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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Connecting With Old Friends

Old friends? It doesn't really seem to give a good ring huh? Lol

Anyways, I have been spending some time on facebook. Why? Because lately I've heard from and touched base with some of my friends from elementary and high school. Believe it or not, I've been able to connect with more of them through the internet than attending our homecomings. Most of them are in Northern America - either in the US or Canada. I hope we can come up with a reunion.

But, have you really wondered how safe you are in these social network sites? I mean we all have heard about the identity theft and stuff. I realized that giving out your personal details on facebook will actually be visible to everyone on the internet, whether thru facebook (of course) or through google. What are your thoughts on this?

Keeping Your Kid Busy Without Spending

So how do you keep our kids busy during the summer without spending so much? Here's my strategy.

This summer, I asked my daughter to make a list of those that she wanted to learn. Top priority was photography. I searched through the internet for a site that have tutorials. So far, the one I got was that of the Digital Photography School which has something on Composition and other photography basics. She does it 1 hour each day.

Then came the French lessons which I deemed she needed to learn if our plans to migrate to Canada would push through. With the internet access, she found a french tutorial which she uploaded to her I-pod.

Next, is the usual cooking class we have every year. No doubt and still her favorite, we had pizza during the Holy week. The last ones she had made herself. I of course made the crust.

What did you do?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Swimming Course for Php900

A cheap yet great course for your child to take this summer is Red Cross's Water Safety Course. For 900 pesos, a participant can learn to swim 9 strokes including ways to survive in a body of water for a long time - most likely enough time for someone to get rescued.

I believe we all need this. What if you are on a boat that suddenly sinks? Or on a plane that had to crash land on water but eventually went down too? Or would you be able to save a loved one who's drowning or would you just join him sink? I believe these could really happen because I've seen one person die in the sea as he got pushed from the ledge of a boat we were in. Not just that, my daughter, who now has several medals from swimming, almost drowned 4 times while she was young. It was good that she was very small yet then and I had been able to lift her without struggle. But what about now?

Not only is this good for those who do not know how to swim, it is also good for those who do know how to swim but would like to be lifeguards. But you must be physically fit as they will ask you to swim in the sea. The PNRC Rizal Chapter will have one such course this May, 2009. For those interested, please call them at 631-3592.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BLS and First Aid Trainings for Php 1,100 - For Nurses and Others

Good news!

If you've been wanting to take the BLS and First Aid from the Philippine National Red Cross, here's your chance to get a huge discount. As I recall, the two courses total something like 1400 Php when taken during the rest of the year. But from April 13 to May 16, 2009 these two workshops along with 6 other courses are offered by the Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter at PHP 1,100 only.

The 2009 PNRC Rizal Chapter Training Schedule are as follow:

Courses Offered (8am - 5pm)

1st Week
April 13-18 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support (CPR)
April 13-15 Care for the Sick & Injured
April 16-18 Mother and Baby Care

2nd Week
April 20-25 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support (CPR)
April 20-22 Care for the Sick & Injured
April 23-25 Mother and Baby Care

3rd Week
April 27- May 2 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support (CPR)
April 20-30 Standard Disaster Management Training
May 1 International Humanitarian Law
May 2 HIV/AIDS - Drug Abuse
May 2 Accident Prevention

4th Week
May 4 - 9 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support (CPR)
May 4 - 6 Disaster Nursing
May 4 - 7 Standard Disaster Management Training
May 8 International Humanitarian Law
May 9 HIV/AIDS - Drug Abuse
May 9 Accident Prevention

5th Week
May 11-16 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support (CPR)
May 11-13 Disaster Nursing
May 4 - 7 Standard Disaster Management Training
May 11-16 Swimming Course


These courses, with the exception of Disaster Nursing and the Swimming Course, are included in the PHP1,100 price quoted by PNRC. It's a bargain, huh? Anyway, there is an additional payment of 300 Php for Disaster Nursing and PHP 900 for the Swimming course if you decide to avail of those too.

The courses are on First-come-first-served basis so you have to go there as early as now as the slots are all getting full. I'd take the other courses first if I were you because, unlike the BLS and First Aid, those other ones are offered once a year only. By the way, I was told that it would be better to take the Standard Disaster Management Training Course ahead of the Nursing Disaster, er, Disaster Nursing course for nurses so that the latter could be better appreciated. However, if this is not possible, go ahead and take the Disaster Nursing first. These are separate courses and one is not the pre-requisite of the other.

There are but a few requirements.
1. You have to be in good health. Thus, you need to have a physician fill out a medical certificate of Red Cross. You can only use the medical certificate form from the PNRC which you may download here.

