Saturday, July 20, 2019

What's the price of perfection?

I woke up today yelling this: "Holy shit!"

Sounds like a bad day but it wasn't haha I just forgot to set my alarm clock last night because it's a Saturday today and I always sleep in on weekends. But today was a busy day! One of my boys had a math competition at 8am (I woke up at 7 hence the panic!), then we had to pick up tons of toys from my sister-in-law who moved to Canada, then I had a parent-teacher conference at 11, and all of that on top of the neverending chores!

Just a typical day in my chaotic life! Now before you all go, "Oh, how cute. She's trying to be authentic," haha that's not the point of my kwento today. I was just thinking while I was doing the laundry that kahit na parang sobrang nakakapagod ng life ko, for me and for my husband, it is so perfect.

Well, sana mas marami kaming pera! And sana we had a cleaner house. And sana I can sleep 8 hours every night. And sana someone else cooked and cleaned. And sana Vince and I had more time for sex hahaha But seriously, hindi man the dictionary definition of perfection, it's really a wonderful life as is. And I want to declare that here because I complain a lot about my life. Vince even said last year that if people were to judge what I keep posting on Facebook, parang hindi ako masaya because I keep saying, "I'M SO TIRED!!!"

Well, I'm tired talaga but it's a good tired, you know? Yung kahit puyat ako, alam ko naman masarap ang baon ng mga anak ko. Yung kahit hindi ako nakalaan ng oras for self-care, alam ko naman na ready ang mga anak ko sa mga tests nila. Yung kahit I wanted sana to nap, okay lang kasi malinis at mabango ang labada ko. Gets???

And I know I could have all the stuff I mentioned and also get to nap and spend time for myself if I have a kasambahay but we decided na ayaw na namin ng mga issues na dala ng may ibang tao sa bahay. It's okay. Our exhaustion is the price we pay for having precious privacy and letting our kids learn how to be independent. Some people don't want that price and that's okay, too.

Which made me think about what we have to do to have the life we want. Yes, yun talaga ang point ng post na ito and sorry sa mahabang intro haha.

Mommying in the time of Instagram. If it looks too good to be true, just remember: It took a lot to make it look that good!

Yesterday, I was chatting with a mommy and she was upset because a relative told her she has to be more hands-on with her baby. I replied that her cousin is just reacting to all her posts on Facebook: She's at the gym, out shopping, lunching with friends, on a late dinner date with her husband. Parang wala nga naman siyang anak! And the mommy replied that she was going through really bad post-partum depression (don't worry, she agreed that I can share this). So she was just following her doctors' orders—get a lot of exercise, get out of the house, don't be alone with the baby, be around people. And to us who are just looking on, we don't see the whole situation. We see maybe na wow ang saya naman ng nanay na ito, nasa gym at mall palagi! But we don't see the deep reasons why she has to do all those "shallow" things. She wasn't saying the real reason because no one understands PPD anyway and she'll just get flack if she shares her situation.

So parang baliktad kami. On social media, I'm always like, "I'm so tired!" but I'm actually really happy. And siya naman, she seems like, "My life is so carefree!" when in truth, she's going through a very serious problem. And we ended our chat with her saying, "I'd rather people think I'm this shallow person than put myself and my baby in harm's way by ignoring my depression."

So that's the price she's willing to pay.

We all imagine someone else is living a better life than we are. Oh wow, she's so sexy. Oh wow, she doesn't look losyang. Oh wow, she has so many businesses. Oh wow, her kids are in so many enrichment classes. What we don't see is the hours she has to spend at the gym and the calories she counts. We don't see the hours and money she spends at the salon and the spa. We don't see the stress of managing businesses and people. We don't see that she has no time for herself anymore because she's the one shuttling her kids to this class and that sport and that activity.

The perfect life we imagine varies. I don't envy gorgeous and sexy mommies because I know what it takes for them to look that amazing and I'm just not willing to spend my time at the gym and deprive myself of rice! I don't envy mommies who travel a lot either because my family and I love chilling at home lang. Kakapagod umalis ng bahay potek. Gagastos ka pa! Stay home and read na lang. We've traveled farther than anyone who's jumped on a plane! We've gone inside the earth, the bottom of the sea, to space, and other worlds and dimensions!

You know whose lives look so amazing to me? Moms who have businesses kasi yun talaga ang gusto ko. I have my own writing business naman and it's thriving, but I'm aware I can earn more if I devote more time to it. But ayaw talaga namin ng kasambahay so eto ako, biding my time. I also want to start more businesses but yun nga, walang time pa talaga so when I see other mompreneurs, I get envious—but also inspired! But because I have many mompreneur friends, even though they look so amazing on social media, they tell me it's kind of hellish also.

So there. May perfect life ba? Wala. But we pursue what we want and sacrifices are made. Are we willing to give up so much to have the life we want? Of course! Are we willing to give up so much to have the life others have? Not so much. So when we see perfect lives, let's remember they have to go through a lot of shit to get there. Me, I seem to have this penchant of just showing the bad parts of my life but it's pretty perfect to me. I think I mentioned somewhere here before that I have this secret fear that if the Universe sniffs out how wonderful my life is, baka may bawiin kasi life has to be unfair.

