Learning Through Play at Johnson's Active Kids Playcation

Nanay, I love you because you always play with me. 

This is Rio's answer whenever I ask him why does he love Nanay. We value our playtime because we consider it as teachable and learning moments too. We incorporate play and games in our homeschool lessons. This makes learning more fun.

In our experience, he can easily remember and understand the lessons when we integrate them with play. For example, we learned the concept of length and measuring by using popsicle sticks and played the game "Who is longer?" We started our alphabet lessons by using clay to form the different letters.
Mas matrabaho dahil mag-iisip ka pa ng games pero kapag naintindihan na niya ang lessons at nag-enjoy pa, sulit ang lahat ng pagod! 

We also have playdates in the park with our homeschooling buddies once in a while but we need to make this active and free play time more frequent. We are still looking for public parks and nice outdoor spots here in the South so it was nice to spend our Friday afternoon playing in Johnson's Active Kids Playcation in SM Southmall. Rio was excited to try the different play pods that Johnson's set up for the kids to enjoy.

Visit Johnson's Active Kids Playcation playground at SM Southmall's Activity Center. It's open to the public until today, May 20. What are you waiting for, momshies? Spend some active play time with your kids now! Enjoy!
Rio enjoyed his playtime yesterday at Johnson's Active Kids Playcation 
FIREBALL AWAY : Rio's favorite play pod! Playing while developing your child's balance. 
DRAGON MAZE : My son loves playing on mats! Walang kapaguran, maglabas-pasok sa maze! 
LITTLE BUILDER'S CITY : Rio loves building towers and different objects from his blocks. Kakaenjoy ito since he was building with giant blocks! :) 
IMAGINE and SEEK : Nanay, I built houses and destroyed them too! 
Thank you Johnson's for this Imagination Box! The first item in the box that Rio played with was the balloon! 
Thank you for these gifts, Johnson's! 

Birthday Party Ideas : Saying Goodbye to Our Yearly Birthday Photo Collage

         We did not make our yearly picture collage for our dear Rio on his 6th birthday. I felt a little bit sad letting go of this birthday tradition but a part of me also says it's time to move on. It is like saying goodbye to our toddler, preschool days and moving up to more challenging years ahead.

         For five straight years we collected our favorite photos and used them to form Rio's age. Take a look at our photo collages. Don't forget to tell me your favorite year / collage in the comments section. :-)

Our very first photo collage during Rio's first Safari-themed birthday party at Wildlife Parks in Quezon City.

Rio's simple Pocoyo-themed 2nd birthday party at home.

Our Thomas and Friends 3rd birthday party at home. 

Hindi obvious sa photo pero we prepared a Monster Truck themed 4th birthday party at home. :-) 

Our last photo collage. We had a picnic party at the park to celebrate Rio's 5th birthday. It was a Curious George-themed party. Look at the books! 

         This year, our dearest Rio requested for a swimming party with his cousins. We easily agreed to his request since there was a decent pool at the clubhouse in my sister's place. We enjoyed the entire day just dipping in the pool. Rio was overjoyed that he stayed in the pool from 11 in the morning until six in the evening with just short snack breaks in between. 


          Ang bilis ng panahon! Six na ang baby boy ko. I remember starting this blog in 2011, we were just busy recording his monthly milestones and our breastfeeding journey. This year, we will start our Grade One indie homeschool adventures. Exciting and challenging days ahead. 

         I think it was the right time to stop our photo collage tradition not only because he has outgrown themed-birthday parties. But simply because he is starting to have a mind of his own.  Now is the best time to listen to his views and suggestions on how we should celebrate his special day. I'm excited and curious about the ideas that he will put forward for his 7th birthday next year. 

        To our not so little baby boy, we wish you a happy birthday. Cheers to more happy memories and fun adventures with Nanay, Tatay and Lola! We love you so much! 

Sunog na ang birthday boy natin! Babad pa more! 


Filipino Homeschoolers Are Making History (National Homeschool Day : March 3, 2017) #hapiday2017

We are making history! Sandali, baka masyadong mabigat ang statement na ito bilang gusto ko lang namang maging mas relaxed, flexible at mas enjoy ang unang mga taon ng pag-aaral ni Rio. But after almost four years of homeschooling and celebrating the country's first ever National Homeschool Day last March 3 with other homeschooling families in different parts of the Philippines, I have to admit, makasaysayan nga ang taong ito at mga paparating pang mga taon para sa homeschool community dito sa Pilipinas.

