My Favorite Memes from the Enhanced Community Quarantine

COVID 19 – just hearing it makes me anxious all over. It’s been 4 months since this pandemic hit the world, and it has woken up all sorts of emotions from people all over the world. The news is far from motivating, but there are still those who choose to face this enemy with a smile.

Known for their jovial nature, Filipino humor still ascends amidst the dreaded pandemic, hence the explosion of these memes all over social media. Here are the top 10 memes we’ve found so far.

  1. The first person who’s ecstatic upon hearing Home quarantine.

2. Because staying at home with nothing else to do means rummaging the kitchen.

3. A warning For those who still refuse to stay at home

4. When Home quarantine poses food dilemmas

5. Go-to places during the home quarantine period.

6. Avoidance at its finest!

Filipino humor is truly amazing! I’m sure there is still plenty of those where it came from.

**Disclaimer: Photos and clips used does not belong to me and were collated from social media sources. CTTO.

-by Irish Mariano

FUN THINGS COUPLES CAN DO AT HOME

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, people are forced to stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Malls and restaurants are closed and the means of transportation is limited or close to none.

With no options to go on a date, how can couples keep the romance alive and maintain a healthy relationship while at home?

Here are some activities that you can try in the comfort of your own home:

1. Plan a Candlelight Dinner

Having a date night doesn’t have to be expensive. You can either order online and have your food delivered or cook together a favorite meal with your partner. Set the table beautifully with a nice tablecloth, keep the room lights dim, light some candles and play some romantic music in the background.


2. Play Card and Board Games

It is one of the easiest and most fun date nights you can have at home. I remember when my husband and I were dating and even before having a kid, we would play scrabble, word factory and exploding kitten together during weekends. Being competitive boosts your relationship with your significant other. Just don’t forget to let your partner win at times. LOL! ☺


3. Watch Movies and Series with your Partner

This is one of the most popular ways to spend time together. Take turns in choosing what movies to watch. Give in to the demands of your partner. Trying some of the Netflix series like Crash Landing on You or Kingdom would not hurt and you might both enjoy it.


4. Read Books Together

Some couples prefer a more quiet time together. It doesn’t matter if they are not interacting as long as they are in the same room. You can read different books, have a cup of coffee and share learnings with one another. This is a good time to stimulate the mind while occasionally staring at your partner. ♡♡♡


5. Have Meaningful Conversations

When was the last time you and your partner sat down and took the time to talk? Set a specific time and make sure that all your gadgets are off so there is no room for distraction. Talk about your plans in the future and the places you wish to visit. As we all know, communication is important to a healthy relationship.

You can also use this time to know each other’s love language which helps strengthen your bond. According to Dr. Gary Chapman’s bestselling The 5 Love Languages, he revealed that each person has one primary and one secondary love language – words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time and physical touch. Take the quiz now to see which of the five love languages is yours.


6. Share Hobbies

Be it working out for guys or planting for girls, it would be fun to learn and understand what your significant other is into. Indulge in each other’s hobbies and interests. You will also appreciate the dedication and passion someone puts into once you have tried it yourself. It would also be easier to find gifts you can give if you know his/her hobbies.


7. Give Each Other a Massage

Who doesn’t love to be pampered? This is a great way to relax after a long day of work and relieve stress. Treat your partner with an amazing massage before dinner or going to bed. You can also take turns so both of you are rewarded. You’ll discover that after the massage you’ll be able to reconnect and have mindful conversations.


These are some of the tips that I can share which has been helpful for me and my husband. Have you tried one of these and what is your favorite? What is one thing that you are willing to try? Whatever it is, make sure that you give your best and strive to keep the fire burning in your relationship. Let me know what you think and start having fun at home.