Well, life is unfair. Even the amazing lives we see come with a price. All of us are willing to pay it as long as we get the perfect dream life. Our own version of perfect, of course, so when we see what others are doing to look great or do what they do or go where they go, let's just appreciate what we see kasi marami silang pinagdaanan or sinakripisyo para makuha yan (kahit ba hindi natin type yung ginawa nila or yung buhay nila haha). Ika nga ng isang napaka-wise na Pinoy saying, "Walang basagan ng trip!"

What we see online isn't the whole story. And while I would really really REALLY want everyone to just talk about how hard life is so that we can all fully appreciate what it takes for dreams to come true, I also know that many of us aren't comfortable with the ugly, the raw, the pain. So when people show their curated life, let's not say it's fake. Let's just be happy that what they show the world is their version of perfect!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pink and orange finds at Zalora

In case you didn't know, Zalora is on sale right now and I advise you to avoid it at all costs as you are bound to buy something. I did! I bought a rainbow-striped dress from Mango and a green floral granny dress from I don't know what brand. So fun! Go shop now haha

My kids saw what I bought and my youngest asked, "Mama, why do you never wear your favorite colors?" And I said, "My favorite colors are too bright." And he said, "If you really like pink and orange, you should wear them all the time so you can be happy all the time!"

So I told him that the real reason I don't wear pink and orange together is because I'm going to look like I work at Pancake House. Actually, I love everything Pancake House so maybe working there AND getting to wear pink and orange isn't a bad idea!

Apply kaya ako...

Since my kid wanted me to shop for something pink and orange anyway, I obliged him and we found these at Zalora:

Mango Printed Shift Dress in Stripe Print. From P2,695 to P1,995.
My favorite colors and my favorite print—stripes! I also love the retro vibe.

Mango Printed Shift Dress in Floral Print. From P2,695 to P1,995.
I love the flower print. Pink is a sweet color but the graphic print doesn't make the dress look saccharine.

Mango Contrast Bicolor Dress. From P3,995 to P1,995.
I love wrap dresses and the fact that the black ribbon grounds the brightness of this dress.

Wallis Swirl Print Dress, P5,999.
Very pretty but costs too much.

Dorothy Perkins Wrap Dress, P2,995.
I like this but it would be better with longer sleeves and a longer hem. It will look more Diane Von Furstenberg, less tiangge. Diba?

My son's favorite is the two-tone Mango dress but I dunno. Parang pang-payat super lang ang ganyang design. Medyo may tiyan kasi ako so baka magmukha akong buntis haha

This color combo really makes me happy! But these 5 are the only ones I found on Zalora. I guess it's not a very popular color pairing. Where else can I find pink and orange clothes?

*photos grabbed from Pancake House and Zalora.

Monday, July 08, 2019

7 things to do before having your wisdom teeth removed

Halloooo everybody! My husband has a dental appointment this week and this post is for him. Because I love him. And also for you in case you're putting off your dental surgery!

Anyway, I can write about this because I have had soooo many teeth removed. I have huge teeth but a small jaw. That means my teeth were all crowded and pushed out of my mouth. So for my teeth to be straightened out, I have had quite a lot of teeth pulled out. Here's my advice before you have a tooth extraction and/or your wisdom tooth surgery.



What to do before having your wisdom teeth removed:

1. Set the appointment in the evening. This is so you'll just go straight home after your surgery and weep into your pillow. Hahaha! No, no. It's not that bad! I didn't feel any pain at all actually. What I did feel was a wooziness from the anaesthesia, plus a general discomfort of having my teeth pulled out, and the slightly yucky knowledge that I'm swallowing blood.

2. Clear your schedule. Don't even think of doing anything the day after your surgery. While wisdom tooth extraction is just minor surgery, the fact is you still had surgery. I had planned on attending a friend's nail sparty the day after my extraction (I mean, I'd just be sitting down and gossiping, right?). But as I got ready to go, I realized two things: I can't get ready because my movements made my wound ooze blood, and I can't talk and eat so what's the point of socializing???

3. Do your major cleaning. This is for the moms (and dads like my husband) who love cleaning the house. Since you'll be stuck at home a day or two after surgery, you might want to clean up your house first. Don't attempt to do chores just because you're home. Exerting will just raise your blood pressure and make your wound bleed. So keep house before surgery, then relax after. Besides, you won't have any energy to do anything anyway because you'll be hungry.

4. Prepare your special food. Yogurt, apple sauce, soup mixes, soft scrambled eggs, and a lot of ice cream. No hot anything either so no hot coffee, hot tea or hot soup. No sodas and no alcohol either. That's really the worst of this whole experience—going on a baby food diet. I got so hungry!!! I don't have much of an appetite because of my bloody mouth but my stomach is still looking for food anyway. It really drove me crazy.

Oh, and cook your food for the next day. That's because when you move too much, your wound will ooze out blood. So cook it now so you won't have to cook the day after the extraction. Since you can't eat anything hot, you might as well cook food good enough for a week. No need to reheat! Just take out from the ref and thaw, then try hard not to miss the steaming hot goodness of freshly cooked food.

