Book Review: The Special Bear

  1. The Special Bear

by Gabrielle Yang

ARMOUR Publishing Pvt Ltd

An impressive front cover illustration of the book

A “catchy” front cover illustration of the book

For those of you looking for something extraordinary to share with your little readers this holiday season, do try the book – The Special Bear.  Written by Gabrielle Yang, this book shoots straight to the readers’ hearts and will open their minds to the understanding that not everything good needs to be pretty and perfect.

Not your usual tale about beautiful princesses and heroines, The Special Bear is the story of a Teddy Bear who was created by the Toy maker to be a bit different than all the other Teddy bears before him.  Since he was different, he had always thought of himself as the ugliest bear in the world, and has always been treated terribly by all the other toys in the shop.


Because of this, he has always been sad and lonely. But unbeknownst to him, his special purpose would be revealed, when one day, a beautiful lady arrives into the toy shop.


This book is a soulful read for kids (and even grown-ups), providing a lot of insights regarding the reality faced by children, and everyone else, who are called to be a bit different due to their physical appearances.  It reinforces our young readers with the values of Kindness, Courage, Self-appreciation and Friendship.  And furthermore, emphasizes that it truly does not matter what you look on the outside as long as you’re beautiful on the inside.

Sof describe this book as "comforting"

Sof described this book as “comforting”

The book has colorful and vivid drawings on each page wonderfully illustrating the story, and it even includes some activities at the end of the book for our dear little readers.

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

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The Special Bear not only has one of the most interesting stories that I’ve seen in a while, but it would also help your children grow and understand to appreciate people for who they are inside and not just for their physical appearances or differences.

My youngest boy giving you his thoughts about the book 🙂

Dadvice: #4 On caring for your Family




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

click here to read our Dadvice article #2 On keeping your promises 

click here to read our Dadvice article #3 On loving your Siblings



I have once read a phrase, “Blood makes you related, but loyalty makes you Family”, and I believe this to be true.  Always love and prioritize your family among other aspects of your life, because money, career, and even friends may come and go, but not family.  We will always be here for you.  Right now, as a kid, a family may just seem to be a group of people whom you are comfortable with, who loves you and provides for your needs.  Only when you grow up, will you truly understand the importance of a family.  The world can sometimes be tough, a cruel and cold place, to this I will not lie.  But when you have your loving family beside you, supporting you, it makes a whole world of difference.  Everything is brighter and more worthwhile.

And to my kids when you grow up, I pray that you would have a wonderful family of your own, as what I have now.   To my daughter, always help and support your husband, and raise your kids well.  To my sons, always do your best to take care of your family.  That’s how my Dad did it, that’s how I’m doing it, and it’s what I’ll be expecting from you too.

Dadvice: #3 On loving your Siblings



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

click here to read our Dadvice article #2 On keeping your promises 


Yes, yes, they may get on your nerves a lot.  And yes, I do keep track of who did what to whom.  But is being upset with your brother or sister really that important.  You should always remember that family is family.   Cherish your brothers and your sister while you are young, and even more when you’ve grown up.  They should be your closest friends.  No one will understand all the craziness you’ve been through while growing up better than your own siblings.  And, don’t forget all the fun you guys had playing together when Mom and Dad aren’t around.  And, when your parents’ time has come to pass, it is really among yourselves that you can rely on.  Forgive your petty fights and always love each other, WE are family.


kids laughing

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.



Dadvice: #1 On treating your Parents

 An exclusive for

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.


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: - adam with parrot

image source:


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:

image source:

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.”




 This is an honest and an unsolicited product review of Roohi Hair Solution.  Since it gave us a desirable result, we would like to make the public aware about it too. All of the thoughts expressed are of writer’s opinion only. To know more about the product, please call or message Dr. Talat Fatima at +6583955040
A 100 ml bottle spray of Roohi Hair Solution will only cost you 20 sgd

Roohi Herbal Hair Solution is a Back-to-Nature product that gives your hair the healthy and long life using all natural herbs.

