I really don’t like the thought of the ber months coming around so soon, but but BUT….here are TWO events I am actually looking forward to this coming month of September.

FIRST off….

The Learning Basket’s Homeschooling Conference!


You will be hearing from the following speakers:

Educating for Life – Irma Chua, our keynote speaker, is a mom of six and has been homeschooling for 20 years. Educating her eldest (26) up to her youngest (15), she says that she loves the learning process that her family experiences together.

The Hands-On Homeschool Dad – Dennis Poliquit, known as “Big Daddy Jake” over the radio airwaves, is a hands-on homeschooling dad of two sets of twins and one singleton.

The Confident Homeschool Mom – Moira Bunyi, mom of three going on four. She has a post-graduate degree in Family Life and Child Development and has been homeschooling for five years now.

Learning in the Digital World – Yen Galagnara was a “housemate” at Pinoy Big Brother Season 2 back in 2007. She homeschools her three children while she runs a Korean language school.

Introducing Filipino Arts, Culture, and Heritage – Jen Bellosillo, mom of 3 + 1, has been homeschooling for six years now. She mentors other homeschooling parents as a CFA (Catholic Filipino Academy) parent coach.

Homeschool 101: Getting Started – Tina Rodriguez, mom of 3, lives a truly rich life as a work-at-home, homeschooling mom who advocates her faith through her blog Truly Rich Mom and through her social media presence.

Conquering Homeschool Fatigue – Donna Pangilinan-Simpao, a medical doctor, homeschools her 3 children. Wanting to support other homeschooling families, she created the growing Facebook group Homeschoolers in the Philippines.

Nurturing the Love of Learning – Ivy Marquez, homeschooled her three children up to high school. Missing teaching her kids and wanting to share what she learned in her years of homeschooling, she opened 360 Studio School, a school in Alabang.

Oh my! Just typing the topics down got me excited to learn from these speakers! :)


We are giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to this seminar! :) All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post, with your FULL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS so we can get in touch with you. :)

For more details regarding this seminar, please visit http://www.thelearningbasket.com/events.

So now that we have the first weekend of September taken care of, here’s another event we have (yes, HAVE) to go to the week after:


CSM Books All You Can poster



Need I say more? :)

No, I don’t.

But I shall, anyway. Just to get you even more excited. (My family, friends, and I have seriously been looking forward to this…well, every year, we look forward to this!)

Here is CSM’s list of activities for MIBF week:

  • September 18 (Thursday), 5:30-7:30pm, SMX Stage Area

Grand Unveiling of New Titles

  •  September 19 (Friday), 12:30-1:30pm

Family Life 101 Seminar & Book Launch with Bessie Rios and Clem Guillermo

Book Launch of Gabay ni Tatay by Beth Flores and The Best Investment by Marnie Moya-Prudencio

  • September 19 (Friday) 4:30-5:30pm, CSM Booth Nos. 22-27

A Talk on Early Childhood Care and Development featuring Dr. Elizabeth Sonto-Mendoza

  • September 20 (Saturday) 4:30-6:30pm, CSM Booth Nos. 22-27

- On-Site Book Launch featuring Jayson Lo (Debtermined), Marvin Germo (Stock Smarts: Winning Strategies for Investing),                           Dennis Sy (Act like a Man), Willy Chua (Thanks-living)

- Meet and greet CSM’s authors through scheduled book signing events at the CSM booth.

- Shake hands with Chef Bukchoy during the “Happy Hour” every day of the fair and you may win free eat-all-you-can passes for                       two to one of the best buffet restaurants in the metro (CSM will choose 1 winner per day)!

Here are 3 ways to eat your heart out at the Books All You Can treat:

  1. Take advantage of the Books All You Can early treat from September 8 to 12; place your order at the CSM online shop or send an email to order@csm-publishing.com and enjoy the convenience of reserving your sought-after books from your home.
  2. Come to the MIBF 2014 and personally indulge in the Books All You Can’s generous buffet of books from Sept. 17-21. Win on-site freebies, eat all you can passes, and meet our authors.
  3. Get another serving of Books All You Can (ROUND 2) during the post-MIBF sale on Sept. 23-27 at the CSM Bookcorner. This is your last chance to fill your gift bags for the coming gift-giving season.

