Giveaway Alert: Two Free Seats to “Building Blocks of Homeschooling” 

Mga mare, especially to homeschooling nanays or those who are considering to start this journey, let’s have a quick giveaway. Win two (2) free seats to a public seminar on the foundational and practical guide to homeschooling featuring the helpful topic of funding your homeschooling journey. 

The seminar will be co-facilated by two mothers and homeschooling experts, Dr. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao and Ms. Felichi Buizon with the special participation of Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. 

Please check the poster for more details about the seminar. 

Homeschooling, same as our life choices, entails preparation in terms of studying its pros and cons and how it can fit our families’ values and principles. One of the best resources to help us in making this brave choice is listening to inspiring testimonials from homeschooling families. The first seminar on preschool homeschool facilitated by The Learning Basket a few years back created a huge impact in our decision to step into the homeschooling life. 

“Building Blocks of Homeschooling” may be the push and inspiration you need to finally make that life-changing decision for your family. 

Mga mare, just comment below your child’s favorite bedtime book, your full name and email address. I will randomly choose the winner of two tickets on December 7 and will post the winner, 12 noon of the same day. 

Good luck and happy homeschooling! 

You can follow our homeschooling journey in Instagram @homeschoolingrio. 


Spend the holiday season with your family at SM Southmall

It was our family’s first time at SM Southmall and we were glad to have dropped by during this most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas spirit was felt all around the mall especially in the Food Street area where SM Southmall’s first holiday centerpiece was installed. Two giant reindeers in the middle of a snow-covered winter forest reminded the mall’s patrons that Christmas season has finally arrived.


We were lucky to get front row seats to watch the touching play, The Tale of the Winter Forest, performed by the talented artists of Stages. My little boy loved the kind-hearted animals – rabbit, cardinal and the white tiger, the two children met while they were lost in the winter forest. The two children found their way home because they gave their food and clothing to the needy animals. This story of kindness, giving and  love for others will help me explain to my child the true message of this season. I would remind him of this beautiful story whenever he would equate Christmas with toys and gifts rather than sharing priceless bonding moments with the family and bringing joy to others in his own little sacrifices.




Besides shopping for gifts and doing your Christmas grocery, there are other activities at SM Southmall that you can look forward to. Nanays, mark your calendars now.

November 13 & 27 and December 11 & 24 :  Bring your kids to meet and greet Santa Claus

November 22, 23, 24 and 26 : SM Southmall shoppers will be serenaded with joyful Christmas carols

November 19 & 20 and November 26 & 27 : Prepare your Christmas list and get huge discounts in SM Southmall’s double weekend holiday sale. Shoppers can get a chance to win a brand new Chevrolet Traxx. You can get one (1) raffle coupon for every P5,000 single accumulated receipt at any SM Southmall stores.

There are also other pocket events that your family can enjoy. These include the SM Cares campaign Bears of Joy, Lighted Tradition Parol-Making Contest, Smart Christmas Exhibit and the Vivo Christmas Roadshow. SM Southmall’s Christmas activities are supported by Baskin Robbins and Project Pie.

Mga mares from the South, sugod na sa SM Southmall! See you there!

(list and schedule of activities are from the press release distributed during the Christmas launch at SM Southmall last November 6, 2016. )




Rio’s first legit Halloween party at McDonald’s Family Fun Day

What character do you want to play this Halloween?  My short question got a long and detailed answer from my son.


“Nanay, I want to be Batman this year. When I turn 6 years old, I want to be a zombie. War Machine at 7 years old, Iron Man at 8, Robin at 9 and a robot when I turn 10 years old.  Baka makalimutan mo Nanay, ha.”

I was surprised how my son got so excited with this Halloween hype, he even mapped out the characters he would play until he turns 10! This was unusual since this little boy only wore simple and unflashy Halloween costumes since he was two years old. He wore his Batman pajama set during his first party but refused to wear his mask. Nag-Batman costume pa?  For the next trick or treat parties we attended, all he needed were his Dracula cape and reliable ecobags for his candy loots.

I can say that this year’s  McDonald’s Grand Halloween Family Fun Day held at the World Trade Center in Pasay was Rio’s first legit trick or treat party. We were happy to support his plans – what character to play, what outfit to wear and activities to join. It was actually a good break from our past Halloween party preparations where I would enumerate almost all the possible characters and costumes while he rejected everything that I said. At last,  my son owned and enjoyed this party!

It was also memorable since it was McDonald’s first time to hold its Grand Halloween Family Fun Day in Manila. Almost 9,000 attended the successful event and enjoyed the treats from the company booths around the venue. There were also lots of creative and fun games for the whole family. Rio was delighted to get his second Hot Wheels car together with his favorite McDonald’s chicken meal for lunch.



