Latest Posts

Nido and KidZania Manila presents NIDO® 3+/5+ City Challenge

{Sponsored post} In celebration of the National Children’s Month, NIDO® 3+ and 5+ in partnership with KidZania Manila presents the NIDO® 3+/5+ City Challenge. It features a series of strategically-designed activities that aim to help parents guide their growing-up kids in performing basic to difficult tasks; hence, empowering the parents to say YES and LET GO of their kids, letting them explore, learn, and appreciate the real world through fun, educational, role-playing activities.

The NIDO® 3+/5+ CITY CHALLENGE aids in the development of various learning aspects important for kids in their growing-up years, which includes socio-emotional, language, cognitive, and more. 

KidZania activities include the Bookstore, Window Washing, Acting Academy, Police Station and CSI, and Farm House. Each of these challenges come with three levels depending on who’s performing the task: parent and kid for Beginners, individual mom or dad and kid for Intermediate, and kid only for Expert. By going through each level, parents become more confident and accepting in letting go of their little ones, for them to slowly learn how to manage on their own, giving way for their self-help and adaptive skills to improve. A corresponding number of stamps is earned after successfully completing each level, and exciting prizes await those who can collect a total of ten stamps. 

Language skills are also promoted as parents and kids would need to effectively communicate with each other to complete the challenges, while cognitive skills are further enhanced through tasks the require problem solving, reasoning, memory, and decision making.

Superwomom Bettinna Carlos knows the importance of giving her unica hija, Gummy, all the vitamins and minerals a growing child needs, plus more—that’s why she gives Gummy only NIDO ADVANCED PROTECTUS 5+

Activities within the NIDO® 3+/5+ City Challenge highlight specific learning processes important to kids in their crucial growing-up years, while giving parents the unique opportunity to be a part of it through their guidance. Socio-emotional development, for one, is promoted through challenges where parents and kids team up together, establishing good working relationships while teaching kids to manage their emotions.

In addition, parents will also be able to aid their kids in exercising their motor skills with the various movements involved in the challenges, which range from dancing and carrying or delivering of goods, to fine motor movements such as writing.

Vice President and Lead Consumer Marketing Manager for NIDO GUM Missy Ayson empowers parents to let their kids explore and appreciate the real world even at a young age, knowing they are protected from within with NIDO ADVANCED PROTECTUS 3+ and 5+.

“We really took into consideration the various learning aspects that growing kids need for their age bracket,” says Missy Ayson, Vice President and Lead Consumer Marketing Manager for NIDO® Growing-Up Milks. “And with the NIDO® 3+/5+ City Challenge, we are giving parents the opportunity to develop their children’s social skills, analytical comprehension, adaptability, and more while allowing them to bond together in the process.“

SAY YES AND LET GO. NIDO Growing-Up Milks in partnership with KidZania Manila launches the NIDO 3+/5+ City Challenge. (from L-R: Gian Abaya, Digital Content Manager for Nestle Infant Nutrition; Tam Patino, Marketing & Promotions Executive for NIDO GUM; Pearl Lu, Consumer Marketing Manager for NIDO GUM; Missy Ayson, Vice President, Lead Consumer Marketing Manager for NIDO GUM; Proud NIDO GUM mommies Say Alonzo (with son Asher) and Bettina Carlos (with daughter Gummy); and Cyril Silangan, e-Business Head of Nestle Infant Nutrition).

The NIDO® 3+/5+ City Challenge will run from November to December 2018 at KidZania Manila, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  

Confidence to say YES and LET GO

NIDO® 3+ and 5+ are the only growing-up milk brands developed with Lactobacillus PROTECTUS®, featuring L. Rhamnosuswhich is an advanced probiotic strain that helps protect children’s tummies and helps build their upper respiratory tract defense against germs that bring about common coughs and colds. Each glass of NIDO® 3+ and 5+ contains millions of this good bacteria, so parents are assured that their children receives the protection from within that they deserve and need.

To further boost their immune system, both NIDO® 3+ and 5+ contain Iron, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin A, B, D, Calcium, and Protein to promote proper growth and development. Not to mention DHA, a building block for the brain.