By: KC Gipulan

MY 18 YEARS JOURNEY IN MY DAUGHTERS LIFE

March 26, 2001 when i gave birth to my Beautiful daughter Rania. Unfortunately, I’m a single Mother. I meet his dad when I was working abroad in Kuwait last 2000. His Father is a very gentleman full of Hope and Dreams not just for himself but for both of us. But things happen with a reason that even as we cannot answer. We did not end up with each other. I went back to the Philippines pregnant with this beautiful baby girl. 

MY REASON WHY NO REGRET

No Regret, I always wanted to have somebody whom I can call Mine, and this child will be mine forever,  I will be a Mother.  I was raised by my grandparents and Aunties. My adopted father left me with them when I was 3 years old. Every vacation he takes me to his family but that is only for a week. That is why I did not know how it feels to have a real mom and dad at home. Now I will be a mom I will make sure that my child will be provided with all the Love and Care. I will raise her that way I want to be raised. I will always be her hero. Her Friend her companion.

HAPPY TO SEE HER

When I see her the first time I cannot believe she is Mine. She is so lovely she is more than an Angel, it is a gift from above. I felt this feeling that I have never felt before. After I became a mom I became also emotional in even small things I felt like crying, her smile is my happiness her tears are like a knife stabbing my heart.I was there and witnessed her first word “DADA” HER first step her first crawl that was late at night, her first turn, her first food was Vegetable and Chocolates. She is a happy child. I walked her to her first school Kinder to Nursery, To preschool. I watched all her school programs, She is always excited to introduce me to her new friends in school I saw her crying when she got hurt because of her friend fight with her. Iwould say I’m a Lucky mom that I was allowed to be with my child watched her grow up. 

ALL HER BIRTHDAYS ARE SPECIAL DAY

Her 1st Birthday we celebrated it with a lot of visitors a lot of kids every kid that we knew from our neighbors our relative family all of them are Invited it is like a big Circus haha. Her 2nd birthday is a very simple celebration, then 3rd 4th 5th 6th, etc.

Her 12th Birthday we planned for it because it is her last year of being a kid she will turn 13 in the following year and she will be a teenager, we celebrated her birthday at Shakeys with a  planned program, then a year had passed her 13th with her classmate at school then 14th we celebrated it again with all her grown-up friends. Then 15th is simple 16th and 17th. And now her 18th birthday its what we are all  Waiting for,

THE PREPARATION ON HER DEBUT

6 months before her debut I tried to look for the caterer for the venue host Videographer, etc And to be honest it is not easy. I felt disappointed with all the caterer that I meet for the foods they are offering cheap but not that good, There’s expensive food but we cannot afford it, so a lot of sleepless night thinking we went to hotel to another hotel to another event place then we search online to look for a right venue.Until I found a good event place in Sea Residence. I also searched who will do the  Light and sound, Videographer and photographer, Caterer, Event Designer still on the list,  And thank God we Found all of them. The gowns that she will be wearing my daughter designed her gowns with her taste and own style. So we went to our friend who is a tailor for the gown and she gave us a reasonable price for her fee we bought the materials for it, All of her friends and relatives we invited them 2 months before her debut so they could save the date. She has 18th candles wishes, 18th wine wishes, 18th Dance, and 18th gifts.She also sings and dances with her friends.My daughter wanted to have a Bohemian Party and that is what we did.
Bohemian Debut Party. 

MY REALIZATION SHE IS NOT A BABY ANYMORE

Before the host introduce my daughter for her entrance walk on her debut.The Light and Sound started to play the Music “A Million Dreams” and when I see my daughter wearing her Long Gown I realized my baby is not a baby anymore she is a young Lady now she is 18th Time flies. Now she is a dream come true. There’s a lot of dreams that she needs to accomplish a lot of life ahead of her.

  I’m not a perfect Mom but she taught me the biggest lesson in my life that Loving Unconditionally is the best gift we can give to our children and as a Vow, I will always be here guiding her loving her, preparing and celebrating her birthdays until she turns 60 or more.

