It is so tempting to go and buy the cutest little things out in the market for our babies, isn’t it? They are so adorable that even if we are only buying for another’s baby, we end up getting lots of those pink bows, fancy diaper tutus, little polos, statement onesies, and more. While all these are welcome to mom and baby, I’ve got my own list of newborn must-haves, which are absolutely useful aside from being  really really stylish! :)

Halo Sleepsack

Swaddling is an important practice especially for newborns, as it simulates the secure feeling of the baby when he was still in his mother’s womb.

HALO swaddle

HALO comes in many different designs and they surely make your baby cuter than he or she already is!

Of all brands I recommend the HALO SleepSack Swaddle because of the standard, benefits, as well as ingenuity of design. For one, it is the only commercial swaddle available in the market that is approved as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. (Click this for more information.) Then it also makes swaddling effortless with its wings attachable and detachable by velcro, while zipper is accessible either from top or bottom, making us able to check and change baby’s nappy without having to remove the whole thing. The wing wraps also guard against suffocation from loose garment.

My boy likes to be in a HALO for the cold, too. (Specially when he was still very much a newborn. Babies that are only days and few weeks old have not stabilized their temperature yet. It is important to always check if they’re warm enough.) And since he loves sucking his thumb, we usually just put his arms out which is also possible with the design!

Sleep Sheep

The womb is not only a safe place but apparently a very noisy one, as well. Imagine that babies have to live with the sound our stomach makes, the heartbeat, and only God knows what else he hears inside. Thus the logic behind “white noise” as a soothing device for fussy babies. This Sleep Sheep in particular has a record of the following sounds: ocean, rain, river and a whale under the sea.

sleep sheep I noticed it has been effective in many ways for my little boy in that it serves 1) as an audible cue for sleeping, 2) as good noise for deafening silence, and 3) for drowning out other unpleasant noises when napping.

Newborn Shoot

If parents can afford it, why not? Time flies by so quickly that before you know it, your baby is no longer a newborn. Now that Philip is almost 3 months old and several kilos heavier, I am grateful for the documentation of his frame and temperament when he was just 6 days old. Memories can fade quite easily, and this is one way of ensuring I have something to go back to for refreshing. (You may click this link for my baby’s own session.)


Petunia Picklebottom

I wish we had a local version of this terrific bag! It is dulce et utile at its finest, the epitome of sweet and useful I must say! This bag looks incredibly stylish, and extremely handy. I think the detachable changing pad says it all. It has saved us from plenty hard surfaces and middle of nowhere leaks. Why it even serves as a temporary bed when we’re out and Philip just cam’t wait to claim his nap!


Tip: photo for Sleep Sheep and this bag directs you to links of their online shops. However, I always find it cheaper to buy them over at Amazon. Haha!

And elsewhere I read a good logic on buying a really fashionable diaper bag: You’d have to be with it ALL THE TIME, so you might as well get one that is far from what you wouldn’t be caught dead carrying. :)

Hello everyone! It is another wonder-full Wednesday, full of amazing, awesome things, as well as questions and puzzles.

If you aren’t familiar yet, I recently started sort of a new portion here at Wanders and Wonders. Due to the volume of questions I get on my different social networking accounts (as well as email), I’ve decided to consolidate them all by asking these people to course their inquiries through an email made specifically for that ( instead. This way, I am able to efficiently answer interesting and helpful questions by women from different walks, seasons, stages of and in life. (By the way, men can ask, too. I just haven’t received any from you guys yet. Haha.)


Today’s bunch is a great one! Varied and thought-provoking, I hope you will find both questions and answers to be of help to you somehow.

On Breastfeeding (I get tons!!! I really should buy a good book on this ASAP, for surer answers.)

I’m a new nanay and gave birth to a baby boy last feb 14. I’m also breastfreeding him since day 1 and I find it a challenge to look for nursing wear whenever we go out. Whenever I look into your ig account, it seems that you’re wearing usual clothes and i wonder how you nurse with it. What clothes do you recommend that are not really mahal but can be nurse-able? Nursing wear brands are also expensive kasi. Salamat.

What an awesome, truthful, helpful question!

