A Day to Express and Meditate

Once in a while, we need a time-off from the hustle and bustle of daily living.  

Mommies like me always get crazy from the tasks that we do on a daily basis.  Honestly, it is exhausting and emotionally tiring.  I am just very thankful that I have a wonderful son who can help me with daily tasks and who can understand my emotional breakdowns when things don't go the way it should be.  He is truly a gem, a gift from God.  

One of the popular stress reliever for adults is to channel their energy in art.  Adult coloring books became popular these days because experts observed that adults need to have an outlet in releasing their stress and seeing different colors will affect their mood.  I am also tempted to buy an adult coloring book but whenever I see how small the spaces for coloring for each picture, I don't think I have the patience to complete coloring one picture, haha.

I am very curious about expressive art meditation.  Actually I don't know that there is such thing, hihihi.  All I know that art is only for the experts, haha.  I must admit that I do not have talent in drawing so I am also a bit hesitant to join any art activities myself.  Expressive art Meditation is offered by Artist Madhouse.  I have already heard about Artist Madhouse during the work-at-home event in 2014.  I really liked the way Jem and Carol (the founders of Artist Madhouse) entertained people from all ages during the work-at-home event.  Since then, I wished that I can attend one of their sessions in the future.

Expressive Art Meditation is a soothing fusion of guided meditation and free-flowing art making, collectively called the expressive arts.  The art making process gives the participants a freedom to express and release their inner thoughts and feelings.  The comforting process helps the participants create transformative insights that they can use in everyday life.  Jem and Carol assured us that in expressive art meditation, all artworks are beautiful.  Honestly, I am a bit hesitant to draw during that time because when we were in school, teachers give a grade on each drawing that we make, but Jem and Carol assured us that in this activity, our drawings will not be criticized nor ridiculed.   Expressive Art Meditation is for both adults and kids, but the approaches are different.

Last March 13, 2016, Kib and I were invited to experience expressive art meditation.  We were excited for this activity because my son also likes to draw and is imaginative and creative.  Meanwhile, I need a sort of release because I'm stressed these days.  I need something as hugot for my feelings, haha.

Before the activity started, Jem and Carol explained to us what will happen during the two-hour activity.  There were separate activities for mommies and kids.  The kids had a team-building activity first and they drew characters on the blank finger puppet on which they will create a story and present it afterwards.  The mommies had an activity on a separate room.

Look at the photos during the activity.  Credits to Artist Madhouse to some of the photos here.

Carol explaining to the children the first activity for the day

The kids had to go under the rope without letting go of each other's hands

Next activity was to 'cross' the bridge, children must reach their goal (the green apple) without their feet going beyond the bridge

The kids showcasing their finger puppets

It's Kib's time to present his finger puppets!

Kib is telling a story about his finger puppets

Kib with other kids showcasing their finger puppets on the mini-theater

Jem telling us on what to expect during the expressive art meditation activity

After the soothing music and short meditation, now it's time to translate our inner thoughts and feelings through art

Me explaining what my drawing is all about.  Sorry, I can't share with you the interpretation of my drawing, it's confidential :) :) :)

Me and the rest of the mommy bloggers showcasing our drawings for a photo opp

The activity for mommies was indeed a time-off for us.  Our inner thoughts and feelings were translated into drawings.  The sharing that we had after our drawing session showed that mommies have the same sentiments with regards to taking care of the family.  Somehow, this activity helped us to channel our inner struggles to drawings and helped us to process our feelings about our current situation.  It was really a relief for all of us. 

After the mommies' session, we went back to the room where our kids are.  Our children had a puppet show.  The kids confidently showed their finger puppets to us.

While there are instances that we do not have time to go to a center to seek help in relieving ourselves from the daily hustle and bustle of life, you can also do online therapy.  Read more about online therapy here.  

Indeed, the whole experience was refreshing and gave us an idea on how to release our stress--through art.

If you want to experience Expressive Art Meditation, you may visit Artist Madhouse's website and Facebook page for their upcoming activities.

Happy to Serve!

I grew up attending most--if not all--activities in the church.  I was exposed in serving others through medical missions, teaching children, handing out flyers, among others.  I had that feeling of satisfaction and achievement being able to have that opportunity to serve others.  It is also fulfilling the Lord's command to reach out to the needy.

A photo posted by Donna Donor (@donababe) on

As a parent, I have a responsibility to teach Kib to be socially responsible.  I wanted Kib to have sensitivity over the needs of others.  I wanted Kib to have a love for nature.  I wanted Kib to have a respect for authorities.

