LITTLE BOY LEARNS TO BIKE

biking

Reality just caught up on us and we just realized that the Little Boy is no longer a baby who needs stabilizers or balancing wheels on his bike.  Yesterday we removed those extra wheels, trooped to the apartment grounds and started rolling.

I never realized that there is science in learning how to bike.  I pride myself in learning on my own at age twelve sans science, just sheer determination… Okay, and a tweener’s desire to belong haha!!! Of course my husband, who up to now questions my ability to ride a bike,   would be the one to do the teaching and I would be the cheerleader/water girl/photographer/videographer.

I initially thought that Dear Hubby’s “scientific method” was peculiar but was later on proven effective because Little Boy learned to confidently ride a balancer-free bike in 30 minutes! Let me share with you these tips:

1.  TAKE AWAY THE PEDALS. Your child will maneuver the bike like how he does with a scooter.  It helps build a greater feeling of control and means he worries less about wobbling. It also gives him leverage to push off and gain his own momentum.  Encourage him to keep his feet off the ground for as long as possible.

2.  LEARN TO STOP BEFORE YOU START.  This should be on number 1 because this is a very important safety reminder that we failed to teach our son, so this is sort of a hindsight lesson.  Maybe start by letting your child stand beside the bike with his hands on the bars, walk along and practice pulling on the brakes.  It’s an important foundation that helps the child feel that he is in control.  I think any driver especially a child needs to get into the habit of using the brakes and it’s important to really get into his head.  “He has just started learning” may not always be a good excuse when you run over another playmate.

3.  HAVE FUN.  Learning to bike could be taxing and frustrating to a child (maybe even to adults) but try to have fun along the way.  Nobody gets it right the first time.

Allow me to share with you an amateur video that I made documenting my boys’ short journey to this milestone. Dear Hubby’s steadfast teaching, Little Boy’s perseverance to stand up fall after fall, and the ability to have fun made this learning experience a success.

Happy Monday everyone and may you all have a great productive week ahead!!!

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CAR-FREE SUNDAYS IN JAKARTA

If you ask anybody who’s been to Jakarta, he would most likely say that one of his unforgettable (or maybe forgettable) experience in this city is the heavy traffic.  On a typical day, frustrated  people get stuck in Jakarta’s infamous macet (traffic jam) praying to high heavens that they make it to their appointments, or that their bladders won’t explode in transit, or that they won’t choke on the fumes from the vehicles.

But once a week, the main thoroughfare transforms into a people-friendly zone and virtually becomes a park of sorts.  Every Sunday, from 6:00-11:00 AM, Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin are closed to private and public vehicles (except for the TransJakarta).  Jalan Sudirman is Jakarta’s counterpart to our Manila’s EDSA so imagine that whole stretch being closed to traffic, what a bliss!  What started as a once-a-month environmental drive in 2007 garnered support and encouragement from the public that it became a regular Sunday  pollution reduction program in 2012.

And because Jl. Sudirman is a stone’s throw away from our building, it has become our family’s Sunday morning exercise to run/walk/bike along Jakarta’s busiest street.  So if you happen to be in the city on a Sunday,  enjoy a short escape from the bustling macet and head on to Jl. Sudirman for a morning of fitness, fun, food, and people watching.

Sharing with you some car-free Sunday scenes below…

people.joggers.bikers

The TransJakarta is the only motorized vehicle allowed in Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin.

The TransJakarta (bus rapid transit) is the only motorized vehicle allowed in Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin.

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Little Boy at the most popular Jakarta landmark, the Sudirman Roundabout (Bundaran)

Little Boy at the most popular Jakarta landmark, the Sudirman Roundabout (Bundaran)

Enjoy leisure or serious biking in front of the perennial bottleneck, Grand Indonesia.

Enjoy leisurely or serious biking in front of the perennial bottleneck, Grand Indonesia.

Car-free Sundays are perfect recreational time for family and friends.

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people.family

people.father & daughterspeople.friends

Also a preferred day and venue for various programs, promotions and causes…

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cause.1

Save Our Sharks!

Save Our Sharks!

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Flash mob!

Flash mob!

The traditional Indonesian "Ondel Ondel" or folk puppet performance

The traditional Indonesian “Ondel Ondel” or folk puppet performance

Don’t worry about getting hungry and thirsty along the way ’cause you won’t.

food carts

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Water station in almost every corner

Water station in almost every corner

Coffee to go! Anon'ng sabi ng Starbucks? :)

Coffee to go! Ano’ng sabi ng Starbucks? 🙂

If you’re lucky, you’ll chance upon some free sampling treats for freeloaders like me hehe…

food sampling 1

Free fruit cups for everyone!

Free fruit cups for everyone!

I always know where to find Little Boy when he gets lost in the crowd :)

I always know where to find Little Boy when he gets lost in the crowd 🙂

HOME RUN!

HOME RUN!

“A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content.”

Happy Sunday everyone!!!

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PILIPINAS GOT THAILAND


I never played any sport (unless patintero is counted as one) but I’ve always been surrounded by people who played competitive and exhibition sports.  And while they struggle for those elusive scores or beat the hell out of their opponents, I’m there cheering them on.  Wearing whatever  required color, memorizing the chants,  and waving those official banners.  Cheerleading at  its finest, baby!

Basketball is not new to me.  Okay, I may not know all the mechanics and not understand all the referee’s calls but I can always bug my seatmate to translate the jargons 🙂  When you regularly watched the inter-school UAAP as a student and  used to work for a company that has three basketball teams in the professional league, you somehow get educated on this.

