Thursday, May 28, 2015

Choosing the Right Pre-school for Your Child

It’s official.   After finishing ten months in Barangay Day Care, Neo is officially a preschooler.  He entered Barangay Day Care in the first session, and we were advised that he can enroll in the second session, but we decided to enroll him in a different school. 

The whole month of April, we have not been prioritizing the search for Neo’s school.  While some of our neighbor’s kids (around Neo’s age) are already enrolled in different schools and some are attending summer school, our little boy is busy sleeping in the morning and playing in the afternoon.  We only decided to look for a school when it was already May.

Before deciding which school to enroll Neo, we came up with certain standards and some considerations that we want for a school that our child will call his second home.  We inquired in different schools and here are some of the criteria that we took note of. 

FEES.  Needless to say, this is the first consideration of parents before deciding which school to enroll their kids.  Some opt to enroll their children in public schools because they don’t need to worry about fees.  Some also wanted to give their children the best education by sending their kids to well-known schools with rocket high tuition fees.  Take in mind though, that fee is not limited to tuition alone.  You have to pay for miscellaneous, school uniform, education tours, books, and a lot more.  

PROXIMITY.  Neo will be staying at the school for 2 hours (3 hours the most) and we don’t want him travelling more than 15mins to his school.  We don’t want his energy to wear down because of the travel.  This is why we enrolled Neo in a school close to our home.

FACILITIES.  Whatever things we put our money into; we make sure that we get what we paid for.  Because as parents, we want nothing but the best for our child, we want to know and see that the facilities he will enjoy are the best.  From the classroom, to the surroundings, are they offering a good facilities?  Even the littlest things we need to see and check.  Do the tables have safety brackets?  Do they offer air-conditioned rooms?  Is the classroom big enough for your kid to learn comfortably?  This all depends on you and your standards.

SECURITY.  Since Neo is still young he goes to school with Ate Espie the whole time.  But our little boy is so playful that he can outrun Ate Espie, and thus, we wanted a school secured enough for Neo.  We wanted the school to have its own security guard and a gated area.  This is to avoid street-related accidents for the little one.

TEACHER-STUDENT RATIO.  When Neo was studying at the Barangay Day Care, the first session where he belongs to, has20+ students initially (no more than 15 finished the school year) and this posed attention-related problem to the teacher.  So whenever we inquire to different schools, we always ask for the student-teacher ratio.  This is so that the teacher can give each and every student quality time they deserve during classes.

TEACHER’S CAPABILITIES.  When I was in grade school, I went to a lot of school.  I transfer a lot because we transfer residence a lot too.  And I have met a lot of teachers with different capabilities.  One value I really want to see in Neo’s teacher is patience.  Little kids are so playful that I really want their teachers (and teacher’s aide) to be patient so they won’t shout, spank, or harm my little boy.

SCHEDULE.  Different schools have different schedules and reasons behind the scheduling.  While inquiring we learned that Toddler School (or the first step) normally is scheduled during lunch time to give way for kids to sleep more in the morning, while Kinder students’ schedule is normally during morning to prepare them in waking up early for the Grade School.  We opted to enroll Neo in a school where his schedule is in the morning.  We don’t want him to go to school during lunch time because the heat can be too much for the little boy.  We also don’t want him to go to school in the afternoon because he still needs his afternoon nap as a growing boy.

Additional:  RELIGION-BASED SCHOOL.  Some parents opt to enroll their kids on schools that are of the same religion as theirs.  We didn’t.  We are Born Again Christians but we enrolled Neo in a Catholic School.  This school has a very good reputation.  I honestly don’t think there is any harm in that, because when I was still a preschooler until I was in Grade 2, I was enrolled in a Catholic school as well.  It didn’t change any of the Christian-led values my parents were teaching me at home but it did help me respect the Catholic (and other religions) more.  But remember, that this is your call, and to each his own.

These are some of the things that we took into consideration when we enrolled Neo in his school for June. I hope this list helps you in looking for the perfect school for your little ones. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Parenting Thoughts: Pagmamano

I became a godmother when I was still in late elementary level.  My godson is the son of church mates that I honestly was not close to.  They got me as a godmother for their son because my parents are their wedding sponsors. 

After 4 years, during my high school stage, I was a godmother to 4 boys already.  Some of these kids’ parents I don’t know personally.  I honestly don’t know why they made me godmother to their children.   This is a side note: Parents, choose godparents to your kids that you confidently know (not think, not believe, but KNOW) will look after your kid and will love them as your own.  Not because you think they will give nice gifts on Christmas or big amount of pakimkim or ampao.

I am still a young girl, when I became godmother to a lot of kids.  And there are times, when I meet them (mostly Christmas) that their parents will encourage them to bless (mano) to me which I ALWAYS refuse citing the sole reason I know:  I AM STILL YOUNG.  And I would feel awkward and would sometime feel resentful to their parents.  Hello, ang bata ko pa tapos magmamano yung inaanak ko sa kin.

Now that I am a mother, be it my son’s godparents or whoever I know that’s not too close to me, I encourage my son to bless.  And when they refuse, I become resentful.  Why?  Because I am teaching my son to be respectful and they are robbing that chance of learning from him.

So now, I feel bad that I robbed my godchildren before the chance for them to learn how to be respectful to older people by making mano.  Because of this, I allow kids I know or kids of people I know to bless to me.  This is one chance for kids to learn how to be respectful.  Let us not take this opportunity from them.

