Monday, December 20, 2010

My Top of the Class

Every night before I go to sleep, I look at my daughter’s face. And every single time, I marvel at how this amazing being came into my life. While I run my fingers through her hair and trace the delicate features of her angelic face, I couldn’t help but mumble a heartfelt prayer of praise and gratitude for God’s wonderful gift.

When I was pregnant, I remember asking God about how I wish my little girl would turn out to be:

“Dear God, please make her beautiful inside and out.”

The first time I saw Chestene’s smile I knew she’d be a star. Yeah, sure. All parents by default believe that their children are destined to do great things in life. But if you think about it, it’s the faith and confidence that we give them that make them believe that they can achieve their dreams whatever it may be.

True enough, at 2 months old, that very smile landed her the monthly finalist title for Good Housekeeping Magazines’s Baby of the Year. In 2006, by some twist of fate, she was asked to model for Smart Parenting Magazine where she appeared 8 times in their special revamp issue. Another year after, she was selected to model for the National Bookstore 2007 calendar, that put me once again in stage mother heaven!

Smart Parenting Magazine July 2006 and National Bookstore Calendar 2007

God not only made her beautiful on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside as well. She grew up to be sweet and very thoughtful. I guess the massive dose of bear hugs and kisses I shower her with, have turned her into one. =)

Mother's Day 2010
A warm message that will truly melt any mother's heart

Before we say our prayers at night, I always tell her to believe in the power of prayer and how God blesses a generous heart who shares, just like my parents taught me early in life.

 Our traditional Christmas gift giving to the kids in the neighborhood
Christmas gifts we prepared for her classmates this year

“Dear God, please make her healthy, smart and witty.”

After reading many baby books on how to nurture a child’s intelligence starting from the womb, I listened to classical music everyday during my pregnancy. I read and talked to my baby, and I loaded up on the good and healthy stuff plus iron supplements to ensure her proper brain development.

I had always been OC (Obsessive Compulsive) when it comes to my daughter’s nutrition and overall development, so the moment I stopped breastfeeding, I chose a nutritionally dense milk formula plus Nutroplex, the best multivitamin supplement that contains high levels of brain boosting nutrients to make sure she got her daily dose of essential vitamins. I wanted to equip her with quality nutritional products that will help her excel in school and reach her utmost potential.

Chestene started school when she was barely 4 years old. From Nursery she skipped Kindergarten, was accelerated to Preparatory and still managed to reap her own share of medals and awards. I was always there to teach and study with her until I became busy with work and delegated the task to a tutor when she turned Grade 3 last year. She had difficulty in Math and I didn’t have the energy at the time to teach her.

My little achiever

In spite of her teachers’ praises and compliments on how she was doing well in school in terms of class standing, her grades in Math kept her from making it to the top of her class. This year, I decided to let go of the tutor and made time to teach her once again. I usually come home late from work, but I make it a point to go through her daily lessons and make handwritten reviewers for her to answer during exam week. I even wake up earlier than usual to prepare her 'baon', make it interesting enough for her to stay inspired in school, and make sure she doesn't forget her daily dose of Nutroplex to give her day a good head start.

Taking her daily dose Nutroplex ~ the brain multivitamins
Colorful bento boxes that never fail to cheer her up in school.

Surprisingly, not only did she get the highest grade in Math, but she also made it to the top 10 of her class for 2 consecutive grading periods! In a class of 44 students and with her, being one of the youngest among them, it’s quite a feat to be on top, but she worked hard and reached it!

School gives her a lot of pressure, but I’m glad she is born with a great sense of humor. =)

One of our wacky point and shoot self photographs

“Dear God, please bless her with many talents and give her the confidence to pursue them.”

Parents usually influence a child’s interests until he is ready to pursue his own. I love to sing, draw, write and read books so it came naturally for me to teach these things to my eager youngster.

~Miss Performer~

I let Chestene listen to classical music even after she was born. So much, that when she was barely 2 years old, she was already humming Canon in D by Pachelbel in perfect tune. She later memorized her first full song You by Karen Carpenter.

I created her own channel in YouTube where I upload some of her singing videos every now and then.

Hannah Montana wannabe at 7 years old

She also joined contests, learned ballet, performed at parties and took summer programs just for the fun of it. I've always cheered and supported her because I know it will help boost her confidence, if she gets used to performing in front of a large crowd.

