Happy New Year everyone!

How’s your Christmas and New Year? Bitin ba? Ikr kasi same tayo. 😊 I wish I can extend my vacation so I can spend more time with the kiddos. Medyo di ko nasulit long vacation namin since Rhian and I got sick during holiday break and that feeling is one of the worsts feeling I had so far and ayoko ng maulit ulit.

Anyway, during the times when I’m at bed (not feeling well because of the flu) I think of the things that happened to me/us for 2018 and to my surprised 2018 is one of the best years ever for my little family. We received lot of blessings, there are lots of “first” happened to us and there are less problems that we encountered. Thank you, Lord!

So let me share you how beautiful our life last year.

January

To start the year, my husband and I decided to visit Enchanted Kingdom with our little family.

We were able to watch Disney on Ice with the kiddos during my birthday celebration. This is one of my kids dream, to watch their favorite Disney characters up close and personal. Though, we were seated at lower box, the view is still amazing. 

We also celebrated Rhian's 4th Birthday at the hotel. You all know that we really love staycations. :)


February

This is one of the memorable months for us, because we finally got the keys for our #TeamVillarealHome. Yes! Nakapag turn-over narin kami! 

One of the romantic and unique dates we had as we joined the group date at Century Mall. We also participate in their contest and won overnight stay in one of their properties. Knowing us, Ian and I really value our marriage as we make sure to spend time together just the two of us remember our #MarriageFirstFriday, we still do it until now and promise to continue it forever. (Gumaganon pa asawa ko, naniniwala talaga sya sa Forever. Haha)


March

March is one of my favorite months because of two major things happened in this month. First, I won in the biggest loser contest here in office with grand prize of Php 13,500 which I used to purchase things needed for our new home. Second, we finally moved-in to our new home. Yes! After 30 months of hard work, sacrifices and with the Grace and Glory of our Almighty Father, we are now finally #HomeOwners and we are so excited building  our#ProjectHappyHome.  Welcome to #TeamVillarealHome

Another milestone for Rhian, as she graduated from Child Development Services Section. Though sa Barangay lang sya, we consider this as her another achievement.

April

My parents together with my sister and her daughter, Ashley spend the Holy Week at #TeamVillarealHome. I’m so happy because we were able to enjoy the facilities and I got some quality time with my parents. They are happy for us because finally we have our own home. Hindi kaya biro ang kumuha ng sariling bahay at the same paying car and house loans.

Another milestone for Rhian as she joins the Mc Donalds’ KiddieCrew near our place. I’m so happy because our daughter enjoyed the activities. Medyo sya parin sya but at least improving.


May

My husband and I enrolled our children in big school near our home. This is another milestone for our kids as they are now entering the proper schooling. Rhian is now Senior Nursery while Rhaine is Junior Nursery. I know mahaba haba pa ang pagdadaanan nila and we are not rushing nor forcing them to get high grades as we want them to enjoy the new environment and be more sociable. High grades are just a bonus.


June

As first time parents, we are so excited to witness another milestone of our kids and yun yung 1st day nila sa school nila. Read more about this precious moment here. 


July

Last July 24, my husband and I celebrated our 12 years of togetherness and 6th wedding anniversary. Our initial plan is to have out of town just the two of us, but since I have board meetings to assist on the day of our anniversary, I have no choice but to cancel my leave application. So, we opted to celebrate it in a very simple way, buffet dinner at Makati Shangri-la.


August

August is one of my favorite months aside from January and July. Why? Because this month my husband and our bunso are celebrating their birthday. Rhaine turned 3 last Aug 20 and we celebrated her birthday at the clubhouse. We booked the AVR and invited some of our closest relatives and friends to be with us her special day.

This month, we also got the chance to crossed out another family bucketlist – visit to KIDZANIA. My husband decided to visit this place as he knows that our kids would love it. Di nga kami nagkamali, nag enjoy ng bongga ang mga bagets. Click here for my review about our experience in Kidzania.

Another milestone for our kids as they joined the Linggo ng Wika dance number. Yung Makita mo ang mga anak mo na nasa stage at nag pe-perform, iba pala talaga pakiramda. Nakakaproud!