A couple of months ago, I’ve started to try a new hair Product suggested by my wife, which she discovered from her friend.
Now, being a typical guy, I feel uneasy with  the thought of putting things in my hair, aside from the regular daily shampoo (and the occasional styling gels).
I’ve never really been very fussy with my hair, and I usually leave it just the way it is after a few strokes with a comb.  However, during that time I have noticed that I was having some dandruff problems and increased hair-fall.  Not sure if it was due to the stress at work, or maybe the humid weather, or if was simply “age” that’s starting to catch up with me.  And so I decided to try it out.
The name of this hair product is Roohi Hair Solution.
It is a spray-on hair growth product containing all natural herbs.  The main ingredient is the Indian Gooseberry (Amla) which is said to be also used in other successful hair-growth products.  It is also highly nutritious and is a dietary source of Vitamin C, minerals and amino acids.  Roohi comes in a 100ml spray-on bottles, which makes it very easy to apply in your scalp and hair.  And when applied to the scalp, it gives off a refreshing effect.  Since it is an all-natural solution, it is also better to keep it in a cool place (such as your fridge) to give it a longer shelf life.
Roohi is a product that I would recommend for men who are having hair-loss problems, but can also be used by women who would like to have a fuller volume of hair.  Aside from nourishing the scalp to promote growth of new hair, it helps to fight-off dandruff and also has the effect of giving your hair an even darker, more black color.  And since it is made from all-natural ingredients, it is safe for children and teens to use as well.
I have tried this product regularly for a couple of months and did see an improvement on my hair volume.  It has also definitely, removed any dandruff problems I had while I was using it (whether I was feeling stressed or not).  As for the darkening of the hair, I have not noticed this much as my hair is still pretty much black, although my father (who has tried it as well), did say that it has helped blacken his hair when he used it.  Friends and family who have also tried it, have advised different improvements of hair re-growth as well. One downside that we have noticed is that it has a distinct scent that may be strong to some.  This I believe is due to the concentration of the Gooseberry which is the main ingredient in this hair growth formula.  We once noticed from another hair-growth formula that it also uses this Indian Gooseberry, but it vaguely had that distinct scent.  We then found out from it’s ingredients that the Gooseberry was of a much lower concentration and was masked by artificial fragrances.
With pre-mature male balding happening commonly these days, I would still prefer to keep a nice mane as long as I can.  And with what I’m seeing and hearing so far, I would continue to use it as well.
Try it and see for yourself.

Tagalog 101: How to say thank you, you’re welcome and goodbye in Tagalog

thank you, you're welcom, goodbye in tagalog

Magandang araw!

Welcome to’s Tagalog 101. Today we are going to learn how to say thank you, you’re welcome and goodbye in Tagalog.

How do we say “thank you” in Tagalog?





Here is an example

K: Ang galing mong mag-tagalog (In English, you’re very good in speaking Tagalog)

P: Salamat (in English, thank you)


Now, How do we say “you’re welcome” in Tagalog?

Wa-lang a-nu-man.

Walang anuman…

Walang anuman…


Walang anuman literally means,” “it’s nothing” or no “trouble”


Here is an example

K: Ang galing mong mag-tagalog (in English, you’re very good in speaking Tagalog)

P: Salamat (in English, thank you)

K: Walang anuman (in English, you’re welcome, it’s nothing or no trouble)



How do we say “goodbye” in Tagalog?





Listen carefully and note that this is already a modern Tagalog conversation, thus, some English words are used as well.

During lunch break…

P: Ken, SALAMAT sa lunch, masarap yung mga pagkain na napili mo.

K: WALANG ANUMAN. Masaya ako at nakapaglunch tayo. Next time, ikaw naman ang taya ha?

P: Oo sige ba… O paano, alis na ako ha, PAALAM!


From this conversation, Ken and Paula had lunch together.

Paula ‘thanked’ Ken and told him that the food was great, Ken said “you’re welcome” to Paula and next time, she’ll be the one who’ll pay the bill. Paula agreed and said “goodbye” to Ken.


Okay beginners, are you catching up? Somehow you’ll get an idea about the conversation using the context clues. We’ll say it again, one at a time. You can repeat the words in every pause.

P: Ken, SALAMAT sa lunch, masarap yung mga pagkain na napili mo. (Ken, thanks for the lunch, the food that you picked was delicious) here, SALAMAT or THANK YOU was mentioned. “SALAMAT”

K: WALANG ANUMAN. Masaya ako at nakasama kita. Next time, ikaw naman ang taya okay? (You’re welcome, I’m happy that I’m with you, next time, you treat me too, okay?) here, WALANG ANUMAN or YOU’RE WELCOME was mentioned. “WALANG ANUMAN”


P: Oo sige ba… O paano, alis na ako ha, PAALAM! (Yes, Sure! I have to go now okay? Goodbye!) here, PAALAM or GOODBYE was mentioned. “PAALAM”


How do you find our lesson for today? We appreciate your comments and suggestions, feel free to write in the comment box below. SALAMAT sa pakikinig at PAALAM sa inyong lahat.

Some thoughts on the movie: “Delivery Man”

Over the last weekend, my wife had invited me for an afternoon movie time to relax ourselves.  We watched a family-comedy film entitled ‘Delivery Man’ (which I initially thought was an action flick, similar to Jason Statham’s ‘The Transporter’).  It was a nice ‘feel-good’ movie, featuring Vince Vaughn as the lead.  It was a remake of a 2011 French-Canadian film called ‘Starbuck’.  Throughout the movie there are lots of things that show the difficulties, but also happiness, that one can experience when becoming a father.  There were dialogues in some of the scenes that had caught my attention, as they were good thoughts to ponder.