5. Buy your meds and alcohol-free mouthwash. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics, painkillers and an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash. Buy all those before the procedure. I went to the pharmacy after mine and because my mouth was half-dead from the anaesthesia, my mouth was drooling bloody saliva without me feeling it and my unfeeling tongue said, "I wannu buy theeth pleeth."

6. Put a towel over your pillows. Because you will drool blood (guaranteed!) and you don't want to mess up your sheets.

7. Eat a big meal before going to the dentist. Because you will not want to eat for hours and hours after. And you'll have to eat baby food for a while.

You can also pray hehe. Joke! Wisdom tooth removal is painless. I promise!

That's it. Vince, you'll be fine! I love you! Mwah!

Friday, July 05, 2019

I think I can blog again

2008 at my first ever bloggers conference at Singapore with Erica Paredes and Alodia Gosiengfiao. At this moment, I never even considered that my life would be changed by blogging forever. It changed my career trajectory, it saved me and my family when our magazine careers died, and it gave me so many friends (and haters!). Blogging has given me so much, and taken so much, but now I feel I can take it back again. 

Remember blogging before 2010? Before Facebook, which everyone with a blog and website now needs to promote, we bloggers relied on word-of-mouth and Google. I'd get maybe 300 views a day and I was happy. People who came upon my blog were usually people who were just like me—weird and too honest—and the kindred spirit made me feel not so alone in this world.

Facebook changed all that. Plus all the exposure I got as a mommy blogger back in 2012. I started racking up to 60,000 page views a month. While the audience was much bigger, they were also not my people and I got a lot of negativity in the comments. It was strange because I was getting a lot of love from brands, hence the blog became a business; but I was also getting a lot of hate from strangers. I kept blogging because the money made it possible for me to stay home with my kids—that was the most important thing. But my heart was heavy and my mind not so healthy. And though the income was welcome, I also realized I couldn't be so honest anymore because brands like chirpy, I'm-so-blessed, oh-so-positive mommies. They didn't like honest mommies who struggled with despair, exhaustion, and the fact that marriage and motherhood can be so damn hard.

Looking back, I don't feel any anger or resentment towards the brands that helped me or the people who hated me. It's a business so you have to respect the arrangement. It's a public platform so you gotta deal with people who don't like you. That's all. I think I have a healthy attitude now because brands have shifted their attention to Instagram and bloggers like me don't matter anymore.

And what a relief hahaha

Yes! I feel relief! I don't have to check my stats anymore! I don't have to blog when I'm lazy and tired just to keep the audience engaged! I don't have to entertain. I can just live my life again and share what I want again and I can say bad words and bad feelings and basically be... authentic.

Yes, that much-abused word. I like to think I remained true throughout my blogging career. What changed would be if before I would say what I think and feel—and I can be mayabang or mega nega or depressed—I had refrained from doing that. Actually, I still did write a lot of blog posts that were far from happy-happy-joy-joy. Motherhood was really a bitch to me. I love being a mom but it's fucking hard and maybe because I didn't want to be a mom, I had a harder time with it. But I couldn't really say that, you know? It's not... advertiser-friendly.

So I just focused on the positive even though I was going through post-partum depression and my marriage was going through hell. Hindi ko naman tinago yun. Diba I still wrote about those years? But I wrote about them when I was out of it na, so that may positive spin pa rin. You know, "I went through shit but I came out of it victorious and here are 5 lessons I learned and this was brought to you by Brand A." Hehe

I tried to be authentic and honest all the time. I hope you agree.

But I'm also past that, that feeling that I need to write for you. When I blog thinking about the sponsor and the reader, I fail me. I. Fail. Me. And when I'm unhappy, I can't make anyone else happy, right?

I am so grateful to my sponsors and to my readers but it started getting scary when readers got angry at me for killing off Topaz Mommy ("Yan na nga lang binabasa ko, kukunin mo pa!"), for not posting about my kids anymore ("Madamot ka!"), for not blogging when they wanted me to ("Mommy, wag kang tamad."). I went through a few years wondering if I should do what my readers want—sing and dance, offer my kids as entertainment, share the most intimate parts of my life as a pastime. And I decided, as I watched vloggers do stunts to rack up views, and bloggers renovate their houses to be Instagram worthy, and influencers get into debt just to have a social media moment, I decided I'm going to just be me. And if people think that me is boring, then so be it.

And as if to make me feel better about my decision, the strangest thing happened. I got into the PR business and learned—now that I'm on agency-side—that brands don't like blogs anymore anyway. They prefer Instagram and you have to have at least 10K followers to be even considered. I only have 8K followers. And then readers also prefer Facebook and Instagram now. They don't like clicking links or even visiting #linkinbio. There are no readers anymore. People don't like to read, and they don't like blogs that have loooooong posts like this. So I guess my blogging business is dying haha

I say this with a truly relieved heart. Sure, I was sad. But I can claim my blog again. I can say shit and fuck again. I can even maybe not blog anymore. It's okay. It's okay. My blog can be what it was like way back before 2010 when I just rambled about my dumb thoughts and silly observations of life and the universe, when I just shared my eBay finds, when I talked about movies I watched without trying to list down 5 lessons learned so I can be "inspirational" and it's such a relief!

