The Super Momma
As the school year ends, parents will be flaunting their kids' accomplishments on social media, just like my dear friends on Facebook. They will post their report cards, medals, and certificates. There is nothing wrong with it, after all, every parent is entitled to be proud of the achievements of their children. Because who isn't? 


But did you know that behind the proud parents, the achievements and the struggles every morning just to get their children to school, there are certain things that kids need from us? We sometimes neglect these thinking that it is already enough to push them harder to aim that one single goal, and that is to become successful in life. 

Dear parents, let us not forget that we are honing our children to be someone who will contribute to society. We will be proud of what they have become but let us not forget that what they truly need is us--their parents. 

That is why, I highly encourage each one of you to do the following:

Be present. I know most of us works hard in order to provide our children with their needs, but most of the kids just need the mere presence of their parents. Our mere presence makes them feel secure in whatever they do in life.

Provide Support. Do your kids want to play guitar? Learn music lessons? Wants to play ball games? Learn art lessons? Let them. Please do note that there are 8 multiple intelligences of children. You might get frustrated that your child doesn't excel in academics but excel in sports, arts, music and other things. Show them that you fully support them in order for them to excel in their chosen path. Do not give them end game options where they could only choose the life you want for them. Of course, we all want for our children to be successful because after all, it is our job as parents to hone them to have a better future right? So, let us start from here. 

Explore. Children can get so confused as to what they really want in life. They may switch from one aspect to another. This is where our role comes in. Let us encourage them to try different things so they could truly find what they want in life. I was once told there is no money in fashion and making clothes and that comes only to those professionals who are degree holders. I was led to believe that success comes only to those blue collar jobs and those that belong to the lower spectrum isn't needed by society. 

Teach them hard work and determination. Success doesn't come overnight. In order for the kids to know success is for them to set their goals and work hard on it. This is where we should teach them to embrace failure and learn from it whenever they fail in life. That we should teach them to rise up and get going in order for them to achieve success.

Praise the little things. There is nothing as good as someone who appreciates our efforts even the small ones. Does your child had 5 mistakes from the exams? Praise them. Were they able to color the picture properly? Praise them. Did they help you with the chores? Appreciate it. Were they able to tie their shoes for the first time? Congratulate them. Small things to them really matter because it somehow helps them to do the best in whatever they can. It also boosts their confidence because someone important in their life appreciates whatever they do. 

Let us hone our children to become the best version of ourselves. Cherish, teach and encourage them to be their best in whatever they do. 





Two years after being on a beach vacay hiatus, I have finally decided to give in with the kids' request to have a decent beach vacation. After all, we deserve a much-needed relaxation and decided to celebrate my birthday at a beach resort. So I decided to book a beach resort just a few hours drive away from Manila. What I usually do is book through a third party booking site which is Agoda since they collate all the pertinent details of each hotel and comparison isn't much of a hassle. I assure you, this one is a lifesaver! Plus, you get exclusive discounts too! 


Anyway, I went ahead and booked three days and two nights at Canyon Cove Beach Resort and Spa. I booked the most expensive and biggest room in anticipation of additional guests. The booking was paid via credit card through Agoda and everything was set! Five days prior to the check-in date, I called their customer service and inquired for fees for our additional guests and it was the last time I was able to talk to their customer service. After that call, no one answered any of the phone numbers listed in all their sites. 

On the last minute, we decided to bring one of our dog, our chihuahua. But since I wasn't sure if dogs are allowed in the resort, I tried calling all their phone numbers but to no avail. I went ahead to check the facilities from Agoda if they are allowing dogs inside the resort, and I was just happy to see that they ALLOW pets, so we decided to bring our small dog with us. 

Facilities from AGODA. Check those inside the red boxes.