The scene when the protagonist’s father sat down and talked with him about his money problems:

A father and son scene from the movie "Delivery Man"

Father:   “When I left Warsaw to go to the States, my father gave me $10… That was  everything he had.  I couldn’t turn down his help,  so I  promised him I’d pay him back  1,000 times over once I got rich.  My father died when your mother and I still didn’t have a cent.  I… I always wondered what was harder for him.  Not being able to give his children enough, or not being there when they hit hard times.  My great good fortune in life is to see you boys everyday.  That, for me, is success

That scene was meaningful as it presents the reality of fatherhood.
Having worked overseas myself, I feel for all the fathers out there who have fallen into a similar situation.  The need to sacrifice being with your family just to be able to provide a better way of living for them.  As fathers, we always want to give our children their best chance, even at the cost of us being with them, our own happiness.  Though some might dispute that being with your children is much more important, it is equally just as difficult, to be with your family knowing that what they have in their day to day lives is not sufficient, and that there is a way you can provide more if you are not there.

There are also other entertaining scenes to watch out for and I would like to recommend this movie to all the fathers out there.

Here’s the official trailer, please click the link below:

“Delivery Man”

image credit: Dreamworks skg

“The last day of my life…”

As we enter the month of love, we remember the people that give meaning to our lives. The one person that makes our everyday brighter, the one person we care the most about, the one person we can’t live without. But what if, it’s that person’s turn to live without you?
How do you show all the love that you have for her in a single day?
This Valentines Day, we posted a question to some of our friends asking, “If you were to spend your last day on earth with your loved one, where would you take her and what would you do?”

Read on and find out about their dearest thoughts.

Mr. Emiliano Bernardino

Mr. Emiliano Bernardino

“Knowing that it would be my last day… I would take my loved one to the church and we would be praying asking the Lord God for forgiveness and also to my loved one to forgive me of any wrongdoings I’ve done to her… giving myself of a clear conscience… for I know the Lord is compassionate and forgiving.. as what is written in the Holy Bible that I believe and have faith in the Lord Jesus…”

Mr. Noel Nicolas with family, Emmanuel and Mrs. Alice Nicolas

Mr. Noel Nicolas with family, Emmanuel and Mrs. Alice Nicolas

“If it would be my last day on earth with my loved one, I will bring her to the church and have the grandest wedding that I can afford. But before all the ceremony, I would walk her through our life, I will bring her where we first met, where we first kissed, where we had our first date, where we first disagreed and quarreled, bring her to where I proposed, and to all the happy places we’ve been together. Antonn Emmanuel would be our ring bearer, I will sing her our favorite song and dance our heart out. (Even though I could not sing nor dance). After the ceremony we would party for an hour, (why an hour?, hey its my last day on earth, I dont want to share her to others) Then we will check in to where we had our first night as a couple, however, now with our son, pamper her with whatever she wishes, give her a good massage, cuddle, hugs and kisses with lots of threesome affection, (threesome because of our son not the threesome you are thinking). Of course the roses the chocolates and cards……..who am I kidding, we are not talking of what I want here, the first thing I would do is ask her where she would like to spent my last day cause she has been calling the shots ever since and there is no sense changing it hahaha. Besides she might not want to marry me again… In short, we will just dine the way we had been doing every valentines day for the last 24 years and enjoy our son as long as we could. I would tell her thank you for the love, care and patience. That If I were given a chance to relive my life I would not want a single day changed and would like to have it the same way. Then I would tuck her in bed and tuck my son in too, give them both a warm kiss, wait till they sleep, then I go..”

Mr. Mamerto Rodriguez with wife, Mrs. Ludy Rodriguez

Mr. Mamerto Rodriguez with wife, Mrs. Ludy Rodriguez

“If I were to spend my last day on earth with my loved one (my wife Ludy), I will bring her to Sta. Cruz church where we usually spend time praying to God to bless both of us and the boyfrien/girlfriend relationship we have started then. There, we shall look back at all the good times we shared together and thank God, not only for all the blessings/graces He has bestowed on us, but also for being ever-present in our life’s journey through His great love for us and to our children grandchildren.”


r. RJ Nicolas with wife, Tess

RJ Nicolas with wife, Tess

“I would definitely without a second thought take her to the place where we first met. It’s a small business hotel in Davao where I was asked by my ex girlfriend to pick her up. A party was taking place and I wasn’t invited. And so I looked for my ex girlfriend, but to no avail, can’t find her there, instead, I met my wife amidst the thick fog of crowd. The rest was history. Ironic, I will spend my last dying breath reliving the moment I found my life… my wife.”

Russel Castillo with wife, Luisa

Russel Castillo with wife, Luisa

“I hope that it’s late afternoon so it’s not so hot but still not dark. We’ll be relaxing in a small modern house in the middle of a farm or some wide area with some trees where we can view the sky on the horizon, drinking coffee and eating pastries while listening to our favorite music.”


