1001 Things To Do · Family Field Trips · Franco's Wife · Memoirs of a Mummy

Manila Staycation Part IV: Saturday Morning at Manila Hotel


Part I – Planetarium
Part II – Manila Hotel
Part III – Rizal Park

My husband’s idea of a relaxing getaway is lying in a comfortable bed in an airconditioned room watching cable TV the whole day. Are your husbands like this too? Did the love for being stationary also rubbed on you? For our getaways, I made sure we had a lot of time dedicated to being true to our lazy selves.

Because we are early risers, we were able to watch the sunrise from our room. This was sometime between 5 to 5:30AM. Serenely beautiful, right?


We were engrossed watching the Graduates when the doorbell rang. Have you seen this movie?


Snooky Serna, Ronnie Rickets, PJ Abellana, Cesar Montano, Maricel Soriano, Gina Alajar, Gabby Concepcion, Joel Torre and other actors that we still know today, played fresh graduates looking forward to starting their careers. The issues that they had in the movie are as relevant now as they were in the 1980’s.

Manila Hotel surprised us with a cake for Emily. I mentioned to the reservation officer weeks ago that aside from R&R, we’d also be celebrating our daughter’s 1st month in heaven. I just wanted to know where can I get balloons but the lady I spoke with said she will check if she can get a complimentary cake. Thank you, Manila Hotel! And yes, I spent a good part of that morning crying again.


After the movie, we had our buffet breakfast at Cafe Ilang Ilang.



I particularly love the smoked salmon and the assorted cheese. Sorry no pictures this time. I was too busy savoring each bite. By the way, have you tasted horseradish sauce? I mistook it for cream cheese and spread 2 spoonfuls in a piece of french bread. Oh. My. God!

Next order of the day was swimming!!!

As it was my first time to swim in a hotel, I was amazed that there is a special way for guests going to the pool. I have always wondered why I don’t see anyone dripping wet whenever we are in the lobby.


Continue reading “Manila Staycation Part IV: Saturday Morning at Manila Hotel”

Memoirs of a Mummy · Miscarriage · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

So this is what it is like to be a stay-at-home mom

Officially, my medical leave started last April 14 when I had my dilation and curettage procedure or D&C for short or more widely known locally as raspa. It was not scheduled. I don’t know what was I thinking but I thought it won’t happen until last week. Had I known that the D&C could happen that soon, I would have prepared a transition plan at work. I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down. I am thankful for the 2 month paid leave from work. I am thankful for my understanding and supportive boss, team and colleagues. But still, I can’t help but feel guilty for the work that I had to suddenly had to pass on to them. I just hope the work-at-home tools and accesses that I requested for will be granted soon.

On the first week of my ML, the long leave did not sink in yet. I had the procedure done in Medical City. Franco stayed with me. And then Holy Week. To me, it just felt like a longer than usual long weekend. It was last week when I realized that I am blessed with a lot of time in my hands. In some ways, I am  lucky that we lost our baby in summer. If it happened during the school year, I would be sulking at home with no Aki to keep me entertained. He is just so chatty and energetic that he won’t let me feel depressed nor will let me get some rest. Mega thanks also to Ate Doring. Imagine going through an emotional rollercoaster and still having to clean the dishes.  I am also grateful that even if the sun has never been this powerful, we live in a breezy corner allowing us to get some work done instead of living in the airconditioned cave that is our bedroom.

Here is what I did for the first 3 days of my leave (April 21-23)

Coached/tutored/bribed/threatened Aki to write his name and his A-Z.


I am happy to report that his handwriting has improved  significantly since the start of summer.


Made pandan gulaman ice candy

Cleaned up the Japanese room/guest room/walk-in closet/storage room. These are what we are selling in our garage sale this May.

One more cabinet to go and we can already start pricing.


Got more hands on in menu planning although I was too lazy to cook.


Hosted a late Easter egg hunt for Aki and his village pals.


Used reverse psychology to make Aki eat veggie straws or kangkong stems. The more I said that he is not adventurous enough or he is not fast enough to eat them in X seconds, the more excited he got to accept my challenge.

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Aki's Preschool Years · Books

My Four Year Old’s Favorite Books

Happy blogging anniversary to me!

