What to Give Dad for Father’s Day

It’s only a couple of days before Father’s Day, and you’ve probably ran out of ideas on what to give your dad for this very special day. It’s not like he’s picky. After all, this is a man who will wear pajamas 24/7 if he could. Truth be told, it’s harder to shop for mom or your significant other because, well, for all the reasons that you already know. But with dad, you know that you can buy a random tie from any department store, plunk it in a box, wrap it hastily, and give it to him, and you know that he’ll be pleased and that he’ll wear it ‘til it frays. But this year, you want to do things differently, but so far, all you’ve thought about is getting another generic greeting card to go with the, um, red tie that you picked out. C’mon, you can do better than that!


little girl carrying a big envelop
Give your dad something special on Father’s day!

This is the man who taught you how to ride a bike, and when you were older, he taught you how to drive. And this is the man (almost all Pinoy boys can relate to this) who gave you a taste of your very first alcoholic drink, while telling you that it’s ok to drink every now and then, but it’s not ok to be a sloppy drunk. He’s the man who referees when mom gets on your case, and who sneaks you an extra cup of ice cream when you really need it. He’s the one who gave you so many piggyback rides and the one who carried you when you were too tired to walk. So doesn’t your dad deserve some TLC and a well-thought out gift? Continue reading “What to Give Dad for Father’s Day”

Dear People From Buzzfeed Who Sampled Food From Jollibee…

Hi Buzzfeed people. Congratulations on getting more than a million hits on your Youtube video, you know, the one where you sampled food from Jollibee? No, don’t worry, I’m not gonna get mad at you. This isn’t even a rant. Far from it guys, it’s all good. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I go on.


For the record, yes, I’m Filipino. I love Jollibee just like any other red-blooded Pinoy. And how can I not, when my kids won’t eat anything else when we’re out? Jollibee to Pinoys is what Mickey D’s is to you guys—it might not have the most sophisticated cuisine, but it’s an institution, a tradition that spans back several generations. Just like most of you guys who were practically raised on the Quarter Pounder, we’ve grown up eating the Yumburgers, the spaghetti with hotdogs, and the Chicken Joy, among others. In the Philippines, every city and province has a Jollibee, with some branches just about a kilometer away from each other. Continue reading “Dear People From Buzzfeed Who Sampled Food From Jollibee…”

Back to School Again: Tips to Get Your Kid Psyched to Start the School Year Right

As the days of summer vacation come to a close, kids start counting down the days until school officially starts with an equal mix of anticipation, and something close to regret. In the Philippines, the school year begins on the first week of June, and by the third week of May, kids begin to go crazy, going on all sorts of crazy adventures, staying up as late as they can—anything, just to prolong that summer vacation feeling. I know, because I have two school-age children and a toddler who are currently driving me crazy with their end-of-summer shenanigans.

back to school
Back to school kid

Witness Exhibit A, my 11-year-old son, who has became a rabid fan of WWE over the past two months, and can usually be seen practicing his best John Cena face in the mirror and beating the pillows into submission. He has also taken over the TV from 10PM to 1AM on a daily basis, the regular timeslot where our whole family is forced to watch Cena et al. The fact that I have watched Wrestlemania 33 times is beyond me. And also the fact that I know those wrestlers by name (The Wyatt Family, Seamus, Daniel Bryan, Cena… I could go on and on) is kind of a head-scratcher for me. Whether or not knowing all that puts me in the Cool Mom category, I’ll never know. Continue reading “Back to School Again: Tips to Get Your Kid Psyched to Start the School Year Right”

Ways to Spoil Your Mom on Mother’s Day

As a kid, you’ve probably given your mom a homemade card and made her breakfast in bed with help from your siblings or dad, and it made your mom’s eyes light up with appreciation for all your efforts just to show her that you love her. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s time to break out the big guns and go all out this year for a Mother’s Day extravaganza.


your mom's speacial day
Surprise your mom on Mother’s Day

Now, going all out doesn’t mean breaking the bank. I mean, we’re not talking about buying a BMW for mommy, but if that’s what you’re planning to do, hey, who am I to stop you? But spoiling her is about giving her the best day ever, based on her preferences and her lifestyle. It’s about showing her that you appreciate her, and this way, you’re letting her know that you’re grateful and that she deserves to be treated like the queen that she is. Continue reading “Ways to Spoil Your Mom on Mother’s Day”

The Scoop on Sun Cellular’s Celebrity Endorsers

Nowadays, most people know that in order to move products, sometimes you need a little help from celebrity endorsers. This holds true especially in the mobile phone service provider industry. In the Philippines, there are three major brands that are vying for customers’ loyalty and patronage, each with their own talented roster of celebrity endorsers. But there’s something about Sun Cellular’s choice of endorsers that is truly special. One thing they have in common is that they are all wholesome, and teenagers aspire to be just like them. All of them are achievers in their own right, not just pretty faces that hawk cell phone load or Internet services. Let’s take a closer look at Sun Cellular’s celebrity endorsers and what makes them stand out above the rest.

