Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: Philippines


1st  : Follow traffic rules. Follow the law

  • Traffic rules are the most basic of our country’s laws. If we learn to follow them, it could be the lowest form of national discipline we can develop as a people. A culture of discipline is crucial to our destiny as a nation.
  • Whenever we follow traffic rules, we show our love for our neighbor, our love for the Filipino.

2nd  : Always ask for an official receipt

  • Asking for ORs leads to higher tax collections, which means more funds for our government, which could strengthen our economy and lead us to progress.
  • Whenever we help our government in helping our people, we show our love for our neighbor.

3rd  : Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy Local. Buy Filipino

  • Our money should support our economy, not the economy of other countries. Buying Pilipino means supporting the Filipino.
  • Whenever we support one another as Filipinos, we show our love for our neighbors.

4th  : Speak positively about us and our country

  • Every Filipino is an ambassador of our country. Each one of us, wherever we maybe, is a salesman of our country.
  • Whenever we speak positively of our people, we show our love for our neighbors.

5th  : Respect your traffic officer, policeman & other public servants
  • Respect honors and dignifies a man. It compels him to do his job right.
  • There is love of neighbor whenever we respect those in authority.

6th  : Throw your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve

  • Philippines is the country given to us as a people. It is the birthplace of our race. It is the home of the Filipino. We should keep it beautiful.
  • When we keep our environment and our country clean, we show our love for our people.

7th  : Support your Church

  • When we help our church, we help our Creator in His works on earth.
  • Whenever we help our church, we show love for our neighbor.

8th  : During elections, do your solemn duty

  • When we fight for our votes, we fight for our right to make our own destiny, as a people and as a nation.
  • There is love of neighbor when we elect good leaders for our country and people.

9th  : Pay your employees well

  • A company must bring prosperity not only to its owners but also to its employees. Blessings must be shared. It builds families. It builds our nation.
  • There is love of neighbor when we value and pay our employees appropriately.

10th  : Pay your taxes

  • Taxes are the lifeblood of our government. It is what builds our public schools, hospitals and roads. It is what pays our teachers, soldiers and   other public servants.
  • There is love of neighbor whenever we pay our taxes properly so our government can help more people.

11th  : Adopt a scholar or a poor child

  • Investing on our youth is investing on our country’s future. Every family who can afford, should adopt one poor child as a scholar.
  • There is love of neighbor whenever we help a child get an education.

12th  : Be a good parent. Teach your kids to love our country

  • If we start planting seeds of patriotism in the hearts and minds of our youth today, they would become giant patriots of our country someday.
  • There is love of neighbor whenever we teach and raise our children as patriots, by loving our country through loving our people.

« Love of neighbor, God’s Second Highest Commandment, is contained in each of these 12 Little Things. »

 Based on the Book
12 Little Things Filipinos Can Do To Help Our Country
by Alexander Lacson 

(Schedule of events for the 25th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution: here)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dental Care for Marion

     My mom made sure we had regular visits to the dentist. I probably had more visits than my siblings because I had braces (and other stuff my orthodontist had me wear). The good part is that I'm not scared of dentists and my teeth aren't as jammed as it'd have been. Sadly, though, I had a lot of teeth pulled out. Now I'm a bit paranoid that I'll grow old toothless. Also, I had some cavities which I blame on those orthodontic bands which made it difficult to really clean my teeth. (Eew.)

     We're supposed to visit our dentist twice a year. I only managed to go once the past two years. I'm hoping 2011 will be better. (How often do you guys go?)

     Marion's teeth have been erupting pretty much on schedule, but I've had some dental concerns with her that I've already taken her to see a pediatric dentist once.

     My concerns:

1) Stain from iron drops
     When she was younger and still purely on breastmilk, Dr. Pia recommended she took vitamins with iron. Her teeth turned was stained gray. Good thing the stains went away with some brushing and after we stopped those vitamins.

2) Grinding
     Just this last couple of weeks, Marion would grind her teeth- not when she's asleep but when she's playing. I ask her to stop grinding and distract her by asking her to open her mouth or show me her tongue. I hope this is just because her first molars have just erupted.

