Tuesday, October 15, 2019

You're invited to the Hot Wheels 3rd Southeast Asia Championship!

Thank you so much to Hot Wheels for sending this wonderful gift box to my kids which they played with all afternoon! Check out Piero's unboxing in my Instagram Highlights: Unbox.


Thank you also for the other goodies! We'll definitely be at the 3rd Southeast Asia Championship at SM Mall of Asia on October 20! It's going to be so exciting. Thanks for the invitation, Hot Wheels!


Hot Wheels, a global powerhouse brand from Mattel, takes its 3rd Southeast Asia Championship in the Philippines.

The pilot run was hosted by Malaysia in 2017 then followed by Indonesia in 2018. This year, the championship comes to the Philippines! Representatives from 5 countries will compete to win the championship title on October 20, 2019 at SM Mall of Asia.

Action-filled activities will be happening before the competition and everyone in the family can participate!

1. Bring your own 1:64 customized die-cast cars to SM Mall of Asia. All entries will be judged by Brendon Vetuskey. Three lucky winners will receive a limited edition 2018 ’55 Chevy Bel-Air Gasser!

2. Moms and kids can showcase their thrilling play experience by submitting their photos while playing any Hot Wheels cars and playsets. Php 50,000 worth of prizes will be given away!

3. Who will be this year’s Hot Wheels Ultimate Collector? It’s time to showcase your entire collection. The top 3 collectors with the most number of die-cast cars and 20 runner ups will be selected to win P 50,000 worth of prizes!

4. Meet our Hot Wheels car designer from Los Angeles on October 19 at 3:00pm in SM Mall of Asia and get his signature on your favorite car collection!

5. Witness our first Hot Wheels Kids’ Fashion Fun Day. We’ve invited select kid personalities to showcase the latest Hot Wheels apparel, bags and shoes right for your kids!

There are lots of mind-blowing activities to choose upon purchase at any Toy Kingdom stores and toy section inside the SM Department Stores nationwide. Visit www.hotwheelsph.com for the complete mechanics.

Head over to SM Mall of Asia from October 14 to 20 as you experience a new whole way to play with Hot Wheels. The Philippines is the first in the entire Southeast Asia region to introduce Hot Wheels ID. It blends traditional Hot Wheels play with a digitally connected racing system that revs competition and experimentation. The more kids play with physical vehicles on the Smart Track®, the more they can level up in the app, tackle new challenges, and set amazing records! Hot Wheels ID will be available in stores by the second half of 2020.

Hot Wheels ignites and nurtures the challenger spirit that lives within every kid in order to reach their future potential. The challenger spirit doesn’t need to be taught, but it can be nurtured, channeled and celebrated. By igniting kids’ challenger spirit, Hot Wheels unleashes their creativity, expands their imagination and challenges them to look for new ways to approach obstacles and solve problems. And when they fall short, they don’t give up; they try again. And when they learn, they can take on anything through our thrilling Hot Wheels experience, there’s no limit to how far they go.

Hot Wheels are exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc. Despite fierce competition in the toy industry, 2 billion wheels are made each year, 16 die-cast cars produced every second, and over 9 thousand kilometers of orange track are made each year and sold in 150 countries. Hot Wheels toys are available at all leading toy stores nationwide. 

ABOUT RICHPRIME GLOBAL INC. Richprime Global Incorporated is the exclusive distributor and licensing agent of Mattel South East Asia carrying portfolio of iconic and global consumer brands, including Hotwheels®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends and Mega Bloks. Richprime Global Inc. believes that every child deserves a happy childhood. Visit www.richprime.net for more details.



*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to frances@topazhorizon.com.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

A wise mama shops at Shopwise 21-Tastic Treats Anniversary Sale!

And that wise mama is me! I just couldn't resist the Shopwise 21-Tastic Anniversary Sale that started this weekend because of the sobrang grabeng okay na okay na deals and discounts. I'm a working mommy so, yes, may pera ako pero pinaghirapan ko ang pera na yan. Hindi naman sa nagtitipid; I just want my hard-earned money to work just as hard as I do. Gets yan ng lahat ng wise mamas! So when I found out I can get massive discounts and even freebies sa Shopwise 21st Anniversary sale, I was so there!

