Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bulletin Board: Vinyasa Yoga with Brian Miller at Beyond Libis!

My friends over at Beyond Yoga Libis is having a guest teacher from Canada do a Vinyasa Yoga Weekend Workshop soon! Read up on the details below and use the promo code #LifeWithDharma to avail of 1 week FREE yoga GC if you avail of the "4-Day All Access Pass"

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How To Teach A Child About Money + Kindness

What do you do with the money? We either save, spend or share! Admitedly, I end up spending almost all that I earn while my husband is way better with saving. I'm learning from him. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "My husband is my yin to my yang." :)

So, going back to the topic- Let's face it. Money is a valuable tool in the current world we live in because it is the currency agreed upon by the general population to do commerce. Having money keeps a roof over our heads, feeds us and just makes it possible to exist these days. Think of money in terms of energy. It is the output of the work we do, an energy exchange. The concept is still a bit challenging to understand for a child, I can imagine! Especially when faced with sad realities beyond the safe bubble we keep around them.

I can't help but think of what my son Santi said weeks ago about currency. After being exposed to poverty stricken Manila during car rides. He had some thoughts expressed on the matter.

Santi: "Mom, why did they invent money? Can't food be free?"

His question struck deep. There was an emotion there felt for the street kids. (Yay, I'm raising a child with emotional quotient!) Another realization that our world kinda sucks. We've reached a point where greed overcomes compassion. Poverty is an obvious result of the imbalance of funds. WHY do we need to use money when food SHOULD be free? Doesn't food come from plants and trees which are on everyone's land ? Isn't it that simple?

I don't remember my answer to my son. Maybe I nodded in agreement and said a thing or two about planting trees to be sustainable.

Perhaps we only see part of the picture, looking at the grand scheme of things, suffering exists as a game balancer. By being exposed to hunger, then we learn how to appreciate food. Injustice brings out compassionate beings willing to fight for goodness. Without darkness, light wouldn't exist. Now, how do I teach him this?

Just recently, Janice of Mommy Mundo invited a group of mothers to a presentation by ChildHope Asia Philippines, a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization who work to ensure the welfare of Filipino street children. Chips Guevara, one of the board members spoke about his personal stories of working with the street children, how it impacts even his own children when they learn how to share.

They have a Kindness Campaign for 2015 with a very cute menu to choose from

Perfect, I thought. This is something very tangible for my 8 year old to understand.

Then we were all given Save, Spend and Share cans so that we can start this project at home with our children. After 30 days, ChildHope will be collecting the SHARE can to be used for feeding and teaching the street children basic literacy which is their main goal.

Do you recall the heart-warming story of the child from the slums becoming a scholar in Germany? He was one of the street kids of ChildHope Asia Philippines, a personal student of Chips! Tears swelled from my eyes upon remembering that story.

If you want to teach your children about money too using this project, or join other programs under their Kindness Campaign, please get in touch with ChildHope Asia Philippines

Address: 1210 Penafrancia Ext. Paco, Manila
Tel No. (02) 5617118

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Moving to Paradise, Coming Back Home and Chasing New Dreams Whenever We Can


It's no secret that my family once chased our dreams of living in paradise. We packed up our bags and left the city for greener pastures in Puerto Princesa, Palawan when Santi was only 3 years old. We bought hectares of land and built a farm house an hour away from town in hopes to live an off-the-grid lifestyle. Unfortunately, our plans were prematurely executed, I would say. My husband and I learned the hard way that you should always have more than just Plan A and Plan B because life never goes as planned, right?

But, oh we had such a good break while living in Philippine's last frontier. We've created so much memories that my son can cherish for a lifetime. No one can take away these precious moments from him. They're worth much more than money can ever buy!

Everyday is beach day!

Learning about animals at a local organic farm
playing with a local at El Nido beach

My husband getting lost in his thoughts while embracing all the green sights
Set up camp at Montible River with Ernie Lim and family
Dolphin watching at Puerto Bay

I collaborated the first few yoga retreats at Bahay Kalipay and lead unforgetable yoga classes underneath a canopy of stars, in pristine beaches and unpopulated mountains spots. To fully realize and live your dream at a very young age (I was in my 20's!), what an experience it was!

Early days on Maia Earth Village

Yin Yoga Mandala at Nagtabon Beach
photo by Kat Jack

So we've been living in Manila again the past few years, back to the grind, finding motivation to live a life of meaning amidst the rat race. On weekends, we must thrive in nature to survive. This is why we go out of town as much as we can to fuel up for the week. We've also learned to spend afternoons out cooling ourselves in the garden, maybe in the pool, to get some fresh air, negative ions and a change of scenery. 

