Coping and Life After Loss


I apologize for not posting updates for almost 2 weeks... My brother died last April 6th. It was a tragic loss. All of us in my family is slowly coping with the loss.  Although this battle is not easy, we all hope for strength and may justice prevail...

Bye, Manoy Onel you are sorely missed! 

Tea Tree Oil All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe

Tea tree has many uses and among those uses I've read online and on the package insert of Human Nature Tea Tree Oil, I tried the DIY All-Purpose Cleaner. It's one of the easiest recipe, I guess.

I prepared the all-purpose cleaner few weeks ago but almost forgot to blog about it. So, here, I am sharing you the simple procedure.

Tea Tree Oil All-Purpose Cleaner

You'll Need:

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon pure tea tree oil
  • 1 spray bottle

  • Pour the ingredients into the clean spray bottle 
  • Shake vigorously 
Do not spray in or around eyes and near your pets. Keep out of reach of children. 

I am currently using this natural cleaner for kitchen sink, bathroom and floor tiles, and glass window. I am yet to prepare the other recipes included in the package insert of Human Nature Tea Tree Oil. Watch out for it 

One Has Died and I Want More Replacement Plants

This cactus died probably because of over-watering, one of the pitfalls of using a planter or pot without drainage holes. With this experience, I might invest in a drill specifically designed for drilling holes in ceramic materials. 

I am quite depressed.... So, I researched a bit. I want more replacement plants, the ones that are hard-to-kill and can thrive indoors or shady areas. 

Below is my 'plant wishlist'.

for lucky indoor plants:
  • Lucky Bamboo (from dracaena genus)
  • Hawaiian Ti Plant (I already one variety of this)
  • Money Tree (Pachira)
  • Jade Plant
  • Snake Plant
for outdoor plants, I want: 
  • White clover 
  • Basil
  • Jasmine
  • Rosemary
  • Hibiscus
  • Roses 
  • Agave succulents
  • African Violets 
  • Vietnam Rose
Other plants:
  • Song of Jamaica
  • Song of India 
  • Bromeliad
I chose not to show you photos of the plants I listed above. Just wait and see my future purchases. 

On the other news, I will be launching a gardening blog next month. I will be hosting a contest, too. Watch out for it, guys! 

Happy Gardening! 

I Won Php1000 worth of Products from Gluta-C and Fashion Pulis

My friends always say that I am lucky when it comes to raffles and contests.  I felt lucky again because I just won 1,000 pesos worth of Gluta-C products from Fashion Pulis' "My Favorite Gluta-C Promo".  I am grateful because Gluta-C is so generous that they added the prizes. Aside from only 2 winners of free movies tickets plus Php1k Gluta-C products, I am one of the three winners of minor prizes. 

Thank you Fashion Pulis and Gluta-C!!! 

Keep Rats and Cats Away from the Plants

As I am writing this, I am contemplating on trying to arrange my plants in our rooftop. I am running out of space, you know. I had a mini garden near our laundry area before. Actually, the rooftop I'm talking about is an unfinished area of the house, no concrete walls in some parts yet. That is why rodents and cats are free to move around my garden and they destroyed my precious plants. To save the remaining plants, I moved them back again to our second floor balcony. 
To find solution to my problem, I am conducting a mini-research on how to get rid of rodents and cats.  Here's what I got: 

How to keep cats off the yard

To prevent cats from digging the garden soil and use it as their toilet, the fist thing to do is remove any feces along with some soil and try sprinkling cat repellent in the area. It is suggested to cut some lemons, oranges and similar citrus fruit and put them in the garden to stop cats from using this area as a toilet.... I will try this and hope it'll work. 

In case cats eat your plants, it is recommended to include plants with strong scent such as lavender, rosemary and mint. (source:

How to get rid of rodents naturally

Recently, rodents have eaten my agave succulents and bonsai tea plant. 

According to wikihow, seal up holes and cracks in your home where rodents may be gaining access. (that being said, we have to extend the mesh fencing in our balcony.... but how about the open space... argghhh)

Planting mint around the garden will create a barrier that rodents won't cross. 

Aside from that tips, I will also try spraying the following solution to my plants:

Put a teaspoon of red pepper flakes in a spray bottle of hot water, shake and spray generously on the plants. 

With that tips on hand, I will try gardening again in our rooftop. I will put potted herbs there and arrange my growing collection of succulents and cacti. Good luck to me!

Happy Gardening!

Succulents in Sansevieria Genus

I've learned that succulents in sansevieria  are "hard-to-kill" plants and have air purifying properties. This answer my question about appropriate plants that thrive indoor, with low light conditions. With that new discovery, I will be collecting more sansevieria.  I have 3 types at present, a Sansevieria  Trifasciata popularly known as snake plant or mother-in-laws tongue and bird's nest, Sanseviera Cylindrica,  and a Sansevieria Hahnii or bird's nest.  

