Tagalog 101: A Brief History of the Philippines


Here in Singapore, we have a celebration called the National Friendship week which allows the students from different countries to share some knowledge about their motherland.

Here is a 1 minuter video that the kids prepared for tomorrow’s presentation: the Philippine’s Early Civilization.




A brief history of the Philippine’s early civilization until the American Regime

This is for you, Ethan, Sofie and Zack. Know your history 🙂

















%3Bf3sK8N7ZqHUCJM%3A%3BIJmdxT07VZ3U-M%3A&imgrc=f3sK8N7ZqHUCJM%3A (PHIL












helen taft
american teacher


us troops in action

sino-japanese war


mc arthur osmenia
leyte l;anding



phil independence
kids with flag

Dadvice:  #2 On keeping your promises…

click here to read our Dadvice article #1 On treating your Parents



He made his own money

Have to double check if this complies with bank regulation ten dollar notes 🙂


Let me tell you about a simple story that has caught my attention the past few days:

Last weekend, our kids spent the night in our room, and while we were about to sleep, my eldest asked if he could have an extra pillow to hug.  I got back up and went to the other room to get him extra pillows, and after I gave it to him, I said with a resounding voice “Your wish is yours to keep…” feeling and impersonating a genie that we once watched in one of their cartoon shows.  My second child, my daughter, quickly picked up on to what I was acting out, and told me “Daddy, do I get a wish as well?…”.  So I told her yes, all three of them could have one wish tonight.  My daughter then said, “Daddy, I wish for an eye patch”.  I complied with her demand and as with the first, I completed with the phrase “Your wish is yours to keep…” still trying to do a convincing genie voice.  Now my youngest son, Zack, has had time to think about his wish while I was tending to his sister.  He then told me “ Daddy, my wish is to have $10 “.  My wife and I were a bit surprised and were laughing at how ingenious this little boy has used his wish.  However, as it was already late in the night, I told him that I would give him his wish but also asked if he could wait until tomorrow, as I had no change for $10 at that time.  He happily agreed, and they all went to sleep smiling.

The next day, I have been quite pre-occupied as my wife and I had a lot of chores to do, and activities planned for the whole weekend.  To cut the story short, I forgot to give my son his $10 from the evening before, which I promised.  On Sunday night, my wife told me that she saw something in my youngest son’s coin bank.  It was a small piece of cut-out rectangular paper, colored with orange crayons and designed with a mark saying “10 Dollers”.  It didn’t immediately sink with me but when my wife asked him about it, he said that it was the money that Daddy has promised to give him.  I suddenly felt guilty and moved at the same time.

Here is my son, who has not bothered me, not even once, the whole weekend about his money, whilst actually expecting me to keep my promise.  When I forgot about his “10 Dollers”, he made sure on his own way that I’d still keep my promise to him.  That night before they went to bed, I made sure to sneak and switch his paper $10 with a real one.  I then told him to check his coin bank before he went to bed, and he was very surprised and happy.  I tucked him to bed and whispered to him “Your wish is yours to keep…”, he smiled then went to sleep.

It is common, perhaps  natural, for us parents to have “expectations” of our children.  We aspire that our kids should grow up to be good, honest, loyal, compassionate, and brave, among many others things.  Some people may have high expectations, while some, not so much, but this is all OK.  It only shows that we want our young ones to gain the qualities to be happy and successful for their life in the future.

However, we may sometimes neglect to think that although we have “expectations” of our kids, they too, have the same “expectations” on us.  They look up to us to be good examples, role models, and to basically just to be there to depend upon.  In our busy days today, it is easy to forget to keep our promises,  forget to be nice to other people, and forget to be good role models.  Nevertheless, as parents, it should always be our responsibility to do our best and live up to our children’s expectations.  We are after all, their own heroes that they see everyday.



Tagalog 101 : My Kids and Their Philippine Experience

Our family tried immersing our kids into the Filipino culture and so far, they have enjoyed it. They were amused by their lolo and lola’s videoke, introduced them to pan de sal and taho, once again reunited with bahay-kubo, and have experienced talking to local friends, who don’t speak the English language. It was funny to see my kids exchanging laughter with them though I knew they don’t fully understand what the kids were trying to say.


