Only Mommy!

Its 6 am now and I have not slept since my husband woke me up at 1:30am. He tells me it’s time to bring Joshua to the hospital. Immediately, I stood up and left my 2 month infant on the bed and went straight to see Joshua to find out what’s wrong.

Joshua was crying and falling into a frustrated tone. He was in outrage and screaming. I asked what happened and I was told that he stood up to pee and then going back to bed he started a meltdown. His crying and body movements looked like either he was in pain or he was totally upset.

I took my 2-year-old into my arms and asked what was wrong. He was beyond the point of no return. He screamed and cried and I did not know what to do… About 2 days ago we confirmed that my Manong Joshua has tonsillitis and this caused his body to burn up. So the routine of paracetamol and antibiotics are in play. Together with that is the constant negotiation to drink his medicines and the crying about how painful his throat is. There is no one better to soothe this boy except Mommy. I had to be in his line of sight otherwise he would start crying.

As I held my son who was going thru a tantrum, I started to pray. I asked God to help me. Nothing I was doing was pacifying Joshua and I was tired and totally clueless on what next to say or do. I asked God to give me strength and to fill Josh with His Spirit because the 20 minutes that passed felt like forever!  I carried my 2-year-old like an infant and swinging him left to right. Finally he fell asleep.

I had to arrange the bed so that baby  Anna, Manong Joshua, and myself would fit. And just as I turned my son down on the bed, Anna my 2 month old infant started to cry. I had to breastfeed her back to sleep. As Anna finished, my son wakes again and cries. So from my right I turn to my left! (so this is what it feels like to have twins!)

After sometime of rocking Josh, he finally fell asleep. Ahhhh… I thought I could get some sleep. Unfortunately Anna was moving and signaling for a feed again. So I swing from left to right and tried to do side feeding. We laid there and finally she was sleeping and I started to drowse myself. It was not even 30 minutes I heard a strong sound on the floor. It was Joshua who rolled off the bed and took a foot and half dive for the floor. I heard him start to cry, so I stood up and immediately picked up my son.  Good thing in my embrace he quickly calmed down and went back to sleep.  But I had to get the little one again to comfort her from the commotion.  I was positioned with my right arm holding Joshua and Anna on my left arm and breastfeeding.

Just right at that moment in an uncomfortable position with both arms embracing my children I started to think… “Wow, only mothers are stretched this way”. Half of my thoughts were in limbo– asking myself ” how do I manage this?”  The other half were in thanksgiving that I have both my children in my arms, and that I am available to comfort them.

Being a mother in moments like these is sooo tiring!!! It raises anxiety and makes a mommy sweat buckets even to a point of tears.  Then I began to think of all the friends who had children with close gaps what they also had to go through.  Motherhood is a tough job! So, with all respect to mothers around the world, I have to say… we are built special by God. No one should ever say, “she is just a mom, what does she know?”

I look at the clock now, and it is 8 am. I have been awake for 6 and a half hours… and I do want to take a short nap so I can reenergize.  Thank God for nannies who will assist me while I sleep.  I pray for my children and for a better day. Everytime I look at my other mommy friends, there is a deep understanding and appreciation (even when not spoken) of what they do…  Many of them remind me that this is just for a moment and these difficult moments shall pass… For now, it is Only Mommy that matters to my children. So I must be thankful for what it is now… because this won’t be forever.

Oh and yes, I am greeting all women… “Happy Women’s Month!”

Family Time at City of Dreams Manila

I did not realize that it has been 5 months since I last went to Manila. This is our first travel as a family of 4. Anna who is known for her opera singing a.k.a crying spell went to Manila for the first time at 2months  old. Thank God she was a good girl on the plane! 



We looked forward to this short break to spend time with family, especially with my sister-in-law, Samantha, who now resides in Australia. They are in the Philippines for a short visit and it is an opportuned time for us to introduce our new baby Anna.

The newest buzz in Manila is the opening of the  City of Dreams complex. We have been to City of Dreams in Macau and we enjoyed the entertainment it offers the family. Unlike the old days where casinos were just for gamblers, now it’s concept has evolved to cater to entertain the entire family. 

