A wonderful First Day of School! M is now in Second Grade.

It was sunny and bright! It was a perfect weather for Mikheila’s first day of school for the year 2018-2019. She was very excited days before and couldn’t wait for morning. As for me, I filed a leave from work. Excited is an understatement!

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I can’t believe First Grade just passed by swiftly. She still goes to the same school, Saint Catherine’s College. Their classes started a little late compared to other schools. Most schools started in June 4. Theirs is July 2nd.

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Of course, I cannot leave the house without “kilay” and my fave shade of lippie. Mikheila was like “Mom, we’re going to be running late! Hurry!”

The first bell rings at 7:15AM. We got there a little over 7:30AM. She was not able to join the flag ceremony but we got in her classroom and was able to take a few pictures and choose a seat. We’re good!

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I guess we are back to a little chaotic morning hustle and had to adjust.

The night before, I pressed our uniforms and prepared our things for her BIG DAY! I still stick to the conventional paper and pen when making my list. These days we can rely on smartphone applications like Google Keep (Free),Todoist (Free/premium options),Evernote (Free/premium options, Wunderlist (Free/premium options)and Microsoft To-Do (free)

List, list, list! It is very important to NOT forget things. This helps me avoid stressing out and overthinking.

We didn’t buy schools supplies just yet since the teachers are going to give it during the orientation. For two days, July 2 & 3 , they’ll attend school for only half the day.

I’m glad we have two days to get a feel of just “getting oriented”— No pressure on Mommy just yet. Her class is smaller as compared last year. There are only 25 number of students. He closest of friends, Princess Grace is in her class. She mentions Ayana and Kyler are there too. Her class adviser, Teacher Juvy Racoma, who happens to be my Grade 1 teacher waaaaay back, reminds me for M to work on her writing. M tends to talk more instead of focusing on the task at hand. (something we need to improve this year )

First notes she wrote down: They are required to bring a pouch as their “health kit”. I’ve been thinking of putting on in her bag since I want my little lady to learn to take care of herself unsupervised while she stays most of the time in school. No Moms, just my human starting to get independent.

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Now for her lunch! I’ll worry about this tomorrow. They’ll be in school for the whole day starting 4th of July. I want to start a blog on making a list of lunch options that are HEALTHY for my Palangga. For now, tocino or nuggets will do.

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Scenes of Springtime and Sakura from Celia in Tokyo

Anyone who wants to see the beauty of Japan, these places are a must stopover.

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Teacher and blogger Celia Knox — originally from Far North Queensland, Australia, and now living in Tokyo — recently photographed parts of Japan as it was blanketed in pink during festive hanami season. Catch a glimpse of this fleeting landscape on her blog, Celia in Tokyo, as she documents the sakura (cherry blossom) trail.


Hanami (or flower viewing) season at its peak near the Arakawa River, a short walk from Kumagaya Station in Saitama Prefecture.


A boat ride on a sakura-framed canal in Kawagoe, a popular day-trip destination from Tokyo.


Festival lanterns and sakura at dusk create a lovely landscape in Kawagoe.


A pathway surrounded by ema — plaques of wishes — at the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, as known as the shrine of love.


More plaques at Chureito Pagoda at Arakurayama-Sengen Park.

View all of Celia’s photographs


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On Getting Fit and Healthy

“Never hesitate to TRY new things.”

Around August last year, I was so keen into trying out a new routine that is health beneficial. I’ve had anemia and I easily get tired. I didnt’ think I was fat, I’m still my confident old self. No one had the courage to tell me that I’ve become overweight until one day my Mom said that I better diet.

My Mom has always been my critic. In the decisions I make, may it be about clothes or accessories, she always has something to say. At the end of the day, it’s us who calls the shots. Mothers are there to guide us and shed some light.

I’m glad I listened to my Mum.

Now, at 32, I look fit and feel 5 years younger. I’m happier. Younger looking and more confident.

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I’ve lost a total of 20 lbs! I weighed 64kgs or 141 lbs and it went down to 121 lbs.

BER months are here! Wake me up when September ends…

Hello out there! Wow, it feels like it has been AGES since my last post! So let’s kick off the term with a look at what we have been up to in the recent months. My daughter is now in First Grade, we’ve move in to our new house and I’ve been busy with a new lifestyle. Fast forward from my last post, we were in Kindergarten. School life has been a roller coaster ride from there, in a good way.

Wake me up when September ends… because little M’s 6th birthday is fast approaching!

Yes! I have so many to talk about but let me start with a summary of how our Kindergarten days went. First, we’re in the honor roll and later on I discovered our daughter’s love for art.