Dear Hubby and I were privileged to have watched the Sinag Pilipinas team win the gold medal for the men’s basketball division here at the Jakarta SEA Games.   Though I’ve seen live basketball action before, I could still feel that this experience  was different.  We played against Thailand so the Thais cheered for their team and the Pinoys cheered for Sinag.  Nothing unusual.  What I was surprised about was the other nations watching AND cheering for team Philippines!   They were cheering for the right team alright, team Philippines did not disappoint.  Even our Indonesian friends are amazed at how Filipinos play basketball.  “They can actually dunk??!”  To which we just reply “What football is to you, that’s what basketball is to us Filipinos”.

The DUNK that never fails to elicit "ooohs" and "aaahhs" from the crowd. Hah! Warm-up pa lang yan!

The RP bench. Yes, that's THE coach Norman Black right there!

Look, South East Asia. This is how we do it!

The real thing!

And this is how WE do it! Upper right photo shows a big group of Filipino teachers based in Jakarta, lower right photo shows a group of Pinoy expats. And the one on the left is, well, the ultimate groupie.

The Thais came in well-prepared. Darn, I should've worn a "Singkil" costume!

But our boys were better prepared... we got the GOLD!

Not to be left behind are our Women's Basketball Team winning the SILVER!

It all didn’t end at the awarding ceremonies, little did I know that there were more surprises waiting for me that night…

CYNTHIA TIU, the Team Manager of the women's division who also happens to be our wedding sponsor was there!

My cousin ALBERT ROLLE who's also the rapist, err, Therapist (P.T.) of our men's basketball team was there too!

He was gracious enough to let me wear the gold medal for some photo-op. Thanks Abet!

WARNING: FAN GIRL MOMENTS ahead… You may skip if you want to 🙂

Girl power right there!

Asian special from Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia

This is Bobby Parks' little big boy, Bobby Ray. One of the highest pointers in the game and I think he's cute too! Parang Will Smith. Watch out for this boy...

Aaand who doesn't know NORMAN BLACK of San Miguel grand slam fame and the four-peat coach of the Ateneo. I refused to go home that night without shaking his hands, the photos were just a bonus. Once you go Black, you'll never go back!

It was indeed a glorious night not only for sports fans but for all Filipinos as well.  To quote my Twitter entry that night…

“Singing Lupang Hinirang in a foreign land with the Philippine flag raised above two other nations’… Surreal! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!”

MANNY MANIA

I’m not writing about how the Pacquiao-Marquez fight should’ve ended, or whether I agree with the results or not.  You’ve already got your Facebook, Twitter and  TV overflowing with opinions, I don’t want this site to stress you out. Mahal magpa-Belo 🙂  However, this post is still about the match and how it united the Filipinos here in Jakarta- one fine Sunday.

As if you still don’t know, a Pacquiao fight has always been a “sacred” event for Filipinos.  This is one time when Philippines has zero crime rate and the roads are miraculously clear of traffic.  You wouldn’t want to miss Manny’s bloodied face saying his victory message (in English!) with the Philippine flag waving on his background. Or Mommy Dionisia fainting.  Or Jinkee’s new nose, I mean, Hermes bag.

Anyway, Pinoys here in Jakarta wouldn’t want to miss the action so a group of friends organized a viewing/salu-salo in Demang Restaurant strategically located near Sta. Theresia Church, where Filipinos would normally start their day on a Sunday.  The place was jam packed not only with Pinoys but also foreigners  i.e. Indonesia (of course), Germany, USA, Sri Lanka, Belgium, etc.  By the way, there was also a lone Mexican guest who was brave and sport enough to watch the fight with us.  Let me take you there…

The banner announcing the Big Event. I erased Billy's and Luis' numbers, they've already got too many "friends"... and proposals 🙂

Our hardworking and very efficient friends manning the registration area.

Like a real Pinoy event, it all started with the national anthem and a prayer.

Fun games prior to the main event.

A German national won the beer drinking contest, must’ve had a lot of practice from the recent Octoberfest. San Miguel Beer Indonesia presented the award. Behind them was the lone Mexican guy in the room. Such courage and sportsmanship! 

And the action begins. I must say, this game almost gave me a heart attack!

Then the RP Basketball contingent for the Jakarta SEA Games arrived.  We didn’t know all of them but the ladies just shrieked and swarmed around them for photo-op.  Me?  Nah, I kept my cool the whole time… Wait!  Did you just say Chris Tiu?!?!?!?

Apparently our poor athletes didn’t have a transportation service going back to their hotel so the organizers asked if anybody could lend their cars.  I volunteered, Dear Hubby could take a cab 🙂

Oh it was an honor taking these boys to my apartment... I mean, to their hotel 🙂

How else do you celebrate a Pinoy event but with authentic Pinoy goodies

International photographer Romy Gacad taking this shot as I waved the flag in victory. His photo later on made it to local (Phils.) and international news. I'll have a separate post on this brewing international "stardom" next time.

A word from our sponsors. This event was made possible by generous Filipino expats in Indonesia (and the companies they're connected with) and by the Philippine Embassy.

Like any Pinoy gathering, the event was punctuated with lots of stories, drinking, singing and dancing. No, "My Way" wasn't part of the repertoire.

It wasn't just a gathering for nothing. The proceeds of this event was donated to the victims of recent typhoons back home in the Philippines. The donation was coursed thru our Philippine Embassy.

I’m no boxing expert nor a sports analyst.  All I know is that millions of  Filipinos all over the world are always brought together by one man- Manny Pacquiao.  Now to those still insisting for a re-match between Philippines and Mexico, see you at the Ms. Universe!

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