I really enjoy researching  the name of every plant I bought.  By the way, here are my new "babies" enjoying Mr. Sun. I brought them outside a while ago.  

Here’s a short trivia for you, guys:

Sansevieria (pronounced as san-se-vi-ee-ri-ah) belongs to the Lily Family which leads the list as being the most tolerant decorative plants.  The genus was named after the Prince Sanseviero who was born in Naples in 1710. (source:

Happy Gardening! 

"Felix Manalo" Garnered 5 Awards in the Recent PMPC Star Awards for Movies

"Felix Manalo", a movie about the life of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, Iglesia ni Cristo’s first minister leads the recently concluded 32nd PMPC Star Awards for Movies held at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City (Philippines).

The movie directed by Joel Lamangan won five awards which include Movie of the Year, Movie Director of the Year, Movie Actor of the Year for Dennis Trillo, Movie Production Designers for Edgar Martin Littaua, et. al. , and Movie Original Theme Song of the Year for “Ang Sugo ng Diyos Mula sa mga Huling Araw” performed by Sarah Geronimo.

“Felix Manalo” also set two Guinness World Records during its premiere night last October 2015. 

I'm proud to be a member of Iglesia Ni Cristo.  To God be the Glory! 

Happy International Women's Day!

A beautiful woman draws strength from troubles, smiles from distress and grows strong with hopes and prayers - author unknown  

Women and girls around the world, today is our day, let's celebrate! 

Miniature Plant Arrangements

Warning: Propagating succulents, cacti and other bonsai plants can be really addicting. :)

I made another indoor plant display. I just can't find the name of this particular succulent. Is this a Kalanchoe or a Crassula? I'm confused! Fellow succulents and cacti enthusiasts, can you please help me identify this plant?... According to the owner of the shop where I bought the plant, she calls it Rice Cactus. 

We were talking about plants while having breakfast in the office earlier.  One of my officemates blurted out that she also want a miniature plant.  So, I gave her this "baby" which I planted last Friday. She really loved it! 

commonly called rice cactus,  belongs to sedum genus. 


(L) Crassula Ovata 'Blue Hale' Jade (R) Button cactus (according to the plant seller)

 I love my upcycled planter 

Happy Gardening! 

"Maestrang Bulod" i-Witness Documentary: A Reaction Paper

Sometimes I am amazed with the homework of today's elementary students. A spinner wheel project in Mathematics for their Statistics and Probability lessons? I was like wow, that must be tough! To complete Thea's project, Papa and I helped her in designing the spinner wheel. We forgot to take a photo of the finished product though. 

For Araling Panlipunan, on the other hand, they are asked by their teacher to watch a documentary show and prepare a reaction paper.  I was amazed how focused Thea was when she watched an episode of i-Witness on GMA. I told her to jot down notes while watching.  I am proud to say that she wrote the report by herself, I just edited some words to make them more appropriate.

Maestrang Bulod Episode sa i-Witness

Host:                          Mr. Jay Taruc
Location:                  Barangay Cabugao, Donsol, Sorsogon
Ipinalabas sa:          GMA News TV noong Pebrero 20, 2016

Buod ng Kwento:

Ang dokumentaryong “Maestrang Bulod” (Guro sa Bundok) ay tungkol sa kuwento ng mga guro na nagtuturo sa isang paaralan na matatagpuan sa malayong barangay ng Cabugao sa bayan ng Donsol, Sorsogon.  Ito ay unang ipinalabas noong                    Hunyo 12, 2006 sa i-Witness na pinangunahan ni Jay Taruc. 

Ang mga guro ay kailangan pa maglakbay ng malayo para lamang makarating sa paaralan ng Cabugao Elementary School.  Kuwento pa nga ng isang guro, kailangan niya pang iwan ang maliit niyang anak para makapagturo sa paaralan na iyon at makatulong sa mga batang nag-aaral doon.  Nag-volunteer si Jay Taruc na tumulong bilang guro sa paaralan na ito upang makasalamuha ang mga guro, mag-aaral at mga magulang doon.  Kakaunti ang libro, sira ang mga blackboard, kulang ang mga silya at walang kuryente sa paaralan na iyon.  Upang hindi na mag-biyahe ang mga guro araw-araw tuwing may klase, doon na rin sila natutulog sa mga classroom.  Doon na rin sila nagluluto at naglalaba. Sabi ni Jay Taruc, noon lang daw siya nakakita ng classroom na may kusina.