Thank you, The Filipino Homeschooler for the photo. :-) 

The Homeschoolers of Makati and other nearby cities (Pasay and Manila) marked the first National Homeschool Day (March 3) with a fun and informal gathering of newbies and experienced homeschoolers in Social House at Circuit Mall, Makati. It was an afternoon of sharing and just enjoying the company of people who share this journey.

Mga mare, hayaan ninyo akong balikan ang maikli pero napakasayang homeschool history ng aming pamilya.

Years 2014 and 2015

- I attended The Learning Basket's (TLB) Preschool Homeschool workshop. I consider this workshop and the inspiration I got from Mariel and Sanne of TLB as the key factors that encouraged our family to try homeschooling.   

- When Rio turned three in May 2014, we started our "formal" preschool homeschool.  We were not in a rush to teach him how to read. Instead, we introduced letters and phonics through fun art activities (painting, coloring, building with clay and blocks) , regular read-aloud sessions of English and Filipino storybooks and lots of free play at home and at the park. ( Read my first lesson as a mommy homeschooler here.

- We attended almost all the major homeschooling events during these years. These gatherings gave us a lot of inspirations from different homeschooling families. These events also gave us the opportunity to meet families who will become our homeschooling buddies and our companions in raising our little boy.

- These years were also about how to manage gadget time with our visual learner. We also started to encounter questions from friends and relatives about our decision to homeschool Rio. There were also times when we ask ourselves if what we know and share with our son are enough to satisfy his curious mind.

Year 2016

-  After two years of independent homeschooling we decided to enrol in a DepEd accredited homeschool provider for Rio’s kindergarten year. We enrolled in Peniel Integrated Christian Academy because we heard positive feedbacks from fellow homeschoolers about its open curriculum, approachable teachers who are also supportive to homeschooling families and affordable tuition rates.

Rio, after answering his first quarter exams last August 2016 in a donut shop! 

- Our homeschooling became more structured.  We followed our provider’s curriculum. We made sure that we finish the lessons in time for the quarterly exams.  The curriculum gave us a guide but we deliberately deviated from it when we felt that we needed some break from all the academics. For example, we read poems, made a lot of art works, studied a little geography and performed simple Science experiments. 

- Lola M was hospitalized for almost a month and we had to cope with this difficult situation. We had to “hospital-school” during less stressful days and when Lola was beginning to recover.  We appreciated the flexibility that homeschooling gave to our family when we needed it the most. We could not imagine how we could have survived the changes we had to do if we were enrolled in a traditional school. Ang dami na sigurong absent ng anak ko!

We are ready to make more memories in our homeschooling journey. We are happy to know that our community is growing and more organized. The small but warm online space of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines (HOP) Facebook group has now 7,000++ members. Homeschoolers are getting organized into area-wide groups across the country.  We can’t wait to contribute and take part in more homeschool conferences, events and activities this year.

This year, we also plan to take the independent path. Ibig sabihin, hindi muna kami mag-eenrol sa homeschool provider. Mixed feelings! We are both nervous and excited at the same time. We are excited to pool different resources and draft our own curriculum. I'm also excited to make lesson plans and explore ways on how to introduce academic and non-academic topics to my growing boy. We are challenged to create a program on how to instill social awareness and nationalism to our child in this stage of our homeschooling journey. 

We also want to show that homeschool is neither limiting our child in the four corners of our home nor locking him up in our protective arms. In our experience, homeschooling is allowing our son to freely explore the world and telling him that there are more to learn in this life than what we read in his textbooks.  We look forward to more exploring, reading, practicing and applying what we learned to create meaningful changes in our family, community and the world.

Happy homeschooling! 

Litrato at Kuwento Week 1

Happy 2017, mga mare! 

Natutuwa akong ipakilala sa inyo ang unang proyekto ng Nanay's Trip ngayong taong ito. Ito ang Litrato at Kuwento na sinumulan ko sa aking Instagram (@nanaystrip). Sa biglang tingin, simple lang naman ang gusto nito - kumuha ng litrato at magbahagi ng kaunting kuwento tungkol dito. Halos lahat naman ng nasa social media ay ganito na ang ginagawa. Bakit ispesyal, para sa akin at sana'y sa inyo rin paglaon, ang proyektong ito?

