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December Na! How Time Flies!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

 Been a while since I posted here. So the Twerp turned 5 and will be going to big school next year. She was accepted at our first choice and there was no need to apply to other schools. Yay! 

We are both on vacation, not that we are going anywhere. Daddy only has Christmas Day and New Year off so we are staying put here in Manila. Doesn't seem like fun does it? I am looking forward to almost 3 weeks off work though and spending all that time with the Twerp. I have cooking, crafts and sports activities planned for us. 

In keeping with the simple and frugal living that I want for us, we made our Christmas tree out of leftover crepe paper. Via and I made it together. It's not great but we made it and had fun along the way including an exploding glue gun which promptly ended the activity. 

On the subject of Santa, now that she's really old enough to think for herself, I already decided to tell her that Santa is not real. I said Santa is just like Mickey Mouse. He's not real! I had thought she got the message. However.....

in school, the kids were asked to write to Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. So Via wrote:


Dear Santa, For Christmas I wish pony Reboodas. Via

I thought it was cute :)

The school had their Christmas Program at the Tektite Auditorium. Really serious business! Nobody was allowed backstage except the kids and production staff. Kids must be there at 9am while doors will open for the guests (parents) at 9:40am.

The program was a success! Why not? The audience were all parents and clapped madly after each number.The kids were their cute adorable selves, especially the nursery. And the surprise at the end? Photo op with Santa with a little something after the picture taking.



Via said to me after, "Why did Santa give me a lighting sword? I asked for Rainbow Dash." So I'm back where I started. Explain that Santa is not real.

I did buy Rainbow Dash and put on the gift tag "Merry Christmas Via, From: Santa (Daddy and Mommy). If she asks, the gift from Santa is actually from Mommy and Daddy, a bonus gift for being good all year.


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Via Likes to Cook

Sunday, September 1, 2013

She started with pancakes.

"Mommy, I want to help."

Okay, I said. You can mix the batter. 

That was the beginning. As she helped more and more, she moved on the scooping the batter into the pan. Until she helped make the pancakes from beginning to end.

From then on, she would ask to help from time to time. Measuring the ingredients or peeling garlic, even chopping using the food processor.

Like all mommies, I jumped at the chance to nurture this interest. Our Sunday activity now is making lunch together. Last Sunday, we made Spaghetti with Meatballs. She had fun up to the point where the meat needed to be mixed by hand and make meatballs. She didn't want to get her hands dirty.

Today, we made Wicked Oreos. That super dessert from Flaming Wings. It turned out quite well although there was a minor explosion while heating up the oil. Some oil landed on her arms but she was fine after we ran cold water on her arms.

Ingredients: 

Pancake mix, oreos, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream.

Prepare pancake mix as you would when making pancakes. Add the salt and baking powder. 

When you oil is really, really hot, dip one oreo in the batter, then deep fry. Add more but make sure they don't touch. When brown, scoop and place on paper towels.

When done, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Eat right away.




Yummy!

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Natural Remedies VS Modern Medicine

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Guest post by Rick MD.

On one occasion, I met a couple who were working in the health industry. I had an interesting conversation with them. Apparently, the husband works with natural remedies while his wife is a physician, but not practicing.

The husband declared that medication is poison. I replied that, to some degree, I agreed with him but that I still believe, in some cases, medication is really needed. He then challenged me to give an example where medication is needed. I cited has high fever. The patient would need medication to relieve the symptoms. No, he disagreed. High fever can be remedied by drinking plenty of water. He added that he has natural remedies for all conditions. Wow! That is interesting.

Then it was my turn to challenge him. How about HIVAIDS, I asked. He replied that he also has a remedy for that. Now this sounded like quack medicine to me. At first, I agreed with him that medication not used in the proper way is poison. But when he said he had remedies for all conditions, that is a different story. It seemed to me that he disagreed with modern medicine because it contained chemicals. I did not prolong the argument. My guess is that he has had this kind of discussion many times on many different occasions. 

Afterwards, I realized that there are many other instances where medication is really needed. I believe that the discovery of medicine itself is a blessing for the human race. A long time ago, people died from a simple wound infection. The discovery of penicillin is a blessing in treating infections. Penicillin was accidentally developed from a natural source, fungi. Finally, as a Christian, I believe that medicines are blessings from Above.

However, the use of the medication is often abused by people. Heroin can be very useful for those severe pain or those who have had a surgical procedure. There are those, however, that use it as a recreational drug.