3) Brushing her teeth
     I've been taught by the dentist how to hold Marion while brushing her teeth and advised to make it like play time- singing songs and all. I have to confess though that I've left it mostly up to yaya to clean Marion's teeth-- and I know she does when I hear Marion wailing in the bathroom. When I take a peek to check what the fuss is all about, it's because yaya's trying to clean her teeth.

     I probably should make a bit more effort to help Marion get the hang of brushing her teeth. We've tried these at some point, but I guess we really need to put it into a routine:
     a) Let her watch me while I brush my teeth. (But the toothpaste foam is foreign to her.)
     b) Pretend to brush my teeth with her toothbrush and then say, "Marion's turn." (But she'll just push back her toothbrush to my mouth.)
     c) Make her lie down, sing songs and brush. (But she'll stand up, shriek and/or bite.)

     She loves playing with her toothbrush. Sometimes, she'll even ask me to put toothpaste on her brush, but she just want to take a little taste and then make a face. Or she likes pointing to the Panda on her toothbrush cover or smelling it (because it does smell pretty good).

     So far these are the toothpaste we've used:
a) Earth's Best Toddler Toothpaste (flavor Strawberry Banana)- and we were able to finish it.

b) Nature's Gate natural toothpaste without fluoride (flavor: cherry)- We have a tube that I don't think we'll be able to finish. What did I expect? Cherry flavor? yeck.

c) Chicco Oral care (flavor: banana)- We also still have a tube of this. Dr. Pia the Pedia and a dentist my cousin took my niece to recommended the chicco toothpaste (it has the right amount of fluoride). Since I haven't made a stand on this whole debate of whether fluoride is good or bad, I got a toothpaste with fluoride also.

Right now I'm in the market for yummy tasting toothpaste (aside from Earth's Best) that would hopefully make brushing teeth a more welcome activity. If you have any suggestions, let me know. :-)

We also have these tooth wipes. But we have to be extra careful that Marion won't bite us (accidentally or on purpose).

Read this article, "An Easy Way to Prevent Tooth Decay!" from Planning with Kids on how cheese (the casein in cheese) could help prevent tooth decay. Easy if your kid likes cheese. I love cheese. Marion doesn't.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: Divisoria

     If I could go to Divisoria/Tutuban once a month, I would. My friend, Trina, was the one who taught me how to navigate the streets. I usually get off Tutuban Mall (because that's where it's easiest to get parking, which is way more expensive than Makati parking, by the way), cross Recto, walk to 168 from the Soler wing to the Sta. Elena wing,  go to Ilaya and Tabora streets.

     I get party supplies, Luke18 supplies, tela, costumes, veggies, fruits. Everything the driver and I can carry and for as long as my feet can handle it.

    These fruit pads are Php25 each at my favorite stall in 168 Mall.
     These are around a hundred or two hundred something in Fully Booked. (I saw it at the Greenbelt branch. I took a photo but I can't find it anymore.)

     And these are $10.00 here.


I bought Marion a pair of shoes from a guy with a kareton by Ilaya street. I regret not buying more. The shoes are great. And how can you beat Php50.00 (without haggling pa because I suck at haggling). See how loved the shoes are:

I've been to Divi a few times since I got Marion this pair but I haven't seen these shoes again. :-( Frustrating. This justifies future hoarding and bulk shopping. :-D

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mondays for Marion: Tantrums and a Tagalog Word

     One of the most amazing things about watching Marion grow is discovering things that are completely natural and universal. For example, she's not had the chance to observe other kids throw tantrums and none of us here in the house throw tantrums (haha!) but wow, Marion's tantrums are classic.

     Just these last couple of weeks, Marion has learned to throw tantrums. Lying on the floor, wailing, flailing, kicking or stomping her feet. I wondered briefly whether I was raising my daughter to have a temper, but was reassured when I was reminded that this was part of her emotional development. (It's a milestone!! Haha!)

     This is why Marion throws tantrums:
"Toddlers are beginning to understand a lot more of the words they hear, yet their ability toproduce language is so limited," she says. When your child can't express how he feels or what he wants, frustration mounts." (source)

     She's thrown tantrums when she doesn't like the clothes yaya's trying to put on her. She likes to choose now. And she usually picks a yellow outfit.

