Monday, May 23, 2016

:earning How To Save at The Smart Saver Kiddie Camp

My whole family recently attended the Smart Saver Kiddie Camp organized by Game Changer for Security Bank at their main branch in Makati. It is a three-hour program which integrates financial education with fun and interactive workshops designed for 7 years olds and above. While the older kids (like my son) were able to sit down and focus on the lecture, the younger ones were busy creating plushies at the La Pomme crafts station.

I've always wanted to open an account in a bank very close to my home for the kids so that they can experience walking to the bank (perhaps taking their piggy banks with them?) and learn the powerful tool of restriction or saving.  Lo and behold, there is a Security Bank right next to our street, a mere 5 minute walk from our home! 

I took the opportunity to take both kiddos to the neighborhood branch today to open their Jr. One accounts. This is Security Bank's saving product for kids 18 years and below. What I find really super is that their interest rate is higher than that of a regular savings account with an opening AND maintaining balance of only Php100. Awesome, right?

I loved the fact that there were no lines (must be my lucky day!) and we were attended to right away by a branch officer. I just showed our valid government IDs (in my case, I used our passports) and the officer did all the filling up of forms and within minutes, my little ones were given their first savings passbooks! I cannot wait to encourage my kids to save the money given to them by relatives, even small change like coins do add up!  

"It's not how much you earn, but how much you save!"

Parents interested in the Smart Saver Kiddie Camp or want to open a Jr. One account for their kids may visit any Security Bank branch or log on to You can also call the Security Bank Hoteline (02) 8879188.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

A Mother and Yogi's Balancing Act (with Vegan-Friendly Regetta Canoe!)

These days, my life's been extra challenging as I balance my duties as a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and yoga teacher. If you have been following my blog posts, you would know that we lost our household helpers a few months back so my husband and I have been tag-teaming chores and caring for our kids in between earning money to survive. I legitimately know how it feels to be independently responsible for yourself. It's like I have been living inside a bubble for a time and now that it has bursted, reality strikes. I am currently questioning all these I being prepared for something bigger here?

I received an email invite to attend Regetta Canoe's Philippine launch in Susi, a gluten-free and vegan resturant in Bonifacio High Street. I took the opportunity to get a quick break from my kids and domestic errands. I am still currently nursing my 26 month old daughter so any time apart from her truly helps the weaning process (which I plan to complete this year!)

A media event wouldn't normally push me to philosophical questioning but because the theme of the afternoon was all about finding balance, (the shoe supposedly does help with this and posture!), I looked inward.

As a yoga practitioner, I know that balancing poses embody the struggles that we experience in life so we may be able to outwardly manifest our strength to pursue all that is necessary with grace and endurance.

Here is my really cute pair of Regetta Canoe which we took on to the streets of BGC and a little patch of grass where we were asked to do some poses that required us to balance for prizes. Lucky yoginis in my group had the advantage of flexible limbs! Watch our super fun Boomerang photo on Instagram @dharmadreams with #RegettaCanoePH to see our winning post for the day!

What are the important features of the Regetta Canoe shoe?

- corrects posture of the body
- reduces impact on feet
- arch support for increased blood circulation (yay for traveling!)
- lessen feet fatigue
- crafted with special heel and toe guard to protect from bumps for klutzy people like me!
- last but not the least, is its vegan philosophy: animal-free and cruelty-free in design and production!

A photo-ception of our beloved Regetta Canoe pairs.

Regetta Canoe is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by the Primer Group and is available at selected Res Toe Run stores nationwide. Visit or follow @RegettaCanoePH on Facebook and Instagram for more details.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Learning The Art of Bento

If we define roles in the house in a very conservative way, you might agree that women have more knowledge in the kitchen as mothers do the nurturing. I, on the other hand, have been in the minority of clueless ones when it comes to food preparation! Let me clarify. I am kitchen-challenged- not necessarily helpless. It takes a whole lot more effort for me to prepare a meal for my family compared to my friendly neighbor Jane who can cook up a delicious storm with no sweat. I guess we all have our personal gifts and cooking isn't in my cards. Boohoo. Thanks to my husband who I fondly call as my "chamba-chef" (Why? He produces hit or miss meals, LOL!), we are currently surviving (yes, keyword!) with our absolutely no-household help tag team. 

Recently, Heinz x Bento By Kat collaborated for a Bento workshop and invited kitchen challenged me, hurray! Seriously though, I crave to learn. Just because I currently suck in the kitchen doesn't mean I can't try, right? Thankfully, our workshop didn't include any cooking, just food preparation only.

Some of the ingredients we started off with---

Tada! Here is my finished product :) Compared to the other moms who totally kicked ass in design, I am probably on the bottom of the pit but... who cares! When I showed my masterpiece to my kids later on, they were delighted. "Oooh pretty food!" they must have thought. With practice, I'm confident that I will get better. When school starts after the summer break, I hope to continue to create cute looking baon (Filipino word for packed meals) for my son.

So, you thought Heinz only has ketchup? Think again! I was amazed at the selection and how many of their products are available here in the Philippines.

Thank you to Kat Maderazo and the Heinz Philippines team for inviting me to participate. I learned an introduction to the beautiful art of Bento and I cannot wait to do more for my kids' sake!

photo care of Em Sulit

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Motherhood Journey (So Far)

Most people think that we choose our children, when and how they will journey with us in our lives. On the contrary, it is they who choose us. Yes, you read that right. If you believe that we are spiritual beings, much more than our physical bodies in our earthly existence, then you will understand this concept. I learned it from my mentors at my son's Waldorf Schools here in the Philippines (he has been to 3 different ones to date!).