I first noticed her emotional connection to art when she was 3. While all I can draw when I was her age are stick people, hers are way better even compared to other kids. I see how her eyes smile so bright when she talks about her drawings and watercolor paintings.

Soon, drawing became everything. Notebook after notebook, her doodles are everywhere. She drew during meals, during travels, before bedtime, after classes, in the park, in school. I make sure that I have a pencil and paper handy at all times. She made little art books for me and friends, created special occasion cards, comics with stories she just made up or imagined, and even gave her classmates her drawings. Her imaginations were too big not to be expressed, and drawing helped her. She would ask permission that after she studies she will draw. Whenever weekend comes, she would plan her day, not watching movies but include drawing and play in it.  Below are her artwork when she was 4. I try to keep all of them.

 

She likes to paint using water color and create many things using clay or Play-doh. Some of them are mermaids, sharks, rocks, human figures, princess, castles, and many more.

I want to be the mother who supports and encourages her passion and talent to pursue her dreams. I buy her drawing books, clay, water color, bond papers, crayons to show my support.

 

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”-Pablo Picasso

NBI Clearance Online Application (Made Easier for Us from the Southside): A Step by Step Guide

Finally, getting an NBI Clearance is easier for us who’re coming from the southern part of Cebu.

GREAT NEWS! They now have an NBI Satellite Clearance Center stationed in Naga City, Cebu.

Here’s a brief background of Naga:

Naga City, nicknamed The Industrial Hub of Southern Cebu[1] (credits to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga,_Cebu) is home to huge cement manufacturing companies like Taiheiyo and Apo Cement Philippines, and not to mention, power plants. It is situated right next to San Fernando, if you’re coming from the Carcar City, Argao or Alcoy.

 

The process of getting an NBI clearance has improved over time. Aside from avoiding the long queue and going to the main NBI agency in Escario in Cebu City, one can save time with a few extra bucks on top of the  P115 processing fee.

BEFORE, here are the  6 STEPS (not to mention the ridiculous queue starting 4AM or even earlier):

1. Fill up form
2. Data Check
3. Payment
4. Encoding
5. Photo and Fingerprint Scanning
6. Clearance printing

TODAY, you’ll finish it in 3 STEPS only…minus the queue. But FIRST, accomplish the online registration in the comforts of your home.

 

Here’s a DETAILED guide how to apply for NBI Clearance the quick way.

  1. Visit NBI’s website. https://www.nbi-clearance.com/ to fill out the online registration. Here’s how the interface should look:

1

Click SIGN UP NOW.

2

Select NEW if it’s your first time and if your last clearance was between 2014-2015.

In my case, we were renewing. My clearance expired February 9 of this year. I selected RENEW. After that, the image below shows up asking for my NBI ID Number.

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Where can you find the NBI ID NUMBER? See below sample:

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RENEWING APPLICANT window shows next. See below:

5Provide accurate information since the details are necessary for your application.

Note the encircled reminder. It says (Enter valid email only. Confirmation is required.) Put in your email and password of your choice. REMEMBER your password. You’d need it to log in to your own NBI profile.

Tick on I ACCEPT TERMS OF SERVICE and click AGREE on the pop-up. Then, click SIGN IN.

I opened my email and I clicked ACTIVATE ACCOUNT for me to confirm my registration.

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I logged on using the credentials I created. We’ll go right back to this page.

1Once logged on, click APPLY FOR CLEARANCE. You can see that on the right pane. Confirmation page will pop up.

**Note: Bring the document for verification.

In my case, I used my SSS/ UMID as my valid verification ID. I’m still going to use the same. Unless you want to present another ID, provide the ID number.

8

Below page will show up. READ carefully as it is an important reminder. You’d need to present a REGISTRATION code or reference number after choosing the payment option.

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See below completely fill out form. Naga City- Cebu Branch is nearest me, so I chose it. Click on the drop-down arrow or type your city/province and you’ll find the different NBI Branches that there are in your area.

Select your appointment schedule when you’d pick up the clearance or have it delivered by clicking any of those small blue rectangles. I chose March 17. It will reflect on the right portion as a summary of your selection.

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Select your payment option. I selected BAYAD CENTER for convenience. LBC and other Bayad Centers, like mushrooms, are everywhere where I live. See below for other payment options.

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After your select your payment, Payment Confirmation page will show up next.

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Read another few reminders.Below shows you a breakdown of the fees. There’s a P25 e-payment service charge on top of the P115. (REMEMBER: local employment only, other particulars may differ) Then, PROCEED.

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Proceed to PAYMENT.