I know you understand because only my Loyal Readers are around to read this anyway. You who have stuck around for years and years, through my many incarnations, and my many many confused, angry, depressed posts. That's why I feel like I was ready to write this post because I know you'll understand that I may have pulled back, I may have shown you peeks instead of the whole show, I may have done what I could to make brands and my readers happy, but ultimately you understand that I need my blog to be my own space. And you're the kind of reader who respects that.

That's why I love you and I'm so grateful for you all. You guys inspire me to still keep blogging! Even though I've wanted to quit so many times! So many other readers told me to do this, do that. But my Loyal Readers just stayed and read and encouraged and even criticized, but always I felt your open mind and welcoming hearts. Thank you.

I think I can blog again, the way I used to. And I hope that's okay with you, too.

*photo by Ashley Gosiengfiao

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Meet my new Cath Kidston London Icons appliqué wallet!


I finally have a new wallet! And I love it! Mamas, meet my Cath Kidston London Icons appliqué wallet. I lost my old wallet back in April and I searched long, far and wide for a new one to replace it. Finally, I was browsing Zalora and saw Cath Kidston was sold there (I didn't know!). I took some screenshots of the wallets I liked, posted them on my Instagram Stories and asked my followers to vote. I said I'd get the wallet that got the most votes. And London Icons won!


I'm doing a little reveal here for you because I promised my followers, the ones who voted, that I'll do a blog post on it. And here it is! I wanted this one because of 3 things:

1. I love everything that has polka dots.
2. It has icons of my most favorite city in the world, London—where I spent my honeymoon!
3. The icons are appliquéd, which adds texture and quirkiness to an otherwise normal wallet.


It won by one vote, by the way. But when the other wallet was winning, I knew I wanted this one to win. Nope, it wasn't a tie and, nope, I didn't vote for the London Icons to be the tie-breaker!

It's a long wallet, though, which I was hoping to avoid because the wallet I had lost was big and I think it fell out of my bag when I fished for my asthma medicine while I was walking home. Also big wallets take up so much space in my bag! But I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I love it! Let's look inside!


It has many many pocketses! There's a zip compartment for coins and beside it a simple compartment for bills. The long wallet is not long enough for the peso bills, though. It's built for the British pound, so I just fold my bills.


Aside from the generous slots for my cards, there are also 2 secret compartments lying flat against the sides. I haven't figured out what to put there yet.

So there you have it! A peek at my new wallet that you all helped me get! Thank you! And thank you also to my dearest Loyal Readers who actually sent me DMs saying they prayed over my wallet—that it will never get lost and that it will always be full of money. Guys, I love you. Thank you so much for loving me!

You can buy your own Cath Kidston London Icons wallet from Zalora or you can check out the other wallets at the Cath Kidston flagship store at Bonifacio High Street at BGC, Taguig.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Disney fans, look! There's a new World Balance x Disney collection out!


Back by popular demand, Disney and World Balance spreads more magic with the new Mickey and Minnie collection of sneakers designed to keep you forever young.

The recently launched collection features fashionable and timeless footwear for men and women which are emblazoned with the iconic Mickey Mouse silhouette, nostalgic artwork, and Mickey and Minnie icons.

Don’t miss out on this limited-edition collection!

Mickey x Crusade for Ladies: 


The timeless, court-inspired black and white sneaks feature perforated details and Mickey’s signature silhouette outlined for a more sophisticated effect and detailed with a nylon pull tab on the heel and tongue with printed Mickey Mouse logo. What makes this shoe even more special is the translucent outsole with different Mickey Mouse artworks on full display at the bottom. For only P1,899.00, it’s a steal!

Mickey x Horizon for Men / Minnie x Horizon for women:


World Balance's new Mickey and Minnie Mouse sneakers will put a little pep in your step. In honor of the world famous mice, the footwear brand teamed up with Disney to release not one but two pairs of sneakers honoring the two iconic characters. Each pair has tiny details paying homage to our favorite icons

Whether you're wearing the sneakers to run errands or to simply just chill, let the world know what a big fan you are, with these clean, white and classic sneaks. The new Minnie sneakers are sure to make Mickey jealous because it comes with an interchangeable red shoelace with Minnie Mouse details and a translucent outsole with different Minnie Mouse artworks on full display at the bottom.

Mickey x Odyssey Men and Ladies: 


Celebrate Mickey with this sleek and fabulous new collection inspired by The True Original. The Mickey Odyssey is made from premium knitted uppers that fit like a sock, and the famous Trampolite Foam cushioning of World Balance. The pair comes in all black with an embroidered red Mickey silhouette on the sides as accent, which puts a fun twist on this fusion of technology and style.

Shop the Disney collection and celebrate Mickey and Minnie like a true fan. Check out www.facebook.com/worldbalance for more information about the collection. The Mickey and Minnie footwear collection is available in selected World Balance stores and department stores nationwide. You may also shop online through Zalora, Lazada, and Shopee.

#WBxDisney #WorldBalance

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

Monday, July 01, 2019

My loves and my lives, slipping through my fingers

June is over and what a whirlwind it was. The kids started school. As I am now a veteran mommy of schoolkids, gone are the days of panic and stress. Okay, I was still stressed and slept maybe 3 hours every night (3 schoolkids means 3 sets of uniforms, books, school supplies, and baon and more loads of laundry!) and that's not good. But at least I'm no longer on the edge of panic and anxiety. I'm a lot relaxed now and that's good.