My boys enjoying their stay in the “Bahay-Kubo” (Nipa Hut)



Sofie singing in the videoke, you can also see her lolo’s rattan chair at the back


One time, Sofie approached me and she excitedly told me about her new found friend. “Mommy, I met a new friend and her name is Gave. She said that they have this group and the name of their group is ‘Pabebe Girls’.” I burst into laughter and she followed laughing too, only that, she don’t know why. If you knew the Pabebe Girls’ viral video, you would also laugh the way I did. That was unexpected.

Some other time, Ethan excitedly went to our room and with a jubilant face and shirt folded up, he asked me if I can guess what’s inside his shirt- “no idea anak,” I said.  When he unfolded his shirt, bubble gums rolled over the bed! “Tita Maneth gave us a lot.” I asked him, “did you take one?” “Yes,” he said. “Don’t forget to spit it out. Don’t swallow it okay.” His face grew red. “Mom, I swallowed the gum, do you think I’m gonna die?” I found myself laughing again. He gave me a few moments to forget that I’m unwell at that time and until now, I can picture his reaction after knowing that the gum got lost somewhere in his stomach.

Zack was legendary. Ooh… I have a lot to tell about him. But I will just write one for now.  We were invited for a dinner in a restaurant which turned out to be a very nice reunion dinner with relatives; the music stopped playing, Tita Myrna, the host called out the name of our relative to sing. I think she was shy. So Tita Nins (our dear aunt) asked Zack instead, “Zack, do you think you can sing in front of so many people?” “Yes, sure!” And without hesitation, Zack walked confidently and introduced himself to the crowd. “Hi I’m Zack… and I’m gonna sing ‘Lemon Tree’.” It was an acapella with a little of “tunog-tao” in some parts of the song (sorry but was not able to capture in video) and a milestone for him! If you could watch below, you can see that he entertained a big number of audience. Good job Zack!



video credit: Rolan Nicolas aka dadudz


Motivational Monday: 7 Important Life’s Lessons for Your Children

surviving and happy


As a mom, we would always want what’s best for our children…

Oh, forget about that cliché. Our world, in my opinion, is becoming more and more alarming.  Truth be told, children ages seven years old and above are now exposed with what’s happening around them, they are beginning to comprehend that our world is not all the time fruit bearing trees, red roses with beautiful butterflies, birds flying in the blue skies… in short, partly wonderful, partly not.  And right at this moment, what we really want for our children is to learn how to survive from all the adversities we are all going through. We should-

  1. Teach them how to fight loneliness. They will be more independent and resilient.
  2. Teach them how to stand up for themselves. But teach them not to ridicule other children.
  3. Teach them how to overcome materialism. And be contented with what they have.  You should not look over to your neighbor’s to see what they have that you don’t.  The only time you should look over someone else’s “bowl” is to see if they have enough.
  4. Teach them how to protect themselves from sexual predators. And not afraid to speak out, about the people that made them feel uncomfortable.
  5. Teach them not to hate people of different race and religion.
  6. Teach them how to identify the good influences from the bad ones.
  7. Teach them how to choose responsibly, because all of their life’s choices will reflect on the kind of person that they would become.

Their generation is thriving along with the technology we are having right now. But despite of all these, our world is uncertain. We might not be able to give them all the best, furthermore, we can not be there with them all the time,  but what we could do is teach them these lessons so that they can turn out to be the best, notwithstanding the reality that they are about to face.


image credit: www.deviantart.com


Singing Christmas carols with cousins

Finally! The rain stopped yesterday night! Now we can sing Christmas carols to our neighbors until Christmas. We are very interested with this idea because mum said people will give us money if we sing Christmas songs to them. At first we can not really understand how do we do it. I heard my little bro asked mum about it, “is it a singing contest?” My kuya is also wondering and asking, “mum, do we need to dance when we sing?”