Take note of the Reference Number. Therefore, I will pay LBC/ Bayad Center P140 (P115+ P25)

 

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You can do all of that ONLINE.

**On our first visit, there was an internet café nearby. One guy is making additional income by doing the registration himself. He lets you write your details on a piece of paper. He asks for P25 per customer. Then, he gives you your registration code.You may do it on your own and avoid the outrageous fee. Completely fill out the online form and be mindful of the dates you provide, especially your date of birth and email address. A confirmation message will be sent to your email. Once done, click SUBMIT. Take note of the registration code.

Present the valid ID that matches to the one in your NBI Profile for verification and the registration code/reference number.

 

The guard-on-duty will let you stand in line and direct you to which window to present the valid ID and code. I suggest you bring 2 government issued IDs.

For over-the-counter payments, pay the cashier of the processing fee upon presenting your valid ID and registration code. As far as I know, in the last 10 years I’ve been employed locally, the fee hasn’t changed.

The processing fee is 115 pesos. However, applying for clearance online and chosing other payment channels, there’s an extra service charge. Therefore, I have to pay P140. Nevertheless, I avoided the queue and saved time and effort. 

Here’s a list of IDs you can present:

  • SSS ID/ UMID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Postal ID
  • TIN ID
  • Driver’s License
  • Valid passport
  • GSIS UMID
  • PRC License
  • School ID
  • Philhealth ID
  • Alien Certification of Registration
  • Senior Citizen ID

 

One payment is done, you will be asked to wait for your photo to be taken.

2.Photo and Fingerprint Scanning
3. Clearance printing

‘NO HIT’ means you can get your NBI Clearance right away at the window right outside the station. Wait for your name to be called.

Applicants that are ‘HIT’ will be asked to come back after a week to claim their clearance. The clerk will provide you a receipt and a number to contact.

I got mine on the spot. As for my brother, he got ‘HIT’ so he needed to wait for a week. He did get his after a week. His NBI clearance was needed for his passport application.

 

Craft Activities for your Preschooler- Paper B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-Y

It’s Friday once again or should I say, a Friday that was. We’ve been quite busy at home so although we did the craft on a Friday, I only have the time to compose and post this one today.

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Time for arts and crafts, Mommies!

Have you ever wonder what activities you and your kids can do together? Try doing arts together. Kids love the cutting and tearing. Remember, always practice caution.

Today, we’ll learn how to make PAPER BUTTERFLIES.

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As a kid, I loved singing B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-Y , Butterfly (sing it 3 times)! The other mommies might be able to relate to the Butterfly song. I’m always fascinated with butterflies and how colourful butterflies are. So is my now 4-year old Little Kheila. That’s why we’d like to feature paper butterflies making in today’s blog.

Materials Needed:

  • Construction paper
  • Paste/Glue
  • Scissor/ Cutter
  • Ruler

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Step 1
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Step 2
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Step 3
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Step 4
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Step 5
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Step 6
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Step 7
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Step 8
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Step 9
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Step 10 (back view)
Step 10
Step 10

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Finished product
Finished product

Mommies, please practice caution especially when using scissors. Use it with close supervision.

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Maharlika Sports Center and Fitness Gyms Opens

Hooray! Good news to the people of Barangay Maharlika and especially to Stay-At-Home Moms like me, there’s a newly-opened Fitness Gym adjacent to the tennis court and near Maharlika Day Care Center. What’s the BEST thing about it? It’s OPEN TO EVERYONE. I can definitely add this as another reason why I want to live in this place long enough- FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD and OPEN GYM. Not that I’m an avid gym goer or health buff  however, this goes to show that the barangay officials do put efforts in bringing people together in this small community. Also, not to mention remind people to stay fit through exercise.

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This collaboration of efforts makes this community a better place. The teenagers are given the opportunity to showcase their talents through Free Basketball Clinic, friendly basketball matches and even Fun Run for a cause. This sports facility has a storage room for sports equipments and an area designated for throwing some darts. In addition, I see it as a good diversion for the younger generation.  Better to lift some weights instead of spend hours sitting in front of their computers or do not-so-good things harmful to society and one’s well-being.

I’m an MDCC parent, who sits and waits for my daughter for an hour or so, doing some twists and lift a few pounds while waiting can do wonders.  Not just kill time but it’s good for blood circulation and can be a good routine if you got nothing else to do or if you’ve finished your chores at home.

This project encourages young individuals and everyone in the community to engage in sports and keep a healthy lifestyle. We all want to see our kids excel. Sports can help them build self-confidence and self-worth. Parents should take responsibility by encouraging our children to get involved in sports and not just excel academically.

