Ten years: College Graduation

This year is quite a milestone for me and my husband.

To begin, this is the tenth year since we both graduated from the premier State University. Exactly as this post is being done–April 27th.

And to celebrate, this photo I had to unearth from an AVP shown during our wedding reception.

From the sidelines, my sister and mom quickly noticed and took this shot. Same row, the line of our colleges almost beside each other too.

I was in the middle of my Bachelor’s Degree in Music (eight long, fun, music and travel-filled years, no regrets!) when he began taking his Masters degree in Technology Management. So you see, he had ALL the reasons to be with me then– to fetch me after choir rehearsals, or I’d wait for him to finish class.

It was a sunny, sunflower-filled Sunday, April 27, 2008. We were called the Centennial Graduates, as UP was then celebrating 100 years. And with both our families around, we marched together to get our degrees. He even had his parents come to Manila from Iloilo. Why? Because two days after this, namanhikan sila. A Filipino tradition of formally asking for the hand of the woman in marriage by the whole family of the man. We got married seven months after my college graduation.

Ten years hence, here we are. We just wrapped up prayer time, and the Gospel reading today is so timely. John 14:6, where the name of our beloved Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life was taken from. We got married and had our daughter baptised in this church. We are blessed to be serving this church through the one thing that made us first meet–music.

More Ten Years post next time! Just had to let this happy feeling out, before the day changes.

 

~ Touringkitty

Touringkitty Writes: Sisa

Since 2016, I got into writing Filipino haikus and accompany them with a nice photo of a place I am in. Check out my simple (and I hope not so trying hard!) Haikus on Instagram (search for hashtags #HAInaKU or #Touringkittywrites).

 

Last month I have been meaning to post something for Women’s Month, and was supposed to do on the last day of it, but Holy Week was jampacked with work and church activities. So here I am with the poem I finished the eve of Palm Sunday.

Buwan ng Panitikan naman ngayong Abril. Pasok pa rin ang pagkakasulat ko nito dito.

 

Click to enlarge.
Sisa
Noli Me Tangere the Opera
Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2017

~ Touringkitty

Of books and proposals: a post-Valentines Day post

Let us welcome 2018 on the blog with love, love, love!

It was a heavy January (let us save this for later), but February is sure heartwarming. HeARTS month it is!

So, here’s a little story about our engagement 11 years ago.

“Lord, a smart guy will do. Kahit hindi gwapo.”

He gave me a #Mensan, a high IQ guy. The good looks came as a welcome bonus.

Not even exerting effort!

­

October 2007 when he asked me if I was ready to take our relationship to the next level. I said yes. Nothing fancy schmancy. But I was in for a surprise.

December 2007, Ton and I visited MV Doulos, the oldest passenger ship and now a floating bookstore. I was clueless of his “paandar”–a cookbook with a paper on page 143 which says “Will you marry me?” Then on bended knee, he showed a small box with the engagement ring. We were alone in that area–the cookbook area–and it was a perfect moment for just the two of us.

We celebrate ten years of our marriage in November this year. As a post-Valentines date (never on Valentines Day), Ton and I visited the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. Reminisced the engagement scene (took photos at the cookbook section) and shopped for books (yet again, since he and our daughter “dated” here already a few days ago).

We love to read…and eat. We also love to cook, sometimes.

I am happy to be married to Ton. I know that we are together come hell or high water. And we will overcome many more, as long as we are together, and with God as our Center.

Happy belated Valentines Day, Mein Schatz!

 

Without Wax,

Deine Schatzi Em =)

 

Mommies unite for Marawi through a vitamin blog campaign

One of the outstanding qualities of mothers is their devotion to providing quality nutrition to their children. This is primarily done by preparing healthy foods and giving effective supplements to sustain and nourish their growing family needs. Nutri10Plus Syrup, a multivitamins packed with Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), Taurine, Lysine, Zinc and Vitamins C, A, D3 B1 and more, had been assisting mothers all around the Philippines in developing children with strong bodies, active brains and healthy appetite.

