Making Reading Fun

I must admit that I did not concentrate on my son’s reading skills. He is currently 5 years old and he is not a super confident reader yet (or am I putting too much pressure on myself?) I am currently putting more effort on his reading and I bought a second hand “Sing Spell Read and Write” book. I also did some research and I learned that yes, I did the wrong thing… I missed teaching the phonetic and went straight to sight reading. Yep, a huge mistake and I have to undo what we thought was the right method.

Now we don’t sing the ABC as the nursery song does. We now concentrate on the sound of the letters. We also work on the consonant- vowel -consonant mix.

Unlearning sight word reading and relearning phonetic reading will be a huge benefit for Joshua when he enters the first grade. At the moment I have enough time to catch up because he is entering Kindergarten in the upcoming School year.

So to make reading fun, I have prepared a few games into our study time. We played the Word Treasure Hunt Game.

I have prepared some instructions for him to complete his mission.

So Joshua had so much fun searching and reading words that are rolled in paper around the room. Today we concentrated on words with vowel “o”.

Then, his second assignment was to look at his book and find the similar sentences written on paper. Once found, he must post the correct order according to the book on the wall! He did two (2) pages with six (6) sentences.

After doing all the exercises, Joshua wanted more. So we read a Bible verse and ended up singing it.

Homeschooling really brings out not just the best in my kid… it also brings out the creativity in me. Learning magically happens when its fun!

Kidzania Manila Tips for Parents

Kidzania is a great place to bring your children who are 4 years old and above. I love the whole concept of this Career Themed Amusement Center. It was our second time to go there as a family and here are my tips for parents.

  1. Plan your going to Kidzania by looking at the schedule and also consider your budget too.
The operating hours are:
Monday to Fridays: 9AM to 4 PM
Rate:
P900 (kids 4-17 years old)
P500 ( toddlers 1-3 years old)
P630 (Adults)
Babies below 1 year old are free
Saturdays: 9 AM to 2 PM and 3PM to 8PM
Sundays and holidays : 10 AM to 5PM
Rate:
P1,100 (kids 4-17 years old)
P600( toddlers 1-3 years old)
P700 (Adults)
Babies below 1 year old are free

  1. Book online to cut the line. You may also buy tickets in SM Ticket or at Ticketworld. You may also come 1 hour before opening hours so you can get your tickets. Also note, that if your child is 8 years old or younger, they must be accompanied by parents.

  1. Come to Kidzania with comfortable clothes and shoes. It is suggested to be in pants or leggings with socks. Also food is not allowed inside because you can buy inside, but you can bring your own water jug. Bring a jacket too in case your child feels cold from the air conditioning.

  1. Go to the Information Center and get a map. The entire complex is made of 2 floors. Each activity will be from 20-25 minutes. If you will be coming back to Kidzania in the future, you may get a passport and get some benefits… but that will be P250 additional fee. We went around without a passport, it is not necessary. 

  1. Be strategic. If you see a company that has a short line, and the waiting time is 10-15 minutes, fall in line. If your child is choosy, they would never get to try any of the activities, so force them to try to fall in line.   While your child is in a role-playing activity, look at the next activity your child can get into within the time frame. They will be able to do a lot of activities if you can do this.

  1. By 11:30 am, fix up already your plans for food. We lined up at 12:30 pm and we got food after an hour! The McDonalds was taking soooo long! The line there was about an hour wait. We had such a bad experience because even Yellow Cab was closed until 2pm. Via Mare had an offering such as Arroz Caldo, and other dishes that my kids did not want to eat. I suggest you order food by 11 am and carry it around, or eat early so your kids can enjoy the other activities inside.

  1. If you have a toddler and a kid below 8 years old, you need to be 2 adults. The toddlers have only 2 rooms where they can play.   So it means both children need an adult to help them.

It can be a real enjoyable experience as you see your children’s interest become more evident by the activities they liked best. So far Joshua enjoyed being a pilot, and doing jobs in the field of science and engineering. When you have a visit in Manila with kids, I really would suggest Kidzania as a must-go place.

God-Centered Province

Today I joined my husband to witness the Thanksgiving Celebration of the SAAD (Special Area for Agriculture Development) project in Maitum. I have been hearing such wonderful feedback about the upland rice development. One of the remarkable news I received was that the IP (Indigenous People) farmers are harvesting an average of 1 ton per hectare without fertilizers and they are planting on non-irrigated lands. In the past they were averaging 800 kilos per hectare. This is a supernatural increase!


