Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hike to Tanawan

I was expecting to do my first hike on the mountains of Palawan this coming summer but turns out I had to do warm up here in Negros. I have never been to high places before so I was more nervous than excited when I said yes to hiking Tanawan in Sibulan. I was even close to not going because it rained so hard the night before the hike, and because I wasn’t and still am not a morning person. Bed was still calling me back at 5:30 in the morning.

Well, better go rather than say no. But really, I thank God for friends who texts you, “On my way”. That surely had all of us to pack up our things and head out of the house. So we actually ended up traveling towards the municipality of Sibulan and reaching there, we rode habal-habal to barangay Balugo. We basically just told the driver we were going up hiking to Tanawan and he was pretty kind enough to drive us to our destination and even had a little bit of tour along the way. He was really good as tour guide. We never had a boring dead air on the road.

When we arrived at the starting point, we had a brief orientation and took potty breaks before starting the 3.3km hike. The first few steps were just easy breezy but as you step further upwards, it tires your knees and legs right away. I couldn’t even count how many stops we took but everytime we do, we wouldn’t forget to take pictures. What really amazes me when we took the hike was when we met people along the way. There was one lady who walked and talked with us a few meters and even gave us directions. We almost took a right turn when we were supposed to go straight. Oh how the Lord provides! There were muddy trails, rocky steps and very steep paths. The hike was really exhausting but as you get closer to the top, the view is just breathtaking! You could almost see everything when you’re up there, and all the more you would be amazed of God’s creation.

And finally after almost two hours, we reached Tanawan Highland View. It was a little hot when we got there and the fog was nowhere to be found. They had cottages, and trees and fish pond and you can just camp anywhere you’d like to. The place was wide enough and the air was cooler as the clouds came in. We took our brunch, had fellowship, enjoyed the view as we rested a while before we took pictures and more pictures! I couldn’t remember how long we stayed at the top. I bet no one was checking the time as the view was really amazing and really awesome. It was but my first hike so excuse me if I can’t help but be really really amazed at it. Haha!

Going down was as strenuous as going up. We also had to take a few stopovers but the sight and the experience sure did not slow us down. It was worth the mud on my shoes and sweat on my clothes. The hike was really worth it!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Parenting Terrible Twos

When K was born, some friends have already warned us about the dreaded stage they call the "Terrible Two".  We didn't quite grasp all the intense warnings then as we were only focusing on enjoying time with K one stage at a time.  It was only when K reached THAT stage when we remembered how profusely we were warned.

Well, we are dealing with a terrible two alright!  But it's not so bad, really.  We, parents should just creatively work our way around the mood swings and tantrums while standing our ground all the while.  Of course, we do these without forgetting to enjoy every moment.  I mean, it's not all bad! The terrible two stage is not so bad, in fact, it's such a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful conversations and unforgettable activities with our little ones.

Your Attention is Key

"Mom, look, I have a trick!"  "Mom, look at my 'silly face'!" "Look, I'm a doctor!" "Mom, I'm dancing ballet!"

Kids just love to show off their new tricks, new dance moves, new toys, new facial expressions, anything! K would often call me out whenever she sees me not paying attention and make sure I see her perform whatever new thing she's learned.  Parents, please, put down those phones! Paying attention to our kids whenever they're asking for it is vital not only to avoid the sudden tantrums, but also to make them feel important.

I remember a few times when K would literally just snatch my phone away and say "Enough!" just to get my attention.  Those were shameful incidences, I tell you.  It made me feel really terrible and ashamed of myself.  If there's an email you badly need to send or a call you have to make without the distractions, well, there's the bathroom! (*wink) Just excuse yourself nicely and do it quick, or an unceasing door knocking would force you out of it.  And, yes, I do this. Works all the time.

Little Choices, Big Fulfillment

Allowing our kids to make their own choices is teaching them decision-making at an early stage. Moreover, being able to choose for themselves gives them fulfillment and some sense of autonomy. Of course, parents should decide on the big things, but the little ones, we can always delegate.  It could be as small as what story to read at bedtime, what shoes to wear, or what toys to bring to the bath.  These may be insignificant things to you, but to them these are big decisions.  Of course, we always have to be there to feed them with the right bits of information when their choices seem to be quite off the beam.

