Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Carsoncrest International School is Now Open For SY 2018-2019

Parents are always in the search for the best school that can give the best educational experience to their children.  With all the schools around us, it is very difficult to choose the right school for our children.  Each school has its own special characteristics and educational philosophies.  We must align our educational philosophies in choosing the right school for our children.  Parents must really put an effort in looking for a school for their children because our child's future lies on the kind of learnings he/she will acquire from school.

Recently, I was invited to the opening of the newest preschool in Makati, Carsoncrest International School.  It is located in Kamagong St., Brgy. San Antonio, Makati City.  It is an innovative preschool as it will use the International Preschool Curriculum in teaching children 2-5 year olds.  

What makes Carsoncrest International School unique among other preschools?

  • It uses an open-concept classrooms to encourage student socialization
  • Has small class groups for close supervision and intimate interaction (maximum of 12 students per class)
  • Employs IPC-trained teachers to deliver its curricula
  • Has a wide library collection to nurture the love for reading
  • Has a well-equipped play area to let children's imaginations run free
  • Is air-conditioned for the comfort and safety of students and employees
  • Has a professional staff to assist in your every need
  • Has a tie-up with a hospital for medical assistance or emergencies
  • Provides accident insurance coverage in and out of the school for each student
  • Employs CCTV cameras that can be accessed via mobile phones

Carsoncrest International School is a promising school for our children.  The president, Mr. Sonny del Rosario, envisions it to become an integrated school with levels all the way up to senior high school.  

I mentioned above that Carsoncrest International School uses International Preschool Curriculum.  It is a rigorously researched and peer-reviewed program designed by Clarenter Education, U.S.  It consists of 56 thematic units encompassing six trans-disciplinary content learning areas:

  • Language Arts
  • Socio-Emotional Skills
  • Numeracy
  • Creative and Visual Arts
  • Sciences
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

International Preschool Curriculum aims to raise a global and holistic child.  With this, IPC gives special focus on internationalism, multilingualism, and diversity.  In order to achieve that, the IPC will base its lessons through:

  • Objective-based--has clearly defined objectives designed to facilitate assessment and highlight areas of student progress or concern
  • Inquiry-based--limited aspects of inquiry based education designed to spark and maintain interest levels
  • Play-based--by making learning fun, children are exposed to a learning environment that is second nature
  • Developmentally-appropriate--the IPC believes that all children develop at varying paces not necessarily defined by age
  • Family involvement--the IPC believes that families should be at the center of their child's education
Start building the foundation of your child's future at Carsoncrest International School!

To know more about Carsoncrest International School, you may visit their website at  You can also contact them via email at or via landline (02-9032602) or mobile (0915-3317392).  Carsoncrest International School is at G/F 9707 Kamagong St., San Antonio, Makati City.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Accelerated Christian Education (ACE): Our Homeschool Curriculum

As promised, here is my exclusive blog about the curriculum that we are using, Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).

My early blogs were about how we started our homeschooling journey way back in 2012.  One of them is about our choice of curriculum, ACE (you can read it HERE).  However, I felt I need to update my blog about it by coming up with another blog to further explain what benefits a family can get when they use ACE in their homeschooling journey.

Each module in the ACE curriculum is called PACES (Packets of Accelerated Christian Education).  The curriculum is divided into 12 bite-sized topics per subject per grade level.  You can also read more about the curriculum HERE.

A post shared by Donna Donor (@donababe) on

In a nutshell, this is what ACE is all about:

1.  Self-directed learning.  ACE requires less supervision from the parent who acts as the supervisor.  The child can work on his/her own and will only require assistance when he/she cannot understand the topic.  The child sets his/her own goals, so he/she can be fast or slow depending on the difficulty of the lesson on the way he/she plans his/her daily goals.  

While ideally goals can be achieved in 3-4 hours daily, but there are instances that a child will study longer than the required time depending on his/her daily activities and mood.

Level 4 PACES

2.  Teach independence.  One of the values that ACE can teach to a child is independence.  As a product of ACE curriculum (used that when I was in grade school in a school setting), I was so independent when I already studied in a regular school.  My friends were doing group study while I stay at the library studying alone.  As an adult, I try to solve things on my own and would only ask help when I can no longer handle the situation.

We all know that independence is one of the things that every one should master because we cannot always rely on other people in solving our own problems.  We must learn how to find solutions on our own.  