Make sure you get the 21Tastic Catalog so you know what the exclusive deals are!

But I had merienda first at Hungry Place because this was last Friday and I went straight to Shopwise from work and I truly was hungry. There's a lot of food options, too. There's cooked food, there's a deli, there's a whole roast chicken to bring home for the family if you're too tired na to cook. Lots of food. I fueled up for my shopping!


First stop: the fresh food section. I couldn't resist the "Buy 1 kg, Get 500g free" deal. My husband Vince cooked a big batch of spaghetti sauce this weekend and busog na busog kami, but there's still a lot of ground beef in the freezer! Hamburgers and mushroom-burger steak next!


My Loyal Readers know I have an Oreo Monster living in my house so I just had to grab this deal. By the way, the deal also applies to other Oreo flavors, hindi lang vanilla. My little Pi-Oreo was so thrilled when he saw my pasalubong. "Mama, look! It has chocolate MOO-lk!" Happiness is seeing your kids eat!


Syempre, dahil may schoolboys ako, I had to grab snacks for their baon, too. They now have Lotte Pepero for recess and a Lotte Koala for snacks sa school bus. Para hindi sila masyadong magutom sa traffic pauwi. My mommy heart is glad.


My sons and I love Fita crackers. Vito eats it with Nutella. He says he likes the sweet-salty combo. Iñigo and I eat it with everything, lalo na kung walang rice available at gutom na kami. And this deal is genius—Fita with sardinas! Omigas, that's my favorite snack. But I prefer spicy sardines with my Fita. Soooo good!


Speaking of snacks, these are Vito's favorite chips. The rest of the family, Lays, Pringles, Oishi. Si Vito Nova and Roller Coaster lang kinakain niyan! I really thought when I saw this deal, "Wow, this is for Vito exactly!" It's such a happy feeling when you get to buy your kid's favorite things to eat, diba?


Okay, enough crunchy stuff. Let's have some cake! I got the Black Forest Cake because of the P160 discount. Laki rin nun, diba. And it's a popular cake! I got the last one! Swerte talaga.


It's not all food on sale at Shopwise. There's a ton of deals on beauty products, appliances, and household goods. For example, that Spin Mop at the bottom of my cart? Buy 1 Get 1 FREE! I had 2 carts, if you're wondering where the other box is. Yes, mapapa-2 carts ka talaga when you shop at the Shopwise 21-Tastic Anniversary Sale!


Meron ding mga freebies! Like an extra roll of tissue sa Sanicare and hangers sa Surf. Daming deals! Check out the Facebook page of Shopwise for all the deals!


Happy mama me! Ang dami ko pang ibang binili actually. Just going down this aisle of deals and discounts at mapupuno talaga agad ang cart! So shop now at the Shopwise 21-tastic Anniversary Sale! It's ongoing till October 21, 2019. Masaya siya! I loved all the exclusive brands (like our favorite Sun Harvest cereals!), the freebies, and the sobrang panalo na Buy 1 Get 1 FREE! See you at Shopwise, mamas!

*This post is brought to you by Shopwise.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Top tips to raise readers! (Plus, a literacy workshop we must attend!)


Look at Vito's first modeling gig!!! I'm so proud to say his first modeling job was about books. His most recent modeling job was about shopping for school supplies, so it's still connected to learning. Yes, piling-pili ang mga projects na lalabas ang mukha ng mga anak ko because I really wanted that even the work they do reflects what we hold dear. And books are definitely a big deal to me and my husband, Vince.

Ironically, my kids—the kids of writers, editors and book lovers!—didn't take to books right away. That broke our hearts. We did everything right: we had a library, the kids were surrounded by books since they were in my tummy, and we read to them at bedtime. Vince and I couldn't understand why our boys weren't bookworms like us!