Vito is now Grade 3
Iñigo is Grade 2.
Piero is Kinder.

But as I watch the not-so-little ones chatter away happily at breakfast and come home noisily in the afternoon, I realize they have their own lives now. Own days, own friends, own music, little worlds I don't belong in anymore, and when once I felt suffocated by their sheer need to be in my space 24/7, now they are creating pockets of their life away from me and their Papa. And that's good. That is always good.

My heart breaks a little each day anyway, knowing they're not really mine, that no matter how tightly I hug them close, I don't possess them. They are their very own and I'm only here to raise them—not for me—but for someone else. That's motherhood for you, and that's okay.




Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while

The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to those wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why, I just don't know
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I saw one bottle of the new Best Ever Joy wash 17,500 plates at San Juanico Bridge!


Okay, I saw it on a screen so I wasn't actually there hehe but this week, I attended the Best Ever Joy event at Quezon City and, together with media and other mom bloggers, we saw the whole thing unfold. The new Best Ever Joy washed 17,500 plates! Ika nga ni Michael V., the plates they washed not only ran the length of the longest bridge in the country, but it also ran the whole length back!

That's why I'm publishing their press release on ze blog today! I was impressed! The photos here—except the ones of the bridge and the check—are all mine! I'll do a review of the Best Ever Joy one day but not today, ha. Dami work! 


With the launch of its new and best ever formulation, Joy, the leading dishwashing liquid in the Philippines, doubled its famous old record of number of plates washed with a single bottle. From 8,750 plates 20 years ago, 17,500 plates were cleaned with just one single 495 ml bottle of the new Best Ever Joy - covering the entire length of the San Juanico bridge and back.

“With our effort to continuously innovate Joy to help Filipino families achieve their Best Ever Life, we introduce the new Best Ever Joy that can wash more plates with just one bottle. This means more savings for families that they can use to lead their best ever lives. The Best Ever Joy is so good that its new formulation was able to clean 17,500 plates with just one bottle of Joy, doubling our own record of 8,750 plates 20 years ago,” shares Meir Yap, Dish Care Brand Manager at Procter and Gamble.Joy celebrated this momentous occasion through the nationwide #BestEverLife Salu-Salo. The celebration first started on June 23, 2019, near the San Juanico Bridge.

Joy celebrity endorser Michael V. was on site in San Juanico Bridge to lay down the 17,500 plates. Guest of Honor Mayor Elect Alfred Romualdez congratulated Joy on the launch of its new and improved product. The event was filled with scrumptious regional cuisines and delicacies and featured festive song and dance performances by regional prides such as The Prodigals, Remo Tribe and the Rondayan.

Product experts established the new Best Ever Joy’s superior dishwashing mileage with experiment videos that showed the product’s new and improved reformulation - a truly Zero Sebo* result. The new Best Ever Joy’s mileage was even demonstrated live by how just one bottle of the Best Ever Joy can clean all of the plates utilized in the salu-salo.


San Juanico Bridge was just the start of the celebration of the nationwide Joy #BestEverLife Salu-Salo. On June 24, 2019, celebrity mom Jolina Magdangal-Escueta led another celebration at Plaza Ibarra in Quezon City filled with festive Filipino delicacies and festival performances.

Media guests watched Michael V. via his San Juanico Bridge greeting where he showcased the incredible proof that 17,500 plates were washed by just one 495 ml bottle of the new Best Ever Joy.


Fellow celebrity mom Rufa Mae Quinto and mommy blogger Momi Berlin joined Jolina on stage to talk about how the new best ever Joy has helped them lead the best ever lives for their families. “I tried using a different dishwashing product in the past, but even though it was cheaper, we ended up spending more because we finished up one bottle so fast. When I use Joy, because the product is so concentrated, one drop goes a long way,” Momi Berlin shared.


In both events, Joy also extended the celebration of the Best Ever Life beyond the attendees of both events. Joy committed to support 1 months’ worth of meals each for the SOS Children’s Village Alabang and Tacloban as part of helping children to live their best lives every day. They will also be donating the thousands of plates washed with Joy lining the bridge to SOS and other organizations that support the feeding and nutrition of children around the Visayas and nationwide. 
As more and more Filipinos use the new Best Ever Joy in their homes, more and more are also discovering their best ever life. Be part of the #BestEverLife movement with the new #BestEverJoy!

The new Best Ever Joy comes in a limited offer of only P99 for the 495 ml bottle. Joy is available in all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. 
For more information about Joy, visit the Joy Philippines Facebook page.
*ZERO SEBO claim is based on technical and quantitative tests with 300 consumers in Metro Manila vs previous formula.


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


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Home tools and appliance gifts for every type of Dad


Happy Father's Day, Vince!

Father's Day is this weekend and if we're going to be honest, it's really hard to give a gift to the man who's given us so much. Samsung sent me this list and there's a lot of great ideas below. I hope you find something here for your husband, your dad, and the other dads in your life!

