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.


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.


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”.

Biblical Garden2

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.


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.


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.

Finding Yaya

Living in the Philippines makes raising a child much easier compared to very developed countries. I say that because Filipinos are naturally family centered people. You can easily rely on your family for support in raising your children, or find people willing to work as helper in your home.

When I was on my 7th month of pregnancy, I was searching for someone who was willing to become my baby’s nanny. My friends tried to help introduce me to candidates who may qualify. Either the applicants felt intimidated, or they were too demanding. I prayed to God to show me who he will send.

It was not long, I was on my 8th month and I still did not find anyone willing. So, I continued to pray. The Lord gave my husband wisdom to talk to the to ladies who currently worked as our housekeepers that he will make them temporary nannies until we find the “one”.

I then asked my husband to help me find a care giver who could teach the housekeepers about newborn care. We were lucky, because one of Steve’s project managers has a wife who took a care giver course and worked abroad as a nanny. She also happens to be enrolled as a undergrad for Education. In other words, she was willing to teach. So we created a mini curriculum that included – personal hygiene and grooming, newborn care on child handling, bathing, diaper change, feeding, sterilizing bottles and first aid care.

I watched the girls attend their 2 hour sessions for 5 days with Teacher Gladys. We bought a doll and had props for them to practice on. I hear giggles and recitation of the pointers found in their notes. They were having fun.

Among them, we had to choose just one. So to help us in the shortlist, we had everyone checked for hepatitis and TB. I wanted to make sure that the nanny was in the pink of health so the baby will not be infected with any of those contagious diseases.

After the test, we picked the housekeeper who did well in the course. She is smart but scared to hold a newborn. We believed she would be able to overcome that when the baby comes. Also since all the housekeepers took the mini course, any of them now would know the basics of caring for the baby.

When the day I got checked in the hospital our new nanny came to assist. However as I was needing care from the cesarean section operation, I really felt her struggle. I began to see that her strength was more on administrative assignments and caring was not hers. I was slightly worried because if she struggled with me, she would struggle more with the baby. She was honest with us that she was scared holding a frail newborn. I’m so happy my hubby saw this as well and decided to give the nanny position to someone else.

How did we know who to choose? Among all the housekeepers, she was the one that smiled the most when they first saw our baby. Her smile was not just on her mouth it could even be seen through her eyes. She had like an instant connection with my newborn son. I began to realize she was the one The Lord sent. She was not the first choice, but she is God’s choice for us. Her name is endeared and known to my baby as “Yaya Jovy”.

I am a first time mom, and Jovy also a first time nanny. My husband decided to get a midwife to teach us how to care for the baby under a schedule. She came in 8 hrs a day for a week. I thought that was the most valuable investment because it completed the theoretical portion of Jovy’s crash course.

I took to heart what my friend, Anna said. She advised, “You can always teach your nanny things, but what is important is that the nanny LOVES your child.” That is true because love nurtures. I see that with Yaya Jovy, she enjoys and is patient with my little one .

Today, Jovy and Joshua have a wonderful relationship. Most of all, Jovy is obedient she has adjusted to my style of caring. I have learned to have an open heart and to wait for God to reveal the answer to prayers. Initially Jovy was not our first choice, but she ended up to be the “one” that we were praying for.