Nearly December Again

December Gift Giving

Christmas Season

We’re almost halfway through the so-called Ber months. Here in the Philippines, Christmas lasts longer as Christmas trees and decorations are put up at home as early as September. We are Muslims and we don’t celebrate Christmas but we can’t help but feel the happiness this season brings.

Season of Giving

This is known as a Season of Giving. Gifts are now being bought by most people who have money to spend as early as now. Most employees will receive company bonuses or 13th month pay by end of November till December so expect some Christmas shopping rush around mid-December. It’s not just the upscale malls that will have lots of patronizers but even markets and  bazaars will be full especially come November.

The Best Time to Shop

Store owners say it is best to shop in the bazaars now when the price is still lower compared to when Christmas time is nearing. I’ve experienced this last year, bought a couple of blankets as gift to kids. When I went to Divisoria in October it was just P150 each but when I came back in December to buy more I already got it for P180-200 each. There was no way I could get it for P150 as there were lots of buyers already.

So, are you ready to shop?

Let’s put on our most comfy clothes and shoes as we spend the whole day shopping in malls or bazaars, wherever we prefer. Bring your family and friends for a fun-filled shopping day and so someone can help you with your baggage too. Don’t forget your list of ‘To Buy’ so you won’t forget anyone on your ‘Gift List’. When you shop now, there’s still more time for you to go back to do some more shopping when you need it… I’m quite sure you will…  And thank you in advance!

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End of Ramadhan Celebration

Eid Mubarak (Blessed celebration) to all the Muslims everywhere! Eidl Fitr or Festival of Breaking of the Fast is on July 6, 2016. This ends the muslims’ obligatory month long fasting during the month of Ramadhan.

Have I mentioned I am a Muslim?

Oh yes, I am.

Born to muslim parents, dad from Cotabato City and mom from Marawi City, a combination of basically Maguindanao and Maranao in my blood plus a whole lot more including Arab & German. Dad is a Datu and mom is a Bai which makes me a product of a Royal Family.

Wondering about my head veil or hijab?

I use it from time to time. I know I should use it all the time but then I wasn’t raised to do it and still struggling with it at times. I compensate for the lack of hijab by wearing clothes in modesty… properly covering my body without need to show cleavage or legs.

Muslim couple

My husband is a Balik Islam or Revert.

We prefer to call those who convert to Islam as Reverts because it is said that everyone is born a muslim until their parents make them Christians, Jews or any other religion. So when people become a muslim again they revert back to their original religion when they were born.

Our kids are all Muslims.

Filipino Muslim family

We believe that there is only One God and that is Allah and Prophet Muhamad is the Messenger of Allah. We pray the obligatory prayers as much as we can, these are 5 every day. We fast during the month of Ramadhan which lasts from 29-30 days eating suhoor before Fajr prayer around 4am and then taking nothing the whole day except when the sun sets for Maghrib prayer around 6:30pm. My husband, eldest daughter and I have gone to the holy place in Makkah to perform Hajj or pilgrimage. We stayed in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the late 90’s. We give Zakat or alms to the less fortunate, first to our families then to the community. I’ve mentioned the 5 Pillars of Islam and Alhamdullillaah (All the praises and thanks are for Allah) that we are able to perform these acts.

Real Muslims are Peace-Loving People

Nowadays when you talk about Muslims, most people’s first impression is Terrorists. This is a label we abhor. We are as civilized as anyone could be. Becoming a terrorist doesn’t need a religion. They have their own set of beliefs… far different from what the Quran (Holy book) really teaches us as well as the Sunnah (Ways) of the Prophet Muhamad. Regardless of what others say, I suggest you find a Muslim friend and see for yourself.

And by the way, we may be Muslims but we don’t represent Islam as a whole. We are just human beings capable of doing mistakes and sinning. Do not judge Islam by what you see in us. We are struggling to perfect our deen (faith) and we hope to be successful but until then we are just like the rest of you… always trying our best to please the Creator.

I hope I have enlightened you in one way or the other about my religion. Today is the last day of fasting in this holy month of Ramadhan. Tomorrow we will spend Eidl Fitr with the rest of the family. Have a great day everyone!

This Mom is Busy!