Thank you, McDonald’s for inviting us and we are looking forward to next year’s Grand Halloween  Family Fun Day. Watch out for Rio’s ZOMBIE look!

Here are some of Rio’s photos at the Grand Halloween Family Fun Day. Enjoy!


Thanks to McDo’s free cape! Nakumpleto ang Batman look ni Rio! 🙂


I will be War Machine when I turn 7 years old!


Iron Man naman kapag 8 years old na ako.


Thank you, McDonald’s for this Halloween treat!


Sugod mga Kumare! Don’t miss the Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale ( Nov. 4-6, Megatrade Hall 1, 2& 3 SM Megamall )

I just saw my friends’ great finds at Toy Kingdom’s Toy Warehouse Sale and I conclude that this is a must-go shopping event for moms. 

If you are planning to brave the crowded and narrow streets of Divisoria for your Christmas shopping this weekend, I suggest that you cancel your schedule and go straight to SM Megamall. Check out Mommy Lani’s (Tweensel Mom) photos of the toys on sale. I was not able to access my VIP slot (huhuhu!!!) so I lost my chance to score branded toy items at super low and discounted prices. 

Here are the frequently asked questions and the official answers straight from the warehouse sale organizers: 

FAQ about Toy Warehouse Sale Year 10

Question: What is the event?

Answer: Toy Warehouse Sale is an annual event of Toy Kingdom. This is our tenth time to hold the event at Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall. Expect huge discounts up to 70% off.Question: When and where is the event?

Answer: It will be on November 4 to 6, 2016 at Megatrade Hall 1, 2& 3 SM Megamall. Entrance is located at Hall 2 while Exit is Hall 1. 

Question: What time will you open Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: We open at 10 am and close at 10 pm.

Question: Is the event free?

Answer: There is no entrance fee or registration required to enter the venue.

Question: What are the acceptable modes of payment?

Answer: We accept cash, credit card payments, Toy Kingdom gift cards, SM gift cards, SM gift pass and Sodexho gift certificates. 

Question: What are the credit cards accepted during the event?

Answer: We accept all major credit cards, whether issued international or local.

Question: For credit card transactions, can I opt to pay in installment during the Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: Only locally-issued credit cards can avail of this promo. Minimum purchase of P3000 is required to avail of 3 months or 6 months instalment payment at 0% interest.

Question: Will there a 2 hour special or preview sale for SM Advantage or SM Prestige cardholders?

Answer: There will be no 2 hour special or preview sale during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale.

Question: Will there be a special area for children? 

Answer: There is limited space at the event and there is no special area where customers can leave their children inside Megatrade Halls 1, 2 & 3. 

Question: Will there be an area where we can leave our belongings?

Answer: There is no area at the event where you can leave your belongings. There are package counters at the mall (Supermarket area and Department Store area) which you can use instead.

Question: Will there be a lot of people during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: Yes! We are on our 10th year and each year the number of people keeps growing. It’s a just a testament as to how amazing the toy deals are during this event.

Question: Is there gift wrapping service during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: This service is not provided during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale.

Question: Will you give free gift wrappers during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: Gift wrappers will not be given away during Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale.

Question: Do you sell the Toy Kingdom gift wrapper?

Answer: We do not sell the Toy Kingdom gift wrapper but we do have Toy Kingdom tote bags which you can use to put your toys in. 

Question: Can I have the items purchased at the Toy Warehouse Sale gift wrapped at another Toy Kingdom branch?

Answer: Our branches can only gift wrap the items bought at the store. They cannot gift wrap items purchased from the Toy Warehouse Sale.

Question: Do you accept reservations?

Answer: No. We are selling limited quantities of particular toys because it is a warehouse sale so we cannot reserve pieces for customers. It would wise to come in early. 

Question: Will there be an extension of the sale?

Answer: Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale only happens once a year during the specified date. There will be no extension of the sale however there will be other sale events in the coming months. 

Question: How many cashiers do you have?

Answer: There are 24 counters which can accept cash, credit, debit and approved GCs as mode of payment. The speed of each counter is determined by the number of toys bought by each customer. Since the toys are really bargain price, a lot of people are buying cart full of toys and we appreciate a little patience and understanding from everyone in line. 

Question: Will you provide the customers with plastic bags upon check out of items?

Answer: Yes, we will provide customers with plastic bags during the event but we do encourage you to bring your own tote or eco bags. 

Question: Should I bring the whole family at Toy Kingdom Toy Warehouse Sale?

Answer: This is a warehouse sale and there will be lots of people in the venue who have only one thing in mind: shop and get the best toy deals. As much as we want to accommodate everyone, we highly suggest that you do not bring your babies and small kids for their own safety and convenience.

