Friday, May 06, 2022

Vito's 11th birthday

My blog post last Monday reminded my Loyal Readers that my kids aren't toddlers anymore. "Vito is turning 12?" Yes! "Where did the time go?" I don't know. I still stare at them and wonder the same thing. 

I haven't been sharing the boys' birthdays anymore but let me quickly share Vito's 11th birthday party last year. I want to give you - those who still call him Jelly Bean - a peek at my not-so-little boy's happiness.

So this was in August and we were all stuck at home, but that didn't prevent us from having a great day! We had guests anyway - a retinue of penguins, foxes, and wolves to help celebrate the big day!

Look at how happy my boys are. They've been so good throughout the pandemic. I think they loved being cooped up inside, even if it dragged on for 2 years (and counting!). I could never ask for better boys. And it all started with the eldest one, my Vito.

Vito has always been easy. Easy pregnancy, easy childbirth, easy recovery, easy infancy, easy toddlerhood, easy everything! He's a happy, healthy, smart, and such a good boy. It's so easy to make him laugh. And he asks so little from us. Just video games and lots of food to munch on. That's it. He's happy.

His Papa once said, "I hope he never changes." And with Vito on the cusp of big change coming - adolescence! teenagehood! middle school! - I agree with his Papa. May this wonderful little boy never ever change. May he always be healthy. May he always be happy. May he always have love and support. That's all I ever want for him, the boy who changed my life. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

God's will doesn't just happen, we have to choose it

Okay, I don't usually mix my politics with religion so when I say I choose Leni as my President, it's because I looked at her credentials, her personal life, how she treats Filipinos, and how exactly did she perform as a public servant. And check-check-check! Siya talaga ang angat sa lahat!

But syempre, Born Again Christian ako so my political beliefs are also shaped by my faith. I need to live by what Matthew 22:36-40 says, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself,'" and also what Philippinas 4:8-9 says, which is "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." And choose and do those things, too! That is God's will and I strive to do it in every aspect of my life, kahit na mahirap.

So anyway, yung mga religious na kakilala ko are saying na by next week God's will is what will happen. I reject that. It's simply not true. Just because we vox populi doesn't necessarily mean it's vox Dei. For example, in the Book of Samuel, God didn't want the Hebrews to have a king, yet they insisted so ayan they got Saul and a whole lotta trouble. God permitted it because the people CHOSE it. In the same way I'm sure God isn't happily saying, "Oh, she got raped, just as I willed it." "That child became an orphan because of drunk drivers, just as I willed it." Why would God will evil??? It's not that God is helpless. It just means He will not impose His will on us. Kung ano gusto natin, kahit mali, He will not stop us from choosing it. Sadly, this is why there is so much evil in the world.

Kaya nga diba Jesus prayed, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Kasi God's will isn't happening on earth because of people's free will. And sorry na lang talaga but people will always choose sin. We will always choose what's wrong.

What God will do is see us through the consequences of our wrong decisions if and ONLY IF we ask for forgiveness for the wrong we've done. He will not spare us the consequences of our decisions.

Also, yung "Vox populi, vox Dei" belief or the "will of the people is the will of God" is just a part of the quote. The full quote is "Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit."

Translation: "And those people should not be listened to, who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness."

So how do we avoid this madness? If you believe in God, then by listening to the voice of God FIRST. And the voice of God says if all the people "will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

So nasa tao pa rin ang gawa. Seek God, find out who He is (He is good, He is LOVE, He is life, He is truth, He is justice, He is mercy), and then choose according to His will.

So sa elections for example, sino ang mga candidates who don't lie, who have lives devoted to public service, who have compassion for all especially the poor, who seek justice, who have no taint of murder or theft in their history, who have no whiff of corruption? Sila ang will ni God. And it's up to us to choose God's will. We don't have to, of course. Free will nga, diba. But if we don't and suffering results from our decisions (just as the last 6 years have been very bad for many Pinoys), then we can't blame God. It was not His will. It was ours.

I have enjoyed the election season immensely. Yes, it was stressful but I also saw how people rejected lies and corruption, how Filipinos from all walks of life (mula mahirap hanggang mayaman, mula street vendor hanggang National Artist, mapa-babae, lalaki at LGBTG+, bata at matanda!) gathered together to let their voice be heard, how we sang and danced and served each other.

Will we be the majority? I don't know. What I do know is mas maraming Pinoy na ang nakakakilala sa tama at mali, who are voting according to their conscience and what the country truly needs - a government free of corruption and will truly serve the Filipino through humility and compassion. I am praying that there's more of us.

May nagising na sa akin. At hindi lang ako. I know we are finally awake and listening, watching, and we are finally breaking the cycles and smashing the beliefs we inherited from generations of people who just chose who was popular and entertaining and matunog ang pangalan. We will build a better future for our country kahit sino pa ang manalo! I am so excited!

I will vote according to what I believe is God's will and choose the candidates that truly love the Philippines and the Filipino people. I hope you do, too! 

P.S. I'm for Leni-Kiko! Ipanalo na na10 ito!

Monday, May 02, 2022

Decor ideas for 3 kids sharing a small room

My sons are now 11, 9 and 7. They've always had 3 beds in their bedroom but they still liked cramming themselves into 2 beds, sleeping piled up on each other like puppies. But a few months ago, the eldest boy started complaining about how they don't fit, how his brothers steal his pillows or blanket, etc etc. I said, "You have 3 beds. No need to share beds." So off he finally went to the top bunk and he's been peacefully sleeping since.

I realize that the boys will be teenagers soon. They'll still have to share one bedroom since we live in a 2-bedroom apartment. So I've been Googling ways to redo their bedroom so that each one has a sense of peace and privacy. Check out my favorite finds for three kids sharing a small room: 

IBZ Store

This is the boys' favorite because each bed is on its own level. The boys' bed is already an IKEA Kura bed, which sadly isn't available in the IKEA store here. I don't know how we can buy another one! Maybe we'll just have it custom-made.


This is my second favorite idea. It has a more grown-up feel (if you see beyond the plushies).


I like this because of the drawers under one bed. Always need storage in a small space!

This is great, too, because it has even more storage - a chest of drawers!

Just Bunk Beds

This has a study area. But it's just for one kid. Maybe I'll put bookshelves there instead.

Matrix Kids

Speaking of bookshelves, how about this one - a space for a reading nook. My kids like to read so a reading nook will be a great addition to their room. 

So there! I'll need to save up for a little renovation of their room. My eldest boy is turning 12 this year. Soon, I'll have teenagers! Can you imagine it? Time flies!