Totoo yan, nursing wear is expensive. :( I have not yet seen a nursing top that is lower than 600 pesos, and truth be told, that amount is not sustainable. Although I have to admit that nursing wear makes a huge difference in your breastfeeding experience, specially when you are doing it in public.

So my advice is to get perhaps 2-5 nursing tops (or maybe you can get 2 dresses out of 5 items…), specially if you are still planning to have more kids in the future. Treat it like an investment if you have the means to purchase some today. You will use them for a long time, anyway.

Then mix it with your old clothes that are nurse-able. What I did was to sort through my cabinet and noted all tops and dresses that would be easy to lift up. Preferably, those that do not ride up far too high in the back. (Better if it does not at all.) I see some women use cardigans on top of their shirts so when they ride up in the back, nothing will be exposed. This is the cheapest alternative ’cause you don’t have to buy anything new except for a good breastfeeding cover. That is actually my last advice for you: INVEST IN A GOOD NURSING COVER. :) When you have one, you don’t even have to buy a nursing top or dress at all if you don’t want to!

I want to ask, what do you take and do to increase your milk supply? I am a member of _________, however, I no longer subscribe to such because some members were too passionate about EBP. I feel as if I am feeding a poison to my baby just because I opted to mix feed already.

I already answered the first concern, which was about increasing milk supply in last week’s post. (Please click this for the link :) )

But there is something very important about what you said. We actually share the same observation about the group you mentioned in your email (which I have kept anonymous here so to protect its members), and I think that concern is valid enough to make space for in this post.

Like you, I was also a member of that group for a while and though I think it is an amazing thing to create support groups for things such as breastfeeding, we should also be careful not to make others feel like they’re wrong or worse, like evil, when they choose not to do so.

In my very short time of subscription to that group, I’ve witnessed 2 posts that were arrogant and condescending in tone towards those who do not breastfeed. Those 2 posts made me decide to just leave the community.

Because although I believe that breastmilk is best for babies, it isn’t the only way to feed and show our love to them. Some women have real, valid concerns for not doing so- such as not producing enough milk, work, and even the overall stress we go through when it comes to stabilization of milk production, latching, soreness, wounds, late nights, etc.

My take on the whole thing? If breastfeeding takes away more than it adds joy of your overall experience of caring for your baby, then you have a valid reason not to do it. The relationship of mom and child is more important than the performance of breastfeeding, which today’s society subconsciously turned into a standard by which moms are rated with.

Of course I still would insist on making breastmilk and direct breastfeeding as your first choice. But if one finds this is not best for her situation, I would not take that as a license to prove I am the better mother for choosing otherwise. (This is the way I feel about natural, unmedicated birth, too. Make it our first choice. But if we can’t, then it doesn’t mean we’re failures. What matters is that we tried, and I think that is more than enough love we have shown for our babies.) And really, if we want to educate or enlighten mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, being prideful certainly isn’t an effective way to do it. Lalo lang natu-turn off tuloy ang ibang mga nanay.

Are you feeding philip directly on your breast everytime? Or nagpupump din po kayo minsan?

I direct feed Philip (at 2.5 months) all 5 times in the day, then bottle feed him once before he sleeps. So I always pump for the last feeding of the day, though I still give him the breast right before he goes to sleep so to soothe him. He nurses for only a few minutes and dozes off to sleep.

I pump twice in a 24-hour cycle. At the time when he feeds from the bottle, and the moment I wake up and my breasts are full of milk. This is usually an hour before he direct feeds in the morning.

Till when are you planning to breastfeed him?

They say it is good to have a breastfeeding goal or plan. I honestly haven’t thought about this yet. Maybe 1 year, max? But who knows, I might like to extend it. I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there.

Ilang hours ang gap ng feeding nya?

I have trained him to eat every 3 hours. (That means 3 hours from the start of our feeding, to the next. And this is at 2 months and a half as his age. Intervals and amount of milk per feeding will change when he is older.)

What time does he usually sleep at night?

At around 10 to 10:30PM. And then I wake him up at 7:00AM to eat. When he can sleep longer in the night, I will move bedtime earlier. To maybe around 8 or 9:00PM

Are you feeding him in public? What clothes are  you usually wearing? Dyan kasi ko mejo hirap hindi ako gaano makapag-dress kasi dapat laging on the go ang boobs ko. Hehehe.

