Workin’ Wednesdays | Taking Time To Learn



If we open our mind to life, we find that there is always something that we can learn.

I’m an avid fan of learning. I am a big believer that in everything, there is always something new to learn. With the clutter though, that we find in the busy rounds of our daily lives, it takes much focus and attention to allow that insightful learning into your life. This is why I am thankful that in today’s business trends, there are emerging entities that offer creatively organized learning opportunities for people like me.

My main calling is to raise a family. I am blessed to be in business too. As my days as a mother and wife are filled with family-related stuff, it is also important that I give time to nurture the work I am blessed with and to mentor the people who work with me. Every now and then, I find specific workshops and forums that fit into the work life and homelife that I lead.

work table edited

Over the past year, I have attended light and fun learning get togethers on mobile photography, creative writing, blogging basics and forums on mothering. There have also been more formal learning opportunities when I took on tax classes, lessons on understanding your financial statements, records keeping and data management — the typical business topics but presented in a not-so-typical manner. Speakers and lecturers in today’s workshops have found ways of delivering the message in an approach that is friendlier and easier to understand. I also love that in the small classes that I participate in , I can ask questions and express myself in the context of my actual experience and where I need help the most. Formal learning opportunities today are no longer confined to the traditional educational institutions or only to the most known, relatively large scale training and consultancy companies. Today, the world is blessed with creative individuals who care enough to share what they know. We share the world with small but innovative entrepreneurs who take time to create learning encounters that can help someone in search of answers to his daily questions.

If there’s one thing social media has really given me, it has been able to provide me with some of the most helpful links to individuals and entities that help me nurture the life-long learner in me.

Go ahead and explore! There’s always a learning opportunity for you somewhere near you, for sure.



Thoughtful Thursdays | My Soccer Mom Story, So Far

I'd rather be on the field

I think I have been to more than a hundred soccer games of my son. He started at 6, he is now 9. It’s been over three years of football.

I remember the first time I realized that he had the passion for the sport. He would rise up really early, bring his ball to the field with his unbranded spikes and just kick some goals. Everyday, he would do that. We would have visitors over who knew a thing or two about soccer. He would bug them until they indulged in playing with him. Most of them said, your son can play. Then, I saw him watching football videos on YouTube, reading about the game and googling the sports’ most famous players. He even did origami characters and paper goals on a board that improvised as a field and played with the characters on his own. He informally joined the neighborhood football group. I remember not knowing anything about watching the sport. I could not get how players kept running around kicking a ball endlessly which seemed so easy to shoot. I didn’t get then why a team’s score was as low as one or zero. As he joined small tournaments, the beauty of soccer as a sport unraveled before my eyes and I saw myself cheering the children on, enjoying every moment. I saw my son embrace the game. I saw him forget the whole world as he played. It was then that I knew the sports was here to stay in our lives.

soccer post 2

He went onto playing for school tournaments and the young professional league. Every season was an experience for him. Every time, I was there. There were a lot of highs. And a lot of heartbreak too. The medals and trophies were at first exciting for him until I saw him shrug off the tangible awards. Today, he dissects each game with who did his best, who made some mistakes and how his coach handled him and the team. He asks questions like, “Did you think I played well today?” or “Did I contribute to the team?” Sometimes, he would tell me off guard after a day of a soccer game, “I didn’t make that penalty shot Mom. I still feel so bad.” He looks up at the best players in his group, mentally taking in their strengths and weaknesses. I knew he was on fire.

soccer post 1

So I pushed harder. I pressed myself on how to support him, how to make things better for him.

And then he almost lost it. I saw him play without a heart, restless and weak. He was not at his worst but I knew he was not who I saw. The player I saw on the field, I knew it was not my son. While a lot of things contributed to how he performed, I knew his parents played a part in it too. I saw other parents, pushing hard like I was. I didn’t like them. It made me sad seeing their kids conscious and afraid. It was time to stop pushing. While I acknowledge that there were changes that had to be made with the coach or the team, it was time to just let him play, just like how this beautiful thing started.

So I sealed my lips, took a step back and just let him be. He was good at something he loves. He knows the game. He has a good coach now. He is happy just playing. What else do I need to do, I realized. Then, I made the resolve to go back where I started. I just want to be there for him, win or lose, failure or success. To take his hand when needed and to let it go when I must.

soccer post 3

The best and worst of who he is…I saw on the field. In the green, grassy field, I watch him give his best. I watch him cry his hardest. I see him smile and laugh at his happiest. And oh, seeing that happiness just gives me unspeakable happiness too! My soccer mom journey is not over, I know. What a happy journey it is! As a bonus, I have found such fun and nurturing soccer parents that have become our friends! As my son treads the path, my role as a parent evolves. It is with faith and love that I carry on the roles needed. I have always believed that sports…it builds character. I used to think this is true only for the athletes. Now, I realize that sports builds and strengthens the parent’s character as well.

He saw this photo below. He pointed it out to me and he said, “Mom, I really love this picture.” I looked at it. There it was. Kids playing. Calm. Peaceful. Left on their own. Just playing with heart and so much joy.

soccer on the beach

Some helpful links for the athlete’s parent:
The Ten Commandments of Parents of Athletic Children
What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent — and What Makes a Great One

Family Fridays| It’s Not Just a Haircut 

yani haircut

How do you treat a haircut? Is it just a chore to get done and over with or a pampering moment where you surrender yourself wholely to expert hands?