2. You need to pay the registration fee (Php 1,100.00 for 8 courses and the additional fees if you are availing of the Nursing Disaster and/or Swimming Course)

3. You need to submit (promptly) your chosen schedule because like I said the slots fill up fast.

4. All courses run from 8 am to 5 pm so be at the venue before 8.

The Training will be conducted at the Rizal High School, Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave., Bgy Caniogan, Pasig City. Application forms for the training are available here. For details please call PNRC Red Cross at tel. no. 631-3592.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Canada Application

As a registered nurse in the Philippines, the past year is really disappointing. There are no jobs nor hospital trainings available for most of us. If there are, which is a rarity, they would either be full or very expensive. Thus, I took 2 alternative courses - the NCLEX and the CARNA.

NCLEX, as you may well know, is the nurse licensure examination required to practice in the US. CARNA, on the other hand, is the licensure exam for Alberta. I sent an application to each one. In fact, I got my eligibility to take the NCLEX. However, I changed my mind. Blame it on the recession and the unstable economy.

Now, I'm actively pursuing the CARNA application for many reasons. Professionally, CARNA will allow me to practice my profession on a temporary visa even while I prepare to take the exam. This, of course, will have some restrictions which I will learn later. But, the idea that Canada is allowing me to practice in their country is encouraging enough.

The good thing is that just barely a month and a half after I started to send my documents, I have already received word from them by email. Twice in fact. Also, I had been given access to my file so that i know that as of this moment I lack just one more document - the IELTS result from the IDP in the Philippines.

The best news, however, is that the employment agencies in Canada do not charge any fees for their services. If I were you, I'd check CARNA out. Better to make informed decisions than jump on a boat without knowing its destination.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Kiddie Workshops and Activities

My daughter's classes are almost over for this year. Actually, they are having their exams this week and next week they will need to be in school only for clearance. That's how it is every year since she transferred to a public school. Being a city scholar has its advantages and disadvantages you know.

Anyway, she'll be having her photography classes this weekend (or at least that's what we had planned). However, I still would like to check on more options for this class so I'm sharing with you what else I have found:

1. UP Film Institute -

*DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY (BASIC) - Cris Sevilla; APRIL 20, 22, 24, 27, 29; php6,000*
*FILM PRODUCTION (FOR THE YOUNG) - Nick Olanka; APRIL 20-24; 9-5pm; php7,500*
MULTIMEDIA ARTS (FOR THE KIDS) - Mich Ortiz and Frani Madrid;APRIL 27-30, MAY 4-7; 9-12nn; php3,800*
*WRITING ABOUT FILM:FILM APPRECIATION FOR THE YOUNG - Patrick Campos; APRIL 21, 23, 25,28 and 30 ; 1-5pm; 5days; php4,000

FOR INQUIRIES, CONTACT:925-0286 926-2722Email : upfi_workshops@yahoo.com.ph
or visit them at UP Film Institute, 2nd floor. You will need Php500 as reservation and downpayment.

2. Junior Crew Workshop at Fully Booked

This workshop costs Php1750. It gives the child a chance to be a crew of the bookstore in addition to encouraging them to read (I don't know how they're gonna do it though). Call 858-7052 or email to marketing@fullybookedonline.com because the application form needs to be submitted to any Fully Booked bookstore by April 1, 2009.

I read that Audie Gemora and Ryan Cayabyab also have their workshops for this summer for those children into theater arts. Oh by the way, do check out the Mom Center for both small kids and teens' workshops and activities. There are too many of them.

I wish everyone a fruitful and stress-free summer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mommy Knows Best - A Women's Month Special

Admittedly, no matter how much I refuted the idea in the past, I'm a mommy's girl.

When this month started out, I contemplated on writing about a number of things pertaining to women - their achievement, the best women in the Philippines, my women idols, female diseases, etc. But, I chanced upon this article-research from the OECD -UNESCO which gives a more objective view of the role and importance of women in the education of the children.

For starters, the article entitled
Literacy Skills for the World of Tomorrow - Further results from PISA 2000 says that the mother's time spent with children, her educational attainment and the way she encourages children to read are determinants of how well a child performs in school, (ahem, ahem) among other things such as the financial background of the child and the exposure to classical works.

I, for example, did not grow up with my dad around. In fact, now I realize I hardly knew my father and thatthe time I spent with him when accumulated is probably less than 8 years from the time I was born to the time I graduated from my first course in college. But, modesty aside, I have had several awards - academic, efficiency, loyalty, - in all levels of my education.

Same is true for my husband. His dad died when he was 10. But, he grew up, finished school and now holds a management position. My classmate, who graduated a cum laude, had been raised by a single parent - her mom.

The slogan in Pasig "Babae, Yaman Ka ng Bayan" is aptly stated. In the vernacular it actually translates as woman, you are the country's treasure. And, my mother, she is my treasure and my gift. I truly believe that we are blessed because of our mothers.

