Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jami's School Achievement

There have been a lot of events in Jami's school in the past couple of months. We had Nutrition Month, Buwan ng Wika and Foundation Day and lastly, their field trip. I am so glad to be part of all these. I remember those are the usual school programs during my time and it was a good reminder now that I attend them not as the student but as a Mommy na! Emerged.. those good old days! Lol.

Anyway, during the first few weeks of school, I was really worried since Jami doesn't know anything about this new environment which I even blog here. Diba nga hindi naman kami nakapag prepare like going on a summer school? It was pure house training lang.

Fast forward to August, we had our fist quarter exam and long quizzes. I was so anxious we have to review every night on each subject they will take the next day. Good thing ganon na today because you can only focus on one subject unlike when I was a kid. Feeling ko sabay sabay lahat. Lol!

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The result came out all perfect!! I can't believe it! I was only expecting at least some checks but Jami proved me wrong. When their card was handed out, he was ranked 4th place over 23 students in their classroom. I was so happy! Imagine our of 23 students, naka top 4 pa ang anak ko!

Couple of weeks back, we had our second quarter exam without any expectations again. Although I was kinda nervous ulit, hindi ko alam if enough ba ang reviews namin every night. When I came home one night, his exam papers were given. I was doing the happy dance inside seeing all papers with perfect scores. This time, yung exams nila were 1-25 to 30 items na unlike nung first quarter na mejo konti lang.

Then two weekends ago, I went to their school to get his card. When I arrived, sabi ng mga teachers if I have a phone with me because they have posted the ranking sa blackboard.

Omaygad! My heart was pumping so hard!

Nag top 1 na sya!!!

The teachers were congratulating me. From top 4 to top 1? I cannot imagine really.

Now the challenge was to keep it that way. I always remind Jami to listen to teacher and ask questions if he doesn't understand something. Although the feedback that the teachers gave was very encouraging like Jami knows the answer and if he was asked by teacher, sumasagot agad. The only thing that we have to work on is his penmanship. Mejo mukang kinahig pa ng manok eh. Hahah!

Every weekend, we try our best to practice writing specially pag nakita kong bored sya in watching TV. I encourage him to practice and make him copy words na nakikita namin sa kung saan-saan. I think one thing that works for him is that, he looks forward to answering his books so that's what we use in reviewing his lessons. I also do my best to think of the things that he watches on TV, his favorite things or something he usually do so I can relate it to his lessons. In that way, mas natatandaan nya. Well, that's what I think and so far it's working naman.

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Like last night, he showed me their activity tracing letter K. The writing is terrible pa rin so I asked the name of the picture which was a 'kettle'. He doesn't know daw. I told him it was the kettle which we use in the kitchen that makes sound when the water is boiling. Ayon, na gets na nya. Haha! When he hears the kettle sounds, sisigaw na yan "Mommy yung init" so he's very familiar with it. Hindi lang nya alam na kettle pala ang tawag dun. :D

I am looking forward to next quarter and hopefully ma-maintain ni Jami yung nasimulan na nya. As much as possible ayaw ko naman na ma pressure sya but I encourage him to study and improve everyday. When I get home from work, bago pa ako mag bihis, tinatanong ko na yan kung anong ginawa sa school tapos we will check his books and notebooks before I eat dinner. We have been doing that since the start of the year and Jami has improved a lot. He recognizes the books they used for the day so hindi na ako hirap mag hanap.

Honestly, I didn't imagine Jami to do good in school. Sobrang malikot nga kasi sya, paikot-ikot sa room and sometimes hindi nagpa participate sa group works. But then, those are the things that he does at the start of the school. Since July kasi, parents are not allowed inside the compound so I am not sure if his behavior has improved too. I guess it did because he had high grades this second semester. I am praying that he will continue the best things that he is doing now. It really brings honor to the family.

Good job to our baby! We love you!

Monday, November 6, 2017

SSS Loan Restructuring Program

Part of my goal last year was to pay my SSS loan that I took late 2012. This wasn't done so I had to recycle this goal to this year. Good thing, they have a restructuring program that's open to those who has a delinquent loan status.

