Mother and Daughter; Plus The Best Friendship in Between

Mama was a widow at her early forties. I was only seven then and being an only child, I think I made the initiative to mature a little faster as Mama raised me single-handedly. I have seen how she has mastered multi-tasking and positivism even it was really hard. She was prayerful, warm-hearted and friendly. Her energy is so beautiful – enough to gain customers that turned into friends who brought few more customers. I grew up selling different kinds of what Filipinos call merienda – banana-que, turon, lumpia, kamote fries, kikiam, fish balls, squid balls, pancit Bato and the famous halo-halo. Mama was a sewer and beautician too. She has too much in her hands but never short of being a mother and friend to me at the same time. 

When she sent me to her mother and sister’s care in Buhi, Camarines Sur, our love for each other deepened. We would exchange mails on ordinary days and special occasions. She would take me with her to our home in Quezon City during summer vacation and she would visit the province during my birthdays and Christmas too. That was our arrangement for three years during my primary school years. She took me back in when I was in 6th grade. That was the only time I asked her (without any regret) why she had to live alone. Her answer made me love her more. It was a sacrifice she bravely faced. Within those years, she has faced failure on her own – I was away to hug her and assure that it is okay and she can try again. Mama was suppose to work overseas (in Hong Kong) but it did not push through for many reasons even after her long wait. She was only able to work overseas when I was already in sophomore year in high school. Her sister who took care of me then came to live with me here in the metro. We were afar from each other for another three years. It was harder but the same years made our mother and daughter relationship stronger.

Our friendship became a hit when she arrived home, I was already in my first year in college. A number of my friends expressed their admiration of how sheis to me as a mother and best friend at the same time. She was even a confidant to some of my friends. Our relationship has evolved many times but it always end up better. Life trials – health-wise, finances, first heartache, college woes and part time job mishaps, made us love and support each other many notch higher. We have grown to respect and condone each other’s shortcomings. I can say that my failures and heartaches did not leave me deep scars because of her positive attitude towards life. She has showered me with great advises and has passed on me optimism, independence and sense of humor. This exactly is why my dedication to my daughters is a lot like hers, she is my role model after all.

                

Mama passed away two months after my younger daughter turned one. Our struggle during her sickness was not at all easy but her heart stopped beating right beside me with a smile in her lips. That was the most hurtful emotion I have felt but it seemed like I can not express it – I had to be stable and strong.

My elder daughter has a lot of memories and stories about Mama. She would normally tell stories to her sister, including the lessons she learned from her grandMama. Now that she is gone, as I watch my kids grow, I have come to discover what she would tell me when I was being stubborn during my younger years — that I will know the feeling when I become a mother myself. True enough, it is difficult for a mother to let go or just let loose the invisible string our children are attached to our heart. Letting go is definitely a hard phase to go through. But I am sure that Mama’s most important though challenging role (her favorite) is being a grandmother. She once told me that my daughters are like my substitute – she instantly became a new mother again. She enjoyed learning new things as she face that new role in this generation. The fact the we were hand-in-hand in both our roles made it more valuable and happier. If we can call and talk to her now in heaven, she would happily express that she would not trade that for any other role. We may have let go of her presence but she is in our hearts forever. My daughters brought so much unexplained joy in our life and I am so glad that Mama experienced that too. It is her birth anniversary today, so, we are sending her our love and many thank yous.

Our Super Blue Blood Moon Experience

Imagine the excitement of people world wide as they have anticipated this unusual phenomenon; A Super moon, Blue moon and a total lunar eclipse rolled into one – the Super Blue Blood Moon.

A Super moon is said to be a full moon which has a closer distance to the Earth’s orbit which makes it appear a LOT larger. And since it is closer to the Earth, it illuminates brighter. The Blue moon on the other hand refers to the “second” full moon of the month.