Noong umaga ay kasama ni Jay na naghanda ang mga guro para sa isang araw ng pagtuturo sa mga batang mag-aaral sa elementary.  Ilang sandali lamang ay dumating na ang mga estudyante at nagsimula na ang klase.  Kinuwento kay Jay ang tungkol sa mga estudyante na hindi pa masyado marunong magsulat at magbasa.  Pinuntahan din ni Jay ang batang si Jucel na walong taong gulang, madalas siyang lumiban sa klase dahil tumutulong siya sa pagtatrabaho para sa pamilya niya.

Kuwento naman ng mga guro, ang sweldo nila sa loob ng isang buwan ay sampung-libong piso.

Saloobin Ko Tungkol sa  Kwento:

Noong napanood ko ang dokumentaryong iyon ay lalo akong napahanga sa mga guro.  Itinuturing ko silang mga bayani dahil ibinibigay nila ang kanilang oras at talino para maturuan ang mga bata upang magkaroon sila ng magandang kinabukasan.  May mga pagkakataon, tulad ng ipinakita sa napanood ko sa i-Witness, na kung saan ang mas matindi ang hirap na tinitiis ng mga guro lalo na yung nagtuturo sa mga malalayong lugar at kulang pa ang mga kagamitan sa pagtuturo. 

Ang “Maestrang Bulod” ay nagpaalaala sa akin na lalo pang igalang, sundin at pahalagahan ang aking mga guro.  Sana patuloy pa sila sa pagtitiyaga sa pagtuturo sa aming mga mag-aaral. Sana rin po ay maging maayos na ang mga paaralan sa malalayong lugar sa ating bansa para lahat ng mga bata ay maayos na makapag-aral. 

Mathemagis' Summer Program 2016

It has been mentioned here in my blog that my daughter is struggling in Math subject. She gets high grades in Science and English, but not in Mathematics. As an upcoming Grade 5 student, I would like to maximize the summer vacation for her to engage in Math enrichment classes. 

While browsing my feeds earlier I came across one blog post about Mathemagis Singapore Math summer program.  I know right then and there that this the most appropriate training for my daughter because I believe that the new K to 12 program in our country uses Singapore Math framework in the curriculum.

Based on the poster below, the Mathemagis Center nearest to our place of residence is the one located in SM Pasig.  I am willing to enrolling Thea in their summer program.  

Based on their website:

Mathemagis is an after school Math enrichment program for kids 4 to 12 year old based on the internationally acclaimed and proven mathematics curriculum of Singapore.  The program focuses on developing problem-solving skills through conceptual understanding of math principles, visualization using bar models as a well-articulated sequence of topics for preschool up to the primary grades. 

For more information visit their website

Note: This is not a sponsored post

My Thoughts On the "Powerful and Positive Things That Parents Should Tell Their Children Everyday"

Saying lots of "I love you", ""Thank You" and "I'm Sorry" is very common in my household.  My husband and I trained our children to always say these phrases. While telling that  three important phrases often have positive impact on child development, I learned that there are other things that we should tell our children that will bring positive influence to them. 

You can do it, baby. Mama will catch you

Mama and Ate are so proud of you! 
(taken during Yohan's summer kindergarten program graduation)

Exploring the nature together. Thea: This a bonsai Macopa plant

I've read an article about "13 Powerful and Positive Things You Should Tell Your Child Everyday" on the website  I realized a lot of things after reading the article.  Saying I love you is not enough to show how much we love and care for our children.  Small children are like sponge, as they say. They absorb every words spoken and every action by adults around them while growing up.  That is why it is important to speak at act accordingly in front of them. 

Here are some of  positive and powerful words of affirmation to help children grow happy,confident and independent.

Do not give up

Whether it's about learning how to ride a bicycle or solving Math problems, it is important to shower our children with words of encouragement. 

My eldest tells me that she finds Math subject quite difficult.  I, on the other hand, admit that sometimes I lose my temper during study time.  Aside from encouraging her to give her best shot and to be patient, the phrase "don't give up" also fits me. We will work together to turn her present weaknesses into strengths in the future. 

I believe in you

My husband and I always tell and show the kids that we believe in their talents and capabilities. We are ready to support them and believe in them no matter what happens. 

You are clever / You are smart

When spoken in a positive manner, these words of encouragement will help children develop self-esteem.

Always do your best 

Teaching our children to always do their best and strive hard will make their lives better in the future.  I will bear this in mind!

We learn through practice

This is so true!  Practice makes perfect nga di ba? Just like teaching a child on how to tie a shoelace. With patience, they will learn to tie shoelace on their own.

I am here whenever you need me

Open communication and + sense of security are really important.  These words of assurance will help children to openly communicate with their parents.