During the moving up ceremony where Kaye Koo of SinagTala Foundation helped in disseminating the Nutri10Plus and DayCee vitamin pouches to the kids.

 

Military officers helped in distributing the Nutri10Plus Syrup and DayCee pouches to the kids.

 

In the effort to help our co-mommies and their children in the war-stricken village in Marawi, 100 Mommy bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines community had collaborated to bring boxes of Nutri10Plus Syrup,  DayCee Vitamin C Syrup and several toys, to a hundred kids in Marawi through SinagTala, a non-profit organization headed by Ms. Kaye Koo. SinagTala had been sending help to villages in Marawi since the war erupted and it had sheltered hundreds of children inside the Playroom which served as the mini-school and play area of the children.

A collaborative effort of a hundred mommy bloggers and WERT to bring these vitamin pouches to the kids of Marawi.
Assorted toys for the kids.

 

With Kaye Koo of SinagTala Foundation during turnover of vitamins and toys.

 

Through the Nutri10Plus Syrup, DAYZINC vitamins and toys, we wish to help uplift the children’s spirits and restore their health as they start on picking up the pieces of their lives as families.

Each pouch contains 2 bottles of Nutri10PlusSyrup, 2 bottles of DayCee Vitamin C and Daycee chewables.

We all thank WERT for this campaign, Kaye Koo of SinagTala and all the staff who have helped in sending the vitamins to Marawi.

To learn more about the benefits of Nutri10Plus Syrup, check through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nutri10Plus/

 

We are grateful to the mommy bloggers who participated in campaign using their blogs to bring hundreds of pouches of Nutri10Plus Vitamins full of nutrition for the children in Marawi. Find out more about our lovely mommy bloggers and their experiences as they document their life journeys in their mommy blogs.

Lifestylebyabby.com blissfulblooming.wordpress.com zaineandi.com justgonina.com
acigirl.com iwaydiaries.com mommyafterwork.com lallysreflections.com
mrsenerodiaries.wordpress.com entrepremom.info artofbeingamom.com dyosathemomma.com
mommysmaglife.com themermaidinstilettos.com joyfulmess.com mrspcuyugan.com
myworldmommyanna.com Therollercoasterride.com kikaysikat.com shesthemom.com
aprilgarciaph.wordpress.com jaymee.sajenes.com sassycebuana.com mommyrackell.com
thebaginvestigator.com esupermommy.com thedreamermom.wordpress.com mhownai.blogspot.com
acodeza.com shopgirljen.com mamaneesnest.com madeitthroughmum.blogspot.com
themommachronicles.com raisinghunter.com theflowerduet.blogspot.com deliberatelymom.blogspot.com
momiberlin.com themissusv.com getbeauteous.com morenamom.com
celerhinaaubrey.com livelifefullest.com gracefulmusings.xyz mytwinkletwinklestar.blogspot.com
MaMeMiMommy.com justjingsjournal.com fullyhousewifed.com thesupermomma.com
clairesantiago.com joeydragonlady.com nocturnalmomtalks.wordpress.com allaroundpinaymama.com
therebelsweetheart.com triplejoys.com amonthestreets.com musingsofasuzie.blogspot.com/
homeschoolerkib.blogspot.com joygurtiza.com thetravellingappetite.com mrswise.tk
vivamanilena.blogspot.com juvyann19.blogspot.com r0ckstarm0mma.com trulyrichandblessed.com
oneproudmomma.com pinkheartstring.com michiphotostory.com purpleplumfairy.com
touringkitty.com petitemomma.com nanaystrip.wordpress.com journeyofthevees.wordpress.com
ericayub.com startermama.blogspot.com nhengswonderland.net mum-writes.com
glammamomma.com allaroundmoms.com babyneosmama.com mommydiaries.co
paintsandquills.wordpress.com tweenselmom.com rolledin2onemom.com migsandalaine.com
Gerilen.wordpress.com Ontopoftheworldph.blogspot.com chicmix.net whatyvonneloves.com
mommyqueenelizabeth.com thekitchenmombydhess.com cykaniki.com lifeofque.com
tipidmommy.com Lifeandloveofliz.blogspot.com Mrschubsdiary.com sayitnessie.wordpress.com
Pinionsandplumageoflove.blogspot.com Mommyladyblogs.com Itstodaywithjesus.blogspot.com Amomsnotebook.blogspot.com