Now, who is not a momma's boy or girl?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Workshops for Kids and Adults - Summer 2009

Museo Pambata Summer "Art's Cool"
The Museo Pambata, the Philippines’ interactive children’s museum, is offering the following Classes starting on April 13 and 14.

ART'S COOL 2009
Basic Art and Painting Sessions: 8 sessions (2 hrs. per session) Rate: P 4,500.00 For kids 5 to 7 years old

Integrated Art and PaintingRate: P 5,000.00 For Kids 8 to 12 years old

Shadow Puppetry WorkshopRate: P 3,500.00 Kids 9 to 12 years old

Arts and Crafts Rate: P 3, 500 Kids 8-12 years old

An orientation for parents and enrolled children is scheduled on March 31, 10 am. For inquiries and other concerns, please call Museo Pambata at Telephone: (632) 523.1797 to 98, 536-0595Facsimile: (632) 522.1246 Mobile (bookings and reservations only): Email: info@museopambata.org.

Creative voices Workshop
Check out http://ateneo.multiply.com/journal/item/9142/Creativoices_Summer_Workshops

Spotlight Artists Center
Summer Program for 2009 – Managed and operated by Internationally renowned Filipino Artists such as Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena (original casts of the Award-winning Play “Miss Saigon”)

Musical Theatre Level 1
For Kids 7 - 13 yrs.) and Adults (14 yrs. and above)
Schedule: April 13, 2009 – June 3, 2009
Rate:P 10,000

Musical Theatre Level 2
(For budding Actors who have had Musical Theatre Workshop and Theatre Experience.)
April 14, 2009 – June 9, 2009
Rate: P 10,000

Spotlight Kids
(Creative Play through Music, Dancing, and Acting)
For Kids 4 – 6 yrs old
April 14, 2009 – June 2, 2009
Rate: P 7,840

Hip-hop Dancing
March 27, 2009 – May 29, 2009
Rate: P 6,048

Ballroom Dancing
March 27, 2009 – May 29, 2009
Rate: P 6,048

Group Voice Lessons
March 26, 2009 – May 28, 2009
or
March 27, 2009 – May 29, 2009
Rate: 3,000

Classes mostly have 8 to 12 students per session. For inquiries, please check their website at http://spotlightartistscentre.com/main/ or call 899-8089.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gimme' A Break! - 2009 Summer Activities for Kids

Summer's here. To avoid having bored children at home (who eventually become cranky, more often than not), here are some of the things they can do:

Swimming
1. Summer Swim Camp with Coach Joey Andaya
Coach Joey, as we fondly call him, is one of the best, if not the best, coach in the Philippines. With his background as SEA Games gold medalist and his stint as National Coach, it will be a privilege for the swimmer to join him and his team during this activity where the coach promised to share his expertise.
Date: March 30 to April19, 2009
Location: Lingayen, Pangasinan
Fees: 3000 Php (Training Fee for the whole duration)
50 Php/day X 21 days (pool fee)
150 Php/day x 21 days (dorm)
600 Php (miscenllaneous fee)

All inquiries and reservations should be directed to Coach Joey Andaya at mobile number +63(916)6462978.

Photography

1. Digital 101: Photography and the Computer by Jay Alonzo
March 9, 11, 13, 17, and 18, 2009, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Alcove (Filipinas Heritage)

The workshop focuses on the following:

Factors affecting photographic output
Basic understanding of light
The digital camera and its functions
Exposure setting
How to see and take better pictures
Basic image manipulation and output considerations

There will be photo assignments, critiquing, and a photo clinic. The only requirement is to bring a Digital camera, preferably SLR. Venue is at the Reading Room, Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati Avenue, Ayala Triangle, Makati City (across The Peninsula Manila)
FeePhp 4,000.00 inclusive of handouts, meals, computer use, and certificate.
A pre-registration fee of Php500.00 (non-refundable) is requested on or before March 2 with a 10% discount to be extended payments made prior to the deadline. For inquiries please call 8921801, send an SMS to 0917-5594417 , email salvador.jd@ayalafoundation.org.

2.
Digital 101: Photography and the Computer (With Photo Trip and Exhibit)
Schedules:
Summer Class Batch 1: April 4–5 (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.)
Summer Class Batch 2: April 18 –19 (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.) -->

The workshop is designed for digital-camera users who want to learn the basics of photography. The focus will be on:

Factors affecting photographic output
Basic understanding of light
The digital camera and its functions
Exposure setting
Taking better pictures, and improving the way one looks at pictures
Basic image manipulation and output considerations

The workshop will also be conducted by Jay Alonzo. Fee is also 4,000 Php. For inquiries, please call 8921801, send an SMS to 0917-5594417 , email cruz.ct@ayalafoundation.org.