Kevin Nicolas

Kevin Nicolas

” I will take her to the food store where we first ate together, then go to the beach and the places we first went. I will court her as if it was our first date.”


Josh O'Brien

Josh O’Brien

“I guess I’d just take her out to wherever she wanted to go, see all the pretty sights, eat some great food and overall just enjoy each other’s company.”


Melvin Jay Tizon with girlfriend, Apple

Melvin Jay Tizon with girlfriend, Apple

“No specific place honestly. Anywhere in the world, for as long as Im with my special someone, it will always be the perfect place.”


Ryan Tizon

Ryan Tizon

“Ako, yung hindi masyado madrama, ang gagawin ko magpapa party dito satin, style reunion, magpapa long table sa labas, may inuman kainan, kantahan at madaming kwentuhan, all day bonding with the clan ang dating, para pag graduate kinabukasan, masasayang baon ang dala ko at alam ko magiging ok si special someone sa piling ng pamilya ko kahit wala na ko =)”

Allan Tizon with family

Allan Tizon with family

“My girlfriend and I might drive around before I ran out of time. Last megacode for us driving the ambulance 🙂 Then I’ll spend the rest of the day at home. If I’ll be spending my dying hours with her I surely would want mom and bro around. We’ll eat home cooked meal prepared by mom and laugh all night joking around. And before time runs out I’ll kiss her goodbye, thank her, cuddle and rest my head on her lap and utter the words “I love u.””

Joel Cordova and wife, Bianca

Joel Cordova and wife, Bianca

“I will buy two tickets for Taiwan via Hello Kitty Air…and yes, I will swallow my pride and ride a flying cat just for her. The moment we land in Taiwan (while she’s still on a Hello Kitty high), we will immediately hop on a bus and travel again for another 3-4hrs to the mountain province of Taiwan. Once we reach the Alishan Mountains (by this time, the Hello Kitty high is starting to wear off, and hunger is starting to kick in), I will cover her eyes, and slowly guide her along the mountain path, until she realizes the smell…the yummy smell of STREET FOOD!!!! We’re not just talking about BBQs, Fishballs, etc. We are talking about “literally” more than 100 kinds of street food. After satisfying both our hunger, we will then find a nice spot to have warm milk tea, and watch the beautiful sunset together with my baby.”


Dennis Rowell Cerdan with wife, Maryneth

Dennis Rowell Cerdan with wife, Maryneth

“Dadalhin ko si Maneth sa church… just to remind her my promise na sya lang ang babaeng mamahalin ko for life until I die…and I want to spend even my last minute in life with her…”


SJ Usana

SJ Usana

” Lying in bed talking. There’s no other breathtaking view I would rather see for the very last time than my girl cradled in my arms…”


Samuel John Arellano

Samuel John Arellano

” If that would be the case I dont think location would matter to me. Being with her would already be more than enough , I’ll just be spending every seconds left to express how much I love her.”


Pierce Michael de Guia

Pierce Michael de Guia

” I’ll bring her to our favorite place in La Union Sunset Bay. And what would I do? “I will propose to her and right there and then, I will marry her.”


Mark Joseph Francisco with wife, Racquel

Mark Joseph Francisco with wife, Racquel

I will bring my one and only love to the church. Kakausapin ko ang Diyos Ama, I will tell HIM. “Lord thank you for the wonderful and great life. I will thank Him for d gift… my ‘LOVE’! If ever bibigyan nya ako ng chance na mabuhay muli pipiliin ko muli ang woman of my life ang wife ko… always and forever bless nyo po kami.”


Pao Fernandez with wife, Kath

Pao Fernandez with wife, Kath

“Sa ‘kin I’ll just spend the whole day from 00:00 – 23:59 with them, I dont know the location yet, but the whole day dapat puro tawanan, kwentuhan and enjoying their company. And pinaka important is mafeel nila how important sila sa buhay ko… Tapos find a flower shop na pwede magtake ng order for 20-30yrs…Tapos dinner sa bahay… pero bili lang ng food kasi wala na time magluto. Tapos usap, tawa, talk about good old days.. like what we did before..
Tapos let her know how much you love her and want her to be happy and of course let her know she can remarry if she wants.. and iI’m okay with that… as long as it will make her happy. That’s how much I love her, even in my last hours here on earth, I wanted to make her happy.”


Jay Flores with Marifel and kids

Jay Flores with Marifel and kids

If I were to spend my last day on Earth with my loved one, I would take my wife Marifel Flores to the places that I have known she loves most. The city of romance and for lovers, Paris, France and the paradise island of Maldives. We would love to walk in the park, and dine in a fine restaurant with a view of Eiffel Tower at the background. Before the day ends, we would fly and stay a night in Maldives to reminisce all wonderful things happened to us.
“Live every day as if it was our last day.This would be the sweetest and the most romantic day we will ever have.”