Now is the time to make Dad feel appreciated. This Father’s Day, give him something cool, practical, and suited for his unique interests. Can't decide what to get? Then worry no more—we’ve created this list based on Dad’s hobbies and needs so it’s easier to pick!

For the Aspiring Chef Dad

Samsung Smart Oven
If Dad loves to cook and prepare for the family, get him this 6-in-1 Samsung Smart Oven! This appliance functions as a convection oven and a microwave that can be used for baking, grilling, slim frying, defrosting, steaming and even making yogurt, making it the perfect cooking appliance. This will definitely make him try more recipes so expect new dishes after buying this gift.

Kitchen Blow Torch
Make dad feel like a legit chef with this blow torch. Extra char on the steak or BBQ? That burnt edge on the toast? Beautiful caramel glow in creme brulee? He can do anything he wants with this kitchen tool.

For the Handyman Dad 

Rotary Tool Kit
If Dad’s hobby is to create new cool things, then this can be handy for him! Get a rotary tool kit for him to easily engrave on different objects such as wood, metal, glass, electronics, plastic, and many other materials for his personal projects. 

Swiss Knife
Screwdriver, can opener, knife, cork opener… basically what is always asked from Dad. Get him prepared in these situations with an absolutely convenient swiss knife.

For the Dad who deserves rest and relaxation

Samsung Wind-free Air Conditioner
Let him relax and have an undisturbed sleep. The Samsung Wind-free air conditioner cools the room quickly and comfortably by maintaining the preferred temperature in any room without directly blasting cold air or creating unpleasant cold spots. The best part is, it can be controlled using your phone with its Wi-Fi function, so the room can be set anytime and from anywhere he wants.

300-count cotton pillowcase
This will totally become a game-changer for his sleep quality. These pillowcases has a luxurious softness that will make him relax instantly every time he goes to bed.

For the Coffee Lover Dad

Aeropress
This cool method of coffee-brewing will certainly amaze Dad! Add in some of his current favorite beans or a new type of blend for him to start playing with this new toy.

Hand-painted mug
Think of a favorite memory with Dad... or a running inside joke with him! Get the creative juices flowing and paint a mug for him so he can remember you whenever he gets a cup of coffee.

For the Adventurous Dad

Samsung Heat Pump dryer
Can’t rely on the sunlight to fully dry gears? Now, he can make sure his gears are clean and dry with the Samsung Heat Pump dryer. Best part is, if he suddenly decides to take on a trip and his favorite outdoor clothes are still in the laundry, the QuickDry function just takes 35 minutes for it to be fully dry!

3-in1 Monopod, Selfie Stick, and Remote
Never let him miss a moment with a light tripod that he can bring to his trips! This multi-functional gadget can serve whatever he needs for that perfect shot.

To know more about the innovative products of Samsung Digital Appliances, visit the nearest authorized dealer, check Samsung PH on Facebook, or visit samsung.com/ph.

For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.

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

Monday, June 10, 2019

Want to start vlogging? Me too! Let's learn how!

If you're a mom who allows her kids to watch YouTube, then you...

a) are amazed that there are so many videos on unboxing toys and playing videogames that fascinate your kids

b) think it's ridiculous that people actually earn real money from these inane videos

c) have played with the idea of starting your own YouTube channel yourself 

Well, my kids and I have tumbled this idea over and over again and there are 2 things that stop me from vlogging: (1) I don't know how to do it and (2) I'm afraid of exposing my kids' young psyches to cruel comments or even the lack of likes. 

Consider Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:


Our attempts to vlog weren't a success at all. So I'm like, "Okay, we tried, we failed, let's do other things." End of story! But 3 years later, Vito is sure he wants to be a YouTuber so as his mom, I figured I shouldn't discourage his ambition even though I don't have high hopes for it.

That's why we're going to Vlogging 101 for Kids!!! 



This workshop from Manila Workshops will be on June 22, Saturday, and we'll learn the answers to these questions:

- Why do we want to vlog? What is the purpose - to entertain, to earn, to have fun?
- What tools do we need?
- How do we create videos that people will watch to the end?
- How do we set up our channel?
- How do we make our vlog and channel stand out?
- How do we get thousands (millions!) of views?
- How many times do we publish the videos?
- How do we make our videos make money???

The speakers at this workshop are Omni and Bryce Larrosa of the popular family vlog #TheClingyFam. Their vlog is only 2 years old but they've gotten hundreds of thousands of views, thousands of subscribers, and collaborations with family brands like Baby Dove, Cheez Whiz, Eden and many more. Here's what happened in the 1st run of their workshop:



I don't know if that's what I want. I don't even know if I want this for my children but let it not be said that I snuffed out their dreams! So if you're like me and want to learn about vlogging, come with me and Vito to Vlogging 101 for Kids!!!

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: June 22, 2019 
Time: 9AM – 4PM 
Venue: Richprime Global Inc, Quezon City

LEARNING RATES: 
Regular Rate: Php 3,499.00 (Adult + Kid) 
Group Rate: Php 3,999.00 (Dad + Mom + Kid)

**Workshop Fee is inclusive of handouts, certificates, giveaways and snacks!**

Buy your tickets at: https://manilaworkshops.com/events/vlogging-for-kids-2019

For more details contact: VENI – veni.anabo@manilaworkshops.com | 09272816651

Monday, June 03, 2019

Iñigo and Piero love Ready, Steady, Go!


