Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hami Redeems Ninong Max’s Birthday Gift

Even before my middle child’s christening at Max’s restaurant in 2015, I already have high regard for their excellent service because a cousin’s wedding reception a couple of years back was done at their Roxas Boulevard branch; and I was quite impressed with the way they have swiftly delivered a solemn wedding program, not to mention their food which is timelessly, unarguably palatable.

This year, for the first time, Hami was able to redeem her free gift from her “Ninong Max.” Unfortunately, we were unable to get her free chickens previously, for her birth month and Christmas, because I lost the temporary card necessary for redeeming the Ninong Max goodies.

I thought I had to go through the hassle of securing an affidavit of loss before I could do the free chicken redemptions for my kid. I was mistaken.  One random day I visited the place to probe about the procedures to reactivate my child’s account to claim the food gifts, I was surprised to find out that Hami’s permanent Ninong Max ID was just sitting there for several months waiting to be picked-up.

So we redeemed her first gift from Ninong Max.

Here are the perks for a Ninong Max ID holder:

Promo details according to their Facebook page: 

While waiting for Hami’s treat from Ninong Max, I indulged my daughter’s sweet tooth.

Thanks to the very long APEC break here in Metro Manila, I was able to do lots of mommy duties for my children – I was able to pay attention to Deirdre’s christening requirements, I had the chance to sit and play pogs with Vladimir, and for the first time, Hami and I were able to redeem her free crispy and tasty chicken from Max’s Restaurant!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nanay Muring: An Epitome of Volunteerism in Valenzuela

Today I’m sharing a story of an unsung hero whom I had the chance to interview during a recent assignment. She is Nanay Murita “Muring” Paulino, a 65-year old senior citizen who is both a Bantay Estudyante volunteer and a Central Kitchen volunteer.

Nanay Muring in Bantay Estudyante Suit

In Valenzuela, citizens are encouraged to engage in volunteer works to help contribute in making our home city a better place to live in. When I asked Nanay Muring of her timeframe until when does she see herself serving our city, I was moved by her response, “hangga't kaya ko po dahil wala naman po akong sakit” (as long as I can because I am not ill yet).

I could not help myself from gazing at her using a xennial’s lens. Despite her wrinkled skin, hers are magnetic eyes that showed me her big heart. I saw in her a contented woman who has won and lost battles through the years, yet who remained steadfast in nurturing her pure motherly soul. Her voice was filled with love and sincerity as she described her joy in serving the Valenzuelano children. In my mind, I couldn't help myself from thinking that her sun-kissed skin is her natural badge for her unrelenting selfless service. My heart shivered.

If you’re wondering where my admiration is coming from, let me talk briefly about her two volunteer works – Bantay Estudyante and Central Kitchen.

“Bantay Estudyante” is the brainchild of our handsome mayor, Rex Gatchalian [writer swoons]. In Valenzuela, senior citizens are welcomed for employment by the local government despite their age. During school days, volunteers are posted on visible sites during the ‘alpha and omega’ of classes only. They are deployed near the streets of public elementary schools to oversee the safety of the kids from vehicular accidents. They also prevent youngsters from brawling nonsensically over petty things.  

The Central Kitchen is a different activity. Here, volunteer-mothers help in preparing meals for thousands of identified malnourished and undernourished children enrolled in public schools, from kinder to sixth grade.

I have conducted interviews with other kitchen volunteers in the past so I know how tough their sacrifices are. They have to wake up at least 3:00 o’clock in the morning, leave their abode before dawn, start chopping veggies once they arrive at the kitchen, and twerk until all packed lunches are delivered in schools. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the efforts exerted by our mother-volunteers at the kitchen. So kids, I hope you’d really study well and pay it forward someday.

Nanay Muring communicated with me the essence of satisfaction and love – these are two things that many of us fail to achieve despite the credentials we brag on social media, despite the hollow praises we get from people who don’t really care about us.

Nanay, how to be you po? I salute you.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Make Gift Giving Hassle-Free with GC Regalo!

As I prepare for the upcoming christening of my baby daughter Deirdre in November, the nostalgia of my being a god mother to my nephew to Pocoh rushed through my mind as if it was just yesterday.

Pocoh and Mirmir (2013)

Born Again Christians call their baptism as “dedication.” Pocoh was dedicated when he was one year old and the ceremony was held at Max’s restaurant in Caloocan City.