Gary Escueta with wife and daughter, Lorie and Gaby

Gary Escueta with wife and daughter, Lorie and Gaby

“If it would be my last day on Earth, iIwill bring my wife to the place where I felt that she is the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with…in St. Thaddeus Church in Mendiola. We were both devotees of St. Jude during the first years of our relationship and at that time, I decided that she’s the one i want to grow old with. So i think it’s only right to spend my last day to the place where it all started.
And at the same time, i can pray to God to forgive us in all our sins. 2 in 1. 🙂


Marvin Nirza with wife, Celeste

Marvin Nirza with wife, Celeste

“Probably I’ll just stay in her arms anywhere.. .It’s not the place but the companionship … I just want to spend the whole day reminiscing our lives together, our better and worse, ups and downs, dreams fulfilled, and make her feel how lucky I am to have her in my life without any regrets. I’ll make sure to let her know that I am grateful for a lifetime well spent and thank her for the love and joy she brought into my life… ”


Ed-el Pajarillo with wife, Pia

Ed-el Pajarillo with wife, Pia

“I would stay at home with my wife and children. I will cook their favorite food, play piano with them and read bedtime stories to them. I will give them all my love and attention before my time runs out…”


Indy Calina with wife, Cheryl

Indy Calina with wife, Cheryl

“I would take her to a coffee shop… I’d bring my laptop and we’ll watch all the photos and videos we made together. We’ll laugh over our misadventures and hold each other tight as we go thru some romantic and touching clips. I want my wife to remember that the happiest days of my life are those spent with her…”


Nelvin Natural with wife and daughter, Yeti and Yumi

Nelvin Natural with wife and daughter, Yeti and Yumi

I’d like to go to Ecuador and try out the “swing at the end of the world” it’s my last day on earth anyway so what the heck =) but if there’s one place that i would like to spend my last day with her.. that would be maldives coz we always wanted to go there… ATV ride around the island would be nice… we’d do everything the island has to offer especially those that she’s afraid to try out like scuba diving… maxing out my credit card in that place would be nice since it’s my last day anyway… to cap it off we’ll watch the sea of stars in vaadoo island till the day ends… The fun part is it’s just my last day on earth not hers so she gets a chance to relive those memories.”


Jeof Gana with wife, Joanne

Jeof Gana with wife, Joanne

“I’ll take her to a yacht and sail away. Spend time just the two of us. I’ll bring my guitar and sing the song I wrote for her… she can have her camera syempre to take some great photo of these fond memories.”


Edwin Velarde with wife, January

Edwin Velarde with wife, January

I would spend time holding my January and telling her how much I love her letting her know how much fun we enjoyed in our life and that God will keep us both safe in his arms….that it was so great to be in her life only for 10 years but it seemed like a 20 year period … Doing this while sun is setting down on the shoreline in Maldives”


Ken Kiunisala with wife, Trina

Ken Kiunisala with wife, Trina

” “If I were to spend my last day on earth with Trina, I would take her to a place that she has been wanting to go to. In this place, I would want her to forget whatever problems/worries she has and would just want her to enjoy and have the time of her life. But… the thing is, I still don’t have an idea where this place is (so knowing this is still WIP) but I am hopeful that I’ll get to know this just before my last day on earth. Happy Valentine’s to my one and only Trina. I love you.”

The promise

Each day will always be a Valentine's Day

Each day will always be a Valentine’s Day

Their union as husband and wife had stood the test of time. For 35 years, and miles apart, they proved together that distance is not a hindrance to their marriage.
Here’s a loveletter in Filipino language, written with so much hope and promise. May their marriage serves as an inspiration to couples young and old, most especially the ones who are in a long distance relationship.

Screenshot_2014-02-14-01-05-57-1taon 1996

Sa aking Pinakamamahal,
Pusong papel man ang maihahandog ko sa araw na ito, mula sa ibayong dagat na aking luklukan nitong limang taong mahigit, alaala lang ito ng tunay na pagmamahalan natin nitong nakaraang 17 taon.

Hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring kupas at lalong nadaragdagan pa ang pag-ibig na kasama ng mga rosas na aking inialay sa iyo noong pinakaunang araw ng mga puso na magkasama nating ipinagdiwang.

Ngayon ay sumibol pa ang limang maliliit na puso mula sa dalawang pusong nag-iibigan.

Malayo man ako sa inyo ngayon ay hindi hadlang ito upang ipaabot sa inyo ang aking dalisay na pagmamahal at pag-asang darating din ang araw na tayo’y magkakasama-samang muli at magpapakaligaya sa piling ng isa’t-isa.
Pagpalain tayo ng Poong Maykapal.


English Translation of the Valentine note

year 1996
To my beloved,
A paper heart I offer you on this day from across the seas,
retrieved from the bottom of my five-year treasure chest,
a remembrance of our love these past 17 years.
Unfading and more blooming is love with the roses offered on our first Valentine’s.
Today, five more small hearts blossomed from our twin hearts.
Distance is not a hindrance for you to be reached by love and hope that time will bring us together and live happily.
May our union be blessed. With all my love. Pa. Kuala Belait; Brunei.

