Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A lifeline

When you're feeling lost and alone, or if you're just feeling down and need a warm hug or a little inspiration, there's this awesome site and app that I just found and I just wanted to share it.

Check out Positively Pinoy on the Google Play Store and check out their website here. Inspirational Christian music and positivity for a refreshing change. Also proudly Pinoy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teaching Filipino or Learning Tagalog

When my son Matt was six, I knew we weren't making much progress in Filipino. He was homeschooled since he was 4 and his homeschool curriculum was in English. My husband AR and I were used to speaking to Matt in English. Matt was raised on Sesame Street educational CDs and Playhouse Disney. We rarely watched local channels, if at all.

Thankfully, when he was six, we were able to afford to enroll him in a summer Filipino class offered by a school nearby. Maybe it was a waste of money but I saw that the lessons were pretty much just a review of what Matt learned when he was in toddler school. Well, I shrugged, at least he had fun having a summer being just a normal kid enrolled in a school and he was happy he had kids the same age as him to play with.

Fast forward to the present. It's 2017. The little six-year-old boy who was actually ahead of his Filipino summer class is now a teenager. He still loves Lego, Star Wars now (before he said he preferred Star Trek), and, sadly, still has trouble with speaking Filipino.

I know it's our fault. We should have been more firm in speaking Filipino and more strict in making him speak it. 

But kids are funny. When you bank on the fact that they don't understand you, and speak about adult matters or other things in Filipino so he won't understand, that's when your kid is sure to be listening.

Sure enough, through the years, Matt has picked up some Filipino here and there. And he says it's because he hears AR and me speaking it.

Matt also has the most patient Filipino teacher in his old school, Blended Learning Center. And even though I've literally burst into tears trying to figure out how to get Matt to learn Filipino, he has gotten by. He somehow passes quizzes and even managed to pass the PEPT government test to place him in Grade 7 this coming school year.

As much as I wish I could just give up and just hand him over to his new teachers for them to deal with, I am bidding one last try to teach him Filipino. I am sharing the links I found from a quick Google search on "how to teach to speak Filipino fluently" and hope that it helps someone else who is struggling with this problem as we are.

Sadly, more and more kids are forgetting how wonderful it is to speak in our own language. And, yes, although the parents, including us, are to blame, it really is an evolving world that is becoming more global. The kids nowadays are more comfortable talking about their computer games, gadgets, and the latest technology in English. (And, sorry, but those English movies dubbed in Filipino are just horrible.)

But, anyway, wish us luck. And if you're struggling through this yourself, good luck to you too.



If this is all overwhelming for you, trust me, it's the same for me.

Please note that I am attempting to teach a 13-year-old kid so you might want to screen the links I gave if you are teaching a smaller child.

I suggest taking bite-sized pieces for lessons. And start with the YouTube videos. You, the parent or teacher, might want to read through the dull grammar stuff in order to understand and explain these ahead of time. (Ugh. Yeah, I know.)

Like, for example, I'm thinking this would make a good first lesson.

Also, please note that my son can understand some basic Filipino and can even speak some of it (he just refuses to speak it). So you might have to adapt the lesson to a lower level or give lesser information than what I've recommended.

Please know that I am not a Filipino teacher, just an ordinary parent who once homeschooled their child.

Good luck and God bless you and your family.

Oh and P. S. If anyone requests for me to post the Filipino stuff we used when Matt was younger, please let me know. I can write another blog post for teaching Filipino to a smaller child.