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Through the efforts of Kagawad Ronnie Valdez at ng mga kabataan ng Barangay Maharlika, this Sports Club was materialized. By the way, this is not a paid article. This is merely an acknowledgment of the efforts these people have put forth to make a difference. I don’t know about you but if anything is free it’s worth trying. Aside from getting socially engaged, we can make use of our precious time by improving our health. On our part, what we can contribute is take an extra care in the use of the equipments and keep the gym clean.

For more information on location and time of availability for use, please feel free to visit the Barangay or ask our DCWPG President, MDCC Parent and proactive Leader, Mrs.Yvette Valdez. See below photos taken during the OPENING OF MAHARLIKA SPORTS CENTER AND FITNESS GYM.

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Rest In Peace, Papa Eddieboy.

In Loving Memory - 2zxDa-2abDn - print

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions drowning me for the last month. My father passed away in a tragic death last September 15. It was followed by my uncle’s death in September 23. For days I’ve been in shock and too emotional to even describe in words the state I was in. I tried to pinch myself believing that it was all a nightmare I can awake from. It wasn’t. It was really happening and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Death. It’s a scary thought. But it’s inevitable. We all fade away from the face of the Earth. Eventually that is. However, what happened to my father was caused by someone who has so much hate in his heart. While looking at my father’s death certificate, I cringed at thought of how much suffering he had in the last few minutes before he died. He died of multiple stab wounds. I stared at it and tears started to fall. I was overcome with hatred for the murderer and pity for my Papa. No one was there to help him. My hero who I thought could always get away with anything was mercilessly taken from us. We cry for JUSTICE. To the man who killed my father, Carlo Adan Sy, may you find peace in your heart and surrender and pay for your sins. No one has the right to take away a life, no matter what your reasons are. I leave you to God to judge.

In my thoughts, as tears damped my face, I asked for forgiveness from my Papa Eddieboy. I had my shortcomings as a daughter and may have failed him in so many ways. I’m so caught up with having a family of my own that I have forgotten to even call him up just to ask how he is. For that I am so regretful.  Let this serve as a lesson for anyone reading this. Let us value the people around us for we’ll never know when they’ll be taken from us. I also thanked Papa Boy for coming to my birthday last December 2014. Although, it was a surprise and there was only a simple salu-salo, I showed him appreciation. Days after Christmas and New Year, we went to a mountain resort to celebrate togetherness. Those were the few moments we had as a family. As a whole. Those were the last moments we had him with us.

During his wake, we were overwhelmed with the love, support and thoughtfulness of people who went out of their ways to bid him goodbye. Thank you so much to everyone.

Wherever you are now Papa Boy, I hope you are now at peace with our Maker. People may not understand it and may have judged us in many ways. We are not answerable to anyone of them. I thank you for bringing us to this world. Our family was not perfect but we had moments in our lives where we were truly happy and grateful. Thank you, Papa Boy. You’re forever gone but never forgotten.

Craft Activities for your Preschooler- Paper Elephant on a Fabulous Friday!

Fascinated with elephants, my little Mikheila wanted us to make paper elephants.

While cutting out paper bands to make into an elephant parts, we make it a fun experience by identifying the parts first and making elephant sounds.

It’s very easy for your preschooler’s little hands.

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Materials needed:

  • Construction paper – 1 to 2 pieces of different colors
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

Here are 7 steps of how to make a paper elephant:

  1. Cut out paper into 4 squares and make 4 cylinders for the elephant legs. Stick them together using a glue stick. Your preschooler can help glue them together. It’s OK to make a mess.
  2. For the body, cut a paper into a rectangular shape proportion to the legs. Stick them to each side of legs forming a semi-circle.
  3. Make a bigger cylinder for the head proportion to the body size.
  4. Cut out 2 circles for the ears.
  5. Make the eyes out of 4 small circles.
  6. Make the elephant trunk out of a long rectangular paper sticking out in front of the eyes. (Use the scissors edge to curl the trunk) Please practice caution. Glue another long rectangular paper for the tail.
  7. Cut out semi-circles for the elephant’s toes.

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Let your preschooler choose what paper color to use. You can use one color or a combination of two or more to make it more attractive to kids. For our first paper elephant, we used two colors: yellow green and rose.

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Reminder: What’s important is the process, not the outcome. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

My little M learned new words like trunk, trumpet, huge and cylinders.

She gets so amazed and repeats the words I introduce to her. Do not force your kids to say the words.  Make learning fun. Act silly with them. Release that inner child in you. I did and it’s one way to relieve stress. They’ll love it if you imitate animal sounds with them!

Sabi nga sa commercial: Minsan lang sila bata, sabayan mo na.”