At the airport while waiting for our boarding

While I'm working at a cafe, Kib also answers his PACES

3.  Love for reading.  ACE is literature-based learning.  The child will read articles most of the time and will answer comprehension questions at the end of each article. Apart from the articles, there is a subject where they will read a novel and will answer questions about the novel.  The articles were written in a way that a child can easily understand the concept and will appreciate the lesson.  As a result, the child develops passion for reading and hunger for information.

Sometimes, I would just bring him to a cafe just to study

4.  Self-correction.  ACE teaches the child to learn from his/her mistakes.  The child will be the one to check if his/her answers are correct and will be given an opportunity to correct the mistakes.  It also teaches the child honesty and integrity.  

5.  Bible-based learning.  Each PACE has a Bible verse that a child must memorize.  It also has a virtue to be learned by the student.  The lessons all evolve in the values and virtues the Bible is teaching, even in History and Science topics.  It always remind the child that God is creator of everything, and He made all things in history and in our daily living possible so that we will learn and grow.  

6.  Mastery is the key.  A child cannot move on from one PACE to another without mastery.  ACE is designed to make the child fully understand the concept before moving on to a new one.  Mastery is evaluated through check-ups and self-tests.  If a child got a low score on these 'pit stop' evaluations, he/she is not allowed to take the PACE test.  If a child fails on the PACE test, the child will repeat the whole PACE again.  

Mastery ensures the child success on each topic and teaches the child patience.  The child will not take his/her lessons for granted because of the high standards of ACE.  

Don't fret, ACE also rewards the child's achievements towards the end of the school year through Banquet Night.  Each child brings home an award depending on his/her achievements throughout the year.  The parent should submit the requirements on the set deadline in order for a child to be qualified to attend the event and given recognition for his/her hardwork.

Kib got this award during the Banquet Night

7.  Portability of the materials.  Some homeschooling families are nomads; they always go from one place to another.  Bringing along homeschooling materials during travels can be burdensome.  Textbooks are very heavy to carry.  Since PACES are divided into modules, a child can carry it anywhere, without complaining of a heavy bag.  I would ask my son to bring along his PACES when I will attend a meeting so he has something to do while he waits for me.  Sometimes, I would even ask him to bring along his PACES when we go on a travel.  Bringing PACES wherever we go is not a pain because it's very light.

During our holiday in Bangkok

Pray to the Lord if ACE curriculum is for you and your child.  There are still lots of curriculums out there that you can use in your homeschooling journey.  Choose the best curriculum that best fits your lifestyle, your educational philosophy, and your learning style. Should you have any further questions about ACE, I am willing to answer your questions.  

God bless! 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Counseling--Is It For You?

In our lives, we usually encounter challenges that make us a better person.  It makes us wiser and stronger because we learn from it.  However, there are times that we fail to see beyond the challenges and decide to end our misery by ending our lives.  But then, just as the saying goes, "Life is what we make it."  We make all the choices that we have in our lives and we should be responsible in the consequences of our actions and do not blame others for the wrong decisions that we make.

Oftentimes, we seek advice from our closest family and friends whenever we feel confused and we need to make a life-changing decision in our lives.  However, there are cases that when we talk to a lot of people, we get more and more confused as they give different views about our concern.  There are also cases that they get upset at you when you do not heed on to their advice and it causes rift between you and a family member/friend.

In this case, we often think of consulting someone whom we don't know personally because this person will not judge us and will see our concerns objectively.  

Here are the reasons why consulting a counselor is better than talking with our closest family and friends when we are experiencing hardships and need to make big decisions in our lives:

1.  Counselors process our feelings.  Counselors do not tolerate our negative feelings; rather he/she helps us process it by asking questions as to why we feel that way and what possible solution we can do to make us feel better.

2.  Counselors will help us realize the situation.  Counselors are professionals who will help us see the problems as something that will help us in our lives and not something that will pull us down.  Counselors will help us see the clear picture that the problem is not all about us but it will also affect the people around you.  Counselors will help us realize that there is always hope, that we can overcome whatever situation that we have right now, that we are bigger than the problem.

3.  Counselors are ready to listen.  Friends and family may sometimes be preoccupied with their own activities, thus, finding time to be with you is less of a priority.  Friends and family may not sometimes see the signs that we need help and sees our problem as something petty and does not need immediate attention.  I have discovered this website where you can even have a live chat with a counselor.  They cater to people all over the world.  You may read about BetterHelp HERE.  