Biggest Annual Toy Sale is coming on November 3-5, 2017

You read it right! It’s that time of the year again when prices of toys go low, low, low! I make it a point to pass by even for a while each year, to check out toys on sale, and buy a few for my daughter, for relatives, and friends. And be ready for this one this weekend!

TOY KINGDOM TOY WAREHOUSE SALE
The biggest toy sale in the country is back! Find amazing toy deals at Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale, now on its 11th amazing year! Get as much as 70% off on branded toys, games, gadgets and more during this event. Mark your calendars, November 3 to 5, 2015 at Megatrade Hall SM Megamall.

Here are FAQs which may help you shop better:

Question: What is the event?
Answer: Toy Warehouse Sale is an annual sale of Toy Kingdom where branded toys & other items are discounted as much as 70% off.

Question: When and where is the event?
Answer: It will be on November 3 to 5, 2017 at Megatrade Hall SM Megamall. Entrance is at Hall 2 while Exit is Hall 1.

Question: What time will you open Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer:
Nov 3 (Friday) – 11am to 11pm
Nov 4 & 5 (Sat & Sun) – 10am to 10pm

Question: Is the event free?
Answer: No entrance fee/door charge/registration to enter the venue.

Question: What are the acceptable modes of payment?
Answer:
Accepted: Cash, credit card, Toy Kingdom gift card, SM Gift Card, SM Gift Pass, Sodexho Gift Certificate
Not accepted: Toy Kingdom Gift Cheque obtained via BDO Treats promo.

Question: What are the credit cards accepted during the event?
Answer: All major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard).

Question: For credit card transactions, can I opt to pay in installment during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer: Only locally-issued credit cards can avail the promo. Minimum purchase of P3000 is required to avail of 3/6 months instalment payment at 0% interest.

Question: Will there a 2 hour special or preview sale for SM Advantage or SM Prestige cardholders?
Answer: No 2 hour special/preview sale .

Question: Is there a special lane for Prestige, SM Advantage, BDO Rewards, Amazing Card or BDO credit cardholders?
Answer: No special lane for these cardholders.

Question: Will there be a priority lane? Who can use the priority lane?
Answer: Yes, there is a priority lane for Senior Citizens, pregnant women, people with disabilities.

Question: Will there be a special area for children?
Answer: No special play area for children.

Question: Will there be an area where we can leave our belongings?
Answer: No baggage area area at the event.

Question: Will there be a lot of people during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer: Yes! We are on our 11th year and each year the number of people keeps growing.

Question: Is there gift wrapping service during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer: This service is not provided during the sale.

Question: Will you give free gift wrappers during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer: Gift wrappers will not be given away during the sale.

Question: Do you sell the Toy Kingdom gift wrapper?
Answer: We do not sell the Toy Kingdom gift wrappers but Toy Kingdom tote bags are for sale.

Question: Can I have the items purchased at the Toy Warehouse Sale gift wrapped at another Toy Kingdom branch?
Answer: Our branches can only gift wrap the items bought at the store. They cannot gift wrap items purchased from the sale.

Question: Do you accept reservations?
Answer: No reservations allowed.

Question: Will there be an extension of the sale?
Answer:  There will be no extension of the sale however there will be other sale events in the coming months.