SM Little Star
Ballet recital ~ Grade 1
Party performance
Best Kiddie Crew 2009
~Little Picasso~

I also encouraged her to draw by giving her a lot of sketch pads and art materials to experiment on. We draw and paint together. Her early artworks resembled the style of Pablo Picasso, that's why I called her my Little Picasso. She made her first painting on canvas last year.

Chestene's early artworks
Her first painting on canvas
~The Bookworm~

It was hard to think of a better alternative to television when she was growing up, so I taught her to read. Instead of buying her the latest gaming gadgets, I invested in books instead. Whenever given the choice, she always chooses to read books over watching TV. It’s just hard to pull her away to do other stuff though, when she’s got her nose buried into one.

Her books have practically taken over our room. They are everywhere - bookshelves, plastic crates, drawers, and even under her pillows!
This crate holds books and magazines that she already finished reading.
Book heaven!

We are fond of spending most of our time in bookstores where she can finish 3 novels in one sitting.

~Young Blogger~

An expanded vocabulary helped her to write well for her age, so I taught her to blog. I wanted her to have an online journal where she can express herself freely. She shares about her fun adventures or just anything under the sun. Her blog DeCaFFeiNaTed ( has a Page Rank of 2 and comes out usually in the first page of Google images when you search for ‘Love and Berry’, her favorite game.

DeCaFFeiNaTeD ~
Number 1 in Google image search for 'Love and Berry'

~Budding Entrepreneur~

My Blings and Things is Chestene’s own brand name for her accessories. Together, we enjoy making trinkets as a hobby, but she later thought of selling them to her classmates. Her first batch of designs got sold out in school. But now, we plan to sell them online instead, so her earnings could add to her growing cash fund. She is saving to buy a pink car for her 18th birthday. Yes, a pink car! Her sheer determination continues to inspire me to believe that anything is indeed possible, if you put your heart to it.

Chestene's designs for My Blings and Things 

“Dear God, please give her a bright future ahead.”

My daughter dreams of becoming a scientist-artist-fashion designer-model-theater actress-singer-writer-chef someday. (Whew!) It’s too much, but I know given the opportunity coupled with patience and hard work, it can be done. Besides, it was me who taught her that whatever she can dream she can achieve. I just don’t know how, but what I do know is that with God’s grace, I will always be here to support her dreams every step of the way.

Her self-drawn dream laboratory design
Sharing her dreams to her fellow tweeners in Total Girl Magazine (September 2010)
Acting for a comics story we made last year

“Dear God, please help me become the best mother that You will me to be.”

Parenting takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices when you want to give the very best for your child. It’s even harder for single parents like me who have to do almost everything singlehandedly. But with God’s goodness, the continuous support of my family and friends, I am able to raise Chestene the best way I can. It took faith, patience, perseverance, knowledge and a multitude of nurturing to rear her physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually into a well-rounded individual who is not only smart, healthy, beautiful and talented, but one who is also thoughtful, generous and kind.

For me she will always be on top of her class regardless of number, because I know that no matter where she goes, whatever she dreams, she will always have within her what it takes to exceed the best version of herself that she could possibly be.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shop Handmade at Likhang Kamay Bazaar

Likhang Kamay Bazaar to Showcase Local Artisans
100% Handmade Goods at Three-Day Fair at RCBC Plaza Oct. 21–23, 2010

Skip the mall and shop handmade this holiday season at Likhang Kamay: The Artisans Circle by Yuchengco Museum, a three-day open-air bazaar where over 20 especially invited vendors will sell their handcrafted wares. The bazaar is on October 21 to 23, Thursday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the courtyard of RCBC Plaza (corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat, Makati). Likhang Kamay will bring together local products made by artisans, artists, and community and livelihood groups from all over the country.

Likhang Kamay offers Filipino unique, artistic, and high-quality treasures rarely seen in malls. Pick one-of-a-kind gifts for your friends and loved ones—whether it’s fashion-forward jewelry and clothing, embellished fabrics, modern home décor and ceramics, fine prints and stationery, or regional coffee and delicacies. All items are handmade from a variety of media, including fabric, clay, metal, paper, and much more.

Come for early Christmas shopping and directly support local artists, craftsmen, and communities. Enjoy coffee and refreshments while you shop, talk to the talents behind the artistic creations, and visit the Yuchengco Museum right across. Bazaar entrance is only P20, and includes free admission to museum exhibits and events.