Here are the books that my 4 year old is obssessed with. We, actually just him because I would rather read something else, can go read these books on and on and on and on.

My Puppy Is Born by Joanna Cole. We bought this book for only PhP5.00 at MCS Booksale. Aki’s evening prayer goes something like this. Thank you for giving Daddy Mxxxxxxx. Thank you for the special gift for Mummy’s office friends. Thank you for giving Ate a house. Please give my mummy a baby. Please give Tita Yana a baby. Please help the victims (of Typhoon Yolanda). Please make me a good and healthy boy. And (pause), give me a dog. Aaaaaa-men.

And look what we saw on the last page. The previous owner of this book was a girl named Emily. It is a sign.

Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester.  Also got this for 5 pesos! It’s brand new by the way (san ka pa!).  We love the Tacky series. Tacky is an unconventional penguin. While his peers are very formal and conforming, Tacky is unique, clumsy and adorable in his own way. This is a great book to teach kids to love their own individuality.

Shopping Guides from Toy Stores. Aki can spend countless hours daydreaming about the toys that he want. He even has this close-your-eyes-and-let-your-finger-show-you-which-toy-you’ll-give-me(as he directs my finger to his dream Beadman toy) game. Am just thankful that he is contented with just looking at the pictures. When we go to toy stores, he does not even us ask to buy him anything.

Winnie the Witch by Korky Paul and Valerie Thomas. This is one book that I have been waiting to hit the Booksale shelves for months. Winnie loves her black cat so much but is having a hard time seeing him because her whole house is also black. She uses her magic to solve her problems. And just when she thought her problem is behind her, she has to come up with another solution again. The small details in the illustrations make this book a feast for the eyes.
Continue reading “My Four Year Old’s Favorite Books”

Books · Memoirs of a Mummy

For Emily and for All the Little Princesses: The Paper Bag Princess

Since my kid is a boy, I prefer books where the main character is also a boy. Stories about princesses and ballet do not get him excited as dinosaurs and worms do. But since I can’t stop thinking about Emily, I often get so close to bringing home books like  Pinkalicious, Eloise, Madeline and Olivia. There is a  princess book that I could not resist buying though. I try not to buy books that cost more than 100 bucks in Booksale but this anniversary edition of the Paper Bag Princess is extra special. It is nothing like that sugar-sweet damsel-in-distress princess stories that I grew up reading. This book was written by the same author who wrote I Love You Forever.


The story starts with the usual princess opening line. Elizabeth was a beautiful princess…


It gets interesting when a dragon burns her castle and all her pretty princess things and kidnaps Prince Ronald, her fiance.

Fortunately for Ronald, Elizabeth is no pushover princess. Wearing only a paper bag since all her princess clothes were burned, she set out to save her prince. I love how Elizabeth won over the dragon without resorting to violence. She challenges the dragon to burn forests and fly around the world.  The dragon successfully accomplished the Elizabeth’s challenges but got so tired that it fell asleep. Elizabeth rescues Ronald.  It does not end there.


Continue reading “For Emily and for All the Little Princesses: The Paper Bag Princess”

Memoirs of a Mummy

Where will she sleep?

Lately, I can’t stop thinking of Emily.

It does not help that Aki loves being called Kuya Aki.

Maybe this is because I have two cute giggling baby nieces, Rya and Bella. Little girls’ clothes are so pretty. And there are so many cute projects to do with little girls. I love the little sweet voices of little girls.  I want to have a girly-girl party for a change. I want, I want, I want a baby girl.

But, there is something that I need to figure out before deciding to have baby number two.

Where will she sleep???
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Memoirs of a Mummy

Kuya Aki and Emily

One of Aki’s current obsessions is being a kuya (older brother, cousin, male friend). He particularly wants a baby girl who according to Aki will be named Emily, after Yellow Power Ranger. Maybe because of his Kuya Tos, Kuya Joaquin and Kuya Rocky, Aki thinks being a kuya means being big, strong, and independent. In his world, kuyas save little babies from the bad guys. Whenever there are smaller children who play with him, he is thrilled to practice how to be a kuya.


Continue reading “Kuya Aki and Emily”