Something Old, Something New--Birthday Celebration 2014

My son and I’s birthdays are just five days apart.  I really plan that every year, our birthday celebration will be unique so that we will have something to remember.  Since I’m too busy with my work, I wasn’t able to plan well for our celebration, that is why I entitled my blog like this.  I have to ‘repeat’ the same things that we did before and of course, I still tried to do something new.

My son is really begging me about having a party.  Personally, I don’t like parties because of the preparation that you have to do plus the stress of who’s who on the guestlist.  Anyway, I just asked my son where he wants to go and do on his birthday. 

Pre-birthday celebration, I shopped clothes and shoes for him.  I bought him a new pair of sneakers and shorts.  Since it was also my birthday, I told him that I will also shop for myself.  I teased him that he should buy something for me since it is also my birthday.  Little did I know that while I was looking around the store, he was also looking something for me!  He was consulting his lola, asking if I will like it.  He even waited for me outside the fitting room just for him to see if the shirt he had chosen for me fits me.  I showed it to him and he said in delight, ‘Mommy you look sexy!’  Since he didn’t have money at that time, I paid for the shirt he had chosen for me, but when we got home, he opened his piggy bank and gave me some money.

I wonder what's inside...hmmm

Shopping galore for Kib!

On his birthday, before we went out to celebrate, I let him blew candles on his birthday cake.  I only chose a small cake for him because we might not be able to finish a regular-sized cake. 

Happy birthday Kib!

We first went to Manila Ocean Park.  It’s already our third visit there but still Kib enjoyed the place.  This time, he is so diligent to read all the information about the sea creatures there.  He even gets mad at me whenever I tell him to move to another spot.  Outside Manila Ocean Park I let him have a 4D ride. 

Kib's 4D ride.  The attendant is so kind to accompany him inside since I'm a bit lazy to ride with him

So this is how it feels to be in a cold region, brr!

That's Kib's shadow, pardon for being dark, camera flash is not allowed inside the oceanarium. He is reading the information about clownfish

Our next stop was at Myth of the Human Body.  We had been in this exhibit several years ago (check my post at , but I am so happy to know that they are here to stay permanently.  They are now staying at their new location at Boom na Boom Complex in Pasay City.  This time, my son really enjoyed the museum tour as he is also engaging on a conversation with the tour guide.  The most exciting part of the tour was when we were given a close encounter with Red Man outside the glass casing.  That exhibit is called Red Man because it is a system of veins and arteries in the human body.  For me that exhibit is amazing because the procedure of ‘melting’ human flesh to get the veins is difficult.  The most inevitable part of the tour is when Kib laid down in a coffin!  The museum staff were so amazed by Kib’s wit and charm that they gave him a souvenir after the museum trip.

The present home of Myth of the Human Body, so nice facade!

This is what you will see as you enter the building, so classic!

Thank you, for your wonderful gift!

Kib did the inevitable! Can you do it?

Last stop was at Movie Stars Café along SM Mall of Asia complex. Since it was still too early for dinner, we walked towards SM Mall of Asia to kill time.  Again we went to check out some clothes and this time, Kib has money.  He got some coins from his piggy bank and put it in his wallet.  He was so determined to buy something from me that he is counting his money if he has enough.  When I told him that there’s no need to buy something from me, he cried.  So to make him stop, I said that it is okay to buy something for me.  He was the one choosing, he doesn’t like my choices.  When I already agreed on his choice, he whispered to his lola if she can add more money.  Such a sweet boy!

These are Kib's gifts to me =) Posted at Instagram

At Movie Stars Café, we all had a blast.  It’s kid-friendly!  The cosplayers interacted with the kids and the adults, they seem to never get tired of giving entertainment to the customers.  My son felt that he is a part of the team!  He danced together with the cosplayers.

Happy birthday to us! Thank you Movie Stars Cafe! Photo posted at Instagram

Kib posing beside the photo of Bruce Willis

Kib having fun with the cosplayers

Selfie with Spidey

All the kids are having fun together with Spiderman

Kib with the villains

Our birthday celebration may not be as grandiose as it should be, but the most important is we both had fun.  Belated happy birthday to us!

Who, me? A Media Girl?

Writing is my frustration.  I know I can write but I have doubts about my ability to write.  I started this blog just to document my son and I’s adventures and misadventures, but when I share my write-ups to my friends, they get happy and somehow get inspired too so I guess I was able to unleash the writer in me.  I must admit that I’m still lazy to write as I don’t write regularly to my blog.  Thanks to my blogger-friends who never fail to give me tips and inspiration to continue developing my writing skills.