Yes, all chemicals foreign to our body have side effects. I do not deny it. That is why it is very important to discuss the cost and benefit of medication prescribed by your physician. Never use medication without the supervision of your physician.

Nowadays, many people claim that they can treat all kinds of diseases in this world with natural remedies. Diabetes can be fully treated. Cancer is not a problem anymore. It is surprising that many people choose these alternative treatments. One of the main reasons could be that modern medicine itself admitted that it cannot cure all diseases. As is human nature, we try to seek an alternative.

At the end of our conversation, he said that modern medicine is needed in emergency situations but not for daily use. At last we found a common ground. I agreed with his statement. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke, heart attack are due to unhealthy lifestyle. Natural remedies can be used to prevent them. Water, grains, vegetables are actually some of the natural remedies that we found in our daily life in combination with a healthy and active lifestyle.






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Dr. Kong Comfort and Healthy Shoes

Monday, July 29, 2013

I noticed for a while now that my daughter's feet turns inward (in-toeing or pigeon toed) when she walks. Pike kumbaga. When she learned to run, I was afraid that she would trip on her own feet because it was bent almost 45 degrees inwards.

Last week we were at Via's pedia for another health complaint. I mentioned that I was concerned with her feet and that maybe she needs corrective shoes. Her pedia said it looked like Via was flatfooted but that it's better to consult with an orthopedic doctor. We did. After looking at the x-ray, the ortho doctor said there was nothing wrong anatomically. That she would grow out of it.

To help her along, I decided to check out the shoes that Via's pedia recommended, Dr. Kong. Yesterday we went to Dr. Kong shoe store in Robinson's Galleria. I was surprised to see that they carry adult shoes too. They also had a machine to examine the feet. I let Via shoes which shoes she like so she's sure to wear them. I also tried on a slip on that caught my attention. It felt AMAZING! I never wear heels and always buy Naturalizer or Aerosoles because I have big feet (size 9) but very slim.

I did not intend to buy shoes myself but I just could not pass it up. I've never felt so comfortable. It fit like a glove. I also had my feet examined. Kids feet may be examined at 6 years old. Dr. Kong shoes are advisable for kids so their feet are healthy and well-formed. 

The bones in my feet were normal although turned outwards a little but I was not flatfooted. In any case, I'm sold on Dr. Kong shoes. I will buy Via's school shoes here and my office shoes since I saw a few pumps on display.

We visited Dr. Kong shoes branch in Robinson's Galleria, 3rd Level (Jumpstreet).

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Learning Social Skills

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Like mother, like daughter as some people say. No, Via is not like Mommy. At least not when we talk about social situations. I was very shy growing up. Still am although being an adult requires me to put shyness aside in many situations especially now that I have a daughter. 

Knowing this about myself, I set about exposing Via socially as early as possible, as much as possible. I enrolled her in pre-school at 3 years old, more for the interaction with other kids than academics. We also never fail to attend Sabbath School and join every activity there is. I think I succeeded. 

It helps too that Daddy is good in social situations. I've seen him talk to people from all sorts of backgrounds, from the working class to lawyers, business people etc. He always knew what to talk about with them. I'm amazed at the range of subjects he knows. He can talk politics, religion, current events, entertainment, sports, etcetera. I think she inherited that gene from Daddy. Social skills.

Like Daddy, Via chats with the security guards in our building, with the expat Mommy at my office, with my expat boss and with other children of different nationalities. Always with confidence. None of my trepidation and second guessing myself whether that was a good topic or not.

I saw just how confident she was yesterday. We had lunch and spent the afternoon at her Sabbath School friend Adi's place yesterday. It was Adi's birthday. LJ, another Sabbath School friend, and her mom were also invited. They could have played all night if we didn't put a stop to it at around 7pm.

As we were leaving Adi's unit, there was a boy about 6 years old biking in the corridor. His name was Pom Pom and he was Adi's playmate. So they played a bit with him, running behind the bike. After a couple of minutes, we had to go and started down the stairs. The girls waved goodbye to Pom Pom.

Via called out from the stairs, "Bye Pom Pom. My name is Kristie. You can remember my name" and Pom Pom said, "Bye Kristie."

I won't have to worry about Via handling herself socially but maybe we have to teach her to temper it a little bit.

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Cronuts!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Yesterday my friend Becky called up Wildflour at the Podium to reserve cronuts. She went a couple of times to buy those cronuts but they were always sold out. When she called to inquire if today, that is, yesterday, they had some left, she was told to just reserve and pick it up the next day. So she did and she told me about it right after she hung up the phone.