That time, I was still a Citigroup employee. I was a determined sales person. Part of Citigroup’s motivation strategy was to give away gift certificates, such as the Sodexo Premium Pass, to encourage their Citiphone officers to sell more and to hit their quotas.

Vince, the guy at the back wearing a cap, was the one who explained to me
the convenience of using Sodexo Premium Pass.

Shop Sodexo here:

The very young, yet extremely talented Jordan Ga was our sales coach that time. He taught us how to sell credit card insurance because nobody in my new team could sell that product. He told us that he was going to give us ten GCs (gift certificates) of Sodexo Premium Pass pegged at Php100 each. So that’s a total of Php1,000 worth of GCs.

I knew that I will be a god mother to Pocoh. As a typical employee who lives from pay check to pay check, I was a bit concerned that my budget will be a little tighter if I will allot a portion of that for “pakimkim.” Haha! Yes, I was that poorita (until now, actually).

And so I prayed. And studied the sales spiel intently so that I could bag the award. Voila! I was able to hit the nail. As an added feather on my hat, my Credit Protector sale was also compliant.

Jordan was elated that time. I think he was happy not only for me but also for himself because he was able to prove to the management team that he was a coach that CAN deliver results, and a hardworking one I must say.

My name was bannered in a send-to-all email for everybody on the floor to read. It was an unforgettable experience. Nobody knew that my motivation to hit the target was my desire to give my nephew a rather decent gift for his dedication.

That was just one of the many happy experiences I had using GCs.


Check GC Regalo here:

I appreciate the Gift Idea of my friends, who are my kids’ god parents, whenever they hand SM Gift Certificates to my little ones during Christmas. Receiving an SM Gift Certificate looks more personalized rather than receiving cash in an “ang pao.” The gesture also feels like, my friends warning me softly, “Hey Liz, the GC belongs to the kids; bring them to the mall where they could enjoy.” Pretty clever, aye? They’re making sure that the valuable gift idea will not go inside mommy’s pockets. Spell F-O-R-T-H-E-K-I-D-S-O-N-L-Y. Haha! Kidding aside, of course bonding moments with my kids, such as malling at SM North, is priceless.

Friday, June 23, 2017

When Yayabels Takes a Surprise Day-off

I have been absent from work for two days now because my daughter’s nanny had a very important matter to attend to. She had her medical examination at her agency because she plans to leave the country for Saudi to be an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).


If you’re a working mom who is not accustomed to doing household chores, staying at home could be stressful, rather than peaceful. In my case, I am used to working at my station the whole day with occasional meetings and other professional transactions. So when my nanny left for an urgent concern, I felt like my routine was somehow disrupted. I couldn’t focus. Or perhaps I’m a certified workaholic now that I can’t help thinking of my current projects. 

But you know what, moms? There is one beneficial thing about working moms’ nannies’ unplanned days off – mothers get to bond with their children longer; so, they get to discover their children’s milestones which they often miss out. Like today, I have seen my baby Deirdre lie down on her stomach. It was a delightful sight!

Long weekend starts tomorrow. It’s going to be a long working weekend.

I wonder if “grace under pressure” will be applicable to me.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Make brushing more fun with Minions!

Let me start with a little whine.

The saddest part of being a single mom in a modern family is the very scarce time that a mother could afford for her children due to financial concerns. Like in my case, instead of me spending time to bond with my kids, I engage in other endeavors that would help me augment my income. It’s only in the evenings that I get to bond shortly with my kids. Most of the time, I get home a little past dinner time.

My Modern Family

The moment I arrive home, the first thing I do is to kiss my kids to let them know that mum is home. After a short while, I would ask them if they have already brushed their teeth which most of the time, the answer would be “No.”

My two-year old daughter, Hami, is the clingiest among my children. Since she always wants to follow me wherever I go, I also find her easier to prod to do tooth brushing compared to her big brother, Vladimir. Hami doesn’t speak straight yet. When it is already time for me to clean her up, I would just repeatedly ask her a one-word inquiry, “Brush? Brush?” Hami would then smilingly follow me to the rest room and we’d brush our teeth together while facing each other. This is our kind of "mother and daughter bonding" every night, and my way of making tooth brushing more fun!