Question: How many cashiers do you have?
Answer: There are 24 counters which can accept cash, credit, debit and approved GCs as mode of payment. The speed of each counter is determined by the number of toys bought by each customer. Since the toys are really bargain price, a lot of people are buying cart full of toys and we appreciate a little patience and understanding from everyone in line.

Question: Will you provide the customers with plastic bags upon check out of items?
Answer: Yes, we will provide customers with plastic bags but you may bring your own tote or eco bags.

Question: Should I bring the whole family at Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?
Answer: This is a warehouse sale and there will be lots of people with one thing in mind: shop and get the best toy deals. While we want to accommodate everyone, we suggest that you do not bring babies and small kids for their safety and convenience.

#

European Higher Education Fair Philippines (EHEF) happening on October 18

One-day education fair brings the best European higher education institutions to Manila

Have you always dreamt of pursuing higher education abroad? Now is the time to embark on a journey of a lifetime – travelling around and learning from the best European universities at the European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) 2017.

EHEF will be held on October 18, 2017 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong, and will feature more than 20 higher education institutions from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden and United Kingdom.

The fair is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines together with the EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Institutions in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“Education has always been and will remain a top priority for Filipinos. Many have found that the higher education institutions in the European Union offer opportunities beyond comparison,” said EU Ambassador Franz Jessen. “With this year’s theme being ‘Sustaining Innovation and Excellence,’ EHEF 2017 aims to showcase both innovation in teaching and learning techniques and curriculum par excellence of participating higher education institutions to a growing number of prospective Filipino students.”

 

Why Study in EU?

As a center of excellence in education, obtaining an EU post graduate degree opens up various opportunities. It gives one an edge in the corporate world and immediately taps into a network of international professionals.

Pursuing a higher degree in EU is an amazing experience. Travel within the member states is easy, thanks to its borderless passport-free policy (only inside Schengen…). It allows one to establish intercultural contacts, gain invaluable insights into a new culture, learn a new language, and grow as a person.

“Education should not be restricted within the four walls of the classroom. There is an opportunity for one to learn everyday, why not bring it up a notch up and pursue higher education in EU?” said Ambassador Jessen. “Through EHEF, we want to encourage all Filipino students, teachers, members of the academe to grab this opportunity and experience diversified and excellent post-graduate and doctorate degree programs from top-notch EU universities.”

During the fair, participants and prospective applicants will have the chance to learn more about the EU educational system and way of life through a series of lectures and talks, and will also have the opportunity to talk with EU alumni volunteers present during the event.

 

Erasmus+ Programme at 30

This year also marks the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus+ Program, an EU-funded program which gives support to education, training, youth, and sports in Europe. Ambassador Jessen shared that this year, 37 Filipinos were granted Erasmus scholarships and are now pursuing their Masters and PHD degrees in Europe.

EHEF 2017 is supported by venue partner Shangri-La Plaza, and media partners Philstar.com, Business Mirror, Business World, and Expat Magazine.

Admission to the fair is free, but registration is encouraged. Participants can pre-register online via www.ehef-philippines.com or walk-in during the event day. For more information visit @EHEFPhilippines on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

What ‘Progressive’ Means for Britesparks International School

The word “progressive” signifies that something is newer, better adapted to the times than whatever it is being compared against.

These days, the idea of sending children to a “progressive school”, understandably, is something some parents might still be hesitant to subscribe to, given that the term might make it sound like some fad method. Why, after all, would a parent take a chance with a new approach, when they themselves went through a more traditional educational setup, and turned out fine anyway?

In Britesparks International School (BIS), one of the pioneer progressive schools in the country, “progressive” is more than just giving up traditional practices for the sake of novelty: it is the recognition that education must adapt to the times, must evolve alongside the society it is preparing children to enter in the future.

“A traditional setup will not digest that some children may be naturally gifted in some aspects, and not as gifted in others. But there has to be a place that can see that potential in children, and that is Britesparks,” said Veronica Co, School President of BIS.