Just to give you a background, I took out the loan without knowing where to put the money. Maka-loan lang ganun! Hahah. I cannot remember if somehow, I had the need back then but definitely don't remember using it to something worthwhile. I submitted the voucher 3 months late to our payroll because I didn't know that I had to. Basta tinago ko lang and I thought it will be automatically deducted na. Hay naku, those days na batang-isip ka pa talaga.

I know I have mentioned before that I tried to pay this off when I get back to corporate 3 months after giving birth to Jami but our company said I cannot since it's near maturity date daw. Good thing, the SSS Loan restructuring program opened its opportunity last year up to April 2017.

When my schedule allowed me, I took advantage of the program to finally settle my outstanding loan with SSS.

How to Apply in SSS Restructuring Program 


Photo from sss website
Applying for the program is easy.
  1.  You just have to go to the nearest SSS branch and ask about the Loan Restructuring Program.  
  2. You will be asked to fill out a form. Lining up can take a while but surely it will be worth the wait. When you're called, bring the paper back to the staff for processing. Take note that they require you to notarize some papers/forms.
  3. You will be asked to wait for your name to be called again. This time, the paper works are ready and the staff will explain to you how much your amortization will be depending on how long you wish to pay for your balance. Once agreed, you will then sign the papers. Copies will be given for your own records along with a voucher like paper.
That's it! Or at least how I remembered it was. It just took a little over an hour waiting for my name to be called which I understand since it was the last couple of days of the program. You may check SSS website as to when the offer will recommence.

Paying the SSS loan is very convenient since you can drop by at any bayad center, Department Stores etc. I am paying mine here in Savemore, Chino Roces and so far so good. I haven't visited the SSS branch yet to confirm if my payments are going thru, but for my own records, I kept all the receipts just in case I need it in the future.

My SSS loan reached Php24,000++ because of interests and penalty. The principal amount was only Php15,000. Because of the restructuring program, I was able to minimize it to Php18,000. They removed the penalty charges around Php6,000+ which was a really big help. Sayang din yung Php6,000 ha. Anyway, I have decided to pay it for 24 months. I want to be able to pay it slowly but surely. Yeah, sayang yung interest rate charged for another year instead of paying it for 12 months lang but I opted to stick to my budget of less than Php1,000/month. I think it will be better knowing that I will be able to pay it slowly kesa mapasubo ako to pay more than my budget could allow tapos magmi miss din ng payment diba?

As of the moment, I was able to pay 6 months of my monthly dues so that means I have 18 months left. Thinking of it that way makes paying the loan easier than to think of it as if one and a half year ko pang babayaran. Lol! Hindi ko nga na feel na pang 7th month ko na this November.

Being under the restructuring program allow the members to pay the loans easier and be able to get back to non-delinquent status. During the course of the loan, the member is not allowed to apply for salary loan. You can only do so 6 months after your paying term. That means I will be able to take out a new loan November 2019 pa which is fine because I am trying to avoid taking out new loans. =) By the way, if any chance you missed the payment in three consecutive months, the penalty amount taken from your loan will be returned back. At least that's how I remembered the staff's explanation. If you have further questions about the program, please call the SSS hotline 920-6446 or visit any branch.

I know being able to pay my loan from SSS is a huge relief. Ang lakas maka feel ng financial freedom! Loooll!! Hahaha joke lang. But yeah, it feels good paying your debts and knowing that you don't need a new debt to cover the previous one. =)

When I get the chance to visit the SSS branch, I will update this post to confirm that all my payments are indeed being submitted correctly. For the meantime, let's assume that it is and all is well. =)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jami's 4th Birthday Celebration

It took a long while before I post another entry ano? Mejo naging busy lang ako setting family goals, hehe. I also re-opened my small time business so during free time at home, yun lang ang madalas kong gawin. I have no time to check things online kaya during office hours, mejo busy ako kakacheck! Lol!

Joke lang. =D

Syempre nagwo-work ako! Hahaha.

Anyway, one of the things that I look forward this year was Jami's 4th birthday. Since he started going to school, I know he got to at least celebrate one birthday at school. It was a perfect timing they still have regular school on the day of his birthday (fell on a Monday) but wasn't doing too much school stuff anymore because they are about to go on semester break.