Do you still have questions? Naku, mga mare. Tama na ang mga tanong. Attack na sa SM Megamall, Megatrade Hall! Now na!  


Tawanan at Halaman kasama si Rio

Ilang araw na lang at matatapos na ang Second Quarter!  Kumpara sa nagdaang quarter, mas challenging ito para sa aming pamilya. Naospital kasi si Lola M nang higit isang linggo kaya kailangan naming mag-adjust lalo na sa aming homeschool lessons at schedule.

Karay-karay namin si Rio sa pagbabantay kay Lola M sa ospital. Siyempre, dala rin namin ang mga libro  niya sa Math at Filipino. Sana nga nabawasan ang sakit na nararamdaman ni Lola habang nagpapraktis kami ng subtraction sa lobby ng ospital. Nang mailipat na si Lola M sa private room mula sa ICU, pinilit naming maglaan ng oras para sa pag-aaral.  O di ba, hospital schooling ang datingan naming mag-ina.



At sa ospital nga namin natapos ang K2A Math workbook! Tagumpay! 

Nang makalabas kami sa ospital, doon ko na napansing hindi kami nakapag-aral kahit isang lesson sa English at Science. Kaya naman ang dalawang subjects na ito ang pokus namin ngayon. Sa totoo lang, marami man kaming natitirang lessons, chill pa rin naman kami. Isa kasi sa mga iniingatan ko lalo pa’t naka-enrol kami sa isang homeschool provider ay ang pagiging sobrang structured lalo na sa pagsunod sa schedule. ‘Yun bang feeling na kailangang masunod ang lessons for the week at mapapraning kung hindi. Lagi kong pinapaalala sa sarili ko na isa sa mga kagandahan ng homeschooling ay ang laya at flexibility na iayon ang mga lessons batay sa kakayahan at interes ng bata.

Ang original plan talaga namin para sa lessons naming sa plants ay mag-field trip sa isang farm kung saan makikita, mahahawakan at kongkretong mapag-aaralan ni Rio ang iba’t ibang uri ng halaman. Nakaplano na ang aming biyahe papunta sanang Costales Farm sa Majayjay, Laguna ngayong Oktubre at doon mag-review ng aming mga nabasa at napag-aralan tungkol sa halaman. Yun nga, mukhang mapopostpone muna ito dahil tutok kami ngayon para sa pagpapagaling ng aming pinakamamahal na Lola M.

Kaya habang hindi pa kami nakakapunta sa totoong farm, narito ang ilang mga pinagkaabalahan namin para mas maging masaya ang pag-aaral naming tungkol sa mga halaman.

  1. Binasa naming ang kuwentong pambatang “Bakawan” na isinulat nina Catherine Yu Untalan, Reena Rae De Leon Sarmiento at Mae Astrid Tobias at iginuhit ni Van Zeus Allen Bascon. Bukod sa makikilala ang iba’t ibang klase ng hayop na naninirahan sa paligid ng mga bakawan, maipapaalala rin sa mga bata ang kahalagahan ng pangangalaga sa kapaligiran.

photo from adarna.com.ph

2. Nag-enjoy din kami sa pagbabasa ng mga reference books kung saan napakaraming impormasyon at maging mga trivia tungkol sa halaman na madaling natandaan ni Rio.


Salamat sa aklat na A First Look at Philippine Trees na inilathala ng Tahanan Books mas nakilala ni Rio ang mga bakawan at iba pang mga puno na makikita sa Pilipinas. Maaari itong bilhin sa Tahanan Books online store, P150 ang isang kopya. 

Sobrang sulit din ng mga reference magazines na nahalukay ko sa Book Sale. Tip: Mabait ang staff ng Book Sale sa Walter Mart near LRT Roosevelt Station. Tinulungan nila kong maghalukay ng mga kids magazines tungkol sa plants and animals.


3. Mahilig si Rio sa Lego at kahit anong napagkakabit-kabit tulad ng connecting cubes na gamit namin sa Math. Ayan, hindi nakaligtas ang lesson namin tungkol sa parts of the plant sa kabit-kabit at dugtong-dugtong adventures ni Rio.


Ayan ha, may color coding pa ang bata para mapag-iba ang iba’t ibang bahagi ng halaman! Joke time with Rio

4. Panghuli, pero ang pinakapaborito ko sa lahat ng activity namin para sa lesson na ito, ang video na ginawa namin kung saan nag-share si Rio ng mga jokes na may kaugnayan sa mga bahagi ng halaman. Gamit namin ang Adobe Spark Video na madali at kayang-kaya ng mga batang kalikutin. Maaari itong i-download ng libre sa inyong smartphone para mas madaling i-access ang mga photos sa inyong gallery.

Sana mapanood ninyo ang short video ni Rio  dito sa link na ito https://spark.adobe.com/video/USZP5gdYCk7fq 0 sa aming youtube channel : Nanay’s Trip  (naks !)

