As the world slowly opens up, despite the pandemic still in full force, moms should also be ready. Armed with the right information and the right “tools,” I am assured that my family is always safe and healthy.
With the nationwide vaccination program in full force, Filipinos can slowly enjoy various activities such as more dining options as well as doing physical activities by going to the gym. However, health experts continue to remind everyone to not let their guards down even as we gradually go back to normal.
As there are reports of new and potentially more contagious variants, everyone must remain vigilant through following established health protocols and getting vaccinated so we can all continue to live safe and prevent the cases from surging again. That’s why when we do essential errands such as buying groceries, exercising outdoors, or simply going outside, disinfecting your hands and any surface you interact with goes a long way to ensure living safely for you and your family.
One way to prevent the spread of the virus is by always carrying a trusted rubbing alcohol brand that contains at least 70& alcohol solution whenever you go outdoors.
With Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, I am assured that my family is protected faster (kills germs on contact), longer (up to 12 hours) and better (kills 99% of common germs). We are also protected safer (hypoallergenic and moisturizing properties). Defensil is also recommended by the Philippine Society for Microbiology and passed the strictest quality standards of the Philippine Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Skin dryness from too frequent sanitizing will also not be a worry as Defensil has moisturizing properties and is hypoallergenic, giving you one less thing to worry about when going indoors.
“We are 100% behind the government in their efforts to prevent further spread of the virus. Defensil encourages everyone to remain vigilant now more than ever and do our part in this fight towards eventually resuming our normal way of life by adhering to social Distancing and sanitation protocols, especially when doing essential errands outdoors,” shared Nikko Cruz, Brand Manager of Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol.
For more information on how to stay protected, you may visit the Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol’s Facebook page at facebook.com/defensil.philippines.
Following the success of its 2021 opener, “At The Movies”, OperaJuan closes its fourth performance season with yet another special online concert in collaboration with the Manila Pianos Artist Series: The two-part duo recital entitled, “Seeing Double”, will feature beloved solos and duets of the classical and musical theatre genres.
Its first act, “Neri x Michael”, is a presentation of some of the most enthralling art songs in the world of classical vocal music and will be shared by soprano and tenor duo, Nerissa De Juan and Michael Del Rosario. The performance will showcase the perennial compositions of Mendelssohn, Bellini, Elgar, Boulanger, Hahn, Quilter, and more.
Formally closing this back-to-back song recital is the tenor and baritone tandem of Nathan Josiah Sasing and Renz Nathaniel Cruz in “Nathan x Nathan”. Highlighted in the show’s second installment are captivating musical theatre works of the modern era written by acclaimed songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Stephen Schwartz, Alan Menken, Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens, Marvin Hamlisch, and more.
This exciting event is spearheaded by Manila Pianos Artist Series’ Director, Richard Sy-Facunda, and OperaJuan’s Artistic Director, Renz Nathaniel Cruz. Nerissa De Juan and Aindrielle Madelo serves as the show’s production managers, while Reynaldo “Raki” Gendrano takes on the role of pianist and music director.
“Seeing Double I: Neri x Michael” will premiere on November 14, 2021, Sunday, 8pm, while “Seeing Double II: Nathan x Nathan” will premiere on November 21, 2021, Sunday, 8pm. Both shows will be streamed for free on YouTube.
Follow the official social media accounts of OperaJuan and the Manila Pianos Artist Series for more updates:
New covid 19 variants are rising, and it turns out that these new variants can infect a lot more people at once. Because of this, we must continue to protect ourselves from getting sick, and a way of doing so is by getting a vaccine.
Whether covid vaccine or not, vaccines are essential in giving you extra protection against a sickness. They usually give you a high chance of being immune. But even if we are vaccinated, we must not be careless and still follow health protocols. It is really difficult to get sick, especially in this time of pandemic, so we must do everything we can to stay safe.
Another reason why we must get vaccinated against covid 19 is because we must protect our friends and family. The new covid variants are much more infectious than the original virus, so we must get vaccinated to keep our loved ones safe.
Whatever covid vaccine is available, we must take any opportunity to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and, of course, we must make sure it is approved by our doctors and health workers. It is also important to remember not to judge a vaccine by its brand. Having a vaccine is vital to protect ourselves, and doing this is better than having no vaccine just because you do not like the brand. And of course, we must have the freedom to make this decision and not let others force us.