3. Photoworld Manila

The Photoworld Manila has published its 2009 Schedule for its Basic Photography Workshop
Fee: P3,500 (5 Sessions) which includes film and developing for manual camera users courtesy of Fujifilm.

SATURDAYS:April 25, May 2,9,16 & 23May 30, Jun 6,13,20 & 27July 4,11,18,25 & Aug 1August 8,15,22,29 & Sep 5September 12,19,26, Oct 3 & 10October 17,24, Nov 7,14 & 21November 28, Dec 5,12,19 & 26

SUNDAYS:(NEW!)March 22, 29, April 5, 19 & 26April 26, May 3,10,17 & 24May 31, Jun 7,14,21, & 28July 5,12,19,26 & Aug 2August 9,16,23,30 & Sep 6September 13,20,27, Oct 4 & 11October 18,25, Nov 8, 15 & 22November 29, Dec 6,13,20 & 27

The Venue of the workshop is at the Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. Inquire from the FPPF Secretariat (Tel: 524-7576).

This is the first of a series of blogs for the activities for summer. Please come back soon to check or subscribe to my blog. Thanks.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mushu, My Baby's Grown Up (And Saving China!)

Ah, Mushu's line stuck to me.

It seems like yesterday when I was holding my daughter in my arms. Her whole frail body barely spanning the length of my forearm. Now, just barely 15 years after, she's even taller than I. Not that I'm complaining, but I guess that's how parents are. We love to think and play the all-protective, ominous, and omniscient creatures from Mount Olympus. Well, at least that's how I have always been to my daughter.

Reality struck me light lightning though. Last week it dawned upon that my little girl is no longer a little girl. She had indeed grown up. We have this writings on the side of her door. Tiny streaks that look like dashes with some dates on them. Actually, I record her height there. I am not good at keeping things because when I keep them I don't find them anymore until probably a century after. LOL. We had recorded her height last January, a few weeks after she had gotten her brace. That time, she was about .5 of an inch shorter than I. Thus, I didn't expect her to grow so fast. After all, she's almost 15 and girls her age grow an inch a year on the average. Besides, with her scoliosis, it's not good for her to add so much to her height. But then again, the additional inches could probably be a result of her brace. If you recall she's now wearing a milwaukee brace. It runs a little lower than her chin to her hips, the purpose of which is to keep her back and neck straight which hopefully will stop her spine from further curvature. We had this conclusion because we measured her height without the brace and she seemed half an inch shorter than when she had it on.

And then there's the flashback that indeed these past years we hardly got to watch movies, nor do most of the things we did when she was in her gradeschool. Now, she has more work to do that sometimes we have to leave home without her - something that we had very rarely done in her younger years.

Whatever the reason is, she is just a few years from adulthood. With that realization come the fear and the excitement that she does have to face life and its beatings very soon. I'm scared. We hear and read about things that befall children and adults. I guess there's no other one who can help her - not me nor her dad - when she does grow up and have a life of her own. Yes, Mushu, she's grown up. But as she grows, I hope and pray that she lives a life according to what she knows is right. Only God can truly help her. And I know God will.

May the King of Kings, Jehovah, bless you, my sweet, sweet daughter.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Experimenting on Wheatgrass - EDSA Garden House at the Manila Seedling Bank

After several readings and encounters with wheatgrass, I decided to give it a try. Being my family's main caregiver and "health director", I feel it is my responsibility to keep abreast with the latest information and technology on health.

I went to the Manila Seedling Bank yesterday. Situated at the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA with a very large tarpaulin ad, I couldn't have missed it. Besides I had been there a number of times in the past.

Well, according to my little research, the wheatgrass is good for many many things. Detox, cancer prevention, facial care, skin rejuvenation, etc. Sounds good. I had my first encounter with the grass (yes, dear reader, it is grass) at an exhibit in Tiendesitas. There was a company, I think you call it Mighty Dove, that was selling wheatgrass in powder form. But I'm not really fond of powdered juices. I prefer to take them as close to their natural state as I can. Actually, TIPCO juice has spinach with wheatgrass. But my daughter noted that it has orange - and wheatgrass shouldn't be mixed with citrus because the latter destroys the enzymes of the grass which is its most beneficial property.

Inside the Manila Seedling Bank is the EDSA Garden House where the wheatgrass is sold. That's just among other things as the place is actually an herb/vegetable garden. I heard you can actually buy other things there - meat, fish, and of course vegetables. But I didn't see any when I went. It could be because I didn't really go around that much. I'll go back there and write about it.

For those of you who wish to contact the EDSA Garden House, you may reach them at tel. number (632) 927-0510 or 929-3189. They are located at the Manila Seedling Bank Environmental Center, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines.
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