"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 www.educatingforlife.co 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.

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.

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!

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).

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?

Homeschooling Isn't....

Now that it's school-hunting time for most families, some are considering homeschooling their child for the coming school year.  I have been seeing inquiries on homeschooling groups on Facebook on how they can start homeschooling their children.  It's good to know that there are also lots of orientations and seminars organized about homeschooling to set the parents' expectations before they finally decide to homeschool.  I am glad that homeschooling is now being considered by Filipino families for their child's education.

However, as I observe and answer questions about homeschooling, I also noticed that there are still some parents who have this twisted ideation about homeschooling.  Stereotypes and misconceptions about homeschooling still stand until the present time.  I have also been asked thru private messages on how to prepare for homeschooling and I have been very frank to tell them that homeschooling is not an easy road to take.  I know that I have broken hearts of some because I told them the truth but there are also some who took it as a challenge and prepared themselves for homeschooling.

Now, to help families to prepare themselves in homeschooling and to break false impressions about it,  I came up with a list explaining what homeschooling IS NOT.  This is to help families to really assess if homeschooling will fit in their lifestyle or not and to correct whatever misbeliefs and reasons they might have in homeschooling their child/ren.

1.  Homeschooling isn't for the rich.  We have already heard for so many times that homeschooling is only for rich people.  I don't know the root cause why homeschooling is associated with the rich people.  And yes, I have also encountered such comment when I said I am homeschooling my son.  

We're not rich; we belong to the working class.  The idea of homeschooling my child was a joke at first, but when I immersed myself on learning the nitty-gritty details of homeschooling, I fell in love with it and decided that I will homeschool my son until I can (see my blog here).

Homeschooling is for all, regardless of social class, nationality, ethnicity, and religious affiliation.  While everyone can homeschool, it is only for those who are called to homeschool.  Homeschooling is great and ideal, but there's also a great responsibility in educating your child.  

2.  Homeschooling isn't cheap.  And yes, homeschooling isn't expensive either.  

The amount of money you will spend on homeschooling depends on how much are you willing to spend. Some families really give everything to provide the best learning experience to their child, and some families also source out alternative learning materials to their child by looking for free resources online, by buying second-hand books, or by using hand-me-down materials.  Some families, apart from the academics, also expose their kids to different extra-curricular activities or go on field trips regularly.  Some families chose to enroll their child to a homeschool provider and some chose to go independent.  

It really depends on each family on how they will design their homeschooling experience and how much money they are willing to shell out for these experiences.  

3.  Homeschooling isn't your last option.  The recently-concluded school year might not be a wonderful experience for your child, but immediately choosing to homeschool this coming school year is a suicide.

Whenever people would ask me how to prepare for homeschooling I would always say to prepare themselves for a year or two.  People wonder why it takes a long time to prepare for homeschooling.  Homeschooling is a commitment, a calling, a lifestyle.  Some people like to homeschool JUST BECAUSE but their reason isn't enough for them to embrace the challenges of homeschooling; thus, they fail and put back their children to regular school.

Don't make homeschooling as your last option, because homeschooling requires commitment.  

4.  Homeschooling isn't for children with special needs.  In movies, we often see homeschoolers being described as someone who has no social skills, with physical, mental, and emotional challenges, and as out-of-this-world individual.  There are cases that a child needs to be homeschooled because of these limitations but it doesn't mean that homeschooling IS ONLY for these types of kids. Homeschoolers can be regular kids too.  It is unfair to immediately think that the reason why a certain child is being homeschooled is because there is something wrong with the child.

5.  Homeschooling isn't "school at home".  Families get too excited to start homeschooling their child that they dedicate a specific part of their house to be their classroom, complete with whiteboard, table, bookshelf, etc., everything that you can see in a typical classroom in school.  Homeschooling shouldn't be stiff and restricting; it should offer a relaxing environment for the children.  While it is ideal that you have a special place at home to do lessons, but in reality, you can study everywhere!  My son and I have tried studying at the stairs in our home, in the car, at the cafe, on the bed, at the airport, just basically anywhere and everywhere when there is an opportunity to do so.  