September

In this month marks another milestone for our children as they experienced their first field trip activity and guess what, we joined in their field trip kaya parang naging family day out ang nangyari. Makakapagod pero masaya.


October

More food trips with my husband and my little family happened on this month. Ang hilig namin kumain sa labas after hearing mass, no need for expensive restaurant what matter most is that kumpleto kami and happy ang kids ko.


November

More food trips on this month again and more parties at #TeamVillarealHome. We welcomed some of our relatives and friends to visit our place kasi kahit sila happy for us that we have our own home plus the fact na maganda talaga yung place and nakaka relax kaya gustong gusto nilang mag visit.


December

This is the first time we’re celebrating Christmas at #TeamVillarealHome and I’m so happy that my family join us for midnight mass and Noche Buena. We had our traditional “Monito, Monita” and exchange gifts and unlimited photo session.

Though before Christmas, our dear Rhian got sick so we rushed her at Makati Med ER for check-up. Good thing her condition got stable before year ends.

Oh by the way, this year also we decided not to get another helper as our kids are starting to become independent. Well, our Yaya Van left us before Rhaine’s birthday last August to pursue her career. Mahirap na wala kang helper but thank God we still have our Tita Grace to take care of our kids.

So that’s it, there are so many reasons to thank God as we received so much blessings last 2018. Now are looking forward for more good things this 2019. I know we still have lots of challenges and hitches to deal with but we believe that as long as we put God in center of our life, we can surpass it. Thank you 2018 for everything, we are so ready for you 2019! Bring it on!  

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Every Sunday, after hearing mass we always treat our little family for lunch. It’s also our opportunity to spend more time with the kiddos. Alam nyo na pag working parents, kulang na kulang ang oras pag weekdays so we make sure na pag weekend, family time talaga.

Ever since we moved in Sucat, my husband and I tried different restaurants near our place. BF Homes is one of our favorite places as they offer wide array of different cuisines, name it and you will find in this place. One Sunday after hearing mass, we went to Las Piñas for lunch and try Trattoria Altrove. We really have no idea about this place and we were surprised to know that this restaurant is originally from El Nido Palawan. 

Upon entry, one staff asked us to removed our shoes or sandals before we can go inside to maintain the cleanliness of the restaurant. They placed it in a basket and we were given a number so we could collect our shoes after. My children enjoyed walking around the restaurant barefooted, it’s really like a Filipino culture indeed. Don’t worry because the floors were very clean. 

The restaurant was beautifully set-out and gives a homey vibe because it is made with wooden floors and furniture. It is not air conditioned but the place is very cool and well-ventilated as ceiling fans were very helpful though. We chose to stay at al fresco dining with a garden view since it’s way cooler there. 

I love the rustic feel with the wooden floor and barefoot dinner.
al fresco dining

Wood fire brick oven
The staff were very courteous and friendly, they even allow our kids to run over the restaurant (buti nalang wala pang tao nung dumating kami). Well, as I mentioned before, my kids really love to roamed around the place. They also provided recommendations though they were not pushy on what you should order. 


Complimentary bread as an appetizer.
Our family loves pizza and pasta, hindi pwede na hindi kami mag pa-pasta every week. Hindi sila nagsasawa kahit na ina-alternate ko lang ang menu namin for the week. Haha. I guess I need to search for other pasta recipes for my little family. Anyway, my husband ordered for Alla Carbonara that is made with combination of bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella and egg yolk. Their pasta and sauces are freshly made upon order so it may take a while to serve. My kids love their pasta because it was perfectly cooked, but for me, there’s no special thing about this food though the flavors are not overwhelming and the serving size is very big for the price. 


Alla Carbonara Php 325.00
We also ordered Margherita Pizza which contains crushed Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese & Fresh Basil. My daughters love anything about this pizza and you can really taste the freshness of the ingredients and enhances the natural flavors of pizza as it was perfectly cooked in a wood fire brick oven. Well, do you agree with me that Firewood Brick Oven Pizza is simply the best!

The pizza crust was burnt just right giving the pizza a slightly crispy texture and the meats are tender and the pizza itself is just awesome!