Last year, during the Jesus Reigns celebration the churches in Sarangani declared that we will enter into a season of Harvest. Through a helicopter, we anointed Sarangani Province with oil and declared through grain offering that we are dedicating our land for God’s harvest.  True to our declaration, we are in these days of harvest. We see God in agreement with our prayers because of the manifestation of His favor.

The SAAD project is funded by Department of Agriculture and this office is giving P100 Million to Sarangani. They have downloaded P25 Million and the upland rice program started 7 pilot sites. In Alabel farmers have planted on 50 hectares; in Glan they have planted on 94 hectares; in Malapatan they planted on 51 hectares; in Malungon they planted on 20 hectares; in Maitum they planted on 165 hectares; in Maasim they planted in 25 hectares; and Kiamba planted on 20 hectares. With the 25% starting fund about 122 hectares are harvesting this October to December.


With the successful start, Secretary Emmanuel Pinol came to witness the Thanksgiving and Harvest Festival in Upo, Maitum. He gave his full support to Sarangani because of its performance. He wants Sarangani to be out of the list of poorest provinces. So he gave additional 120 Million Pesos interest free loan as capital for the Provincial Government to purchase the upland rice and white corn harvested by the farmers. This way we allow the farmers to fully enjoy the fruit of their labor and harvests and not be at the mercy of traders.


In addition to these, Secretary Pinol committed to add 7 rice mills and 7 packaging machines for these pilot sites. He will also add multilayer farming by providing breeder of native hogs and goats to add to the economic enterprise of the communities. He will also assist us with Brazilian milking cows (if after validation of communities that are capable to manage dairy operations). Another offer is P30 Million loan for IP farmers on microfinance method. The Secretary is happy with the program implementation of Sarangani that he completed the 75 Million Pesos remaining fund of the SAAD project by releasing the cheque during the Thanksgiving event! It was an overwhelming support from Secretary Manny Pinol and the Department of Agriculture.

Steve meanwhile reminded the people to make God the center of everything for it is God giving us these blessings. Steve wants the IPs to practice biblical agriculture where the people tithe their harvest, God promises to bless the land and it’s people. In Malachi 3:10-12 says:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes, ” says the Lord of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.


Steve as governor has been declaring Sarangani as a God-centered province. He wants the people to understand when God is at the center, blessings and true prosperity will come. Steve also encouraged the people to give to the church, then to allocate for their family, for replanting, and for commerce.

Secretary Manny gave me a special mention to be blessed to have a hard-working and dedicated husband who is willing to take full control of these projects. I sat there, a proud wife with full amazement of what God is doing. I’m also happy to see first hand how God is using Steve to be a channel of blessing to the people of Sarangani.


We continue to believe that Sarangani is no longer poor but a God-centered province that will experience God-centered prosperity.

Rain Cycle

Science is the favourite of Joshua. For understanding the rain cycle we did 2 experiments at home. 

First I had to explain how water evaporates into the atmosphere or sky. We got a cup and a cover. We poured hot water in the cup explaining how the sun causes heat on the water. We covered the lid of the cup with a DRY plastic cover for about 15 minutes.  When the time was up, Joshua noticed that the plastic cover was filled with water droplets. This made him understand that heat makes the water evaporate.

Our second experiment was more fun… explaining Precipitation or Rain. We used a clear class with water about 3/4 full. With a little air space in between, we sprayed shaving cream on the top.  Then with blue colored water (using blue food coloring) and a dropper, we drip over the “clouds” and see how raindrops form.

Rain experiment

Blue water drops below

This was absolutely fun and educational! The shaving cream has been a good medium for us… from puffy paint and now to the rain experiment. 

Doing a live laboratory at home makes science interesting and fun!

Puffy paint is fun!

After using water color for some time, I needed to do something different for our art class at home. Homeschooling can make a mother smarter because she has to find ideas to do at home with the kids. I bumped into the puffy paint idea in Pinterest and it’s pretty simple.

Ingredients are:

Elmers glue, shaving cream, food coloring, paint brushes, plastic containers and paper.

We mix the glue and the shaving cream in similar proportions in a plastic container. Then move into smaller containers to make different colours with the food coloring.

Once the colours are mixed, it’s time to do some imaginative works! I’m teaching my kids to have some fun by putting texture on their painting.  Joshua decided to do a butterfly, while Anna and I did some flowers!