Summer was super fun for my two younger boys, Iñigo and Piero, because of Ready Steady Go Kids! Every Saturday, we trooped to the 9th Avenue School at BGC, Taguig, for an hour of fun and fitness with other kids.


You know how people call play the real work of kids? Well, this is exactly like that! The kids may seem like they're just throwing and catching balls or jumping up and down or chasing each other. They look like they're just playing but really they're developing eye-hand coordination, learning what their bodies can do and how it moves, building strength and flexibility, learning focus and patience and determination, learning to listen to instructions and pay attention to others—and doing all of that while having fun!

Ready Steady Go is Australia’s largest and most reputable multi-sport and exercise program for preschoolers (aged 2.5-7 years). We have been with RSGK since they launched here in the Philippines 5 years ago. At first, we were skeptical because it was just play. They can play at our playground for free! But at the very first session, when Vito was just 4, we saw that Vito learned motor and social skills fast. We were converted to the Temple of Play!


RSGK offers a high-quality, physio-designed program that teaches children the fundamentals of 10 different sports in a fun, non-competitive, team-based environment. There are 5 sports covered in each term. Each class focuses on a specific gross motor, hand-eye/foot-eye and/or balance activity to complement the sport component. The program has a structure repeated each week so that the kiddos become familiar and comfortable with the routine. It's not drastically different from each class, which is good because kids like familiarity.


So far, my kids learned basketball, golf, and tennis. But not in a competitive way. It was really just taking the basic moves of the sports and then using them to teach kids how to use and develop their muscles and social skills. It's really fascinating to watch the coaches apply sports to instill useful life skills! 


The classes run for 45 minutes. Best to go early so your kids can settle in. We also stay and play with the other kids after the class ends so we spend about an hour to an hour-and-a-half at RSGK. Super fun, mamas!


If your kids have summer vacation now or if they have classes but you want them to improve their motor skills or if you have a preschooler, please enroll them at Ready Steady Go! Super highly recommended! Topaz Mommy-approved! Register here: http://readysteadygokids.com.ph/enroll/

You can also follow their Facebook page to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/ReadySteadyGoKidsPhilippines. I can't say enough good things about RSGK! Please enroll your kids na!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Three sons is great thank you very much

Yo, I came out very quickly from blogger hibernation because someone slid into my DMs to say, "Kawawa ka naman puros lalaki mga anak mo." Girl, bless your heart, pero hindi ako kawawa. I am already so blessed to be a mother of one amazing, gorgeous, smart, healthy son. Na-times three pa! Sinong panalo? Sino???

Sinong pikon also haha

Pero nakakapikon talaga, ha. I was too suffocated with babyhood to have bothered before but, hey, I'm gonna make patol now. Why? Because this is not the first time this has happened! Piero wasn't even born yet and people have plagued me with this! Whenever people find out I have three boys, they get this look on their face, like, "Oh dear. Poor you."

Don't give me that look. Yes, I have a hard time with motherhood not because of the gender of my kids but because I'm a working mom, I have two (sometimes three) jobs, I have no household help, and no family around to help save my sanity. I may look kawawa kasi pagod na pagod ako at may losyang vibes na BUT I don't feel sad for having sons. Are you kidding me? I'm surrounded by three beautiful boys every day!

Three handsome boys all in a row. I mean, the world is always a better place when amazing brothers band together to rule it. Just look at these examples:


The Stark Brothers: Jon, Bran, Robb
Okay, technically Jon is their cousin but he was raised as their brother so don't fight me. And, yes, we will conveniently forget real brother Rikkon who was murdered by Ramsey. But just look at this photo from the first season of Game of Thrones! Who'd have thought they'd all become kings one day?


The Kennedy Brothers: John, Robert, Teddy
Yes, we'll do real life now. Yes, two weren't very good at staying alive and the last one wasn't very good at staying out of trouble but they did change US history and for three sons in one family to do that is pretty darn awesome.


The Hansons: Taylor, Zac and Isaac
Dreamy, can play music, can sing, knows a lot about art history, good looking, are amazing husbands and fathers. Perfect!


The Hemsworth Brothers: Liam, Chris and Luke
All three are successful actors (Westworld fans will recognize eldest bro Luke). They're easy on the eyes, too.


The Jonas Brothers: Nick, Joe, Kevin
Famous all over the world for being a pop sensation and for marrying strong and independent women.


The Sales VIPs
Best boys in this list! I can't even imagine what amazing things they'll do! I bet they'll be legendary. My mommy heart says so!

Mother of men. That's me!

I think having daughters is probably amazing, too. I say "probably" only because it's not my experience. I bet moms of daughters think they're the luckiest mommies, too. I'm super happy really. I seriously don't spend my days pining away for a little girl (sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, hindi talaga haha). Neither do I go around looking at moms of all girls and saying, "Kawawa ka naman." Loko ka. I think having kids of any number and any gender is a gift! So stop it and just congratulate me for being blessed three times over. Mwah!