Recently, a writing opportunity knocked to my door.  My boss at Manila Workshops, Ginger, asked me if I wanted to write for Manila Reviews since she is already too busy to attend to some of the media events.  I immediately said yes because I’m also curious about this kind of write-ups and activities.  I read the blogs of my friends who attend events so I feel privileged that I will be a part of this activity too.

The first event that I attended was for Teddy's Bigger Burgers.  It is a Hawaii-based restaurant, which opened its doors to Philippine market.  So happy to be part of the pre-opening as I like American beef so much.  Since I am new in this kind of event, I am still a bit shy and clueless on what to do.  My son was the one who broke the ice that I was able to exchange business cards to some people there.  Good move, Kib.

 Kib with the Teddy's Bigger Burgers founders, Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula

The next event that I attended was for Calpol Philippines.  It is about the launch of their campaign against dengue fever in partnership with Department of Health.  The stage mommy feeling in me kicked when Kib was invited by the General Manager of Glaxo SmithKline to go up to the stage with him.

Kib's moment on the stage together with Mr. Jeoffrey Yulo

Kib with Ms. Suzie Entrata-Abrera, host of the event

I represented Manila Reviews at the Media Appreciation Party of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.  My son felt that he is one of the press that he was also taking pictures of the event.  There were also photo opportunities for him because he is the youngest in the crowd, and even he was asked if he wants to model for a magazine!  Talking about opportunities!

Kib posed at the display outside the ballroom at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel

Kib took pictures of the event too!

These two lovely ladies had a photo opportunity with Kib because they find him cute

Kib played pretend with his new-found friend Ram of Breakfast Magazine

Kib with Ms. Lexi Schulze, the host of the event

I was also fortunate to attend the launch of Sharp Calculators' search for Ten Young Outstanding Mathematicians in the National Capital Region.  I was so happy to learn that they are also opening the search to homeschoolers.

Do you think Kib will be one of them?

Kib with Mr. Atom Araullo, the host of the event

I have also written for Zalora both for Manila Reviews and Manila Fitness.  My writing assignment with Zalora was a bit challenging because they don’t want to make it sound that it is for them, it is more of a spin-off write-up for them.

A screenshot of the article that I have written at Manila Fitness

A screenshot of the article that I have written for Zalora at Manila Reviews

I have attended Blogapalooza this year, the biggest event for bloggers for this year.  I was still a bit hesitant to attend because I felt that I am not a full-pledged blogger yet, but my blogger-friends encouraged me to go since this is a good opportunity to connect with companies and bloggers.

Kib at the giant tarpaulin at the main hall of SMX SM Aura

Kib with Bogart the Explorer

With all of the opportunities that were given to me, I guess I need to take writing seriously now.  I am so thankful that I was able to meet new friends and establish connections and since we are homeschooling, I do not have to worry about schedules.  I can bring my son everywhere I go and he shines to the places and events that we go to.  It is truly a new adventure for us!  I’ve made a promise to myself that for next year, I will try to write to my blog more often and with the help of my blogger-friends, I know I can do it.

Davao Junket 2014

Last March, we went to Davao City together with our relatives from United States.  My American uncle wants to see a durian tree so he asked my tito (my mom’s brother) to tour them in Davao.  Luckily, my tito has a friend based there so accommodation is no longer a problem.  One-way airfare was shouldered by my American uncle so I only have to pay for the other half. 

During the online booking process, I made a mistake of booking our tickets from Tuesday to Friday.  Our return date should be a Thursday.  Minutes after I realized my mistake I immediately called Cebu Pacific but Cebu Pacific is not flexible enough to give in to my request.  They asked me to fill out the online form for my complaint/request and sad to say, up to this time Cebu Pacific hasn’t responded to my request.  They responded through email acknowledging my concern but they haven’t responded again for their concrete action to my request.

Moving on, we arrived at Davao International Airport before 9:00 pm.  As we got off the airplane, we can immediately smell the aroma of durian.  We were welcomed by the Sato family.  We were supposed to eat dinner at a popular restobar complex in Davao but unfortunately, my American uncle’s ears are very sensitive to noise.  Instead, we just went home straight to Sato residence and ate dinner there.

