Dance Your Way to Tokyo!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I love TOKYO! And I am so glad we will be back there again this December with my Bonifacio family. (We were lucky to chance upon piso fare flights, yahoo!!!) Cannot wait to eat yummy ramen in wintertime, sip hot and comforting macha tea, and just enjoy Philip’s first time to one of my most favorite nations!

I think one of the things that draws me to Japan is its ability to possess opposing characters- like being extremely hardworking and at the same time extremely adventurous and even hedonistic, or being traditional and being hip and novel at the same time. (Think Japanese businessmen and ryokans, think teahouses and the Harajuku district.)

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Proud to have captured this with my Olympus OMD!

Yet again, the Japanese come up with a craze that reflects their fun and edgy character! Have you heard of The Wakudoki???

“Waku-Waku” actually means “your heart is pumping with joy” in Japanese and
“Doki-Doki” is onomatopoeic for heartbeat. Wakudoki represents Toyota’s new brand spirit of changing life to one that is more exciting and happy.

World Order (a famous Japanese dance performance unit!) makes an infectious video of the Wakudoki, that lots of other people in the world have already made their versions of it! But of course the Wakudoki Dance Contest helps a lot, too! If you haven’t heard of it, here’s what it’s all about:

“The Wakudoki Dance Contest invites everyone interested to record a video of themselves dancing to its original music, and upload it. They may access the contest via the campaign website or a mobile application available in both Android and iOS stores. The most viewed video uploaded in each country will win a set of Beats by Dre earphones. The grand winner in each country will win a trip for two to Tokyo.”

If you actually visit their website (http://www.wakudoki.asia), you’ll see an instructional video that teaches you STEP BY STEP!

Honestly, kahit hindi na ako sumali sa contest, it is in itself a super fun dance! (I actually miss dancing!)

If you want to see what the rest of the world’s doing, videos uploaded by other Wakudoki enthusiasts, you may check them out on their FB page (Wakudoki on FB!!!), where you are also free to like and share!

I am actually so tempted to make one for me and Philip, haha! And I probably will, pero on Tokyo na. Let’s see if I can get hubby to join in our Wakudoki moves and if he does, I shall say this craze has been OVERLY successful!

Enjoy the videos, people! And have a nice day!!! :)

always summer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Staycation acquires a new meaning for me. Now I see the value, as I wait for my little boy to grow strong enough for the wilder outdoors. (I cannot wait!)

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Ninang, Sophie, Mama and Bubba.me and bubba

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I love it that it is always summer in the Philippines.

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And I love this bathing suit from H&M. It is quite a challenge to look for the best one-piece swimsuit.

(Why I don’t wear two-piece swimsuits anymore, click: THE ITSY BITSY WORLD.)

It actually took me years to find one that fits me well.

by the pool

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Like Paris, Turon is always a good idea.

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FLBBC #3: Third District

Monday, September 29, 2014

:) Before September ends, I have to tell you about our August discovery for our monthly book club meeting!

BOOK

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Still covering the same book from last time. And I’d like to directly quote from my notes about the character of Rahab this time, “Her prosperity was for a purpose; everything you have shall be used for God’s purposes. Your personality, too, can be used for God’s purposes (like her inclination to confidentiality- though she used it for evil before, God was able to use it for good!), and her position (which was a prime spot) is His providence enabling you to be of service to His purposes. Which makes me ask: what do I have that God intends to use for His glory? And even they are things I cannot be proud of (like a dark past from which I have repented), can I believe that God can turn it around to do what is good?”

BREAKFAST

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We met at Third District, which is a coffee shop in Katipunan. (Many know it as Sam Milby’s coffee shop. Add is: #41 Esteban Abada Loyola Heights, Katipunan, Quezon City, Philippines.) For breakfast, their style is called BYOB or Build Your Own Breakfast. Basically they have printed checklists of all the items in their menu which you can build for your very own breakfast JUST THE WAY YOU LIKE IT! I actually like the concept. I like it that it is simple and isn’t really shooting for the stars or something, but wants to bring back good ol’ breakfast and coffee!

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COFFEE

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But their coffee was serious, and all we ordered were good. We were even laughing about how strong they were. Strong in Tagalog is called “matapang” which directly means “brave” or “courageous” or “bold” in English. So we just kept saying that the coffee was too “bold” it actually scared us. Hahaha!

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Aside from the food and coffee, the shop’s vibe was also kind of hipster. After all, it draws a crowd of Ateneans who bury their heads in books and their consciousness in stimulating music.

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The place also serves gelato, which some of my friends got together with the breakfast. I guess it is never too early for some vanilla ice cream, right? Do you agree?

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At 8 months we are well into the feeding of solids. I find that many ask me for an opinion on booster seats and my verdict is: GOOD IF YOU CAN HAVE IT, BUT NOT MUCH OF A LOSS IF YOU DON’T.