It was Nanay whom I asked to speak to the teacher about the plan. His classmates have been celebrating birthdays in the school too, almost every month meron, minsan twice to thrice a month pa ang may birthday. Jami wanted to celebrate his birthday at school too since nakikita nga nya that his classmates sing happy birthday to the celebrant. Eh bida-bida tong anak kong to kaya gusto nya din ganun! Hahah. Last minute, Jami wanted to celebrate his birthday at home na lang kaya lang, nakapag notify na kami sa school.

I have decided to order Jollibee meal the night before his birthday. Since we were on a tight budget, I only ordered what I think the kids could eat in school. I don't want to go all out since we still have to allot a budget to celebrate at home. We had Jollibee Spaghetti and Yum burger which cost me more than Php 2,000 for 23 students plus 3 Jollibee Spaghetti with Chicken for his teacher. The crew I spoke to doesn't recommend to add fries, shanghai or even drinks dahil madaling mag lapse yung food. I actually ordered exact number of meals only, walang pasobra dahil may food pa naman sa bahay for lunch.

I have paid the orders in full so I only have to pick them up early next day. Our pick up time was 9:30am and the food has to be ready at 9:20am. It was a breeze placing such amount of order in Jollibee Casimiro.  Please bear in mind that only orders Php3,000 and up can be delivered for free. We arrived just in time and I am really glad that the food was ready so we didn't waste any time. The party will start at 10am and I want to be there earlier than that. On our way back to the school, I saw a local store that sells Dan Erics ice cream so I ordered 28pcs of regular ice cream in a cup for 10/each, bought Zesto tetra pack the night before for their drinks and an 8x8 dedication cake from Red Ribbon for candle blowing. I was really looking to buy a custom-made cake for Jami but I have decided last minute to buy local cakes.

When I was asked to go inside, we prepared the cake and his classmates sang Happy birthday song for Jami. I can see that he was overwhelmed and a little shy since nasa harap sya ng classroom! OMG, I was really happy kasi I never experienced that during my school days. Mga RK (rich-kid) lang talaga yung may kaya nyan before. Hahaha! We then distributed the food to the kids with the help of the teachers.

It was a very simple birthday party for a short period of time but the happiness it brought me, Daryl and Jami are beyond measure. For someone who didn't get the chance to do something like that, it feels surreal! hahaha OA lang. But yeah, thinking about it now makes me feel happy, - for Jami. I am so happy Daryl and I made this happen together. He did absent himself from work just to help me out and witness this new milestone for Jami. =)

After the school party, my sister and Sab arrived. They played for a little while and ate what's left in school (they had 3 absences) kasi wala pang food. I called Ambers in Las Pinas for delivery but because of the volume of orders they received that day, they can accommodate and deliver mine at 1pm pa daw. I agreed na lang since it will also take time if we order over the counter sa branch nila. I bought another cake so Jami could blow one at home. Yan lang naman ang dreams ng batang yan, mag blow ng candle hahaha!

I have been asking him the whole day if he's happy and he kept on saying "Yes". That's what's important naman diba? Ako, I don't care if we don't have so many visitors as long as our families are there to celebrate with us. As long as Jami's happy, his Daddy and I are happy.

Dear Jami,

You've grown up to be a super kulit but sweet and smart boy! I am really surprised how you do academically. I know we have very limited time to do "study time" at home and we can only do it if it's exam week but you never failed to do your best and understand your lessons. I feel pressured actually sa dami ng perfect scores mo, I don't know why! hahaha. Joke lang naman kasi Anak yung sinabi ko sayo na "gusto kong umakyat ng stage sa graduation mo eh". Hahaha! I was just kidding and was only trying to challenge you but yeah, you're doing it! Hindi ko nga alam kung naintindihan mo ba that's why I am so surprised every time you come home with perfect exams. I want you to keep doing it. Don't be afraid of change and that always try your best in everything that you do. I know you still have a lot of things to learn and I am quite unsure at times if what I am doing is right. I am praying so hard that God help us to guide you and mold you to a better person in the future. I want you to reach for your dreams but never ever afraid of failing. Just keep trying! I love you my baby! You are the best thing that ever happened to Daddy and Mommy and we couldn't ask for more. 

