Sunday, February 12, 2012

Children Cheer

Lately, Santi has been bringing so much joy into our lives because of his unintentional humor!

Some words he currently says in a funny manner:
  • Sentemary when he really means....Cemetery (told ya he is blown away by Halloween!)
  • Skoopy when he really means.... Spooky (he says this with matching big eyes)
  • Jobilee when he really means...Jollibee (clearly, he learned this word from his Dad!)
taken at a friend's beach house during Halloween ;)

I received a call from the broker of our soon-to-be-home (I am crossing my fingers on this one!) and Santi was listening by my side. All he could hear was whatever I said on the phone. This was our conversation after the phone call.

S:     Mom, who was that?
M:   The broker, my dear.
S:    What did she say? (always asking me what people tell me over the phone, curious little one!)
M:   She just explained the terms of payment for the new place.
S:    Hmmm... I wonder what the terms is (by the time he said this, Montri and I burst out laughing!!!)


After walking to a nearby restaurant with his Dad last night, Santi exclaimed, "That was a long walk! I'm tired! My bones are broken na I cannot walk anymore!"


Since it's the love month, he says "Happy Valentine, Mom!" then puckers his lips for a sloppy kiss <3

I'm sure your kids do and say the cutest, silliest things as well! Perhaps the universe gives us this gift of cheer so as we don't take life too seriously.  Children are such blessings, aren't they? :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Yummy Mummy: Ami Swanepoel

Name: Amina Evangelista Swanepoel (Ami)

Child:  Lucas Alejandro (Luke) almost 14 months old

Occupation:  Director of
Roots of Health, a non-profit organization focused on improving the health of women and girls, and their communities, in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Ami in her weekly feeding program for the women & children in Puerto Princesa
Your Dharma or Life's Purpose
I believe my life’s purpose is to do what I can to help improve the things that I care about. Mahatma Gandhi said to “be the change you want to see in the world” and this is something that inspires me. I remind myself of this and it encourages me to put in the effort to have strong, loving relationships with family and friends, and to work hard with Roots of Health where we provide education and services to women and young people who otherwise wouldn’t be getting that help.

People Who Inspire You

I am constantly amazed by my maternal grandmother, Alice Potter. She’s 99 years old and is brilliant, has a sense of humor, is generous to a fault, and is generally a beautiful person. She went to medical school at a time when women didn’t focus much on education and she is just amazing in so many ways. I get my love of dark chocolate from her.

Parents Susan & Oscar dancing like no one is watching :)
My parents, Oscar and Susan Evangelista, also inspire me. They’re both educators and taught at UP and Ateneo for decades. They just celebrated 45 years of marriage and set such a great example for my siblings and me. They’re so cute – they still hold hands and dance and go on trips together. They are also both really active and involved in the issues and causes they care about, despite being retired. They are always working and on the go! But they take the time to come and visit their grandson almost every day. I am so glad to be living near them again after 11 years of living so far away (I was in the US for college, work and grad school). 

Family Portrait at Nagtabon Beach, Puerto Princesa
Favorite Family Getaway 
When we have a day or two to get away we love going to Sabang. When we only have a few hours our getaway of choice is Nagtabon beach.

Precious Moments In Motherhood

  • Breastfeeding Luke for the first time. It took 5 days for my milk to come in after Luke was born and by that 5th day I was so stressed that he was hungry and that he might get dehydrated and I thought my body had failed me. And then my milk came in and Luke fed to his heart’s content. I was so thankful that I could breastfeed him and marveled at how my body could do this and sustain another human being.

  • In Luke’s first few months he would only sleep well at night if he was sleeping on Marcus or me.  I loved how he snuggled into me and how he looked as he slept. But I have to admit it was also a precious moment when he learned to sleep on his own! ;-)

  • Marcus and I love swimming, whether in a pool or in the ocean, so we were thrilled to discover that Luke is a water baby. From the first time we took him swimming he loved being in the water. We are so happy that he also likes doing something that we love so much.

  • The joy that Luke brings me and Marcus and our families and friends on a daily basis is amazing. He is such a blessing and it is so cool to see that even at such a young age he is touching the lives of so many others beyond Marcus’ and mine.
in Chichen Itza, Mexico

Dreams Realized
I am so blessed and give thanks every day for my amazing husband and wonderful son. I grew up in a really loving and close-knit family and always hoped and prayed I’d have that when I got married and had my own kids and I am so happy this is the case.