Butterfly by Joshua

Flower by Anna

Flower by Mommy Mit

To dry this puffy painting will take 24 hours. So don’t be in a rush!  We had so much fun in painting and in cleaning up the containers and brushes! 

This activity is worth trying at home. Both my 4 year old and 2 year old had a blast!

Nothing wrong with being a millenial

The other day, I met a young gentleman who was graduating from college. I asked him if he has been around Sarangani and he says his friends have gone with him to see the beaches here. I was happy to hear that. I had to blurt out, “you are our market!”.

Over dinner I asked this young man what he was going to do after college for he was finishing political science. He answered with confidence that he had 3 options. There is the entrepreneurship route, the employment route, and proceeding to law route. I am glad he had his head above his shoulders. Then he says, ” I actually hate the way they describe us millennials. It makes us sound bad.”

Then, I shared with him how many young millennial friends I have who are doing really well. However, I do have to agree that brick and mortar companies are coping with this generation that no longer wants to remain loyal to a company but remain loyal to their dreams. Human Resources have made major adjustments on their hiring procedures and keeping their millenial staff happy. Millennials need that sense of fulfilment where they make an impact in the world and finding their space under the sun. This is often mistaken as “entitlement.” They also need to travel because they can’t stay still. I told him, your generation is not bad.  It is different but not bad”. 

Among millennials going the entrepreneurial route… Imagine being a millennial hiring a millenial?  These young bosses must know they need to go beyond just work. There’s a pre-requisite to inspire their young staff. They also should give perks of travel and motivate them with their passions. 

He nodded in agreement. He says that Procter and Gamble offers travel perks to his friend, and that keeps them happy.    

I encourage a lot of millennials with this advise – Don’t get discouraged or impatient. Do what you enjoy and are passionate with and do it well… and prove everyone that millennial can succeed. Don’t be stereotyped… stand out.

I really enjoyed talking to him and I look forward to him and his friends visiting the different adventures found in Sarangani. It is definitely a millennial travellers paradise.

Advise to Teenagers

My 12 year old God- daughter has opened up herself to me and shared her excitement and also her anxiety about turning 13. She asks what it would be like to be a teen. I answered, “nothing much will change until puberty. But really nothing much changes.”

She then continued to ask, “why is it important to be a teen?” I did not quite know what to answer, but I felt God giving me wisdom to answer her. It’s important to be a teen because you are growing up to take more responsibility.

This is now what I feel would be my message to teens:

1. Remain Obedient – Something happens when we are in our teens, something in our mind may challenge us to disobey rules. We try and test our parents and will want to be accepted by our friends. It means that teens should have a constant reminder to remain obedient to their parents. The best thing to do is to keep close to God, read the bible, pray, and to continue to obey even when it is hard.

2. Choose your friends – It is in the teenage years that your peers will determine the influences in your life. If your friends drink alcohol and smoke, you will most likely try it. If your friends like sports or theaters, you will spend more time in those. It’s important to choose friends that influence you positively and not bend to peer pressure.

3. Don’t rush getting into relationships – These days some teenagers are in a rush to be affirmed and feel loved so they get into relationships early.  Many of them will get physical and even reach a point of sex. Young girls give up their virginity to young boys who do not understand true responsibility and respect. Many get depressed at a young age after hurts and break ups. Also many do not also know about safe sex and will contract STDs or worse, HIV.  Guard your heart, there will be so much time for love with the right person and the right time.

4. Listen to your parents and guardians advise – God placed these very people in your life to guard you, to guide you, and to protect you. These are God’s gifts to you so you can experience the best life. Listen to them and do not neglect their advise. Listening to your parents is honoring them. According to the Bible honoring your mother and father gives you a promise – long life. 

This generation has more temptation than our generation. With all the available information out there, their struggles increase. This is why more intentional parenting is needed. There is a rise on teenage pregnancies, teen age suicides, teenage depression and bullying than past generations. 

However there is hope. If parents, relatives, God parents, teachers  will share similar values to the young, we can help our teenagers overcome these challenges. As they say it takes a village to raise a child. So each of us should play a part in that village.

In full circle

After 3 months since we planted Joshua’s monggo seed, we finally see it bear it’s first bean sprout. It is quite a surprise because we kept waiting from the surviving plants if any of them would bloom. 

A week later, we kept watching that sprout to see what would happen. The sprout dried out and we plucked it out of its mother plant. It was hairy and hard and we could not wait to open it’s green cover.

As we split open the bean cover, we were so delighted to see the new monggo seeds produced by our monggo plant. We have gone full circle on our plant project.