Yes I do. See question above about clothes I wear and recommendation for overall nursing comfort in relation to your nursing outfit inquiry. But yeah, true, it can be challenging to be fashionable while nursing. Rule of thumb for me is to always be out in something like a battle gear. Ready to fight anytime, anywhere! Haha.

Does your baby Philip also try to play / pull your nipples while feeding (properly latched from the beginning then after doing so its not correct anymore)? Do you train him to feed continuously and not fall asleep? I’m starting to wonder that these things my baby does causes her to be ‘gassy’ & doesn’t make her satisfied & full after feeding. I’m trying to learn about my baby’s personality, natutuwa na lang din ako, ka-cute eh!

So true. When I watch my baby eat, I learn more about who he is! Eating is very personal. Some adults may like catsup on their fries, while others don’t. Each and every one of us has a unique way of eating and I think it is the same for babies. :)

To answer your questions:

Yes, Philip does that sometimes, pulls away from the nipple then latches back. Specially when he is in a playful, super awake mood while feeding. If he lands back and the latch is not correct anymore, I simply unlatch then latch again to fix it.

Yes, I trained him not to fall asleep while feeding. Especially in the beginning, when newborns just want to sleep instead of eat.  Now, he efficiently eats even though he is sleeping. I really don’t know how babies do that but Philip does and I can see naman he is able to “empty” the breasts.

There really are gassy babies, and there was also a time that Philip was gassy because he swallowed so much air every time he fed. But he’s become more mature in the area of feeding, and he no longer does that gasping reflex. However, he still farts A LOT. The difference though is that the gas doesn’t cause him discomfort anymore. I think gas also has something to do with the baby’s maturity and development in his internal system.

Maybe you can ask your doctor for relief if it really bothers your baby. Mine said Gripe Water is okay, and even bigkis. I also tried massaging his tummy with calming oil, and I thought that worked. :)

You’re exclusively breastfeeding Philip right? He seemed to gained weight already. I’m a little concerned with my baby’s weight, medyo slim pa din kase sya, not sure how much a breastfed baby should gain. And do you also avoid dairy products & sweets? These affect the baby daw kase according to one lactation consultant I’ve asked. Not quite sure how true it is.

Yes, exclusive breastfeeding. His massive weight gain is because he went through a growth spurt. Usually occurs at certain ages supposedly. But not all kids have it the same, so if you think yours isn’t gaining just about yet, baka naman it will happen later on. My standard here is that as long as my pedia is okay about my baby’s weight, then there is no need to worry. :) Did you ask your pedia already?

It is the same with the sweets thing. Yes, I eat sweets. And even take coffee. When I asked my pedia if it was okay to have coffee while breastfeeding, she said to take it and see if baby will react. Philip didn’t have any reaction towards it so I can continue having coffee. Ask your pedia what she thinks about the sweets thing. Because it is safer to get advice from a pro, and someone who knows your baby’s history, too.

When did you start to pump? What do you use for the pumped breastmilk, bottle or softcup feeder? My baby is almost a month old. I am not sure if it’s ok na to pump and to feed my baby using a bottle.

I started to pump in the early weeks of Philip’s life because I didn’t know what to do with my engorged breasts. Looking back, maybe I could have done it better. Like hand express and massage for engorgement, and pump only when giving Philip the bottle (which is equivalent to the time of feeding him on the breast) or only after he feeds, and mix that with milk leaks I gather from my breast shells.

In the first few weeks of the baby’s life, our milk supply isn’t established yet and I think, pumping out of time, rhythm, and volume (as dictated by the baby), messes more with the signals our bodies send to the brain for milk production. I think it can possibly affect the way our body produces milk.

But since I introduced Philip to the bottle at 3 weeks old, I was already pumping regularly since then, in order to replace the feeding I lose over to the bottle and also to store milk for the next.

Obviously, I use the bottle. Others say to just use a teaspoon or cup feeders but my philosophy (which I also got from somebody else) is to introduce bottle before baby turns one month so he/she won’t refuse it when he/she is older and is already so used to just taking the breast.