Likhang Kamay: The Artisans Circle by Yuchengco Museum is hosted by the Yuchengco Museum. For details about Likhang Kamay, call the museum at 889-1234 or e-mail

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Power of Choice

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the best lessons I’ve learned when I became a mother, is about the power of choice. From the moment I learned that I will become a parent, I knew I had to make not only the right-- but the best choices for my child.

The media is a very influential tool that companies use to encourage the public to buy their products. They spend a lot on image promotion and most people fall prey to the fancy, colorful and almost magical advertisements copywriters whip up in their storyboards. As a Communication Arts graduate, I learned that sometimes companies launch multiple kinds of the same product with the same formula, but packaged differently and endorsed separately to create a specific need for various target markets, while maximizing shelf space as well.

It’s easy to believe guarantees and promises on TV, especially if a movie star vouches for a product. But as wise consumers, we should always read the label and learn to compare. Not all expensive and branded products are necessarily always of the best quality. Why not try to look for a low-priced counterpart first, before parting with your hard-earned cash?

When a major recall was recently made by Abott Laboratories because of a suspected presence of beetles or larvae in certain lots of Similac powdered baby formula, a lot of parents panicked. Accidents like this do happen to the best of companies. And in times like this, the next best thing is to find the closest alternative product that is equally nutritious and fits quality standards. It’s comforting to know that store brand formula is available in the market and being sold at retailers including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, and Babies “R” Us.

Why switch to generic formula? Simply because, apart from enabling consumers to set aside a hefty chunk of savings that can be spent for other baby needs, just like its more expensive counterparts, it is also subject to the same exacting standards of the FDA pursuant to the Infant Formula Act. Try to check the labels of Parent’s Choice Advantage™ Infant Formula and Similac Advance and you will be surprised to see that they contain the same nutrients like Prebiotics, DHA and ARA.

To switch or not to switch? Why worry, when you have the power to choose wisely?

Visit my sponsor: Parent's Choice

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confessions of an Impatient Bride

I find myself giggling.

I am here at my favorite bookstore, sitting comfortably on a red cushioned chair set against a wall and looking somewhat silly, chuckling all by myself.

Yep, that’s me in my not-so-flattering office uniform. :-)

I am JUST planning to pick up some school supplies for my Little Lady when my eyes passed through a pink book that, Hmm… looks interesting. And it wasn’t long before I realize there are only a few minutes left before closing, I’m almost finished reading the whole thing and I haven’t picked up a single school supply – the reason I am here for, in the first place.

"Boooo. You mean, you didn’t buy it?" I can almost hear you say. Well, didn’t I mention earlier that I am JUST going to pick up some school supplies (which, of course, slipped my mind) and DO NOT intend to buy anything else?

I just love how the bookstores have evolved into something better nowadays. They now exude a welcoming atmosphere that invites you to stay – letting shoppers sample read in relaxing comfy seats and even incorporating cafés in the setting, where one can have some brew and snacks while in the company of a good book. No pressure to buy. You can read and buy it, if you like or you can just read and leave it.

Anyways, back to the pink book.

It’s remarkable how this dainty book contains my sentiments about love, waiting and praying— Oh, how I can totally relate! For a while I feel that it’s actually talking to me. It tackles not only about anticipating marriage, but just like my old time favorites Our Daily Bread, Didache and Kerygma book companions I used to read in my younger years, it talks about life and faith in general with its signature mixture of wit, wisdom, and loads of inspiration while waiting for Mr. Right.

Just in time for my ---th birth anniversary (a time to turn a year older again) I would like to repeat these very words:

“Years rolled by mercilessly, leaving me still loveless and aging. By then, I was as old as the numbers on a thermometer.
A couple more years passed and my age equaled the temperature of a slight fever. And still I was single! Aaaaargh!
My desperate prayer was, “Lord, please send me the man You will for me to marry before I get a convulsion!”

-Confessions of an Impatient Bride by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng

I love this book! It’s an absolutely must-have for single and searching women wondering why love is taking so long to knock at their doorstep. I will not spill more details, but overall it’s a light and entertaining read that is definitely worth your hard-earned P175 or $4.00.

Click HERE for a sneak peek (just scroll down to view succeeding pages).