Mga mare, may mga suggestion ba kayong activity para mas maging masaya ang pag-aaral tungkol sa mga halaman? Baka mayroon din kayong mairerekomendang farm o lugar sa Metro Manila o malapit dito na maaari naming puntahan para maging mas buhay ang aming lessons, pakishare naman ha. Salamat!


We are joining the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016: From Roots to Wings

“My husband and I attended the 2015 Philippine Homeschool Conference and it helped us decide to continue our family’s homeschool journey. We are excited to attend this year’s conference to gather more insights and hear more inspiring testimonials from fellow homeschooling families.”

This was my answer to the quick survey that Tina ( www.trulyrichandblessed.com) posted on the Homeschoolers of the Philippines (HOP) Facebook page. She was gathering positive feedback among HOP members who attended the Philippine Homeschooler Conference last year.

Last year’s conference gave our family two important gifts to guide us in our homeschooling journey. First, it gave us affirmation that we are doing what is best for our child. The stories and informative lectures shared by fellow homeschoolers in the breakout sessions did not only encourage us to continue with our journey. It also fueled us with courage and boldness to take the primary responsibility of educating our child. We made the right decision to participate in this learning event together with the growing number of homeschooling families in the country. We needed that collective push from the helpful homeschooling community to go for it and take that leap of faith.

The conference also gifted us with tons of inspiration which we constantly use to survive the challenges and struggles we face in our journey. My husband and I still laugh whenever we recall Teacher Ched Azarcon’s anecdote about the comment she got for being a “pabayang ina” because she didn’t enrol her child in a traditional school. This “pabayang ina”  independently homeschooled and responsibly guided her child to pursue her interests and eventually finish college in one of the best universities in the country. Inspiring, di ba? We would always remember this story and joke about our goal to be the “most pabayang mga magulang” in the future.

We are attending this year’s conference! 


Friends would always ask us how long do we see ourselves homeschooling Rio. I would always say that we are taking things one year at a time. Right now, we are enjoying every activity we do in our Kinder 2 year but we also encounter problems that sometimes make us question our capacity to fulfill our role as parent-educators. That’s why we need to attend this year’s conference – to recharge, refuel and strengthen our resolve to homeschool.

If you want to know more about homeschooling or to sustain your homeschool momentum, we invite you to attend this year’s Philippine Homeschool Conference entitled “From Roots to Wings” on October 22, 2016 at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City.

See you there!

Check out the program and choose the perfect break out session for your homeschool needs and stage. We might join Alex Hao’s session on The How’s of Interest-Led Homeschooling.Taralets!

Microsoft Word - PHC 2016-Program.doc

Microsoft Word - PHC 2016-Program.doc

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Register now!



Nanay’s Trip Review: One bottle of Nutri10 Plus, DOWN! Rio’s Appetite, UP!


I remember my pediatrician friend’s advice that it’s okay to regularly change Rio’s vitamins or food supplement. As expected, the loyal consumer in me ignored a doctor’s advice and stuck to the brand we have been taking for more than two years.

Friends always notice how my five-year old son is tall for his age. They also do not fail to mention how skinny he is and ask if he still drinks milk and what vitamins does he take.

“Tangkad ni Rio pero bakit ang payat,” they would always say.  We were also starting to worry so we asked our pediatrician during our last visit. “Bakit po kaya payat ang anak namin?”


We were relieved when she said that our son was within the normal weight range for his age. She was also happy that we do not visit her often which means our growing boy remains strong and healthy. She also said that we try to change the food supplement that Rio takes and observe if his appetite improves. A slight increase in his weight will be good for our little boy’s daily activities.

Finally, change has come! We decided try a new brand of food supplement. I was even glad to try Nutri10 Plus with my fellow bloggers who are also hands-on mothers especially when it comes to their children’s health.


Thanks Wert Philippines for these Nutri10 Plus bottles! 

One bottle of Nutri10 Plus, DOWN! Rio’s Appetite, UP!

The shift to Nutri10 Plus was not easy for our preschooler. He got used to the taste of his old vitamins so it was hard to convince him that this new food supplement also tastes good.  Good thing, the ponkan flavor which is almost the same as his other vitamins made him accept the necessary shift.


We are now in our second bottle of Nutri 10 Plus and we have observed a gradual increase in our boy’s appetite. This may have not translated to a significant weight gain for our boy but we are happy to see him eat two big pan de sals for breakfast and ask for more snacks within the day.


Taralets eat! 

We are also grateful that our son had only a short bout with colds these past weeks. Despite the unpredictable weather, he stayed healthy and active.

So far, so good! More food, more immunity boost and we will stick with Nutri 10 Plus!