Each Single Parent Has A Story

No life story is alike, and that's a fact.

Single parents have something in common, but their story why they become a single parent is different from each other.  While some single parents are being admired for their choice on being a single parent, some experienced being judged by people who don't even know their full story.  

I was both admired and judged because I'm a single parent.  Before, I was careful on telling my story to others because I'm afraid that people will judge me for making the wrong decisions in my life.  I also want to protect my son from what will others say about our family background.  

For sure, single parents hear different reactions and opinions from people around them.  Some people expressed their admiration because they know it's tough to be a single parent, and some people that I have encountered are only after the juicy details of my life.  Some have expressed their genuine concern for me and my son, and some have judged me for taking the road less taken.

Some single parent's story has a happy ending; they are still in good terms with their partner or they were able to find love for the second time around.  His/Her partner can also be supportive to the needs of their child/ren and occasionally bonds with his/her child/ren.  On the other hand, there are some single parents who are totally abandoned by their respective partners.  No communication nor support at all.   

Each single parent dreams of having a complete family.  Each single parent wants his/her child/ren to be raised by two parents.  Each single parent wishes that his/her child/ren have a good relations with the other parent despite of living in a single parent family.  Each single parent wants the best family experience for his/her child/ren.  

It may sound ideal, but it doesn't always happen in real life.

It is so painful to hear by a single parent from what others think about his/her situation.  People around a single parent have always an opinion on how he/she must live his/her life.  People around a single parent have always something to say on how he/she should raise his/her child/ren.  People around a single parent have something to say on the kind of relationship he/she must have towards the absentee parent.

So many opinions, so many unsolicited advices, so many unwelcoming remarks.....it's really hard to discern the true motives of a person in your life.

To the single parents out there, whatever your story is, it's very unique for you.  Don't compare your life to other single parents there.  You're doing great raising your child.  Don't sulk if you don't have good relations to the absentee parent.  Stay focused on building a life together with your child/ren and always stay strong despite on what others think about you.  People will always say something about your life, just don't mind these people because for sure, you're doing something good to raise your child/ren God bless you always!

An Afternoon of Learning for a Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines

August is considered Breastfeeding Month in the Philippines.  It is celebrated to increase awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mommies and to dispel the myths about breastfeeding.  

It's a good thing that there are lots of resources both online and offline about breastfeeding.  When Kib was still a baby, there were no available resources for me to read nor to attend talks about breastfeeding.  I know I am capable of exclusively breastfeeding Kib but since no one taught me how to properly do it, I ended up mix-feeding him.

Breastfeeding is always a hot topic on social media.  People have different views on breastfeeding and sadly, some have been bashed and shamed online for their views and means of feeding their babies.  Whatever the means a mother do in feeding breastmilk, I do believe that she must not be judged as long as the baby is healthy.  Anyway, breastfeeding is just a phase in raising a child.  

Breastfeeding may be considered a challenging phase of motherhood but the physical, mental and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and baby truly make the journey worthwhile.  While more and more mothers recognize that breastmilk will always be superior compared to formula milk, there is a need to spread awareness on its benefits and to encourage people to support breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has lots of benefits.  It is a parental responsibility.  It also helps in the prevention of non-communicable diseases.  Breastfeeding is the best equalizer in the world, as all mothers regardless of race are capable of breastfeeding her child.  

In response to the global campaign of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, World Vision Development Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), launched Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines.  This 2-year project which commenced in 2017 aims to:

1.  Support and strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 51 (The Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (The Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009);

2.  Increase awareness and educate health professionals and the public regarding these laws; and

3.  Encourage people to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by involving them in monitoring the implementation of breastfeeding laws in the country.

Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation, believes that encouraging mothers to nurture their child is a way to empower a woman's ability to breastfeed and care for their child.  She said that World Vision will educate mothers to empower them in making the right choice in nurturing and caring for their child.  "We want them to realize that if these laws are not implemented, we are impinging on their rights of their child's," she added.

Dr. Anthony P. Calibo of Department of Health also shared his knowledge and expertise about breastfeeding.  For Calibo, the responsibility to uphold the breastfeeding rights of mothers is not just the responsibility of concerned organizations and government sectors; it is a responsibiity of the general public. "If a mother is investing herself for the betterment of the future of her child, then she is also investing in the betterment of the future of this country," Dr. Calibo emphasized.

