DIY Star Wars Party

We recently celebrated the 7th birthday party of our young padawan with a DIY Star Wars Party in Chili's Greenhills.

For any DIY project, I always turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  Sharing with you my DIY Star Wars labor of love for my youngling.  Post includes supplier info in Manila. [Read more...]

3 Days to Go Before CHRISTmas 2015!

3 days to go before CHRISTmas quoteAnd the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. - Dr. Seuss

Christmas 2015 Starts in Joyful Note at SM Mall of Asia’s “Santa’s Very Merry Wonderland”

Everyone's favorite season is on a roll and the kids and I welcomed it with a bang last November 7 at the Mall of Asia Christmas Launch!   It was truly a festive, joyful Christmas kick-off as Mall of Asia patrons were serenaded by the acapella-epic performance of TheFilharmonic.

The Filharmonic in Manila 2015

TheFilharmonic, a group of 6 Fil-Am boys gained international fame with their unique singing talent. They sing without instruments and yet they sound like they have the full ensemble! Super cool! [Read more...]

Quick Guide to Manila’s Christmas Attractions and Activities 2015

Christmas is my favorite season (isn't it everyone's?:-) ) and one of the traditions of our family is to marvel at the beautiful Christmas displays all over Manila. I have already spotted some nice displays and I would be adding to the list as I see them. The list is numbered just to signify how many displays there are and does not connote any ranking.   Merry Christmas!

2.   Eastwood City


Eastwood goes less this year with their Scandinavian style reindeers that seamlessly blends Christmas joy and modernity.  Proving that less is more never goes out of style.    [Read more...]

Stations of the Cross for Children

stations of the crossWhat are you guys doing this Holy Week?

When I was younger,  my parents together with my 2 brothers would do the Visita Iglesia (visiting 7 churches) and do the Stations of the Cross.  It was a good Lenten experience and a good bonding experience for the whole brood.  My brothers and I of course looked forward to the lunch and snacks along the way.  It was sort of a spiritual field trip that I have so much fond memories of.

Sometimes, we would head to the province of either my mom in Pampanga or my dad in Laguna and have a grand reunion "espesyal" with the entire clan in the ancestral house.  We would play, exchange stories, scarily watch the penitents flagellate themselves and look forward to my lola's (grandma's) menudo for lunch and sopas for merienda.

Lull times would be spent watching the TV showing the Passion and Death of Christ.

Today with a family of my own,  I don't do the 7 churches anymore.  My husband, kids and I just visit one church and do one round of the Stations of the Cross.  We read through the Stations of the Cross leaflet, pray silently on the pews for a short while and then leave.

I'm not sure if that is enough observance of the Lenten season but for now it would do.

Last year, while doing the Stations of the Cross with the family, I told myself I'm going to write a Stations of the Cross for children.  I would make it more real to them, more personal.  As I was trying to write it,  I got stuck in the middle because I realized what I was writing is another prayer again of myself/kids in relation to the sufferings of Jesus.  And I told myself,  "Why does it have to be about me/kids again?"

I came across this wonderful Stations of the Cross leaflet published by the Missionary of St. Paul in 1936 and newly designed in 1988 by Jennifer Gregory Miller from her website

The material paints the image of Jesus' sufferings in words that are easy to understand for kids.  The personal prayer is short and sweet and is focused on Jesus.  Click this to download Jennifer's printable version - Stations of the Cross for Children.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

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Of Graduations (with Writing Composition Activity)

graduation 2014

My son graduated from grade school last week.  True it was not as monumental as that of college graduation where graduates don a toga and toss up their grad hats in the air (do people really do that???),  but it was special nonetheless.

He looked teenager-ish and handsome in his barong and stood up tall during the march.  I am glad that he values his graduation as a new phase in his life.  He realizes it will be different.  He even meaningfully asked me, nearing the end of his school days, "Mommy, can you pick me up from school on Tuesday?"  and when I asked "why" he said, "Because it is my last day in grade school." Tissue!!!!!

graduation 2014

Back to the graduation,  the event was a success.  It was good to hear all the boys singing their hearts out during the mass.  The graduation ceremony was very efficient, with no time lost, yet everyone properly acknowledged for their contribution to their grade school.