Despite not really loving being a student (I hate studying and writing papers!), I really wanted to go to grad school to get training on human rights and public health issues. I was pretty thrilled when I finished my graduate degrees.

It was also super cool when my mom and husband and I started Roots of Health. We are overjoyed that despite the ups and downs of running one’s own organization that generally things have been going really well. I think of Roots of Health as my first baby and I love watching the organization grow.

Dreams To Be Manifested

visiting a sacred site, the Stonehenge in the UK
I love traveling. I’ve had the opportunity to live in many countries and visit a lot of cool places but there are still so many places I want to go to. 

Marcus and I dream of figuring out a way to live in both the Philippines and South Africa. (Marcus is from Cape Town). It would be amazing if we could figure out a work and school situation so that we could spend a few months of the year in Palawan, a few months in Cape Town, and the rest of the time traveling the world 

Ami & Marcus in Coron, Palawan

Thoughts on Marriage and Life with Husband

Marcus & Ami with their dogs, Harper & Scout

Marcus is an amazing husband and life partner. He is so loving and supportive and patient and he balances me out in a lot of ways. I am really thankful for the four years that we were married before Luke because they were fabulous years of just focusing on each other and traveling and having lots of spontaneous fun. Since Luke, Marcus has proven to be a wonderful, hands-on father and I am so thankful for that as well.  We’re really enjoying the stage we’re in now and love being parents, despite the sleep deprivation and completely different lifestyle we now have. I have so much to be thankful for.

Follow Ami's Adventures

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ideas for Love Month

photo via pinterest
Santi started seeing hearts decorated in establishments and the curious little one asked if it was somehow related to an event similar to Halloween or Christmas since those two really made an impact in his life, so far. (Believe me that he is blown away by Halloween!)

I explained that those hearts he saw represents LOVE because we are celebrating our love for one other this month. Not too sure how this month's festivities will move him but so far he has been saying "Happy Valentime!", hugging and kissing me. Oh, how I love you, my sweet little boy :)

Here are some ideas for your whole family on this month of hearts! <3

1. Refine your child's taste in the arts. Take your child to see these works by the finest lovers on the planet...artists!
Shameless plug: Check out my brother's works -Gino Tioseco!

2. Give the gift of love. (For the husbands, hint, hint!) Surprise your dearies with amazing healing jewelry by genius Geometrician & artist, Frank Chester. Purchase through Healing Forms.

3. Give yourself some yogalove! Beyond Yoga will be bringing in Cat Alip-Douglas for an open Jivamukti Music Vinyasa Class which includes pranayama, meditation, sanskrit chanting & deep relaxation.

PLUS! A collaboration between Beyond Yoga & Yoga+ for Valentine's...Cupid Yoga featuring Anna Carbonell and Ryan Chester. Come drag your date to yoga :)
photo credits to Diego Jose
4. Have heart for the animals, too! Enjoy a vegan (cruel-free) meal at our favorite vegetarian restaurant, Pipino.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Hunt Begins: Kolisko Waldorf School

Earlier today, we attended an open house orientation at the Kolisko Waldorf School. YummyMummy Denise and I have started to hunt for a new Waldorf school for our kids, Benny & Santi, because they will be turning 5 in a few months, which means they have to 'graduate' from the Waldorf Daycare program of St. Michael Playhouse (formerly known as Mikael). Oh, we're going to miss you all Tita Winnie, Tita Marcy, Tita Malou and Tito Allan! :_(

Tiny Santi & Benny back in 2010 at St. Michael's Playhouse
We've always resonated with the Waldorf philosophy on education since we attended a talk conducted by one of the founders of Manila Waldorf School, Tita Bella Tan, back in 2009. I've said this before and I'll say it again...If you are a parent, you MUST listen to her speak about saving your kids' childhood (lives, really!) through age-appropriate education, and your life will be changed forever! Another inspiration I found online was through the blog of Panjee Tapales, a huge eye-opener! I truly felt a spark lit in me. Everything just made so much sense. I thank my path to Yoga because now I am able to merge my yogic values with that of my sons education.

Snack time at a Waldorf school assures you they serve homemade, healthy meals
In a nutshell, what I like most about the school is that they see a child as not only a physical & mental entity but also respect a child's SOUL. This is obviously lacking in other schools. Take a look at the toys of other schools. Mostly made from plastic in China, I bet. I recall asking our much-loved pediatrician, Dr. Crickette Palanca-Chen, why wooden toys are better. She answered that handmade toys are warmer to touch and have better intentions rather than factory mass-made plastic toys that are cold to touch. Now that I am into energy-work, I understand this concept very much. It's the same reason why home-cooked food meals made with love by your Lola or Mom have the power to heal...because of the intention they have poured into the food.