I also wanted to try it. It's all the rage in New York. Croissant donuts, hence cronuts! I called Wildflour right away to reserve for myself. I was sure Via would love it because she absolutely loves croissant.

Here it is!



Wildflour: Hello! Good afternoon, Wildflour.

Me: Hello! I want to reserve cronuts para bukas. Pwede daw pala mag pa reserve.

Wildflour: Ay sorry Mam, hindi na kami tumatanggap ng reservation.

Me: Pero kakatawag lang ng friend ko. Now lang! Nakapagpareserve sya!

Wildflour: Sino Mam, si Becky? Last na po yun. Kung gusto nyo punta na lang kayo dito para mag reserve.

Me: Ha?! Bat ganun? Ganito na lang. Idagdag mo na lang sa order ni Becky yun order ko. Pwede?

Wildflour: Sige Mam. Ano po ang order nyo?

Me: Anong flavors meron?

Wildflour: Strawberry, vanilla at chocolate.

Me: Sige, tatlong chocolate. Magkano pala isa?

Wildflour: P120 po. Tatlong chocolate cronuts. Okay na Mam.

Me: Thank you!

Whew! So today we had lunch at Wildflour, Podium to pick up our cronuts. I had the set meal: tomato soup, caesar salad and grilled cheese sandwich for P395. The tomato soup was super. I loved it. Grilled cheese was okay. No photo. I forgot. So hungry.


The cronuts was super by the way. The creme filling made it special. Next time I'll get strawberry. I want to try all the yummy pastries but one at a time. The calories are a killer. I did a search on cronuts and couldn't find one. I guess because it just came out. There was one, Pillsbury cronut mix and it was 1,216 calories for one cronut. I can believe it!





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Kinder First Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I took Via to school today because it's her first day. She's in Kinder class this year. The streets were wet because it had been raining the night before. 

Via goes to school nearby so she just walks to school. We paused to take a picture before leaving.





The she started walking very briskly ahead of us. She couldn't wait to get to school and play on the playground.




When we got to the school, I wanted to take another picture. She was very impatient to get inside so this is what her picture looks like.

She didn't seem overly excited the day before but when she got to school, she lost no time in playing and getting re-acquainted with her teachers and classmates. She seemed pretty popular because I hear a lot of Via! Welcome back! Hello Via! Hi Via! When it was time to go in the classroom, she just grabbed her lunch box and ran inside. She forgot to say goodbye in her excitement.



A nice touch from the school administrators is the apple for the parents who took their kid/s to school today.

I had my healthy snack for the day :)






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HB Tale: Gutom na ko!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I went out to the mall to buy a stove during my lunch break today. Our stove died last night. I decided to buy the stove quickly before having my lunch. I was done in about thirty minutes, even stopping by the grocery to pick up strawberries, lettuce and my favorite mint chocolate chip mochi to eat after my lunch.

By the time I got to the cafeteria, I was really hungry. I went to get a sandwich instead of sitting down there to eat a meal. I saw a big crowd waiting around the sandwich counter. Since I hadn't decided what sandwich to get, I let the guy behind me go first. While he was ordering, I settled on a mushroom burger. I was ready and waiting for my turn.

The cashier seemed to be familiar with the guy and greeted him by name. After he finished ordering and paying, he asked the cashier where the J. Co donut stand was.

Guy: Nasan na pala yung J. Co?

Cashier: Wala na Sir.

Guy: Bakit?

Cashier: One week lang yun Sir.

Guy: Hindi na sila babalik?

By this time I couldn't stand it anymore. In my mind, he could have stepped aside while continuing the conversation to let me order therefore going one step closer to filling my stomach.

Before the cashier could reply, I interrupted and said, "Isang mushroom burger and half fries!" I half shouted.

If I wasn't super hungry maybe I could have been more patient. But it was lunchtime and I was obviously hungry. Not only me but other people waiting in line too. He should have been more aware of the other people waiting instead of taking his time chatting.

This guy was not staff and the pa cute at english-taglish speaking type of male that I abhor. One of my many pet peeves.

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Those Unforgettable Moments

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First time I sampled Ate Annie's cooking. This actually inspired this post. I don't remember what brought me to Becky's house that day for lunch. What I remember is that I just learned I was 10 weeks pregnant a couple weeks back. It was totally unexpected. P panicked. I panicked. When we calmed down, he wanted to go on a vacation to Jakarta to see his bestfriend. He said I can follow two days after but that he wanted 2 days with his friend. Fine with me. 