Joshua kept asking how God was able to do it. I told him, it really is God who creates all things and who causes the growth. This is Joshua’s very first harvest and also understanding of agriculture. 

What I pointed out was how God’s economy works. With one seed, a plant will grow and give you seeds that are more than the first. In our plant experiment we had this one seed produce 5 more seeds! Now we will start a new plot with this precious 5.

When we started this monggo plant project we had so many seeds. Some grew and some died. The ones that lived were those planted in cups. We learned that sunlight and enough water was needed to help it grow. We saw also learned that growing takes time and requires patience. But most of all, we learned that God causes the growth and when God makes a plant live it enables it to bear more seeds than what was planted. Its an amazing lesson for my 4 year old and for myself.

Excellent Service!

We came back from Australia and my heart has been full. I have nothing but praises for the Sydney hotel we stayed in.

Traveling with 2 young children means traveling heavy. It means expecting occasional melt downs, and setting aside your own personal expectations. Reality it is tiring but also super fulfilling.

So let me tell you about our trip. When we arrived in Sydney, the kids were already feeling a little tired from the plane ride. It was not helping that the taxi drivers there drive fast and press heavy on the brakes. My children were complaining that they were car sick.

Arriving at Sofitel Wentworth, my son was crying because his stomach was upset from the taxi ride and he was ready to vomit. The bellboy who picked up our luggage was quick to give my son bottled water.  Anna was also about to start a melt down and so I walked with her to the front desk to check in. Their front desk happens to be a Filipino and she was super accommodating. She gave Anna chocolates while we were being processed to get to our room.  She offered me Accor membership and gave us a special deal for breakfast. She also gave us a guide where to walk around. It was such a pleasant check in experience.

However going up to our room, Anna started to snap and cry. She was tired and she was behaving in such a disobedient manner. We were getting impatient with her and warned her a discipline would come. As we arrived to our room, Marcus the bell boy saw Anna in full crying mode. I was of course embarrassed that I could not keep her quiet. Marcus was kind to help us with our luggage and strollers.

About 30 minutes later, we had a knock at the door. When we opened it was Marcus with a teddy bear for Anna! He asked for Anna and gave her that gift and encouraged her not to cry anymore and to enjoy her stay in Sofitel. I was so impressed by their genuine kindness.

Sydney is beautiful and our hotel is a 8 minute walk to see the Harbour Bridge and a 12 minute walk to the Opera House. The hotel location is so conveniently close to many beautiful museums by walk or by train.

But what got me most on this trip is Sofitel’s service and hospitality. On our last evening in Sydney, we came home almost 11pm. I decided to process our check out and book a ride to the airport. As I was checking out, the front desk assisted another guest making me wait for my bill. My little girl wanted to rest and I really wanted to settle the bill first because we leave by 9 am. The front desk seeing my change of mood, was very apologetic. When the front desk staff completed my check out, he gave me chocolates again and apologizing for the delay. I thanked him and I rushed upstairs to finish packing again.

The next morning, I woke up early and I saw this letter on the floor.

I call this thoughtfulness — great hospitality. I felt so special and sincerely cared for by the people who work in this hotel. This gesture just made me want to vote them as the best hotel we experienced in Australia.

SOFITEL Sydney Wentworth, I salute you for your warmth and excellent service! I will never forget Sydney because of you!

Volcano Project

My son had a sudden interest to understand earthquakes because of the recent 7.2 Magnitude earthquake we experienced a few weeks ago. We went through some interesting YouTube shows to help explain what happens in an earthquake.

Part of our science subject, we started to look at tectonic plates moving causing these shakes. But it went further to why the crust moves and that the earth has a mantel and core were liquid rocks, metals, and minerals. From this it got him interested to understand about lava and volcanoes. And this started our Volcano Science project.

We first got a soft drink can and cut out the top to make it like a cup. Then we cut out some old folder into strips and made it as the outline of our paper mache mountain. Then with some newspapers and glue & water, we started shaping our mountain.

Next day, after drying our mountain, we began painting on it. This activity was fun for the kids! 

After painting we had to get the Main ingredients to make our lava. You see inside the earth’s crust are some molten rocks and some will come out of a volcano when it erupts.

 Homemade lava is made of 3/4 hot water, 3 drops of red colouring, 2 table spoon liquid detergent, 2 Table spoon baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar.

This activity was super fun as they were seeing the lava quickly spew out of the volcanoes mouth.

Here is our video on how it all happened!