This facade is adding flare and glamour to Manila Bay. A complex of 6 hectares is operating a hotel, casino, shopping malls, and an array of restaurants and cafes. It also has an area specific for entertainment such as night clubs, shows, and even a Dream works amusement center for the kids to enjoy.

This investment is quite big and has the stamp of excellence just like the City of Dreams in Macau. There are shuttling of buses from airport to City of dreams.  I am very impressed with the architecture and the interiors. What was a planned lunch for the family became a 5 hour stay… Yet it was not enough! 



 Some restaurants have opened and it included a Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and continental cuisine. The family chose to eat at Erwin’s…the food served were burger, pizza, steaks, and salads.



After lunch we were given an opportunity to see the soft opening of the amusement center called Dream Play. Dreamworks characters are inspiring the themed center with rock climbing, slides and canopy walks, rides, 3D theater show, and even their own retaurants including ginger bread’s bakery. 



They were on dry run so not everything was opened. It was a look and see of what it could be. It was good fun especially for kids above 3ft! I would suggest it for 3 year old and above! 

What I loved about the place was how they considered every detail. Like providing a mothers lounge for breast feeding moms like me. I took our 2 month old Anna with us and having that mothers lounge helped me feed and change my infant while my toddler kept on playing! 




It is impossible not to return to this place because they make it a whole lot of fun for the entire family. I look forward to going back and discover more of what City of Dreams can offer.

Life photo shoot

When I gave birth to Anna, I’m so blessed because the man behind Imaginenation photography was in town… He happens to be my brother-in-law, John Ong.  His gift for photography has blessed many couples for their prenuptial photos and wedding in photos. Now, they have a new segment called Life, where they capture moments in one’s life. They take baby, maternity, and family photos.

It was Imaginenation that took my first maternity photos. We could not resist to have photos taken because we waited 7 years for this first child. We were excited and wanted to make sure we encapsulate our journey through photos. Imaginenation’s team of photographers plus the direction and styling of my sister, Monique Lopez Ong made it exceptional.

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Now, John and Monique captured Anna’s first days at home! She was absolutely adorable with their direction!  Also our first family photoshoot with Anna were made possible because of their presence!

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Imaginenation does not only capture photos, they are also involved in family ministries. They organize “Before I do” premarital counseling seminars. Many couples who plan to take the road to marriage and want to prepare for it should consider joining one of these sessions.  Another one is actually coming up very soon in Manila… If you are interested to know your fiance and know God’s plan for your marriage start booking today!

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Teaching my child about God

Joshua is 2 years & 2 months old. As a mother, my heart’s desire is for my children to know God and for them to follow God all throughout their lives. I started to research how I could teach my son about God. I found some materials on the internet. But I felt like the materials might take an extra effort for comprehension at this time.

Then, friends of ours, Manny and Lisa, encouraged us to start teaching our toddler bible verses that would be easy to memorize. Manny told us to try Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength”.  Manny gave us a book by Larry Fowler called “Raising a Modern Day Joseph”. It says  in the book that the most important years in a child’s life that will impact his future are the developmental years from ages 2-12 years old. If we intentionally invest in our children’s character and knowledge of God then they can go through life without compromising.

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So I took the challenge and I decided to teach Joshua to memorize a bible verse in Deuteronomy 6:5 by doing actions.  Joshua would put his hands on his chest when I say, “Love God with all your heart”. Then he would put his hands on his head when I say, “with all your mind”. Then he would muscle up his biceps when I say, “with all your strength”. And he would run and hug when I say, “and love your neighbour as yourself.”  We would do this activity again and again at the start.  Then we practice it about 2-3 times a day. Here is a sample video of this bible verse.

I bought Joshua a toddlers bible when he was born.  I am trying to familiarize him with bible stories just by using my own words.  We started with Adam and Eve, the story in Exodus when Moses prayed to God and how God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to Pass, and David and Goliath.  I am praying one day as we continue to talk about God, pray to God, and live out the grace of God, that my children will follow as well.

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He loves her

Recent days have been very tiring and for me because caring for a newborn has no schedule. At times I get to sleep by 12mn and wake occasionally to feed my infant. But there are nights that are so long that I have caught the sun rise before getting my sleep. 

 For several weeks,  I have missed being the first one to get my son’s morning kiss. Joshua has tried to see me and wake me, but I’m too tired to get up… Even our morning play time is not the same as before. I begin to sense that this has been an adjustment for my older son. 



