Looking Back

         Downtown bookstores have begun to stack piles of notebooks and paper pads and department stores have been selling backpacks and lunchboxes in colorful artworks with a variety of school supplies still in display. This familiar sight always brings me back to my early days of school.

        My father would wake me up at eight in the morning. I will timidly eat breakfast and he will give me a gentle and quick bath and get prepped up with my freshly ironed school uniform. He works at night so he will wait until the class ends at noon, fetch me and walk me home. This happened for almost a month when I started to learn how to write sensibly and read simple words. The month that followed became an ordeal for me however. He would no longer walk me to school and worse I had to go to class without him waiting for me outside and walking me home when class ends. A mix of fear and panic is so inevitable that I literally cried everyday. Eventually, I was able to forget these feelings when I started to meet new friends and learn a lot of new and interesting things. I became at ease with myself and with my new environment. After barely three months, I have learned to walk to school alone and go home by myself.

        This first experience taught me that life is a series of holding- on and letting- go. I learned this from my father who first held me and walked me to school because he is somebody whom I can trust and be protected with. His hands have a strong and assuring grasp in them which remind me that support is always there when needed most especially when life is always started with new beginnings. However, I have known that the path laid before me is not meant to be traveled this way forever. There is always the 'letting- go' aspect of it. It started with the experience of going to school and walking back home all by myself  that allowed me to accept this reality. Because of necessity fueled by an instinct to survive, I have mastered myself to overcome fear and stand up with the pain and adversity. Life, as they always speak about, is like a sea of uncertainty and our parents are our paddles that steer our ship off the shore through the waves and the wind. A journey is about to be started and slowly they will let go and allow us to face the harsh winds and enormous waves wherein lessons are learned making the heart strong and the mind sharp that the our cups are slowly filled with valuable treasures.

        The deeper knowledge of  the uncertain and the foreboding of being left alone force us to mentally prepare ourselves by assuming responsible and mature roles. Though it may seem that going to school is just a ritual of preparation for independence, we are bound to imitate independence and fortify it when we are finally thrown and tested into the real world of grown- ups. We may become uneasy, doubtful and hesitant but when we learn how face challenging situations we begin to take flight independently. The only thing that matters is how we live up our lives that the hands that took care of us will never despair.

        Summer is over and schools has opened days ago. New sailors have started to embark on a new journey bringing only with them ambition and inspiration. I can see a great deal of myself in them. Those were the days that the only thing I can think of right now is smile on how innocent I was, on how young and dependent I was. Things have changed a lot and I believe I have learned so much.

This article was contributed by Julius Juarez on June 19,2010. I just saw this today in my email while cleaning my inbox. This post is so timely and it just made me miss my dearest friend so much. We lost him to meningitis last March 2015. 

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#makeITsafePH My Top 5 Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age

I’m a mom of two beautiful girl—Bella, 7 and Cheska, 3—and I initially wanted to talk about how they don’t have their own smartphones (unlike most, if not all of their agemates and schoolmates) and yet manage to stay okay and happy. I didn’t however want to portray myself as that goody-two-shoes mom who’s all perfect and nice and knows exactly what to do every time.

Even in today’s world where new parents are utterly more confused as their parents and grandparents were when they reached that big milestone of a lifetime known as parenthood.Instead, I’ll be sharing my favorite tips on parenting in this age where kids find it an unforgivable sin when parents don’t give them the latest in smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices that turn them into zombies of the twenty-first century.

Globe Telecom takes it upon itself to ensure that the society as a whole remains safe from numerous threats facing everyone using the internet. This concern gave birth to the #makeITsafePH campaign under its CyberPinoy cyber wellness program. The program aims to to educate consumers on the proper online etiquette and make them aware of the increasing statistics on online threats and how they can stay away from becoming a source of such deplorable behavior or avoid becoming a victim.
If you’re reading this and find it interesting, it may be because one or two of your kids belong to the iGen or Gen Z or the Post-Millennial generation, which includes the little humans between ages 6 and 23. Not only is this generation the most diverse in the history of mankind, they are the most smartphone-addicted and digitally connected generation.

