Growing up, my siblings and I were trained to do household chores.   Every summer, our parents would send the helper to her home province for a vacation and that would signal what we dramatically call our “summer slavery”.  My Mom would wake us up  at six in the morning (summer morning!) to prepare the garbage for pick-up by the collector. Why can’t they pick them up in the evening?!  Nobody was allowed to leave the house without fixing his/her own bed.  My favorite chore was doing the groceries and going to the wet market on Saturday mornings with my Mom.  This is where I developed my bargaining negotiation skills which I later on put to much greater use at work… and at the flea markets and bazaars :).

I was seven when my late Dad taught me how to cook rice, sans the automatic rice cooker.  He also passed on his cleaning techniques (bordering on OC-ness) to me.  But he must have known I could do more than just regular household chores. Once while he was fixing the bathroom pipes, he sent me to the nearby hardware store by the corner for what felt like an epic mission: 1) have one of the pipes cut into two specified lengths, 2) ask them to put a pipe screw and 3) buy an elbow coupling to connect the two pipes. I was beaming with pride when Dad said I did a great job.  I was nine!  Hanging out in hardware stores and home depots still give me a different kind of high up to now.

Now that I am a mother myself, I have seen the value of teaching kids to be responsible even at an early age.    For the Little Boy’s first four years, he has had a nanny at his beck and call.   Since we moved here in Jakarta two years ago, we had been nanny-less.  Though our family is lucky to have access to household help twice a week, we’re basically on our own when it comes to the day-to-day chores.  Dear Hubby thankfully agrees with me to get the Little Boy involved in household tasks.

I have started him with some little chores:  putting away his toys after playing, returning his books on the shelves,  fixing the throw pillows in the living room (they all end up on the floor after he plays), tossing his soiled clothes in the hamper.  As soon as his grips became stable, we had him bring his dinner plate to the kitchen after meals.  He started helping out clearing the dinner table at age five and now that he’s six, he once in a while helps in mopping the kitchen floor.

A skill he acquired during the summer break.  His supervisor dad looks on.

Some may even argue with me that this could be child labor.  I don’t think so.  While we shower him with so much love and affection and we strongly encourage outdoor and indoor play, we just don’t want him to grow up thinking that  there will always be someone to pick up after him clearing all his mess all the time. By involving our children in tasks, we parents teach them very important values that could stay with them throughout their lives:  a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance, and self-worth.  The Little Boy could use these skills to help him become a well-adjusted adult and not be a pain in someone’s neck later on.  Just give our kids age-appropriate chores and remind them to whistle while they work.

Here’s a video of the Little Boy happily performing his task.



There’s not one Filipino who hasn’t heard of Eat Bulaga, the longest running noontime variety-game show in the Philippines.  I practically grew up with this show– daydreamed about joining the “Little Miss Philippines” contest, picked up the latest “knock-knock” jokes, patiently waited for the “Dobe Kara” segment, and always looked forward to the “Super SiReyna” candidates.  As a little girl, watching and getting entertained by this program made eating vegetables at lunch more tolerable.  Even when I became busier as a working adult, I would still catch a Saturday episode whenever I can  only to guess the “Pinoy Henyo” words of the day.

As if being a staple in the Filipino lives for over 30  years is not yet enough achievement, Eat Bulaga has added another feather on its cap.  For the first time in the Philippine television history, a local TV program is franchised by a network in another country.   Surya Citra Televisi or SCTV  in Indonesia has recently acquired franchise of Eat Bulaga, definitely a milestone we Filipinos should be proud of.

As EB Philippines celebrated its 33rd anniversary last Saturday, we had the privilege of watching EAT BULAGA INDONESIA live at the Studio Penta SCTV.   The Filipino community here in Indonesia was invited by SCTV’s Marketing Creative Services Advisor, Gerry Guzman.  Yes folks, he is a Pinoy!  Woot-woot!!!

Salamat Eat Bulaga, Terima kasih SCTV sa isang libo’t isang tuwa (one thousand and one fun).  Now I can truly say that Indonesia is indeed my second home. 🙂

While waiting for the show to start

Philippine and Indonesian flags being waved by the audience

Dennis and Luis, our very own Mr. Pogi candidates

Trust the Pinoys to get the message across

Teacher Vince sending some love back home

Our fully-clothed SexBomb counterparts

The games and props are patterned after EB Philippines

Kanan Kiri Bumbum Cring!

Now wearing our EB shirts which we won from the “Kanan Kiri” game

Our favorite Pinoy Henyo being played here as “Indonesian Pintar”

Their team won 2 Million IDR!

This Indonesian (girl)-Filipino (guy) tandem also won the Indonesian Pintar adult category

EB Indonesia also has this tambayan with a salon, barber shop and sar-sari store

Like its Philippine counterpart, EB Indonesia extends its hand to televiewers who are in need. This touching gesture never fails to warm the hearts of everyone watching.