Isa itong pagsasanay para sa akin lalo na sa pagsusulat araw-araw. Hindi man ako makapagsulat ng mahaba-haba para sa blog, tiyak na may kaunti akong maibabahagi sa pamamagitan ng #LitratoAtKuwento sa aking IG. Ilalagay ko rin dito sa aking blog ang mga naibahagi ko tuwing linggo. 

Isa rin itong pagsasanay sa pagmamasid at pakikinig sa mga tao sa aking paligid. Makita ko sana ang mga kitang-kita pero mas lalo ang mga nandiyan lang ngunit hirap makita't mapansin. Mapakinggan ko sana ang mga naghuhumiyaw sa lakas pero mas lalo ang mga bumubulong at hindi naririnig. 

Sa unang 10 Litrato at Kuwento posts ko, hindi ko naiwasang ibida ang aming pamilya. Pasensya na po. Ang katotohanan kasi sila ang kasama ko sa araw-araw kaya't sila rin ang bumubuo nito. Maaaring marami pang susunod na posts na sila pa rin ang subject ko. Pangako, magsisikap akong mas buksan ang mga mata at tenga ko sa iba pang mga tao, lugar at pangyayaring nagaganap sa ating paligid. Sana samahan ninyo ako sa proyektong ito. 

Litrato at Kuwento #1 

Mahigpit na yakap para sa aking pinakamamahal. Magkasama nating harapin ang mga hamon ng bagong taon. Damhin mo ang pisil ko sa iyong balikat, mahal. Sakto ang higpit at sa pagbitiw naman ay nag-uumapaw ang aking pagmamahal. Happy new year!

Litrato at Kuwento #2 

Dalawang taon pa lang sa amin ang turntable na ito. Ang nakakatuwa, madalas mas matanda pa sa akin ng higit dalawang dekada ang musikang tumutugtog dito. Elvis at Nat King Cole para kay Lola. Eric Clapton at Allman Brothers para kay Tatay. Carole King at Carpenters para sa akin. Beatles naman para kay Rio. Pinacheck-up namin ito kanina kay Rene Rivo sa Music Haven para tuluy-tuloy ang sound trip ngayong 2017. 

Litrato at Kuwento #3 : ADORA

Pagbaba ko ng bus sa Greenbelt 5 kanina, ito ang nakita ko. Naengganyo agad akong kuhanan ng litrato. Hindi dahil sa sabik ako sa mga itinitinda ni Adora. Naalala ko kasi ang anak-anakan ni Tricia sa pelikulang Die Beautiful. Ang baho raw ng pangalang ito kaya pinalitan ni Tricia. Kakatawa lang. Ano pa ba ang example ng mabahong pangalan? At bago ko makalimutan, nood kayo ng Die Beautiful, maganda siya, pramis. 

Litrato at Kuwento #4: Pasko Feels Pa Rin

Naging tradisyon na namin ang mag-family selfie dito sa Ayala Triangle Gardens Festival of Lights. Mula 2012 yata e may kuha kami dito. Kaya naman hindi talaga namin ito pinalagpas. Maging maliwanag, makulay at masaya din sana ang taong ito para sa aming pamilya.

Litrato at Kuwento #5 : How to Fold a Daster 

Kung may major talent ang nanay ko, pagtitiklop ng damit yun. Dati kasing dispatsadora (sa gabi, siya'y bonggang bongga!) ang nanay ko. Sa children's department siya naka-assign. Pantay-pantay at parang plantsado ang mga tinitiklop niyang damit. Kaya naman sa tuwing nagtitiklop ako ng daster niya, insecure mode ako. Di ko kasi kayang pantayan ang tiklop powers ng nanay ko.

Litrato at Kuwento #6 : CINDERELLA 

Masuwerte kaming mag-ina at nahilig sa plaka si Tatay, lalo na sa OPM, partikular sa Manila sound. Mantakin ninyo, ang hirap magets ng album cover na ito ni Cinderella, di ba? Maliban sa silver shoe na ito, masaya akong napapakinggan ko ang Bato sa Buhangin kung kailan ko gusto. Paborito ko ang kantang ito. Kinakanta at pampatulog ng mga kapatid ko ito sa akin nang bata pa ako. Isa, dalawa, tatlo, awit - "Ngunit kung ang pagsuyo'y lilipas din, bagay kaya ang bato sa buhangin."