The guest speaker, Mr. Francis Roxas Chua,  an alumni and the valedictorian several batches ago gave a rousing speech that had the boys clapping for three rounds.  It was then that I realized that our boys,  though seemingly still so childish and addicted to computer games,  appreciate an adult they can look up to, to stir them, to inspire them.  They have indeed grown wiser.

The batch Valedictorian gave a speech to his fellow graduates, and it was a good one.  My son didn't graduate Valedictorian of his batch but I thought it would be a good exercise for him to write a Graduation Speech.  I will be posting his when he is done.  Ask your kids to write one too and I'll happily to post it too:-)   There is a dearth in the internet of primary school graduation speeches and it would be good if our kids can contribute some.

Kindly click on this link for some guidelines your kids can use while crafting their graduation speech.

With you in the Happy Chaos called Parenting!

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Bakasyon na 2014: Happy Summer

stiltsWoohoo!  Bakasyon na!!!  6am battles will be replaced with lazy mornings.  Evening homework rush will be replaced with long leisurely dinners.  The kids will be home.  Oh my gosh, the kids will be home!!!

Funny but moms are so busy finding summer activities to keep the kids from home.

In this age of technology when kids are strapped at home playing electronics instead of playing outdoors, moms are forced to find more worthwhile activities to keep the kids' bones and brains moving.  Next week I will be posting a list of centers ranging from sports, academics, music, cooking and a few extraordinary ones.  The list is pretty extensive and categorized in the most simplified way.  Hope you can check out TheGoMom next week for this list:-)

Like the past summer,  I intend to keep my electronic free mornings rule (my post about it here).  No TV, computer, Ipad, Xbox, Wii, DS before 12.  Last year that rule was met with an ear piercing "noooooo!!!" but this summer they just shrugged their shoulders, resigned to the fact that mom won't budge on this.  So like good soldiers, they wake up, eat their breakfast, take a bath and play with their small brother in what they term painfully slow mornings.

And of course what is summer without out-of-town trips.  This summer,  my older kids will be going back to Hongkong after almost 5 years!  This time with their little brother.  Everyone in the family is excited for little brother to meet Buzz Lightyear in Disneyland and see the amazing vertical aquarium of Ocean Park.

We are also looking forward to a trip to Plantation Bay in Cebu.  In our last visit to Cebu we checked out Plantation and the kids are aching to try it.  Hopefully we can manage to squeeze in a few short Luzon trips as well.

Basta, wherever it is we will go, expect a post about it.  I hope you can keep TheGoMom company this Happy Summer of 2014.

With you in this Happy Chaos called Parenting!

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Basic Ways to Welcome and Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.47.06 AMAs a Filipina married to a Filipino-Chinese, I thought it is about time I take an effort to embrace the Chinese roots of my husband by preparing our house to welcome the Chinese New Year.

In the past,  the most I would do is to buy a few round fruits and display it on the table overnight.  This year I would take it a few notches higher to cover the basic traditions to welcome the New Year with lots and lotsa good vibes.

The list below covers the very, very basic traditions to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  No zodiac matching here:-)


Prepare 8 round fruits on the table because the number 8 signifies good luck.  Some would argue on the 8 and serve 12,  choose your number:-)

Include pineapple as one of the fruits because pineapple is "onglai" in Chinese.  "Ong" means luck and "lai" means luck.  Put together it means luck to come.

Include Mandarin Oranges/Tangerine because their round shape symbolizes good luck and their golden color symbolizes wealth.

For the Chinese New Year buffet spread be sure to serve the following:

1.  Whole White Fish.  "Yu" sounds like the words for abundance that is why it should be part of the spread.  It should be served whole in order to attract good beginning and ending for the year to come.

2.  Uncut Chinese Noodles to celebrate long life.

3.  Spongy/fluffy cakes that symbolize growth.

4.  Whole Chicken.  The chicken dish represents prosperity and family unity.

5.  Tikoy.  This sticky cake signifies prosperity and improvements in life.  It also believed to symbolize unity and strong family bonds because of its sticky nature, plus it makes good luck stick to you.