The fun goes on even off-cam

Spotted these cute Pinoy kids in the studio

With LEO CONSUL, the lone Filipino among the hosts who hails from Bolinao, Pangasinan. Another Pinoy pride right there!

With one of the Indonesian hosts, Reza Bukan

Tita Nitz and Anna Mae enjoying a red carpet moment

Pitchur pitchur

Pinoy Henyo me playing around with the props at the backstage



By this time, I was officially a wide-eyed six year old girl walking around what they call The Happiest Place On Earth.  A happy place  indeed because one would wonder who was even more excited between me and Little Boy, Dear Hubby must have felt like he was in the park with two kids.  If I had my way, the fan girl in me would have had photos taken with ALL the mascots that we saw.  Sadly, the queue for  photo-ops were quite long and standing in long lines are not my boys’ greatest strengths.  I didn’t get to enter Sleeping Beauty’s castle as well because I was outnumbered by boys who did not share the same enthusiasm… which, in hindsight, was good news because I was re-assured of their masculinity hehe :).  It was never a problem at all because all these things that I missed just gave me very good reasons to go back.  In the meantime, this is my half-full perspective through the lens…

This is his Mickey Mouse pose


If you have a kid like mine who sometimes thinks he’s a creature of the jungle, then you have to try this mini-cruise.  It features jungle animals like zebras, giraffes, crocodiles, etc. and as you go along the river, you’ll see a family of baboons and a safari camp that has been taken over by gorillas. Dramatic waterfalls and what seemed to me like an erupting volcano were part of the attraction too.  Total awesomeness for mah boys! 🙂


This show made the same impact on me the way the Disney Parade did.  Once the show started, everybody around me became invisible and I just totally zoned out.  As each scene brought back episodes from my really fun childhood, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks.  I couldn’t believe that these characters from my  daydreams and fantasies actually came to life.  Oh well, I’m weird this way, haha! 🙂   In between sniffles, I could have sworn my mouth was open in awe the whole time :).  Truly breath taking. Each part just gave me chills and the performers were outstanding! And why wouldn’t they be?  There were Filipinos in the cast. 🙂  Each segment made me recall all the movies I’ve watched when I was a little girl and seriously, I want to watch them all again.


I don’t know about you, but my all-time favorite Disney princess is MULAN.  Well, she’s not exactly a “princess” but more like a heroine.  I like the fact that hers wasn’t a damsel-in-distress type of character but someone who’s strong-willed, independent and assertive.  When all the other princesses wait around for their Princes Charming, Mulan is busy saving China.  Aaand where else in Disney stories would you find a lone Disney princess skinny-dipping with male soldiers!  How cool is that?! 🙂


I just looove this attraction over at Tomorrow Land where you have to shoot aliens and defeat Emperor Zurg!  You get to  pretend that  you’re Star Command raw recruits and hit the targets with a laser gun — you earn points every time  you shoot the targets.  I had so much fun but I only got 50,000+ while Dear Hubby got 300,00+ points… while taking pictures!  I wanted to do it again and again until I beat him, but I knew it was impossible.  At least I got higher scores than Little Boy (competitive much? haha!).


I don’t think this Disney experience would be complete without watching the fireworks.  I’ve always been amused with them- always stayed up on New Years to watch them  and even had them on our wedding reception.  I was fervently praying Little Boy wouldn’t be cranky by the time the show starts at 8PM because aside from it was already close to his bed time, he hates fireworks!  “It’s too noisy” he says.  And like a six-year old girl begging her dad, I was practically telling him “last na ‘to, promise” (this would be the last).

I surely hope that this wouldn’t be my last visit to Disneyland having left a lot more reasons to come back.  I can always dream on.  After all, whether you’re eight or thirty-eight, dreams do come true in this magical place.


When Dear Hubby told me that Little Boy and I were going with him to Hong Kong, my heart skipped a beat.  I swear I saw these words actually flash in my head: Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, balloons, fireworks, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, Snow White…. I think I was about six when I started daydreaming about one day seeing them and playing with them but eventually tucked them in my memory as I got busy with school and later on work, then much later on, marriage and family.  I can’t believe that this fantasy was finally coming true now that I have a six year old child of my own!

It was a Monday (less tourists) and the temperature was at cool 17 degrees, a perfect day to visit Disneyland! Oohhh you wouldn’t guess how excited  I had been, I went to the toilet twice that morning.  Whoops, sorry… too much info :).  Forgive me, I just couldn’t believe I was finally here.

Proud of these Pinoy performers in Disney!

We had lunch at  Corner Cafe at the Main Street where Little Boy had a little scolding for being naughty.  Hence, the drama shots below.

But all’s well that ends well.  Tuloy ang ligaya (the fun continues)!  Off we went to HK Disneyland’s newest attraction which they say is the first of its kind among Disney parks worldwide, the TOY STORY LAND.  Prior to this trip, Little Boy did a marathon of the movies (yes, all 3 parts) so he knew all the characters in Toy Story.  It was just amazing to see the giant toys all around us making us feel like dwarfs.  I’m not much of a rider, just a strolling and hanging out kind of girl (in short, pang photo-op lang haha!) so it was just Dear Hubby and Little Boy who sampled the Slinky Dog ride.


