Wednesday, September 19, 2018


I've just gotten one kid in college! Yes!!!

I can't exactly describe what I'm feeling, it's a mixture of relief, happiness and excitement.

She's in the university of her choice, taking up the course she wants. She's enjoying meeting new friends, busy joining orgs that she's interested in, exploring her vast new world

I toured her campus one Saturday while waiting for her to attend a one-hour seminar. 
This new building just opened.

Dont you just love the study are in their newest building? Parang ang sarap tumambay dito ano?

 I do not tell her to "obey" anymore like when she was younger. I would like to believe that I've instilled the right values when they were younger to make the right choices now that she is not with me most of the time.

For the most part, I've been trying to encourage her to "discipline herself." Self-discipline is the key to helping kids become responsible adults, don't you agree? Whether that means turning off netflix so they can get their homework done, getting offline to finish a paper that's due, waking up early to sqeeze in a quick workout or even just saying no to an extra cookie. 

She's level-headed and I trust her to master the "learning curve" of adulthood soon.

So happy for her when she shared the news that she got in as a writer for The Guidon.
It's a prestigious student publication and it make her feel accomplished to pass it.  

But the need for self-discipline also applies to me. I also need the same amount of self-discipline to let her go. Hindi mabilis! I literally have to put my hand over my mouth sometimes to stop myself from giving unsolicited advice.

As she makes the transition from adolescence to adulthood, I also need to transition into my new role as a supporting player in her life. I'm trying to figure out when I should step in, and when to back off. I'm still a work in progress. I'm trying to learn to keep quiet more. To sit on my fingers and wait a little more patiently. I've learned to not share all the worries I have about what she should or shouldn't do.

There are times when I question her choices and don't agree with her decisions. But then, my husband is quick to tell me that making some poor decisions is part of the process of learning and growing into adulthood. It IS part of growing up. He reminds me that part of our job as parents is to provide unconditional love with a strong set of guidelines along the way. 

My daughter knows that she can always still run to me when she needs any help. I will always have her back.

Speaking of the importance of having my daughter's back, pH Care also recently launched their #GotYouGirl campaign, showing the importance of girls having each other's backs.

pH Care
Now that my daughter is in college, she has long school days. She's got classes from early morning and has to attend org meetings or writing workshops until early evening,  Because I'm a woman, too, I know how important it is to feel fresh all over until the end of the day.  

Luckily, pH Care sent over a hygiene care package that can provide us with the exact kind of care we  need. They have a pH Care variant infused with Natural Guava Leaf Extracts, a natural anti-bacterial solution proven to provide protection against odor, itch and irritation.

There’s nothing like someone who’s there for you every step of the way. For understanding and care like no other, pH Care definitely has #GotYouGirl

Sharing the latest video of pH CAre for their #GotYouGirl campaign. Dart sa heart. Women of all ages can relate:

Nothing compares to the feeling of having someone who gets us and cares for us no matter what. 

Get a chance to win your own #GotYouGirl kit containing everything in this photo that you can share with your besties, mom, sister or daughter.


It's so easy. 
1. Like my IG post. 
2. Follow @phcarephlippines and @thephenomenalmama on IG. 
3. Repost the giveaway photo. MAKE SURE YOUR ACCOUNT IS SET TO PUBLIC for the duration of this giveaway. Caption with: "#TPMxPHCAREgiveaway" and "#GotYouGirl"
4. Tag 3 of your besties in the comment section. 
5. ONE Winner will be announced on September 26, 2018. Winner will pick up prize in Makati

pH Care is available in all leading supermarkets, department stores, and convenience stores nationwide. 50ml pH Care bottle is PHP 52.00, 150ml pH Care bottle is PHP 115.00, 250ml pH Care bottle is PHP 148.00, feminine wipes is PHP 45.00

To know more about pH Care:
Webpage | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Friday, September 14, 2018

Weekend Footnotes: Manam + Papa Kim + The Grid + Gringo

It's been quite a while since I shared where we ate for the weekend, so expect a photo heavy post as I play catch up. We've tried quite a few new restos and I want to share them all with you

This has been around for quite some time na, but it has a newly opened branch in our side of Manila, so we gave it a try a few weeks back. Expect a long queue during peak hours so it's best to arrive early to get a table as we are talking about waiting hours to get a table during lunch.