Tito Dennis and Tita Maneth made a beautiful instrument from bottle caps. It sounded like tambourine when you shake it. I want to bring it to my school and show it to my friends. Thank you Tito Dennis and Tita Maneth!


The first song mum taught us was “thank you, thank you, ambabait ninyo thank you” (you are very kind) but I heard other kids singing “thank you, thank you, thank you very much thank you” – I counted 4 thank you words in it!

I had fun singing with my cousins too. Their names are Ate Nikki and Ate Louie. This is the first time we sing together.

We are very lucky because even if we are not really good in singing, our aunts, their names are Tita Linda, Tita Arnie, my grandma and even Tita Maneth gave us money. Later we will practice and really, we will do our best. Salamat po!

Children carol for Christmas and money.
Don’t worry, we will spend the money wisely.

We need to sleep!

Hi guys! Welcome back! Our topic for today is about Sleeping (if that’s how you spell it correctly)
In Singapore, I only feel sleepy when it is 9/10 o’clock pm but in our home town I feel sleepy when it’s 7 o’clock pm. It happens all the time. I think there is sleep powder in our home town. Sleeping is important because our body needs to rest for us to grow. Aside from the food we eat, you can also get energy from sleeping. Yesterday, I heard my youngest brother say, “how come grown ups don’t need sleep?” “I wish I was a grown up!”


Oh My Caterpi!

Hi, I’m Sofie. Mom asked me to help her write in our blog. She said I am in charge for now. I am not writing with pen and paper but using her phone. I never knew I could do that! This is easier and I thought this is cool too!!!

It’s almost Christmas and a lot of things happened since we arrived in our hometown. Today is the first “simbang gabi” or “misa de gallo.” I think mom assigned my brother to talk more about that.

I will share with you one sad experience I had a few days ago…

10 Dec 2015
On Saturday, Tito Joel gave me a pet caterpillar we named him Caterpi. On the next day, it grew longer and it has shorter legs. On the following day, it started crawling up, as if it is looking for a branch to hang itself. I was very excited because I thought I will witness the transformation of caterpi into a cocoon… but it did not happen 🙁 it died after it hanged itself.

Do not shake a caterpillar



Dadvice: #1 On treating your Parents

 An exclusive for mommysaiddaddysaid.com

Daddy Said…


Things that you want to make sure your kids know …or not know

Often times in life, we take a look back on things that we’ve done and thought – “if I only knew, I might have done better…”   This realization is not bad, when you think about it, it’s actually edification.  It means that you’ve now learned something new, which you didn’t know before.  Knowledge is Power.  And as a 90’s kid, I’ve come to realize that there is wisdom in what my favorite cartoon show always says – “Knowing is half the battle”.

Although it is true that experience is the best teacher, it doesn’t just have to be only your own experience that you should rely on to teach you.  We can also learn lessons from experiences of other people, and use it to our advantage.

In this section of Daddy said, I would like to give my kids that advantage and impart to them some of the important life lessons, and “life-hacks”, that I’ve learned in my life as well as from others.  Though some of these things may seem to be ‘common sense’ to us parents, at times, we tend to forget that our kids don’t know these things yet.  They could greatly learn from it and it may help improve their perspective in life.

Please join me as I share to my kids the stuff that they should know (or maybe shouldn’t know yet) about the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees…  And who knows, maybe you and your kids can share some of your life lessons too.

For today’s post…

dadvice 1

#1   On treating your Parents

Always love and respect them period.  Yes, it’s true that sometimes we might do some things that seem unfair to you, but do trust that we always have your best interest at heart.  I’ve loved you from the day you were born and will continue to do so until my dying breath, no intermissions in between.  It is the same with your mom, and your grandparents as well.  You may not always see it, but your mom and I love and respect our parents very much too.  They have been there for us, with love, patience, and understanding, holding our hands, ever since we could remember.  And this is the same promise that we make to you.  When all the world comes crumbling down, we are the ones who will always be here for you… near, far, and wherever you are.