6.  Homeschooling isn't your trial period for regular school.  When parents discover homeschooling as an option to educate their children, they IMMEDIATELY consider it for the following school year without really preparing themselves and the children on what they're getting into.  In addition, some parents only homeschool their children only for the short time, just to prepare their children for formal schooling in preschool level.  

When you decide to homeschool, prepare to do it on a long-term basis.  Homeschooling requires commitment for both parents and the children, so by doing it on a short-term defeats the purpose of homeschooling.

7.  Homeschooling isn't all about doing extra-curricular activities.  You might be seeing homeschooled kids being busy doing sports, traveling, arts and crafts, performing arts, among others, and people wonder if these kids still have time to do academics.  Yes, homeschooled kids still read books and learn new concepts because they still need it when they go back to regular school.  Their only advantage is that homeschooled kids learn these new concepts without time constraints and on a more relaxed atmosphere.

8.  Homeschooling isn't the answer to bullying.  One of the reasons why some parents pulled out their kids in regular school to be homeschooled because their kids are victims of bullying.  It is not a guarantee that homeschooled kids will never be bullied anymore.  There are cases the homeschooled kids are being ridiculed by other kids and adults because these people find homeschooling as abnormal and would hamper the child's normal development, thus the pressure to prove that homeschooling works is high.  

If your only reason why you homeschooled is bullying, I would advise that you think of your decision for a couple of times.  Homeschooling is more than avoiding bullying; it is also molding the character of the child to withstand other challenges that he/she will encounter as he/she grows old.  

9.  Homeschooling isn't about shielding your child to failure.  Homeschooled kids are often viewed as having a perfect life because for other people, they see them to be carefree individuals and do not have real ambitions in life.  

While homeschooled parents tend to give the best learning experience for their children, they also expose their kids to the realities of life when there is a chance.  Homeschooled children are taught life skills, and just like any other parent, they also subject their children to discipline when they commit mistakes and when they do not follow instructions.  

Just like what I advise to parents when they are considering homeschooling their children, prepare for a year or two.  Ask seasoned homeschoolers, read materials about homeschooling, attend seminars about homeschooling, and most importantly, pray if homeschooling is the best option for you and your children. 

May the good Lord continue to guide you and give you wisdom in all decisions that you will do for your family.

Unleash The Triathlete In You By Joining Tri-Factor Series This May!

Engaging in sports is a good way to keep yourself healthy and fit.  There are different sports that we can engage into like running, biking,and swimming.  Some people engage not only in one sport but in several sports.  People who are sportsman by heart are never afraid to try new sport to challenge themselves and defy limitations.

I have been to different sports in my younger years.  I have tried running, mountain climbing, badminton, volleyball, wall climbing, and swimming.  I also go to gym for my regular fitness routine.  I also have thought of trying dragonboat rowing too but I am too lazy to wake up so early in the morning for training, haha.  When I became a mom, I put aside my passion for sports for the meantime but my desire to engage my son to sports is always there.  I want to raise a child who is conscious about his health.

My son tried sikaran (Filipino martial arts), swimming, running, and mountain climbing.  As he is nearing his teens, I want my son to try more sports and not to be afraid to take risks in doing so.  

Last April 25th, I was invited to a post-media event of Tri-Factor Series-Asian Championship and was given a glimpse on how virtual cycling works.  Virtual cycling is different from spinning classes. Virtual cycling is a training for cycling as it uses actual bicycles hooked to a computer.  The cyclist can feel the tension as the virtual course goes up the mountain or going down the slope. 

My son and I tried virtual cycling and we had fun!

You can also try virtual cycling at Maximus Cycling Studio inside SPARTA compound in Pioneer St., Mandaluyong.  Make sure you're dressed up properly (drifit shirt, shorts, towel) when you want to do virtual cycling.

Apart from the virtual cycling experience, we were also briefed on the upcoming Tri-Factor Series-Asian Championship which will be held on May 25-27 at Camarines Norte.  Tri-Factor Series is a triathlon event, but what makes this different from other triathlons is that it is open for beginners, even kids!  "This race series have categories for all capabilities and ages, starting from the kids triathlon all the way up to the long distance triathlon," Elvin Ting, founder of Tri-Factor and managing director of the organizing team Orange Room Pte. Ltd.