It was the day before I was leaving for Jakarta that I had lunch at Becky's house. I was very hungry. They had just finished lunch and had a lot leftover so a plate was set for me. I started eating and could not stop until I ate everything in sight. I could not believe it! I'm usually reserved the first time I meet someone because I'm very shy. Ate Annie noticed and told Becky that she should have cooked more rice like she asked but Bex had said the rice was enough. Well, I said in my mind, "it's wasn't enough for me! I'm still hungry and want to eat some more!" What was the food? Adobong clams and adobong pusit!

I realized my crush was really dumb! Come to think of it, I should have known earlier because he was always in the last section. Duh! It was in sixth grade. Their Reading teacher was absent so their class was joined with ours. A story is usually read out loud in Reading class. Every paragraph is read by a different student so that most of the class get a chance to read. When Ariel was called, I sat up straight to give him my full attention. Then....he stumbled on a word. The word was "dimmed" which he read as "dim-eyed" after stuttering a bit. I felt instantly deflated and disappointed. It's not even a big word. Still, he's in my fond memories. He was my BIG elementary crush.

P moments when we had just met. There were a lot but I'll include only these two. Playing badminton with H and G. We won and he was so jubilant he gave me a quick hug like we had just won a super series tournament. Another time, while waiting for our badminton game in the queue, he was asked to play a men's doubles game with these good players. He was a very good badminton player and all the good players wanted to play with him. While this men's doubles game was still ongoing, our turn was called from the queue. Someone else was asked to partner with me to substitute for him. When he saw that, he abruptly left the men's doubles mid game and joined me on the court. He told the other guy to continue the men's doubles game that he left.

My first trip abroad. It was to the US. I was very excited I hardly noticed the 16 hour trip. I saw places I only saw in the movies most notably Lombard Street, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco; Grauman's Chinese Theater and Beverly Hills in LA; Disneyland; whale watching in Monterrey; Hearst Castle; Times Square, the Empire State Bldg, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Serendipity and FAO Schwartz in NYC; and Snoopy's hometown in Minnesota.

Photos of Settha Palace Hotel - Hotel Images
Courtesy of TripAdvisor
My first mission (business trip). It was to Laos. I traveled on business class and stayed at the charming Settha Palace in Vientienne. I was picked up from the airport by the hotel's London Taxi Limousine. On my stopover in Bangkok going to Laos, I stayed at Amari Hotel which was connected to the old international airport at Don Muang. I still managed to get lost on my way to the hotel. On return, I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ploenchit to be near the shopping places. I literally shopped till I dropped.  MBK is the best!  It was my first time to travel and explore another country (or two) by myself. It was exciting and my obsession with having maps helped a lot. The key to traveling abroad!

The moment I saw two lines. I bought a home pregnancy kit upon the urging of my friends when I mentioned at lunchtime that I had not had my period for 2 months. They said get a pregnancy test from the office pharmacy. I told them, don't be ridiculous. It's probably menopause. Still, I bought a pregnancy test right after lunch. I waited until my boss was in a meeting then did the test. The lines were very clear. Two dark pink lines showed. There was no question about it.

The day my Mom and I bought my school bag. It was a very special bag for a first grader. It looked like a trunk with wheels and a key. Back in 1972, I would guess it cost a small fortune but I wanted it so much and my Mom obliged. You could sort of tell I was a spoiled brat. We bought the bag in National Bookstore in Recto. There was a typhoon that day and still we went out to buy it. It was hard to find a taxi to get home. Eventually, we took a kalesa. It was the only ride that could go through the flood. I still vividly remember holding out my arms to reach for my school bag after getting off the kalesa.

Moving to our own home. I was so excited to have my own bedroom. I stayed up all night putting my things in place. I was very happy that my Mom made sure I had enough shelves for my books and a big mirror on my dresser. I have fond memories watering the plants, cutting the grass and planting bulbs. The garden was big and it was very cool and relaxing. We had ivy all around. 

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I Believe

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From the Twerp's favorite TinkerBell movie, so fresh and full of hope. I love it!

F

How To Believe

From "Tinker Bell"
Performed by Ruby Summer

Hold my hand and fly
Never say goodbye
Across the open sky
Leave the world behind
I will be alright if you stay by my side

Spring and summer
Love and laughter
We'll live happily ever after
We'll fly higher than we thought we'd be
Because you've shown me how to believe

Tiny shining star
I know who you are
You're never very far
We'll never be apart
Sparkle in my eye
Light the sky tonight

Spring and summer
Love and laughter
We'll live happily ever after
We'll fly higher than we thought we'd be
Because you've shown me how to believe
In me
You've shown me how
How to believe

Fall and winter
Love and laughter
We'll live happily ever after
We'll fly higher than we thought we'd be
Because you've shown me how to believe

Hold my hand and fly Never say goodbye


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Jakarta Visit: Dufan (Dunia Fantasi)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dufan is a theme park in Jakarta, Indonesia's version of Disneyland, located in Ancol. P said the entrance is overpriced at Rp. 150,000 (about P700) because there's nothing special that makes it stand out. We enjoyed it just the same. Building family memories for Via.