You’ve read it right, this mom is busy! Busy with everything about being a mom 🙂

To give you recent updates, school has just started for my 3 kids – Law school, Senior High (Gr. 11) and Junior High (Gr. 9). And as school starts so does the rainy season 🙂

But before the stories about the rain…

Last summer was very productive as we went to the province – Cagayan de Oro to attend a nephew’s beach wedding and Davao to visit siblings, Samal Island for an extended family outing, Baguio for a cool road trip as it’s the Summer Capital of the Philippines known for its very cool weather and Batangas for a swimming escapade.

beach wedding
Wedding buffet by the beach

As you have been reading my blogs, you know by now that we have a close-knit family. We love to do things together.

family outing beach
We love to go to the beach

The summer that has passed was truly a summer well spent. Thanking God for the blessings He has given us – good health to be active, good minds to think of what’s important for the family, good hearts to spend time with the loved ones.

Baguio
Dinner in cool Baguio

Hope you had a good summer too 🙂  Looking forward to more family outings and good summers!

Getting Organized!

I love browsing websites that talk about organizing the home. Around last year I started on Pinterest and fell for organizing tips. Seeing images of how to organize different stuff made it more appealing for me.

I thought about writing my own ways of organizing things at home, it took me a while to do so but here I am. This will probably be a series of articles that focus on some organizing tips that I personally do or some things that I saw that interests me and will probably try to do. That is the best word to put it – try 🙂

First, I am not a very organized person. Well, I say that but my family thinks I am. I don’t think I’ve perfected the organized way of life. For them, the way I keep things in its proper places is already organization. For me, it’s just keeping things tidy … for a while.

We’ll start with the organized clothes cabinet.

I try to keep the clothes cabinet in good order. We don’t have a walk-in closet that houses all our clothes, shoes, bags, accessories. We have a cabinet for the clothes and the shoes, separately. We have hooks for the bags and shelves for accessories.

The shirts are separated for sleeping, daily wear at home and for outdoor. Jogging pants and shorts go together. Underwears, hankies and socks are in separate bins. Office or outdoor blouses, polos and pants are hung. This way we know where to get what clothes to use for the moment and where to put clothes after laundry.

I know others organize their clothes by color coding. They have a big closet that’s why they can do that.

I have young boys and I always start organizing their cabinet and have them maintain it. They share one cabinet so we need to divide it equally so they know where their clothes belong. I say that they can keep things in proper order for at least a week or two. My eldest daughter already has a well-kept cabinet. Problem is she’s got lots of clothes and most are not used for a long time. This we’ve got to fix J

The shoe cabinet has 5 layers for 5 of us. But this doesn’t fit all our shoes anymore. My daughter and I have shoes under our beds… those used occasionally. The boys have big rubber shoes that  don’t fit in as well. For this we need to build another storage. This will be a project to start soon.

The boys and I don’t have much accessories. I’m not very fond of these little stuff but my daughter is. She’s got lots of bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, watches, shades, headbands, and all these other cute little things and she’s got some baskets to keep them together. I guide her on what she can do to keep all of her stuff and not be an eye sore in her room.

We’ve got lots of bags. We dispose our least loved or most used by sending to family and friends who might need these. But reality is that we purchase new bags once we’ve given to others. There’s a bag for ordinary days, for errands, for grocery, for day shopping, for occasions, for outings and whatever activities we can think of. We have wooden pegs on the wall to hang our bags.

As of writing, I need to do some organizing again before I can take a picture of our cabinets. Next week is already the start of classes and I’ve been busy with so many things preparing for the coming school year 🙂

Boracay Vacation 2015

Summer vacation in the Philippines is April to May. Regular classes are on vacation except for those few schools which just recently changed their academic year from June to March to August to May.

Vacation Destinations

Our family loves to go on simple outings. The usual getaway is the beach. We’ve been to some beaches in Cavite and Batangas which we can travel by land for an hour or so. We have also been to the summer capital of the Philippines – Baguio. It has a cool climate all year round. We’ve also been to Subic in Zambales as well as Puerto Galera in Mindoro.

Boat Ride Adventure

Boracay_boat_rideThis year we went to Boracay. You can usually go there by plane but we opted for an extra adventure – we went through boat. We parked our car in the Batangas port. The boat ride was around 9 hours. Going to Boracay from Batangas was an overnight stay. While Boracay to Batangas was a day trip.

We’re a family of 5 so we stayed in the cabin. The cabin was good for 4. My hubby bought a ticket for another class but stayed in the cabin the whole time. We just paid extra so he can eat with us. There was a restaurant for the cabin passengers.

You won’t go direct to Boracay island. The boat’s destination is Caticlan, 15 minutes ferry ride away from Boracay. So once we arrived in Caticlan port we went out and went into another port area for the ferry ride to Boracay. From Boracay port we rode a multicab that led us to the area of the apartelle that we rented in Station 2. Boracay had these areas such as Station 1, 2 and 3.