4.  Counselors will take your concern with utmost confidentiality.  Counselors do not discuss your concern to other people, to also ask from his/her co-counselors what possible solutions he/she can offer to you.  Counselors   

To be honest, I also consulted a counselor in the past because friends and family no longer understand what I am feeling.  I felt better after talking with a counselor and I was able to see myself clearly and move on with my life.  

There is nothing wrong if we consult a counselor.  Never be afraid to talk to one.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

9 Ways To Keep Your Digestive System Healthy and Happy

It is essential to keep all systems in our body in good working condition.  If one system isn't working properly, other systems are also affected.  We cannot function very well if one body system isn't in top working condition.

One of the body systems that helps us in our daily living is our digestive system.  Our digestive system is the one that distributes the nutrients that we get from the food we eat to other parts of our body.  It forms a bacterial balance within the digestive tract and eliminates the excess and other things that are needed by our body through the excretory system.  When the bacterial levels are balanced, our digestive tract protects the immune system by boosting our body's natural defenses.

We experience poor digestion, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal diseases like constipation and chronic inflammation when we have an unhappy and unhealthy digestive system.  It can lead to various health issues, like liver cirrhosis, diabetes, thyroid and colon problems, among others.

I usually experience bad tummy when I feel stressed, when I ate bad food, or I ate too much.  I cannot function very well if I have a stomachache.  I frequently visit the toilet and I feel weak that I just want to lie down in bed all day.  Having a bad stomach can affect my diet and activities for the day.  I immediately take medicine to make me feel better so I can go back to my activities the following day.

Sadly, most people do not pay attention to our digestive system.  Oftentimes, we just take it for granted when we are feeling minor pains and we only take action when everything gets worse and treatment take its toll on our finances and daily living.  

Dulcolax and Essentiale Forte P, two of the world's leading digestive health products, join hands in a campaign to make our digestive system happier and healthier.  These two brands took action during the celebration of World Digestive Health Day last May 29th, reminding people about the importance of keeping their digestive system happy and healthy.

With this, Dulcolax and Essentiale Forte P has come up with a list of new habits in taking care of our digestive system:

  • Ditch heavily-processed carbohydrates, like white rice and white bread as they can cause inflammation.  Instead, go for whole grains like oats and quinoa.
  • If possible, remove refined sugar from your diet.  Use a sugar substitute if you can.  Refined sugar is believed as one of the causes of constipation and it slows down food transit time in the digestive system.
  • Snack on raw almonds instead of chips.  Nuts, along with vegetables, seeds and beans, are healthy, natural sources of fiber.
  • Drink more water instead of drinking coffee or bubble tea.  Water helps keep our intestines smooth and flexible so that our stools can easily pass through our colon.
  • Natural sources of probiotics like cultured foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and atchara (Philippine pickled papaya) are all rich in organic acids which support the growth of good bacteria.  Miso, which is used for soups and sauces, is very rich in probiotics.  Yogurt, of course, is the most popular source of probiotics.
  • Choose salmon over steaks and fried chicken.  Salmon is rich in good fats which keeps our liver in healthy condition.  A fatty liver is a sign of an unhealthy digestive system and will surely affect our overall health.  Essentiale Forte P can help our liver in its top shape.  It contains essential phospholipids which repair damaged liver cell membrane, regenerate lost phospholipids and restore normal functions of the liver.  A healthy liver means a happy digestive system.
  • Poor food and beverage choices, antibiotics, and stress are killing off good bacteria in our gut.  Normally our gut is filled with both good and bad bacteria, but we need more of a good bacteria to stay healthy.  Take a daily dose of probiotic supplement which can help with our digestion and stimulate the immune system.  Try to avoid eating flavored fries, which is full of carbohydrates, fats and sodium.  
  • Learn more about probiotics from your doctor, schedule an appointment as soon as possible!
  • Include laxative-rich food in your diet like aloe vera, olive oil, coconut water, figs, prunes, and dates.  In lieu of these foods, take Dulcolax.  It stimulates bowel movement and treats constipation and other bowel irregularities.  Dulcolax is world's number 1 laxative which gives us a relieved and happy tummy in the morning.

In short, we must be aware of everything that we eat.  Eat more healthy dishes than unhealthy ones to save ourselves from illness and to promote overall well-being and better health.  Consult your doctor when you feel symptoms of illness.  Our digestive system plays a major role in building our immune system so treat our body with good food and probiotics.