For the complete product listing and event schedule, visit CSM Publishing’s website at www.csm-publishing.com or call 851-0521 and 25. Free tickets to the MIBF are also available for download.

Catch CSM Publishing’s Books All You Can at the 35th Manila International Book Fair on September 17 to 21, 2014 (Wednesday thru Sunday), SMX Convention Center, Pasay City at booth nos. 22-27. Gate opens at 10am.


Enjoy!!! :)

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Since I have doctor for a dad, I grew up always hearing him give a lecture on health. Sometimes I would hear him talk about health to his patients, but most of the time, the lectures were directed to me.

During my elementary years, his lectures were all about healthy vs junk food. I had to stay away from  this, and I had to eat more of that. When I entered my teenage years, the lectures revolved around my eating and sleeping habits. I had to sleep more, and I had to eat less. Well into my college years, his major concern was my calcium. I was taking in too much caffeine to stay up and review for exams, and since I lived by myself, I usually settled for fastfood—which made his lectures go full circle and all about healthy vs junk food again.

When my dad realized that there was probably little chances of getting me to prepare healthy home-cooked meals while trying to excel in school, he started insisting that I take supplements. This somehow gave him peace of mind—the thought that at least I had other sources of nutrients. Of course, they were only supplements, but I’m pretty sure they had a huge effect in sustaining me through my college years.

Until now (fast forward 13 years), my dad still keeps reminding me to take supplements. His belief in supplements has even been carried over to my children, as he often asks what they eat, to be followed by a “gentle reminder” or a primer on healthy vs junk food. I love him for this!

Now, since we live they are based way down South in Mindanao, he doesn’t see my kids that often, and he doesn’t get to lecture them as much I’m sure he’d want to. So, guess who’s there to take his place?? ….Yep, that’s right—ME!

I’ve been on a hunt for supplements and multivitamins for my kids that provided a good amount of vitamins and minerals to supplement their usual diet, as well as one they’d enjoy. I try my best to let my children eat a balanced meal each time, and I’m pretty sure that in their heart of hearts, they mean to eat healthy as well, but…..well, let’s just say that in a perfect world, my kids would be eating their vegetables, grains, and healthy protein at every meal. But we don’t really live in a perfect world, so I would have to improvise.


A few weeks ago, I was able to let my kids try PropanTLC (special thanks to the folks from PropanTLC!).   PropanTLC is a brand of multivitamins for children one to 12 years old, with 10 essential vitamins that are combined with minerals Taurine,  Lysine, and Chlorella—which all play a significant role in proper brain, bone, and normal tissue development.


It’s only been a few weeks, so I still have to wait and see how PropanTLC will really affect my children’s nutrition, but so far, so good!  We have finally seen an increase in appetite and weight in our second daughter, who we have been wanting to gain more weight for quite some time now.  The same is true for the two kids.

I actually asked my eldest daughter what she thinks of PropanTLC. Her response? And I quote, “You mean the vitamins with the purple box? *suddenly flashes a wide smile* I really, really like it! I like the taste, and I feel so hyper after I drink it….I mean, it’s like I have lots of energy.” Okay. This solves it for me. :)

If you would like to try PropanTLC, I think now would be the best time to try it as they are having an iPad Blowout Promo this month.

Here’s a (sort of) quick overview of the promo. I will give the link to their Facebook page for more details at the end of this post.

   STEP 1.     Purchase any Propan TLC products from any Robinsons Supermarket branch.

                                   a)   Purchase Propan TLC 60mL or Propan TLC Drops 50 for one (1) entry into the raffle.

                                   b)   Purchase Propan TLC 120mL for two (2)entries into the raffle.

                                   c)   Purchase Propan TLC 250mL for four (4) entries into the raffle.

  STEP 2.  Take a photo of your receipt, making sure that the OR number, Robinson’s branch AND product are clearly seen.

   STEP 3. Send your photo to Propan TLC on Facebook through the messages.

                                   a)   Entries must include the following details:

                                           1)   OR Number on the receipt

                                           2)   Robinson’s Branch where the product wasbought

                                           3)   Complete name

                                           4)   Contact Number

                                           5)   Complete address

                                            6)   Birthdate of participant

Here’s the link to the promo and mechanics if you wish to know more: https://www.facebook.com/notes/propan-tlc.