NIDO® 3+ and 5+ are tailored fit to meet the nutritional needs of kids in their crucial growing up years, packed with all the essential nutrients and more, giving parents the confidence to say yes and let go. Choose the #1 milk, choose NIDO® 3+ and 5+. For more information, visit


Moymoy Lulumboy Continues its Journey with Fifth Book

{Press Release} Lampara Books’ epic fantasy series Moymoy Lulumboy returns with its fifth book. Dubbed Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang lihim ng libro, the adolescent novel takes readers to the enchanting world of Gabun where local mythological creatures like aswang, duwende, manananggal, kapre, and tikbalang co-exist with each other and fight for communal peace.


The latest installment continues with the journey of Moymoy Lulumboy as he struggles to cope with the death of his mother Liliw and contend with his legacy as the hero that will save Gabun from evil forces. Moymoy Lulumboy, whose shape-shifting powers resemble that of an aswang, is slowly transforming into a character with a little darkness and aggression in his soul, but whose kindness and compassion remain throughout the coming-of-age conquest.


PETA actors performing an excerpt from Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Lihim ng Libro


Moymoy Lulumboy author and illustrator with award-winning young actor Noel Comia Jr. and other actors from PETA

The young adult (YA) series has received glowing reviews from book critics and readers, with Philippine Daily Inquirer including it in the top 10 books of 2014 and praising its “solid efforts at further modernizing our own myths.” Interaksyon‘s Romsanne Ortiguero also raved about the franchise, particularly the fourth installment, Moymoy Lulumboy: Mga Dulot ng Digmaan, for taking the audience into a “gripping reading experience as new characters and challenges were introduced.”



Big Sis Ali having her Moymoy Lulumboy books autographed

With the growing public interest on the franchise, ABS-CBN recently acquired Moymoy Lulumboy with plans of developing the series into a TV series, film, digital piece, merchandise, or an attraction.

Palanca awardee and best selling author Segundo Matias Jr. recently launched the fifth book last September 14 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. It was one of the highlights of the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF 2018), where top local and international authors debut their work to the general public.


Author Jun Matias recounting to media friends and bloggers how the story of Moymoy Lulumboy began

An expert in telling stories targeted to a younger demographic, Matias threads a coming-of-age story skillfully while opening the reader’s soul to an entertaining genre romp that’s characteristically Pinoy at heart. To date, he has published over 1,500 books via his own imprints, Precious Pages Corp. and Lampara Publishing Co.

Jomike Tejido with Lil Sis

Lil Sis Zoe with highly acclaimed illustrator Jomike Tehido

On the last installment of Moymoy Lulumboy, he collaborates with Jomike Tehido, a prolific architect, author, illustrator, and painter, whose compelling fusion of unorthodox styles has led to solo exhibitions in the Philippines, Singapore, France, Japan, and the United States.

Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Lihim ng Libro is available at Precious Page retail outlets, National Bookstore, Pandayan Book Shop, and other leading bookstores nationwide. For inquiries, you may contact

Losing and gaining my sanity back while homeschooling

(Featured image by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash)

We’re now about to enter our third year in our homeschool journey and, honestly, I’m not sure if we have anything to show for it. I must admit that up to now, I tend to doubt myself both as a parent and a teacher and there are days when I simply wonder if it would be better if  I just put our girls, particularly my teen, back to conventional school. It’s amazing how my husband trusts me so much that he seems to have totally dismissed that idea, though. He’s aware that we tend to lag behind in academics, particularly in Math, but he doesn’t make a big deal out of it, confident that we’ll be able to catch up soon. Really soon.

Deep inside, however, I felt confused and worse, defeated at times. I have all the time and learning resources that would help me teach my daughters as well as enable them to learn on their own. I have a supportive husband and we have friends and relatives, especially my sister, who cheer us on. I have attended various seminars and read books on homeschooling, too. So, what could go wrong? Why can’t I be the kind of parent-teacher that I had envisioned myself to be when we first decided to homeschool our daughters? Why can’t we seem to have that perfect homeschool day every single day?

When reality finally set in that my daughters’ education primarily depended on me, I started to become (more) controlling, I guess. And, having a teenager with raging hormones, that could only mean one thing: disaster. Nevertheless, my expectations did not waver. If anything, I just kept adding something to the pile of things I expect my daughters, especially my teen, to be, do, and have. The result? An estranged relationship between my firstborn and me.

Read More

NESTOGROW: Choose to GROW HAPPY and raise happy and healthy kids

{PR} Happiness has and will always be a fundamental desire of moms for their families. Being aware of this is important, especially in today’s environment where negativity and bad news abound. “Ang kaligayahan ng pamilya ko ay mahalaga sa akin dahil ito ang sukatan ng halaga ko bilang ina.” This is a resounding insight that Nestlè continues to learn from many moms.

