So sorry for this very late blog post! I had to publish it anyway because New Year is one of the few times that my side of the family is complete, well, amost entirely complete. The designated place for our New Year’s celebration was my brother’s house in Imus, Cavite.
It was a stripes kind of New Year, as you can see!
What’s different about our New Year’s Day celebration this year was the boodle fight. A “boodle fight” or a “boodle feast” is a banquet where food is served on banana leaves and everyone eats using his/her bare hands. In our case, we used plastic gloves when we feasted on our sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinner. Also, to reduce cooking time, we just ordered some of the food from Amber’s and Fish2Go.
Boodle fight, the star of our New Year feast
Of course, family gatherings aren’t complete without photos, so we took lots of them from the boodle fight preparation to the eating to the burping. Lol!
Moving on! Drew Barrymore recently spoke out about her divorce from Will Kopelman, becoming a single mom, and how throwing herself into her work really helped her to move forward in her life. Drew and Will married in 2012 and divorced in early 2016. They are parents to Olive, 4, and Frankie, 2. Drew spoke out about her new show, Santa Clarita Diet, and how she threw herself into the job after her divorce. She spoke about how she was going through a really hard time at the time, and how her life was not in a very pleasant place, and that she took on the show as a way to kind of keep herself busy during her divorce.
Drew also opened up to Ellen recently, telling the talk show host that the divorce was her “worst nightmare”, since she had wanted to raise her kids in an ultra traditional way, much different from how she grew up. However, she says that once she realized that she and ex Will Kopelman could raise their girls in different homes and still be friendly and on good terms with each other, she said that it really helped to make things much easier. Being a single mom might not have been something that Drew had in mind, we know that she has handled it with class and grace and is continuing to do the best things for her girls. She is a shining example for all moms that even if your life doesn’t go the way you imagined it would, it doesn’t mean that things are ruined and everything can still turn out great.
Something big and exciting is happening on February 25, so mark your calendar and save the date!
The UREKA Forum, the largest e-commerce mass conversion program for SMEs (small and medium enterprises), in collaboration with Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and its Consortium Partners, will hold its biggest forum ever on February 25 at SM Megatrade Halls 1 to 3.
Now on its fourth leg in less than 18 months, the forum helps entrepreneurs elevate their business models with the use of technology and e-commerce. Through the Forum and DTI Roadshows, the UREKA Movement has already helped around 700 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from Baguio, Iloilo and Davao to put up their businesses online.
An estimated 1,000 people, mostly MSMEs and UREKA E-cadets, are expected to attend The UREKA Mega Manila Forum that will help them convert their business models from “brick-and-mortar” to “brick-and-click” in just one day.
“We are very excited about the upcoming UREKA Forum here in Metro Manila, as it is the culmination of the first phase of the UREKA Forum, which started in October 2015, in key provincial trade-hubs of the country. Importantly, we look forward to also start connecting UREKA SMEs with specially-trained UREKA E-Cadets, college students who will assist in getting UREKA SME’s get their e-commerce businesses up and running. Lastly, we are honored to also welcome new partners such as Microsoft and Facebook Asia Pacific who will further expand and sustain the UREKA e-commerce ecosystem,” shared UnionBank Executive Vice President Genaro (Genju) V. Lapez.
What’s new about the UREKA Mega Manila Forum is the pairing of the UREKA E-Cadets with the UREKA e-MSME’s, which aims to help businesses make their first e-commerce sale within days from their conversion to a “brick-and-click” model.
The “pairing” will help MSMEs take their businesses online in just a few hours. All they need to do is provide all the necessary information about their business and products for the website. The entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to interact with industry leaders from the consortium partners and learn from them.
“UREKA Forum is very much in line with UnionBank’s digital transformation mandate as it enables MSME’s to do e-commerce and, together with our Consortium Partners’ commitment to help achieve a sustainable ‘financial inclusion.’ Consequently, UREKA is in close partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) efforts to spearhead the country’s Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (PECR) 2016-2020,” added VP Lapez.
UnionBank and its consortium partners (PLDT SME Nation, Air21, SHOPINAS, DragonPay, AMTI, GeiserMaclang Marketing and Communications Inc., Panahon TV and Esquire Financing Inc.), together with DTI, DOST and DICT, continue to collaborate with different leaders from the business and technology industries to share knowledge and expertise and to promote a sustainable and innovative e-commerce based business model among Filipino entrepreneurs.
