Politics, vanj padilla

DuterteNomics to be unveiled

The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), in cooperation with the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (CenSEI), will unveil DuterteNomics in a forum on April 18, Tuesday at The Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.

DuterteNomics is the President’s economic and development blueprint for the Philippines. It includes the current administration’s main governance and fiscal policies, comprehensive big-ticket infrastructure programs and upgraded social services targeted to accelerate growth, and by 2022, transform the Philippines into a high middle-income economy.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will open the forum while Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, a member of the President’s economic team, will deliver the keynote address.

The forum is divided into six sessions – Session 1: Economic Overview and Philippine Development Plan (PDP) Highlights; Session 2: BuildBuildBuild Infrastructure Plan; Session 3: Fiscal Issues on Revenue and Spending; Session 4: Mindanao Economy/ Major Development Initiatives in Mindanao; Session 5: International Context and Environment for the Philippine Government; and Session 6: Reactions to DuterteNomics.

The six sessions will be presented by notable panel of speakers from the President’s Cabinet. Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Director-General of the National and Economic Development Authority (NEDA), will report on the focal points of the Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 which embodies the Filipino people’s dreams and goals as also envisioned in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Secretary Martin Andanar of the PCOO, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and President and CEO Vince Dizon of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will talk about the Comprehensive Infrastructure Investment Program bringing about ease of access to electricity and water, increase in productivity, inter – island connectivity and overall improvement in the people’s standard of living.

Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will provide a summary of the necessary fiscal and budgetary reforms for financing the infrastructure and social spending programs.

Representing the business community is Mr. John Gaisano, Chairperson of the Board of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Inc. who will discuss the major development initiatives for Mindanao. Professor Richard Heydarian from the academe will tackle the international context and environment for the Philippine government.

Former Secretary Cielito Habito will serve as a reactor of Dutertenomics.

Former Chairperson of the Philippine Civil Service Commission (CSC) Ricardo Saludo will host the forum while Associate Professor Gary Olivar of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) will serve as the moderator of the forum.

The event’s official hashtag will be #DuterteNomics. Registration will start at 12:30PM.

Business, vanj padilla

Book Review: Break Free by Don Soriano

Don Soriano is a Filipino book author who wants to share his experiences from a bankrupt entrepreneur with half million debt to financial freedom and success in less than three years. He shares his story about how he messed up big time and how he rebounded back by using the principles he shared in his book.

Break Free by Don Soriano

In his book Break Free, 8 Principles to get from employee to employer in 3 years or less he wants to make a first world out of the Philippines which is not actually impossible.

Break  Free the book is an easy read. You can finish it in an hour. It tells people who have bright ideas and planning on going into business not to quit their jobs unless the passive income is higher than the salary. I heard that from successful business mentors, too.

The eight principles embodied in the book tells us about not giving up the job just yet, what is the best investment that you’ll ever make, teaches us how to manage money and how to make it work for us and also the power of leverage and how others use it to their advantage.

If you are going into business, what are the first steps. And have you heard of the Law of Association and how it can benefit you. You will also understand financial freedom and ways to achieve it. Then finally Don Soriano shares that success is only 20% skill and the rest is mindset. And thru mindset, you can teach yourself mastery. Mastery that will lead to success, like habits and self- motivation.

My favorite part of the book is his claim that even regular people like us can do it. You do not need to have special powers to be successful. You just need to start. And then comes the money jars. I used to have money jars too. and it keeps me motivated. Until shit happened and I lost them to fire.

I also enjoyed the quotations in each page from prominent authors, successful people that inspires your to act upon your dreams.

Nonetheless, its never too late to start. And this book is a friendly guide to help you out become financially free or achieve your dreams.

We all have dreams. We all need mentors. And Don Soriano in his book churned out digestible bits of wisdom to help everyone who wants to make a dent in the universe.

Vanj Padilla Break Free Book
Get your copy

Get your copy by visiting the author’s Facebook page and order here. 


Business, tourism, Travel

Air Asia is back in Clark 

Air Asia Philippines is set to resume its flights at the Clark International Airport, a move to seen as a welcome development by authorities of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp., the operating arm of the international gateway north of Manila. 

Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, two routes that are expected to further boost CRKs passenger traffic.

“CIAC’s efforts to attract more airlines have been rewarded and we are glad that Air Asia has finally agreed to resume flights this year,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC’s President and CEO, said during the second leg of the CRK Roadshow in Dagupan City on Friday.

Clark Intl Airport President Alexander Cauguiran discussing the plans of CIAC

Cauguiran added that Air Asia’s business decision is a positive effect of President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrusts to further develop and encourage additional flights at the airport of the north

“(Department of Transportation) Secretary Art Tugade’s marching order is for us to entice airlines to ensure first-rate operations of Clark airport,” Cauguiran added.

Air Asia, awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for eight consecutive years, has earlier committed to connect domestic cities to the North and Central Luzon regions and to choice tourist destinations in the country.

The resumption of Air Asia’s flights at CRK is seen to strengthen domestic hub. It also marks the airline’s return after it suspended operations in 2013 and transferred operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“The target market (of passengers) from central and Northern Luzon is ripe and we expect that passenger volume will grow in years to come as we continue to promote CRK as the next choice gateway of the country,” Cauguiran said.

Philippine Airlines had already made its strong presence at CRK with domestic flights to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, and international flights via Incheon in South Korea. The flag-carrier is also set to launch its Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga domestic flights by March 26.

Clark International Airport hosts other airlines such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong kong, and Tiger Air via Singapore.

tourism, Travel

Sunflower Maze in Tayug is an agritourism destination

Allied Botanical Corporation has put up  an amazing Sunflower Maze believed to be the first in the country. 

The maze, since the announcement has drawn a huge crowd from nearby towns and provinces to farm enthusiasts in various parts of the country. 

This was the first time they focused on agritourism as the Agritourism development Law has been passed. They used to showcase their produce from the seeds they develop and offer to the market. 

Allied Botanicals are market leaders for Pinakbet seeds in Luzon. They sell seeds of edible herbs, Baguio vegetables, corn, onions, squash, peppers of all shapes and sizes. If you can name all the veggies in the ‘Bahay Kubo‘ song, they have it. 😄😄 

The Sunflower maze has mini-themed gardens inside it. So visitors can go through the maze and be welcomed by the floral beds in various themes. 

Aside from the flowers,  you will enjoy picking fresh produce in the farm. You can also buy seeds and agricultural products and farm inputs from the booths inside the demo farm. 

Be inspired to plant your own herb garden in thier own version of an edible garden. 

There is a pick and pay session that visitors will surely enjoy. Just be ready to shell out P100 entrance fee when you come over. 

Our farm day experience was worth the trip. We not only learned to appreciate the beautiful view, but most importantly we learned that agritourism is highly profitable if more farms such as Allied Botanicals will follow the lead. 

The sunflower maze is located in Lichauco Tayug Pangasinan. 

tourism, Travel

Dasol Dazzles Bloggers



Dasol’s Colibra Island

It was a quick and unplanned trip to the Land of the Solar Salt — the dazzling town of Dasol. Pangasinan Bloggers are to meet the Pampanga Bloggers in Tambobong Beach Rains Resort on the first weekend of February. We took a bus to Dasol, afraid that our little car might not be able to endure the rocky ascent of the road to Tambobong.

When we got there, we were welcomed by the sumptuous breakfast served to us by Kuya Greg and family who owns the Rains Resort. It was a feast and we were not able to resist. Resorts and home stays in Tambobong can cook meal for guests, using fresh harvest from the sea. Guests can just request the keepers, and they will be glad to do it for you for a minimal fee.

Breakfast at Rains Resort

After breakfast, we had our gears on to island- hopping. Boat ride costs P1,500 and each boat can accommodate 6 people.  There are three islands to visit.One is the Slipper Island, Colibra Island and the Crocodile Island. The first island is where the Sinmimbaan Cave is, it is like a cathedral cave. If the waves are not that strong, one can get off the boat and explore or take photos. I enjoyed the Colibra Island though. Docking to Colibra Island or the island where the sea snakes are will require you to shell out P100. Add another P25 per head as entrance fee and if you need to settle down and use their benches, pay another P100 bucks. I told their municipal tourism officer that they should standardise the pricing and fees as well as collect once so as not to surprise tourists with the fees and charges.