Still, many people are afraid, so we have to spread truth and hope to others by sharing true news about what is happening around the world, politely reminding others to follow minimum health standards, and to get vaccinated to end the pandemic.
The 2022 elections are coming up here in the Philippines, and many people are planning to vote. But other than voting, we must ensure that we vote wisely and look for the right people to lead our country.
First of all, a good leader must be a good example to others. If someone has a sufficient amount of kindness, compassion, generosity, courage, and leadership, then that person will succeed in a lot of things and is someone who we should think of voting for. We, too, must learn from that person and live a dignified life as well.
Second, a good leader must make the right decisions for the country. If one of the candidates wants to improve things like sheltering homeless people, preventing crimes, or making sure people are being treated equally, then they can be trusted to lead the Philippines. On the other hand, if someone just wants to make these problems worse, then it shall greatly affect the nation.
Finally, a good leader must have proper reasons for wanting to join the elections. An example of these reasons is helping our country improve and prosper, and we should keep this in mind, too.
In conclusion, we can all make a contribution to build a better Philippines. Even if some of us are unable to vote yet, we can also help by praying for and giving guidance to others who can vote. We all have a role to play in these times, so let us not waste this opportunity to help our country, for this can affect not only us, but the whole nation and our future.
We have an eleven year old! We just blinked and suddenly Aria is 11. Where did time actually go?!
We always ask Aria what she would like to do for her birthdays, or at least make her part of the planning when she was smaller. This time, everything for her celebration she planned by herself, and we just executed and supported her decisions.
On the first of August, when the hard lockdown was once again in effect, we asked her what she wanted to do. The first thing she had in mind: a birthday concert! And that she wanted to play violin, me play piano, and daddy play guitar for her.
She also asked if she can have a party for her friends online, similar to what we did last year. We cannot do this on her actual birthday, aside from it being her concert night, it was a schoolday, so we had it done the Sunday before her birthday.
Daddy chimed in the idea of sending food to her friends, so we did, with the help of Mcdonald’s McDelivery Send to Many. And since it was our first time to do this, we did it late, with some orders being made on the day of the party, but nevertheless, all orders were sent out successfully! Everyone had food to eat while the games were ongoing!
The party was a hit, kids from our different communities got to know each other and played with each other. Each of us prepared and facilitated the games – Pictionary via Zoom whiteboard, Alphabet Soup, and Kahoot, which Aria facilitated and was a big hit, that some kids played several more rounds after the party. It was so fun!
Our theme was Japan, as Aria’s latest favourite is Rurouni Kenshin, which she and her dad watched on Netflix on weekend (sometimes weekday) evenings after dinner, while I was still attending workshops or working.
On the day of her birthday, we had online mass and her favourite food delivered. Mommy took a day off from the kitchen! After lunch we began setting up and preparing for the highlight of her birthday–the concert!
The repertoire consisted of violin music and songs. She chose her most loved Suzuki pieces, and songs she sung with Daddy playing guitar or singing with her. We had to perform something with the three of us, so we decided on You raise me up by Josh Groban. So proud of how she put the repertoire together, and emceed a bit as well.
To make the concert more meaningful, we put up a donation drive, where viewers may donate any amount for Aria’s chosen charities. She chose Hospicio de San Jose, Philippine General Hospital, the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras, and the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
She truly enjoyed performing! Far off from when I was eleven. I mean, I have played for piano recitals, even danced the Binasuan by myself at that age, but performing for me back then was more like a chore. Aria, meanwhile, enjoys performing and rehearsing for it.
I am just so proud of this little lady, how she’s thrived especially with this situation we have. Her creativity, positivity, and religiosity sparked all the more, and we, her parents, are just in awe.
Watch her concert here: https://youtu.be/DVDSX_8kMS8
19 years has passed since Papa went back to the Heavenly Creator.
I clearly remember everything that transpired that week–from the day we visited him–our last time to talk with him– to the day he passed on two days after that visit–his birthday, and until after he was laid to eternal rest.
BREAKING THE NEWS
It was a normal school day for me and my sister, and normal work day for my mom. Mom received the news while at work, and had to shepherd my sister and I back home. I was in the university at that time, an hour away from home, and had to hurry back just as I arrived school, clueless as to what was happening. As I arrived home, that’s when they broke to me the sad news.
