A Dad's Rude Response

Have you seen the YouTube video that is going viral lately?  A dad composed a song in response to the hit song Rude by Magic! Listen to the original song before you view the response.

Lyrics aside, i really like the the song by Magic! It's such a fun song - great for lazy weekend drives. But i'm loving the Dad's response even more.

Original Song

Dad's Response


Hola Senorita: A UN Day Costume

It's that time of the year again when kids dress up in different United Nations' costumes. This year, my daughter was chosen to represent Spain. And if you have been reading this blog, you will know that i am not really fond of buying ready-to-wear National costumes because kids usually only get to use them once (check out our Spanish Matador and Prince William DIY costumes). 

So i started doing my research and found some costume ideas online such as this.

With the help of my creative director (read: Yaya Jovy), we started thinking of how to execute Dawn's outfit. I searched through my cabinet and found an old tube top that i thought would make for a good base for the outfit.  Jovy cut out two holes from the top to fit the arms and altered the bodice fit Dawn's petite frame.

Then she attached a hotel laundry bag at the bottom to hold the red and black crepe paper.
And the sewing of the black and red crepe paper began.
Yaya Jovy hard at work

Fan, hair piece, dress
Our Little Senorita won Little Miss UN in her crepe paper dress
Now our Little Matador has a partner!
So you see, it doesn't cost much to create a fun UN Day costume. All you need is some creativity and a bit of hardwork.

Share links of your costumes with us so others will also be inspired :)


Bangkok for Kids!

I've always thought of Bangkok as a shopping haven. Well, rightly so. But our last visit made me realize that they also have a lot of fun places for the kids.  I'd like to share with you two fun parks in Bangkok that the kids enjoyed during our recent trip.

(1)  Siam Ocean World

The aqua marine park is conveniently located at the basement of the Siam Paragon Mall.  It is perfect for families who cannot decide whether to go shopping or visit a children's park.  You can finish Siam Ocean World in 2 hours and spend the rest of the day shopping and dining inside the mall.

The park contains a lot of interesting sea creatures that are not usually available in most aqua marine parks.
Some poisonous frog - think Rio 2
King Crab!
Here are some fun activities the whole family can enjoy at the park:

The Glass Bottom Boat Ride is an ideal adventure ride for the whole family. This is the best way for the kids to experience riding a boat in shark-infested waters.
For thrill-seekers, i encourage you to try to dive with the sharks or do the Ocean Walker in the same shark aquarium. My sister and i were planning to do this but we didn't have enough time since we had to meet some friends for dinner. Maybe next time.

Another fun way to enjoy the huge sharks in the park is to watch the 5D Cinema Xtreme which is a virtual ride that allows you to have close encounters with the deep sea creatures.

Shark Feeding Show

Watch the divers feed the sharks. The sharks were so impatient they dove into the basket to get their own meal.
Shark Feeding

You may also check out the park's official website for the park schedule and ticket prices: http://www.siamoceanworld.co.th

(2) Safari World

The highlight of the trip for the kids is definitely Safari World. Troy came back telling Dens that he'll bring his dad there one day. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing the animals in a wild but controlled environment.

One thing that really amazed me in Safari World was feeding the Giraffes up close. The place claims to have the largest herd of Giraffes in the world - counting over 300 as of today. 

The kids enjoyed petting and feeding these amazing animals. I never realized Giraffes were that big until we saw them up close and personal in Bangkok. Some of them had heads almost as big as Dawn! No kidding.

Another Safari World highlight was the elephant show. You simply cannot visit Thailand and not see an elephant show! Troy and Dawn wanted to ride the elephants but got too scared to try when we had the chance. I was even able to volunteer to have an elephant walk over me during the show. I only have the video but will try to share some pictures when i get the chance. My mom was so scared the elephant might crush  step on me.
My sister, Tammy, riding an elephant
The kids also enjoyed the Orangutan show. The set was very colorful and the show was funny...well, funny for the kids. I honestly had more fun watching the kids laugh to their hearts' content. 
Finally, there was also the bird clinic where they kept pregnant birds and their babies. It was pretty awesome -- not to mention a good break from the heat since this area is fully air-conditioned. 

Visit their website for more park information http://www.safariworld.com/

One thing i learned from this trip is that there is truly no country that is unfit for kids.  This is simply because there are children in all countries. If there are no widely-known theme parks, then you just have to find the places where locals bring their kids. 

My kids left Thailand with so much fond memories. I'm sure they don't mind going back next year. Maybe they will be brave enough to ride the elephant then. We'll see.


Our Shangri-la Weekend

Webster defines Shangri-la as a remote beautiful imaginary place where life approaches perfection.  When i think of Shangri-la, i imagine blue skies and clear waters on a cool sunny day.  I imagine stress-free living with a bountiful selection of good food and great company.  "Shangri-la" -- a very appropriate description of one memorable weekend that we had in June.