You can stay overnight or the whole day at the Colibra Island. It is one of the most interesting islands that I’ve been to.

Colibra island

According to a young tour guide by the name of Jeremy, one of the most unique spots in the island is the swimming pool where mermaids stay during full moon. I checked it myself and it was indeed interesting.

No wonder this island is the most visited island in Dasol. Aside from the sea snakes that thrive in the island, it has remarkable spots from old coral reefs and limestones hundreds of years back.  We were lucky to find a fisherman selling his catch, a fish I am not familiar with. It looks like a swordfish but its not.

fresh catch from the sea

Amid the bushes in the island, I found my happy corner in this side. Sitting down in the branch of a tree, a horny bush in the background and stones all over the place– this is where this blogger found solace. I felt I belong to the island.

my happy corner


the view from the bushes

We were not able to land at the Crocodile Island because the waves are furious. Believe it or not, while we are at the boat I was able to sing Josh Groban’s You Raise me Up three times because I was so scared of the bumpy boat ride. But that’s what made the trip more exciting.

Upon returning to the main island Tambobong, it was lunch time. Then a short nap to recharge the body then off again to the unexplored cave nearby. Did you know that Dasol has about 300 unexplored caves? I will make another blogpost when we visit some of them. And Dasol is one of the best dive sites in Pangasinan with its fish sanctuaries?

This sunken ship is now fully submerged and only professional divers can go down to see it

I was once told that a major submarine by the United States docked in Dasol was bombed by the Japanese during the World War II and so it remains submerged deep into the waters of Dasol.

The nameless underwater cave

So this short, quick and sweet trip to Tambobong white Beach Dasol made possible by Rains Resort in collaboration with Pampanga Bloggers and Pangasinan Bloggers was such a hit. Don’t go there without a definite place to stay. Contact Rains Resort Beach Front, Madam Salazar compound Osmeña,Tambobong Beach with mobile number 0927.764.6545 and look for Kuya Greg for all the arrangements.

How to go to Dasol? 

From Manila, allot at least 5 hours travel. Hop on a Victory Liner bus to Alaminos City or Bolinao and get off a Alaminos City. Ride another bus going to Sta. Cruz and board off at Bobonot, a few meters before the town proper of Dasol. Ride a trike for P250 to Tambobong. If you are lucky, you can haggle for a lower price.

If you have a car, take the Luisita exit along SCTEX. Take the Camiling route leading to Alaminos City. From Alaminos, drive towards the route going to Zambales. You will pass by the towns of Mabini and Burgos before reaching Dasol.

Pangasinan and Pampanga Bloggers at the beachfront

More of Dasol escapades when we return for a bigger project and a longer stay. Stay tuned for more discoveries and photos and/ or videos of the Dazzling Town of Dasol. Will do a separate post for their solar salt industry and the mysteries of their unexplored caves.

Family, Relationship

What to do when someone dear leaves you behind

I know its February, guys.  And this post does not, in any way try to ruin the ‘love month fever’.

This is a very timely post.  A couple of my Facebook friends recently passed away. And its very painful to their families and to us. We share their loss and its really not easy.

Then comes another friend saying her husband is leaving for a job overseas. And another friend who was left clueless as to where the husband is since there is no formal closure to their relationship. He just vanished and does not return calls or messages. Sad, right?

15 years ago, I left the conjugal abode with only my kids in tow.

Relationships die, it gets terminated. Important people leave. Death takes them. Other people take them. They stop being with you. They move away. They just leave.

Two of my spiritual advisers were promoted and were transferred elsewhere.

I think the most emotionally painful part of one’s life is being left behind. I believe nobody is prepared to be left. That is why the hardest of all is to move on and start anew. I guess, some of you will agree.

So what to do when somebody close to you leaves?