     She's thrown tantrums with me when I take away the camera or cellphone from her. She's also thrown tantrums when I start packing away her toys or if I pick the wrong book from the shelf.

     I've managed to stay pretty calm in the midst of her tantrums. I consciously don't raise my voice. I try to pick her up but if she flails and squirms too much then I set her back down on the floor and wait for her to quiet down. So far her tantrums have been brief, more like her drama cries just becoming more dramatic and sophisticated.

     Her yaya has been instructed to be extra patient with her, soothe and calm her but not to react too much when Marion throws tantrums. I don't want our reaction to her tantrums becoming a positive reinforcement for her to throw one. (I'm really just winging it here, okay.)

***** ***** *****
     We took Marion to Fully Booked this weekend. She had a great time walking, running, exploring the maze-like shelves of the bookstore. She really liked going up and down the ramp, too.

     When it was time to go, I picked her up (knowing that there was no way she was going to sit back in her stroller). She started shrieking, "Baba! Baba!".* So there you go. That's her first Tagalog word.
     (It's also one of her favorite words now since she's asserting some freedom and independence and always wants to run off on her own.)

(Here's Dada Rocky giving Marion a drink after all that running.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: Scratch It! Instant Tama!

     I've gotten over not winning that Php741M grand lotto jackpot and have moved on to supporting the Filipino athletes, that is, buying Scratch It! Instant Tama! cards (15% of gross sales will go to PSC.)

     Each card hides 9 different peso values. You need to match 3 to win. Then scratch off the bonus section to see how much you multiply it by.

This card was able to match Php20. Multiplied 1x. ;p

    I've not won much. Okay, honestly, only Php10. ;-p I bought Php200 worth of cards (at the discounted rate the PSC Admin Office sells it for) and I've only won Php210. I'm not lucky with these lotto games.

     Except for the mess it makes (which Marion will surely pick up and put in her mouth), I love scratching off the top to see what's hidden beneath it. It's thrilling. ;-)

     I was told the scratch it cards were printed in Australia. I wonder if there are printers around here who could do it. I've been daydreaming about what scratch off games I would make and have printed if it was possible (and affordable).

     Isn't this Scratch Off World Map beautiful? :-) After you've visited a place, you don't just get to check it off your list of places to visit, you could scratch it off the map, too. :-) Nice!


     Maybe the Department of Tourism could come up with a Philippine map version of this.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Recipe: Grilled Corn Salad

I've made this grilled corn salad before and I really liked it.

6 ears of corn 
1 jar of roasted red peppers (alternative: cherry tomatoes)
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (alternative: cilantro)
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for brushing corn
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

***** ***** *****

How I prepared my version.

I used canned corn and "grilled" it in an electric grill. It didn't really turn out the way grilled corn looks like because I think I didn't keep it on the grill long enough. It also didn't have that "smokey" taste. I used canned pimientos and did away with the green onions. I threw in lots of parsley because I love how refreshing parsley is (and I don't like cilantro at all). I had a grinder with black pepper and lemon rind in it so I used that. A bit of salt. Squeezed some lemons (I don't think the lemons we get around here are all that juicy.) Sugar. And I think I used too much olive oil.

Anyway, I don't think you can really mess this up.

Something easy and yummy which I'll probably prepare again. :-)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

3rd Wedding Anniversary: The readings we chose for our wedding

Rocky and I took the task of picking our readings very seriously. These are among my favorite bible passages and stories.

Tobit 8:4-9
(I really enjoyed reading the Book of Tobit. As in this passage, Rocky and I praise God for who He is. This is our our prayer to God, too.)

     When the girl’s parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, “My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.” She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creations praise your forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.’ Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.” They said together, “Amen, amen,” and went to bed for the night.

Colossians 3:12-17
(One of my favorite guidelines on how to live. I should re-read this more often. :D)

     Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another, as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word and in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 2:1-11
(We didn't pick this mainly because it is a wedding story, but more because we wanted to acknowledge how Mary intercedes for us.)

     On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tested the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from- though the servers who had drawn the water knew- the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.