Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eat With Your Family 2010

Today, 27th of May 2010, participating companies here in Singapore will allow their staff to go home early at 5:00 PM to eat dinner together with their families. The last time I checked the Centre for Fathering Singapore’s website, (the minds behind the concept) there were more than 200 companies, schools and government offices who signed up for this event.

This is a good venue to further highlight the importance of eating together as a family. And to make dinner time, and every meal for that matter, an opportunity to build lasting friendships, trust and confidence in the home.

Our company isn’t participating. But no worries, tomorrow is a public holiday anyway!

So if you like to read more on this subject, here is a couple of sites to go to:

Dinner: Most Important Meal
The Magic of the Family Meal

Happy Weekend, and Happy Eating!
Photocredits: TIME

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She's a Dare-Angel!

I don't want to use the other word simply because my daughter is not!

But I must tell you, Ashrie is one brave child. Act like you’re a monster or make horrible sounds and she will do the same. Oftentimes, the sound she makes would even scare you! And obviously, she would not cry at the sight of water like some kids do. She loves swimming, bathing (she bathes twice or more daily), and looking at the picture, you could tell how a brave young lady she truly is.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ashrie at Work

Most parents, if not all, will say that it’s very difficult to raise kids, with all those hard work in cleaning up their mess, not to mention the training and disciplining that they have to do in their growing-up years. But we beg to differ. It’s pure bliss to raise a child! You don’t need to do a lot of things because your kids are there to do the job for you. Shocked? Let me show you what I’m actually talking about.

With her around, no need to worry about the plants. Early morning, she would water them and even till the soil for you.

She would painstakingly handwash all your delicate clothes.

And will put the remaining bulk of dirty laundry in the washing machine. While this is running, she would not waste time...

She would make the mirrors sparkling clean.

She'll make sure that tabletops are dust-free, that you can even see your reflections in it!

Although tired, she doesn't miss out on her chores, she polish her Mom's shoes, next will be Dad's.

She would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not to care whether she's just standing on the kitchen drawer to reach the stove!

After cooking, she would wash the dishes and even scrub the sink.

With the placemat as her apron, a broom and a dust pan on each hand, she finishes the days work. Tomorrow is another story. By the way, if she is still in the cleaning mood, she would visit the neighbors.

Disclaimer: Our daughter was not harmed in the making of this photoshoot. These photos were first published in my wife's Facebook account in celebration of Mother's Day 2010, giving honor to all mothers who tirelessly give their life and energy for the family. The album title was Ashrie's Tribute to Mothers. I hope you had fun viewing these photos.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Now Time to Make a Change

Noticeably, my blog sports a new look. It has become more artsy and more colorful. I’ve been speaking about “change” in my previous posts both here and on Twitter so I decided to do a blog makeover. Change is good. A change for the better is good. So, if you are inspired to do the same, you can check out these free blogger templates. There are hundreds of designs to choose from. I’m pretty sure you’ll find one that really suits your style and personality.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Philippine Election 2010

An article published today in My Paper, a free bilingual newspaper in Singapore challenging the capacity of the next Philippine President.

The Philippine’s first automated election is over. A country with over 50 million registered voters exercised its rights once again and voted for its leaders for the next three or six years. Although marred by a few election-related killings, the whole process was generally peaceful.

As the world is waiting for our next president, and the major change he can do to uplift the nation’s economy, I would like to share my personal reflections regarding our recently concluded elections.

1. Thank God for a very successful election. Our worst fears about the computerized elections did not happen. Instead, now that we are automated, there are no ballot-snatching/switching, no kidnapped teachers, canvassing was a breeze, and we have proved to the world that the Filipino people still value democracy. This is a major breakthrough in our electoral system and we should be proud of, our first ever automated elections.

2. Pray for our nation and our newly-elected officials. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, it is written, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Instead of criticizing our leaders, we should pray for them, instead of rebelling against them, we should support them. We still need to learn a lot as a people in giving our leaders the respect they deserve as a way of honoring our God who placed them in their respective positions.

3. Do something to begin change. Let’s stop the finger-pointing and begin to realize that we ourselves can do something. In the song, Let there be Peace on Earth, the last line is “let it begin with me” so is with CHANGE, it should begin in us. If we want change in our families, schools, offices, churches, communities and eventually in our nation and we cannot see any hope? Let it be our initiative to begin the change.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Decide Today

I chanced upon this article from a fathering website a week ago and I thought it's worth sharing to parents especially to the fathers. So here it is.

Strong families are intentional. They do not happen by chance. Beginning of the year is a great time to make certain fathering decisions that will help you build healthy families.

Decide today that your career is only as good as your family. Family is like a base camp for mountain climbers. If you want to climb mountains, you must have a good base camp, a place where there are shelter and resources, a place where you can nurture and rest before attempting to reach another summit. You will not go far or achieve much without your solid base camp. If you want to climb high, then tend to the base camp and keep it in good shape. You will be healthier, happier, more effective persons if you do.

Decide today that your children are more important than your personal projects. Be willing to pause for a moment, look them in the eye and listen to them for what they need. Set aside regular family time during week that you will protect from intrusion by unimportant urgent matters.

Decide today that your children are special no matter how they fare in school. Let them know without a doubt that they are loved and cherished regardless of their grades. Academic performance is just one of the many gifts our children can be blessed with but not the only one. They have new skills to learn but they are not failures. They may not meet someone else’s expectation but they will succeed with a father who believes in them.

From, article dated January 15, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday AR!

To the Glee addict who he himself is a fun-loving man; to the fashion-conscious dude whose obsession now is with YELLOW; to the bookworm and literary critic; to the collector of all things vintage; to the artist, the dancer, the singer; to the one who will be visiting us here on Singapore next month (on his own expense this time); and to my only brother who is eight years younger than me (next month it’ll be nine again, a very Happy 24th Birthday! Godspeed and see you soon!