5. Go through the various stages of GRIEF 

Do you remember the acronym DABDA? It stands for Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We normally experience these in various stages. As to how long depends on each person. But it is natural. So just go through it. Just go through all the pain. Cry if you must. Cry harder if you need to.

According to Grief, in the Denial stage, ‘the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day.’ Our brain seems to block and deny the pain by numbing our feelings.

Anger then surfaces. When in this stage, we question everything. Situations, circumstances, other people sometimes even God. We just let go of those emotions that are not there before. Anger is the manifestation of pain.  Anger is the hollow shield of loss. That feeling of a temporary shelter from nothingness, from weakness and from the truth.

In Bargaining, we appeal to do anything just to spare our loved one from the situation. Things like ” just give him back to me, and you can take away everything in my possession”, or I am willing to change, just please don’t leave” can be spoken. I once bargained with the Lord, “Lord ako na lang, please. Huwag na lang sya” but to no avail.

Then comes Depression, that extreme sad feeling. That intense desire to withdraw from the world, from anything that matters. That desire to just die and disappear. ‘When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way,’ says Grief.

Acceptance is when you finally realize that eventually you have to accept it. That there is nothing you can do to bring back your loss and that you need to start all over again and move on.

The shorter you go through the stages, the better for your health.

4.  Use selective memory 

I try to control my mind as to the memories and images that comes to it when I am experiencing loss. Your mind is like a television screen. Your brain holds the remote control. So you have the power to change channel whenever you feel the pangs of pain.  Whenever I remember memories that will bring about sadness and tears to my eyes, I immediately snap out of it and distract my brain. That way, I do not allow the hurt to engulf me whenever it wants. I try to control the thoughts dominating my mind.

3.  Don’t usually bargain, accept  fast

In case of death or someone leaving, don’t dwell too much on bargaining stage. Accept fast. Remember that if you cannot do anything to change the situation according to your liking, just accept the fact and think of how to move on. Accept that everything happens for a reason and everything happens in God’s time. Rather than question God’s motive, ask for strength and resilience to carry on and keep moving forward.

Think about the brighter side of life.  In case of death I think of the memories we had. The moments we shared. Those happy days and milestones with the person. And I gladly share the stories with others. In cases of separation, I just say it happens for a reason. God will not give us something we cannot endure. And we all have that survivor genes inside of us.

I’ll say this in Tagalog para intense because this is my belief for so long “Pag ayaw na nya, di ayaw na. Wag mo ng ipilit. Di ka mamamatay pag naghiwalay kayo. Malayo yan sa bituka. Namnamin mo lang yung pain, umarte ka ayon sa ganda, then move on”  Pak ganern.

2. Love yourself more 

After the painful experience, you will eventually see yourself in different kind of light. You will be defensive and protective. You will learn to love your self more. And that is good for you, in the first place. By loving yourself more, you will be very discerning with the circumstances that will come to you. You will learn to value your emotions, your physique, your decisions. Its like a renewal, a cleansing process.

By loving yourself more, you will consider your feeling more and not just give them away to anyone not deserving of your time, effort, talent and resources.

1. Trust God more  

Do you trust that everything happens in God’s time? And do you also trust that He will not give you what you cannot take?   Then trust Him that all pain and sufferings will end.Trust also that man cannot fathom His wisdom. And that if He allows you to survive, be thankful and pray that He keeps you in His care. If God is with you, how can you be alone? If God protects you, who can harm you?

In my experience, life’s difficulties, challenges and painful moments are opportunities for us to stick to our faith and be close to our Creator. He wants His people to never stray away from Him and revolve their lives around His wisdom, around His words and completely submit to Him who owns everything in the universe, our life included.

Relying on your own wisdom, getting mad at Him, rebellion  and sometimes ending your life is not the answer.

Life is too short to be unhappy.





Business, vanj padilla

What my mentor in Isabela told me minutes before I left 

I always want to talk to this person. Because I heard a lot of stories about him.

He is a self-made man, successful business owner, has an unquestionable love for his family and a rock solid faith in God.