The Post-Millennial generation will have no memories of the pre-Internet times as they were born after 1995, which marked the commercialization of the Internet. They have most likely entered or will reach adolescence in the Smartphone Age. And as parents to these vulnerable little versions of us, the modern times and all the high-tech changes that come with it obviously have us facing a long list of parenting challenges. And I am happy to share my own little black book of tips on how to go about the parenting maze in today’s world that we call digital.

  1. Delay introduction of social media and smartphones to your kids for as long as you possibly can. My 8-year old daughter still has no Facebook account.  I told her that I only have FB because of my work (I work as an eCommerce VA and Socia Media Specialist) and that I can’t find a need for them to have it. Until now she hasn’t asked my permission to have one yet. But she loves to read and write so I gave her permission to create and maintain a blog site and that’s it. And as a rule in the house, they will only get their own smartphone when they are old enough to be able to afford buying one for themselves. I have not heard them complain about it.
  2. Wi-Fi, like TV use, is for Fridays and Saturdays only. I bought the kids one tablet that they have to share during weekends and weekends only. The girls are fond of reading, they use the tablet only to read their favorite e-books or watch the latest episodes of their Japanese anime series. The two of them love to read and are more excited getting additions to their mini library than reaching new levels on the latest video games or watching what's latest from their favorite YouTube stars.
  3.  Take parenting on a very personal level. Because the kids don’t have smartphones, we actually get to talk to each other a lot. We eat meals together and talk at the table. I help them with their take-home assignments and talk about how their day was in school. We hear mass every Sunday and we talk about their plans for the new week. We love movie marathons and talk about our favorite movie characters. I tuck them in bed at night and we pray together. We hug and kiss and say “I love you” to each other a lot in the house. We don’t text or do video calls or send messages with those cute emojis or funny effects on Messenger or Viber or WhatsApp.
  4. Teach and show them the real essence of life and living. This one shouldn’t be so hard if we ourselves actually know how it’s done. Teach your kids that they are beautiful and perfect and special and no less human than those who have the latest digital gadgets or have the cutest profile pics in their social media accounts. Let them understand the value of integrity, honesty, dignity, respect, and empathy so they may learn to love themselves as they are and be contented and happy with what they have.
  5. Make time for your kids. Actually make time for them no matter how much work consumes most of your wakeful hours. A few minutes of talking to them and understanding their feelings every single day makes a lot of difference in their lives. Of course, show them that you yourself are not addicted to your mobile phones or are always on Facebook worrying about your next coolest status update. Show them that we do not need any approval from any social media or online platform to define ourselves. That what we are or what we become should not be dictated by anybody or anything for that matter. Our attitude, character, relationships, values, and principles do. So they better be founded on the right and proper ones.

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Mom's Day Out : A Treat To Moms by Sun Life Financial

Motherhood is a gift and I consider it as my life's greatest blessing. The day I found out I first got a positive pregnancy test was such a joyous day for me. It's a lifelong career where resignation is not an option and vacation leave is a rare opportunity, so little pauses once in a while is more convenient. Being a mom, a wife and a career woman can be very challenging at times and a little pause is all I need to regain the strength and inspiration I need to keep going. By pause, I mean taking time away from the kids for a while and giving myself the most needed care. ☺

It has been a while since I went out and indulged myself to some pampering and "me time", so Sun Life's Mom's Day Out event is really a perfect opportunity for me to go out and enjoy an afternoon of pampering and learn about financial freedom as well as creating a balance as a mom. It was truly an event designed for moms to feel relaxed, pampered, and learn more about parenting, money management and a lot more.

Enjoying back massage by Elysia Wellness Spa
How lucky can I get? I won a gift voucher from Elysia Wellness Spa! It's an hour of pampering again!