Litrato at Kuwento #7 : P2P 

Akala ko matatapos ng malungkot ang luwas namin ngayong araw na ito. Hindi kasi kami umabot sa cut-off ng mga pasyente kaya napurnada ang checkup ni Lola. PAMASAHE at PAGOD ang nasayang. Buti na lang at nakabawi kami sa PASYAL at PAGKAIN. Matagal-tagal na ring hindi nakapasyal si Lola sa mall mula nang magkasakit siya noong isang taon. Mas lalong naging masaya ang ending dahil sa magaan, mabilis at matipid (kung ikukumpara sa Grab at Uber) na pagsakay sa POINT 2 POINT bus pauwi. O di ba, PICTURE-PICTURE pa ang mag-lola sa bus!

Litrato at Kuwento #8 : SOUTHERN SKY 

Unang beses naming maupo sa puwestong iyon. Tumiyempo pa ang nakamamanghang kalangitang ito. Sakto rin at masinsinan kaming nag-uusap na mag-asawa tungkol sa mga balak namin ngayong 2017. Mamangha at matuwa din sana kami sa hatid na mga sorpresa't ganap ng 2017 sa aming pamilya.

Litrato at Kuwento #9 : TENKYU SA LQ 

Hindi mabulaklak, sa salita at kahit magbigay nito, ang asawa ko. Ayos lang sa akin ang huli pero hirap ako doon sa una lalo na kung mayroon kaming di- pagkakaunawaan. Isa ang araw na ito kung saan hinahanap-hanap ko ang mga salita. Hindi ko inasahang makukuha ko ito sa tahimik kong asawa, may bonus pang peace offering! Salamat mahal, sa pang-unawa at pagmamahal. Pramis, maraming salita ang maisusulat ko gamit ang mga brush pens na ito. 

Litrato at Kuwento #10 : COMEDY 101 

Habang nag-aalmusal kami kanina, nag-"Knock Knock" si Rio. Bago pa ko sumagot ng "Who's there?", tumatawa na siya. Napalecture tuloy ako kung paano bumato ng joke. Rule #1: Huwag kang tatawa habang nagjojoke, yun bang nauuna ka pang tumawa kaysa sa kausap mo. Nang tanghalian na, napagsabihan ko si Rio, "Malapit ka na mag stand in the corner." Mabilis at seryosong nakipagtit-for-tat ang bata, "Gusto ko potato corner, Nanay." Ang bilis matuto ng batang ito. 

Mga mare, ano ang paboritong litrato at kuwento ninyo dito sa 10 nasa itaas? Pwedeng sagutin sa comments section o mas maganda mag-share ng inyong sariling litrato at kuwento sa inyong mga Instagram accounts. Huwag kakalimutan isingit ang hashtag na #LitratoAtKuwento para masubaybayan natin ang ating mga kuwento. Salamat at hanggang sa susunod na linggo! 

Giveaway Alert: Two Free Seats to "Building Blocks of Homeschooling"

Mga mare, especially to homeschooling nanays or those who are considering to start this journey, let's have a quick giveaway. Win two (2) free seats to a public seminar on the foundational and practical guide to homeschooling featuring the helpful topic of funding your homeschooling journey. 

The seminar will be co-facilated by two mothers and homeschooling experts, Dr. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao and Ms. Felichi Buizon with the special participation of Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. 

Please check the poster for more details about the seminar. 

Homeschooling, same as our life choices, entails preparation in terms of studying its pros and cons and how it can fit our families' values and principles. One of the best resources to help us in making this brave choice is listening to inspiring testimonials from homeschooling families. The first seminar on preschool homeschool facilitated by The Learning Basket a few years back created a huge impact in our decision to step into the homeschooling life. 

"Building Blocks of Homeschooling" may be the push and inspiration you need to finally make that life-changing decision for your family. 

Mga mare, just comment below your child's favorite bedtime book, your full name and email address. I will randomly choose the winner of two tickets on December 7 and will post the winner, 12 noon of the same day. 

Good luck and happy homeschooling! 

You can follow our homeschooling journey in Instagram @homeschoolingrio. 