 Crunchy Salt and Pepper Squid Rings (P280)

 Lumpiang Bicol Express (P130)

Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (P755)

Crispy Pata with Garlic Chili Bits (P980) 

 Crispy Pancit Palabok (P385)

Grilled Tiger Prawns Topped with Homemade Aligue Sauce (P945)

Turon of Mango and Kesong Puti with Ice Cream (P150)

Ground Floor, O Square Building 2, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan City

Nacho Grande P265

 We ordered 4 pieces of the Latin Salpicao Street Tacos (P105 each)

 Full Rack Gringo Baby Back Ribs P745

Gringo Southern Spice Chicken (P375 for half order)

Gringo Chicken & Ribs
O Square 2 Building, Ortigas Ave cor Wilson, Greenhills, San Juan

The Grid Food Market in Power Plant Mall

One of the reasons why we made the trek to Rockwell one weekend was to try The Grid Food Market. We wanted to try the Lobster Roll from Bun Appetit, the porchetta from Le Chon and the soft tacos from La Chinesca.

My husband and I ordered one roll each. Generous servings of lobster on top of wonderfully buttered bread. K lang for the almost P700ish per sandwich. It won''t make me forget my name but it's not bad either. I mean, I've tasted better. 

My daughter wanted ramen and my son wanted chicken karaage.

My husband's order from La Chinesca

food orders from Le Chon: lechon porchetta nd angus belly

The Grid
R2 Level Expansion, Power Plant Mall, Makati
Facebook: The Grid Food Market
Instagram: @thegridfoodmarketph

Papa Kim's Korean Bakery and Coffee
There was this time during one of the long weekends in August that I found myself enjoying the long break too much and was lazy to cook dinner, so I convinced the rest of the family to go with me to Tomas Morato to eat at one of the bakery/cafes in the area that I wanted to try out.

Papa Kim's Bakery and Coffee is a cozy and unassuming cafe in the middle of the busy Morato dining area. Perfect for quick family meals where we can have an actual conversation going over dinner.

 Chicken Pesto Pasta (P255)

 Korean Spicy Chicken (P180)
This is our fave order from Papa Kim's and my son actually had 2 servings.

 Beef Bulgogi (P220)

Cakes are also available, and I wanted to try this one but everyone else in the family wanted to order bingsu. I'm on a ow-sugar diet and I couldn't finish one slice so I just skipped dessert.

 Crazy Oreo Bingsu (P110)

 Choco Banana Bingsu (P110)

Heaven-sent for this baon-prepping mama, all one-day old breads are on 50% discount so I bought soem for the kids' baon. 

I just stored them in the freezer and they were still good for the next 2 days.
The cream cheese bread is really good and I would go back for it next time as the kids love it as well.

Papa Kim’s Korean Bakery & Coffee
264 Tomas Morato Avenue, Sct. Fernandez St.
Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City

To know more about : Webpage | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Amara Lab EO Workshop at Aruga Cafe by Mesclun

I love essential oils and I use them frequently either in my homemade natural cleansers or add them to moisturizing butters. There are also times when I simply want to use them as aromatics. They are often also used for immune support, relaxation and sleep, stress relief, emotional balance, respiratory health and even muscle tension and pain.

For most moms, we'd like to try natural remedies first to cure an ailment before we resort to giving traditional medicine from the drugstore. Our first course of action is to reach for our natural medicine cabinet or even our kitchen, di ba?

When my kids feel the onset of a cold coming, I get one of my immunity rollers and rub at the soles of their feet, then a roller to help them breathe at the pulse points behind their ears and at the back of their necks. Basta, I use them for a lot of things!