There are different ways on how to go about this and you have to find what suits you and your baby. I don’t think using the bottle is bad. So far, it is working for me and Philip. Of course there’s that chance he’ll like the bottle more and equally so, that he’ll like the breast more. I know of a mom whose baby quit direct feeding and opted the  bottle after 3 months, and another mom whose baby quit the bottle and opted to be fed entirely from the breast at 11 months! So really, we can’t tell what would happen. Best advice I can give you is, if and when you choose the bottle, choose a really good one with nipples that simulate the human nipple to encourage sucking and not just passively drinking your expressed milk.  (Click this for stainless bottles which I highly recommend instead of the plastic ones.)

On Mom-Newborn Baby Bonding

Will you suggest rooming in the baby while at the hospital or is it better if baby stays at the nursery? What are the benefits and disadvantages of rooming in the baby?

Is it still an option? I am not sure but I think all hospitals in the Philippines already room in the baby with you upon birth unless baby is in a critical condition.

But if it remains a choice, better would mean a matter of weighing the pros and cons against the backdrop of your own experience. I might be very different from you in terms of personality, birth experience, overall condition, etc. So let me just answer the benefits and disadvantages that I see about it.

Rooming in means you get to have your baby right beside you and accessible at all times instead of being dependent on viewing hours at the nursery. Breastfeeding is also easier as you can grab the baby anytime he/she is hungry, instead of getting out of bed and out of your room each time the nurses call you and say you need to feed the baby at the nursery. (Newborns feed every 2-3hrs, so imagine getting out every so often…) And of course, you can do an unli-stare or unli-hold this time since baby is just within your reach, with no glass separating you from each other. Now personally, I like that better. However, be ready to hear your baby do his/her unli-cry also, if and when that time ever comes in your first few nights in the hospital. This time, you’d hear everything instead of just the nurses and other babies going through it in a separate room.

On Personal Views: About [alleged] “Heretical” Creative Interpretation, & Modern Day Practices Associated with Pagan Origins

What do you think of the movie Son of God?” (And she gave me this for reference: SON OF GOD review)

I haven’t seen it so I basically cannot give you my opinion or review of it.

Basing it on the link you gave me though, I would say that the review made some very good points and I can see why he would call it “heretical.” I have also seen the “Bible Series” which he mentions in the review as well, and I also thought that the series sometimes makes light of Jesus’ power. (I loved the whole series except for the way they created Jesus, haha!)

But at the end of the day, for me, the Word of God is the final authority. I will never use movies for theological discussions and even topics for devotion because they are movies and are entitled to creative liberty. Being from that industry, I understand why they sometimes have to deviate from the book or script, so to produce something more cinematic. I guess this boils down to a management of expectations then. I personally enjoyed watching the Bible series, but never relied on it for theological reference and accuracy.

What’s your point of view regarding kids celebrating Easter and joining Easter egg hunting?

I honestly hadn’t thought about it until you asked. So I asked my husband about his views on it and he said he wouldn’t like to do it with Philip if there really is no need to anyway.

Researched a bit about it and here is an interesting things I found: History of Easter.

I still don’t know what to feel about it when the time comes I get an invite for Philip to join the Easter Egg Hunt. But really, I don’t think I even have to choose anyway because I am pretty sure we’d be making our own Peralejo-Bonifacio Easter tradition where Jesus and His great love and power will be its focus. But when it comes to other kids who do it, they have their own parents and I wouldn’t want to impose things they should and should not be doing in their families. The most I will do is give my opinion when they ask for it. :)

On Time Management

Paano mo po na-oorganize ang day mo? Having that ministry, family, self, husband and etc. Any practical tips of organizing your day?

Actually minsan hindi ko na nga din alam! Hahaha!

Seriously speaking, organizing our days is really more like a skill. It takes great effort and mastery to be able to come up with an efficient schedule. And I think it helps that you keep a calendar- not only of your month, but even of your day to day schedules.

To give you an example, I have a calendar that gives an overview of my month, and a pad that has Monday-Sunday columns. The big picture month view tells me of the big block offs, like ministry invitations, or a day out with the Bonifacios, visiting my mother, out of the country trip, etc. Then I break them down in my day to day calendar; in bullet points I write my errands or things to accomplish for the day, like phone calls, bills to pay, etc. Then when I need to be out of the house for something small like getting groceries, I try to synchronize it with big block offs according to the area- para hindi sayang sa gas or cab money. Haha! Basically, the logic behind this is plotting ahead of time and scheduling every single thing you have to do, even rest! Honestly, if we don’t schedule rest or vacations, they might never end up happening!