I wanted Kib to have a heart for serving others, that is why I am trying to expose him to several volunteer activities.  Apart from volunteering, I also wanted Kib to learn how to share to others.  You can check my earlier posts about this.

I am so glad that Kib has a heart for serving others.  He gladly gives his time and effort whenever I ask him to help out.  At church, whenever I am assigned to do some volunteer activity, I also ask him to also help out in assisting preschoolers.  Sometimes, he is more makulit than the preschoolers, haha, but I always remind him that he should act more than a kuya because they're younger.  I guess he had already matured this time, hihi.

A photo posted by Donna Donor (@donababe) on

Sometimes, Kib would just stop doing something and pray for other people.  I would really like Kib to grow up with fear of the Lord and that he will always rely on Him every time.

What about you, what do you do to raise a socially-responsible child?

"Chain of Betters" Awards Given by Western Union for Community-Building Projects in the Philippines

I'm for social change.  I'm so happy to know that big companies all over the world are supporting a cause to make our planet a wonderful place to live and to improve our lives better.

Western Union announced last March 3, 2016 that its Chains of Betters competition has selected four winning projects that will improve the quality of life for those living in the Philippines.  Chains of Betters funds projects that will make lasting positive change for communities around the world.  

The four individuals who nominated these projects will be responsible for making the "better" happen over the next three months.

Following are the projects that will benefit from Western Union's Chain of Betters awards:

  • "The Disaster Workshop and Equipment" projects, nominated by Jeremiah Datoy -- this project will provide the indigent people of Tiwi, Albay with communications equipment, rescue materials and disaster preparedness seminars.  Tiwi, Albay is always affected by 10-15 typhoons yearly.
  • The "Water for Vegetable Farm" project, nominated by Venus Parmisana -- this project will create a Microcontroller-Based Water Management System that will help women farmers augment their income and give them more time with their families.  The Microcontroller-Based Water Management System is a research and development project by students in MSU-IIT.
  • The "Help the Aeta Kids Get a Chance at a Better Education" project, nominated by Karlo Manzano -- this project aims to build a library for the Aeta children of Sitio Bago Silang in San Pablo, Castillejos, Zambales, and support ALS (Alternative Learning System) teachers to provide mobile chalkboards and other materials in their outreach to Aeta kids in the mountainous region.
  • The "Saludo GEnSet-Portable Solar Generator Set" project, nominated by Aquileta Turla -- this project will provide electricity and its many benefits to 16 million people.  This gas-free source of renewable energy will keep lights, phones, handheld radios for disaster response, medical equipment and laptops powered on through any situation.

The Western Union "Chain of Betters" competition was designed to kickstart a chain of good deeds by awarding US$1,000 (or its local currency equivalent) for the winning project ideas nominated by individuals from an initial group of 20 qualifying countries in 2015.

Simonetta Rigo, Western Union Vice President for Global Brand and Marketing said, "The Chain of Betters competition was designed to show how the movement of money can create a ripple effect in communities around the world.  We see every day that financial support of any dollar amount can advance the good, simple ideas that have a big impact and create a multiplier effect to improve lives."

"This competition expresses our deep appreciation for our customers and the people they help regularly through remittances," she added.

About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to millions of bank accounts. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

Kia Theatre Ready for Exciting Concerts

Araneta Center was part of my childhood.  When Megamall and Galleria are not yet established, my family always goes to Araneta Center to do our holiday shopping.  We shopped at Isetann, SM, Plaza Fair, and Fairmart.  We watched the annual Christmas display of COD.  We did some recreation activities at Fiesta Carnival.  Among all the establishments that I mentioned, the only remaining until now is SM.  These establishments need to pave way for the increasing demand for modernization.

Araneta Center is also the hub of Philippine entertainment.  Concerts, sports events, beauty pageants, and even movie screening are always held at Araneta Center.   The newest landmark at the Araneta Center, Kia Theatre, has officially opened its doors in a recent cocktails attended by top executives of Araneta Center and Columbian Autocar Corporation.  Columbian Autocar Corporation is the assembler and exclusive distributor of Kia Motors vehicles in the Philippines. 

Kia Theatre, formerly New Frontier Theater, is being developed as one of Metro Manila’s top performing arts venue.  With its official launch, avid concert goers can look forward to exciting concerts and performances that will happen here. 