From Ash to Virus: Kids Fun Indoor Activities

For a Batangueño like me, we are not yet fully recovered from the eruption of Taal Volcano, especially the communities or places within the danger zone. And now here’s another test for us, the coronavirus. Community quarantine has been implemented in the country to lessen the threat and keep us safe from the virus. One of the effects of the problems that we have faced is the suspension of our kid’s classes. And as a parent, we suddenly faced the challenge of keeping them busy at home.

Parents, let me share with you some of my kid’s fun-filled activities while we’re in the middle of these difficulties. I have two amazing kids, a girl and a boy, 8 and 3 years old respectively.

Sand Painting

Missing playing sand at the beach? This activity is one way to fill the absence of it. My daughter enjoys this activity in school, so she made another one with her brother.

TikTok stuff

Aside from learning cool and trending dance from TikTok, this stuff caught my eldest attention. She learns how to do simple magic tricks by watching videos there. She also learned to do paper folding activities and DIY swimsuit for her doll from an old laundry glove.

Mamon Deco

This activity shows the sayings of two birds hit by one stone. My kids make used their simple art skills, and they have a full tummy and messy face after.

Household Chores Activities

From what I have read, learning the household chores at an early age benefitted our kids by making them responsible, increase self-esteem, and improve relationships with others. So this is a perfect time also, for them to learn simple house tasks.

Their first kitchen task is leafing of malunggay leaves, which is time-consuming for us moms. So, I asked them to do it for me while I continue my other chores. My eldest helped me also in getting and folding the clothes after laundry. While my youngest does his part by picking up his toys and put them back in the toy basket. Of course, we must guide and teach them always good values for them to grow as good and God-fearing people in the future.

Hey, what can you say about my kid’s indoor activities? Can you share with us whats your kid’s activities in the comment section? Thank you for reading this. I hope you are all safe at this time, and also I hope that you learn something from us. Let’s be positive despite these happenings, and let’s make every moment count with our kids and loved ones. Enjoy staying at home.

Written By: Sydney Vanessa Datu

WHO ELSE WANTS WEIGHT LOSS?

My weight loss journey began right after I gave birth with my firstborn. My pre-pregnancy weight was 51kg and my post-pregnancy was 59kg. At first, I really don’t mind since I gave birth via C-section. My main focus was my daughter and for my wound to heal. A month after, I ran over one of our distant relatives, and told me I’m too fat. I got offended because I’m not used to be called that way. That was my turning point, I had to do something to go back to my old self. So, I started my own research on how to trim down my weight. It wasn’t that hard for me since I was very determined to lose weight. I wanted to share my story and maybe this can work out for anyone anytime soon.

Three(3) Easy Steps to a Healthier YOU:

  1. Know your BODY WEIGHT

No matter how scary it is, we have to face the reality and step on that weighing scale to measure our starting weight. Then we have to set our weight goal. I even used a mobile app to track my progress. It was called my fitness pal, who was very useful to me during that time. On a weekly basis, I had to consistently measure my weight to check if there’s any improvement. To start my weight loss program, I had to set my weight goal and my target date of accomplishment. My goal was to lose at least 2-3 kilos per month.

2. Think what you eat

And now we have to plan everything we eat. I started eating a complete meal during breakfast and lunch then just a piece of bread and fruits at dinner. Eventually I decided to cut out more calories, I only ate Nestle cereals, banana/ apple for breakfast, 1 cup rice,chicken/fish and vegetables for lunch and just an apple for dinner. I also avoided all fast food meals and started to eliminate PORK and BEEF on my diet. In between snacks, I only eat high fiber crackers and fruits and of course more fluids for the entire day. When I say fluids, it means more water and no juices or any carbonated drinks. How about cheat days? Of course, I also had my weaknesses.Chocolates, ice creams and cakes are my guilty pleasure. Once a week, I had my cheat day but still I had to measure how many calories it contains. I became conscious with how many calories I  took in to be able to determine how many calories I have to burn right after. And yes counting is the key. You may use my fitness pal app to count and log all the food you eat, or you may google any food item to determine its calorie content. I followed the 1,200 calories/day and if I exceed I had to burn more calories like additional walking, use stairs instead of the elevator and the like. Below is the matrix that I googled for the recommended calorie intake based on our age and physical activities.