Plus the main guideline of finishing everything I can, like my column and blog articles before my husband gets home for work so I can spend my whole evening with him. Joe and I have made it a rule not to accept more than 2 ministry invites in a month, and we also see to it that we take time to relax- have a date, see our friends, sleep in, watch a movie.

Of course the schedule I am describing here is the one before Philip, our son, came. Right now, since he is just almost 3 months old, my days basically run on the routine of Feed-Play-Sleep-Repeat. When he naps, that’s when I do everything I can, like write, fix the house, call people, etc.

On Hair Care

Hello Ms.Rica, I’d like to ask regarding your hair care. I know you’ve been fond of blowers and curls, too. What are the products you apply before you style it and what other practical tips can you suggest when constantly styling using heat? Your reply would be very helpful for me.

Yes, very fond of blowers and curls. I love styling my own hair! :) But really, I think there is no way that our hair can be kept healthy if it is constantly put under so much products and heat. The most  you can do is go for treatment and trims regularly. So I don’t really put any protection anymore,but once I feel like my hair’s gotten too dry already, I go for treatment, trim or sometimes even a big chop. My hair philosophy is that it will always grow back so I shouldn’t be afraid of styling or cutting away!

Philip’s 1st Party EVER!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

first party

Two Wednesdays ago, we attended the very first party – EVER, that was thrown for Philip!


It was the kind and generous gesture of our friends from BC Magazine and of course,

my partner since the start of the year, Baby Company!


These were only some of the things we got to bring home:


Aprica stroller (I super super super love this!!! Will blog about it soon!!!),

King Sue,

Tous Les Jours,

a super cute Philip Cake from Marta’s,

and free membership at Gymboree!


Many of our guests had fun eating yummy food, playing games, winning prizes,

and bringing home awesome loot bags!

So thanks Baby Company, BC Mag, and our sponsors for being generous. :)


Too bad I never got to try those burgers anymore!

Paano naman kasi, busy kami ni Philip. Hahahaha!


friends with kids


Now Philip’s party is not only special because it is his first,

but also because it is MY first time to invite mommy friends to a party where their kids can also enjoy!

(I heard it was a riot upstairs, thanks GYMBOREE!!!)


Even in the early weeks of my pregnancy, one of the things that God impressed in my heart

was that “Philip is going to be well provided for.”

I didn’t know what to make of that, but I just believed God.

When the time for Philip’s numerous baby showers from my different sets of friends came,

Typhoon Yolanda had just happened.

I did not have the heart to push through with them,

and I thought that this was probably why God gave me the faith ahead of time.

The faith to believe He will provide, even though I cancel our baby shower parties

and ask friends to give to relief ops and fund raisers instead.

What I didn’t know is that Baby Company will partner with me come the start of Philip’s birth year!

So far, Baby Company has been with me since January, supportive of my every baby/nursing mommy need!

We love you BABY COMPANY!!!



This is a photo of my closest friends, along with some family members.

Like I said in the program, any party would not be meaningful if not for these relationships.

These people provide not only material, but also (and all the more I appreciate)

physical, spiritual, emotional support!!!

family picture

Photo on the left is featuring my in-laws, the Bonifacios.

(Will try to upload photo of the Peralejos once I get them from our dear photographers!)

Now that was such a tiring Wednesday for me.

Any mommy of a newborn knows what I am talking about;

a simple party suddenly isn’t so simple when you have to nurse 6 times a day

and mind the naps of a little human being.

But all’s worth it for my baby Philip.

Again, thank you so much to our friends from BC Magazine and Baby Company!!!

Banking and Movies

Friday, April 4, 2014

Remember in my recent post I said that mommies are super updated with the latest deals and points or rewards system? I’ve also blogged about this before, how I am such a happy BDO Rewards user. One reason is because I never have to feel too bad about gas ups. When I do it at any Shell station, I get points on my BDO Rewards card, too. That means, kahit ang sakit sa bulsa ng mataas na gasolina, at least, mataas naman points ko in my card!