If you already have a stroller where baby can sit upright, that should be more than enough to bring in restaurants or someone else’s home when you need to feed him. It if gets a little too crowded, consider your lap as the best place. I find that our booster seat is rarely used. But when we have it at the perfect time, we actually find it very convenient.

fresh food feederPhilip has no tooth yet but is also showing signs of teething. To relieve him of the itchiness and possible discomfort from his reckoning tooth, I give him teether, of course, but I find that it is most effective to give him either a frozen banana or a frozen teething biscuit inside the Munchkin Mesh Feeder!

By far this has been the most enjoyable for Philip. I put the biscuit there because he can sometimes bite into it so strongly that it breaks. Too big a chunk of frozen biscuit can lead him to choke, so the mesh protection gives him protection while he is able to bite for relief and suckle for flavor!

Anyway, these are just quick tips for moms of infant like me! Sharing before we get ourselves preoccupied with weekend visits and Friday traffic. Have a great rest to you all!

romance is A MUST

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My husband and I recently fought about something. We actually haven’t had an argument in a while, was one of the things I realized while we were in the heat of the moment. The other thing that surprised me was how highly reactive I was. He didn’t have to say much and there I was threatening to leave, to get away because as I announced, “the situation was just unsolvable.” Wow, really??? Even I, could not believe what I said! (It was not as if we were fighting about world hunger, hello.)

The problem was so simple- he said something I didn’t like, I said something he didn’t like. On another day I perhaps would have waited for the surge of irrational thought and overwhelming feelings to calm down before speaking up. Or would I?

A day after our fight (which we were able to resolve, thanks to a patient and godly husband!), my husband tells me, “We’re going out on a date tomorrow.” He said it so certainly that made me think, “Did I forget this on our schedule?” But there were no prior plans. Nevertheless my spirit agreed that we should do this. Because in one moment I actually had an explanation for my surprising outburst the other day and also a resolution for it.

It has been 8 months since Philip was born and that makes it 8 months since it has been just the two of us. Except for one lunch time in Hawaii, Joseph and I hadn’t gone on a date without tagging Philip along. And while this is sweet and fun for the most part, I realized that we’ve been neglecting our “romantic needs” since our child was born.

Now this doesn’t mean the love is gone. In fact it is quite the opposite. I thought that we loved each other so much that it was okay to keep pushing our seemingly unimportant needs as couple such as romance. I mean, what are dates compared to a nursing child, right?

But after 8 months I realized that dates are not unimportant, that romance is not only an option in marriage, but A MUST.

Before Philip came along, Joe and I stayed together in marriage because we liked to stay together. We want to do things together, and loved each other for who we were and even for who we are not. We didn’t need the reason of a child to stay together; with or without Philip, we stayed together simply because of each other.

Sadly though, when priorities are muddled along the way of nursing sessions, dirty diapers, rowdy toddlers, we forget that children are supposed to add and not subtract from the union of a couple. And this equation usually seeps into marriage so subtly that it can take as long as 8 months before we begin noticing it. Now I understand why some parents begin to wonder whatever happened to the marriage only years after. Life can get really busy as a mother and home maker, as a father and provider, AND it is so easy to offer romance as a sacrifice.

Perhaps it is because we have a notion that romantic things are selfish. But now I understand it is not. Like sex is to marriage, romance within the right context is purposed to enhance and intensify the couple’s union and intimacy. We need romance not only because it feels good, but also because it is purposeful in keeping priorities in the right order.

Marriage first, was what I said in my Instagram post featuring my date with Joseph last Wednesday.  Because really, that is the divine order of things: me as the child of God, me as Joseph’s wife, before me as Philip’s mama. And we need to make necessary arrangements to keep it in this order, lest we be wallowed away into the seemingly more pressing and important things like work and child care. While seasons ask us to focus on the baby more, like when they are newborns or in a needy part of their lives, we should also know when to snap out of it to tend to our first love: our spouses.

And a regular breath of fresh air, outside of the home, where both can just be present to one another, enjoying good food and/or scenery, can do wonders. Because the time carved out for the person in front of you communicates, “You are important and I’d stay with you forever, children or no children.”

This is perhaps why it was so easy for me to snap at such a simple argument, because I have failed to remember that the person in front of me truly values me for who I am, and even who I was, before I became his child’s mother. I often think I cannot leave my child because he needs me, but now I am reminded that my spouse needs and wants me, as well! Thanks to the date we had yesterday, I am once again refreshed and reminded of how fun and sweet and romantic it is to be in solely in my husband’s company. To be valued not only for being a mom, but also for being an introvert, writer, learner, bookworm, a bad baker, and so much more that others don’t necessarily have to know.

“For me, spiritual dryness usually follows an extremely busy period. Air must be still for dew to fall, and I was anything but still.”

Ruth Bell Graham

I often say, “Be still and know that He is God.” And our marriages are really like our relationship with the Lord, too. For we need to be still before our spouses if we want to moisten the love and relationship all over again. Do not allow the love to slip away and let our feelings for each other run dry. Wet the relationship regularly with romance.  In marriage, it isn’t selfish and unimportant.

 

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