Again, Happy Birthday and wishing you good health, be smart and a good, loving heart. I love you! =)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Bacolod - Silay Heritage Houses Tour

Right after our day tour in Guimaras, we headed to the port to catch the 8pm fastcat to Bacolod.We arrived early so we waited until cars and buses are allowed to alight the ship (wow maka ship??) hahaha! We bought the business class for Php 350 for adults and Php150 for kids.

Haggard na yung bangs! Hahah.

Anyhow, we were kinda tired so we only took the time to take a rest. We didn't even have the time to eat dinner before boarding. Since my sister have a lot of snacks with her, we contented ourselves with it. Yun nga lang sobrang mahal ng cup noodles so mejo sad lang.

It took less than two hours when we reached Bacolod. Our hotel is around 10-15 minutes away via car so it wasn't a hassle at all. Transportation is what I love about this trip. We don't have to hire vans or cars or pay an expensive all-expense-tour to each city we go to. At some point nakatipid din because my sister didn't ask me to pay for gas hahaha! #perksofhavingasister

We stayed in The Inns Bacolod (click on the link to see photos from Agoda) which is just along the highway and a walking distance away from city proper. I actually took the cheapest room since it was just me and Jami plus Nanay. Although I didn't expect the bed to be too small, the ac kinda too noisy and the room isn't well lighted, and a very small blanket, I get what I paid for. The lobby was nice though and the breakfast is included in our stay. What would you ask for paying Php800/night? A television is available which is somehow important for me since it will make our stay a little less stressful dahil may pagkakaabalahan si Jami.

Since we had a late check-in, our first night was only to take a rest and get ready for the next day. Our original plan is to go to Campuestohan Resort for a whole day of swimming and fun and have a city tour on our last day before Jami and I head back to Manila, while my sister and family go to Cebu. Unfortunately, we were very tired the next day due to our very hectic schedule the day before so we opted to take our breakfast and leave around 10am for our city tour.

We passed by El Ideal Bakery to have our lunch and buy some take home food - supposedly pero money is tight hahaha and what I am looking to bring home is the Napoleones which is a known delicacy in Bacolod. I would say that I enjoyed the Sizzling Bangus meal that I ordered! Ang sarap eh. =)

Inside El Ideal Bakery

We took photos outside El Ideal which by the way along the highway so my brother-in-law has to take the photo from the other side of the highway pa and wait for the cars to clear out before mag take ng picture! Haha! It was really funny I remembered our buwis buhay shot in Sinking Bell Tower in Ilocos. =D

When we reached Silay, our first stop was the Bernardino Jalandoni House Museum. Unfortunately, it's closed every Monday! How could we not check the schedule?!

So we have no choice but to head on to the next house, Balay Negrense.

At that point we realized that we went on the day where these houses are closed! So please bear in mind not to go every Mondays! Lol!.

Although Balay Negrense was closed, we were able to take pictures outside and roam a little bit. It was really funny because Jami was freaking out when we headed to the left side of the house where the huge balete tree is located. When we were walking towards the side door to ask the caretaker if we can go in, Jami started to panic and said "Mommy! Let's get out of here!" with a very scared and worried look. Syempre kinabahan naman ako ng bongga diba? He might be seeing something I can't see so I carried him and asked what's wrong? I didn't get mad because I know that he was telling the truth and not making a scene lang.

We were told they are closed so we don't have a choice but to leave early. =( We passed by the Cinco de Noviembre and had a quick photo op too.

It was quite hard to take photos of the whole place because it's located on an intersection of a busy street. We only spent couple of minutes here since there's nothing much to do but a photo op.

We assumed that most heritage houses are closed every Mondays so we have no choice but to go back to Bacolod. I was really scared with Jami's little tantrum dun sa Balay Negrense baka kako na insidious na! Hahaha! He was whispering to his unan which by the way, he can't live without. Pinakikinggan ko kung anong sinasabi baka kung ano na. Hahahah! #paranoidlevel9999

We passed by a Calea store where my sister bought two slices of cakes (different flavors) we could try. I have heard this dessert shop is very known to be selling heavenly tasting cakes. Even before I went here in Bacolod, it is highly suggested to go there and try their cakes. Being a self proclaimed baker that I am, haha! syempre gorabels tayo jan. The verdict? I wasn't that impressed actually. As far as I can remember hindi masyadong sweet, which is fine, hindi nakakaumay. But I don't think this is the best cake shop of them all. Lols! We've also tried Felicia's which is inside SM, hindi sila nagkakalayo ng cakes ni Calea. I am not sure if we picked the wrong flavors but I think they may deserve a second try next time I visit Bacolod. We also passed by the Negros Occidental Capitol on our way to SM Bacolod which was also a nice and clean spot despite the fact that it's in the heart of the city. We were looking to take better photos but it rained a little and it's off limits to people. =(