I actually used the points I acquired from different purchases last Christmas. I bought ornaments at Kultura and gifts for friends in the U.S. Frequenting stores that honor BDO Rewards has been my default lately, just because I find so much sense in getting our essentials where we can also acquire something in return.

Lalo na if they tie up with stores and places that are your lifestyle staples, like coffee shops and movie houses.

Especially if you like watching movies, you must be thrilled to know that BDO Rewards members may convert their BDO Rewards points to cinema tickets/cards of:

    • SM Cinema
    • IMAX Theater
    • Robinsons MovieWorld
    • Other cinemas of member’s preference (i.e. Newport Cinema, Ayala Cinema, Gateway, etc.)

Minimum redemption amount:  P500- orders will only be processed in increments of 500, so dapat kasya ang points sa card niyo when redeeming, plus delivery charges. (Each area has a designated amount for delivery) All cards/tickets are valid 12 months from date of redemption.

Here’s the best deal pa: you also earn 2x BDO Rewards points by paying your bills via BDO Online Banking!!! As a happy and satisfied online banker, and mega impressed with the BDO Rewards card, I highly recommend this. :)

Now if you have more questions then just go to any BDO Branch and I am sure they’d be happy to explain more of this to you. Clients may actually request conversion of their BDO Rewards points to cinema tickets via: BDO Call Centers 702-7888 or 1-800-10-7027888 (Toll Free) or in any of the BDO branches!

Banking is an essential part of life and I just wanna thank BDO for making it more fun by throwing in different kinds of rewards and incentives! Surely a couple of movie dates can go a long, long way!

Have a great day everybody!

Wednesday Wonders #1

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I’ve been getting a lot of questions- through email and on my Instagram account, which I really would like to answer, but just don’t have the time! Alam niyo naman, first few months of baby demands so much time from the mom. Every 3 hours they feed and in between those feedings, we also have to play and make that connection happen. As a result, I only get to do errands, study for messages I am supposed to deliver, meet or call people, write columns and blogs, while he naps within those 3-hour-intervals. (And I do my quiet time, reading, and whatever I can on my devices while feeding! Hehe. #noyaya #multitaskingmama)

But since I feel bad about passing up the opportunity to answer some of the best and most helpful questions I’ve encountered, I decided to just collect some of them and make a regular post of these questions together with my answers!

Actually, I wasn’t able to include those from my Instagram account anymore. It’s kinda hard to keep track of those, so I highly suggest that if you have questions or inquiries, you may email me instead. (Take note of my new email:


For starters, I gathered a few questions from my old email account. I copied them and pasted directly onto my WordPress draft, but decided to keep the identity of our mailers. (Please click this for guidelines on this new portion of my blog which I’d be calling “Wednesday Wonders”) Nevertheless, I hope you find both questions and answers to be practical and informative. You are also free to leave your thoughts on the comment section below.

Really excited to be doing this! May you have a fruitful time going through today’s Q&A!

Q: “….I’m a mom of a  3 month old baby boy. I just wanna ask if you have anything to share on how to make my milk flow more. I feel so frustrated everyday when I see my son feeding on a bottle with a formula milk. Big help for me if you will answer my query. Thank you in advance.”

A: Hindi ba they say malunggay (moringa) does that? Although I honestly didn’t have much of that in my diet while I was pregnant and even when I gave birth to Philip. All I had then was a lot of soup, and drank lots of juices, and I also had a friend give me malunggay capsules. Siguro that was part of why my milk is abundant today, but I can’t be too sure. I actually had to stop it because I went through a bad case of engorgement, over active let down of milk, and oversupply.

Many mothers and lactation consultants advise putting baby on the breast as much as you can so to stimulate your milk production. The science behind breastfeeding can be described as “supply and demand,” the more the baby demands, the more your supply will be. Did you try that already?

My advice is for you to try asking your OB GYN. She/he would know best. And also, if you really cannot produce enough for your baby no matter what you do, know that there are other ways to bond with him! You can sing to him, play with him, or make every feeding time with the bottle a bonding time for you both. :) Although breastmilk is best, breastfeeding is not the only way we can share the love to and with our babies.

Q: Gusto ko lang po itanong ano po mga requirements sa pag kuha ng passport for infant? Nakita ko kasi sa ig na may passport na agad si philipbo. And bilis nya nagkaron ng passport. Dapat daw po kasi nso copy pero it will take 3months pa daw para ma-release yun nso birth certificate.