My two year Joshua asks for mommy’s attention by acting like a baby.  He would ask to wear diapers even if he is potty trained and no longer needs it. When he sees me feeding his baby sister, he would ask if I could carry him just the way I am holding his sister.  He also has periods of crying for no reason so I can hug him and embrace him. Sometimes, he gets moody and tries to fight me especially when he wants to play. 

 Of course, I am concerned that he might start feeling jealous of his sister and express that in the way he approaches her. But I am so blessed because God has given my son a tender heart for his sister.  He may have meltdowns with mom, but never with his baby sister Anna.  



When Anna cries, he would run to her, touch her head and say “Be Happy, Anna!”  When Anna is awake he would always ask to kiss her. He often jumps in the crib so he could play with her and kiss her.   





Joshua loves being “manong” or older brother. He smiles when we give him praises for being a good and sweet brother. There is such joy in my heart to see that my little “manong” truly loves his baby sister.

The man who holds my heart…

Many ask how I met Steve.  Everybody gets giddy when I say “it was a blind date”.  Yes it was my first blind date and last… and finally he became the man I married!

That blind date I remember so clearly. I arrived 30 minutes late in Les Souffle and he was cool and collected.  He was smoking his cigar and having scotch — and I thought, “He isn’t my type”.  On the other hand, I had a cold  so I was sneezing and blowing my nose throughout the dinner date … (Not very attractive, ey).   It was a double blind date because we each brought a friend who we tried to pair as well.  It was a tense night, because we were all getting to know each other.  The night ended in suspense.  I wondered if I will hear from him again.  But Steve did call and we got to know each other more through more dates.

When we met he was 28, working as a stock broker and starting a Fund Portfolio Management Company.  I was a 22-year-old working student.  We became friends for 6 years before we tied the knot.  Our marriage is a gift from the Lord… It’s a journey of faith.   We waited for seven years before God gave us children.  The journey also made us grow as a couple especially when God led my husband, Steve, into government service. Now, we are parents, and together we are learning how to raise our children to love God and our neighbors.

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Today he celebrates his 44th birthday. I want to honor Steve,  my husband, friend, and the father of my children.

Strength – You have been my strength, my source of security.  Your love has allowed me to bloom to be the woman I am today.  You have always given me freedom to express my gifts and you encourage me to be my best. Your prayers for me have covered my weak points.  You have provided for me and our children. When I feel insecure, you remind me that God is all we need… Thank you Steve for being my strength.

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Truth– You have always spoken truth and you avoid sugar-coating the truth. You say what needs to be heard because of love.  You have also encouraged me because you love God’s Word.  You desire God’s truth and want to obey Him.  I am so blessed that you are after God’s heart.  I am a very fortunate wife because you are honest to admit your mistakes and you never found it hard to say “I’m sorry”.

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Empathy – God has given you a heart for people.  Your passion to serve the helpless and bring some light to the hopeless has fueled my own desire to serve others. When you host those medical missions and bring hope to people with challenges on health,  it energizes you.  When you are able to help someone get an opportunity out of difficulty, I see gladness on your face. It is your joy to see other people happy.

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Visionary– The more I know you, Steve… the more I understand that you are a man focused on one vision — To make God the Center. You want God to be the center of our marriage, the center of our family, the center of your service, the center of everything.  When God is at the center of everything, then all things will fall in its proper place.  We have seen that in our lives. Even in the midst of the storms, because God is at the center, there is great peace. Your vision for Sarangani is God-centered Prosperity — Our declaration is, “Without God we can do nothing”.

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Excellence – One thing about you, Steve, is that you like things done excellently.  You have patience to train and develop leaders to be more efficient, to think outside the box, and to go beyond. You are not over bearing but you command respect.  Even at home, you are patient with us.  We know that you want us to do things with eager hearts and to do things well. I thank God that you have that virtue because this sets as a good example to our children.  You are a great adviser to all your siblings and to me on achieving our goals and reaching are full potential.  God is to be praised for giving us someone like you.

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Over all, I want to say “I love you”.  You are such a good and faithful husband to me… Thank you for taking care of me and our children. You are the man who continues to hold my heart.  We love you dearly, babe.