Shangri-la Mactan Resort & Spa is located in the city of Cebu, Philippines.  When we arrived at the airport, a coaster from the hotel was already waiting for us. We were brought to the hotel where welcome drinks await us as soon as we entered the hotel lobby. There are two areas in the resort - the Main Wing and the Ocean Wing. We booked a room in the Ocean Wing which i would highly recommend for guests with children as it provides easy access to the pool, beach and activity areas of the hotel. We were booked in a premier room but was offered an upgrade to a Panorama Suite at a very reasonable rate so we grabbed it. 
View from our room
Living Room with a sofa bed
Bedroom with a balcony
Nespresso for the coffee lover
 Our first day was spent lounging on the beach and enjoying the game room. We also played mini golf which was free of charge when you're booked in the Panorama Suite. Not a bad deal.

Early that evening, the kids watched a cultural show by the poolside and went back to the room while the parents proceeded to our scheduled massage at the Chi Spa.  It's best to go early so that you can maximize your experience and enjoy the facilities such as the sauna and the hydrotherapy pools. The massages are done in your own private villa which is especially nice if you're getting a group or couple massage.
Chi Spa compound
Private Villa
Another highlight of our trip is the super fun activity area for the kids and not-so-kids alike. They have a giant slide for the bigger kids.  We (yep, we as in the moms) took turns braving the giant slide. The dads were too scared to try. Yes, that's true.

Be sure to bring socks for everyone so that you don't have to purchase a new pair when you go. It's also a requirement to wear long-sleeved tops in the playground. I suggest bringing jackets for the kids so that it's easy to transform any outfit into the required 'long-sleeves'.  Make sure you bring the same for all nannies who will be taking care of them.
Giant Slide
Slides for the kids
Ball pool -- this is also the landing spot of the giant slide

One thing that we decided prior to the trip was to avail of the hotel buffet package. We got three buffet meals each day which sure made it feel like we were living in a luxurious cruise ship. It is especially convenient if you have kids with you so that you don't have to keep on thinking where to eat and there's no waiting time - which is particularly nice when kids are already hungry.

They had two venues to choose from for breakfast and lunch while dinner is always by the poolside. The multiple locations made each meal different so you don't really get bored eating the same food at the same venue all day.

Tides was being renovated then so breakfast and lunch were served at the main ballroom and the Acqua restaurant. We usually take our breakfasts at the ballroom and lunch at Acqua.
Check out the baby buffet area at the breakfast buffet

The Shangri-la mascot visited us each morning
Acqua restaurant

Beach view from Acqua
Our weekend getaway costs our family of four less than P30,000 for three days and two nights - including airfare, all meals and the couples massage at The Chi Spa. This was such a good deal thanks to my super resourceful friend, Kim,  who tracked Shangri-la's promotional deals for us all year.

All of us left the place feeling so relaxed and rejuvenated. The kids had a blast and the parents did not feel like we needed a vacation from our vacation.  We will definitely be back.

I highly encourage you to monitor the Shangri-la Mactan's website for great deals that come by once in a while. The amount you invest for this trip will be worth the memories that your family will share for a very long time.


Growing Up with Integrity

The past months have been a roller coaster ride for me on the parenting front. There were good days and not-so-good days. Our son is six and is growing up to be a fine young man.  But of course, as with most kids, he is a work-in-progress.  He may be more outspoken than i hope at times, or more active than my feet can take. But one thing i am noticing more and more is that he is growing up with a strong sense of integrity. 

Troy loves to play soccer. Give him a ball and he will run with it and practice his high-kicks wherever he is.  But last week he has been down with the flu so i told him not to play soccer during lunch breaks to avoid dehydration.  Yesterday when he came home from school, he asked me if he can already go back to playing soccer during lunch. I said as much as possible it's best that he doesn't because i don't want him to get sick again. He explained how his friends played that day and that he was not able join them because i asked him not to.  I felt bad for him but was also very proud that he kept his word. He asked me if he can already play the next day and i just replied with 'We'll see tomorrow'.   

Today at around 12:30pm, we got a call from the school. Troy wasn't sure if he was already allowed to play soccer so he went to the school's admin office to borrow the phone and ask for our permission.  My heart swelled with pride at his honesty. He could have just gone ahead to play soccer and we won't have a way of knowing it.  But he knew he kept a promise with us and he wanted to do the right thing. My cousin recently shared something on Facebook that says 'Your true character comes out when nobody is watching' - and that's true. That's where integrity comes in.

Our children are indeed a work-in-progress. But who isn't, right? I'm in my thirties and i know the Lord is still molding me to be the kind of person He wants me to be.  What is important is that we, as parents, instill good moral values in them that will bring them a step towards being a better person.  Even as a parent, i am still a work-in-progress. Each day i learn something new. I've learned a lot of parenting tricks and techniques through the past years, but one thing i know is that my greatest coach is Jesus Christ. He is and will always be our best resource in bringing our children up.

And in case you're wondering, we did allow Troy to play soccer today.  He kept his word and i think that deserves a reward.


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