Because of this, NESTOGROW 4, the newest growing-up milk brand that aims to help moms in raising healthy and happy kids, moved forward with their advocacy, Grow Happy. This is a movement that aims to support families raise happy and healthy kids. NESTOGROW believes that important factors in growing happy includes fostering a happy environment and providing good nutrition.

To help parents and children develop this happy environment and make the right nutritional choices, NESTOGROW is embarking on the Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab, an interactive learning wonderland featuring classic Filipino games with a scientific and creative twist. Here, children and their parents are able to bond while learning the nutritional benefits of NESTROGROW 4.


Carlo Agbayani, Nestogrow 4 Lead Consumer Marketing Manager

“We are very proud to bring NESTOGROW 4 to parents and their children,” enthused Carlo Agbayani, Lead Consumer Marketing Manager for NESTOGROW 4. “The Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab is our way of reaching out to Filipino families and introduce them to a nutritional drink that will help raise healthy and happy children.”

Sa panahon ngayon, hindi enough na maging healthy lang ang ating mga anak,” said TV personality Melai Cantiveros-Francisco, proud mom and NESTOGROW 4 who was also present during the launch of Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab. “Dapat lumaki din silang masaya dahil kapag masaya ang disposition ng isang bata, nagiging mas maayos ang kanyang paglaki.”

NESTOGROW 4_Melai and Mela.jpg

TV Personality Melai Cantiveros-Francisco with her daughter Mela

Among the engaging activities featured in Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab are modernized versions of piko, jackstones, guess the coins, and ring toss, along with play areas that encourage kids to unleash their creativity. There’s also a Commitment and Heritage panel that illustrates the beginnings of Nestlé and NESTOGROW 4, and the brand’s commitment to helping Filipino families raise well-rounded children.

NESTOGROW 4_jackstones.jpg

Kids get to play the modernized piko along with other games at the Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab at Star Mall Alabang

Formulated for children three years old and above, NESTOGROW 4 is the only brand in the market today that contains L. COMFORTIS, a probiotic that helps improve a child’s digestive health, and LIPO-ACTIV which is a proprietary fat blend that aids in better calcium absorption.

NESTOGROW 4 also has no added sucrose in the formulation, but with higher DHA levels and all other nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for overall growth and development of children.

NESTOGROW 4_Melai and Nestogrow 4

In addition to the health benefits, parents will be delighted to know that NESTROGROW 4 is available at affordable prices. NESTOGROW 4 costs PHP811.00 (SRP) for a 1.8kg pack, while the 135g trial pack may be availed for only PHP69.00 (SRP).

With the success of the initial outing of interactive Play Lab, the brand is looking forward to sharing the fun with families from other parts of the Philippines. “We will be rolling out the Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab in the coming weeks across key cities in the country,” shared Mr. Agbayani. “That way, we will be able to spread the good news to more Filipino families and help them raise more healthy and happy children.”

Experience the Grow Happy Nation: Play Lab at Starmall Alabang on September 2; Limketkai Event Center, Cagayan de Oro City on September 15 to 16; SM City Pampanga on September 22 and 23; and SM City Cebu on September 29 and 30. For more information, visit

# # #


NESTOGROW® 4 is the only growing up milk brand that contains L. Comfortis, a probiotic that may help in your child’s digestive health and now without added sucrose NESTOGROW® 4 is not a breast milk substitute and is suitable for healthy children above 3 years old.

Dating for couples in LDR

{Sponsored post} I’ve always liked the idea of going out on a date, particularly with my husband. Dating relaxes me and makes me forget about either work or chores waiting for me at home and allow me to connect with my husband, just have fun, and enjoy his undivided attention. When my husband and I were still in courtship, he would regularly take me out on dates for us to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company. Even after we got married, we would still go out on dates. But now that he’s working in another country, dating, of course, has become a huge challenge to us as a couple. You could probably even say that it’s almost unheard of now that we are in a long distance relationship.


Hence, one of the things that I always look forward to whenever he’s home or whenever I would visit him (with our girls) in Singapore is going out on a date with him. I would make sure that we would go to a place or do something together that we would definitely enjoy, at the same time, allow us to talk to each other without interruption. It doesn’t matter if we would be gone for just an hour or two, so long as we could get some time alone. Although, of course, I have to admit that there were times when we just have to go on a date with our girls in tow.