SUN logo
Sun Cellular’s Logo

Judy Ann Santos

She is one of the Philippines’ best actresses of all time, and one of the most loved as well. She’s credible because she grew up in front of the camera without going through an awkward, rebellious or crazy phase that seems to be the norm for a lot of young stars nowadays. She is versatile, practical, flexible and innovative, which makes her a perfect Sun Cellular endorser. Continue reading “The Scoop on Sun Cellular’s Celebrity Endorsers”

A Reflection on Holy Week in the Philippines

For many people, especially the young ones, there’s a sort of uneasy feeling that comes with this week. We are a nation that is used to noise, and Holy Week calls for tamping down of all that noise, for a bit of solemnity and quiet reflection.

holy week
Holy Week in the Philippines

So on Good Friday, on the day that Jesus dies on the cross, loud speakers in flea markets and outside newly opened fast food joints will be silenced. No more Psy, Justin Bieber, or aggressive rap on this day. TV celebrities will go on vacation, so there will be the standard Lenten offerings on all the TV stations—The Ten Commandments, Passion of Christ, Ben Hur. To this day, whenever I see the Ten Commandments, I always think of the Lenten season, since it was all that I could watch on TV during Lent when I was a kid. Now that we have cable, things are different of course, to the relief of those who feel kind of squirmy about this holiday. There’s something about the lack of crowds and noise that’s unsettling to those who are used to it. Think about it—imagine a day Continue reading “A Reflection on Holy Week in the Philippines”

The Ever-changing Face of Bonifacio Global City

As a former resident of Bonifacio Global City (or Fort Bonifacio, or The Fort, as it used to be called) back in the early 2000’s, I witnessed how the face of this district grew to become something truly spectacular, yet at the same time, kind of remote and unfamiliar. Like the geeky best friend you once had in the 6th Grade who became one of the popular girls in high school, one can’t help but watch in awe the ongoing changes in BGC, while at the same time wondering whether the old version was better or not.

fort bonifacio
Bonifacio Global City in Manila, Philippines

Fort Bonifacio was home to many of the country’s military men, as the whole district used to be part of the main Philippine Army camp, with living quarters spread out over the whole area. My husband grew up living in the officer’s quarters of Jusmag, and he remembers being taken to school in an army jeep filled with men in fatigues, to the chagrin of potential bullies and the delight of his friends. It was during the last years of Jusmag that I lived there, and it was very memorable for me. Continue reading “The Ever-changing Face of Bonifacio Global City”

The Best Prepaid Promos from Smart

I remember back in 1997 when I got my first cell phone from Smart. Kids, if you’re reading this, you’d be interested to know that back in the day, you couldn’t just get a cell phone from the store, you had to get it from a mobile network provider. My mom chose Smart, and I became the proud owner of a mobile phone that was as big and almost as heavy as a brick (it was a Nokia 9000, and it had an antenna), and I had about 200 minutes of talk time which I had to use wisely. We didn’t have texting yet, and there was no such thing as a prepaid plan or prepaid credits. So, if I burned through my minutes yakking with my friends and discussing the latest Alanis Morissette song, then that was that. I had to wait for my mom to pay the bill until I could use my phone again. I remember going to my dad’s province on vacation and being the only teenager with a cell phone. Sometimes, I’d get so frustrated with the lack of credits on my phone, and since most of my friends didn’t have a mobile yet, I would just go back to using the good old landline. At least I could talk for hours using that.

smart logo
Smart company logo

Fast forward to 2014. Take a look around and it seems like everyone has a cell phone. In fact, 65% of the country’s youth own a cell phone, and you can hardly take a walk in the mall without bumping into a kid that’s texting while walking, or perhaps engrossed in a game of Flappy Bird. My 10-year old son has about 150 contacts on his phone, and since I didn’t know how he gets to communicate with most of them almost every day, I casually asked him how he can afford to buy load. I know he didn’t get it from me. From grandma, perhaps? With an eye roll, he replied, “Duh mom, I’m registered to Unlitxt.” Turns out my son has found out about the various prepaid promos from Smart. By allotting a small portion of his allowance to buy credits, he gets to stay in touch with his cousins and friends, sometimes on a daily basis. Continue reading “The Best Prepaid Promos from Smart”

Why the Philippine Government Should Make SIM Card Registration Mandatory

For years, the citizens and legislators in the Philippines have been debating whether SIM card registration should be made mandatory or not. In other neighboring countries such as Singapore, SIM card registration is a must, even for prepaid accounts. In the Philippines, you can buy a SIM card anywhere, with some costing less than a dollar, and no documents are necessary to register the number. This has led to many incidents of theft and acts of terrorism due to the sense of anonymity that an unregistered SIM card user has.

sim cards
Cellular SIM card

Many protesters have cited that asking people to register their SIM cards is an invasion of privacy, that it is a means for the government to keep tabs on people. But in my opinion, the positive points outweigh the negative, especially if we take a little time to remember instances wherein an unregistered mobile number was used to spread mayhem and carnage in different parts of the country. And besides, if we have nothing to hide, why should we not feel comfortable about SIM registration? Continue reading “Why the Philippine Government Should Make SIM Card Registration Mandatory”

The Top Filipinos Who Recently Made Headlines All Over the World

Whenever a Filipino makes the news, every Pinoy in the planet is sure to be beaming with pride and joy, while proclaiming the words “Filipino Pride” for all the world to hear. Filipino, or Pinoy Pride, means being a credit to the Filipino nation by doing well on an international level on any chosen field. It also means being proud of their origins, their cultural aspects and individuality. Pinoys know that being proud of a fellow countryman’s fortune is nothing that has to be hidden from plain sight—it is celebrated, flashed on the news, shared, liked and Tweeted for weeks and weeks to come.

Philippine flag
The Philippine flag – Filipino pride

Over the past decades, many Filipinos have excelled in their chosen field and have become famous though out the world because of their achievements. Recently, a number of Pinoys once again made the entire country rejoice. From sports, to beauty pageants, to winning reality shows and more, here’s a recap of the top Filipinos who recently made headlines all over the world. Continue reading “The Top Filipinos Who Recently Made Headlines All Over the World”