IGC Motors big boss Isaias  G. Corpuz with his eldest son

Mentor IC is the proprietor of IGC Motors in Isabela.The company sells quality cars at affordable price. Mentor IC has clients from up to Visayas and Mindanao even though he is from a small town in Isabela.

He was not born with a silver spoon. He admits that they are so poor that at a very early age when boys like him are busy playing games and going to school, he and his elder brother need to look for food.

It was never easy. Everytime I hear their story, it makes me cry. Their struggle is real. He eats hard labor breakfast, lunch and dinner. He worked at a logging business and whenever they get logs from the mountains, he would buy junk materials in sacks that he carries one by one and sells in town.

He also worked as a helper in their eldest brother’s palay and corn buying store, drove tricycle for years just to earn additional money and support their needs.

Bottomline is at a very early age, he has to go through hard labor and learned the value of money.

Minutes before we left their town, I asked him to teach me about financial management. I told him I lack the necessary knowhow on how to handle money, make money work for me instead of the other way around. I told him I don’t want to mess up with blessings that God shall be giving me because I suck at fiscal management. And here are his tips:

Put God first 

All wealth and blessings come from God.

Being alive is a blessing. Having peace of mind is a blessing. We are taught to set aside a portion of our incomes as offering. This offering is being used by the Church to propagate the words of God and introduce Him to other people. The more people who will rightfully worship Him according to His will, the better it is for man. The better it is for us givers.

We offer it during the first day of every week as per the Bible. After setting aside the amount, you now have the freedom to control what’s left of your income.

Do not spend business capital on dead investments.

Cars, unless a necessity should be carefully thought of before you purchase. Think of how the vehicle can help you achieve your dreams or ease up your life rather than splurge on it for the sake of having a nice car.

Houses are also stagnant investments. He said he never spends on house renovation, improvement, expansion unless the money come from other revenue sources or incentives. He does not touch his revolving capital. Revolving capital should be revolving, not stalled.

Capital outlays should always grow  

Before spending your capital, think about how will it earn. How will it work for you. How it will grow. It you think it won’t grow, do not spend on it. Put it elsewhere.

You should go into a business that makes you happy 

I asked him why he went into buying and selling cars when he was a very popular geodetic engineering practitioner.

He said he loved cars, even when he is young. It made him happy. He used to buy a wooden truck when he was a kid. Paid P8 a day to the seller just so it can be told that he owns a truck.

He got the idea to buy and sell SUVs because his father in-law and brothers in-law are few of the best mechanics in town.

He added that he does not buy SUVs from second or third owners. Just first owners. Saves him a lot of trouble and unforseen costs. It makes flipping better and faster.

Most of his customers are silent millionaire farmers. And Isabela has a lot of those. They plant three or four crops a year because of better irrigation facilities. And his clients do not mind price much. They want a better performing, better looking SUV for their family to reward hard work.

Diversify only when ready 

Mentor IC said it is better to focus on one industry and grow or establish it before thinking of diversification. It takes about two to three years to reap rewards in business so its better to put your eggs in one basket first then focus on growing it before thinking of another.

Be a hands-on business owner 

You can delegate tasks but always be there to supervise. You must know every aspect of your business. Get your hands dirty and get paying clients. The adage ‘build and they will come’ only applies to the lazy ones. Build and give them reasons to come over and over are but two of the keys to success.

Live below your means and do not envy what is not yours 

I heard this gazillion times before. My millionaire aunt lives like a poor one inspite of her wealth. Mentor IC shared that when he was young, he used to iron his money to become creaseless. He values it and although he can spend it on anything he likes, he lives like he has lesser money to spend. He does not splurge. He does not have a vice or his spending habits are under control. He is a cash kind of person. Does not use check or credit cards. Just cash. 

Wanting what does not belong to you is the beginning of greed. He said convert the envy into positive energy like instead of thinking how can you ‘keep up with the Joneses‘, work hard for it instead. Do not want what is not rightfully yours. Instead, challenge yourself and put in the efforts.  