And the next time you get to talk with your parents or elders, take time to listen.  There are a lot of things they can teach us, simply by telling us the consequences of what they did, or did not do, in their lives. Reciprocate with love, compassion and most of all, with respect.


The Secret: Law of Attraction

The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes

The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes

Motivational Monday

5th of October 2015

No matter how hard we think our life is, what’s important is how we always try to pick ourselves up, without having to think of surrendering. This is for you my love.

One of my favorite quotes was that by ― Shannon Alder he said that  “When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”  And I’m sure, these people are not negative people but people who are also full of positivity.

Let’s start the week with positive vibes.

Here are some lessons from Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret”.


Thank you for listening, ’til Monday!

Handy helpers!



Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance .”

-Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota


At home, we tend to do all the chores and shoo our children away to their rooms. We are more focus on finishing our housework rather than asking for their help. They are becoming less empathetic as they grow, and not responsive to others’ needs. They are lacking self-reliance and not acting responsibly with the task that they should be doing at their age.

They are missing something.


Let them have it and let them learn from it.

We have come up with a “feel-good” training/motivational video for your soon-to-be handy helpers 🙂

Please watch and share, thank you.

McDonald’s Happy Meal, reboot!

Notice our children’s faces when we mention to them the phrase “Happy Meal”?

Their eyes widened, their smiles reach from ear to ear, they giggle non-stop, and excitement ensues.  This scenario is common even in our home every time I decide to have a trip with my kids at nearby Mc Donald’s.

Then recently, I heard the news that educational books will be included in every Happy Meal, and it was my turn to smile.  Something amazing has truly come over to that red lunch box named “Happy”.  Not only will we be feeding their tummies, but we will be fueling their imaginations and minds as well.


DK books set shown here were provided for the purpose of this review.


Happy Kids with DK books from Happy Meal



Reading time!

Kids, Mommies and Daddies, you can now enjoy a collection of eight Happy Meal Books, specially selected from the renowned Educational books publisher Dorling Kindersley’s (“DK”).  These are the “Watch Me Grow” and “WOW” series.


A whole new collection from Happy Meal: DK Books for young and old!

The “Watch Me Grow” books explore an animal’s life through their own point of view. This collection of popular animal titles includes “Panda,” “Penguin,” “Butterfly,” and “Elephant.” As with my 5-year-old Zack, this collection is perfect for your preschoolers (aged 3-5 year olds).


Zack, showing the inside pages of Watch Me Grow! Penguin book


Interesting back cover 🙂



Watch Me Grow! Penguin


Watch me grow! Panda


Watch Me Grow! Butterfly

The “Wow” books collection, on the other hand, is ideal for your lower primary children just like my Ethan and Sofie (aged 6-9 years old).  Each “Wow” book is a spectacular show-and-tell experience, exploring and illustrating each subject in a unique way through stunning photographic images.  Your kids will enjoy the vast collection of facts and trivia presented through “Wow! Human Body,” “Wow! Art and Culture,” “Wow! Space,” and “Wow! Ancient History.”


Our voracious reader, can’t take her hands off the book!






WOW! SPACE (with free stickers inside 🙂 )



Don’t miss out the opportunity to collect these amazing “purse-friendly” books. Visit your nearest Mc Donald’s restaurant from 11am on 3 September 2015, and you will receive a free Happy Meal book with every purchase of a Happy Meal while stocks last. You and your children can look forward to a choice of two new titles that will be launched every Thursday at 11am.

Week 1: 3 Sep – 9 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Panda

Week 2: 10 Sep – 16 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Butterfly

Week 3: 17 Sep – 23 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Elephant

Week 4: 24 Sep – 30 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Penguin



Away from the gadgets!

And it just doesn’t stop there, the love for learning continues with specially planned activities for your children. From 10am-12noon starting next weekend, join Ronald McDonald for a session of Art and Craft and Fun Reading at the following restaurants:

12 Sep – McDonald’s West Coast Park

13 Sep – McDonald’s Jurong Central Park

19 Sep – McDonald’s Bishan Park

20 Sep – McDonald’s Ang Mo Kio Park

26 Sep – McDonald’s Kallang

27 Sep – McDonald’s Ridout Tea Garden


But wait, there’s more… what makes the “happy” meal truly better.