After researching and talking with other more experienced parents (a.k.a. parents of adults), I found a few reasons why kids don't read:

1. There are too many distractions.
Toys, TV, gadgets, video games—yes, we vilify those as the top distractions taking our kids away from books. But in my house, these are also the culprits: their brothers to play with, friends who visit, arts and crafts projects, school, homework, piano, dancing, singing, rough and tumble play, cooking with Mama, movie-and-popcorn time with Papa, basically a ton of good things that are monumentally more fun to three wriggly little boys than sitting quietly with a book.

2. They think it's a chore.
If we force our kids to read books they're not interested in, then they're going to resent anything book-related.

3. They think it's boring.
For active little kids, what can be more dull than being asked to sit still, be quiet, and read?

Of course, your child may also have a learning disability and parents constantly breathing down their neck to "READ A BOOK!" may make them dislike books even more. I mention that because it's a legitimate reason but I can't recommend any expert course of action since I'm not a literacy expert. That's why I'm going to a literacy workshop by ReadPro Philippines on Oct. 19, Saturday, at Fully Booked. Come attend with me, mamas!


Can't wait to attend this ReadPro workshop! I really want my boys to grow up loving reading and learning. Why do some people love reading? A recent article in The Atlantic"Why Some People Become Lifelong Readers,"  explored it and gave this list of what predetermines the creation of bookworms:

1. The more educated you are, the more you'll love reading.
2. People who live in the city are more likely to love books than those raised in rural places.
3. The more money you have means you can afford to buy books, and have the time to read.
4. Gender factors in, too. Girls read earlier, more, and way longer into adulthood than boys do.
5. Introverts are more likely to love books.

That list gives me hope because we are blessed enough to give our kids a good education, we can buy books often, and we live in the heart of the city (I think this factor just means people in the city have more access to books, various educational experiences, and the internet). My kids are neither girls nor introverts so how do I tackle those issues?


Well, the article featured Daniel Willingham, author of the book, Raising Kids Who Read, and here are his interesting insights:

1. You read first. 
It's not enough to surround a child with books. It's not even enough to read to them every night. What really matters is your children need to see YOU reading! Kids follow their parents' example so if they see us excited to read a book, they're going to want to read books, too!

2. Kids need to know about life before they will open a book. 
Kids think books are boring. So they need to be interested in the topic first before they'll read anything about it. If your kid loves robots, buy books about robots. If you just came from a vacation in Hong Kong, let him read about Chinese culture. If you just visited a dinosaur museum, grab books on prehistoric animals!

3. Parents need to treat books as a part of everyday life. 
You and your husband can talk about your favorite books or the book you're currently reading with the kids around to listen. Visit bookstores often and browse. Don't lock away books in the study, high up in the shelf. Don't treat books as precious at all! Let the kids look at the pictures, write on the margins! If you get mad at them for desecrating and vandalizing books, they won't want to touch books anymore.


My kids are now finally reading. Maybe not as much as we want but we're taking it one book at a time. They love visiting book stores because we buy them at least one book each as a treat. They have a reading schedule—I know it seems like a chore but I needed to set aside a time that's just for books, and that's usually mornings for Vito and bedtime for Iñigo and Piero. I also decreed that their time on gadgets must be 1:1 ratio with their books. So 30 long agonizing minutes reading a book means just 30 short minutes on the iPad.

At first, the kids did treat reading as a chore. But slowly, they became interested in their books. Thirty minutes became one hour, there was less whining and more quiet times spent with their nose in a book. And more often than not, instead of asking for the iPad or the TV remote after they read, they now draw or write stories. Hooray!

It's a start! I need to know more ways to get my boys to dive into reading! That's why I can't wait for October 19 and attend the "Parents, How to Encourage Your Kids to Love Reading" forum at Fully Booked High Street! Come with me, mamas!

Visit the ReadPro website and like their Facebook page for more information on the workshop and the literacy programs. I'm thinking of enrolling my kids!

See you on Oct. 19, mamas!

*This post is brought to you by ReadPro Philippines.