The hotel boasts 208 luxurious rooms with deluxe amenities and has a lot of activities for their guests to enjoy. I had high hopes since they were being recommended in all of the social media sites and even in Agoda. They are really promising based on their photos and other websites. When we arrived at the hotel, I was surprised to see that even during weekdays, the hotel is quite packed. The check-in counter has a very long queue and turn-around time per customer takes 15 minutes tops. When it was my turn to check-in, I was told that THEY CANNOT LET US IN BECAUSE OF OUR DOG. I told them that I went ahead to bring our dog since it was stated at Agoda that PETS ARE ALLOWED, and I cannot see any useful information from their website, facebook page and no one is answering their hotlines. According to their manager, Agoda doesn't post CORRECT information facilities and that they are having problems with them too. What they offered was, to let the dog stay in their guard house and let the guards take care of our pet. Okay, I was left with no choice but to give in, BUT the fact that they have no useful information anywhere from their social media sites but Agoda is quite infuriating already. Again, check-in took me an hour to finally settle our PET issue. I was already given key cards and went to our room. 

We went ahead to get changed because the kids are just as excited because they have been looking forward to this beach adventure. The beach is relatively clean and the water was calm which is safe for children to play by the shore. You can also snorkel 3 meters away from the shore and there you can enjoy looking at the tiny fishes swimming around the coral area. 

POOL AND BEACH FACILITIES 

The resort has three pools (2,4 and 5 feet) and has lifeguard standby on each of the corners. The shower area is located on each side of the pool and has strong water pressure. Small cottages are located near the pool as well as benches. The pool area is perfect according to my kids because they enjoyed it a lot as well as my three-year-old youngest boy. There is so much you can do if you are up for an adventure, but the prices are quite steep. Each guest is given a towel card which only allows up to 4 towels each guest to be used in the pool/beach area. 
cigarette left in one of the cottages

Everything was fun except for other guests who are smoking near the pool. It was clearly stated in the pool rules, "NO SMOKING." When I told the pool attendants about it, they said, SMOKING IS OKAY which is quite a contradicting statement to their rules, provided, smokers should only smoke around where the ashtray is provided. And where are the ash trays? Inside the cottages around the pool area! All the while I thought this was already a LAW but lo and behold, they are allowing it in a public place. I am concerned because there were a lot of children during that time around including mine. 

Pool rules. Clearly, SMOKING is prohibited, but then again. 
Come night time, when we get back to the room, I noticed that only two pillows were provided as well as towels. I called the front desk and asked for additional pillows, towels, blankets, and toiletries. They only provided an additional two sets for everything we asked. My husband was already furious as to how my children will sleep without pillows, blankets, and towels considering we will sleep there for two nights! The FRONT DESK called up and told me they will add an additional pillow and blanket FOR FREE. Seriously? I declared three children upon booking and they will only provide one pillow and blanket. I mean, we co-sleep my youngest and my two older kids can share a blanket BUT PILLOW? I booked the hotel for comfort but this is what I am getting. NOT HAPPY. Just imagine! 


ISLAND CAFE

Our booking came with a breakfast buffet. This is what I usually do so that I will not think of how I will feed my kids on trips/getaways like this. The breakfast buffet is okay because all I wanted was to eat something to jumpstart my day. There were few selections for protein, carbs, and fruits. The taste isn't so bad which I will give 2/5 rating.

Breakfast buffet food selection














 But during lunch and dinner, you only have an option to either go out of the hotel (that is if you have a car of your own) or dine in their restaurant which we did. We were left with no choice since my kids wanted to make the most of their time swimming in the pool. We had lunch at the Island Cafe and I must say that the food is good. The choice of Filipino dishes and prices are pretty decent. One serving can be shared for two to three persons. But I would rate the taste as 2/5. The service is good, the waiters are very warm and accommodating. The meals were charged to our room. 





You also have an option for grilled food which is located just outside the cafe near the pool. They have selections of fish, pork and chicken which is priced depending on the weight and food will be served grilled. However, if there is one thing, I do not like the attitude of those incharge of the grilling station. They have this "attitude."


