The Fantastic 4 in Asia’s Got Talent

celebrities

I am pretty sure Filipinos will be up late tonight waiting for the result of the Grand Winner of Asia’s Got Talent. This is an endless showing of Filipino talents! 4 finalists out of 9!

Before the frenzy over the winner begins tonight, let’s take a look at each finalist:

El Gamma Penumbra: Simply Amazing

 

 

Gerphil Flores: Classy and regal.

 

 

Junior New System: Unequaled energy

 

 

Gwyneth Dorado: Youthful confidence.

 

 

Philippine’s has a dilemma, though. All these 4 need every support and vote. Filipinos will be divided. Hopefully, the Grand Champion will be one of them.

I, too, will be looking forward to tonight.

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Email for Kids

children-related, internet concerns/blogging

My first son is at this age when he can already manage to have his own email account (skeptics, hear me out!). He is 8 years old and I did ask his IT teacher abut this before I decided to give him his own. And, yeah, he had been practicing with his own email account at school so why not get  him one which I could monitor?

And here is where this Email for Kids site conveniently enters the picture. As a parent, I created my son’s account and without him knowing about it, I could monitor his mails and control his use. I simply told him, “you have your own account now! I’d love to receive emails from you.” Boy, he was glad! What he doesn’t know is I have control over his account.

  • I can see all his incoming and outgoing messages. Sorry, he is just 8! Privacy is not yet something I could fully entrust to him. Reality is, he still needs protection from all these available information from the world wide web.
  • I can see all mail queues coming his way so I can block spam emails, especially those with adult contents.
  • And since I enabled the Contact Manager, I could also prevent him from sending and receiving particular emails from particular contacts (again, my son is just 8!).
  • And so he can access his emails at the right time, I have also just set the time and days when he can log-in to his account.

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Yap! I give him freedom. But just the right amount.

He likes it since he can easily access his email account in my i-pad and it has a simple and kid-friendly look.

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He sees that there are three buttons: Parent Login, a Teen Login, and Kid Login. He knows which button he as an access to but he is unaware of the controls that I have when I get into my Parent Login button.

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Really, I appreciate that there are creators of this kind of application. We can let the kids feel and explore their freedom without them knowing our control over that freedom.

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Children of Nature

activities for kids, journal

Since our family moved here in Sangam-dong, kids had been more active outside with friends. Most of their classmates are our neighbors, too. That’s what you get for living walking-distance to school. Needless to say, we love the new environment.

Aside from the wonders of the hill behind our apartment, the ponds at the bottom of the hill with wooden bridges are now open for the kids to explore.

Richard Louv authored the book “Last Child in the Woods” which advocates for children’s direct exposure to nature for a healthy childhood. I find some of his quotes relevant in here:

“In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility  of wilderness”.

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“Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.”

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“The dugout in the weeds or leaves beneath a backyard willow, the rivulet of a seasonal creek, even the ditch between the front yard and the road – all of these places are entire universe to a young child.”

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Iloilo: One Sunday at Anhawan Beach Resort

activities for kids, iloilo

Feeling nostalgic about Iloilo. Especially those times when kids got a taste of one-year Montessori education at the Iloilo Montessori School. I also got to get to know other Montessori Moms and we called ourselves the Wednesday Coffee Group. Aside from our Wednesday coffee, we went to this beach resort in Oton, the Anhawan Beach Resort. What a Sunday it was!

Kids splashed in the pool and flew their kites. We mommies were on constant look-out.

The Anhawan Beach Resort has a pool – divided for adults and a kiddie pool just below the adults’ – where our kids had a wonderful and safe time splashing around. We just sat on the side of the pool with, eyes rolling (hahaha), umbrellas! We went there almost at the end of the school year and it was already very hot. Summer time in the Philippines starts from March!

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But what really made my sons enjoy and remember that day was their kite-flying. My First-born had the kite to himself for some time and he was really into it. To this day, we still have the kite with us here in Seoul.

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The great thing with the Anhawan Beach Resort is its wide open space. Perfect for kite flying on a summer day.

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And, of course, kids need to have more activities so they can just sleep in the car on the way home (wink)… They just ran around and played whatever game they fancied. We rented one of the cabanas for the day so we had the perfect view to just watch them kids play around.

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It really was one of the great time we had in Iloilo. I’m very grateful to have met and known other Moms like me from Montessori. Thanks to Facebook we still get in touch these days.

Iloilo has an annual Paraw Ragatta event every February. In fact, it held its 39th year this year. When we went to Anhawan, the resort had its own Paraw event (not connected to the annual Paraw Regatta of Iloilo), so we saw these lining up the shore.

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Missing those days in Iloilo!

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Setting the Mood for Creativity

activities for kids, children-related, parenting

I’ve always wanted to set the mood for creativity for kids. I’m sure parents will never go wrong when they set a time and space for kids to explore their own imagination.