Ms. Michelle Alignay, an author and Family Life Specialist shared about  The Balanced Motherhood. She also talked about how we, as mothers, should give value to ourselves and prioritize on giving the self-care that we need. By doing so, we are also caring for the welfare of our family particularly of our children. If we are reinvigorated and our strength is renewed, we also have the new energy to share quality time and do the much need work for our family. According to Ms. Alignay, the goal of self-care is to live a balanced life. And a well-balanced mom has more to give.

Ms. Mylene Almonte, Sun Life Mindanao's cluster head talked about the rising cost of college education and how we can prepare for it. Her talk excites me and it was very timely because I've been looking for an investment vehicle I can use to prepare for the college education of my daughters. While Bella is still 6 years old and Cheska is 2, I think the best time to invest for their college education in NOW.

Ms. Almonte introduces My Future Fund, an investment vehicle that can help parents prepare for the future of their children. MFF can also be paired with a variable life insurance that suits the family's budget. I believe it is wise to utilize My Future Fund because it is an investment that beats inflation. I can’t wait to discuss this with my husband. ☺

It was indeed an awesome afternoon as I get to see my blogging mommy friends and learned so much from the speakers on top of feeling relaxed and refreshed!

Thank you, Sun Life for thinking of moms like us!

Here's an inspiring video from Sun Life Financial Philippines:

To know more about My Future Fund and other SunLife's products and services, please check out the links below:

Website: Sunlife Financial Philippines
Facebook Page : Sunlife Financial Philippines
Instagram: @sunlifeph
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DDI Celebrates Its First Founding Anniversary!

I've been blogging since the year 2010 as a way of fighting boredom during my first pregnancy. It was very challenging for me at first but I finally got the hang of it especially when I started following blogs and got to know the faces behind those blogs. Blog comment exchanges are very fun and I found genuine people and develop friendships with them as well,  as we all become more active in our blogs and social media accounts.

Today, I am just so happy and honored to be a part of the Davao Digital Influencers, Inc. I may not be as active as the other members of the group in attending events but I am one with them in achieving the organization's objective to Engage, Influence and Make A Difference. Established in July 30, 2016, the group is a composed of passionate bloggers, video bloggers and microbloggers organized to take full advantage of its members’ respective influence in creating positive impact in the community particularly in promoting Davao region.

DDI has encouraged me to be a better blogger and social media influencer where truth, accuracy, impartiality, fairness are given emphasis on every blog and social media post. I am also one proud member of DDI because it is not just another blogging group but it is also registered in Securities and Exchange Commission. The organization maybe considered new but it has already done and achieved so much on its first year.

As DDI celebrates its first founding anniversary, I would like to thank and congratulate our founding officers on their unceasing hard work and devotion in bringing the organization to where it is right now and for truly making a big difference on its first year. A job well done, guys! ;)

DDI would like to thank the following sponsors for their love and support:

Platinum: Smart Communications, Inc., AirAsia, FWD Life Philippines
Gold: PLDT Home
Silver: Jolly Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Bronze: Abreeza Ayala Mall
Benefactors: Lachi's Sans Rival Atbp., Cecil's Snack Inn & Restaurant, Seda Abreeza Hotel, Marco Polo Davao, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Davao, M Magazine.

Happy Anniversary, Team DDI!

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Chasing Wonders With Air Asia's New Summer Destinations for as Low as P788

On April 22, 2017, the World's Best Low Cost Carrier Air Asia, has launched  new routes from and to Davao, Cebu, Clark, Palawan (Puerto Princesa), and Boracay (Caticlan).

In celebration of its new domestic flights from Davao, Air Asia is offering promo fares from as low as Php 788, all-in available at www.airasia.com for booking today until April 30 and valid for travel between September 5, 2017 to February 8, 2018.

For you guys to be able to discover the new summer wonders of our country, I will be giving away three (3) Round Trip tickets for two from Davao to Caticlan (Boracay).

Please stay tuned for more updates on the mechanics of  this promotion. 

Kindly visit www.airasia.com for more information about the flight schedules.

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