One of the speakers at Kolisko today mentioned that the attitude of the teacher in his Waldorf school made all the difference in his early education. Always remember that the children imbibe the feelings/emotions of their nurturers. This is why parents should always keep calm around their children. If parents are away at work, please be mindful of who you leave your children with. Your yayas or teachers are considered second parents. In Waldorf schools, they call teachers nurturers because that IS what they are, afterall!

Also consider the food the canteen sells or what other parents serve in the children's lunchboxes. When Santi used to attend non-Waldorf schools, I would cringe every snack time seeing all his other classmates eating packed junk. If you are a mindful/conscious parent, like I strive to be, you would understand where I am coming from.

Here are other reasons on Why Waldorf Works (via

Waldorf Education

  • Is based on a profound understanding of human development
  • Provides a detailed, richly artistic curriculum that responds to and enhances the child's developmental phases, from early childhood through high school
  • Cultivates social and emotional intelligence
  • Connects children to nature
  • Ignites passion for lifelong learning
  • Is the fastest growing educational movement in the world

About Waldorf Graduates 

According to a recent study of Waldorf graduates:

  • 94% attended college or university
  • 47% chose humanities or arts as a major
  • 42% chose sciences or math as a major
  • 89% are highly satisfied in choice of occupation
  • 91% are active in lifelong education
  • 92% placed a high value on critical thinking
  • 90% highly values tolerance of other viewpoints 

More on Waldorf Methods here. 

This is WHY we moved to Palawan before.

When we moved to Palawan 2 years ago, I felt that the lush environment was perfect for a Waldorf school. I know it wasn't just coincidence that Walter and Grace Zozobrado-Hahn (of the Manila Waldorf School) also moved to Puerto Princesa the same time my family did. We did some early education initiatives, trainings and was successful in a start-up Waldorf-inspired school for the children of Puerto Princesa which we named Karawatan which means playground in the local dialect of Palawan.

Now that we are back in Manila. I have to make a crucial decision before school starts in June. I know that the people (teachers & classmates) he spends time with & experiences in these developmental stages of my son will help shape his future. My top choices are Kolisko Waldorf School and Acacia Waldorf School. Here are a few photos from the Kolisko Waldorf School taken today.

A child's growth & consciousness development (ages not seen on the left side!)

Bahay Kubo where kids can play
All-natural surroundings are soothing to the eyes. None of the bright, harsh & stimulating colors you find in other schools.
Artworks proudly presented on the walls with traditional Filipino wear to the right
Things to Consider

My Pros:
  • Close proximity to Beyond Yoga (where I teach yoga classes).
  • More affordable tuition fees compared to what I pay in St. Michael and in Acacia Waldorf School.
  • Kai, the son of my good friend, also goes to school there. Other classmates of Santi in St. Michael will be moving to Kolisko next school year. It's good to know Santi already has friends he can bond with.
My Cons
  • Limited space to roam & run for the children.
  • No grass in the playground.
  • Since they are expanding, the might need to look for a bigger venue in the future.

Kolisko Waldorf School
Address: 22 Alabama St. Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City
Contact Number: +639204023860

I plan to visit the Acacia Waldorf School with Santi this Friday. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Silk Thai Food

If you have been following my blog for some time, you'll read some articles gushing over gastronomical delights (mostly chocolates :P) so you must know by now that aside from loving my son, my husband and my career (check out my hashtags, #yogalove on twitter!), I am also foodie by heart. I enjoy worldly cuisine: Indian, Japanese, Korean & of course, THAI!

Weeks ago, I received great news from my friends over at LDL Marketing..SILK Thai Cuisine reopened in breezy Serendra. Too bad I wasn't able to make it to their launch but here are some photos to make your eyes feast, mouth drool, stomach growl in hunger. It really is not a good idea for me to be typing this now that it is lunchtime :P

One consideration I always make when I look for places to dine in would be the ambiance and feel of the place. It is a known fact that good interiors, the colors & lighting can affect the total energy of the space and your moods. I learned this from color psychology and Vastu (which is the Hindus version of Feng Shui). If you want to read more about using interiors and colors to heal you, read here.