I think of you when we are apart

I have to tell my children that I think of them whenever we are away from each other.  Nasanay na yata ako at sila din na nag-wowork ako ever since they're born, kaya di ko ito masyado nasasabi sa kanila. Isang factor din siguro yung marunong na sila gumamit ng (landline) phone at nakakausap ko sila whenever they need something.

You make me so happy

Our bunso is the makulit na may great sense of humor in the family.  He never fails to amaze us with his funny antics. Ate and bunso are both thoughtful, too. They kiss and hug us a lot.

You can change your mind

At home, we don't impose - especially when it comes to extra curricular activities. If at the moment, Thea wants to learn how to play piano, but decides to join art classes instead when summer vacation comes, no problem. It's perfectly fine with us. We will support her hobbies all the way.

You are beautiful

Of course! mana sila kayo sa akin eh.  hahaha joke lang.  Kidding aside, as parents, we should be the first one to believe in our children and assure them that they are beautifully unique individuals.

How did you do that

Asking them these make them feel that we are interested in what they do.

Thank you

Children's simple act of kindness and thoughtfulness should be reciprocated by saying Thank you.

You are really interesting

Arrgh! I'm sorry, I am (sometimes) guilty of saying the opposite lalo na pag paulit-ulit sila at maraming questions at pag may ginagawa ako.  

So that's it! I am grateful that author of the article for helping realize my shortcomings as a parent.  I will do my best to be a positive parent.  Parenting, really is a tough job and requires continuous learning and practice.

Hope you enjoy reading! Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.



Tea Cup Succulents

Succulents and cacti are becoming popular these days. Who would not fall in love with these cute and attractive plants?  This morning, I made my first batch of succulent tea cup garden.

Tea cup succulents are excellent but inexpensive gifts or party favors. I just spent Php180.00 (3.78 USD)  for these three plants.  Preparation is very easy, as easy as making a terrarium.  Instructions can be found in my How to Make a Terrarium article. I also patterned my instructions from a tutorial at Instructables .

Here is my completed project:

I will give this one to my office mate, Bhang who bought two of the containers I used in this project. 


They're on top of my desk now. :)

Earth Hour 2016: Our Time to #ChangeClimateChange

This year's Earth Hour will be on March 19, 2016 at 8:30 PM. Join the worldwide movement by switching off your lights to help #ChangeClimateChange

Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement being spearheaded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to unite people to take action for the planet.  It aims to engage a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues.  The first-ever Earth Hour lights-off event happened in Sydney, Australia in 2007.  Since then, it has grown to engage hundreds of millions of supporters, individuals and organizations alike, in more than 7,000 cities and towns in over 172 countries and territories around the world. The City Government of Makati (where I work) is a staunch advocate of this worldwide environmental campaign. 

As the world's first open-source climate change campaign, Earth Hour has inspired millions worldwide to take action for our dear planet and help change climate change. 

As we all know, the historic COP 21 Paris Climate Summit in 2015 marked a milestone in the global efforts on climate change.  Coincidentally, 2016 is also the 10th year of the lights off event. 

Now, how can individuals and groups participate? Earth has tons of suggestions for everyone. Turning off the lights is just the beginning! Holding picnics or dinners in the dark with loved ones and friends, chit-chatting outside the house, jogging or cycling  (if you are a bike enthusiast), and recycling activities are just some of the easy ways you can do to express your support for Earth Hour.  At home, we use it as a bonding time with the kids. We tell them stories, we sing together, goof around or munch on our favorite snacks. 

Inspired to take your support to the next level, head on to to support people-driven, innovative projects that provide solutions to change climate change.  Whether it's saving the world's most endangered cat in Portugal, fighting forest fires in Indonesia or lighting up villages in Philippines with renewable energy - change starts with you!

Read my previous Earth Hour blog posts  HERE and HERE.


A Modern Bahay-Kubo

I mentioned in my previous post that my niece failed to bring our digital camera to take photos of the on-going house construction.  Fortunately, they sent me some pictures an hour ago. Though the pictures are not clear, I felt elated while looking at them.  Two thumbs up for our collaborative efforts. I gave small amount of money for the materials during the start of house construction, then my sister got free construction materials from a foundation who conducted relief assistance/outreach in our barrio. My brother and nephews work together in building it, with minimal fee.  That's what we call the  bayanihan spirit.  Thank you so much to my brother who is an artist/painter turned experienced carpenter.  Craftsmanship at its finest, teehee!  He deserves a bonus from your's truly. 

Here are the photos of what we call our modern bahay kubo, cottage-like house:

the materials for the upper half of the walls will be plywood. 

I suggested maximizing the small area by adding a mezzanine bedroom.  More clearer photos, soon!