With each other’s arms every second of the day. Happy 35th Anniversary!

“Marry me, merry me, at 35 we stay true to our promise, and promise to stay true forever and ever”


To Mr Antonio and Mrs Teresita Alabastro, your love for each other is truly amazing and bound by time and space, and free from all the trivial worries of the world. May we be like you, always full of hope which sustains your love, no matter the distance; and always having the desire to be with each other’s arms every second of the day. Happy 35th Anniversary!

Made for each other


It was a hot sunny Thursday, and I was late for school.

Being an 18 year old college student in Manila (Philippines), we normally take a jeepney going to the campus. A jeepney by the way, is a public transport pretty much like a small bus, but with passengers sitting in two long parallel seats facing each other. Me and my friend (a guy classmate) were rushing to make it to the passenger queue as the last jeepney was about to leave. Any other day and it would’ve been easy to get to school, but my day started out a little different that time. I just came from my friend’s, house where me and some other groupmates have stayed for the week, since we were finishing up on our thesis. We had barely slept to finish our project, missed our breakfast, sweating from the heat and from running to the Jeepney queue, and was now about 10 minutes late for first period… so yes, it didn’t seem like a very promising day to me. But you know, life does have a way of making it up to you. Just as we thought that we wouldn’t make it to our ride, it turns out that there were 2 more seats left. And boy am I glad to have made it to that jeepney that day.

Who would have thought that riding a jeepney that Thursday afternoon,  thirteen years ago, would be my best ride ever

Who would have thought that riding a jeepney that Thursday afternoon, thirteen years ago, would be my best ride ever

After getting ‘comfortably’ seated inside the jeepney, I immediately noticed a girl sitting across us, and a bit to the right. She was wearing a black shirt, and jeans, had dark short hair, and a fair complexion. She was cute, and looked nice, but nothing that jumps out of the ordinary. I tried not to pay attention to her since I was already worried about being late for class (not to mention being hungry too). However… there was just something about her that day, and I couldn’t look away. Was it her eyes, her hair, her smile?… nothing seems different. I don’t know. Somehow, for some reason, I wanted to keep looking at her, to see her face, and her eyes. Then I noticed a certain radiance about her, a certain charm. I kept trying to steal a glimpse of her from time to time, and it made me feel nice, and warm, and happy. With each look, my heart started to beat harder and started to race. I was excited to meet her and get to know this pretty and charming lady. Unfortunately, I’m not the most straightforward of guys. I am confident being around friends and other people, but not around people that I like… people that I Like… yes, I think I was starting to like her already at that time. Like a little gradeschool boy, I was having a major crush on this girl in front of me.

Then, it didn’t take too long for her to notice that I was stealing glances of her, and she somehow was also looking back at me from time to time. We both quickly tried to look away whenever our eyes meet, and it was getting to be fun and exciting. My heart was overjoyed whenever I see her laugh a little as she catches my glance (and I cowardly look away pretending to look somewhere else). I was in this happy mood, as we continued to travel to school, when suddenly, my friend blurted out in a loud, monotone voice “JP (for Joan Paula), IS THAT YOU?”.

The girl smiled and nodded her head in agreement. My heart was filled with joy.

My classmate knows this girl. This is it, this is my chance. Feeling like an athlete who was given a chance to go and play in the Championship game, I had to try and make my move. I slowly, carefully, whispered to my classmate “You know her, bro? Can you please introduce me? I’d love to meet her please…”. So then he plainly said, in his same loud, monotone voice “MY FRIEND HERE SAID HE WANTS TO MEET YOU”.

The entire jeepney heard him, and they giggled, and tried to muffle their laughs. I suddenly felt like I wanted to put a paper bag on my head. But she just smiled, reached out her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Paula”… I was frozen and speechless.

After I got to gather some courage and introduce myself, I did try desperately to hold a conversation (in the best way that I could without stuttering). But soon, our Jeepney has eventually reached it’s destination. I found out that she also goes to the same university as me and my friend, but in a different course. Also, that my classmate was her classmate during primary school and that’s how they knew each other. By this time, I already forgot that I was late (and hungry). We then got down from the jeepney, said goodbye and parted ways. And sure enough, “mucho-suave” me forgot to ask her for her phone number or if we can be in touch.

After that one encounter I had no way to reach her so I just tried to move on. But whenever I think about it, I always smile…I was happy. I realized that I missed her and that I wanted to talk with her some more. So, I kept bugging my friend to check if there was a way to get in touch with her. If they have a common friend, or former classmate who know’s her number, or if there is a party of a common friend that we can go to. Sadly, I did not have that much luck.