Have a healthy tummy always!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Professional Laundry and Cleaning Services By Electrolux and AVET AG

I guess you wonder why the linens and towels that we use in hotels, resorts, hospitals, etc. smell good and look crispy; it's because these establishments use professional laundry services.  They use machines that are heavy duty and can accommodate huge amount of laundry.  They also use cleaning agents that can surely kill and eliminate bacteria, fungi, and viruses.  I just recently learned that the temperature of the water should also be taken into consideration when we do the laundry so that the unwanted dirt and microorganisms will be removed from the fabric to ensure us of fresh and clean environment in the hospitality and health industries.  

However, one of the things that is not taken into consideration when maintaining a clean environment is the mop or rag that we use to clean floors and other surfaces.  We do not think that we can pass the dirt and unwanted microorganisms from one place to another.  When I realized this, it made me rethink my cleaning habits at home.

Having a clean environment is crucial in companies especially in hospitality, health, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.  We can easily pass an illness because of poor cleaning habits.  That is why it is a challenge for these industries to improve their maintenance works.

ELS Clean Tech Concept Corporation (ELS-CTCC), a local company based in Cainta, Rizal, is offering a cleaning system for industries to ensure a clean and healthy environment for everybody.  ELS-CTCC  is a product of two leading multinational companies in the cleaning industry--Electrolux, the forefront in advance and professional laundry cleaning and AVET AG, manufacturer of high-end microfiber mops infused with chemicals.  ELS-CTCC has thought of leasing a cleaning system to companies in the Philippines to ensure high standards of hygiene and sanitation.

The mop-cleaning system offered by ELS-CTCC ensures their clients that there will be no switching of mops from one company to another as each mop is equipped with RFID tags.  The washing system will not activate should there be a mix of a mop from another section of the building in the washing machine.  Each mop has a life cycle of 750 washes and can accumulate a maximum of 3 kilos of dirt before it can be washed.  Ideally, one mop can clean a floor area of 80sqm.

microfiber mop of Avet
The Avet microfiber mop comes in two variants:  the white one for the rough surface and the blue one for the smooth surface.  Each mop can accumulate around 3 kilos of dirt before they can be stowed away for washing.

Each mop will have RFID tags and color-coded so that it will not be used in other areas of the building.  The RFID tags can withstand heat up to 200 degrees Celsius

Each mop has a handle for easy removal

Avet mop system used by a custodian

Electrolux professional washing machines

Electrolux dryers

Each professional washing machine is hooked to special laundry cleaning agents to ensure removal of unwanted dirt and kill microorganisms

The Electrolux professional washing machine is programmable for easy laundry management

Mr. Joey Ermita of ELS CTCC explains the benefits of using the Avet mop system to the media during its grand opening last June 1st, 2018

It is recommended that companies should maintain a well-sanitized environment to prevent spreading of airborne diseases to people, especially those companies which maintains an ISO rating. 

Companies and corporations should consider this mop cleaning system in their offices and buildings and do not hesitate to seek an appointment for demonstration.

To know more about ELS Clean Tech Concept Corporation, you may visit their website at or visit their Facebook page.  ELS CTCC warehouse and showroom is located at 101 Buenmar Avenue, Phase 5 Greenland Village, Cainta, Rizal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kids Can Now Enjoy Watching Kid-Friendly Shows at HOOQ!

Now that families opt to have an online streaming subscription over having a cable TV subscription, parents are having a hard time looking for websites where their young children can watch shows and movies that are suitable for their age.  There are limited choices online.

Good news!  HOOQ, the largest video-on-demand service in the Southeast Asia, has recently sealed partnerships with the biggest names on kids' entertainment--Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Kids Like Us, Hasbro, Turner, and MoMedia--to bring some of the most popular kids' titles into their catalog of movies and TV shows for the whole family.

Jeffrey Remigio, HOOQ Philippines' Content and Programming Head announced this news to the public. "HOOQ continues to deliver premium content for every member of the Filipino family, including the kids.  This is why we continue to expand our kids catalog," Remigio said.

With this, kids can now enjoy watching their favorite TV shows and movies on HOOQ and they can even make their own album and save their favorites there.

Now available on HOOQ are Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10, and by June 7th, Emmy-nominated show Ben 10 Alien Force and Regular Show, a fantasy cartoon for older kids, will be available on HOOQ.