To stay true to their mission and vision for this project, the team conducted Mommy Forum: Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines last October 2, 2018, at Little Owl in New Manila, Quezon City.  #MBFPH was graced by mom celebrities like Camille Prats-Yambao, Jennica Garcia-Uytingco, and Erika Padilla-Cariaso.  

During the said event, Erika Padilla-Cariaso also signed a contract as World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador.  She shared her breastfeeding journey to everyone in the forum.  "It is a huge sacrifice.  It is difficult, painful, and a lot of work.  But definitely worth every single drop because I see my son getting stronger and healthier every day," she recalled.  Her story encouraged more moms to shre and ask for more tips from Erika as well.

Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, reminds long-time moms and new moms the reason behind this gathering: the breastfeeding normalization is still a work in progress and it's a must to constantly promote and protect breastfeeding to empower moms and to ensure a healthy start for their children.

Breastmilk is still the best for babies, so mommies, make an effort to provide the best to our children.

To know how you can support Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines, log on to https://mbfp.doh.gov.ph/ or download MBF PH via Google Play or Apple Store.  You may also receive updates on the campaign via Facebook.

Licealiz' Kilusang Kontra Kuto Year 3 Kicks Off at Bagong Silangan Elementary School

I have a secret to tell.....

Kib had kuto (head lice) in the past.

Please don't tell him that I wrote it in my blog, or else he'll get mad at me, haha.

Don't worry, he's already kuto-free.  Feel free to kiss and hug him whenever you see him, hihi.

Anyway, I guess most of us had lice problems when we were younger.  The most classic way of removing the head lice is for our moms to remove it one by one or by using an ultra-fine hair comb (suyod).  If the problem is worse, either our moms will cut our hair very, very short or douse our hair with kerosene.  It may sound barbaric but in the past years, we do not have so much choices in treating head lice problems.  At present, there are already available over-the-counter head lice treatment available on drugstores and supermarkets, one of them is Licealiz.

Licealiz is one of the leading shampoo treatment for head lice in the Philippines.  Manufactured by Lamoiyan Corporation, one of its missions is to have a lice-free Philippines.  

According to the study conducted by Department of Education (DepEd) and University of the Philippines, pediculosis or head lice infestation is considered as second to the most common health problem for those children studying in public schools, next to tooth decay 

Last October 2nd, Lamoiyan Corporation launched Kilusang Kontra Kuto Year 3 in public schools all over the Philippines.  For Year 3, they first started at Bagong Silangan Elementary School in Quezon City where they washed all the kids' hair with Licealiz shampoo.  Each kid was also given one towel and a fine hair comb to check if they have hair lice after shampooing.

Part of the campaign is educating the children and parents on proper hygiene and removal of head lice should a child gets infested.  The campaign hopes to break whatever myths people have on why people get head lice and the unconventional ways of getting rid of it.

Head lice infestation may be common for children, but it does not mean that adults are exempted to get it.  Should adults get infested with head lice, treat it with Licealiz.

Let's be all part of kuto-free Philippines and spread awareness on how to avoid getting head lice infestation!

For more information about Licealiz and Kilusang Kontra Kuto Year 3, you may visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/licealiz.

Myths and Facts of Blogging

"Gusto ko magblog." (I like to blog.)

Photo from Pexels

These days a lot of people like to start a blog.  They want to document whatever is happening in their lives and share it to the public.  They want to air their frustrations and opinions on current events and on the things that is happening around them.  They want to make a review of gadgets, food, make-up, etc.  People thought that blogging is something that will make them famous overnight and would make them earn huge amount of money.

But.....no.  Blogging still entails hard work and charisma.  

I have started my blog in 2012 but I only started to get serious about it in 2014.  Now that I just bought my own domain, I need to blog more to regain my ranking because it went back to zero.

I have listed some misconceptions on blogging.  I  able to come up with the list based on the questions that I get from some people I talk with because they thought blogging is a glamorous job.    

Photo from Pexels taken by Tirachard Kumtanom

MYTH 1:  Once I start a blog, I will immediately get invites to events and product launches.

This is the usual misconception I get from those people who wanted to start a blog.  They see me meeting new people and getting the first dibs before it is launched in the public on my social media account.  However, before companies and PR firms start to notice you, you need to build your content first.  Your content should be interesting enough so that people will drop by at your site and read it.  Your content should be relevant and original.  