For the Philippine leg, there will only be 300 slots for the sprint event, 200 slots for the freshmen category, and 500 slots each for other categories.  Check out the picture below for the different race categories, fees, and age requirement:

The event is also open to non-Filipinos.

Miss Earth 2016 Michelle Gomez will join the event and is currently training under coach Andy Leuterio.  Michelle is a perfect embodiment that triathlon is not an intimidating sport, a sport only for the hard-core sports enthusiasts, but also for beginners like Michelle.  To introduce triathlon to children, Tri-Factor has a category for children too!  This event can be joined by the whole family as each category has a specific day for competition.  

The team behind Tri-Factor is encouraging everyone to try triathlon.  They want to introduce the sport to the Filipinos as something that is not intimidating overwhelming.  They wanted to introduce triathlon to young kids that is why they included a kids' category in this event.  When my son found out that triathlon is not only for adults, he got interested in learning how to ride a bike and he got more determined to get fit!

To encourage you to get into triathlon, here are the health benefits that you can get:

1.  Triathlon is a whole-body workout.  Running and cycling can only develop your leg muscles, but if you put swimming in the picture, it's a total body workout.  It helps you tone your whole body without worrying that your lower extremities would look bulky and your upper body looks skinny or vise-versa.  

2.  Enjoy healthy eating.  You need fuel in doing triathlon, so putting in more carbs in your diet is really a must.  There is no guilt feeling that you have eaten so much because in triathlon, you needed a lot of energy to burn.  But of course, you still have to eat healthy food while training for triathlon.

3.  Stronger muscles and bones.  Your body will get used to doing extreme sports, therefore your body will also adapt.  Since you will be doing three sports, there is a small risk that you will incur injury because triathlon balances the focus area in your body.  It doesn't strain one body part.

4.  You feel young.  Look at all those people who are into sports, they all look and feel young!  You can still do the things that young people can do, so better start engaging yourself in some physical activities to shed 10 years off on your body.

5.  Improved confidence.  Competing in triathlons will boost your confidence, that you can do things beyond what you can bear.  In triathlon, it's already an accomplishment if you finished the course, no time pressure at all, an accomplishment that you can brag to your friends and family.

You still have time to prepare for this triathlon event!  To know more about Tri-Factor Series this coming May 25-27, 2018,  you may visit www.trifactor.ph.  

Watsons Pays Tribute to Moms This Mother's Day

Mother's Day is one occasion that is valuable to everyone.  This is one special day that we dedicate to our mothers for their hard work and unconditional love to us.  This is the day that we give our mothers a break and treat them like a queen.  Mother's Day celebration is the day we show our gratitude to our moms.

This month, we will once again celebrate Mother's Day.  It'll be on the second Sunday of the month.  Different establishments have something special for mothers on this day, and Watsons, one of the leading pharmacies in the Philippines, has something for our mothers too!  Watch this video:

On this video, we can see how unaware most moms are about how their children see them--brave, selfless, caring, and responsible.  

True enough, moms are often hard on themselves, completely unaware that to their children, husbands and loved ones, they are perfect.  A mother may describe the perfect woman as loving and caring, when in fact, that is she.

A mother's love is selfless and her job never ends but she also deserves a break.  Moms need to pamper themselves and be pampered.  Happy mothers who look good and feel great in turn make their loved ones feel great, too!

This coming Mother's Day, make your mom feel like the perfect woman who looks good and feels great always.  You may try any of these ideas:

  • Give your mom a homemade gift cared for a foot and hand massage, redeemable forever.
  • Create a special basket for mom filled with beauty and wellness goodies such as face masks, massage oil, a bottle of multivitamins, nail polish, and anything that you think your mother will enjoy.
  • Give your mom gift cards from her favorite store.  You can purchase gift cards at Watsons if your mom loves to buy beauty products.  If your mom loves fashion, you can buy gift cards at SM.
  • Write a letter or poem telling her that she is the best mom in the world.  Highlight her characteristics which makes her a perfect mom.
  • Serve your mom breakfast in bed.  If you can't cook, slice some fruits and serve it with toast and butter with nice plating.
  • Date your mom!  Take her out for dinner and movie.  Bring her to her favorite restaurant and let her choose which movie to watch.