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127: 3-5a

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 Philippine childhood immunization schedule released

I'm publishing this press release because there are very few things in this world I believe in and vaccination is one of them. Before vaccines, children died by the millions. If people somehow survived these horrible diseases, they came out of it maimed or disfigured. But because of vaccines, these diseases were eradicated to the point that people now think they're mythical. No one takes measles, tetanus or polio seriously because they have no experience with it. 

I'm a middle-aged woman who have cousins with polio, who spent a week suffering hallucinations when I had the measles at 9, who was told by old people to have as many children as possible because they assured me my babies die will before they're one year old. I came from a time when people didn't believe in vaccines and so we suffered from this. I can't believe we're back there again! Please vaccinate your kids!

PRESS RELEASE - The 2019 Childhood Immunization Schedule for the Philippines, which indicates the recommended vaccines for children and adolescents, was released with a recommended indication for measles vaccine for infants as young as 6 months of age.

The annual schedule is developed by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) together with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV). 

Similar to last year, the schedule contains 13 vaccinations that Filipino children need from age 0 to 18 years. These include the anti-tuberculosis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and the Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) given to children right after birth. Both the HBV and BCG are included in the National Immunization Program (NIP), which identifies vaccines that are available for free at health centers. 

The Childhood Immunization Schedule also covers vaccines that can protect children from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, polio, pneumococcal infections, rotavirus infections, influenza, measles, Japanese encephalitis, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Given the measles outbreak nationwide, however, pediatricians now recommend that the first measles vaccine be administered at six months old. Measles vaccines are usually given to infants at nine months old, but they can be given as early as six months of age in cases of outbreaks. 



The PPS and PIDSP also reminded parents that vaccination is a safe and scientifically proven way of fighting deadly and infectious diseases. During PIDSP’s 26th annual convention held last February 21, the doctors launched the “Save The Future” movement to restore the public’s confidence and trust in vaccination, alongside the release of the national childhood immunization schedule.

“Vaccinating our children is one of the most basic medical interventions to ensure that our children develop as healthy adults. Some fears and myths persist that vaccines could harm infants, but decades of studies have shown that vaccines prevent unnecessary child deaths instead of causing them,” said PIDSP president Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim. 

PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian also emphasized the need for collaboration between parents and doctors. 

“While the Childhood Immunization Schedule contains our ideal vaccination routine, we acknowledge that some patients will require schedules that are different from our recommendations,” said Dr. Gatchalian. “That is why it is important for parents to consult their pediatricians so they can make the best possible decisions for the health and well-being of their children.”

Visit www.facebook.com/SaveTheFuturePH for more information.


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


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Celebrate 30 years of "Pabaong Pagmamahal" from Lemon Square Cheese Cake

I love this story of a mom who turned her passion for baking into a cupcake business that is now a household name. I don't have a photo of this mommy so I'll just grab the photos of fellow working moms who have turned their passion into profit and whose kids love Lemon Square Cheese Cake (just like me and my kids!).

Rhiza Oyos is a digital marketer and inbound marketing consultant.

PRESS RELEASE - Every recipe has a story to tell. For Nina Vergel de Dios or “Mommy Nina”, the woman behind the all-time favorite pabaon snack Lemon Square Cheese Cake, the tale of her signature product was inspired by a mom’s love.

Mommy Nina’s love for baking was sparked by the bond she and her mother had when she was young. She recalls helping out her mother in the kitchen to bake at the age of nine. It was since then she got fond of baking and continued to hone her skills by attending culinary and baking classes as she grew up. She also sold some of her baked goods to family and friends for extra allowance when she was in high school.

Ginger Arboleda is the founder of Manila Workshops and Taxumo.

Being successful is a ‘piece of cake’

For quite some time, Mommy Nina distanced herself from baking to take a different career path. But with the encouragement and support of her husband Errol, she left her corporate job to pursue her first love, baking. 

In 1985, Mommy Nina returned to her small home kitchen in Valenzuela and began selling her cheese cakes in the wet markets of Malabon and Navotas. Through the positive comments of resellers, word spread about her cheese cake until it reached other markets.

Three decades later, Lemon Square Cheese Cake became a household name that answers the need of Moms to provide filling, delicious and nutritious pabaon for their children.

Tippy Go is the artist, cartoonist, photographer and author behind Googly Gooeys.

The value of ‘Pabaong Pagmamahal’

Lemon Square Cheese Cake credits its success to the value of pabaong pagmamahal. Made with real and fresh ingredients, it assures moms that theirs kids have something good to snack on when they’re in school or enjoying other activities.

“We’ve always been inspired by moms and their desire to give the best for their children. That’s why we ensure that all our products are made with fresh ingredients,” shares EJ Vergel de Dios, son of Mommy Nina and Assistant General Manager and Chief Innovations Officer of Lemon Square.

“With Lemon Square Cheese Cake as a siksik cupcake pabaon, moms never have to worry that their kids will be hungry at school. It’s also conveniently packed so that moms do not need to worry about preparing their kids’ baon,” he adds.

Give your children #PabaongPagmamahal with Lemon Square Cheese Cake. For more information about Lemon Square Cheese Cake, visit www.lemonsquare.com.ph or like Lemon Square on Facebook.

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