A: I was actually mistaken about the birth certificate. Akala ko hawak ko na ang NSO copy, but hindi pa pala. I only had the Local Civil Registrar’s copy from the office of the city where my son was born. But anyway it was a blessing in disguise because they accepted that anyway. My friend also did the same thing. She just brought her daughter’s LCR and they were able to apply for a passport. But to be completely sure, why don’t you visit this website for their contact number and give those guys a call?

Anyway, if you need to expedite birth cert documents, you can also get in touch with the city hall of your child’s place of birth. Since talagang 3 months before dumating ang NSO copy, I know that you can also request for the LCR from them by writing a letter and making an appearance at the city hall. That was Taguig’s advice to me, kung sakaling hindi agad dumating ang NSO copy ni Philip in time naman for a U.S. visa application. So my advice is to call the city hall asap and ask for due process in expediting your child’s documents.

Q: Can you blog about nursing bra im having a hard time looking for a comfy and itch free nursing bra i hope you can help me :)

A: Hay naku, sa totoo lang problema ko din yan. I don’t think any nursing bra, not even the best one, will be completely itch free. And that’s because we wear them all the time. I haven’t been bra-less (except when I take a bath) ever since I gave birth to Philip because of my leaky boobs. Naturally, that creates friction and that can lead to burning, itching, allergies. :(

But comfy and good support, I will recommend MAMAWAY (click this on where you can find their stores here in the Phils). I have so far tried that brand and Chicco, and I can honestly say Mamaway is definitely way better. One of their designs (called the CROSSOVER SLEEPING MATERNITY BRA- picture below!)  is even cheaper than my Chicco so I find it super worth the purchase. :)

Both of these I have. On the left is the crossover sleeping maternity bra, and on the right is the second skin seamless maternity bra

Both of these I have. On the left is the crossover sleeping maternity bra, and on the right is the second skin seamless maternity bra

Q: “Hi Rica! Im one of your avid Instagram follower and eversince I got pregnant (im now 14 weeks), I started reading your blogs as well. I find it easier to relate to real life experiences, (especially from a celebrity like you) than reading forums from people I do not know. Anyway, i have a question for you, when you were pregnant with Phillip, did you ever had bleeding/spotting episode? If so, did your doctor tell you what caused it? And what did you do?

A: Yes, this happened to me twice actually.

The first one was after contact with my husband during my first few weeks in pregnancy. My doctor advised to avoid contact, as she thinks my cervix might still be too soft to handle the pressure. Not so sure about when she gave us the go signal to proceed with contact again but I do remember that we had to ask and wait.

The second one was on the night I arrived in Japan from California. I believe I got exhausted physically and emotionally (I always get so sad when leaving my family in the U.S.) that it might have resulted to bleeding. My doctor actually wasn’t able to answer my text anymore, so I just observed if the bleeding will repeat before texting her again. But it didn’t, and decided to just let it go after checking if there were other abnormal sensations that she would ask me about before like lower back pain, contractions, etcetera.

As much as I appreciate your trust in my posts, I would rather you ask your birth attendant about these things if they ever happened to you also. It is safer that way because he/she is able to monitor your unique progress, and may ask you questions, diagnose and prescribe cure that may be specific only to your situation. :)

Q: “I have read your blog entitled “When ‘Gentle & Quiet’ becomes daunting. Like you I’m not that mahinhin :p I really praise God for this blog because I understand what quiet and gentle spirit really means. :) Pero when I turned 21 last February I realized that I should change some of my actions :P Medyo “maligalig” kasi ako and I forgot that I’m already 21 :( HAHAHAHAHA! Even the clothes that I wear (I don’t like to wear girly stuffs like dresses or skirts). Hmmmmm.. Right know I’m having a hard time. I don’t know how can I change my actions from being a girl to a woman :) I know God didn’t created me to be “mahinhin” for a purpose. But I think I should act like a lady now…”

A: Okay so I guess the question there is…how or where do you start?

Haha, this is actually an awkward stage cause it feels like you’re turning into someone who isn’t really you to begin with. But you are coming from a good place naman, you are convinced that you should change and that it will be for the better.