Now, since we are miles away from each other, we have to be more creative and, usually, our only other option to spend quality time with each other is through the use of technology, a.k.a. video calls. We would regularly communicate through Viber, WhatsApp, and FaceTime apps throughout the day. On weekends and at least one evening in a week, we would also spend h-o-u-r-s talking to each other via FaceTime. Sometimes, we would even fall asleep with our chat apps on, not really wanting to say goodbye, especially when we start missing each other like crazy.

And then there are days when we would go on a virtual date. We would pick a movie to watch and see it at the same time––he in Singapore and me in the Philippines (with our daughters). Once the movie’s over, we would either go to a restaurant or go shopping while on FaceTime. We wouldn’t just talk, but we would also show each other our respective surroundings and whatever we fancy buying.


Read More

Finding merits in online dating

{Sponsored post} My husband and I met at the church, and after several times of bumping into each other, we finally took notice of one another. We agreed to go through a (traditional) courtship when we became certain that we were attracted to each other and started seriously considering marriage. When he was courting me, he would visit me at my parents’ house, bring me food and flowers at work, write me letters, spend time getting to know some of my friends and family members, take me out on dates, do volunteer work with me at church, call me on the phone and send me text messages several times each day, and so on. Having enjoyed all those things, I never really considered how things could work with couples who go for online dating that I was really intrigued when two of my friends shared with me how they met their life partners online. One of them is happily married now for nearly ten years, while the other is currently engaged and is soon to be married.

As I listened to their stories, there were a few things that I have learned about online dating that changed my views toward online dating sites and online dating in general. First, online dating sites are not such a bad place at all to meet one’s potential life partner. Just like with my two girlfriends, one could obviously meet his/her soulmate or God’s best through online dating sites. And, if you must know, I find my friends and their respective partners’ commitment to each other admirable.

Second, online dating sites are really just a venue for meeting a potential life partner. If you think about it, that doesn’t make it that much different from meeting your girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse for the first time on the subway, a restaurant, college, church, class reunion, etc. save for the fact that you don’t actually get to come physically close to him/her and hear his/her voice right away. But that’s not really a big deal, is it?


(Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

Third, online dating sites are as safe as one wants it to be. Although it may be likened to a blind date, you can actually ignore, block, or report the person if he/she starts to annoy you, and that won’t be taken against you at all. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about getting followed to your home or place of work unlike when you’re actually on a blind date with someone you do not really know and that person happens to have other motives.

Read More

The Sunday Currently, Vol. 32

Looking back to the week that was, I can’t help but be grateful to God. There were a lot of heartaches and disappointments that my children and I had to deal with, but I am thankful because healing has finally started in our family, too. When things get tough, I remember to pray and praise God for His blessings, including my family and the challenges we face together. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s not impossible and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Go ahead and try it too!

reading A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. It took a while for me to finish Elizabeth’s other book, A Mom After God’s Own Heart, but I’m hoping I’d be able to finish this one a little faster. You have no idea how many parenting and marriage books I’ve got lined up to read, while trying to read the books Big ‘n Lil sis are also interested in!

writing about online dating (my first assignment) and some cover letters. I’m back to really working as a freelance writer, I guess, and this time I intend to have a steady income from my freelance gigs.

listening to Sparky’s catcalls. I guess I’d better go to bed soon to make sure I’d be able to get some sleep while I still can. She just might continue with it all throughout the night and keep me awake.

thinking about what we should do when the mister comes home soon. We have already decided that he would take every one of us on a (lunch) date for each day that he’s home. Now we have to come up with the activities and I need to plan a special dinner each night he’s home too. Read More

The Sunday Currently, Vol. 31

(Featured image by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash)

reading Elizabeth George’s A Mom After God’s Own Heart: 10 Ways to Love Your Children among other Christian parenting books because I need all the help I could get to be a better mom to my girls, especially to my moody teenager.