So, have a wonderful family time with your kids by watching their favorite TV shows on HOOQ!

How to get on HOOQ:

It's easy to get on HOOQ!  Just download the HOOQ app on your mobile phone, sign up and log in to access HOOQ's extensive library of Hollywood and Asian movies and TV shows.  HOOQ is both available on Google Play and Apple Store.  Smart subscribers can enjoy a 30-day free trial and Globe subscribers can enjoy a 45-day free trial.  Globe subscribers can enjoy 60-day free trial on selected mobile and broadband plans.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get your complimentary trial at HOOQ now!  For more info, visit their website at

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

"I Want To Homeschool! How Do I Prepare?" Here are Six Tips

I have been very active in the homeschooling community trying to answer inquiries from people who are interested to homeschool.  Homeschooling resources found online can be really overwhelming.  Sometimes people don't have much time to search on the Internet the best resources that they use to prepare themselves in their homeschooling journey.  

Last May 23rd, 2018, I was invited by Educating for Life to a show and tell event entitled, "Flavors of Homeschooling" held at SMX SM Aura.  It is to showcase the educational curriculums and philosophies that a family can choose should they decide to take the homeschool path.  I have talked to several parents to explain what curriculum I am using for my son--which is Accelerated Christian Education (ACE)--and I am so glad that they are really doing their homework in seeking the best curriculum that suits the needs of their child.  Their children is in toddler years so I am happy that they are planning way ahead of time before they start with their homeschooling journey.  I will be coming up with a separate blog about ACE.

Our humble booth at "Flavors of Homeschooling" last May 23rd at SMX SM Aura

However, I've come across some inquiries on how they can start their homeschooling journey because they are still clueless on what will be their first lesson, the educational objectives that they have to attain towards the end of the year, among others.  With this, I've thought of coming up with a blog to help families prepare and to further assess if homeschooling is for them.  

Here are the six tips to make homeschooling preparation easy-peasy and encouraging:

1.  Seek inspiration from seasoned homeschooling families.  Seasoned homeschooling families can give you realistic experiences and tips on successful homeschooling.  They can serve as your strength to pursue and continue with your homeschooling journey.  You can ask all the questions that you have about homeschooling and they will be willing to assist you as you start immersing yourself in the world of homeschooling.

2.  Attend orientation and seminars about homeschooling.  Seasoned homeschooling families can give you real-life homeschool experiences, but attending orientations and seminars about homeschooling can give you a better overview about homeschooling.  It gives you a lot of options and teaches you about homeschooling without any biases.  

In addition, you can also attend conferences as you will have an opportunity to learn about the trends in homeschooling, to meet homeschooling families face-to-face, and to hear inspiration from homeschooled kids as they showcase their talents to the public.  The Philippine Homeschool Convention will be held on September 22, 2018 at SMX SM Aura.  This is the biggest homeschooling event happening annually in the Philippines and homeschoolers around the Philippines bookmark this event on their calendars.  Visit for more info.

3.  Look for curriculum and educational philosophy.  Part of the preparation that a family must have is to look for the curriculum that you think will be the best for your children.  Do not choose a specific curriculum because it's cheap or free; choose a curriculum that address your family's needs.  Your choice of curriculum should be based on the educational philosophy that you believe in and be firm in instilling that philosophy to your children.  If your educational philosophy isn't well-grounded, you will always find yourself constantly in search for the best curriculum for your children.  

4.  Prepare your child too!  Homeschooling should not only be a decision made by the parents but also by the child/ren.  Their minds should be set to the homeschooling environment especially if the child has previous formal school experience.  The child might have comparisons, might miss seeing friends on a regular basis, among other concerns he/she might have.  Make sure that he/she likes to be homeschooled before pursuing it because in the first place, it is his/her future that we are building, not ours.

5.  Be ready for criticisms.  Homeschoolers are often view as weird people, unsociable, lacking experience, or depriving the best experience.  Be ready for questions by close family members and friends, asking about your decision to homeschool and even proving to you that you have made the wrong decision.  Prepare yourself to answer these questions with confidence and never be shaken even if relationships will be severed.  If you are easily distraught by the negative comments by other people because of your decision to homeschool, have a heart check as to WHY you want to homeschool.  Your decision to homeschool might not be enough that is why you get easily discouraged. 

6.  Pray.  Homeschooling is a calling, so pray to God if homeschooling is best for you and your family.  Be patient to wait for His answer, because He also wants the best for your family.  