For our dinner, my sister being the in-charge of this whole trip suggested we should try the Manokan Country. Eh saan ba galing ang inasal chickens diba? Why not try yung mga legit. Si Mang Inasal lang kasi ang na try ko dito sa Manila. Haha! Good thing, the place is located beside SM lang. It was a long karinderya-style place and you can choose which local store you should try. We went inside one (forgot the name) and ordered chicken inasal.

My sister noticed that the restaurant we went into had a branch in Makati. I just can't remember the name of the resto, I'm so sorry! Momnesia attack! =D

We actually just planned to go straight to The Ruins after before sunset since it's the perfect time to visit the place however, nagkalimutan na because of loads of chikahan after. We decided to go there tomorrow morning then Campuestohan Highland Resort after. We went back to the hotel after.

When we were settled down, we realized walang water so my sister and I walked around 5 minutes and we were in the center of the city. A lot of establishments and the streets were still kinda busy.

All in all, Bacolod City offered a lot of places to go to. It was a nice and clean city. I was hoping we had more time to go to Lakawon or even re-visit the museums and houses. Well, there's always a next time right? =) I now I lack so much pictures during this part of the travel. I guess I don't have much energy minding the little one and getting all the poise together no? Hirap din pala. Hahah! Di bale, I'll do better next time. I should blog about our last day in Bacolod soon to finally finish the posts that are looong over due! =D

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nailaholics celebrate #NationalPamperingDay again!

Being the busy mothers that we are, having breaks are necessary from time to time. Pampering usually is on the top list as it doesn't require that amount of time and money to get one.
When it comes to pampering on a national scale, Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa holds the only spot. After introducing the celebration of the National Pampering Day last year, Nailaholics is back at it again this 2017 with an amplified nationwide celebration of relaxation that everyone is looking forward to this October 17

The National Pampering Day got off to a good start last year where Nailaholics offered free manicure service and a stress relieving hand massage from 10 AM to 12 NN on all their branches nationwide. This year, everyone will be treated to a free service of their choice: a soothing manicure, calming foot spa or a relaxing foot massage. 

“We Filipinos are very hardworking in any given aspect of our lives and a nation of energetic and industrious people best deserves real pampering once in a while. This year, as Nailaholics celebrates the 2nd National Pampering Day, we go deeper and dedicate this to everyone and remind them to take it slow, take it easy, zone out and relax for a while.” said Arvin Amaro, Marketing Head of Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa. 

“With last year’s success of the National Pampering Day, we are back this year with a bigger and much more enjoyable day of pampering. In partnership with the number one salon brand and most beloved nail lacquer brand in the world, O.P.I., National Pampering Day 2017 will accommodate more guests with the extension of pampering time until 1PM.  Also, the best thing about this year’s National Pampering Day is that it will be in support to World Vision, The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and Save Philippine Seas” added Amaro. 

So save the date and get ready to park away any thoughts of work because the only responsibility you have is to loosen up. Wind down and head down to any Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa branch on October 17, 2017 (Tuesday) from 10 AM to 1 PM and get yourself a free relaxing manicure, foot spa or foot massage. 

Let Nailaholics’ skilled nail technicians take care of you for a little while and walk out of this Hamptons-inspired nail salon feeling refreshed and ready to bring it on again. Grab this once a year treat only at the country’s top destination for relaxation and real pampering. 

Visit www.nailaholics.com to check their services and find the branch nearest you. Get updates through their Facebook Page Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa, Twitter @_nailaholics and Instagram @_nailaholics.
Nailaholics is an urban destination that offers its customers an escape from the daily grind through its exceptional interiors and exceptional pampering service. It currently has more than 50 branches nationwide, including in Gateway Mall, Eastwood Citywalk, Cash and Carry Makati, Harbor Point Mall Subic, SM Cebu, SM Bacolod, and SM Lanang.