A Mom After God's Own Heart

writing mostly blog posts lately, as well as journal entries. Aside from reading books, I am realizing that I’m usually in a much better disposition when I am able to write down my thoughts and feelings, especially the negative ones in my journal. That way, I get to do some introspection and avoid having (ugly) confrontations, since doing so helps clear my mind and makes it a lot easier for me to forgive those who need my forgiveness.

listening to the sound of the wind, thunder, and rain. I actually like it when it rains, especially when we’re all at home. However, when it starts to rain so hard I also begin to worry about a lot of things, such as the possibility of a brownout, our dogs not having enough dry space for themselves, floods, etc.

thinking about the recent changes in my assignment at Glorious Hope. I’m still trying to listen to what God is telling me, why He allowed me to coach another group when I’ve already come to passionately care and pray for the members of my original group. Nevertheless, I am happy to have the opportunity to be a life coach to all these women.

smelling the lotion I just used on my hands after helping Lil Sis wash her clothes that our cat Sparky peed on. I don’t understand what made her do it, especially that she’s potty trained and her cat litter box is very much accessible to her. I hope that doesn’t happen again!

wishing I already had everything about homeschool figured out. The truth is, I’m still struggling with crafting tests and all. I find them so time-consuming, especially that quizzes are already provided in the textbooks. Read More

When the mister remembers and I don’t

So, what kind of a wife would forget her 15th wedding anniversary? Someone like me, apparently… 

My husband and I celebrate our civil wedding anniversary every 21st of March and our church wedding anniversary every 28th of June. This 2018 marks our Crystal Anniversary, a milestone in our married life. Yearly, even when we’re apart, we would celebrate our anniversaries by simultaneously going to the movies or having a special dinner. Our celebrations were never extravagant, although my dear husband has always made it a point to send me a gift, be it a bottle of my favorite perfume, a signature bag, electronic gadgets, or shopping money.

When we were still together, i.e., he hasn’t gone abroad to work as an expat yet, we would go out, watch movies, and buy a cake to share with the whole family both on our birthdays and anniversaries. We would also greet each other first thing in the morning, sometimes even staying up late the previous day just so we could greet one another at the stroke of midnight. Such has been our tradition for years now.

Unfortunately, on our 15th wedding anniversary, things changed and I must shamefully admit that I was the one who broke the tradition. Mind you, I’m big on family events and I don’t easily forget birthdays (and anniversaries) in the family. I’m also usually the one who would initiate or organize a family gathering on such occasions and you can expect me to mark all our calendars and planners to make sure I won’t forget. So how come I have forgotten our 15th wedding anniversary? Even if I’ve already marked the dates on my planner and desk calendar?

I probably would have been so hurt if my husband totally forgot our anniversary or my birthday. If that happened, I might have refused to talk to him for days until he gave me a present and show how much he’s sorry. In fact, when I thought he had forgotten our 15th anniversary yesterday, although I wasn’t really hurt, I told him he owed me big time.

Read More

The Sunday Currently, Vol. 30

reading Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life right after Barely Above Water. The former is more of a self-help book written by mommy blogger/social media influencer/homeschool parent/SAHM Ruth Soukup, whereas the latter is a Christian romance novel that tackles Chronic Lyme Disease, also by an award-winning Christian writer and swimmer, Gail Palotta. Both books are very informative, encouraging, and suitable for light reading.

writing about homeschool requirements and various lists and quizzes that my daughters need to complete before our portfolio review on the 27th. I’m starting to get really nervous about this, and mostly because ooops! I did it again. That is, I have not started recording my daughters’ grades and I will have to go through all their textbooks and notebooks and essays again for their grades.

listening to the chirping of birds perched on our window sill. I suppose this is the only thing I really liked about living in the suburb (or a new city, I should say). We’re close to the metropolis, yet we get to enjoy and experience some of the sights and sounds of birds during daytime and crickets at night.

thinking about the movie we watched this weekend: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s a science fantasy story that was written in 1960’s and explored the possibility of traveling to another dimension using the tesseract. The book was actually part of my teen’s reading list when she was in 7th grade, which I have also ready myself and thoroughly enjoyed. We’ve been very excited to see it since we found out last year that it was going to be a movie, and we were not disappointed. We have initially planned on watching it with our homeschool play and learn group last Tuesday, but unfortunately, they have moved the playdate to give way to Oscar-nominated films.

smelling cherry lemonade. I just had one, actually!

wishing I were (more) organized these days. Seriously, what happened to that girl that was named Ms. Organized by her high school batch? Sometimes, I really wonder if I were the same person at all. I have stopped being an OC, but I fear that I have gone to the other extreme. Well, almost.

hoping to finish all my deliverables for this month. I could beat myself up for saying yes, even volunteering to a lot of tasks. Now that deadlines are near, I am starting to get stressed out. In the past, that could only mean two things: either I stop doing anything at all and go into withdrawal or lose sleep just to meet the deadlines. I’d rather not go through either of those again. Read More