Do not hurry in deciding to homeschool.  Do your homework!  Ready yourself to the upcoming challenges in homeschooling.  If you think that you're equipped with all the basic knowledge for you to commence your homeschooling, then you're ready to soar!  May the good Lord continuously guide you on your homeschooling journey.

Monday, May 21, 2018

When Safety Is At Risk...Talk to A Therapist


Yes, no one is exempted from being in danger.  Even the most powerful people in the world are also in threat of being in danger.  Religious leaders, government officials, royalties, among others are facing being in danger every time they go out in public.  So to ensure their safety, they follow and adopt security measures to prevent danger from happening.  

Lucky for them, they have the influence and power to be surrounded by people who can protect them and prevent danger from happening.  But for ordinary people like us, who can protect us?

I have heard from my friends on Facebook that once in their life their lives were at risk.  I felt how scared they were and how that incident haunted them for days, weeks, months.  Sometimes there is a tendency that we cannot understand how people reacted during the danger because we haven't experienced it yet, but once we experienced the same danger, then we start to fully understand their paranoia and anxiety.

Recently, our safety was compromised.  I know for myself and the people around me know that I'm a person who doesn't get easily shaken by fear and faces problems with courage, but this time I really broke down.  I suddenly felt that the incident can cost our lives if we were not careful.  I know that the Lord still protected us when that incident happened but whenever the incident crosses my mind, the anxiety level goes up and the frustration goes up too.

People have mixed emotions about the incident that happened in our lives.  Some empathized because they also experienced the same, some have given advice that I don't actually need, and some just totally ignored as if I'm just overreacting.  

It really hurts big time when people don't acknowledge nor understand what you're feeling about the incident, but then it also gives a confirmation as to who you can rely on to, those people who are just willing to listen and not to add up on the emotions that you are feeling about the situation.  There are instances that advices don't help; a simple prayer is enough for you to let the person feel that you care.

Sometimes, it is better to talk with a professional when you are feeling down, because these people won't judge you when you feel negatively towards your current situation.  Talking to either a psychologist or a therapist will help you process your feelings and sort out the best options for you.  There is nothing wrong if you talk to them because these people know better than anyone else in helping you decide on which path to take.  Talking with a professional will help you change your perspective in life. 

However, there are instances that we get confused on which person to talk to, if we will talk with a psychologist or a therapist.  You may want to read more about the differences of these two HERE.

May everyone who reads my blog be covered by Jesus' blood and may His guardian angels protect you always, whether you're in and out of your house.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to Daddy! Solane Pays Tribute to Single Dads

Living in a single-parent family is not easy.  A parent must strike a balance being a mother and a father to his/her children.

As you have read from my earlier blogs, I am very vocal to say that being both a mother and a father to my son is not easy.  I have to balance the two roles that I have at home and there are times that I really break down because I feel that I become a lesser parent.  I feel that I cannot fulfill my duties very well.  There are times that I become extremely tired towards the end of the day, trying to accomplish all of the things in my to-do list.  

Apart from being a parent, I also have to also work for us.  I am happy that I only work from home that I do not need to sacrifice being away for most of the time at home and leave my son to be taken cared by a nanny.  I know I have the best of both worlds, but there are times that your time will not be equally divided between two worlds.  There are some instances that because of work, I have a tendency to set aside my son's needs.  Sometimes Kib would complain to me why he has to do a lot of household chores.  I would explain to him that I have to spend time at work or else we do not have money.

Being a single parent can be either by choice or by circumstance.  One thing's for sure, no one wished to have a single parent family.  Sadly, the society has a tendency to be judgmental towards single parents, saying that an individual became a single parent because of the wrong choices he/she made in life.  

Most of the time, single parenthood is associated with moms, but nowadays there is an increasing number of single dads too.

The recently-concluded Mother's Day celebration honored mothers for doing a great job in raising children, but there are also dads out there who also deserve such honor too.

Check out the Mother's Day video of Solane:

Solane's latest viral video is an eye-opener for us not to only honor mothers during Mother's Day but also recognize to the efforts of single dads who are also acting as moms to their children.  I was surprised to see that it was the dad who is given recognition by the children in the video.  The dad who was trying his best to cook the best dishes for his children, the dad who tries to make the house clean, the dad who tries to be the best 'mom'--yes, he also deserves to be honored at Mother's Day.