It was only a short and simple conversation but indeed, it was one for the books. How can you afford not to listen to the story of a self-made man? The man whose character is unbreakable even by poverty? The person whose determination and business acumen is impeccable? The man who, when he gives something out, God returns it tenfold or more?

I told him to teach me more. I thought I would learn more from Mentor IC like I do from his elder brother. And it was one of the most memorable talks I had in Isabela, the land named after the Queen of Spain.

                                  The display area of IGC Motors in Ramon, Isabela

IGC Motors, dealer of quality cars at affordable prices is located at National Highway, Burgos Ramon, Isabela Philippines. If you need a trustworthy and reliable car dealer, call them at mobile number 0999.574.4262. 

Business, Tech, Travel

The surprising Calle Uno trip we were talking about

Three members of the ‘Norte Bloggers’ dropped by Calle Uno Co-working and collaborative space on a Saturday night to propose a collaborative event in Baguio to be held on April 2017.

We pitched that Calle Uno hold The Storytellers’s Summit Baguio leg to the owner, Ace Estrada and the idea is welcome to him.

According to their website, Calle Uno is “located in a bustling commercial-residential area in Quezon Hill, along Naguilian Road in Baguio City, our working space of 1800 square meters is spread over three storeys. The building is a grand old mansion lovingly restored to its former 1950s glory. Its best feature is the beautiful brick arches sitting at one end of the spacious grounds. It offers spaces and rooms designed to flexibly serve multiple purposes. Its ambiance ranges from the laid-back atmosphere of a cafe to the seriousness of purpose found at a campus library.”

I found my happy place in Calle Uno. The thing that I was dreaming to have since I was small. It was their walled bookshelf that I wanted to build in time for my precious books.

Vanj Padilla happy place
My happy place. i think I could live here

Calle Uno is more than just your ordinary co-working space. The team behind it through Ace Estrada and his family is revolutionising this industry in Baguio. The Baguio market is just ripe for this kind of business and I was impressed with its long-term goals.

Calle Uno is also a launchpad for food startups and one of their mini kitchens can be rented to launch your food business. What is more interesting is that food start-ups have a ready market such as the members and their patrons to test their minimum viable recipes.


Calle Uno also has uniquely designed food trucks from old Volkswagen cars locally called “PENDONG” where concessionaires can sell food, do cooking demos and soon launch an online TV cooking channel under the Calle Uno brand.

It is indeed exciting. And It is refreshing to see people finally getting IT, the technology and disrupting the co-working industry to stay on top of your game.

Calle Uno aims to build a community of tech start-ups, budding food and  tech entrepreneurs, artists, online professionals, virtual workers and what nots.

Visit them and find out how they can help you build your career and your dreams.



I was instantly awarded a membership by the owner, Ace Estrada who happens to be my province mate.







Family, Relationship

Me to daughter: Its not yet OK to have a boyfriend, but he can come over

I am one of the strictest mothers in the world. I have inherited my mother’s iron hands and use it among the kids now.

Maybe my kids sometimes wish they were born to kinder mothers rather than me. Haha. I have a daughter. She is the only girl among four siblings and she is the eldest. She is the better version of myself. So my protection for her goes beyond the skies. Its crazy to have a daughter who is both responsible and smart at the same time.  She can attract all the forces in the universe towards her and God knows what will happen.

When she turned 18, I heard she had a significant other. I objected and threatened her. Of course, its as natural as breathing oxygen. Told her to finish her studies or else….

She made good with her studies. Actually, better than I did in school. Hahaha. It is evident that she is self-motivated and God-fearing, not to mention- also afraid of her monster mom.

I kept thinking about how she did it, who are the people who helped her? Who are the people who inspired her? It could not be me. And not entirely her family. So when I learned that the guy was helping her, I devised a strategy about how to push her to maximize her potential.

So here are my five reasons I allow the guy to come over:

  1. Asked her to refrain from participating too much in non-curricular activities. 

These are time-wasters and they make it a reason to see each other because of school activities that don’t help them much in their academic lives. Better they spend time after class building their talents, their future careers, their individual passions, rather than ‘making babad‘ in school. I told them to look after each other and see to it that they come home immediately after classes. They can come over for a few chats at home and leave.