Friday, June 16, 2017

My Top Ten Music Choices

For the longest time, I could never come up with a personal top 10 of music choices. It may be a simple achievement and of no great consequence, except to me, but here it is:

1. Cruel Intentions OST (Original Soundtrack)

2. "Try" - Mandy Harvey

3. "Sige Lang" - Quest

4. "Life in Mono" - Mono (*Great Expectations OST)
             *starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow

5. "Girl in Byakkoya" - Susumu Hirasawa (*Paprika OST)
             *animated film by Satoshi Kon

6. "Planetarium" - Ai Otsuka (*Hana Yori Dango OST)
             *Japanese drama

7. "Ashita, Boku Wa Kimi Ni Ai Ni Iku" (Tomorrow, I'm Coming To Se You) - Wakaba (Sekai-Ichi                   Hatsukoi Season 1 end theme song)

8. "Still Doll" - Wakeshima Kanon (Vampire Knight Season 1 end theme song)

9. "As Long As You Love Me" - Backstreet Boys

10. "Bilanggo" - Rizal Underground

Honorable Mentions:

- "History Maker" - Dean Fujioka (Yuri On Ice OST)

- "Cannonball" - Damien Rice

- "Pangarap Lang Kita" - Parokya ni Edgar

- "I'm Trying To Break Your Heart" - Wilco

- "Iris" - Goo Goo Dolls

Saturday, May 27, 2017


I am typing this post on my phone. I will probably edit this post later on to add photos and links, but I wanted to post this before I end up procrastinating again and end up not writing anything.

Today was an ordinary day. The sun couldn't quite decide if it was going to shine or hide behind rainclouds but in a function room at Club Filipino in Greenhills, it felt like our little family just took a giant leap forward.

Padayon. Not sure but I think it's the Visayan term for "moving on" or "moving forward."

Today was Leap Day or the moving up ceremony of the Blended Learning Center. And it was the last official event of the school that Matt will participate in as a student.

Honestly, it took a lot of motivation just to finish the schoolyear. Ever since Matt took the PEPT early this year and found out he passed Grades 3 to 6, and was eligible to enroll in Grade 7 next schoolyear, it was hard to still get up early in the morning and face the trudge through traffic going from Pasig to Cubao.

Matt had to deliver a speech and no wonder his topic was friendship. If there was a school devoted to fostering friendship, that would be the best place for Matt. (We'll see how it goes in high school. He's going to the Pasig branch of APEC and I've heard that classes are usually conducted by groupwork.) 

On a personal note, I've given up trying to write my novel. And that alone made me never want to get up from bed ever again. Why? It's kind of hard to explain since I'm still wary of the whole spiritual emergency thing I went through and would go through yearly. (Last year was the first year I didn't have one since 2012.) But I guess that's one reason right there.

I was seeing an art therapist at the beginning of the year. And she also has her third eye open. And she told me if I didn't stop writing my novel, my spiritual emergencies might continue, or worse, have a negative impact on Matt, whether in the form of a spiritual attack or psychologically (Just how my frequent hospitalization affected him, I will never know. I just hope he is okay and will continue to be, God willing.)

And, lastly, and I have to just admit the God's honest embarassing truth. I couldn't write it. I just couldn't. I tried but I failed. Again and again and again.

I guess I'd built up this perfect novel in my head that I just knew I was going to fail at my own very unrealistic perfectionist expectations. So, now, I am trying to move forward from there.

I have some business ideas that AR and I've been brainstorming about but, sadly, none that have pushed through either.

So, first step of moving on, I guess, is to assess where we are now. Second step is to be grateful that we got this far to begin with.

I don't want to share the overwhelming thank you's I expressed in a Facebook post because the people who needed to hear them, heard them too.

But I guess I owe a thank you to anyone who's reading this right now too. Whoever you are, if you're reading this, whether you just stumbled on my blog by accident or just stumbled on this post, thank you for reading this.

Know that life has a funny way of working things out, even if in the midst of darkness, you thought you'd never make it out alive from the storm. If you survived a storm, congratulations. You made it. For this infinitesimal time you spend reading this, you and I made it together.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen

The lyrics are taken from a famous essay — written in 1997 by Mary Schmich, a columnist with the Chicago Tribune. The video is made by Baz Luhrmann, the film director.

Heard this on the radio today and I remember when I heard this back in college.

Monday, March 6, 2017