After a month I had the chance to bump into her again. This time, it was at a walkway outside the campus as I was about to go with my groupmates to buy project supplies. She stopped to talk to me, and said Hi. She asked me how I was and where I was going. My heart was beating fast again, while frantically trying to tell her the details of what she asked. But more than details of what I was doing, I wanted to tell her how great it was to see her again, and how I was trying to find a way to contact her. I wanted to let her know that I missed her, and that just by meeting her there, she had brighten up my day again. But before too long, my groupmates reminded me that we should already get going, so I hurriedly said goodbye… and again, in the anxiety, forgot to ask her how we can keep in touch.

A few weeks have passed and my friend finally comes back to me with a phone number… just a phone number written in a piece of white paper. Without saying anything, without writing anything, I already said a whole lot of Thank you’s, as I know to whom that phone number belongs to.

Getting home after school, I hurriedly changed from my uniform, and was excitedly about to call that number which I got from my friend. I called the number on that white piece of paper, and I was not disappointed. It was finally her.

For me it was like a dream. Her voice sounded like music to my ears. (And it really is, until now).We found out that one of her close friends was a classmate of my best friend. Later on, we also found out that some of her guy friends, were also my group mates during our cadet training in school. And her uncle even knew me, meeting me with my mom when I was younger, as they both worked in the same hospital. We discovered that we shared a number of other common acquaintences and friends.

It was a bliss to have finally found the girl I was looking for

It was a bliss to have finally found the girl I was looking for

It was then that I realized, that it was really only a matter of time before we would meet. And maybe, even if we were not able to see each other on that day in the jeep, we would still end up in each other’s arms because we were made for each other.

This has all happened more than 13 years ago. We are now happily married and blessed with 3 wonderful and lovely kids. We have had our share of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ but through all the times we’ve spent together, I’ve always considered her as the ‘highlight’ of my day. Looking back after all these years later, you still are.

It was an unexpected ride of my life that took me to where I am now - ihand in hand with the woman I love

It was an unexpected ride of my life that took me to where I am now – hand in hand with the woman I love

To a caring mother and a great wife…
Happy Valentines day Paula.
I love you.







Below are the 13 great dads who braved the Daddy Matters Valentine’s Day Series. Their love for their wives are  truly amazing and hope you find time to check the links out 🙂

Nick Pan

Eddie Yii

Howard Lee

Andy Lee

Patrick Pang

Darren Yang

Winston Tay

Edmund Tay

David Sim

Daddy M

Isaiah Kuan

Kelvin Ang

Lucian Teo


“The Post”

A Post is a vertical structure, solid and sturdy, that serves as a foundation to support a certain area.  With regards to houses, it is mainly built to support the ceiling and the roof.  And it is a fundamental element in making walls which serves to protect, and also set boundaries for a certain place.

Today is Father’s day, and in the Philippine culture, a father is distinguished with the title “Haligi ng Tahanan”, which literally translates to “The Post of the Home”.  It is amazing as I contemplate on how appropriate this term is used to describe a Father’s role.

As most of us know, life isn’t always easy.  Well, realistically speaking, it is hard… a lot of times.  And it is during these hard times that it’s nice to be reminded that we’ve all had, even for a brief moment in our childhood, these posts that we could lean on.

As a man, when you become a father, you become a Post.  You no longer have the luxury to be weak-hearted nor to be scared.  A Post is, after all, solid and sturdy for those that it protects.  You hold the roof which is the family’s main shelter from life’s “harsh weather”.  Fathers do their best to be strong for their loved ones, and at times would have to serve as boundaries on what they believe would be best for the family.

Being a father also means that you are one of the two most influential people during a persons childhood, and this is no small responsibility.  For sons, it is from their Dads that they learn the art of being a “manly man”. And for daughters, he is the protector that they can always count on, and run to for their troubles.  For those lucky enough to still have them even in their adult lives, they continue to open our eyes and teach us through their example.

It is not so often for men to talk about their feelings openly (and most especially fathers, we’re supposed to be toughie’s, right?).  But we’ve had the privilege, and the honor, of hearing insights from some of the several great dads we know.  Let us look back in the past and try to remember the most important thing that our fathers have tried to teach us, which in turn, we would like to pass on to our kids as well.  And just as the Olympic flame is being passed from one torch to another, so is the knowledge and wisdom between a father and his child.


Noel Nicolas

Daddy Noel Nicolas with Tatay Carling and Manman

The most important lesson I learned from Tatay Carling is not what he told us but what he showed me. I grew up with no spanking, no cursing, no shouts, no outburst of rage, in other words, he was very gentle and caring. Whenever we get out of line, or made a mistake, or committed a wrong doing, he would simply put his  arm around our shoulders, give us a short story… the pros and cons of our action… the consequences of what we did… then he will let us handle the situation ourselves.  He lets us decide on which path to take, because he had always stressed that the captain and architect of our future is us, and he is just there to show us the possibilities of our actions.  He simply trusts us, that we will pick the right things to do.  In turn, we do not fear him but respect him.  I would like to emulate this, but good luck to me because this would be very big shoes to fill.  I do not think I have the patience and the wisdom.  His famous words were,”Pulutin mo ang makakabuti sa iyo at itapon mo ang sa tingin mo ay makakasama, sabay lingon sa pinanggalingan nang makarating ka ng maayos sa papatunguhan.”  (only take what can be good for you and throw away things that are bad. Always look back to where you came from, so that you can arrive well to where you are headed).  As to my son, there is no greater gift.