Although I already finished reading it, I still plan to get one as a birthday gift for my single, fabulous self. ;-) You should do, too.

Now, what am I supposed to be doing in the bookstore again? Hmm...

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Woman Power: Celebrating 10 years of Empowered Parenting

MOMStoday invites everyone to join the celebration of their 10th year anniversary on September 19, 2010 at the Rockwell Tent.

Lots of fun, learning, gifts, and surprises await! Among these are the following treats:

~Well Woman Talks from health experts
~Mompreneurs share their secrets of success
~Empowered Parenting:
~FREE health services:
-Women's and Child's Health
-Nutritional Counseling
-Skincare and derma consultation
-Cooking demo
-Total Woman Bazaar

For pre-registration and Total Woman Bazaar inquiries, please contact 886.0333 local 112 and 113. You can also email them at with WOMANPOWER as subject.

See you there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicco Fashion Sale 2010

Save up to 80% OFF on your favorite Chicco clothes, shoes and everything in between at the Chicco Fashion Sale 2010!

August 14 - 15, 2010
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
The Metropolitan Club
Estrella cor. Amapola Streets, Guadalupe Viejo
Makati City (Beside Rockwell)

Exclusive Sale Preview
for Chicco Discount Card Members
August 13, 2010, 2:00 pm onwards

*Cash transactions only*

For inquiries, you can email or call 743.1658 or 732.5141 loc. 201/212 for more details. Happy shopping!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Have a Break, Have a Krispy Kreme Kit Kat!

Krispy Kreme + Kit Kat = Yummy Overload!

3 New Exciting Krispy Kreme Snack Doughnuts:

*Chocolate Filled with Kit Kat - Krispy Kreme Doughnut filled with Kit Kat!
*White Chocolate Filled with Kit Kat - Krispy Kreme Doughnut with rich chocolate filled with Kit Kat and Iced Kreme!
*Glazed Cake with Kit Kat - Krispy Kreme Doughnut with white chocolate filled with Kit Kat and Iced Kreme!

These double-delight doughnuts are now available at your favorite Krispy Kreme stores until September 30, 2010 only. Enjoy them with a FREE signature KK Coffee for you and your friends when you join the Circle of Krispy Kreme Friends and 'Like' the Krispy Kreme (Official) fan page on Facebook.

So what are you waiting for? Have a Break, Have a Krispy Kreme Kit Kat!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keeping the Spirit of Optimism Alive (Part 1)

I have to thank my offline friend for the inspiration of this post. She sent me this message very early, one November morning in 2009 (I know it’s 2010 and yes, this is one of those long overdue posts I never seem to have time to finish till now. So please, don’t give me THAT look). Anyways:
Read this slowly: LIFEISNOWHERE

What did you read? Life is NOW HERE or Life is NOWHERE?

I read it as the former. Whew! Thank God, I made it this far. This only confirms that I am still a true blue optimist.

Life, indeed, depends on the perspective we choose to perceive it.

People ask me all the time how I manage to stay positive despite all the hardships and injustices of the world. Where do I get all the extra pluses that revitalize me like a character in a PSP game whenever I need an energy boost?

I say, (delivered in my best Miss Universe form and poise) that it all boils down to CHOICE. I believe it’s useless to worry and grieve over something I have totally NO control of. Why get stressed, wrinkled, hyper acidic and let it ruin my already magnificent life when I can bask in the sunshine, smell the flowers and choose to be happy?

Okay, so I’m not in a Miss Universe Pageant (doesn’t look like a contestant and never will be in one— not being negative but just being realistic here. I’m over 30, duh.) and I sound a bit exaggerated about my ‘already magnificent life’, but heck, that’s how I am projecting and embracing it to be– exponentially raised to the highest possible extremely positive power. After all, didn’t William Arthur Ward once say that “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it”?

I know it is always easier said than done, and it takes some time or even a lifetime to both master and muster enough positivity to achieve that mindset. Real life is nowhere near a fairytale and the worst of things DO happen to the best of us, which make optimism a lot harder— even impossible to do. And although we create our own destiny, still, we are not able to choose the situation we end up in most of the time. Some things are just destined to happen. It is just the way it is, according to our Master’s grand design called life.

BUT, we can always choose to make the BEST out of it. Can’t we?