Now, the next question is:  how much content do I need to have to be noticed?

We really cannot say how much, just blog and blog, share your blog to social media, and you will just wake up one day that you have an event invite on your email.  It may take months or even years; just continue to blog and build your audience.  Companies and PR firms will contact you should your blog niche fits to their product/brand.  

Blog not because you are expecting anything in return.  Blog because you like to share your life to people and for people to learn from you.  Blog because you want to share your thoughts and exchange opinions with others.

MYTH 2: I will blog because I also want to receive goodies from companies.

In relation to Myth Number 1, blogging is not all about receiving goodies from companies.  It doesn't mean that a blogger received a package from a brand, the blogger will not do anything about it anymore.  The blogger has a responsibility to share the brand to his/her readers and to share his/her testimonial about it.  

MYTH 3: I don't need to write about my thoughts, just copy and paste whatever press release given to me.

Having an original content is still the key to build your credibility as a blogger.  While you will receive favors from PR firms to spread the love about their client, you are still free to spin the article or add your own words to make it more suitable to your blog and to your readers.  That way, your version of the press release is unique and will not be flagged as plagiarism by Google.

However, when you are already an established blogger, you are not obliged to post all the press releases you will receive on your mail.  Blogging is not free.  You spend for the internet subscription, domain and hosting, and taxes.  If you will be asked to post something for the brand, make sure that you will be well compensated for your efforts. 

MYTH 4: I don't need social media exposure for me to be known as a blogger.

If you do not need social media exposure to be known as a blogger, how can people know your experience in cyberspace?  Not unless you're highly skilled in SEO, you can survive with little or no social media exposure.  

While there are still bloggers who do not have a public page, what they do is they share their blog links to their personal social media accounts and share to their respective networks/groups for them to read.  Some bloggers even join syndications to generate traffic on their blog (comment for comment, follow for follow, etc.).  Not unless you only blog for personal reasons, there is no need for you to share your blogposts to everyone.

MYTH 5: I will blog to get writing jobs.

One does not need to be a blogger to get writing jobs.  You can get a writing job even if you do not have a blog.  While a blog can serve as your portfolio, it doesn't always mean that you will only use your blog as your ONLY portfolio.  To be a writer means that you can compose an article about a particular topic different from the tone you use on your blogs.  Writing jobs can also be far from your blog niche too.

I still do not consider myself as an expert blogger.  There are still far better bloggers out there with high following.  I just wanted to write down what I think about blogging especially for those who would like to start their own blog.  Other experienced bloggers can give you far better tips than mine, but first, before you start your blog establish your WHY.

Have a great day everyone!

Barapido: The Newest Online Marketplace in the Philippines

One of the things that makes our lives easier is doing online shopping.

There are lots of online shops where we can buy our daily necessities, and there's this one website which is dedicated to selling local goods, both food and non-food. 

Barapido, the newest online marketplace in the country, is an online platform showcasing the best Philippine-made products.  It aims to make e-commerce accessible to everyone in the archipelago at the shortest time possible.  It is an end-to-end online retail fulfilment  services for MSMEs that enable them to harness the power of e-commerce for business growth.

Barapido offers a wide array of exciting, excellent and high-quality products that are proudly produced in the Philippines by our chosen merchants nationwide.  These products are not normally found in supermarket chains or malls.  Products being sold in Barapido's website are highly curated so you will be assured that these local products are of high quality, a gem indeed.

Barapido aims to help aspiring and potential Filipino entrepreneurs to market their products online.  It helps these entrepreneurs to expand their market and to make their products known by others.  

Barapido promises of the same-day delivery, as long as you place your order before 12 noon.  They can deliver your order the next day if you place your order by 5pm.  Barapido is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8am-6pm.  You can pay either by cash upon delivery, credit card, or debit card.  For now, Barapido can only deliver within Metro Manila and hoping to expand their delivery service in the coming months.

Here are some of the products that you can buy at Barapido:

On the media launch last August 31st, we were given a chance to taste these products and samples that we can try at home.  I must say that these local products are really one-of-a-kind that everyone should also taste and experience!  Some of these products are already making waves in the international market so it's a shame that we won't be able to experience them, right?!  