I actually don’t have any idea about where or how to start? But in my own experience, I go with the flow of my “season.” If the season calls me to be more mature, I look for clothes that will express that, and language, too. Dati, sobra akong kenkoy, but I have learned to be less of a clown and more of a cheerful lady through the years. Doesn’t happen overnight, but it will if you persist in the way you do things.

Influences also matter. Sino ba ang mga hinahangaan mo? Maybe you can get cues from them. Dati, hip hopper clothes ang gusto ko. Until naging parang K-Pop. Then I eventually discovered how much I loved the preppy get up- stripes, collared shirts, slip on shoes, sneakers. Then now that I am a wife and mom, gusto ko mala-Kate Middleton. Dapat may peg ka din, cause that really helps a lot in giving you direction. Though you should never forget that you have your own, unique style!

Usually when you dress the part, it becomes easier to act it out. :)

Q: “…the reason why I wrote is gusto ko marinig insights nyo ni Pastor Joe, regarding Discipline. (spanking, reinforcement, rewards, etc.) (Sobrang fast forward ba, 2mos palang si Philipbo?) kc I know you’ll do well also in explaining things like that. I admit, Im challenged now with my daughter, firstime ate nya, and i think na-spoiled sya esp. to grandparents being 1st apo both sides e, tpos medyo matagal nasundan. Yun lang naman as of now. I wanna know kc your insights, kung napag-usapan nyo ng mag-asawa if how will you discipline Philip in the future…”

A: Sobrang fast forward nga! I do not see the need to discipline Philip just about yet; 2 months palang sya, hahaha! :)

So here’s what I  recommend you to do:

1) Follow the blogs of Jenn Punzalan and Pastor Paolo Punzalan. They have tons and tons of lessons about child rearing and family values.

2) Jenn and Paolo are our mentors. My husband and I run to them for all our marital issues, and will surely run to them also for issues regarding Philip and the rest of our future kids. I strongly recommend you look for people like them in your life. Be mentored by someone older and wiser than you when it comes to this area of your life. Real, live, actual people who have their lives as a testimony, are always the best resources!

Q: “I hope you can make a blog post on foods and meals that you used to eat during your entire pregnancy. Your wonderful body and giving birth to a healthy baby inspire me to become a healthier mom.”

A: Hmmm. Happy that I inspire you to be healthier but honestly, I wasn’t so much of a healthy pregnant woman, too. Haha! Though I tried naman, for sure.

I ate lots of berries while in the U.S., for anti-oxidants. Then lots of high fiber stuff, too, like wheat bread and fruits.

I think the healthiest thing I did while I was pregnant was to control my sweets. Our family has a history of diabetes and my OB GYN asked me to watch my sugar so my tendencies don’t develop into full blown gestational diabetes. So I didn’t eat anything white- white bread, or white rice. I also started eating meat again, to fill me up. (If you didn’t know, I was vegetarian. Back to that diet once again, but just not as strict as before.)

Q: “I am fond of all your blogs especially in regards to your baby Philip. I am wondering if you experienced having post partum blues or depression. What did you do to overcome it?

A: I think I might have, but only for a moment. There was one night in the hospital when I felt so sad about my C-section. I felt like it was so hard for me to move around because of the procedure. I shed tears but after that, I never felt it again.

So maybe I am not the best person to ask?

However, there are a few friends of mine who have it bad and one of them say that you should just let it all out. To allow yourself to feel it and express it. Apparently, it can’t be helped. Some women really go through it and some even say that it differs per pregnancy. I suggest you talk to someone who’s had a real experience of this, if you really are asking for yourself. Doulas and birth classes may also discuss this. As for me, I am just really happy I didn’t get it, and surely hoping I won’t ever. :)

Q: “hello po ms. Rica. gusto lang po itanong kung pano po ba mag simula nng blog? at ano po yung mga dapat sa blog? hope ma sagot niyo?

A: Paano magsimula? Sign in on, and there! Create your own blogsite. That is basically how I started.

Content-wise, kung anong isusulat mo is up to you. No one can tell you what to write about. Maybe the best question for you now is “why do you want to blog?” Because that will give direction to your writing and publishing. Then you can also list down your interests. Who knows, maybe they are worth writing about. :)



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