The following day, we went to Tagum City.  On our way to Tagum City, we had quick stops to the pawnshops Sato family owns.  They have a chain of pawnshops in Mindanao.  I wasn’t able to see a lot of countryside sceneries in Davao City.  Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines and is considered a business hub in Mindanao.  We traveled more than an hour going to Tagum City. 

As we entered Tagum City, we saw rows of palm trees, and because of this, Tagum City is named the "Palm City of the South".  Tagum City was made rich by banana tax.  There were lots of banana plantations there.  You might never know the banana that you are eating came from Tagum City. 

Rows of palm trees on the roads of Tagum City

Rows and rows of banana trees!

The ongoing construction of the City Hall of Tagum City

When we arrived at the durian farm of the Sato family, there were also a herd of sheep inside.  Kib and my American cousin tried chasing them but the sheep just continued to run away from them.  Aside from durian trees, there were also rows of mangosteen, calamansi, rambutan, and lazones trees inside the farm.  We tried different durian varieties and we brought home some fruits for us to enjoy at home.

Different durian varieties

Kib eating durian

These two tykes are chasing a herd of sheep

Having fun at the farm by picking fruits

A basketful of mangosteen for us to enjoy

I never imagined that a durian tree can be THIS high! Better not to stay under the durian tree or else...

Back to Davao City, we made a stop at Kuya Gary’s and Ate Menchie’s home.  Kuya Gary’s passion is into baking and cultivating bonsai plants.  Ate Menchie, on the other hand, has a nice lawn, which Kib enjoyed so much.   We ate dinner back at Mr. Sato’s home.

Koi pond at Kuya Gary's house

Kuya Gary's bonsai collection

Another row of Kuya Gary's bonsai trees

Ah, this is life!

The following day, we went to Davao Crocodile Farm.  There, we saw crocodiles segregated based on their age.  Here, the crocodiles are on big pens compared with the crocodile farm in Puerto Princesa where the crocodiles are on big tubs.  There’s this one giant crocodile on the farm who is alone on the pen.  It is the biggest crocodile that I’ve ever seen!  Imagine the crocs on the movies that you see eating humans, that’s how big it is.

At the main entrance of Davao Crocodile Park

Oh no! Kib's been caught by a giant snake!

This is Pangil, the biggest crocodile in Davao Crocodile Farm.  He is alone in this cage

Aside from the crocodiles, there were also other animals in the area.  There were rabbits, ostriches, monkeys, snakes, turtles, among others.  Kib took a chance in touching some of them.

Fearless Kib touching an albino python

Photo opportunity with a young crocodile

The turtle's claws were a bit touching Kib's hands so he is a bit hesitant to touch it.

In the afternoon, we went to Eden Nature Park.  We toured around the area and we saw a flower garden, vegetables grown using hydroponics (soilless growing of plants), herb garden, and different kinds of hibiscus (gumamela in Filipino).  Kib was so excited to try the zipline but unfortunately, it was closed due to thick fog.  We ate dinner at Jack’s Ridge, the overlooking spot in Davao City.  There I tried drinking cold coffee with durian.  It tastes good!

You think Baguio City can have this kind of fog?  Go to Eden Nature Park in Davao City

The resort is big!

Our only picture during the trip, on our way to the resort tour

Rows of different herbs

They also grow different species of flowers

Hibiscus! They look nice in the well

This artistic monument will welcome you at Jack's Ridge

Overlooking at Jack's Ridge

This giant clam was discovered at Jack's Ridge.  This only shows that Davao City was under the sea in the old times.

Coffee Frappe with Durian

On our last day at Davao, we went to Samal Island for a swim since the kids like the feel of the water.  They had fun playing with the sand and the giant chessboard.  They even requested to try bicycling on the water but unfortunately, the tide is low.  Good thing that it was cloudy that day too so I didn’t worry that much that Kib will get sunburn.

Life is a paradise indeed!

Clear and pristine water at Samal Island

It's low tide!  I just forgot to bring his aqua shoes, the sea floor is a bit rocky

The sand is also fine!

What a refreshing drink!

Kib learning how to play chess

Kib loves playing with the sand, look at his happy mountain

Just past noontime we went back to the house to pack our things going back to Manila.  We just spent the rest of the afternoon at Kuya Gary’s house to have snacks.  He even let us bring home some of his baked goodies.

Our short junket to Davao was indeed a good one!  We want to go back there again as there are still places that we have not visited.  Babalik kami!