Spend the holiday season with your family at SM Southmall

It was our family’s first time at SM Southmall and we were glad to have dropped by during this most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas spirit was felt all around the mall especially in the Food Street area where SM Southmall’s first holiday centerpiece was installed. Two giant reindeers in the middle of a snow-covered winter forest reminded the mall’s patrons that Christmas season has finally arrived.


We were lucky to get front row seats to watch the touching play, The Tale of the Winter Forest, performed by the talented artists of Stages. My little boy loved the kind-hearted animals – rabbit, cardinal and the white tiger, the two children met while they were lost in the winter forest. The two children found their way home because they gave their food and clothing to the needy animals. This story of kindness, giving and  love for others will help me explain to my child the true message of this season. I would remind him of this beautiful story whenever he would equate Christmas with toys and gifts rather than sharing priceless bonding moments with the family and bringing joy to others in his own little sacrifices.




Besides shopping for gifts and doing your Christmas grocery, there are other activities at SM Southmall that you can look forward to. Nanays, mark your calendars now.

November 13 & 27 and December 11 & 24 :  Bring your kids to meet and greet Santa Claus

November 22, 23, 24 and 26 : SM Southmall shoppers will be serenaded with joyful Christmas carols

November 19 & 20 and November 26 & 27 : Prepare your Christmas list and get huge discounts in SM Southmall’s double weekend holiday sale. Shoppers can get a chance to win a brand new Chevrolet Traxx. You can get one (1) raffle coupon for every P5,000 single accumulated receipt at any SM Southmall stores.

There are also other pocket events that your family can enjoy. These include the SM Cares campaign Bears of Joy, Lighted Tradition Parol-Making Contest, Smart Christmas Exhibit and the Vivo Christmas Roadshow. SM Southmall’s Christmas activities are supported by Baskin Robbins and Project Pie.

Mga mares from the South, sugod na sa SM Southmall! See you there!

(list and schedule of activities are from the press release distributed during the Christmas launch at SM Southmall last November 6, 2016. )



Rio's first legit Halloween party at McDonald's Family Fun Day

What character do you want to play this Halloween?  My short question got a long and detailed answer from my son.


"Nanay, I want to be Batman this year. When I turn 6 years old, I want to be a zombie. War Machine at 7 years old, Iron Man at 8, Robin at 9 and a robot when I turn 10 years old.  Baka makalimutan mo Nanay, ha."

I was surprised how my son got so excited with this Halloween hype, he even mapped out the characters he would play until he turns 10! This was unusual since this little boy only wore simple and unflashy Halloween costumes since he was two years old. He wore his Batman pajama set during his first party but refused to wear his mask. Nag-Batman costume pa?  For the next trick or treat parties we attended, all he needed were his Dracula cape and reliable ecobags for his candy loots.

I can say that this year's  McDonald's Grand Halloween Family Fun Day held at the World Trade Center in Pasay was Rio's first legit trick or treat party. We were happy to support his plans - what character to play, what outfit to wear and activities to join. It was actually a good break from our past Halloween party preparations where I would enumerate almost all the possible characters and costumes while he rejected everything that I said. At last,  my son owned and enjoyed this party!

It was also memorable since it was McDonald's first time to hold its Grand Halloween Family Fun Day in Manila. Almost 9,000 attended the successful event and enjoyed the treats from the company booths around the venue. There were also lots of creative and fun games for the whole family. Rio was delighted to get his second Hot Wheels car together with his favorite McDonald's chicken meal for lunch.



Thank you, McDonald's for inviting us and we are looking forward to next year's Grand Halloween  Family Fun Day. Watch out for Rio's ZOMBIE look!

Here are some of Rio's photos at the Grand Halloween Family Fun Day. Enjoy!

[caption id="attachment_4714" align="alignnone" width="720"]14962379_10211476363410723_449034191_n Thanks to McDo's free cape! Nakumpleto ang Batman look ni Rio! :-)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4718" align="alignnone" width="720"]14971865_10211476363250719_1827792076_n I will be War Machine when I turn 7 years old![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4722" align="alignnone" width="720"]14962445_10211476363370722_137921155_n Iron Man naman kapag 8 years old na ako.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4727" align="alignnone" width="720"]14996311_10211476363210718_1317807042_n Thank you, McDonald's for this Halloween treat![/caption]