More good news as Mc Donald’s Restaurant has announced an adjustment on their menu, with considerations for health conscious parents.  Now, every Happy Meal option is assured to come in a less than 500-calorie count.  Kids can now enjoy the nuggets fried from Canola Blend oil.  This reduces the level of saturated fat by approximately 30%, and that’s a lot.  Corn Cups are now lower in sodium content, but if your kids are not a fan of it, you can also choose healthy Apple Slices for their sides. Additionally, they have also included Magnolia Lo-Fat Hi-Cal Milk for our kid’s beverages, which is a definitely healthier choice!  We appreciate and hope that McDonald’s continues in their direction to be more health conscious in every meal that they serve.


Our own versions of “Happy”


Bible Stories – 3 The First Man and Woman

After creating the heaven and the earth, and all the wonderful things that dwell in it, God decided to create a very special being.

He called him Adam.


image source: viz.dwrl.utexas.edu - adam with parrot

image source: viz.dwrl.utexas.edu


God assigned Adam to take care of all the animals he created. But God thought that Adam needed someone special that can help him with everything that was entrusted to him.


image source: www.free-for-kids.com

image source: www.free-for-kids.com

Please listen and share with your children the story of the first man and woman.

This story was retold by Anne de Graaf, from “The Children’s Bible Story Book.”



One afternoon with foul words

When I am about to fetch my kid from his soccer training, I heard three higher primary students exchanging a few foul words with each other. They are not arguing, but laughing nonchalantly.  One says, “I know what an ass looks like…”

These kids are wearing their school uniform. (note: not from my son’s school thankfully, but this can happen from ANY school to be fair.)

Words like G_ _ D_ _ _ I_ and As_ H _ _ _ were thrown. My auditory nerve is sensitive to hearing these words coming from kids their age and so finally, my brain decided to zip their not-so-innocent mouth.

Despite the fact that I’m shaking inside and have been wanting to spank them all, I manage to keep calm and tell them that their teachers won’t be happy if I report them to their school. I also found myself repeating these words (I know you’re going to raise your eyebrow, but let’s face it, I’m talking to some hard headed higher primary kids, I am curious to know their reactions if I copy them)

I studied their faces of contempt.  Then I let out a “not really nice to hear, right?”

I smiled and retired.

I heard the biggest one exclaimed, “Hallelujah! That lady went away.

Tagalog Tuesday: Tula (Poetry in Tagalog)

“Tula” or “panulaan” is how you call it in Tagalog.


This poem is from www.tagalog-tula-pilipinas.blogspot.com

The title of this poem is “Pag-ibig ang siyang sasagip sa mundo.”

 (Love will rescue the world)

Aking tinawid ang labing-isang dagat,
Itong mga bundok ay aking inakyat,
Upang itong OO – makitang sumikat,
Sa irog kong ibig na mapasapalad.

Gawin mong alipin itong aking puso,
Sa kadiliman nga ay gawin mong sulo,
Sa sibat ng unos dito ka magtago
Pagkat ang dibdib ko at ako ay iyo!

Ang ngiti mo’y ilaw sa dilim kong sadlak
Sa aking umaga ay siglang pantulak
Sa tanghali’t hapon ay aking kayakap,
Upang ang kalsada, pumatag ang lubak!

Sugatan man ako sa pakikipaglaban,
Sa imbing daigdig nitong kapalaran,
Ako’y babangon pa sa kinasadlakan
Upang ang luha mo ay aking pahiran!

Ikaw nga ang aking ngiti at halakhak,
Sa lungkot ay aking ligaya at galak,
Sa sakit na dulot nitong mga hirap,
Ikaw ang sigla sa buhay kong salat!


Watch out for my next post, we will translate this poem in English 🙂