When BIS opened back in 2000, it was not yet the complete institution it is today. The institution began as a preschool for gifted children, the first of its kind with the drive to accommodate and include students with special needs in their usual classes.

Expansion
Through the years, the school expanded its range of programs, eventually taking on elementary and high school students as well, while still keeping this advocacy of inclusiveness. The move to its current location in 2013 in Metropoli Drive, Bagumbayan was fairly recent, but such was a significant one which coincided with its increased capabilities.

Today, BIS accepts preschool to senior high school students, with its subject curricula complying with various local and international education standards: its Math and English are consistent with Common Core, a set of teaching standards used in over forty states in the US; its Science, ICT, Art and Music, and even French curricula are consistent with various other international school standards; and its Social Studies and Filipino methods fully comply with DepEd standards.

True to its progressive nature, however, BIS does not simply stop there: the institution recognizes the immense value of a child’s social development, which must occur alongside his academic development.

The focus of the school’s methods is on the child, not the teacher: children learn through experience, collaborating through a wide range of constantly updated activities and projects which may cover multiple subjects at a time, consistent with the interconnectedness with which we process information around us today; a group project about cooking food can be an English, a Science, and a History lesson, all at the same time, as well as a subtler nudge toward the benefits of working together for something much more difficult to achieve by one’s lonesome.

When taken in the context of the school’s inclusive policy, it is no wonder that BIS students grow to be more tolerant and less discriminatory of those around them.

“I’m proud of the fact that our students do not discriminate or bully those who are special. It’s really different; the children are so well-rounded and enlightened at times, you’ll be surprised,” said Co.

“Progressive” might sound vague, but go back to its roots—just like BIS, in all its approaches, has always anchored itself on its long-standing policies of inclusiveness and experiential learning—and we find a more concrete term, one that every parent wants in their child: progress.

This is something BIS aims to deliver in all aspects, to ensure that the children of today grow into individuals fully prepared to face the challenges of the present and the future.

Check out some photos of the school:

 

 

 

Britesparks International School classes start on August 1. For more information, visit www.britesparks.edu.ph or contact (02) 966-8120.

Blog hiatus

Three words: Busy, busy, busy!
But I will be back. Let me just sort my mind first.

It’s August! Happy World Breastfeeding Month! Happy Birthday to five people who made me who I am now: My dad, my mom, my grandpa and grandma, and my darling daughter!

I will be back. And I will let you in my journey more.

 

Love,

 

Touringkitty

 

P.S. In the meantime, check me out on Instagram or Twitter (@touringkitty) and follow my journey #touringkittytravels. I’m more often there lately than on Facebook.

What’s EUr Story: An EU Essay Writing Contest

You’ve got EUr story to tell? Then join the European Union Essay Writing Contest!

Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines
What’s EUr story? Essay Writing Competition
Mechanics

1. Eligible Participants
This contest is open only to Filipino citizens aged 16 – 35 years old. Employees of the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines (EU), its affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees until the third degree of consanguinity are not eligible to participate in the Campaign.

2. Categories
The contest is divided into two categories;
a) High School Competition – This category is open to qualified high school students. Entrants must be enrolled at the time of the beginning of the contest period.
b) Collegiate Competition – This category is open to qualified individuals that are currently enrolled in local colleges and universities.
c) Open Competition – This category is open to all entrants that are eligible participants but are no longer enrolled as students. Young professionals and full-time writers are welcome to enter the competition.

3. Format and Theme
All entries should be written in essay format and in English, with a minimum of 700 words and a maximum of 1,000 words for the student categories and a minimum of 1,500 words with a maximum of 2000 words for the professional category.
All entries must written using MS Word, font size 12, font Times New Roman and double-spaced, with 3/4th-inch margins top and bottom and ½ inch margins left and right.
The title should be in font size 16, justified center in boldface and located at the very top of the page and proceeded by the author’s byline in font size 12.
The essay must adhere to the general theme “What’s EU-r story?”.
The essay may say something about the author’s, or someone close to the author’s experience in any of the 28 member states of the European Union* or in any of the Delegation of the European Union’s NGO or civil society organisation partners. The essay may also talk about other experiences or inspiration the author may have had with European influences or European Nationals in their environment or personal lives.