Source: Business.Fit

3. Exercise

It is very significant to have a daily exercise to achieve your weight goal. I started mine with a 10 minute cardio workout at home after work. No fancy gym membership, there are tons of you tube videos that you can follow. Always remember that anything is better than nothing. I eventually increased my daily exercise into 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after work. And like I mentioned, I also burn more calories during my cheat days. We also have to consider our daily routine to determine the exercise that will fit for our lifestyle. If your job is office works and usually sits in the office for 8-9 hours then you have to increase your daily exercise to burn more calories.

Did I achieved my weight goal? And the answer is yes, I went back to my old weight after three(3) months just in time for our company outing. And to maintain my healthy diet, I totally eliminate PORK and BEEF on my diet. My daughter just turned nine last February, so it has been 9 long years that I became non pork& beef eater. I am now a mom of two kids and still conscious on what I eat. I always share my diet routine to anyone who asks how do I maintain my figure. And once you got to used to this routine it will be effortless. Like they always say, it takes 21 days to make it a habit. I surpassed the 21 days and now its been this long.For those who wanted to start losing weight, first thing to ask yourself is how determined you are to really lose weight. If you are pretty much ready then you better start moving. Like my inspirational quote says:

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you to today”- Tim Fargo

Written by: Mary Ann L. Roslin

Home is where my DOG is

I would never know how to measure a dog’s loyalty. I grew up surrounded by different kinds of pets. But my heart grew more closer with dogs. The comfort that I get hugging them when I was 4 is very much the same now that I’m in my 40’s. They can mirror your emotions in a snap. If you’re feeling happy, they would jump with joy for you. And on sad days they will sit with you and just absorb those low feelings until you get over it. They always miss you. Always happy to spend time with you. When they look at you with those soulful eyes, it feels as if you are their world. They made me understand that unconditional love exists.

Dogs are known to be an excellent stress reliever. They can keep you calm, reduce anxiety or depression and lowers your heart rate. They develop such abilities to understand human behavior and emotions.

So, I will always make a space in my heart where they can leave their paw-marks. My relationship with my dogs old and new will never come to an end. A special creature that loves me more than they love themselves. They have made my life more colorful and meaningful.
Love them unconditionally and they will devote their life to you endlessly.

by: Nina Rachel de Vera

My Work From Home Story

I used to work in a Manufacturing Company for more than 16 years. And I didn’t imagine that I will be soon leaving my job. Though, I have friendly work mates, approachable superiors and a good working environment. As a mother of two kids, my children are still my top priority.

Before I plan to leave my job, I ask myself how can I help my husband in providing our daily needs when I permanently stayed at home taking care of our children. It’s not easy to decide when you’re about to think your financial stability.
But since then, I started to search online if there’s an online job that I can do while at home taking care of my kids.
I have joined different online business which I thought before as a home base job. Unluckily, I was scammed, not just once but more.
I also tried online selling, but I think I’m not good at it.

Until, one day a friend introduce me to search an FB group, the Filipina Homebase moms (FH Moms), a group who are dedicated to helping all Filipina moms out there who are aspiring to work from home to be able to land an online job or start a digital business through our virtual community, events and regular training sessions.

I started to watch their training videos and webinars and learned a lot of things in working online. As a beginner, there’s always a fear and what if’s. But my goal of having a job didn’t stop me. I prepare all the things I needed to start working online.

But getting an online job is not that easy. As a beginner with no skills, you need to get into the needle hole. Until I decided to enroll in one of FH Moms online courses to gain more skills. I took E-Commerce Virtual Assistant Online Course last October 2019. After graduation, I applied in onlinejobs\ph. And luckily I was hired as an Amazon FBA Product Researcher. Thanks to FH Moms, Mommy MK and to all mommy trainers for their dedication in imparting their knowledge to all aspiring moms like me to work from home.