I can partly relate to the dad on the video.  I must admit that there are times that my cooking is a failure.  There are times that my son doesn't like the dishes I cook for us, but he won't show it to me.  He would still eat but towards the end of the meal he would say his opinion about the dish so that I would improve the next time.  

Mother's Day celebration is already over, but I want to greet single dads out there a Happy Mother's Day!  You also deserve to have a special treatment on this day, I salute you too!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Erceflora Probibears--The Newest Probiotic Supplement in the Philippines

We all know that we cannot eat all the food that can give us the right amount of nutrition that we need everyday, that is why food supplements are created for us to get all the vitamins and nutritions that we need in one single capsule or tablet.  We also know that not all food that offers good nutrition doesn't taste good too.  Mommies are having a hard time feeding their children certain food because the kids do not like the taste, thus mealtimes are becoming a nightmare.

There are already lots of food supplements in the market, but not all supplements offer the best for our children.  Mommies should be wise to choose the brand that will offer all the nutritional benefits our growing children need.  

It is also a fact that children's tummies are also very sensitive.  They easily get stomachaches if they have eaten or drank something to make their stomachs upset.  Kids tend to have a higher risk of getting digestive health-related diseases such as diarrhea and constipation from harmful bacteria.  When their tummies ache, children cannot bear the pain, clinging to their mommies and crying incessantly.  It also alters the child's mood and his or her attitude for the day.  

When the kids get grumpy due to discomfort, mommies also get stressed.  It's a hard feeling seeing our kids experiencing any kind of pain and discomfort.

Taking probiotics is the best way to have good digestion, experts say.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract.  Each human has about 100 trillion health bacteria which aids in digestion and help the body defend against illness.  Probiotics can help us in building immunity and protect us from common colds and flu.

We can get probiotics from eating yogurt and certain beverages containing probiotics.  However, the amount and quality of probiotics that our child gets from these products may not be enough.

Good news!  Erceflora ProbiBears, a yummy tummy supplement with the combined two-in-one PROBIO BOOSTERS (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis).  When these two combined, it helps prevent diarrhea, upset stomach, and other digestive disorders to help our kids to have a happy and healthy tummy.  It comes in chewable bear-shaped creams with vanilla flavor.

Mommies don't need to worry on giving probiotics to our children, because it is yummy and it comes in one small size, easy to swallow and digest.  

Erceflora ProbiBears will be available in Mercury Drug by June 2018 (SRP: Php540 for box of 20 chewable bears).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Register As A Freelancer! My Experience in Registering at BIR

One of the things that we cannot avoid in our life is....TAX.

Every time we purchase something, we pay tax.  Our income is also taxed.  When we die, our estate is also taxed.  We really cannot escape tax.  

Taxes were existent even in Bible times.  Taxes collected are used by the government to improve the facilities and services in the country, like free education, free hospitalization, good roads, lower prices of commodities, among others.  The bigger the tax collection is, the government has more funds to provide better services to the people.  

On the other hand, taxes were also used by corrupt officials to make themselves rich.  This makes the people lose their faith in the government and for them not to pay taxes accordingly.  But let us not make this as a reason not to fulfill our duties as a citizen of our country.  There is a corresponding punishment for not paying the right amount of taxes, so let's all be good citizens by paying taxes!

My boss at events management has been encouraging all of us to be registered because it is also for our own good.  Paying taxes has benefits; it can be used as proof of financial capacity when we apply for loans and travel visa.  Since I have plans to travel the world, I need to show proof that I am paying taxes to establish ties to my own country.

Honestly, I really don't know where to start.  I do not want to register as a business entity because the fees for registration is very high (it may reach up to Php20,000 depending on the location of your business and other fees) and the procedure is very tedious.  I just recently found out that I can register as self-employed/professional instead.  I do not need to secure business permit and DTI registration for that.    

So there, I am more determined to process being registered because there is a quick and easy way to do so.

The first thing I did was to transfer from one RDO (Regional District Office) to another because I was previously employed.  I filled up two copies of BIR Form No. 1905 for this and just ticked out the reason that I'm transferring RDOs.  This procedure only took five minutes.  I just have to wait 3-5 days for the transfer to take effect before I continue with the processing of my registration.  My records should appear first in the RDO that I am transferring at before I can proceed with the registration process.