Margherita Php 395.00
My husband ordered for Risotto Al Fruitti Di Mare. Italian Rice cooked in mixed Seafood, Tomatoes & Olive Oil sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese. According to my husband, the rice cooked perfectly, the taste of parmesan cheese perfectly match with the seafood. 

Risotto Al Fruitti Di Mare Php 375.00
Our kids love Mango shake, wala na ata silang alam na shake bukod sa Mango Shake. Haha. So we ordered 1 Mango Shake for them. There’s nothing special about their shake but it really refreshing! We requested to split it into two, parang walang awayan ang magkapatid. :)

Mango Shake Php 112.00
Overall, everything is absolutely wonderful. Authentic Italian dishes, atmosphere, staff, all definitely great. The ambiance is perfect for families & couples. This place is a treasure gem and ultimate date place. So, if you’re looking for romantic and perfect place for you to treat your loved ones within Metro Manila, try here and your date will definitely be perfect! 

#TeamVillareal
Gentle reminder guys, they didn't accept credit cards just make sure you have enough cash when you eat here. 😊

Trattoria Altrove
858Tropical Avenue,
BF International, Las Piñas City

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Sorry for not updating this blog, I’ve been so busy lately from work (board meetings), households errands, extra-curricular activities and of course busy building a #ProjectHappyHome with my little family.

Also, we’ve been busy preparing our first Christmas celebration at our #TeamVillarealHome so I wasn’t able to update the #WhereToEat portion of this blog, but promise I will post new reviews hopefully by 1st week of December. (Cross fingers) For now, let me share with you one of my children’s achievement this year. Wala lang nakakaproud lang! As in! Iba pala talaga when you see you child doing very well at school. Yung alam mong nag tututo sila at the same time nag eenjoy in what they’re doing, for me its my achievement.

I never expect too much from my kids as a student, for we know they will fabricate stories just to please us. I also mentioned in my facebook post that I don’t oblige my children to do their homework lalo na pag ayaw nila or wala pa sila sa mood. Di ko sila pinipilit na sagutan yun not until nasa condition na sila. Just like we did during their first semestral exam, I told my auntie not to force them to study instead let them what they want to do, but remind them also the importance of going to school and doing their homework. In fact, it works. It really works. So how we did it? Let me share you my tricks.

My kids are should be at school before 8am, my husband drove them to school then my auntie will fetch my children and rode on their school service. After school, my kids love to play at their playroom while my auntie prepare their lunch. (I cooked their food so she will just re-heat it.)

My kids took their afternoon nap, had their merienda and start doing their homework/review. If they got bored, they will go to the playground or take a dip on the pool. They will eat biscuits again while my auntie prepares the food for dinner. (Usually, kung anong lunch naming yun narin ang pang dinner). At 7pm, they will have their dinner, watch television and take a quick shower. As soon as we arrived, I am in-charged with my children, I will review their homework, kwentuhan and kulitan then it’s time for their 1-hour movie/youtube time. This is the time I will do my other chores at home. Yes! Ako ang babaeng walang pahinga, yung hindi ko alam ang ibig sabihin ng pahinga. Yung di ko na alam pakiramdam ng maupo sa sofa at mag relax, but it’s okay for me. I consider it as my blessings kasi I know that I can do things and wala akong sakit.

Anyway, back to our topic. After their 1-hour movie/youtube time, review time again or sometimes they want us to play. Who I am to refuse? By 9:30pm its reading time, I usually read them story books e since kabisado na ata nila lahat ng binili kong books, ayun nag sasawa na sila and since I have creative mind, nag iimbento nalang ako ng story for them, of course yung may moral lesson rin.

As a mom, I know what they like and they don’t. I know what makes them happy and I know what makes them sad. I know their strength but I also know their weakness. I know their limitations and I know their attitudes very well. But one thing I don’t know about them is how they perform and how they interact with their teachers and classmates at school. Pag may chance, tinatanong ko yung teachers nila, or sometimes pinapatanong ko kay Tita. According to their teachers, my kids are very shy at first di sila tulad ng ibang bata na at first magiging jolly na sa unang pagkikita palang, sila hindi kasi mahiyain sila. As in it will take time for them to cooperate or to be comfortable with you. According to their teachers, Rhian and Rhaine are very respectful kids as they respect other people especially their classmates. Nakaka proud marinig yun sa teachers nila. I told the teachers that we teach them respect at home so they will know how to respect other people. Iba na mga kabataan ngayon, mabilis na silang turuan at mabilis na nilang naiintindihan ang mga bagay na gusto nating ituro sa kanila. We also allow our children to make mistake, most of the time I told them that it is okay to make mistakes because they will learn a lesson from it. I’m glad that my children understand all the things that we said.