It’s usually a chore for me. Being a busy bee, it means going to the barber or salon to make sure the children comply with the school’s prescribed haircut. My husband, being in the military does his routine haircut for compliance.

haircut 1

A week ago, it was different for us. Having all family members finally complete, the dad said, “Let’s go to the salon.” The little one was raring to go because it’s school break and he’s allowed to get his Cristiano Ronaldo haircut. For the girls, a salon visit is always a welcome treat. For me, it’s a lucky day! I’m sure my hair agrees.

haircut 2

It was not just another haircut. It was a lovely, family experience. Here’s a list of why it was such.

  1. Our favorite hairstylist named Charles still worked with the salon. After almost a year of not going to him as a family, he gushed at how the kids have grown. I looked at the kids and yes, we’re nearly all adults! The banter with Charles and the Bench Fix crew was light and lovely.
  2. Constancio the Dad, who always entrusts his cut to his personal, official barber watched over and lingered lovingly to just look at his kids. I could see how he is proud of his genes. His presence…just priceless.
  3. In the same way, it took years for the kids to be with their dad once again in a haircut occasion. I know they are quite grateful at how their parents go out of their way to be with them in such a simple activity…especially the littlest one. I remember when we first brought them for their baby haircut and now, we bring them still to supervise the haircut of their choice that would suit their personality.
  4. It was fun for me to watch how my teenagers could not get enough of mirrors! A lot of narcissistic love in there! I was laughing inside.
  5. From time to time, they would glance at me and ask, Is the cut ok? Bagay ba? Questions that are so simple yet to me, they mean that my opinion still counts. Thank heavens for that.
  6. Personally, after my haircut, it felt as if my entire head could breathe again! I literally felt lighter.

I wonder when the next haircut experience will be.

Madrasta Mondays | A Stepmom, A Stepdaughter and a Cinderella Movie. 


Who loves a Cinderella movie? Everyone apparently.

How about a stepmom? Does a madrasta love a Cinderella movie?

Weeks ago, we watched the most recent Disney version of Cinderella. I’ve always loved it as a child and as a girl. There’s always a little girl in every woman. No wonder I love it still. But for the first time, I’ve seen the story through a stepmother’s eyes. Let me tell you a little about the experience.

I’ve always loved how stepmoms are portrayed — grand, beautiful, glamorous and smart. Did you notice how they portray their grand entrance? Never did you see a wicked stepmother being wimpy or underdressed. Never and I like that! For that matter, I was pleased but when the startling wicked smile appears and the cruel intentions surface, I just cringe! It’s not a comforting feeling. I ask myself, Was there ever a time that I appear to be that way to the children?

the wicked stepmother

And then Cinderella, the oh-so-kind, distressed young girl sings in such a high pitch, all angelic and heavenly. Everyone naturally falls for her. I’m thinking, Oh if only all stepchildren are like her! The truth is, stepchildren are like any children. They are sweet and loving at times. They get in your nerves too and thus, make you scream.

Now, there’s the scene when the wicked stepmom tries to fix up her daughters with the Prince. Most would find this so evil! As a stepmother, I kind of understood and knew where she was coming from. It’s not the most noble plan but the stepmom is a biological parent too. And we want only the best for our children, to secure their future and make sure they’re going to be okay. Although I don’t agree with her ways, I knew how she felt. Like her, there are familiar questions running through my mind. Unlike her, I find the answers to it with my husband by my side. Losing her husband, her fortune…it’s not a very easy scenario, is it?

The whole movie goes by with my stepchildren beside me who are quite grown and are now in a mind of their own. I glance at them throughout the movie and wonder, What are they thinking?  Are they watching the movie like a regular movie or are they watching it -relating it to how we are? I think I will never know the answer.

I could curse Disney for contributing to the Stepmother stereotype but I also remember at how it has cooked up fantastic fairytales that allow the world to dream and believe in magic. To come up with the perfect fairy tale, there are villains. The stepmom is just one of them. Besides, there’s the Fairy Godmother in the Cinderella story.

We finish the movie, the popcorn and the soda. We all go out of the theatre, with all the kids all in light banter. One says, “Let’s go to Starbucks.” Another says, “I need to go to the restroom.” And one says, “Mom, can I have your wifi hotspot?”

I say, “Of course! Let’s do all that! I’m your fairy godmother.”

fairy godmother

When in Zambales | Burger King

burger king

What Brought Me Here

Every now and then, my schedule requires fast food, unfortunately. As much as I try to avoid it, I opt for the better choices, the one that tastes close to gourmet at a certain level, the one with more convenient dining areas and the one that’s a lot cleaner than the bigger names. So, in the area, Burger King is it!

What We Ordered

As Always, Burger King Mushroom Swiss Meal (comes with fries and drinks)

Chicken Nuggets with Rice

4 Cheese Whopper Burger

What the Place Was Like

As expected, the area is cleaner, the decor is more tasteful. The ambience was light and airy…not common to a fast food chain. Food service crew were friendly, not loud and so busy!

What the Food Was Like

The flame-grilled burger delivered, as I knew it would. The fries were freshly cooked. The nuggets tasted good, was quite salty than the the other popular brand. Overall, it was the usual sinful fast food taste but more delectable because of the presence of that flame-grilled nature and ‘shrooms!

Lessons Learned

Always go with the brand close to your heart and you leave the place happy, to your heart’s content.

Burger King, 1/F Harbor Point, Ayala Mall, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales

Open from 11 AM – 9 PM | Menu here