I will be posting some more information on PropanTLC as I learn more. Stay tuned! :)

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One phrase that is often said to me whenever I counsel someone is “I feel far from Jesus.” or “I don’t feel God anymore.” …or some other statement along those lines. Let’s establish this before anything else: God IS with us. If we have put our trust in Jesus’ work on the cross, His word says that God is within us. So the next question becomes, “If God is with me always, how come I don’t feel Him?”

Here, let’s take a look at these verses in Matthew 28:18-20 (which is the GREAT commission by the way, the last words of Jesus to His disciples). We would notice that Jesus promised that SURELY He IS with us ALWAYS, to the very end of the age. He didn’t say, on good days He will be with us, or perhaps if He’s in a better mood or if He’s less busy He just might drop by and hang out with us— He said SURELY He IS with us ALWAYS.

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

But again, to answer the question, “But how come I don’t feel Him?,” let’s go back one verse. “Therefore GO and MAKE DISCIPLES….” This precedes “And surely I am with you always.”  And this comes right after Jesus declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. This means that the answer to our yearning of God and His presence is directly tied to our obedience to His command, “Go and make disciples.”

This also means that our experience of God’s power is not for our amusement, but for the advancement of His kingdom and His purposes. When we look at all the miracles in the Bible, when we look at all the times that God showed up in a tangible way in the Bible, it was when His people were exercising their faith by going, witnessing, and making disciples.

In short, Jesus’ solution for us to “feel God” or experience more of Him and His power is by thinking less of ourselves and going out of our comfort zones— so others can experience more of God and His power through us. I say this is a pretty fair deal. We go, He does. We go, He shows His power. We go, He will be with us. We go, He will use us. We go, He will amaze us. He has promised, where ever we go, He goes with us. He is with us. His power is made available for us.

And the amazing thing thing about this power is this: it is his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT)

I say this is a VERY good deal. Now go.


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Don’t play favorites. Don’t compare. Appreciate your child’s uniqueness. Every child is special.

We all know these things. And as well-meaning parents, we do try to guard our hearts from comparisons. As loving parents, we remind ourselves that our children are different from one another, and that each of them will bloom and develop at their own pace.

And then there’s a party. Or we have guests over. Or our schedules are tight and we are behind on our lessons or homework. Or we talk to other parents and they tell us how wonderfully-behaved and how “advanced” their children are. Or we see for ourselves how well-behaved and “advanced” that other kid is, and then we turn to see that our child chooses to act up at the most inconvenient time. We try to talk some sense into him/her, but he/she just won’t listen.

Perhaps we are doing it all wrong.

Or maybe my child needs a little motivation.

Don’t compare. Every child is unique and special.

But they’re just too different.

Maybe a little pep talk won’t hurt.

And because we are too caught up in our desire to make them act the way we want them to act, or accomplish what we want them to accomplish, we think, “Maybe if I give my child a point of reference or an example, he/she would get the point more….”

And then it comes out.



“Look at *insert name of other kid here* o, he/she is obeying his/her mom.”

I know it is good to find examples for our children to emulate. But there is a way to communicate this to them– that we can all learn from each other– without giving our children the feeling that they do not measure up, or that one kid is better than the other.


“Wow *insert name of other kid here*! You’re such a good boy/girl for *insert the thing that your child refuses to do*!” (Saying this right in front of your child)

Like I said, it is good to find examples we want our children to follow, but if it is with the heart that says, “Oh how I wish you would start shaping up and acting that way, too!” — it will come out in our tone of voice (our words, even). Our children are more discerning than we think.


“You know, when *insert sibling’s name here* was your age, she/he was already able to do this.”

Children develop at their own pace. Just because the books say “At this age, your child should be able to….” doesn’t mean we could go around pressuring our children of what they should already know how to do.


“You know what would make me reeeeaaallllyy happy? If you *insert child’s performance here* . And you know, every time you __________, it makes me reeeaaalllyyy sad.”