One must not miss the 3PM parade when in HK Disneyland.  This is where you see all of them: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Lilo & Stitch, Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, the Disney Princesses, Woody, Buzz Lightyear… almost all of them are here.

Now this was the part where I zoned out and all my memories as a kid just came back.  This was also the part where I first (that means there’s a second time :)) got teary eyed.  Maybe I was too overwhelmed seeing all these characters live and in person! Well, I know they’re mascots but hey, I used to just see them on Betamax and VHS (kids, just Google them to know what they are) and now they’re right before my very eyes.  The highlight of this parade for me was when Woody shook my hand… it felt like touching a rockstar!  The last time I shrieked that hard was during the Eraserheads reunion concert. Dear Hubby was totally weirded out :).


We all know the song, right?  The kid in me just couldn’t stop singing the entire time that we were in this “world tour”.  I excitedly named the countries the dolls were representing as if I was in a contest.  When we entered the Asian continent, I suddenly heard something familiar “Kay liit lang ng mundo, kay liit lang ng mundo…” to the tune of It’s A Small World! And in that little corner were two Disney dolls in a bahay kubo wearing baro at saya with a tarsier by their window!  I just didn’t expect it, I’ve never felt so proud!

More stories and photos of our Disney adventure on my next post.  Thanks for dropping by, see you soon!


With THE guy... in the flesh!

Like many kids, I was a Santa Claus believer.  We would wake up on Christmas mornings and find candies in our stockings.  Gifts were already under the tree waiting to be opened.  Never mind if I saw the same wrapping papers on my Mom’s dresser, maybe Santa and Mom just happened to shop in the same stores in Anson’s Cubao or SM Escolta.  Hey, maybe my mom knew the guy!  After all, didn’t Michael Jackson have a song about his own mom tickling Santa Claus?  After interrogating her about it, my mom said she hasn’t seen him and I believed her, she further said that Santa Claus NEVER shows himself to anyone.  That became a challenge to me.  Nights before Christmas, I would fall asleep waiting for him on the couch beside our Christmas tree.  I’d tell everyone to leave the front door unlocked, we didn’t have a chimney and the poor guy’s too old to climb on windows.   I just gotta see him!  I wanted to speak to him and find out if he really was multi-lingual.  How did he understand my letters written in Tagalog?  Okay, if he wouldn’t show himself and wanted to be mysterious, fine.  Maybe I could just catch a glimpse of the reindeers?  Yes, reindeers would be fine.  I wanted to see if Rudolph’s nose really glowed in the dark.   I always made sure that our garage was clear from any mess for the sleigh’s parking.  This would be my mission impossible year after year.

Then the horror of horrors happened one Christmas season when our helper got possessed by the combined spirits of Mr. Scrooge and The Grinch and decided to tell me that “Santa Claus is your Dad.”.  Huwaaaattt??!?! I felt sorry for my Dad… How could she squeal my Dad’s little secret!  He worked so hard to grow that belly…  I didn’t want to hurt Dad’s feelings so I never told him what I just found out.  I told our helper “Wag mong sabihin sa kanya na alam ko na ha”  (Don’t tell him I already knew).

Things became clearer to me as this development unfolded.  For example, this could be the reason why we had a garage but never had a car.  It’s for the sleigh! There were times I’d be curious and would sneak to my parents’ bedroom and look for that red suit inside my dad’s closet.  One time I asked him, “Daddy, can you say ‘Ho-ho-ho!’?”  but he gave me a puzzled look so I just dropped it.  Besides, no one should hear him do the Santa laugh while he’s wearing his favorite puruntong shorts. I just gave him my reassuring look and in my mind I was  saying “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”  The more he looked puzzled.  My gosh, he is good!  Knowing “the secret” felt like being in the CIA or something.  I enjoyed being part of the “connivance team” so much that I would have this all-knowing look over my playmates. “Hah, you better be good or I will tell my Dad not to give you gifts!”   I just had some questions though…  Where did he keep the reindeers?  He knew I always wanted to see Rudolph!  Who were his elves?

photo by: thefunnyblog.org

Fast forward to 2011 and I now have a 5-year old boy who believes in Santa Claus.  He gets a small treat in his stocking everyday with Santa’s little note reminding him to study hard, always be polite, eat his vegetables, etc.  This routine has been encouraging the Little Boy to get up every morning without any prodding from me.  I’m aware of this argument among parents and experts that this “myth” glorifies lying, deception, materialism, etc.  My take is, kids should be sat down by the parents and be told about the truth when parents feel that their kids are ready to handle it.  Kids can keep on believing as long as they know the REAL reason for the Christmas celebration.  After all, Jesus’ birthday is a great, interesting and inspiring story by itself.  Meanwhile, let kids be kids.  I don’t think this will make a traumatic impact on them when they become adults.  I turned out well… I think. 🙂

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