Kia Theatre from the inside

Kia Theatre's main lobby

One of the events that people should look forward to is Russell Peters’ Almost Famous World Tour, which will feature the international comedy rockstar’s latest takes on communities, jobs, technology, dating, plus his signature lightning-fast improve with the audience.

Kia Theater reopened its doors to the public with its first show, The Disney Live!  Mickey’s Music Festival.  Major events have also jazzed up the venue at the start of 2016, including Pilipinas Got Talent Season 5 Auditions and the concert of Nate Ruess.

Aside from Russell Peters, Richard Marx is also set to perform at Kia Theatre for his Solo Tour this month.  Marx will be singing some of his greatest hits, including “Endless Summer Nights”, “Right Here Waiting”, “Now and Forever”, and “Hazard”.

This May, the British female group Little Mix will also liven up Kia Theatre’s stage for their Get Weird Tour.  Fans can expect a sassy and fun music experience as Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson heat up the stage with their original songs, including “Black Magic” and “Love Me Like You”.

Expect more concerts and other events at Kia Theatre!

For concert details and updates, follow Kia Theatre on Facebook.

20th BEST Center Women's Volleyball League Officially Starts

When I was young, I tried playing volleyball.  However, I am scared of the ball coming from the other side of the net.  I tend to avoid it, haha.  In addition, my arms ache probably because of the incorrect way of hitting the ball.  Even if I am not good at playing volleyball, I still admire women who can play this sport very well.

Even if volleyball is a long-time sport for women (and men), it became really popular when Leila Barros of Brazil was seen on television playing volleyball for her country.  Filipinos have an eye for beauty that is why we shifted our focus on watching volleyball tournaments.  Later on, local volleyball beauties like Gretchen Ho and Michelle Gumabao also caught the attention of the Filipinos.  Now, volleyball has now become one of the spectator sports to watch on television, next to basketball.

The 20th season of BEST Center Women's Volleyball League (WVL), one of the country's longest-running and biggest volleyball tournaments for girls in the 13 and under and 17 and under divisions, has officially started.  Organized by the Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training (BEST) Center and sponsored by Milo, the annual inter-school tournament welcomed 60 teams from top-ranked schools in the National Capital Region (NCR).

L-R: Milo Sports executive Robbie de Vera, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. president Jose Romansanta, BEST Center founder Nic Jorge and WVL Commissioner Florentino "Kid" Santos in the ceremonial toss.

This year, St. Paul College of Makati will defend its title against 12 other teams in the 13 Under Developmental Division while Colegio de San Agustin Makati will battle against five (5) teams to retain its crown in the 13 Under Competitive Division.

In the 17 Under Developmental Division, Hope Christian High School will try to retain its title against 20 other teams while La Salle College Antipolo will try to thwart 19 other teams aiming for championship victory in the 17 Under Competitive Division.

Making WVL more exciting and competitive this season is the participation of new teams from St. Dominic Savio College, Young Achiever's School of Caloocan, Inc., Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School, Inc., and San Pedro Relocation National High School.

Welcoming the participants at the opening ceremony at Xavier High School Courts were BEST Center founder Nic Jorge, Milo Sports executive Robbie de Vera and WVL commissioner Florentino "Kid" Santos.  The event was also graced by Jose Romasanta, president of Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) and the spokesperson of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

"We're very excited to host another season of the WVL.  This is a great avenue for young girls to showcase their volleyball skills and test their abilities in a major competition.  With this tournament, we hope to train and produce more promising volleyball players who will dominate the game in the big leagues someday," said Jorge.

"WVL has greatly contributed to the development of Philippine volleyball.  Aside from building future champions, it also promotes sports and physical fitness to young girls.  I won't be surprised if WVL becomes a permanent fixture in the schools' sports calendar someday and that future volleyball stars will make it from these ranks," said de Vera.

Romansanta, on the other hand, commended BEST Center for supporting sports development in the country.  "BEST Center has been bringing sports closer to Filipino children and has greatly contributed to the overall development of sports in the country," he said.

For 20 years, WVL serves as a breeding ground for young girls to showcase their talent and passion for volleyball.  BEST Center is confident that the sport will continue to grow in both popularity and equality.

Let's encourage our children to be involved in sports!

For more information about the BEST Center Women's Volleyball League and BEST Center's volleyball clinics and tournaments, you may call 411-6260, 372-3066, and 372-3065, email bestcentersports@gmail.com or follow its official Facebook page.