So when I got an invite from Mish of ModMomsPH to attend an essential oils workshop hosted by Amara Oils, I knew I had to be there. It's a good thing our family out-of-town trip was canceled leaving me free to attend this.

Friday, August 31, 2018

ChinaTown Food Crawl

C took the opportunity to take us all to Chinatown for a food crawl during one of the long weekends of August.

The kids and I haven't been there for a long time, years na. As a kid, my parents would take us there when they need to run errands, but I could never navigate the narrow streets and alleys by my lonesome. I've never been an expert on spatial orientation kaya I do not venture to Binondo alone even if I sometimes have to stock up on my chinese pantry. Maliligaw ako for sure!

C, on the other hand, knows the area like the back of his hand. When he was younger, maybe around high school, he would help his dad and take the payment collection route on weekends for their business. He considered it one of the perks of the job that he can stop by and have a snack at one of his fave restos in the area.
 When B mentioned that she wanted to go to Ongpin, my husband couldn't be happier to indulge her. 

Wai Ying

First stop was husband's fave, Wai Ying. We all just let C order for us. We just said to order everything that's good. That's what he did!

If you've noticed the worldwide trend, most of the Chinese eateries that serve genuinely good food are tiny hole-in-the-walls. Wai Ying is one of them. Super affordable and yet so good.
Siomai. Wanton Noodle Soup 

Hakaw. Radish Cake. Shrimp Chong Fan

 Bean Curd Roll

 Lava Pao. My first time to taste it, and can I just say that this is the best custard filled pao that I've ever tried

Milk Tea is a winner, in terms of taste and price points

This is the hubby's fave place for noodles. He admits the noddles smells stinky, but he swears that it ranks up there in terms of taste. Sobrang sarap daw talaga. He has taken the two younger ones with him on a previous visit, and both kids agree with him. He says he always orders the same thing: a big bowl of asado noodles. 

The place looks really old, but for my husband, it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane as he remembers eating here with his Angkong as a little boy. I am sure the fond memories with his angkong adds up to his enjoyment of the place.
Achi and I couldn't be swayed to try. Sorry na! #KJ

Chopped green onions and the asado sauce in separate containers

 Chinese Groceries
I went in three Chinese groceries to refill my Chinese pantry. Even if there are quite a few in the San Juan area, nothing beats the vastness of the options in Chinatown. I bought a lot of dried herbs, nuts, etc for my tonic soups preparations.

The biggest one is xxxxx. 

There's an air conditioned grocery store across the street from Wai Ying. I can't remember the name, but it reminded me of a Japanese neighborhood convenience store. But I couldn't take more photos, because the owner quickly told me no photos allowed.

Fresh Fruits
We saw a lot of fruit stalls selling mangoes, mangosteens, cherries, dragonfruits, pears, apples, persimmons, oranges, grapes and other fruits.

C took us here because he says that the friend chicken and oyster cake are both so good. To be honest, it wasn't all that great on the day of our visit. We were underwhelmed that we had leftovers for both dishes na pinabalot na lang namin. Could be because the kitchen was extremely busy that day. A lot of groups went on a food crawl like us and the restaurant was packed solid with diners waiting to get a table.

Chinatown is full of narrow one-way streets. We just asked the driver to drop us off  and to find parking nearby. The area is best explored by foot.

The chiffon cake of Marland Bakery is my absolute fave. My thoughtful FIL used to always buy a box for me whenever he took a trip to Chinatown. Since he passed two years ago, the Marland boxes stopped coming in na din. During our visit, my husband asked our driver to buy a box for me to take home. 

Phenomenal Tips:

1. Just pick a reasonable number of restaurants to visit for maximum enjoyment. Save the rest for another visit.
2. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
3. In case you are going during the rainy season, best to pack a foldable umbrella in your bag so you don't get trapped in case it rains.
4. Leave your valuables at home. Just carry a small body bag with the essentials.