When I learned from the news about this Super Blue Blood Moon phenomena, I decided to let the girls experience witnessing it a little special. I know our phones would definitely not give us the best capture of the moon, so a telescope viewing would be perfect. Glad that I have searched for places where we can have it experienced – see the moon a lot closer than from the Earth’s ground. Roey and I went to SM City North EDSA and met up K there. We arrived exactly when K’s class is dismissed. We saw the full moon, yes, but there was not much happening yet and so we decided to eat dinner at the Burger King first. And as soon as we are done, we joined the people at the Sky Gardens as they have formed lines and took turns in using several telescopes brought and set up by student volunteers from different universities in Metro Manila.

People exclaimed their delights as the eclipse started happening. We were then almost at the half of the line. K and I kept clicking our phone cameras to get a good shot we can compile and keep as remembrance of the event and, of course, our bonding. Roey too used her phone (that she only uses for Minecraft) to take photos of the moon – even if it has a very low quality, and gladly shared it to her classmates (using my phone’s data connection). The photo above is a screenshot of K’s captured images of the moon. The good ones are shots of her OPPO A71 phone through the telescope and the others are of the same phone directly from where we stood while waiting for our turn. I, too had few shots which one I have shared in my Instagram account already.

This is our photo as the lunar eclipse happened and as we finished our turn at the free telescope viewing. I am but glad to have experienced this with my girls. We all learned a lot too – about the phenomena, and about patience. Since their Dad is still on his way home from work, all we can do is relay to him our experience and how beautiful the moon was through the telescope. We had to meet him at the Trinoma past 9pm when the moon has fully changed its color. That, he got to witness.

Source: Wikipedia (Totality from California)

This photo clearly shows how the moon looked like last night as the Super Blue Blood Moon happened. And there were many other beautiful and captivating shots of the Super Blue Blood Moon all over the internet, from different parts of the world and in different social media platforms.

Ways to Achieve Your New Year Goals

So what actually happened last 2017 with your goals? Did you focus on travel, relationship or financial goals? We’re you able to achieve what you have targeted? If not, fret not! You do not have to be hard on yourself because there are a lot of people (me included!) who did not perfectly achieved their goals for 2017. Good news is, it is a brand new year. We are all given the chance to start again, continue, add more goals and make new beginnings.

This new year, if we ended way below 100% achieving the goals we have set back then, then there has to be a different approach. New rules and terms has to be implemented. As they most people would say, change is necessary. Start with getting yourself a planner or an unused notebook to keep track of these goals. Might as well list down the goals in front and at the back of your planner. At the end of the year, you can easily check out which ones you have not yet achieved.

Sharing with you are some tips I got from a few financial planning seminars and training I have attended last year that you may want to try as well:

  1. Write down your goals and their terms.
  2. On paydays, pay yourself first.
  3. Avail of a VUL insurance policy. (It is a good Medium to Long Term investment tool)
  4. Eliminate your debt.
  5. Cut down on the amount of TV time. (Unsubscribe to Netflix if you must!)
  6. Turn your hobby into a small business.
  7. Pack your lunch and avoid fast food.
  8. Declutter and do a yard sale.
  9. Avoid out of network ATM fees.
  10. Stick to cash and stop using your debit or credit card if you have one.
  11. Avoid items not in the grocery list.
  12. Walk to work, carpool or take public transportation.
  13. Go DIY (Cards, gifts, coffee and even repairs!)
  14. Exercise and drink more water.
  15. Grow your own veggies.
  16. Quit smoking.
  17. Balance your YOLO attitude.
  18. Focus on your goals. (Eyes on the prize!)

There is no guarantee all these tips will actually help or have a massive effect in achieving your goals but trying them out will sure help YOU. When you become aware and become a lot more observant of your own attitude, then you have improved. You have matured. You become a better version of yourself. And, if you have shared the goals you have set to a family member or a friend, they have learned from you too. Achieving your goals became a happy process in the end, right?

Just keep going and trying for there is a ripple effect in everything. And remember, when you keep trying new things for you to achieve your goals, and you put your heart in it…there is no way you would not get it.

Build Your Child’s Castle of Dreams

* A juvenile (child) insurance cum investment plan serves two purposes:

Financially secure your child’s future.
Finance the turning points in his/her life such as college education, graduation, business start-up and marriage.



