


A 2-storey lodge situated in Adventure Park area, a few minutes walk from forest park.
As Dahilayan claims that they have Asia's Longest Dual Zipline, which is TRUE.
Kid's playground - Still located  in Adventure Park.

There's nothing more exciting than driving around the 3.2 kilometers terrain and steep hills via buggy. A cost of 800 pesos is worth trying. (More pictures coming soon...)

Lastly, I will share with you my pros, cons, and recommendations. No offense for Dahilayan,  especially for my cons - keep in mind that wherever we go, whatever we do, there has been always room for improvements. I hope Dahilayan will take these "cons" as a challenge to further improve their facilities and services in order to satisfy their customer's needs. If I were to rate Dahilayan, I would give a score of 4.5 out of 5. The negative .5 is a room for improvement.


a. Dahilayan offers fun-filled activities which everyone can enjoy - both young and old.
b. You can avail discounts on entrance fee during weekdays.
c. The park has stunning views, perfect for selfie and picture taking.
d. Facilities are good.
e. Dahilayan is surely an ideal vacation spot for the whole family during summer for the climate is cool.
f. A little Baguio of Mindanao.

a. It is crowded during peak season - especially Holy Week when we were there.
b. No personnel assigned to check bags and things upon entering. For me it is SOP.
c. Every gesture costs a penny. So be sure you have lots of funds along to enjoy all adventures particularly buggy, luge, zorbit, etcetera.
d. Cafeteria is small to accommodate numerous guests during peak hours.
e. Comfort room is dirty and messy. No one clean regularly.
f. Not child-friendly since the forest park is slightly steep. Be sure to stay close with your child to avoid untoward injuries.
g. Lack of crews to address the needs of everyone especially during peak season.
h. It is very far away from Davao City.


a. Don't go during peak seasons.
b. Bring foods along to save extra money.
c. Go during weekdays to avail discounts on entrance fees.
d. If you want to try the buggy and ATV, don't go when it is raining or even drizzling. Buggy will not be available.
e. Bring lots of money if you want to try all adventures.

I hope you enjoy reading this post, and feel free to ask question/s or drop your comment/s by using the comment form below. God bless!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Del Monte Plantation at Camp Phillips - A Bukidnon Escapade Part 1

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Hello dudes! Summer is officially here! And the sun's heat seems like scorching our back, and we can't help but think of a getaway to temporarily refresh us from a very hot climate. By the way, how do you spend your Holy Week? Us? My family and I went to Camp Philips Bukidnon - the focal point of Del Monte Plantation - which provides lots of jobs to its immediate community including my brother. Camp Phillips's climate is cool the entire year, so it is a must-see destination for everyone when it is hot and dry.

How to get to Camp Philips from Davao City?

We left Wednesday early dawn to avoid congestion at Ecoland Terminal. It took us 8-hour trip getting to Camp Philips via Rural Transit Bus. Yes 8 hours! That long, which made our butts and feet cramp due to prolonged sitting. Just imagine, carrying a 2-year-old toddler and with all the baggages along, huh, It was super dooper exhausting. Ok back to my story hehe. So we dropped off in "ALAE", one of the barangays of Manolo Fortich , also a stopover for buses and vans.  Then, we rode a jeepney going straight to Camp Phillips,  approximately 10-15 minutes. So before I will tell you what happen next to our adventure, first, I'd like to share with you our expenses.

Bus Fare: Davao to Manolo Fortich - P535/person
Jeepney Fare: Alae to Camp Phillips- P20/person

View Larger Map

Finally, we arrived safe to my brother's house Wednesday afternoon. Ronan and I were totally drained so we decided to spend the rest of the day to relax in order to get extra energy for the next day adventure. On following day, we woke up very early to take a walk around Camp Philips along with my brother's wife and her children. Everyone was excited, especially Ronan.  Every time we passed on a nice view, we took pictures.

At the main entrance of Camp Phillips, you will see this signage - WELCOME CAMP PHILLIPS! 

One can look around the camp without seeking any permission from Del Monte. However, taking picture of houses is strictly not allowed because of the previous NPA attacks. Since then, the camp was surrounded by numerous security guards (they called them Kadre) to secure the place.

Upon entering Camp Phillips,  you will see the biggest replica of pineapple, perfect spot for picture taking. 
It has lush and wide field of pineapples covering around 5,000 hectares.

Picture taking in front of Del Monte Pineapple field.

Another replica of Del Monte product - Vinegar

Del Monte Pineapple

Jump shot at Camp Phillips Plaza
In order to reach their plaza, one can ride habal2x (motorcyle) for 15 pesos/person.  We preferred walking than riding habal2x to save extra pesos. Anyway, it would only take 10-15 minutes walk from my brother's house to plaza. 

Del Monte cooperative where you can buy groceries and other goodies.

Del Monte Manager's House. The structure was designed by Americans,  previous owner of the company. (Earlier I mentioned that taking a picture of houses has been restricted, don't worry, this photo was taken 3 years ago.)

My brother's house. Once a regular employee of Del Monte, one can live in the house for free until retirement.

Pinyasalubong - Bukidnon Delicacies

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