By: S.M. Guasch

Look on the Bright Side

On 16 March 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine,” which is effectively a total lockdown, restricting the movement of the population with exceptions, in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19 in the country. Additional lockdown restrictions mandated the temporary closure of non-essential shops and businesses. This quarantine came two days after the implementation of the community quarantine of Metro Manila.

This stunned everyone but for others a relief since to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission is to stay home, have a strong immune system and a healthy body.

Some are against it especially those who are earning daily and employees under the no work no pay status. But again, our health is our top priority. Let us give our Local Government Unit a chance to find a way to help those in need. Let us stop pointing fingers.

To those who are fortunate enough to be part of a company that is mindful of your well-being and the safety of your family, send your prayers as one way of thanking them. 

My husband and I are now working safely in the comfort of our home, together with our three children.

We do the supermarket run for my senior parent since they are both high risk, we do not allow them to go out of the house. I only talk to them by our gate. I also run errands for my sister since she lives alone with her 4-year-old daughter.

I’ve been working for almost 4 years and I always feel tired because of all the workloads and constant deadlines. I do not have time to play with my kids since the first thing I do when I get home is to rest.

One of our Coffee Talk

But in this trying times, I realized that we are given this chance to rest and to be with our family. I was given this precious moment to watch my kids play, teach them new things and talk more often to my siblings abroad.

This is a reset, to rediscover ourselves and reconnect to God, let us not waste it by complaining and disobeying the law. Let us listen silently to God’s message in all this chaos. Let us all be thankful for every day that we are waking up healthy. Let us pray for those still battling for their lives and pray for our front liners, they need it more than ever.

Together we can help fight this battle of the unknown, we may not be part of the battlefield but staying at home is a big help to stop the spread of CORONA VIRUS. This too shall pass.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. -Act 2:21

By: Cheryl Tabaranza-Santos

Faith Goal #1 : Travel to the Netherlands

This opportunity to travel and explore Europe is one of my answered prayers. Exploring other countries especially Holland was one of my faith goal and God is so faithful for allowing me to explore this place for free. Join me as I share with you my dream land : The Netherlands!

A few years ago, I was allowed to meet a warm, friendly lady who owns Sunshine Au Pair in the Netherlands, I’ve got interested in this program since this will allow you to travel Europe for free (will write another blog on how I joined this program). Last June 2018, I was invited to come to the Netherlands as an Au pair and was excited and nervous at the same time, it is my first out of the country adventure, and I am traveling alone.

The Hague ” Den Haag

My Beautiful Host family is living in a small city located in “The Hague”. It’s the 3rd biggest city in Holland and it is where Peace Palace and Binnenhof are located. Hague also has a lot of beautiful parks and gardens where you can go for free. One of my favorite and go-to is the Haagse Bos.

The first few days I was adjusting on their time and weather (jetlag is real) I came during summertime and daylight is much longer than night, its 10 in the evening but the sun is still out! That gave us a lot of time to explore the city.

A friend of mine took this photo while crossing the park. Haagse Bos
Glimpse of Peace Palace, was taken during a walk on the street.
Binnenhof The Hague

Cultural Experience

I also meet a lot of Aupairs from other countries who are also part of the program, but most of them are Filipinas. Some came directly from the Philippines (like me) somewhere previously an Aupair from Norway and Denmark. Other girls were from Finland, China, Indonesia, Argentina and many more. The Netherlands is a friendly country, peaceful and you can feel that you are safe. Dutch people are friendly and nice which is maybe that is the reason why there are a lot of Expats who want to settle there.

Weather

I was so blessed to experience the four seasons in the Netherlands. Post-Spring-Summer, Fall-Winter. I was amazed at how dutch can eat and read books under the sun while Filipinos used an umbrella on a sunny day. One way of understanding cultural differences, They do not experience sunny weather for so long and that is why they make the most out of it. On some days the wind is cold but sunny and it’s a perfect day to walk and roam around.