We took a taxi to get there instead of taking P's motorbike. He said he's tired of having to navigate through Jakarta's traffic. Buti naman! We got there around 10am and it was already hot. There was a line at the entrance but not too much. It's Wednesday after all. There seemed to be a lot of groups from school. Via was free....only just. Sometimes short is an advantage but when it comes to getting on the rides, it's a disadvantage.

The first ride we saw was the carousel. Via loves the carousel and of course asked to try it. She got on a horse while P and I sat on this bench behind her. Next up was the Bianglala (ferris wheel). There was a bit of  a line. The view was nice on top. Ancol is by the beach and I was hoping to take a walk there later. Then we went on the kiddie roller coaster.




At lunchtime, we went to McDonald's because it was airconditioned but it was FULL. Most places were full or had long lines. We ended up at Planet Baso. It was empty probably because it was outdoors and served hot noodles. When we finished our lunch, Via wanted to go on the flying elephants.




P said he'd wait for us. Call him if we're done. Well I did and he was out of coverage area. Via wanted to try the bubble on the lake next so we walked around looking for it. I kept calling P too and couldn't get through. I was getting pissed. It was very hot and we couldn't find the bubble thingy.

We got to a map of Dufan and I tried to find the Bianglala, the only word I recognized. It wasn't on the map. I didn't recognize anything on the map. Chod! I'm nearsighted so I don't often wear sunglasses but today, because of the heat, I wore sunglasses. Malabo na mata ko, dumilim pa. Wala na ako makita!



We kept on walking and eventually stumbled on to the bubble thing. Then I felt the phone vibrate. It was P. I told him where we were.

The bubble thing wasn't free. It was operated by a third party therefore we had to pay. I had no money so we sat down to wait for P. He came along a few minutes later with food from McDonald's. Gutom pa pala sya! He paid for the bubble ride so we can get started.



After the bubble ride, P and Via ate. I was still full from the noodles because I ate Via's leftover. Via was looking for a spoon and fork but there was none. I realized why P always washed hands before eating. Most  people there ate with their hands even in restaurants. You had to ask for the spoon and fork.



We spent the rest of the day on the rides and watching a Temple of Doom type of show. I didn't understand a thing but it was easy to follow. We were on our way out when we saw the like a wild west town. We almost missed it. It had a house of mirrors, a tilting house and others. We went in the tilt house 3 times. It was fun although Via got mad at me for taking too many photos while she was hanging onto the rails of the crazy, tilting house. Stop taking pictures Mommy!





It was sundown when we left and there were no more taxis. It was a long walk out of the park but we didn't have a choice. In fact, we walked all the way to Mangga Dua. It was nice. We walked by a wide canal that felt like we were in Europe.  We bought food at the convenience store before getting a cab back to the hotel.

The good thing about Dufan is that it's within the city unlike Enchanted Kingdom. We were stranded without a cab coming in but we were able to walk to where we could get a ride.

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Do It and Do It Well

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I'm at a point in my career where I see very limited chances for promotion. It's just the way it happened with the choices I made. I see my contemporaries passing me by and it makes me feel left behind. The thing is, the place I'm in right now is perfect for me. It's 8-5 with not much work left over at the end of the day. I don't have to work overtime. Only during our peak season for about 2 months and even then, it's not like the overtime I used to do when I was in operations. But I just can't help feeling envious sometimes when I hear of a friend being promoted.

I try to put myself in her place, in the position to which she has been promoted to. Having to travel on business minimum of a week every month or two. One time her business trip lasted a month. I don't want that! I don't want to travel at all and leave Via even for a day. My priority is being in her life daily as much as I can. I can't be a stay at home Mom so I try to limit my time at work to 8-5. Except for the days I play badminton or occasionally go out with my friends (I have to have a life too), I am always with Via. I don't hover. I let her fall down, get her knees scratched, and make mistakes. But I let her know I'm there and that I always have time for her. I always keep this quote in mind:



Being in a department with not much pressure has led me to be "relaxed" with my work. When I first joined the company, I dotted every Is and crossed every T. My files were in order no matter how toxic the day was. They were perfectly tabbed and labelled. You won't see piles of paper waiting to be filed. Now? Not so much. In fact, I don't even do things right away even if they're urgent. I've lost the sense of urgency and the sense of pride in a job well done.