ROOM ACCOMMODATION

View from our room on the fifth floor
TV from Master's bedroom
King sized bed

Veranda from living room

comfort room in the living area



comfort room from master's room

kitchen area
living area

The room I booked is huge enough to fit us all and even more. The size is 100 sqm with King sized bed, 2 day beds, a table, kitchen counter, 6 cu ft refrigerator a sofa and two televisions. The aircon is dated and ceiling mounted. Our room is facing where the sun rises and sets, it accommodates enough natural light in the morning which had the tendency to be too bright and when the sun sets, it becomes very gloomy. The room is not that modern which is fine, but the door lock sometimes is faulty when the key is inserted improperly. The sheets are the typical hotel sheets but the pillows are microfiber pillows not the duck down type. Honestly, I was really expecting for a good and comfortable pillow considering I booked their most expensive room. The room has two CRs, the one in the living room which has a toilet and a sink. The one inside the room has a shower, toilet, and sink. I have to commend though their housekeeping which is very accommodating and helpful to our requests because they have provided extra towels and pillows to my children.

Our door which gets wonky when card is inserted incorrectly

VERDICT

After three days and two nights of fun and mixed emotions, it was time for our check out. Again, check-out turn around time takes longer again as expected same with check-in. But what really infuriated me was when they told me they WON'T PROVIDE OFFICIAL RECEIPT because I booked through AGODA. According to them, I should ask an official receipt from AGODA not them and even asked me for my TIN NUMBER. Now, this is the time when my lawyer of a husband got really mad. I was able to secure OFFICIAL receipts from my previous bookings just fine from Agoda but them? NO! I was only given a printed invoice. 
This is the room I booked, take note: NO WIFI, not good for people who works remotely

NO OFFICIAL RECEIPT give, only printed invoice

Overall, if you could look for other hotels, better do so as I am not recommending this and will never go back again. I could tolerate the dated rooms, no WIFI in the rooms and the long queue from the check-in and check-out counter but I cannot tolerate the bad attitude of most of their employees, they are not accomodating and not even apologetic at all! I booked the hotel for relaxation and much-needed rest for our family but what is left with us a bad experience from the hotel in general. 










This 2019, I have a goal of eating right and I started it when we got back from our vacation until now. Last year, we slacked and I tolerated our unhealthy eating habits. We don't eat breakfast well. I let the kids eat whenever they just feel like doing so. This year, I see to it to prepare breakfast and make the kids eat to jump start their day. 


But, did you know that?

The country has been facing the rise on the number of underweight and overweight Filipinos for more than 20 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined this phenomenon as the “Double Burden of Malnutrition” or the “prevalence of both undernutrition and overweight in the same community, nation, or region.”



To address this problem, our government launched the Pinggang Pinoy® campaign in 2014. Pinggang Pinoy® is an easy-to-understand food guide showing proper food group portioning on a per-meal basis. This reflects the principles of MOderation, VAriety and BAlance (MOVABA) to promote healthier eating habits.

Solving the Philippines’ Double Burden of Malnutrition should be a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors as it is not an easy feat. With this, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation partnered with government agencies to conduct education programs to raise awareness and promote the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® in malnutrition hotspots, where incidences of Double Burden Malnutrition are high. This training was given to homemakers/mothers who have malnourished (underweight, stunting, wasting, overweight and obese) school-aged children.

The pilot run resulted to improvements of the knowledge & attitudes of households related to the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® within target areas. However, behavior changes towards healthier eating habits remains to be a challenge. The program uncovered a number #MalnutritionTraps that some Pinoy households easily fall into. The following #MalnutritionTraps provide a picture of how unhealthy eating habits may lead to Double Burden of Malnutrition:

Overconsumption of carbohydrates. Voracious rice eaters can easily fill half of their plates with rice. Others have pandesal & noodles as regular meal deprived of other nutrients derived from a well-balanced meal.

Under consumption of vegetables and/fruits. It is common for some to be content with rice & meat to satisfy their hunger and skip/take insufficient amount of vegetables/fruits. Fact is, the variety of colors found in Glow foods are important sources of vitamins & minerals to sustain our energy & keep us from getting sick.

Overconsumption of protein. Typical Filipino “SILOG” meals include double serving of proteins (e.g. Tapa+Itlog, Tocino+Itlog, Longanisa+Itlog, Bangus+Itlog). Eating different kinds of protein is fine for as long as they are taken in moderation. We must also avoid protein dishes served high in fat, cholesterol and sodium. 

Here is a video that I know will surely be insightful to all of you. 


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