There are other ways to surprise your mom this coming Mother's Day!  Make her feel special and show your appreciation for all the things she is doing for your family.

To all the mothers there, advance Happy Mother's Day!  Always feel good and look great because you're amazing.

Happy Mother's Day!  Love, Mommy Donna and Kib

To learn more about the video, visit Watsons Philippines Facebook page and Instagram

Sexy and Pretty at 40

As promised, here's my story about my balik-alindog for 2018, ahihi...

I had been to this journey in 2015 and I'm happy to say that I was able to achieve my goals and maintain my weight.  

Fast forward to 2017, when I turned 40 I noticed that my metabolism got slower.  I easily get tired when I do physical activities.  In addition, I also got into a lot of stress towards the end of the year.  Even if I joined fun runs towards the end of the year, it seems that my enthusiasm on getting fit hasn't kicked in at that time.  I only joined just for the experience. 

With all of the changes in metabolism and stress, I have forgotten about taking care of myself.  I gained weight and while I still dress up and put make-up on, it's noticeable that I'm not confident and insecure about myself.

Friends have noticed that something is not right within me so they reminded me to take care of myself because if I don't, I cannot expect others to love me the way I expected to be loved.  

As 2018 started, I made a promise to myself that this year will be my redemption year.  I started exercising again, thanks to friends who generously gave me tips and continuously encourages me to continue and to push harder.  I also opened myself to new learnings and possibilities, and I truly thank God for sustaining me and my son's needs.  I started to eat healthily: less carbs, less sugar and more water.

My last photo for 2017
At Ngong Ping.  I climbed the stairs going to the top

I also encouraged my son to take the healthy route

One of the things that also helped me in detoxifying my body is taking this healthy drink:  Flush Out.  Flush Out is a prebiotics and probiotics supplement from Japan that cleanses your digestive system.  It also eliminates bloatedness.  You can feel that your tummy is clean of toxins whenever you take one sachet of Flush Out.  This drink somehow helped me to have a flat stomach.  I can easily move around with a clean digestive system, thanks to Flush Out.  The box comes in 10 sachets but you can already feel the effect even after taking one sachet.  You can purchase this at Lucky Cow Shop for only Php750 per box.  It also offers free shipping nationwide.

To help me burn calories and to tone my body, I did exercise daily for 10 minutes via HIIT (high intensity interval training).  There are lots of HIIT training workouts on YouTube but I regularly follow Emi Wong.  I also loved her weight management story, from being unhealthy party girl to bulimic to healthy.  HIIT exercises can really tire you and give you body pains but never, ever give up.  Have a strong desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make it a habit.  Twelve weeks of continuous exercise and diet will give you the results that you desire.  However, after 12 weeks and after you have seen results, still continue with the new lifestyle and engage your whole family.

Pardon the mess.  I usually do my exercises in our bedroom and this was me taking a rest after my workout.  HIIT exercises can really tire you big time and yes, there are instances that I almost vomit because it's so difficult.  Do HIIT for beginners first and when you get the hang of it increase the difficulty level.  HIIT workouts can be done at home, no need for expensive equipment, just an exercise (yoga) mat and rubber shoes.
Look at my progress for three months!

I was also given an opportunity to attend a make-up class by Nikki Tiu.  I was invited to attend a make-up workshop before but I didn't take it seriously.  I didn't listen and didn't even participated during the hands-on activity.  I attended make-up class this time because I was encouraged by a friend to do so.  I was so happy to learn tricks and techniques on putting make-up, and how make-up can make or break a person's looks and appearance.  

Me with Nikki Tiu

There are still lots of things to improve on myself.  I am not a perfect person, but I know that I am doing my best to improve my life so that I would set an example to my son.  I want to enjoy life more and to celebrate milestones with my son.  

First quarter has just ended.  It's not yet too late to start taking care of yourself.  Don't wait for the next year to start anew.  Stop making excuses, stop making delays.  The time to do something about yourself is NOW.  Have the determination to change something in yourself.  Start doing something new in your life, improve your well being, and make something amazing that will leave a mark and inspire other people to follow your footsteps. 

I am excited to hear about your makeover story!  Share yours, okay?!