Rhian's Exam Results

Rhaine's Exam Results
When I got their report card, I really surprised that my kids are doing very well at school. Both with honors and got a highest score in exam. Si Rhaine nga may perfect score pa, knowing my child is only 3 years old. Galing! To be honest, for me and my husband, high grades are never the bases of their future, it is their character that we carefully nurture them the way God has designed them to be. We all know that parenting is never easy but my husband and I decided to help each other in raising happy children. I don’t compare my kids as they have different personalities, magkaiba sila pero meron rin naman silang magkatulad, parehas silang matalino, mana sa nanay syempre. (I know my husband will react on this. Haha). We never let our children compete with others for we know that they will grow with insecurity and somehow may hurt themselves in the process.


I’m so proud of my children. Ganito pala ang feeling na nakikita mong lahat ng pagod mo sa work para may pambayad sa tuition fees nila are all worth it. I know nagsisimula palang kami, we still have more or less 18 years to work hard before they got permanent job. Kaya we look our children as our inspiration in our life. They are my strength when I almost give up, when I can’t handle our problems. Seeing them everyday is one of the greatest blessings we have every received.  

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My husband and I love seeing our kids’ happy, simple lang naman gusto nila eh yung makapag bonding kaming family while playing around and I know that the best way to teach them is through play. Kaya we make sure that we spend more time with them everyday especially during weekends.
We also allow our kids to use Ipad everyday for 1 hour only, yes 1 hour lang (8pm – 9pm) because that’s the time na kakain ako, magluluto ng babaunin namin the following day etc. #MeTime should I say. Anyway, our panganay saw the commercial of KidZania Manila while browsing the videos in youtube and requested us to visit this place soon, super na curious ang bagets and because of this, my husband decided to visit KidZania Manila on his birthday. We used our vacation leave and spend our time with the kiddos, Yes! Kaming 4 lang and this is very challenging for us, 2 kids in tow is not easy kaya we make sure that we have full of energy that day.  
KidZania Manila is one of our bucket lists to visit with our kids as we heard lots of positive feedback about this place however upon checking to their website, children below 3 years old and 11 months are not allowed to try role-playing activities. Good thing we got a great deal at deal grocer that offers Adult Day Pass and Toddler Day Pass which is valid from Tuesday to Friday only. Another blessing in disguise is during our plan trip, they offer “Toddler Time” meaning there are some activities / role-play establishments that has special offer for toddlers only (2 - 3 years old and 11 months during the time of visit) as it was based on the key developmental milestones of children through the general ages and stages approach. . Yehey! Pwede mag role-play si Rhaine!
If you are going to use the deal grocer voucher, you need to make a reservation at least one day before your prefer visit. Every Monday, KidZania Manila is closed and since we decided to visit on Tuesday, walang nasagot nung tumatawag kami. My husband told me to email their customer service about the situation and I’m so happy that they replied promptly.
KidZania Manila is located at Park Triangle in North 11th Avenue BGC. It is so easy to locate using Waze app, there are plenty of parking slots inside the building so you don’t need to worry about this. Since we went there on my husband’s birthday which falls on a weekday, the price is much cheaper and time allotted is longer, the place is open from 9am – 4pm.
After passing through the security checkpoint, we go through a small hallway and emerge in the boarding area, which looks like Cebu Pacific's airport ticket counters. This is where we surrender our vouchers in exchange of boarding pass. We also got a check for 50 KidZos (the official currency that can be used for paying for some activities inside KidZania), which we can encash at the BPI inside KidZania.