More of him on his blog Dandy Bohemian. Visit Cheers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

All About Allergies

How do I know if my child has allergies?

How do I prevent my child from infections?

These are just few of the concerns parents have when it comes to their children's health. Good thing there’s another parenting seminar to attend to. This time it’s a workshop on combating allergies and infections in children. This event is to be held on the 5th of June, 2005 at Marriott Hotel Singapore with a fee of $18 only for 2 persons.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ashrie's First Year

A collage of Ashrie's photos from her first month to the twelfth. All the reasons to be grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ for His ever present help, guidance, protection and providence, and to family and friends who are there to support us all the way!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ashrie's First Birthday Party

All’s well that ends well. It’s a cliché people use to justify the means. That if everything turned out to be okay in the end, well everything is okay! But they may have experienced difficulties and hair-pulling moments along the way.

Organizing a party is just one of the many stressful events in a parent’s life, so to avoid the hassles (and to save your hair) I would like to share some tips on organizing a party.

Just recently, we had a successful event. Ashrie’s First Birthday Party. It started well and ended well. We are happy, our one year old daughter enjoyed it, and the guests were delighted. How did we do it? Let me count the ways:

1. PREPARE. Are you ready? Even before her birth month arrived, we have already decided on the budget, venue, food, number of guests, and the theme. For this three-hour event, we set almost the full month of April in planning, preparing the decorations, shopping and contacting important parties- the caterer, the bakeshop, and guests.

2. VENUE. The right place to be. You can celebrate it in a hotel ballroom (if you are willing to spend thousands of dollars), you can use party places (if you don’t care to know that your kid’s birthday photos looks just like the others) or a nearby park (if you don’t mind the public to watch or even gatecrash your gathering). So what’s the best venue for your child’s first birthday party? There’s no place like home. Think of your child’s comfort. It’s the place where you and especially your child can be most comfy, there’s privacy, and it’s free!

3. FOOD. My wife and I have decided that we will not cook for Ashrie’s party. There are numerous caterers in Singapore if you search online. But we got ours from the church recommendation. Incidentally, our caterer Purple Sage just won in the recently concluded World Gourmet Summit Singapore 2010 as this year’s Outstanding Caterer in Singapore. They won the award for two consecutive years now. That’s a bonus for us because initially we didn’t know that they are of that high calibre status. Needless to say, the food was great! Not the usual dishes we see in Filipino gatherings but nonetheless mouth-watering. Aside from the food we ordered from them, we prepared a Kid’s Menu on a separate table consisting of chicken nuggets, french fries, popcorn, and sweets. Even the kids-at-heart loved it!

4. INVITATIONS. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! My wife Jane made lovely invites (photos of which were in my previous post) and I made a Facebook event to invite special people, mostly those who are very close to us. This was done exactly a month before the event. Follow-ups were done the week before the party. Save the earth, go paperless!

5. DECORATIONS. Paint the town pink! As an Event Coordinator for our church when I was still in the Philippines and with my architectural background, decoration is my cup of tea. For this event, it took me two weeks of nightly lettering, cutting and pasting. I personally am not impressed with character themes (sorry Disney!) so we opted for a color theme. Shades of pink and purple were the color of choice. I did a birthday backdrop, prepare a wreath, a topiary, and several tabletop centerpieces. Balloons and other knickknacks were also in the same shade.

6. CAKE. The Birthday Centerpiece. The ham as they is the star of the Noche Buena feast, now for birthday parties, especially for kids, the cake and candle-blowing is the event’s highlight. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to cakes. We picked a ladybird/ladybug 3D cake from Secret Recipe. Its bright red and black color really stood out among the blushing shades of the color scheme. It’s an eye candy, a showstopper, a conversation piece, so it’s very important to choose a good one. Also, make sure you order in advance because bakeshops usually accept made-to-order cakes a week before you need it.

7. FUN GAMES. Be sure to keep your guest entertained. Aside from the nursery rhymes playing along, we played a Nursery Rhyme Charade, All Things Pink, and a Guessing Game. Most of our guests are adults but age did not hinder them to have fun especially if the prizes were shopping vouchers!

8. THE DRESS. The Angel Wears ZARA! Of course the celebrator needed a dress. We buy clothes for Ashrie on common days so why not buy one for her on her very special day? We went to ZARA Baby (our favorite shop) for her outfit. It was an ivory-colored floral dress with a gold brooch matched with a gold leather Mary Jane shoes. Her casual attire was white shirt with embossed flower motif paired with leggings in pink.

9. PHOTOGRAPHY. It must be Picture Perfect. Nowadays, that we don’t use films on our cameras anymore, you only need to check that your equipment is ready. Are your lenses clean? Do you have enough storage? Is your battery full? Will someone take over as photographer when you need to be in the frame? Things like that. Remember to take photos of your venue before the guests arrive, and take photos of your little one as much as you like because we can never go back to these precious moments.

I think that’s it! The night before the event, I picked up the cake, installed my decorations, balloons and all, and followed-up on the caterer. The event date, made some finishing touches, bought fresh flowers and waited to welcome the arrival of our dear friends!

Here are some of the priceless photos we took on her birthday. There are more on my Facebook Photos. Enjoy!

The Birthday Girl

Me and my girls, Ashrie and Jane
Fun times with Ashrie before the event

Come to think of it, It's Jane's birthday too, 
a celebration of the date when she first gave birth!

With a fun-loving bunch of officemates
With dear friends

Ashrie's happy with her gifts!

Thanks to all who prayed, cheered, and celebrated with us on her First Birthday! Blessings to you all!

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