4. Delivery of Entries
Entries may be submitted by e-mail to the following address: whats.eur.story@gmail.com

Entries must be saved in PDF format and included as an attachment to the e-mail. Other required attachments are; a scan of one valid ID. Entries to the Student Competitions should also include a scan of the entrant’s school ID.

The e-mail subject must be written as: What’s EU-r story: Contestant Name_Category

The body of the e-mail should include your full name, age and complete contact details.

5. Judgment Criteria
The entries shall be judged on the basis of the following criteria:
a. substance, content, originality, analysis and adherence to the theme – 65%
b. logic, organisation and coherence – 20%
c. style and presentation – 15%

6. Campaign Period

Entries will be accepted online starting on April 1, 2017, and all entries must be submitted by 30 June 2017 at 23:59 GMT+8.

7. Prizes

One “Grand Winner” will be selected from the winners of the three categories. They will each receive a trophy, gadgets and other promo items from the EU Delegation to the Philippines. “Major Winners” from each category will be chosen, along with ten best works from each category that will be selected as “Finalists”. The works of the Grand Winner, Major Winners and Finalists will be printed in a compendium to be published by the EU as well as posted on Philstar.com.

No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted. The prize is nontransferable.
It is understood that a participant when submitting his or her entry for the competition that he or she is allowing the EU Delegation to the Philippines to use his or her work for the purpose of promoting the Campaign and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation unless prohibited by law.

8. Winner Selection and Notification

The Winner and Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges based on the contest’s specified criteria. The Winners and Finalists will be notified by e-mail, facebook and telephone within five (5) working days following the results of the selection process. The Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines shall have no liability for the Winners’ and Finalists’ failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winners’ or Finalists’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the Winners or Finalists cannot be contacted, is ineligible, and fails to claim the prize within 30 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner will be selected.

Further information:

https://www.facebook.com/whatsEUrstory/

Make brushing more fun with Minions!

If it were not for my parents’ diligence in bringing us to dental appointments and cleaning regularly, my sister and I would probably have a bad set of teeth.

And so we do this now to our daughter, who, not like me, didn’t like brushing as a little girl.

But when the tooth fairy teeth started to take her milk teeth away (a few months after she weaned from breastfeeding), our daughter became more mindful with taking care of her teeth.

It was hard back then to look for toothbrushes that would suit my daughter’s small mouth and teeth, and we’re glad to find Colgate Minions tooth brush and tooth paste!

Let’s say it together: squeeze, brush, rinse!

We used to have sooooo many tactics in order to have our daughter get toothbrushed. Tandem brushing (she brushes my teeth while I brush hers), Daddy and Mommy tag team to brush the squirmy baby, name it, and we did it. Plus, because of her rather small mouth, we had to look for a brush that would fit her mouth.

When she turned five, we started using Colgate Minions toothbrush and we’ve been using it for a couple of years already.

Cute in blue and yellow.

Touringkittyps
Top three tips on how to take care of your teeth:

  1. Drink water after eating. If possible, gargle immediately. So that no dirt will remain in mouth.
  2. Avoid dark-coloured drinks (cola, coffee, tea) that may lead to early discoloration of teeth.
  3. Brush every after a full meal. Do not eat after brushing.

As the new and permanent teeth kicks in, our daughter is very mindful of tooth brush time, and how thoroughly her teeth are being brushed. Glad there’s Colgate Minions tooth brush (that comes in twin packs) to help us maintain her pearly whites.

 

Get yours now!

 

~ Touringkitty