Cool interiors make you want to stay and enjoy your meal 
If I were to eat right now, here are my top food choices. I wish they can magically appear from my screen right about now! :P

Let's start with the refreshing Pomelo Salad. Pass the Himalayan pink salt, please? A Raw Vegan friendly-meal :)

Then ask for fried or (I prefer) Fresh Spring Rolls with that amazing sauce. This is Raw Vegan, too! You won't have a problem inviting your Raw Foodie friends out for dinner :)

I do like *Bagoong Rice. What I usually do is mix everything except the pork which I pass on to my husband. (who is happier when there is meat on the table) *shrimp paste

Pad Thai is a staple in every Thai restaurant. Without the egg, of course, if you're vegetarian. Look at how it is presented! Food presentation is, indeed, an art form!
Pad Thai

 One day, all restaurants will have meat-less Satays. For now, this will do :)

They've got interesting cocktails like Ginger Zinger (good for digestion, right?!) & Pandan & Lemongrass Martinis

 As you all know, I've got a major sweet tooth so I always make sure to leave lotsa room for dessert! 
Sticky Rice with Mango
Tah Kho Sakhoo

Famished yet? I know where I am eating next.

Unit 1C12 G/F Serendra Piazza, Fort Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 11am-3pm and 6pm-11pm.

Call (632) 856.0386 or SMS 0917.8829818 for reservations.
Email for inquiries on catering and functions.

BE A FAN ON FACEBOOK: Thai at Silk Restaurant
FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @thai_silkresto

Dead Sea Products

Years ago, my passion for skin products led me to create all natural home-made products under the brand INDIGObaby with one of my bestfriends, Denise. Since becoming moms, we've taken more interest in the ingredients of the stuff we put into our skin knowing that our bodies absorb them.

My mom recently gave me some top-grade quality skin products made from Dead Sea salt. It was given to her by her friend from Israel but I (begged) asked for them. And so here they are, I can't wait to try them out tonight! :)
Triple Milled Mild Exfoliating Bar with Dead Sea Salts & Shea Butter
One With Nature Soaps combine genuine Dead Sea minerals - thousands of years in the making - with a pure vegetable base and moisturizing shea butter to provide a truly luxurious cleansing experience. Our soothing bath bars relax muscles, stimulate circulation and restore the skin's natural pH. Best of all, they are 100% natural. Experience the Dead Sea Difference.

The Dead Sea Spa Care Mineral Mud is 100% natural black mud from the Dead Sea, rich in beneficial Dead Sea Minerals. These Dead Sea minerals have been valued since ancient times for its potency in relaxing tense tissues. The Dead Sea Mineral Mud is known for stimulating, revitalizing, cleansing, purifying and soothing the skin because of its high concentration and unique combination of minerals. Dead Sea mineral mud is known for relieving ailments such as arthritis, muscle stiffness and aches, rheumatism, joint inflammation and even itchy, dry skin. Dead Sea Mineral Mud not only treats the skin, but it also cleanses it as well. The high concentration of minerals and salt in the Dead Sea mud is the answer. As the Dead Sea evaporates, salt and minerals are absorbed into the mud at the bottom of the sea. This Dead Sea Mineral Mud is removed and utilized in Dead Sea spas and Dead Sea products.

  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud nourishes and prevents redness, peeling, dryness and cracking of the skin
  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud improves blood circulation and natural skin regeneration
  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud cleans the skin and remove dirt particles, impurities and toxins
  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud gently peels away dead skin cells to reveal more youthful, healthier skin
  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud contains numerous beneficial minerals from the Dead Sea
  • Dead Sea Mineral Mud recognized to provide relief for skin disorders such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and wrinkles
via and

What other organic & all-natural products do you recommend I try? :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

AcroYoga in Beyond

Jen Leisch, a certified AcroYoga teacher based in Washington DC conducted a session at Beyond Yoga. I was so excited to try this out again because I had met the creator/founder of AcroYoga at last year's Asia Yoga Conference and had a blast.

Jason & his Ukelele

Release into an assisted backbed

Me with Jason Nemer

Check out these photos from last Tuesday.

AcroYoga is all about community building it seems

Dharma + Karma with Jen Leisch

Hatha Yoga teacher Johanne and Bea practices bone stacking

Tripod Headstand on a bridge with partner and spotter

The beauty of AcroYoga is it always ends in Thai Massage

Because we all had so much fun, Beyond Yoga decided to conduct another special class with Josie Say on Thursday, Feb 16. I hope you get to attend if you missed the last one. (Sorry, I will be en route to India by then!)


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