Distract. Distract. Distract.

Kids love to always get what they want and when you don't allow them to, well, expect they'd make a scene. Kids can be so manipulative.  They use their crying and their yelling to make you say 'yes' to what they want.  The key to avoiding the tantrums is distraction.  Try to shift their attention to something else.  Works all the time, I swear.  You just have to be creative about it to make sure the distraction is indeed more fun than the original prospect.

Encourage through Praises

Never overlook good behavior and make sure they get rewarded for it.  Praises could be enough reward.  Kids love praises.  When I notice K throwing her trash on the garbage bag, shares her snacks, ask to wee or poo in the potty, drink her milk, or any other things that please me, I make it a point to praise her for it.  That way she'll know which of the things she does are good.  Be generous on the praises and make sure to point out her good deeds.

Pick your Battles

Kids being kids should not be given so much fuss about.  I remember playing puzzles with K and she just kept on getting the wrong piece even though I've already given her so much hints on what to look for.  I was starting to become impatient about it and my frustration almost got the best of me.  I almost forgot it's only supposed to be just a fun game and not a race.  I then just let her try to fit all the wrong pieces until she finally got the right one after so many tries.  She was ecstatic about it!

Sometimes, we can be so controlling.  We want to be the ones to have a say in all matters.  We want to do things our way, our time. However, letting go of the ones that do not really matter and do not harm our kids can also be liberating at times.  Of course, there are things that are non-negotiable, such as health and safety issues perhaps, but there are other things that we can take a step back from and let them take over.  So, choose your battles wisely.

Prayer is Key

Praying for our kids is part of our responsibilities as parents.  Our ministry starts with them.  Laying our hands on our children in prayer makes so much of a difference.  Teaching them how to pray is also essential.  I love how K has a list of faith goals and we pray for them at bed time.  Just a few nights ago, I got so touched when she prayed for me.  She laid her tiny little hand on my tummy and prayed for Jesus to heal me. It was one of the most touching experiences in my life and I could not be more thankful to God for giving me such a wonderful daughter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

OPPO F1s: Day In The Life

The clock strikes five and I’m finally out of the office. I’m now making it a habit to hit the tracks and jog a few rounds at the oval. Being at the office doesn’t get me moving a lot so I try to get my body some exercise. It also helps me sweat out the daily stress and lessens the pain during those times of the month. If I can’t run in the afternoons, I try to do squats and sit ups in the morning before I start the day. That way I wouldn’t skip the daily dose of exercise that I need.

After which, we usually meet after for Bible study and fellowship. After our physical needs, our souls also require nourishment. It’s fun to be around with the younger people, they always make you laugh and definitely teaches you how to stay young at heart. We also have fellowship with the grown-ups and the married couples, and they are pretty awesome at training us for our future. It’s such a blessing to have these people around.

When I get home is where the fun starts. Home is where I get to spend time with myself, write on my journal and get creative. I’m happy to share to you that I have been working on this 40-day challenge. I was inspired to learn calligraphy and when I finally learn how to do it with the brushes, I just wanted to create more and more. So I asked my facebook friends and followers on my page to participate. It’s something for me to give back to those who’ve supported me and of course to ultimately to spread creativity and inspire others that they too can do calligraphy. Some of my friends even asked if I would hold workshops in the future. It’s a big thing though but of course I’d love to. Maybe one of these days when the 40-day calligraphy challenge ends. I just can’t help but be excited about it as well.

A photo posted by JPDesign (@jhetplanedesign) on

A photo posted by JPDesign (@jhetplanedesign) on

A photo posted by JPDesign (@jhetplanedesign) on

These are just some of the finished calligraphy work I did for the past few days. I still have more to go and I'm so much encourage by my friends and family.I would keep it a habit to write and take a photo and post it everyday on my facebook and instagram account. I would finish late at night with all these calligraphy and doodling around and when I take photos, it wouldn't get that right amount of light, thus I would do more editing. That's why I love to have Oppo F1s because of its 13MP rear camera that would give more detail to my artworks. Specially now that my friends would like to have tutorials, I plan to post Instagram videos so they too can create their own calligraphy. Having an Oppo F1s would definitely capture my creative adventures! :)
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