Not many people realize that difficulties have a way of resolving itself in its own time without them, worrying over it. How many times did you agonize about a situation that you created purely on imagination? Unfounded, yet creatively weaved circumstances that you end up fearing at the end of the day? How many ‘what ifs’ steal your peace of mind and turn you into a nervous wreck? And when it comes, you get disappointed to discover that it wasn’t as bad as you imagined it to be.

How many opportunities did you lose because you were too afraid to try?

Some people unconsciously have the habit of bothering themselves nonsensically. What they do with their own time is actually, none of our business, but if we can only channel all the time wasted over worrying into a more positive activity, then maybe we can all help make this world a better place for everybody.

“Now, what? Since you seem to know a lot about this positive stuff?”

I can imagine you throwing that very question back at me. I would just like to make it clear that I’m no expert in this field— no doctorate degree or heavy credentials to back up my words. I’m just like you, who want to live life to the fullest. That’s why over the years I searched for ways to motivate myself to maintain an optimistic frame of mind. It is not easy, but just like everything else, it can also be done.


I will share more about this in my next post: Keeping the Spirit of Optimism Alive (Part 2). In the meantime, smile, create happy thoughts and think positive! =)

Related Posts:

The Little Entrepreneur
Two Lessons I Learned from My Child Today
The Day I Painted My Nails RED, Again
Do you know "The Secret"?
The Principle of Emptiness
Celebrating Life
God's Ad

Saturday, April 3, 2010

McDonald’s Summer Kiddie Crew Workshop 2010

Summer Kiddie Crew Workshop 2010

I notice a lot of visitors come to this site every summer through Google, in search for information on the McDonalds Kiddie Crew Program. I have written about my Little Lady joining the said program for 2 consecutive years, maybe that’s why my blog shows up often in the search results.

Anyways, my daughter wasn’t able to join last year, because the branch where I previously enrolled her stopped holding the program and moved it to a farther, yet larger McDonald’s store. This year, I would like to post registration details for the benefit of those who wish to enroll their kids in a truly enjoyable summer program!

Recruitment Dates: Ongoing until April 19, 2010
Orientation Schedule: March 25 – 31, 2010
Kiddie Crew participants and parents will be briefed on Kiddie Crew Workshop schedule and other details.


- For kids 6 to 12 years old
- Download Application Form here or get you copy in participating stores. Fill out application form and submit to your chosen McDonald's store.
- Registration Fee and Inclusions - P650.00/kid, inclusive of: Kiddie Crew T-Shirt, Cap, I.D. with Lace, Workshop Materials, Graduation Certificate, Graduation Bag, & Meals

Workshop Proper (5 days): Includes art workshops, lectures on value formation and "on-floor" store experience for the kids

For more details, you can approach the Manager-In-Charge in any participating McDonald's Store near you.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Miss You!

I really do. ~L~

You guys have been probably wondering where in the world I am hiding, being wordless and out of touch for a couple of months. Sorry, if I have seemingly orphaned this blog and stayed away for quite a long time. It's like visiting a house and no one's there to welcome you.

Yes, I know you missed me too.

As I always say, when normal day-to-day happenings, responsibilities and obligations take over and dominate my time, as much as I want to be Superwoman and juggle everything beautifully, I fail miserably at that.

Okay, I also Facebook a lot, as well. So now you really know why. *sooo guilty* (Level 302 in Mafia Wars, 32 in Farmville and mixed levels on a bunch of other Facebook apps, I know you understand and can so relate ;-)

What matters is I'm back --trying to be back consistently for good, hoping to fill your reading list again as you visit my humble home. And what better time to schedule a homecoming, than to do it on the 2nd year anniversary of Barefooted Me.

Yes, we turned 2 this month! And as my way of celebrating our 2nd year, I'd like to share with you some of the sketches I made during my non-blogging moments to make my absence seem worthwhile.

So tell me what you think. I hope you like them. Now, where's my big huggg? :))

Related Posts:

My Art, Revisited
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 1
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 2
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 3
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 4
Back with Something New!
Out of Touch
I’m a Pirate and I’ve Joined the Mafia

Earth Hour 2010


Join Earth Hour !

Switch off your lights for 60 minutes and stop global warming before it's too late.

8:30 - 9:30 pm Saturday March 27, 2010
The Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City

See your world in a whole new light.


Fill-out Commitment Form:

Barangay/Household Form
Private Sector Form