These days, the 2 boys like to retreat to this room after an afternoon of playing. And I’m glad to have the quiet time we all need to prepare for the night ahead.

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Child sponsorship: becoming a parent to the underprivileged

children-related, guest post

Donating clothes or toys to children is very noble. However, sponsoring a child is much better. Most people think that sponsoring is a hassle but in reality, it’s not. Sponsoring just costs around $2 (about 90 Philippine Peso or 2,230 South Korean Won) a day and that would make a difference in the life of a child living in places that don’t have the proper resources for a person to grow up properly.

In 2013, the U.S. has given a total amount of $335.17 billion to charity. However most of that money is spent on a one-time use that only helped an individual temporarily. When you sponsor a kid, you are helping a child get proper nutrition and healthcare until he or she is old enough to work. Sponsorship is like being a long-distance parent to a kid who isn’t as fortunate as those living in first or second-world countries.

Apart from food and medicine, the $2 donation that sponsors give everyday ensures a sponsored kid with necessities such as school uniforms and warm blankets for cold seasons. Unakids, a charity that aids children in areas with political strife, even offers children the choice if they want to continue into advanced studies or university-level training or trade apprenticeships, which is rather similar to what people get in the U.S. The $2 donation goes a long way and it’s much better than giving a one-time relief.

There’s a saying that goes something like, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This saying cannot be truer when sponsoring a child. So if you find it in your heart to become a foster parent to a kid who might discover someday the cure for cancer or some other incurable sickness, definitely consider sponsorship.

written for My Rocking Cradle by Mary Lewis

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Wedding Ring and Coin Holders

journal

Hubby and I celebrated our 9th year wedding anniversary last December 4. Time runs so fast, right?

Two of the most memorable items we had during the wedding were the ring and coin holders! I was very particular about it and got myself working on the details. I had it customized to pay tribute to my parents and my husband’s parents own weddings 3 decades before we had our own.

The 2 boys will be pressured to do the same! hahaha… Well, we have set the benchmark:-).

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Spreading Awareness, Spreading Care

health

I got an email request from Heather Von St. James about spreading awareness on a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos: Mesothelioma. Upon getting more information about this rare cancer and the fact that Ms. James herself is a rare Mesothelioma cancer survivor, I didn’t hesitate to write this blog post.

There is a website dedicated to awareness of this type of cancer and I must say that the people behind the website have given internet readers a good source about Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma.com has everything you need to know.

And if reading the website alone is not enough, there’s no one more qualified to talk to about it than Ms. James herself. She was diagnosed with this cancer at age 36 when her daughter was just a few weeks old. Fast forward to 8 years, here’s Ms. James and her daughter, Lily, today:

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Heather Von St. James and her daughter Lily

You can get in touch with her here: Speak with a Mesothelioma survivor.

If you know someone suffering or is suspected of having this rare kind of cancer, please help spread information about this and you can start from getting information from Mesothelioma.com.

Let’s all be aware and let’s all take care of ourselves.

My greatest admiration to survivors and to those who are currently having their own battle with any kind of cancer. Keep going!

 

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Life Lessons from “Desiderata”

poetry

My Daddy could be very sentimental. Well, he used to be:-). He’s the kind of person who memorizes poems and collects quotes.

One poem he has repeatedly pointed out to me and my brother is “Desiderata”. I grew up seeing the poem’s wisdom.

I find it’s wisdom very fitting at this time.

At a time when there are conflicting personalities around, I take comfort in this:

“As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons.”

I think I am surrounded by people with different personalities and different levels of intellect. But to say that one is superior than the other is wrong. Plain wrong. I can’t change people, can I? But there’s no harm in getting along with different characters… It’s adaptability with sincerity. If I don’t like a person, I’m gone after the first meeting, anyway.

I can’t compromise being “Me” so I can’t pretend to like what is being said.

“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.”

So even if there are seemingly less interesting people around, I just can’t discard their own offer of friendship, too. There are condescending humor but they remain to be that… jokes. I think I can see through words spoken with condescension balanced with humor and words spoken with real negativity. Then I think it’s time to do some reality check:

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”

Reality check. This is the reason for this post.

Anyway, I leave you with the whole text of the poem. I may have forgotten about its lessons from time to time, but I still keep on going back to its wisdom.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 
As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious
to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the  changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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Something New: Wendyflor.Com

journal

Please welcome my new blog site: Wendyflor.Com

I hope readers (there are a few of you, right?) of My Rocking Cradle will take some time to visit Wendyflor.com.

I will not be giving up this blog. I am not ready to let go of my posts yet. There are many anecdotes about my children in here and these are the most precious.

I will continue blogging… just as before.

Cheers!

 

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