Be sure to leave leftovers to ensure the whole family will have excess good luck for the whole year.

Also, prepare at least 5 dishes (rice doesn't count but veggies does) and never just 4.  My husband is strict on that because the sound of 4 is similar to the word for "death."


Prepare ang pao (Hokkien) or hong bao (Mandarin) for the kids.  These are the red envelopes you fill with crisp new bills.  Children can put their Red Envelopes under their pillow when they sleep and they say it will ward off bad dreams and they will become richer in the year to come.

I have prepared ang paos for the help and for my husband too.

You can also giveaway tikoy to friends and business associates/clients.  They say tikoy gives good luck to both the receiver and the giver .


Red symbolizes good fortune and happiness.  My friends whom I have asked still wear clothes with red during Chinese New Year.  If you firmly believe in Chinese Zodiacs however,  red is not a good color for the year of the Wooden Horse.

House Preparation:

Clean the house thoroughly before the New Year.  Make sure all areas are kept clean and dirt free.  Avoid thorough cleaning on the eve and on the day of the Chinese New Year since this might sweep good luck away.

I'm asking my kids to make their very own dragon, too:-) check out how to make your own Chinese dragon at marinmommies.

Chinese Greeting:

Greet everyone Kiong Hee Huat Tsai (Hokkien), Kung Hei Fat Choi (Cantonese) or Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin). It means "Congratulations and Be Prosperous."

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai everyone!!!:-)

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2 Chinese Filipino friends





Halloween Food Label Ideas

Re-posting this blog from last year.  With Halloween food, those creative name labels can make a difference ...

It's the time of the year again:-)  Last year,  my "Martha Stewartish" friend Jane dressed up her house and the food spread was amazing!  She didn't go overboard preparing those brain jellos but she spiced it up really well by putting name tags on the food which were adorably ghoulish!  Kids and adults loved it!

I love Jane's idea because it's easy to make!  Mark party food with these labels and your party will surely be a hit!  [Read more...]

Happy Father’s Day!

father's day quote

Happy Father's Day to the first Hero of every son and the first love of every daughter!

With you in this Happy Chaos called Parenting!

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Bakasyon Na 2013!!!

Image from

Image from

Bakasyon na kami!!!!!!!  Welcoming summer 2013 with relief, excitement and dread!  Relief.  At last no more waking up early in the morning with the kids.  No more tense moments of studying for tests.  Excitement.  Excited for the 3 beach trips and Japan trip our family is scheduled to have this summer.  Excited that my brother based in Canada will be home, ergo the packed summer:-)  Dread.  Dread over the days when there is no activity and the kids are stuck home with all the electronics! Dread of establishing a routine where there is none.

We have a whole summer, approximately 70 days of no school!  And we parents have to keep our sanity by keeping the kids out of the house.  Joke:-)

Hope you keep TheGoMom company this exciting and looong summer of 2013.  I will release an updated list of my summer activity guide categorized according to activity - with over 250 choices indicating company that gives out the class, telephone number and location - you will surely find one for your little kiddo.  I will post places to go to with the family weekly.  And on May,  if I reach at least 50 people per grade level to sign up for my One a Day in May worksheets I will post it.  Last year,  ang dami nag sign up 2!  So I had to cancel the project:-)

Again,  hope to see you here at TheGoMom this summer:-)

Wishing all of you the happiest summer of all! [Read more...]

Halloween 2012

Halloween is in full swing for my kiddos, as they attended their 3rd trick or treat within the week.  The walk may be long before we hit a house in full Halloween production but tired feet along with sweat are forgotten so long as they walk with friends:-)

Sharing with you highlights of their Halloween 2012 adventure!

Mix of cute and gruesome decors, plus my adorable pumpkin:-)

A deck of cards, the mad hatter trio, ghoulish monsters [Read more...]

Sept 9 2012 is Grandparents Day

My kids adore their lolo and lola:-)  Lolo has a lot of stories while Lola has all the sweets!  Don't forget, tomorrow is Grandparents Day:-)

"Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child's growth as vitamins." by Joyce Allston. Quote from