Love Boracay

Boracay is a regular community island. All the while I thought it was just the beach and the sand plus the hotels and restaurants. But of course tourist stay in hotels or apartelles near the beach and don’t usually need to go out to see the entire island. Everything you need is on the beach front area.

We stayed in Boracay for 3 nights. The shallow part of the water had moss. They say that it’s there every summer time. But once you pass that part the water is clear. You can see fishes around even when  you just take a closer look and without goggles. The sand is very soft. Your feet sinks in it.

At night there were fire dancers on some restaurants by the beach.  It was a busy place whether in daytime or nighttime. There were lots of restaurants which we commonly see in the city. We opted for going to market to buy what we want to eat and have the caretaker of the apartelle cook for us however we want it for a fee. They also cleaned the dishes and dining area which made it convenient for us.

On our second day we rode the banana boat and we did parasailing. We’ve already tried the banana boat before in Puerto Galera where we were thrown out of the boat 2x. This time in Boracay there has been a new rule that they are not allowed to throw out the passengers anymore for safety purposes.

Boracay_Parasailing

Boracay_Parasailing

As for the parasailing, our 3 kids went ahead of us. They were natural adventurers. My hubby and I love to see our kids experience these things at an early age. It was our first time to do this. It was such a breathtaking experience to be up there even for just 15  minutes.

 

 

On our last night I was able to experience the Boracay massage that everyone says is very good. Indeed, it was! I was able to sleep very comfortably. Ready for the next day’s travel.

Hopefully we’ll be able to go back to Boracay on another summer. Or probably another beach destination next year. I’m thankful that my family is able to do these things. It may not be too much for others but it is enough for us.

Family vacations are the best! To our next vacation 🙂

Dream Reader Who?

Dream_readerWho’s my dream reader? Hhmmm I’m not sure but I tend to share stories of my life, my kids, my parenting style and I’d probably want fellow moms/dads/parents to read these. I also would like to think that children of all ages can relate to my blog too.

I want to be able to share my experiences in raising up my three kids especially that my eldest is already 22, working full time and studying post graduate (Law). I have a girl and 2 boys who are in their teen (14) and pre-teen (12) both in high school.

I’m hoping that my experiences as well as those of others like my family and friends will inspire my readers. I can’t necessarily give tips… mine would rather be my 2 cents worth… being honest with my feelings and views… that readers could be able to relate to.

Now I’ve decided that this post would just explain who I think would be able to relate to the stuff that I write about. So see you all here 🙂

To be trusted is better than to be loved.

Who I am and Why I’m Here?

Wordpress_Blogging101This is kind of late in response to Blogging 101 assignments… but better late than never 🙂

When I was still young and in school I used to represent my class/school in essay writing contests. I won in some of those too.

I worked as Executive Assistant to the President/Owner of different companies and one of my tasks was writing business letters and memo. My employers commended me for my writings.

Now that I have a family, I help my kids with their homework and it shows that I have a passion for writing. But due to work and family I couldn’t pursue this on a serious level, hence the birth of this blog some time ago.

As you can see, I don’t write articles much. This has been a neglected passion so to speak. I always have it in mind but I fail to do it due to other “more important” tasks.

And I believe that when you love to write it comes with the love to read!!!

Why a public blog when I can just write on my personal journal?

Well, I am working as a Virtual Assistant since 2010 and one of the tasks given to me is to post blogs on WordPress and edit stuff. The instructions were given to me. So I felt like I wanted to create my own blog to be able to explore more. I also want to write stories worth sharing with my family and friends and other people as well.

Also, working for an employer who is into online marketing, I hope to one day earn passive income from this blog or another one as this one is more on the personal side. Who knows where this blogging might evolve, right? If only I could put more time into this 🙂

More Things I Want to Pursue

There are some things I want to pursue aside from blogging that I still have not had the time to work on. I want to learn photography (I have a Canon DSLR since 2011 but have not put it to serious photography).

I also want to learn how to bake (I love seeing friends create wonderful cakes). But first I need to make a wise decision in buying an oven.

I am also into interior design. When browsing Pinterest I first visit Home Decors. I believe I am a frustrated interior designer but in the online world today who needs to study the course when you can just browse and have lots of ideas, right? I put those ideas into reality especially that I have my own home that I can renovate as I wish (provided that we have the means for it).

Plans for This Blog

So this blog will feature many topics from parenting, work from home, pets, friends and all things under the sun.

I’d like to thank #Wordpress #Blogging101 for giving me the push in writing again after almost a year.