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


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



This is a sponsored post by Insular Life.


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Since we have been fortunate enough to be part of Oreo’s #bettertogether campaign, we’ve been enjoying a whole lot of Oreos at home. The kids have been getting Oreo “surprise treats” in between their schoolwork, and our guests have been getting a taste of Oreo’s newest Prime berry flavor whenever we invite them over at home.

photogrid oreo

Our pantry’s current contents– ang saya!!!

Two weeks ago, Oreo invited us to watch Transformers 4, where they launched their new flavors, Prime Berry (blueberry ice cream flavor) and Action Fruit Creme (orange ice cream flavor). Since then, Alyanna has been claiming that Transformers is her new “most favorite movie”. I guess you could say that this particular version was the more kid-friendly one. I could imagine the previous Transformer movies were much too exciting for her age.

New oreo flavors

We love these  new flavors! :)

Anyway, this weekend, we decided to do a family activity that revolved around Oreos and Transformers. Part of the Oreo #bettertogether campaign is the #OreoTransform project, which is a challenge you and your family can do together using the Oreo DIT (Do It Together) App. Not only will this be a fun bonding activity for the family (who doesn’t like having an excuse to eat AND play with Oreos, right??)– but you may also get a chance to win movie passes for two (for any movie) PLUS an Oreo gift pack! I will share the mechanics at the end of this post, so do read on, my fellow Oreo-lovers. :)

Alright, let the pictures do the talking first.


Halata bang we haven’t even taken a bath yet?? Heehee!  It’s all good though– no ligo for a more “breakfast activity” feel!


Ready…Get set…



family oreo

A family that eats Oreo together…

….gets sugar rush together! :)


We learned about Pablo Picasso for art class this week. I think it’s brilliant that Mika chose to do a Picasso-inspired “cubist” collage– using the colors of the Transformer robots.


Here’s her inspiration.


And here’s her finished work.

Uh….the Oreo is supposed to represent a robot’s eye daw– Picasso style!


Alyanna decided to make an Optimus Prime truck.

dennis oreo

Dennis took this activity quite seriously, he wouldn’t even let me borrow the scissors ha! :)


This was Dennis and Alyanna’s #bettertogether attempt to make Bumblebee’s face with Oreos. The Prime Berry Oreos were perfect for Bumblebee’s eyes! (Too bad we didn’t have black markers here where we were staying for the weekend.)

Finally, here’s evidence of Isaiah’s contribution in this activity:

isaiah oreo

Just for fun, or for something to do with the family over the weekend, why not join the #OreoTransform project and potentially win movie tickets and Oreo gift packs?? Here are the mechanics:

  1. Download the Oreo DIT (Do It Together) app on iTunes or Android. (Registration on the app is also required.)
  2. Create a Transformers-related activity with your family. (Example: Build a robot/trucks with Oreos, reenact a scene, strike a Transformers pose….anything! The kids were actually better at coming up with original ideas!)
  3. Add and save the activity you created in the memory book of the Oreo DIT app.
  4. Add a caption, share it on Twitter and tag @thammiesy and @OreoPH, and use the hashtag #OreoTransform. (Please make sure your account is set to Public so your entry can be viewed.)


  • You may submit multiple entries. However, each Twitter account may only win once.
  • The six most creative valid entries (chosen by the Oreo team) will win two movie passes each (no expiration date and valid for all Ayala cinemas, for any movie) PLUS Oreo gift packs.
  • All winners will be notified by @OreoPH through Twitter mention. (If you’re one of the chosen ones, please send a direct message to the @OreoPH account with your complete name, mailing address, and contact number.)
  • This contest is open to all, and runs until July 25, 2014.




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Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?”  He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.

Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”

Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.  So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy.  So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.

And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

(1 Samuel 3)

Here are some reminders/notes we can get from this passage as we parent our children.

“Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.”

“….Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

This sounds somewhat like the world we live in now. It may seem as if compared to all the other things that compete for our attention (and that of our children’s), hearing God and seeing what He is doing presents a bit of a challenge.

But God is at work among our young people and our children, and He desires to show himself to them. The question is, are we making it easier for our children to know God?  Are we preparing them for those “suddenly” moments when they would encounter God?

“Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.”

When God speaks to my child, will I be keen enough to discern it and sharp enough to help him/her identify God’s voice?

“Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?”  He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”

Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Am I training my children to be ATTENTIVE to God’s voice?

The best way to train our children in this area is by training them to pay attention to our voice. When we speak, do they know they need to stop and listen? Do they know what it means to honor God and others by paying attention?

Am I training my children in FIRST-TIME OBEDIENCE?

First- time obedience requires us to first be attentive– and then respond joyfully, immediately, and completely. Getting up and obeying or responding only when we feel like it is not obedience as the Bible describes it. We don’t obey only when it’s convenient for us. In the same breath, delayed obedience is disobedience.

Samuel could’ve easily given an excuse that he was too tired, or that it was past his bedtime already– but he honored Eli (and God) by having an attitude of obedience that was shown in how he quickly responded…even if he had to get up over and over again.

And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

Do our children know how to respond to God’s call? In a world that cries out “Look at me! Listen to me! I want this! I want that!” ….Do our children understand that ultimately, we are all here to honor God and fulfill His purposes for our lives?

More than teaching our kids to respond this way, do they see us responding this way? Do we know how to listen– really listen? Do they see that we are willing to forego our agenda and embrace God’s plans?

Our ultimate goal in training our children in attentiveness and obedience is not for our own convenience. It is not so that we will not have a hard time in getting them to finish their schoolwork or so we can order them around. The reason why we put a premium on attentiveness and obedience is for them to learn to pay attention to God and obey Him.


Lord, help us to pay attention and have hearts that are submitted to you. We know that we cannot impart what we do not have–and that even if we try to teach these things to our children, if we ourselves are not paying attention to what you are saying and doing– it will be fruitless. Lord, we acknowledge that ultimately, it is you who holds our children’s hearts. Please reveal yourself to them and speak to them. And please give us the ability to be quick to recognize your work in their lives, and the ability to teach them how to respond immediately…and respond well. May it be that in our homes, your word will be a common thing that we constantly listen to and hear. 


photo credit:

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Here’s a sad piece, but a good reminder for all the dads– and all parents, in general.

Cats in the Cradle

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

My prayer is that none of us will have regrets once our children are all grown up. I pray that we will all have the wisdom to know which things to say no to– and the keenness to identify which ones are truly worth our time. Not all matters really matter. May we all be sharp enough to the difference.
Lord, please help us to guard our time with our children. I pray that we will not allow busyness and everyday “demands” to steal us away from them. As we work, as we parent, as we run errands, as we homeschool….help us keep our eyes and our hearts set on the things that truly matter. :)

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Almost each time I go online and scroll down my news feed, I see so many articles on parenting techniques. The latest study shows this… a now-famous expert says that—it can get pretty confusing.


When it comes to raising our children, these are the verses that come to mind:

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I am to train up my children in the way that God has intended for them to go, according to how He has designed them—- NOT according to what I want them to do or how I want them to behave.

Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers (or mothers), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

I am to bring up my children in the training and instruction OF THE LORD. My standard for raising them is not the present culture, or the present parenting trend. My standard is God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

This was God’s exhortation to the Israelites regarding obedience. The previous chapters were all about the many miracles God did for them.

I am to remember and remind myself of all that God has been to me and my family. I am to remind myself and my children of who God is– His nature and character.

I am to bring up my children in such a way that will make it easy for them to understand who God is —what His nature and character are like. I am to train my children to obey this God who loves them.

Deut. 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Deut. 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Teach what to my children? God’s Word— Not mine, not the world’s popular views– but God’s Word…..constantly and consistently.

In short, how should I raise my children? How do I know which parenting principle to believe?

Here are three questions  I can use to filter:

1. Is this parenting principle/technique according to God’s Word? Are the underlying principles based on the Bible?

2. Will this help me and my children understand who God is more?

3. Will this help me and my children love God with all our hearts, mind, and strength more?


Lord, I pray that you give us the wisdom that we need to parent our children the way you would want us to. I pray that we will not be dictated by culture; but help us to train our children according to Your word and instruction. :)



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