To give you a fresh perspective of where I am coming from, here is an excerpt from the book Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer which I highly recommend for all parents. (Prepare some tissue, I always get weepy reading this!)

Birthday Story 

By Susan Bruck
Song:The stars are watching when for a birth,A little child comes down to earth.Her angel leads her both day and night,To fill her heart with love and light. 
Once, not so very long ago, way up in the heavens, there lived a star child.  She lived there with the other star children, who were her friends, and together they would visit the sun, the moon and the planets.  She had a special angel who watched over her always.  She was very happy up there in the stars.  One night, as she was sitting all snuggled up with her angel and they were looking out at the thousands of sparkling stars, the star child saw something that she had not seen before.  It was a planet, and it was blue and green and most lovely to behold. 
“What is that place?” she asked her angel.  
“That is the planet earth,” the angel replied.  “Come, I will show you.”
And together they went to visit the earth.  When they got there, they saw great oceans and mountains.  They saw forests and winding rivers.  They saw birds flying in the sky and animals walking on the face of the earth.  The earth was so beautiful.  There were flowers blooming everywhere, and the baby birds were hatching out of their eggs while their mothers and fathers sang joyous songs.  They saw many children running and laughing in the meadows, splashing in puddles and gathering dandelions and violets that they put in each others’ hair. 
The star child and the angel continued their journey and soon they came to a large city next to a big lake.  Here there were many people working and playing.  Among them the star child saw a kind man and a loving woman, and she felt something stir within her. 
“I would like to come here,” said the star child. 
“And so you shall,” said the angel, “But first you must rest.  While you rest, I will weave you a garment, for when you leave here, you must leave your heavenly garments behind.” 
Song:  Sleep my little star child,            Sleep the long night through,            While you sleep I will weave a             Garment of light for you. 
And so the child slept for many days and weeks and months.  When she woke up, the angel said, “Now it is time.  Put on the garment I have made for you.”The child put the garment on.  The angel led her to a bridge made of all the colors of the rainbow. 
The angel said, “Take courage.”And the child walked across the bridge. 
Song: In heaven shines a golden star,
An angel brought me from afar,From heaven high unto the earth,And brought me to my house of birth. 
And soon the child saw once more the kind man and the loving woman, and the woman held the child close to her heart.  The child looked into the loving faces of her father and mother, and heard them say, “We shall call her Grace, and she is the best gift of all.Song:Welcome, welcome lovely day,With flowers bright and sunshine gay,And painted birds who sing their songs,And make me kind and good and strong.And so, dear children, Grace came to join us on this earth, and we are so glad you are here.
If you understand the story, you will grasp that our children are heavenly beings that incarnated to (re)learn lessons and also teach us what we need to learn in this lifetime ourselves. If you believe in karma, then you're probably nodding your head.

You see, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was already searching for my truth, a parenting path that would go "beyond the norm" as I have questioned conventional lifestyle practices that didn't seem to fit my personal values. Looking back at how my choices have been, the data clearly shows an alternative route-- From my birth choices (c-section to home water birth!), to extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, opting for a Waldorf school, becoming a yoga teacher... even when we uprooted to live in Palawan for 2 that certainly took guts for me and my husband because many opposed us. People will always resist the unknown. But I have learned to stand for my quest for truth and embrace constant change.. because these changes, although uncomfortable, help you grow and evolve. Interestingly, a sense of rhythm also balances and grounds - a lesson my dear son brings to our lives today.

So, I thank my children for they have truly brought out the very best of me. Without them coming into my life, I would have made very different decisions and would certainly be a lesser version of me.

To my children - I know this love so well, it has indeed surpassed the bounds of time and space and will go on through eternity. Thank you again and again for choosing me to become your mother. I am honored and will rise up to the challenge of helping you both realize your life's mysteries. 

This is my personal story for Expo Mom's #TheMotherhoodJourney. Join the sisterhood of mothers expressing their unique journey with their children and get to win exciting prizes from Mommy Mundo sponsors. Find more details at their official page here. 

See you at the Expo Mom this weekend! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Belo Goes All Natural with Belo Baby!

My second job after college was in Marketing and PR for the Belo Medical Group. Back then, I already wished for all-natural products made because that really interested me. In fact, a few months after I became pregnant, I quit my job and then later on formulated an aromatherapy based, all-natural bath and body line with my friend, Denise Gonzales-Bernardo. We named the company INDIGOBaby (after our babies!). Little did I know that many years later, Belo too, would create a product line that would make me swoon!  Why did Cristalle Belo Henares (the daughter of Vicki Belo, the founder of Belo Medical Group) finally do it? Well, have you heard the big news? She's engaged and is about to marry later this year! I guess they've got foresight and see babies in the near future! You wouldn't want to place any harsh chemicals on your baby's skin, right?  Cristalle completely agrees, did her research and consulted with the dermatologists in the Belo team for which ingredients are best for babies' skin. Cocoa butter, Shea butter and Sweet Almond Oil are the top ingredients found in the Belo Baby products.

Congratulations on jumping on the bandwagon for the launch of Belo Baby, Stalle! And thanks for inviting me and my kids over. We had fun learning all about the certified natural ingredients used in all the Belo Baby products. I've been using them not just on my kids, but on myself too! My favorite? The 2-in-1 hair and baby wash. Why? Because it is so travel-friendly! I just used this during our recent trip to Palawan (find stories soon at :)

Find Belo Baby products at leading supermarkets and department stores near you. To know more information about their full line of products, visit


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