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: https://www.gcregalo.com/products/2-sodexo-premium-pass-gift-certificate-1.html

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: https://www.gcregalo.com/

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. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recycling Unused Facial Creams

It is not uncommon for women to indulge beauty in regimens. By so doing, this entails buying beauty products and creams… sometimes, only to shelf them later.

I have creams at home that I can no longer use on my face or body due to certain reasons. Some caused me allergies; some were already expired because they were shelved for a long time; and some were imported freebies with foreign labels I couldn’t read and understand (What if I used a product on my face when it’s supposed to be a shampoo or a vaginal wash? Eeww!).

To ditch or not to ditch – this is my question. Of course I don’t want to clutter my cabinet with stuff that are no longer useful to me. But if you think of saving mother earth from the forever accumulating human garbage, you’d consider recycling.

So how do you recycle your unwanted beauty products? Simple. Use them on your FEET.

Sometimes, people tend to neglect washing their feet well when taking a bath or taking the shower because they are in a hurry. In the long run, having dirty and calloused feet would definitely call for pampering. This is something that you can now immediately address by simply applying your barely used creams on your feet before sleeping, and then covering it with socks.

I learned this tip from an old friend who loves to hoard lotions and beauty products. She keeps these in the fridge and totally forgets about them eventually. When she remembers to check her collection, she would see her branded stuff expired. Too upset to throw away her expensive creams to the bin, I’d see her applying the products on her feet instead. According to her, the foot t is the safest body part to apply expired facial creams on.

Do you also have expired or unused vanity products at home that are just accumulating dusts on your beauty table? Use them on your feet tonight.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saving Money For The Kids

Joni, my good friend and wave mate in Citigroup, shared with me a valuable idea on how to save money for kids, which I now practice for my own children.

In one of our chit chats when we were still officemates in Makati, she shared with me that she keeps a savings account for her daughter. What is interesting in this particular account is that, what she deposits there is not her personal money but her daughter’s. At the time of our conversation nearly 10 years back, she said that her daughter’s savings was roughly at around Php20,000.00, which her unica hija received from christening and from Christmas presents year after year.

I was still childless at that time, but her idea lingered in my mind and has influenced me, now that I am a mother too. I thought, since I am not born rich, it would be nice to leave my children with some funds that rightfully belongs to them. All I need to do is to safe keep every single peso that they receive from other people.

It is part of our Filipino culture to give money to young children in different occasions. During christenings or dedications, godparents and guests offer “pakimkim” for the baby. During Christmas, godparents, relatives, or family friends may also give cash “aguinaldo” to children in lieu of toys. There are also certain old beliefs that if it is your first time to meet a child, giving cash present to the little one may bring good luck.

I first opened a kiddie savers account at the HCCSCO cooperative for my son Vladimir a few days after his christening. I also opened another one for my daughter Hillary when she was born. Soon, my youngest child Deirdre will also have her own.

I must admit that at times when I’m broke, I’m compelled to touch their accounts to make ends meet. So I list their supposed total amount of savings at the back portion of their passbooks, for me to not forget how much I owe them. Of course I am determined to replenish what I borrow from them because at this point, I can’t say yet that I have wealth to leave them with when I’m gone.

My kids’ savings accounts are my constant reminder and inspiration that I should not leave them empty handed. This is a must, for this is biblical.