Kea welcomed her 18th birth anniversary while we are still quarantined, in Enhanced Community Quarantine to be exact. It is totally different from what we have planned and how she really wanted to celebrate, but okay. What’s important is we are together (at home) celebrating her life. There is beauty in simplicity – that is somehow how we are as family.
Since almost everyone around the globe is in lockdown and affected because of this Corona virus pandemic, let us all discover things to do around the house. Things in and outside the house may overwhelm you and the entire family at first, that is okay and understandable… it is indeed overwhelming. First and foremost, calm down and pray. Pray for guidance and protection, and be grateful that the family is together and that everyone is in good health.
If you are a family with kids, it is really important to explain to them this different kind of situation we are facing. Ensure them that as a family, you will protect and help each other in facing the so called “new normal”. Teach and show the kids the proper hand-washing and sanitizing. Educate them about social or physical distancing, proper use of face masks and alcohol, and the cough and sneeze etiquette.
So the inevitable happened – there is an imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to the risk of the Corona Virus pandemic. In other words, we are on lockdown, an enhanced one as per the government. The capital of the Philippines, Metro Manila, and the whole of Luzon (including its associated islands) are on an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). This was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte effective immediately.
It’s been 4 days now, and although all of us being at home is a welcome change to a usual routine, there are both pros and cons to it. There is also fear in it, no matter how we, the parents, try to disregard or avoid it.
Here is one way to protect your bump now and beyond.
We all know that pregnancy is an amazing journey. Parenthood is another, be it your first or third time. But as a parent, a Mother to be exact, how can you ensure that you can protect yourself and even your child now and in the future?
The thought of bringing someone into the world whom you will rear and love unconditionally is a feeling like no other. Excitement can sometimes be overwhelming. Definitely exciting, I must say. But, just like any other major life-changing responsibilities, you have to make sure you are prepared to take on the daunting yet rewarding task. The changes and preparation is not just psychological and emotional – financial preparation plays a big part too.
Secure your child’s future by ensuring you are safely covered, health or money-wise. And it should start during or at least before your pregnancy. In fact, we must be covered of life insurance early on – before marriage or earlier. In reality, there are many great reasons why you should consider taking life insurance coverage. One of which is to secure a strong financial future for you, and your child. So strong that it lasts through their childhood and beyond.
You can also consider being insured as one great way to teach your child the value of being financially responsible. Start them young , they say. Teach them when they can already somehow comprehend the basics of saving.
Start building and protect your legacy early.
A VUL insurance that is limited pay or whole life can be one great choice for you and your child. Let me help you take a step towards a financially secured life. I would gladly assist and refer you to a multi-awarded Assistant Unit Manager you can count on with everything you need to know and learn about financial planning.
Christmas, the Filipino way, would not be complete without special meals that is shared during Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner) and Christmas lunch. There are a great line of popular Filipino dishes that has been loved for generations.
It has been the family’s tradition to spend Christmas lunch at an aunt’s place. For this year, I was able to prepare and brought a special and healthy meal, Chopseuy with quail eggs. This Chopseuy was inspired by the recipe I got online. It was perfect in the midst of Lechon Kawali, Buttered Shrimp, Menudo, Rellenong Bangus, Pork & Tofu, Hamonado, Leche Flan and Macaroni Salad. This by far, is the best Chopseuy I have ever cooked. Funny it may seem, but I will sure add this recipe in my comfort foods and list of Christmas food favorites. Yes, even if it is a viand you can prepare and cook any day and in any occasion there is.
Auntie also has this specially prepared shrimp paste that perfectly matched the green mangoes someone gifted her. That shrimp paste made me interested to learn its recipe. My own version does not taste that good.
My kids really liked the buttered shrimp and asked me to prepare that too on Sundays or during special occasions. The Menudo too was delicious! In fact, everything in the table was definitely mouthwatering!