When I was in Jakarta at Kidzania, we bought souvenirs to take home to Via's Sabbath school friends. Three pens. One for Via and one each for Adi and LJ. It was the kind that had many colors. In fact it had eight colors and a mechanical pencil.



What struck me was that the saleslady checked each color of the three pens to see that they were working. That would be 24 colors and 3 mechnical pencils. I almost stopped her to say that's okay. You don't have to check it all. They're just pens. 

But then I realized, she took pride in her work and in a job well done. It made me think about my attitude towards my work. How I don't give it my best anymore despite being paid very well because I keep thinking, it's administrative work. It's nothing important. 

As it says in the bible:

The Bible knows nothing of a hierarchy of labor. No work is degrading. If it ought to be done, then it is good work.

To rejoice in his labor, this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

I resolve to do better. Regain the enthusiasm and conscientiousness I used to have for my work. To do my best in anything I do, no matter how trivial I think it is.

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Jakarta Visit: Off to Kidzania

Friday, June 7, 2013

We woke up late because we slept at around 3am. Today P said we'd go to Kidzania in Pacific Place mall. I was excited for Via. Info on Kidzania from the website* below.

I made coffee for me, Milo for P and Via, and ate bread then we were off at around 9am. We went down to the lobby and waited while P was checking Google maps on his mobile. Bat kaya check pa sya ng map e madalas naman sya sa Pacific Place. Alam naman nya puntahan yun.

After a few minutes he stood up and headed for the elevator going to the basement. Hmmmm....bat kami bababa....nag rent kaya sya ng car? At the basement he kept on walking and walking until we reached..........motorsiklo? Oo nga pala! Sabi nya bumili sya ng motorsiklo! Shucks! Magmomotorsiklo kami?! 

As P handed me the helmet and hoisted Via onto the seat behind him, I was debating furiously in my head whether to refuse to get on and take a taxi instead. I put on the helmet and mounted the motorbike in super slow motion. I took my time getting settled with Via snugly between P and me. Then I said, okay. Go slow. Take the side streets. As soon as I said that, he zoomed up the ramp and joined the heavy traffic on Jl. Mangga Besar, a busy  main road. *Sigh* I was so tense. I could not relax at all unlike Via who was enjoying the ride. "I like Daddy's motorbike!"

After what seemed like eternity (in fact about 45 minutes), P stopped and said to take a picture. That is Monas, the national monument. Oh! It looked a lot like QC Circle but bigger. So Via and I got off and took photos. Then we were off again for another 45 minutes it seemed like.

I like the area where Pacific Place mall is located in Sudirman Central Business District. It reminded me of Makati. I wanted to take photos of the surrounding area but P said no. It's not allowed since the bombings some years back. Hmmm....e bakit nya kami pina picture sa Monas? I guess tourist attractions don't count. P said there were no parking for motorbikes inside the mall but there was one outside strictly for motorbikes (three levels it looked like) which is where we parked.


Then we crossed the street toward Pacific Place. It's a high end mall with only the likes of Hérmes, Hugo Boss, Bvlgari, luxury cars, etc. having shops there. Kidzania was on the top floor. We went there to check how much the entrance fee is and the schedule before having lunch. Daddy asked if they spoke English there because Via did not speak or understand Bahasa and neither did I. Yes, they did. It would be a problem otherwise.




For 4-16 year olds, Monday-Thursday, it's Rp. 130,000, roughly P600. That would be P1,200 because adult companion will also have to pay an entrance fee. Daddy said he would wait somewhere in the mall. We had lunch at Wendy's.



Then back to Kidzania we went. After paying the entrance fee, Via was given a check for 50,000 Kidzos. Daddy gave me his other mobile to call him when we were done. Once inside, we went to the bank (BCA) to cash Via's check. We had four hours to spend at Kidzania because they closed at 4pm on weekdays. It was not enough time. Each job or entertainment or activity was approximately 20 minutes. There was a limit of 6-10 participants depending on the establishment. There were a lot of school age kids in groups from schools. P said that it was not a busy day as it was a weekday and a Monday at that. Still we had to wait sometimes especially at the Modeling School. Via did not want to leave even if it took 35 minutes wait.




Via enjoyed Kidzania that she wanted to return another day. One day would not be enough to do everything.  Maybe next time we're in Jakarta.