Mommy And Hami

I’ve read in a parenting magazine before that “playing” is educational for toddlers. If you want to teach your child something, you have to be creative in coming up with some sort of a play to keep your child’s interest or attention. Teaching Hami how to brush her teeth had been such a breeze for me because of Colgate’s Minions toothbrush and Minions toothpaste. Both of these oral hygiene products are indeed perfect for little ones who are still learning proper oral care. Hami loves the Minion design and the soft bristles of her new toothbrush, as well as the sweet taste of her toothpaste.

I have been an avid Colgate user even before I was a mother. Now that I have three growing kids, of course I only make them use the brand that I trust. 

Are you also a parent who leaves early and arrives home late? Lessen that guilty feeling by not skipping your enjoyable tooth brushing fellowship session with your kids.

Go grab Colgate’s Minions toothbrush and Minions toothpaste through these channels:

Colgate Minions Kids 2-5 Years Old (Junior) Oral Care Pack:

Colgate Minions Kids 5-9 Years Old (Youth) Oral Care Pack:

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Astoria Stigma

Our good friend Joyce, who was among the Latin honor graduates of our batch, came to visit the Philippines recently. She is now based in Australia, and currently has a quite established career in hotel management. She invited us over for dinner at Astoria Hotel in Pasig City. She wanted to see us, her college friends, before flying back to Down Under.

My kids’ godparents were present in our group date – Ken, Golda, Elmi, and Jeifan. Soon, my book worm friend, Julie, shall also become a godmother to my youngest girl, Deirdre. I’m happy to somehow realize that our affinity as friends has become deeper because they are godparents to my kids.

UP Gang

Joyce. She’s among the kindest persons I know who never had an air in her head. Sometimes I ask myself, why is it that most of the time, those people who have the bragging rights are the ones who are humble? In terms of personality, Joyce is definitely my girl crush.

Now here goes my Astoria story. They have this popular marketing strategy that seems to work (?)

When Golda, Elmi and I arrived at Astoria, we have seen Julie and Ken waiting for us at the lobby. We wondered ‘why’ because they could simply proceed to the dining hall and enjoy the buffet. Apparently, they were apprehensive to get in, for they were asked if they are aware of the 90 minute presentation that they needed to attend to once they finished eating. THEY WERE AWARE.

Like them, I have also experienced that irking sales technique by Astoria.

Few years back when my kids’ grandfather was still alive, we dined in a fancy buffet somewhere in Quezon City. We were requested to fill out raffle stubs that asked for our contact details. A few weeks later, I was texted by a marketing representative of Astoria that I won a free buffet treat at Plaza Ibarra. There was a condition though: I need to listen to a 90-minute presentation, to which I have naively agreed. I informed my partner then to save the date.

My most awaited day came. I was a little dissatisfied that we were only served a platter of food. The experience was like ordering a fancy meal in a fast food because I expected buffet. After filling our tummies, an Astoria’s sales rep invited us over to start the “presentation.” The experience was traumatic. The sales rep had been forcing us to buy a hotel membership card that he said would be billed in my credit card every month. I said no because hotel membership is not a necessity but rather, a luxury that we could forego. The sales rep was prepared with a lot of rebuttals.

Because of our adamant “no,” we were able to elude the seller. In fairness with the salesman, he was well-versed and well-trained. Good thing I have sales background too that’s why I have successfully avoided the unnecessary purchase that he was forcing me to get into. I hated his “insult tactic” by the way – he seemed to be very pleased at first to know about our “progressive career” but when we started refusing his offer, he started saying, “Oh I thought you were like this, and like that.” Sick man.

That was my distressing Astoria experience. And I bet my friends had somewhat the same, hence, the stigma. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Your parameter is not my parameter. Yes you’re driving your own car, you have traveled quite a lot, and you seem to be on top of your game. Believe it or not, I am happy for you. But if you will compare my life with yours and you treat me as if I’m just on the backseat, hey wait, that’s quite improper, bordering to being rude.

You are seeing me through a sphere that you have mastered and that space isn’t my league. There is no point in comparing how we faired in our careers because in the end, we’ll all realize that life is not a competition; although of course we could always offer one another a little bit of inspiration.

You’ve got your drama, I got mine too. And I believe, as human beings, we are all trying hard to be the better versions of our selves each time we are caught in an inopportune situation.

Thanks still for the happy times we’ve shared. I respect you for your far better career, but please, spare me your arrogance. You are not getting anything cuter by your self-importance.