I am thankful to FLOW Retreats for giving me the opportunity to teach in amazing venues all over the Philippines and beyond! These serve as my mini-breaks from the concrete Manila jungle.

I recently came back to Puerto Princesa for a Yoga and Detox retreat at BK earlier this year. Tabitha Fernan has an amazing account of that refreshing weekend here. Thank you to Air Asia Philippines for our wings during the event.

photo by Tabitha Fernan
While we may not be living in our past big dream anymore, we're constantly creating new ones. We visit places that inspire us to maximize our potential here on Earth. It is when we pull ourselves out of our comfort zones that we are able to see things in new light and maybe manifest a miracle or two. That is what we do when we travel. 

And just recently I learned, that is also what we do when we choose to stay even if we want to run away

It is all in the here and now. Wherever you are :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

DIY: Learning the Art of Batik Dyeing

As a very hands on mother to two young children, a yoga teacher and entrepreneur, I barely have time outside my usual routine of work commitments and errands for home. But when the women behind L'Indochine invite you to a Batik Dyeing Workshop with craft queen Alessa Lanot of Life After Breakfast - you simply make time and say YES!

Upon arriving the grand flagship L'Indochine store, I was welcomed with this exotic table set up which I completely adore. I sense that I have a string of past lives in the ancient lands of Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, India and in Asia, Indonesia hence my natural affinity to these places, their design patterns and hues.

Alessa showed us different techniques on how to create throw pillowcases using imported dyes.

Gorgeous trays from L'Indochine were given out to participants!

When they announced that there was a contest for bespoke jewelry by Elena Bautista, my game face suddenly turned on.

My shawl and skirt from India and my top from Bali, Indonesia - see what I mean?
Tada! Guess who won?! I was selected as one of the winners. Yay! Here I am together with Alessa, Leona and Charlene of L'Indochine and the other winners showing off our Batik masterpieces.

Then I finally had the appetite to sample their food (my son Santi was happily munching along while I was seriously working to win!) Here's the buffet set up by Chelsea Kitchen. Lookie, I found a vegetarian snack- how addicting this mushroom chicharon! The type that needs to be taken away from you or you end up finishing the whole bowl!

It was delightful afternoon of crafternoon fun, catching up with some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers in Manila. Cat Juan Ledesma recently birthed a baby so I was surprised to see her but was glad just the same to congratulate her for the succesful waterbirth of Nara. And I finally meet Paula in the flesh! I've got itchy feet just like her so I live vicariously through her travel stories.

Thank you to L'Indochine, Life After Breakfast and all the sponsors for making this wonderful event possible. I look forward to attending more workshops at L'Indochine soon!

List of Sponsors

Uniqlo / Shine Bakery and Cafe / Chelsea KitchenReal Living Magazine / Fino / Nifty Manila / Celeteque / Digital Traincase / Mommy Mundo / Caren Carlos / Forever 21 and Smell Chic

To see what every participant got in their loot, read the write up from The Inspiration Seekers here.

The throw pillows Santi and I made fit perfectly in one corner of our home.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

7 Real Good Reasons Why You Should Flow to Bali, Indonesia

Last year, FLOW conducted it's very first international retreat in Bali, Indonesia. Visiting this magical island for the first time in 2010 by myself, I knew that I would be back again and again and again. There is a certain charm to this Island of the Gods that I can't get enough of! Those who have been to this place know what I am talking about, right???! And I am so glad we pulled through with such a fun crew last year!

Here are reasons why you should join our next two retreats this coming June:

1. Destress, decompress and detox with daily yoga classes: Yep, you know you've deserve this kind of bliss!

2. Get cultured : Consider that the world really is your grand classroom. Get yourself out there and learn about other cultures and become more interesting in your next dinner conversation with friends.

4. Earthing : Walking on bare earth like soil or sand for at least 20 minutes a day will strengthen your immune system. Doing it in paradiso makes it 100 times cooler.

 5. Watching a raw food chef like Joao of Seeds of Life demonstrate why this high frequency food is super good for your whole being.

6. Make precious memories: Life is short. It's time you started collecting great moments, not things!

7. Just DO IT! When life gets crazy, you have two options. Take it or FILG. F it let's go! Then come back with a vengeance... renewed and ready to take on the universe. 

FLOW will be back in Bali, Indonesia this June! 

More details and registration at here.

All photos taken by Stephanie Dandan of Infinite Satori at #FlowBali 2014 


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