Shopping Stores and Foods

Shopping stores are everywhere (I always convert to peso, so it’s pricey). There are also a lot of Asian restaurants to dine with. My favorite is Full Moon Express wherein they serve pork belly and roasted duck with rice and greens + Cola. Dutch are known to eat a simple meal such as bread and coffee for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, bread, and soup for dinner. Bread in all meals while for us Filipinos “rice is life”. I am not a fan of bread but in Holland, I started loving their bread because its affordable, my all-time favorite is their croissants and Stroop waffles that is perfect with coffee!

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Museums

The Netherlands is rich in its culture and history and is known for its famous painters and museums. They have a Museum card that serves as a personal card that allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands.

Transportation

I can say that Holland has a very organized transportation, it is accurately linked with Google Maps. It indicates the time the train leaves and arrive. They use an all in one card which you can use for all transportation.

TRAVEL – GIETHOORN

This is one of my highlights during my travel to Holland. Giethoorn also is known as “The Venice of the North”.Beautiful nature, old houses, ride boats in channels or walk after numerous wooden bridges.

Living a Dream

Living in The Netherlands is like a dream, beautiful brick houses, nice places, cool breeze. Meet a lot of ex-pats and local and was able to experience the western culture, travel and most of all developing friendships all around the world and opening doors for opportunities. It is a great way to develop oneself as well on how to be independent and find purpose in your life. It’s a great way to know yourself more because living abroad is not an easy one. So make sure if opportunity strikes, grab it and make sure to make the most out of it.

Mary Grace Labe

Budget Friendly Mosquito Screens

“There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child”

N.K. Jemisin

Moms are very keen on protecting the family especially their children. Unfortunately, most moms are not financially equipped. They exhaust the budget in food, education and utility bills. Other important matters like the family’s health and safety are on the end list in most Filipino families. One of the health and safety issues of the family is acquiring dengue from mosquito bites. To prevent dengue and other mosquito acquired sickness, window and door screen installation in the house is needed.

Since it is expensive to buy aluminum and screen materials plus the installation cost, I opted to make a budget-friendly window and door screens. These screens offer the same protection for my kids and also have a better benefit because it is easy to clean and washable. You can also personalize your screens and make them fashionable and colorful.

To make the screens, you only need basic sewing tools. Check the materials below.

Materials

  • Velcro
  • Tulle
  • Needle / Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Small Hammer and Shoe tax (for wood frames) or Rugby (for concrete)
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Scissors
Figure 1. Velcro

Steps in Making Door and Window Screens

  1. Measure the frames of windows or doors. For doors, make sure that the length does not touch the ground but is not too short to leave a space for mosquitoes’ entry.
  2. Cut the Velcro according to the height and width of the window or door frames.
  3. Detach the two Velcro, the hook and the loop. See Figure 1. The rough and edgy is the hook while the smooth side is the loop.
  4. Attach the hook on the window frames and door frames using nails and hammer for wood frames ((Figure 2 and Figure 3) and rugby for concrete.
  5. Join the two velcros by reattaching the loop on the hook and pin the tulle only on the loop side. Make sure that the pins are secured.
  6. Detach the loop. You now have the actual size and fit of your door or window. Provide three inches allowance in every corner of the frame and cut.
  7. Sew the loop and tulle and attach your finished screen to your door or window

Costs

The basic raw materials are listed below. Price may vary depending on the city you are in. Other materials listed above are excluded since most households already have it.

1 rim of velcro =  Php 150.00

Tulle per meter = Php 35.00

Making your own mosquito screen is fun and fulfilling. It is like hanging your personalized curtains that provide better airflow and protection from mosquitos. Cleaning your screens is also easy. Simply rinse the dirt off then soak with detergent for an hour and rinse again.

Below pictures are my work in progress and finished window and door screens. You can also add magnetic sheets to keep the screens closed.

Cherry P. Ibanez