While waiting, I already filled out two copies of BIR Form No. 1901 and attached copy of my birth certificate, proof of income as a freelancer/self-employed (I attached an email copy of a blogging gig and a screenshot of my blog), birth certificate of my dependent (my son), Barangay Clearance, and Occupational Tax Receipt which you will secure at the municipal hall or city hall of your residence.  I also had the Income Payee's Sworn Declaration of Gross Receipt/Sales notarized (you can download all forms here).  I filled up the one for those earning Php3,000,000.  There is another one for Php250,000 but I was advised that should my income exceeds Php250,000 I need to make amendments on my registration and will repeat the procedure all over again.  Ideally, the Php3,000,000 gross receipts bracket is ideal for those who are receiving income from multiple payors and the Php250,000 income bracket is for those who are receiving income from lone payor.  

The BIR assessor then asked me to pay Php500 registration fee at Landbank using the BIR Form 0605 (Payment Form).  After paying, I went back to BIR to have my payment acknowledged.

When the BIR assessor checked my documents, I was asked if I will apply for the 8% optional tax.  This means that I do not need to pay 3% withholding tax and will just pay for the income tax.  I weighed my options first and asked people which one will beneficial for me.  I also read Taxumo's blog to help me assess.  The blog also has a tax calculator to help you decide which tax bracket will be more beneficial for you.  It really depends on your income and expenditure on which option you will save more money.  

I decided to apply the 8% optional tax.

I was asked to write a letter for my intention to file for the 8% optional tax and attach it on my application.  

I was asked to go back later in the day to get my Certificate of Registration, wee!

The Certificate of Registration indicates the kind of tax/es that you will pay, the forms that you have to file/fill out, and the deadline for each filing.

However, since the 3% percentage tax is standard, I reminded the assessor that I applied for the 8% optional tax.  The assessor made some amendments on my Certificate of Registration and put his initial beside it.

After securing the Certificate of Registration, you need to have your accounting books and ledgers stamped by BIR.  You need four accounting journals (Cash Receipt Journal, Cash Disbursement Journal, General Journal, General Ledger).  You can either buy these accounting books outside or buy at BIR (I am not sure how much are these if you bought it at BIR).  You need to fill out BIR Form No. 1905 for this and attach a photocopy of your COR.

Last step is to secure Authority to Print (ATP).  This is for printing receipts.  Fill out BIR Form No. 1906 for this.  Write on the form what kind of receipt you needed.  For self-employed, you only need Official Receipts.  I paid Php1,200 for ten booklets.

Ready to issue receipts!

Everything can be done in a day, but if you do not have the luxury of time, you can go back the next day or so to finish everything.  You can also hire services of a liaison officer to do the logistics if you have other things to do.

BUT...I can give you tips to make your life easier on registering as self-employed!

1. If you were previously employed, immediately check the RDO where your records are.  Your application for the Certificate of Registration on the new RDO will not be processed until the transfer takes effect.  Download BIR Form No. 1905 and fill out the necessary details in two sets.  If the old RDO is too far from your place, just ask someone to do it on your behalf.  This task is a no-brainer, just remind the person whom you're going to hire for this task is to tell that you're going to register as self-employed that is why you need to transfer RDOs.

2.  Bring all the requirements needed before you go to BIR (birth certificate, dependent's birth certificate, Barangay Clearance, Occupational Tax Receipt, proof of income/contract depending on the nature of your work, sworn statement) to save time.  Secure BIR Form No. 0605 (Payment Form) in two sets and actually you can already pay the registration fee of Php500 ahead of time by going to any Landbank branches before going to BIR.  Make sure you photocopy the payment slip and the payment form.  The photocopies will also be attached to your application form.  You can already buy two documentary stamps in advance too.  BIR has a counter there where you can purchase it.  I paid Php30 for that.

3.  While BIR can assist you in printing your Official Receipts, you can still opt to have your own printer especially if BIR is too far from your place.  Just fill out BIR Form No. 1906 properly to get the Authority to Print.  In my case, I just let BIR do the printing because I'm just five minutes away from the office.

4.  Go early. People usually flock after lunch and processing gets slower in the afternoon.  If you're early, you can really finish everything in a day!

5.  Attend the seminar at BIR so that you will know how to file taxes.  In my RDO, the seminar is every last Friday of the month. I will attend the seminar for this month.

6.  If you think your time is precious, you can actually hire a bookkeeper to do the dirty job for you. But I do encourage you to know the process so that you will know what to do in the future.

Are you now ready to be registered?