It came as a surprise, as Papa was even excited for his upcoming birthday when we saw him. But thinking about it, it was probably a sign–it was enough that he saw us before he passed on.
Mama had to be on top of wake and burial preparations. Looking back, she was really a SuperMama for doing everything, despite the situation and circumstance back then. She barely sleep, super tired, and seemed like she was on autopilot. She had solutions to everything, and we were really so grateful for family and friends who supported and assisted us.
And since she was too preoccupied, she had to leave the Eulogy to me. Writing it was one thing, reading it in front of so many people was another, and a tough act to do.
NO TIME TO GRIEVE
After the burial, we went home, heard Mass the following day (which was a Sunday), and went back to work and school on Monday. My sister and I had to catch up on missed school days, quizzes and exams. I recall now, every Saturday after that was spent on general cleaning at home. Some evenings, we spent laughing at classic Papa moments. We rarely saw Mama cry. But when she does, she has few tears. Or none, as she has dry eyes.
Or probably, the general cleaning was her grieving. But we know she has to grieve at some point, too.
She lost a baby boy seven months in her womb, two years after I was born. She probably didn’t grieve properly yet with that, I’m not sure.
She had no time to grieve.
She had to work for me and my sister who had to study. And probably, she carried this grief for always.
My sister and I probably had no time to grieve, too. We got back to school immediately and had to study really well, cos Mama singlehandedly raised us, and it’s our way of honoring and thanking our parents, especially her.
This pandemic made me discover so many dishes. As we are all quarantined at home, I have to learn to cook more types of food for my husband and daughter.
And lo and behold, I was crying during the first weeks of the lockdown last year while cooking.
I miss Papa, best cook ever.
Grief ambush. I first learned this term from a pastor friend. And yes, it attacks you at the least unexpected moments.
You’d suddenly recall a special moment, a happy one, and tears start to fall.
What do you do during these moments? Do you deny the grief? Do you acknowledge it?
I acknowledge it, cry if I must, and communicate how I feel to my family and friends.
Of course, I pray, and lift up my grief to the Lord. And pray for the eternal repose of Papa, and all our loved ones and friends who went back to the Lord ahead of us. That’s what our shrine rector and friend reminds us of always–to pray for our departed.
You know what made me even sad? Papa never saw me as a singer anymore. He passed away just as I was beginning to study for a career I never thought of doing, and I bet Papa would be the proudest and happiest if he was able to watch my shows and operas.
Papa, we love you and we will forever remember you in our prayers and in every moment we can. Sometimes I tell Aria about you, because she is so smart and witty just like you.
A lot of relatives and well-meaning (and some who are not so) friends/people have asked me and my husband WHY we homeschool. Our answer is usually simple: because we can.
And I tell you, you CAN, too, as long as you pray for it, strive for it, so you can thrive as a homeschool family, even while at home.
Technology, I must say, helped us make decisions for our family. Because resources and readings are on my fingertips literally, I can easily do my research and share a link to my husband, who is the best partner in this thing called child-rearing. We agreed on so many life-changing things like breastfeeding, attachment parenting, babywearing, and homeschooling. Now we’re going trying to be vegans. You might say, that’s going way overboard, but really, it isn’t–for us, we just make decisions for our small family.
The pandemic somewhat made it “equal footing” for all–that all learners are at home and studying. And I think attending this online summit might just help you decide better for your family. Looking at the topics and the speakers, I’d say there’s something for each one in the family. I am so grateful to the many homeschool online communities for the exchange in ideas and inspirations. Visit www.educatingforlife.net and check out #CHIPSThriveAtHome.
Educating for Life (EFL), the organizer of national homeschool conferences in the Philippines since 2014, and the creator of the Philippine Homeschool Convention and Connect Homeschooling and Intentional Parenting Summit (CHIPS), is proud to present CHIPS 2021: Thrive at Home or simply #CHIPSThriveAtHome.
Happening online via the Accelevents platform, the Summit will take place on July 30-August 1, but participants will be able to access the event anytime and learn from all the Summit talks even after the event dates, up to August 31, 2021.
#CHIPSThriveAtHome is similar to EFL’s CHIPS event last year, which was their big-scale online event created in response to the needs of families who suddenly had to face a year of strictly home-based learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Driven by this same objective to help families, #CHIPSThriveatHome will feature bite-sized learning sessions for families who are already homeschooling, exploring or preparing for homeschooling, or struggling with the challenges of their kids learning at home via distance learning.