It’s good to be honest about our feelings, but it’s another thing to put the burden of making mom/dad feel okay on our little ones. We are responsible for our own feelings. Our responses are completely in our hands. Besides, we don’t want to give our children the impression that our acceptance of them is based on their performance.


“You’re already _____ years old. You should’ve known better/ you should know better.”

Most of the time, they don’t know any better. That’s why we are here to teach them. Or sometimes, they do know it in their heads, but emotionally, they are unable to translate what they know and apply it.  We want to be careful not to shame our children for not knowing any better.

What we say is important. But more than what we say, the spirit and heart behind the things we say matter more.  In our efforts to motivate our children, we have to be careful that we don’t manipulate them by comparing them to someone else, or to some accepted norm. We want  to be careful that what they hear is our unconditional love and acceptance, not our frustration.

So help us, God.




photo: www.redthreadmagazine.com

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Here’s a guest blog from my husband Dennis for today’s post (Weee!!!). Insular Life got in touch with us and I thought, “Who better to talk about financial planning than the author of Rich for Life himself??” (Hehe… You didn’t see that shameless plug coming, did you?)

rich for life thammiesy.com


One of the challenges we face as parents is to save up for our future. We live in a generation that loves to consume rather than produce. What that means is that most of the money we earn, we spend.

Let me share to you three tips that I shared in my book Rich for Life:

1. Give every peso a name.

All the money that goes in our family has a designated assignment. Whether it is grocery money, insurance, or education. In our family, there are no surplus. Every peso feels right at home.

2. Don’t try to get rich, BE RICH. 

The world tells us to acquire more money. Get rich quick, get rich whatever it takes. When you read the Bible you see that God doesn’t want us to get rich, God wants us to BE RICH. Our being is more important than just getting rich now. Those who are really rich are not controlled by money. They actually control the money.

3. Prepare for your future.

Have a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

The problem with this is that a lot of families are not able to send their kids to school because they are not prepared.

One of the things we value as a family is our kids education. Thammie and I decided that education is a premium in our family. Both Thammie and I are products of families that value education.

Early on, our parents saved and invested so that they could send us to the best schools in our country. I am grateful to have parents who had the foresight to save up and share with us what they valued  by sending us to school.

Now as a parent, I am seeing the sacrifice one parent must make to send their kids to school. With the high rise of tuition fees, it is no small matter to send our kids to school. And with the recent positive change in our education system (k12), parents have to all the more have a financial plan so their kids can get quality education in the future.

Thammie and I were so glad when we heard that Insular life was offering an Education Package that is K12 ready. By availing of Insular Life’s Education Package, parents are able to partner with a very reputable and solid company life Insular life to guarantee their kids’ future. As an Insular Life customer, you have the confidence of being protected by a company with a consolidated asset base of P89.6 billion, revenues of P18.1 billion, net income of P3.2 billion and total business-in-force of P219.2 billion as of year-end 2012.

Final Training Material for IL Educ Packages _Somoms_ Confidential-page-001

Here are some of Insular Life’s Product Support:

1. Disciplined savings

Plan for your child’s future in a systematic way. It is designed to help you save up  regularly whether annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. In the case of windfalls,  add to your policy to build a much bigger fund.

This is something I shared in my book Rich for Life. Every time money comes; you need to give it a name. No peso should be unnamed. Since we had our first daughter, we decided to set aside a certain percentage of our income to our kids need and later on to their education.

2. Flexibility

Insular Life’s education packages provide various paying period schemes. You can choose to save significantly over a short period, spread out your savings longer  or continuously save into the policy until your child graduates. After all, any amount  left in the policy is still yours to use for your child’s further studies or other financial needs in the future, such as your retirement funding.

3. Fund growth

This plan gives you the opportunity to gain better yields, depending on your risk appetite.

4. Continuing education

This provides a death benefit equal to the sum insured plus the fund value. The sum insured is at least 500% of your annual premium. This provides the assurance that whatever happens to you, your child’s education can be provided for, regardless of  market performance.


To know more about Insular Life’s Education package you can contact them:

Telephone No.: (02) 582-1818

Fax No.:?(02) 771-1717

Email: inquiry@insular.com.ph

Website: www.insularlife.com.ph

This is a sponsored post by Insular Life.


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