In all honesty, there were a lot of debates about juvenile insurance. Indeed widely controversial at the start, but life insurance for children eventually gained acceptance, worldwide. In this fast-faced world of ours, a juvenile policy is also being considered as a form or part of a sound financial plan. An investment tool to be exact. Our kids have big dreams. Might as well start saving for their dreams….now!

Be there in every step of the way. Get to know more about juvenile insurance. Send me a message to schedule a face-to-face presentation of Pru Savings and understand how it benefits you and your child.

Financial Tips This Christmas Season

The longest (and happiest) Christmas celebration is here in the Philippines. And a lot will sure agree with that. It is a fact that Filipinos celebrate the Christmas season from the first day of September up until the Feast of Three Kings.

Malls have maximized their marketing and sales strategies through markdown prices and buy one, take one offers. Credit card companies has the ongoing zero percent interest offer. Some has freebies and raffle prizes too. Bazaars are found in every town offering cheaper items. Aside from all these, Christmas parties and reunions are highlights of the Christmas season too.

Having enumerated all these, most Filipinos are prone to over spending during the Christmas season. So, how not to overspend? Check out Pru Life UK’s iFLY on ways how to stick to your budget.

May all these tips help you out and make your 2017’s Christmas a blessed and happy one!

Dear Millennials

Dear Millennials,

We are amazed of your generation’s achievements. We are genuinely happy that many young people like you has proven more than just being stereotypes. You have a vision. You are a dreamer. But then, life is not just about being a dreamer. Something must be done to achieve these so called dreams. Along with the actions needed for such achievements, you have to be protected. Some kind of “assurance and protection” is necessary.

Getting a PruLife VUL is a combination of care, love and responsibility. Be a responsible Millennial, be insured! DO something your future self and family will thank you for. Ask me how.

DO

 

Family Movie Day!

Happens at  SM Cinema!

Make your family day worthwhile and memorable, include movies! And what better way to watch a movie than from a big screen? Getting free tickets, that is!

Yes, it is true! Since July 2 of this year, SM Cinema has this great offer. When you purchase two (2) SM Cinema tickets, you get additional two (2) movie tickets for free. The free movie tickets are applicable to kids 4 ft. below and must be used on the same day the tickets were purchased. By the way, there are specific movies for this promo, here:

  1. August 20 – 21: Sammy 2: Escape From Paradise
  2. September 10 – 11: Ultraman Ginga
  3. October 15 – 16: Ooops: Noah is Gone 3D
  4. November 19 – 20: Dino Time 3D

Your kids will sure enjoy as SM Cinema offers these free movie tickets plus exciting activities. So, if you haven’t been out last weekend because of the monsoon rains, like us, this your chance to spend a fun-filled weekend with the kids. Too bad, my eldest kid is almost 5ft. tall.

Go grab this opportunity as the promo runs until December 31, 2016 only.

 

The info in this post came from the email announcement by SM Lifestyle Entertainment. 

Feast of The Divine Mercy

Today, I got up a little late for the Sunday mass on TV. Still, I decided to start my day with the mass. I missed about 80% of the mass but really learned something great. There, I found out that today is The Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter.

When I was a still a kid, I remember that my Grandmother (who was then a member of The Catholic Women’s League) would always encourage me and my cousins to come with her to church and attend the mass and even join processions. Now, I have realized that the procession that happens every Sunday after Easter is for the feast of The Divine Mercy.

I have then made a little research about the Divine Mercy Sunday and I am glad I did because today is also a special and blessed day for all the Catholics in the world. Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized today. The canonization of the two former Popes will be presided by Pope Francis during a Mass at the St. Peter’s Square. Huge crowd has poured in Rome as this is yet another global media event to look forward to.

Everything that follows herewith are the information I got from Wiki:

Divine Mercy Sunday is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church.

Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun reported visions and visitations from Jesus and conversations with Him. He asked her to paint the vision of his Merciful Divinity being poured from his sacred heart and specifically asked for a feast of Divine Mercy to be established on the first Sunday after Easter so mankind would take refuge in Him:

“I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.” (Jesus’ words, Diary 341)

Divine_Mercy_Sanctuary_in_Vilnius4
The first Divine Mercy painting by Kazimierowski (1934) at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary / Author=Alma Pater

“Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it.” (Diary 742)

The devotion was actively promoted by Pope John Paul II who, On 30 April 2000, canonized Faustina Kowalska, and officially designated the Sunday after Easter as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy in the General Roman Calendar.

A year after establishing Divine Mercy Sunday, on April 22, 2001 Pope John Paul II re-emphasized its message in the resurrection context of Easter:

Jesus said to Sr Faustina one day: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy”. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.

The devotion to Divine Mercy Sunday grew rapidly after its designation by Pope John Paul II and is now widely celebrated by Catholics.

Be Moved By Miracle in Cell No.7 Movie

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Photo credits: kpopable site

My friend Pia recommended this movie to me when she tagged me in her Facebook status sometime last week. In her stat, she has declared how she has been touched by the movie that she had to suffer from a headache after crying (because of the movie).

From then, I searched for info and photos of Miracle in Cell No.7 and honestly got a lot more curious. Since last week was the Holy Week, I grabbed the opportunity to work for additional hours. We stayed at home and only until Sunday did we went out and attended the “Salubong” and Easter Sunday mass. I forgot about the movie already. My kids and I (while working) watched previous seasons of Amazing Race and also the pilot episode of The Bible. And then, I saw another good review of the movie Miracle in Cell No.7 which reminded me to look for a good link, so we can watch it online. I did found one and we watched the movie last night, at last!

Miracle in Cell No.7, if you will search through Wiki and IMDb is South Korean film which is a mix of comedy and melodrama. It is a story of a witty and adorable 6 year old girl and her mentally challenged father. The loving father who was wrongfully accused of abduction, sexual abuse and murder. It is a beautiful story of a father who will do everything to give his daughter the best he can (even given with challenges). A (real life) story of how people, in their words and in their acts can change and give another person’s life a twist. Bad and good, I should say. It is a sad story of how power and education (can I please include politics) can do great to someone’s life but can also ruin it – totally screw it!

The movie, Miracle in Cell No.7 is yet another movie a lot of us can not forget. We may have seen things in it in different perspectives but each of these views have touched our hearts and taught our minds. In the end, family is not just about blood. True friends are family too. The movie also reminded me that sometimes the little things have the biggest impacts in our lives.

This movie, by the way, is the 3rd most viewed Korean film. We highly recommend for you to also watch Miracle in Cell No.7 and better ready your tissues or handkerchief with you. No one is ever hard not to be moved by the movie.

Saying I’m Sorry

I have recently found a TV show for kids – Sheriff Callie’s Wild West!

The very first episode we have watched (Roey and I) has this song entitled “Saying I’m Sorry!” And it has become part of Roey’s favorite songs list from then on. Both my kids love to sing and that particular song is something any Mom will recommend. It is not just so easy to sing, it is also meaningful. Meaningful in the sense that it teaches the importance of saying “I’m Sorry”. Educating my kids with good manners and values is on top of my parenting priorities. I am not alone in this for sure.

Here’s the lyrics of the song from Sheriff Callie’s Wild West:

Sayin’ you’re sorry
isn’t always easy to say.
But those two little words can
help a lot to save a friendship any day.

Sayin’ you’re sorry
isn’t always easy to do.
But you’ll feel good when you apologize
and your friend will feel better too.

Sometimes we all say some things
we wish we could take back.
That’s the time to apologize and
get your friendship back on track.

Sayin’ I’m sorry isn’t always easy to say.
But those two little words
could help a lot to save
a friendship any day.

Sayin’ you’re sorry
isn’t always easy to do.
But you’ll feel good when you apologize
And your friend will feel better too.

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Go ahead and try to search it in YouTube and sing along with your kids. In the end, even if you didn’t have to say you are sorry, you will sure feel good.