2. Better to see them at home than hide anywhere else.  

Kids nowadays have their own thinking process. Their listening skills are strong from peers but buffer from elders. Rather than hide their “friendship” from me, I’d rather they are visible for the family to see. You see, when you trust kids with a little something, they think they are in charge. And every responsible child will not mess it up. Knowing that my daughter knows the extent of what I can do to them, I knew she and the other person will keep their words. Trust is a big thing to kids. Gives them confidence. Trust does not reduce them as persons.

3. Lessen the lies, encourage them to tell the truth 

When people lie, they need to tell another lie to corroborate the original lie. And it is no good. It is never healthy. I do not like my children to continually lie to me. Especially in matters concerning them. Lying children will distance themselves to their parents because of guilt. And it doesn’t make any sense. Why would I allow my child to tell lies because of a stranger which she calls her special friend?

4. Gained an ally, lost an enemy 

Everyone knew the down side of having an enemy. You don’t stop until you win and make the other party lose. Its so stressful.

I realised that if I use all my forces to stop my daughter from seeing her friend, I gained an enemy, I lose a daughter because eventually she would be mad and she will protect him. No, he does not enjoy that privilege. So reversing the strategy, I allowed him in the house, I gained a new ally. This young ally will help me protect her in places where I cannot. In places where she spends most of her time now, in the university. And it is a win-win scenario. Unless of course the ally becomes an enemy in the making. Hopefully not because we go back to square 1 which is war.

5. They keep trying to prove and improve themselves 

Ever since I allowed the friend to come over, both of them are trying to prove that indeed they are worthy of their new found freedom. They are more transparent in their actions, meaning where they are going, what they plan to do in school, how they wanted to help in the business and those things that could have never happened in the first place have I sticked to my original plan of extreme hostility.

Its not easy to trust a stranger into your house and into the family, especially if you do not know the background of the person. What’s his story? What is his family’s story? What if he will hurt my daughter? There are a gazillion what ifs, but while I find answers to those what ifs, it helps a little to provide a space where I can see them both more frequently. Takes them away from other influences that I am not aware of.

A week ago, my daughter took her class cards home and announced that she once more made it to the dean’s list. Not bad. I hope she and her special friend does more. I hope to learn about her friend make it to the top also and be each each other’s positive support group.

How about you? Do you allow your kid’s special friends inside your house and treat them like friends too?


NOVOTEL: A cocoon in the heart of Cubao

Novotel Araneta Cubao is a surprisingly comfortable and convenient home in the heart of Cubao. 

It brings back nostalgic memories in the once center of trade and entertainment in Manila.

For countryside dwellers like me who frequent Manila for projects and business meetings, looking for a comfy hotel in Quezon City is always a hassle. We expect the comfort of hotels in Makati but with easy access of Quezon City.

And Novotel Araneta Cubao has both.

Spacious and comfy beds

Blogapalooza was held at Novotel. Bloggers outside Manila were housed here and treated like very important guests.

We appreciated how they thought of us, our needs and how they carefully planned the room space to accomodate our group.

Love their washroom set up

I love their toletries. Soap, shampoo and the rest. Its the second thing I checked aside from the bed. It looks hip 🙂

Trying out the mirror selfie

The room internet is strong when we stayed there. Its not frustrating like other places. 

Plus the food at the buffet. Its the type of of food you need to eat to go through a tough day. Keeps you full, energized and clean within.

Protein- loading
Fresh fruits and juice section
Grains section

Love it how they mix colors, textures, flavors to please the eyes and the palate.

Noodles and veggies neatly stacked
Mmmmm, breads and muffins 

Overall, the experience was great! Staffs are friendly and always ready to help. Even in the wee hours of the night.

Be sure to bring your proper identification cards upon check in to avoid delay. 

Novotel is strict in this matter. Its part of their customer protection protocol.

Lounging in their spacious lobby

Check out Novotel’s Facebook page and for inquiries, contact them at : (02) 990.7888