Every time you purchase at Barapido, a portion of their sales are given back to the society.  They have partnered with Sabrina's Soup Kitchen, feeding children at the Missionaries of the Poor and Art Relief Mobile Kitchen, a feeding response team of artists, chefs, and volunteers during calamities and relief operations.

So, find local gems at Barapido!  Support local entrepreneurs!  Make their products known!

To check out the available products at Barapido, visit their website at http://barapido.com.  Follow Barapido on Facebook to be updated with their promos.

Alaska Launches Program to Help Fight Malnutrition

One of the concerns that we have in the Philippines is malnutrition.

A lot of Filipino children lack the proper nutrients that they need to grow healthy and strong due to poverty.  According to the 2015 Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipinos developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 1 out of every 3 children in the Philippines aged 5-10 years old is suffering from stunted growth.  In addition, 1 out of every 3 children aged 5-10 years old is underweight.

Stunted growth, defined by World Health Organization (WHO), as failure to reach one's full potential for growth.  One of the reasons for stunted growth is poor nutrition.  Stunted growth can result to being underweight and may cause greater problems as the child grows old.

Alaska Milk Corporation, in its efforts to fight off malnutrition in the country and is dedicated in providing proper and affordable nutrition to Filipinos for over four decades, has recently launched a campaign to promote the importance of proper nutrition all throughout a child's developmental years in order to reach the right height and weight for his/her age.

The campaign, "Batang Alaska School Milk Program", was launched last August 29th at Santolan Elementary School.  During the launch, Senator Loren Legarda was introduced as Alaska Fortified's new Nutrition Advocate and actress and singer Jolina Magdangal-Escueta was also introduced as Alaska's newest Mom Ambassador.  

The campaign's tagline "Tamang Tangkad, Tamang Bigat" is perfect for Alaska's current campaign as it conveys a clear message that each Filipino child should have the ideal weight and height for his/her age.

Together with the campaign launch, Alaska has also launched the new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink which is loaded with Vitamin D.  It is also high in calcium and iron and a good source of protein.  Milk has always been essential for growing children to have enough and consistent nutrient intake to ensure maximum growth potential. 

During the event, children were brought to the Alaska Tamang Tangkad and Tamang Bigat Station so they can know if they have the right height and weight for their age.  Alaska also provided samples of Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink so that children will start to appreciate drinking milk everyday.

A ceremonial milk toast was also done during the event to signify Alaska's utmost dedication in this campaign.  Isabel Ruiz, Alaska Milk Corporation's Marketing Manager said that by providing affordable nutrition to Filipino families, children will be able to achieve their full potential and grow up competitive in life.  "We encourage everyone to drink milk everyday and to also partner it with an active lifestyle dahil wala pa ring pong tatalo sa batang may tamang tangkad at bigat,"  Ms. Ruiz said.  

The famous grocery chain in the Philippines, Puregold, also joined Alaska in this campaign by providing a special and exclusive promo for those who will purchase a pack of Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk.

Let's all join hands in making our children healthy so that they will achieve the 'tamang tangkad at tamang bigat' for their age!  Encourage our children to drink milk everyday!

For more information about the new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, visit www.alaska.com.

Shhhh! Parents With Infants Can Relate to the Latest Mc Donald's TV Commercial

When Kib was still a baby, I remember the time that I was very quiet whenever I do things in the room while he was still sleeping.  I do not want to disrupt his sleep because it'll be very difficult for me to get him back to sleep.  He will cry incessantly asking for my attention so I will lull him back to sleep.

Those were the days....

The latest TV commercial of McDonald's reminded me of those days that I have to be super duper quiet when Kib was sleeping:

You can see the struggle of the young couple in moving around while they are trying to put their babies to sleep.  Sudden moves might wake the babies and will go back to Step 1 on putting back to sleep.  Ordering meals online is very convenient as they do not need to make unnecessary noise during the ordering process.

Who can relate to the latest TV commercial of Mc Donald's?

Parenting is hard, but getting hungry is much harder, hahaha....just order for delivery to satisfy your food cravings while taking care of your little ones.

Mc Donald's delivery is now online!  Go to www.mcdelivery.com.ph to choose the meals you wish to be delivered at your doorstep.  You just have to pay additional Php49 for the delivery charges, no minimum amount for the delivery.  Their efficiency is as same as when you order thru landline.