Please don’t forget to allow this little boy to pay his respects to you as an elder by blessing. J

PS:  When I ask my son to bless to you, don’t refuse and tell him or me that you’re young pa.  I will get mad.  Promise.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mommy and Me Event

A day before Mother’s Day, I was invited to attend Melaware and Urban Kitchen’s Mommy and Me Event at SM Southmall.  This is a month-long event dedicated to honoring mothers with special treats, raffles, and various activities for their kids and will be held in different SM malls.

We arrived at the area before the start time of 2pm.  We were able to roam around and check out the different activities for the kids.

Design your own plate is a contest for kids and the winner is in for a nice treat because his/her design will be printed by Melaware in a custom-made plate.

Face Paint. This is Neo’s first time to try the face painting, and to say that he loves it is an understatement.  He won’t even want us to clean his face because McQueen will be erased daw.

Other activities are the photo booth and nail art for kids.

The event was hosted by Issa Litton.  Ms. Carla Perlas from the Asian Parent talked about Online Rakets.  Chef Ara from Kitchen Superstars also demonstrated a delicious and easy to do cookies and refreshments.

Some of Melaware and Urban Kitchen’s product on display.

Melaware collaborated with Disney giving kids colorful and fun designs for their meals.

Raffles were also drawn and lucky moms get to take home prizes from the sponsors – Melawares, Urban Kitchen, and Elba.

Mommy and Me made a fun-filled afternoon for moms and their kids.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Laguna 2015: Doña Jovita Garden Resort

It’s an annual tradition for our family to visit Pansol, Laguna for summer.  Pansol, Laguna is famous for its hot spring resorts.  Cuyab Resort is a well-loved hot spring resort for my family, but we wanted to try something new, and we ended up at Doña Jovita Garden Resort. 

Doña Jovita Garden Resort is quite far and is almost near the boundary of Calamba-Los Baños.  It has a lot of swimming pools and picturesque area.

They offer overnight accommodations but we opted for day tour. 

The house at the back is one of the many overnight accommodations. 

Doña Jovita also offers receptions for celebrations such as weddings and birthdays. 

This hill at the back of Doña Jovita is where the Grotto is located.  You can bring your cross (provided by the resort) and trek up hill to the Grotto.  Carry your own cross – which is think was popular last Holy Week.

We only stayed at Doña Jovita for five (5) hours.  We can’t stay longer because traveling to  Laguna during long weekend (we went there last May 1, Labor Day) is a pain in our patience.  The heat and the traffic can really test one’s sunny disposition. 

The little boy had a great time at Doña Jovita, because he loves swimming.  My cousins and I also had a great time catching up with each other’s life, because chatting face to face is so much better than chatting at facebook J

The only thing that saddens me about Doña Jovita is the swimming pool waters.  The waters are not so clean and don’t even smell the tiniest of chlorine.  According to a staff, they only replace the pools’ waters once a week.  Nonetheless, we enjoyed our day of bonding J

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bonding with Animals at Residence Inn

One Saturday last March, when we have nothing to do at home, we decided to visit Tagaytay and drop by Residence Inn.  Residence Inn is part of Zoomanity Group.  The area is smaller than Paradizoo but has the same ambiance and is also home to a lot of animals.  But unlike Paradizoo that housed farm animals, Residence Inn houses zoo animals.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by this tiger and was invited by the caretaker to have a picture with it.  We begged off. #takot

We entered a room full of aquariums that has different animals.  From different fishes to different snakes to varieties of insects and spiders.

During the time we visited, Residence Inn has a small magic show performance that includes animals.

After watching the magic show, we toured the area.

Neo was very fond of this rabbit.  He asked to be photographed a number of times together with it.

Then he saw a boy that was inside the big lovebirds’ cage feeding the lovebirds.  He was so eager to try it.  We bought him the bird feeds.  But when he was inside, the lovebirds attacked the bird feeds he has in his hands.  He cried a lot.  Ang dami daw laway ng birds.  I’m not sure though if it was saliva he really meant. 

Before heading home, Neo also insisted on riding a horse. 

We had fun roaming around Residence Inn and trying different activities as well as bonding with the animals.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Jollibee Kids Club Talent Camp

Neo is a proud member of the Jollibee Kids Club.  My brother, Neo’s Tito GB, is an alumnus.  He gets lots of perks being a member of Jollibee Kids Club since he was a little boy and I want Neo to experience it too.

Jollibee has a yearly program known as Jollibee Kids Club Talent Camp.  This is an opportunity for Jollibee Kids Club members to discover and enhance their talents.  This is held in various stores from April 6 to May 29, 2015.

This is one of the perks of being a Jollibee Kids Club member (JKC).  It’s a 6-day camp with various workshops and activities which focuses on honing different skills such as reading, social skills, performance arts, and arts and crafts.  The fun-filled activities will conclude in a graduation ceremony wherein the kids will get to show off their talents and skills.

The Jollibee Kids Club Talent Camp is offered exclusively to Jollibee Kids Club members aged 7 to 12 years old.  Parents who want their kids to join the workshop need only to purchase a Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus Card and register their kids.  After which, they can now enrol their kids at the JKC Talent Camp at any participating Jollibee stores.

There are 2 packages that parents can choose from:  (1) pay Php500 for the workshop fee that comes with a T-shirt and cap; or (2) pay Php200 for the workshop alone.  Both packages come with snacks and certificate of completion.

For more details, you can visit any Jollibee store near you or visit

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