Kidzania Manila, here we come!
#TeamVillareal at Kidzania Manila
You and your child will also both be given an RFID security bracelet. Your child's bracelet will be matched with yours. At each activity station, before their cycle starts, the kids have to check in at the station using their RFID bracelets. (For the toddler time, the guardian/parent will also need to check in and check out at the station.)

Employees of KidZania Manila will always greet you “Kai”, as this is how they say “Hi” here. Nice db.  The place is fully air-conditioned, clean and secured, for me this is more than just a theme park, this mini city is really safe for kids to explore and pick up life skills along the way. This is truly where learning is made fun and where children are encouraged to discover their passions and interests.
Ian and I agreed that we need to supervise our kids separately, meaning he will take care of Rhian while I’m in-charge to Rhaine. For toddlers (2 to 3 and 11 months old) are welcome to play here in KidZania Manila as they have two toddler - designated areas at the Mezzanine level and since we they have toddler time the day we visited, Rhaine was able to try and enjoy a wide range of specially crafter activities exclusive to them on selected time (visitors aged 4-17 years old will not be allowed to enter or participate in these toddler activities at the given time from 9-1pm), of course it is a must for one adult companion to be with the toddler at all time to be able to join an activity.

They handed us a Toddler Journey Card in which we need to complete through the form of stamps (12 stamps) and we can only get stamp if the toddler has accomplished a task during the activity. Once the toddlers completed the 12 stamps, they have a special gift / token that can be redeem from the Department Store.
My kids are a little bit apprehensive at the start, maybe because they were overwhelmed with the beautiful place but eventually they enjoyed the activities here.  So let me tour you in this magical place.

First stop is the Bank (BPI), this is where the kids can learn to cash a check and open their own personal bank account, which comes with an ATM card, and start saving their kidZos to gain financial awareness and learn about the importance of saving. They may also work as a Banker and help Clients with their transactions.
Good Job, Rhian for your hard work!
As soon as we received the KidZos, Rhian and her Daddy start their amazing tour on Mezzanine Floor while Rhaine and I on the other hand tried the activities on the Ground Floor. The kids were given an orientation before boarding to their mission / work.  Take note of these guys, adult can’t join the fun / activity, strictly no using of cellphones, tables or any electronic device while inside the establishment. You are also not allowed to take photos inside the activity area. Toddlers will not receive a check or kidZos. Role-play activities are for kids 4 – 17 years old only (except for the scheduled toddler time).

Here are the establishments that we visited and got the 12 stamps within the allotted time.

Supermarket (Healthy Options)
Courier Service (LBC)
Construction Site | Car Design and Leadership (Honda)
Music Studio (Star Music)
Acting Academy (Star Magic)
Product Lab (Pascual)
Since the toddler games are very limited and Rhaine already finished all her task she still enjoyed the kids room with dolls, kitchen, etc. at RightZKeepers’ House . Rhaine is so happy to be in this place, it is designed like a kid-sized house with a kitchen, living room, walk-in closet, and soft-play bedroom.
Here in KidZania, children are given the opportunity to grow up to change the world for the better. The place really teaches the children on how to interact with other kids and learn the value of work. I was surprised that my 2-year old and 4-year old daughters do the task on their own.
There were uniforms and props for each job they tried. The instructors are great and very accommodating too. Here’s my little dalaga doing her given task. Again, no picture taking allowed inside.

Hospital: ER
R&D Center
Bottling Plant
Cookie Factory | Clean Energy Center
Bakeshop
Gas Station
Fire Station
There are few food choices in the area so we had Mcdo for lunch and ate hotdog and chips while waiting for their turn. There are lots of customer lounge around the area where you can relax, the comfort rooms are clean and well-maintained

This is one of their lounges where we ate our free popcorn and relax for few hours.
Enjoy na enjoy ang mga bagets kakatakbo dito sa room na to.

Overall, KidZania Manila is one of amazing and great playground for the kids. I really love the place because kids here learn how to be independent and in some ways will have an idea of what they want to be when they grow up. The rates are quiet high but with superb facilities, set-up, freebies and service, it’s justifiable and the overall experience is so worth it. I remember Rhian told me that this is her dream playground. We will come back here again when Rhaine turns 5. Promise!

KidZania Manila
Park Triangle, North 11th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City
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