We got caught in the rush hour going back to Swissbel. If I was not relaxed on the way there, getting back was an ordeal. I video'd it a little bit to show my friend Becky :)

We were very tired when we got to Swissbel. After resting a little bit, we went out to have dinner at a nearby eatery again on the motorbike.
Pepes

Char Kway Teow

Nasi Goreng 

Dead tired that night, we all slept soundly.

*KidZania provides children and their parents a safe, unique, and very realistic educational environment that allows kids between the ages of four to twelve to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking traditionally adult activities. As in the real world, children perform "jobs" and are either paid for their work (as a fireman, doctor, police officer, journalist, shopkeeper, etc.) or pay to shop or to be entertained. The indoor theme park is a city built to scale for children, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and recognizable destinations in the form of "establishments" sponsored and branded by leading multi-national and local brands.


From police officer to dentist to restaurateur, each KidZania offers nearly 100 role-playing activities in more than 60 establishments with a range of difficulty to meet the abilities and interests of every child. Kids work to earn kidZos, KidZania's own currency, so they can pay for goods and services in the KidZania city. KidZania is a complete city with a hospital, fire station, beauty salon, bank, radio station, supermarket, television station, pizzeria, theater, and much more. At two-thirds their actual size, all facilities are designed to be 'just right' for children. Kids pick an occupation, learn about their job, don a uniform, and start EARNING AND SPENDING KIDZOS...and having fun!


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Visiting Daddy in Jakarta

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Via and I got back last Monday from visiting Daddy in Jakarta. It was a long-awaited trip for us, especially for me, ever since I booked the tickets that meant we were officially going!

I borrowed luggage from Becky since mine was a small carry-on. Our Cebu Pacific flight to Jakarta was at 9:30pm. We got to the airport very early, well didn't turn out to be early. It was pouring rain that afternoon. Hard to get a taxi. Good thing the guard was good enough to flag one for us. Then, since it was raining hard, traffic to Terminal 3 was very bad. Still we got to the airport before 6pm. 

After paying the travel tax, 50% only for Via, we checked in. I did a web check in the night before so we didn't have to wait long to check in. Then we went to eat because I didn't want to get hungry on the flight and be forced to buy the expensive food. Takot ako magutom eh! I was looking for Max's because Via always eats chicken at restaurants. At home always fish and veggies. Good balance no?

Walang Max's! We ended up in Kenny Rogers. Okay na din. After eating, we went through immigration and looked around the shops at Terminal 3. Lots of time to kill. The flight ended up delayed one hour. Hay. Cebu Pacific. That's why I prefer PAL. This is only my second time to fly Cebu Pacific.  

Flight was uneventful. Via loves take offs. She was impatient for the seatbelt sign to be off so she could draw.


We arrived in Jakarta around 1:30am. Took a while to get our suitcase from the carousel because we checked in early, I guess our suitcase went in first and came out last. Soekarno-Hatta Airport at that time of night was deserted. I was afraid P wasn't there. I didn't see anyone. I remember Becky asking me if P would pick us up (or was it Pearl). P and I did not talk about him meeting us at the airport. I assumed he would pick us up of course. I can almost hear Becky saying, "Marie! Dapat pinaguusapan yun para sigurado!"

Then he came out from behind a big post. He was hiding! He picked Via up and hugged her and started walking away leaving me we the suitcase! Hmp! Then, I guess he suddenly remembered me. Put down Via gave me a kiss and hug and took the suitcase.

We took a Bluebird taxi. Always Bluebird if you're in Jakarta. Now there's also White Horse. So these two taxi cabs are reliable. The others, you will have to take your chances.

We went to Swissbel Hotel where he said he'd book us the whole week. P is not sweet or demonstrative with his affections. But you will know he cares because of the things he does. When we got to the hotel he showed us the mini ref where he already put in juices and Yakult for Via. He bought food and snacks. There was my favorite Martabak with Cheese filling (he's already eaten half of it though....hahaha). He bought sunscreen and whitening lotion for us.

The room had twin beds. I took one bed and P and Via the other bed. After Via was asleep, P joined me on the other bed. I was worried Via would roll off the bed but P said she'll be okay. Big girl na sya! P had both beds joined the next day instead of us moving to another room that had one big bed. Moving would have been a hassle.

It was almost 3am. We were all sleepy and exhausted. We fell asleep soon after.

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Free from Blogging Bondage

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Photo from www.sherbetblossom.com
I started blogging to earn a little extra money. I did but it was a lot of work. Two years after getting my own domain, I'm ready to give it up. It's just not worth the effort of posting every week even when I didn't have anything to post. I ended up with nothing posts or stiff writing.