With talks focused on the sub-themes Thrive In Your Mind, Thrive in Learning, and Thrive in Family Relationships, EFL hopes to equip families withstrategies for joyful homeschooling and distance learning. Through the specific parenting and family life topics of #CHIPSThriveAtHome, EFL hopes that more families will be able to cope—and even thrive—despite the pandemic.
The Summit’s line-up of speakers consists of both international and local speakers who will leave the participants inspired, encouraged, empowered, and equipped to start or continue their respective home-based learning journeys more than ever before. This applies to both homeschooling and distance learning families.
Below are just some of the 30+ #CHIPSThriveAtHome topics:
“Well-Being Matters: Supporting Parents’-Kids’-Teens’ Mental Health” by Dr. Michele Alignay
“Lead Your Family to Thrive: The Importance of a Father’s Presence” by Bo Sanchez
“Mother Culture: How to Thrive When You’re With Your Kids 24/7” by Gina Guerrero-Roldan
“How to Thrive as a Solo Parent During Challenging Times” by Professor Nina Era
“How Homeschooling Helps Our Family’s Relationships to Thrive” by Julius and Tintin Babao
“How to Help Your Kids Thrive in Distance Learning” by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua
“Survive and Thrive: Stories of Homeschooling COVID-19 Survivors” by Joe and Rica Bonifacio
“How to Keep Your Family Safe Online” by Kenneth Lingan
“What We Learned After a Year of Distance Learning” – A Panel Discussion by Ina Arabia-Garcia, Jing jing de Guzman, Michelle Aventajado, and Pehpot Pineda
“The Most Important Person in Your Homeschool is You” by Julie Bogart
There will also be sessions for kids and teens. All the #CHIPSThriveAtHome topics and speakers can be seen here.
Besides learning from all the talks, #CHIPSThriveAtHome participants will also be able to visit the virtual expo within the Summit event platform. The expo will feature products and services that will help support families in their respective home-based learning journeys. Business owners and entrepreneurs that may be interested in joining the expo may sign up here or contact Michelle Padrelanan via firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE EVENT?
#CHIPSThriveAtHome is open to everyone who wishes to learn strategies for joyful homeschooling and distance learning. This includes parents, students (kids and teens), educators, and other people who see the importance of thriving in your mind, thriving in learning, and thriving in family relationships.
Deadline of payment to avail the early bird rate is 11.59pm July 23, 2021
Regular Family Learning Fee: P2000
Effective July 24, 2021
SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER!
Right now until July 15, 2021, EFL is running a SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER! Participants who will register AND pay the family learning fee of P1500 by 11.59pm on July 15 get FREE access to exclusive bonus talks worth P13,0000+++, including:
A live webinar on “Grit and Resilience: The Most Important Things Parents Can Do to Help the Pandemic Generation Thrive,” to be given by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, one of the most sought-after speakers on parenting, education, and mental health in the country.
A “He Says, She Says” type talk on “How to Handle Family Finances During the Pandemic,” to be given by Charlie and Paula Fernandez. Charlie is a financial advisor and Paula is a child advocate who shares her husband’s passion for helping families be financially literate.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I have no photos to share about my day today. The three of us were busy bees–at church, at home, with online choir rehearsals, ballet class, etc.
But it was a fun day, it was just busy. And I received the best gifts–the gift of music and service during the Mass, a surprise email from my little darling, and a bouquet of flowers from the man of the house. We had a hint he’s getting us flowers because he went missing after we finished online rehearsals! My mom and sister, and one of our co-volunteers gave chocolates, too.
How about me, you might ask. Of course, I got them something! Yesterday, I gave them tikoy and hopia (post-Chinese New Year treats) while today, I got them a box of brownies–the same first gift I received from my husband back when he first said he loved me.
It all began with a brownie. A box of six brownies was his first “gift” to me back when he first courted me. So, this particular store has a special place in my heart (and in my tummy!).
He loved giving gifts. He made sure I get something during special occasions. He’s the same with Aria now, so he also gave Aria flowers to celebrate today.
Having him as my husband is the best gift. I really wouldn’t ask for more. I appreciate him more everyday, especially the past year facing this pandemic. My daughter and husband are the best quarantine buddies.
Happy Valentine’s Day again, everyone! Especially to my one true love and my little lady love. I am so blessed to witness God’s love through the two of you.