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A birthday poem for mommy

wisdom, strength and loveThis is a birthday poem from my three precious children…and was beautifully written by their dad.

 To our dearest mommy,

Thank you for your unending love
You’re treasured to the skies above

Our promise for today we’ll keep

To be behaved and help you sweepsofie made a birthday cake for me

And pray, eat fast, our teeth, we’ll brush
You just relax no need to rush

And since this is your special day

We’ll keep you happy, we’ll laugh and play

We love you big and all day through

You’ll hear us sing “Happy Birthday To You”

Love, Ethan, Sofie and Zack



with the love of my life





I can’t help smiling as I read ‘til the end; thank you Daddy for inspiring me to become a better parent to our children.




And to Ethan, Sofie and Zack-mom and zack

I promise to keep you happy; I’ll be by your side,

In every thunder, I’ll be there, my arms are open wide.


I promise to be more patient, your tantrums I won’t ignore,

I promise to understand you, when you whine and bang the door.


I’ll make your favorite pancakes or buy you waffles too,

I’ll give you fruit and veggies; and make sure you bite and chew.

 our mini beach party

I’ll make sand castles for you, or build a truck or tent,

Play bowling or Barbie dolls, our time will be well spent.


I’ll sing you guys some lullabies, and watch you while you sleep,

Or tell you beautiful stories, that in my heart I keep. 


camp inI promise to always guide you, that’s how much you mean to me…

I promise to give my children, good things with joy and glee.



Each day I thank the Lord above, he made me rich once more

I promise to keep these promises, for treasures I adore.





On being a better Daddy

with dad

“One night a father overheard his son pray:

Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is.  Later that night, the father prayed: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be”   


Here are some things that I’d like to share that I’ve learned from friends, uncles,  relatives, my own experience, and of course from my own Dad.

Be Patient and firm.  Yes, there are some times when they’ll get on your last nerve (…ok, lots of times), and I agree that there are times that you have to go “Disciplinarian”. But always try and practice to be a little bit more understanding and patient than you were before; Kids are kids after all (remember when you were at that age too?).  It may take time for them to learn to behave the way you want them to, but with your awesome guidance, they’ll get there eventually.

Be a proud Dad. Praise their accomplishments and show that you’re proud of the good things they’ve achieved. This is positive reinforcement. Believe in their dreams, and no one can take it away from them.

Always keep your word.  Kids learn by example, so set a good one by being true to your promises always.  If they have requests that you’re not sure you could accommodate, explain to them why you might not be able to do it.  More importantly, it builds their trust in you.

Be the man. Kids usually look to their fathers as the authoritative figure in the household (well, with mommy’s permission of course). It is important that you show authority to your kids, but also remember not to abuse the power.  And when things get rough and tough, “I got this.” would be what the kids expect to hear from dad.  Make your kids feel secure whenever you’re around (you’re the hero who fights monsters under the bed after all).

Don’t be afraid to apologize and show affection.  Yes, this is contrary to the authoritative figure that we need to portray, but well, fatherhood is complicated stuff.  When your kids see that you are brave enough to admit your mistakes, and comfortable in showing your feelings, they become more well-rounded individuals as well.  Learn to compromise on certain things, and make sure your expectations are fair to him/her as well.

Be a good provider.  You don’t have to be filthy rich, but make sure that your family has enough.  Save money for their future, but don’t forget to give them a treat every now and then as well.

Guide them into making good decisions, and help them to learn to decide for themselves. Kids like to feel independent, and when you teach them how to make good decisions, they’ll be able to carry this as they grow older.

Just be around. Even when you really have nothing planned, make time to hang-out (You used to do the same thing with your friends, right?).  Learn about their interests and generally just get to know more about what’s happening with their day. And be fun… dance, laugh, play with your kids as much as you can. Build happy memories together.

Respect your own parents. As we’ve mentioned, children learn by example. And what better way to teach them love and respect than by showing them yourselves how your parents are treated and loved.

Love your wife and keep her happy.  Same as with the previous statement, when your kids see how you respect and love their mother, they will give the same regard to their Mom as well.  Sons will know how to rightfully treat their future wives, and daughters would know how properly they should be treated.

I also remember a line by John Travolta in the 80’s movie “Look Who’s Talking”…

“A good father keeps the mother happy, so she doesn’t drive the kids crazy.”


Photo credit : Mrs. Aurea Nicolas