The following are the keynote speakers for the upcoming UREKA Mega Manila Forum:
• UnionBank President Edwin Bautista
• PhilDev Director & Narra Venture CEO Dr. Paco Sandejas
• UnionBank SEVP, Chief Technology & Operations Officer Henry Aguda
• PLDT SME Nation VP & Head Mitch Locsin
• SHOPINAS President & CEO Sheila Lina
• AMTI SVP & GM Bong Paloma
• Air21 Retail Sales & Business Development Division Head Yasmin Vasquez
• DragonPay CTO & COO Robertson Chiang
• Esquire International Financing Chairman & CEO Rajan Uttamchandani
• GeiserMaclang President Brad Geiser.
Facebook’s Asia Pacific Head of Public Policy Elizabeth Hernandez, Microsoft Philippines Solutions Group Head Rey Lugtu and Taxumo CEO Eugene Arboleda will also make their debuts during the forum.
The UREKA Mega Manila Forum will be moderated by TeamAsia President Monette Iturralde-Hamlin and hosted by Christine Jacob-Sandejas and RJ Ledesma.
After spending three years in preschool, my husband and I believed our son was ready for big school. In 2012, Justin took the entrance test for Kinder 2 in the school of our choice early and enrolled early, too. On the first day of classes, I accompanied him to school to get a feel of his new environment and to see if he was comfortable being around new people in a place a little farther from home.
To be honest, I was quite apprehensive for my son because he was a newcomer in school. It seemed everyone in class knew each other already as they have been with the school one year ahead of my son. Justin didn’t know anyone in class, so he just sat on his seat and waited for their teacher.
His first day in big school as a Kinder 2 pupil
As his mom, I knew it would take a while before my son could adjust to the new set-up. Being in big school means longer hours in school, more school work, less playtime, and no more mom waving at him outside the window during class.
In big school, parents are only allowed to accompany their children to class on the first day, unlike in preschool where parents can occasionally check on their children in school and peep through the glass window to see how their kids are doing.
On his second day in class, only the kindergarten pupils were allowed to enter the gate. The parents had to stay behind. I could see sadness and apprehension in my son’s eyes as I planted a kiss on his cheek and waved goodbye. He kept looking back at me as he walked towards his classroom with the same forlorn look. His struggle was real, and it was heartbreaking!
When he went home that day, he told me that he cried in school because he was missing me. He said he was consoled by a classmate whose name he remembers very well to this day. “It’s okay, Justin. Don’t cry.” Those were his classmate’s exact words that made Justin felt at ease. That classmate became his first-ever friend in big school.
It took a week or two before Justin overcame separation anxiety, and before long, he was already enjoying big school and looking forward every day to seeing his classmates and their homeroom adviser. I couldn’t be happier for him because he finally overcame his first biggest challenge in life.
And this mom got the biggest surprise of her life during my son’s Kinder 2 Culminating Activity. Justin received the highest academic award for their batch! Aside from getting the Gold Medal for General Academic Excellence for Kinder 2, he also received 7 more medals. It was awesome! His homeroom adviser kept this a secret from me.
It was a momentous occasion! Knowing that our son was excelling in his class was just icing on the cake. Seeing him enjoying his stint in big school and conquering his biggest fear was enough for his dad and me. With or without medals, we love our son the same.
While my son has conquered his life’s first biggest challenge, there’s still a long way to go. Conquering his fear of big school is just one of the many obstacles that he will have to hurdle in this lifetime. But he won’t face all those difficulties alone, no not just yet, because his dad and I will always be here – well, for as long as life allows us to be present for him – to guide him, support him and love him.
Why am I telling this story? Because I recently came across this TV commercial from McDonald’s that rings a universal truth as far as all moms and dads are concerned. The commercial shows that no matter what our kids do, whatever shortcomings they have, and whether they finish first, last or not at all, for us parents, our kids are the best.
What about you? What was your child’s first win in life?
December 15, 2016 was Justin’s last day in school before Christmas break. It was also their Christmas Agape. That’s what they call their Christmas party in school. On Christmas Agape, the boys bring to school heir assigned food for sharing with classmates, as well as their Christmas presents to their classmates and teachers.
The early birds!
I accompanied my son to school to help him carry his gifts and assigned food and also to take pictures of him and his classmates before their homeroom adviser arrives.
They’re a cooperative lot, as you can see!
In this picture, he was just about ready to personally deliver his Christmas gifts to his dear teachers.
And these were all the gifts he received from his classmates! He’s one happy boy!