Not only that, the blog needs to be promoted and to do that, I had to visit and comment on other blogs to generate traffic. It's okay with blogs that I genuinely liked to read but it was an ordeal to come up with a comment for blogs I could not relate to. There was a blog with Haiku week after week after week. I'm not a poetry kinda person. I like to read but Haiku? Good thing there were pictures and that's what I commented on.

So, I migrated everything back to blogger so I don't have to pay for my own domain anymore. I will continue to blog but at my own pace and only when I really have something to say. It will be like a diary as opposed to a blog. I think it will be mostly ready by family and friends which is okay. I would like my daughter to read it too when she's grown up. So, I am deleting all posts that are not related to my family or our direct experiences and I will be editing what's left to make it more "me", when I have time.

I will still visit blogs that really interest me and join comment exchanges from time to time but no pressure to keep up the traffic. I wasn't able to visit much of these blogs I liked because new posts wouldn't show up on the sidebar of Wordpress. I don't know why. Now that I'm back on Blogger, I can see when new posts are up.

I already feel lighter and free!

Freedom!

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Kids in Stripes at Fridays

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thank you Becky for sponsoring the Twerp's stint in Fridays. It's P1,000 for four days that included a T-shirt, meals and snacks, and unlimited iced tea (she knows she's not allowed but took advantage of the opportunity!) or lemonade. Sobrang sulit!

When Bex and I passed by Fridays and saw the posted for "Kids in Stripes", we were told slots were limited and we should enroll her as soon as possible. I think about two per week.

For Via's batch in mid May, I counted 8 kids. Ang dami siguro gusto mag enroll that they gave in and accepted everyone.

She met new friends, did artwork, "cooking" in the kitchen which was in fact making their own lemonade drinks, oreo's and milk, helping serve drinks and food, and give menus. Via broken plate pero okay lang daw. For their "graduation" the had a song and dance number that they did outside the restaurant so shoppers in the mall could watch. The Twerp loved it!

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Via enjoyed Kids in Stripes at Fridays. She was the youngest at 4 and got the "Mona Lisa Smile" award for always smiling. 

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Mother's Day with the Twerp

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not that we really celebrate Mother's Day. Even when I was a kid, we never did. What Via and I did was make breakfast together.

Via and I watched a video of Dr. Maya Adam from my Child Nutrition course at Coursera.org. It showed Dr. Maya Adam making breakfast with her two-year old son. I think it was called Egg in a Hole. She said, "Mommy, let's make this for breakfast."  And so we did on Mother's Day.

What you need:

Big, thick bread; 1 egg; Butter; Salt and pepper to taste

The how:

Cut a hole in the middle of the bread big enough for the egg to fit in. Heat up 1 tablespoon of butter in  a pan. Add the bread. Break the egg in the bread hole. Wait until the egg solidifies a bit then turn it over. Once the egg is dry, remove from the pan. Enjoy with your little one. Sarap!

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After our breakfast, we got ready to attend my nephew Dwight's binyag. We reconnected with Titas and Titos and other relatives. We only see our relatives during "big" events like baptisms, deaths, weddings, etc. I should really make an effort to see them more. 

Our relatives marveled at how unlike me she is. I was a painfully shy kid who stayed in one corner and prayed nobody would notice me or talk to me. Via, on the other hand, was dancing all over the place and talked to everyone who said hello to her.  I say it's good for her.

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When we went home, Via wanted to go biking which we did. After biking, she wanted to go swimming and we did. We had a full day and went to bed early, tired but happy.

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Summer Camp Again!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I was eager for Via to join summer camp again this year. It will be her second. She's going knowing that two of the friends she made at last year's summer camp will also be there which added to the excitement. The 3 of them became best friends. The summer camp is organized by our church and will be at La Vista Resort in Pansol, Laguna.

This year there were 6 from the Kinder Sabbath School. Activities this year were all indoors: arts and crafts, bible lessons and games. There was a game of stepping on a newspaper. Our team was made up of mommies and their kids, 5 kids and 5 moms. We all had to fit on the newspaper as it got smaller and smaller.  We won! We carried our kids on our backs and shoulders to fit unlike the other teams with bigger kids.

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After the camp activities were done, kids were allowed to go swimming, visit the zoo and the playground. Via couldn't get enough of the playground especially because it had a castle where she pretended to be Rapunzel.


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It was a great weekend for us and we will surely join next year.

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