Christmas lunch with the family has always been memorable, not only because of the great food, but also because of the people you have by your side, the stories, laughter and the moments shared. We received a video call from auntie’s family overseas and we took plenty of pictures to cherish. We left the place with warm hearts and smiles in our faces. It was yet another Christmas to remember.
A mom friend shared a note in Facebook, a life contentment tips list. That list has inspired me. I ended up picking a few from the list she shared and added a few of my own and came up with this contentment tips. Some may say that they have read that from somewhere already, that is great then. Here is another reminder. This may also serve as a short list of life hacks that the millennial babies and young parents can consider.
- Ensure your kids attend a good, affordable school (expensive schools doesn’t guarantee good results).
- Have time and give your kids good training at home.
- Rent apartments you can pay for conveniently, not in a house you struggle to pay yearly. That is another source of family worries and stress. For couples, if financial matters don’t tear you down, it might break your marriage.
- Some problems in our lives don’t just pop up, some are caused of over-thinking. Stay away from negative thoughts.
- Live within your means. Save more and spend less. Don’t follow trends, wear clean, well-ironed clothes and keep your hair neat.
- Smile. Eat healthy meals. Exercise.
- When buying a car buy one that is fuel efficient and corresponds with your salary. All you need is a means of convenient and reliable transportation. And make sure you have your own parking space or have rented one.
- Have integrity. Be industrious.
- Empathize. Learn to share and care.
- Pay it forward.
- Hug people you care. Hug just because.
- Life is a step after the other. Keep a positive attitude and outlook in life. Even if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, keep to your own side; it’s where you belong. There you can plant your own grass and tend to it. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Above all things, pray and have strong faith in God.
I am giving credits to the original post of this Life Contentment Tips I have shared, I just have no info of the owner. Let us all share good things and believe in the ripple effect of kind gestures.
It has been a Filipino tradition to visit our departed loved ones at the cemetery during the “Undas” season (All Saints Day and All Souls Day), with the whole family. As a kid, I grew up “tomb hopping” as we visit relatives and I enjoyed collecting melted candles. The cemeteries in Manila get so crowded that some LGU had to limit and sometimes no longer allow cars inside, people had to walk. I did experience a tiring walk as a kid.
If you are to bring kids with you at the cemetery, what should you prepare and expect as well? How do we keep them safe and at the same time, have a hassle-free and worthwhile visit? I am no expert but here are some things to remember during a cemetery visit with kids. These are what I have learned through news, from reading and from experience too.
Cemetery Visit Checklist
- Prep the older kids before leaving the house about the place to visit and about security. Make sure they have their IDs and that they know their parents’ name, address and phone number, if possible. Cemeteries, as I have mentioned, can really be overcrowded.
- This is one of the many times your baby sling or baby carrier can be of great use. Go hands-free! You can also at least let your hands attend to other things your husband or other kids’ need. A sturdy stroller with harness is advised for toddlers though.
- Pack sufficient food and water for everyone. You do not really need to bring a lot because, there are fast food stalls set up in every cemetery. For your babies, a pre-measured formula is a must. The baby sling is again of good use for breastfeeding moms.
- Prepare wet tissues, soap, diapers, medicine, small towel and extra clothes in an easy to carry bag or backpack. Best to also bring some plastic bags for your disposables.
- A tent or tarpaulin ( if there is a place to set it up) is recommended too. If there’s none, bring a water-proof picnic mat or changing pad, small folding chairs, umbrella and hats instead.
- To keep the kids preoccupied, do not forget to bring books, board games, and soft toys. Make this an away-from-gadget day!
- Never forget the candles, flowers and lighters. A photo of the departed can be brought too. And as you light the candles, gather the whole pack to offer prayers for the soul of our dearest loved ones.
As you visit the cemetery, list down the contact numbers of the security team or the police, there are over 3,000 assigned in each cemetery for Metro Manila. May this year’s visit be meaningful and as hassle-free as possible.