And, that’s it for my short Valentine’s Day post. Keeping up with the blog with one post a month (at least!), but will try with all my might to blog as often as I can. Until the next!
Holidays schmolidays are once again over, and we have to begin another year of work…all the way to the next holiday season.
2020 is definitely one for the books for humankind. And as I was not able to write yet a proper 2020 roundup on Facebook, I shall just do it here in my blog.
Pandemic. Quarantine. Face masks. Face shields. Ayuda (or the lack of it). Rapid or swab test. Isolation. Death. Not to mention typhoons, fire, crimes (in whatever manner). Those are just some of the words that permeated the most part of 2020. That clear cut vision the year suggests didn’t seem so, not for most of us, for sure. But perhaps looking at it from another perspective can make things crystal clear.
Stay-at-home. Work-from-home. Facetime, Messenger, Viber, Zoom, whathaveyou. Online classes. Online meetings. Online chikahan (and e-numan). Online concerts and virtual choirs. Online Masses and rosaries. Netflix and chill. Family. Bonding. Love.
It can also be…
Home cooked meals. Instant bakers and cooks. Home and balcony gardening. Dalgona coffee. Salamat, Shoppee! Salamat food delivery! And new businesses sprouting because of this pandemic, even my sister began her own late last year (support Rae’s Gourmet!)
But for me, music became my catharsis. I sang, taught, shared music, in so many ways last year.
Also, music was my catharsis as we grieved for the deaths in our family. My cousins did a musical tribute for our uncle. I prepared a musical tribute for my grandfather. All these were done online. It was quite a challenge for tech challenged me, but it was definitely my catharsis, my sadness translated into beautiful music. I was lucky that family and friends supported and contributed to this mini online concert.
20 days into 2021. Here’s hoping this will be a definitely better year than last year. We set our expectations too high for 2020, as it seemed so confidently a good year. But yeah, here’s hoping everything would go well for the world.
Check out my cathartic videos, I mean, online productions during the quarantine on my Youtube channel. More to come this year!
Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol continues its campaign to be Filipino families’ ally in germ protection in the new normal as they welcome newlyweds, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, together with their adorable kids Zion and Kai, as their brand ambassadors.
Adjusting to the New Normal with Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol
Richard and Sarah, who got married in a solemn ceremony earlier this year, celebrated their new life together in quarantine. While being stuck at home was an opportunity for them to spend more time together as a family—planting, painting and playing all sorts of games, they also needed to go through a lot of adjustments as a family.
One adjustment that they had to do was to look for better ways to protect their family against germs, with the threat of the virus still continuing up until now. They found their newest ally in Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, which promises a higher level of protection against germs and viruses.
“We believe in innovative products. Not only does Defensil come from a company we trust, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol is also recommended by experts,” said Sarah.
“And since we use alcohol more frequently to sanitize, I also like how it not only kills germs and bacteria, but also has moisturizer to not dry our skin,” she added.
One way to prevent the spread of germs is regular disinfection of hands and high touch surfaces using a rubbing alcohol. To provide a higher level of defense against germs in the new normal, the Philippine Society for Microbiology is recommending Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol.
Created by Beauty Elements Ventures Inc, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol kills 99.9% of germs to give Richard and Sarah’s family the peace of mind that they are well-defended. It starts to kill germs on contact and upon constant use, provides up to 12-hour protection.
New Normal Holidays
Celebrating the holidays is surely going to be different for the Gutierrez family this year. For Richard and Sarah, social distancing is something that they’re keeping in mind as they celebrate the holiday season, along with making sure that everyone sanitizes and disinfects using Defensil.
The family wishes to go on a local holiday trip with family bringing their new ally, Defensil. With this, Sarah shares three simple tips to fellow parents on how to keep their family safe from germs during the holiday season.
First, social distancing is a must. Second, always wear a mask. It is important for parents to teach their kids the importance of wearing masks, which help to prevent the transmission of the virus. And, lastly, always disinfect with an alcohol that makes sure you and the family are well-defended— like Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol.
WATCH THIS VIDEO to learn more about Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol:
CHECK YOUR LABEL!
Admittedly, I have been checking brand labels and nutrition facts on whatever new item I encounter. Especially now that we need more effective protection against germs and viruses. So, always check your label when buying, especially alcohol. Check the labels below for comparison.